Sunday, December 31, 2006

Archbishop Burke in Detroit: Photo Post 2

A shot of some of the organ pipes in Assumption Grotto's choir loft.
Blue light was coming from the large stained-glass window.

Continuing with photos of the visit by Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, as head of the Marian Catechesists - an apostolate founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., whom was being remembered on December 30th.

We continue with the Mass....

The Bishop, priests, and deacon listens to the readings...

The altar boys approach with the thurible that will be used by the Deacon just ahead of reading the Gospel as he stands at the pulpit.

The Deacon reads the Gospel.

The Bishop Speaks!

One of the first things I noticed when I first came to Assumption Grotto in 2005 was that words like sin, sacrifice, mortification, self-denial, justice, confession, devotion, adoration, and many others were not absent from pulpit vocabulary. It is well balanced with words like forgiveness, love, joy, patience and others which, when used exclusively, give the illusion that religion is all about comfort. This is a stark contrast to my post-Conciliar upbringing where the latter ruled. I believe it enabled me to live a life of indifference, and even sinfulness. Like any human, the consequences of Original Sin left me struggling with all sorts of inclinations towards the bad, and made it hard work to do the good and right things. If our pastors and bishops don't challenge us to sanctity, who will? Sermons at Grotto have a way of making us move, not out of fear and trembling, but out of a desire to love God by following his Commandments. This is what wholesome sermons do!

The Archbishop was no different than priests at Grotto in his talks and it is what makes him a shepherd so well followed by young and old alike. He tells it like it is. In his sermon he spoke of Satan's influences today and the importance of being well catechized. He spoke of Fr. Hardon as a Master Catechist and challenged us all to work at the same. The Marian Catechist is not necessarily someone who teaches catechism in the classroom. Rather, it is someone who learns the Catechism well, using a structured approach developed by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. in a home study program. By becoming well catechized, we become a catechist to anyone we meet on the street, within our families, and in the workplace. It is through this knowledge, and through a structured prayer-life - one based on Eucharistic and Marian devotion, that we make things very difficult for Satan and counter what he has already done in the world. One person at a time, we grow in sanctity, allowing the Blessed Mother to influence us, further crushing the head of the Evil One.

More information on the Marian Catechist Apostolate

These are a few sample pages from the Marian Catechist website...
Once you spend some time exploring this apostolate, you will see just how orthodox it is, and how individual it is. It's done at home - alone or as a family. You can be a theology professor, yet still become a Marian Catechist. You can be a housewife, an engineer, and you can belong to other apostolates and still become a Marian Catechist. It will compliment your work in any other field. Does this mean you will teach catechism in a classroom? No. But, if you teach catechism in a parish, you will become a far better catechist through this program, than 98% of any diocesan programs out there.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Archbishop Burke in Detroit: Photo Post 1

A photo of the bells used during Consecration taken before Mass.
Reflections of Assumption Grotto's interior are seen in the bells.

I took many photos of the visit by Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis, who came to Detroit to remember Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ. He also came as head of the Marian Catechists - an apostolate founded by Fr. Hardon. During lunch he discussed the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine being built in LaCrosse, Wisconsin - his former diocese, which will be the HQ of the Marian Catechist Apostolate, but will serve many other purposes, as well. It will include a library of Fr. Hardon's materials - which seem infinite. I will be making a more detailed post on both the Marian Catechists and the shrine as I show more photos.

Since there are so many good photos, please bear with me and visit frequently over the next week or so as I make multiple posts with these. Be sure to use refresh.

The Archbishop's flight was late and as we waited, I got additional still shots from around Assumption Grotto.

This was Assumption Grotto's sanctuary around 9:45am. Mass was due to start at 10:30am.

This is a photo of the "Seat of Wisdom" statue of the Blessed Mother. This statue is one of my favorites of all and you will see her in many of the photos taken during the Mass.

The backdrop, which is normally green, is now red. The sanctuary light is seen burning in the foreground.

As we waited for Archbishop Burke, several priests heard confessions, and we prayed the Rosary instead of doing it in the afternoon as scheduled. Then, the Archbishop arrived and Mass began.

Photos of the Mass were taken from the choir loft, with a camera mounted on a tripod and with the use of a "cable-snapper". The loft alone vibrates and can sometimes blur a photo even when I'm not touching the camera. I kneel on a chair for those parts of the Mass where kneeling is in order. All is done with the permission of Assumption Grotto's pastor. No flash is used during Mass. It was the one thing Fr. Perrone made clear to me the very first time I asked if I could photograph the Liturgy there in order to give witness to the beauty of the Mass.

If anyone there wondered where Assumption Grotto's pastor was (since he obviously was not concelebrating) they heard him chant in the choir loft. I love Gregorian chant any way I can get it, but I seem to be partial to a single male voice. Being in the choir loft photographing the Mass made it just too tempting to not capture Fr. Perrone in this mode. I got a few more, which are forthcoming in later posts.

Archbishop Burke celebrated the Mass of Vatican 2, predominately in Latin. There was a little more English than we typically hear at Grotto Masses, but there were also people in attendance who were likely experiencing this for the first time. Latin Mass booklets were provided (with very good translations on the facing page, I might add).

Here we see the Archbishop incensing at the beginning of Mass, with our Deacon assisting.

Another photo from the beginning of Mass. From left to right: The Rev. Mr. Jim Wilder, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, Associate Pastor - Fr. John, and Fr. Titus - a priest of Opus Angelorum.

This photo was taken during the Gloria, chanted in Latin. Note the bow at the point that we sang, ".....Domine Fili unigenite, Iesu Christe.... All bowed their heads the second time the name of Jesus Christ is sung in the Gloria, as well: "...Tu solus Dominus. Tu solus Altissimus. Iesu Christe....". I covered this previously in a post entitled, GIRM 275 - Bowing during Holy Mass. It's rarely seen today, even during the Credo, where a profound bow from the waist is to be done at the "et incarnatus est...."

More photos tomorrow. I can't predict how many photo posts there willl be, but it will be no less than 5 spanned over the course of this week. Keep checking my home page for more. Be sure to use "refresh" to ensure you are seeing the latest. You can always get to the Te Deum homepage by clicking the title of the blog.



Rosary Center: Homepage for the Confraternity of the Rosary

Rosary of Mary, Queen of Scots, executed in 1587, from

There are some historical variations on the origins of the Rosary, but the story of St. Dominic and the Rosary is probably the most well known - at least, by those who have looked into the subject. Hence, the Confraternity of the Rosary - established over 500 years ago, was entrusted to the Dominicans.

They have a beautiful site, with so many valuable pieces of information on this devotion, based on Scripture. I highly recommend bookmarking the site and spending some time each week clicking through the information there. Here are some samples.

Confraternity's How-to Guide

How do we pray the Rosary? This page instructs you step-by-step, and also includes the same thing in over 17 different languages. Aside from those expected, you will find Latin, Croatian, Irish-Gaelic, Tagalog (most widely spoken language in the Philippines), Chinese, Russian, and many more.

Difficulties & Distractions

If you've ever found it easy to be distracted during a Rosary, the Confraternity gives us this:

Difficulties That Some Experience

A. Some persons find praying the Rosary difficult, because they do not understand the manner in which the vocal and mental prayer of the Rosary are to be combined. The vocal prayers are sometimes called the BODY of the Rosary, while the mental prayer is its SOUL. While the lips are uttering the words of the Hail Marys, the mind dwells on our Lord's Agony in the garden of Gethsemani. We are not meant to focus our attention on the Hail Marys. The ten Hail Marys function as a measuring device to determine the length of time to reflect on this incident in the passion of Jesus.

B. Others have difficulty in keeping their mind on the mystery of the Rosary they are praying. The mind tends to wander, and distracting thoughts enter in. To help solve that problem, the Rosary Center has a booklet, Praying The Rosary Without Distractions, from which this guide is excerpted. For information on how to recieve it, please go to our catalog. For each of the twenty mysteries of the Rosary there are ten brief points of reflection, to help keep one's attention focused on the mystery in question, in addition it has a colorful picture of each mystery. It is not necessary to dwell on all ten points of reflection, but one may choose to do so. One may feel free to dwell on as many or as few as is found helpful. For example, one could spend the whole decade on two, or three, or four points of reflection (or all 10), depending on how his devotion leads him. Of course there are countless other points of reflection that could be used for each mystery.

Scriptural Reading while Praying the Rosary

The night I found this, I was so tired that I feared falling asleep if I did my Rosary the usual way, and I also wanted some help on meditating upon the mysteries. That is what prompted my search. I have found, in the past, many websites which offer meditations while praying Hail Mary's. But, this one, in my opinion, is the finest of them all. I also like that it provides the kind of spiritual fruit you should be graced with when praying each mystery.

Here is an example using the second Sorrowful Mystery - The Scourging. They provide a picture off to the left, with 10 passages from Scripture or a point referring to Scripture or prayer. As you pray each Hail Mary, you look back and forth between the respective sentence and the photo. For anyone doing Hail Mary's a long time, this is an easy thing to do. The point of the Rosary is not to meditate on each Hail Mary, but on the mystery at hand. As is says in point "B" above, you can stop on one particular point and remain meditating on that point, rather than all 10 reflections. Note the spiritual fruit at the bottom of The Scourging. It is Mortification of the Senses.

The Second Sorrowful Mystery


1. Jesus is taken before the High Priest where He is falsely accused, buffeted and insulted.
2. The Jewish leaders take Jesus before Pilate, for only he can impose the death penalty.
3. The robber, Barabbas, is preferred to Jesus.
4. Pilate can "find no cause in Him", yet to appease the Jews, he orders Jesus to be scourged.
5. The scourge is made of leather thongs to which are attached small sharp bones.
6. Jesus is bound to a pillar and cruelly scourged until His whole body is covered with deep wounds.
7. The Lamb of God offers His suffering for the sins of mankind.
8. Jesus suffers so much in His sacred flesh to satisfy, especially, for sins of the flesh.
9. The prophesy of Isiah is fulfilled: "He was wounded for our iniquities, He was bruised for our sins."
10. Father, by the merits of Jesus in this painful scourging, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Spiritual Fruit: Mortification of the senses

Now, some will say that praying the Rosary at the computer is not virtuous. For some people, at a given time, this could be correct. However, I will say that I had more success in meditating on the mysteries with the aids on the Confraternity's website than by going it alone. Of course, the Confraternity offers several books, leaflets and booklets, including these scriptural-visual mysteries. There are many other things available through their online catalogue, as well. Many of these can probably be obtained in the Assumption Grotto Giftshop & Cafe.

Of Additional Interest

You will find so much more at the Confraternity's website. Among them:

Explore the site for much more and bookmark it. Tell others about it, put it in your sidebar if you are a Catholic blogger and spread devotion to the Rosary!!! You will find this under the Approved Private Revelations section in my sidebar.

Friday, December 29, 2006

December 29 Te Deum Bulletin Board

Some have mentioned not seeing any updates. Please use the refresh button or the "View-Refresh" if you visit daily to ensure you are getting the latest.

Accumulating Recent Posts:

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Christmas 2006: Photo Post 2

I promised more photos. The one above was taken just before the Gospel. As the Deacon received a blessing from Fr. John, the altar boys awaited to escort him, and the Word of God to the pulpit.

Those which follow are still shots taken before the Midnight Mass, and following the December 27, 2006 daily Mass at 7:30am.

Christmas 2006: Photo Post 1

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

December 28 - Feast of Holy Innocents: They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ

The quote in the title comes from a sermon by Saint Quodvultdeus (see full sermon below)

Matthew 2:13-18

When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him."

Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt.

He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, "Out of Egypt I called my son."

When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.

Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:

"A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more."

St. Augustine (source: Catholic Culture)

"Blessed are you, Bethlehem in the land of Judah! You suffered the inhumanity of King Herod in the murder of your babes and thereby have become worthy to offer to the Lord a pure host of infants. In full right do we celebrate the heavenly birthday of these children whom the world caused to be born unto an eternally blessed life rather than that from their mothers' womb, for they attained the grace of everlasting life before the enjoyment of the present. The precious death of any martyr deserves high praise because of his heroic confession; the death of these children is precious in the sight of God because of the beatitude they gained so quickly. For already at the beginning of their lives they pass on. The end of the present life is for them the beginning of glory. These then, whom Herod's cruelty tore as sucklings from their mothers' bosom, are justly hailed as "infant martyr flowers"; they were the Church's first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief.

This reading is taken from the December 28, 2006 Office of Readings. It is a sermon by Saint Quodvultdeus - Bishop

A tiny child is born, who is a great king. Wise men are led to him from afar. They come to adore one who lies in a manger and yet reigns in heaven and on earth. When they tell of one who is born a king, Herod is disturbed. To save his kingdom he resolves to kill him, though if he would have faith in the child, he himself would reign in peace in this life and for ever in the life to come.

Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king? He does not come to drive you out, but to conquer the devil. But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage. To destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.

You are not restrained by the love of weeping mothers and fathers mourning the deaths of their sons, nor by the cries and sobs of the children. You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart. You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong you own life, though you are seeking to kill Life himself.

The children die for Christ, though they do not know it. The parents mourn for the death of martyrs. The Christ child makes of those as yet unable to speak fit witnesses to himself. But you, Herod, do not know this and are disturbed and furious. While you vent your fury against the child, you are already paying him homage, and do not know it.

To what merits of their own do the children owe this kind of victory? They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ. They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory.

More on Holy Innocents at Catholic Encyclopedia

More from the Catholic Community Forum

Reminder: Archbishop Burke returns Dec 30 for a daylong rememberance of Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ

Archbishop Burke celebrates Mass at Grotto in January 2006

As advertised on local Catholic Radio - Ave Maria Radio - Archbishop Raymond L. Burke is returning to Assumption Grotto for a rememberance of Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. There is no cost and no reservation. But, you will want to bring a bag lunch.

The respected theologian, Fr. Hardon, spent some of his final years at Assumption Grotto where he was spiritual director and confessor to many. In the 20 months that I've been at this parish, I've heard from countless people the way that he had touched their lives, and of his tireless efforts. Jay McNally explains in this article (copyright 2003 Credo):

It was at Assumption Grotto, where Fr. Hardon maintained an office and conducted classes in theology for several years, that many from Detroit came to know him well. Before and after his Sunday afternoon lectures, which usually filled the classroom with more than 100 students, he was always besieged with queries by those seeking his counsel. He was confessor and spiritual advisor to untold numbers.

Assumption Grotto's pastor, Fr. Eduard Perrone, describes one of the remarkable things about Fr. Hardon: "I never knew that he said no to any request for his help, whether it was to give personal guidance or counsel or an opinion on some book or some project, or to hear a confession, even to say Mass for a particular petition. He always found time and would be ready to drop whatever he was working on to meet a personal need. What is extraordinary is the great volume of work that he produced with untold interruptions for personal needs. He was prodigious to the point that one would have thought there were two Fr. Hardons."

It begins with Mass with the Archbishop at 10:30am and ends after a 3:00 Chaplet of Divine Mercy and Benediction. See details of the day in my post of November 12, 2006.

More photos of last year's rememberance with Archbishop Burke:

How do I get to Assumption Grotto?

Additional references on, and works by, Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ:

National Catholic Register: St. John Hardon?

The Real Presence Association: A website which carries many of Fr. Hardon's works (very solid).

Marian Catechists: A program developed by Fr. Hardon to make catechists of everyone, whether it is in a classroom, the home, work, or on the ride home - everyone we meet is a potential student. We must be well-rounded in our understanding of the faith in order to bring others to Christ. Fr. Hardon founded the Marian Catechist program. Archbishop Burke succeeds Fr. Hardon as the head of the Marian Catechists and comes to Detroit to remember him in this capacity.

Fr. Hardon Media

Fr. Hardon Society (many may not know that Fr. John Hardon founded the Institute for Religious Life).

A small sampling of the vast number of books written by Fr. John A. Hardon, many of which are available at the Grotto Giftshop and Cafe - which will be open December 30.

Monday, December 25, 2006

2006 Photo Post: Midnight Mass at Assumption Grotto

Here are a few pics taken at Assumption Grotto's Midnight Mass.

This first photo was taken before Mass, around 10:45pm. The normally green backdrop behind the Crucifix is now red. The Church beautifully decorated all to give glory to God on the birth of our Savior!

A photo taken of the high wall altar during the homily.

These were taken during the second reading. I had stepped up to the choir loft in between singing the Mass.

Here, our new Deacon - the Rev. Mr. Jim Wilder, receives a blessing from the celebrant, Fr. John as the Master of Ceremonies - in black cassock and white surplice - stands nearby. Altar boys wait to escort the Deacon who will take the Word of God from the table altar where it is seen in the photo, to the pulpit, where it will be proclaimed.

The Deacon swings a thurible with incense just ahead of chanting the Gospel. Regardless of where anyone is standing, all face the pulpit for the Word of God. Altar boys are seen in white cassocks and Christmas season shoulder capes in red. During Easter Season, they are gold. The Nativity is off to the left, but not seen very well in this photo. I plan on photographing the Nativity during the week.

Here, all listen to a beautiful Christmas homily given by one of the priests of Opus Angelorum

Fr. John elevates the Sacred Host. The highlight of the Catholic Mass is always the Consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. What struck me profoundly when I first came to Assumption Grotto was not only the ad orientem posture of the priest during the Mass, but the prolonged elevation of the Sacred Host and Chalice.

I believe that much of the indifference to our Eucharistic Lord can be changed over time through simple and ordinary gestures. Everyone has their own thoughts and prayers during elevation. Some say, "My God and my All". Others will say, "My Lord and my God". In some parishes, I barely have time to say these words in my heart because the elevation happens so rapidly and below eye level of the priest. At Assumption Grotto, the elevation is long enough to actually say the first part of the Fatima Angel's Prayer: "My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, I love You. I ask forgiveness for those who do not believe, nor adore, nor hope nor love you."

Regardless of whether you like to just adore the Lord without even a word, or a short prayer, I pray that priests will begin to prolong the elevation so that we may pause and behold Our Lord - whether the Mass is celebrated ad orientem, or versus populum - facing the people. I once thought the high elevation was due to the fact that the priest is facing the high wall altar. However, I have seen several priests who make use of a very prolonged and high elevation even when celebrating versus populum. I found this also drawing my attention to our Eucharistic Lord.

I would be interested in knowing what others pray or do during elevation. Please feel free to comment.


Gaudete Sunday Photo Post. It may not be everyone's favorite shade of rose, but we greatfully accept any "rose" in an era when many don't even know of this special tradition.

Archbishop Burke Returns to Grotto on December 30, 2006 to Remember Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, who spent is final years at Assumption Grotto. Come and join us for Mass and talks this Saturday. It is free and no reservation is necessary. Bring your own lunch. See details in the link.

Christmas Season Orchestral Masses at Grotto

Priest Profiles: Fr. Albert Lauer. The first in a several part series devoted to the book "Priest" by Michael S. Rose. This book is a must for any seminarian or young person considering priesthood or religious life. The ten good men profiled in the book provide excellent role models with strong priestly identity.

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

Midnight Mass Homily of Pope Benedict

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We have just heard in the Gospel the message given by the angels to the shepherds during that Holy Night, a message which the Church now proclaims to us: "To you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger" (Lk 2:11-12). Nothing miraculous, nothing extraordinary, nothing magnificent is given to the shepherds as a sign. All they will see is a child wrapped in swaddling clothes, one who, like all children, needs a mother’s care; a child born in a stable, who therefore lies not in a cradle but in a manger. God ’s sign is the baby in need of help and in poverty. Only in their hearts will the shepherds be able to see that this baby fulfils the promise of the prophet Isaiah, which we heard in the first reading: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder" (Is 9:5). Exactly the same sign has been given to us. We too are invited by the angel of God, through the message of the Gospel, to set out in our hearts to see the child lying in the manger.
God’s sign is simplicity. God’s sign is the baby. God’s sign is that he makes himself small for us. This is how he reigns. He does not come with power and outward splendour. He comes as a baby – defenceless and in need of our help. He does not want to overwhelm us with his strength. He takes away our fear of his greatness. He asks for our love: so he makes himself a child. He wants nothing other from us than our love, through which we spontaneously learn to enter into his feelings, his thoughts and his will – we learn to live with him and to practise with him that humility of renunciation that belongs to the very essence of love. God made himself small so that we could understand him, welcome him, and love him. The Fathers of the Church, in their Greek translation of the Old Testament, found a passage from the prophet Isaiah that Paul also quotes in order to show how God’s new ways had already been foretold in the Old Testament. There we read: "God made his Word short, he abbreviated it" (Is 10:23; Rom 9:28). The Fathers interpreted this in two ways.........continue reading at the Vatican website

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Assumption Grotto Christmas Season Mass Schedule

The Latin Novus Ordo on Ephiphany 2005 with a visiting military chaplain celebrating

Consider stopping in for Mass at Assumption Grotto. Here is the Schedule for this holiday season

Saturday December 23 at 4:00 p.m. or
Sunday December 24 at 6:30 a.m., or 9:30 a.m. or 12:00 noon.

Sunday December 24 at 4:00 p.m. (Assumption Schola will sing!) or 12:00 midnight (The orchestral and choral musical program for the Midnight Mass will include the Grechaninov Missa Oecumenica).
Monday December 25 at 6:30 a.m., or 9:30 a.m., or 12 noon. (There will not be
a 4:00 p.m. Mass nor an evening Mass on Christmas Day.)

Saturday December 30 at 4:00 p.m. or
Sunday December 31 or 6:30 a.m., or 9:30 a.m. or 12 noon (Orchestral Mass).

IV Masses for NEW YEAR’S DAY (The Motherhood of Mary)
Sunday December 31 at 11:00 p.m. (with Benediction at Midnight and optional
Pot Luck following in the gym)
Monday January 1 at 6:30 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. or 12:00 noon. (There will not be
an afternoon or an evening Mass on January 1.)

No confessions will be heard, Saturday, December 23, or Sunday, December 24.
You are required to assist at Mass at least once in each of the four numbers indicated below.
There are no times when your presence at Mass suffices for two celebrations.


The Assumption Grotto Choir with Orchestra
Christmas Season Program 2006-2007
December 24 Christmas Midnight Mass
Grechaninoff - Missa Oecumenica
Tchiakowsky - Prayer from “The Maid of Orleans”
Bruch - Gruss an die Heilige Nacht “Greeting to the Holy Night”
Reger - Virgin’s Slumber Song
Repeat Performances
Sunday, December 31 12:00 Noon Mass
Sunday, January 7 , 2007 9:30 a.m. Mass (Last chance!!!)

The Nativity display to the left of the altar in 2005

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Video "God in the Streets of New York"

Before I leave you with this beautiful video clip, I would like to ask for your prayers for my mom who is in the hospital receiving a blood transfusion. Mom has suffered from anemia and renal insufficiency (her kidneys are not working as well as they should) for over a year now and her blood count was low enough to require hospitalization. She has been through this before and I am hopeful she will be home - perhaps in time for Christmas.

I also want to point out a spelling error on my post pertaining to Gaudete Sunday where I used two "t's". Upon fixing it in the title, I realized I broke everyone's links so I returned the title to its errant state and found the links working again.

Now, to the video with a hat-tip to Dom at Bettnet. This was done by the same outfit - Grassroots Films - which brought us Fishers of Men for vocations - a tastefully made short film which shows the priesthood in a positive light. These films also have a tendency to promote things like Eucharistic adoration, or in the case of this new film, "God in the Streets of New York" - Eucharistic Processions. If you look carefully, you will see that Fr. Benedict Groeschel and his friars appear in the video. It undoubtedly is a masculine portrayal of the priesthood, as well. If you are registered with YouTube, consider logging in and voting. I gave it a five star.

Blogging will be light due to the holidays and with my mother's situation.

I would like to provide a reminder now for the upcoming Orchestral Masses at Grotto. In addition, I've just learned that the Assumption Schola will perform at the 4:00pm Christmas Eve Vigil. You may recall this all-male schola singing at the noon Mass on Easter Sunday, as well as monthly at the noon Mass. They are truly gifted and a blessing to hear at Assumption Grotto.

One other reminder is that of Archbishop Burke coming to Assumption Grotto on December 30. Please mark your calendars. It is a free event that is aimed at Marian Cathechists, but is open to all.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Gaudette Sunday - Rose Vestments

Only two days yearly will you see rose vestments, depending on whether your parish engages in this tradition. I had my camera with me yesterday and had wanted to capture photos of Gaudete Sunday - the third Sunday in Advent, along with Laetare Sunday in Lent when rose vestements are worn again. I leave you with two photos that need no explanation for those who believe. For those who don't understand, but would like to.

These are not photos of the Old Mass - the Tridentine, but of the Latin Novus Ordo as celebrated at the 9:30am liturgy at Assumption Grotto in Detroit, which comes with Gregorian Chant and sacred polyphony. The ad orientem posture is a legitimate posture even today. It is used almost exclusively at Assumption Grotto. In a previous post, I wrote a spiritual case in favor of this posture.

Here Fr. Perrone elevates the Body and Blood of Our Lord in front of the Seat of Wisdom statue, which is one of my favorites of all time.

The Fatima Angel Prayer

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, I love You.
I ask forgiveness for those who do not believe,
nor adore, nor hope nor love you.

Oh Most Holy Trinity,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
I adore Thee profoundly.
I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity
of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world,
in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and
indifferences by which He is offended.
By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I beg the conversion of poor sinners.

You can now call him, "Father Dwight Longenecker"

From Bob Jones University to the Anglican Church, Father Dwight Longenecker discusses his long journey to the Catholic faith in a post made following his ordination on December 14, 2006 - the Feast of St. John of the Cross - and how a Catholic woman influenced him.

There are more photos in the link within this blogpost.

He has also written an article which just appeared in the National Catholic Register. In the article he talks about celibacy in detail.

On Priests, Marriage and the Sacraments

In just over one month I will be ordained a Catholic priest. My wife will be
in the front row.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Priest of Opus Angelorum heads to the Philippines - Farewell planned for Sunday following Noon Mass

From last weeks Assumption Grotto News - the bulletin of the parish:

On December 17th, after the Noon Mass come and say goodbye to Fr. Eusebius and wish him well on his new assignment to the Philippines. If you are planning on attending, please bring a Pot Luck Dish to pass. For further information or questions, call Sue Allasio at 313-881-7141.

It's my understanding he will be with us through the end of the year and leave sometime in January. But, don't wait to wish him well and thank him if you cannot make it to the post-Mass farewell.

Fr. Eusebius has appeared in many photos taken at Assumption Grotto, but typically where Our Lord is the central focus. Feel free to click on a photo, then right-click and save it to your computer for personal use. If anything, use them to remember his simple and profound homilies, his merciful counsel in the confessional, and any time you need a reminder to turn off the TV, get off the computer for a while, skip that next piece of chocolate and offer it up, spend time in adoration of Our Lord, studying the angels and saints, reflecting on God's mercy, and last but not least, a reminder to just go to confession frequently, even if it is only devotional. There is one other thing you can remember through these photos - all that he has worked to teach us about the Angels of Scripture, and our guardian angels. His talk on the angels during Mass at last week's Day of Recollection was simply awesome.

When you do view this post or look upon these photos in the future, be sure to offer a prayer for Fr. Eusebius and all whom he will come into contact with. We know already what others will learn soon enough: This priest can help the young to hear their call to the priesthood or religious life, and make others enthusiastic about just becoming better human beings. The notion of making small and simple sacrifices for the purpose of "offering up" (Col 1:24) has been absent for decades. But, Father's gentle reminders of making use of them as an offering and as a way to tame the will has been most effective.

In all of these photos involving Fr. Eusebius we see a central theme: Our Lord should be at the center of our lives. His departure leaves us with an opportunity to re-evaluate whether we are following Christ through the priest, or following the priest himself. Good priests want merely to lead us to Christ and not be viewed themselves as the objects of our faith - something only fitting for God. It is easy to become dependent on one or another priest, especially when they move us from the cement in which we have embedded ourselves. But if we trust God, we trust He will provide us with others who will feed our spiritual needs and growth, especially if we pray for them. A priest who may not be gifted in the same ways, nor have the same charisma, can be gifted in other ways - ways that God deems good for us at a particular time.

In the time I have spent at Assumption Grotto, with regular exposure to at least 5-6 priests, I have found that each has something to offer that compliments that of the others. I believe this is the reason why God sometimes mixes things up for us when we would like them to remain as they are.

A few memorable photos in which Fr. Eusebius appeared from the Te Deum archives:

Assumption Day - August 15, 2005: Fr. Perrone holds the Monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament as Fr. Eusebius holds the sleeve of the Assumption Grotto pastor out of the way

On the same day at the 9:30am Mass during Elevation of the Body of Christ in a photo I've named, "Panis Angelorum".

From a Mass during the 2005 Forty-Hours Devotion - a photo which is also seen in the header of this blog.

Benediction in the Grotto following Mass in the Church on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, 2006

His Angelic Chasuble...

And, at the monthly Holy Hour for Vocations, which he typically leads

As difficult as it is to say goodbye, we have to keep in mind that this Holy Order is one with a Missionary charism - something that is multi-faceted, but includes physical missionary work - sometimes in remote areas. In our prayers we should pray that God graces Fr. Eusebius with fortitude and deeper spiritual growth through his experience there. Consider him in your Rosaries, in your Mass intentions, in your intentions for the Liturgy of the Hours, and most especially in adoration. Pray for one priest and you help all those with whom he comes in contact.

By accepting God's will for him in this new assignment, we accept God's will for ourselves, not without a fond farewell, but also with joy in knowing that in obediently accepting this next stop in his priestly life, he is indeed following the will of God. Our Lord has lent him to us for a time and like training wheels, they must be removed to see if we have the strength to persevere with the many lessons he has taught us. In time, we may find God will bring him back to us in Detroit. There is no doubt in my mind that when he does, he will have all the more wisdom to pass along to us in his homilies, his confessional, his talks, and in his spiritual direction.

May God be with you on your new mission, Fr. Eusebius. If there are needs for the people at your Mission, you know how to reach us.