Thursday, November 30, 2006

Catholic Medical Association to Bishops: Rescind "Child Empowerment" Prevention Programs

Hat-tip to the folks at for the email on this new task force report just issued by the Catholic Medical Association dealing with the issue of how sex-abuse prevention is handled for minors in the Church.

You can read an Executive Summary of the report online (PDF), or you can purchase the entire report for $10.00 through the website of the Catholic Medical Association (click the image to get there).

It affects some of the very programs implemented in dioceses throughout the US. If your family is involved in a program like "Talking about Touching" or the many other names it can come under, consider sharing this news with your pastor. And, make your bishop aware of your beliefs on the matter once you have studied the document . The CMA sent copies of this to the bishops ahead of their recent meeting. Hopefully, they will all take some time to read and discern what the doctors concluded.

Here are some resources covering this story.

National Catholic Register: Doctors Recommend Reform of Bishops’ Sex Abuse Prevention Plans

Lifesite News: Doctors Oppose Bishops‘ “Talking About Touching” Abuse Prevention Program

The Sacrifice of the Mass......Explained

Browsing the responses to "Ask an Apologist" at Catholic Answers this morning, Fr. Vincent Serpa replied to a question about the Sacrifice of the Mass and gives us two excellent pieces from the Catholic Answers Library. Both carry the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur. The first guarantees that it is free of doctrinal or moral error, the second gives permission to print.

The response from Fr. Serpa comes after the poster asks:

I would like to have a clarification if possible of something I read in another book (a Protestant one) concerning the Mass. Many fundamentalists claim that in the Mass our Lord is sacrificed continually on the Altar which is claimed by fundamentalists to be against the scriptures (specifically Hebrews 7:27) Could you briefly clarify for me what Catholics believe regarding what happens in the Mass with regard to Christ's sacrifice on the Cross.

Father responds:

The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross transcends time. It covers all those who lived before Good Friday and all those who came after it. The Catholic Church has never taught that it offers a NEW sacrifice at each Mass. The Mass is the SAME sacrifice offered on Calvary—extended through time and sacramentally made present in our present life situations. This has been the teaching of the Church from its earliest days:

Then, he supplies the two outstanding documents below. The first addresses several arguments presented against the Mass by those who misinterpret the Church's teaching, and shows how isolating a line of text from Scripture can lead to further misinterpretation. The second takes a look at the Sacrifice of the Mass from the perspective of the early Church, including excerpts from the Church Fathers.

The Institution of the Mass
The Sacrifice of the Mass

An Era of Weak Catechesis

Many of us who grew up in the Catholic Church of the last 40 years, with terribly weak catechesis, need to take the time to better understand our faith. It has happened a few times already that one of our Protestant brothers and sisters will present one of the arguments in that first document, and someone like myself can say nothing to correct the misunderstanding.

These documents contain the kind of information that we should know off the cuff, including the key Scriptural passages. Read them once, twice, and as many times as is necessary so that you can explain the Catholic faith - especially the Mass - in charity to those who misunderstand it.

Remember that the Protestant you meet who is soundly defending his understanding of the Bible has a great and awesome love for God. I, for one, have not spent half the time studying as many Protestants I know. They put so much time into reading Scripture and that is a testimony of their love for Him. Listening to some who call in to Catholic radio programs, you can hear their vigorous defense. Catholics need to spend more time reading the Bible and studying the Church's teachings in detail. If Catholics defend their faith with just half the zeal as Protestants defend their understanding of Scripture, the misunderstandings would be diffused. I don't mean zeal in the sense that we push our faith on others who don't share it. What I do mean is having enough information, with Scriptural references to be able to correct the errors that we encounter. This should never been done emotionally or defensively - as in fighting, but with charity.

A final note about studying the Catholic faith and Scripture: Your faith may not need such study.....but God may drop someone into your path whose faith may depend on what you know. God will sometimes infuse knowledge, but He also desires us to put some time into learning the faith. The Holy Spirit depends on all of us doing our part, not just the priests. They can help us with our own understanding. It is up to us to help others with theirs.

Other resources:

  • Read Scripture daily, even if it is just 15 minutes. Make use of an aid such as the Ignatius Bible Study guides which are available through the Grotto gift shop or online. There are other commentaries great for the New Testament, such as the Navarre Bible, which has begun to help me in my understanding of Scripture. The idea is not to know-it-all, but to use such aids from a spiritual perspective to get more from a given passage. But, we should first read Scripture spiritually and meditate on the passages.

  • Study the CCC. Drop in to Fr. Perrone's catechism class on Tuesday nights from 6-7 even if you cannot make it every Tuesday.

  • Participate in Days of Recollection when they are offered at Assumption Grotto or other place near you. While these are spiritual they are often catechetical in nature. There is one coming up on December 10th from 2-5 at Assumption Grotto (details forthcoming).

  • Use online resources such as Catholic Answers, the Catholic Answers Library and the many other sections they have. The forums are good, but answers supplied there are not "free of doctrinal or moral error". It's a good place to start, but its better to search the "Ask an Apologist" archives first.

  • Become a Marian Catechist. This does not mean you will have to teach catechism. Rather, you can be a Marian Catechist by following the program (home study) and learning enough to be able to respond to those you encounter - at work, in your family, and elsewhere. Archbishop Raymond L. Burke who heads up the Marian Catechists, will be at Assumption Grotto on December 30 for a rememberance of the movement's founder, Fr. John A. Hardon. Come to learn more and to browse the home study materials.

Of course, there are other apologetics and learning resources I've provided in my sidebar, including those dealing with the study of the Bible. Most of these are sources heard on Catholic radio, such as Michael Barber, Scott Hahn, John Martignoni, Patrick Madrid and Steve Ray.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fr. Z's Patristics Rosary Project

I've been watching this develop for some time now, and since he has completed all of the mysteries of the Rosary, including Luminous, I would like to draw your attention to this wonderful set of meditations.

Fr. Zuhlsdorf (aka, Fr. Z), has done a little homework to bring reflections from the Church Fathers into the Rosary meditations.

In this link, he compiles all of the mysteries. Bookmark it when you get there.

Fr. Z's Patristics Rosary Project

Fiat: A group for young women of a parish

I mentioned in my post yesterday that Fr. Searby developed a group for the young women of his parish. I had not seen the PDF file on Fr. Searby's website until this morning. It still does not give much about the structure. However, he shares a little more about Fiat at Holy Spirit Parish in Virgina. This, to me, sounds like the beginnings of a more broad apostolate for girls in grades 5-12. Keep in mind, this is a program that is originating in one particular parish, prompted by one parish priest. It looks to me like a model program for other parishes with similar circumstances.

In parishes where there are male only altar boys, we know that such programs help them to develop in multi-faceted ways. Those of us in such parishes treasure these programs because we know how highly it is regarded by the boys and it often yields a very large altar-boy corp. At Assumption Grotto we are talking about roughly 60 boys ranging in age from about 7 on up to 18 and beyond, including a few adults. At nearby Ss Cyril & Methodius, the number is twice that many. We also highly regard these programs because we know that it helps young men to hear God's call to the priesthood. "Father" is not some distant figure in the pulpit each week, and all of the priests encourage the boys to develop a solid prayer life, to use confession frequently, build virtue and to develop some discipline. This serves other boys who are called to family life to be better husbands and fathers. This says nothing of the graces that come with such service. There are often "altar boy" retreats, and outings which further their development and enable bonding.

Altar boys at Grotto on Good Friday 2006

Despite the fact that some pastors opt out of having altar girls, female vocations have not suffered in the least. In fact, I believe female vocations are higher at such parishes - with young women going to more traditional religious orders, which happen to be in a boom right now (see my vocation section for past posts). Girls are already living a kind of "Fiat" life at Grotto, but it is loosely organized. Developing "Fiat" at places like Assumption Grotto and Ss. Cyril & Methodius would give structure to developing girls in a similar way that boys experience, without serving in the Sanctuary. This includes gazing on our Lord in the Sanctuary (Ps 63: 3). It also adds something else that has been lacking - a means to give girls similar outings. At Assumption Grotto, we are blessed with Sisters from the Society of Sisters of Holy Cross who are affiliated with Opus Angelorum, and priests of the Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross (ORC). Please do not confuse any of these with other "Holy Cross orders", such as priests of the same name, but abbreviated OSC. The sisters, who live in a convent on the grounds of Assumption Grotto, have retreats and days of recollections for girls several times yearly and work with them in other ways too.

Developing "Fiat" would give parents a chance to further structure something that would enable girls to develop a regular prayer life, virtues that would make them better wives and mothers, and could further aid them in hearing God's call to religious life. At the same time, they would serve the Church through their prayers.

Just what is Fiat and how is it structured? The PDF file I supplied gives us a glimpse as to what it is, but I have yet to find a breakdown of the structure. Perhaps it is something developed over time with a blend of prayer, adoration, and activities that gives them life-skills, as well as opportunities for bonding, and outings just for fun. Fr. Searby gives us a few more clues in the article I posted about yesterday.

The Fiat group for girls was launched after Father Searby prayerfully sought out the guidance of the Blessed Mother and St. Therese of Lisieux. He based the program on John Paul II’s 1988 apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem (The Dignity and Vocation of Women), with its focus on the fundamental vocations of women to motherhood and consecrated virginity.

“The primary role of girls in Fiat,” explains Father Searby, “will be to accompany Our Lord, get to know him as a friend and be with him as young women imbued with the Gospel.” They’re assigned times to adore Our Lord during the parish’s weekly hours of Eucharistic adoration.

The Fiat girls also help the elderly and the infirm. And they work with parish moms, meet sisters from thriving religious orders and are immersed in the beauty of the Catholic faith so they can most effectively evangelize the culture no matter their vocational calling — as wives and mothers, or as religious.

“Enlivened by the Eucharist and a friendship with Christ,” says Father Searby, “they’ll go out and bring that mysterious relationship to others.”

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

National Catholic Register: Adventures in Sanctity

I wanted to share this article which I read just over a week ago. I have discovered that Fr. Searby has a site where his homilies are available as Podcasts, and he has photos on a group he started at his parish called, "Fiat" for girls, which is discussed in the article. It has me intrigued enough to wonder if this is something we may want to explore for some of our own parishes. I hope to learn more and pass it along here.

Now that i look at Fr. Searby in the photos for Fiat, looks to me as if this is a Cassock-wearing priest!

For now...the article from the National Catholic Register.

Father James Searby went from the circus to the priesthood. He’s glad he did — and so are his parishioners. By Joseph Pronechen.


November 12-18, 2006 Issue

Posted 11/8/06 at 8:00 AM

“Ask Our Lady for an adventure and she’ll never let you down,” says Father James Searby, an associate pastor at Holy Spirit Church in Annandale, Va.

He speaks from experience. While in seminary, he implored the Blessed Mother for help arranging a pilgrimage to Rome. He’d been yearning to see St. Peter’s Basilica and, in particular, Pope John Paul II up close and personal. At the time, such a trip was financially out of reach.

Three days later, a friend called to offer some frequent-flyer miles.

Walking into St. Peter’s wearing his seminarian’s cassock, he was directed to an aisle seat just behind Cardinals Joseph Ratzinger and Francis Arinze, two of John Paul’s closest brother bishops. Moments later, the Holy Father’s moving platform stopped right next to him.

Father Searby remembers every detail. “He did the classic John Paul wave,” he says. “Our eyes met and it was as though he clearly said, ‘Be a saint.’ The glimpse lasted maybe three seconds, but to me it felt like three hours.”

“I kept thinking what he said when he was newly elected,” adds Father Searby. “‘Be not afraid.’”

At that moment, Father Searby was a long way from where he’d been just after graduating college. In search of another kind of adventure, he went to work for the circus. Literally. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey hired him as a promoter.

Continue reading at the National Catholic Register Online...

The Nativity: Parental Advisory from American Papist

Thomas at American Papist had an opportunity to attend an advanced screening of the film: The Nativity. He provides us with his review.

One thing I do want to point out for parents with small children, is this extract from his review:

"...the movie’s portrayals of Elizabeth and Mary giving birth – of course a central part of the plot – were a bit too intense to make it an easy family movie choice. Added to this fact the decision to begin the movie with a rather frightening episode from the slaying of the infants, a few scenes of crucifixion, and a young girl being dragged off by the Romans for a future of forced prostitution, and I’m left in a quandary. Did New Line want this to be the perfect family holiday movie? If so, then why all the labor screams, primitive birthing techniques and babies being put under the sword? In the movie’s quest for realism and dramatic impact I think they might have unwittingly passed over the boundaries of what most Christian parents will probably want their younger children seeing, at least if they want to postpone giving their children the full explanation for where babies come from, what crucifixion looks like and what Romans do to the daughters of Jewish peasants who don’t pay their taxes"

I don't have children, but I do thank Thomas for pointing this out for those who do, so they can decide if their smaller children should be exposed to this. Perhaps there are ways to shield them while in the show from some of the more difficult scenes. I myself was concerned how they might portray the slaughter of the innocence and hoped they could avoid the dramatics and make it so that adults knew what was going on, yet over the heads of the smaller children.

Previous Post on "The Nativity"

Leonardo DeFilippis on Tour - Comes to Grotto Dec 3, 2006!

Just a reminder from the CTH Newsletter: The schedule for Leonardo DeFilippis a well known actor in Catholic circles for his great performances in recent Catholic movies on the saints is available for his metro-Detroit visit. From the Newsletter:

Leonardo Defilippis on Tour

Call to Holiness speaker Leonardo Defilippis, director of the movie Therese and founder of St. Luke Productions will be in Detroit this fall performing his acclaimed one man drama Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz.

Tickets are $8 or $25 for a family. Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Debbie Bloomfield, 1811 Superior, Wyandotte, MI 48192 or call (248) 217-0844 or e-mail

Nov. 29 – Our Lady of Czestochowa (Sterling Height)
Nov. 30 – Shrine of the Little Flower (Royal Oak)
Dec. 1 – An evening with Leonardo (Berkley)
Dec. 2 – (morning) Drama Workshop for Young Adults (Royal Oak)
Dec. 2 – (evening) Divine Child (Dearborn)
Dec. 3 – (matinee) Assumption Grotto (Detroit)
Dec. 4 – Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Wyandotte)
Dec. 5 – St. John Neumann (Canton)
Dec. 6 – Possible casting call (auditions for new actors)
Dec. 7 – Holy Spirit (Highland)

The DVD of the movie Theresa, produced by Leonardo Defilippis and St. Luke Productions is now available! You can rent it!

Buy it! Give it as a gift! Your purchase or rental of this DVD helps to promote authentic Catholic productions for the future.

Order from: or call (800) 683-2998.

Stay tuned for more Call to Holiness updates!!!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pray for Pope Benedict XVI during his trip to Turkey

Please pray for Pope Benedict XVI as he goes to Turkey. Spend some time in adoration for his success and safety. If you frequent the adoration chapel at Grotto, take note of what is on the door heading in: The Pope's Schedule.

Vatican website: Apostolic Journey

The Pope's Schedule

EWTN's live feed video on the internet

Since I'm trying to stay out of the news business, you may want to follow Thomas at American Papist, and Dom over at Bettnet, among some of the other bloggers in my Blogroll for updates and discussions of the Holy Fathers journey. In particular, I'll likely be checking in with Fr. Zuhlsdorf and some of the other blogging priests listed in my sidebar.

Opus Angelorum: The Angel of Fatima

The Priests of Opus Angelorum recently held a parish mission at Assumption Grotto. On one of those evenings Fatima was discussed and the priest pointed out how the Angel was sent out ahead of the Blessed Mother. Like many in my generation, I know little about Fatima, and much less about the Angel of Fatima.

It's time to learn!

While I do not have the conference available in written form to provide, I would like to point out three lay circulars under the section "Angels and Saints" that are available on the Opus Angelorum website in which the Angel of Fatima is discussed.

Part I: The Angel of Fatima - 80 years ago!
(Spring 1996 by Fr. William Wagner, ORC)

Part II: The Angel of Fatima - a Tutor of Love
(Fall 1996; Fr. William Wagner, ORC)

Part III: The Angel of Fatima and the Eucharist
(Lent 1997; Fr. William Wagner, ORC)

Movie, "The Nativity" premieres in the Vatican

After seeing trailers of "The Nativity" online, I knew this was one movie I would not want to miss. Truthfully, I have not been to the theatre since I first came to Assumption Grotto on Pentecost of 2005, but this one will get me to go.

I first heard about it on Catholic radio. I had heard that when it premieres here in the US in a private showing on November 30, 2006, religious are expected to cram these viewings.

Here in southeast Michigan, I have heard that the Mary - Mother of the Eucharist Dominicans from Ann Arbor will be packing their whole order into the theatre, among others. In New York, ditto with Fr. Benedict Groeschel's order, the Sisters of Life, and the Missionaries of Charity. It will be interesting to see how the media portrays this unprecedented endorsement among some of the most orthodox Catholic orders out there.

Imagine all the habits that could be captured in one camera shot as they wait to get in!!! If anyone is at the right place at the right time with a camera, send me a pic or two and I'll post them.

At the blog of Fr. Zuhlsdorf in Rome, he discusses his viewing of it in the Vatican when it premiered last night.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Plenary Indulgence on the Feast of Christ the King

The Roman Sacristan tells us about a plenary indulgence for Christ the King, which is tomorrow (Sunday). Sorry I did not spot this sooner.

Visit the Roman Sacristan to get the details.

More on Christ the King:

Fr. L W Gonzalez on the history

EWTN: Litany to Christ the King

Pope Pius XI on December 11, 1925: Quas Primas (on the Feast of Christ the King)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Grotto in the Mist - A Mystical Morning

After wanting to kick myself for not taking my camera with me to to Assumption Grotto on Thanksgiving morning, I decided to take it today, hoping for some beautiful outdoor, fall shots.

I left the house at 6:45am for Assumption Grotto for Lauds, then 7:30am Mass. As I drove south I looked off to the east. I was pleasantly greeted with hues of purples and oranges as the sun, still unseen, painted the morning sky. I knew I was blessed with a wonderful photogenic morning on my day off.

Just 2 short miles before I reached Assumption Grotto a dense fog moved in rapidly. Gone was the painted sky and I could only see a few car lengths in front of me. I slowed as I headed down the last mile of Gratiot, unable to see street lights or signals until almost on top of them. I was barely able to make out the two lights shining on the "Assumption Grotto" sign.

As I turned in, I noticed the beauty in the statue of Our Lady as the lights cut through the thick fog. I parked, grabbed my camera and ran out to get a few shots before Lauds. Then, I returned outdoors about 8:30 to get a few more shots in the cemetery, and one last closeup of the Blessed Mother statue which greets us each time we arrive.

This first photo is from behind, walking up that long sidewalk between the fir trees. The picture does not do it justice. They appear grainy, but that is the fog.

A photo looking at the Grotto, now hidden by fog, from just inside of the cemetery entrance.
The Statue of St. Bernadette

This last one is a statue in of St. Margaret of Alacoque - a nun of the Visitation Order who really ignited the Devotion to the Sacred Heart.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

USCCB: Worthy Reception of Holy Communion

I'm catching up on something that happened while on my one-week hiatus.

On November 14th, 2006, the USCCB issued several documents, one of which was entitled, "Happy are Those Who are Called to His Supper". Printed out, it is 24 pages, but it is double-spaced, so not nearly as long of a read as one might expect.

How did this come about?

It is said that Bishop John J. Myers of Newark, NJ initiated it about two years ago. For all practical purposes, it could have turned into a document on politicians and Communion. Instead, a document was produced that clarifies for politicians - and the rest of us - when we should refrain from receiving Communion. Here is a major excerpt:

Lack of Sanctifying Grace
In order to receive Holy Communion we must be in communion with God and with the Church. Mortal sin constitutes a rejection of communion with God and destroys the life of grace within us. Mortal sin is an act violating God’s law that involves grave matter and that is performed with both full knowledge and complete consent of the will. If we are no longer in the state of grace because of mortal sin, we are seriously obliged to refrain from receiving Holy Communion until we are reconciled with God and the Church. While we remain members of the body of Christ and continue to be part of the Catholic Church, we have become lifeless or dead members. We no longer share in the common bond of the divine life of the Holy Spirit. Because our sin has separated us from God and from our brothers and sisters in Christ, we have forfeited our right to receive Holy Communion, for the Eucharist, by its very nature, expresses and nurtures this lifegiving unity that the sinner has now lost. St. Paul warned the Corinthians that “whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Cor 11:27).14 Manifesting the Father’s mercy, Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Penance precisely to allow us to confess our sins in repentance, receive absolution from the priest, and so receive again the grace of the Holy Spirit, who once more makes us living members of Christ’s body, the Church.15

Objectively, certain thoughts, actions, and omissions entail grave sinful matter. As Catholics, we are obliged to form our consciences regarding what constitutes grave matter in accordance with the Church’s teaching. While it is not possible to make a complete list of thoughts and actions that involve grave matter, they would all be serious violations of the law of love of God and of neighbor. If we follow the order of the Ten Commandments, some examples of such thoughts and actions would be:

  • Believing in or honoring as divine anyone or anything other than the God of the Holy Scriptures

  • Swearing a false oath while invoking God as a witness

  • Failing to worship God by missing Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation
    without a serious reason, such as sickness or the absence of a priest

  • Acting in serious disobedience against proper authority; dishonoring one’s parents by neglecting them in their need and infirmity

  • Committing murder, including abortion and euthanasia; harboring deliberate hatred of others; sexual abuse of another, especially of a minor or vulnerable adult; physical orverbal abuse of others that causes grave physical or psychological harm

  • Engaging in sexual activity outside the bonds of a valid marriage

  • Stealing in a gravely injurious way, such as robbery, burglary, serious fraud, or other immoral business practices

  • Speaking maliciously or slandering people in a way that seriously undermines their good name

  • Producing, marketing, or indulging in pornography

  • Engaging in envy that leads one to wish grave harm to someone else

Catholics who are conscious of committing any mortal sin must receive the Sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion. Assistance in examining one’s conscience is available from confessors and spiritual directors.

One must truly read and digest the entire document. In it, the bishops explain the difference between someone who is seriously trying to understand the church's teaching - to the extent that they consult the catechism and make inquiries, versus someone who holds fast to beliefs that are in conflict with Catholic teaching, refusing to consult the catechism or to make inquiries for the purpose of learning.

It takes humility to want to learn more deeply about something in which we have difficulty accepting. It takes pride to remain obstinate. This is why the confessional is the perfect place to tell a priest when we are struggling with a specific teaching. Confession takes humility (not humiliation). Between this act of humility and the Sacrament of Penance, along with prayer and a genuine desire to understand, come the graces we need to work through these things. In the meanwhile, we must adhere to any teaching whether we understand it or not out of humble obedience. We must be like Mary who always said "yes", most especially when she could not have had complete understanding. To act on something we think may be wrong is to act with doubtful conscience, which itself is a sin.

Some say it does not go far enough because it does not specifically tell priests and bishops what to do with politicians who are publicly promoting things like abortion who present themselves. This document puts the decision squarely on the individual who may want to consider 1 Cor. 11:29: "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord."

I was ecstatic to see the USCCB actually talk about mortal sin - listing many kinds of sin that would bar one from receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion. To my mind, it shows the beginning of a new direction, likely resulting from viewpoints of some mature members of the USCCB who have been steadfast all along, mixing with some younger members who are spreading their wings in profound ways.

You know that when Call to Action and New Ways Ministries gets their dander up, the USCCB is headed in the right direction.

Several other documents were released by the USCCB in mid-November, including one on ministering to those with homosexual inclinations, but I have not read them yet.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

CTH Benefit Dinner and Richard Thompson

The annual Call to Holiness (CTH) benefit dinner was held at Assumption Grotto to raise funds for the conference to be held in April. Details were provided in a previous post on the Benefit dinner for the Call to Holiness Conference of 2007, and other CTH news.

This year, Richard Thompson, who is now Chief Counsel at the Thomas More Law Center, where Catholic rights are championed, was the speaker at the dinner. He delivered an excellent speech and touched on some interesting cases. You can find updates at the Thomas More Law Center website on a range of issues.

Some may not realize that Richard Thompson has a history with Assumption Grotto. It is where he was received into the Catholic Church on March 24, 1998. Catholic writer Jay McNally, who was deeply involved with Call to Holiness, covered Richard Thompson's conversion in a story on CWNews on April 1, 1998, in an article entitled: Kevorkian's nemesis received into Catholic Church. Jay McNally writes:

Thompson, 60, surrounded by family and friends, received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion from celebrated theologian and author, Fr. John Hardon, SJ, at Assumption Grotto Church in Detroit.
This is one lawyer we are glad to have in the Catholic Church. In fact, Mr. Thompson ended his talk with a quote from St. Augustine:
"Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are."

I was taking some photos of Fr. Perrone up at the podium when he went into a final blessing as it ended. Richard Thompson is seen in the background.

If you would like to support the Call to Holiness, contact Phyllis Bausano. The CTH is also in need of many more volunteers with the new format. Please consider giving your time, or financial support to this great cause.

Please do check out the tentative 2007 schedule for the annual Call to Holiness Conference in April. I provide the link again here which covered several things from the CTH Newsletter. Don't miss your opportunity to see and hear these speakers at two convenient locations (they will swap between AM & PM):

  • Bishop Bruskewitz of Lincoln Nebraska (CTH Advisor)
  • Dr. Robert Fastiggi of Sacred Heart Major Seminary
  • Fr. Neil Roy of the Research Institute on the Liturgy
  • Marcus Grodi of EWTN & Coming Home Network
  • Dr. Alice von Hildebrand
More background on the Call to Holiness, which originated to counter the Call to Action, can be found in these archived articles:

CTH Website - a brief CTH history, officers, board, advisors
NCR: Call to Action returns to Detroit roots
Te Deum Laudamus!: CTH 2005 - Photo Post 3

November 21: Rector of St. Philomena's Shrine (Italy) to Visit Michigan

Edit: Just bumping this up as it is coming up this Tuesday locally.

I received this from Robert Rossi of the Archconfraternity of St. Philomena here in Michigan and all are welcome.

Tuesday, November 21st
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Msgr. Giovanni Braschi, the Rector of St. Philomena's Shrine in Italy, is visiting several Archconfraternity Centers in the USA and will be stopping in Michigan on Tuesday, November 21st, the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Come join us for the Rosary and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in Honor of Our Blessed Mother and also hear a short talk on St. Philomena including the latest on St. Philomena's increasing popularity around the world.

St. Edmund's Church
14025 12 Mile Road
Warren, MI 48088

Tuesday, November 21st
6:30 P.M.
Rosary followed by Mass and then a talk on St. Philomena

Sponsored by the Archconfraternity of St. Philomena (Michigan Chapter). Please call Robert Rossi at 586-558-7167 for more information.

What is the St. Philomena Archconfraternity?
Robert responds:
The Archconfraternity's primary apostolate is praying for priests (St. John Vianney was very devoted to St. Philomena) and for the purity of our youth (St. Philomena died for her purity).

How is this carried out?
Msgr Braschi recently appointed a Secretary, Marie Burns, who lives in Scotland to organize the prayer groups.

Len and Simonetta Pacek, from the St. Philomena Foundation, are friends of the Sanctuary in Italy and are also doing great work. They also attribute the start of their apostolate to the great Father John A. Hardon.

The primary website out of Italy is

In the websites provided you will find more about the history of the Archconfraternity, information about St. Philomena, and much more.

Lets give Msgr Braschi a good showing if you are available.

Adoration: An act of worship - purely for God's sake

From the Nov 10-12, 2006 Forty-Hours Devotion

All quotes below are taken from New Advent on Adoration. I'm only taking excerpts from a lenghty article on Adoration and putting it into Q&A format.

What is adoration?
In the strict sense, an act of religion offered to God in acknowledgment of His supreme perfection and dominion, and of the creature's dependence upon Him......The rational creature, looking up to God, who reason and revelation show to be infinitely perfect, cannot in right and justice maintain an attitude of indifference. That perfection which is infinite in itself and the source and fulfilment of all the good that we possess or shall possess, we must worship, acknowledging its immensity, and submiting to its supremacy.

How is adoration different from other forms of worship?
Adoration differs from other acts of worship, such as supplication, confession of sin, etc., inasmuch as it formally consists in self-abasement before the Infinite, and in devout recognition of His transcendent excellence.

Where can we see examples of adoration in the Scriptures?
An admirable example of adoration is given in the Apocalypse vii 11, 12: "And all the angels stood rouud about the throne, and about the ancients, and about the living creatures; and they fell before the throne upon their faces, and adored God, saying: Amen. Beneditiction and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, honour, and power, and strength to our God. forever and ever. Amen." The revealed precept to adore god was spoken to Moses upon Sinai and reaffirmed in the words of Christ: "The Lord thy God thou shalt adore, and Him only shalt thou serve" (Matthew 4:10).

Is adoration of God internal or external?
The primary and fundamental element in adoration is an interior act of mind and will; the mind perceiving that God's perfection is infinite, the will bidding us to extol and worship this perfection. Without some measure of this interior adoration "in spirit and in truth" it is evident that any outward show of divine worship would be mere pantomime and falsehood. But equally evident is that the adoration felt within will seek outward expression............Human nature demands physical utterance of some sort for its spiritual and emotional moods; and it is to this instinct for self-expression that our whole apparatus of speech and gesture is due. To Suppress this instinct in religion would be as unreasonable as to repress it in any other province of our experience. Moreover, it would do religious grievous harm to check its tendency to outward manifestation, since the external expression reacts upon the interior sentiment, quickening, strengthening, and sustaining it.

Are there offenses which conflict with adoration of God?
A few words may be added in conclusion on the offences which conflict with the adoration of God. They may be summed up under three categories:
  • worship offered to false gods;
  • worship offered to the true God, but in a false, unworthy and scandalous manner; and
  • blasphemy.
The first class comprises sins of idolatry. The second class embraces sins of superstition. These may take manifold forms, to be treated under separate titles. Suffice it to say that vain observances which neglect the essential thing in the worship of God and make much of purely accidental features or which bring it into contempt through fantastic and puerile excesses, are emphatically repudiated in Catholic theology. Honouring, or pretending to honour, God by mystic numbers or magical phrases, as though adoration consisted chiefly in the number or the physical utterance of the phrases, belongs to the Jewish Cabbala or pagan mythology, not to the worship of the Most High

One last quote - from the CCC

1378 Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. "The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession."208

At Assumption Grotto we are among a small, but ever growing percentage of parishes which have adoration available. There are people in parishes throughout the world that would give an awful lot to be able to have exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for adoration even for an hour following a given Sunday Mass. Hopefully, pastors and vicars hear their requests, but the first step is for the faithful to ask, then to participate.

Very often we find ourselves rushing to church when we are in the midst of a crisis. This is good. It is even better when we follow that with a visit of thanksgiving. However, it is best if we make the same level of committment to go before the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle, or in adoration, when we have nothing more to offer than our praise and worship to God. This is the purest form of prayer when it comes with no petition and we spend time with the Lord simply for His sake, not ours.

When we have no more TV programs, internet/computer time, hobby time or other time to give up in order to give one hour per week to the One who provided us with the means to have these things, then there is yet another option: Adoration in the heart. When we receive the Eucharist worthily, we carry Him with us. If we find ourselves waiting in an office, sitting through a meeting in which only a small segment pertains to us, or stuck in traffic - just think of the opportunity the Lord has just created for us to adore Him in our hearts. Next time you are driving and listening to the radio, the thought may enter your mind to shut the radio off - even if it is something good, such as Catholic radio or sacred music. If that happens, just do it. God dwells everywhere, but it is in silence that we discover Him the best, and it is where we learn much about ourselves and how to please Him.

If you want a real midday spiritual retreat, spend one or more lunch hours alone, in silence, with Him. Spend that time not talking, unless prompted to do so out of charity for someone else. Imagine that - lunch with God and no appointment is necessary!

I recently asked Fr. Perrone about how we can adore God when we cannot be in Church or in an adoration chapel. He had this to say:
Yes, one can have mental prayer with our Lord in the tabernacle of His Presence in the church or chapel nearest to oneself at the moment, even if that location is unknown to the one praying.

More, one can use a picture of our Lord and make a "holy hour" even though the real physical Presence is lacking.
Adoration at Assumption Grotto takes place from 9-6:45 Monday through Saturday in the Chapel adjoining the convent where the sisters reside. There is benediction each evening around 6:30/6:40. From the Grotto bulletin:

We need more people to be Adorers. If you can commit to one hour per week or be a sub when someone is absent, please call Sr. Gemma at the Convent (527-1739) or Phyllis at the Rectory (372-0762)

Of course, nothing stops you from just dropping in any time when the chapel is open.

Excellent Resources on the Web for Eucharistic Adoration

The Real Presence (a Fr. John A. Hardon Site)
Opus Angelorum: The Holiness of God and Adoration
Pope John Paul II Eucharistic Adoration Association
League of Eucharistic Guardians for Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration (Asia/Philipines)
Scott Hahn on Eucharistic in General and on Adoration (Good background for non-Catholics)
Fr. Hardon: What is prayer before the Blessed Sacrament?

More on Vatican's Decision on "Pro-Multis"

As promised in yesterday's post I mentioned that there would be sources with more complete information today. I may make several edits to this so check back periodically and it may be a good idea to do a refresh (hit the F5 key).

Fr. Zuhlsdorf has more up, with commentary.

I am still waiting for EWTN to make it available too, but this will likely come in tomorrows news. If you are interested, check this post again at a later date, and I will edit-in a link.


Fr. Zuhlsdorf with a segment from Prot. n. 467/05/L - the official document which mandates this change in language. He is showing us just the opening of the letter which reveals this was not a decision of the CDF or the CDW, but from His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, who directed it.


CWNews has lifted the "subscription" on this article - Deo Gratias!

Here you go, in its entirety. Now if we can find a copy of the full letter. I'm sure it will be out soon enough on the web.


H/T to Dom who got the letter in its entirety. Dom has additional commentary, as well.

Here is Prot. n. 467/05/L:

[To their Eminences /Excellencies,
Presidents of the National Episcopal Conferences]


Prot. n. 467/05/L

Rome, 17 October 2006

Your Eminence / Your Excellency,

In July 2005 this Congregation for the Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, by agreement with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote to all Presidents of Conferences of Bishops to ask their considered opinion regarding the translation into the various vernaculars of the expression pro multis in the formula for the consecration of the Precious Blood during the celebration of Holy Mass (ref. Prot. n. 467/05/L of 9 July 2005).

The replies received from the Bishops’ Conferences were studied by the two Congregations and a report was made to the Holy Father. At his direction, this Congregation now writes to Your Eminence / Your Excellency in the following terms:

1. A text corresponding to the words pro multis, handed down by the Church, constitutes the formula that has been in use in the Roman Rite in Latin from the earliest centuries. In the past 30 years or so, some approved vernacular texts have carried the interpretive translation “for all”, “per tutti”, or equivalents.

2. There is no doubt whatsoever regarding the validity of Masses celebrated with the use of a duly approved formula containing a formula equivalent to “for all”, as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has already declared (cf. Sacra Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei, Declaratio de sensu tribuendo adprobationi versionum formularum sacramentalium, 25 Ianuarii 1974, AAS 66 [1974], 661). Indeed, the formula “for all” would undoubtedly correspond to a correct interpretation of the Lord’s intention expressed in the text. It is a dogma of faith that Christ died on the Cross for all men and women (cf. John 11:52; 2 Corinthians 5,14-15; Titus 2,11; 1 John 2,2).

3. There are, however, many arguments in favour of a more precise rendering of the traditional formula pro multis:

a. The Synoptic Gospels (Mt 26,28; Mk 14,24) make specific reference to “many” ([Greek word transliterated as polloin])) for whom the Lord is offering the Sacrifice, and this wording has been emphasized by some biblical scholars in connection with the words of the prophet Isaiah (53, 11-12). It would have been entirely possible in the Gospel texts to have said “for all” (for example, cf. Luke 12,41); instead, the formula given in the institution narrative is “for many”, and the words have been faithfully translated thus in most modern biblical versions.
b. The Roman Rite in Latin has always said pro multis and never pro omnibus in the consecration of the chalice.
c. The anaphoras of the various Oriental Rites, whether in Greek, Syriac, Armenian, the Slavic languages, etc., contain the verbal equivalent of the Latin pro multis in their respective languages.
d. “For many” is a faithful translation of pro multis, whereas “for all” is rather an explanation of the sort that belongs properly to catechesis.
e. The expression “for many”, while remaining open to the inclusion of each human person, is reflective also of the fact that this salvation is not brought about in some mechanistic way, without one’s willing or participation; rather, the believer is invited to accept in faith the gift that is being offered and to receive the supernatural life that is given to those who participate in this mystery, living it out in their lives as well so as to be numbered among the “many” to whom the text refers.
f. In line with the Instruction Liturgiam authenticam, effort should be made to be more faithful to the Latin texts in the typical editions.

4. The Bishops’ Conferences of those countries where the formula “for all” or its equivalent is currently in use are therefore requested to undertake the necessary catechesis of the faithful on this matter in the next one or two years to prepare them for the introduction of a precise vernacular translation of the formula pro multis (e.g, “for many”, “per molti”, etc.) in the next translation of the Roman Missal that the Bishops and the Holy See will approve for use in their country.

With the expression of my high esteem and respect, I remain, Your Eminence/Your Excellency,

Devotedly Yours in Christ,

Francis Card. Arinze

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Vatican Speaks: "Pro-Multis" = "For Many"

Just wanted to pass this along as it will be of interest to those following previous posts on the "Pro-multis" issue. The Vatican has indeed released a document and declared "for many" to be the official translation they want used in rubrics, as opposed to the "for all" that has been used for so long.

I'll provide a direct link with more info tomorrow. For now, all I can give you is this which you cannot read in its entirety without a paid subscription (it's like a magazine subscription). I know of another resource which will have this same thing published likely tomorrow - in its entirety.

For now, you get this much:

Pro multis means "for many," Vatican rules [updated]
Vatican, Nov. 18 ( - The Vatican has ruled that the phrase pro multis should be rendered as "for many" in all new translations of the Eucharistic Prayer, CWN has learned.

Although "for many" is the literal translation of the Latin phrase, the translations currently in use render the phrase as "for all." Equivalent translations (für alle; por todos; per tutti) are in use in several other languages.


Cardinal Arinze, in his letter to the presidents of episcopal conferences, explains the reasons for the Vatican's decision to require
  • The Synoptic Gospels (Mt 26,28; Mk 14,24) make specific reference to “many” for whom the Lord is offering the Sacrifice, and this wording has been emphasized by some biblical scholars in connection with the words of the prophet Isaiah (53, 11-12). It would have been entirely possible in the Gospel texts to have said “for all” (for example, cf. Luke 12,41); instead, the formula given in the institution narrative is “for many”, and the words have been faithfully translated thus in most modern biblical versions.

  • The Roman Rite in Latin has always said pro multis and never pro omnibus in the consecration of the chalice.

Original source at

Time Magazine: Today's Nun has a Veil -- and a Blog!

As you will see, I decided to place an emphasis on vocations for my posts today - in paritcular, women's vocations.

I had previously covered the death of Bernie - long time Grotto parishioner and security guard. Please click here on details of Bernie's funeral arrangements.

Time Magazine is confirming exactly what many of us have been saying: Traditional religious orders are booming. I know the same holds true of priestly vocations. Where there is sound orthodoxy, there is no vocation shortage - male or female.

This is a decent article done by Time Magazine on today's young nuns - and it reveals their traditional nature. Go read: Today's Nun has a Veil -- and a Blog! As Dom points out in his link below, it's too bad they didn't expand on the charism of the Sisters of Life.

One interesting stat that was in there was the contrast between Mary Mother of the Eucharist Dominicans with an average age of 24, and another community (non-habited) which had an average age of 70. the latter is using "focus groups" to try to attract young people. All they truly need to do is look at any community with 10-15 postulants and novices and focus groups will be unnecessary. What is drawing so many to some, while others only experience a trickle. The answer is pretty apparent.

H/T to Thomas at American Papist

Dom has a good commentary up on this piece out of time, as well.

Two Major Councils for Women's Religious - What does it all mean?

If you are a woman looking for a religious order, you may be trying to find various orders via the web. There are several ways of doing this, such as using google and searching for "traditional nuns". There is one danger in this and I fell into the trap inadvertently some months ago before someone pointed out my error. You can stumble upon a traditional order which is schismatic and not in communion with Rome. It will have all the appearances of being Catholic, and even call itself Catholic. It may even say that it is in communion with the "current pope". However, by not naming him you don't know if that is Pope Benedict XVI, or "Pope" Michael. I always look for links to the Vatican and at other links within new sites that I discover. When you stumble upon a schismatic site, pray for them and move on.

One other thing is that a habit and traditional community in communion with Rome is no guarantee that it is solid in its understanding and application of religious life. If you see a significant emphasis on psychology, you may want to do a little more probing before jumping in. Find out if there is adoration and how they feel about Marian devotion, for example. Now, you should expect most any community to put you through an initial pyschological examination. However, you should not see a huge emphasis on pyschology in religious life, and especially in formation, as opposed to solid Catholic philosophy and theology. If catechetics is part of the program that is a plus because in today's society, most of us for the last 40 years have been very poorly catechized. How can one study theology without solid grounding in catechetics, as in the CCC? If you are even pondering religious or priestly life, you should have your nose in the CCC every evening and learn it like the back of your hand. Should someone try to convince you that Jesus did not multiply all the loaves of bread, and fish (indirectly challenging his divinity), you will know you are being sold a bad bill of goods.

You might also ask what scriptural exegetes, theologians & philosophers they include in their studies. Is it Ratzinger, von Hildebrand, John Hardon? Or, is it Richard McBrien, Raymond Brown, & Karl Rahner.

On the other extreme, sometimes upon searching you will find orders with traditional sounding names, then wind up in the midst of a social justice website with an emphasis on recycling and saving trees. Like with some habited communities, you will find fans of McBrien and company, but probably in a greater percentage. The emphasis on pyschology, feelings and experience is likely to dominate. On some of these sites you may find many practices affiliated with the new age, such as "enneagrams".

This is not to say that all non-traditional orders are bad. There are many women who do not wear traditional habits who work tirelessly in hospitals, with the poor, as missionaries, and other situations. I know for a fact there are such nuns in these orders whom you will find have a Marian and Eucharistic devotion, among those who do not. Hence, we can't judge individual sisters from these communities because we simply don't know. Likewise, when you stumble upon something disturbing among some community websites, pray for these sisters.

One thing you may want to ponder is whether you want a community that will support what you feel in your heart to be the proper path in religious life, or whether you believe you are strong enough to hold on to your values amidst a community which seems disoriented religiously. In other words, in some communities you will feel out of place if you have a devotion to Mary or enjoy adoration. It could be an uphill battle. Why not seek out one where others share the same devotions?

More and more are emerging - some new and some not so new. Newer orders were created so they could start afresh with a traditional reform. Some older orders which ditched the habit long ago, you will see younger novices and sisters opting to wear the traditional habit among the many in the order who do not. Tradition is being restored through the young in these orders. But, this takes thick skin and perseverence to weather out in some cases.

Here, I give you at least one solid resource to consult. From there, let your email do the work. Don't settle on just one community, but explore many and make arrangments to participate in discernment weekends.

I strongly suggest spending time at the website of the Council of Major Superiors for Women Religious (CMSWR), pictured at right. You will find a stark contrast in what is promoted at this site, versus the Leadership Conference for Womens Religious (LCWR). The titles alone are very telling. One sees itself as a council of superiors from various communities. The latter sees itself as a conference for women's religious using the very business term, "leadership". Clicking through their site and viewing photos, it appears to be more like a business conference. Compare and contrast the kinds of communities profiled at each. Chances are, if you are reading this blog, you will identify with communities which fall within the CMSWR, rather than the LCWR.

If you have explored some communities through the CMSWR, please let us know about your experiences - anonymously or otherwise. As always, be charitable.

Where the Vocations are: Sisters of Life - Bronx, NY

I've profiled several communities and would like to make mention of yet another booming traditional religous order for women, which I knew about some time ago, but forgot about. One thing you want to do if you are considering religious life is to poke around their websites. Especially study the formation pages, prayer and community life pages, and look for their daily schedule.

The Sisters of Life in Bronx, NY are fairly new. As an example, here is their schedule:

Though apostolic needs may require local convents to re-arrange the general horarium below, all houses follow this outline:

5:00 am Rise
5:30 am Common Prayer - Office of Readings/ Morning Prayer/ Meditation
6:45 am Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
7:30 am Breakfast (silent with reading)
8:30 am-12:00 noon Apostolate (common silence kept)
12:00 noon Midday prayer

12:30 pm Lunch (silence broken)
1:30- 2:30 pm Personal recreation
2:30 - 5:00 pm Apostolate
5:00 pm Eucharistic Holy Hour - Rosary/ 45 minute meditation/ Vespers
6:45 pm Supper (silent with reading)
7:30 pm Community recreation
8:15 pm Compline
Grand Silence after Compline

You will find this kind of schedule, which varies between communities, on most sites. Some will have a schedule posted for professed, versus those in formation. The latter will have a greater focus on study time than is seen with professed, especially in the case of Mary Mother of the Eucharist Dominicans in nearby Ann Arbor, MI who are engaged in teaching, as well as the Dominicans in Tennessee, often discussed in the media.

You will also note that many of these new booming orders are semi-contemplative, as well. Some set time aside for "meditation" or "mental prayer". If you've ever seen a sister sitting in total silence with their eye's closed for considerable time, she's not sleeping (of course, being humans there are always occasional exceptions). Rather, she is engaging in mental prayer. Discussion of various forms of prayer is a whole subject in itself, but you can get introduced to it in the CCC.

More photos can be seen in the profile of the Sisters of Life at the Council of Major Superiors for Women's Religious, which is the leadership arm of more traditional religious orders.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Requiescat in Pace - Our dear Bernie

In my desire to take a break from blogging, I stated that I would make an exception to time-sensitive items of local interest.

Long-time Grotto parishioner, and security guard, Bernie, has passed away at 2:00pm Thursday afternoon. He was never able to recover from emergency abdominal surgery many months ago.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

K Schultz Funeral Home - Eastpointe (Gratiot & Toepher)
Sunday (will have to edit opening time)
Rosary: 7:00 PM Sunday at Schultz Funeral Home
In state at Grotto from 9:30-10:30 Monday
Funeral Mass: 10:30am Monday - Assumption Grotto

If anyone has any other details please email them to me or use the comment box. Feel free to also post your prayers, thoughts and appropriate stories related to Bernie in the comment box, as well. It's difficult to do this for every parishioner, but Bernie was well known to just about everyone!

I regret that he will not be with us for the 175th. However, for some reason, I think he will indeed be with us.

So devoted to the Blessed Mother, we pray:

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known
that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help
or sought your intercession
was left unaided.
Inspired with with confidence,
I fly to you, O virgin of virgins,
my Mother.
To you I come, before you I stand,
sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in your mercy, hear and answer me.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

December 30: Archbishop Burke returns to Grotto for Fr. John A. Hardon Remembrance!

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke elevates the Precious Blood
on January 14, 2006 when he last visited Grotto
to remember Fr. John A. Hardon.
He celebrates using the ad orientem posture,
never abrogated by Vatican II.

January 14, 2006, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis came to Assumption Grotto as head of the Marian Catechists - one of many organizations founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.

He is returning on December 30th, 2006 for a day of remembrance. All are invited to the Mass and conference as follows:

10:30 AM

- Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with Archbishop Raymond L. Burke

12:00 PM

- Lunch (bring-your-own lunch, school gym will be open)

1:15 PM

- Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament

- Prayer of the Rosary

- Conference by Archbishop Burke, National Director of the Marian Catechist Apostolate

3:00 PM

- Chaplet of Divine Mercy

- Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament

No Cost (lunch is bring-your-own). No RSVP is necessary.

Please see the Assumption Grotto website on how to get more info on the Marian Catechists and to view original flyer. You don't need to be an official Catechist to become a Marian Catechist. It's about learning and being able to pass on what you learn and it has a great home study program. It was originally developed with the Missionaries of Charity in mind, who were among the first to benefit from it. More extensive information can be found on the website of the Marian Catechists.

I've been pondering this plunge for some time now. I may have to actually do something about it!

Click here for more photos from the January 14, 2006 visit.

You might wonder why Archbishop Burke would come to Assumption Grotto to remember Fr. Hardon. Fr. Hardon spent his last years at Assumption Grotto - such a blessing to all those who got to know this great and holy theologian, who was recently profiled in the National Catholic Register in the article, "St. John Hardon?".

Lets give Archbishop Burke a good showing!!! Whether you are interested in becoming a Marian Catechist or not, you will love his homily and his conference talk - always solidly Catholic.

----- Te Deum Laudamus! Home -----

Deo Gratias!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A well earned blogger break.....

I find myself in need of some time off to take care of a few things. Therefore, my posting will be limited to some time-sensitive information to relay, for which I will provide more info tomorrow or Monday. Please do come back to view what is coming up when I do get a few minutes to put all the details together of at least two events forthcoming. I hope to be back posting next Saturday.

In the meanwhile, if you want Catholic news, I recommend the following:

  • (Note: some things which are only for subscribers may be found at the EWTN Headline News site).
  • Catholic News Service
  • Catholic Online (I do not spend as much time here because of the mix of content which includes material from sources like Commonweal and National Catholic Reporter, but there are other good articles if you know how to sift through the material.)
  • I recommend visting the Catholic Culture home page, especially to read up on the saint of the day - one I will leave you with below for St. Martin of Tours, as a sample below.
  • is always a good bet to read up on news from the Vatican as it is released.
  • Vatican Information Service is another place to read up on what is happening.
  • Sandro Magister - a good Vatican watcher

A few great audio recommendations, some of which are great to put on just while working around the house if you can get them on your computer, if you don't have an iPOD or similar:

Of course, you can always visit the blogs in my blogroll, and links in the sidebar while I'm away. In particular, spend some time at those of blogging priests. Fr. Martin Fox always has spiritually uplifting posts, and Fr. Philip Powell, OP has had an excellent post up on vocations, in particular the priesthood:

Aside from those time sensitive posts I need to make - likely tomorrow, I will be back next Saturday, God willing!

As promised, I leave you with the sensational story of St. Marin of Tours from Catholic Culture:

St. Martin of Tours

St. Martin was born (c. 316) at Sabaria, a town in Pannonia near the famous Benedictine monastery dedicated to his name. Against the wishes of his parents he associated with Christians and became a catechumen at the age of ten. At fifteen he entered the army and served under the Emperors Constantius and Julian. While in the service he met a poor, naked beggar at the gates of Amiens who asked alms in Christ's Name. Martin had nothing with him except his weapons and soldier's mantle; but he took his sword, cut the latter in two, and gave half to the poor man. During the following night Christ appeared to him clothed with half a mantle and said, "Martin, the catechumen, has clothed Me with this mantle!"

...continue reading St. Marin of Tours at Catholic Culture (scroll down)

Te Deum Laudamus!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Confessions of a Catholic Blogger: Imprudent Posting of Liturgical Abuses

I've learned a lot since I've started blogging and I've been debating about starting a series of posts to accumulate those lesson's learned so that I may revisit them periodically, and perhaps lead a few others to contemplate them. This is my first "Confession" in a series that will be ongoing as long as there are lessons learned. I know some of you will disagree with my decision here, and that's fine. I can't follow anyone else's conscience, I have to follow my own.

This post was previously about a Halloween Mass and had an embedded video and photos of liturgical abuses. I am overwriting it, and modifying the date & time stamp to put it up top with this in it's place. It comes after much reflection in adoration today at the 40 Hours Devotion. This was prompted after two people were kind enough to express their disappointment with seeing such things on this blog. I owe them my thanks and would invite readers to please email me (see profile) with any such concerns in the future. This is a learning process for me. I can't guarantee I will agree with everyone who has a problem with my content - particularly on issues where there are varying opinions all the way up the heirarchy, such as Medjugorje. But, I can guarantee that I will pray and reflect on it, then make corrections where my conscience tells me it is necessary.

One might ask, "But, how will it ever stop if we do not put a spot light on it and spread it all over the internet?" My answer is simple: Those who made the video need to use the process the Church has asked us to use to report liturgical abuse. What is the process? It can be found in Redemptionis Sacramentum (Section VIII-6; Paragraph 184)

[184.] Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff.[290] It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.
Hence, it is actually best if the originators of the video were to seal it and send it to the diocesan bishop, then spend some time in adoration and prayer that the will of God be done - and, in God's timeframe, not ours. God knows all, far more than we do, so we must trust the process his Church provides. If there is low confidence in the bishop, nothing prevents a courtesy copy of the video from being sent to the Apostolic See (Cardinal Arinze at the CDW) at the same time.

We ought not be going out looking for abuses (or looking for abuses to post), but it's another matter if it occurs in our own parish and it happens to get on tape. From there, those who have such material have to discern the appropriate course of action just as we Catholic bloggers will have to discern whether to advocate some alternate, unofficial process by promoting those photos and videos on our blogs. For my part, I am publicly encouraging the official process be used.

With that, I would like to apologize to anyone who was offended with the content that was here previously and again, express my gratitude to those who in Christian charity gave me some things to ponder.

If we really want to do something about liturgical abuses we need to spend some time in prayer - in particular - the Rosary, and in adoration. The web has limits, but prayer has no boundaries. Help one priest through prayer, and you help all with whom the priest has contact. Prayer has the added benefit of gracing us with patience and charity, without which we are nothing more than clanging cymbals.

Mea Culpa!

Thursday, November 9, 2006

40 Hours Devotion: Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Psalm 63:2-4

O God, you are my God --
for you I long!
For you my body yearns;
for you my soul thirsts,
Like a land parched, lifeless,
and without water.

So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your power and glory.
For your love is better than life;
my lips offer you worship!

Via American Papist: On November 9th, 2006, Pope Benedict, speaking about the International Eucharistic Congress to take place in Quebec said:

The presence at the gathering of a number of representatives of the Adorers of the Eucharist, said Benedict XVI, gave him the opportunity to recall "just how beneficial the rediscovery of Eucharistic adoration by many Christians is. ... How much need modern humanity has to rediscover the source of its hope in the Sacrament of the Eucharist! [sic.] I thank the Lord because many parishes, along side the devout celebration of Mass, are educating the faithful in Eucharistic adoration. And it is my hope that - also in view of the next International Eucharistic Congress - this practice will become ever more widespread."

40 HOURS DEVOTION 2005: Closing Ceremony

And now, a few teaser scenes from last years closing ceremony which took place at 3:00pm Sunday, as it will this year. Many went to the noon Mass, then enjoyed the pancake/egg breakfast provided by the ushers, followed by an hour of adoration, before the big closing.

Many local priests joined us. Here, they are processing in.

Not sure who is doing a Gospel reading. Visiting priest, Fr. Paul Ward delivered a sermon.....

Momentary adoration...

The priest, wearing a cope, carries the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament behind the other processing priests and altar boys. People from the pews follow suit.

The canopy is seen, which covers our Lord as He is processed through the church.

A careful look (click on pic to enlarge) reveals the thurible being swung with incense towards the Blessed Sacrament as Our Lord crosses the main aisle.

You've got three days worth of adoration opportunities, and the closing ceremony is at 3:00 Sunday. Why not join us for the noon Mass, have a good breakfast, spend an hour in adoration, then worship the Lord in the closing ceremony?

Carpool over. See where Assumption Grotto is located and if you really want to see something cool - take a look at the satellite shot of Grotto grounds from Google Maps (click the map and just drag it around to see the area and zoom in some more when you get it centered).

I'll leave you with Our Lord's words:

Mark 14:37-38

He said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?
Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."

Previous post with more on 40 Hours Devotion

Te Deum Laudamus!