Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Franciscan University Releases Statement

The other day I told you about what I felt was disappointing news out of Franciscan University of Steubenville with regards to Summorum Pontificum.

Franciscan University has released a statement and Associate Director of Public Relations, Tom Sofio, emailed it to many bloggers including myself.

Regarding the Traditional Latin Mass and Franciscan University of

As a Catholic university with a long history of faithfulness to the
magisterium of the Catholic Church, Franciscan University of
Steubenville fully supports Pope Benedict XVI’s recent Motu Proprio,
Summorum Pontificum, which expands the use of the Traditional Latin

Franciscan University fully supports the plans for the celebration of
the extraordinary form of the Latin rite Mass at St. Peter Church in
Steubenville. Franciscan University is located within the boundaries of
St. Peter Parish, making it the official parish for the University and
the repository for the records of any sacraments celebrated on the

Summorum Pontificum indicates that it is the parish priest who is to
accede to the requests of those attached to the previous liturgical
tradition. The pastor of St. Peter Parish, Monsignor George Yontz, with
the full support of Steubenville Bishop R. Daniel Conlon, has met with
St. Peter parishioners, including Franciscan University students, and
people from other parishes in the area. He is working with them to
prepare for the proper celebration of Mass in the extraordinary form,
and the University will remain in communication with him throughout
this unfolding process.

The University is pleased that St. Peter’s will be the site for this,
as it is easily accessible to our University members, being just one
mile from campus. The University will provide transportation for
students who need it to and from St. Peter’s Church for the traditional
Latin rite Masses. The first traditional Latin rite Mass will be
celebrated at St. Peter’s on Sunday, November 25, the Feast of Christ
the King. The dates of future Masses will be announced later by the
parish office.

As the oldest Catholic church in the Steubenville diocese, St. Peter’s
has the high altar, communion railing, and other requirements to
celebrate the extraordinary form of the Latin rite, which are not found
in many area churches. It will provide a beautiful and fitting setting
in which interested students can enter more fully into this ancient

Franciscan University will continue to offer its monthly Latin Novus
Ordo Mass. In October, the University expanded the Sunday Mass
offerings from three to four, with Sunday Mass now offered at 8:30
a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m

Two points that I pray FUS will consider:

Hopefully, this will not be a monthly deal like the Latin N.O. Making it generously available would mean weekly. If the problem is a priest shortage, have the FSSP or the ICK been contacted to provide temporary assistance? Are there other priests in the area qualified who would be willing to do the Mass on a rotational basis?

Secondly, while it is nice to have the Mass near campus in a suitable church, having it on campus would make it even more readily available and visible. If FUS thinks it will be difficult to have on campus because there is no Tridentine-ready chapel, perhaps this video will give them ideas. Here, the FSSP shows how to alter an altar quickly (15 minutes - accelerated in video to just over 5 minutes) and cheaply for the TLM. I'm willing to bet that among the 155 who signed the request would be willing to set up an altar like this.

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Positive article in Washington Times on TLM

What a breath of fresh air and it comes from the secular media. Deo Gratias! If you enjoy the article you might consider emailing them or sending a letter to the editor telling the Washington Times what you think. Emphases mine.

I have a lot emphasized in bold - I mean, you have to read the whole article. It's dead-on. What must the dissident Notre Dame theologian, the Rev. Richard McBrien think?

Article published Oct 28, 2007
Mass appeal to Latin tradition

October 28, 2007

By Kristi Moore - Roman Catholic churches nationwide are rushing to accommodate a surge in demand for the traditional Latin Mass, which is drawing a surprising new crowd: young people.

Since July, when a decree from Pope Benedict XVI lifted decades-old restrictions on celebrating the Tridentine Mass, seven churches in the Washington metropolitan area have added the liturgy to their weekly Sunday schedules.

"I love the Latin Mass," said Audrey Kunkel, 20, of Cincinnati. "It"s amazing to think that I"m attending the same Mass that has formed saints throughout the centuries."

In contrast to the New Order Mass, which has been in use since the Second Vatican Council in 1969 and is typically celebrated in vernacular languages such as English, the Tridentine Mass is "contemplative, mysterious, sacred, transcendent, and [younger people are] drawn to it," said the Rev. Franklyn McAfee, pastor of St. John the Beloved in McLean. "Gregorian chant is the opposite of rap, and I believe this is a refreshing change for them."

Susan Gibbs, the director of communications from the Archdiocese of Washington, said the attraction demonstrated by the young adults is "very interesting."

Besides the liturgy"s rich historical content and spiritual significance, the younger generations show an interest in the old becoming new again, said Louis Tofari of the Society of St. Pius X, an order of clergy that opposed the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

"People who never grew up with the traditional Mass are finding it on their own and falling in love with it."

The Tridentine Mass helps people in their 20s and 30s who have grown up in a culture that lacks stability and orthodoxy see something larger than themselves: the glory of God, said Geoffrey Coleman of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter"s Our Lady of Guadalupe seminary in Denton, Neb.

The Tridentine Mass "detaches me from the world and lifts my mind, heart and soul to heavenly things," said Michael Malain, 21, of Houston.

Kirk Rich, 21, of Oberlin, Ohio, remembers the first time he attended a Tridentine Mass and recalls thinking that a new religion had been invented.

"That"s certainly what it seems like when comparing the two forms of the Mass," Mr. Rich said.

The biggest difference between the two forms is that the Tridentine Mass is always celebrated in Latin, except for the homily. The priest also leads the parishioners facing east, the traditional direction of prayer. The New Order Mass can be celebrated in Latin, but usually is not. There are also differences in some of the prayers, hymns and vestments.

As a result, the overall feel of the Tridentine Mass is more solemn and serious.

"The coffee social is after the traditional Latin Mass, not in the middle of it," said Kenneth Wolfe, 34, of Alexandria. "No one can say, with a straight face, that the post-Vatican II liturgy and sacraments are more beautiful than the ones used for hundreds and hundreds of years."

Like the churchgoers now demanding the celebration of the Tridentine Mass, the priests learning the rite are usually younger as well.

The Society of St. Pius X trains priests in the liturgy of the Tridentine Mass and has received as many as 25 requests a week for instruction since July.

"The phone was ringing nonstop, and I was getting e-mail after e-mail,' Mr. Tofari said. "The response was absolutely incredible; most of the people who call are below the age of 30."

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter has collaborated with Una Voce America to host workshops for clergy in Denton, Neb. Una Voce America, which promotes the celebration of the Tridentine Mass, usually teaches the rite to 12 students a session. But in September, it increased that number to 22 to meet the increased demand for training.

Many priests think the changes approved by the pope will do more than bring young people into the church. They think the celebration of the Tridentine Mass will increase the faith of many followers.

The Rev. Paul Scalia, 37, has been celebrating the Tridentine Mass at St. Rita Church in Alexandria. He said the increase in young attendance is evidence that the Mass is something living and life-giving.

"The beauty is tremendous, as it draws us to God, who is beauty Himself," Father Scalia said

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Cardinal Ruini to Priests & Religious: Get Blogging!

From Zenit:

Cardinal Urges Religious to Get Blogging
Says Internet Youth Forums Need Real Christian Message

ROME, OCT. 28, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI's vicar for the Diocese of Rome expressed his hopes that religious men and women increase their use of information technology, and thus take advantage of what he called a new form of apostolate.

Cardianl Camillo Ruini spoke to the religious at the Pontifical Urbanian University during the diocesan gathering of the Union of Major Superiors of Italy, which represents 1,287 communities and 22,000 religious in Rome.

According to the Roman diocesan weekly RomaSette, Cardinal Ruini said: "A priest from Novara told me that the theme of 'Jesus' is very much discussed by youth in blogs. The focus, though, comes from destructive books that are widespread today, and not from Benedict XVI’s book ‘Jesus of Nazareth.'

"What will the idea of Christ be in 10 years if these ideas triumph?"

The true Jesus

The 76-year-old prelate admitted, "I don’t understand the Internet, but especially young religious ought to enter blogs and correct the opinions of the youth, showing them the true Jesus.”

“The teaching emergency is central in Benedict XVI's concerns," the cardinal said. "For him, education in the faith coincides with service to society, because to form someone in the faith means to form the human person.

"Simply giving motivations for living defeats nihilism and gives value to the human person, a value that is based on Christ himself, the fact that God became a man."

The cardinal asserted that an educator’s testimony and content can matter more than pedagogical techniques.

He called for catechists to be creative in finding occasions for promoting Benedict XVI’s book, saying it shows the solidity of faith in the historical Jesus of the Gospels, and bases the identity of the Christian in a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.

Cardinal Ruini said that in Catholic schools, "the religious can witness to Christ in all their lessons, in the sciences, in history and even in Italian literature, in an inseparable union of faith and culture. Your creativity ought to find new techniques for the vocational challenge, which ought to develop in step with society."

The Cardinal is right on. The web is a battle ground for souls. There are many things which lure people in the wrong direction. There are also many people looking for solid guidance and this can be difficult in an era where watered-down catechesis has ruled for so long.

If you know how to run a blog, you can help priests and religious get started into blogging by setting it up for them, helping them to set it up, or by creating a blog and pasting in their messages without commentary. Many priests are generous in letting parishioners carry their words out to the web.

Blogging priests & religious offer far more benefits to the cyber-flock than meets the eye. One of the more popular search terms that lead people into this blog are things like "traditional religious order" or "traditional nuns". Blogging religious communities can attract vocations. Growing up, and even today if it weren't for Grotto, my only exposure to nuns were not of the traditional type. While there are many non-habited nuns who offer tremendous service to the Church working with the poor, in hospitals, and other settings, young people today especially feel called to more traditional nun roles. The evidence for this is the blossoming numbers in traditional convents. However, young people need ways to locate and consider such orders. They are indeed searching for them on the web and for this reason, convents and monasteries must be visible where the young seek them.

Two outstanding religious order blogs that I keep in my "Blogging priests, religious, and deacons" sidebar list are the Dominican nuns of Summit, NJ and the Benedictines of Mary - a newer order in Kansas City - St. Joseph. Both are photostory blogs, often giving us a glimpse of ordinary life in the cloister.

If you live near a community of religious priests, monks, brothers, sisters, etc., consider helping them in this regard. They may need assistance with computers, or you may consider donating a digital camera and show them how to upload photos if no one in the community knows how. With so many young people entering communities, it is often more a matter of providing them with the tools they may not be able to afford on such a tight budget.

Also, priests and religious should get podcasting too!


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Sunday, October 28, 2007

In the UK, adoptive Christian parents forced to teach children about homosexuality

Good heavens! I never even considered such a nightmare for Christian couples who adopt. In the UK, they are experiencing the nightmare.

Fr. Tim Finigan discusses it in his post: Christians in Britain can't foster either

There has been a worrying development this week in the UK's creeping discrimination against people who adhere to traditional Christian morality. Not only must the Catholic Adoption Agencies close, Christian foster parents will be struck off too.

Vincent Matherick (a non-conformist minister) and his wife, Pauline became foster parents in 2001 and have since fostered 28 vulnerable children through Somerset County Council's Social Services Department.

Social Services asked the Mathericks to sign a contract implementing the Sexual Orientation Regulations. The foster parents were told that they would have to discuss homosexual relationships with children of 11 and to explain how gay people date. It was made clear that they would have to present homosexual relationships as being just as acceptable as heterosexual relationships.

The Mathericks considered that this was a requirement for them to promote homosexuality and not simply a question of non-discrimination; they refused to sign the contract. Social Services told them that they would be taken off the register of foster carers and so they decided to resign.

As a result, their 11 year old foster son will be placed in a council hostel on Friday.

The Angel of Darkness is alive and well in the system.

Newspaper coverage:
Daily Telegraph
The Times
Daily Mail

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Saint John Bosco - the Movie

I can't remember when I last sat down to watch a movie. Normally, my day consists of work (job), prayer, managing my house, assisting my elderly mother, and endless "Grotto projects" including this blog. Ideally, I like to read before going to bed, but I needed a change in routine and borrowed a movie on the life of Don Bosco from the Grotto Giftshop (yes, they loan out movies - just ask).

This movie was outstanding. It was in Italian (with English subtitles, or dubbed English) and actor Flavio Insinna did an outstanding job. I had no idea the movie was over 3 hours long. I just remember getting up once at the intermission and diving right back into it.

It is an incredible story - the life of Don Bosco, who founded the Salesians. His profound charity is worth examining for our daily life. If you want to see how to deal with adversity, watch this movie because he had plenty of challenges in just trying to provide a home for homeless and deliquent boys. Some of those challenges were coming from the government while others from the local Church.

The movie also introduces us to important characters in the history of the oratory founded by Saint John Bosco and the Salesians, among whom is Saint Dominic Savio (pictured at right). Many other young men were inspired to pursue holiness in daily life and his oratory yielded many priests, religious, and secular order vocations. The heroic level to which the boys lived their lives through the inspiration and teachings of Don Bosco leaves us with much to contemplate and learn from. The importance of holy obedience is visible, but charity is at the forefront. I found myself thinking how interiorly, I was reacting like the boys in certain situations - wanting to confront the offenders, only to find myself humbled by the lessons this saint taught.

I highly recommend buying or renting this movie.

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Feminists don’t speak for women, says Dominican cardinal in blistering reply

The Cardinal from Santo Domingo speaks for the woman writer of this blog!

Add Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopes Rodriguez to the Bishops with Backbone category.

He speaks on true feminisim.... emphasis mine in bold.

Santo Domingo, Oct 26, 2007 / 11:14 am (CNA).- Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez of Santo Domingo, responded to criticism by radical feminists this week who accused him of pressuring the country’s legislature not to legalize abortion, saying these groups do not represent the interests of women.

“Women have always had all of my respect,” the cardinal said, “but I have never agreed, nor will I ever agree, with feminists of the bad kind, who are given over to everything except helping women.”

According to the cardinal, feminists, together with the United Nations, are the ones pressuring the governments of the world to legalize abortion.

Feminist groups, he explained, do not fight for the dignity of women, but rather they bring women down with the help of some sectors of society. “Only an imbecile, a moron, someone ignorant of everything, could defend that position,” he said.

Source article at CNA

Oh, how sweet it is to hear a prince of the Church speak like this.

I'm a feminist - a Marian feminist. That is, a female who lives to learn and understand the teachings of the Catholic faith, not challenge them for convenience and immoral purposes.

Ladies, it's not what you do with your body that counts. It's what you are doing to someone else's body - destruction - through abortion.

Support Links:

Hope after Abortion - Project Rachel

Silent No More Awareness

Priests for Life

Human Life International

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Sandro Magister on Cdl Giacomo Biffi's book and on 100th Anniversary of Encyclical Against Modernists

Vatican Insider Sandro Magister has two new articles up on his blog worth directing you to (then again, when does Sandro Magister write anything not worth reading!?!).

You'll have to catch these full length articles at his blog, but here are the introductions.

Before the Last Conclave: "What I Told the Future Pope"

Cardinal Giacomo Biffi commits his memoirs to a book. And here's a preview: the speech he gave in the closed-door meeting with the cardinals. And also, his critical views on John XXIII, on the Council, and on the "mea culpas" of John Paul II

by Sandro Magister

The article goes on to excerpt certain chapters:
John XXIII: a good pope, a bad teacher

The deceptions of Vatican II: "aggiornamento" and "pastoral focus"

Pope Wojtyla was right about communism: the Council should not have been silent

The "mea culpas" of John Paul II have been corrected, but not enough

Conclave 2005: what I said to the future pope

Go read, Before the Last Conclave: What I told the Pope

Mr. Magister has another article which recently appeared on his blog

The Encyclical Against the "Modernists" Turns 100 – But Without Fanfare

No official celebrations for the centenary of the "Pascendi" encyclical. The "unworthy methods" used to fight this battle have been discarded. But the questions at the center of that controversy are still open. And the book "Jesus of Nazareth" is proof of this

by Sandro Magister

Go read, The Encyclical Against the "Modernists" Turns 100 – But Without Fanfare

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1957 vs 2007 - A Satirical look at school back then, and now.

Professor Anthony Esolen, writing for Touchstone Magazine's "Mere Comments" blog, has the following entry.

Judy Warner has sent round this fine satirical piece on the differences between school fifty years ago and school nowadays:

SCHOOL - 1957 vs. 2007

Scenario: Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.
1957 – Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack’s shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2007 – School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.
1957 – Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2007 – Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario: Jeffrey won’t be still in class, disrupts other students.
1957 – Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2007 – Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADD. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor’s car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1957 – Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2007 – Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy’s sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy’s mom has affair with psychologist.

Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school .
1957 – Mark shares aspirin with Principal out on the smoking dock.
2007 – Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.
1957 – Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.
2007 – Pedro’s cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro’s English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.
1957 – Ants die.
2007 – BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny’s Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.
1957 – In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2007 – Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

As Tony says, "It’s a witty exaggeration of our current madness, but not much of an exaggeration, either." Indeed, what’s common to all those scenarios is "the loss of trust." See Matthew 24: 12.

Continue reading the blogpost by Anthony Esolen at Touchstone

h/t to Fr. Z

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Forty Hours Devotion at Grotto - Nov 9-11

NOVEMBER 9-10-11, 2007

Friday, November 9th
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament: 6:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Masses: 7:30 a.m. & 7:00 p.m. (Blessed Sacrament is veiled during the Masses)

Saturday, November 10th
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament: 6:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Masses: 7:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m. & 4:00 p.m. (Blessed Sacrament is veiled during the Masses)
Sunday, November 11th
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament: 6:00a.m.
Masses: 6:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m. (Tridentine Mass) &; 12:00 Noon
(Blessed Sacrament is veiled during the Masses)
Closing Ceremony: 3:00 p.m. with Procession, Litany & Benediction

There is also a Potluck Dinner following the closing ceremony in the Grotto Gym.

Source PDF File

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All Saints & All Souls Schedule

Next Thursday is the Feast of All Saints - a Holy Day of Obligation. Following that is the feast of All Souls - a day that we should really try to make it to Mass where we can make our intentions for our loved ones who have gone before us, and the poor souls in purgatory.

Special Masses and Devotions during the Month of November
All Saints Day, Thursday, November 1st 2007
Masses at 6:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 12:00 Noon & 7:00 p.m.

All Souls Day, Friday, November 2nd 2007
Masses beginning at 6:30 a.m.7:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 10:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m &
7:00 p.m. (Concelebrated)

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Baby in a Box - A Pro-life Video

I received this through Debbie Bloomfield and it is a very short video worth watching and promoting...to the point, but not "in your face". It is brought to us by Inside Catholic.

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Franciscan University and the motu proprio - Fr. Z's mega post

The discussion over at Fr. Z's blog on Franciscan University of Steubenville and Summorum Pontificum is very interesting. I made mention of it the other day, but this is a thread well worth revisiting because he has been editing it daily with updates. He has kept the comment box closed - wisely, I think as this is one of those highly emotional issues.

You might want to ponder, that while the charismatic movement was big in the 70's, is there now a movement toward's a more traditional expression of our Catholic faith? I have strongly believed this for more than two years. This is where the discussion has headed in Fr. Z's continuously updated post.

That charismatics would think that they themselves are paving the way, and while other groups believe they are responsible for it, is proof to me that the Holy Spirit is acting in many quarters and guiding the faithful in a common direction. Deo Gratias - that we are being led by just the right man in Pope Benedict XVI to accelerate what the Holy Spirit has put into action. And, thanks be to God for a new generation of priests and bishops willing to humbly assist.

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300 Anglicans Defect to Rome

I pray this is just the beginning.

From The Independent

By John Cooney Religion CorrespondentThursday October 25 2007

UP to 300 Irish Anglicans could soon be joining the Roman Catholic Church to the traditional hymn tune 'Faith of Our Fathers'.

A report in today's 'Irish Catholic' newspaper claims that three Church of Ireland parishes are Romeward-bound, and may soon be received by Pope Benedict into full communion with the Catholic Church.

Continue reading in The Independent

This comes on the heels of a related blogpost the other day....

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Disappointing News out of Franciscan University of Steubenville

Almost two years ago, I was accepted conditionally to the Franciscan University's Master of Theology program (distance learning). I say conditionally because I have a BS in Vehicle Design from Central Michigan University - hardly providing the necessary philosophy and basic theology needed to begin a Masters in Theology. I was prepared to take some 6 classes needed to catch up before being fully accepted when I had to set the whole thing aside after my employment became uncertain for a time. Then, lack of time seemed to have set the whole thing aside indefinitely.

I knew FUS had reputation for being a "charismatic" school, but research convinced me that it was a solid theology program. I know many self-proclaimed charismatics who are very orthodox in their theology, are very Marian, and are very devoted to the Eucharist. But, my views on liturgy differ starkly from that of charismatics as I prefer a more reserved approach, versus what is commonly seen at "charismatic Masses".

On the blog of Fr. Z, I've been following a post for which he has provided many updates. It seems that while "charismatic Masses" and even a Novus Ordo in French (for 15 students) is welcome, the Tridentine is not. Word leaked out that a significant group of students and faculty - to the tune of 155 - petitioned the school for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite per Summorum Pontificum and were allegedly denied. You can read Fr. Z's post with comments he posts, received via email on the happenings there.

It is just this kind of persecution that the commission Ecclesia Dei will be sifting through and ruling on, no doubt.

This follows disappointing news back in August at Ave Maria University on the liturgy front.

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More photos from Grotto's Musical, Palla Eius

This photo was taken on the evening that Catholic actor, Leonardo Defilippis visited for a preview. Leonardo posed with the cast and crew after rehearsal.

The following photos are in no certain order. All but the second photo were taken by Mike Powell during another rehearsal.

Boozing sailors sing "Hi-ho Buffalo" to ladies on the ship

The ladies to whom the sailors sing ask that heaven help them

"George" - the ladies man.

"Peter" lifts "Julia" during a duet.

The ever-cranky, "Mrs. Mattiachi" as she chases after "George" for taking the choir's pastries.

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Thanks to reader John for sending me a link to this. I have not been to the show in two years, but I will do so in order to see this movie. I hope you will too.

Dear Universal Archconfraternity of St. Philomena Family Members,

I wanted to share some exciting news about a film, Bella, recently produced by fellow St. Philomena devotee Leo Severino. The film took the top prize at Toronto's International Film Festival winning the "People's Choice Award," a distinction that puts the movie in the company of Oscar-winning works. The directors of Bella also were recognized with the Smithsonian Latino Center's Legacy Award honoring positive role models of Hispanic heritage who have made a significant contribution to American culture and society.

You may recall receiving an e-mail recently about Leo and his bride Jacque who stayed at St. Philomena's Sanctuary in Mugnano on their honeymoon in August. (http://www.philomena.com/email/enewsletter_070825.asp

Please join me and show our support for Leo and Jacque and his production crew by taking your family and friends in your community in the United States, or telling your family and friends who live in the United States, to see the film this weekend. The film opens in many U.S. theaters on October 26, 2007.

Your support of the film, which is centered on the value of pro-life, will enable it to reach millions of people in theaters across the U.S. and around the world.

Click here to learn more about the film and specific theater locations.

Leo was recently interviewed on EWTN where he commented that they consecrated the movie to St. Philomena and Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Please join us in congratulating Leo and his family and for the continuous intercession of our beloved Saint to promote heroic purity to our youth of the twenty-first century and to encourage all people to commit their fidelity to Christ,

Marie Burns,Director General of the Universal Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena


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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Great article on the Tridentine by Fr. Kenneth Baker, SJ

Dr. Philip Blosser, on his blog, is carrying the full text of an article written by Fr. Kenneth Baker, SJ on the Tridentine, with permission to reprint from Latin Mass Magazine (Fall 2007). Fr. Baker is the Managing Editor of Homiletic and Pastoral Review (HPR) a very dignified periodical aimed at priests but read by many lay people including myself.

I highly recommend reading this article if you want to understand more about the motu proprio and it's affect on the future of Liturgy.

h/t: Fr. Z

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Traditional Anglican Communion Seeking Full Communion with Rome?

A worthy intention to hope, and pray for.....

From the Bovina Bloviator blog, self-described as, "A prolix Rome-bound Anglo-Catholic conservative based in New York City and Bovina, NY", is this interesting piece of news.

Here's an interesting item. The Traditional Anglican Communion, one of many "continuing" churches made up of former Anglicans distressed over modern trends in the Anglican Church and claiming half a million members worldwide, held a meeting last week in of its College of Bishops. Today a statement from TAC's Archbishop John Hepworth was released and reads as follows (posted on the excellent blog The Continuum):
The College of Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) met in Plenary Session in Portsmouth, England, in the first week of October 2007. The Bishops and Vicars-General unanimously agreed to the text of a letter to the See of Rome seeking full, corporate, sacramental union. The letter was signed solemnly by all the College and entrusted to the Primate and two bishops chosen by the College to be presented to the Holy See. The letter was cordially received at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Primate of the TAC has agreed that no member of the College will give interviews until the Holy See has considered the letter and responded.
+ John

Should the Holy Father respond favorably to the request, and I hope he does, it seems possible and desirable we could see an expansion of Anglican Use, in the U.S. and elsewhere. The Holy Father seems determined to bring separated brethren back onto Barque of Peter and since Anglican Use is already in place, it could be the vessel back to Rome for many more Episcopalians and other Anglicans. There is no doubt many issues that will have to be dealt with (Anglican orders and the bugaboo of women's ordination, for example) but even reaching the talking stages would be a most encouraging development. Let us pray.
h/t American Papist,

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Palla Eius - the Crowd

Folks, the crowd was incredible today. People were still looking for a place to park at 3:15. The start time was pushed back to allow people time to flow in. Every available chair in the building was brought into the gym, and that wasn't enough. One set of bleachers had to be opened (and the photo below doesn't do it justice because it was completely full a few minutes later).

I'll be able to share more pictures taken at dress rehearsals in recent weeks now that the performance is over. I did not want to give away the set and props. However, for now, I leave you with just these because it is time for me to head off to bed!

As you will see below, Detroit Auxiliary Bishop John M. Quinn came to this afternoon's performance. There were also several other visiting priests in the audience, some seen in pictures here, including Fr. Val!

This first shot is only a fraction of the south end of the gym. I could not get the full shot. My little 6ft high station was surrounded with chairs.

Several members of the choir could not be there this afternoon, but helped at other performances.

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Fr. Perrone comments on Altar Rail Cloth and Communion

Fr. Perrone continues to educate the parish on the finer details of the TLM. He will be providing a class in the coming weeks - an informal one - to discuss the structure of the Tridentine and how to follow along in the missal.

Weekly, he has been taking one subject at a time and talking about it. This week, he talks about the altar rail cloth, and about what some would call "snapping turtles". Is there a benefit to closing our eyes when we receive Holy Communion on the tongue? Read this and find out....

My comment in gray and in brackets below.

First, Father talks about some fundraising:

This is my last chance to goad you into
being part of the BENEFIT DINNER AND
RAFFLE which will take place next
Sunday after the noon Mass. There are
many fine items for the raffle, many
more since I last wrote about this. You
will be understanding if tickets will not
be available once we have been called to
give a head count of attendees to the

Now he speaks about Altar Rail Cloths and Holy Communion

My liturgical word this time has to do
with the reception of HOLY
COMMUNION. In the new rite of Mass,
which you know so well, the priest or
other minister of the Sacrament [Grotto
has a religious brother
who helps to
distribute Communion]
“The Body (and Blood) of Christ” to
which the communicant is to answer
“Amen.” This, we are informed, is an
ancient formulary. As such it has
antiquity to commend it. It is also a
means of eliciting an act of faith in the
Real Presence by the communicant who
says, in effect: ‘Amen. Yes, I do believe
that this is the real Body of Christ.’

The Tridentine form of distributing Holy
Communion requires no word from the
communicant (“Amen” is not to be said),
but is rather a formula of blessing. You
will note there that the priest makes the
sign of the cross with the Sacred Host
toward each one about to receive the
Holy Eucharist and says to him: “May
the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ bring
you to eternal life. Amen.” Of the two
ways, the older form seems to me to be
the more beneficial for the communicant.
In former days, there was also a cloth
covering the altar railing. It was removed
here sometime in the 1960s, I presume.

This cloth served a double purpose, one
liturgical, one practical. The practical
was that should the Host drop during the
distribution, It would not fall upon the
hands of the recipient (how carefully the
Church safeguarded the Host!). The
other reason was to indicate that the
railing is an extension of the altar itself.
This is why communion rails were often
made of the same material as the altar–in
our case, of while marble. One receives
Communion then from the ‘altar,’
symbolic of Christ.

While I’m at it, I want my say about
receiving Holy Communion. There are a
few procedural points that can be
improved upon by some of our
parishioners. In olden days, the good
teaching Sisters taught us how to receive
Communion reverently. With their
diminished presence, many now do not
know how to conduct themselves well at
the Communion railing. Here are a few
points. Keep your hands away from your
face and your arms and elbows off the
railing. At the moment of reception,
close your eyes and put out your tongue.
Closing the eyes assures that you will
not be attempting to ‘follow’ the Host
into your mouth, a practice which
usually results in a lunging forward,
making the priest miss the mark (and
maybe get his fingers nipped as well).
Putting out the tongue makes it easier to
place the Host thereupon and avoids the
potential danger of digital amputation of
the priest. I’m sorry to be so pedantic
about these things but, lacking other
suitable means of imparting this
information to you, I must write about it

And, Father plugs Palla Eius one last time (3:00 today!!!)

Performances of the musical play Palla
Eius will have ended by the time you read
this. I’m praying now that it all goes well
and that it will be truly inspiring as well as
an entertaining. The play itself is a great
promo for priestly and religious vocations,
as well as a story of trust in the powerful
intercession of our Blessed Mother. I hope
the folks who attend will get that as they
watch the show. There’s a lamentable void
in the Church’s involvement in the arts
today, even though the Church formerly
has been a great promoter of them. This
deficiency has resulted in the proverbial
‘vacuum’ for the devil to take ascendancy,
as he has already so successfully, in film,
TV, literature, lewd music, etc. From time
to time we all need incentives to help our
faith along. The arts should help supply for
it. How I wish for a Catholic cultural

Fr. Perrone

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Father and Son in Sanctuary as Fr. Bloomfield Celebrates First TLM in Detroit

Many Grotto-goers know Fr. Andrew Bloomfield - son of Deacon Richard Bloomfield, and wife Debbie. Fr. Bloomfield celebrated his first TLM at St. Josaphat (just to clarify - it was his first in metro Detroit). The two are seen above.

Below are some pictures which are in a larger album online you can view. The Mass took place on October 7th. I've been very short on time and am just now posting them after Debbie sent to me over a week ago.

You also get a good glimpse inside of St. Josaphat with these pictures. Prior to Summorum Pontificum, while several parishes had petitioned the archdiocese, this was the only parish in Detroit granted the Indult, or permission to celebrate the Tridentine locally. If we move forward a year or two down the road when priests and servers are fully trained, I think we will find a dozen or more parishes in the AOD offering the Old Mass.

I myself experienced my first TLM at St. Josaphat on Ascension Thursday this year. Despite some apprehensions caused by common misperceptions, I dove headfirst into the unknown. That Mass opened my eyes widely as I followed along in the booklets provided. The depth of spirituality of the usus antiquior found in the words lifted that veil of apprehension and left me deeply attached to it in a single Mass. The beauty of chant by Music Director Wassim Sarweh lifted my thoughts to heaven. I had heard him for the first time at the Call to Holiness when he provided music and chant at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Wyandotte.

A sense of humility and sacrifice are found throughout the Tridentine Mass. With the 1960's revolution against any and all authority (the prideful opposite of humility), it is clear to me why so many loath it's return and have fought against it. This sense of sacrifice and humility are things unnecessarily missing in the celebration of many Novus Ordo Masses today. Some of that is due to poor translation of the New Mass which continues to be fine tuned over time.

It is taking time to learn how to follow in a regular missal and how to tell what is happening when since much is silent. However, this is a normal, minor, learning curve for anything that is new to us. I'll trade-off the inconveniences of having to follow along in reading vs. strictly listening as we do in the vernacular Novus Ordo. The depth of the prayers is a worthy trade-off.

In that last photo at the lower, right-hand corner you see a cloth draped over the altar rail. Fr. Perrone spoke about the altar rail cloth this in his column this weekend in the Grotto News, and provided some practical tips for reception of Holy Communion.

You can see more photos of Fr. Bloomfield's Mass (click here).

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Palla Eius cast members wait in the hallway as the sound system is tested

News from Grotto:

Orchestra performances for the musical Palla Eius take place tonight at 7:00pm, and Sunday at 3:00pm. The dress rehearsal with orchestra took place this past Wednesday. When you hear it, you have to keep in mind that every last note was composed by our pastor, Fr. Eduard Perrone. I tell you that Father is a real trip to have come up with these compositions. He must not have slept for a month and I can imagine what his vacation must have been like (rumor has it that much was written during his July hiatus).

It's simply brilliant and in the spirit of the musicals from an era past. Please support Catholic Drama, and the folks of Assumption Grotto and Sts Cyril & Methodius who are in this play. Keep in mind it was concepted by our own Sr. Maria Paschalis, put to script by 17 year old parishioner Renee Kray, choreographed by a former Broadway professional, Sonja Krolik, and directed by Opus Bono Sacerdotii president Joe Maher.

Michigan Catholic reporter, Robert Delaney, interviews Fr. Perrone during the Piano Performance dress rehearsal

Also, I just received news that the Helpers of God's Precious Infants fall Prayer Vigil will take place on November 10th. Save that date.

From around the Web:

Pope Benedict Names 23 New Cardinals (CWNews)

Fr. Z’s 20 Tips For Making A Good Confession o{]:¬) (WDTPRS)

The Bishop and the Jesuit: Robert McManus vs. Holy Cross (Dr. Jeff Mirus - Catholic Culture)

The Bishop on the "Bullies" of the Blogosphere (Ignatius Insight Scoop)

In re the Eucharist: Cdl. McCarrick vs. Abp. Burke (Ed Peters, JD, JCD)

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke and Canon 915 (Ed Peters, JD, JCD)

Local News in the AOD:

15 Permanent Deacons Ordained (Michigan Catholic)

Files of possible miracle for Ven. Solanus head to Rome (Michigan Catholic)

Catholic Conference Responds to Formation of Embryonic Stem Cell Research Ballot Committee (Michigan Catholic Conference) and the Letter that went to Catholic Homes, and from the same site.....Michigan Catholic Conference Launches Massive Statewide Stem Cell Education Program

I got my letter and disk in the mail from the Michigan Catholic Conference. This is a good thing they are doing in trying to educate Catholics about Embryonic Stem Cell research.

Sidebar websites in the spotlight

You will find many websites in my sidebar worth exploring. I have to do some updating, but most of the links are good. I have more to add. In this post, I would like to put a spotlight on the following merchants:

Grotto Press

Real View Books

Mater Admirabilis Embroidery

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

A New Tune in the Vatican

Italian writer Sandro Magister is one of my favorites and his focus is often Vatican watching.

Well, in his latest article, Mr. Magister is making some observations about changes taking place with regards to Sacred Music and who is doing what. I'll start you here, and click the link below that to continue reading at his blog....

A New Musical Season Opens at the Vatican – And Here's the Program

Pope Ratzinger seems to be stepping up the tempo. The curia will have a new office with authority in the field of sacred music. And the choir of the Sistine Chapel is getting a new director

by Sandro Magister

ROMA, October 18, 2007 – In the span of just a few days, a series of events have unfolded at the Vatican which, taken all together, foretell new provisions – at the pope's behest – to foster the rebirth of great sacred music.

The first of these events took place on Monday, October 8. On that morning, Benedict XVI held an audience with the "chapter" of Saint Peter's basilica – meaning the bishops and priests who, together with the archpriest of the basilica, Angelo Comastri, celebrate Mass and solemn Vespers each Sunday in the most famous church in the Christian world.

The pope reminded them that "it is necessary that, beside the tomb of Peter, there be a stable community of prayer to guarantee continuity with tradition."

This tradition goes back "to the time of Saint Gregory the Great," the pope whose name was given to the liturgical chant characteristic of the Latin Church, Gregorian chant.

One example the pope gave to the chapter of St. Peter's was the celebration of the liturgy at the abbey of Heiligenkreutz, the flourishing monastery he had visited just a few weeks earlier in Austria.

In effect, since just over a year ago, Gregorian chant has been restored as the primary form of singing for Mass and solemn Vespers in Saint Peter's basilica.

The rebirth of Gregorian chant at St. Peter's coincided with the appointment of a new choir director, who was chosen by the basilica chapter in February of 2006.

The new director, Pierre Paul, a Canadian and an Oblate of the Virgin Mary, has made a clean break with the practice established during the pontificate of John Paul II – and reaffirmed by the previous director, Pablo Colino – of bringing to sing at the Masses in St. Peter's the most disparate choirs, drawn from all over the world, very uneven in quality and often inadequate.

Fr. Paul put the gradual and the antiphonal back into the hands of his singers, and taught them to sing Mass and Vespers in pure Gregorian chant. The faithful are also provided with booklets with the Gregorian notation for Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, and the translation of the texts in Italian, English, and Spanish. The results are liturgically exemplary celebrations, with increasing participation from a growing number of faithful from many nations.

There's still much to do to bring back to life in St. Peter's what was, in ancient times, the Cappella Giulia – the choir specifically founded for the basilica – and to revive the splendors of the Roman musical style, a style in which the sacred polyphony pioneered by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Gregorian chant, also sung in the Roman manner (virile and strong, not like the monastic models inspired by Solesmes), alternate and enrich each other.

But there has been a new beginning. And Benedict XVI wanted to tell the chapter that this is the right path.

* * *

The second event took place on Wednesday, October 10, again in Saint Peter's Basilica. The orchestra and choir of Humboldt Universität in Berlin, conducted by Constantin Alex, performed the Mass "Tu es Petrus," composed in honor of Joseph Ratzinger's eightieth birthday by the German musician Wolfgang Seifein, who was present at the organ.

Make no mistake: this was not a concert, but a real Mass. Exactly like on November 19 of last year, when in St. Peter's (see photo) the Wiener Philarmoniker provided the musical accompaniment for the Eucharistic liturgy celebrated by cardinal Christoph Schönborn, with the Krönungsmesse K 317 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

In both cases, the two Masses ennobled by such music were celebrated in the context of the International Festival of Sacred Music and Art, which each autumn makes resound within the crowded papal basilicas in Rome – and thus in their natural environment, instead of in the concert halls – the masterpieces of Christian sacred music, with orchestras, conductors, and singers of worldwide fame.

Continue reading Sandro Magister on Sacred Music at the Vatican....

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Grotto Effect: Part 1 - "The Free Bench"

Many who land at Assumption Grotto after having spent life like a ship on the high-seas, tossed to-and-fro, in a relativistic, materialistic world eventually experience a reordering of priorities.

While I would like to call this "The Grotto Effect", I can assure you that there are many things which make this up, so why focus on only one. On top of my already incomplete series on Grotto Altar Boys, Kneeling for Holy Communion, the Romano Guardini series on "Sacred Signs", and a not yet started series on the Blessed Mother, I now add this one. Not to worry about the incomplete series - there is a lifetime for it all and I will get them started again, perhaps when things slow down at Grotto (as if that will ever happen). I'm hardly ever home anymore - another Grotto Effect!


When I first started coming to Grotto in May of 2005, I had come off of a 4-month long medical with an odd asthma attack, which - in the end, proved to be a grace which led to my turing more seriously toward's the Lord.

For several months, I had been assisting at Fr. Perrone's 7:30am Mass, which was being held outdoors since it was still summer. After Mass, and as I walked back toward's my car to go to work, I asked one woman whom I had noticed always there at Grotto, if I could possibly bring in some things I needed to get rid of, but didn't want to throw out.

The woman stopped walking, turned to me and said, "It's happening isn't it?"

I said, "What?"

She said, "Now, don't you worry, it happens to just about everybody who comes here."

I said, "What???"

The woman said, "Look, for me it was my precious doll collection. I had so many dolls you wouldn't believe it. I got rid of all them - all except one or two. You know, you just find that all those things that meant something, don't mean anything at all and they get in the way".

I just erupted in laughter and said that about sums it up.

Very casually, she told me to bring my things in and put them in on the "free bench", which some places would call a "free box" - a place where you can put things you don't want any longer so others may have them. I hadn't noticed until then, that just inside the doors of the school on the church benches in the hall, are periodically laid out clothes and material goods. No questions asked on where they came from, but there for the taking by anyone wanting or needing them.

Mortification, Detachment, and Simplicty of Life
The Free Bench is a great solution in a parish which enables shedding of a materialistic lifestyle. It is a grace from God. And, those things we have accumulated, that are simply excesses, are welcomed by the many Grotto families who are humble enough to receive them. Many moms, including some that are very well educated and skilled, have chosen to stay out of the workforce to homeschool and they get by in simple homes on tight budgets. Keeping in mind that the parish is located in a poor section of Detroit, the goods are also welcomed to those in our parish who are truly poor, or who are trying to learn to live in a spirit of poverty.

In fact, it is in witnessing the sacrifices made by homeschooling families and the parish poor whom God uses innocently as instruments to teach us to re-evaluate our needs and wants. Add to that a group of priests in a parish who regularly challenge us to practice mortification of our many apetites - for spiritual exercise in taming the will, and as an offering to God for some purpose (which is welcomed by Him like prayer).

Those apetites in today's world can include things such as daily expensive gourmet coffee drinks, purchased lunches which cost more and taste better than bag lunches, electronic gadets up to wazoo, hobbies gone wild with excess, designer and name brand clothes and items (you should have seen the huge collection of Bath & Body Works stuff I had vs. ordinary cheap soap and lotions now), the biggest cars and trucks (while I didn't buy a used car when my lease expired, I did purchase rather than lease - a more economical vehicle, with intent to drive it into the ground), larger homes than are necessary, and the list goes on. Don't get me wrong as there is nothing wrong with an occasional capuccino. But if we live in a spirit of poverty, we come to realize that those who have so little money are lucky to afford budget grounds from the grocery store - something we should practice voluntarily at times for mortification. It's at these times that we literally test our attachments to "things" and ways of life.

How much house do I need?
Before I came to Grotto I knew I wanted to get out of my 1165 sq. ft. condo and into a home. Even as a single person, I felt that going after a 1700 sq. ft ranch was modest. But, the Grotto Effect cured that and I soon realized that I needed nothing much bigger than what I already have - I just need to get rid of stuff. I still want to get out of my condo (spend an evening trying to sleep next to a condo loaded with party animals and you'll know why), but I have downsized my spacey wishes. Also, by choosing to live in a smaller, simpler home, I have lower heating and cooling bills, lower taxes, and more money for.......other things caused by the Grotto Effect not yet discussed.

I am truly beginning to believe that God issues a penance for such excesses once we recognize them: He has us getting so involved at Grotto that finding time to finish sifting and reordering life based on simplicity gets difficult.

I have enough possessions to fill the Grotto school hallway, let alone the free bench. I just need the parish to slow down so I can box the stuff and transport it.

Liberation via the Free Bench
The Grotto Free Bench is not only called that because it offers free things to the takers. It is the Free Bench because it is highly liberating for those who contribute to it.

Allowing the Lord to work on your soul and shape it through a fine parish like Assumption Grotto, please know that you should never try to do too many changes at once. Allow God the time to work on you and make small, incremental changes. The Angel of Darkness loves to make us feel like giving up because we try to change too much at once. Start with one thing and when you get through that, change something else.

I highly recommend using the Sacrament of Confession provided you find a good priest who understands how effective the Sacrament can be for building virtue and shedding attachment. Confession is where holiness is built because of the humility involved. Using it to tame appetites and attachments teaches us how to use self-control with serious sins and imperfections. Don't take a litany of things into the confessional, but work through one thing over a period of time. Keep in mind, most of these attachments are not bad in themselves. Rather, it is the inordinate attachment or inability to do without that reveals something worth working on.

Have you experienced a similar effect at Grotto or another parish? Feel free to tell us about it.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Vocation Video - Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ

One of our two "cloistered blogs" - Moniales OP - Dominicans (see the blogging priests, religious, and deacons section), has made a vocational video called, Seeking the Face of the Lord. I got a preview of this not long ago and want to pass along the full version for you to review. It is a dignified look at cloistered life in this Dominican convent, Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Sister is a regular visitor of the Te Deum blog and I hope readers will become regular visitors of their blog, and the blogs of other priests, religious and deacons, willing to share their thoughts.

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Sancta Missa - Multimedia powerhouse on the Tridentine

I introduced you to a website run by the Society of St. John Cantius in Chicago called Sancta Missa. It is becoming a multimedia powerhouse of information on all things Tridentine. There are online tutorials in the form of video clips for priests, for servers, and good general info for the laity.

I'm a little behind here in posts, and want to point out some updates that were passed along to me from the webmaster, Fr. Scott Haynes

Here are the new sections:

Division of the Mass (or what I could call "structure")

Spirituality of the Tridentine Mass


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Monday, October 15, 2007

October 15, 2007: St. Teresa of Avila

Happy feast day to all Carmelites.

Te Deum Visitors - Oct 15, 2007

I see this on a regular basis, but don't always talk about it. This is only one snapshot of the last 25 viewers. I see this from overnight when people in other areas of the world are viewing the blog.

Welcome to all!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What's Out? Lay clothes. What's In?: Clerical Garb and Habits

On the vocations front, I've been following something for the last two years: Traditional clerical garb and religious habits are making a comeback. Here's more evidence found among the many comments in this thread at the blog of Fr. Z:

I have a friend who is a seminarian in Rome who belongs to a newer religious Order called the “Servants of Mary Immaculate”. They wear their particilar habit, which is just a Roman cassock with a royal blue cord around the waist, 15 decade rosary, and shoulder cape with an embrodered Immaculate Heart image on the left side. They also wear saturnos (Roman platter hats).

There are not many of seminarians for the Order in Rome, only about 20-30, but then again, it’s a relatively new Order. But my friend said that in the last 2 years He’s been studying in Rome (but He’s been in the Order in Italy for 5 years),
he’s seen a perceptable visible change in the number of religious wearing habits (both men and women).

It’s a growing trend to see more habits, cassocks, soutanes on the streets. And even the wearing of the saturnos by some seminarians. And even some wearing the national cassocks (particularly on the streets of Rome on Sundays) of their Pontifical Seminaries. He said that there are dozens of Orders of sisters wearing habits he’s never seen before, and in the old fashioned “1950’s” style habit, a la Audrey Hepburn in “The Nuns’s Story”, not the typical little short grey, brown white or beige skirt and small veil like most communities wore for the last 35+ years.

He’s seen Franciscan Friars of new branches of the Order in ahbit (two new communities), Dominicans, and Trinitarians all in habit in seminary and on the streets of Rome. The only seminarians who still cling to layclothes are some of the Pontifical seminaries and universities, the Gregorian UNiversity (unfortunatly). The only groups of seminarians who never ever wear clericals apparently are the very few Jesuit, Salesian, and some diosecean seminarians. The “dying” policy against wearing habits and cassocks is mainly from the liberal Orders. The Legionaries of Christ are all over Rome in cassock, as are the OPus Dei seminarians. Also the INstitute of Christ the King.

My friend said He’s seen the liberal Orders of nuns still hanging around in layclothes, but they are all very aged women in their 70’s, while the nuns who wear the conservative or even old fashioned “1950’s” habits are much younger. He was surprised that some groups of traditionally habited nuns He’s seen in St. Peter’s Square and other Churches are hardly more than girls just in their 20’s, compared to the liberal nuns in their 70’s and older. What a contrast.

My friend said that it’s a statement on two different images of the Church. One is the “dying” image of the Church…the rad progressives of the 1960’s which discarded everything (including the TLM). The other is the reborn Catholic Church, which is the Church of tradition, of John Paul II , Benedict XVI, and Summorum Pontificum.
You’d have to see the e-mails and booklets he’s sent me to prove His point, but from the hundreds of photos and films He’s sent me over the last few years, it’s quite a contrast between two interpretations of the Church.

Source comment

I've been saying this for two year now. Then again, in the Detroit area we have "recognizable sisters" in Sisters of the Holy Cross (ORC) at Grotto, as well as through orders like the Dominicans Sisters - Mary Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor. We see the youthfulness of those choosing the habits.

I also still have a belief that the surge of vocations taking place in cloisters, like that of Mother Angelica's order, is much like the way the military soften's the target by sending in artillery ahead of troops. Their prayers and sacrifices are preparing the Church for less ambiguous times ahead, and I believe the fruit of that work will be more orthodox priests and sisters in parishes where we so desperately need them.

The cassocks are coming! The cassocks are coming!!!

Are you seeing a trend in this direction in your area? Tell us about it.

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Vatican not taking resistance to Summorum Pontificum

This is really welcome news, folks. I have been unable to keep up with Fr. Z and all the evidence he has revealed of a resistance to Summorum Pontificum (the document in which Pope Benedict derestricted the TLM) - much of it subtle in the form of "norms" or "guidelines" issued by various bishops which are more of a deterrent than anything.

If you are hungry for news on the Tridentine, you really need to pay Fr. Z's blog a visit daily. I can guarantee, you will have your fill.

Fr. Z presents an interview of Msgr. Perl of the commission, Ecclesia Dei and sums it up as follows:

Still, the golden nuggets in this interview are these:

  • the Commission is considering interpretive guidelines for Summorum Pontificum
  • the Commission has competence to issue such guidelines
  • that competence supersedes that of individual diocesan bishops
  • the Commission interprets the Motu Proprio
  • the Commission is very aware of those who are opposing the Motu Proprio ("in plain sight")

And on the level of Msgr. Perl’s opinion:
  • in this day and age few people are capable of true obedience
    many bishops and priests speaking and acting against the Pope’s provisions are showing disobedience
  • just because something is newer it is not therefore better

Other things are happening, such as that mentioned in my previous post in which Bishop Fisichella engages in a crackdown on bias towards seminarians at the Pontifical Lateran University who wish to assist at the older form of the Mass, and on bias towards seminarians who wear clerical garb, including the cassock (anyone who knows the state of many seminaries these days, understands that to get ordained, a man ought not wear orthodoxy or traditionalism on his sleeve, nor should he come across as too devout. In some places, there is a paid psychiatrist waiting to "de-program" such people out of their "rigidness". Thankfully, this is changing, but not fast enough in some quarters and this is the kind of thing that needs to start happening. It needs to be addressed and discussed openly by those in authority who KNOW what is happening!!!).

Then, the other day I told you about Abp Ranjith's comment that those who resiste Summorum Pontificum are allowing themselves to be used as instruments of the devil.

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