Monday, March 31, 2008

Catholics and Protestants on 8 Mile: Two forms of prayer and one cause: LIFE!

Detroit Auxiliary Bishop, John M. Quinn, leads the Rosary Procession to 8 Mile Rd following 7:30am Mass. It was the first of several vigils which will be arranged by Helper's of God's Precious Infants of Michigan.

I can't re-post all of the photos here on this blog, but will lead you to the Helper's of God's Precious Infants blog where there is a full photo story and many more pics.

With the cold there were less than usual at around 150 people. I've been there when there were 300-400 people. When we processed across 8 Mile, we were met by another group of young people with red tape on their mouths with the word "LIFE" written on it. In talking to them later, I learned they were with the Bound4Life movment.

Those from Bound4Life were in silent prayer as we prayed the mysteries of the Rosary. Two forms of prayer, one cause: LIFE!

Upcoming photo posts.....Helpers Vigil and a "Tridentine" Wedding

More photo posts are coming after spending Saturday morning with Helper's of God's Precious Infants during their prayer vigil, followed by a "Tridentine" wedding at Grotto.

Click here for a post which links all Holy Week 2008 photos if you haven't seen them. All celebrations photographed were in the extraordinary form (Traditional Latin Mass or "Tridentine"). I also have a photo post on Divine Mercy Sunday at Grotto.

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Feast of the Annunciation

A photo of Philippe de Champaigne's The Annunciation (ca. 1644) by photographer Michael Weinberg.

It's been a busy weekend and I am still working on getting photos online of the Helper's prayer vigil on Saturday, and a "Tridentine" wedding which took place that same day.

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation and it marks the day that the Blessed Virgin Mary said, "Yes" - her fiat (let it be done unto me...). Nothing is forced on us by God and Mary holds a special place in Catholicism because without her fiat, the Word could not have become Man. In the Garden of Eden, Eve committed an act of disobedience to the will of God. Mary, through her act of obedience to God's will, became the new Eve.

This feast was transferred from March 25th because it fell in Easter week.

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Scenes from Assumption Grotto on Divine Mercy Sunday

This was actually the 9:30 Mass in the extraordinary form. It was Low Sunday - "in albis".

Divine Mercy Sunday is traditionally celebrated with an orchestra Mass at Noon, which we had, followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament until 3:00 at which time we pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, then had Benediction. Father had planned a "Tridentine" for the Noon Mass, but did not mention it in the bulletin or the announcements the previous week so he made a last minute change of keeping the Noon Mass a Latin Novus Ordo.

Confessions are heard throughout the day and I can tell you that all of the confessionals had long lines. It is always a sight to see on Divine Mercy and thanks be to God for the generosity of our priests in this regard. You will see below a photo of some of the Missionaries of Charity that are in Detroit. As I have mentioned before, we see them periodically at Assumption Grotto. It is always a humbling experience.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Learning Latin - Self-taught

On this Divine Mercy Sunday, I want to pass along another tidbit for those interested in learning Latin. I've added this post and more to the sidebar section called, "Got Latin?"

I've actually had a desire to learn Latin since I was in my teens. I attempted once, but did not have the proper text for self-learning. I think that may have changed. I have the first book above and was trying to spend just 15 minutes daily with it, but ran into one problem: No way to check the answers. That is, until I found the answer book online....

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) has not only the Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin book by Collins at the Fraternity Publications page, but the answer book needed if you are engaging in self-study. It also has the Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Latin on the same page.

However, if you spend any time at the blog of Fr. Z, you will know that he says you should have a Lewis and Short Latin Dictionary as wel.

I would pay close attention to Fr. Z's PRAYERCAzT, which can help with proper accents and pronounciation. Puulllleeeeeeeaaase - don't Americanize it with the awful sounding Yayzooo Kwreeestooooo. Make it dignified with Yehzu Kdddistu (ok, so poke fun at my phonetic spelling! I've been rolling R's since I learned Croatian while living abroad for over 2 years and I can tell you, just think a string of d's and you will roll your R's. It prevents you from twisting your lips like you do in English. It's all a matter of making the dddd sound with your tongue).

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Find a "Tridentine" anywhere in the world at WikkiMissa

If you are looking for the extraordinary form of the Roman rite - which is loosely referred to as "Tridentine" or traditional Latin Mass, you will want to check out WikkiMissa. Just keep clicking on the map to get to your area, or an area to which you will be traveling. You can choose from several languages too. It's a worldwide tool!

Assumption Grotto is listed!

Divine Mercy Sunday

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday.


What is Divine Mercy?

The message of The Divine Mercy is simple. It is that God loves us — all of us. And, he wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others. Thus, all will come to share His joy.

The Divine Mercy message is one we can call to mind simply by remembering ABC:

A - Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world.

B - Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us.

C - Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.

This message and devotion to Jesus as The Divine Mercy is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God's mercy. Even before her death in 1938, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had begun to spread.

The message and devotional practices proposed in the Diary of Saint Faustina and set forth in this web site and other publications of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception are completely in accordance with the teachings of Church and are firmly rooted in the Gospel message of our Merciful Savior. Properly understood and implemented, they will help us grow as genuine followers of Christ.

Spend time to learn more about the mercy of God, learn to trust in Jesus, and live your life as merciful to others, as Christ is merciful to you.

Some interesting things from the Divine Mercy Timeline:

March 7, 1992 Decree of Heroic Virtues of Sr. Faustina is promulgated.

December 1992 Miracle through intercession of Sr. Faustina is accepted.

April 18, 1993 Sr. Faustina beatified in Rome on Second Sunday of Easter.

January 2000 Second miracle through Bl. Faustina intercession is accepted.

April 30, 2000 Bl. Faustina is canonized in Rome on Divine Mercy Sunday and Divine Mercy Sunday is proclaimed.

May 5, 2000 Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issues a Decree proclaiming the Second Sunday of Easter also as Divine Mercy Sunday.

December 2000 The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments listed the Devotion to the Divine Mercy in its Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy: Principles and Guidelines.

April 22, 2001 Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated officially for the first time by the universal Church.

May 13, 2001 Congregation For The Clergy issues a document: "Priest of God, you embody the Mystery of Mercy."

August 18, 2002 John Paul II consecrates the whole world to the Divine Mercy from The Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Krakow-Lagiewniki, the site of St. Faustina's tomb.

August 21, 2002 Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary issued on Indulgences attached to devotions in honor of Divine Mercy.

What about Divine Mercy and Scripture?

One of my favorite Catholic artists is Tommy Canning of the UK who had come to the first Call to Holiness conference I attended in 2005. I cannot show you the artwork here as it is right-click protected, so I encourage you to go straight to his website to view it. Click on a given pic to enlarge.

Flowers surround a Divine Mercy image at Assumption Grotto

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

"Tridentine" Holy Week 2008 Photo Collection: Extraordinary!

The maniple worn by Fr. Perrone at the Easter Vigil. The Catholic Encyclopedia says about the symbolism of the maniple, seen at "Tridentine" Masses:
In the Middle Ages the maniple received various symbolical interpretations. At a later period it was common to connect this vestment with the bonds which held the hands of the Saviour. In the prayer offered by the priest when putting on the maniple are symbolized the cares and sorrows of this earthly life which should be borne with patience in view of the heavenly reward."

I keep talking about the "depth of spirituality" in the extraordindary form of the Roman rite. That explanation of the maniple is yet another example. There is not a gesture, not a hand position, not a motion, tool or vestment that does not have some history and spiritual meaning. We will continue to explore these things in time.

What follows below is a collection of all photographs related to the "Tridentine" Holy Week at Assumption Grotto in 2008 (in reverse order). All of these events were celebrated according to the 1962 missal, properly called the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. Others refer to it as the traditional Latin Mass (TLM), but of course there is only one rite and two forms: Ordinary and Extraordinary. It was indeed an extraordinary Holy Week!

Helpers of God's Precious Infants - Prayer Vigil: March 29th

I'm bumping this back up to the top.... All of the flyers for the Helpers of God's Precious Infants (HGPI) prayer vigils are beautiful. But what really caught my eyes on this one was the prayerful posture of the baby over the hands of an elderly person (nice job Mary!)

Unless you are from Maine in Detroit, and getting married that day, please consider taking part in this prayer vigil. It precedes Divine Mercy Sunday!

Bishop Quinn will be leading us this time and as in the past, I hope to see several hundred people there.

Each prayer vigil works pretty much the same. It starts with Mass at 7:30am at an area parish - this time St. Jude on Seven Mile in Detroit (it changes with each vigil). We all then meet at nearby St. Veronica's at 8:30am which is just a few blocks away from two clinics on 8 Mile Rd. where a giant Rosary procession leads us to the boulevard where we are often assisted by local police in crossing. All of the mysteries - that's right ALL - joyful, sorrowful, luminous, and glorious mysteries are prayed. By 10:00 we will have returned to St. Veronica's where instruction is given on where to meet for Benediction and refreshments, along with an overview of the day.

See a video of the founder of Helper's of God's Precious Infants as he explains the details of a prayer vigil in this post at HGPI-Michigan.

Please see the HGPI - Michigan blog for more info.

A photo from the June 2006 vigil featuring the front of the line with Our Lady of Guadalupe leading the way

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Holy Week 2008: Easter Vigil - Mass

What follows are the last of the photos in the Holy Week series. I have more, but they are stock photos of specific things for later posts. Three people were received into the Church during this Mass, which is always a blessing.

The Easter Vigil is traditionally a long Mass whether in the ordindary form (OF) or extraordinary form (EF), but it is one of the most beautiful liturgies of the year. All of the major celebrations for Holy Week in 2008 were done in EF, more commonly referred to as the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM).


In these photos you will see altar boys wearing white cassocks with gold shoulder capes. I am fairly certain that this is a tradition that goes all the way back to the earliest of pastors in the 1800's, except the styles have changed somewhat. I've sent a question on this to our parish historian and will edit this post accordingly. They are used again on Corpus Christi and red shoulder capes are used during the Christmas season.

One of the newly baptized people is being confirmed in the photo below.

Note the violet color of the antependium, which covers the entire front of the altar. In the next photo, you see the blurred image of an altar boy involved with removing the violet, revealing the beautiful gold antependium underneath during the Mass.

In the two photos below, altar boys are seen removing the violet cloths which covered all of the statues in the church.

The subdeacon wearing the humeral veil. He holds the paten with it from the close of Offertory until the Pater Noster.

In this next picture, we see the Elevation of the Chalice.

As Communion is distributed, candle-bearing altar boys - 3 on each side of center, face sideways towards each other on the lower steps.

This Mass featured much more incensing than typically seen. Here the thurifer swings the censor, or thurible towards the laity.

Altar boys are lined up ready to leave the sanctuary to the right as Mass comes to a close.

This sweet pea just couldn't hang on any longer. Rumor has it that when Mom and siblings wanted to go to bed, she was ready to play. Go ahead and say it......awwwww!!!

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Cistercian Monks in Austria sign major recording contract to record chant

I still have not gone through the photos taken at the Easter Vigil yet. In the meanwhile, I thought you might find this of interest.

It is delightful story about the Cistercian Monks of Holy Cross Monastery (Austria), which dates back to 1133. This monastery has a relic of the True Cross, donated by Duke Leopold V in 1188. It's still venerated and is the largest relic of the True Cross north of the Alps. As an aside, Grotto has a very small relic of the True Cross which I recently posted on, as well.

From Catholic News Agency:

Berlin, Mar 24, 2008 / 10:01 pm (CNA).- After “blowing away” music executives with their performance of Gregorian plainchant, a group of Austrian monks has been given a record deal with Universal Music, the Independent reports.

Universal had been persuaded that there was a market for albums of Gregorian chant by the success of the video game Halo. The game, which has sold over 16 million copies, uses in its soundtrack a plainchant sung by male choirs without musical accompaniment.

Dickon Stainer, head of Universal Classics and Jazz, said, "Young people have an awareness of Gregorian chant, even though it's not something you come across in everyday life. It made us think that there was something in it."

The music company placed an advertisement in The Tablet and The Church Times seeking “men of the cloth” to sing on an album of Gregorian chants.

After a contact in London informed the Cistercian monks of Holy Cross monastery about Universal’s search for Gregorian singers, the 80 monks compiled a clip of their singing and put it on YouTube as an audition.

The professionally edited video begins with a shot of altar candles and then switches to images of monks clad in white habits walking in double file through the ancient cloisters. The video closes in a picturesque aerial shot of the Holy Cross abbey, set deep in the Austrian woods.

"I was blown away by the quality of their singing," said Tom Lewis, an executive at Universal. "They are quite simply the best Gregorian singers we have heard. They make a magical sound which is calming and deeply moving. They are using the very latest communication devices to get their music heard. They're very passionate and excited about this opportunity."

Lewis said the company had received hundreds of videos in response to its advertisements, but the Cistercians were the clear winners.

The monks have described their success as “divine intervention.” They were scheduled to record an album last year, but the recording session was cancelled after it conflicted with a visit to the monastery by Pope Benedict XVI.

The monastery, which dates back to 1133, has been famous for its relic of the True Cross.

Father Karl, a spokesman for the abbey, welcomed the news. "Gregorian chant is part of spirituality and our life," he said, according to the Independent. "Any profits will be spent on training future brothers."

Gregorian Chant, which is named for Pope Gregory I, had some popularity in the 1990s and was featured in several successful CDs by the group Enigma.

This is all well and good, but hopefully it doesn't land in material that is less than graceful. Only Lord knows how the chant will be used by the secular world. However, the bulk of it is likely to be used simply for listening, which is good.

I'll bet there is a rise in vocations inquiries at this monastery and others like it..... Wait, I just found the website and note the word about vocations....

From the English section of the monastery's website:

Cistercian Abbey Stift Heiligenkreuz
"Stift Heiligenkreuz" means the Abbey of "Heiligenkreuz" (= "Holy Cross") in the Wienerwald. It is a very beautiful living Cistercian monastery. Stift Heiligenkreuz is situated very close to Vienna, it is only 15km to the west of the Capital of Austria, in the middle of the "Wienerwald". It is one of the most beautiful medieval monasteries of the world. In 2007 Pope Benedict XVI. visited the monastery, which is full with young vocations.

Stift Heiligenkreuz is the second-oldest Cistercian Monastery in the world. And it is the oldest one, that exist without any destruction or interruption... It was founded in 1133 by St. Leopold III of the House of Babenberg. Leopold’s son, Otto, had been sent to Paris to obtain an international education. In Paris, Otto came in contact with Cistercian monks and soon decided to enter a Cistercian monastery. When Otto visited his father in Austria, he asked him to build a similar monastery for Lower Austria. This was the reason why St. Leopold built Heiligenkreuz; he also founded Klosterneuburg in the northwest of Vienna.

In 2008 the monastery had 77 members, 18 affiliated parishes and one Pontical Theological Academy (founded 1802) with about 180 students.

As the world happens to think it is just a passing fad - this attraction to chant, I think it is yet another example of how the Holy Spirit blows where He wills. Young people who enjoy chant may be drawn into the faith through it. Deo gratias!

More on this story at

h/t to Fr. Z who wonders if they will sing Gregorian or Cistercian Chant

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Black Biretta: PRIESTHOOD

I was reading the blog of Fr. John Trigilio - author, speaker, EWTN personality and president of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy.

He has an excellent post up on the priesthood. If you are a priest, seminarian or discerning young man, you will want to read this post: The Black Biretta: PRIESTHOOD. If you are a lay person, there are some words of wisdom for you, as well with regards to priests.

Many young people at Assumption Grotto have been hearing God's call to the priesthood or consecrated life. The very things encouraged by Fr. Trigilio in his post are things encouraged by the priests at Assumption Grotto. I don't care what you approach them on for spiritual direction, the first order of business is building a solid prayer life. The laity can offer some of that prayer time for priests and those discerning.

See Fr. Trigilio's personal webpage with book listings and other info.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Holy Week 2008: Easter Vigil - Lumen Christi

Happy Easter to all who are looking in.

Assumption Grotto celebrated the Easter Vigil in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite (traditional Latin Mass).

It will be a day or two before I get Easter Vigil pictures up.

In the meanwhile, here are two from the beginning of the liturgy. This next photo was taken as Deacon chanted, Lumen Christi.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Holy Week 2008: Good Friday - 1962 Missal

Good Friday always starts out somewhat sparsely populated in the pews. But within an hour or so, there was no room left for sitting. Chairs were brought out for people standing in the back, many of whom camped out on the floor.

This is a photo story of the Good Friday Liturgy celebrated at Assumption Grotto according to the 1962 Missal.

Unlike previous years when it all began with a long procession from the back, the priest and acolytes came out from the sacristy directly into the sanctuary in total silence.

The priests then prostrated themselves at the foot of the altar. It is a sign of total humility and penance. It was also used by the priests at the rite of ordination.

The sub-deacon reads the Second Lesson (Ex 12:1-11)

This is probably a good time to note that something was noticeably missing - at least to me. They are called the solita oscula. You may have noticed in the TLM when the deacon hands something to the celebrant, such as his biretta, he first kisses the biretta, then the hand of the celebrant. When he takes something from him, he does the opposite - kisses the celebrant's hand, then the object (h/t to Fr. Tim Finigan who explained it in this linked combox).

On Good Friday, the solita oscula are omitted, as are salutations to clergy in choir (Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described, 2003). More on this and why it is done in a later post.

The Gospel reading, the Passion of Our Lord, was sung by the three priests. I have video of this and will see how well it came out for uploading at least segments of this.

After the sermon was done, the priests vested in black for the Great Intercession prayers

Next came the unveiling and Adoration of the Cross. This was also a switch from what we have seen in the past, before we began using the 1962 missal. Grotto-goers may recall that the Cross was brought up from the rear, being unveiled a little more each time it stopped along the way to the sanctuary. This time, it was done completely in the sanctuary. I thought it was better because we could see all that was going on. Not only that, it reminded me more of the way to Calvary with the final stop about as high up the altar steps as they could go.

I don't recall seeing this before, but the priests removed their shoes with the help of the acolytes before they kissed the Cross.

Here, the deacon kisses the Cross as the sub-deacon waits.

Altar boys then line up and do the same.....

....followed by the laity using Crosses at the center, and both side altars.

When the Adoration of the Cross was complete, it was time for Communion. The deacon prepares the altar and then leaves to get the Consecrated Hosts stored for use today.

This picture blurred because of motion, but you may have noticed that when the Blessed Sacrament was brought out by the deacon. The ombrellino was used. It is the same as a canopy, except smaller and more portable.

Here, we see the crotalus, or clapper, about to be used. Actually, he was holding two of them and when Fr. Perrone prayed the "Domine non sum dignus..." three times, the crotalus sounded out for each of them, as the bells ordinarly do during the Traditional Latin Mass. I have a close up of this in my post from Holy Thursday 2008.

Fr. Perrone pauses during his own Communion.

He then turns and, holding one of the Consecrated Hosts, Fr. Perrone presents Our Lord to us: Ecce Angus Dei.... (This is the Lamb of God...). It is here that the priest, using the words of John the Baptist (Jn 1:29), looks for an act of faith from the people in the form of the expression which follows.....

All respond three times with the words of the centurion: "Domine non sum dignus...," while striking their breast with a closed fist or with an open hand and fingers side-by-side as the priests are doing.

Lord, I am not worthy that Thou should enter under my roof. Speak but the word, and my soul shall be healed.

This next photo is a blow-up of the one above. It could never look this good in print due to how closely it was zoomed in, but great for the web. I want to point out the fingers of the priest under the ciborium. Note the thumb and index finger are connected. This is how it is suppose to happen in the TLM or extraordinary form (EF). Once a priest touches a Consecrated Host, he will, out of reverence, keep his thumb and index finger together until he purifies his hands following distribution of Communion. It is not required in the ordinary form of the Roman rite (OF), or Novus Ordo, but I have noticed many more priests doing this. Such a display of reverence would seem to be a personal matter in the case of the OF. I suspect this is going to grow over time, an effect that is truly an organic development of the liturgy.

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