I missed “STIR UP SUNDAY”! But it’s not too late.

Last Sunday, the final Sunday of the liturgical year, was “Stir Up” Sunday, taken from the translation of the Latin Collect for Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form (which probably was just transferred into the Book of Common Prayer).

This was the Sunday to begin making the Christmas Puddings!

And I missed it.   I was on the road.

But I’m back now.  I will have to make my Christmas Pudding during Stir-Up Week.

It’s not too late!  You can get into too.

On Stir Up Sunday, in a family, every member of the household had to take turns stirring together the mixture for the pudding.  Very cool.  A great family thing to do.

Let us know what your plans are.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark
Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Registration error: Wherein Fr. Z screwed up!

Friends, I’m tired.

I just deleted a whole bunch of registrations by accident.

If you have the patience, and you registered lately and nothing came of it, you might try again.

Also… remember to use well that important field in the form wherein you say something about yourself.  It doesn’t have to be long or detailed.  Include something to let me know that you are not a spammer or a nefarious ne’er-do-well.  Mention your confirmation name, for example.  That doesn’t say anything that could compromise online security, but it’ll tell me that you aren’t a mindless bot.


Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Leave a comment

Pope Francis: “Europe is now a “grandmother”, no longer fertile and vibrant”

During the last few days someone remarked to me…

- birth rates are lower than ever in developed countries (except where certain groups seem to be having lots of children, such as Muslims in formerly-Christian Europe)

- a pop tart, Lady Gaga, has recommended that young people don’t have sex at all, because they ought not to bother with other people, they are sufficient in an of themselves: they don’t need anyone

- it is possible that, within 10 years, an artificial womb may be viable, functional

Against that backdrop, I read that Pope Francis addressed the parliament of the European Union (for what it’s worth… and I don’t the the EUP is worth much).

Something of what he said.  It’s really long, so I’ll give just a few bits:


I feel bound to stress the close bond between these two words: “dignity” and “transcendent”.
“Dignity” was the pivotal concept in the process of rebuilding which followed the Second World War. [Thank you USA and the Marshall Plan] Our recent past has been marked by the concern to protect human dignity, in constrast to the manifold instances of violence and discrimination which, even in Europe, took place in the course of the centuries. Recognition of the importance of human rights came about as the result of a lengthy process, entailing much suffering and sacrifice, which helped shape an awareness of the unique worth of each individual human person. This awareness was grounded not only in historical events, but above all in European thought, characterized as it is by an enriching encounter whose “distant springs are many, coming from Greece and Rome, from Celtic, Germanic and Slavic sources, and from Christianity which profoundly shaped them”,2 [that's a footnote... I'm ignoring them for now] thus forging the very concept of the “person”. [Which includes the unborn.]
Today, the promotion of human rights is central to the commitment of the European Union to advance the dignity of the person, both within the Union and in its relations with other countries. This is an important and praiseworthy commitment, since there are still too many situations in which human beings are treated as objects whose conception, configuration and utility can be programmed, and who can then be discarded when no longer useful, due to weakness, illness or old age. [or being still unborn?]
In the end, what kind of dignity is there without the possibility of freely expressing one’s thought or professing one’s religious faith? What dignity can there be without a clear juridical framework which limits the rule of force and enables the rule of law to prevail over the power of tyranny? What dignity can men and women ever enjoy if they are subjected to all types of discrimination? What dignity can a person ever hope to find when he or she lacks food and the bare essentials for survival and, worse yet, when they lack the work which confers dignity?
Promoting the dignity of the person means recognizing that he or she possesses inalienable rights which no one may take away arbitrarily, much less for the sake of economic interests.
At the same time, however, care must be taken not to fall into certain errors which can arise from a misunderstanding of the concept of human rights and from its misuse. [Homosexual unions falsely called "marriages" are NOT a right.] Today there is a tendency to claim ever broader individual rights; underlying this is a conception of the human person as detached from all social and anthropological contexts, as if the person were a “monad”[see above] I believe, therefore, that it is vital to develop a culture of human rights which wisely links the individual, or better, the personal aspect, to that of the common good, of the “all of us” made up of individuals, families and intermediate groups who together constitute society.3 In fact, unless the rights of each individual are harmoniously ordered to the greater good, those rights will end up being considered limitless and consequently will become a source of conflicts and violence.
To speak of transcendent human dignity thus means appealing to human nature, to our innate capacity to distinguish good from evil, to that “compass” deep within our hearts, which God has impressed upon all creation.4 Above all, it means regarding human beings not as absolutes, but as beings in relation. In my view, one of the most common diseases in Europe today is the loneliness typical of those who have no connection with others. This is especially true of the elderly, who are often abandoned to their fate, and also in the young who lack clear points of reference and opportunities for the future. It is also seen in the many poor who dwell in our cities and in the disorientation of immigrants who came here seeking a better future.
This loneliness has become more acute as a result of the economic crisis, whose effects continue to have tragic consequences for the life of society. In recent years, as the European Union has expanded, there has been growing mistrust on the part of citizens towards institutions considered to be aloof, engaged in laying down rules perceived as insensitive to individual peoples, if not downright harmful. [WATCH THIS...] In many quarters we encounter a general impression of weariness and aging, of a Europe which is now a “grandmother”, no longer fertile and vibrant. As a result, the great ideas which once inspired Europe seem to have lost their attraction, only to be replaced by the bureaucratic technicalities of its institutions.
Together with this, we encounter certain rather selfish lifestyles, [like refusing to have children or being in relationships which are intended to be sterile] marked by an opulence which is no longer sustainable and frequently indifferent to the world around us, and especially to the poorest of the poor. To our dismay we see technical and economic questions dominating political debate, to the detriment of genuine concern for human beings.5 Men and women risk being reduced to mere cogs in a machine that treats them as items of consumption to be exploited, with the result that – as is so tragically apparent – whenever a human life no longer proves useful for that machine, it is discarded with few qualms, as in the case of the terminally ill, the elderly who are abandoned and uncared for, and children who are killed in the womb.
This is the great mistake made “when technology is allowed to take over”;6 the result is a confusion between ends and means”.7 It is the inevitable consequence of a “throwaway culture” and an uncontrolled consumerism. Upholding the dignity of the person means instead acknowledging the value of human life, which is freely given us and hence cannot be an object of trade or commerce. As members of this Parliament, you are called to a great mission which may at times seem an impossible one: to tend to the needs of individuals and peoples. To tend to those in need takes strength and tenderness, effort and generosity in the midst of a functionalistic and privatized mindset which inexorably leads to a “throwaway culture”. To care for individuals and peoples in need means protecting memory and hope; it means taking responsibility for the present with its situations of utter marginalization and anguish, and being capable of bestowing dignity upon it.8
How, then, can hope in the future be restored, so that, beginning with the younger generation, there can be a rediscovery of that confidence needed to pursue the great ideal of a united and peaceful Europe, a Europe which is creative and resourceful, respectful of rights and conscious of its duties?
To answer this question, allow me to use an image. One of the most celebrated frescoes of Raphael is found in the Vatican and depicts the so-called “School of Athens”. Plato and Aristotle are in the centre. Plato’s finger is pointed upward, to the world of ideas, to the sky, to heaven as we might say. Aristotle holds his hand out before him, towards the viewer, towards the world, concrete reality. This strikes me as a very apt image of Europe and her history, made up of the constant interplay between heaven and earth, where the sky suggests that openness to the transcendent – to God – which has always distinguished the peoples of Europe, while the earth represents Europe’s practical and concrete ability to confront situations and problems. [A deep concern of Ratzinger/Benedict is the identity of Europe and her future if Christianity is jettisoned.  In other words, whatever else it might be, without Christianity, Europe isn't Europe.]
The future of Europe depends on the recovery of the vital connection between these two elements. A Europe which is no longer open to the transcendent dimension of life is a Europe which risks slowly losing its own soul and that “humanistic spirit” which it still loves and defends.
Taking as a starting point this opening to the transcendent, I would like to reaffirm the centrality of the human person, which otherwise is at the mercy of the whims and the powers of the moment. I consider to be fundamental not only the legacy that Christianity has offered in the past to the social and cultural formation of the continent, but above all the contribution which it desires to offer today, and in the future, to Europe’s growth. This contribution does not represent a threat to the secularity of states or to the independence of the institutions of the European Union, but rather an enrichment. This is clear from the ideals which shaped Europe from the beginning, such as peace, subsidiarity and reciprocal solidarity, and a humanism centred on respect for the dignity of the human person.


That’s enough for now.  You can read the rest there.

Posted in New Evangelization, Pope Francis | Tagged , | 14 Comments

ASK FATHER: Waxed linen altar cloths

In honor of the appointment of Card. Sarah to the Congregation for Divine Worship, we tackle an important liturgical issue.

Traditionally our Roman altars should have three linen altar cloths.  One of them should properly be infused with wax, to make it relatively waterproof.  This is sometimes called a “cere cloth”.  It is also known as a “chrismale” because it is placed on the altar during its consecration rite after the mensa has been anointed with chrism.

A reader wants to find one.

I was hoping you could inquire after your readers as to where one might procure a proper waxed linen cere cloth?  My children’s school has an altar that is sorely in need of proper altar cloths. I would like to procure them for the school, but am unable to find a supplier of them.  I was hoping you or your readers might be aware of one.

Maybe you can help.

If I recall correctly, someone involved with the Institute of Christ the King knows someone who makes these cloths.  This thought stems from when I attended the consecration of Old St. Patrick’s in downtown Kansas City: when they clothed the altar for the first time, they used a “cere cloth” which looked like the real thing.  I have a recollection of asking about it and hearing that someone made it.

I suppose that, in a pinch, one might cut to shape a table pad if it were thin enough.  There are also a certain kind of sheet used in hospitals that is moisture proof.

The cere cloth has wax on only one side.  The production of such a cloth involves dipping the linen in melted wax and then ironing it between two other sheets.  I think that removes the top layer of wax.

So… have at!

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point or two made during the sermon you heard for your Sunday Mass of obligation?

Let us know!

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 24 Comments

New Prefect of Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments

Pope Francis has appointed Robert Card. Sarah, 69, as the new Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments.

Hitherto, Card. Sarah, from Guinea, has been the head of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”.

Not long ago, I posted here about Card. Sarah’s remarks concerning the poor.

Cardinal Sarah, citing Benedict XVI, told CNA that “charity is very linked with the proclamation of the Gospel, and doing charity is not only giving food, giving material things, but giving God too. Because the main lack of man is not having God.

Also, he seems to have seen through the machinations of a certain element active during the recent Synod of Bishops on the family regarding homosexuality.

Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, emphasized to CNA Oct. 16 that “what has been published by the media about homosexual unions is an attempt to push the Church (to change) her doctrine.”

“The Church has never judged homosexual persons, but homosexual behavior and homosexual unions are grave deviations of sexuality,” the cardinal, who is from the west African nation of Guinea, added.

Card. Sarah wasn’t happy about the manipulation of the Synod.  HERE

I think it was precisely this sort of input from Africans that Card. Kasper feared during the Synod.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | 64 Comments

Curial reshuffling to take place?

I have of late not been very happy with Andrea Tornielli, who seems to have jettisoned objectivity.  However, at La Stampa he posts that there are perhaps some big changes coming to the Roman Curia.

On Monday the Pope will sit down with heads of curial dicasteries before he meets with the Gang of 8+1 (1=SecState).  It is rumored that the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Pontifical Council for Culture may be combined.  Card. Ravasi, now at Culture, might wind up head of the new dicastery.  The head of Education, Zenon Card. Grocholewski, recently turned 75.

Another move might fuse together the Pontifical Councils of Justice and Peace, Migrants, Cor Unum, the Academy for Life with Card. Maradiaga as head.

I have been hypothesizing that the Pope wants to pare down the number of curial Cardinals (and the Archbishop Secretaries that go with them).  This would weaken the Curia’s influence overall and would concentrate power in the hands of a very few who would be especially close to this Pope.  Also, I see the demotion of Card. Burke not just as a way of sending a chill through a whole sector of the Church, but also a preparatory move to smash together the three tribunals, which would reduce the number of their cardinals from two to one.  It is possible that there could also be created a “Moderator of the Curia” position.


Posted in Pope Francis, The Drill | 23 Comments

Anti-Christian group’s founder arrested

Via BarbWire:

Homosexual HRC Founder Arrested for Raping 15-Year-Old Boy

et another high profile “gay” activist has been arrested for homosexual assault on a child. This time authorities caught one of the big fish (a rainbow trout?). Terrance Patrick Bean founded the “Human Rights Campaign” (HRC), which is one of the world’s largest, wealthiest and most powerful anti-Christian organizations. To this day he remains on the board of directors. HRC was developed for the sole purpose of pushing the extremist homosexual political agenda. Bean is also a major player for the DNC and a big Obama supporter.

The Oregonian reports:


Read the rest there.

Posted in The Drill, The Sin That Cries To Heaven For Vengence | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

MIAMI: TLMs bringing in young people

A reader alerted me to coverage of a TLM in Miami in which the local Juventutem chapter is involved.

With Ancient Language, Catholic Mass Draws Young Parishioners

Roman Catholic Mass was at one time universally celebrated in Latin, the ancient Roman language.

After the second Vatican Council in the 1960s, Mass was allowed to be celebrated in the language of the people, meaning Mass in Peru was celebrated in Spanish and Mass in the United States was celebrated in English — you get the picture. [It's in English now.  What it was in in 1973 is debatable.]

Latin is now sometimes referred to as “the dead language,” but it is not dead in Miami. [It's not dead anywhere else, either!]

The Mission of Saints Francis and Clare is a Roman Catholic chapel in Miami that celebrates traditional Latin Mass every Sunday. It’s one of three local churches that offer this regular service. The mission has about 20 pews facing its single stained-glass window just above the altar.

Father Joe Fishwick has been leading the traditional Latin Mass at the chapel for almost 20 years. He says he’s noticed a change in attendance recently.

“The fascinating thing is the number of young people who discover the old liturgy and who fall in love with it,” he says. “There’s indeed a thirst for a return to one’s roots.”

Father Fishwick says he has seen more and more young people at Sunday’s Latin Mass since the death of Pope John Paul II nine years ago.

“I think maybe the younger generation, which has had no experience of that, has been completely starved of it,” says 30-year-old Miamian Josue Hernandez. “They see it and they run to it because they have been so deprived.”


Read the rest there.

Apparently they have a “Dogma on Draught” night once in a while.  Great!

I’d like to visit them sometime, maybe for a Mass.  Preferably when it is -10°F at the Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Center.

The New Evangelization, one TLM at a time.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , | 18 Comments

My View For Awhile: Allons Y Edition

Vacation having come to an end, it’s time to hit the long and dusty. Paris is worth, among other things, another visit.


This is the part I like the least.




Back in these USA!

Last leg.



It’s short.

Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | 14 Comments