Sunday, April 30, 2006

Assumption Day 2005 Collection - Sursum Corda

This photo, entitled Sursum Corda, is another from my Assumption Day 2005 collection. I took this at the 9:30am Mass - one of four masses held on August 15, our feast day. The Eucharistic Prayer had just gotten underway and we were heading in to the Sanctus. The picture below was taken just a few minutes prior to the one above.

More pictures from the Assumption Day 2005 collection can be found in these posts:

Assumption Day 2005 - Post 1

Assumption Day 2005 - Post 2

For some reason the gold vestments and altar dressings just gives me a much greater sense of the sacred (click on the pics to enlarge).

What say you?

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Seeking Solid Catholic Priests, and Professors

I have a small jackpot worth of material from solid Catholic priests, professors, and more. However, I believe combining this with what others have is far more robust.

If you know of an order, priest, or professor that may not have the visibility they deserve, please email me the information, and any pertinent links. We need to have access to writings and material that may be on line. It could be the parish website, a blog, or other. I'll continue to profile them - a few each week, then add them in the appropriate spot in my sidebar. This sidebar will be slightly reorganized to accomplish this.

This blog will only promote persons and material that are fully aligned with the Magisterium. Dissenters need not apply - they get plenty of visibility in mainstream media.

If you are a priest or professor with a solid catholic site, please tell us about yourself in our comments section, or send me an email.

Solid Catholic Professors Online - Dr. Janet E. Smith

Periodically I will feature solid Catholic professors who have material available online. In this post, I would like to point you to Dr. Janet E. Smith of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan. SHMS really got a win with the edition of Dr. Smith. She is currently on tour giving talks and perhaps coming to a city near you. Her next stop is the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN on May 2, 2006.

I would like to encourage people to book mark the page below and read through some of the published articles and unpublished talks found in the sidebar, as well as the many other good reading materials she offers us in the same area of this page.

Here is some background from her SHMS bio page.

Dr. Janet E. Smith is the Fr. Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Issues at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

She is the author of Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later and editor of Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader and many articles on ethical and bioethics issues. Over 700,000 copies of her tape, "Contraception: Why Not?" have been distributed.
She taught for nine years at the University of Notre Dame and twelve years at the University of Dallas.

She speaks nationally and internationally on several issues, especially the Catholic Church's teaching on sexuality. She is serving a second term as a consultor to the Pontifical Council on the Family.

Note: Photo was taken from Dr. Janet Smith's biopage.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Forty Hours Devotion - A Mass

This is from a Mass surrounding the 40 hours Devotion that my parish had a couple months back. It is one of my favorite shots. Remember, all of these are from Novus Ordo Masses, not Tridentine, and all are celebrated ad orientem at Assumption Grotto in Detroit. Torchbearers just give it that much more solemnity.

There is a history in the form of a two part Q & A below. Fr. William Saunders explains it in The Catholic Herald:

40 Hours History - Part 1
40 Hours History - Part 2

Do you have 40 hours yearly at your parish? If so, when? Tell us about it and share your experience.

This was my first time and I had never heard of this before. There was something awe-inspiring about spending a couple of hours in silence before Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. This is how we truly discover God. Silence is so important because it helps us hear his voice among the many others that drown His out.

There is an interesting read on holy silence, written by one of the priests, (which go by "Brother of the Holy Cross"). I can almost guarantee, you will feel different about spending quality quiet time with God after reading this, if you haven't already figured it out.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

One More Photo of the Day - CTH Q&A

Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC talking about priests in cassocks boldy proclaimed in his DVD (paraphrased): "They're coming to a parish near you!"

Hehehe.....they're already here! Cassocks speak volumes. You don't have to wonder which Magisterium these guys support.

I couldn't help myself. I had to add another picture I took at the October 2005 Call to Holiness Conference. Keep in mind this was held at the Sterling Inn so it does not make for one of the finest backdrops. However, the big screen presented some interesting photographic opportunities.

Not seen in the picture above, also speaking at the conference were Jeff Cavins, and Raymond Arroyo. Check back in the coming days for more photos from the 2005 Call to Holiness Conference.

There was a brief and colorful Q&A session. I call it colorful because if you have never seen Bob and Penny Lord in person, you wouldn't get it. They are hilarious in this kind of setting, unlike their very formal appearances on television. People of all ages enjoyed their talks.

The panel was made up of, from left to right:

Fr. Louis Guardiola, CPM
Jay McNally (scroll down a short distance).
Fr. Eduard Perrone (scroll down to "Hello Good Men")
Penny Lord (of EWTN), and her husband Bob (on the big screen)
Fr. William Casey, CPM (on the big screen) - also seen on EWTN

One of the questions I remember very vividly was when a person asked if their grandchild was properly baptized. Apparently, the priest who performed the baptism, did so in the name of the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Fr. Perrone fielded the question and without hesitating said that the child had not received the Sacrament of Baptism and should be baptized properly. Some gasped in the audience at the notion that this child, who was already 8 or 9, if I recall, had never been baptized as an infant, as all had believed.

From the CCC:

232 Christians are baptized "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"53

And, another priest answering it very simply here.

Call to Holiness Post 3

Photo of the Day - Call to Holiness in Prayer

This picture was taken at the October 2005 Call to Holiness Conference in Sterling Hghts, Michigan. A conference room was transformed in to a 24 hour Adoration chapel and was filled well. The young man pictured with the "life" shirt walked in and went right up front and knelt in adoration, praying a Rosary for the unborn. He said to me later, "Every Hail Mary I pray, helps save another baby".

I don't think scenes like this will be coming from a Call to Action Conference.

Let's dissect their mission statement...

Call to Action (CTA) is a Catholic movement working for equality and justice
in the Church and society.

Ok, hmmmmm.....reading on....

An independent national organization of over 25,000 people and 40 local organizations,

I wonder what the average age is. Moving right along.....

CTA believes that the Spirit of God is at work in the whole church, not just in its appointed leaders.

Yes, and as Fr. John Corapi said, "Unity must subsist in truth!" If you have an army division heading one way, and a single platoon heads in another direction against their orders, they will find themselves without support, and eventually get ambushed. So, you have this dissenting organization of people, promoting values which are in conflict with the Catholic Church, some of which are highlighted in this article in Catholic Culture called, "The Contrast of Call To Action vs. Church Teaching".

Am I alone in pondering how the "Spirit of God" can be influencing both the Church and this dissenting group all at the same time? That's like saying a car can be headed north and south while traveling in the same direction. Or, that it's possible to be misaligned and aligned. Right! If I had to meet my Maker tomorrow, I'd rather go knowing I didn't mistrust Him in such a way as to believe it was not the Church being influenced as opposed to this group of 25,000 people. I don't recall Christ teaching via democratic vote anyplace in scripture.

CTA promotes its vision of a progressive, engaged Catholicism through its acclaimed annual conferences, award-winning publications, extensive network of regional groups and joint programs with other Catholic renewal organizations.

Phew! That's one of the longest sentences in one of the longest Mission Statements and it took all that time for them to get to the word "progressive". For some reason, I don't think God is going to care how many worldly awards they have received, but he may have something to say about the many souls led away from authentic Catholicism. The sad part is that it is cloaked in "peace" and "justice". What you have is superficial peace and justice, because true peace and justice comes only when it is rooted in truth.

Call to Holiness - A Contrast

Call to Holiness is an organization of Catholics, obedient to the Vicar of Christ, faithful to the eternal truths of Jesus Christ. Our purpose is to defend and support the Magisterium, the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, through prayer, education and evangelization.

Now that's a mission statement. Members won't be advocating women's ordination or a woman's right to choose, or free love, but they will be found in a variety of services and apostolates doing everything from supporting a crisis pregnancy clinic, visiting the sick, feeding the poor, prison ministry and any number of other good works.

Now lets go pray for these 25,000 and a multitude of others who have become sadly disoriented. It's the most important thing we can do for authentic unity in the Body of Christ.

What say you? Go ahead, comment!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Got Latin?

Just wanted to draw attention to the new section in my sidebar featuring links to good Latin resources. The first two added tonite are among my favorites.

The first one, Thesaurus Precum Latinarum is one of the most extensive collections of Catholic Prayers in Latin. I have not been able to determine if this site is authentic Catholic, or from a schismatic sect. If someone knows one way or the other for certain, please contact me at my email (see profile) or leave a comment.

The second link, is from the Latin Mass Society in England-Wales. They offer a free online Latin course - Simiplicissimus and I have found it the most simple to learn as any I've reviewed thus far. It is ecclesiastical Latin, and uses words commonly found in the Liturgy to teach.
Photo of the Day - The Pieta at Assumption Grotto

This is the only photo I have of the Pieta statue in a corner of our church. It was taken at Christmas, which hopefully explains the decorations.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Assumption Grotto - Observations from the Pew

Something old, becomes something new if you never realized it existed. Having just discovered Assumption Grotto parish in Detroit on Pentecost of 2005, there was a lot I didn't know about the place. The day I walked up the steps, it was just another parish. I had floated to many parishes over the years, always seeming to seek something, but never knowing what it was....... until I discovered it at the Grotto, but it took time to figure out: Solid, orthodox Catholicism, rich in devotion, homilies that preached the fullness of the faith - not just the feel good stuff, and a culture that values reverence and silence in church, and is faithful to the Magisterium . It took a little longer to realize I was attracted also by what this parish didn't have, such as talking in church even outside of Mass, or folk bands. I turned in my guitar for the alto section of one of the finest Catholic music programs on earth singing songs that have been around for centuries.

Keep in mind, I'm not a nostalgic senior longing for what I once had. I was born in 1962, and I feel cheated, to an extent, that I never knew the Mass could be so solemn, and so graceful, lifting my soul in such a way as to discover true worship of God.

Not Your Grandma's or Grandpa's Urban Parish

I thought I would see what I so often have caught a glimpse of in many of the parishes I've walked through - lots of gray hair, and only a handful of young people. Or, as we typically think about urban parishes, a few folk - lifers from the old neighborhood who are still enjoying the close proximity of the church. I often wondered what would happen to our church because some of the parishes were getting so "old". Where were the young people that all of the fanfare and looseness was to draw? All those people on liturgical commissions working diligently to spruce up the one thing that could sell itself with no dressing whatsoever......and where were the youth? The guitars strummed, the drums beat, the banners flew, the sanctuary opened up to swells of lay people and most, but not all, were nearing retirement.

Yet, I found Grotto was well mixed with all ages, and the families were very large for the most part. While Grotto has lots of large families there are some couples who simply cannot have more children, or any children at all. Some of these folks have opened their hearts to kids in need of a home and their joy is readily visible. Others spend time in service of Holy Mother Church in their own way, along with the many singles who make Grotto their home. It's a parish full of life.

Just the Liturgy Please!

The funny part is that you don't have all that tampering with the Mass I just described earlier. The liturgy is simple and a committee doesn't plan it. It happens just the way it is suppose to - no dressing required. In fact, looking back, that stuff just turned me off, even in my younger days. No wonder I had lost interest in the Mass before making Grotto my home. Now I come not to satisfy myself, but to worship God, along with everyone else that is there. Perhaps that explains the profound silence found in parishes such as mine. When we worship God with our entire being, it means we must detach ourselves from the world around us, because nothing, or no one is greater than Him. I can't truly see God in my neighbor until I learn to seek the face of God first and it is so much more difficult with "busy" liturgies.

No Need to Walk on Egg-shells with Moral Issues

In many parishes today, you never know whether the people sitting in the pew next to you are pro-life or pro-choice, and the subject seems undiscussible from so many pulpits today. So, I never talked about it with anyone out of fear I might offend or come across as uncharitable. Talk about getting it backwards! Perhaps my mind was cleared when the priests at Grotto preached about being "open to life". I felt they were more concerned with my salvation than with my self-esteem - something challenging, yet satisfying, and bringing me back for more. I spend a lot of time at this parish and have not yet run across anyone who promotes the idea of women priests, not to mention other more serious issues. People are not confused here, but then again, neither are the priests. They've got "20/20" vision when it comes to church teaching and have no qualms about calling it out as they see it.

It's got to be the first parish in my life where I hear words like chastity, sacrifice, and penance discussed along side charity, mercy, and forgiveness. I nearly fell out of my pew the first time I heard one of the priests talk about chastity because I was so use to homilies that avoided such things. Let's face it, today's priests have their work cut out for them with raunchy commercials, raunchy billboards, ease of access to internet porn and the like. Now is not the time to avoid talk on the 6th and 9th commandments. No wonder people think they are merely the "Ten Suggestions" when we don't even hear frank talk from many pulpits on them. I found it equally refreshing that a priest would actually encourage self-denial of even simple things, just to mortify the apetites and for the practice. After all, if we can tame the lesser apetites, it makes the bigger ones that much easier to tackle. So simple, yet so profound.

The Remedy for a Recovering Catholic

For the first time in my Catholic life, I'm in a Catholic parish, that fully values Catholicism in all its purity and simplicity. Absent are the excuses for blowing off Church teachings in favor of whatever is convenient. It got me to think. It got me to make some big changes. It all made me very happy to follow God with simplicity instead of with excuses. Thank God that priests are so generous with their time in confessionals at Grotto, even going there outside of regular hours when folks are around. People respond readily to a priest in the confessional. I know - I'm one of them. I'll add that they actually encourage coming to confession to work through venial matters, if that is all you have. Such things are not dismissed and I've found there is no finer coach for a Catholic than a confessor with 20/20 vision. With regular lines of very young to very old, on Saturdays and Sundays, this sacrament is inviting as I navigate through my own metanoia.

And, my self-esteem is still very much intact, despite all of the frank talk from the pulpit and frequent trips to the confessional! In fact, it has never been stronger.

Enough said! For now.

Assumption Grotto and Fr. Eduard Perrone on EWTN

Now I would like to turn everyone's attention to something old - the audios found in EWTN's audio section. It was "new" for me as it will be for many of you. But, I think you will find these things inspiring.

Enjoy this first talk, then consider listening to two more in which Deal Hudson of Crisis Magazine interviews Fr. Perrone, also available through the EWTN media library. In the first audio, Mother Angelica discusses a variety of topics, from the music program, to parishioners opening themselves to every life that God wants to give them, the liturgy, and more.

The photos are not typical of what we see in American Catholicism, nor are any of the talks, homilies and writings you'll find through this blog - must be spring time.

Solid, orthodox Catholicism with solemn liturgies: It has nothing to do with age - it's a state of mind.

Mother Angelica Live - A Conversation with Fr. Eduard Perrone

Church and Culture Today - Three French Sacred Music Composers

Church and Culture Today - Assumption Grotto Church

Monday, April 24, 2006

My Lord and My God!

This picture, which is featured at the very bottom of this blog, is being brought to the forefront once again. It was taken at the outdoor Grotto we have in the cemetary behind the parish. A little history can be found at the Michigan Historical Markers site. I suppose I should offer more background at a later date.

It was Assumption Day - August 15, 2005. Pictured below is the Elevation of the Host during the 7:00 pm Latin Novus Ordo Mass. It was fine weather, and well attended. This particular photo was picked up by The Wanderer, and featured on the front page of an early October edition.

People often ask what, or who, that is in the lower left, appearing like a veiled head. Well, it is the veiled head of St. Bernadette, one of two new statues - the other being the angel visible in the picture. More on these later.

The name of this photo is:

My Lord and My God!


For those visiting Te Deum the first time, welcome. I am new to the world of blogging, so forgive any "issues" that arise as I learn to navigate the system.

Feel free to leave comments - I have opened this up wide. In fact, if someone who does not have a blogger account is willing to test this feature, it would help me to know if things are working as I should expect.

I have added some fine sermons by Assumption Grotto pastor, Fr. Eduard Perrone in the right-hand side bar. It is very rare to hear this kind of straight talk from the pulpit today, so it comes to you electronically. Check the parish website for more sermons.

These include his:

- Mass Talk series
- Imitation of Christ series
- A January 2006 sermon on chastity

At Grotto we get solid Catholic homilies each and every week, at all Masses. As more become available I'll provide updates or links to them.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Photos 2006 - Adoration on Divine Mercy Sunday

The Noon Mass at the Grotto was an Orchestra Mass, for the feast of Divine Mercy. I took a break from taking photos during the Mass because I could only attend one Mass this day, and like to take in more than one, when photographing.

Following the Noon Mass, we went right in to Adoration until 3:00. Unfortunately, I could not stay for Benediction and other devotions, but managed to get some beautiful pictures of the altar as seen during Easter season.

NOTE: Clicking on any picture in this blog may yield a larger view.

Even the carved, wooden angels to either side of the high altar are holding bouquets for the Easter season.

Photos 2006 - Archbishop Burke at Assumption Grotto

Backtracking to January 14, 2006 - Marian Catechists

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke came from St. Louis to Detroit for a daylong event for the Marian Catechists. The organization was founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., who spent his final years at Assumption Grotto parish, where the Mass and seminar were held, in his rememberance.

In the picture are:

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, Msgr Henry J. Breier (Secretary and Master of Ceremonies for the Archbishop), Fr. Eduard Perrone (Pastor of Assumption Grotto), Fr. John Bustamante (Associate Pastor), and Fr. Amah.

In this photo, the thurible is prepared with incense that will be used at the pulpit before the Gospel is read.

What follows is the elevation of the Body, and Blood of Christ. In this Latin Novus Ordo, Archbishop Burke used the ad orientem posture seen often in the Mass of Paul VI at Grotto.

The procession out following holy Mass.

A photo of Archbishop Burke during one of his talks, all of which were held in the church.

This is a common photo to get of anyone at the pulpit as the stained glass is too beautiful to pass up.

Photos 2006 - Holy Week: Easter Noon Mass

Easter Day - The Noon Mass

The 12:00pm Mass was sparsely populated as most had gone to the Easter Vigil, or the 9:30am Latin Novus Ordo, or both. Each was solemn in its own way, explaining why so many choose to assist at both Masses.

The Noon Mass featured the visiting Assumption Schola. As I set up my camera in the choir loft to get pictures, their presence came as a surprise to me - a very pleasant one. It presented some wonderful photographic opportunities, which is evident in what is seen here. This first shot was taken following the Mass. Fr. Perrone joined them, mainly playing the organ, but also singing in some numbers.

In what appears to be a pre-Mass strategy session, I would later learn that the schola was focused intently on the director delivering news that his wife is expecting. Congratulations!

One of the photographic opportunities was to capture Fr. Perrone at the organ, in a neatly pressed surplice, with Fr. Bustamante stepping up in to the sanctuary as the Noon Mass got underway. In the foreground on the right, is the upper portion of the choir director's stand, which contains a built-in, wooden cross. I had to stand in the nosebleed section of the choir loft risers. I won't divulge how much I fear heights.

As I sat on a chair next to the organ listening to the readings, I looked over and found Fr. Perrone with eyes closed, meditating as he so often does at such times. I had noticed the beauty of the organ pipes in the background and thought if I could get low enough, I could capture the Alpha and Omega sign on the organ pipe cross bars. The organ light prevented them from being seen, but added to the portrait quality of the shot.

A picture of the schola while singing, with the pipes in the background. If only I had a wider angled lense. It was tight quarters up there and I could not capture the full schola in action.

At this Mass, Fr. Bustamante celebrates at the center, table altar, or "low" altar.

A picture of the Assumption Schola following the Mass, down in the sanctuary. There are a few things I wish I had done differently to capture a better shot, but it's not too bad for a first attempt. The lighting within Grotto presents challenges with picture taking. The same setting on my Dimage 7i does not yield the same results at different times of the day or as other lights are turned on.

Photos 2006 - Holy Week: Easter 9:30 Mass


The 9:30am Mass featured "Messe - Op. 147" by Robert Schumann, composed in 1852. It was conducted by Fr. Eduard Perrone. In this first picture, Fr. Perrone is directing the men as they sung, "Cantico del Sol" by Lizst.

Associate Pastor, Fr. John Bustamante, incenses the pulpit just before the Gospel.

The church was pretty packed at the 9:30am Mass, with only sparse seating. Most people attended either the 8:00pm Easter Vigil, or the 9:30 Latin Novus ordo. Some attended both.

The elevation at the 9:30am Mass. The altar boys are wearing gold shoulder capes, which are used during the Easter celebrations. They wear read shoulder capes at Christmas time. Ordinarily, they are in black cassock and white surplice.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Photos 2006 - Holy Week: Easter Vigil Mass - Part 2


The Elevation. With altar boys in adoration, all seem to form a pyramid leading to a single point. It is truly Our Lord in the center of the picture.

A few moments later...

"Ecce Angus Dei..."

Photos 2006 - Holy Week: Easter Vigil Mass - Part 1


The lights go on at Assumption Grotto following the candlelight procession. Altar Boys light the high altar candles.

Incense is lit just ahead of the Gospel reading.

Following the Homily are Baptisms.

Soon after this picture, Fr. Perrone performs Confirmation.

Photos 2006 - Holy Week: Saturday Easter Vigil Procession


Fr. Perrone carries the Paschal candle, and in the first photo is seen standing still as the altar boys continue moving in such a way as to create a trailing flame behind him.

In the second photo, the priests and altar boys light the candles of the laity in the pews and the flame begins to fan out in the church.

Then, parishioners in the front half of the church received the flame from priests and altar boys as they processed. In the final photo, we see the full spectrum of candles lighting up the church. A closer look at the altar boys reveals they are all facing the pulpit to the left where the Word is being read.

Photos 2006 - Holy Week: Good Friday

"Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto..."

The Good Friday service got underway with afternoon Liturgy of the Hours, chanted side to side by hundreds. At the end of each psalm, the Gloria is chanted, and all bow at the three persons in the Trinity

The clergy and altar boys quietly departed out the sacristy following afternoon prayer. The priests vested, then all processed in from the back for the rest of the service.

Silently they processed in, then the priests prostrated themselves for several moments. This was followed by the Passion of Our Lord, chanted entirely, including Narration. The choir sung in Sacred Polyphony, the parts of the crowd.

Fr. Perrone delivers his homily.

The Cross is venerated in the first picture; in the second, the altar boys lined up to kiss Jesus on the Cross.

A small section of the Assumption Grotto Choir singing, "O Sacred Head, Surrounded", up in the choir loft.