Sign up for ‘Summorum Pontificum’ Pilgrimage to Rome with Fr. Z (19-29 October)


I want to bring to your attention the upcoming annual Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage to Rome 19-29 October.   It is handled by Orbis Catholicus and my friend John Sonnen.  I will be going, as chaplain.  That means TLMs everyday and probably some spiffy meals.


I was with the pilgrimage last year and things went pretty well.  I am pretty sure they will be even better this year.

This pilgrimage will coincide with the 4th Annual “Populus Summorum Pontificum” events. (See graphic below.)

This year, instead of going to Orvieto for a day trip we are going to go to Norcia!  (Hint: Benedictines, sausage and the best BEER I’ve ever had – and they have a new chant CD HERE)

BTW.. it was in the context of last year’s trip that, during the visit to the Swiss Guards’ barracks, I started planning the Breastplate Project.  I suspect that we will be very warmly received by them this year.

Also, we attended a Pontifical Mass with Card. Burke in St. Peter’s Basilica after the procession through the streets of Rome.  I believe he will be the celebrant again this year.


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Posted in The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Closed pre-Synod planning session held, “shadow council”

Here’s a disturbing report about how the upcoming Synod is being shaped.

From CNA and Le Figaro:

.- While the Synod of Bishops’ ordinary council gathered to discuss the upcoming Synod on the Family this week, a private group of bishops and experts convened behind closed doors in Rome to consider the most controversial issues at the synod, [to plan] particularly support of gay unions[to the delight  I’m sure, of the Fishwrap] and Communion for the divorced and remarried.

Pope Francis chaired the May 25-26 meeting of the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops, which is preparing for this October’s synod on “the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in contemporary world.”


[NB… this is important…] The council also considered modifications to the synod’s modus operandi. [Get that?]

The Synod of Bishops’ secretary general, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri – who was appointed in September 2013 – had changed the synod’s working rules.

Prior to Cardinal Baldisseri’s leadership, the synod had provided summaries in many languages of each scheduled intervention from the synod fathers. [Published in L’Osservatore Romano … shown to the world.]

That system was suppressed under Cardinal Baldisseri, replaced with a brief summary presented daily by Holy See press officer Fr. Federico Lombardi.

In the face of criticism that this change negatively affected the synod’s transparency, Cardinal Baldisseri claimed that “information is provided by a verbal summary” and is transparent, and that synod fathers were “not forbidden to speak to the press,” though they were prohibited from publishing their interventions, as any synod text “is property of the synod.”  [Cool, huh?  And keep in mind that copies The Five Cardinals Book™, which was sent from Italian Post to every member of the Synod, during the Synod, to their individual Vatican Post boxes, were confiscated… at someone’s orders.]

On the other hand, the impossibility of seeing the extent of the discussion within the synod paved the way for media speculation.

This autumn’s synod may re-present the same dynamic, given that while the Synod of Bishops’ ordinary council was meeting, a “shadow council” held a closed-door meeting regarding the most contentious issues of the Synod on the Family, which include approval of gay unions and Communion for the divorced and remarried.

The May 25 discussion was held in a conference center of the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University – though the meeting itself was not managed by the university. Bishops and theologians spoke before a select audience of 50, according to French daily Le Figaro.

[Get this…] The conference was called the “Mutual Convention of the French, German and Swiss Bishops Conferences concerning the issues of the pastoral care of marriage and family at the eve of the Synod of Bishops.”

The meeting was not in fact for all the bishops of the interested countries, but only  for some of them –  while others were not even informed of the meeting.  [Transparency, right?]

Among the speakers at the meeting were Bishop Jean-Marie Lovey of Sion; Bishop Jean-Luc Brunin of Le Havre; the theologian Eva Maria Faber; Anne-Marie Pelletier, who won the 2014 Ratzinger Prize for Theology; Fr. François Xavier Amherdt, professor of pastoral theology at the University of Freiburg; Eberhard Schockenhoff, professor of moral theology in Freiburg; and the theologian Alain Thomasset.

The final remarks were given by Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising.

One person who took part in the discussion stressed to CNA May 26 that “the tune was that of a pastoral opening on issues such as communion for the divorced and remarried, and the pastoral care of homosexuals.”

One of the speakers, who asked to be kept anonymous, refused to comment on the purpose of the conference and the tone of the discussion, as “it is unfortunately forbidden to us by the organizers to give any interview or explanation about yesterday’s conference.” [Transparency, again!]

So, what’s going to happen?

It seems to me that the next step for those who are trying to guide the upcoming Synod to a desired conclusion would be to eliminate the “forum” for possible dissent from the Synod’s MO.  What I would do, were I trying to force an agenda, is eliminate the meetings of the language groups after the midpoint point in the Synod, wherein the members discuss the first part of the Synod’s relatio.  That is where resistance to certain paragraphs built up last October.  Remember that the midpoint relatio was – almost miraculously – swiftly translated into various languages and distributed with amazing speed and it included paragraphs about things which weren’t discussed by the Synod members.  My guess is that the small language groups is where the knife will cut.

Step 1) Don’t let the members’ interventions be known.
Step 2) Don’t let the members discuss the relatio.

And if that doesn’t work…

Step 3) Have a third Synod!

Posted in One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Si vis pacem para bellum!, Sin That Cries To Heaven, Synod, The Coming Storm, The Drill | Tagged | 2 Comments

Fr. Z’s Voice Mail

I have received a few more voicemails…

Remember, I don’t call back, but I listen to it.

  • Greg in Denver says he once called from a hospital 5 years ago.  He wanted this time to thank people for prayers, thank this online community, to say that he prays for us.  He wants me to continue to encourage you to GO TO CONFESSION!   Thanks, Greg!
  • Bea in Arizona observes that the “Credo priest petition” post has scrolled off.  She contacted some priests who signed, but some names didn’t appear. I can do that in a couple days.
  • Charles from Georgia asked about a priest who gave people waiting in line a general absolution after getting out of confessional when going to say Mass.  Yes, probably valid, provided you had the right intentions.  However, you should make a sacramental confession, auricular confession, of all mortal sins in kind and number as soon as possible.  You can’t receive “general” absolution twice in  row… so GO TO CONFESSION (… that was for everyone).
  • Peter in Cleveland started in Latin!  He wants me to push the news that I am to be chaplain for a pilgrimage to Rome in October.  Okay!  HERE
  • Marian from Florida to wish me well for my anniversary of ordination.  She said that she would say a Rosary for me today.  Sweet.  Thanks.

Wanna leave me voice mail?  You have three options:


 020 8133 4535


Since I pay a fee for the two phone numbers, USA and UK, I am glad when they get some use.  I have occasionally thought about how to integrate the audio into posts, when there are good questions or comments, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

TIPS for leaving voice mail.

  1. Don’t shout.  If you shout, your voice will be distorted and I won’t be able to understand you.
  2. Don’t whisper.  C’mon.  If you have to whisper, maybe you should be calling the police, instead.
  3. Come to your point right away.  That helps.
Posted in HONORED GUESTS, What Fr. Z is up to, ¡Hagan lío! | Tagged | Leave a comment

Ordination Anniversary – VIDEO

Many priests observe the anniversary of their ordination at this time of year. It is a common time for ordinations, probably because Ember Days were common times for ordinations and Ember Days fall during the Pentecost Octave.

It is my anniversary of ordination today, 24 years ago, by St. John Paul II in St. Peter’s Basilica.  I suppose that might make me a 2nd class relic.

It was not only the Feast of St. Philip Neri, but it was also Trinity Sunday. A beautiful sunny day.

I got up that morning, ate breakfast, said my prayers, and walked alone across town to the basilica, where I entered through the main doors with the rest of the crowd. After that, however, I went to the right, to the nave near the Pietà, where we vested and waited for the Holy Father. My family members came separately from a different part of town. They had special tickets which brought them very close to the altar.

Since we were 60 in number, and from many countries, the basilica was absolutely jammed with people from all over the world who had come for the ordinations. The number of people, probably some 50k since it was packed to the gills with families and friends and whole colleges and the inevitable tourists, made the responses during the Litany of Saints flow over us palpably as we lay on the floor. Bl. Mother Theresa of Calcutta was there (in front of where my folks sat) because a couple men were being ordained for the male component of the Missionaries. That group never really got traction. I had arranged for my grandmother, a convert to Catholicism in her 80’s, to receive Communion from the Holy Father.

I often wonder what happened to the other men with whom I was ordained. I only knew a couple of them personally, since I had been at the Lateran University with them. I know that one fellow is now a bishop in Haiti. Also, it was the first year that the Iron Curtain was raised enough in Romania so that a few men were permitted out of the country to come to Rome to be ordained by the Pope. There were quite a few Opus Dei guys ordained with us. Another was the sad, so very sad, John Corapi of the SOLT group. Another of them was ordained that day too. One priest is in England, in Southwark, I think. It would be great to meet with him during some trip. I reached out to a few some years ago and got a few responses. I may try again for our 25th, perhaps by writing to their dioceses or institutes and asking that my letter be forwarded.

God doesn’t choose men who are worthy. He chooses those whom it pleases Him to choose. In regard to myself, it’s all a great mystery to me. I probably won’t get it until I die.

The sermon from the Mass HERE

Here is an excerpt from the broadcast of the ordination, the moment of the essential laying of on hands (this plugin might not work for some browsers… I had trouble with Chrome, but it can be downloaded and viewed, otherwise, in a new Chrome window put chrome://flags/#enable-npapi into the address bar, enable the plugin, and then click the “Relaunch” button at the bottom of the page.):


Anecdote: After our ordination we lined up, new priests on one side of the side nave, all the cardinals and various prelates on the other. The Holy Father came and greeted us all.  To my shock, my boss, the late and great Augustine Card. Mayer who had joined the recessional, came across the nave and, in front of the Roman Pontiff, knelt down and asked for my blessing. It was one of several startling lessons Card. Mayer gave me.


The video of the sermon for the Mass of Ordination.  The sermon is in Italian.  Listen to the way St. John Paul speaks, even if you don’t understand Italian.  I miss him.


Posted in Linking Back, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Priests and Priesthood | 13 Comments

Jihad Brides

Years ago I read a Friday mosque speech in which the imam, or whatever, said “If before we couldn’t win with the long sword, we will win with the short sword!”   He went on to explain that the men had to breed with Western women.

I just saw a segment on TV about women who are going to ISIS held territory in order to become jihad “brides”.  They are going freely.  They are purposing to provide lots of jihad offspring for the future of the caliphate.

They are thinking long term.  They intend to have lots of children for their future… projects.

Meanwhile, the wealthy, free West is contracepting and aborting its future into oblivion.

That got me thinking about the long term effects on our society of a) romantic “luv” and b) “no fault” divorce.

Posted in Semper Paratus, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Of the dropping of rose petals

Some years ago I posted photos of the Roman firefighters on top of the Pantheon (I shot them from my apartment’s window) as they prepared to drop rose petals through the oculus on Pentecost. HERE It’s a great custom.

I received a note from one of the guys at St. John Cantius in Chicago. Not to be outdone by the gang at the Pantheon…

And go look at the great photos of people reacting to the rose petals!  HERE

A Shower of Rose Petals

I wonder if they will drop white rose petals on 5 August.

Posted in Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Look! Up in the sky! | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

WDTPRS: Pentecost Tuesday – the protection of our hearts

According to the older, traditional Roman calendar, today is Tuesday in the Octave of Pentecost.

The octave of Pentecost was lamentably killed off by the cutters and snippers of the Consilium in the post-Conciliar reform of the Roman liturgy.

And Paul VI wept.  HERE

On this day is the traditional “Dancing Procession” in Echternach, Luxembourg, founded by St. Willibrord.   As bands play, the people move forward slowly in lines, holding white handkerchiefs.  They “dance” with little kicks to the left and right and thus make slow progress.

The Collect for Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form is a bit more solemn than the procession.


Adsit nobis, quaesumus, Domine, virtus Spiritus Sancti: quae et corda nostra clementer expurget, et ab omnibus tueatur adversis.

This prayer struck me as having an ancient pedigree.  Thus, I opened my copy of the critical edition of the Liber sacramentorum Gellonensis, and scanned the index of incipits.   There were very many prayers which begin with the “comic/legal” imperative adesto, from the same verb adsum, but very few with adsit.

Sure enough, I found today’s prayer in the days after Pentecost: CXLVIIII FER III. AD SCA ANASTASIAM.  Today.  The Roman Station today is at St. Anastasia.   Thus, this is an ancient Roman oration.


That verb adsum means “to be present”.  When ordinands are called by name… the technically precise moment of a man’s “vocation” or “calling”… he responds “Adsum … I am present”.   The form here is in the subjunctive, and it functions as a mild imperative.  Along the way it looks as if we have a characteristic result clause, which needs the subjunctive as well.  Note the et…et… construction, to say “both…and…”.  There is a nice stylish division of omnibus… adversis, giving us an elegant rhythm.  I also like the assonance in the first two lines with “u”.


May there be present to us, O Lord, we beseech You, the power of the Holy Spirit: with the result that it both mercifully cleanses our hearts, and protects (them) from every adverse thing.

When we are baptized the Holy Spirit begins to inhabit our hearts, abiding with us, remaining in us in a habitual manner.  The Holy Spirit imparts the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity together with the fruits and gifts.  The Holy Spirit abiding in us gives us sanctifying grace, the grace we call “habitual” grace.  There are also “actual” graces, given for this or that purpose.

By our baptism we are justified before God and also sanctified.

We can lose the state of grace, sanctifying grace.

Usually this happens when our choice to love some created thing moves us to act out of accord with God’s law and in disharmony with the image of God in us and in others.  We in effect drive the Holy Spirit from us.  Indeed, since all the Persons of the Trinity act together, we push the God, Three and One, from our souls.

Through actual graces God urges us to be reconciled.

The way in which God Himself desires that we be reconciled is by means of the Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation through the ministry of the Church He instituted.  Before His Ascension, Christ breathed His SPIRIT on the Apostles and gave them His own power and authority to forgive sins.

This is the way Christ wants us to seek forgiveness: otherwise He would not have given us this sacrament.

In the Collect, we ask God to cleanse from our hearts anything that would be an obstacle to the indwelling of the Persons of the Trinity.  Then we beg that the power of the Holy Spirit protect our hearts from anything which might be bad for us.  This need not be merely the aggressive attacks of the Enemy of the soul.  It might also be our own disordered passions and appetites which, fixing on some created thing, begins to love it or use it in a disordered way, placing that created thing in the place God alone should be entitled to possess.

The bottom line: The way to salvation has been opened to us.  We can lose that way by our choices.  We must never supplant God from His rightful place in our souls by choosing to enthrone there any creature… person, thing or state.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

WDTPRS: Pro seipso sacerdote – For the priest himself (1962MR)

This time of year many new priests are being ordained and, consequently, many priests observe their own anniversaries.  Today is my anniversary.

In the traditional, Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite a priest can add orations for himself, Pro seipso sacerdote, on the anniversary of his ordination.

The 2002MR has three formularies Pro seipso sacerdote while the 1962MR has but one (enough).

Let’s look at the prayer in the Extraordinary Form, which I used today:


Omnípotens et miséricors Deus, humilitátis meae preces benígnus inténde: et me fámulum tuum, quem, nullis suffragántibus méritis, sed imménsa cleméntiae tuae largitáte, caeléstibus mystériis servíre tribuísti, dignum sacris altáribus fac minístrum; ut, quod mea voce deprómitur, tua sanctificatióne firmétur.


Almighty and merciful God, kindly hark to the prayers of my humility: and make me, Your servant, whom, no merits of my own favoring me, but by the immense largess of your indulgence, You granted to serve the heavenly mysteries, to be a worthy minister at the sacred altars; so that, that which is called down by my voice, may be made sure by Your sanctification.

The prayer focuses on priest’s self-awareness of his lowliness.  Who he is and what he does is from God’s grace and choice, not his own.

It also emphasis the relationship of the priest to the altar, that is, the bond of the priest and Holy Mass.  Priests are ordained for sacrifice.

No priest, no sacrifice, no Mass, no Eucharist.

In the older form of Holy Mass, after the consecration during the Roman Canon at the Suppplices te rogamus… the priest bends low over the altar. He puts his hands on it.  They, his hands and the altar, were anointed with Sacred Chrism.  He kisses the altar.  Then he makes signs of the Cross over the consecrated Host on the corporal, over the Precious Blood in the chalice, and over himself.

Christ is Victim.  Christ is Priest.  The priest is victim and priest as well.

This moment during Holy Mass reveals his mysterious bond with the altar, where the priest sacrifices the victim.  Sacrificial victim and sacrificing priest are one. At the altar he is alter Christus, another Christ, offering and offered.

In regard to the Sacred Chrism and ordination, a couple years ago I heard the sermon of His Excellency, Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino of Madison at the ordination of priests.  He made the recommendation that, in hard times, the men should put a drop of Chrism on their hands, and rub it in, to remind them of who they are.

What also comes to mind, in considering the bond of priest and altar and victim upon it, is the Augustinian reflection of the speaker of the Word and the Word spoken, and the message and reality of the Word and the Voice which speaks it.

The voice of the priest and the priest himself are merely the means God uses in the sacred action, the sacramental mysteries at the altar, to renew in that moment what He has wrought.  Finally, this is done through mercy.  The words misericors, clementia, largitas, benignus all point to the mercy of God.

The priest speaks and God makes what he speaks reality.

He takes the priest’s insubstantial words and makes them firm and real.

He takes unworthy men, priests, and gives them His own power.

The priest must get himself out of the way when he is at the altar, where the True Actor is in action, Christ the Eternal and High Priest.

This is why ad orientem worship is so important.  It must be a component of the New Evangelization.

SECRET (1962MR):

Huius, Dómine, virtúte sacraménti, peccatórum meórum máculas abstérge: et praesta; ut ad exsequéndum injúncti offícii ministérium, me tua grátia dignum effíciat.


O Lord, by the power of this sacrament, cleanse the stains of my sins: and grant; that it may make me worthy by Your grace unto the performance of the ministry of the office that has been imposed.

Priests are sinners in need of a Savior just like everyone else.

They confess their own sins and receive absolution from a priest like everyone else.

They, too, must do penance for past sins like everyone else.

They, while coming to the altar as alter Christus, come to the altar as sinners.  There is only one perfect one.

In the older Extraordinary form of Holy Mass, the priest is constantly reminded about who he is and who he isn’t.  The newer form?  Not so much.

In this Secret, spoken quietly, the priest prays for what only God can do: remove the stains of sins from his soul.

The prayer brings also to mind the burden of the yoke of the priesthood, symbolized by the priestly vestment, the chasuble.  Whatever its shape, the chasuble is a sign of the priest’s subjugation.

As the priest puts on this most visible of his vestments, he traditionally prays, “O Lord, Who said: My yoke is easy and My burden light: grant that I may bear it well and follow after You with thanksgiving. Amen.”   The yoke is the ancient sign of subjugation. The ancient Romans caused the conquered to pass under a yoke, iugum.

This attitude of the priest at the altar, formed by the prayer and the very vestment he wears, can teach us a great deal about the nature and design of all the things that we employ for the celebration of Mass.


Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, qui me peccatórem sacris altáribus astáre voluísti, et sancti nóminis tui laudáre poténtiam: concéde propítius, per hujus sacraménti mystérium, meórum mihi véniam peccatórum; ut tuae majestáti digne mérear famulári.


Almighty eternal God, who desired me, a sinner, to stand at the sacred altars, and to praise the might of Your Holy Name: propitiously grant, through the mystery of this sacrament, the forgiveness for me of my sins; so that I may merit to wait upon Your majesty.

On the day of ordination the priest lies down upon the floor.

He is, in that moment part, of the floor.  He is the lowest thing in the church.

Consider two sets of contrasts.

First, there is the contrast of the low state of the servant sinner and the majesty of God.

Second, there is the present moment contrasted with the future to come.

Majestas is like gloria, Hebrew kabod or Greek doxa, a divine characteristic which – some day – we may encounter in heaven in such a way that we will be transformed by it forever and forever.  When Moses encountered God in the cloud on the mountain and in the tent, he came forth with a face shining so brightly that he had to wear a veil.  This is a foreshadowing of the transformative power of God’s majestas which he will share with the saints in heaven.

The priest waits upon majestas.

He waits on it, in that he awaits it and waits upon it.  He serves it, as in a waiting waiter he serves it out as well.  He also desires it for his own future.  But in the present moment he waits upon it as a servant.  He is an attendent, in every sense.  He is one who waits and he is one who waits.

May God have mercy on all priests, sinner servants, attendant on the unmerited grace and gifts of the Victim Priest and Savior.  May God have mercy on me, a sinner.  Pray for me, a sinner.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Priests and Priesthood, WDTPRS | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

New Chant CD from the outstanding Benedictine Monks of Norcia! (And a note about a pilgrimage.)

Click here to Pre-Order

Click here to Pre-Order

Here is some great news.  The wonderful Benedictine Monks in Norcia, Italy (they make the best beer you may ever have), are releasing a new Gregorian Chant CD on 2 June.  It is available for pre-sale now.

Click HERE

It is dedicated to chants of Marian Feast Days.  BENEDICTA: Marian Chant from Norcia

BTW… the Traditional Mass pilgrimage group I am leading in October, for the Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage, is going to visit Norcia!  Click HERE or see the ad on the sidebar.

Here is a spiffy video about the life of the monks.

Here is video:

A sample of the chant:

Posted in The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Brick by Brick: A priest says first public Extraordinary Form Low Mass

Here is something for your Brick By Brick file.

From a priest in Oklahoma:

In 2007 on September 14, the effective date of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, I offered my first Extraordinary Form Mass, as the priest for a Solemn High Mass.

Much to my shame I never kept up with the Extraordinary Form and never learned the Low Mass.  It was not until August 2014, seven years later, that I next said the Extraordinary Form again, this time as the priest for a Solemn High Nuptial Mass.

I am finally taking off those darn training wheels and riding the bike, as you observe so well. [See HERE]

Earlier this month I finally learned and said my first Low Mass.  I did so privately with only my mentor present serving for me.

Today [Monday], was my inaugural public offering of the Low Mass.  I offered the Mass this morning for the Monday in the Octave of Pentecost.

Here is perhaps the most interesting thing to share with you.  Memorial Day and people being off work may largely explain the attendance data, but having announced today’s Low Mass only yesterday at my two Sunday English Masses (no other advertising or publicity was given) I had 65 people in attendance this morning for the Low Mass!  Most were my own parishioners and some others were from the nearby Fraternity chapel.

I was most grateful but truly shocked by the attendance.  We shall see what this holds for the future.  Again, I assume the holiday permitted so many people to come and it is unlikely that such high numbers would continue.  Still, they came on a day when they could have been doing any number of other activities.

I am working on offering the Low Mass at least a couple of times each week at my parish.

Thanks, Father, for doing this.  It is important that more and more priests learn and use the Extraordinary Form.

Posted in Brick by Brick, Fr. Z KUDOS, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM | Tagged , | 2 Comments