Monday, May 28, 2007

Recent Posts on Te Deum Laudamus for May 28, 2007

Photo by Jay McNally - May 2007

It has been a long time since I have done this. But, I recognize that many are out of town and would like to group some of the latest posts so you can catch up. I'll try to slow or stop posting for a few days to allow everyone to get up to speed.

Working backwards, here recent posts

Memorial Day 2007 in photos

Fr. Aidan Logan O.C.s.o.-US Naval Academy Chaplain visits Assumption Grotto

Fr. Tom Euteneuer of Human Life Int'l at Grotto

Pentecost 2007

Assumption Grotto in May 31, 2007 edition of The Wanderer

85 Year-young priest launches blog

Pontifical Council for Culture - Fr. Michael Uwe Lang?

Who's Church is this anyway? (Excellent Sermon by Fr. Perrone)

Ratzinger 1988 on the De-sacralization of the liturgy

Stunning photos from a Traditional Catholic French Scouting Movement

TAG for CTH 2007 (Call to Holiness 2007 posts made to date - scroll)


Sunday, June 3, 2007, the Windsor Tridentine Latin Mass will relocate to Assumption Church , on Huron Church Road at the foot of the Ambassador Bridge . The Mass time will remain at 2:00 PM. Mass will be held in the main church, not in the Rosary Chapel.

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Memorial Day 2007

The flag is raised to the top, then is brought down to half-staff as the bugeler plays

We get all excited with the prospect of a long weekend, but I for one had never thought to go to Mass on Memorial Day. In fact, the only thing on my mind was the extra day to sleep in, the BBQ and picnic, and other things.

Assumption Grotto's culture has a way of helping us to get our priorities straight on these things. I was at Mass which followed the 9:00 flag-raising. During Mass my thoughts went to an uncle who was killed during WWII, long before my mother and father even met. He was killed in action on May 24, 1944. He was a TSgt with the 741st Bomber Squadron, 455th Bomber Group (Heavy). He was awarded an Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, and a Purple Heart. His plane went down just off the shore of Italy and he was not recovered. His name appears on the "Tablet of the Missing" in Florence, Italy.

I then began to reflect on Memorial Day. As a Catholic, I believe in purgatory - a place where souls reside as they undergo purification before joining our Lord in Heaven. The poor souls in purgatory depend on our prayers and yet, you have to wonder, how many poor souls are actually being prayed for? Such talk is rarely heard from pulpits these days. As a matter of fact, you could get the impression that there is no need to pray for anybody in some Catholic circles because "everyone is going to heaven".

If you had the day off and didn't go to Mass, please consider it every Memorial Day from now on. If you don't know anyone who died during a war or in the service of their country, then go for the sake of the many poor souls who have no one to pray for them. If you are out of town on vacation, find a local Catholic Church and go. If that doesn't work, at least say a Rosary or some other meaningful prayer.

Here are more photos from today. Note the black vestments in use. I never seen these until I came to Assumption Grotto. The first time was on All Souls Day in November. Grotto uses black vestments for funerals, as well. Some would argue that white reminds us more of the joy and hope of Resurrection, and the after-life. However, I will go back to my discussion of purgatory. These vestments remind me of the need to pray for those who have gone on to the next life, rather than to assume they are all in heaven. Hence, it is not just a color of mourning in my mind.

Some of these came out rather dark, but you get the idea of how the morning went. The Mass was not held outdoors as we had thought. This would have required an army of volunteers setting up chairs and it rained all weekend long.

Some of those gentlemen you see firing are around the age of 90. It was a pleasure to sit and talk to some of these old-timers today, and to hear their stories. I hope next year to see a bigger crowd of young and old alike.

As a side note, an interesting site to visit is the American Battle Monuments Commission, where you can search databases with names of your loved ones. It does not cover the Vietnam war or anything after the Korean War from what I can tell. It is government run so perhaps there is a separate set of databases for Wars following the Korean War.

I had no idea, nor did my uncle's only living brother, that we could find out where he was buried, or listed. I used the FAQ page about two years ago and sent an email inquiry. A few weeks later, I received a letter and a packet from the Commission with my uncle's information - his service number, his medals, the date he was killed, and where he was buried. It is not known if he was simply not recovered, or if he was recovered, then buried at sea. I then had the option - free of charge to get several photographs of the plot/tablet listing of my uncle and I followed through. A few months later I got these large poster-sized pictures which I gave to my brother, sister and uncle. He regretted not knowing his brother was listed on the Tablet of the Missing in Florence, Italy because he had traveled to that area many times over the years. For this reason, I pass the info along to you. You must be a relative to request information, but not necessarily the listed next of kin.

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Fr. Aidan Logan, O.C.s.o. - US Naval Academy Chaplain at Assumption Grotto

Grotto was graced with another visiting priest this weekend, in addition to Fr. Tom Euteneuer. Many recognized him from past visits, but did not know who he was. It was Fr. Aidan Logan, O.C.s.o. - a Cistercian who serves as a Catholic Chaplain at the United States Naval Academy in Anapolis, MD. Father periodically stops in - especially over Memorial Day weekend. He is a friend of parishioner Chris Kolomjec who just returned safely from his tour of duty in Iraq. Chris is a Major in the Reserves with the 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, and a member of the K of C. He has been very active at Assumption Grotto since arriving about five years ago.

Father Logan celebrated the 9:30am Latin Novus Ordo, and has been with us at other times during the year, as well. It is always a pleasure to have so many fine priests visit Assumption Grotto - always to our benefit.

I have an affinity for the chasuble worn by Father in the photos above. It is difficult to see the Sacred Heart on the back of this Roman Chasuble (casually referred to as a "fiddle-back" even though it is the front which has the fiddle shape). Click on the photos to enlarge.

Undoubtedly, Fr. Logan will be at the Memorial Day Mass which starts around 9:00 with a flag-raising ceremony. Here is Fr. Logan in last year's procession, just ahead of Fr. Perrone.

Well, it's time to get the camera ready and head out for yet a third, straight day of photography at the Grotto. The Lord has given us a grand, beautiful, sunny day after two days of rain.

Edit: Below are photos of Fr. Aidan Logan and Chris Kolomjec taken right after the social which followed the Mass on Memorial Day 2007.

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Fr. Tom Euteneuer of Human Life Int'l at Assumption Grotto

Fr. Tom Euteneuer of Human Life International was in this weekend as retreat master for the Helpers of God's Precious Infants on Saturday. Fr. Euteneuer spoke at all of the Masses this weekend and he celebrated the noon Mass on Sunday. He celebrated in a way that is familiar to Grotto-goers - ad orientem!

Fr. Tom Euteneuer, celebrating ad orientem, elevates the Sacred Chalice in this Novus Ordo. I was taken aback by this priestly posture the first time I experienced it on Pentecost of 2005. I shifted in my pew as if to seek the face of the priest when I suddenly realized it is the face of Almight God I should be seeking in the Mass.

Incensing taking place during a brief Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament following the Noon Mass - something Grotto-goers enjoy weekly. On nice days in the summer, it is held in the outdoor Grotto with a full procession.

Fr. Tom during Benediction, with Fr. Perrone in the foreground, along with altar boys with their celebratory white cassocks and red shoulder capes for Pentecost. They wore gold shoulder capes through the Easter season, and now will return to black cassocks and white surplice.

Fr. Euteneuer's message was one rarely heard from pulpits these days. He talked about life, abortion, and contraception. In some parishes, I've seen people walk out on sermons like these, but not here. For the most part, he was singing to the choir, but the choir always needs sound reminders about authentic Catholic teaching, and how to put it in practice.

He said that the culture of death is so entrenched in our culture that it is impossible from human standpoint to change it. But, citing examples in history, showed how God can work through the impossible with the miraculous. We can change the culture of death, but we need to start with change in ourselves, even if we aren't participating in it per se.

We must live virtuous lives, and be willing to make sacrifices. Prayer, fasting, and penance are things we can offer to change this culture of death. We can pray outside the clinics. We can pray in adoration chapels and in our homes. We can pray for the conversion of abortionists, those aiding them, the mother, the father, and the list goes on.

During the retreat, Fr. Euteneuer talked on exorcism and deliverance - the topic of a new book he is soon to be releasing according to a column just written this weekend.

You may also recall that not too long ago there was a controversy between Fr. Tom and Sean Hannity, which led to a national discussion on contraception and Catholicism.

I will be having more on Fr. Euteneuer's visit soon.

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Pentecost 2007

Pentecost will always be very special to me because it not only marks my yearly anniversary with Grotto (second this year), it marks a point in which my life was radically changed.

For those who are newer to the blog, I wrote last Pentecost how the conscience-stirring words of Fr. Perrone in his weekly column lured me to Assumption Grotto.

See my post from Pentecost 2006 and to read about Fr. Perrone's "Fallacy of the Middle Ground"

I will be making separate posts on two priests who visited Assumption Grotto this weekend.

One of those priests was Fr. Tom Euteneuer of Human Life International, the other was Fr. Aidan Logan, O.C.s.o. - a chaplain at the US Naval Academy.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Wanderer Online Edition: Article on Assumption Grotto in May 31, 2007 Edition

2007 Photo of Assumption Grotto by Jay McNally

Assumption Grotto is on the front page of the May 31, 2007 print edition of The Wanderer with an article written by Jay McNally about our 175th anniversary and festivities. It also has a photo of the front of Assumption Grotto (above) taken by Jay recently (click here where you can see the front page photo for a few more days). He explains very well the culture of Grotto when it comes to our big celebrations, which are days of devotion.

The Grotto has been a very pop­ular pilgrimage site for 125 years, with stories being told of very long lines of visitors on feast days de­cades ago, and of some miraculous cures. Many colorful ceremonies, especially on Marian feast days are held at the grotto.

The parish celebrates its feast day on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption, with a full day of de­votions, hourly Masses, and won­derful meals and social activities. Needless to say, there are no beer tents, bingo tables, and carnival rides at Assumption Grotto’s annu­al festival. The feast- day ceremo­nies at the outdoor Grotto are a major attraction, with usually more than 1,000 attending both outdoor Masses, at noon and at 7 p. m. The evening Mass is followed by a sol­emn candlelight procession around the cemetery and parish grounds. Attendance some years has topped 20,000.

For those familiar with The Wanderer, and those not familiar, they have finally dropped into the 21st century and are now providing the full weekly edition in their brand new website. You can read this, and many other articles, including an online archive.

However, it requires a paid subscription. You can get credit for 3 free online issues (including this May 31, 2007 edition) to see if it is of interest to you. You can apply the credits against any current issue, or from several past issues. All you do is sign up with an email address and password - no credit card is required for the 3 credits. Just follow the link below to the homepage and then click the link in the left sidebar for the "E-Edition" to try it out.

Veteran Catholic Journalist, Jay McNally at the 2007 Call to Holiness,
where he served as MC at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Wyanodotte) site

If you want to keep the subscription, it is $50.00 yearly. This may seem steep, but consider that you are getting a reading load comparable to a weekly magazine for around $1.00 weekly. I am also assuming you will have access to those back issues and archives. They often have guest writers of good stature.

The Wanderer Store

Fr. Zuhlsdorf - aka "Fr. Z" has been writing the column "What Does the Prayer Really Say?" for many years now in that small Catholic newspaper. He later took his articles to the internet via Catholic Online forums, and then it gave birth to his blog of the same name.

Go read Fr. Z's introduction to The Wanderer Online-Edition

Friday, May 25, 2007

85 year young priest launches Catholic blog

Welcome to the blogosphere Father John Malloy, SDB - Pastor of Sts Peter and Paul Parish in San Francisco.

He started with a bang too. Some would call him outspoken, while the rest of us would say he's acting on grace to proclaim the gospel and the truth.

His blog is called, A Shepherd's Voice - You can't be Catholic and Pro-Choice on Abortion

EDIT 5/28/2007: An interesting sidenote....Ed Peters, JD, JCD, has something to say about the slogan being used by many pro-lifers that you can't be Catholic and Pro-Choice on Abortion, and he's right. Once a Catholic, always a Catholic. The mark put on someone at baptism doesn't disappear when he or she falls from grace or is in a persistent state of mortal sin. The mark is not something that just goes away by choice (no pun intended). Perhaps it is more fitting to say that Being Pro-Choice on Abortion is un-Catholic.

I'll be adding him to my section on blogging priests and religious

Deo Gratias!

Details of HGPI-Mich Retreat with Fr. Thomas J. Euteneuer of Human Life International

I recently mentioned a retreat through Helpers of God's Precious Infants of Michigan. Fr. Thomas J. Euteneuer of Human Life International is coming to Assumption Grotto on May 26, from 1-7pm as retreat master.

This retreat is open to members of Helpers of God's Precious Infants of Michigan, as well as to those who already do sidewalk counseling in other apostolates or alone. It is also open to those seriously considering sidewalk counseling, or working in the capacity of prayer warrior for Helpers of God's Precious Infants.

See the details, with flyer, at the Helpers of God's Precious Infants of Michigan website.

EDIT 5/25/2007: Fr. Perrone stated in last weekend's bulletin ,that Fr. Euteneuer would be speaking at all of the Masses this weekend while he is in. However, it is unknown if he will be speaking at the early-bird 6:30am Mass.


Pontifical Council for Cultural Patrimony - Fr. Uwe Michael Lang?

Some interesting appointments are taking place. On May 8, the Vatican Information Service announced that Abbot Michael John Zielinski, OSB would be the new Vice-President of both the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology and the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church. An interview with Fr. Zielinski appeared recently on the blog of Rorate Caeli in which he calls the Tridentine the "missing link".

In a few scarce places, such as this blogpost by Phil Lawler, we find chatter over another appointment, which I have not yet seen at the Vatican Information Service (if someone knows the date, please add it or the link to the combox).

It seems that Fr. Uwe Michael Lang - another liturgical strongman is finding a home in one of the Holy Father's dicastries - the Pontifical Council for Cultural Patrimony.


Fr. Lang has written a book - one of many on my list of things to read, called, Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer. In it, he makes a theological case for the ad orientem posture of the priest during Mass. Pope Benedict, as Cardinal Ratzinger, introduced the book with enthusiasm when it came out.

Those of us at Assumption Grotto are all too familiar with the spiritual benefits of a priest who does not face the people (versus populum). In the Mass, the person of the priest is removed as he puts on Christ. When I first encountered it in Grotto's Latin Novus Ordo, my thought was, "you have got to be kidding me - the priest has his back to us". I shifted as if to seek the face of the priest, only to realize a short while later that, in the Mass, it is the face of God I should be seeking. I immediately grasped the beauty of this posture - only by the grace of God. I look forward to reading his book and will probably find confirmation of things I know deep down, but cannot yet explain with my lack of education in liturgy.

Fr. Jay Scott Newman of St. Mary's in Greenville, South Carolina, has an excellent blogpost up which discusses the book further. In it, he proclaims - rightly, I believe:

After nearly 15 years of celebrating Holy Mass every day, I can testify that the custom of facing the people across the altar makes the faithful and fruitful celebration of the Eucharist more difficult for priest and people alike. Given that our present arrangements are simply a novelty, that Benedict XVI acknowledges this, that no declaration of the Church ever required the change to versus populum celebration, and that a growing number of priests are increasingly convinced that we should together be turning towards the LORD, look for changes to come gradually to parishes near you. And this, or something like it, is what you might see:

Pontificium Consilium de Cultura

So, what is this dicastry? I wondered what it was, and why His Holiness would want someone with such a strong understanding of liturgy on that council. And, just what is a Pontifical Council of Cultural Patrimony?

In my searches on the internet, I came up with the Vatican's profile of this department. I'll leave it to you to read this rather short outline, but want to extract the first two points.

  1. To promote the encounter between the saving message of the Gospel and the cultures of our time, often marked by unbelief or religious indifference, in order that they may be increasingly open to the Christian faith, which creates culture and is an inspirational source of science, literature and the arts (Cf. the Motu Proprio "Inde a Pontificatus", Art. 1).

  2. To manifest the Church’s pastoral concern in the face of the serious phenomena of the rift between the Gospel and cultures. It therefore promotes the study of the problem of unbelief and religious indifference found in various forms in different cultural milieus, inquiring into their causes and the consequences for Christian faith, in order to offer adequate support to the Church’s pastoral activity in evangelising cultures and inculturating the Gospel (Cf. ibid., Art.

I find these appointments intriguing because in my mind, the manner in which the liturgy is celebrated has everything to do with culture. If our concept of worship is just one big feel-good celebration, then it will impact the way we live. We won't want to disturb our feel-good concept of life with doing things that are inconvenient - like, going to Mass every Sunday when we would rather be sleeping, going to the big game, or shopping. Why disturb that feel-good concept of life with making small, daily sacrifices for the love of God and for the sake of charity?

On the other hand, if we engage in a purified form of worship, where we see God not as "buddy", but as One before Whom we should have the utmost reverence, we will live accordingly. There is a concept between liturgy and living which says, "Lex orandi, lex credendi" - As we worship, so we live.

EDIT 5/26/2007: Fr. Zuhlsdorf has now commented on this subject and brings up another important point:

If there is to be some hope for success in the implementation of legislation to derestrict the older form of Mass, and therefore handle questions about the role of the older Mass in the cultures of many peoples, the nexus of the liturgy with architecture, how it is to be celebrated, how it fits in a liturgical dialogue, a cross-pollination with the new Mass, friends of the vision must seeded into offices of the Curia. They will help to shift the tone. They will be available when questions arise.

See his full blogpost appropriately titled: Papal Chess Praxix: Position Play


Deo Gratias!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Article in UK news about Fatima

This was a decent article in The Independent out of the UK. It's not often that anything Catholic gets treated with decency. There are some errors, as is typical of secular media articles, but overall it's a switch to see Catholicism treated nicely.

The Big Question: Why is there a shrine at Fatima, and what is its significance for Catholics?

By Paul Vallely

Published: 24 May 2007

Why are we asking this question now?

The shrine at Fatima is regarded as the holiest site in Portugal, and it was there yesterday that the parents of Madeleine McCann made a pilgrimage to pray for a miracle in the search for the missing four-year-old. Indeed it is one of the most celebrated sites in Roman Catholicism.

So how did the shrine come to exist?

It is one of a handful of places where Catholic tradition has it that Mary, the mother of Jesus, has staged supernatural apparitions in modern times.

In 1917 three shepherd children reported visions of the Virgin Mary in fields outside the city of Fatima, north of Lisbon. They claimed that the visions continued from May to October, always on the 13th day of the month. The children said that the apparition gave them messages suggesting that the First World War, which was then raging, would end if Catholics devoutly said the prayer known as the Rosary.

Fatima is now one of the world's major centres of pilgrimage. Ten days ago some 300,000 pilgrims flocked there to mark the 90th anniversary of the date of the vision. The place is so iconic to the Portuguese that their national identity is said to be defined as: "Fado, Fatima and Football".

Did anyone else see the vision?

continue reading at The Independent (UK)...

Deo Gratias!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

News and Catholic Blogging Roundup - May 23, 2007

As the morning sun set the stained-glassed windows before us aglow, the priest led us into the Eucharistic Prayer....

Memorial Day 2006 - Fr. John Celebrates the 7:30am Liturgy


Catholic Media

Pro-Life News

Catholic Blogdom

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

France: Traditional Catholic Scouting unit

Just saw this photo post up at The New Liturgical Movement of traditional Catholic French youth during Mass in the mountains. Stunning photos and excellent post by Shawn Tribe.


Go see the full post at NLM blog

Deo Gratias!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Thou art a priest forever....

The quotation is from Fr. Jean-Baptiste Henri Lacordaire,OP (1802-1861). I was reading it from the North American College Manual of Prayers. "Thou Art a Priest Forever"

To live in the midst of the world with no desire for its pleasures; to be member of every family, yet belonging to none; to share all sufferings; to penetrate all secrets, to heal all wounds; to go daily from men to God to offer Him their homage and petitions; to return from God to men to bring them His pardon and hope; to have a heart of fire for charity and a heart of bronze for chastity; to bless and to be blest forever. O God, what a life, and it is yours, O Priest of Jesus Christ!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Whose Church is this anyway?

This is last Sunday's sermon by Fr. Eduard Perrone, pastor of Assumption Grotto. It was classicly "Perronesque". It was also just the kind of message Catholics need to hear from the pulpit today where bad theology has left many disoriented. Only a humble heart can handle sermons like this one.

My pastor speaks with simplicity on a subject which many will turn upside down with the complexity of relativism. Complexity serves as a tool of the Evil One, who uses it skillfully to lead God's faithful into confusion, or into complacency. Morality can be explained away with all of the grace of a used-car salesman in mid-town Manhattan. God loves his children too much to make truth into some kind of maze that only the highly educated can navigate.

Truth is simple, not complex. It is black or white, and never shades of gray. Our Lord did not say the path was broad and easy. He said it was narrow and difficult.

"But Israel I would feed with the finest wheat, satisfy them with honey from the rock." (Ps 81:17)

6th Sunday of Easter C, 2007

The bible readings given us for today compel us to talk about the mysterious thing we call the Catholic Church. We so often say it flippantly, casually, ‘the Church,’ as if it were some social organization or corporation, that we may forget that Jesus only spoke of “my Church”, that is, Christ’s Church, God’s Church–not our thing but His. And, if it’s His it’s holy; if it’s Christ’s it’s true; if it’s God’s its definitive, unerring, permanent and unconquerable. The difference between thinking of the Church as a human thing and a divine thing comes to the fore whenever we talk about the things the Church officially teaches and the rules of conduct it makes. If they’re God’s rules, there’s no appeal for their change: they’re permanent and binding. If they’re man’s, they’re provisional, changeable and–yes–negligible. Maybe you can already see where we’re headed. The logic of the matter is compelling. If the Roman Catholic Church speaks and teaches what is God’s mind for us to know, then we’re obliged in obedience to it in the strictest sense. And why? Because there is no reality beyond reality; what God made is the only way things are; what He says and does is ‘all-there-is’. If there were an alternative to reality, it would be deception or illusion–not reality at all, but make-believe, a pretending that ‘what-is’ isn’t really so.

The motivation for these remarks comes from the first reading for this Mass which contains the very first decree from a council of the Church. The apostles, after the Holy Spirit had guided their deliberation and discussion, came to their conclusions. I want you to hear again what the apostles—the only ones Jesus chose as His official agents—said in their first decree. Note the authoritative and confident manner of their words: “It is the decree of the Holy Spirit, and of us...” Now, only three kinds of persons can say something like that: lunatics who think they have divine powers; believers who are deceived by their pride into thinking that God has spoken to them, when He in fact hasn’t; and men who were guaranteed by Jesus Christ to have privileged access to truth, to the mind of God. Such men are the apostles and their successors. Here is what Jesus said to them in the Gospel just read to you: “The Holy Spirit will teach you [apostles] everything and remind you of all that I told you.”

When the Catholic ‘apostolic’ Church teaches and speaks officially (that means Peter the Pope and his fellow apostle-bishops), you are obliged by their words. They’re not suggesting; they’re not proposing something for debate; they’re conveying to you the mind of God.

You know that there are people who say that it is OK for the Church to talk about God, the creed, the sacraments and prayer—no problem there, but that when she talks about morality, she’s overstepped her bounds, or, more bluntly, is simply wrong. Let’s see if that’s right. Here’s a good trivia question for you. The very first time that the Church made an official statement that was binding on all Christians: did it have to do with a matter of faith or with moral conduct? The correct answer is given in the first Reading: Christians were forbidden certain actions: idolatry and “unlawful marriage.” How interesting! The apostles’ first concern was not to clarify a teaching about the divinity of Christ, or the Blessed Trinity, or the Eucharist; it was rather about the moral issues of occult practices and impurity—two huge concerns also for us in the modern world. Should we then be surprised that the Church even today speaks out forcefully in forbidding divorce and remarriage, contraception, abortion, homosexual acts, porn, euthanasia, the redefinition of marriage, and all the weird manner of occultism which has surfaced in our day?

I conclude this segment of my sermon with a summary of what’s been said thus far: If you believe in Christ, you must believe that His apostles have privileged access to the Holy Spirit so that when they speak about morals you are obligated to agree with them and further obligated to follow them in your conduct. In this way, the Catholic Church keeps you centered in reality and not in a counterfeit, let’s- pretend kind of world.

I must pass on to First Holy Communion–briefly. Our children won’t get much of what I just said. Parents have the God-given duty to teach them what’s right and to protect them from corruption. Holy Communion, for the pure of heart, is like a protective medicine against contagion, and an anodyne that gives relief and comfort to troubled souls. It needs to be taken over and over again–but always in a state of grace—for it to be fully effective. Holy Communion is Jesus Himself, but in the form of the Host: God in a size small enough to be taken in by the fragile bodies and innocent souls of these little children. Parents: feed your children with frequent Communion as long as they are not in mortal sin (for that, there is needed prior confession). Teach them and guide them in the Catholic faith; nourish them and innoculate against evil with the food of Holy Communion.

My parting word is on the Blessed Mother. While I’m pleased to say ‘Happy Mothers Day’ to our moms and to thank them for being pro-life, I must also say thank you to the Blessed Mother who gave us Jesus as the world’s only hope for salvation. We will honor Her after Mass in the crowning of Her image outdoors

A scene from my blogpost
"Grotto in the Mist"

Thoughts? Comments? What say you!

For more of Father Perrone classics, visit the section in my sidebar - under the photo post collections near the top - dedicated to specific sermons.

Also, the webmaster of the Assumption Grotto website has even more sermons from throughout the last few years with a variety of themes.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel - Wyandotte: May Day 2007

I'm waiting on some information for Call to Holiness audio and once I get it, will make a post. I will also be continuing with that series soon, in bewteen other posts I've been wanting to get out, including this one.

Reader Debbie sent me these photos of the May Day 2007 procession taken at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Wyandotte, site of the Call the Holiness 2007 conference on the West side.

You gotta love the Birettas!

In the first pic is Deacon Richard Bloomfield on the left, and the OLMC Pastor, Rev. Walter Ptak.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Interview with Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos

EDIT: See May 19th edit at the end of this post for more coverage of this interview and related motu proprio news in the media.....

An interview by a Mexican news agency with Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, follows on the heals of his address to Bishops in Latin America the other day on the forthcoming motu proprio and has some rather interesting points.

H/T to Rorate Caeli with a partial translation (my spanish speaking readers can find the original article in the first link of this post):

The article includes the information that "The... President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei revealed in an interview with Notimex that this document [the motu proprio] is already written and its release will take place in the next few weeks." Since this is not an actual interview, but an article based on an interview, it is not clear what were the genuine words used by Castrillón regarding the document and its current status.

Among the words spoken by Cardinal Castrillón, we find the following (translated and adapted):

"There is no turning back, [the Pope] is not leading the Church to a reverse position; the Pope is the Vicar of Christ and has the Holy Spirit who always guides him forward, which does not mean that things which may have deteriorated may not be perfected."

"It [The Traditional Mass] will not be imposed on anyone, it does not in any way contradict the current [Mass], the Mass of the Council Fathers was that of Saint Pius V, they did not celebrate the Mass of Paul VI, these two Masses are not be be [mutually] opposed."

"In the Mass of Saint Pius V there is a ritual expression which is enjoyed by some; there are those who wish to celebrate it occasionally, but without it meaning any disregard, [but] complete respect for the new rite."

"The Pope wishes to preserve for mankind a treasure which sanctified the Church for more than a thousand years: the rite codified by Saint Pius V; this treasure, this cultural expression, this language which was the language of the Church from the earliest time". [Benedict XVI] "loves the liturgy [and] does not wish to retroact, does not intend to impose, it is an offer for those who have this sensibility."

In addition to this, for the first time, I see the clearest explanation of the status of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X. We've heard they were schismatic, then not schismatic. Here, the Cardinal distinguishes who was excommunicated. It raises many questions in my mind, but is too big of an issue for my pea brain to sort out, so I leave it to Holy Mother Church. Cardinal Castrillon says:

"They are not schismatics, the priests are under a suspension for illicit exercise, and the Bishops are excommunicated because the ordination of new bishops without a permission from Rome received this punishment latæ sententiæ."

EDIT MAY 19th:

Motu Proprio in the News

CWNews (via EWTN): Motu Proprio Imminent, Vatican Prelate Confirms
Associated Press (AP): Cardinal: Pope to relax Latin Mass rules

Motu Proprio Blogged

Fr. Z: News Coverage of Motu Proprio and Pope's Letter to Chinese

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Blog and News Roundup: May 17, 2007

I'm still short on time these days and would like to give you information on how to get the excellent talks from Call to Holiness (audio and video), but need more time to put that together.

For now, I just want to steer you to some interesting blogposts.

First, from Rorate Caeli: Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, President of the Ecclesia Dei, had an interesting address in Aparecida, on May 14, 2007 about the forthcoming motu proprio (it's not a matter of "if" anymore, but a matter of when).

Thomas, the American Papist has been blogging much more now that school is over (congrats! Tom). Some interesting titles over his way include the following:

Unmasking Planned Parenthood, as often as it takes...

Pro-Abort' democrats statement on excommunication still drawing fire

Irish Teen at center of abortion-rights controversy chooses life!

From Dom at Bettnet

State favoring Islam over other religions

Vatican's UN man relies on faulty climate change reports

Other Posts:

Ascension (Blog by the Sea)
Amantissimi Redemptoris (Bl Pius IX quoted at A Catholic Life)
Does your parish have a dress code (New Liturgical Movement)
Art treasures of Malta in photos (New Liturgical Movement)
From Brazil resounds a word sharper than a sword (Sandro Magister)
Humanae Vitae: Grave Motives to use Good Translations (Angela D. Bonilla - Homiletic and Pastoral Review)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ratzinger 1988 - Desacralization of the Liturgy

I only have a few minutes to lead you elsewhere for a most inspiring read...

With hat-tips to the Pontifications blog and Fr. John Zuhlsdorf at WDTPRS, I would like to draw your attention to a 1988 speech by Cardinal Ratzinger when he visited Chile that year.

The entire speech is worth reading and I have only gotten through two-thirds of it. But, I want to lead you into it before heading off to work.

While the article discusses Lefebvre and SSPX, Cardinal Ratzinger delves deeply into discussion around the liturgy, how it was desacralized following Vatican II, and how attitudes changed during that era. He explores these things in his speech not to excuse Lefebvre, but in a spirit of a shepherd who sees the need for the Church to do some soul searching on those attitudes and changes seen in liturgy. He is not questioning Vatican II, but to my mind, going after the perversion of Vatican II.

I will only give you one excerpt here and you will need to follow the link to Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog, where he provides interesting tidbits, comments, and emphases throughout the speech. Here, Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, gets into the first of three points around which he makes an "examination of conscience". (The emphases and red comments are that of Fr. Z).

While there are many motives that might have led a great number of people to seek a refuge in the Traditional liturgy, [1] the chief one is that they find the dignity of the sacred preserved there. After the council there were many priests who deliberately raised “desacralization” to the level of a program, [Pay attention to what follows: Ratzinger describes a theological argument for the undermining of sacral liturgy.] on the plea that the New Testament abolished the cult of the Temple: the veil of the Temple which was torn from top to bottom at the moment of Christ’s death on the cross is, according to certain people, the sign of the end of the sacred. The death of Jesus, outside the City walls, that is to say, in the public world, is now the true religion. Religion, if it has any being at all, must have it in the nonsacredness of daily life, in love that is lived. Inspired by such reasoning, they put aside the sacred vestments; they have despoiled the churches as much as they could of that splendor which brings to mind the sacred; and they have reduced the liturgy to the language and the gestures of ordinary life, by means of greetings, common signs of friendship, and such things. [Okay… does that not sound like the arguments used by H.E. Donald W. Trautman when he runs down the translation norms of Liturgiam authenticam and argues for liturgical language in the style of everyday common speech?]

There is no doubt that, with these theories and practices, they have entirely disregarded the true connection between the Old and the New Testaments: It is forgotten that this world is not the Kingdom of God, and that the “Holy One of God” (John 6:69) continues to exist in contradiction to this world; that we have need of purification before we draw near to Him; that the profane, even after the death and the Resurrection of Jesus, has not succeeded in becoming “the holy.” The Risen One has appeared, but to those whose heart has been opened to Him, to the Holy; He did not manifest Himself to everyone. It is in this way a new space has been opened for the religion to which all of us would now submit; this religion which consists in drawing near to the community of the Risen One, at whose feet the women prostrated themselves and adored Him. I do not want to develop this point any further now; I confine myself to coming straight to this conclusion: We ought to get back the dimension of the sacred in the liturgy. The liturgy is not a festivity; it is not a meeting for the purpose of having a good time. It is of no importance that the parish priest has cudgeled his brains to come up with suggestive ideas or imaginative novelties. The liturgy is what makes the Thrice-Holy God present amongst us; it is the burning bush; it is the Alliance of God with man in Jesus Christ, who has died and risen again. The grandeur of the liturgy does not rest upon the fact that it offers an interesting entertainment, but in rendering tangible the Totally Other, whom we are not capable of summoning. He comes because He wills. In other words, the essential in the liturgy is the mystery, which is realized in the common ritual of the Church; all the rest diminishes it. Men experiment with it in lively fashion, and find themselves deceived, when the mystery is transformed into distraction, when the chief actor in the liturgy is not the Living God but the priest or the liturgical director. [As WDTPRS repeats incessantly, the true Actor in the sacred action of Holy Mass is Christ, the Hight priest: Christ as Head of the Body is seen in the priest, alter Christus; Christ the Body is the congregation united to the Head; together they are Christus totus. Thus, we must be interiorly disposed and united to the action and obey the Church’s norms so that Christ acts in our words and gestures.]

Fr. Zuhlsdorf: Flashback 1988: Ratzinger 1988 on the Lefebvre "Schism" (with commentary)

Original Pontifications post
(just the speech without commentary)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Call to Holiness 2007: Dr. Robert Fastiggi

I mentioned in my previous post that I would supply info for how to get video and audio of the Call to Holiness 2007 talks. I decided to first make this post because it is the perfect lead-in for plugging those things. I loved all of the talks, but this may very well have been my favorite. It was content rich, well-ordered and referenced, and just plain simple to understand the way the speaker explains his subject.

Dr. Robert Fastiggi of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit gave an excellent talk entitled, "Can the Church err?". In that talk, he explained the different levels of assent, for which he provided an outline. In perfect professor fashion, he layered his information, building a foundation, then stacking the bricks. I watched his talk again on DVD last night and will likely let it run in the background over and again until the information is ingrained.

Dr. Fastiggi provides the perfect package for dealing with dissenting Catholics because it is a primary area of confusion among disoriented theologians, who have left in their wake, disoriented Catholics. In fact, Dr. Fastiggi gets into some examples - in particular, that of the laicized priest, Professor Daniel McGuire, whose disorientation as a theologian was the subject of a strong statement by the USCCB recently. If someone with whom you are discussing an issue doesn't get these basic things taught by Dr. Fastiggi, you won't get any further. Hence, it becomes a starting point for any good dialogue on Catholic matters.

Dr. Fastiggi at the OLMC Site in the PM

Dr. Fastiggi at the St. Rene Goupil Site in the AM


Te Deum Laudamus! Home

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day ......Mom!

It's a very special Mother's Day here in the US for me and my family, considering a week ago we were praying Our Lord would not call her home quite yet.

Mom is making pretty good progress and it appears the bleeding has at least slowed - something we believe is the work of a very heavy antacid. They were never able to pinpoint the exact area, but doctors have been convinced it is somewhere in the small intestine. It has started and stopped so many times before, but never has it gone on for more than a few days. She was released the other day and seems to be getting along ok here in my home. She also managed to make it to a dinner at the Polish Century Club, to which my brother-in-law belongs. He had gotten tickets for the buffet back a couple months ago and we were all looking forward to getting together for a holiday meal.

As a family, were not able to do this for a long time. My only sister, who is 11 years older than me and diabetic, had surgery to remove cancer back on Halloween - October 31, 2006. She was cleared of cancer which was caught early, only to end up with a badly infected wound in the adjacent tissue. That wound had to remain open, and still remains open today. It was only about 3 or 4 weeks ago that she was finally able to venture outside the home to go somewhere other than the doctor's office or special wound-care center. She was connected to something new called a, "wound vac". It pulls fluids out of deep wounds to promote healing and prevent infection. She was connected to the thing for many, many months. She had to take it with her everywhere she went and it "burped" - often a humiliating experience. Her resistance was low too and she kept catching other infections so it was best she stayed home anyway. Once this tube was pulled, she was free to move around more, but still could not visit my mother the whole time it she was hospitalized for fear she'd pick something else up.

Needless to say, our dinner together was a joyous family event - one we did not thing was going to happen just a week ago.


My participation with my family today meant I could not stay at Assumption Grotto for the May crowning, or the Fatima devotions. It crushed me to have to leave as Mass ended and the procession got underway so I merely offered it up on my way down Gratiot - in thanksgiving for the grace of life extended in our family. I do regret that I cannot bring you photos of the day because here in Southeast Michigan, we were truly blessed with the most beautiful of days which only added to the beauty of May crowning of Mary. There was not a cloud in the sky and the temp was a balmy 65F (18.3C).

Today was the day that many children at Assumption Grotto made their First Holy Communion. I'm not sure the exact number, but it appeared to be an equal number of boys and girls. It's always a joy to watch them approach the rail for the very first time.

If anyone did get photos, email them to me and I'll post them.

The homily by our pastor was classic Fr. Perrone. I hope to bring it to you in the coming days with another that I've been promised will reach the web. Look for them both soon.

Call to Holiness: 2007 - Bishop Bruskewitz at OLMC

Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln Nebraska also spoke at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (OLMC), in Wyandotte, Michigan, after he spoke at St. Rene Goupil on the East Side of metro Detroit. His talk was entitled, The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, Church.

My next post will give you information on how you can obtain audio and/or video of these conferences. I have already received my DVD's and my MP3-CD.

The pictures came out a little dark, but not too bad considering no use of flash to distract the speakers and which minimized distraction of participants. Quality I would like is still not there, but much of it has to do with the continuous movement of the speakers, without the aid of flash.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Please pray for the parents of Grotto's Associate Pastor

I just learned from two emails that the parents of Fr. John Bustamante, the Associate Pastor at Assumption Grotto, were in a serious car accident.

I can't offer anything further at this time.

Fr. John has asked for our prayers.

Mom out of hospital - at least for now

Well, lets pray this holds. Mom was released yesterday after her blood seemed to be holding at just over 9. She has a pick-line in her arm, which will remain for a time. This will enable the doctors to get blood samples more easily during visits and provides access should she need more blood, perhaps on an outpatient basis. There is a study they want to do that can only be done outpatient called Capsule Endoscopy.

A visiting nurse will come to my house where she is staying in order to keep it in good working order, and I will learn how to flush it daily to save mom some money. It's unfortunate how many seniors don't have anyone who can do these kinds of things because insurances don't normally cover it. My mother has good insurance, but it doesn't cover this.

I can't thank you all enough for your kindness, prayers, and words of support in comment boxes and in emails.

Once again, I hope to soon be posting. There are several things I want to cover, including a continuation of the Call to Holiness Conference, how to get the DVD's, CD's, and MP3 CD's of all the great talks.

Also, as a preliminary note, I will be posting very soon on a retreat coming up in about two weeks for people who are either in active roles with Helpers of God's Precious Infants (sidewalk counselors and prayer warriors), or for people who are seriously interested in joining these kinds of efforts. While it would be of interest for those who are pro-life in general, the one day retreat is for those who are serious about putting time into this apostolate. Those who are already doing sidewalk counseling who are not affiliated with Helpers of God's Precious Infants will also be welcome. The retreat master will be Fr. Thomas Euteneuer from Human Life International. Details will follow.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Mom still in hospital - update

I regret my absence from blogdom, but I know you all understand given my mother being in the hospital. I had thought that when I took mom in a week ago, she would be in good hands. However, we had a nightmare of a weekend at the hospital, which actually began Friday. I won't go into details, but lets just say that we could have walked to the bank on issues of negligence, complacency, arrogance, and more. Bottom line is that my mother went nearly 42 hours without a blood test because nurses were having a hard time getting a sample (not unusual if one is anemic because dehydration goes hand-in-hand and this makes it all the more difficult). She went about 36 hours without IV hydration (patients should always be assessed on data, not appearance). And, it took continuous intervention on my part to make it all happen in that amount of time. By the time they finally got a blood sample, her hemoglobin, which should be 12-15, which was 8.5 when she was taken into the ER on Wednesday, was down to 6.5!!!

All of this was time intensive. I'm certain she went down to about 5.5, because she continued to suffer gastrointestinal bleeding after the 6.5 reading, through the 11 hours it took to get more blood going into her. It took 4 pints this time - in addition to the two she got Wednesday.

To make matters worse, a nurse attempted to give my mother "her Plavix". Thanks be to God that mom knew all about Plavix because she was on it before. It acts similar to a blood thinner and you must be off of it for 1-2 weeks prior to surgery. Even then, surgeons can't stand the stuff because bleeding is still difficult to stop even after stopping it for a time. My mother refused it and told her to call the doctor. 15 minutes later, the nurse indicated, "it was a good thing we caught this". It could have killed her.

All tests and scans/scopes are coming back negative. Doctors believe it is somewhere in the 17ft of small intestine. Because this keeps happening every few months, each time with greater severity, they wanted do surgery if they could see it on scan. It's like looking for a needle in a haystack.

The good news is that it appears the thing (whatever it is) has stopped bleeding on its own again. Normally this happens after 2-3 days, but this time it has gone on for nearly 3 weeks, with two week long hospital stays. Doctors are monitoring her hemoglobin which seems to be holding at around 10 (+/-0.5). If that pattern continues, she'll be released with something called a capsule study, which is only done outpatient. This is basically a camera inside of a pill which takes pictures all along the small intestine and sends the readings to a drive strapped to the waste of the patient. Needless to say, eh-hem, the camera is not retrieved.

If she is released, it will be very guarded and she will be living with me for a time. We did this last week and the thing started bleeding three days after she was home and caused this latest hospitalization.

As a design engineer, I am in the midst of part releases at work and have had to go in and work my full shift and then some after starting my day out at the hospital. As a result, I've had to temporarily step down from the Assumption Grotto choir, where I sing with the Alto's. It's more a function of not having time right now. It was difficult without my mother falling ill, and this just capped it. Something had to give to enable me to have time to get life's little things taken care of in between work and mom. This was disappointing to me given that the choir is preparing for an orchestra mass series which will include Pentecost and Corpus Christi. But, it also gives me something to offer up. In reality, there is no way I can learn the material with so little time left, and I would be missing practice this evening once again. Sunday I had to take in Mass at the parish near my home and could not go to Grotto because I needed to get back to the hospital which is also near my home.

As a side note: If you sing and are local, the Assumption Grotto Choir is always looking for more voices. All that is required is the ability to carry a tune. Not all are good note readers and everyone gets by.

I hope to be back posting soon, especially if Mom comes home. We will be greatful to have her home for Mother's day. Things were looking very dire this weekend, so this is a welcome change. Please pray that she continues to hold this blood level. and with all things, we append our prayer with something of great importance.....if it be God's will!

Thank you all for your prayers.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Mother back in hospital....

My posting will definitely be slowed right now. My mother, Rose, is back in the hospital and it looks like surgery is on the horizon. I took vacation time yesterday and may be doing quite a bit of that in the coming days to be with her.

Please keep her in your prayers. One of the priests of Opus Angelorum was able to be with her last night for the Sacrament of the Sick - Deo Gratias. In addition to the graces it brings, it is always a comfort to the very ill, as well as their families.

Into Great Silence at the Detroit Film Theatre

You may have heard of the film, "Into Great Silence". It is coming to the big screen at the Detroit Film Theatre. I've heard this is one of those films best experienced on the big screen. If you are looking for something to do this weekend go see it. It runs May 4-6

Detroit Film Theatre - Into Great Silence

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Call to Holiness 2007: Dr. Alice von Hildebrand at OLMC

Here are a couple of photos of Dr. Alice von Hildebrand at the Call to Holiness - Our Lady of Mt. Carmel site. Dr. von Hildebrand is a well known Catholic philosopher, theologian, author and lecturer who spoke on the topic of "Women & the Priesthood".

This talk and all others from the Call to Holiness can be obtained on DVD, CD or MP3 CD. Details will follow.

This is the same photo cropped two different ways.

The photos below were sent to me from Debbie Bloomfield, wife of Deacon Richard Bloomfield seen seated with Bishop Bruskewitz and Dr. von Hildebrand in the bottom picture. I am assuming this was taken at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel rectory at lunch time.


Te Deum Laudamus! Home

Archbishop Burke "cans" pro-abort Sen Claire McCaskill's speaking engagement at Catholic school

Archbishop Burke delivers a homily on December 30, 2006 at Assumption Grotto
Click the link for a photo post from a visit in January,
and another series from December 2006

Archbishop Burke has long been counted among the bishops with backbones. Last week, he acted wisely in stepping down from the chairmanship of the Cardinal Glennon Foundation when the board remained obstinate in wanting to bring in Sheryl Crow for entertainment. The entertainer is pro-abortion and advocates embryonic stem cell research.

This week, we see him exercising his episcopal authority by informing St. Joseph's Academy in the diocese of St. Louis via a phone call from the education office, that culture-of-death senator Claire McCaskill may not speak at her daughter's graduation ceremony. The offer was promptly rescinded by the school, but it seems the sister responsible doesn't quite get it. It's also sad to note that students at a Catholic school would want a pro-abort senator to speak. What have they learned about the culture of life and the culture of death in that school???

I don't know how long the news source will leave the article up, so here it is in full from

(AP) ST. LOUIS Sen. Claire McCaskill was uninvited from speaking at her daughters Catholic high school commencement because her positions on abortion and embryonic stem cell research are at odds with those of the church.

Students at St. Josephs Academy in the St. Louis suburb of Frontenac wanted to have McCaskill speak at their graduation this month, McCaskill spokeswoman Adrianne Marsh said Tuesday.

But the offer was rescinded last week. The senator was told by the school that the decision came from St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, Marsh said.
Marsh said the senator, a Catholic, understands that her positions supporting abortion rights and stem cell research are different than those held by the church, but shes made peace with them.

The Democratic senator had seen the chance to speak at commencement as a special opportunity because her daughter is one of the graduates, McCaskill said in a statement.

The president of St. Josephs Academy, Sister Michaela Zahner, said she made the decision to rescind the invitation to McCaskill after receiving a call from the archdiocesan education office.

She was told of an archdiocesan policy that forbids providing a public forum for speakers who do not hold to truths as they are presented by the Catholic Church. Zahner said the policy clearly reflects Burke's position.

She said McCaskill was not asked to give a political speech, but was chosen to address the class because she is a woman who has served Missouri well and faithfully for over 30 years.

It was a very hard decision, Zahner said. She personally believed having McCaskill speak was going to be a good choice for the girls. My personal belief could not affect the good of the institution, she said.