ADVENTCAzT 2017 15: True power

Here is ADVENTCAzT 15, for the 3rd Sunday of Advent.

Joseph Ratzinger instructs us about true power.

Some of the music used today: HERE

Have some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen!  (Be sure to update your coffee ordering link!)

These 5 minute offerings are a token of gratitude for my benefactors who donate and send items from my wishlist.  Thank you!

These podcasts are also available through my iTunes feed. Let me know how y

ou are listening.  Through the plug in on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading? Please, chime in if you listened.

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ASK FATHER: Our old, misused friend, “Ecclesia supplet”

From a  reader…


I attended a lecture today and it was about Ecclesiology

The author said that those who are outside the Catholic Church can be saved because of the overflow of graces via Ecclesia Supplet. Provided they have lived good lives and have not in any way gone against the Church who is the bearer of Truth and Salvation.


Ah, our old, frequently misused friend, Ecclesia supplet. Hauled out on a regular basis to cover up the faults and foibles of the all-too-human elements in the Church. Once again, used improperly. It’s probably better to get used to using the full phrase – ecclesia supplet facultatem. The Church supplies the faculty. The Church supplies jurisdiction. In certain situations when a minister of the Church acts improperly, the Church can supply the faculty that the minister was supposed to have.

The Church does not supply grace where grace is lacking.

The Church does not supply faith where faith is lacking.

The Church does not supply salvation where salvation is lacking.

The Church, despite having a divine foundation and divine guidance, is not God.

Are those outside of the Church saved? Was Boniface VIII wrong when he infallibly declared that outside of the Church there is no salvation? Was Our Lord joking when he said “Unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood you have no life within you” (John 6:53)? When he said, “No one can enter the kingdom of heaven unless He be born again of water and the Spirit.” (John 3:5) was he kidding around?

Certainly not. There is no salvation outside of the Church, and no one who is not a baptized member of the Church can be saved. That’s clearly the message of the Gospel, of Jesus Christ, and of the Church.

Yet, the same Jesus, who taught these things, turned to the thief on the Cross next to Him – the thief who had not been baptized of water and the Spirit, who had not eaten of the flesh of the Son of Man, nor drank of His blood – turned to this selfsame thief and said to him, “This day you will be with me in paradise.”

How does that square?

Remember that teacher in high school, or maybe college? A really tough teacher, of a difficult subject. But a good teacher. He told you at the beginning of the semester what you needed to read, what you needed to study, and what you needed to do to pass his class. He gave out good, detailed study guides for his tests. He was exacting, but fair. Remember him?

Remember earning whatever grade you got in his class – maybe an A, more likely a B, or even a C – and being grateful that you got that grade, but knowing that you got what you deserved, insofar as you followed his study guide and turned in well-written papers on time? Remember that one guy in class, who didn’t seem to follow the rules, who slacked off, and who failed? Remember that other guy who didn’t seem to get things right, turned in sloppy-looking work, and was always the last one in the room struggling with the exam, but who somehow managed to get a passing grade?

What was up with that guy? Did the professor relax his standards to let this guy through? Did he give him favors, or maybe find a way to give him extra credit that he didn’t give to others? Remember asking, and being told – it really isn’t any of your business?

I think it’s kind of like that with God. He’s given us a clear path to heaven. He’s told us what we need to do. Be born again of water and the Spirit, eat His Body, drink His blood, follow the commandments, be faithful to the Church, believe and trust in Him, and spread His Word, in season and out of season. Take up our cross and follow Him. It’s all there, laid out for us. That’s what we need to know.

And, He makes it clear that we are to strive to make sure that everyone else around us knows this too. If we want to see our friends in heaven, we have to do everything we can to make this message clear to them.

Are there those who are unbaptized who get into heaven? Well, we know of one – the Good Thief. Is he the only one? Honestly, I don’t know, but I would suspect he’s not. Is there, therefore, salvation outside of the Church? No, the Church has infallibly defined that dogma. How does this square?

Short answer, that’s not really my business. God is free to grant salvation as He chooses. I know what’s He’s said through His Gospel, through His Church. I can certainly hope that there is salvation for those who, through no fault of their own, don’t know Him. That would certainly square with my understanding of a loving and fair God. I also know that if other’s don’t know Him because I’ve failed in my duty to proclaim the Gospel to them, my own salvation is in grave jeopardy. Does the glimmer of a possibility of salvation being granted in ways other than the ordinary way Christ laid out give me the excuse to slack off on my missionary mandate to preach the Gospel? Pardon my English, but hell no!

Longer answer – about 20 centuries of theological speculation by minds much better than mine. Happy reading.

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UPDATE: Snail-mail Christmas Cards to Fr. Z – 2017

UPDATE: 16 Dec

More cards have come.

Rockford, IL
St. Louis, MO
Alcoa, TN
Fayetteville, AR! (Thanks for the old holy cards.)
Rochester, MI
Very cool glossy card with Portuguese image!
Boise, ID
Tiverton, RI (Thanks! Hope to see you soon.)
Boston, MA (great holy cards)
San Francisco, CA! (neat kids’ card)
Iowa City, IA
Japan… Kyoto?
Thaxton, VA
Co. Cork (thanks for the novena)
Washington, DC (get well and see you soon)
Denton, NE

UPDATE: 13 Dec

More cards!

Fresno, CA
Stanley, NC
Pine Grove, PA
Loudonville, NY
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Seattle, WA
Chula Vista, CA
Carol Stream, IL
Carol Stream, IL (Okay, no return address. – I suspect that’s a mail sorting location.)
Owensboro, KY
Greer, SC!
Atherton, CA


Some Christmas cards have come in!

  • Harrisburg, PA
  • Berkley, OH*
  • Columbia, PA* (thanks for the amazon gift cards!)
  • Plainfield, IL
  • Westchester, PA* (ditto)
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Kingston, ON

One card contained a beautiful calligraphed greeting and even a small 2018 calendar:

In another, there was a hand written note… the sort that puts the human face on the readership…

___ Originally Published on: Dec 6, 2017

If you would like to send me Christmas greetings or cards, please send by snail mail, if possible with really cool stamps.

As I did last year, I’ll try to post all the places whence they arrived from around the world.  Also, I find the notes and letters which describe the year people have had to be interesting and, often, moving.  I read them all.

I have a US PO BOX address.

Fr John Zuhlsdorf
Tridentine Mass Society of Madison
733 Struck St.
PO BOX 44603
Madison, WI 53744-4603


If you need to send anything that requires a signature, such as gold bars, a Bugatti Chiron, bearer bonds, cases of Pappy Van Winkle, complete Pontifical Mass vestment sets … you know, the usual stuff, get in touch with me for an alternate address.

Please! DON’T send perishable food items. I am sure they would be wonderful, and neither poisonous nor hallucinogenic… mostly. But, please, just don’t.

If you put glitter in the card, I’ll probably recite the Maledictory Psalms against you.

Thanks in advance for your kind cooperation in this matter of great importance.

Have a wonderful Advent!

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ASK FATHER: Communion service on priest’s day off.

From a reader…


I’ve never looked up any documents about “communion services”. Other than the obvious occassions where Holy Communion is distributed outside of Mass (viaticum, Good Friday, etc.), what’s the story with “Communion services”? Are they allowed? We have one weekly on the priest’s day off from the parish. I avoid them.

Yes, they are allowed.

But it is too bad that you have to have them in your parish at all.

A priest should have some time for himself.  However, it is unfortunate that there isn’t a way for another priest to cover a Mass on that day.  I’m sure that the pastor has tried.

You are completely free to avoid them if you wish.

On that note, some people don’t think that a priest should have any time off, ever, because he has to be exactly where you expect him to be when you want him to be there.

I am reminded of the older circular letter…

The Perfect Priest

The results of a computerized survey indicate the perfect priest preaches exactly fifteen minutes. He condemns sins but never upsets anyone. He works from 8:00 AM until midnight and is also a janitor. He makes $50 a week, wears good clothes, buys good books, drives a good car, and gives about $50 weekly to the poor. He is 28 years old and has preached 30 years. He has a burning desire to work with teenagers and spends all of his time with senior citizens.

The perfect priest smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his work. He makes 15 calls daily on parish families, shut-ins and the hospitalized, and is always in his office when needed.

If your priest does not measure up, simply send this letter to six other churches that are tired of their priest, too. Then bundle up your priest and send him to the church on the top of the list. In one week, you will receive 1,643 priests and one of them will be perfect. Have faith in this procedure.

One parish broke the chain and got its old priest back in less than three weeks.


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ACTION ITEM! Help the Benedictines of Mary! Urgent before Christmas.

Some news from the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles.  I often feature music from their great discs in my podcasts.

They have a lot of their income from their music discs.

The sisters need urgent help.

This news came:

Dear Friends in Christ,

As we make final preparations in our homes and in our hearts for the coming of our Savior, we want to send our love and prayers to all of you. We thank you for your past support, knowing that we couldn’t live our lives of prayer without your generous assistance.

If you are still in need of Christmas gifts, we have all of our CDs in stock, and are offering them right now for just $12 each!

Any orders placed before 9am(CST) today will be shipped today, and orders placed by 9am Monday will be shipped on Monday.

[NB] Amazon inexplicably stopped selling our Caroling at Ephesus CD early last week, so we unfortunately lost a tremendous number of sales. So we reach out to you now, hoping that through your kindness, we might make up for this loss, which will help us to raise the last $150,000 needed to make our final construction payment of the year.

We would be most grateful if you could spread the word by any means, near and far! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your goodness and continued support!

In the Divine Infant,

Mother Cecilia & Sisters

p.s. After many requests, we’ve finally made our first wall calendar, available soon. Please check our website mid-week if you are interested!

Everyone… click


These sisters pray for priests in a special way.   They are the real deal.  They have the Extraordinary Form and so many vocations that they need, soon, to make a foundation.

Help them?  Please?

Let them know that Fr. Z sent you.

If you have a blog, give them a lift.

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WDTPRS – 3rd Sunday of Advent: The childlike dash

Our rose set for Sung Masses on Gaudete and Laetare when we have an Asperges.  DONATE

We are coming to the 3rd Sunday of Advent, also nicknamed Gaudete…. the plural imperative of gaudeo, “Rejoice!”, the first word of the Introit chant.

This Sunday there is a relaxation of the penitential aspect of Advent, just Laetare Sunday does during Lent.

Yes, Advent is a penitential time, though not so much as Lent.  Advent is a time for joyful penance or penitential joy.

Remember: Real priests wear rosacea.

In the first week of Advent we begged God for the grace of the proper approach and will for our preparation.

In the second week, we ask God for help and protection in facing the obstacles the world raises against us. This Sunday we have a glimpse of the joy that is coming in our rose colored (rosacea) vestments, some use of the organ, flowers. Christmas is ever nearer at hand.

COLLECT – (2002MR)

Deus, qui conspicis populum tuum nativitatis dominicae festivitatem fideliter exspectare, praesta, quaesumus, ut valeamus ad tantae salutis gaudia pervenire, et ea votis sollemnibus alacri laetitia celebrare.

The infinitives in our Collect (expectare… pervenire… celebrare) give it a grand sound and also sum up what we are doing in Advent. L&S informs us that conspicio means, “to look at attentively, to get sight of, to descry, perceive, observe.” Alacer is, “lively, brisk, quick, eager, active; glad, happy, cheerful” and it is put in an unlikely combination with laetitia, “joy, especially unrestrained joyfulness”.

At the same time we also have votis sollemnibus. Votum signifies first of all, “a solemn promise made to some deity” (we have all made baptismal vows!) and also “wish, desire, longing, prayer”.

There is a powerful sentiment of longing in this prayer, God’s as well as ours.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that expecto is from ex- + pecto (pecto, “to comb”). Exspecto is “look forward to, await, long for, dread” in your L&S.  You can also comb through your copy of the etymological dictionary of Latin by Ernout and Meillet which says it is from ex– + *specio, spexi, spectum or ex- + spicio. Therefore, it is a cousin of conspicio: God “watches” over us and we “look” back at… er um… forward to Him. This word play is clever.

Furthermore, sollemnis, related to sollus, i.e. “totus-annus“, points to something that takes place every year.  So, it basically means “yearly, annual”.  Thus, by extension it means something that takes place at appointed times, such as rites of a religious character and that which is does by custom.


O God, who attentively watch Your people look forward faithfully to the feast of the Lord’s birth, grant, we entreat, that we may be able to attain the to joys of so great a salvation and celebrate them with eager jubilation in solemn annual festive rites.


Lord God, may we, your people, who look forward to the birthday of Christ experience the joy of salvation and celebrate that feast with love and thanksgiving.

You decide.

Rose vestments from the days of Fr. Finigan in Blackfen. Then came the regime change….

With the last two week’s of “rushing” in our prayers and doing good works, we have now the added image of eager and unrestrained joy, an almost childlike dash towards a long-desired thing.

Have earthly fathers watched this scene all of a Christmas morning?

Even so should we be in our eager joy to perform good works under the gaze of a Father who watches us, a Father with a plan.

The obsolete ICEL version captures little of the impact of the Latin prayer, that is, God the Father is patiently watching his people as we go about the Advent business of doing penance and just works in joyful anticipation Christ’s coming.

O God, who see how your people faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity, enable us, we pray, to attain the joys of so great a salvation, land to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.

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ADVENTCAzT 2017 14: “Assumpta Maria” by Francis Thompson

Another in my series of short daily podcasts to help you prepare for the upcoming feast as well as for your own, personal, meeting with the Lord.

Here is ADVENTCAzT 14, for Saturday of the 2nd Week of Advent.

Today, something really different.  The difficult poem “Assumpta Maria” by Francis Thompson.

Some of the music used today is by the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, in their first music recording. US HERE – UK HERE

Have some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen!  (Be sure to update your coffee ordering link!)

These 5 minute offerings are a token of gratitude for my benefactors who donate and send items from my wishlist.  Thank you!

These podcasts are also available through my iTunes feed. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plug in on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading? Please, chime in if you listened.

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Meanwhile, TLM groups are growing in number and numbers…

These stats are making the rounds, and I mentioned them recently.  However, they popped up again at Spirit Daily.

From Scientific American:

Since 1990, the fraction of Americans with no religious affiliation has nearly tripled, from about 8 percent to 22 percent. Over the next 20 years, this trend will accelerate: by 2020, there will be more of these “Nones” than Catholics, and by 2035, they will outnumber Protestants.

The following figure shows changes since 1972 and these predictions, based on data from the General Social Survey (GSS):

These are not the numbers that we want to see and we should work to turn them around.

However, given the present state of affairs, I don’t think that Those In Charge have what it takes to do it.

Hence, lay people… you’re up.

Reason #8 for Summorum Pontificum.

This is why, dear friends, you need to do your part.

  • Be inviting.  Ask people to come with you to Mass, especially fallen away Catholics.
  • Foster unity in parishes where both rites are used.
  • Be inviting.
  • Step up and be counted with all parish activities.
  • Be inviting.
  • Pray and pray and pray and go to confession.
  • Be inviting.
  • THANK your priests and the bishop.
  • Be inviting.
  • Foster vocations, from your own families first of all.
  • Be inviting.



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BOOKS: Marcel Lefebvre on the Rosary, Biography of Blaise Pascal

I’m looking forward to getting into these, which have come recently.

Le rosaire avec Mgr Marcel Lefebvre (in French)


It’s a collection prepared by an SSPX priest Fr. Patrick Toadec.   There is a Preface by SSPX Superior Bp. Bernard Fellay.

I am unaware that there is a corresponding book in English. It’s small, easily pocketable.

Also, I received a copy of a biography of Blaise Pascal by a priest of my home diocese who taught history at Notre Dame for many years, Fr. Marvin O’Connell:

Blaise Pascal: Reasons of the Heart.


O’Connell, by the way, has a fantastic biography of the interesting figure of Archbishop John Ireland, of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the “Consecrated Blizzard of the North”.

It is hard to get your head around the history of the Church in these USA without knowing about John Ireland.



I received a note from the editor at Angelus Press (the SSPX publisher).

Dear Father,
NB regarding your recent post:
We’ve already translated the Rosary book and it should be out early next year!

Excellent news!

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Some of you have written asking about “Rorate Masses” during Advent.

This is a beautiful custom – making a come back thanks to the spread of tradition – whereby Mass is celebrated illuminated only by candlelight. They are usually before dawn.

The Mass is a Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin, and so it is celebrated in white, rather than Advent purple.  “Rorate” is the first word of the Introit chant for a Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin in Advent.  There is also a beautiful Advent Gregorian chant hymn that uses this text, which comes from Isaiah 14.

One way that I have heard this done is that, while the hymn Rorate caeli begins, the priest and people, who have gathered outside, process into the church. At the end of the hymn, prayers at the foot of the altar begin as the chant Rorate is sung if it is a Missa Cantata. When the Gloria is sung (for the Blessed Virgin’s votive Mass) the lights of the church are turned on.

That’s one way.  Otherwise, the lights remain off, as they would have, obvious, in time before electrification.

It could be good to time to end of Mass as the sun is rising.

Are you having Rorate Masses where you are?

Post your schedules, below.

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BALTIMORE: New life for a parish with the TLM, FSSP: Sat 16 Dec – RORATE MASS

There is a good piece in the Baltimore Sun about the newly established FSSP parish at the St. Alphonus, a fine old church.  It is the National Shrine of St. Alphonsus Liguori.  Parish site HERE.   NB: They have a RORATE MASS tomorrow, Saturday 16 Dec.  If you are in the neighborhood – GO AND SUPPORT IT.

At St. Alphonsus Ligouri in Baltimore, believers find new inspiration in old Latin Mass

An icy wind rips along a boarded-up downtown street, swirling paper wrappers into the air. A city bus roars past, trailing fumes. A man in rags begs for a handout. Two passersby ignore him on their way to lunch.

It’s a typical winter tableau for a modern East Coast city. But walk up the steps at West Saratoga Street and Park Avenue, pass through a warm foyer, and enter the sanctuary of the National Shrine of St. Alphonsus Ligouri, and you’ll think you’ve stepped back a thousand years in time.

Worshippers kneel in worn pews, a vaulted ceiling soaring far above them. Towering stained-glass windows admit just enough light to dispel any gloom.

Women young and old wear the lace head coverings of eons past, and a priest in white and blue vestments stands up front, facing not the congregation but the altar against a wall, murmuring in Latin.

“Introibo ad altare Dei,” says the Rev. Joel Kiefer, the church’s 48-year-old pastor: “I go unto the altar of the Lord.”

St. Alphonsus is the only church in Baltimore that offers the traditional Latin Mass, [WHAT?!? That’s a crime!] the celebration of the Eucharist that all Catholics observed prior to the sweeping reforms instituted by the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.

It’s also part of what appears to be a modest worldwide comeback for the ancient service, also known as the Tridentine Mass or the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.

Pushed to the margins of Catholic practice by the reformist church leaders of Vatican II, [That’s an understatement!] the traditional Latin Mass had nearly vanished in the United States by the early 1980s.

Now it’s celebrated in more than 400 Catholic churches across the country, according to Una Voce, an organization that promotes the rite.

Nathaniel Marx, an assistant professor of systematic theology at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in Indiana, says it’s hard to track the numbers, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the movement is continuing to grow.

Marx explored the ethnography of modern Latin Mass Catholics in his 2013 doctoral thesis, “Ritual in the Age of Authenticity.”

I do believe it’s gaining energy, both from older Catholics who recall the rite from their childhood days and from younger ones now discovering it for the first time,” he says.  [Especially younger Catholics… with big families.  And as the numbers go south for the Novus Ordo, the numbers will climb for the TLM.  Just watch.]

That growth is certainly evident at St. Alphonsus, which offers a Tridentine Mass seven days a week in addition to Lithuanian and English-speaking services earlier on Sunday mornings.


At St. Alphonsus, weekly attendance at Latin rite masses has nearly doubled, from 125 to 247, in the four months since Kiefer took over.

Before entering the priesthood, Kiefer was an Army officer. The Philadelphia native graduated from West Point, was commissioned a second lieutenant and served in combat in Mogadishu, Somalia.

But he had always wanted to be a priest. After completing his military obligation, he entered the seminary. He learned Latin during summers.

Now he’s set to make local history.

[NB: TOMORROW 16 December] At 6:30 Saturday morning, he’ll offer the Rorate Mass, a Latin-language devotion associated with Advent that has not been celebrated in Baltimore in more than 50 years.

Per Catholic tradition, he’ll conduct it by candlelight in an otherwise dark church, the space illuminated only by however many candles the faithful contribute.

Kiefer avoids touting his work, lest the larger mission become identified with one person. But with the Rorate in the offing, and the parish in financial need, he’s happy to make an exception.

Anyone can call or visit our website and donate a candle with intentions,” [Did you get that?  About the website?] the Catholic practice of requesting prayers for particular people or causes, he says. “All donations go directly to the maintenance of our building, and the church will be as lit as people’s support.”

If that’s the benchmark, the place should be aglow Saturday.


Read the rest there.   The writer didn’t butcher the issues and facts, as so many newsies do.

The parish website is sort of fancy, which nearly always means that it is hard to find what you are looking for.  The fancier they are, the harder they are to navigate.  If you want to donate a candle, keep looking around.  It’s there.  I found it.

Again, support that parish if you are anywhere near Baltimore!  Go to that Rorate Mass.

This is the New Evangelization.

¡Hagan lío!


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Okay… this is quite the day. Since my original posting I have received BAVARIAN (in the comments, below) and by email HILIGAYNON, a Philippine language spoken in much of the island of Panay and the western half of the island of Negros. I await recordings.

A week or so ago, I received a new translation – Icelandic – of the now wide-spread Internet Prayer. All the versions are HERE.

Today I found yet another new language. And there is a RECORDING!


E Gebied virum Aloggen an den Internet:

Allmächtechen an éiweche Gott, deen ons als Säi Bild geschaf huet, Dier hutt ons gefrot no all Guddem, Richtegen a Schéinen ze sichen, virun allem an der göttlecher Persoun vun Ärem Jong, onsem Här Jesus Christus, erlabt ons, mir bieden Iech, duerch d’Fürbitte vum Hellegen Isidore,  Bëschof an Dokter, ob onse Reesen duerch den Internet, datt ons Hänn an Aen nemmen ob déi Sachen geriecht ginn déi och Iech gefalen, an datte mir all dei Séilen déi mir untreffen mat Nächsteléiwt a Gedold begéinen. Duerch Christus onsen Här. Amen.

Fr. Z kudos to the translator.

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.

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ADVENTCAzT 2017 13: From this mystery, sacred song is born

Another in my series of short daily podcasts to help you prepare for the upcoming feast as well as for your own, personal, meeting with the Lord.

Here is ADVENTCAzT 13, for Friday 2nd Week of Advent.

Fulton Sheen talks about the Eternal Word.


Some of the music used today: HERE

Have some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen!  (Be sure to update your coffee ordering link!)

These 5 minute offerings are a token of gratitude for my benefactors who donate and send items from my wishlist.  Thank you!

These podcasts are also available through my iTunes feed. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plug in on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading? Please, chime in if you listened.

Please share!
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UPDATED – FRAMED: Daniel Mitsui’s new altar cards for the TLM – HOLY COW!


I took my spiffy Mitsui altar cards to be framed.  Now I have them, completed.

Ready for a first look.

The central card.

Here is the frame I chose.

The guy at the store and I had a discussion about whether a narrow frame like this would be sturdy enough to support something this large.  As it turns out, its good and solid.

Back at the ranch.

I think I chose well.

Different light.

In contrast to my wonderful cards from Silverstream Priory, which I’ve had on my private altar for some time.  They, too are great.

Now I am in a bind.

I have these great cards and I want to use all of them at the same time!

I guess I’ll have to rotate them on a seasonal basis and also take some to church.

In any event, friends, if you are looking for something for a priest… or just your wall for devotional purposes… these cards are magnificent.


___ Published on: Dec 9, 2017

The talented Catholic artist Daniel Mitsui, whom I’ve often mentioned in these electronic pages, has completed a set if illuminated altar cards for use in the Traditional Latin Mass (aka Usus Antiquior and Extraordinary Form).

You might recall that I recently posted a story about a woman afflicted with Parkinson’s.  Her friend brought Mitsui’s coloring books for her therapy, and they played a role in her conversion and reception into the Catholic Church.  HERE



Here they are, pinned down by low ball glasses.

The central card

Some details

I like how Peter has his hand in the loop.

The footprints on the rock show where the nails holes in the Lord’s feet remain!

And there’s a leopard? with some fancy mushrooms.

On the epistle side card, Noah is making his getaway.   There’a lot going on in the margins.

The not so fortunate in the water remind us of our dependence on God’s mercy.  Lavabo indeed.

And because it’s Advent…

Long tailed critter sniffing flowers, and a curious goose.

I don’t remember the goose being at the manger.

And is that a … scorpion?

Images online HERE.   

Daniel describes all the images and symbols and they are packed.  

For example…

On the central card, in each of the four corners is the scene of an Old Testament prefigurement of the Eucharistic sacrifice: the Sacrifice of Abel, Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, the Sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb and the Sacrifice of Melchizedek. Three of these are mentioned in the Canon of the Mass; two of them, together with the Creation depicted on the Gospel cards and the nine prophecies depicted on the Epistle card, complete the twelve prophecies of the Easter Vigil.

That just scratches the surface!

He developed his own lettering in order to calligraph the cards by hand.  Amazing.


Christmas gift to priests who say the TLM.   Have them framed and give them to Father for Christmas.

BTW… I also very much like the cards from Silverstream, which I am using right now for my private altar.  Also, remember SPORCH for travel altar cards and great Requiem cards, along with some “antique” sets that are spectacular (and good for a man who already knows his prayers well).


I wouldn’t in the least mind were some donations to come in to help me frame these bad boys.  I’d like to use them!   They’ll be a little spendy to frame with the dignity they deserve, but what a sight they’ll be!

Please share!
Posted in ACTION ITEM!, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , | 8 Comments

ASK FATHER: Confession of serious sins in both kind and number.

From a reader…


According to canon law, we are obliged to confess our mortal sins in “both kind and number.” Would my sins be absolved if I failed to mention the venial sins in number?

YES!  Number, too… for serious sins.

You are not obliged to confess venial sins, though doing so is good and helpful, especially as one proceeds in the spiritual life and overcomes major faults.

If you choose to confess venial sins, sure, go ahead and confess them in kind and number if you wish, although you are not obliged to.

In regard to serious, mortal sins, you are obliged.  Why?

If you confess that you “lied”, that might mean that you lied once or that you lied 50 times.  The former could be a one-off.  The latter means that you have a serious problem as an inveterate liar.  There’s a difference.

So, it is smart to confess sins in number, because we learn who we are for the sake of our journey towards our heavenly fatherland.

It is smart, but it is also the law.  It is the law, precisely because it is smart and good for us.

In the 1983 Code of Canon Law we read:

Canon 988 – §1. A member of the Christian faithful is obliged to confess in kind and number all serious sins committed after baptism and not yet directly remitted through the keys of the Church nor acknowledged in individual confession, for which one is conscious after diligent examination of conscience.
§2. It is to be recommended to the Christian faithful that venial sins also be confessed.


Remember that each sacrament has both matter and form. The matter of the sacrament of penance is the telling of sins.

While we are not obliged to include all sorts of circumstantial information surrounding the sins, we do need to indicate number and/or frequency, by number can change the severity of the sin and indicate to the confessor (and to yourself) where your principle problems are.

Sometimes it will happen that your memory is not clear about the number of times you committed a sin. In that case, just do your best.  If you truly cannot recall clearly, that’s okay.  Ultra posse nemo tenetur.

Even when your memory is faulty, if you do your best the sins you don’t remember or confess (through no fault of your own) are also indirectly remitted.

However, if you are aware that you should confess sins in both kind and number (or at least give an idea of frequency) and you deliberately avoid indicating number… that’s not good.

A regular, daily examination of conscience will help you in developing the good habits involved in making a good confession.

So, everything, really pry into yourself and then…


And, Fathers!  TEACH people about how to make a good confession.  And go to confession yourselves!  Souls, in including your own, depend on it.

Please share!
Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, GO TO CONFESSION | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments