LENTCAzT 2019 18 – Saturday in the 2nd Week: God chooses the weak

These daily 5 minute podcasts are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.

Today is Saturday in the 2nd Week of Lent.   

Scott Hahn talks about two Old Testament figures who may also have influenced the Mass formulary for today. Lenten Reflections From A Father Who Keeps His Promises – US HERE – UK HERE

I provide these especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

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STOP THE PRESSES: Young people sing in the Illinois State Capitol

I have written about the


composition of Philip Stopford, “Lully, Lulla, Lullay”.

This is the “Conventry Carol” about the Holy Innocents, a carol in some ways so heart-piercing that it seems out of step with Christmastide, except that the joyous season embraces also Childermas, and that the wood of the crib foretells the wood of the Cross.

The words of this lullaby of perfect pain are:

Lully, lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Lullay, thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
O sisters too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day
This poor youngling for whom we do sing
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Herod, the king, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day
His men of might, in his owne sight,
All young children to slay.
That woe is me, poor Child for Thee!
And ever mourn and sigh,
For thy parting neither say nor sing,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

A choir from St. John Cantius in Chicago, of young people, went to the Illinois state capitol building and sang it in the rotunda.

As you know, Illinois is working on hideous laws, extreme Party of Death laws.

Dems. Herodians.

A Hymn to the Holy Innocents

Listen to our youth sing in the Illinois State Capitol for those lost through abortion.Extreme abortion legislation is being pushed in Illinois. Our bishops are urging us to take action. Click here: ilcatholic.org/take-action/action-centerCrusaders for Life, ChicagoCrusaders for Life, SpringfieldCrusaders for Life, Volo

Posted by Saint John Cantius Church on Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Fr. Z kudos.


Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Emanations from Penumbras, Fr. Z KUDOS | Tagged | 4 Comments

Study Commission: no evidence women were ordained to the diaconate

At LifeSite there is a story related to the final report of the study commission set up by Francis to look into the historical issues of female deacons, deaconesses, deaconettes, whatever.

It was not the job of the commission to make a recommendation about the possibility of reviving deaconettes. They were simply to look into historical questions.

The commission found that there is no evidence that women were ordained to the diaconate, in the same way that men were ordained.

We knew that. And we know that ordination of women to the diaconate is not possible because of the harmony of the three grades of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Only men can receive that sacrament.

Of course the inflexible hard-line dissenters, such as the darling of Beans, Peter Hünermann, will continue to press for deaconettes.

In vain. It’s not going to happen.

Professor Manfred Hauke [commission member], in recent comments to LifeSiteNews, further strengthened this position when he said: “We cannot identify the consecration of deaconesses with the ordination of deacons. It was not sacramental ordination that can be identified with the Sacrament of Orders (for bishops, priests, and deacons).” He added: “The history of the institution of deaconesses offers no solid basis, therefore, for the introduction of a sacramental female diaconate. The ancient Church was unacquainted with a female diaconate equivalent to the male diaconate.”

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Your Good News – UPDATED

Do you have some personal good news for the readership?

Yesterday, I found daffodils on sale. One of my favorite flowers.

Here, “Still Life with Extinguished Candle, Daffodils and Ganganelli Mug“.

There’s an allegory in there somewhere, just as in Zurbaran’s “Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose”

Meanwhile, remember, that our trials here are only temporary. This fellow from a medieval illumination shows us the way.

Happy Friday in Lent! Memento Mori.


More good news.

I had the chance today to sample Chick-fil-a’s Lenten fish sandwich offering.  Just on Fridays.

The place was absolutely jammed.

In the restaurant, there were large images of various scenes in which their products played a part.  Here is a Navy chaplain, probably coming home and getting a snack.

The other good news is that, just as I was leaving, I saw a local cop at the counter getting some chow on his break.   I stepped over and asked him if I could buy him lunch, and his partner too, if he had one.

Thanks, cops, everywhere!

And now I have all the ingredients I need to make pasta e ceci after a consultation with The Great Roman about the use of anchovy.

It’s a good day.


And now it is an even better day.

I had a note from a young priest.  In his missive, he wrote:

Anyway…the truth works, and I’m more and more convinced that the truth is ad orientem worship.  My own experience of celebrating Mass this way has been the most edifying and fulfilling part of my priesthood.

You, of course, have been a TREMENDOUS help for me (and others)…during my years of seminary, reading your blog, and now as a priest. I’ve been regularly saying the Novus Ordo in Latin on my day off, and have been reading O’Connell’s “The Celebration of Mass” to get the EF rubrics down.  Soon, and very soon, I’ll be practicing that Mass and offering it.


Posted in Four Last Things, Lighter fare | 14 Comments

Dots to connect

Another post providing more dots to connect.  What they mean and how they line up and where they point… who knows.  I suspect that we are entering the phase when the Church will begin to shine with the light of the Lord’s Passion.

In France, attacks on Church’s are becoming more frequent.  Officials say they don’t know why.  Yeah, right.  There was even a fire set in Saint Sulpice in Paris, which I often visit when there.  I’ve noticed an uptick of the practice of the Faith in Paris over the last few years.  Churches are being cleaned and more people are praying in them.

In Montreal, on a priest was stabbed at St. Joseph’s Oratory during Mass on Friday morning – today as I write.  Pray for Fr. Claude Grou, whose injuries were not severe but certainly troubling.

Meanwhile, the numbers of Masses in the Extraordinary Form continues to rise.

  • My friend Fr. Shawn Tunink in KC, KS, has worked up what sounds like a fine celebration of a Solemn Mass for the Annunciation, 25 March, in Leawood, KSHERE
  • In Boise, there is now a regularly scheduled TLM at St Paul Catholic Church in Nampa, IdahoHERE
  • In Santa Barbara area, Montecito, CA, at the beautiful Our Lady of Mount Carmel – I was just there a few weeks ago to speak to a Legatus Chapter and I visited that lovely church – there will be a monthly TLM.  Hopefully more to come.  HERE
  • In Vero Beach, FL, where my mother lives, there is now a regular Sunday Low Mass at Saint John of the Cross.  I get to Vero occasionally.  It seems likely that I will pitch in when I am in the area.   On Laetare Sunday they will have a Missa Cantata.  HERE

Friends, review your lives and determine if there is some addition act of reparation for sins that you could perform.

Also, examine your consciences and…


Posted in GO TO CONFESSION, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | 6 Comments


silverstream_via-crucis-priestsHere also are my audio projects of the Way of the Cross.

On 1st Fridays, do please pray the Act of Reparation.

What we need right now is PRAYER, especially now.

And remember to GO TO CONFESSION!

For priests, especially, try The Way Of The Cross For Priests from the Benedictines of Silverstream Priory.  HERE.  Would you consider getting copies of this for your priests where you are?  Lay people: pray it for priests.

Below are readings of the Via Crucis, the Way of the Cross, composed by

  • Joseph Card. Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, for the 2005 Good Friday observance at the Colosseum in Rome
  • St. Alphonus Liguori
  • Bl. John Henry Newman
  • St. Francis of Assisi (according to the method of…)
  • Silverstream Priory – The Way Of The Cross For Priests

There are two versions of the Way by St. Alphonsus Liguori. One is plain with just my voice. The other is the same voice recording but with the Gregorian chant Sequence Stabat Mater interlaced between the stations.

You can gain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions of confession and Communion within a few days of the work and detachment even from venial sin.  From the Handbook of Indulgences:

63. Exercise of the Way of the Cross (Viae Crucis exercitium)

A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful, who make the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross.

The gaining of the plenary indulgence is regulated by the following norms:

  1. The pious exercise must be made before stations of the Way of the Cross legitimately erected.

  2. For the erection of the Way of the Cross fourteen crosses are required, to which it is customary to add fourteen pictures or images, which represent the stations of Jerusalem.

  3. According to the more common practice, the pious exercise consists of fourteen pious readings, to which some vocal prayers are added. However, nothing more is required than a pious meditation on the Passion and Death of the Lord, which need not be a particular consideration of the individual mysteries of the stations.

  4. A movement from one station to the next is required.

I believe that if you follow the Holy Father’s Way of the Cross on Good Friday, even by television, the indulgence is available.

If the pious exercise is made publicly and if it is not possible for all taking part to go in an orderly way from station to station, it suffices if at least the one conducting the exercise goes from station to station, the others remaining in their place.

Those who are “impeded” can gain the same indulgence, if they spend at least one half an hour in pious reading and meditation on the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For those belonging to Eastern Rites, among whom this pious exercise is not practiced, the respective Patriarchs can determine some other pious exercise in memory of the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ for the gaining of this indulgence.

Meanwhile, from a reader last year…

Just a quick note to say thank you for providing your recordings of the Stations of the Cross. I am completely blind and had committed to making this part of my Lenten practices, only to have the Braille display from which I read promptly die. I had been struggling to find a recording of St. Alphonsus’ version. May God bless you!

If these recordings are helpful to you, please say a prayer for me, especially if you use the Way Of The Cross For Priests.

Posted in Classic Posts, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, PODCAzT, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

LENTCAzT 2019 17 – Friday in the 2nd Week: The most efficacious devotion?

These daily 5 minute podcasts are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.

Today is Friday in the 2nd Week of Lent.   

Bl. Abbot Marmion helps us with his insights about a powerful devotional practice.

I provide these especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Wherein Fr. Z makes an appeal to the readership

Dear readers, this is an appeal.

Your use of my links to stuff on Amazon or your use of my search box on the right sidebar provides important income.

Every time you enter Amazon through my links or that search box, I get a small percentage of whatever you purchase.

I cannot see who buys what.  I have no idea who you are.  I’m in the dark.

Once you use my link or searchbox, you don’t have to keep going back to the link or searchbox for other things: Amazon remembers, during that session, how you got there.

There is a reader who alerts me to purchases made for his workplace. He’s in charge of that, and he uses my searchbox to enter Amazon.   If you are in charge of making orders, perhaps you could do the same.

I recently got some things for my mother’s birthday.  I, too, used my searchbox.  As a matter of fact, I had added a couple things to my cart and I stopped myself.  I highlighted the text of the item, did a Ctrl+C, and then, at my blog page, pasted it into my searchbox so I would get credited for my own purchase.

The percentage which I get per item is small.  However, lots of people making even small purchases – having entered through my link or searchbox – makes a huge difference over the course of a month.  It all adds up.

Take a couple more seconds to buy that gizmo.  Come over to this blog and use my searchbox.

The searchbox is toward the top on the right.

Thanks for considering this.  It is extremely helpful.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes | Leave a comment

“Dear Fathers, dear seminarians…” Wherein Fr. Z rants.

I was sitting in an airport one day, waiting for a flight. A young family approached the gate area. A youngster, seeing an empty place, jumped into it. It was next to me. Mom pulled the kid by an arm out of the seat hissing, “Not next to him.” The look on her face was not very agreeable.

There is a piece at LifeSite about Card. Sarah’s upcoming book, Le soir approche et déjà le soir baisse (“It is nearly evening, and the day is almost over”). The great Cardinal will address The Present Crisis.

In the LifeSite preview piece I read…

Cardinal Sarah goes on to warn his fellow priests that they will all be tainted by accusations that are true only for a minority. But “may your hearts not be troubled,” he added, recalling that Christ himself was taunted with the words “Crucify him!” and begging them not to be troubled by “biased research” that presents the pastors at the head of the Church as “irresponsible churchmen with an anemic interior life.”

“Priests, bishops and cardinals without morals will not in any way tarnish the luminous witness of more than 400,000 priests in the world who each day loyally, joyously and in a saintly manner serve the Lord. Despite the violence of the attacks that she weathers, the Church shall not die. That is the promise of the Lord, and her word is infallible.”

The Church is not immune to persecution. Her Lord had His Passion. The Church must have hers. A priest, as alter Christus, is not exempt.

But, dear Fathers, dear seminarians, this life is short in view of the future glory of Heaven. Very short. And the days and years fly of the pages of our calendars like dry grass upon which the Lord has blown (Is 40:6-8).

While we breathe, let us do our little little best, in season and out, in this troubled time where God chose to place us, precisely the right place and time for who we are.

Posted in Cri de Coeur, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Priests and Priesthood, Seminarians and Seminaries, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | 20 Comments

LENTCAzT 2019 16 – Thursday in the 2nd Week: “Don’t give me heaven! Instead give me…”

These daily 5 minute podcasts are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.

Today is Thursday in the 2nd Week of Lent  

St. John Chrysostom instructs us about almsgiving.  Whew!

I provide these especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

Posted in LENTCAzT, Patristiblogging, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

George Weigel on “Two Georges” and future persecution

Do you remember what the late Card. George of Chicago said about future, successor bishops?

George Weigel makes a connection is a recent piece.

Makes you think.


The acceleration of Cardinal George’s prediction of cardinals-in-jail should also give pause to those who blame the abuse crisis on “clericalism.” Clericalism – the evil misuse of the respect those in Holy Orders rightly enjoy because of their sacred office – facilitates abuse; it doesn’t cause it. Like the charge of abuse, the “clericalism” trope has been weaponized by the Church’s enemies, to the point where it is becoming difficult for any Catholic cleric charged with misconduct to receive a fair hearing or a fair trial. The vicious public atmosphere on display in Australia whenever the words “George Pell” are spoken is not improved by senior churchmen, in Rome and elsewhere, blaming abuse on “clericalism.”

From his present station in the Communion of Saints, I have no doubt that Francis George is interceding for George Pell, and for the vindication of justice by the judges who will hear the Australian cardinal’s appeal – even as the American cardinal regrets how prescient he was.

Posted in The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice | Tagged | 20 Comments

Francis’ Triduum Schedule: strange lacuna

From an astute reader…


I’m sure you saw the announcement of pp. Francis’s Holy Week schedule. I want to say that in the past there was at least mention made that an announcement of “The Mass of the Lord’s Supper” would be forthcoming? There is no mention at all of that Mass this year. Given that this Mass has been for years removed from its typical solemnity, I don’t think I’m being alarmist in noting it’s complete omission in this year’s Holy Week Schedule?


Also, “Holy Thursday” is only referred to as “Thursday in Holy Week?” I note that it was called “Holy Thursday” last year:


Reading too much into the tea leaves?


Security reasons, perhaps?

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 22 Comments

Bp. Schneider: On the question of a heretical pope

There is an interesting essay by the great Bishop Athanasius Schneider at 1Peter5 today.   I’ve only had a chance briefly to scan it.  However, it, even in that fast look, bore fruit.    Hopefully, I can get back to it.  Travel day today!

Title: On the question of a heretical pope

Here is a quick paragraph.


The Church in the very rare concrete cases of a pope committing serious theological errors or heresies could definitely live with such a pope. The practice of the Church until now was that she left the final judgment about a reigning heretical pope to his successors or to a future Ecumenical Council, such as in the case of Pope Honorius I. The same would probably have happened with Pope John XXII, if he had not retracted his error.


Bp. Schneider provides quite a bit of historical examples.

History, friends, is IMPORTANT.   In the Church’s long history, we have encountered many and various problems.  We always get through.  In many cases we emerge stronger and clearer about who we are.

I keep saying that, when you hear something strange from your pastors – of whatever exalted level – go to your sources! Check your catechisms.  Check Scripture.   Get informed.   These odd pronouncements are opportunities to review the old and learn what is new.

Since I am traveling, and since this is a hot topic, I’ll turn on moderation.


Posted in The Drill | Tagged | 8 Comments

ASK FATHER: Father doses off during Mass

From a reader…


I’ve noticed one of our priests frequently doses off and falls asleep…sometimes even during Mass or other liturgical functions. Thankfully, the sleeping is short lived and he wakes back up, but I fear he might fall off into a deeper sleep causing liturgical functions and Mass to be delayed. What would be the appropriate thing to do if such were to happen?


In medieval times, especially in England, there developed the customary post of a verger at Divine Services. After the Reformation, the Anglicans threw out much of Catholic theology and devotional practice, but one thing they retained was the verger.

The verger was responsible for order in the Church during worship – something that the English have long been more fastidious about than the Greeks, Latin, French, Spanish… pretty much everybody else.

The verger acted in the nave similarly to the master of ceremonies in the sanctuary. He made sure that the important people got to the right spot in the church – the mayor, sheriff, any nobility in their proper seats; the guilds together; the penitents in their area… If anyone had to process from the nave into the sanctuary (say, for example, the mayor was making a corporate contribution to the pastor, or the penitents were being welcomed back into full communion), they would have been ushered and preceded by the verger.

In prominent Anglican and Episcopalian ceremonies (notably recently the Windsor weddings, and the funeral of Senator McCain) vergers were employed as wonted to accompany lay readers to the lectern to read the Sacred Scriptures or deliver a eulogy.

The verger would usually wear a black cape over a black cassock. Sometimes a cotta or surplice. Sometimes a velvet collar, sometimes a ruff collar. More important than the vesture of the verger was his verge or virge. The virge is a short staff usually made of wood. It was used to shoo unruly animals out of the church, to usher unruly people towards their appropriate place, and even to bop (ceremoniously, I’m sure) those who were either talking too loudly during worship, or who had fallen asleep.

Perhaps encouraging the appointment of a verger in your parish – even though traditionally the verger’s role was outside the sanctuary – might be called for.

Short of that, having the organist “accidentally” pull out a few stops and lean on some keys might work, or teaching the servers to cough loudly when required. A loud “Hallelujah!” outside the Lenten season (or “Hosanna” during Lent) might also do the trick.

More seriously, the pastor should be informed (or if he is the pastor, the Vicar General). It may be that Father is getting to an age where more careful attention should be paid to his health.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Lighter fare, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged | 11 Comments

LENTCAzT 2019 15 – Wednesday in the 2nd Week: Card. Burke

These daily 5 minute podcasts are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.

Today is Wednesday in the 2nd Week of Lent   


Card. Burke talks to us from Hope For The World  US HERE – UK HERE

I provide these especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments