Septuagesima – Burying the Alleluia

We have come around again to Pre-Lent. It is time to get our heads into the game and start preparing for our upcoming Lenten discipline.

Already.

Sunday is Septuagesima. That means that on Saturday at 1st Vespers, in the traditional Roman Rite, we sing “Alleluia” for the last time until Easter.

Here are the Benedictines at Le Barroux singing the Alleluia for the last time.

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“Who says Catholic Social Teaching requires us to follow the policy prescriptions of the hard left?”

I found a really interesting opinion piece at Crisis by Austin Ruse, who runs C-FAM (an organization you should know and support).

I am going to drop you into this piece in medias res.  You should go back to read the first part on your own.  Plenty of fireworks there, too.

[…]

I first noticed this group of thunder-bolt tossing uber-Catholics at a blog called Vox Nova, [they seem to come unhinged pretty easily… HERE ] which for a good long while was exorcized over the question of water boarding. I engaged the debate and suggested this was a distraction from real issues and a way to convince faithful Catholics that they could not vote for the Republicans because of it. You would have thought I was the biggest heretic since Martin Luther.

People went to the board of directors of the group I run asking for my firing because a heretic like me certainly could not run a Catholic organization. [Pretty nasty, that.  But that’s how they work.] I was excoriated in columns and comment boxes. I was schooled on Elizabeth Anscombe’s essay about why numbers do not matter; that three water-boardings are as important as 50 million abortions, or something like that.

This started all up again when a few months ago the Democratic staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee released a 6,000-page report on “torture” wherein they did not interview anyone from the CIA, but spent most of their time with defense attorneys for terrorists jailed in Guantanamo Bay.

This group of writers hasn’t exactly downplayed the non-negotiables as to expand them into meaninglessness. Gun control is now a non-negotiable. So is the minimum wage. Universal government provided health care is a non-negotiable and now, with the impending papal encyclical on the environment, global warming is one, too.

I got into a debate a few weeks ago on the topic of water boarding. What I found is these juice-box theologians, that is, mostly young newly minted but largely unemployed PhDs, believe that water boarding is so important that one must cast their vote for president based on it and it alone.

Talk about single-issue voting.

This may be an important issue but not one that rises to the level of determining my vote nor should it. There are too many other important issues like—yes—abortion.

Has the GOP overturned Roe v. Wade just yet? No. Does the GOP desert this issue on a fairly regular basis? Sure. Are there anti-lifers all over the GOP elite? You bet. Even so, the GOP remains the only viable political vessel for stopping what Pope St. John Paul the Great called the most important human rights issue of our time. He did not say that about torture, or the minimum wage, or universal government-run health care.

[QUAERITUR…] As for Catholic Social Teaching, the cudgel this group likes to beat us with, who says Catholic Social Teaching requires us to follow the policy prescriptions of the hard left? The following fits right in with Catholic Social Teaching, if only Catholics were willing to put it this way:

Eliminate the corporate income tax. Eliminate the capital gains tax, and the death tax. Eliminate OSHA and the Department of Education. At the same time, run a national campaign out of the White House encouraging people to finish high school, get married, go to church, and have babies. Sit back and watch all boats rise.

While we’re at it, let’s get the Federal government out of the land business. The Feds own a third of all US land, up to half and more of many western states. Let’s have a modern day land-rush for all those Distributists out there who are just itching to fish, farm or make cheese—though one suspects they’ll stay exactly where they are, blogging and adjunct teaching. [heh heh]

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Brick by Brick: Another parish implements Summorum Pontificum. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

For your Brick by Brick file.

A reader sent me a link to a story in the St. Louis Review (a publication of the Archdiocese of St. Louis) about a parish which as started up a Traditional Latin Mass.

‘Mysterium tremendum’ | St. Barnabas begins offering the Traditional Latin Mass

With a single intoning of the bell, Mass had begun at St. Barnabas.

But this was no Ordinary Form of the Mass.

“In Nomine Patris, et Filii et Spiritus Sancti …”

For the first time in nearly 50 years, the Extraordinary Form of the Mass — better known as the Traditional or Tridentine Latin Mass — is being celebrated at the northern O’Fallon parish. In January, Father Raymond Hager began offering the Mass at 10 a.m. on Sundays, after a group of parishioners wrote a letter last January requesting it.  [See what happens when you ask?]

[…]

“At the first Mass, people had tears in their eyes,” said Father Hager. He said that all of this is “directed toward God and what’s called the ‘mysterium tremendum,’ or the tremendous mystery. [the sort of “tremendum” which makes one shudder with awe…] The sense of the sacred, and the mystery of God becoming present in His most sacred Body and Blood is proclaimed profoundly in and through the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

[This part might sound familiar to longtime readers here…] “In the Eastern Churches they have the iconostasis … where you can’t see everything that’s going on, because what is happening is so holy it should be veiled. When the elements of the bread and wine become Our Lord’s Body and Blood, you’re not seeing that at that moment, but you do see Our Lord and God at the elevation of the consecration in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. It really speaks to that sense of mystery.”

[…]

Ordained in 1997, Father Hager taught himself how to celebrate the Mass according to the 1962 Missal. Born in 1960, he has no memories of going to the Traditional Latin Mass as a child. As a seminarian, he would occasionally visit St. Agatha, where the Latin Mass was offered in St. Louis at the time. “I was blown away by the beauty and sacredness of the liturgy,” he said.

The process of learning the language and rubrics took several months. Father Hager approached Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, who connected him with Canon Michael Wiener, rector of St. Francis de Sales Oratory, one of two churches designated specifically for the Latin Mass in St. Louis. Canon Wiener, the episcopal delegate for the implementation of the Traditional Latin Mass in the archdiocese, offered his guidance.

Father Hager also watched videos, read books and sought help from several others, including Sister Michaleen Vomund, CPPS, PSR director at St. Barnabas, and Bill Guelker of the Latin Liturgy Association, a local organization that promotes the use of ecclesiastical Latin in the liturgy. Several changes had to be made in the sanctuary, including moving the nearly 1,500-pound altar back four feet and adding a communion rail.  [Well done!  And it was worth all the effort.]

[…]

Read the rest there.

We need as many celebrations of the older form of the Roman Rite as possible in as many places as possible as soon as possible.

These are trying times, and there is a lot of confusion right now.  Some people are showing signs of defeatism.

NO!

This is precisely the time to get to work.  Let’s keep our eyes focused on what is really going to make a difference.  I think that is located in exactly the vision that Pope Benedict XVI offered us.

So, I will repeat what I have been saying for some time now.

Make things happen.  Work with sweat and money to make them happen. If you thought you worked hard before, forget it.  Work harder.  Pope Francis wants some “lío”?  We’ve got some “lío” right here.  ¡Hagan lío!

Get involved with all the works of charity that your parishes or groups sponsor. If Pope Francis wants a Church “for the poor”, then we will respond, “OORAH!!” The “traditionalist” will be second-to-none in getting involved.  “Dear Father… you can count on the ‘Stable Group of TLM Petitioners-For-By-Now-Several-Months” to help with the collection of clothing for the poor!  Tell us what you need!”

Pray and fast and give alms. Have you been doing that?  Do more.

Form up and get organized.  Find like-minded people. Put in your request for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum.  Raise the money to help buy the stuff the parish will need. Make a plan. Find people. Execute!

Get your ego and your own little personal interpretations and preferences out of the way.  It is team-work time.  If we don’t sacrifice individually, we will stay divided and we won’t achieve our objectives.

The legislation is in place.  Young priests and seminarians are eager to get into this.

Give them something to do.

As I have written before, Pope Benedict gave us, boys and girls, a beautiful new bicycle!  He gave us a direction, encouragement, and a running push.  Now, take off the damn training wheels and RIDE THE DAMN BIKE!

Meanwhile, Fr. Z kudos to Fr. Raymond Hager and St. Barnbas parish!

19 votes, 3.95 avg. rating (79% score)
Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ACTION ITEM!, Be The Maquis, Benedict XVI, Brick by Brick, Fr. Z KUDOS, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, Si vis pacem para bellum!, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The future and our choices, Wherein Fr. Z Rants, ¡Hagan lío! | 9 Comments

MADISON, WI – 2 Feb – CANDLEMAS – Pontifical Mass at the Throne

Presentation-of-the-LordOn 2 February – Candlemas – in Madison, WI, His Excellency Most Rev. Bishop Robert C. Morlino (the Extraordinary Ordinary) will celebrate a Pontifical Mass at the Throne.

The Mass will begin at 7 pm at the Bishop O’Connor Center.

Bishop Morlino will bless candles brought by parishes and people before Mass.  All are invited.

Candles are symbols of sacrifices.  They are like living things.  They eat and drink the wax from the bees, which reminds us that sacrifice can also be sweet, not just bitter. Candles breathe air.  They move in their flames as they flicker.  They communicate to our eyes a beautiful.  They die at the end of their span.  They are consumed for the Lord in all our liturgical rites.  So should we be.  Using candles during important times is a wholesome Catholic practice.

 

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More from the mighty pen of Daniel Mitsui

From time to time I post about art from Daniel Mitusi, the talented Catholic artist who has worked under the inspiration of the Medieval period as well as Japanese prints. He gets proper inculturation.

You may recall that his little daughter has spent quite a bit of time in the hospital.  You know what that means.

Here are a couple more pieces which he sent recently.

The first is a treatment of a psalm.    HERE

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I was especially amused by the rabbits, which multiply along the decorative margin.

 

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The second is an ink drawing of the dream of Joseph when the angel reveals Herod’s plot and tells the Holy Family to flee to Egypt.  The image of what the angel wants is depicted on the raised fan.  Very cool.

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Marvelous.  And there is a reference to the cherry tree.  HERE

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His site is HERE.  Please visit.

Speaking of the cherry tree, recently when I was in Washington DC, I saw the exhibit of images of Mary. They had a well-known Barocci on loan from the Vatican Museum of the Rest on the Flight into Egypt. Joseph, with a beautiful smile, hands the diminutive Lord a branch with cherries.

Barocci_holy-family

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WDTPRS Collect 4th Sunday of Ordinary Time: “Billy loves bugs.”

bugsToday’s prayer was not in the post-Tridentine editions of the Missale Romanum but it does have its origin in the ancient Veronese Sacramentary.

Were you to hear this prayer intoned in Latin, or at least in an accurate translation, you would be thereby transported back 1500 years to our most Roman of Catholic roots.

COLLECT – LATIN TEXT (2002MR):
Concede nobis, Domine Deus noster,
ut te tota mente veneremur,
et omnes homines rationabili diligamus affectu
.

OBSOLETE ICEL (1973):
Lord our God,
help us to love you with all our hearts
and to love all men as you love them.

Is this what the Latin really says?

CURRENT ICEL (2011):
Grant us, Lord our God,
that we may honour you with all our mind,
and love everyone in truth of heart
.

SLAVISHLY LITERAL TRANSLATION:
Grant us, O Lord our God,
that we may venerate you with our whole mind,
and may love all men with rational good-will
.

“Affection” just doesn’t cut it for affectus and something more pointed than “love” is needed too.  I came up with “rational good-will”.  We mustn’t reduce all these complicated Latin words to “love”.  Why not?  Note in the prayer the contrast of the themes “reason” and “mood”, the rational with the affective dimension (concerning emotions) of man; in short, the head and the heart.   The fact is, a properly functioning person conducts his life according to both head and heart, feelings under the control of reason and the will.  The terrible wound to our human nature from original sin causes the difficulty we have in governing feelings and appetites by reason and will.

Today’s prayer aims at the totality of a human person: our wholeness is defined by our relationship with God.

We seek to know God so that we may the better love Him and His love drives us all the more to know Him.  Furthermore, possible theological and Scriptural underpinnings of this prayer are Deuteronomy 6 and Jesus’ two-fold command to love God and neighbor: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets” (cf. Matthew 22:36-38; Mark 12:2-31; Luke 10:26-28).  In Deut 6:5-6 we have the great injunction called the Shema from the first Hebrew word, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might….” Jesus teaches the meaning and expands the concrete application of this command in Deuteronomy 6.

There is no space here for the subtle relationships between the Latin words St. Jerome chose in his translations and the Greek or Hebrew originals of these verses.  Suffice it to say that in the Bible the language about mind, heart, and soul is terrifically complex. However, these words aim at the totality of the person precisely in that dimension which is characteristic of man as “image of God”.  Heart, mind and will distinguish us from brute animals.  We are made to act as God acts: to know, will and love.  Thus, “mind” and “heart” in man are closely related faculties and cannot be separated from each other.  Mind and heart are revealed in and expressed through our bodies and thus they point at the “real us”.

Love is at the heart of who we are and it the key to our prayer today.

We are commanded by God the Father and God Incarnate Jesus Christ to love both God and our fellow man and God the indwelling Holy Spirit makes this possible.

But the word and therefore concept of “love” is understood in many ways and today, especially, it is misunderstood.  “Love” frequently refers to people or stuff we like or enjoy using.  Bob can “love” his new SUV. Besty “loves” her new kitten.  We all certainly “love” baseball and spaghetti.  But “love” can refer to the emotions and affections people have when they are “in love” or, as I sometimes call it, “in luv”.

Luv is usually an ooey-gooey feeling, a romantic “love” sometimes growing out of lust.  This gooey romantic “love” now dominates Western culture, alas.   The result is that when “feelings” change or the object of “luv” is no longer enjoyable or usable, someone gets dumped, often for a newer, richer, or prettier model.

There some other flavors of “love” you can come up with, I’m sure.  But Christians, indeed every image of God in all times everywhere, are called to a higher love, the love in today’s prayer, which is charity: the grace-completed virtue enabling us to love God for His own sake and love all who are made in His image.  This is more than benevolence or tolerance or desire or enjoyment of use.

True love is not merely a response to an appetite, as when we might see a beautiful member of the opposite sex, a well-turned double-play, or a plate of spaghetti all’amatriciana.

True love, charity, isn’t the sloppy gazing of passion drunk sweethearts or the rubbish we see on TV and in movies (luv).  Charity is the grace filled adhesion of our will to an object (really a person) which has been grasped by our intellect to be good.

The love invoked in our prayer is an act of will based on reason. It is a choice – not a feeling.

Charity delights in and longs for the good of the other more than one’s own.  The theological virtue charity involves grace.  It enables sacrifices, any kind of sacrifice for the authentic good of another discerned with reason (not a false good and not “use” of the other).  We can choose even to love an enemy. This love resembles the sacrificial love of Christ on His Cross who offered Himself up for the good of His spouse, the Church.  St. Augustine, as a matter of fact, taught that “enemy love” is the perfection of the kind of love we can have in this earthly life.  Rationabilis affectus reflects what it is to be truly human, made in God’s image and likeness, with faculties of willing and knowing and, therefore, loving.

Knowledge and love are interconnected.

The more you get to know a person, the more reason you have to love him (remember… love seeks the other person’s good in charity even if a person is unlikable).  Reciprocally, the more you love someone or (in the generic sense of love) something, the more you want to know about him and spend time getting to know him.

For example, Billy is fascinated by bugs.  From this “love” for bugs Billy wants to know everything there is to know about them.  He works hard to learn and thus launches a brilliant career in entomology.  Given Our Creator’s priority in all things, how much more ought we seek to know and love God first and foremost of all and then, in proper order, know and love God’s images, our neighbors?  He is far more important that the bugs He created.  Even spouses must love God more than they love each other.  Only then can they love each other properly according to God’s plan.

We also have a relationship with the objects of both love and knowledge.  What sort of relationship?  With bugs or spaghetti it is one thing, but with God and neighbor it is entirely another.

In seeking to understand and love God more and more we come to understand things about God and ourselves as his images that, without love, we could never learn by simple study.  The relationship with God through love and knowledge changes us.  St. Bonaventure (+1274) the “Seraphic” doctor wrote about “ecstatic knowledge”. This kind of knowledge is not merely the product of abstract investigation or analytical study (like Billy with his bugs).  Rather, it comes first from learning and then contemplating. According to Bonaventure, by contemplation the knower becomes engaged with the object. Fascinated by it, he seeks to know it with a longing that draws him into the object.

Consider: we can study about God and our faith, but really the object of study is not just things to learn or formulas to memorize: the object of our study and faith is a divine Person in whose image and likeness we ourselves are made.  To be who we are by our nature we personally need the sort of knowledge of God that draws us into Him.  Knowledge of God (not just things learned about God) reaches into us, seizes us, transforms us.  To experience God’s love is to have certain knowledge of God, more certain than any knowledge which can be arrived at by means of mere rational examination.

Bring this all with you back to the last line of our prayer and the command to love our neighbor, all of them made in God’s image and all individually intriguing – fascinating, in a way that resembles the way we love God and ourselves.  This we are to do with our minds, hearts, and all our strength.


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Finding one’s way deeper into the Faith

On the threshold of the big… *yawn* … game, there is something of interest in a piece at the National Catholic Register, an interview with the grandson of the legendary Vince Lombardi.

Joe Lombardi is the offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions.

Take note of this in particular:

LOMBARDI: I first started becoming truly interested in the greatness of the Catholic faith around the time I got married 15 years ago. My wife, Molly, and I were concerned about all the health dangers of contraceptive pills, so we looked into natural family planning [which the Church approves]. A priest we met with wanted us to listen to a talk on CD from Dr. Janet Smith called “Contraception: Why Not”; but we said we were already sold on the topic. He insisted that we listen to it anyway, and we were blown away by what Dr. Smith said. Even though we were on the path it recommended, our beliefs and motives were reinforced or augmented in many ways.

Q: That was the first step toward becoming more fully Catholic?

LOMBARDI: Yes, we started looking into what the Church teaches, and our search has produced so many great results. Now, we love being immersed in Catholic traditions, including the extraordinary form of the Mass. We attend a parish that has this one Sunday a month, and the other Sundays they have the ordinary form in English, but with the priest facing ad orientem [“toward the east,” or in the same direction as the congregation] and with suitable music.

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ASK FATHER: Where to bow or genuflect in confusing church

Genuflecting2From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

I attend a “modern” church with the traditional long, central aisle. At one end (not the east) is the rose window above the wooden table that serves as an altar (ad popularum). At the other end is the Tabernacle in a small chapel with glass doors. Thus the tabernacle is just about as far from the altar as possible, but can be seen from the aisle through the glass doors. Some folks when they enter genuflect toward the bare altar, and bow when they cross from left to right in front of the altar (on their way to give a reading etc.). Before the consecration shouldn’t they bow toward the Tabernacle, and not the bare altar?

When Constantine legalized Christianity in the 4th c., the Church moved from worshipping in homes, caves, and makeshift gathering spaces into larger venues built (or in some cases, adapted) specifically for the worship of God. In times of persecution, the Church went back to worshipping in whatever space was available.

When persecution comes again (as it will) we’ll do the same.

In the meantime, we have the ability -now – to construct buildings specifically for the worship of God. We have a tradition of such structures, built by our forebears, upon which we can draw. From past constructs we can what works, and what doesn’t work.

We don’t need to re-invent the wheel.

There are those for whom “creativity” means starting with a blank slate, ignoring the past, and creating something altogether new. Beauty is irrelevant, what works is cliché, logic is thrown out the window (which usually contains some chips of colored glass in some abstract pattern). It’s a passing trend, but it’s something we have to deal with now.

Two hundred years from now art and architecture students will write theses entitled, “What WERE They Smoking in the 20th – 21st Century?

Reverence should always be shown to Our Lord. He is our Creator and Redeemer. We owe Him EVERYTHING. We genuflect when we pass before the Blessed Sacrament because throwing ourselves prostrate before the Lord of the Universe each and every time we encounter Him would simply be impractical.

Genuflecting3Yet, we also have liturgical law. In a spirit of humility, we should obey liturgical law. After all, the Church, which is properly deputized to do so, puts this in place to govern our actions when we worship God.

The current liturgical law in force for the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite requires that the ministers genuflect when entering the sanctuary if the Blessed Sacrament is reserved there. They must also genuflect at the end of the Holy Mass as they leave. If the Blessed Sacrament is not reserved in the sanctuary, the ministers bow to the altar. During the Holy Mass, the ministers are instructed to bow to the altar when they pass it.

Happily we also have now the full use of the Extraordinary Form.  It is to be hoped that the Extraordinary Form will exert a powerful “gravitational pull” on the hearts and minds and knees of the faithful, and then upon the rubrics and laws of the Ordinary Form.

22 votes, 4.59 avg. rating (91% score)
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Jesuits here, Jesuits there

The latest from Sandro Magister involves Pope Francis, a writer for the Jesuit produced journal La Civiltà Cattolica, the bishops of the Philippines, Pope Francis, and Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ.

ROME, January 29, 2015 – They have not gone without notice, the harsh criticisms addressed by an authoritative Jesuit of the authoritative “La Civiltà Cattolica” to the bishops of the Philippines, for their strenuous opposition to the law on “reproductive health” successfully backed in the country by Catholic president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.

The criticisms, formulated in a book, were presented in detail in this article from www.chiesa:

> Bishops of the Philippines Under Pressure. Examined and Rejected

The Jesuit who slammed the Filipino bishops for being “backward” and “closed off” not only with respect to the beacons of modernity but also with respect to the requests of Pope Francis is the Frenchman Pierre de Charentenay, a former president of the Centre Sèvres, the Paris institute of higher education of the Society of Jesus, director from 2004 to 2012 of the magazine of the Jesuits of France, “Études,” and since last year part of the team of writers of “La Civiltà Cattolica,” the magazine of the Rome Jesuits printed after inspection by Vatican authorities and directed by a man very close to the pope, Fr. Antonio Spadaro.

His [Pierre de Charentenay’s] dismissal of the bishops of the Philippines made an even bigger impression because it coincided with the journey of Pope Francis to that country, which is not only the only one in Asia with a majority Catholic population, but also distinguishes itself by the strong presence of its bishops in the public sphere. [So, the Jesuits in orbit about Pope Francis right now are against “culture warriors”?]

Receiving the pope on January 16 at the presidential palace (see photo), Benigno Aquino, educated in the Jesuit schools of Manila, also took the opportunity to criticize the Filipino bishops. In welcoming his guest he cited and turned against them the pre-Christmas address of Francis to the Roman curia, with the condemnation of those who by virtue of their roles make themselves “sowers of discord.”

But neither in the discourse delivered immediately after that circumstance – where he nonetheless struck a blow for the “inalienable right to life, beginning with that of the unborn” – nor in other moments of his visit did Pope Francis expend a single word in defense of the bishops.

Not everyone, however, among the Jesuits agrees with the accusatory theses of their confrere of “La Civiltà Cattolica,” […]

From San Francisco, after reading the rejection of the Filipino bishops decreed by Fr. de Charentenay because of their closure to modernity, the Jesuit Joseph Fessio reacted by sending us the letter reproduced below.

Fr. Fessio is not an unknown. Formed in the theological school of Joseph Ratzinger – and a prominent member of the circle of his disciples, the “Ratzinger Schülerkreis” – he founded and directs the publishing house Ignatius Press in the United States, which recently made an impression with the book “Remaining in the Truth of Christ,” with contributions from five cardinals against communion for the divorced and remarried.

The following are the “errors of reason and of fact” that Fr. Fessio sees present in Fr. de Charentenay’s criticisms of the bishops of the Philippines, on matters of “reproductive health.

[…]

Read Fr. Fessio’s letter there.

 

14 votes, 3.93 avg. rating (78% score)
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Videos of Solemn Masses 1960, 1962 at Ushaw Seminary

A priest friend sent a link to this film from 1960.  A Solemn Mass at Ushaw College (Seminary).

Notice that the place is full.

And there is this Christmas Mass from 1962.

The next year Vatican II started.

Ushaw is pretty much empty now. HERE

BTW… notice the rabbit on their logo HERE.

14 votes, 4.57 avg. rating (90% score)
Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Priests and Priesthood, Seminarians and Seminaries | Tagged | 17 Comments