Thursday, January 31, 2008

Closing of Diocesan Phase in Cause of Abp Sheen's Beatification

There is some interesting programming coming up on EWTN pertaining to Abp Sheen's cause for beatification.

Raymond Arroyo and Fr. Andrew Apostoli discuss the recent developments in the cause of Archbishop Fulton Sheen.
Sun,02/03/2008 11:00 AM LIVE
Mon, 02/04/08 12:00 AM ENCORE

From the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria. Holy Mass celebrated by Bishope Daniel Jenky, along with the ceremony of the Postrema Sessio, whereby all documents, books and testimonies collected on behalf of the cause are then certified and forwarded to the offices of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.
Sun,02/03/2008 11:30 AM LIVE
Mon, 02/04/09 12:30 AM ENCORE

If you want to learn more about this, visit the Official Website for the Canonization Cause of the Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

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Ex-papal MC, Msgr. Piero Marini's book tour is cancelled

This is somewhat old news (about 10 days), but I hadn't seen it in my blog travels until today.

Interesting news from the blog of Damian Thompson of the Telegraph (UK), and from Rocco Palmo of the Tablet (UK). Archbishop Piero Marini, who had been planning a tour in the US to promote his book on liturgy as postponed that tour indefinitely and rumors are that Pope Benedict helped him to postpone that tour through Cardinal Bertone.

The ex-Papal Master of Ceremonies was seen as largely responsible for the flashy liturgies through the Pontificate of Pope John Paul II and was a protégé of Archbishop Annibale Bugnini. Some were surprised to see him remain MC for as long as he did, with such clashing liturgical styles. There was a visible change in liturgical ceremonies when this Marini departed, and Guido Marini (no relation), took the helm this past fall.

Damian Thompson begins his commentary this way:

Here’s a fascinating rumour from the Vatican. You may remember that last month the Throne Room of Archbishop’s House, Westminster, was – most inappropriately – used to launch a book by Archbishop Piero Marini, the embittered ex-MC of St Peter’s, which contained a coded attack on the Pope’s liturgical reforms.

Marini, high priest of 1970s liturgical claptrap, was just about to start a high-profile tour of America to plug his dreary volume. But now it has been “indefinitely postponed”, reportedly on the orders of Benedict’s secretary of state, Cardinal Bertone. Interesting, no?

Continue reading Marini book tour mysteriously cancelled at the "Holy Smoke" blog.

Rocco Palmo offers two possible explanations, one of which is that the rug was pulled out by Cardinal Bertone.

Although a rescheduling of the US tour is being discussed for a later date (most
likely November), with the official line running that the archbishop had become
"concerned" about coming in the run-up to the Pope's mid-April visit, another
source informed of the change reported that the cancellation was sought by
Benedict's Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone SDB.

Time will tell.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Secretary of the CDW on Bishop Schneider's new book: Dominus Est

You might recall not long ago that I brought to you news of an article written by Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan which appeared in the L'Osservatore Romano about kneeling to receive Holy Communion, and on the tongue. His words were so informative, gentle, and inviting. Well, he has written a book. Unfortunately, it is not yet in English. We can only pray that Ignatius Press or some other reputable publisher will do so.

From the New Liturgical Movement blog:

Ranjith on Kneeling for Communion during the liturgy and Communion on the Tongue

Libreria Editrice Vaticana has published a book, Dominus Est by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, where that Bishop analyzes the question of communion recieved kneeling and on the tongue.Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith has written the foreward to this book, which the NLM is happy to present an unofficial translation here to follow. (Many thanks to a good friend of the NLM for providing the link to this, which came originally through, Associazione Luci sull'Est.Without further ado, the foreword of Msgr. Ranjith, Secretary to the CDW:

Do click that link I provided above and read the entire foreward at NLM. One part that really stood out for me, were the last three paragraphs:

In this vein, the book written by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda in Kazakhstan entitled Dominus Est is significant and appreciated. He wants to make a contribution to the current debate on the real and substantial presence of Christ in the consecrated species of bread and wine... from his experience, which aroused in him a deep faith, wonder and devotion to the Lord present in the Eucharist, he presents us with a historical-theological [consideration] clarifying how the practice of receiving Holy Communion on the tonue and kneeling has been accepted and practiced in the Church for a long period of time.

Now I think it is high time to review and re-evaluate such good practices and, if necessary, to abandon the current practice that was not called for by Sacrosanctum Concilium, nor by Fathers, but was only accepted after its illegitimate introduction in some countries. Now, more than ever, we must help the faithful to renew a deep faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species in order to strengthen the life of the Church and defend it in the midst of dangerous distortions of the faith that this situation continues to cause.

The reasons for this move must be not so much academic but pastoral - spiritual as well as liturgical - in short, what builds better faith. Mons. Msgr. Schneider in this sense shows a commendable courage because he has been able to grasp the true meaning of the words of St. Paul: "but everything should be done for building up" (1 Cor 14, 26).

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Monday, January 28, 2008

First "Tridentine" Wedding at Grotto in 40 Years!

An extraordinary wedding.....

On Friday, January 4th, at 4:00pm, Assumption Grotto was graced with the Sacrament of Marriage in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (EF) for the first time in 40 years. You may recognize it by another name, the so-called "Tridentine" or "Traditional Latin Mass" (TLM).

I did not post the photos sooner because I was unable to connect with the bride and groom to get their permission to share the pics online (and I did not want them to learn about them via the web!).

Kathryn & Thomas Hulett became husband and wife at this majestic celebration.

Clicking on any pic should enlarge it on your computer. Bloggers: feel free to post any pics you want, but kindly provide a link back to this post (click the time stamp below for the url).

An Unplanned Shoot
I had gone to take photos during what I thought was going to be the First Friday Adoration for the Sacred Heart, which normally takes place from 9:30am to 6:30pm each month. We have adoration daily, save Sundays in the convent chapel. I also knew the Christmas decorations would soon be coming down and had not been able to take many pictures.

What? A Wedding?
When I got there shortly after 3:00, the Blessed Sacrament had just been returned to the Tabernacle and preparations for the wedding were underway. I was short on time and was planning to leave before the wedding until........the altar cards came out.

I was already feeling bad because I missed a wedding between Christmas and New Years that I had been asked to shoot some months earlier. I hadn't committed, and never commit to weddings because I have many variables in my personal life, especially my mother's ill health, and I would not want to blow the only opportunity someone has to have pictures of such a special day.

What? A "Tridentine" Wedding?
Seeing those altar cards, my first plea to God was, "Oh Lord, don't do this to me - you know I won't be able to resist this". A short time later, I learned who was getting married. I did not know the bride, but I knew her father, Mike, who recently passed away after a long illness. I met him in the school hallway of Grotto about two years ago when, seeing my camera, he introduced himself and asked if I was the same Diane who was active on the web in Catholic forums and blogs. We had some good conversations about the faith and the liturgy.

That was it. I finally realized that Mike's Guardian Angel was working overtime along with mine to get me to stay. How could I walk out now? I asked the Blessed Mother for her assistance as I so often do when shooting anything sacred (and because I really have no idea what I'm doing). Below is the result of that prayer.

I did not find out until the sermon that not only did I capture this beautiful wedding, I captured a piece of history for Assumption Grotto. Deo Gratias!

You may have noticed that the bride and groom where exchanging vows at the beginning, rather than mid-Mass. I thought this was awesome.

One thing to note for couples considering a wedding in the Extraordinary Form: Start kneeling daily for longer and longer periods until you can do so comfortably for at least an hour. There was no place for chairs in the Sanctuary and from what I'm told, this is the way it use to be.

I am speaking from experience when I tell you that if you can only kneel for 5 minutes today, with time and practice, you can easily work your way up to an hour over a period of time. I recall my first days at Grotto where I use to break a sweat kneeling for just 7 minutes or so during the short Eucharistic Prayer in the Ordinary Form (or New Mass).

There's one more thing about getting married at Grotto, either in the Ordinary or Extraordinary Form (and you get to choose): No one escapes the pre-Cana classes by Fr. Eduard Perrone, Grotto's pastor. If you want to understand the beauty of marriage in the context of theology of the body, you will have your fill.

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The Face of Persecution

(Mt 5)11 Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: 12 Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.

We currently have a very good example of a bishop taking his lashes for the Lord in the conflict created by Catholic basketball coach, Rick Majerus. Several newspapers ran commentaries in their Sunday papers this weekend and, as you can guess, it wasn't Archbishop Raymond Burke whom they were defending.

One can only imagine how Jesus would have been treated by the media in the US. Let's look at a few excerpts. My comments in red, and in brackets.

From the Herald News in Chicago: Majerus well within his rights

He did not forfeit his rights [exactly, and it's called "non serviam" or "I will not serve". Pride is the root of all sin and that is what we are seeing in these statements. Not your will God, but mine and no matter what the Church teaches, I want abortion kept legal] . He should not be sanctioned for publicly supporting abortion rights during a recent rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, contrary to the belief of at least one Roman Catholic archbishop [hmmmm......this statement shows significant ignorance of the Catholic faith. If it is a teaching of the Church, that abortion is murder, then how can it not be the belief of all bishops, that abortion is murder. If there is any bishop out there who believes otherwise, then he is not aligned with Rome and is outside of the Church. Hence, is "view" would be invalid as a Catholic bishop].

It gets worse. The author goes from flinging pebbles to large rocks here.

Burke is the attention-getter here. He first thrust himself in the spotlight in 2004 when he said he would deny Holy Communion to John Kerry, then a Democratic presidential nominee, because of Kerry's support of abortion. Now, Burke wants to speak with St. Louis University president Lawrence Biondi about Majerus. Clearly, Burke is envious of Majerus' everyman's charm. Burke wants equal air time

That statement is so outrageous that I can't even begin to comment.

Majerus is a leader at a Catholic University. He has made views which are contrary to Catholic teaching public. Archbishop Burke is well within his rights, to ensure the faithful are properly taught the faith, especially in the face of such public contradictions by someone in Majerus' position. Perhaps a more accurate headline would have been, "Archbishop well within his rights to defend the faith"

At the end of the day one has to wonder if it is really Hilary or abortion that Rick Majerus is supporting. Is that really the cause of the vast majority of pro-aborts. Or, is it something else?

I believe it has more to do with protecting a sexually deviant culture - one that wants to be "Christian" while at the same time free to treat the 10 Commandments as the "10 Suggestions". Let's look closer at two of those (and remember that Jesus came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it so if you think the 10 Commandments are no longer relevant, you're wrong)

6: Thou shalt not commit adultery

9: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife

After all, if people were following the 6th and 9th Commandments, they wouldn't need to defend "their right" to break the 5th Commandment,

5: Thou shalt not kill.

To the author of the article in the Herald News: Archbishop Burke did not forfeit his rights, and duties to teach the authentic Catholic faith.

We can clearly see here, a need to pray vigilantly for our priests and bishops. We have to pray that they will not be concerned with how they are perceived in the media. We have to pray that they are not concerned with how well they are liked. "Let them who have ears hear". Jesus was liked only by those who had ears to hear. For the rest, he was not liked. That is how Jesus ended up on the cross and it is why every priest, bishop and Catholic lay person should go to the cross with Him. Jesus stood for something and he did not run the other way in the face of opposition to what was right and just. Jesus did not go with the flow or with what was popular. In fact, he encouraged us to be counter-cultural.

Pray that our bishops will endure, and even welcome, the persecution.

EDIT: I just received another Canon Law Update from Ed Peters on this topic. Go to his blog and read: Sports writers - A parallel magisterium?

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Kids and the Mass: "They're not as stupid as we treat them"

Carolina Canonball at The Crescat has a great post up. I will share the contents of it here, but follow the link to the blog to read through many interesting comments.

... its amazing what a difference environment can make.

I haven't made the official parish change, but for over a month now my son & I have been attending mass at the Abbey. Solely from the perspective of a parent, the difference in my son's attitude toward church has changed dramatically.

There is absolutely no conversation before mass at the Abbey. The atmosphere leaves itself to nothing but prayerful silence and nothing less is expected. Even the tone of the mass is silent, slow and deliberate. You can't help but concentrate and direct your focus.

Every one is well dressed and makes an effort, something rarely seen now-a-days. It is obvious why these people come to mass, not for some social hee-haw but to celebrate the mass. Period.

Now you might think something this 'rigid' might not appeal to a small boy or be for him like excruciating torture... the effect is profoundly the opposite. He is never more quiet and well behaved then when in mass.

Surprise. Surprise. Our children are not as stupid are we treat them.

Go read....Great Expectations

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Quote of the Day: Fr. Euteneuer on Majerus and he scores a 3-pointer

Nothin' but net is how I'd classify this quote.

Matt Abbot requested a statement out of Fr. Tom Euteneuer of Human Life International and got a classic response on Coach Rick Majerus who is attempting to play one-on-one with Archbishop Raymond L. Burke.

Father Euteneuer had this to say about the matter:"Rick Majerus is more of a basket case than a basketball coach. His sicknesses all fit so neatly together: He has a modern anti-Catholic 'Jesuit' education; he embraces superficial, undigested rhetoric about the issues; he is a jock pretending to be a scientist; and he exhibits a defiant disobedience to religious authority. Dante would have a field day — no pun intended — putting this guy in the pit of hell. He should be excommunicated along with all the Jesuits who 'educated' him."

Source article at Renew America

It's interesting how stats on many blogs have gone up over this topic between an archbishop and a member of the flock. I've often wondered what drives us to have such a deep interest in these things. Personally, I think it has much to do with people being shocked, some pleasantly, and some indignant, that an archbishop is actually standing up for the Church's teaching.

However, we have to check our interior attitudes. There's no greater time to turn to prayer than now, and for cases just like this.

I'm going to suggest that we all spend some time in adoration for the conversion of Rick Majerus and those who taught him. We also need to pray for Abp Burke, who is no doubt suffering because one of his lamb's is resisting the shepherd's attempts to free him from the thickets.

There are some things, for which debates simply won't do any good. It's at these times we need to go off into prayer, make acts of reparation, and express faith, and have hope, that in God, all things are possible.

Previous Posts on this topic:

Canon Law Update: Outspoken pro-abort coach stands up to his bishop?!?!?

Abp Burke with another lesson on life

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Canon Law Update: Outspoken pro-abort coach stands up to his bishop?!?!?

As I try to get into a more normal schedule again with everything, including blogging, I was glad to receive an email from Canon lawyer, Ed Peters, who teaches at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He sends out regular updates to fellow Catholic bloggers and one of his topics today is an update from a story I mentioned the other day concerning Catholic St. Louis University basketball coach, Rick Majerus. Ed is a graduate of SLU, class of '79.

Coach Majerus may rule his own basketball court, but he's now playing a game he can't win. Here is the lead-in from Ed Peters. Do read the entire article. I have a feeling we have not heard the last word on this:

Does Coach Majerus really think he can out play Abp Burke?
I'm not making this up.

Jesuit-run St. Louis University's basketball coach Rick Majerus (yes, a basketball coach) is telling St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke (yes, the canonist archbishop), to mind his own business regarding Majerus' outspoken support for (get ready for it) abortion and experimentation on embryonic humans! If it weren't that expressing support for such deeply offensive conduct is so deadly serious, I'd be laughing.

Continue reading the rest of the commentary on Majerius at the Canon Law blog of Ed Peters.

You can read many more Canon Law commentaries by periodically dropping in to his blog, In Light of the Law.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Abp Burke with another lesson on life

A basketball coach at the Catholic, St. Louis University is in a little trouble today over a public, on-air admission that he is pro-choice.

St. Louis is the home of Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, who is not the least bit ambiguous when it comes to teaching moments and Coach Rick Majerus opened the door. From St. Louis Today:

While Hillary Clinton was courting votes, Rick Majerus was courting trouble.

First, he said he was "not going to go there."

Then, he did.

The Catholic basketball coach for the Catholic St. Louis University looked into the TV camera at the Clinton rally last weekend and said, "I'm pro-choice, personally."

That's when the Roman Catholic coach ran smack into the Roman Catholic archbishop.

Go read more on Burke and Majerus at St. Louis Today online.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

March for Life 2008: Tens of thousands or Hundreds of Thousands????

From what scant coverage I can find in the secular media about the March for Life 2008 in Washington DC, it seems that censorship is alive and well.

I've seen a handful of people protesting at the nation's Capital on the national news. But you get as many that packed the place yesterday for the March for Life and you are lucky to see it on the backpage of a newspaper, let alone on any national news. Of course, when they do cover it, it looks like this.

From Associated Press:

Despite chilly weather, tens of thousands of people were marching from the mall to the Supreme Court. The National Organization for Women was staging a counter protest.


Washington, DC ( -- Hundreds of thousands of pro-life people turned out for the annual March for Life in Washington, braving cold temperatures to take a stand for the right to life of unborn children.

Ok, so which was it? When I hear, "tens of thousands" I think of 20, 30, maybe even 50,000. You can't tell me that there weren't at least 100,000 people there, if not far more. Why downplay it? The Basilica alone held 10,000 people the night before, and we know that this event draws people from every walk of life, religion, and probaby even pro-life atheists.

I was home today, with much needed vacation day to catch up on things and to simply relax. I had EWTN on from Noon until 3:00 and I was astonished at the size of the line of marchers. It went on as far as the eye could see, and was incredibly wide with people packed shoulder to shoulder. Marcus Grodi said he has never seen it as large as it was today, with 50% of them being in their 20's or younger. This is a pro-life generation.

I was also impressed with the number of bishops and cardinals this year. I have been watching this event on TV for 3 years now and I don't recall there being this many.

Thomas, the American Papist was there with live coverage, with pics and video. Visit his blog homepage for updates.

If you were there, feel free to comment, or email pics or video links to

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Vatican and Exorcism - on O'Reilly Factor

If you are just dropping in at this hour, turn on Fox News if you have access. I happen to go to to see if there was any coverage of the March for Life in DC, when I stumbled across an advertisement for Bill O'Reilly's topic tonight: The Vatican and stepped up exorcisms.

EDIT 8:37pm.

What a joke of an interview! I use to watch O'Reilly before I got serious about my faith and even back then, I got tired of the "non-interview" interviews. I wish I had gotten the professor's name (poor guy), whose specialty is in demonology. I got the impression he thought he was going to talk about one thing, then was made to look like a fool. He was blindsided.

I think the so-called "interview" lasted all of 5 minutes and it was like his whole aim was to make a mockery of Catholic belief in demons. Since it was about Vatican and Exorcisms, I thought it would be informative about Catholic understanding of demonology, but it was more like an attack on Catholic belief by badgering a theologian.

That any Christian, especially a Catholic, would doubt the existence of demons (not necessarily O'Reilly, but in general), in light of the many accounts we have in scripture, is itself baffling. Unless, that is, you are of the mindset that scripture is just a set of "stories". There are probably still professors errantly teaching, in Catholic universities and seminaries, that Adam and Eve didn't really exist, but were figurative. That in itself, puts the whole notion of Original Sin into question because how can we have Original Sin on our souls if there were no Adam and Eve? If there is no Original Sin, then there is no concupiscence, or an inclination towards the bad. Of course, everyone is without sin these days, which explains the empty confessionals and long Communion lines. Is it any wonder? It must be all those other people.

Adam and Eve did exist; Original Sin is real, and it is visible in secular culture today where people cater to concupiscence lest it hurt their precious feelings if they don't.

In fact, Bill, since you were looking for proof of demons in society, get out from behind the desk and watch the news and you will have ample evidence. If you ask me, there are far more reasons today to believe in the presence of demons active in our culture, than not. They just don't puke up green gunk or spin their heads. They simply influence editors to produce sleazy covers for their magazines, and they influence store owners to stock the checkout shelves, and they influence people going through checkout to buy them and......use your own imagination from there.

How many of the unborn will pay the price of people just glancing at a magazine cover?

A list of some possessions in the New Testament(1):

MK 1, 23-27
MK 5, 1-20
MK 7, 25-30
MK 9, 14-29
Mt 12, 22
Mt 17, 15.18
Lk 6, 18; 7,21
Mk 1, 34-39
Mk 1, 23; 5,6

(1) Leon-Dufour. (1988). Dictionary of biblical theology. Ijamsville, Maryland: The Word Among us Press.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Msgr. Reilly of Helpers of God's Precious Infants on EWTN

If you are just dropping in, go turn on EWTN or navigate to their homepage and play the live TV broadcast on the internet, provided you are on something faster than dialup. Once there, just place your cursor over "television" and choose "Prime Time", then choose which program you want to watch it with.

Msgr. Philip Reilly, the founder of Helpers of God's Precious Infants is being interviewed by Fr. Benedict Groeschel on Sunday Night Live.

If you miss it, you can catch the rebroadcast on Monday at 2:00am, 9:00am, and Saturday at 5:00pm (all EST).

There is a chapter of Helpers of God's Precious Infants here in metro Detroit. I post their major events at the HGPI-Michigan blog.

Msgr. Reilly is in the Brooklyn, NY area. Click here for their website, which has much more info.

When I get more time, I will be updating the Michigan website with contact info. If anyone is willing to assist me with that blog, please contact me. I can add you as a "team member" with posting priviledges. From there, it's easy to learn. Email me at

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200,000 fill St. Peter's Square Today in Support of Pope Benedict XVI

I was unable to cover the news when the Holy Father had to cancel a visit to La Sapienza Univeristy in Rome where he was invited due to the threat of violence. A minority of students and professors were causing such a disruption that the safety of the Pope was in question.

Pope Benedict XVI sent a copy of his prepared speech to the university. It is a pity that they who cry the most about "censorship" missed an opportunity to hear about "reason" and brought about the exact censorship they desired - to prevent others from hearing the Holy Father.

Cardinal Ruini asked for there to be a show of support for Pope Benedict this Sunday at St. Peter's square, where some 200,000 gathered with so little notice, many reportedly among the "reasonable" at La Sapienza.

Amy Welborn has an excellent post with links to many who were there to witness this event, complete with photos.

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Walk for Life - Westcoast

Gerald over at the Cafeteria is Closed has a photo post up with coverage from the Walk for Life - Westcoast. It looks like an awesome turnout. It's an excellent witness for the unborn, and for women who do not yet understand the pain of abortion. Women with experience speak out at Silent No More.

It's his first photo post so check back at his homepage for more.

If anyone would like to share a couple of photos from the event in DC, email me at

Below are some of the area Dominicans in habit.

A good many bishops were also in attendance as you'll when you visit his blogpost.

Major online Pro-life Resources

Priests for Life

Human Life International

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Friday, January 18, 2008

On Gluttony

Perhaps I can get back into regular posting soon. It has been difficult time-wise, but I am slowly getting back into the swing of things.

While watching Raymond Arroyo's, World Over Live on EWTN (and preparing for tomorrow's slow-cooker dinner, and washing clothes), I was led to a website with an interesting quote. I don't want to reveal who wrote it or when. Just read it and I'll reveal the author at the end.....


If there is any indication of the present degeneration of society better than another, it is the excess of luxury in the modern world. When men forget their souls, they begin to take great care of their bodies. There are more athletic clubs in the modern world than there are spiritual retreat houses; and who shall count the millions spent in beauty shops to glorify faces that will one day be the prey of worms?

It is not particularly difficult to find thousands who will spend three or four hours a day in exercising, but if you ask them to bend their knees to God in five minutes of prayer, they protest that it is too long. Added to this is the shocking amount that is yearly spent, not in the normal pleasure of drinking, but in its excess.

The scandal increases when one considers the necessary wants of the poor which could have been supplied by the amount spent for such dehumanization. The divine judgement upon Dives is bound to be repeated upon many of our generation, who will find that the beggars for whose service they refused to interrupt their luxuries will be seated at the banquet of the King of Kings, while they, like Dives, will be beggars for but a drop of water.

Some reparation had to be made for gluttony, drunkenness and excessive luxury. That reparation began at the birth of our Lord, when He who might have pulled down the heavens for His houstop and the stars for His chandeliers, chose to be rejected by men and driven as an outcast in the hillsides of the least of the cities of Israel.

Who wrote this?

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.

Go check out the interesting website set up for his cause for beatification & canonization. Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, often seen on EWTN, is the Vice-Postulator. He was ordained by Bishop Sheen.

Source page for the quote:

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Pope Benedict to celebrate Mass using ad orientem posture

Many of you will read this too late, but at 4:00am EST, you can watch Pope Benedict celebrate a Novus Ordo Mass using the ad orientem posture. Rocco Palmo posts as follows. Note that I did not say a Tridentine.

In another significant liturgical turn at the very top, B16 will celebrate tomorrow's annual Sistine Chapel Mass for the Baptism of the Lord in the ad orientem stance -- that is, facing away from the congregation and toward the cross that stands at the chapel's back wall.

In an explanatory note from the Office for Papal Liturgical Celebrations picked up by the Italian wires, the papal MC Msgr Guido Marini announced that the Mass, to be conducted according to the post-Conciliar "Ordinary Use" approved by Paul VI, would employ the main altar of the Sistina. As a result, the note said, "at certain moments the Pope will have his shoulders [back] to the faithful and his gaze toward the Cross."

As the chapel's original altar is not freestanding, versus popolorum celebrations there have required the construction of a temporary altar and platform. While John Paul II celebrated his first Mass after his 1978 election using the permanent altar and no freestanding altar exists in the Pope's private chapel, a public papal liturgy has not been celebrated using the "common orientation" in recent memory.

"The celebration at the old altar is being restored so as not to alter the beauty and harmony of this architectural jewel," the note said, "preserving its structure from the celebratory point of view and using an option contemplated by the liturgical norms." The change of orientation, Marini's statement said, would seek to enhance "the attitude and disposition of the whole assembly."

The annual liturgy features the baptism of several infants by the pontiff. The contemporary baptismal font designed by Lello Scorzelli -- also the designer of the pastorali, the cross-topped liturgical staffs used by Paul VI and his successors -- will likewise be maintained.

Deo Gratias!

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Requiescat In Pace, my dear Godmother

Thank you all for your prayers, and for the emails of support.

My aunt, Janet, who is my Godmother, has passed away quietly, surrounded by family. My mother could only be there in spirit since she could not leave that skilled nursing facility she is in for rehab.

I was not there, but at home. I looked up at the clock, and knowing her time was close, realized it was the "hour of mercy", just minutes after 3:00pm. I proceeded to pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet to her, then received a call saying she passed away around that very time.

I do pray a Rosary daily, but do not always get in a Divine Mercy Chaplet, but it seemed so appropriate at this time to be praying on her behalf. I credit my guardian angel with prompting me at just the right moment. Those little thoughts that often come into our heads like that could be graces upon which we should act when they are ordered to good things. I'm glad I acted on that particular grace.

Requiescat in Pace, Janet.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Bishop Schneider: Reception of Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue

There is an extraordinary article by Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Karaganda, Kazakhstan to which I would like to direct your attention. It is on kneeling for Holy Communion and receiving Our Lord on the tongue. Bishop Schneider was ordained a bishop in June of 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI. I recognized the name as soon as I saw the article.

The bishop's article originally appeared in the L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's newspaper, but it does not appear to be online. However, Cindy Wooden of Catholic News Service has written about it, and I am hoping either Bishop Schneider on his site, or OA on theirs, will provide us with the original article in full.

EDIT 3-10-2008: The full length article is available in my post today, entitled, Historical-Liturgical Note for the Roman Rite on the Eucharist by Bishop Schneider.

In 2005 in a periodical, I recall reading statements made by various bishops at the Eucharistic Synod. Bishop Schneider was at the Synod, and had publicly advocated kneeling for Holy Communion and on the tongue. I scouted for it online and could not find it, so if someone has a link to those statements, please put it in the combox or email me:

The L'Osservatore Romano has recently had a change in editor, and as Fr. Z notes, there are some real changes in what kinds of things are being published.

Bishop says Catholics should kneel, receive communion on tongue

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The reverence and awe of Catholics who truly believe they are receiving Jesus in the Eucharist should lead them to kneel and receive Communion on their tongues, said a bishop writing in the Vatican newspaper.

"If some nonbeliever arrived and observed such an act of adoration perhaps he, too, would 'fall down and worship God, declaring, God is really in your midst,'" wrote Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, quoting from the First Letter to the Corinthians.

In a Jan. 8 article labeled a "historical-liturgical note," Bishop Schneider reviewed the writings of early church theologians about eucharistic reception and said the practice of laypeople receiving Communion on the tongue was the predominant custom by the sixth century.

The article in L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, appeared under the headline, "Like a nursing child in the arms of the one who nourishes him."

Bishop Schneider said that just as a baby opens his mouth to receive nourishment from his mother, so should Catholics open their mouths to receive nourishment from Jesus.

"Christ truly nourishes us with his body and blood in holy Communion and, in the patristic era, it was compared to maternal breastfeeding," he said.

"The awareness of the greatness of the eucharistic mystery is demonstrated in a special way by the manner in which the body of the Lord is distributed and received," the bishop wrote.

In addition to demonstrating true adoration by kneeling, he said, receiving Communion on the tongue also avoids concerns about people receiving the body of Christ with dirty hands or of losing particles of the Eucharist, concerns that make sense if people truly believe in the sacrament.

"Wouldn't it correspond better to the deepest reality and truth about the consecrated bread if even today the faithful would kneel on the ground to receive it, opening their mouths like the prophet receiving the word of God and allowing themselves to be nourished like a child?" Bishop Schneider asked.

In 1969 the Vatican published an instruction allowing bishops to permit the distribution of Communion in the hand. While at papal liturgies most people who receive Communion from the pope receive Communion on the tongue, they also are permitted to reverently receive the Eucharist in the hand.

At 46 years of age, I would not be surprised to see this bishop end up with greater responsibilities. His approach to the topic is one that is respectful and inviting, not condescending or disinviting. His tone teaches us how we should dialogue with others. Gentleness is a virtue, and Bishop Schneider exemplifies that gentleness. Spending time in Catholic forums where kneeling vs. standing is discussed, you understand how rapidly the dialogue can escalate with lack of charity on both sides. We learn from his approach, that when our words are guided by love, they carry much more power than all the jabs and digs we can possibly muster.

EDIT 3-9-2008: Newman House Press has been contracted to publish Bishop Scheider's book in English. See a video in this blogpost of Bishop Schneider talking about the book and Communion. In it, he explains the ancient practice of receiving in the hand, but it was much different than how it is received in the hand today. Watch the video to see how.

Go read Bishop says Catholics should kneel, receive communion on tongue at the blog of Fr. Z, where you can read through the lengthy discussion on the topic in the combox.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

Prayers for my Godmother, whom God is calling home

I will be breaking from blogging for a period of time.

As my mother is recovering in a skilled nursing facility, her sister - my Godmother - has been given just days to live. I will go there in the morning to break the news so she doesn't learn the hard way with an unexpected phone call.

There were 8 brothers and sisters in my mother's family before MaryAnn passed away several years ago, suddenly and unexpected, with a heart attack. My mother is the oldest and soon to be 76 in February.

Janet is a diabetic in her late sixties. Of the eight siblings, four are type-2 diabetics. There are many other diabetics in my family on both sides. Things just got out of control with regards to complications. She was put on dialysis last week in an effort to help her to receive, and flush, antibiotic for a severe infection, but she could not pull out of it. She has suffered much in the last few years, but has always been an optimist.

My mother's youngest sister said her husband was heading to the parish to get a priest.

Your prayers for Janet, her son, her siblings, and our extended family would be much appreciated.

I feel a need to step away from blogging to keep vigil, even if only in my heart when I can't be there near her.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

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Abp Raymond L. Burke and the St. Louis Vocation Surge

While some dioceses are claiming that more lay people need to lead parishes due to a "priest shortage", dioceses which do not filter out orthodox and traditional men are booming with another kind of problem: Where to house the many seminarians. A similar thing is happening with orders like the Institute of Christ the King, which are having no problems attracting young men, but housing them all. We see a similar thing happening among women's religious orders where the labyrinth-happy, new age-like communities are getting gray, the newer, traditional orders with habited nuns are booming.

It's amazing what can happen when the new-age and feminist-agenda development programs for priests are shelved in favor of things like Eucharistic and Marian devotion, promotion of strong priestly identity, confession, and - good heavens - sacrifice and mortification. While some seminaries have rendered the Breviary for the Smithsonian, those which are bursting with enrollment are making this obligation of very clear.

Any seminarian showing an attraction to things traditional and devotional in certain dioceses could be sent to a diocesan-paid shrink to "cure" him of his "rigidness". He could find himself filtered out up front or pushed out later. God have mercy on those who thwart the workings of the Holy Spirit in turning away good and holy men.

Here is yet another example of how vocations will rise significantly when a diocese or religious order gets back to basics. While the article does not discuss those things I mentioned, we all know that when Abp Burke is involved in something, they come along for the ride. Abp Raymond Burke has what we would call in business, "brand equity". However, his brand is not his own, it is that of the Church - one that is distinctly Catholic in identity.

December 21, 2007
Archbishop announces seminary expansion
by Barbara Watkins, Review Staff Writer

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke has announced the start of a major renovation and expansion of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Shrewsbury.

The seminary has 111 seminarians, an almost 50 percent increase in enrollment over last year. While the growth is welcomed by the archbishop and Msgr. Ted Wojcicki, president-rector of the seminary, it also prompted the need for maintenance work, renovation and expansion of the physical plant.

Go read the complete article about Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in the St. Louis Review online.

As an aside, recall that a few months ago, I reported on the move of Fr. John A Hardon's library from Assumption Grotto to Kenrick-Glennon seminary in a photopost. Archbishop Burke is proceeding with Fr. Hardon's cause.

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

Assumption Grotto at Christmas: Decked out for the glory of our God

I was at Assumption Grotto recently just taking a few random shots before the decorations are taken down. Glory to God was given through the hard work of many people, and directed by a woman of much talent (always under the careful eye of our beloved pastor).

Click on the photos to see greater detail.

You gotta love the Bambino! Of all the Infant's I've seen, it is the Spanish Infant I love the most . My family has owned a "rubber" version of this baby Jesus that was part of a kit from the 1950's or 60's. The kit and other parts of the Nativity scene were destroyed in a basement flood, but the Bambino was salvaged. In recent years, the rubber or material he is made from began to degrade and leave an oily residue everywhere. He will now be sealed in plastic using a Food Saver. I have replaced him this year, with the same one shown in that link, but much smaller (about 6-8 inches long). I never knew until I seen it, that it was known as the Spanish Infant.

More photos from Christmas 2007 - Midnight Mass

Video Game Addiction.....and it goes to Mass!?!?!

Many of us already know how addicted kids (and even adults) can become to video games. There is an excellent article in the Opinion Journal of the Wall Street Journal by a parent explaining just how bad it can get, and how difficult it is to break the cycle.

My wife and I aren't entirely inept parents--our 6-year-old seems fairly well-adjusted anyway. Back in October we established for the older boys strict screen-time limits. It was then that we discovered the true extent of their addiction. They ranted and raved and cursed and even threw things--almost as if demons had taken possession of them. These are classic withdrawal symptoms; they craved a fix. When we installed parental controls on the computer, our boys scoffed. It took them about 15 minutes to disable them. We've become so desperate that we may have to get rid of the computers entirely, though that may hamper their school work.

Something jumped out at me in the article. I have actually seen - not at Grotto, but at "St. Suburbia", kids with Gameboys at Mass. The author discusses this, as well.

It turns out that we're not alone in our predicament. A parent down the street confided to us that his 12-year-old son was so obsessed with video games that he wouldn't take even a three-minute break from gaming to go to the bathroom--with unfortunate results. The other day we saw a kid at church, in a semi-trance, going down the aisle to Holy Communion while clicking on a hand-held Game Boy. Talk about worshiping a false god.

Fr. Perrone has written on these kinds of topics in his column. If you spend any time at Grotto you will soon learn that all of the priests preach frequently on the need for moderation, even in good things. We can become addicted to almost anything. A hobbyist can spend so much time on a hobby that family and relationship with God are hindered. An athlete can join so many leagues that he has no time for his kids (or lead in divorce, which I have seen after one man was on 3 or 4 different baseball leagues and even let it interfere with finding a job). Someone can become so obsessed with fashion and shopping that more important bills don't get paid and the family goes into debt.

Moderation goes hand-in-hand with mortification of the apetites. Those apetites can be anything. If they aren't controlled by us, they end up being in control, which is the essence of addiction. It's in taming the little things, that we learn to tame the bigger things. Grotto priests have often encouraged us to make small sacrifices on a daily basis and offer those up. It could be saying "no" to a piece of chocolate just as you are craving it and reaching for it. It could be sacrificing time in front of the television to go visit a sick relative. There are so many opportunities to practice if we are willing to see them.

If we let the tail wag the dog with ourselves, how then can we expect the children around us to learn how to wag the tail? Parents especially have to set examples and talk about mortification and how it can be used like prayer when the pain of not having something at a given moment becomes perfect as an offering to God for some great cause. Perhaps a child could offer up that sacrifice of not playing a video game for a poor child in some other part of the world whose only toy is a carton of some kind. My point is that this is not only for the priests to teach. The fact that an entire generation of kids could get so out of control shows that the culture does not encourage mortification, nor do our churches.

Shows like "The Nanny" have become popular among young parents, struggling with out of control kids and in the end, it is always predictable. It's about making tough choices for your kids and learning to weather the temper-tantrums. The parent whose child can't fall asleep unless Mom is in the room, has created a situation in which the tail wag's the dog. The child is not in control of himself, but his emotions and wants are controlling him. "The Nanny" shows how to break the cycle, and it is painful for the parents.

I'm not married; I have no kids and you can tell me that I don't understand, as I've been told so many times before by parents when I've mentioned this: Parents are afraid to parent their children.

I wonder if the boys discussed in the article have regular, daily or weekly chores. If they did, they would have less time for video games and learn critical life-skills, like how to wash a load of laundry so Mom isn't still doing it for them in their twenties.

Letting "wants" control us is not just a problem with kids. It's a problem with all of us and even priests have become afraid to discuss it. There was a time when Catholics heard this from the pulpit regularly, as we do at Grotto. I recall nearly falling from my pew during sermons for months after coming to Grotto (half from knowing the priest was hitting home with reality and the other from trying to contain my laughter at just how true his words were).

Some feel it is bad on the self-esteem. Those are the people who walk out thinking the priest was negative (and probably have the greatest problem controlling a single child). However, we need our priests to be more concerned with the salvation of our souls, than with preserving our self-esteem. I pray for the day when you can walk in any Catholic Church and expect to hear the priest explain the importance of virtue and mortification. Save the self-esteem speech for those in hell because they're the ones who will need it. True self-esteem is built through virtue and mortification.

Lack of moderation comes in many forms, but I must say that the video game craze, be it on TV, computer or handheld, is one of the most visible among youth today. I would encourage you to read the entire article: Teenage Zombies

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Friday, January 4, 2008

Forthcoming clarifications on Summorum Pontificum

There has been much discussion of late at the blog of Fr. Z, which I check daily and highly recommend if you are interested in liturgical news, on a forthcoming clarification of the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum. In addition to Associated Press releasing an excellent article on the topic (below), you may want to read through some blogposts I have listed at the bottom.

While some bishops have been helpful and supportive of priests celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass others have been less than supportive, if not going out of their way to make it difficult by way of "norms" and other tactics.

The TLM had required the permission of the diocesan bishop through an "indult" prior to Summorum Pontificum which went into effect September 14, 2007. In metro Detroit, St. Josaphat was granted this indult and had already been celebrating the Mass using the missal of 1962.

Vatican clarifying Latin Mass rules
Associated Press Writer

VATICAN CITY --The Vatican has begun drafting a document to elaborate on Pope Benedict XVI's recent liberalization of the old Latin Mass because some bishops are either ignoring his move or misinterpreting it, Vatican officials said.

The Vatican's No. 2, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said in comments published Thursday that the Vatican would be issuing an "instruction" on how to put the pope's document into practice, since there had been what he called some "uneven" reactions to it since it went into effect last year.

The document Benedict issued in July removed restrictions on celebrating the so-called Tridentine Mass, the rite celebrated in Latin before the liberalizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s paved the way for the new Mass used widely today in local languages.

Following the 1960s reform, the Tridentine rite could only be celebrated with permission from local bishops - an obstacle that supporters of the old rite said had greatly reduced its availability.

In a gesture to such traditional Catholics, Benedict removed that requirement in his document, saying parish priests could celebrate the Tridentine Mass if a "stable group of faithful" requested it.

Implementation, however, has been uneven, with some bishops issuing rules that "practically annul or twist the intention of the pope," Monsignor Albert Malcolm Ranjith, secretary of the Vatican's Congregation for the Divine Cult and Discipline of Sacraments, said recently, according to the Vatican's missionary news agency FIDES.

Such reactions amounted to a "crisis of obedience" toward the pontiff, he was quoted as saying, although he stressed that most bishops and other prelates had accepted the pope's will "with the required sense of reverence and obedience."

Bertone, the Vatican's secretary of state, said the upcoming instruction would lay out criteria for the pope's document to be correctly applied, according to an interview published Thursday in the Italian religious affairs weekly Famiglia Cristiana. He gave no date for its publication.

He complained that reactions to the pontiff's document had been uneven.

"Some have even gone so far as to accuse the pope of having reneged on Council teaching," Bertone was quoted as saying. "On the other hand, there are those who have interpreted the (document) as authorization to return exclusively to the pre-Council rite. Both positions are wrong, and are exaggerated episodes that don't correspond to the pope's intention."

Despite such incidents, the Rev. John T. Zuhlsdorf, who runs a blog that has charted implementation of the pope's document, said he had seen growth in both interest in and celebrations of the older form of the Mass.

"In some dioceses in the United States, bishops have been stepping up to the plate and not only learning the older form, but celebrating it themselves," he said in an e-mail. "Younger priests are attending workshops. Several seminaries are offering training for their priesthood candidates."

Even before the pope's document was released, liberal-minded Catholics had complained that Benedict's move amounted to a negation of Vatican II, and some bishops and cardinals publicly warned that its implementation would create a rupture in the church.

Jewish groups also complained because the old rite contains a Good Friday prayer for the conversion of Jews. Bertone has said the issue could be resolved and that the church in no way intended to go against its spirit of reconciling with Jews.

Benedict's document was also a bid to reach out to the followers of an excommunicated traditionalist, the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who split with the Vatican over Council reforms, notably the introduction of the new Mass.

Since the release of the motu proprio, several parishes in metro Detroit are offering the so-called Tridentine Mass, including Assumption Grotto.

If someone wants to provide a list of other parishes in the area, please feel free to drop it in the combox. I can't recall all of them off hand, but the list does include St. Josaphat. I am aware that others will be offering it within the next few months, as well.

Related Documents and posts:

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

More photos from Christmas 2007

While my mother is improving, my days continue to be chaotic, with many unexpected twists & turns, so getting back to Grotto to take more photos has been impossible. I'm still behind on everything from paying bills to laundry and it's these basic things I have to focus on right now, in addition to time spent with doctors, paperwork, etc.

I do have an arsenal of photos to share from midnight Mass on Christmas that I can keep posting for a short time, and am going to attempt to take more pictures this weekend. However, planning for anything seems to be a bad thing. Therefore, I'm not "planning" to do photos this weekend, but am merely going to do an "impromptu" - God willing.

You will notice in these photos some rather interesting lighting on the priests. That has nothing to do with my camera settings. Rather, it is how it actually appeared. There are some spotlights used in the sanctuary, and this is how they were hitting. I think it makes it look....interesting.

The top photo shows a pretty heavy shadow at head-level for the deacon. I don't see this same shadow in the posts below, so it could have been someone or something in the beamlight at that moment.

More pictures from Christmas - Midnight Mass 2007

Posts using additional photos

- Te Deum laudamus: te Dominum confitemur
- Series on Mary - an Introduction

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Series on Mary - An introduction

I wanted very much this day, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, to begin an indepth series on the Blessed Mother, focusing on the title of today's feast.

However, as hard as I tried to set aside a few hours for this purpose today, it was not meant to be.

I will try to work on this post soon. In the meanwhile, I leave you with these fine posts on Mary, Mother of God.

Fr. Martin Fox: Thank you, Theotokos (Mother of God Homily)

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: Mother of God at the poolside

Opus Angelorum: Mary, Mother of God

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Happy New Year!

I would like to wish all of my readers a blessed New Year.

I am grateful for so many things that I cannot possibly list them all. I can tell you this much:

I am thankful for a good job at a time when so many people are struggling to find one. It is easy to take a job for granted, to complain about the little nuances in our professions and inconveniences, but those things don't compare to the unemployment line.

Gratefulness for my job leads to something else for which I am thankful: A roof over my head. I know many people who are either struggling to keep their homes during these rough ecomonic times in Michigan, or in the midst of losing them. There is a temptation to feel guilty for what I have, but that would be a sign of ungratefulness.

However, my gratefulness has led me to question everything I have and buy. Grotto has a way of making you rethink the expensive designer clothes and brand name items. It is what I love about my parish that I never experienced in "St. Suburbia" where I grew up: There is a mix of people from every financial strata, from very well to do (and down to earth), to very poor and even homeless or barely making it. I have no doubt that while the latter suffer a great deal in life, the Lord uses them as instruments to teach the rest of us how to reject materialism, and how to deal with poverty in a humble, yet dignified manner. Our Lord never asked us to be physically poor, but poor in spirit. While a poor person has no choice but to live in poverty, it is reasonbly well-off (middle and upper class) person's choice to live in humble poverty of spirit. We will all be judged for this.

While I can put on a spread of 3 kinds of meat for my family for a big occassion, can I do with 2, and give that money to another family to have even 1 meat?

Everything from subscriptions to things like cable television have been things considered for the chopping block, but for now I keep the latter because the high speed internet package I use is rolled up into it, and I am still learning a great deal from EWTN which I leave on as I do my bills, my laundry, cooking and other things. Someday, I see my television falling silent, but for now, I'll be grateful for these things which God enables me to have at this time and use them to the benefit of others through this blog and other works.

While my mother is quite sick and in a new nursing home, I am grateful for the insurance which enables her to be there. The nursing home accepts medicare and medicaid, and for that too, I am grateful. I thank God for those cheerful aids and nurses who work long shifts to stimulate the minds of their patients, and to give them a sense of purpose and hope. I am also thankful for the families I have met as they visited their loved ones, for the lesson's they have taught me about love. Regardless of how sad, I am thankful to have witnessed the deep pain of patients in nursing homes and senior centers due to abandonment by their families. I can now be an advocate and beg people to visit their loved ones, and others in these places.

I am thankful to have learned that dementia patients need someone to come and love them, and I have witnessed some families who come religiously no matter how much they are not recognized. While the mind may be gone, I found it amazing that an alzheimer's patient, sitting dazed in the hallway in her wheelchair, could be so excited with a holy card of the Immaculate Heart of Mary I provided to her upon seeing the Rosary around her neck. She remembered she was Catholic and when she saw the card which alternated between the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, her eyes opened wide, she gasped and with so much love said, "Ooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, it's Maaarrrrryyyy!". She then clutched it tightly to her heart. I know she probably forgot she even had it a few moments or hours later, but I was grateful to have had this holy card, and the God-given grace to act upon, which made this soul so very happy even if only briefly.

I am thankful for full use of my limbs, for access to medicine to control my high blood pressure, and for the ability to test my sugar which now needs to be controlled. There are so many people who must choose bewteen making a house payment or buying their heart pills that it would only be ungrateful, to not be grateful for these things.

I am also most thankful for Assumption Grotto and all she offers. The priests and sisters who work through her have done wonders for my soul and I look forward to many more lessons in the coming year. How many people long for a Traditional Latin Mass, but have no access? How many long for a reverent Novus Ordo, abuse free, and more conducive to contemplative worship, but must tolerate a busy, noise-filled Mass? How many in other countries and distant lands must risk their very life to get to Mass? I look at Russia, and how God has been purged from society and I am thankful for the brave priests who work tirelessly to bring God back to them. I am grateful for the persistence of Chinese Catholics and other persecuted Christians who risk everything by sneaking to Mass.

I am grateful for seminarians and for others pursuing consecrated life. Without them, what would our future hold?

Please pray for our priests this year, and for all of those in seminaries and religious communities following God's call for what I believe will be one of the greatest, authentic renewals in the history of the Church. It will take decades, but I am very hopeful that some day rectories will be packed because parishes will be packed. Habited nuns will not find it beneath them to teach as solid Catholic schools and universities emerge, which teach the true faith.

I have much more I can be thankful for, but would like to end by saying I am grateful to all of those organizations working so hard to bring the faith to us through media and the arts. See a list in my sidebar for networks, news outlets, and drama resources. This is all part of God's grand plan to bring back authentic, unambiguous Catholicism to the masses.

Deo Gratias! Deo Gratias! Deo Gratias!

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Veni Creator Spiritus

A photo of the dove which represents the Holy Spirit, found under the baldacchino (canopy) of the altar at Assumption Grotto. It can be partially seen when kneeling at the railing.

As Fr. Tim Finigan points out:

A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful under the usual conditions who devoutly assist at the singing or recition of:

The Te Deum on the lst day of the year to give thanks to God for benefits received during the past year.The Veni Creator on 1 January to implore divine help during the coming year.

As ever, do see my post Plenary Indulgences not impossible if you are worried about the conditions


Veni Creátor Spiritus,
Mentes tuórum vísita;
Imple supérna grátia
Quae tu creásti péctora.

Qui díceris Paráclitus,
Donum Dei altíssimi,
Fons vivus, ignis cáritas,
Et spiritális únctio.

Tu septifórmis múnere,
Dextrae Dei tu dígitus,
Tu rite promíssum Patris,
Sermóne ditans gúttura.

Accénde lumen sénsibus,
Infúnde amórem córdibus,
Infírma nostri córporis
Virtúte firmans pérpeti.

Hostem repéllas lóngius,
pacémque dones prótinus;
Ductóre sic te praévio,
Vitémus omne nóxium.

Per te sciámus da Patrem,
Noscámus atque Fílium,
Te utriúsque Spíritum
Credámus omni témpore.

Deo Patri sit glória,
Et Fílio quia mórtuis,
Surréxit, ac Paráclito,
In saeculórum saécula. Amen.


Come, Holy Ghost
Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest,
Vouchsafe within our souls to rest;
Come with Thy grace and Heav'nly aid
And fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

To Thee, the Comforter, we cry,
To Thee, the Gift of God Most High,
The Fount of life, the Fire of love,
The soul's Anointing from above.

The sev'nfold gifts of grace are Thine,
O Finger of the Hand Divine;
True Promise of the Father Thou,
Who dost the tongue with speech endow.

Thy light to evr'y thought impart,
And shed Thy love in evr'y heart;
The weakness of our mortal state
With deathless might invigorate.

Drive far away our wily Foe
And Thine abiding peace bestow;
If Thou be our protecting Guide,
No evil can our steps betide.

Make Thou to us the Father known,
Teach us the eternal Son to own,
And Thee, whose name we ever bless,
Of both the Spirit, to confess.

Glory to Thee, Father and Son
And Holy Spirit, with them One;
And may the Son on us bestow
The gifts that from the Spirit flow!

-- ascribed to Rabanus Maurus - 776-856
(Translated by Edward Caswall 1814-1878)

Source: Adoremus Bulletin

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