Saturday, May 31, 2008

May 31, 2008: Headlines of Interest....

I have been running very short on time of late. In fact, yesterday I had a choice to blog on the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of the Priesthood on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, or go to Mass. I had to go to a funeral home after work for a co-workers mother who passed away over Memorial Day weekend, making the 7:00pm at Grotto a stretch. I knew if I didn't make the early-bird Mass at a parish near work at 6:15am, I wouldn't get to go at all.

Sometimes that is how blogging goes. It is also why I don't want you to depend on me for regular news. To be honest, there are several quick stops I make each morning before I do anything else. They include and are not limited to:

Posting everything they post is redundant. If they already have a post on something I wanted to post on, I try to draw your attention to it.

If you don't want to follow other blogs and news sources on a regular basis, at least visit them when you see I am not posting. I keep saying that I want to get out of the "news" end of blogging and focus more on fewer, more original, and well thought out postings. After you visit some Catholic blogs you begin to see they all cover some of the same things.

With that, I want to draw your attention to a few news items and blogposts out there that I have wanted to post on, but haven't had the time (the clutter in my house is closing in on me!!!).

If you don't follow Fr. Z on a daily basis at WDTPRS, here is some of what you've been missing...

Other news and blogposts:

Recent posts on Te Deum!

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Urge Gov Granholm to sign partial-birth abortion ban

I told you the other day about how a bishop is handling another governor. Let's pray that Governor Granholm does the right thing here and signs bill 776, which bans the brutal, partial-birth abortion.

You have a chance to have your voice heard and the Michigan Catholic Conference has made it easy with a fill-in form you just send in from this link. You can even edit the wording or just use what they have. If you want future alerts, keep the respective check box on, otherwise remove the checks. From the MCC site:

After having passed both the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, legislation outlawing the gruesome procedure known as partial-birth abortion is headed to Governor Granholm's desk.

Michigan Catholic Conference is asking for Catholics across the state to contact the Governor and urge her to protect the dignity and sanctity of all human life by signing Senate Bill 776 into law. This legislation is similar to the federal partial-birth abortion ban that the U.S. Supreme Court last year found to be constitutional. Because SB 776 mirrors the federal ban in an effort to provide maximum protection to the unborn in the state, there is no chance any court can find the bill to be unconstitutional.

Please take a moment to contact Governor Granholm and urge her to respect the rights of women and the dignity of the unborn by signing Senate Bill 776 into law.

Use the form in this link to contact Granholm.

Similar Articles:

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Abp Naumann on Governor Sebelius - a Q & A

Not long ago I told you about Abp Naumann and Governor Sebelius and Holy Communion....

I encourage you to read an entire Q&A by Abp Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas with a more detailed explanation, defending his asking Gov. Sebelius to not present herself for Holy Communion. Here is just one of many, and this one is probably one of the most important from a fundamental standpoint (color text, and emphases in bold are mine).

Q. Governor Sebelius says that she is personally opposed to abortion, but she supports the law protecting the right of others to choose an abortion. Why is this not a morally acceptable position?

A. Freedom of choice is not an absolute value. All of our laws limit our choices. I am not free to drive while intoxicated or to take another's property or to assault someone else. My freedom ends when I infringe on the more basic rights of another. On a similarly grave moral issue 150 years ago, Stephen Douglas, in his famous debates with the future President Abraham Lincoln, attempted to craft his position as not favoring slavery but of the right of people in new states and territories, such as Kansas, to choose to sanction slavery. Being pro-choice on a fundamental matter of human rights was not a morally coherent argument in the 1850s, nor is it today. No one has the right to choose to enslave another human being, just as no one has the right to kill another human being. No law or public policy has the authority to give legal protection to such an injustice.

This is why even some atheists defend life. Other human beings don't have to die for the sake of someone else's convenience. I have often used the racism example myself. If a governor defended a racist policy, everyone would see it for what it was and come down against the action. But, some of the same people can't see the forest for the trees and they'll defend abortion right down to partial birth butchery or murdering the baby if it is born alive.


Michigan House votes to ban partial birth abortions....will Catholic Governor, Jennifer Granholm veto this one????

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Only the free can choose obedience to Magisterial teachings. The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; rather, it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Classic Fr. Perrone during informal talk on "Tridentine"

The St. Anne Sodality hosted a talk on the "Tridentine" offered by Fr. Eduard Perrone, Grotto's pastor. The evening started with the normal evening Mass (Novus Ordo) at 7:00, and the talk at 8:00. It was suppose to be an hour, but lasted until about 10:10pm.

I'm sure Father had somewhat of a roadmap for sequence, but we derailed it with our many questions. He was a good sport about it, and I think he enjoyed talking about the Extraordinary Form as much as we enjoyed hearing him talk about it.

Truly, there is so much content that could be covered, that it could use to be a series, not a single talk. Perhaps we can twist his arm this fall :D

I need to get off to bed, so I can't bring out any specific points, but I did learn some things that were just plain interesting as Father contrasted the Ordinary and Extraordinary forms. However, Father also made it clear that the Novus Ordo is also a legitimate form. However, when comparing things like the Offertory prayers, there is no comparison (and that is me talking, not him!).

Stay tuned. Hopefully, we haven't had the last of this type of class.

The many expressions of Fr. Perrone....

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008 at Assumption Grotto

Here are pics taken at the Mass and outdoor service today for Memorial Day. This Mass is always well attended and sometimes is held outdoors, but weather was not predicted to be as good as it was.

Forthcoming are the bulk of the Corpus Christi photos which may take several more days before I have complete for uploading.

The visiting, hooded monk, is Fr. Aidan Logan, O.C.s.o, chaplain, US Naval Acadamy, and a good friend of Chris Kolomjec, who served a tour of duty in Iraq which ended in April 2007. Since 2005 when I first got to Grotto, he has visited the Metro Detroit area each Memorial Day, and once or twice in between.

I never did anything religious for Memorial Day until I found Grotto. The spiritual dimension - the praying for souls of fallen soldiers, as well as for the conversion of veterans and soldiers alike, it is worthwhile to assist at Mass on Memorial Day. I have found that aside from the usual "America the Beautiful" or other patriotic hymn, there are few places to really spend time in prayer for the our war veterans and dead soldiers.

I only recently learned more about my dad's older brother, Eddie, who died in WWII. He was a radio operator on a B-24G in the 741st Bomb Squadron, 405th Bomb Group Ceregnola Field, Italy. His plane went down just off the coast of Italy on May 24, 1944. He is listed on the "Tablet of the Missing" in Florence. Requiescat in pace!

If you want to learn more about your relatives who died during any foreign war, you can write to the American Battle Monuments Commission. They sent me, for free, photographs of my uncles name engraved on the tablet. I can even order flowers to be laid out on certain days. At their home page you can find a search function in which you can pick the war and type in the name.

This is a favorite view of mine, of the back side of Assumption Grotto Church from the cemetary.

And, one of the visitors down by the grotto itself.

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Fr. Perrone's Column for May 25; "Tridentine" Class on Tuesday

In his "Pastor's Descant" column this week, Fr. Perrone talks about Corpus Christi, reverence before the Holy Eucharist, and some upcoming events.

This Tuesday, Fr. Perrone will be having an informal, one-day seminar on the "Tridentine" Mass. It will be hosted by the St. Anne's Sodality. Next Sunday the parish will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of Father's ordination with a hog roast on the parish grounds. More details on this at the bottom. Also noteworthy is Sacred Heart, which is this Friday. Come to Mass at 7:00pm for this special day.

Corpus Christi day is meant to bolster our faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. The word ‘real’ here is an important modifier, indicating that this is not a symbolic or spiritual presence but that of Jesus, God and man, in the totality of his divine and human natures.

Among the reasons I am so enthusiastic about the return of the Tridentine Mass is that it gives unequivocal recognition to the Real Presence, not only in the written and spoken texts, but by those safeguarding rubrical details which the priest must observe in the course of the holy sacrifice of the Mass. The new rite of Mass certainly does not deny or overlook this dogma of the faith. Yet the freewheeling manner in which it can be (legitimately) celebrated can weaken faith. Thus we have been told that in recent years there has been a great falling off of faith in the Real Presence.

During the past week, the feast of Saint Bernadine of Sienna was had. He was a vigorous preacher and promoter of reverence to the divine name of Jesus. I made the remark in my brief weekday homily that while the devout handling of the Holy Eucharist is a far greater priority than reverence to the divine name, nevertheless there is a continuity in the practice of piety, that profound respect paid to God and the things of God. When that reverential manner suffers in one area so will it probably suffer in another part. An unfortunate consequence of the modern Church’s embrace of the world and the present time is a more casual, even secular treatment of holy things. This is evident in the way people conduct themselves in church, in the way they speak about the bible, and, needless to say, in their looser morals by which they are practically indistinguishable from anybody else. When we see this larger picture of religious impiety we can make sense of the loss of faith in the Blessed Sacrament and the irreligious manner, often scandalous, in which some people approach Holy Communion. No wonder some members of the hierarchy are dizzy wondering what to do about politicians who are abortion abetters and who nevertheless crassly present themselves for Holy Communion. The root of the problem may not be the acceptance of abortion but a wider insensitivity to things moral and religious. I’d like to think that the old Mass will help restore some sense of the sacred, both in things that are religious properly speaking, and also in human life. The two things, I believe, are related. If I’m right there, Catholics will never be able to halt the practice of abortion until they recover their religious sensibilities generally.

Mention of the Tridentine Mass reminds me that this Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. I will speak in the school on this in an informal way to help people participate better by a greater comprehension of the traditional rite. (Commercial: This event is being brought to you by the St. Anne’s Sodality.) This will be the right time to ask questions you may have about the Mass, the meaning of its ceremonies and parts, and about how to use the hand missals. I don’t claim to be an expert in any of these areas, but I will gladly share what I know with all those who attend. Bring your missals. Note all those things you have wanted to ask about the Tridentine Mass.

Friday this week is the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It seems strange to celebrate that feast while still in the month of May since it is the month of June which is dedicated to the Sacred Heart. This solemnity nearly always falls in June. Blame this oddity, along with the untimely of the other feasts of the paschal season, on the early date of Easter this year.

I hesitate to mention it, but you already have heard that next Sunday there’s a celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of my ordination. As I already said, never mind me. Just come and enjoy the day which, I’m told, will feature wonderful and surprising things of which I have not the least knowledge. It promises to be, as it should, a happy day for everyone.

Here is the detailed info from the May 25th parish bulletin - all are welcome:

Tickets for the Fr. Perrone’s 30th Anniversary Party on June 1st, are on sale at the Gift Shop. Adults $10.00, children under 12, $5.00. You may also call the Gift Shop for tickets to be sent out (313- 3332-4432).

Corpus Christi 2008: Photo Post 1

Fr. Z's Wanderer Column for Corpus Christi (a must read!).... WDTPRS: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ - Corpus Christi

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Corpus Christi 2008 at Assumption Grotto: Photo Post 1

I'm going through pictures and editing. I'll make a post with many more once I get them done. For now, I leave you with these.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Come to Grotto for Corpus Christi Procession in Detroit

I'm repeating from a post I made the other day for the benefit of those who have not yet seen it since Corpus Christi is this Sunday. Do consider coming and giving God a few hours of your time by adoring Him in the Eucharist during an outdoor procession.

Each year, the parish has a Corpus Christi procession for the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, which is next Sunday, May 25, for 2008. This "promotional video" is just over 3 minutes long and features a royalty-free version of Pange Lingua

The procession is held outdoors on parish grounds, weather permitting, otherwise it is indoors. It follows the Noon liturgy, which is an orchestra Mass, and will be in the extraordinary form (aka, "tridentine or TLM). The 9:30am will be a Latin Novus Ordo.

This orchestra Mass is conducted by Grotto's pastor, Rev. Eduard Perrone. Details of the Mass are the same as they were on Pentecost:

For the solemnity of Corpus Christi (May 25) for the noon Mass, the choir and orchestra will perform the Mozart "Credo" Mass and five movements from Bach's Pentecost Cantatas (BWV 172, 74 and 34).

A Eucharistic procession is a type of devotion. Like the Mass, it is not about what you get out of it, but what you give - God, unconditionally....for an afternoon. The procession starts around 1:30/1:40 and typically ends around 3:00/3:15.

If you can't make it to Grotto, then search for another parish nearby that has something for Corpus Christi. If you can't make that, then watch EWTN - if need be, online. They will be televising processions.

Just for the record, since I had so little time to throw this together (and neglected other tasks in my endless pipeline), I took the easiest way out by using only pictures I took in 2006, rather than trying to edit video I took last year, and other photos provided to me by others. By dumping in pics from a single folder, I probably saved about 10-15 hours. What you see is the result of about 5 hours work. It would have been less, but Studio 11 was running slower than water uphill.

I also want to point out that I have uploaded this video to "Love to Be Catholic" - a Catholic kind of "you tube". There is some really great stuff there and perhaps I'll profile some to give you an idea.

Bloggers, you may freely embed this in your blogposts if you like. You can get the code here.

You can see my first video on GodTube - on Anointing of the Sick and Benediction in the Grotto on Assumption Day. I will probably upload it to the Catholic site.

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Only the free can choose obedience to Magisterial teachings. The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; rather, it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!.

Michigan: Opposition Needed to anti-Conscience Bill (House Bill 6049)

I got this from blog reader Ruth and want to draw your attention to it. I don't normally post these type of action related items because I get so many that I could literally end up with reasons for Catholics to contact lawmakers several times daily and just can't keep up with it. Don't get me wrong, every one of these issues are worthy of attention and action and the best thing I can do is periodically include them.

I would also encourage those of you who send this kind of information out using mass email, to consider starting a free blog through It is easy to learn and will reach far more people. Furthermore, you can email a link to your blogpost to your readership and link to online petitions, etc. Some are clearly called to the advocacy apostolate and it is good to consider communication options.

The source for what is below can be found at the Catholic Legislative Advocacy Network on House Bill 6049 at the Michigan Catholic Conference website.

Help Protect Religious Freedom in Michigan
Opposition Needed to Anti-Conscience Bill

In recent years, adversarial campaigns and lawsuits have been launched to force faith-based pharmacies and pharmacists to dispense prescriptions that are in direct conflict with Church teaching on the dignity of the human person and respect for women. Legislation has now surfaced in Michigan, and has since passed the House Judiciary Committee, that would prohibit pharmacists and pharmacies from exercising their first amendment right to conscience protection in the distribution of prescription medications that violate Church teaching.

This bill, House Bill 6049, is written specifically to prohibit pharmacists and pharmacies, including those that are Catholic, from exercising their constitutional right to religious freedom.

Religious freedom of conscience has been a fundamental principle of our state and nation for more than 200 years. Our nation was founded on the principle that those choosing to live by religious faith do so free from unwarranted intrusion of government. Increasingly, Catholic and other faith-based health care providers and pharmacists have come under attack for not offering so-called "reproductive health services," including contraceptive medications that can and do act as an abortifacient.

It is the Conference's belief that a civil right of conscience must be recognized for all individual and institutional health care providers, including pharmacists. Certainly, individuals do not lose their right to exercise their religion and conscience once they enter the health care profession.

Please take a moment to contact your state representative and urge him or her to respect the constitutional right to religious freedom.
That link I provided at the top gives you an idea of how to contact your lawmaker.

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More on vaccines and bioethics when aborted babies are used in manufacturing

The other day, I told you about a member of the Coast Guard who refused to be vaccinated for Hepatitis-A because the only vaccine available in the US involves an aborted fetus.

Apparently, this vaccine was derived initially from an aborted baby. However, does it matter whether the unborn are destroyed and used in the production of vaccines over and again, or if it was a single aborted child? Certainly, this can be a distressing and confusing moral dilemma for Catholic or Christian parents to sift through without some guidance.

I asked myself a question we should always ask: What does the Catholic Church teach? When we embark on such a quest, we should do so with prayer and humility, asking God to send the Holy Spirit to enlighten us with what we find written by Holy Mother Church. Faith seeks understanding and understanding is not, and should not, be a prerequisite for faith. Anyone can have faith in something they understand. A true measure of faith is accepting something we don't understand. Certainly, Our Blessed Mother could not fully understand how she could be with Child, but she placed her trust in God and said to the angel Gabriel, "let it be done unto me."

I found an extensive article at Catholic Online which contains a letter dated June 9, 2005, from Bishop Elio Sgreccia to Mrs. Debra Vinnedge, executive director, Children of God for Life. The letter included a study entitled, "Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Fetuses."

I have read this in it's entirety and it is one of those things you need to read in a quiet area, two or three times, to fully digest. However, if you follow my links below to the NCBC, you will find some helpful explanations on this complex document, which is heavily referenced there.

Also, don't hesitate to ask a trusted priest for help in understanding it. Unfortunately, there are still priests out there who are not well catechized themselves, or were malformed in such a way to even reject Humanae Vitae. If a priest supports contraception or rejects any part of Humanae Vitae, find another priest!


National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC)
To further help readers, I turned to another fantastic resource for moral matters of a bioethics nature: The National Catholic Bioethics Center, which has an entire page full of links pertaining to vaccines.

More Links...

Chart: Vaccines made from aborted fetuses (

Article: Vaccines from aborted children (Yvonne Bontkowski)

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Refusing Vaccination on Moral Grounds...

I found this really interesting and had no idea how the vaccination was derived for Hepatitis A. In fact, I've never really questioned how any vaccination is derived. Thanks be to God for this soul who stood up for life. Not only did he stand his moral ground, but managed to teach many of us about the horrors of this procedure.

US Coast Guard allows officer to refuse vaccination on moral grounds

Washington, May. 20, 2008 ( - US Coast Guard officials have backed down in the face of pressure from a pro-life law firm that recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Coast Guard officer who, officials told him, must submit to a vaccine that was derived based on fetal tissue from abortions.

Lt. Cmmdr. Joseph Healy, who is Catholic, said the vaccine's derivation violates his pro-life moral and religious beliefs.

Coast Guard officials who initially refused to excuse an officer from the injection relented after the Alliance Defense Fund filed the suit. Last week, the Coast Guard notified the US District Court for the District of Columbia that it will grant Healy a religious exemption. As a result, ADF attorneys plan to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit they filed for Healy in January.

“Christians shouldn't be punished for abiding by their beliefs against abortion. The Coast Guard has done the right thing in recognizing that those who lay their life on the line to defend our shores are entitled to the same freedom as anyone else not to have their particular beliefs disregarded," ADF attorney Matt Bowman told

“Members of the U.S. military should never be forced to make an unconstitutional choice between honoring their country and adhering to the belief that health and medicine can prosper without exploiting the killing of pre-born children,” Bowman said.

In May 2006, the Coast Guard, which requires its personnel to be vaccinated against a variety of diseases, ordered all active-duty personnel to receive one of two vaccines against Hepatitis A or show proof of immunity. The vaccines are derived from cells taken from the lung tissue of a child who was electively aborted at 14 weeks gestation and then dissected.

Another human being should die so that I can be immunized?!?!? Not!!!

Continue reading about Vaccination by Abortion at CWNews...

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Pope Benedict speaking on sacred music...

Church musical tradition endures today, Pope tells audience

Vatican, May. 21, 2008 ( - The artistic heritage of the Church is a resource for Christians of all eras, Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) said at his weekly public audience on May 21.

"If faith is alive, Christian culture does not become a thing of the past," the Holy Father told his Wednesday audience. "Cathedrals are not medieval monuments, but places where we can meet God and one another. Great music-- Gregorian chants, Bach, Mozart-- are not things of the past." The Holy Father based his address on the life and work on Romanus the Melodist, a Syrian "theologian, poet, composer, and permanent deacon" of the 6th century. He said that Romanus belonged to "that sizeable group of theologians who transformed theology into poetry," along with St. Ambrose, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. John of the Cross among others."

Romanus the Melodist taught the people through his music, the Pope continued; his hymns provided "a lively and original way of presenting the catechesis." Today those hymns provide insights into both the music and the theology of his generation. "This great poet and composer reminds us of all the wealth of Christian culture which was born of faith, born of hearts that encountered Christ," the Pope said.

Among the important messages in the hymns of Romanus, the Pontiff mentioned the continuity between Christ and his apostles, ensured by the Holy Spirit, and the critical importance for each Christian to prepare for the Final Judgment.

The May 21 papal audience was held in the Paul VI auditorium. Before meeting the crowd there, Pope Benedict met briefly with another group in the Vatican basilica, to greet those who were not able to attend the general audience because of the limited seating in the auditorium.
Source article from CWNews

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Abp Burke's efforts lead to biggest Catholic ordination class in decades

Interesting news out of St. Louis, the home of Archbishop Raymond L. Burke:

Here's an excerpt...

The student body at Kenrick-Glennon, which includes the undergraduate Cardinal Glennon College and graduate-level Kenrick Theological Seminary, is 112 students, the largest enrollment in two decades and a 50 percent increase over last year.

Go read about vocations in St. Louis at St. Louis Today...

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Jewish Convert Rosalind Moss - Her last day at Catholic Answers...

If you listen to Catholic Answers on any Catholic radio station (I listen to from 6-8pm EST while working around the house), you may be familiar with the voice of Rosalind Moss.
Moss, 65, is a convert from Judaism to protestantism, and from protestantism to Catholicism. I have always enjoyed her enthusiastic explanations of the faith. There is nothing "worse" than a convert, for those who would oppose the faith. Setting that aside, Rosalind Moss works with class and dignity, constantly reminding people to love others, especially those with whom we must deal with.

Listening to Catholic Answers on the radio tonight, she informed us that it is her last day at Catholic Answers where she serves as an apologist. We were glad to hear that the program will continue to feature her, even though she will no longer be serving on the apologetics staff.

She is founding a new religious order called the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel's Hope in the archdiocese of St. Louis with the permission of Archbishop Raymond L. Burke. What better advocacy can you have than His Eminence, who also happens to be the Episcopal Moderator for the U.S. Consecrated Virgins.
Please keep Rosalind and her new community in your prayers. She works with total passion for the love of Christ.

Related Links:

Catholic Online: EWTN TV and radio host announces formation of new religious community

Envoy Magazine: A rolled-away stone gathers Moss: from Judaism to Catholicism

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Archbishop Chaput to Catholics for Obama: Be ready to meet abortion victims in next life

An interesting article was sent to me by a dear friend. I can't always check every news resource and time has been really scarce of late, but this caught my eye.

Archbishop Chaput of Denver recounts his early days when in seminary he thought politicians could be changed to support life issues. He brings out a critical observation: No politician who is "personally opposed to abortion, but..." politician has really done anything at all to help these babies. I never quite thought of it that way. It's one thing to be personally opposed, but why not go after solutions that would save at least some babies. Rather, these politicians either do nothing, or get involved in legistation that actually protects the butchery of the unborn.

From Zenit...

Denver Prelate Addresses Obama's Catholic Fans

Says Voters Need to Be Ready to Meet Abortion Victims in Next Life

DENVER, Colorado, MAY 20, 2008 ( The archbishop of Denver is wishing the group "Roman Catholics for Obama" good luck in their endeavors to change their presidential candidate's position on abortion. He says they'll need it.

Archbishop Charles Chaput dedicated Monday's column in the Denver Catholic Register to "Thoughts on 'Roman Catholics for Obama.'"

He began his reflection noting his own change in attitude regarding pro-abortion politicians.

"Forty years ago this month Bobby Kennedy was still alive and running for the Democratic Party's 1968 presidential nomination," Archbishop Chaput recalled. "I was a seminarian in Washington, D.C. I was also an active volunteer on Kennedy's campaign. […] After RFK [was assassinated], the meaning of the 1968 election seemed to evaporate. I lost interest in politics.

"I didn't get involved again until the rise of Jimmy Carter. Carter fascinated me because he seemed like an untypical politician. He was plain-spoken, honest, a serious Christian and a Washington outsider. So I supported him during his 1976 campaign when I was a young priest working in Pennsylvania. […] Carter had one serious strike against him. […] I knew Carter was wrong in his views about Roe v. Wade and soft toward permissive abortion.

"But even as a priest, I justified working for him because he wasn't aggressively 'pro-choice.' True, he held a bad position on a vital issue, but I believed he was right on so many more of the 'Catholic' issues than his opponent seemed to be. The moral calculus looked easy. I thought we could remedy the abortion problem after Carter was safely returned to office."

Stymied efforts

Archbishop Chaput recounted how his outlook on the abortion issue in politics began to change.

"Carter lost his bid for re-election, but even with an avowedly pro-life Ronald Reagan as president, the belligerence, dishonesty and inflexibility of the 'pro-choice' lobby has stymied almost every effort to protect unborn human life since," he noted. "In the years after the Carter loss I began to notice that very few of the people, including Catholics, who claimed to be 'personally opposed' to abortion really did anything about it. Nor did they intend to.

"For most, their personal opposition was little more than pious hand wringing and a convenient excuse -- exactly as it is today. In fact, I can't name any 'pro-choice' Catholic politician who has been active, in a sustained public way, in trying to discourage abortion and to protect unborn human life -- not one.

Continue reading Archbishop Chaput on "Catholics for Obama" at Zenit....


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Novena to the Sacred Heart - Starts Today!

Sacred Heart is next Friday. The Novena begins today. It should be added soon to a new section on the Grotto website for Novenas. In the meanwhile, you can get the Novena that will be used at Assumption Grotto right here. There may be others better suited for private recitation, but some may want to follow along with this on the days they cannot make it to Grotto.

You can find some good info here....

EWTN's web page for the "Two Hearts"

Priest: Glory, love and thanksgiving to the Sacred heart of Jesus!

(All kneel)

People: O Lord Jesus Christ, meek and humble of Heart, who invites
those who labor and find life burdensome to come to you for rest and comfort;
may we comprehend the breadth, and length, height and depth of the mystery
of your divine love and obtain those life-giving waters of grace and mercy which
flow from your most Sacred Heart. May we seek to love you with our whole heart,
soul, mind and strength and to love others as you love them.

Priest: Jesus, meek and humble of Heart
People: make our hearts like unto thine.

Priest: Heart of Jesus, consumed with love for us:
People: set our hearts on fire with love for you.

Priest: Sacred Heart of Jesus, strengthened in your agony by an Angel:
People: strengthen all those who suffer.

Priest: Let us pray.
May your Holy Spirit, we beseech you, O Lord
enkindle in us that fire which our Lord Jesus Christ sent
upon the earth from the innermost recesses of his Sacred Heart,
and which He willed should burn with exceeding warmth:
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.

People: Amen.
Priest: In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

People: Amen.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Fr. Perrone's May 11, 2008 Homily in audio on the web

Grotto's pastor, Rev. Eduard Perrone, at the pulpit on September 14, 2007 - the first Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal) in 40 years at the parish, thanks to Summorum Pontificum.
Sidenote: Vestments are red for Pentecost.

Our pastor was kind enough to give me the green light to have an audio uploaded from his May 11, 2008, Noon Mass, homily for Pentecost. Since a group of children were making their First Holy Communion, he touched on this subject, as well.

Listeners may find it unusual, that Father would ask people to not take pictures during the Mass of those making their First Holy Communion. He poses with each child, with an unconsecrated host at the rail AFTER Mass. There is a very different culture at Grotto with regards to how children, or really - anyone, is treated during Mass. God is at the center and regular Grotto-goers do not expect focus to go on anyone person or thing during the liturgy, regardless of what is happening. Children do not grow up with low self-esteem as a result of this "lack of attention". Rather, they grow up understanding that when they are in Church, it is God's time, not ours. They know that going to Mass is not about what we get, but what we give to God - our time and full attention.

I typically have the liberty to take photos because I do so without flash, and do not look to photograph a specific child. I took a few broad shots during the sermon and will post these when I find a little more time.

Our webmaster for the Grotto site, Rick, was kind enough to upload and host the audio, since I cannot do so here on the blog.

Now, keep in mind, this is from the noon Mass, which has more children and babies than any other Mass of the weekend. One child was "with us" throughout the recording, but I managed to cut out some of the louder moments as Father paused. The way I see it, if the people there could focus on the word of Fr. Perrone, so can we.

My desire is to eventually podcast Fr. Perrone's sermons and by then, I hope to have a direct feed from the sound system. Pray that God gives me the ability to organize my life's tasks to "get there".

GO LISTEN to Fr. Perrone's May 11, 2008 Pentecost sermon. It's about 13 minutes.

Readings for this Novus Ordo Mass were:

1 Cor12:3b-7,12-13

I would also like to point out that Rick, who manages the Sts Cyril & Methodius website (Sterling Heights, MI), also have audio homilies to look forward to each week on that site.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

New Te Deum Video: In advance of Corpus Christi

I have made my second video slide show revealing liturgical and devotional life at Assumption Grotto in Detroit, Michigan.

Each year, the parish has a Corpus Christi procession for the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, which is next Sunday, May 25, for 2008. This "promotional video" is just over 3 minutes long and features a royalty-free version of Pange Lingua

The procession is held outdoors on parish grounds, weather permitting, otherwise it is indoors. It follows the Noon liturgy, which is an orchestra Mass, and will be in the extraordinary form (aka, "tridentine or TLM). The 9:30am will be a Latin Novus Ordo.

This orchestra Mass is conducted by Grotto's pastor, Rev. Eduard Perrone. Details of the Mass are the same as they were on Pentecost:

For the solemnity of Corpus Christi (May 25) for the noon Mass, the choir and orchestra will perform the Mozart "Credo" Mass and five movements from Bach's Pentecost Cantatas (BWV 172, 74 and 34).

A Eucharistic procession is a type of devotion. Like the Mass, it is not about what you get out of it, but what you give - God, unconditionally....for an afternoon. The procession starts around 1:30/1:40 and typically ends around 3:00/3:15.

If you can't make it to Grotto, then search for another parish nearby that has something for Corpus Christi. If you can't make that, then watch EWTN - if need be, online. They will be televising processions.

Just for the record, since I had so little time to throw this together (and neglected other tasks in my endless pipeline), I took the easiest way out by using only pictures I took in 2006, rather than trying to edit video I took last year, and other photos provided to me by others. By dumping in pics from a single folder, I probably saved about 10-15 hours. What you see is the result of about 5 hours work. It would have been less, but Studio 11 was running slower than water uphill.

I also want to point out that I have uploaded this video to "Love to Be Catholic" - a Catholic kind of "you tube". There is some really great stuff there and perhaps I'll profile some to give you an idea.

Bloggers, you may freely embed this in your blogposts if you like. You can get the code here.

You can see my first video on GodTube - on Anointing of the Sick and Benediction in the Grotto on Assumption Day. I will probably upload it to the Catholic site.

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Off topic: Puppy and chick video - cute!!!

Every now and then you just gotta have time to laugh...

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Te Deum Laudamus blog hits another milestone - 140 countries!

Milestones are a little interesting to track. I remember when I first began writing this blog on a regular basis, there were barely 20 hits weekly. Today, there are about 300 visits daily (about 550 page hits daily), with a little lighter activity on the weekends. This pales in comparison to the thousands of estimated hits Fr. Z is worthily getting (me contributing to his daily hits with my own regulr visits), but my modest number remains for me, very humbling.

You may have noticed in my sidebar a tool called Neocounter with scrolling country flags, which was down as of a few minutes ago (a little buggy alien in the window says NeoCounter will be back soon). NeoCounter indicates that as of today, there have been people from 140 different countries around the world who have come to Te Deum Laudamus. There are actually many more. I did not add NeoCounter until much later in the blog's life. Sitemeter shows that there have been over 154,000 visits (341,000 page hits) since I installed it some months after the blog began. NeoCounter reflects just over 1/3 of that.

Some indicate nothing more than a single hit, while others reveal lots of traffic. I am pleased to see people are using the BabelFish translating tool since I installed it. I don't know if folks are finding the social bookmarking tool useful or not. I don't know if there is anything else I can do to be helpful to readers, but drop a comment if you have ideas.

Quite honestly, some are stray hits meaning someone may have been googling something unrelated to Catholicism and stumbled on this site. Among the most interesting for me to see are those who are using sexually explicit search terms only to land smack into Fr. Perrone's homily on chastity or Father's frank admonition about "sex for seniors". The Holy Spirit is undoubtedly playing traffic cop in some cases. We pray these folks start using the internet for virtuous reasons.

Not to worry - I can't tell who is coming into my website, but statistical counters enable me to see which posts or topics are popular, who is sending me traffic, and where my traffic is going and what city, state, country is represented.

Many have Te Deum Laudamus bookmarked, and there are many more hits coming out of google searches with distinctly Catholic search expressions. An example are vocation related hits with expressions such as, "traditional nuns", or "traditional Catholic priests", or "traditional monks", or "nuns with habits". Related to that are outclicks to the traditional orders I've linked to where I hope these folks find what they are looking for.

Of those that are returning regularly from other countries, I am humbled by the fact that readers across the world come to check out what is going on at Assumption Grotto in Detroit, Michigan and in general on this blog. Most striking and most humbling to me, are people who visit from countries where persecution is rampant and being publicly Catholic is risky business. We Catholics in the west take for granted our ability to go down a few blocks to any choice Mass when Catholics in some countries risk their lives for an underground Mass. We have no idea what our brethren in other places go through to go to Mass and little do we realize that martyrdom is not something that is limited to long ago, but is a daily threat to Catholics in distant places. Pray for them and the next time you feel inconvenienced to worship God in the Mass think about them and offer it up.

I pray daily for all of my readers - those who come regularly, and those who happen to be passing through with no intent to return. Please keep me in your prayers, as well, that God gives me the graces to serve those share an enthusiasm for the faith, whether it is long-standing, or newly sprouted.

Thanks be to God for the web which can connect us all for good, or for bad, depending upon our choices.

Welcome all to Te Deum Laudamus!

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Is there a "GrottoCast" in the making...????

Good news. I managed to get a decent audio recording of Fr. Perrone's sermon last Sunday and he has given me permission to upload it. I have to edit (read that clip the ends) the audio and send it to our Grotto webmaster, but will provide a link here once it is all set.

I hope to get more of this, but it is difficult given the sound system at the parish. I'd like to connect a direct feed, but right now, I don't know if that is possible.

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Only the free can choose obedience to Magisterial teachings. The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; rather, it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!.

Is Lauren Richardson the next Terry Schiavo?

I just heard about this case while listening to a rebroadcast of the Drew Mariani Show on Relevant Radio's archives (May 9, 2008). Indeed, it seems we have another Terry Schiavo-like case in full blown development. This time it is a father pitted against a mother who wants to end the girl's life.

See the site, Life for Lauren, for details and how you can help.

I found this article from back in February of 2008 discussing the matter....

Terri, the Rerun?: Father fights for life of cognitively disabled daughter (Christian Telegraph)

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Blogpost Roundup for May 16, 2008

A closeup of the statue of Mary following the May crowning last Sunday. Rain forced the annual devotion to be performed indoors

Short on time, but so much to pass along. This is one effective way to do so.

From the Catholic blogosphere:

Also, please pray for "Viking" - a young norwegian blogger who converted to Catholicism a few years ago and who has applied to the FSSP seminary in Wigratzbad. His new homepage: Viking Vocation. I'll update my blogroll later.

We pray that Viking is accepted, if it is where God calls him. Many of these more traditional seminaries have been flooded with applications and some have no place to put all of the young men applying.

To Viking, and all discerning young people, I encourage you to consider that any single rejection is not an indication that one does not have a vocation, but may simply mean it is not where God is calling you. It does not at all mean that one doesn't have a vocation, but that it may not be a vocation with a particular order or diocese. It is not until you have exhausted all possible avenues that you can properly discern that you are not called to the priesthood or religious life. Many a priest or religious can recall having been rejected by one place only to see later in life what a precious grace that rejection was.

Please pray for all those discerning a vocation to the priesthood, religious life, or diaconate today!

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Only the free can choose obedience to Magisterial teachings. The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; rather, it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!.

    Thursday, May 15, 2008

    Webcast: Special Mass to Mark 175th Anniversary of Detroit Archdiocese

    I received the following email and also want to provide an update on a previous webcast - the priestly ordinations in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

    Hi Diane -

    We will be webcasting the upcoming 175th anniversary at the Detroit Archdiocese, Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament on Sunday May 18th, at 3PM on Michigan Live, and on the Archdiocese website at

    Thanks for helping us spread the word!

    -- Kelly RinneProduction Manager, Multimedia/Web Development

    You're welcome, Kelly!

    It was nice to be able to click into the ordinations which just took place at the Cathedral. You can watch an encore of the broadcast on your computer on this page. I don't know how long this link will work, so if it is broke, email me and I'll try to hunt down a new address, if it is still available:

    Here is an update on the five ordained men:

    • Fr. Lee Acervo was appointed associate pastor, Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Plymouth.

    • Fr. Charles Altermatt was appointed associate pastor, Most Holy Redeemer Parish, Detroit.

    • Fr. Clint McDonell was appointed associate pastor, Divine Child Parish, Dearborn.

    • Fr. Sama Muma was appointed associate pastor, St. Paul on the Lake Parish, Grosse Pointe Farms.

    • Fr. Mark Prill was appointed associate pastor, St. Anastasia Parish, Troy.

    Please keep these and all priests and bishops, deacons, seminarians, religious and discerning young people in your prayers every day!

    Related Post: 2008 Archdiocese of Detroit Ordinations

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    Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    Out of the mouths of.....teens: Ad Orientem Celebrated Mass

    There was a delightful post over at the blog of Fr. Dwight Longenecker in Greenville, South Carolina. He is on staff at St. Mary's where priests recently began celebrating ad orientem, the way the ordinary form or Novus Ordo is celebrated at Grotto. He is also a chaplain at St. Joseph's Catholic school, where Father recounts a recent dialogue (emphases mine in bold with the boy's quotes in red and Father's in blue)

    High Schoolers Facing East

    Six high school boys stayed after Thursday's daily Mass at St Joseph's Catholic School:

    "Father, why didn't you celebrate Mass facing East today?"

    "I'm doing so on two days of the week, and on the other two the usual way. Do you like the Mass when I celebrate facing East?"



    "It feels more holy. It's older right? But you're not really facing East here."

    "There's something called 'liturgical East.' It's when the priest faces what used to be the East 'cause all the churches were built to face the rising sun, which was a symbol of the resurrection and also because Jesus would return to Jerusalem, which was in the East."

    "Like Muslims facing Mecca."

    "Sort of, but I'm not going to start wearing a turban"

    "You could wear your biretta more often."

    "Shall I?"

    "I like Mass when you face East because it feels like you are offering the Mass for us more."

    "I just like stuff that's more traditional."

    "I think it feels more, well, manly. Do you know what I mean. Is that dumb?"

    "That's interesting. No, I don't think it's dumb, but I have to think about why it might be true."

    "I think it's good because I was thinking more about God and not you, and when you elevated the host it was like Jesus floating there. It was more mysterious. It was cool."

    "Would you like me to continue saying Mass facing with you to the Lord?"

    "Yes please."

    "You don't feel slighted because I have turned my back to you? You sure I haven't hurt your feelings?"

    Laughter all around. "You're not that good looking anyway Father."

    "OK, why don't you all go to lunch now?"

    When the one boy said that it felt like it was more about God than the priest when he faced liturgical east, it reminded me of my first experience. As I have so often recounted it: "I shifted in my pew as if to seek the face of the priest, only to realize a short time later, it is the face of God I should be seeking in the Mass".

    Now comes a poem from Father's blog on the subject...

    A Student’s Plea

    No, no, Father, please don’t toss the mike
    like a DJ when you preach. Please don’t be cool.
    Please don’t ride a Harley motorbike
    when you come to school.

    Don’t wear red cowboy boots for Pentecost,
    and tell dumb jokes to be our pal. Please don’t ‘high five’,
    say, “Sweet!” “Awwsome!” “You suck!” “You’re toast!”
    or teach us how to jive.

    Don’t sing along to the latest pop band;
    you don’t need to be hip and up to date,
    or come to our parties with a drink in your hand,
    trying to relate.

    Play it straight. Say the black and do the red.
    Refrain from politics and rainbow pins.
    Pray for all of us, the living and the dead,
    and listen to our sins.

    We want you to keep the faith, you see,
    but keep it as it was. We want it old.
    We want it to be waiting there when we
    come in from the cold.

    We want you to be our Father, not our mate.
    We want a solid rock; so when we roam,
    we know you'll be there, waiting at the gate,
    to welcome us home.

    You can always get to Fr. Longenecker's blog, "Standing on my Head", by scrolling down to my sidebar section for blogging priests, religious, and deacons.

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    Tuesday, May 13, 2008

    New Comment Box Policy at Te Deum Laudamus!

    I am going to follow a host of other bloggers who do not permit the "anonymous" name to be used by commentors. Over 90% of those leaving comments without any other name or pseudoname are not only negative, but typically rude or obnoxious. Setting that aside, it is difficult to respond to "anonymous" when there are several in the same combox, and all may be different people.

    Therefore, I am requiring the use of a name or pseudoname. The comment tool allows you to list a name among other options.

    Other combox policies already discussed:

    • Be charitable. If you can't present your objection or comment in a manner that respects the dignity of other readers, then feel free to get your own blog where you can be as rude and obnoxious as you choose.

    • No promotion of or links to websites promoting private revelations not yet approved by the Catholic Church. There is a difference between cautiously awaiting the Church's decision on something and full blown endorsements which may mislead people into believing something is authentic and approved.

    • No promotion of or links to websites belonging to schismatic groups, or groups in an irregular status with the Catholic Church. An example of a group with an irregular status, is the SSPX or Society of St. Pius X.

    • Anything resembling gossip or personal attacks on others will not be posted, particularly where there is no public knowledge as it can fall under the sins of rash judgment, detraction, or calumny.

    For a review of the above, for the uncatechized - the Cathechism of the Catholic Church...

    2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.278 He becomes guilty:

    • - of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;

    • - of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them;279

    • - of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.

    2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:

      Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another's statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.280

    2479 Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one's neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.

    2480 Every word or attitude is forbidden which by flattery, adulation, or complaisance encourages and confirms another in malicious acts and perverse conduct. Adulation is a grave fault if it makes one an accomplice in another's vices or grave sins. Neither the desire to be of service nor friendship justifies duplicitous speech. Adulation is a venial sin when it only seeks to be agreeable, to avoid evil, to meet a need, or to obtain legitimate advantages.
    Yeah - blogging does not give anyone an exemption from following the 8th Commandment.


    I hope you will participate here. I have comment moderation turned on. If after 24 hours you do not see your comment posted and feel you did not violate any of the above, pleae contact me and I'll look into it or provide an explanation.

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    Administrative Notes

    You may notice some changes taking place in the sidebar again as I add new things and shuffle some other things.

    Take note that I have added a section called Upcoming Events at Grotto (scroll down below blog archive). This is not meant to cover every single thing forthcoming, but primarily major events that others who do not regularly come to Grotto, may find of interest. I have added the May Calendar to the list which should reveal other things, and of course, there is the Assumption Grotto homepage which should be consulted first. The webmaster there also includes the bulletin in PDF form when it is sent to him so do visit the Assumption Grotto parish website.

    I will soon be adding a section for Catholic Investing and Financial Resources, as well.

    Since blogs are not true websites (but web logs), we have to be creative in how we structure it to work kind of like a website. Therefore, consider scrolling and clicking through the vast amount of resources I have here. Please contact me at if you find something not working. Links have to be fixed now and then, but only if I know they are broken.

    I want to use this as an opportunity to point out that Opus Angelorum is in the midst of a major reconstruction of their website. God bless the webmaster who carefully maintained page addresses. When I learned the new site had been released, I was concerned that every link I had made in the past, embedded in many blogposts, would have to be remade. Not the case at all. However, if you do find one broken, please bring it to my attention.

    It is still a work in progress, but I'm sure they won't mind you taking a poke around. It is one of the greatest spiritual watering holes on the web.

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    As Detroit awaits new Archbishop, so does New York

    It is no longer a secret in Detroit that Adam Cardinal Maida, the oldest serving Prince of the Church in the US, will soon be getting on in retirement, something he has longed for. Several times since Cardinal Maida turned 75, the rumor mill buzzed about potential replacements, then fell silent. In August 2006, it was thought that Abp John J. Myers of Newark would get the helm in Detroit, then that faded. More recent speculations included Bishop Wenski of Orlando, Florida. My own speculation, based on nothing scientific, other than a gut hunch, is that it could be Bishop Allen Vigneron of Oakland, CA - a former rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary here in Detroit. With all of this speculation, Divine Justice will probably grace us with someone totally unexpected and relatively unknown.

    There has even been speculation on the date, with many thinking we would hear something by the time Pope Benedict XVI visited the US several weeks ago. However, as I watched the ordinations this past Saturday, it made sense that we had heard nothing. Even if it had nothing to do with awaiting Detroit ordinations, somewhere out there, a new bishop, Detroit-bound, may have unfinished business. We'll simply have to wait.....

    Detroit isn't the only place waiting. As Rocco Palmo writes with regards to Cardinal Egan: In Big Apple, the Drumbeat Begins

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    Monday, May 12, 2008

    Catholic and Morally Responsible Investment Resources

    I'm going to start accumulating financial resources for Catholics who are looking for morally responsible choices. I have been learning of some of these via Catholic radio, such as the program Catholic Answers which is on the air now on Ave Maria Radio. While working around the house after work, I typically tune in to the program over the internet and just listen. It's a great program, but this is probably the first time I've heard two hours dedicated to Catholic investment and finances.

    I would invite anyone who knows of other resources to email me at or drop a note in the combox if you are aware of others. I will check them out the best that I can.

    Thus far, you may want to check out these Catholic resources. I will probably build a sidebar slot called Catholic Financial and Investing Resources. This is a good start.

    The book below is authored by Phil Lenahan of Veritas Financial Ministries.

    I would like to add one more resource if you go to Assumption Grotto - a parish very open to life. There are many large families and quite a few are involved with homeschooling, meaning there is only one income. How do they do it? I think we should have them hold a seminar at Grotto because they are truly the experts. They're living it day in and day out and making the kind of sacrifices many of us probably haven't even thought to make.

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    Vatican asks for goodwill in interpretating Summorum Pontificum

    From CWNews:

    Vatican, May. 9, 2008 ( - Cardinal Dario Castrillon-Hoyos has told an Italian magazine that diocesan bishops should show good will in granting requests for the celebration of the traditional Latin Mass under the terms of the motu proprio authorizing wider use of the extraordinary form.

    In an interview with Jesus magazine, the president of the Ecclesia Dei commission declined to comment on reports that his office will soon issue a new document clarifying the motu proprio. Any decision on the release of such a document will be made by Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news), the cardinal said.

    However, the Colombian cardinal-- whose office supervises implementation of Summorum Pontificum-- did comment on some inaccurate interpretations of the papal document. He spoke, for instance, about the frequent claim that the extraordinary form of the Mass should be used in parishes only when a "stable and consistent group" of the faithful request the older liturgy. That phrase is not intended to restrict the use of the traditional liturgy, the cardinal said.

    "It is a matter of common sense," Cardinal Castrillon told Jesus; "Why make an issue if the people who ask for the rite come from different parishes? If they come together and request a Mass, they become a stable group."

    Read a translation of the entire inteview at NLM, in which Cardinal Castrillon of the Pontificial Commission Ecclesia Dei answers a number of questions

    Source article at CWNews

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    Sunday, May 11, 2008

    Pentecost 2008

    "Pentecost" painted in 1732 by Jean Restout II

    As I do each year on Pentecost, I pay tribute to the Holy Spirit by recounting one of several things which drew me to Assumption Grotto for the very first time, on May 15, 2005 - the Feast of Pentecost. Here, copied from my Pentecost 2006 post, is that account tweaked for clarity {emphases mine)....


    Pentecost is a special day for me because on Pentecost of last year - May 15, 2005, I walked through the doors of Assumption Grotto for the very first time. Three things led me to this parish some of them personal, but I am very glad today that I acted on those graces. It is obvious today just how hard God was working at getting me to go there that day.

    One of those three things, which came after the other two, was Fr. Perrone's bulletin article of May 15 in which he wrote about the Fallacy of the Middle Ground. It had been posted on the Assumption Grotto website under the Pastor's section Thursday night when I had found the site. After the first two promptings, I decided to google Assumption Grotto. I had gone to confession for the first time in two years on Divine Mercy Saturday of 2005 - the day Pope John Paul II died, having no idea what Divine Mercy Sunday was. Fr. Perrone's article, by virtue of being used as an examination of conscience, showed me how inadequate that confession was and I yearned to go back. I felt the need for a new confessor - one who could really guide me. I knew after reading his article [below] that there couldn't be a better confessor for me than Fr. Perrone.
    He worked so hard at speaking forthrightly, that I felt this was a priest that could use to hear a confession like mine, as much as I needed a priest like him to hear it. After all, I believe that God rewards the fisherman who doesn't concern himself with what the fish think, but just casts his net - a net of admonition aimed at stirring the soul.

    His article caused me to "empty my closet" in confession - like the very next day (the poor priest, what a penance for him). It was very apparent that this was one priest who was not going to let me off the hook so easily. I recall telling him that the one thing I did not need was to hear how much God loves me. I've been hearing that all of my life - to my own detriment. Rather, I needed him to teach me how to love God back and it became apparent through his article that it is in following God's commandments that this is done - not partially, but fully. That means taking time to learn about them in detail. It starts by seeking out solid Catholic sermons, some of which are available in my sidebar, and in taking time to read things like the new Compendium.

    Here is a portion of that pastor's column, written by Assumption Grotto Pastor, Fr. Eduard Perrone, well worth bringing forward today:

    The ‘fallacy of the middle ground’ occupies my thoughts as I read about the sorry condition of many non-Catholic churches today and as I continue to get depressing reports from other quarters about the state of things Catholic. It seems that many, Catholic and non alike, have sought refuge in an imaginary middle ground between unbelief and wholehearted and complete submission to Christ and His truth. Perhaps you share with me the weariness of hearing of so many things wrongheaded, compromised or simply taken lightly. Are there any out there who believe with all their might that everything the Catholic Church teaches on faith and moral is true, absolutely, without equivocation? And, more, are there souls who have a firm and abiding intention to observe all of moral law, in their thinking, opinions, actions and even secret desires? Does anyone, in other words, aspire to sanctity anymore, or are there left only those who more or less feebly try to avoid only the more gross transgressions of God’s commandments? What I keep hearing and seeing is compromise and platitude among the so-called faithful and outright rebellion and flagrant disobedience from many others. Once in a while I would like to hear something Catholic that is pure, untainted and unflinchingly loyal to the whole truth. Am I perhaps becoming an old crank, a disillusioned malcontent who finds fault with everything? Possibly. What I want, just once in a while, please, is to rejoice unhesitatingly over something and not have to be content to with a half-measured enthusiasm.

    Here’s a simple mental self-test that indicates what I’m talking about. Imagine a scale from 0 to 10 in which zero represents unbelief and ten full surrender to the Catholic faith. Think of another such scale in which zero indicates complete lawlessness and ten no admission of moral compromise. Where do you place yourself? What I referred to above as the ‘fallacy of the middle ground’ means that in either scale one can deceive himself into thinking that he might score a 7 or above and yet be ‘safe.’ This is the position of a lot of Catholics nowadays, I fear. In reality, there are only two positions on these scales: 10 and everything else. Our Lord said that either we are with Him or against Him. Saint Paul said that the Spirit and the flesh are opposed to one another and cannot coexist. Saint James’ epistle warns that those who keep the whole of God’s law but fail in a single matter violate the whole of the law.

    As so often happens in these accommodating times, there is a confusion of God’s mercy with the toleration of sin, as if to say that He regards a little error or a little evil as not so bad. Spiritual writers used to speak unhesitatingly that God hates falsehood and evildoing. We’ve gotten awfully mushy about God’s mercy while having forgot that He is the Author of truth and of the moral law for Whom duplicity and evil are abominations. Surely you and I need to know that God forgives sin if we are sincerely repentant, but the question is whether or not there is this requisite sincerity. Are we perhaps in danger of fooling ourselves, being content with lives that God judges reprehensible?

    I know that utopian ideals are for adolescents. Maybe I am in bad humor today after reading those awful reports. But I need to ask myself those fundamental questions from time to time to see if I am on track. Have you also such a need?

    Finally I decided to stop acting presumptuous enough to think all of my "good works" would save me alone. I immersed myself into Grotto culture where I could learn through the many who have, by the grace of God, learned virtue. My new confessor recommended I read the old classic, My Daily Bread, and encouraged time-tested devotions to start. I got a rosary for my penance - the most any priest had ever given me, and it felt right not only because it was a bigger confession than previous ones I'd made, but because the Blessed Mother would help me through the things I wanted to fix the most. The devout life was foreign to me and brought back recollections of my father who was very devout. I had blown off his Catholicism in the 70's when church leaders and "youth ministers" pooh-poohed things like the rosary. Now, I've rediscovered that and more at Grotto and it has all changed my life radically.

    Fr. Perrone managed to do exactly what Pope Benedict XVI was explaining to the Austrian Bishops in their 2005 ad limina visit when he said:

    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.

    Father did not repel me as so many priests and bishops mistakenly think will happen when the fullness of the faith if preached. Rather, he cast a net of admonition and snared me - a true fisherman. Like the loaves of bread and fish which came in abundance out of no where, a priest who preaches the fullness of truth will find many souls. A priest who shields the people from the truth will find only a small catch.

    When you can find a solid parish like mine, where priests are very dedicated to the Sacrament of Penance, encouraging frequent confession even when no mortal sin is present, take advantage and go often. Talk about those things you know you need to be doing or not doing to which you are resistant. There's no finer counselor, coach or psychiatrist, than a solid Catholic priest in a confessional. In the end, we learn that happiness comes from making God-pleasing changes in ourselves.

    May the Holy Spirit touch you all this day!

    EDIT 1:55pm: Go see some pics Fr. Z has on his blog in Pentecost at the Pantheon: rose petals falling through the oculus

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    Only the free can choose obedience to Magisterial teachings. The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; rather, it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!.