Thursday, December 31, 2009

Te Deum Laudamus!

Te Deum laudamus:
te Dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum Patrem
omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes Angeli;
tibi caeli et universae Potestates;
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim
incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,
Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra
maiestatis gloriae tuae.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum
sancta confitetur Ecclesia,
Patrem immensae maiestatis:
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem,
non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu, devicto mortis aculeo,
aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.
Iudex crederis esse venturus.
Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni:
quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.
Salvum fac populum tuum,
Domine, et benedic hereditati tuae.
Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.
Per singulos dies benedicimus te;
Et laudamus Nomen tuum in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.
Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire.
Miserere nostri domine, miserere nostri.
Fiat misericordia tua,
Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.
In te, Domine, speravi:
non confundar in aeternum.

We praise thee, O God :
we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee :
the Father everlasting.
To thee all Angels cry aloud :
the Heavens, and all the Powers therein.
To thee Cherubin and Seraphin :
continually do cry,
Holy, Holy, Holy :
Lord God of Sabaoth;
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty :
of thy glory.
The glorious company of the Apostles : praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets : praise thee.
The noble army of Martyrs : praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world :
doth acknowledge thee;
The Father : of an infinite Majesty;
Thine honourable, true : and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost : the Comforter.
Thou art the King of Glory : O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son : of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man :
thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death :
thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God : in the glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come : to be our Judge.
We therefore pray thee, help thy servants :
whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with thy Saints : in glory everlasting.
O Lord, save thy people :
and bless thine heritage.
Govern them : and lift them up for ever.
Day by day : we magnify thee;
And we worship thy Name : ever world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord : to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us : have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us :
as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have I trusted :
let me never be confounded.

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Random musings about upcoming events...

As I conveyed earlier, I would be blogging very little during the Christmas and New Year's break.  I have been trying to rediscover my basement and several other neglected areas of my home (I also rediscovered Pizza as I tried to stay away from cooking - another enjoyable past-time which usually takes more time than I estimate). 

I want to remind everyone about the Memorial Mass for the Servant of God, Fr. John A. Hardon which will take place tonight at Ss Cyril & Methodius at 7:00pm.  The Rosary will take place before the Mass.  There is a light social afterwards.  The Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Robert McDermott - postulator for the cause of Fr. Hardon.


January 1st is a Holy Day of obligation.  Assumption Grotto's annual 11:00pm Mass on New Year's Eve for the Solemnity of the Mother of God will take place at 11:00pm on New Year's Eve.  OK, I had to say it because someone always asks. 

Truly, it is a most beautiful experience to be receiving Holy Communion at the stroke of midnight, or to be in thanksgiving.   Being in any urban area at the stroke of midnight can be....well, interesting.  However, Fr. Perrone also leads the flock in a post-Mass Rosary which keeps us in Church until things quiet down outside. 

Then we pile into the school for a pot-luck dinner, champagne/wine.  It may be in the lounge this year as the parish tries to conserve on fuel costs, but I'm not sure about this yet.  It was being mulled when I left Sunday.

The 11:00pm vigil Mass is celebrated in the ordinary form (at least it was last year, and the EF Mass is held at the 9:30am on January 1st).  Other opportunities to satisfy the obligation include the 4:00pm vigil Mass on December 31st, and the 6:30am, and Noon Masses, both in ordinary form with some Latin.

Here is a slideshow from last year's liturgy (which was concelebrated in the ordinary form in Latin):


This coming Sunday, at the Noon Mass will be the last opportunity to hear Haydn's Theresienemesse with the Assumption Grotto Choir and Orchestra.  Orchestra Masses do run longer, so plan accordingly.  If there is one thing I learned after coming to Grotto, it's that worship ought not run by a clock.  It's easy to lose concept of time when there are so many sights and sounds lifting the soul into deep interior worship (at least for those who aren't keeping an eye on their watch and just let it happen).   Prelude music begins about 15-20 minutes before the Mass.

You may also be interested in the Mass and Confesion Schedule at Assumption Grotto for throughout these holidays.


Click here to see pictures of the church interior decorations this year.


I continue to update Twitter several times daily with interesting reads on issues of interest to Catholics, so do check it out.  Just click the Twitter Bird that says "Follow Me" in my sidebar to read the feed.  You don't need an account to read it.  Rather, if you want to follow multiple people at once rather than click on a number of feeds, you would want to create an account, or if you want to Tweet yourself.  It's very time consuming to blog every issue out there, and quite frankly exhausting to keep up with.

Have a blessed and safe New Year! 

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Twitter background updated

I've been on Twitter for at least 8 months now and just now updated my background. 

I continue to use Twitter as a primary means of conveying breaking news and interesting Catholic stories.  For those who don't know,  you do not need an account to read someone's twitter feed.  You only need one if you want to follow others or tweet yourself.  I don't use the tool to talk about my daily doings.  Rather, I use it to pass along headlines.  So, if you scroll, you will see a good bit of Catholic chatter out there.  It takes just too much time to blog on each and every story.  This is especially true of legislation.   News was coming so fast and furious there was no way to keep up with it.  But, if you click on my Twitter feed once or twice daily, you can skim the headlines and read the stories that interest you.

Here's a snapshot, but it is best seen by visiting my Twitter page which you can get to any time by clicking the bird in my sidebar.

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Assumption Grotto - 2009 Christmas Stock Photos

Since I am in the choir, I can't take photos during any of the Orchestra Masses for the Christmas Season. I was able to get some stock photos of the Church before the 4:00pm Mass. Unfortunately, it's difficult to get the full array of candles all lit without causing someone to have to go through a great deal of inconvenience. I may have an opportunity to get some Mass photos during the week, but it will be difficult with people walking around. In some of these photos, the exposure went on for some time to get certain effects.

Here is a slideshow. Some pics look similar, but they may have different exposure settings.

I would be interested in the photos you like the best. Pick two favorites (go to the gallery link to view the two pages of photos individually.

Follow these instructions to communicate which two photos you like the best:

- single click the photo so it is isolated to the right.
- slide cursor to the right until pop-up menu appears.
- click on the "I" for photo info.
- under the "basic" tab, let me know what "File Name" you see.

Here is an image:

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Heartbreaking video of Longford Cathedral (Ireland) burning down on Christmas

Saddening video of a Cathedral burning down in Ireland.  Some are wondering if it was arson on account of the recent abuse scandal

However, keep in mind that many parishes are all decked out for Christmas.  I recall a close-call a few years back at Grotto when some decorations at the top of the apse began to smoke soon after the candles were lit. The decorations were a little too close.  Then there are Christmas-tree light plugs plugged into the back of other plugs multiple times.  Old receptacles have limitations unlike newer ones and can overheat.  . 

Let's pray that it wasn't arson. 

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Fr. Hardon Memorial Mass - December 30th at Ss Cyril & Methodius

The 9th Anniversary Memorial Mass for the Servant of God, Father John A. Hardon, S.J. will take place on Wednesday, December 30, at Ss. Cyril & Methodius at 7:00PM. Light refreshments will follow the Mass in the Fr. Mikus Hall. See closeup of poster

Fr. Robert McDermott - the postulator of the Father Hardon cause for sainthood, will be the celebrant.

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Sanctuary Christmas Decorations at Assumption Grotto

This is a very crude, and low quality video of the sanctuary at Assumption Grotto after Christmas Midnight Mass.  It was taken with my iPhone and the lighting was low, so this is the best I could get.  This does not do it justice.  The beauty was just breathtaking, as it often is during the Christmas season at Assumption Grotto.

Many asked me following the Mass how many pictures I got and the answer was "none".  Since I sing in the choir, and being at the back end of the risers in the back, there is no way that I can come up and down to take pics during these orchestra Masses.  They just so happen to be solemn high Masses, as well, so it's all the more saddening to me.  However, I will be working to get some good still shots over the coming week.  I can take advantage of the weekday Masses and other Sunday Masses forthcoming. 

God bless the many who worked hard to make the church look so beautiful. 

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Raw Video of Woman knocking down Pope

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Merry Christmas!

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Assumption Grotto's upcoming Mass and Confession Schedule....and more!

With Christmas coming ever closer, and finally with some solid vacation time, I am trying to catch up on many things, and will work very hard at staying away from my computer over these next two weeks.  I have about 8 weeks worth of work to do around my house and only have 2 weeks in which to do it. I may do some light blogging. I will be doing my usual rounds in the Catholic blogosphere and news circles, but will not likely blog on much.

It's also noteworthy that stats plummet around holidays.  With fewer people reading, I'd also like to take advantage of the "time off" to not oly get some work done, but to spend more time with God and family.  I would encourage all of you to take some of your precious time off and give it to God in some form or another.  Visit an adoration chapel, go to daily Mass, do an examination of conscience and go to confession.
Please click here to see the forthcoming Mass and Confession Schedule for Christmas at Grotto and the rest of the holiday season.  Grotto is like the Confession capital of Detroit and the priests are very generous with their time in this regard.  Confession is private, behind a grill in old-style confessionals (read that - it's truly anonymous).

Here are some good Catholic news portals:

Among the great pro-life portals out there, daily and sometimes several times daily updates on hot issues, such as the current legislation.
I have way too many blogs to recommend.  Any regular reader of this blog will hopefully have bookmarked the homepages of those blogs I refer to most frequently. 

I will be updating my Twitter Feed daily, if not several times daily.  So that is another way to stay current.   Click the icon below or in my sidebar to see the latest Tweets!

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

At what cost healthcare? US Bishops React to Nelson's "compromise" with Reid

The price must have been right for Senator Nelson, because the cause of the unborn to not be slaughtered at tax-payer expense was sold for the proverbial thirty pieces of silver. 

From Steven Ertelt at LifeNews:

Washington, DC ( -- Senator Ben Nelson announced today that he will become the crucial 60th vote that Democrats need to pass a government-run health care bill. Nelson has been holding out because of the massive abortion funding in the bill, but said today he will give the measure his support.

Nelson outlined his support for the government-run health care bill in a press conference Saturday morning after he reached a deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on abortion and other unrelated issues.

Under the compromise, Nelson said it prohibits abortion funding in a way that earns his vote.

"We have an agreement that the plan with not use federal dollars to fund abortions," he said. "I believe we have accomplished that goal. It's clear I wouldn't have voted for this bill without these conditions."

The compromise Nelson agreed to with Reid makes it so states could disallow abortion coverage in the new health insurance exchanges.

Nelson explained that women using government subsidies to purchase health insurance who want to purchase abortions in the states that opt out of the coverage would have to make a separate payment to pay for the abortion. She would pay one payment to the insurer to pay for the policy and a separate payment to pay for abortion coverage.

That would appear to be a far cry from the authentic abortion funding ban pro-life groups sought as states would also be able to cover abortions under the exchange and thereby force taxpayers in those states to pay for abortions under the system.

The deal also appears to fall short of the amendment Nelson sponsored with Republicans to ban abortion funding and it doesn't gel with his prior statements that he would not support a government-run health care bill without a true abortion funding ban.

Family Research Council's Tom McClusky said in response to the new compromise that "Reid's bill would force taxpayers to pay for abortions even if they opt out."

Essentially, the language of the Stupak and Nelson amendments is not included in the final amendment Reid is offering that Nelson agreed to, but it relies on a "segregation of funds" model that pro-life groups have previously rejected.

The Nelson-Reid deal also doesn't appear to address other major abortion and pro-life problems with the bill such as rationing and the promotion of assisted suicide.

Nelson said he would not vote for the bill without the provisions he and Reid agreed to and promised to voted against a final bill that emerges from the conference committee if the abortion funding provisions are removed.

"This cloture vote is based on a full understanding that there will be a limited conference between the Senate and House," he said. "I reserve the right to vote against the next cloture vote if there are material changes to this agreement in the conference report."

Nelson also said that the abortion compromise as presented in the manager's amendment Reid is offering today would include conscience clause language for pro-life medical workers, funding for programs and services to help pregnant women who are carrying to term, and an increase in the adoption credits.

Leading pro-abortion lawmakers have already hailed the compromise and say they can support it -- giving a clear indication that the Nelson-Reid language does not meet the approval of pro-life advocates.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans have already analyzed the language and say there is a concern that it will enable abortion funding on Indian reservations.

Because the Nelson-Reid compromise has different language than the Stupak amendment in the House bill, the House and Senate will have to agree to a final wording that will either remove the authentic Stupak abortion funding ban or leave in the compromise.

Rep. Stupak has already said he has enough votes in the House to defeat the bill if the abortion funding ban is removed.

Nelson negotiated the deal with Reid along with pro-abortion Sen. Charles Schumer of New York and members of the administration of pro-abortion President Barack Obama. Reid also shuffled back and forther between his office and that of pro-abortion Sen. Barbara Boxer, who also participated n the negotiations and hailed the final product.

Reports indicate Reid told Boxer, "It's done" after striking the deal with Reid and the two exchanged in an embrace knowing they had 60 votes for the pro-abortion health care bill.

The US Bishops Conference has reacted. Cardinal DiNardo the USCCB Pro-life Chair writes:

‘Compromise’ would make citizens pay for others’ abortions
Senate should mirror House of Representative’s Hyde amendment language
Bill doesn’t meet goals of affordability, fairness to legal immigrants, protection of life

WASHINGTON—Responding to reports of a new “compromise” proposal on abortion in the U.S. Senate’s health care reform bill, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo today reaffirmed the position of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that the legislation will be morally unacceptable “unless and until” it complies with longstanding current laws on abortion funding such as the Hyde amendment. Cardinal DiNardo is Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and Chairman of the Conference’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

The Cardinal commented on efforts by Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) to improve the Senate bill’s treatment of abortion.

“Senator Casey’s good-faith effort to allow individuals to ‘opt out’ of abortion coverage actually underscores how radically the underlying Senate bill would change abortion policy. Excluding elective abortions from overall health plans is not a privilege that individuals should have to seek as the exception to the norm. In all other federal health programs, excluding abortion coverage is the norm. And numerous opinion polls show that the great majority of Americans do not want abortion coverage.”

“I welcome Senator Casey’s good-faith effort to improve this bill,” said Cardinal DiNardo. “In particular he has sought to improve protection for conscience rights, and to include programs of support for pregnant women and adoptive parents that we favor in their own right. However, these improvements do not change the fundamental problem with the Senate bill: Despite repeated claims to the contrary, it does not comply with longstanding Hyde restrictions on federal funding of elective abortions and health plans that include them.”

Cardinal DiNardo had written to the Senate on December 14, saying that “the Catholic bishops of the United States strongly support authentic reform of our ailing health care system.” His letter cited “three moral criteria for reform: respect for life and conscience; affordability for the poor; and access to much-needed basic health care for immigrants,” noting that so far the Senate bill “has fallen short of the example set by the House version of this legislation in each of these areas.”

On abortion funding, the Cardinal urged the Senate to “incorporate into this bill the longstanding and widely supported policies of current law, acknowledged and reaffirmed by the Senate itself” when it approved the Consolidated Appropriations Act for the new fiscal year on December 13. This Act reaffirmed the Hyde amendment and other laws that exclude elective abortions from health plans receiving federal funds -- including the plans that cover the Senators themselves and all other federal employees. The Senate so far has failed to reflect this same policy in its health care bill as the House has done, he said [see].

Cardinal DiNardo said December 18: “We continue to oppose and urge others to oppose the Senate bill unless and until this fundamental failure is remedied. And whatever the immediate outcome in the Senate, we will continue to work for health care reform which truly protects the life, dignity, conscience and health of all. As the bishops have said many times, ‘providing affordable and accessible health care that clearly reflects these fundamental principles is a public good, moral imperative and urgent national priority.’ In particular we will work vigorously to ensure that the substance of the House’s provision on abortion funding is included in final legislation. A special debt of gratitude is owed to House and Senate members, especially Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), who have placed their votes and reputation on the line to stand up for unborn children. Making this legislation consistent with longstanding federal law on abortion will not threaten needed authentic reform, but will help ensure its passage.”

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Venerable Pope John Paul II and Pope Pius XII

This morning, Pope Benedict XVI approved, by decree, the heroic virtue of Pope John Paul II, and Pope Pius XII.  There are a host of other decrees by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.  From Catholic World Report at Catholic Culture:

In a series of decrees issued on December 19, the Vatican has approved miracles allowing for the canonization of five people and the beatification of five others. The Vatican also recognized the 1984 murder of Father Jerzy Popieluszko by Communist intelligence officers as a martyrdom, preparing the way for his beatification.

The decrees, approved by Pope Benedict XVI during a private audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, also proclaimed that ten other candidates for sainthood had lived lives of heroic virtue. Those decrees make the candidates eligible for beatification if a miracle is attributed to their intercession.

The two decrees commanding the greatest public attention were those recognizing the heroic virtue of Pope Pius XII, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, and Pope John Paul II, who reigned from 1978 to 2005.

Five of the December 19 decrees testified to the authenticity of miracles attributed to candidates who have already been beatified, and are now qualified for canonization. They are:

Bl. Stanislaus Soltys (Kazimierczyk) (1433-89), whose liturgical cult was formally recognized by Pope John Paul in 1993
Bl. André Bessette (1845-1937), a Canadian renowned for his devotion to St. Joseph who developed a reputation as a miracle worker in his lifetime
Bl. Mary MacKillop (1842-1909), who founded the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart and will become Australia’s first canonized saint
Bl. Giulia Salzano (1846-1929), foundress of the Congregation of the Catechetical Sisters of the Sacred Heart
Bl. Camilla Battista da Varano (1458-1524), a Poor Clare nun

The Congregation also approved miracles for five other candidates who, like Father Popieluszko, will now be scheduled for beatification:

Father José Tous y Soler (1811-71), a Capuchin Franciscan
Brother Leopoldo de Alpandeire (1866-1956), a Capuchin Franciscan
Manuel Lozano Garrido (1920-71), a Spanish layman
Teresa Manganiello (1849-76), a Third Order Franciscan
Chiara Badano (1971-90), a laywoman of the Focolare Movement

In addition, the Congregation declared the heroic virtue of Bl. Giacomo Illirico da Bitetto, a Franciscan.

The Congregation also proclaimed the heroic virtue of nine others, who now qualify for the title "Venerable" and may be beatified with the approval of a miracle:

Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli) (1876-1958)
Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) (1920-2005)
Father Louis Brisson (1817-1908), founder of the Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales
Father Giuseppe Quadrio (1921-63), a Salesian
Sister Mary Ward (1545-1615), an Englishwoman who founded the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto Sisters)
Sister Antonia Maria Verna (1773-1838), foundress of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception of Ivrea
Sister Francesca Farolfi (Maria Chiara Serafina of Jesus) (1853-1917), foundress of the Missionary Franciscan Clarists of the Blessed Sacrament
Sister Enrichetta Alfieri (1891-1951)
Giunio Tinarelli (1912-56), a layman and member of the Silent Workers of the Cross
Further reading (list may be updated):

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Send Pope Benedict XVI Christmas Greetings via Pope 2 You!

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The "O Antiphons" of Advent

You will hear talk about the "O Antiphons" of Advent.  Antiphons precede the recitation of the Magnificat each evening when Vespers is prayed.  However, the Great Antiphons from December 17th through the 23rd begin with the interjection, "O". 

These antiphons are good to reflect on as we come closer to Christmas. 

Here is the antiphon for December 17th:
O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter, suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae

And one translation of it:
O Wisdom, who proceeds from the mouth of the Most High, reaching out mightily from end to end, and sweetly arranging all things: come to teach us the way of prudence.

This is what is in my breviary:
O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.
That last translation doesn't even come close to the Latin.  Based on what I am seeing in this online lectionary, both correspond to the same Latin.  Perhaps some day....

Even if you don't pray the Divine Office every day, you might consider praying the Magnificat.  And, if you would like to pray the Office and don't have a breviary, you can use Universalis (click on Evening Prayer at the top).  The translation comes from the New Jerusalem Bible, I believe, and so it may not be proper for those who are required to pray the Office, such as priests, to use this particular translation. What makes it nice, especially for those who don't know how to pray it, is that the electronic versions flow well without having to flip around to different parts of a book, which is what people struggle with when learning.

Further reading and reflections on the O Antiphons:

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bishop Listecki responds to ultra-dissenting "Young Catholics for Choice"

From LifeSiteNews (emphasis mine in bold; comments bracketed in red):

MILWAUKEE, December 15, 2009 ( - The incoming Archbishop of Milwaukee, Jerome Listecki, has responded to a campaign by "Young Catholics for Choice" to promote use of contraception and abortion among Catholic youth.

Using media advertising the group is, says the Archbishop-Designate, "attempting to convey the message that Catholics can disregard Church teaching regarding contraception, abortion and human sexuality in general and remain Catholics in good standing." However, "Nothing could be further from the truth."

"While people can call themselves whatever they want, it is my duty as a bishop to state clearly and unequivocally that by professing and disseminating views in grave contradiction to Catholic teaching, members of organizations like 'Young Catholics for Choice' in fact disown their Catholic heritage, tragically distancing themselves from that communion with the Church to which they are called," added the archbishop.

Using language first employed by Catholic dissenters to Humanae Vitae, YCFC calls on Catholics to use an "informed conscience" to decide to use birth control and the morning-after-pill, also called "emergency contraception."

Their ad campaign states:
"Young Catholics are having sex. We are using contraception and condoms. We are having abortions. We are bisexual, gay, lesbian, straight and transgender. And none of this makes us any less Catholic than conservative Catholics who speak out against us [a very sad manifestation of a variety of catechetical deficiences in the classroom and from the pulpit for so many decades, as well as silence from the bishop's offices - something which is slowly changing as evidenced in news like this].
"The truth is, they don't represent what the majority of Catholics - especially those of us in our 20s and 30s - think about sex [as if popular opinion can trump truth, and God's laws]. It comes down to Catholic teaching on conscience [but, a properly formed conscience which always seeks truth with humility, rather than pride rooted in "your way, Lord, as long as it is aligned with my way"].  Basically, every individual has the right and responsibility to follow his or her own conscience - and respect others' right to do the same. With conscience and respect, good Catholic sex is not only possible, it's already happening. " [in open violation of the 6th and 9th Commandments, and in the case of abortion and contraception - the 5th Commandment].
The group, claiming to be a youth wing of "Catholics for Choice," admits that it's mandate is to "take action to counter the bishops' impact both in the United States and around the world. " [Huh? counter the bishops?!?!? Catholicism 101: "He who hears you, hears Me"]
Archbishop Listecki concluded his statement calling for prayers for the YCFC members. "We pray that they may reconcile their position which is contrary to the Catholic Faith they claim to profess."
Indeed - make it a point to pray for these and other confused Catholics.  We not only need to pray for these people, but Catholics need to learn the lost art of making reparation for such offenses against God.

Further reading:

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Owensboro, Kentucky gets a bishop...

The Holy See continues to chip away at vacancies in the episcopacy with it's latest appointment.  Fr. William Francis Medley will be the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Owensboro

Fr. Medley was born in 1952 and was ordained in 1982 for the Archdiocese of Louisville.

The presser is set for Noon today local time and it may be watched streaming here.

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Assumption Grotto's Christmas Season Mass & Confession Schedule

Click the pic which will take you to an enlarged PDF file at the Grotto site, which should be printable at 6 x 8.

See the complete Christmas Season Mass and Confession schedule for Assumption Grotto here.

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Video: The Catholicism Project

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

December 14th: St. John of the Cross

From the Maxims of St. John of the Cross

14. God values in you the inclination to dryness and suffering for love of him more than all the consolations, spiritual visions, and meditations you could possibly have.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Medjugorje: Cardinal Puljic received by Pope Benedict December 12, 2009

When the Holy Father receives certain individuals, they are sometimes posted on the daily Bollettino at the Holy See's website. Some visits are noteworthy, such as the one announced Saturday morning. Card. Vinko Puljić, Arcivescovo di Vrhbosna, Sarajevo (Bosnia ed Erzegovina).

Cardinal Vinko Puljic is the head of the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Bishop's Conference. You may recall that back in October, Cardinal Puljic said  he was expecting further guidance from the Holy See on Medjugorje soon, perhaps before the end of the year.  In an October 7, 2009 blogpost by Adam Tanner of Reuters, the Cardinal was quoted as saying:

“We are now awaiting a new directive on this issue...I don’t think we must wait for a long time, I think it will be this year, but that is not clear… I am going to Rome in November and we must discuss this.”

There was another interview that Cardinal Puljic had, this time with Zenit, which clarifies what the Cardinal was doing in Rome in November:

ROME, NOV. 23, 2009 ( The president of the Bosnian episcopal conference has been in Rome, but not to discuss the controversy surrounding Medjugorje, as some reports have contended.

Instead, Cardinal Vinko Puljic participated last week in the plenary assembly of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, which focused on St. Paul and the "new areopagi."

The cardinal did talk to ZENIT about Medjugorje, affirming that the reports of apparitions there and the consequent popularity of the site for pilgrimages is a matter dealt with by the bishop of Mostar, Ratko Peric, and the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

"As an episcopal conference, we await suggestions and proposals on how to proceed, and I believe the Holy See wants to carry on in this way," he added.

Perhaps Cardinal Puljic's words were misunderstood -- slightly, by Adam Tanner. However, both articles left little doubt that something is about to happen with regards to Medjugorje.
I think that what is really going on as the year winds down is what was offered in the Brazilian press this time last year (my comments bracketed in red; bold is also mine).   This is a crude translation from Google.

Three years ago, formed a study group [not a commision], whose core is composed of thirty people, lay and religious, to examine the veracity of the phenomenon. Driven by the Pontifical International Marian Academy (PAMI) [perhaps this is why we have seen denials of rumors involving the CDF or commission, and even the denial about the CDF producing a vadamecum or handbook on apparitions - because it is being handled by PAMI], an institution linked to the Vatican, are at work in secret and are expected to end until the end of 2009. It's extremely remote the probability that the verdict be in favor of the apparitions in Medjugorje," says one of several consultants PAMI. The conclusion of the study group is a key to a final position of the Holy See in relation to the visions of Medjugorje

Watch for breaking news on Medjugorje......soon.  I think the Feast of St. John of the Cross would be very good for guidelines to be offered because of the counsel given by this great Carmelite Saint on apparitions and heavenly visions.  

Could it be simply a new set of guidelines for Eucharistic celebrations, confessions, etc. in Medjugorje?  Or, will it's current status of non constat de supernaturalitate (not established as supernatural) change?

Update December 14th: The Bollettino can sometimes be updated later in the day, but as released a few minutes ago, there is nothing yet pertaining to Medjugorje.  There is a press conference for the World Day of Peace.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico gaudete.

The third Sunday of Advent is also known as Gaudete Sunday. It is so named after the first word in the Introit: Gaudete (Rejoice!).

INTROIT ¤ Phil. 4. 4-6
Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: for the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous: but in every thing by prayer let your petitions be made known to God. -- (Ps. 84. 2). Lord, Thou hast blessed Thy land: Thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob. V.: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: for the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous: but in every thing by prayer let your petitions be made known to God.
This is one of only two Sunday's where Rose colored vestments may be worn.  The other is Laetare Sunday in Lent.  Read more in a Q&A about the use of rose-colored vestments: Liturgy: Rose-Colored Vestments on Gaudete Sunday

Ember Days of Advent are coming upon us, as well - this Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.  These are pentitential days in the Extraordinary Form.

Further reading:

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's Advent - Slow Down!

Watch this...

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Check Twitter Feed for News...

I continue to make use of Twitter to convey hot and interesting news for which I have no time to blog on. Click the Twitter bird in my sidebar daily to check for updates.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Today in the Ordinary Form we celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe.  From the Our Lady of Guadalupe website on this page:

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Mesoamerica, the New World, 1521: The capital city of the Aztec empire falls under the Spanish forces. Less than 20 years later, 9 million of the inhabitants of the land, who professed for centuries a polytheistic and human sacrificing religion, are converted to Christianity. What happened in those times that produced such an incredible and historically unprecedented conversion?

In 1531 a "Lady from Heaven" appeared to a humble Native American at Tepeyac, a hill northwest of what is now Mexico City.

She identified herself as the ever virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the True God for whom we live, of the Creator of all things, Lord of heaven and the earth.

She made a request for a church to be built on the site, and submitted her wish to the local Bishop. When the Bishop hesitated, and requested her for a sign, the Mother of God obeyed without delay or question to the Church's local Bishop, and sent her native messenger to the top of the hill in mid-December to gather an assorment of roses for the Bishop.

After complying to the Bishop's request for a sign, She also left for us an image of herself imprinted miraculously on the native's tilma, a poor quality cactus-cloth, which should have deteriorated in 20 years but shows no sign of decay 477 years later and still defies all scientific explanations of its origin.

It apparently even reflects in Her eyes what was in front of her in 1531.
Her message of love and compassion, and her universal promise of help and protection to all mankind, as well as the story of the apparitions, are described in the "Nican Mopohua", a 16th century document written in the native Nahuatl language.

There is reason to believe that at Tepeyac Mary came in her glorified body, and her actual physical hands rearranged the roses in Juan Diego’s tilma, which makes this apparition very special.

An incredible list of miracles, cures and interventions are attributed to Her. Yearly, between 18 - 20 million pilgrims visit the Basilica, making it Christianity's most visited sanctuary.

Altogether 25 popes have officially honored Our Lady of Guadalupe. His Holiness John Paul II visited her Sanctuary four times: on his first apostolic trip outside Rome as Pope in 1979, and again in 1990, 1999 and 2002.

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12th. In 1999, Pope John Paul II, in his homily from the Solemn Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, during his third visit to the sanctuary, declared the date of December the 12th as a Liturgical Holy Day for the whole continent.

During the same visit Pope John Paul II entrusted the cause of life to her loving protection, and placed under her motherly care the innocent lives of children, especially those who are in danger of not being born.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bishop Flores goes back to Texas to head Brownsville Diocese

Bishop Daniel Flores in 2008 as he celebrated Mass for the
Helpers of God's Precious Infants in September 2008. 

This post was actually written yesterday, but internet access was lost when cable was blown out by a nasty winter windstorm.  So, here it is a day late for those who have not yet heard....

Bishop Daniel Flores, only with us here in Detroit for three years as an auxiliary bishop, has been named the next bishop of Brownsville, Texas by Pope Benedict XVI.  He succeeds Bishop Raymundo Peña who turned 75 in February.    He offered some words to the people in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Bishop Flores was introduced today in Brownsville (click here for audio).  His installation is set for February 2, 2010 -  Candlemas

Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Daniel E. Flores, 48, has been named the next bishop of the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, by Pope Benedict XVI. The Diocese of Brownsville is in the southern part of the state, along the Rio Grande, and has a Catholic population of 800,000 and a total population of 940,000. Bishop Flores will be installed on Feb. 2. He will succeed Bishop Raymundo Peña, who in February of this year reached the age of 75, the age at which bishops are mandated to submit their resignations to the Holy See.

Bishop Flores has served as a regional bishop in Detroit since November 29, 2006. He has overseen seven of the eighteen vicariates in the Detroit archdiocese, has advised the archdiocese on immigration issues, and has helped to established the Office for Hispanic Affairs. Prior to coming to Detroit, he had served in a number of capacities in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, including rector of Corpus Christi Cathedral, Chancellor, Diocesan Master of Ceremonies, Secretary to the Bishop, Rector of the Saint John Vianney House of Studies, and Episcopal Vicar for Vocations.

In an open letter, Bishop Flores expressed gratitude for the "…countless blessings (that) came to me through the love and friendship offered to me by so many" in the Detroit archdiocese.
Please pray for Bishop Flores in his new assignment. 

With regards to Detroit, Rocco Palmo over at Whispers writes:

"'s move likewise leaves the 1.5 million-member Detroit church with just one active auxiliary bishop... but probably not for long -- native son Archbishop Allen Vigneron recently announced plans to regionalize the archdiocese into four segments, placing each (at least, optimally) under an assistant high-hat still to be named...."
Stay tuned for this news.  The archdiocese has lost several auxiliary bishops through retirement and moves.  Bishop Quinn was the last to be moved (Winona, MN) just over a year ago, leaving Bishop Francis Reiss as the only active auxiliary.  Will the next assistant be from within the archdiocese, or another transplant?  Bishop John Nienstedt (St. Paul/Minneapolis) and Bishop Leonard Blair (Toledo) are among others hailing from Detroit.

Further reading:

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lots of tickets still available for McGivney...

(Click to enlarge)

Someone had told me that Sunday's showing of the original musical at Grotto, "McGivney" was sold out for Sunday, and I had reported this.  Upon checking, I learned it is not the case at all. 

There are plenty of tickets available for both remaining days - this Saturday at 4:00pm and Sunday at 7:00pm.  I would encourage you to call (248) 302-9471and reserve your tickets now.  No payment is needed when calling.  They will hold them for you at the door. 

There is a family cap ticket set for $35 (no matter how many kids) and adult tickets are only $12. Teens are $10, children $5 and those 5 and under are free.  Clergy and religious are also free, and Knights of Columbus members get 10% off.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Senate kills amendment Restricting Abortion Funding

Life continues to be chaotic at the moment.  I have been updating my Twitter feed at least once daily and sometimes several times daily, mostly with retweets of hot and interesting news out there.  So, click the bird in my sidebar to read. 

This was among the many hot topics.

From LifeSiteNews:

By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 8, 2009 ( - The Senate voted 54-45 Tuesday evening to table the Nelson/Hatch/Casey amendment, effectively killing the language that would have restricted abortion funding in the healthcare bill.
The tabling vote allowed Democrats to do away with the Nelson amendment without the 60 votes needed in an up-or-down vote.
The Nelson/Hatch/Casey amendment would have mirrored the House's Stupak amendment, which preserved federal Hyde-amendment policy in that chamber's bill by banning government-appropriated funds from paying for most abortions.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Solemnity: Immaculate Conception of Mary

Immaculate Conception by Piero Di Cosimo (c 1505)

It's a holy day of obligation........go to Mass! (If you plan on going to Mass at Grotto note the changes at the bottom of this post)

An excerpt from Ineffabilis Deus - Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius IX on the Immaculate Conception (December 8, 1854)

The Fathers and writers of the Church, well versed in the heavenly Scriptures, had nothing more at heart than to vie with one another in preaching and teaching in many wonderful ways the Virgin's supreme sanctity, dignity, and immunity from all stain of sin, and her renowned victory over the most foul enemy of the human race. This they did in the books they wrote to explain the Scriptures, to vindicate the dogmas, and to instruct the faithful. These ecclesiastical writers in quoting the words by which at the beginning of the world God announced his merciful remedies prepared for the regeneration of mankind -- words by which he crushed the audacity of the deceitful serpent and wondrously raised up the hope of our race, saying, "I will put enmities between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed"[13] -- taught that by this divine prophecy the merciful Redeemer of mankind, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was clearly foretold: That his most Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, was prophetically indicated; and, at the same time, the very enmity of both against the evil one was significantly expressed. Hence, just as Christ, the Mediator between God and man, assumed human nature, blotted the handwriting of the decree that stood against us, and fastened it triumphantly to the cross, so the most holy Virgin, united with him by a most intimate and indissoluble bond, was, with him and through him, eternally at enmity with the evil serpent, and most completely triumphed over him, and thus crushed his head with her immaculate foot.[14]

This sublime and singular privilege of the Blessed Virgin, together with her most excellent innocence, purity, holiness and freedom from every stain of sin, as well as the unspeakable abundance and greatness of all heavenly graces, virtues and privileges -- these the Fathers beheld in that ark of Noah, which was built by divine command and escaped entirely safe and sound from the common shipwreck of the whole world;[15] in the ladder which Jacob saw reaching from the earth to heaven, by whose rungs the angels of God ascended and descended, and on whose top the Lord himself leaned'[16] in that bush which Moses saw in the holy place burning on all sides, which was not consumed or injured in any way but grew green and blossomed beautifully;[17] in that impregnable tower before the enemy, from which hung a thousand bucklers and all the armor of the strong;[18] in that garden enclosed on all sides, which cannot be violated or corrupted by any deceitful plots;[19] as in that resplendent city of God, which has its foundations on the holy mountains;[20] in that most august temple of God, which, radiant with divine splendors, is full of the glory of God;[21] and in very many other biblical types of this kind. In such allusions the Fathers taught that the exalted dignity of the Mother of God, her spotless innocence and her sanctity unstained by any fault, had been prophesied in a wonderful manner.

In like manner did they use the words of the prophets to describe this wondrous abundance of divine gifts and the original innocence of the Virgin of whom Jesus was born. They celebrated the august Virgin as the spotless dove, as the holy Jerusalem, as the exalted throne of God, as the ark and house of holiness which Eternal Wisdom built, and as that Queen who, abounding in delights and leaning on her Beloved, came forth from the mouth of the Most High, entirely perfect, beautiful, most dear to God and never stained with the least blemish.

Further Reading on the Immaculate Conception:

Please note that Assumption Grotto's Mass schedule has changed for this holy day for this year only. There is no 7:00pm Mass. It was moved to 6:00pm. This is because of the Musical, McGivney which begins at 7:00pm. People can go to Mass at 6:00, then come over for the play, and the workers/actors are accomodated. Also, note that the Noon Mass has shifted to 2:00pm.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Monday, December 7, 2009

McGivney: An Original Musical Production at Grotto starting December 6th!

Below is my original post on McGivney.  The musical began last night with it's first performance.   However, call (248) 302-9471 or  to find out for certain if you were planning on attending on that day.

The next performance is Tuesday Night at 7:00pm, which is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (the Noon Mass was shifted to 2:00 for performers and the 7:00pm Mass was shifted to 6:00pm for this year only). 

The last two performances are Saturday and  Sunday, December 12th and 13th.

An original musical production based on the life of Fr. McGivney - the founder of the Knights of Columbus will begin on December 6th at Assumption Grotto in the old school gym. It will feature an orchestra (which includes members of the Detroit Symphony Orchesra and the Assumption Grotto Choir). The music was composed and will be directed by Grotto's Pastor, Rev. Eduard Perrone. It is produced and directed by Grotto parishioner, Joe Maher.

Other dates are December 8th, 12th, and 13th. These musicals are usually limited to the stated performance so get your tickets now.  Please consider attending one of the earlier performances where attendance is somewhat lower.  On the last day, be prepared for parking and seating challenges, so get there very early.

See the write up in the Michigan Catholic.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Isaiah 7:14

When I first started taking my faith seriously again in May of 2005, I recall how amazed for the first time in my life with the words emphasized slowly, and several times in succession by my pastor in a homily:


Christmas would never be the same for me after that.  Gone was the secular notion of the holiday with it's emphasis on excessive gift giving and lack of emphasis on Christ.

Every weekend of my life I went to Mass unless I was sick, and I listened to the Old and New Testament readings, as well as the psalm.  Unfortunately, I never "heard" them.   Over these past four years, I have paid even closer attention.  One of the things that still amazes me is how something could be prophesied so many centuries earlier in the Old Testament and be fulfilled so precisely in the New.  People look for miraculous signs and wonders all the time, yet Sacred Scripture contains many.

With Advent now here, pay close attention to the readings at Mass, and in the breviary if you read it.  In particular, follow the psalms and readings in the Office of Readings (OOR). This part of the breviary takes on themes, such as Advent (with a shift in the 2nd reading, if there is a feast day).  If you don't have a breviary, or if you have the shorter version without the OOR, you can use Universalis which updates daily.  While the translation makes it ineligible for those who are required to recite the OOR, like priests, it is just fine for most of us. It has come a long way from where I recall it years ago, when it didn't even have Lauds and Vespers complete.

This post was prompted by an early morning viewing of a rerun of Fr. Pablo Straub's Advent reflections on EWTN.  As soon as I turned on the television, I was met with Isaiah 7:10-14.  As Father suggested, commit Isaiah 7:14 to memory.  Keep in mind Isaiah lived in the 8th century B.C.

Isaiah 7:10-14 (RSV-Catholic Edition)

Matthew 1:20-25
10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, 11 "Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven." 12 But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test." 13 And he said, "Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 14* Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman* shall conceive and bear a son*, and shall call his name Immanu-el. *

20 But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; 21* she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." 22 All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23* "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus.

* Note on "a young woman" in the Isaiah some translations the word used is "virgin".  The Ignatius Bible which is RSV-CE uses a footnote at the bottom to indicate the alternative translation.

There are some arguments out there which challenge the messianic nature of Isaiah 7:14.  Fr. William G. Most, writing for EWTN, goes very deep into this issue in, "The Problem of Isaiah 7:14".

If that document is too deep for you, Fr. Echert offers a more simple explanation, for those wanting it.

Now is a good time to point out the nice resource page that EWTN has on Advent.  The USCCB site has also put together an Advent page.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!