CQ Thanksgiving Day #HamRadio

Anyone who might be in interested, 20 is pretty good right now. I’m on and calling CQ on 14.239.0

UPDATE – I’m clear for a while. 2025 UTC

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Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 3 Comments

Giving thanks, with Mass, for benefactors and donors

This morning we had a Norman Rockwell like Mass at St. Mary’s. It would have been nice to have a couple photos. We used the texts for the day, of course.

On civil holidays I also like to add Archbishop Carroll’s Prayer for Civil Authorities… which we need to pray often right now.

Since I was able to take my own intention, I said Mass for all my benefactors and donors here. I am grateful for all your support and I remember you in daily prayers and occasional Mass intentions.

Posted in Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Of scapulars, devotions and Russian jet fighters

Some people are quite disciplined in the matter of wearing a scapular. This comes from Latin scapulae, shoulder blades. Scapulars are garments, usually associated with religious habits, which fall down from the shoulders, mostly over the rest of the habit. Another kind of scapular is small, on strings, which symbolically substitutes for the larger scapular. There are different kinds of scapulars which are spiritual aids in various ways. They generally are a symbol of a relationship through which we derive spiritual protection and aid. Probably the most commonly used scapular is the brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

BTW… once you are “enrolled” and given the brown scapular, if and when your scapular wears out, simply replace it. You don’t have to have the new one blessed.

I am not sure if Eastern Catholics and Orthodox have such things, but a reader alerted me to something which she thought was rather like a Western scapular.

At The Daily Mail there are many photos concerning the destruction of a Russian jet fighter by the Turks. The pilots were killed as they parachuted. Among the photos are the pilots’ effects, including this, which I flipped and cropped:


Lots of people wear religious items without necessarily being devout in any way.

I hope that this young man was indeed devout and that Our Lady helped him to his end.

That said, reflect now for a moment on your own end, your death, which could come at any moment, whether you regularly are in “harm’s way” or not.

Use well the sacramentals that Holy Church provides for your spiritual benefit.  Devout use of the brown scapular is a common devotion because it is an effective devotion.

Use well the sacraments that Holy Church provides.  Examine your consciences and GO TO CONFESSION.  Make good Holy Communions.  Call upon the graces of the your Confirmation and Matrimony and Holy Orders.

Use well other devotional practices which can be of spiritual benefit to you and others.  Perform indulgenced works, such as making the Way of the Cross, reading Scripture, praying the Rosary.


Posted in Four Last Things | Tagged | 16 Comments

Of wheels and mystical marriages

Mystical Marriage of Catherine of Alexandria and Catherine of Siena by Ambrogio Bergognone (1524) – National Gallery, London

Today in the calendars of both sides of the Roman Rite is the Feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria, virgin, martyr.  As a matter of fact, she is celebrated by just about all Christians (who have any doctrine and history).

In the 2005 Martyrologium Romanum we find this entry:

Sanctae Catharinae, quam virginem fuisse Alexandrinam et martyrem nrratur, ingenii acumine et sapientia non minus quam animi robore refertam.  Eius corpus in celebri coenobio monte Sina pia colitur veneratione.

It is said that angels bore her body to Mt. Sinai, where Moses received the Law.

In an interesting coincidence, it is also today the feast of St. Moses, a priest and martyr in Rome in 251.  It is also the feast of Peter of Alexandria, a bishop and martyr in 311.  I’m just sayin’.


Catherine of Alexandria is depicted usually with a palm, since she is a martyr, and a spiky but broken wheel, the instrument of her agony.  She is also often depicted from medieval time onward as the subject of a “mystical marriage” with the Christ Child who is in the act of placing a ring on her finger.  Another Catherine who is depicted this way is Catherine of Siena, recognizable in her Domincan habit.  There are zillions of painting across several centuries of this popular theme for both saints.  The painting I embedded, above, show both saints at the same time, which is rare.

Catherine of Alexandria is also one of the Fourteen Helpers, saints to whom people have over the centuries turn most often for intercession.  Recourse to the Vierzehnheiligen was an especially popular tradition in German speaking lands.

Here is Catherine’s rather poetic Collect in the older, traditional Roman Rite:

Deus, qui dedísti legem Móysi in summitáte montis Sínai, et in eódem loco per sanctos Angelos tuos corpus beátæ Catharínæ Vírginis et Mártyris tuæ mirabíliter collocásti: præsta, quaesumus; ut, ejus méritis et intercessióne, ad montem, qui Christus est, perveníre valeámus:…

Posted in Saints: Stories & Symbols | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

ASK FATHER: No Catholic Mass on Sunday. Are we obliged to attend Orthodox Divine Liturgy?

divine liturgyFrom a reader…


My question comes from what my professor said in class and it doesn’t seem correct.

In class, we were told that if a Catholic was in Russia [and there being no Catholic Church; either Latin or Eastern] that the Catholic is bound [under pain of mortal sin] to fulfill his Sunday obligation in the Orthodox Church. The instructor points to C. 844 §2. saying that because the Orthodox have valid sacraments, including the Eucharist, it is this which necessitates the obligation of C. 1247.

Could you please help clarify as to whether the Code can actually bind a person to fulfill their Sunday obligation outside of the Catholic Church?

There has been some confusion on this issue, owing, in part, to an earlier permission. In 1967, the Directory on Ecumenism permitted Catholics to fulfill their Sunday obligation “occasionally” by attending an Eastern non-Catholic Divine Liturgy.

When the 1983 Code was promulgated, Catholics were obliged by can. 1248 to fulfill their obligation “in a Catholic rite.” This law abrogated the practice since 1967 permitting the fulfillment of the obligation in a non-Catholic, but certainly valid, rite.

Any doubt was further removed by the publication of the 1993 Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism, which states that “even when Catholics participate in ecumenical services, or in services of other Churches and ecclesial communities, the obligation of participating at Mass on these days remains.”

It is true that the Orthodox have valid sacraments. It is true that, in the very special circumstances laid out in can. 844, Catholics can approach the Orthodox for the sacraments of Penance, Holy Eucharist, and Anointing. If one finds oneself in a location where there are no Catholic Masses on a Sunday, one’s obligation is lifted. If there is an Orthodox Divine Liturgy nearby, it would be salubrious to attend and worship the Lord. One is not obliged, however, to do so.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Both Lungs, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

High praise for Card. Sarah from Archbp. Gänswein

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A great gift for a priest!


Ed Pentin has a good note at the National Catholic Register:

Archbishop Gänswein Praises Cardinal Sarah for His Prophetic Witness

Cardinal Robert Sarah’s boldness in proclaiming the Gospel and resisting the Zeitgeist is a prophetic witness reminiscent of a 5th century North African Pope who laid the foundations for healthy church-state relations, Archbishop George Gänswein has said.

In a well-received speech in Rome Nov. 20 at the launch of the German edition of the book ‘God or Nothing’ — an interview with Cardinal Sarah by Nicolas Diat — the personal secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI compared the cardinal favorably to Pope Gelasius I whom the Church, by coincidence, commemorated on Nov. 20.


Cardinal Sarah, Archbishop Gänswein said in closing, “is someone who loves”, a man who shows us “how and which masterpiece God wants to shape us into if we do not oppose His artist’s hands.”

During the recent Synod on the Family, Cardinal Sarah gave one of the strongest interventions of the three week meeting, comparing gender ideology and the Islamic State to “apocalyptic beasts“.

Read the rest there.

The text of Archbp. Gänswein’s speech is included.

Posted in Just Too Cool, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , | 19 Comments

UPDATE: Bishops of England, Wales v. SSPX? Request for review of Good Friday Prayer for Jews

UPDATE 24 Nov:

Fr. H has updated his post about the attack on Pope Benedict’s prayer for the Jews on Good Friday waged by the bishops in England and Wales.  Fr. H asked me to update you.

The BC [bishops conference] has now published a Note (see the thread) which does considerable discredit to whoever drafted it. He or she, indeed, appears to be unaware that the Prayer concerned was written by the Sovereign Pontiff himself … or else wishes the fact not to be known. The Note gives no information about what it is in the text composed by Pope Benedict that contradicts Nostra aetate. It claims that “the Prayer produced in 2008 [written by Benedict XVI!] reverted to being a prayer for the conversion of Jews to Christianity”, but fails to indicate which phrases in the text of the Prayer it deems objectionable. Whoever drafted it is clearly someone who believes, at all costs, in avoiding honest, or precise, dialogue.

At one point only does it come clean. “The Bishops of England and Wales have now added their voice to that of the German Bishops who have asked for the Prayer in the Extraordinary Form to be changed”. [So the Germans are attacking Benedict’s prayer, too.]

So now we know what is going on. Kasper’s belated revenge on Ratzinger, now that he can’t answer back.

____ Original Post Published on: Nov 23, 2015 @ 10:15 CT

Fr. John Hunwicke has at his excellent blog Mutual Enrichment an interesting bit of news.  Perpend:

“The Bishops’ Conference [of England and Wales] … ”

” … requests that the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei review the prayer Pro Conversione Iudaeorum in the Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, in the light of the understanding in Nostra Aetate of the relationship between the Catholic Church and Judaism”.

There appears to be no indication whether this resolution, passed last week by the English and Welsh Bishops, was unanimous.
Assuming that the bishops did not all wake up one morning with one identical thought in every head, it would be interesting to know where this concern originated; particularly, whether with one of the bishops or in some Liturgy Committee. Such information is always available with regard to the deliberations of the American Episcopal Conference. [But not with the bishops of England and Wales?]

I find it extraordinary that whoever originated this move is unaware that the current form of that Prayer comes directly from the pen of Benedict XVI himself, who was at the Council as a peritus and, it has always seemed to me, gives the impression of knowing some of the Conciliar documents really quite well. And, while aware that a lot of people viscerally loathe Joseph Ratzinger, I have always found his writings, both as a theologian, and as Cardinal Prefect of the CDF, and as Successor of S Peter, cogent, convincing, and illuminating. I would like to be helped to understand where it is that I have gone wrong in this judgement.

A Conspiracy Theorist would probably wonder if this is part of an attempt to get rolling a movement for dismantling the Magisterium of Benedict XVI and for derailing the current rather promising rapprochement under the direction of Pope Francis between the Vatican and the SSPX. I, fortunately, am not a Conspiracy Theorist. What I would like to have, as a concerned Catholic Priest who tries to understand the Church’s Magisterium, is a lucid and unwoffly statement of what exactly it is in the Prayer which contradicts which precise affirmations of Nostra Aetate, [Good question.] a document to which, of course, I subscribe. Since the Prayer as composed by Benedict XVI carefully follows, even verbally, the teaching in the Epistle to the Romans of S Paul (an author whom I spent three decades teaching), I would also be very interested to know what it is in S Paul’s teaching which is deemed to fall under the condemnation of Nostra Aetate. 

I have written about Pope Benedict’s change to the Good Friday Prayer HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.

In previous posts I give some context, a comparison of texts and my own analysis.


Posted in SSPX | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments

Earth Might Have Hairy Dark Matter!

Some news about your planet.

From the Jet Propulsion Laboratory:

Earth Might Have Hairy Dark Matter

The solar system might be a lot hairier than we thought.

A new study publishing this week in the Astrophysical Journal by Gary Prézeau of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, proposes the existence of long filaments of dark matter, or “hairs.”

Dark matter is an invisible, mysterious substance that makes up about 27 percent of all matter and energy in the universe. The regular matter, which makes up everything we can see around us, is only 5 percent of the universe. The rest is dark energy, a strange phenomenon associated with the acceleration of our expanding universe.

Neither dark matter nor dark energy has ever been directly detected, although many experiments are trying to unlock the mysteries of dark matter, whether from deep underground or in space.

Based on many observations of its gravitational pull in action, scientists are certain that dark matter exists, and have measured how much of it there is in the universe to an accuracy of better than one percent. The leading theory is that dark matter is “cold,” meaning it doesn’t move around much, and it is “dark” insofar as it doesn’t produce or interact with light.

Galaxies, which contain stars made of ordinary matter, form because of fluctuations in the density of dark matter. Gravity acts as the glue that holds both the ordinary and dark matter together in galaxies.

According to calculations done in the 1990s and simulations performed in the last decade, dark matter forms “fine-grained streams” of particles that move at the same velocity and orbit galaxies such as ours.

“A stream can be much larger than the solar system itself, and there are many different streams crisscrossing our galactic neighborhood,” Prézeau said.

Prézeau likens the formation of fine-grained streams of dark matter to mixing chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Swirl a scoop of each together a few times and you get a mixed pattern, but you can still see the individual colors. [There are people who think this stuff up.]

“When gravity interacts with the cold dark matter gas during galaxy formation, all particles within a stream continue traveling at the same velocity,” Prézeau said.

But what happens when one of these streams approaches a planet such as Earth? Prézeau used computer simulations to find out.

His analysis finds that when a dark matter stream goes through a planet, the stream particles focus into an ultra-dense filament, or “hair,” of dark matter. In fact, there should be many such hairs sprouting from Earth.

A stream of ordinary matter would not go through Earth and out the other side. But from the point of view of dark matter, Earth is no obstacle. According to Prézeau’s simulations, Earth’s gravity would focus and bend the stream of dark matter particles into a narrow, dense hair.



Read the rest there.  They break it down Barney-style for us.

Posted in Just Too Cool, Look! Up in the sky! | Tagged , | 36 Comments

1st Bishop appointed for an Anglican Ordinariate

From a Press Release of the Anglican Ordinariate of St. Peter for these USA HERE


  • Bishop-elect Steven Lopes to be introduced at press conference today in Houston
  • Rome sends top official to North America to lead structure equivalent to a diocese
  • Vatican also approves use of new texts for the celebration of Mass

HOUSTON — Pope Francis has named the Rev. Monsignor Steven J. Lopes to be the first bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter: a structure equivalent to a diocese for Roman Catholics who were nurtured in the Anglican tradition.

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter was established by Pope Benedict [the Pope of Christian Unity] on Jan. 1, 2012, with its headquarters located in Houston, Texas. Founded to serve Roman Catholics across the U.S. and Canada, it is the first diocese of its kind in North America.

The Ordinariate was created to provide a path for groups of Anglicans to become fully Roman Catholic, while retaining elements of their worship traditions and spiritual heritage in their union with the Holy Roman Church.

Msgr. Jeffrey N. Steenson, the leader of the Ordinariate since 2012, will introduce Bishop-elect Lopes at a news conference at 10:30 a.m. today at the Chancery Offices of the Ordinariate in Houston.

With this appointment, Pope Francis affirms and amplifies Pope Benedict’s vision for Christian unity, in which diverse expressions of one faith are joined together in the Church. By naming Bishop-elect Lopes, the Pope has confirmed that the Ordinariate is a permanent, enduring part of the Catholic Church, like any other diocese — one that is now given a bishop so that it may deepen its contribution to the life of the Church and the world.

Bishop Lopes’ appointment comes just five days before the Ordinariate begins using Divine Worship: The Missal, a new book of liturgical texts for the celebration of Mass in the Personal Ordinariates around the globe. The texts were approved by the Vatican for use beginning the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 29, 2015.

Bishop-elect Lopes was directly involved in developing these texts for worship; since 2011, he has served as the executive coordinator of the Vatican commission, Anglicanae Traditiones, which produced the new texts.

The new missal is a milestone in the life of the Ordinariate, since the Ordinariate’s mission is particularly expressed through the reverence and beauty of its worship, which shares the treasury of the Anglican liturgical and musical traditions with the wider Catholic community.

Pope Benedict’s vision for Christian unity and the concrete ways that Pope Francis is implementing that vision demonstrate that unity in faith allows for a vibrant diversity in the expression of that faith. The Ordinariate is a key ecumenical venture for the Catholic Church and a concrete example of this unity in diversity.


Steven Joseph Lopes, 40, is a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. As the bishop-elect of the Ordinariate, he will reside in Houston, Texas.

Bishop-elect Lopes was born and raised in Fremont, Calif. The only child of Dr. José de Oliveira Lopes (deceased) and Barbara Jane Lopes, he attended Catholic schools in the Golden State, including the St. Ignatius Institute at the University of San Francisco. He earned licentiate and doctoral degrees in sacred theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

He was ordained a priest in June 2001 and spent the first several years of his priesthood as an associate pastor at two parishes: St. Patrick Catholic Church in San Francisco and St. Anselm Catholic Church in Ross, Calif.

Since 2005, he has served as an official of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office responsible for promoting and preserving Catholic teaching. He was named a monsignor in 2010.

His family includes his mother, Barbara Jane; his step-father, Abilio Dias; five step-brothers; and a step-sister.

Bishop-elect Lopes follows in the footsteps of Msgr. Jeffrey N. Steenson, who was named the first Ordinary (or head) of the Ordinariate when it was established in 2012. Msgr. Steenson’s retirement from his position as Ordinary is effective today, upon Pope Francis’ appointment of Bishop-elect Lopes. However, Msgr. Steenson has been appointed Administrator of the Ordinariate and will continue to oversee its day-to-day activities until Feb. 2, 2016.

Bishop-elect Lopes is the first bishop to be named for any of the three Personal Ordinariates in the world: Our Lady of Walsingham in the United Kingdom; the Chair of Saint Peter in the United States and Canada; and Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia.

The ordination of Bishop-elect Lopes is planned for Feb. 2, 2016 in Houston.

A biographical summary, photos, statements from Bishop-elect Lopes and Ordinary Emeritus Msgr. Steenson and other materials are online at www.ordinariate.net/bishop-elect-lopes.

Posted in Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, Pope of Christian Unity | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

Sam Gregg on the rise of young, fearless, dynamically orthodox Catholicism… in FRANCE!

Here is another – stop what you are doing and read this – article.

At Catholic World Report there is a piece by Sam Gregg about what’s going with a rise in France  of … Catholicism.  It is packed with interesting information, names, and analysis.

France’s Catholic Revolution

While Mass-attendance rates have steeply declined over the last 30 years, today France is witnessing the rise of an increasingly self-confident—and dynamically orthodox—Catholicism.

When many think about France and religion today, the images that usually come to mind are those of a highly secular society with a growing Islamic presence: a combination of widespread indifferentism, epicurean Voltairans, persistent anti-Semitism, increasingly radicalized Muslims, and now jihadist-inspired and organized terrorism. But now even some secular French journalists have started writing about a phenomenon that’s become difficult to ignore: an increasingly self-confident Catholicism that combines what might be called a dynamic orthodoxy with a determination to shape French society in ways that contest the status quo—both inside and outside the Church. [There’s that ad intra and ad extra thing I refer to pretty often.  Consider: If we don’t have a strong identity as Catholics, and if we don’t know what Catholics believe or we don’t know how to communicate it without waffling and temporizing, then why should anyone in the public square listen to us?  And we must be in the public square, with a strong and smart Catholic identity.  This is where I direct you back to my constant drum beat about the renewal of traditional liturgical worship!]

On October 30, readers of France’s main center-right newspaper, Le Figaro, woke up to the headline “La révolution silencieuse des catholiques de France.” What followed was a description of how those whom Le Figaro calls France’s néocatholiques have come to the forefront of the nation’s political, cultural, and economic debates. Significantly, the new Catholics’ idea of dialogue isn’t about listening to secular intellectuals and responding by nodding sagely and not saying anything that might offend others. Instead, younger observant Catholics have moved beyond—way, way beyond—what was called the “Catholicism of openness” that dominated post-Vatican II French Catholic life. While the néocatholiques are happy to listen, they also want to debate and even critique reigning secular orthodoxies. For them, discussion isn’t a one-way street. This is a generation of French Catholics who are, as Le Figaro put it, “afraid of nothing.


That’s how it starts.

There are some provocative paragraphs (for the Left.. heh).  For example:


In recent years, we’re heard much about the Church as a field-hospital. It’s true that the French Church finds itself providing much help to the many people damaged by the culture of cynicism, economic statism, self-loathing, and hedonism bequeathed by France’s May 1968 generation. The new Catholics, however, also recognize that no-one is supposed to remain perpetually in a field-hospital. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?  And another thing… lots of people DIE in field hospitals!  A field hospital is where the second moment of patching up takes place, after the battle field corpsman stops some of the bleeding, before the wounded are sent on to a higher level facility.  It often happens that the wounded don’t get out of the field hospital alive.  This is the Church Militant, after all.  We don’t want people to die, to fall away from the narrow path, to drift into error and spiritual peril (Fishwrap).  Christ died for all, but not all will accept what Christ did for then and be saved.  This happens in the Church: people fall aside and are lost.  And if parishes are supposed to be “field hospitals”, they had better be good, faithful parishes, where the wounded can find good salvific help.  I’m not saying that parishes are not field hospitals.  I’m saying that not everyone in field hospitals will be saved.  But I digress…] Nor are they interested in affirming mediocrity. Instead they have chosen to live out what Benedict XVI suggested would be Western European Catholics’ role for the foreseeable future: a creative minority — one that imaginatively engages culture from an orthodox Catholic standpoint in order to draw society closer to the truth, instead of meekly relegating Catholics to the role of bit-players in various secular-progressive agendas.


I also found this interesting:


Perhaps the most evident sign of this sea-change in French Catholicism is what’s called La Manif pour tous. This movement of hundreds of thousands of French citizens emerged in 2012 to contest changes to France’s marriage laws. La Manif’s membership traverses France’s deep left-right fracture. It also includes secular-minded people, many Jews, some Muslims, and even a good number of self-described gays. Yet La Manif’s base and leadership primarily consist of lay Catholics. Though the French legislature passed la loi Taubira legalizing same-sex marriage in 2013, the Socialist government has subsequently trod somewhat more carefully in the realm of social policy. After all, when a movement can put a million-plus people on the streets to protest on a regular basis, French politicians have historical reasons to get nervous.

Since 2012, La Manif has continued shaping public debate. This ranges from challenging attempts to impose gender theory through the educational system to disputing proposed changes to adoption and IVF laws. In doing so, it has been visibly supported by many bishops and even-more-visibly by many more young priests. Some of the latter are heavily active on Twitter and widely-read social media such as Padreblog. In certain cases, some names of the rising generation of French clergy—such as Abbé Pierre-Hervé Grosjean, Abbé Pierre Amar, Abbé Guillaume Seguin, and Abbé Antoine Roland-Gosselin—are better known than many French bishops.



Read the whole thing there.


Posted in New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , | 19 Comments