Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bishop puts brakes on Christmas...



I learned many things about the Catholic faith when I first got to Assumption Grotto, that I had not known before.

The priests have discouraged the playing of Christmas music and celebrations prior to December 24th. Many at the parish wait until the final days before Christmas to put up their trees. While Christmas trees are parked out by curbsides days after the end of the holiday in neighborhoods, the trees of these Catholics remain up until after Epiphany. This follows the Christian cycle of Christmas, not the secular cycle which begins to play Christmas music before Thanksgiving. Lest Christmas go the way of the Easter with the Easter Bunny in Christiam homes, I hope more bishops and priests will speak out on this.

Deacon Greg Kandra blogs about Bishop Wester of Salt Lake City, Utah and his pastoral letter: Waiting in Joyful Hope! A Pastoral Letter to the Church of Salt Lake City on the season of Advent

This is just an excerpt. You need to follow the link to the Intermountain Catholic to see the full pastoral letter. I recommend you read it in full to understand the catechesis behind what he is asking of Catholics.

This Advent, I call on every Catholic in the diocese of Salt Lake City to strive to enter into the spirit of the season. As we move forward, I strongly encourage our schools, parishes, and each individual household to celebrate the four weeks of Advent with rich prayer. We must practice and model what we preach in order to instill the rich traditions of our faith in young and old alike.


Here are some particular examples of what this will entail. Schools should not decorate for Christmas, but can decorate with simple wreaths and greenery. They might celebrate “Gaudete parties” before departing for Christmas break. I encourage each home to display and bless an Advent wreath where the family can gather for prayer either in the morning, at dinner, or some other practical time. I urge you to hold-off on displaying a decorated Christmas tree until the season of Christmas begins. You may want to incorporate a Jesse Tree in your family’s observance of the season. (More information on Jesse Trees can be found at: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/activities/view.cfm?id=545 or http://www.loyolapress.com/our-jesse-tree-advent-activity.htm.) As the season draws to its close, I also invite you to discover the beauty of the O Antiphons, which are sung as part of evening prayer from December 17th to 23rd, and are most familiar to most of us in the hymn O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.


Once Christmas comes, the season stretches far beyond the 25th of December. It continues until the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord on January 9, 2011. We should leave the decorations which are testimonies to our joy up for the entire season. There is plenty of time for us to celebrate our joy at Christ’s birth and we should make the most of it. You might consider having a Christmas gathering in the parish, or at home with family and friends during this time.


First, though, before we celebrate, comes a necessary time of waiting and of preparation. The season of Advent refocuses us and reminds us that Christ has changed the world. Darkness has covered this hemisphere, and the world itself is quiet. Because we know that Christ reigns over all of creation, we strain in the darkness to see the light of Christ, our coming King. May our observance of this season renew us and be an example of patience, silence, and joy to our hurried and anxious society.



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New movie on Carmelite Nuns "breathtaking"... not yet available in USA


You might recall the success of the movie, "Into Great Silence" about the life of Carthusian Monks. 

From Catholic News Agency...

New ‘breathtaking’ documentary examines London’s Carmelite nuns


London, England, Nov 30, 2010 / 02:54 am (CNA).- A “breathtaking” film recording the life of Carmelite nuns at a London monastery took the grand prize at the International Festival of Cinema and Religion in Italy.
Director Michael Whyte’s documentary “No Greater Love” examines the cloistered nuns of the monastery of the Most Holy Trinity in Notting Hill. Though centered upon Holy Week, the film covers a year in the life of the monastery and its daily rhythms of Divine Office and work.

[snip]
The International Jury of the International Festival of Cinema and Religion called the film “beautifully crafted” and “a powerful message for those of us who inhabit fast societies that militate against the possibility of wisdom.”


“No Greater Love” was released in the U.K. on April 9, 2010 and was scheduled to be released in Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg in November. It will be released in France on Dec. 29.


The film’s website is http://www.nogreaterlove.co.uk/

See the full article at CNA here

But when will it come to the US?  It seems they are working on it.  From the website above (emphasis mine in bold):

No Greater Love is currently not available in the rest of the world but we will be in touch as soon as it is and post details on the website.


NO GREATER LOVE DVD – F.A.Q.


If I don't live in the UK and Ireland, can I still play the DVD?


The NO GREATER LOVE DVD that is released on June 28th will be a Region 0 format PAL DVD, and will be playable Worldwide.


PAL DVDs might not work on DVD players in countries where NTSC is standard (Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Taiwan, U.S.A.)

We will just have to wait.  It would be nice if there were one standard for the world. 

Here is the website to the monastery (bells begin ringing as soon as you get there) http://carmelitesnottinghill.org.uk/

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Rome Reports Video: Child plays near pope during prayer vigil


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Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Blog Theme for the Season of Advent


No, it's not your imagination.  The theme for this blog has changed.  The full change may not be visible if you are viewing on a more narrow screen or mobile device. Therefore, I have taken a snapshot of what you would see on wider screens

I have wanted to change the theme with the change of seasons and thought it would be appropriate to comprehend the liturgical seasons. 

I will try to do this several times yearly. 




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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Advent begins; Holy Hour for Nascent Human Life followed 4pm Mass at Grotto


Fr. Perrone leads a Holy Hour for Nascent Human Life at Assumption Grotto after the 4:00pm Saturday Mass
 A new liturgical year begins with Advent. 

After the 4:00pm Mass today, Fr. Perrone held a Holy Hour in response to the Holy Father's requests for bishops, pastors, religious orders, to offer prayer for all nascent (developing) human life.  Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron held a prayer vigil in Canton, Michigan at St. John Neumann.  Many could not make it out to Canton, so it was good that several area parishes were able to hold vigils, including Grotto.

During his homily at the 4:00pm Mass, Fr. Perrone expressed regret that it came together too late to allow for better advertising.  Announcements were made at the Thanksgiving Day Masses and a note appeared on the Grotto homepage, as well as on my blog.  I sent out a email, and posted it to my facebook account, also.

Fr. Perrone also would like to have held a Vespers service, but here again - some of us considered putting booklets together, but there just wasn't time and we had no idea if we would need a dozen or 60, or 100.  Instead, we did the post-Mass Rosary, and that was followed by an hour of silent Adoration during Exposition.  I'll be honest, the silence was profound and beautiful.  You wouldn't have known that anyone was in Church.  About 50-60 people were present including all of the sisters.  Finally back from a long round of giving retreats the Canons were also present in the pews.  A welcome surprise was seeing, among them, the newly arrived Fr. Ludwig Maria.  He assisted with distributition of Holy Communion at the 4:00pm Mass. 

I should mention how special it was that a baby was being baptized following the 4:00pm Mass in the back of the church by Fr. John as Exposition got underway.  On a night that we prayed for all unborn human life, it was a blessing for the Sacrament of Baptism to be taking place. How many lives were terminated today in the womb or in a petri dish rather than have an opportunity to be born and baptized where they could give glory to their Creator?

Click here for full text of Pope Benedict XVI's homily for 1st Vespers at Vatican Radio

With the start of Advent, Fr. Z has some posts and links up to articles he has written in the past. 
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Tonight is the night that Pope Benedict XVI has asked all to join him in a prayer for all human nascent life.  Catch the Vespers service in just under two hours from the time of this post on EWTN (Noon local time).  You can watch it streaming live in English or Spanish.  There are mobile options, as well.   It will be rebroadcast at 6:00pm

See my post on Archbishop Vigneron's vigil and other opportunites in metro Detroit if you can't make it out to St. John Neumann in Canton, Michigan.  Among those that I have thus far are Assumption Grotto, Christ the King in Ann Arbor, and Sacred Heart in Imlay City. 

If you are aware of other vigils, please drop them into the combox here so others will know.  I will only be able to moderate until 3:30 local time, so get them to me ASAP.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Archbishop Vigneron to lead Saturday prayer vigil for nascent life in Canton; Holy Hour at Assumption Grotto




First, some background....

Back in early October, it was announced that a prayer vigil to be held by the Holy Father was going to broaden in scope, to include people around the world.  Here was the CNA article:


City, Oct 1, 2010 / 10:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- To encourage a commitment and witness within the Church to love and life, a prayer initiative to be led by Pope Benedict XVI is being promoted by a pair of cardinals. All bishops of the world are being asked to invite the faithful to pray for the unborn during the prayerful season before Christmas.
On Nov. 27, to mark the start of Advent, Pope Benedict will preside over first vespers in St. Peter's Basilica as is customary. According to a note from Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, however, this will take place within a broader scope than usual.


Vespers will be included in Sunday's "vigil for nascent life," in light of the beginning of Advent and the proximity of the Lord's Nativity.


Benedict XVI will not be the only one leading the vigil, as the initiative is being promoted through bishops' conferences throughout the world. A letter from Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and Cardinal Ennio Antonelli of the Pontifical Council for the Family has been sent to the bishops of the world to invite a similar celebration and prayer initiative on a local level throughout the Catholic Church.


Fr. Lombardi said through Vatican Radio that the events will take place "in spiritual union with the Holy Father, to promote the commitment and the ecclesial witness for a culture of life and love.


Archbishop Vigneron to Lead Vigil Saturday

Detroit's shepherd has responded by holding a Vigil for all nascent human life, this Saturday, at St. John Neumann in Canton, Michigan

Click flyer to view PDF



Holy Hour Saturday Evening at Assumption Grotto

The Holy Father intended for this to be broad, asking not only that bishops lead prayer vigils around the world, but that parishes hold them, and people to join in prayer at home if they cannot make a vigil.  Fr. Perrone has responded by offering a Holy Hour after the 4:00pm Mass until 6:00pm.  We will have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for silent prayer.   It came together too late for a Vespers service to be prepared.  There is a Rosary following all weekend Masses, and that will probably take place during Exposition.



Other vigils this Saturday in Metro Detroit?

It is not practical for every pro-life Catholic to make it to Canton, nor can the parish hold everyone.  With this in mind, I am assuming that a number of parishes throughout the archdiocese are holding prayer vigils. 

Do you know of other parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit holding a vigil? 

Please drop a note in the comment box or send me an email and I will update this post with other locations.  Provide details (parish, city, and preferrably a weblink to parish website, and time).

Here is what I have received thus far.  I am hoping to receive word of others in the archdiocese. Click the links for details. 

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

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe (@ Pilgrim Hall Museum).
I had intended to make a post earlier in the week, encouraging people to go to Mass on Thankgiving Day. Twice, I ended up at the store longer than I had expected.  Wednesday, I ran off to Grotto for 7:30am Mass, then off to work at 8:30, left at 5:00 to pick up another choir member near work, and off to practice.  I walked in the door about 10:20. 

I began the practice of going to Mass on Thanksgiving day soon after discovering Assumption Grotto in 2005 and have done so ever since.  There is a 7:30am Mass (this is for cooks - LOL), as well as a 9:00am Mass (for those eating what the cooks are cooking). Evening Mass and Thursday night Passio will not take place today.

Please pray for those who are suffering this Thanksgiving, especially those without a meal, without a home, and without warmth in this cold weather. 

I want to leave you with this article on Thanksgiving from NewAdvent.org
A civil holiday observed annually in the United States of America on the last Thursday in November. It is now celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. The president issues a proclamation, calling on the citizens, all Federal officials, and others subject to Federal authority to observe the day as one of national thanksgiving and prayer. The governors of states concur in the president's proclamation and also recommend the citizens to observe the holiday, and all public business is suspended.


The custom originated in 1621, when Governor Bradford of the Plymouth colony appointed a day for public praise and prayer after the first harvest, and the practice spread throughout the other New England colonies. The first national observance was when President Washington, at the request of Congress, recommended Thursday, 26 November, 1789, to the people of the United States "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God". This proclamation exhorted the people to "beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best". It was the first observation of the day on the date that present custom holds it.


In 1817 Thanksgiving Day was first officially noticed in New York State, and by 1859 its observance had spread to twenty-eight states and two territories. In 1863 President Lincoln made his first proclamation, naming the last Thursday of November as a day of national observance, which President Johnson also selected in 1867 and President Grant in 1870. Since then there has been no change, the last Thursday in November being named in each year's proclamation.


Catholic recognition of the day by special religious features has only been of comparatively recent date and not as yet (1911) of official general custom. Historians of the day attempt to trace the origin of Governor Bradford's idea (1621) back to the old Hebrew Feast of the Tabernacles and through the ages to the ancient Greek Harvest Feast, Thesmophoria, the Roman Cerealia, and the English Harvest Home. In the Dominion of Canada the governor-general by proclamation sets aside the last Monday in October as a legal holiday for the purpose of acknowledging God's providence and expressing the nation's dependence on His bounty.
Meehan, T. (1912). Thanksgiving Day. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved November 24, 2010 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14555a.htm



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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Full Text: His first sermon as Cardinal Burke (St. Cecilia's Feast Day)

Thanks to Dr. Robert Moynihan of Inside the Vatican who sent the full text of Raymond Cardinal Burke's sermon in his flash email.
Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving on the occasion of the Ordinary Public Consistory, November 20, 2010


Memorial of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr


Chapel of the Immaculate Conception of the Pontifical North American College, Rome


November 22, 2010
Hos 2:16bc, 17cd, 21-22
Ps 45:11-12. 14-15, 16-17
Mt 25:1-13


HOMILY


By Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke


Praised be Jesus Christ, now and for ever. Amen.


Saint Cecilia whose memory we celebrate today was a wise virgin who carefully provided oil for her lamp, so that when her Lord came, He found her waiting and ready to meet Him with her lamp burning brightly. We know little about her life, but, from tradition, we know the essence of her heroic holiness. She was a young Roman maiden, who was raised in the Christian faith.


She, in fact, developed so strongly in her love of our Lord, through prayer and penance, that she resolved to offer her virginity to Our Lord as a perpetual gift, that is, to espouse our Lord alone as her Bridegroom for ever. Contrary to her resolve, her father insisted that she marry a certain pagan by the name of Valerian, but, on the day of her wedding, we are told that “amid the music and rejoicing of the guests, Cecilia sat apart, singing to God in her heart and praying for help in her predicament.”[1]


One imagines that she was praying the words of the Psalms according to the ancient chant of the Church, which developed organically from the chant used in Jewish worship and continues today to be singularly suited to the raising of our minds and hearts to the Lord.


The Lord heard her prayer, made even more pure and beautiful because it was offered to Him in sacred song. Through the help of an angel, her new husband was converted to the faith and received Baptism at the hands of the Bishop of Rome, Pope Urban. Having come to life in Christ through Baptism, Valerian fully respected Cecilia’s virginal consecration. With Saint Cecilia, he rapidly grew in pure and selfless love, and soon gave, with her, the supreme witness of total and faithful love of our Lord by accepting a cruel martyrdom for the faith.


In the life of Saint Cecilia, we see fulfilled, in a most striking manner, the promise of our Lord’s immeasurable and ceaseless love of all men, without exception, the divine love which we celebrate most fully and perfectly in this Eucharistic Sacrifice. Our Lord promises His holy people: “I will espouse you to me forever: I will espouse you in right and in justice, in love and in mercy; I will espouse you in fidelity, and you shall know the Lord.”[2]


Our Lord called Saint Cecilia to espouse Him in love, to offer to Him her virginity, her whole being. Saint Cecilia responded with all her heart, placing her heart completely into the glorious pierced Heart of our Lord. In the Sacred Heart of Jesus, her love was purified and strengthened, so that the witness of her virginal love reached its fullness with the crown of martyrdom. The pure white of her love as a virgin found its consummation in the courageous scarlet of her love as a martyr for the faith.


The life and martyrdom of Saint Cecilia, in the few details which have come to us, like the life of every consecrated virgin, teaches each of us the reality of Christ’s love in our lives, a love which invites us to espouse Him, to be one in heart with Him in loving one another as He loves us, purely and selflessly.


Saint Cecilia, by her virginal consecration, teaches all of us the way in which Our Lord is calling us to give ourselves to Him and to His Mystical Body, the Church, and to all men, in love, whether we are called to lifelong, faithful and fruitful love in the married life, in the dedicated single life, in the consecrated life or in the priesthood. On her feast day, we ask Saint Cecilia to pray for us, so that each of us will remain steadfast in responding to our vocation in life, so that we will never fail to provide oil for our lamps, so that, each and every day, Our Lord will find us waiting and ready to welcome Him, with our lamps burning brightly. We pray, through the intercession of Saint Cecilia, that Our Lord will find us always ready to give our hearts completely to Him.


Providentially, our celebration of the memory of Saint Cecilia coincides with the day on which we offer to our Lord the Holy Mass in thanksgiving for the Ordinary Public Consistory, held on this past Saturday, during which our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI created new Cardinals to assist him in his shepherd’s care of the universal Church. The distinctive vesture of the Cardinal, the scarlet biretta and cassock, uncover the meaning of the position to which he is elevated. The purity and selflessness of the Cardinal’s love of the Church, to whom he, as a priest, is espoused in a way analogous to the consecrated virgin, must be further purified and strengthened, in order that, in the words of the Successor of Saint Peter at the imposition of the cardinalitial biretta, the Cardinal may show himself to be “intrepid, even to the shedding of his blood for the building up of the Christian faith, the peace and harmony of the People of God, and the freedom and the extension of the Holy Roman Church.”[3]


The Cardinal has a particular bond with the virgin martyrs. They are a sterling example to him of how he is to love Christ and the Church, while, at the same time, they intercede powerfully for him, so that he may be a sign to the faithful of our Lord’s ceaseless and immeasurable love, “to the end,”[4] to the very outpouring of His life for us, on Calvary, His Sacrifice made ever present for us in the Holy Eucharist.


The cassock, the traditional and venerable vesture of the priest, Bishop and Cardinal, in carrying out the office of pastoral charity, above all in the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist, is a sign of his belonging totally to Christ through priestly consecration.[5] When the priest puts on the cassock, he is reminded in a visible way that he has been configured to Christ, Head and Shepherd of the flock in every time and place, and that it is Christ Who is acting in Him, most especially in the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in the forgiveness of sins in the Sacrament of Penance, for the salvation of all men and of the whole world. The cassock also helps him to avoid the temptation to see himself, instead of Christ, as the protagonist in the works of pastoral charity, and, thereby, it is a practical help in the daily conversion of life, in the day by day emptying of himself, so that his priestly being may be filled with the grace of Christ the High Priest.


The change of the color of the cassock for the Bishop expresses the gift of the fullness of the priesthood, and for the Cardinal a particular service given to the Shepherd of the universal Church, in his office of “perpetual and visible principle and foundation of the unity of the faith and of communion.”[6] For my own part, I can testify that with the changing of the color of the cassock there comes an increase of responsibility, in Christ, for the life of the Church, which is daunting, but there is likewise a wonderful outpouring of grace for the bearing of the burden. The courageous bearing of the burden for love of Christ and His flock brings deep and abiding joy and peace. In this light, we understand the importance of our daily prayers for our priests, Bishops, Cardinals and the Holy Father. In this light, you will understand that I, as a Cardinal, need your prayers now more than ever.


In striving to understand the service of the Cardinal in the Church, one naturally turns to the lives of Cardinals who have been heroically virtuous in fulfilling the responsibilities of their office. I think, for example, of Saint John Fisher who received the Cardinal’s hat, when he was already in prison for his refusal to sign the Act of Supremacy of King Henry VIII, by which he would have betrayed Christ, denying that Christ alone is Head and Shepherd of the Church through His Vicar on earth, the Roman Pontiff, Successor of Saint Peter. When the Cardinal’s hat reached Calais in France on its way from Rome to London, the King was informed and immediately sent his secretary, Thomas Cromwell, to speak with Bishop Fisher in prison. When Cromwell asked the good Bishop whether he would accept the Cardinal’s hat from the Holy Father, Pope Paul III, should it be sent to him, Saint John Fisher responded:


"I know myself far unworthy of any such dignity, that I think of nothing less than such matters; but if he do send it to me, assure yourself I will work with it by all means I can to benefit the church of Christ, and in that respect I will receive it on my knees."[7]


The King, whose heart had once been belonged to the Lord but had then turned against the Lord, understood the meaning of Saint John Fisher’s words and, in his angry rebellion against the law of Our Lord, written on his very heart, declared:


"Well, let the pope send him a hat, when he will. But I will so provide that, whensoever it cometh, he shall wear it on his shoulders, for head shall he have no more to see it on."[8]


On June 22, 1535, Saint John Fisher was beheaded, intrepid in giving himself totally to Our Lord and His Church, to the very outpouring of his blood.


Although not every Cardinal will be called to give his life in red martyrdom for the sake of the Church and, above all, for the sake of the exercise of the ministry of the Vicar of Christ on earth, he is called daily to be intrepid, to give his life in white martyrdom, steadfastly and courageously defending the Catholic Church and her holy faith in the care of Saint Peter and his successors. How steadfast and courageous a Cardinal must be, today, in assisting Pope Benedict XVI in his pastoral ministry, announcing the truth of the faith, caring for the worthy celebration of the Sacraments as the privileged actions of Christ for our eternal salvation and for the life of prayer, devotion and penance, and governing lovingly and firmly the members of the Body of Christ, so that they may be one in Christ Who alone is “the way, and the truth, and the life!”[9]


I think, for instance, of the Holy Father’s tireless teaching of the moral law to a world which, like King Henry VIII, is in rebellion against the law of God, written upon every human heart, above all in its violations of the dignity of human life and the integrity of the family as the first cell of society. In his address to representatives of British society, on this past September 17th, Pope Benedict lovingly and firmly taught the truth that our religious faith must inform our life in society, purifying and strengthening political action so that it may be coherent with right reason, with the law of God written upon every human heart. He declared:


"Religion, in other words, is not a problem for legislators to solve, but a vital contributor to the national conversation. In this light, I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalization of religion, particularly of Christianity, that is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance. There are those who would advocate that the voice of religion be silenced, or at least relegated to the purely private sphere. There are those who argue that the public celebration of festivals such as Christmas should be discouraged, in the questionable belief that it might somehow offend those of other religions or none. And there are those who argue – paradoxically with the intention of eliminating discrimination – that Christians in public roles should be required at times to act against their conscience. These are worrying signs of a failure to appreciate not only the rights of believers to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, but also the legitimate role of religion in the public square."[10]


How pernicious it is that, in society which, for the pursuit of the common good, depends upon citizens acting in obedience to their conscience, her government attempts to compel her citizens to violate their conscience in its most fundamental tenets pertaining to the dignity of all human life and the integrity of the family!


The Church’s teaching on the service of the Church to society, also in the political realm, as the Holy Father himself noted, is not always welcome, even as the Church’s teaching on the Petrine office was not welcomed by King Henry VIII, but the Church, the Virgin Mother of all the faithful, must keep her lamp trimmed and burning brightly, waiting always for the coming of Our Lord and welcoming Him each day, at every hour, as He offers us the grace of eternal salvation.


The Cardinal today is called, in a special way, to assist the Roman Pontiff in announcing all of the truths of the faith, but, in a particular way, the truth regarding the natural moral law to be observed for the good of all in society.


There are so many other aspects of the Petrine ministry of Pope Benedict XVI, to which a Cardinal must attend and be ready to offer his assistance to the Vicar of Christ on earth.


I think also of the tireless work of our Holy Father to carry out a reform of the post-Conciliar liturgical reform[11], conforming the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy to the perennial teaching of the Church as it was presented anew at the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, so that in every liturgical action we may see more clearly the action of Christ Himself who unites heaven and earth, even now, in preparation for His Final Coming, when He will inaugurate “news heaven and a new earth,”[12] when we will all celebrate the fullness of life and love in the liturgy in the heavenly Jerusalem.[13] The Cardinal today is called, in a special way, to assist the Successor of Saint Peter, in handing on, in an unbroken organic line, what Christ Himself has given us in the Church, His Eucharistic Sacrifice, “the font and highest expression of the whole Christian life.”[14] The right order of Sacred Worship in the Church is the condition of the possibility of the right order of her teaching and the right order of her conduct.


May our celebration of the Holy Eucharist on the Memorial of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr, unite our hearts more totally to the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus, ever open to receive us, especially in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Lifting up our hearts, with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glorious Sacred Heart of Jesus, our lives will be purified and strengthened for a more pure and selfless love of God and of one another.


Lifting up our hearts to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we lift up to Him, in a special way, the newly created Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, thanking Him for them and praying that every Cardinal will always find in His glorious pierced Heart the purification and the strength to fulfill the particular responsibilities of service to His Vicar on earth, “intrepid, even to the shedding of his blood for the building up of the Christian faith, the peace and harmony of the People of God, and the freedom and the extension of the Holy Roman Church.”[15]


In the Heart of Jesus, may we all find the wisdom by which we will keep our lamps trimmed, provided with the unfailing oil of His grace, so that at every moment of our lives, we, with Saint Cecilia, will be waiting and ready to meet Him with our lamps burning brightly.
Heart of Jesus, King and Center of all Hearts, have mercy on us.


Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America and Star of the New Evangelization, pray for us.


Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us.


Saint John Fisher, Bishop, Cardinal and Martyr, pray for us.


—Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke


Archbishop Emeritus of Saint Louis (USA)




Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura


NOTES


[1] Butler’s Lives of the Saints, Complete Edition, ed. Herbert Thurston, S.J. and Donald Attwater, Vol. 4, New York: P. J. Kenedy & Sons, 1956, p. 402; and Bibliotheca Sanctorum, Vol. 3, Roma: Istituto Giovanni XXIII nella Pontificia Università Lateranense, 1963, coll. 1064-1086.


[2] Hos 2:19-20.


[3] “usque ad effusionem sanguinis pro incremento christianae fidei, pace et quiete populi Dei, libertate et diffusione Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae [vos ipsos] intrepidos [exhibere debere].” “Imposizione della berretta,” Consistoro per la creazione di nuovi Cardinali, 20 November 2010, Città del Vaticano: Ufficio delle Celebrazioni Liturgiche del Sommo Pontefice, p. 23.


[4] Jn 13:1.


[5] Cf. Herbert Thurston, “Costume, Clerical,” The Catholic Encyclopedia, New York: The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1913, pp. 419-421.


[6] “perpetuum ac visibile unitatis fidei et communionis principium et fundamentum.” Sacrosanctum Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum II, “Constitutio dogmatica de Ecclesia, Lumen gentium, 21 November 1964, Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 57 (1965), p. 22, no. 18.


[7] Quoted in: E. E. Reynolds, Saint John Fisher, rev. ed., Wheathampstead – Hertfordshire: Anthony Clarke Books, 1972, pp. 272-273.


[8] Ibid., p. 273.


[9] Jn 14:6.


[10] Pope Benedict XVI, “Reason and faith need each other,” 17 September 2010, L’Osservatore Romano Weekly Edition in English, 22 September 2010, pp. 12-13.


[11] Benedictus PP. XVI, “Allocutio ad Romanam Curiam ob omina natalicia,” 22 Decembris 2005, Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 98 (2006), pp. 45-52; and Benedictus PP. XVI, “Epistula ad Episcopos Catholicae Ecclesiae Ritus Romani,” 7 Julii 2007, Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 99 (2007), pp. 795-799.


[12] 2 Pt 3:13; cf. Rv 21:1.


[13] Cf. Heb 12:22-24; and Rv 21:2-27.


[14] “totius vitae christianae fontem et culmen.” Sacrosanctum Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum II, “Constitutio Dogmatica de Ecclesia, Lumen gentium,” 21 November 1964, Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 57 (1964), p. 15, no. 11.


[15] Cf. note 3.





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"Birth or not" couple admit hoax on internet poll deciding fate of their unborn child

(click link to see photos and videos of babies in the womb)



UPDATE:  I no sooner made this post when Steve Ertelt of LifeNews sent out an email link with an update on this story.  It was a hoax. 

Go read:  Husband Behind BirthOrNot Site Admits Abortion Vote a Hoax at LifeNews.

Here's more:

I will continue with the 9 day novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe now that I have started it and will let her send those graces to where they are needed most.  See the link at the bottom of this post above the picture of her.

I will also leave what I have up below, for the sake of those considering an abortion. 




If this is not a hoax, or a study of some kind, it is absolutely horrific.

Please pray for a misguided couple, who have posted a poll on the internet, in which they invite people to cast a vote as to whether they should keep their baby or abort him. 

Illustrating an Atrocity By Acting Atrociously – A Chilling Website Approaches It’s Horrifying Deadline.  He explains what happened to poll numbers in recent days.  People are playing games and at the top of the list are the parents who initiated this thing.  They go so far as to provide updates on ultrasounds and health checks.  I couldn't stomach clicking that link at first out of Monsignor Pope's blogpost (which is where I want you to get it).  I couldn't believe what I was reading at his blog.

The site says voting will end two days before the last day they can abort, which they post as December 9 (Msgr. Pope shows it as December 3).

Perhaps they should take some time to go look at pictures watch some video of abortion at Priests for Life

For anyone even considering an abortion, make sure you know exactly what is going to happen to that baby during the process. 

Babies have survived chemical abortions, as Gianna Jessen - an abortion survivor shows us

They are dismembered while alive.   It is a horrific process that few can bear to accept once they see it.

9 Day Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Please join me in praying  a 9 Day Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe for this couple.  If this proves to be a hoax or a study of some kind, then we will ask her to apply the graces where needed most. 

Why Our Lady of Guadalupe?  She is the protectionist of the unborn.  Why?  Read about OLG here.




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Photo: Storm Supercell - Wow!



You have to go to Boston.com and see this photo by Sean Heavey which appears in a  collection of other amazing photos advertising the National Geographic's 2010 Photo Contest which ends on November 30th. 
National Geographic's Photography Contest 2010
National Geographic is once again holding their annual Photo Contest, with the deadline for submissions coming up on November 30th. For the past eight weeks, they have been gathering and presenting galleries of submissions, encouraging readers to rate them as well. National Geographic was again kind enough to let me choose some of their entries from 2010 for display here on The Big Picture. Collected below are 47 images from the three categories of People, Places and Nature. Captions were written by the individual photographers. (47 photos total)
Go see the above photo, bigger and higher quality at Boston.com (scroll up and down to see other entries).


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Monday, November 22, 2010

Cardinal Burke discusses abortion supporters and Holy Communion in Vatican Radio interview


Raymond Cardinal Burke with Pope Benedict XVI during the 2010 Consistory of Cardinals

I can't help thinking that Cardinal Burke enjoys considerable support, not just of the Holy Father, but of others in the Curia.  He is not only the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, but has been named to 4 additional congregations and a number of councils and committees since going to Rome.  On it's face, we see his skills being put to work.  However, perhaps not so apparent, is the rounding-out that he is being given, along with the broad exposure to others who are getting to know him even better.  I'm just sayin'. 

Despite that stack of duties, he still finds time to teach by speaking at conferences and granting interviews such as this one with Vatican Radio.  While it may not be changing the hearts of some of the more visible bishops who disagree with him on denying Holy Communion to pro-abort Catholic pols, it may be moving the hearts of other bishops who are in the middle.  They are the silent majority who are just trying to figure out.... who's right?  If anything, by example, Burke is teaching them to speak up, and to be bold. 

Here is a question, and an excerpt.  You can listen to the full audio here (mp3 | Real).  Emphasis mine highlighted in yellow.

Q. You’re known as a man with very firm ideas about the moral rectitude of those who profess Catholicism -- ideas that don’t always sit comfortably with everyone -- and I’m thinking of some of the remarks you’ve made about pro-abortion politicians, for example, receiving Communion -- the Holy Eucharist -- in the United States. Have you ever felt discouraged that people aren’t just getting the message?

Burke: I think it’s only natural to be tempted to discouragement, and I’ve had those temptations -- for instance, on the question of a person who publicly and obstinately espouses the right of a woman to choose to abort the infant in her womb receiving Holy Communion, strikes me as something very clear in the 2,000 years of the church’s tradition -- she’s always firmly held that a person who is publicly and obstinately in grave sin should not approach to receive Holy Communion and, if he or she does, should be denied Holy Communion.


Why? First of all, to avoid for the person -- himself or herself -- committing a sacrilege: in other words, receiving the Sacrament unworthily, and also because the holiness of the Sacrament itself demands that one be in a state of grace to receive the Body and Blood of Christ. Therefore, when I set this forth, really -- and it’s not a new idea on my part -- and if I’m firm about it I have to say that that is in line with the constant tradition of the church.


It is discouraging that either members of the church claim not to understand this, or they claim that in some way there is an excuse for someone who is publicly and obstinately in grave sin to receive Holy Communion. I look at it this way: this response on the part of many in the church comes from living in a society that’s completely secularized, and the thinking that is marked -- the God-centered thinking which has marked the discipline of the church -- is not easily understood by those who are bombarded day in and day out with a kind of God-less approach to the world and to many questions.


And so I try not to get discouraged but to try to continue to speak the message in a way that people can understand. I try not to be -- and I don’t believe that I have been -- harsh or angry in my teaching. Certainly, I always could’ve been more effective in it, but try to speak the truth with love as the Holy Scriptures say, but also to realize that one has to continue to proclaim the message in season and out of season, and whether it’s being warmly received or not being received or being resisted or criticized doesn’t excuse the bishop or the priest from teaching clearly or steadfastly.


The interview also includes some discussion of the clerical sex abuse scandal.

Further reading:
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L'Osservatore Romano, the Pope, and the Condom Conundrum



All eyes are on L'Osservatore Romano in the wake
of an apparent leak of text that was under embargo.

Blogging canonist Ed Peters offers some thoughts on the latest fiasco at L'Osservatore Romano

The continuing mess at L’Osservatore Romano



While many able others are scrambling to respond to the eruption over the pope’s remarks on condom use by male prostitutes, I want to ask a few questions about the occasion of this public relations fiasco, namely, the decision by L’Osservatore Romano to publish prematurely, out of context, and without commentary, the single most controversial paragraph of the pope’s book, Light of the World, in, if nothing else, apparent violation of the agreement in place between its various publishers concerning a coordinated release of the work.
Continue reading Ed Peters on L'Osservatore Romano..... really.  He drills 'em.


A head in the sand at L'OR?

Further Reading:

There is also the not-so-clear, clarification by Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi (no disrespect intended).

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Bishop Soto to head CCHD - Yes, THAT Bishop Soto



Some news on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) escaped the notice of many last Friday and is just starting to circulate. There has been a change in leadership.  It is Bishop Jaime Soto.

Yes, that Bishop Jaime Soto!   <= This is a link - click to see a very good story about this bishop and how he operates.



The USCCB just finished it's fall plenary session in Baltimore.  There was a brief public update given on CCHD by the former chairman, Bishop Roger Morin of Biloxi.  There was a more extensive meeting on the beleaguered arm of the US bishops's conference, but it was a closed-door session. 

Here is the press release from the USCCB.

Bishop Soto Named Chairman of Subcommittee on Catholic Campaign for Human Development


WASHINGTON (November 19, 2010) — Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, has been named the new chairman of the Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the domestic anti-poverty program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The appointment was announced November 17, during the executive session of the Fall General Assembly of the USCCB.


“I am honored to have the confidence of my brother bishops as I assume the chair for the subcommittee for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development,” said Bishop Soto of the appointment. “CCHD has been an important national pastoral enterprise dedicated to infusing American Society with the Catholic values of human dignity, solidarity, and communion.”


Bishop Soto succeeds Bishop Roger Morin of Biloxi, Mississippi, who in his last public report to the bishops said, “At this time of growing poverty, we need a renewed, strengthened, faithful CCHD more than ever.” The bishops expressed their gratitude for Bishop Morin’s leadership in challenging times.


On the recent Review and Renewal of CCHD, Bishop Soto said, “I am grateful for the work of the previous committee that has re-tooled CCHD so that it can be even more effective in its mission. I am eager to have CCHD serve as an agent for bringing the pastoral priorities of the USCCB to the neighborhoods and towns where Catholic people strive to practice their faith, especially those who are poor and marginalized.”


He added, “My committee will continue to monitor the progress for the implementations of the new guidelines. God's people are the Church's best resource for the mission of New Evangelization. CCHD will continue to invest in them so that they can be the protagonists of the Gospel, announcing the joy and hope of the Lord Jesus to a weary world.”


Bishop Soto has served as bishop of Sacramento since 2008. He is chairman of the USCCB Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, a member of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, and a consultant to the Committee on International Justice and Peace. He has also served as chairman of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) for the past four years.


Founded in 1969, CCHD’s mission is to address the root causes of poverty in the United States by promoting community self-help organizations and transformative education. To learn more about CCHD, visit: www.usccb.org/cchd/

Don't forget to check my Twitter feed, in my sidebar for other news links!

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Photos coming... Forty Hours Closing

I do have photos coming and hope to get to them this weekend.   So, do check back. 

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No, the Pope did not change the Church's teaching on condoms...


Secular journalists around the world have once again not taken the time to actually read what Pope Benedict XVI said and distortions abound on the web. It concerns a topic covered in a new book by Peter Seewald in which he interviewed Pope Benedict XVI: Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and The Signs Of The Times.
I like part of Tom Peters' opening quote from his post: Condoms, Consistency, and the Vatican’s Crisis of (mis)Communication



Like clockwork, the mainstream media has smashed the pope’s nuanced comments through a sausage grinder of bias, ignorance, mistranslation, and agenda into headlines such as this: “Pope says condoms can be justified in some cases.”

Yeah.  that sums up how it happens.   Tom has a number of links in his article. 

Jimmy Akin has some good analysis, and links to others, as well in his post: The Pope said what about condoms?



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Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Photos: Assumption Grotto at Night; 40 Hours Devotion Update

Assumption Grotto Parish in Detroit on a Fall Night (November 20, 2010)
Today was the second day in our 40 Hours Devotion.  Upon learning that it would run until 9:00pm, I decided to go later in the day.  I took my camera intending to capture what was going on inside the Church when I captured some outdoor shots. 

FORTY HOURS DEVOTION UPDATE


Grotto's pastor, Fr. Eduard Perrone, during Benediction
at the 9:00pm end of Adoration for the day.

There has been a change this year to how the Forty Hours Devotion is being carried out.  Fr. Perrone is using the 1962 Missal.  This morning, he celebrated the Missa Pro Pace (Mass for Peace) at the Sacred Heart side altar in purple vestments - something we will all have to wait to see again until next year.  This information did not make it into the bulletin, but should next year, because he plans on doing it again this way.

There is another change you will be interested in.  The closing will be a solemn high Mass called a Mass of Deposition.  There will be a Eucharistic Procession and the Litany of the Saints will be sung in Latin.  Members of the Assumption Grotto Choir and schola will be singing this closing Mass at 3:00pm.  

Of course, the ushers will be providing a pancake breakfast tomorrow, which ends at 2:00pm.  

A few more photos for your viewing pleasure....












FURTHER READING






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On EWTN now: Replay of the 2010 Consistory of Cardinals

Cardinal Burke receives his red-hat (Photo: Teak Phillips/St. Louis Review)

We can now leave behind the "Cardinal-designate" preceding the names of the men named by Pope Benedict to receive the red hat today. 

It is now, Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Weurl, Cardinal Ranjith, Cardinal Bartolucci.... etc.

If you go to EWTN now, you can watch the replay on what was live at 4:00am our time here in Detroit today.   There are mobile options too.  Go to this page at EWTN to get the audio or video stream.

http://www.ewtn.com/audiovideo/index.asp

Also, see my Twitter feed for recent articles and posts on the consistory and Cardinals.  When I don't have time to make posts, I do go in and update my Twitter feed, so do check it regularly in the sidebar.  That is where I also place breaking news and other items I become aware of. 

See CNA's article: Pope tells Cardinals to be ready to sacrifice their lives.

See also the St. Louis Review's photo post from the event.

See New Advent for other articles.


40 Hours Devotion is on at Assumption Grotto

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Update on 40 Hours Devotion

CORRECTION TO EARLIER POST

In yesterday's post on 40 Hours Devotion, I had given some errant closing times for Friday and Saturday.  I do apologize. 

Exposition went until 9:00pm tonight, and it will also go until 9:00pm on Saturday. 

Please take part in this devotion which is rarely offered,  but slowly re-emerging with the popularity of Eucharistic Adoration. 

See yesterday's post for details and informative links about 40 Hours Devotion.  I have also added one more link to the St. John Cantius website where they have a brief explanation, and photos. 


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

40 Hours Devotion Friday-Sunday at Assumption Grotto


When I first arrived at Assumption Grotto on Pentecost of 2005, it seemed like not a week went by the entire year that I didn't learn something new about Catholicism.  Those things weren't "new", they were just new to me.  Like many who grew up in the 70's, 80's and after, Eucharistic Adoration was something I had not been exposed to until 2005.  I had never participated in a Corpus Christi procession - another form of Eucharistic devotion.  But there was something else that was in the treasury of surprises I encountered at Assumption Grotto:  40 Hours Devotion.   This can take on various forms, from continuous 40 hours, to approximately 40 hours over a 3 day period.  At Grotto it will be running this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (see hours below). 

There are some well written pieces that I have listed below on this devotion, and it's history. Learn about it.


Please come to Assumption Grotto this weekend and spend time with the Lord.  Right after, and before a Mass, there are often an abundance of people.  However, times like 2-5pm on Fridays, or late morning, through early afternoon Saturday, are low on people. 

I recommend dressing in layers and bringing something that may be a little warmer.  Some days we are graced with warmth, and other days the heater may be a little slower to kick in.   

I have had many older parishioners tell me that in the "old days", 40 Hours Devotion would go from parish to parish on different weekends through the year, and people and priests from other parishes would come, especially for the closing ceremony on mid-Sunday afternoon.  There are different traditions, with some having them just before the Triduum, and others around Corpus Christi.  Assumption Grotto has held 40 Hours Devotion usually the 2nd weekend in November, but it got bumped for a number of reasons to this weekend. 

TIMES 
The Grotto News simply says:
Forty Hours Devotion begins Friday, November 19th after the 7:30 a.m. Mass and closes at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 21st with a procession, litany and benediction. Confessions will be heard after the Noon Mass til 3:00 p.m.
Correction on Nov 19, 2010: Closing time for Friday and Saturday is 9:00pm.  See my latest post which has a low-quality video of the 7:00pm evening Mass taking place at the Sacred Heart side altar.  Adoration continued after the 7:00pm Mass until Benedict and closing for the evening at 9:00. 

CHOIR TO SING NOON MASS & 3PM CLOSING
I should note that the Assumption Grotto choir will be singing the noon Mass.  The choir always sings during the beautiful closing ceremony, which involves a procession within the parish church.  It includes the Litany of the Saints, sung in Latin. 

PANCAKE BREAKFAST TO HOLD US OVER
The Grotto News also draws our attention to something else that comes on 40 Hours Devotion weekend (conveniently, for those staying until the 3:00 closing):
Sunday, November 21st, the Ushers will host a Pancake Breakfast after the 9:30 a.m. Mass until 2:00 p.m.. Join us for a delicious breakfast Benefits will go to the parish. Adults $6.00, children $3.00.
FURTHER READING



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