Monday, December 31, 2007

TE DEUM laudamus: te Dominum confitemur

Grotto's altar following the 2007 Christmas midnight Mass

From the Treasury of Latin Prayers site on the Te Deum, the hymn after which this blog get's it's name.

Te Deum, also sometimes called the Ambrosian Hymn because if its association with St. Ambrose, is a traditional hymn of joy and thanksgiving. First attributed to Sts. Ambrose, Augustine, or Hilary, it is now accredited to Nicetas, Bishop of Remesiana (4th century). It is used at the conclusion of the Office of the Readings for the Liturgy of the Hours on Sundays outside Lent, daily during the Octaves of Christmas and Easter, and on Solemnities and Feast Days. The petitions at the end were added at a later time and are optional. A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite it in thanksgiving and a plenary indulgence is granted if the hymn is recited publicly on the last day of the year.

Te Deum laudamus: te Dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum Patrem omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes Angeli; tibi caeli et universae Potestates;
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra maiestatis gloriae tuae.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia,
Patrem immensae maiestatis:
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem, non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu, devicto mortis aculeo, aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.
Iudex crederis esse venturus.
Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni: quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.

V. Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine, et benedic hereditati tuae.
R. Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.

V. Per singulos dies benedicimus te.
R. Et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.

V. Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire.
R. Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri.

V. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.
R. In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.

O God, we praise Thee, and acknowledge Thee to be the supreme Lord.
Everlasting Father, all the earth worships Thee.
All the Angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,
All the Cherubim and Seraphim, continuously cry to Thee:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory.
The glorious choir of the Apostles,
The wonderful company of Prophets,
The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.
Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges Thee:
The Father of infinite Majesty;
Thy adorable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
O Christ, Thou art the King of glory!
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When Thou tookest it upon Thyself to deliver man,
Thou didst not disdain the Virgin's womb.
Having overcome the sting of death, Thou opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all
Thou sitest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
We believe that Thou willst come to be our Judge.
We, therefore, beg Thee to help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy
Precious Blood.
Let them be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory.

V. Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thy inheritance!
R. Govern them, and raise them up forever.

V. Every day we thank Thee.
R. And we praise Thy Name forever, yes, forever and ever.

More References on the Te Deum

EWTN's page on the Te Deum

Indepth history at the Catholic Encyclopedia online

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fr. Hardon Day of Remembrance this Saturday

I must break from my blogging hiatus, which began with significant loss of time due to my mother's illness.

I want to make note of the Fr. Hardon Day of Remembrance at Assumption Grotto this Saturday. Please see a post made by Thomas, the American Papist for further details, including a flyer.

I was sent the details some time ago, but did not want to post prematurely. I don't have time to make an extensive post on it, and most likely will not be at the event, but would like to at least direct your attention to it. Fr. John Hardon was one of the greatest theologians of the modern era, and a great defender of orthodoxy. He spent his final working years at Assumption Grotto in a small office and was spiritual director to many at my parish.

Further info: Saint John Hardon?

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Prayer request.....

You've probably noticed that I have not been blogging much of late. In fact, despite being off from work, I've barely managed to make it to Grotto for midnight Mass, and have not made it to any other activities. I've had to cut back completely on all activities as we work through this. God willing, I'll be back posting soon.

My mother is doing poorly and was transferred back to the hospital from the "skilled nursing facility" where whe was to be undergoing rehab. She's been there for 3 weeks to rehab a knee after an attack of gout. However, the therapists have been unable to work with her because her overall health is not good enough.

I made the decision to have her transported by ambulance to the hospital and they are keeping her at least 23 hours to undergo more tests.

Your prayers are much appreciated.

Note: Updates are in the combox

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I'm just providing a few shots from Midnight Mass on Christmas of 2007....before my alarm clock goes off to wake me!

This was a Solemn High Mass in the extraordinary form.

There are more photos to come, but I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas, and give you a glimpse of the beautiful midnight Mass we had.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

December 22, 2007: News and Blogpost Roundup

A photo of the Seat of Wisdom statue on the apse of Assumption Grotto's wall altar taken last season.

Assumption Grotto's Christmas Season Schedule!!!

Recent Catholic News

Posts from the Catholic Blogosphere

You may notice that I am providing many links from the ordained and consecrated. I am most greatful for the time our priests, religious, and deacons give in blogging. I hope you will include them in your visits to Catholic sites. You can find more in my sidebar.


Te Deum Laudamus! Home

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Schedule at Grotto

The Christmas schedule is as follows for Assumption Grotto:


It is not advisable to delay confession until Saturday the 22nd or Sunday the 23rd. No confessions will be heard December 24, or December 25.

We are fortunate our priests have opened up another window for pre-Christmas confession.

Thursday & Friday (Dec 20-21)
10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.
2:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.


Monday, Christmas Eve, December 24th
  • 7:30 a.m. & 8:30 a.m. (These are Advent Masses and do not fulfill the obligation for Christmas)
  • 4:00 p.m. (fulfills Christmas obligation)
  • Midnight - Tridentine Solemn (fulfills Christmas obligation). The musical program for the Midnight Mass begins at 11:45 p.m. with music from Berlioz’s l’Enfance du Christ. The orchestral Mass will be Beethoven’s Mass in C.

Tuesday, Christmas Day, December 25:
  • 6:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., (Latin) 12:00 noon.
  • (No orchestral Masses)

Saturday, December 29:
  • December 29: 7:30 a.m. & 8:30 a.m.
  • (These do not fulfill the obligation for Sunday)
  • 4:00 p.m.(Mass of Sunday, feast of The Holy Family)

Sunday, December 30: The Holy Family
  • 6:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m. (Tridentine Latin Orchestral; musical program as for the Christmas Midnight Mass); 12:00 noon.

Monday, December 31:
  • 7:30 a.m.; 8:30 a.m. (These do not fulfill the obligation for Holyday)
  • 4:00 p.m. (Mass for the Holyday of Obligation)
  • 11:00 p.m. (Mass for the Holyday of Obligation); this Mass is followed by Benediction at Midnight with Pot Luck, for those who wish, in the gym)

Tuesday, January 1st, New Year’s Day:
  • Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God,
  • 6:30 a.m; 9:30 a.m (Latin Tridentine); 12:00 noon

  • Saturday, Jan. 5th, 4:00 p.m.
  • Sunday Jan. 6th: 6:30 a.m; 9:30 a.m; 12:00 noon (Tridentine, Latin Orchestral Mass; musical program as for the Christmas Midnight Mass)

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Archbishop Burke on Golden Compass review; Fr. Euteneuer again calls for firing of reviewer

I'm still catching up on some things. Also, some things were a little later coming than I expected. I had looked for a press release from Human Life International with Fr. Tom Euteneuer's plea to the USCCB to fire Harry Forbes over the review of The Golden Compass, which has since been pulled. A press release is available and it is ablaze. From the HLI website. Emphasis in bold, mine:

Fr. Euteneuer asks Bishops to Fire Scandalous Movie Reviewer

FRONT ROYAL, VA — The Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, STL, president of Human Life International, (HLI) today called on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to fire Harry Forbes, director of the Office for Film and Broadcasting of the Conference, for his positive reviews of immoral or anti-Catholic films on the Conference’s Catholic News Service (CNS).

Father Euteneuer said, “I refuse to believe that Harry Forbes, who gave such glowing remarks to the homosexual promo film Brokeback Mountain and the atheist indoctrination flick The Golden Compass, speaks in the name of our bishops. An employee who shames our bishops with reviews of this sort should be fired. He now has a track record and is not worthy to be a public spokesperson for any Catholic let alone the national conference of bishops. I urgently ask the bishops to correct this anomaly at the headquarters and restore the dignity of the conference, which has been sullied by this man.

There seems to be a decades-old pattern of embarrassment on the part of some USCCB subordinates and other lay officials when it comes to the teachings of the Catholic Church. All too often these scandals involve matters of homosexuality. In 1987 we had the document ‘The Many Faces of AIDS’ which was problematic on the use of condoms, then in 1997 the scandalous document ‘Always our Children’ so distorted Catholic teaching that it had to be rewritten after its release.”

Father Euteneuer continued, “Then in December, 2005, Forbes’s review of Brokeback Mountain with its original ‘L’ rating for ‘Limited’ had to be corrected and reclassified as ‘O’ for ‘Morally Objectionable.’ The bishops have been embarrassed by their staff like clockwork for almost 20 years. Now, in December 2007, the bishops have had to withdraw Forbes’s review of The Golden Compass from CNS after publication. After major scandals involving homosexual clergy, do we really need their movie reviewer now tiptoeing around hostile atheism?

“Let Harry Forbes be the sign that the bishops can break the cycle of subtle and overt dissent among their subordinates. They should show him the door and require all other employees to take an Oath of Fidelity. That will separate the wheat from the chaff,” concluded Fr. Euteneuer.

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke speaks out

In the St. Louis Review, Archbishop Burke talks about The Golden Compass in his December 14, 2007 weekly column under a section entitled, "Pastoral direction in a relativist society". In that section Archbishop writes (emphases mine in bold; my comments in red and in brackets):

Respect and obedience toward our pastors in the Church is a particular challenge in today’s society, which views everything in relation to what each individual thinks and wants. Pastors who have the solemn responsibility to teach and uphold the truths of the faith, that is, the objective reality of our relationship with God, with one another and with our world, become very unpopular and are openly rejected when they fulfill their responsibilities toward the flock in their care.

The secular media, which reflect very much the relativism rampant in our society, view the pastoral authority of the Church as extremism. When the Holy Father, the bishops and parish priests enunciate the Church’s teaching on the inviolable dignity of innocent human life, for example, they are labeled "the religious right." Easily enough, secular thinking enters the Church, remaking pastoral authority according to its own image while, at the same time, ridiculing and even resisting any firm teaching or discipline given by the Church’s pastors. [Not your way, Lord - my way. Or, another way, "non serviam"]

Recently, the pastors in our nation have cautioned the faithful, especially parents, regarding the film "The Golden Compass." Through George Henry, superintendent of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, parents and teachers were warned that the author of the books ("His Dark Materials," by Philip Pullman) from which the movie is drawn is an avowed atheist who has a particular hatred of the Catholic Church.

As archbishop, I caution all Catholics regarding the atheistic and antiCatholic nature of Pullman’s writings, upon which "The Golden Compass" is based. If you wish further and more in-depth information, I recommend the publication of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, "The Golden Compass: Agenda Unmasked," which can be obtained through the League’s website, I also commend the book by Peter Vere and Sandra Miesel, "Pied Piper of Atheism: Philip Pullman and Children’s Fantasy," published by Ignatius Press (

Before concluding, I wish also to correct an erroneous statement made in a commentary in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "After ruckus over its roots, ‘Compass’ film mollifies some" (Dec. 8, 2007, p. A23). The commentary claims that the Catholic bishops of our nation viewed the film and praised it. The statement is false. A most defective review of the film was published by Catholic News Service. The review has by now been removed from the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The review was not based on a viewing of the film by bishops and was not endorsed by the bishops.

I call to mind something Pope Benedict XVI said to the Austrian bishops in a 2005 ad limina visit. I do go back to this several times yearly as it is so applicable today. For whatever reason, when we expect our bishops to be vocal, they are silent. Jesus didn't exemplify going with the flow. Rather, he demonstrated the need to be counter-cultural, which is precisely what Archbishop Burke and Fr. Euteneuer are doing. That Pope Benedict would say these words to the Austrian bishops (and it really fits many of our own bishops in the US), I don't think it is my perception, but in certain cases, an unfortunate reality.

Dear Brothers in the Episcopate, you are well aware that there are topics concerning the truth of faith and especially moral doctrine that are not being adequately presented in catechesis and preaching in your Dioceses and that at times, for example, in youth ministry in the parishes or associations, are not being confronted at all or are not being clearly addressed as the Church wishes.

I give thanks to God it is not like this everywhere. However, perhaps those responsible for preaching fear that here and there people might drift away if they spoke too clearly.

Yet experience generally shows that it is precisely the opposite that happens. Be under no illusion. An incomplete Catholic teaching is a contradiction in itself and cannot be fruitful in the long term. The proclamation of the Kingdom of God goes hand in hand with the need for conversion and love that encourages, that knows the way, that teaches an understanding that with God's grace even what seems impossible becomes possible. Only think how the teaching of religion, catechesis at various levels and preaching can be gradually improved, deepened and as it were completed.

Lifesite News: Archbishop Burke Calls USCCB Film Office Review of 'Golden Compass' "Most Defective"

Both photos shown above were taken while Fr. Euteneuer and Archbishop Burke were visiting Assumption Grotto. Related photo posts:

Fr. Tom Euteneuer celebrating a Novus Ordo Mass - ad orientem

Fr. Tom Euteneuer at Grotto: Helpers of God's Precious Infants Retreat

Accumulative photo post of Archbishop Burke's visit

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Congregation for Clergy: Sanctify the Priesthood

With so little time to blog of late, I'm trying to catch up. This was released on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception this year by the Congregation for the Clergy.

It is so easy to criticize priests, yet how many of us could walk a mile in their shoes? Fr. Benedict Groeschel's Sunday Night Live this past Sunday dealt with the topic. He explained just how overextended the average priest is with his workload. He himself works 18 hours daily. Many of us at Assumption Grotto see something quite similar with our priests. I know they put in many long days, with parish activities sometimes keepin them up late, yet they are up daily before the crack of dawn, some rising at 3:00 or 4:00am to get in their prayers and adoration before their hectic day begins.

Our pastor will be conducting the orchestra at Midnight Mass this year, he will spend some time with the choir and altar boys following the Mass, and typically takes the 6:30am Mass on Christmas Day himself....following a brief 2 or 3 hour nap. I know other priests who head out in the middle of the night to provide the Sacrament of the Sick, yet they are there early, hearing confessions daily, or saying Mass.

No matter how "bad" you think your parish priest is, he deserves prayers long before he should receive criticism. A catechist once complained to Fr. Corapi about the unruly and disintersted behavior of the children in her class and wanted his help. He asked her, "have you prayed for them?" She hadn't. He sent her away and told her to pray for them first. Two weeks later, the woman reported the "miraculous change" in her children. This is the power of prayer.

This letter from the Congregation for the Clergy is so relevant for today, and the prayerful approach for vocations and sanctification of the priesthood matches all that Opus Angelorum has been promoting. Catholic Culture, which reviews Catholic websites for fidelity & resources using a red, green, and yellow system, reveals the strengths of the Opus Angelorum (OA) website.

Read through Cardinal Hummes' letter below, and related documents, and you will see how we can all help to sanctify the priesthood. Consider the Spiritual Adoption of priests through OA. They have a rich section of prayers for priests, too. You can also join the Opus Angelorum apostolate, which has a rich formation program (contact them at

Mother Angelica and her sisters recently consecrated themselves to their Guardian Angels through Opus Sanctorum Angelorum.

Here is the letter from Cardinal Hummes. My emphases are in bold, underlines, and color changes.

Your Excellency,

In today’s world a great many things are necessary for the good of the Clergy and the fruitfulness of pastoral ministry. With a firm determination to face such challenges without disregarding their difficulties and struggles, and with an awareness that action follows being and that the soul of every apostolate is Divine intimacy, it is our intention for the departure point to be a spiritual endeavor. In order to continually maintain a greater awareness of the ontological link between the Eucharist and the Priesthood, and in order to recognize the special maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary for each Priest, it is our intention to bring about a connection between perpetual Eucharistic adoration for the reparation of faults and sanctification of priests and the initiation of a commitment on the part of consecrated feminine souls - following the typology of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Eternal High Priest, and Helper in his work of Redemption - who might wish to spiritually adopt priests in order to help them with their self-offering, prayer, and penance.

According to the constant content of Sacred Tradition, the mystery and reality of the Church cannot be reduced to the hierarchical structure, the liturgy, the sacraments, and juridical ordinances. In fact, the intimate nature of the Church and the origin of its sanctifying efficacy must be found first in a mystical union with Christ.

According to the doctrine and the very structure of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, such a union cannot be conceived as being separated from the Mother of the Word Incarnate - the one whom Jesus desired to be intimately united with Himself for the salvation of all humanity.

Therefore, it is no accident that on the same day in which the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church was promulgated – 21 November 1964 – Pope Paul VI also proclaimed the Blessed Virgin Mary as “Mother of the Church,” i.e., mother of the faithful and the pastors.

With reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Second Vatican Council expresses itself in these words: “She conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ. She presented Him to the Father in the temple, and was united with Him by compassion as He died on the Cross. In this singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Savior in giving back supernatural life to souls. Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace.” (LG 61).

Without adding or detracting from the singular mediation of Christ Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary is acknowledged and invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix. She is the model of maternal love who must inspire all those who cooperate – through the apostolic mission of the Church – in the regeneration of all humanity (cfr LG 65).

In light of these teachings, which belong to the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council, the faithful are called to turn their eyes to Mary - shining example of every virtue - and imitate her as the first disciple. It is she to whom every other disciple was entrusted by Christ as she stood at the foot of the cross (cfr Jn 19:25-27). By becoming her children, we learn the true meaning of life in Christ.

Thereby – and precisely because of the place occupied and the role served by the Most Blessed Virgin in salvation history – we intend in a very particular way to entrust all Priests to Mary, the Mother of the High and Eternal Priest, bringing about in the Church a movement of prayer, placing 24 hour continuous Eucharistic adoration at the center, so that a prayer of adoration, thanksgiving, praise, petition, and reparation, will be raised to God, incessantly and from every corner of the earth, with the primary intention of awakening a sufficient number of holy vocations to the priestly state and, at the same time, spiritually uniting with a certain spiritual maternity – at the level of the Mystical Body – all those who have already been called to the ministerial priesthood and are ontologically conformed to the one High and Eternal priest. This movement will offer better service to Christ and his brothers - those who are at once “inside” the Church and also “at the forefront” of the Church, standing in Christ’s stead and representing Him, as head, shepherd and spouse of the Church (cfr. Pastores Dabo Vobis 16).

We are asking, therefore, all diocesan Ordinaries who apprehend in a particular way the specificity and irreplaceability of the ordained ministry in the life of the Church, together with the urgency of a common action in support of the ministerial priesthood, to take an active role and promote – in the different portions of the People of God entrusted to them - true and proper cenacles in which clerics, religious and lay people - united among themselves in the spirit of true communionmay devote themselves to prayer, in the form of continuous Eucharistic adoration in a spirit of genuine and authentic reparation and purification. For this purpose, we enclose a leaflet that more fully explains the nature of the initiative, as well as a form to fill out and return to this Congregation if there is the intention – as we hope - to adhere to the project presented in this letter in a spirit of faith.

May Mary, Mother of the One, Eternal High Priest, bless this initiative, and may she intercede before God, pleading for an authentic renewal of priestly life, taking as a model the only possible model: Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd!

I greet you cordially in the bond of ecclesial communion, with sentiments of profound collegial affection.

Cláudio Card. Hummes

X Mauro Piacenza

From the Vatican, 8 December 2007

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Now for some good details of how this can be carried out, see these additional links at Catholic Culture:

Explanatory note to help the increase in the dioceses of the practice of continual Eucharistic adoration to the benefit of all priests and priestly vocations

Adoration, Reparation, Spiritual Motherhood for Priests (Beautiful pamphlet produced by the Congregation for Clergy outlining the details of the "Prayer for Priests" campaign)

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Gaudete Sunday - Winter Weather Blow-out

Anyone with even a little experience with the usus antiquior, can readily tell that this is not a Tridentine. Weather has caused this photographer to play it cautious so, you get a picture from a Novus Ordo last year, showing off one of the Gaudete Sunday chasubles - in this case the roman chasuble, affectionally called a fiddleback (or shall we say, a fiddle-front).

Well, I had planned since Summorum Pontificum to capture the rose-colored, Roman chasuble, on Guadete Sunday during the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. But, weather predictions as of yesterday were for 6-10 inches, and this afternoon that changed to 8-12 inches. At around 8:30pm, the weather channel said, "Buffalo, NY about 20 inches, Chicago about 6 inches AND,.......Detroit - about a foot to a foot-and-a-half!!!!

Normally, the 4:00 Mass is pretty thin crowdwise, except for the first Saturday of the month, at which time we have our St. Monica Sodality Mass.

It was odd to see so many people - typical Sunday people, at the 4:00pm Saturday Mass. In fact, rumor has it that I saw myself. That's right. I chickened out and figured I would assist today rather than deal with the snow on Sunday.

I'll try to capture that Roman chasuble at a Tridentine on Laetare Sunday in Lent when it will be used next. Until then, you may admire the rose-colored vestment used at a Latin Novus Ordo last year.

After seeing several choir members at the 4:00pm Mass, it had me wondering whether our 9:30am Mass will be choral, or schola. In fact, if predictions ring true with a foot or more of snow, perhaps it will be a schola of one! (I'll give you a hint, provided he is not the celebrant at the 9:30am Tridentine).


While we are at it, for those of you who have read all the way to the bottom here, lets have some fun with that photo at the top while educating others.

For those who know, what gives away that the picture is a Novus Ordo and not the Tridentine? Put your answers in the combox.

EDIT 9:12pm Saturday: Oh, joy - Jim Cantori of the Weather Channel is here in metro Detroit and says we will be getting 10-15 inches. Troy, Michigan is just about 8 miles northwest of my home, and about 12-15 miles from Grotto.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Mother Angelica and Sisters: Consecrated to their Guardian Angels


Anyone who knows anything about Mother Angelica, knows that she is close to the Holy Angels. "Our Lady of the Angels Monastery" takes it's name from her devotion to them. The beautiful chaplet of St. Michael which runs every morning on EWTN at 7:00am EST is also a clear sign of that devotion. Mother speaks about the angels in an excerpt provided by EWTN called, "Sons of Light".

For the past year, Mother and her community have been preparing for the Consecration to their Guardian Angels with the help of Opus Angelorum - an apostolate which we are blessed to have at Assumption Grotto. In fact, many in our own community have recently consecrated themselves after a year of preparation. More are preparing, including myself.

From the EWTN update page on Mother as it reads currently:

Mother has been spending most of her time in her cell, resting and living the Horarium as best she can. She is such a trooper. Life with Mother has been pretty quiet up until Sunday.

Sunday, December 2, 2007 was a very special day for Mother Angelica and her Community. After a year of preparation through the guidance of Opus Sanctorum Angelorum, a spiritual movement within the bosom of the Holy Catholic Church which aims at fostering an intimate collaboration with the holy angels for the glorification of God and for the sanctification (salvation) of souls, Mother Angelica and the Nuns consecrated themselves to their Guardian Angels. It was a simple ceremony within the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which Mother whole-heartedly participated in. It was clear by her joyful attention during the Mass and ceremony that she was deeply moved and grateful to make such a consecration. Mother Angelica has always promoted a deep love for the Angels and she passes on this devotion to her Nuns by her example.

If you would like to learn more about the Work of the Holy Angels please visit their website:

The following is a consecration prayer taken from the OA website, approved by Rome in 2000.

The Consecration to the Holy Angels

O Holy Angels of God, here, in the presence of the Triune God and in the love of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer, I, N.N., poor sinner, want to make a covenant with you, who are his servants, so that in union with you, I might work with humility and fortitude for the glory of God and the coming of his Kingdom. Therefore, I implore you to assist me, especially - in the adoration of God and of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, - in the contemplation of the word and the salvific works of God, -in the imitation of Christ and in the love of his Cross in a spirit of expiation, - in the faithful fulfillment of my mission within the Church, serving humbly after the example of Mary, my heavenly Mother, your Queen. And you, my good guardian angel, who continually behold the face of our Father in heaven, God entrusted me to you from the very beginning of my life. I thank you with all my heart for your loving care. I commit myself to you and promise you my love and fidelity. I beg you: protect me against my own weakness and against the attacks of the wicked spirits; enlighten my mind and my heart so that I may always know and accomplish the will of God; and lead me to union with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith approved this Consecration prayer on May 31, 2000 for use in Opus Angelorum.© 2000 Congregazione dei Canonici Regolari della Santa Croce - Roma

More information on Opus Angelorum:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Advent Rorate Mass: Saturday on EWTN - Solemn High

Don't miss it. You'll have three opportunities to watch it:

Solemn High "Rorate" Mass - December 15, 2007

The Rorate Mass is named from the words of Isaiah 45:8 in the Latin Vulgate, “Rorate, caeli, desuper, et nubes pluant iustum…” (Drop down dew, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down the Just One…). It is offered during Advent in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and celebrated by candlelight, traditionally before dawn. The Very Rev. Fr. John Berg, FSSP, the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, will be celebrant and homilist, assisted by clergy and seminarians from the Fraternity's international seminary in Lincoln, Nebraska.

ADVENT SOLEMN MASS OF OUR LADY(EXTRADORDINARY FORM) LIVE 2hr.Celebration of the Advent Solemn Mass of Our Lady by Candlelight (The “Rorate” Mass) from the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama.
Sat, 12/15/07 8:00 AM LIVE
Sat, 12/15/07 6:00 PM ENCORE
Sun, 12/16/07 12:00 AM ENCORE

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Advent Rorate Mass at Assumption Grotto in Photos

If there is one thing more difficult than shooting pictures with no flash in most older parishes, it is shooting pictures with the lights out in any parish.

The Advent Rorate Masses have been taking place during the 7:00pm Tuesday Novus Ordo for the last few years. Now that the 7:00pm Mass is a Latin Novus Ordo, the Rorate Mass followed suit. We hope next year to have early morning Rorate Masses in the extraordinary form.

This is the first time I've ever attempted to capture parts of it in pictures. I wish I had changed the exposure, but it always looks much lighter on my camera screen than on the computer screen. If I can make it next Tuesday for the last Rorate Mass of this season, I plan on playing with the exposure. It was dark enough, I could barely see the head of the priest at times, his chasuble mainly cutting through the darkness.

I am praying that more people will come next week. There was a lower turn out tonight, but the weather newscasters have been hyping up a snow fall and mixed mess, but it remained 37F before and after the Mass, so there had been only rain. With all the freezing rain and sleet earlier, I'm sure people were intimidated. The photos would look so much nicer if the Church were full of candles.

Here are more photos. The shot of the Elevation of the Chalice is the same photo cropped different ways.

USCCB Pulls Review of the Golden Compass; Denver Bishop criticizes review

This is highly unusual and it did not happen this way with Brokeback Mountain. The USCCB has pulled the review of the Golden Compass.

I am heading out the door to Assumption Grotto's Latin Novus Ordo - Advent Rorate Mass this evening, but want to lead you to Tom Peters excellent and detailed coverage of the removal of that review.

Mark Shea also has a good commentary on this subject.

Abp Chaput of Denver is now included in a growing list of bishops displeased with the review and warning Catholics. From Lifesite News:

Denver Archbishop Chaput Criticizes USCCB Film Office Movie Review of Golden Compass

By John-Henry Westen

DENVER, December 11, 2007 ( - In the December 12 issue of The Denver Catholic Register, Archbishop Charles Chaput makes a thinly veiled criticism of the positive review of 'The Golden Compass' put out by the Office of Film of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). That USCCB review first posted November 29, a week prior to the film's debut on Dec. 7, was withdrawn yesterday, without explanation.

In his review of the film, Chaput writes that "The aggressively anti-religious, anti-Christian undercurrent in "The Golden Compass" is unmistakable and at times undisguised." He adds, "The idea that any Christian film critics could overlook or downplay these negative elements, as some have seemed to do, is simply baffling.'

That line bears directly on the positive review for the controversial film by USCCB Office for Film and Broadcasting Director Harry Forbes and his colleague John Mulderig.

The now-pulled USCCB review said, "this film -- altered, as it is, from its source material -- rates as intelligent and well-crafted entertainment." The USCCB review dismissed moral concerns over the film's content stating: "Whatever author Pullman's putative motives in writing the story, writer-director Chris Weitz's film, taken purely on its own cinematic terms, can be viewed as an exciting adventure story with, at its core, a traditional struggle between good and evil, and a generalized rejection of authoritarianism."

The Forbes-Mulderig review even suggested: "To the extent, moreover, that Lyra and her allies are taking a stand on behalf of free will in opposition to the coercive force of the Magisterium, they are of course acting entirely in harmony with Catholic teaching. The heroism and self-sacrifice that they demonstrate provide appropriate moral lessons for viewers."

Chaput joins a growing number of U.S. bishops who have openly condemned The Golden Compass.

However, according to insider reports there is heated discussion taking place among bishops over the controversy. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported Friday that an inside source revealed that the debate over the film was "truly over the top" on the USCCB listsev, a private discussion board for Bishops and their aides.

Archbishop Chaput concludes his review saying, "I'll certainly be encouraging my own friends to put their Christmas cash to better use. In fact, maybe the most cynical and insulting thing about "The Golden Compass" is that its makers would offer this cold, angry, anti-religious fable as "holiday fare" in the midst of a season built around the birth of Jesus Christ."

Read Archbishop Chaput's full review of 'The Golden Compass' here:

Sympathy for the devil: thoughts on 'The Golden Compass'

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Wonderful stories of faith, humility and sacrifice in Santa Fe, NM

Inspiring things are happening out there and we look at yet another example.

Fr. Z is carrying a letter issued by Abp Sheehan of Santa Fe, New Mexico. He shares the actions of an Episcopal Bishop following his conscience and making the necessary sacrifices to cross the Tiber into the Catholic faith. In the same letter, she shares how an SSPX priest is regularizing his status with Rome (links, and emphases in bold are mine).

Text of Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan’s letter in December 2007 People of God]

As your Shepherd, I greet you in the name of the Lord and wish you a Merry and Blessed Christmas! Later this month we will celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. One of the core teachings of Christianity is that God the Father sent his Son Jesus to be born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem for our salvation. Although Christmas has become highly commercialized in our secular western society, we must look through the tinsel, bright lights, and nicely wrapped presents to see what the season is all about: it is about Jesus Christ. It isn’t enough to celebrate His birthday. Rather, He wants us to follow His message and be active in the Church that He founded. If you want to honor the Christ Child, be the best Catholic that you can be! I pray for your families and loved ones at this holy season that God may give you many graces at Christmas and in the New Year.

By the time you and other faithful readers of the People of God see this column, we will have welcomed former Episcopalian Bishop Jeffrey Steenson and his wife, Debbie, into the Catholic Church at Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. As you know from recent news accounts, Jeffrey was the Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of the Rio Grande which covers New Mexico and parts of west Texas. I have been in conversations with him for several years as he has sought the truth of the Catholic faith. I admire him for the sacrifices that he is making in entering the Catholic Church at this moment in his life. He is leaving the security of his present position with the trust in God that things will fall into place for him and his family. Msgr. Douglas Raun of St. Thomas Aquinas was also present in Rome since he had been the theological advisor for Jeffrey. Jeffrey will ask the Holy Father for the Pastoral Provision which would allow him to eventually be ordained a Catholic priest. The humble and sincere way that Jeffrey has made this decision and announce it to his own people has won respect and acclaim for his personal integrity and desire to be united to the Successor of St. Peter. We ask the Lord to bless him and his wife, Debbie, as they seek to follow God’s will in their lives.

In another noteworthy development, I share with you that I have appointed Rev. Carlos Gonzales as Chaplain of the Latin Mass Community in Albuquerque. This is being done in accord with the Holy Father’s motu proprio loosening the restrictions on the celebration of the old Latin Mass. In November, I joined Fr. Carlos Gonzales and his community at Our Lady Queen of Peace on San Pedro in Albuquerque to announce my intention to regularize them and to bring them into full communion with the Catholic Church. Fr. Gonzales, who was ordained a priest by Archbishop Lefebvre before the Archbishop was excommunicated by Pope John Paul II, has gone to Rome and met with the authorities of the Ecclesia Dei Commission to receive approval to exercise his priestly ministry in union with Rome. The Latin Mass is at Our Lady Queen of Peace at 1420 San Pedro at 8:30 a.m. Fr. Gonzales will celebrate that Mass and then have the Tridentine Mass at noon on Sundays at San Ignacio. Catholics are welcome to attend either time, which gives another option for those who are drawn to the Tridentine Mass.

We welcome the Tridentine Community and ask God to bless Fr. Gonzales as he ministers to them. To be a good Catholic requires more than incense and Mass in Latin! It means union with the Successor of Peter and the Bishop whom he sends. I also take this occasion to invite back other Tridentine Catholics to union with Rome and the Bishop the Pope has sent to join the Tridentine Community. Let us pray that God will bring many graces to those involved!

Sincerely yours in the Risen Lord,

+ Most Rev. Michael J. Sheehan
Archbishop of Santa Fe

I believe that by the bishop declaring the parish of Fr. Gonzalez a "Tridentine Community" or something of a similar name, they do not need to offer the Novus Ordo Mass.

Deo Gratias!

Veil-tip to Fr. Z, who has a commentary on this up on his blog

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Golden Compass Bends a Needle at Box Office

The compass tried hard to head financially north, but it's not looking good. The needle is visibly bent.

Golden Compass Executives had anticipated that opening weekend would pull in 30-40 million at the box office. While it topped the box-office this weekend, it netted only 26.1 million this weekend for the opener, with only 8.8 million on opening day. It cost $180 million to make. Emphases in all of these quotes are mine...

Rolf Mittweg of New Line Cinema, which released Compass, concedes that the religion controversy might have had an effect. But he points out, "Historically, that tends to be ineffective — look at The Da Vinci Code. No one was supposed to see that, either." - Source: USA Today - Dec 9, 2007

Compare that to Chronicles of Narnia which raked in 65 million on the weekend it opened. Pullman, the author of His Dark Materials, upon which the first book in the trilogy The Golden Compass is based, has publicly criticized C.S. Lewis' works. In fact, Pullman loathes Narnia:

I loathe the 'Narnia' books," Pullman has said in previous press interviews. "I hate them with a deep and bitter passion, with their view of childhood as a golden age from which sexuality and adulthood are a falling away." He has called the series "one of the most ugly and poisonous things" he's ever read..

The numbers in the coming weeks will probably make or break whether movies based on the second and third books are made. That is where it will be far more difficult to conceal the anti-religion/anti-Catholic nature of His Dark Materials.


Ok, which is it? Christians are upset because it is anti-religion. Promoters dance around the question of whether it is anti-religion. At the same time, the anti-religious, are upset that the movie has been sanitized of the anti-religion. The UK's National Secular Society - an organization of atheists, agnostics, and other non-believers, has this on their site about The Golden Compass (my emphasis in bold and in red)

On the day of the premiere of The Golden Compass, Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society (of which Philip Pullman is an honorary associate), commented:

“We knew from the beginning that the producers of this film intended to leave out the anti-religious references. We think this is a great shamethe fight against the Magisterium (Pullman’s thinly-disguised version of the Catholic Church) – is the whole point of the book. Take that away and the most original and interesting element of the story is lost.

The director, Chris Weitz, has said that he needed this initial film to be financially successful in order to be able to make the next two in the series. It is the next two that would be the real problem if the scripts were to be true to the books, because it is the later books that bring the anti-religious themes to the fore. However, if the franchise takes off, perhaps the makers of the subsequent movies can be a little braver than they have been with the first one.

OK - now, I understand. Perhaps declaring, "My books are about killing God" is not the best sales pitch. But, we are glad he was true to himself in making that declaration so we could all be very clear about his agenda.

In the meanwhile, Catholics can only hope that at least one or two movie reviewers at the USCCB will be looking for new work, where they can review each movie, "purely on its own cinematic terms".

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Simply Magnificent: Pontifical High Mass at Westminster Cathedral

These kinds of images will continue to come in from around the world with the liberalization of the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. Visit the NLM link at the bottom for more photos and the full story.

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE LATIN MASS SOCIETY (via the New Liturgical Movement blog)

29 November 2007

Bishop John Arnold of Westminster Becomes First English and Welsh Bishop to Celebrate the Traditional Rite in Westminster Cathedral Since the Liturgical Changes of 1969

Bishop John Arnold, Auxiliary Bishop in Westminster, celebrated a Pontifical High Mass of Requiem in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 27 November. He did so at the request of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. The Mass was organised by the Latin Mass Society. Bishop Arnold’s Assistant Priest was Fr Andrew Wadsworth; the Deacon was Fr Andrew Southwell and the Sub-deacon Fr Benjamin Durham FSSP.

A large congregation of over 700 heard the men of the Cathedral Choir sing traditional plainchant. The bishop also preached. His theme was preparation for death as an access into new life in the knowledge that “Jesus died and rose from the dead in order to complete His plan of redemption for all.” At Requiem Masses Catholics have the privilege of offering prayers for the dead and the chance of imitating in this life the goodness which many of those who have gone before us embodied. Death is a sign of hope that one day we might enjoy “eternal life in the presence of a God who loves us more than we could dare to imagine.”

Continue reading the press release at the NLM...

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Golden Compass book sales up 500% with movie opener

In my last post on the Golden Compass I shared with you how disoriented the USCCB movie reviewers were in their assessment. They basically dismissed the main concern (noted by the Catholic League among others), that children who see Pullman's movie, will want Pullman's books (a trilogy). Those books are not sanitized of blatant anti-Catholicism and blasphemy. They say:

Most moviegoers with no foreknowledge of the books or Pullman's personal belief system will scarcely be aware of religious connotations, and can approach the movie as a pure fantasy-adventure.

Right! That's why Pullman's book sales, on which this is all based, are up 500%.

Those who wrote that so-called catholic review on behalf of our Bishops need to be fired, plain and simple. The USCCB needs to get a backbone and write a retraction, not make minor tweaks. It should be published far and wide.

I pray more bishops will speak up individually, as Bishop Listecki has.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Golden Compass leaves USCCB movie reviewers disoriented

I'm sorry to say that I had long lost my confidence in the USCCB movie rating system years ago. It just came across to me as something that went along to get along.

The initial rating of Brokeback Mountain in 2005 was the final straw for me. The rating was changed to morally offensive (O) from limited adult audience (L) only after a big stink was made. I thought they should clean house back then and get people in there that truly understand Catholicism, and Catholic virtue. If it counters our faith, even from a virtue standpoint, it ought not be receiving a positive rating. There are few movies these days that should get any kind of favorable rating, yet the opposite is the norm. It's an example of just moving along with the world.

Relativism has reared it's ugly head once again from The United States Conference of Bishops Office for Film and Broadcasting. This time it involves the A-II (adults and adolesence) rating and review of The Golden Compass, which, sarcastically as sit sounds, should have just followed through by telling people to grab a bag of popcorn and enjoy the show! What were they thinking?!?! And, why should they continue to be paid by the USCCB for their disoriented reviews?

In US Bishops asked to Fire Chief Film Critic over Glowing Reviews for "Brokeback" and "Compass" (LifeSite News) are the following snippets:

Fr. Tom Euteneuer, the President of Human Life International, has called on the US Bishops to fire Forbes and his subordinate John Mulderig who co-authored the review of The Golden Compass. The HLI leader was incredulous that the USCCB review could recommend the film for children despite the fact that it admits the film has "occult elements" and carries a "sprit of rebellion".

"The fact that these gentlemen could recommend this movie to children is just abhorrent to me. I really do believe these guys should be fired," Fr. Eueneuer told "Whatever happened to rejecting Satan and all his empty work and empty promises."

The USCCB review notes the great artistry of the film, but such is no reason to approve of it warned Fr. Euteneuer who has taken part in exorcisms. "St. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11 that the devil comes dressed as an angel of light. And this is very clearly what is happening. They have taken an atheistic work and dressed it up as something good for kids."

Noting Forbes' former scandalous positive review of Brokeback Mountain, Fr. Euteneuer said, "The fact (the USCCB) didn't fire him at that time is what leads to this kind of thing. When you don't rebuke irresponsibility in using an office to spread errors then it leads to more irresponsibility."

In addition, the same article reads:

Pete Vere, who has a written book on the author of The Golden Compass, spoke with about the USCCB review. "Several bishops have spoken to me about this review and they are horrified at what has been done in their name," Vere told "Certainly the USCCB has to revisit its rules for issuing movie reviews." Vere's book co-authored by Sandra Miesel, Pied Piper of Atheism: Philip Pullman and Children's Fantasy, is to be released by Ignatius Press before Christmas.

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League did not waste any time going after the reviewers. Sentence by sentence, he challenges them (do read the entire article in the link for details).

New Line Cinema (or as Curt Jester called it - "New Lie Cinema") mad use of the "positive review" from the USCCB. With a little twisting and snipping/joining of words it appeared that the USCCB fully endorsed The Golden Compass (read Curt Jester's post for the original story and updates).

Oh, how the Father of Lies seems to be indulging all the way around in this one.


Te Deum: The Golden Compass: Agenda Unmasked

CNA: Golden Compass promoters trying to advertise in Catholic press

Lifesite News Update: Ad Agency Pitching 'Golden Compass' Ads to Catholic Diocesan Papers Halts Ads

AmP: Quick update on the Golden Compass controversy

AmP: More proof that New Line Cinema is trying to advertise the Golden Compass in Catholic publications

Amy Welborn on New Line Cinema's attempt to advertise in Catholic publications

More from author Amy Welborn on The Golden Compass

Fr. Martin Fox: Golden Compass author - 'My books are about killing God'

Jimmy Akin: Philip Pullman is a Liar

Ignatius Scoop: Bishop Listecki warns against "The Golden Compass"

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Advent Rorate Masses at Assumption Grotto

Last night marked the first Rorate Mass of this Advent season at Assumption Grotto. With just 3 Tuesdays this Advent, there are two left - next Tuesday the 11th, and the following Tuesday at 7:00pm.

I have a more extensive post on the Rorate Mass with a photo from a European parish, with some links. It is done entirely under candle-power, and no lights.

We were attempting to pull together a Tridentine Rorate Mass, but this would have needed to take place early in the morning. Fr. Perrone had given his permission, but in the old calendar, and with it's classes of liturgies, we would not have been able to do so until December 15th, the day EWTN will also hold a Rorate Mass. We then realized that this falls during a mission being offered by the Priests of Opus Angelorum at Assumption Grotto and many would be coming at 8:30am to start a somewhat long day and we assumed a lower turnout than we would have otherwise. Perhaps next year.

In other news: Opus Angelorum Mission

Fr. Wolfgang and Fr. Matthew of Opus Angelorum will be preaching a mission on the Confraternity of the Holy Guardian Angels on December 14 & 15 for those making their consecration to the Guardian Angel and also for new members. Please see the bulletin boards in the church and school for the schedule.

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Monday, December 3, 2007


I just wanted to provide an update on my mother. I'm still very short on time as I try to catch up on basics like laundry and housekeeping. I took one of my last three vacation days today in order to catch my breath.

My mother is doing ok. She went to the ER at 6:30pm Thursday and did not get her knee tapped for analysis until Saturday at 6:30pm - 48 hours after we took her to the hospital. She did some limited walking when we took her in, and by Friday already, she was completely bed-ridden.

The analysis showed no infection, but high levels of uric acid and crystals (in other words, she has a bad case of gout). They have started her on high doses of a steroid to help bring the swelling down and she will begin physical therapy soon. It's unfortunate that the knee wasn't tapped Thursday night or Friday morning because physical therapy may not have been needed, not to mention she wouldn't have laid there in excruciating pain (she has many drug allergies). They finally found something they could give her on Sunday.

Because of all the inactivity, she is holding much fluid. That is causing them to give her medications to remove the fluid, which is affecting her kidney function. I am hoping they get her moving soon.

Thanks and God bless, for all the prayers and words of support!

I'll start blogging again when I catch my breath.

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Prayer request...

I have not been posting much since just before Thanksgiving because my mother has been quite sick and is in the hospital again. This time, it appears she has an infected knee joint and cellulitis.

I humbly ask for your prayers for her as these last 6 weeks have been most difficult on her.

I want to share something so that you understand the importance of not just leaving your loved one in the hospital without diligent followup, a little simple research, and knowledge of your loved one's medical conditions and medications.

In the many times she has been hospitalized, we have experienced the best of professionals (nurses and doctors). There have been times when I could merely visit her and feel confident she was being properly assessed and cared for. We have unfortunately experienced negligence and complacency, resulting in much loss of time from work and other things, and I - an ordinary family member was left in a position to assess her condition and put a fire under people to get them moving.

We almost lost her in the spring at another hospital when she was in with a GI tract bleed, and nurses just stopped taking her blood when they could not get it (when someone has blood loss it can be difficult to get samples). Rather than call in a surgeon to implant what is called a medi-port, she went nearly two days without bloodwork and I watched her slip away before me without any transfusions. How could they know she needed them if they had no lab work? It took serious intervention on my part and by the time they got the sample she was down into the 6's, and ripe for heart attack or stroke with her age and infirmities. Add to that, a nurse attempted to giver her Plavix - a drug that is given to people with cardiac stents and acts very similar to a blood thinner (you must be off of it two weeks before any surgery and mom was aware of this because she had taken it temporarily). It could have killed her had she not known what it was and refused it.

She recovered without permanent damage, and we elected to work with the quality care people at the hospital, who were very responsive and very disappointed in what they uncovered. The head nurse was involved, as was the chief medical officer. They told us we had the right to consult an attorney, admitting to many things and taking disciplinary action on some people who violated protocol (and common sense). With no permanent damage and a full recovery, we elected not to get involved with lawyers and drive everyone else's insurance up.

Now, in another hospital, her knee should have been drained when I first took her in to the ER which is why the family doctor wanted her to go there immediately because he could not do it, and he said she would need to be on IV antibiotics ASAP. If the knee is infected, it can not only rapidly destroy the joint, it can work it's way into a serious bloodstream infection. Timing is important. She already has poorly performing kidneys and a heart murmur - two things that can be worstened with such an infection.

The knee still received no attention as of 8:30 last night (26 hours after I took her in) when she called me, but another doctor - a gastroenterologist resident and another with him, responded to my plea at 4:30 when he stopped by. While leg care is not the job of a GI doctor, it didn't take him long to see what she needed when he looked at her leg. The concern on his face and on the woman physician with him, was visible. He ordered Vancomycin which was started somewhere around 8:00 last night. There was nothing more he could do.

My mother told me that the doctor of internal medicine assigned to her case told her he had no idea why she was in there, that her red blood count was not that bad (he treated her two weeks prior for anemia and couldn't see the forest for the trees - she was not in for anemia). She explained that there is something wrong with her knee. He looked at it and said he would send in an orthopedic doctor, which we later found out wasn't going to see her until sometime today - Saturday. The orthopedic doctor is the one that needs to drain the knee and he should have been called right into emergency when she came in. Still, here is a doctor who doesn't have a clue.

Unless they did something overnight, it is now over 36 hours since I took her to emergency to have her leg drained and the fluid cultured for bacteria and white blood count. I am headed back up there to sit and wait to talk to doctors and will more than likely be getting with hospital administration, especially if she is in worse condition.

When I first took her in, she had to be taken by wheelchair, and could not put much weight on the leg, nor straighten it. The knee itself was swollen and very hot to the touch in contrast to the other knee - a strong reason for our family physician to suspect a septic joint. There was some redness in the knee area. As of 4:30 yesterday when I visited her, and before that GI doctor came in, I noticed the whole shin was turning red and hot and her foot was looking more swollen. What little mobility she had was completely gone and she is now unable to get out of bed at all.

Furthermore, my doctor had given the ER department, on the same slip he mentioned possible septic left knee joint, her medications. He has been doing a delicate balancing act with her medications to keep her kidney functions, her potassium, and her blood pressure reasonably in good shape. We have had to fight ever step of the way to have them dispense her medications as they should be given. My brother was told that my mother was a CHF patient and could not be moved by wheel chair and when he asked what that meant, they told him Congestive Heart Failure. This was news to me because no one told me my mother was in heart failure. Furthermore, her lungs where completely clear at the family doctor's office (heart failure usually results in fluid pooling in the lungs).

I was unable to talk to any doctor about this upon requests to the nurses.

I won't name the hospital here, or the doctors, so please don't ask. If you work in the medical profession and have advice for me, feel free to comment or send me an email at I can't guarantee I'll return emails at this point because I am hardly home.

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