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Registered or not, will you in your charity please take a moment look at the requests and to pray for the people about whom you read?

Continued from THESE.

I get many requests by email asking for prayers. Many requests are heart-achingly grave and urgent.

Something is up. I’m getting many more requests for prayers than last year at this time

As long as my blog reaches so many readers in so many places, let’s give each other a hand. We should support each other in works of mercy.

If you have some prayer requests, feel free to post them below. You have to be registered here to be able to post.

I still have a pressing personal petition.

Finally, please say a prayer for newly ordained priests.  Many priests are being ordained this time of year.  I have in mind, in particular, new Fr. Ryan Koster, to be ordained today, Saturday 23 May, in Kansas City, MO.

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Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 22 Comments

My View For Awhile: Tuna Edition

I changed my socks at the Steam Pipe Trunk Distribuition Venue and am now on the way to KC, MO.

The son of a friend of many years is being ordained to the priesthood, Deo volente, tomorrow.

And so I take to the skies again.

Since the food at this airport is suboptimal, I picked up a Firehouse Sub on the way.

It was considered safe by TSA (Taking Sandwiches Away).

Actually, they were cordial and I was the only one in line.


Landing in my native place.


Time for the next leg.


I shall not be putting my feet on the wall, like the jackass did the other day. 

Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | 17 Comments

Great moments with Card. Sarah!

Cardinal_Robert_SarahThere is a great article at the Italian Il Foglio with pithy quotes from one of my favorite Cardinals, His Eminence Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments.  I can only offer a few morsels, since I am getting ready for a flight.

“Se si considera l’eucarestia come un pasto da condividere, da cui nessuno può essere escluso, allora si perde il senso del Mistero … If you consider the Eucharist to be like a meal to be shared, from which no one can be excluded, then the sense of Mystery is lost…”

“Se si pensa che anche nel rito del Battesimo non si menziona più la parola ‘fede’, quando ai genitori viene domandato cosa si chiede per il bambino alla Chiesa di Dio, si comprende l’entità del problema …. I bambini fanno disegni e non imparano nulla, non vanno a messa…. If you consider also that in the rite of Baptism the word ‘faith’ isn’t mentioned, when parents are asked what they ask for their child from the Church of God, you grasp the core of the problem… Children draw pictures and learn nothing, they don’t go to Mass…”

By the way, in the traditional rite of baptism, at the very beginning, when the priest asks what the parents ask they respond, “Faith”.

Speaking about the way bishops and priests mislead people…

“Inganniamo la gente parlando di misericordia senza sapere quel che vuol dire la parola. Il Signore perdona i peccati, ma se ci pentiamo … We deceive the people when speaking about mercy without knowing what the word means. The Lord forgives sins, but we repent of them…”

“E’ sbagliato per la Chiesa usare il vocabolario delle Nazioni Unite. Noi abbiamo un nostro vocabolario… It’s a mistake for the Church to use the vocabulary of the United Nations. We have our own vocabulary.”

“Il problema non è che ci sono pochi preti, quanto capire se quei preti sono davvero sacerdoti di Cristo… The problem isn’t that there are few priests, as much as to know if these priests are truly priests of Christ”. Note the shift from “preti” to “sacerdoti”.

This guy’s great.

Fr. Z Kudos!

Posted in Fr. Z KUDOS, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged | 22 Comments

WDTPRS: Pentecost Sunday (2002MR): Our holy selvage and our salvation

pentecost miniatureThe Fiftieth Day Feast, Hebrew Shavuot or Greek Pentekosté, for the Jews commemorated the descent of God’s Law to Moses on Mount Sinai, wreathed in fire, fifty days after the Exodus.  Fifty days after Our Lord’s Resurrection (the perfect number 7×7 + 1 for the day itself in ancient reckoning), the tenth from His Ascension (on a Thursday), the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and first disciples to breathe grace-filled life into Christ’s Body, the Church.

This magnificent Sunday (which in the Roman Rite’s Extraordinary Form retains its Octave along with the special Communicantes and Hanc igitur) has in the Ordinary Form a Collect rooted in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary.

Deus, qui sacramento festivitatis hodiernae universam Ecclesiam tuam in omni gente et natione sanctificas, in totam mundi latitudinem Spiritus Sancti dona defunde, et, quod inter ipsa evangelicae praedicationis exordia operata est divina dignatio, nunc quoque per credentium corda perfunde.

Cor is “heart” and corda “hearts”.  Sacramentum translates Greek mysterion.  Sacramentum and Latin mysterium are often interchangeable in liturgical texts.  Defundo means “to pour down, pour out”. Perfundo, is “to pour over, moisten, bedew”, and “to imbue, inspire” as well as “to dye”.

Exordium means “the beginning, the warp of a web”. Exordium invokes cloth weaving and selvage, the cloth’s edge, tightly woven so that the web will not fray, fall apart. Exordium, also a technical term in ancient rhetoric, is the beginning of a prepared speech whereby the orator lays out what he is going to do and induces the listeners to attend.  From Pentecost onward Christ the Incarnate Word, although remote by His Ascension, is the present and perfect Orator delivering His saving message to the world through Holy Church. “He that heareth you, heareth me”, Christ told His Apostles with the Seventy (Luke 10:16).  Much hangs on exordia.


O God, who by the sacramental mystery of today’s feast do sanctify Your universal Church in every people and nation, pour down upon the whole breadth of the earth the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and make that which divine favor wrought amidst the very beginnings of the preaching of the Good News to flow now also through believers’ hearts.


God our Father, let the Spirit you sent on your Church to begin the teaching of the gospel continue to work in the world through the hearts of all who believe.


O God, who by the mystery of today’s great feast sanctify your whole Church in every people and nation, pour out, we pray, the gifts of the Holy Spirit across the face of the earth and, with the divine grace that was at work when the Gospel was first proclaimed, fill now once more the hearts of believers.

Unity and continuity are keys to this Collect.

The Holy Spirit pours spiritual life into the Body of Christ.

The Holy Spirit wove the early Church together through the preaching of the Apostles and their successors and, in the Church today, extends their preaching to our own time.

The Holy Spirit guarantees our unity and continuity across every border and century.

The Holy Spirit imbues and infuses, tints and dyes the fabric of the Church as He flows through it.

When the Holy Spirit poured over the Apostles, they poured out of the upper room and began to preach in public speeches to people from every nation.  The Holy Spirit, in the preaching of the Apostles, began on Pentecost’s exordium to weave together the Church’s selvage, that strong stable edge of the fabric, through the centuries and down to our own day.

The bonds of man and God symbolically unraveled in the Tower of Babel event, when languages were divided (Gen 11:5-8).  Ever since the Pentecost exordium’s “reweaving”, though here and there and now and then there may be rips and tatters, Holy Church’s warp and weft hold true.

Let our hearts and prayers be raised for unity. Sursum corda! In our Collect we pray that our corda may be imbued with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Let them be closely woven into, knit into Holy Church and even over-sewn with her patterns, not ours. Let our hearts be bounded about by her saving selvage, dyed in the Spirit’s boundless love.

Let us also pray for the unwitting agents of the Enemy of the soul, hanging onto Holy Church’s edge but in such a way that they tear at and fray the Church’s fabric.  Pardon my homographs, but though they be on the fringe, they endanger necessary threads, precious souls of our brothers and sisters who through their work of unraveling can be lost in the fray.  When we mesh with the Successor of Peter and remain true in the Faith and charity, our holy selvage and our salvation will not be undone.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

ASK FATHER: Can a penitent “release” priest from Seal of Confession?

seal of confessionFrom a reader…


Father, as a follow up to your recent post on who is bound by the seal of confession, I have two more related questions:

1. Can the penitent release the priest from the seal? I would think not, so as to prevent the penitent from being pressured by authorities to release the priest. But I’d like to know, since there are legal cases in the U.S.A. currently making their way to the Supreme Court that may depend on this.

2. Can the priest refer to things confessed by a penitent to the penitent himself? For example, if the penitent also goes to the priest for spiritual direction, can the priest refer to things in spiritual direction that were discussed in the context of confession?

The strong opinion of most moral theologians and canonists is that the penitent cannot release the priest from the Seal.

It is not the penitent who imposes the Seal, but the Lord Himself.  The penitent can’t release what the Lord God has bound.

A penitent is free, of course, to mention to the priest, outside of sacramental confession, anything that he would like the priest to speak freely about. What is said to the priest during sacramental confess, though, is as if it were said to Christ Himself. It is not the just priest’s information to share as he wills: in a way, it belongs to Jesus.

The same goes with regards to a further conversation with the penitent. If the penitent, in spiritual direction, wants to talk with the priest about something previously confessed, he should feel free to bring the topic up again, but he should not expect the priest to bring it up, or even to have knowledge of the topic if the only time it’s been discussed is under the sacramental Seal.

Remember: Priests will just keep it buried or, as it happens time and time again, will have just forgotten what they heard. Priests keep the Seal.

Remember: These are “Ask Father” questions, not “ASK EVERYONE” questions.  I turn on the moderation queue or release or delete comments as I see fit, especially with “Ask Father” questions.  Comments from priests, of course, get high priority.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box | Tagged , | 11 Comments

ASK FATHER: The timing of announcments in the Novus Ordo

From a reader…


Our Pastor has recently decided not to make announcements after the final blessing because, he says, it isn’t part of the liturgy. I say that after the final blessing, the Liturgy is finished and can say what ever he wants. What do you say?

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal makes provision for announcements to be made during Mass. Article 90 states that announcements can be made as part of the concluding rites, after the Prayer after Communion and before the Final Blessing.

These announcements should be brief and necessary (e.g. “there will be a reception in the undercroft following this Mass so parishioners can greet the Archabbot and thank him personally for enshrining the relic of St. Perspicacity in our side chapel.”).

Keep announcements brief.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , | 16 Comments


New readers here may not know that The Internet Prayer, which I wrote in Latin a zillion years ago now, has been put into many languages. I have gathered all that I have found onto one page. Some translations have been given approval by bishops, and some have been offered by people of good will. For example, I haven’t yet been able to obtain ecclesiastical approval for the Klingon version. Check it out. HERE

I received separate emails with translations of The Internet Prayer into


Všemocný věčný Bože, který jsi nás stvořil k Svému obrazu a kážeš nám usilovat o vše dobré, pravdivé a krásné, jež je plně přítomno v božské osobě Tvého Jednorozeného Syna, našeho Pána Ježíše Krista, pokorně Tě prosíme: dej, abychom na přímluvu svatého Isidora, biskupa a doktora církve při putování internetem vztahovali své ruce, jakož i oči pouze po tom, co je milé Tobě, a abychom přijímali s láskou a trpělivostí každého, koho zde potkáme. Skrze našeho Pána, Ježíše Krista.


Молитва пре прикључивања на интернет

Свемогући вечни Боже, који си нас створио по твоме образу и заповедио нам да тражимо све шта је добро, истинито и лепо, особито у божанској особи Твога Јединорођенога Сина, Господа нашега Исуса Христа, молимо те да заступништвом Светога Исидора, епископа и учитеља, за време нашег путовања интернетом управимо своје руке и очи само оному шта је Теби угодно и искажемо љубав и стрпљивост свим душама које будемо сусретали. По Христу Господу нашем. Амин.

Very cool.

I welcome new translations. Please also send THE TITLE in the other language.

Also, if you are a native speaker, please record it too! I’m still waiting for the update to the Klingon version.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Just Too Cool | 2 Comments

ACTION ITEM! “Officer Down!”

Officer DownI am reposting this after learning of the death of a woman officer in Omaha who was scheduled to take maternity leave.  HERE  She was killed in a shootout with a fugitive.  She recently gave birth to a daughter, and was stepmother to two children ages 6 and 7.


From a priest friend comes something that I think quite good.

As you can see from, Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Andrews, NC, is spearheading a dinner at which the heads of all law enforcement agencies in the region will be present. The actual dispatcher will be reading out the “Last Call” and “End of Watch”. The point is to raise the level of due honor in our culture for our finest who have laid down their lives for us. The one blog post is meant as a paradigm for similar events that we hope will spring up around the nation. The names include all fallen officers since the end of Police Week last year. Believe me, the dispatchers and officers are very appreciative of this honor being given to their friends and ours. The dispatcher said she would cry though the whole thing. The Chief of Police said that that was the point, as it is like a funeral.

If you would encourage your readers to reblog and retweet @officerdownmd and FB this event in an effort to have it catch on elsewhere, our law officers of the judicial and executive branches of government would be most appreciative. It is supremely easy to put on this kind of event as everyone immediately wants to help to make it work. Basically, you just have to mention it, and it takes off.

I would rather be anonymous as this is about our officers who have given their all. Thanks!

Done and done.

Posted in ACTION ITEM! | Tagged , | 5 Comments

ASK FATHER: Getting waxen “Agnus Dei” from schismatics

Agnus DeiFrom a reader…


I recently obtained several Agnus Dei from Sisters in a traditional, cloistered order here in the U.S. They supposedly procure a smaller amount of the blessed wax from an original Agnus Dei from the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII. The items were purchased, with money exchanging hands for the item holding the Agnus Dei as well as work involved by the Sisters, but the blessed wax is a gift (to avoid simony and maintain the original blessing?).

I recently discovered that the Sisters are part of a schismatic group that are under the direction of a local bishop. Would this invalidate the blessings and graces associated with the pious wearing of an Agnus Dei? Is it wrong or sinful to support such a group through the purchase of their religious items?

Since they are gifts there no problem at all.  Furthermore, it is not wrong to obtain (some would say “rescue” objects such as this from schismatic groups or others, the nefarious people who traffic in relics on Ebay, etc.

Some of you might not know what an Agnus Dei is.

These objects are discs, round or oval, of bees wax impressed with the figure of a lamb, usually with the flag, and saints on the reverse.  They were blessed by the Pope. Sometimes they were worn around the neck.  They are sacramentals. In history they go back to at least the 9th c.


Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ACTION ITEM!, Just Too Cool, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged | 14 Comments

ASK FATHER: The proper way for women to wear a chapel veil?

From a reader…


I have noticed at the Traditional Latin Mass I attend that the women cover their heads with their veils once their sit down in their pews. [?!?] I was told by a friend that the norm years ago was that women veiled their heads before their entered the church and took off their veils once they stepped out of church, not once they sat down in their pews. [!] Which is the proper way for women who veil their heads? Are the women who veil once they enter their pews doing anything wrong? Should the priest(s) address this?

Ahhhh…. such an important question!

Boy are you onto something!

Yes, there is an exact way for the veil to be worn and when it should be put on.

As far as the act of veiling is concerned, it should be done no farther than 20 meters from the lowest step of the church’s door.

Moving on, the edge of the veil should be drawn precisely 4.25cm from the critical angle of the hairdo’s forward arc. Centimeters, mind you.

I suggest that you keep records on this. Using a clipboard, start tracking stats for the actual veiling, changing doors each week. Then, perhaps after Mass and after women have had a chance to say their thanksgiving prayers, using a discreet measuring device… perhaps some sort of caliper… measure the width of the “draw”.

You would do a real service for the pastor were you able to chart this out, perhaps with graphs (priests can be a bit flummoxed by tables of numbers and such). That way Father can intervene with stern admonitions when veils are being improperly deployed.

You have your mission!

And remember, there are no longer any canonical penalties for veiling in the wrong place or with the incorrect draw.  Okay?  That’s key! We aren’t judgmental about these things anymore.  For a couple years now we are being more merciful.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Lighter fare, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged | 100 Comments