Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point made in the sermon you heard for your Mass of Sunday Obligation?

Let us know.

For my part,… I haven’t had my Sunday Mass yet, so I haven’t said anything yet!

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21 January St. Agnes: “Shining with the fire of divine love”

Let us invoke St. Agnes, virgin and martyr.

O glorious Agnes who, though weak, was chosen by God to make His own might manifest in your martyrdom, together with the Holy Apostles intercede now before the throne of our Our Father in heaven and beg strength for the the successors of the Apostles, our bishops of the Church, especially in these United States, and for all priests, their collaborators, so that they will all, and with no uncertain words or wavering actions, stand boldly up for and teach the truth about the Sacrament of Matrimony, the integrity of the Sacrament of Penance, and the truth of the Real Presence in the Most Holy Eucharist of the Lamb who was slain.  In Christ’s Most Holy Name we pray….

I have posted the following in times past, but it bears repetition. Newcomers to this blog may not have seen it.

Behold the skull of Agnes, in situ, in her beautiful church in Rome on the Navona.

The dies natalis (“birthday into heaven”) of Agnes was recorded in the register of the depositio martyrum as 21 January.

St. Agnes was slain probably during the reign of the Emperor Diocletian in 304. Some say she died during the time of the Emperor Valerian (+260).

The little girl was buried by her parents in praediolo suo, on their property along the Via Nomentana where there was already a cemetery.

This cemetery expanded rapidly after that, because many wanted to be buried near the grave of the famous martyr. The ancient cemetery grew in stages between the Basilica which Constantina, daughter of Constantine and Fausta began over her tomb from 337-350 and the small round Basilica of Constantia (Constantine’s daughter).

There was an acrostic inscription from that time in verses about the dedication of the temple to Agnes:

Constantina deum venerans Christoque dicata
Omnibus impensis devota mente paratis
Numine divino multum Christoque iuvante
Sacravit templum victricis virginis Agnes…

You get the idea.

The Basilica of St. Agnes was reconstructed towards the end of the 5th c. by Pope Symmachus (+514). Honorius I (+638) rebuilt it as a basilica with three naves, adding a wonderful fresco of Agnes. It was worked on again in the 16th c. by St. Pius V and in the 19th by Bl. Pope Pius IX.

Excavations in 1901 uncovered the silver sarcophagus made by Pius V for St. Agnes together with St. Emerentiana.

It contained the headless body of a young girl.

Zadock gave us a photo of the miraculous protection of Bl. Pius IX when once at the Basilica there was a near disastrous cave-in/collapse and no one was injured.

While Agnes’s body is in her tomb on the Via Nomentana, her skull is now at the place of her supposed martyrdom at the Piazza Navona in Rome’s heart. It is a fitting place to venerate a saint so much in the heart of the Roman people even today. It is not unusual for people to name their children Agnes in honor of this great virgin martyr, whose name is pronounced in the Roman Canon.

The skull was bequeathed to that church at the Piazza by Pope Leo XIII who took it from the treasury of the Sancta Sanctorum.

The Piazza itself was in ancient times the Stadium of Domitian (+96) a place of terror and blood for early Christians, far more than the Colloseum ever was. The Piazza is thus called also the “Circo Agonale” and the name of the saint’s church Sant’Agnese in Agone. “Navona” is a corruption of “Agonale”, from Greek agon referring to the athletic contests of the ancient world. St. Paul used the athlete’s struggle as an image of the Christian life of suffering, perseverance, and final victory even through the shedding of blood. Early Christian tombs often have wavy lines carved on the front, representing an iron instrument called a strigil, used by athletes to scrape dirt and oil from the bodies after contests. Victory palm branches are still used in the iconography of saints, as well as wreathes of laurels.

We know about St. Agnes from St. Jerome, and especially St. Augustine’s Sermons 273, 286 and 354. St. Ambrose wrote about Agnes in de virginibus 1,2,5-9 written in 377 as did Prudentius in Hymn 14 of the Peristephanon written in 405.

Ambrose has a wonderful hymn about Agnes (no. 8), used now in the Roman Church for Lauds and Vespers of her feast. The Ambrosian account differs somewhat from others. For Ambrose, Agnes died from beheading. Prudentius has her first exposed to shame in a brothel and then beheaded.

Here is the text of the hymn from the Liturgia horarum for the “Office of Readings” with a brutally literal translation.

Igne divini radians amoris
corporis sexum superavit Agnes,
et super carnem potuere carnis
claustra pudicae.

Shining with the fire of divine love
Agnes overcame the gender of her body,
and the undefiled enclosures of the flesh
prevailed over flesh.

Spiritum celsae capiunt cohortes
candidum, caeli super astra tollunt;
iungitur Sponsi thalamis pudica
sponsa beatis.

The heavenly host took up her brilliant white spirit,
and the heavens lifted it above the stars;
the chaste bride is united to the
blessed bride chambers of the Spouse.

Virgo, nunc nostrae miserere sortis
et, tuum quisquis celebrat tropaeum,
impetret sibi veniam reatus
atque salutem.

O virgin, now have pity on our lot,
and, whoever celebrates your victory day,
let him earnestly pray for forgiveness of guilt
and salvation for himself.

Redde pacatum populo precanti
principem caeli dominumque terrae
donet ut pacem pius et quietae
tempora vitae.

Give back to this praying people
the Prince of heaven and Lord of the earth,
that he, merciful, may grant us peace
and times of tranquil living.

Laudibus mitem celebremus Agnum,
casta quem sponsum sibi legit Agnes,
astra qui caeli moderatur atque
cuncta gubernat. Amen.

Let us celebrate with praises the gentle Lamb,
whom chaste Agnes binds to herself as Spouse,
he who governs the stars of heaven
and guides all things. Amen.

We can note a couple things from this prayer. First, the reference to fire probably a description of Agnes’s death related in a metrical panegyric of Pope Damasus about how Agnes endured martyrdom by fire. On the other hand, St. Ambrose, when speaking of her death, speaks of martyrdom by the sword.

Pope St. Damasus composed a panegyric, an elogia, inscribed in gorgeous letters on marble (designed and executed by Dionysius Philocalus) in honor of Roman saints, including Agnes.  This was the period when the Roman shifted from Greek to Latin.  Damasus was also trying to make a social statement with these great inscriptions, set up at various places about the City.   The panegyic of St. Agnes was placed in the cemetery near the saint’s tomb, but through the ages it was lost. Amazingly, it was at last rediscovered in 1728 inside the basilica, whole and complete: it had been used upside down, fortunately as a paving stone!

Now it is affixed to the wall in the corridor descending to the narthex. Its discovery was a find of vast importance.

damasus inscription agnes


It is told that one day the holy parents recounted that Agnes, when the trumpet had sounded its sad tunes, suddenly left the lap of her nurse while still a little girl and willingly trod upon the rage and the threats of the cruel tyrant. Though he desired to burn the noble body in the flames, with her little forces she overcame immense fear and, gave her loosened hair to cover her naked limbs, lest mortal eye might see the temple of the Lord. O one worthy of my veneration, holy glory of modesty, I pray you, O illustrious martyr, deign to give ear to the prayers of Damasus.

Damasus used the sources available. There were the stories told by her parents, the 4th edict of Diocletian against Christians in 304 (lugubres cantus tuba concrepuisset). Agnes did what she did of her own free will (sponte). Note the reference to the body as temple of God (1 Cor 3:16 and 2 Cor 6:16).

St. Agnes of Rome, has two grand churches in Rome.  She has two feast days in the traditional Roman calendar.  Since the reform of the calendar, Agnes now has only one day, alas.

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Fr. Sirico of @ActonInstitute on Pres. Trump’s Prayer Service

My friend Fr. Robert Sirico of ACTON INSTITUTE was one with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto for coverage of the Prayer Service the day after President Trump’s inauguration.

Fr. Sirico and ACTON INSTITUTE make lefty catholics such as those at the Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter) have spittle-flecked nutties. They can’t help themselves. They try and try… like Sean Michael Winters … to stay on the wagon but they always fall off. In their hand-wringing editorial, NSR couldn’t resist mentioning ACTON INSTITUTE. HERE

We agree, I am sure: “direct attention to the transcendent and we get a meta-perspective about what’s going on here on Earth”.


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Serious priest taking it to the streets

Note that this priests says Mass for the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Missouri.  They’re apostolate is to pray for priests and bishops.  I hope they pray for me. They have wonderful discs of music.   Speaking of which, LENT is coming.  US HERE – UK HERE


Priest spends three years walking local streets

Sometimes, the stories the Rev. Lawrence Carney encounters are so amazing that even he admits they can be hard to believe.

17_01_21_Carney_Wichita_01“One day, I was walking on the sidewalk and this St. Joseph city truck pulled up to the curb and said ‘Father, do you remember me? You blessed me at the Haven House when I was homeless. I asked if you would pray for me to get a job,’” Carney says. “He said ‘Ever since that day, everything has changed.’”

The man had gotten a temporary job, Carney says, followed up by a part-time job, which became a full-time job and later a promotion.

“He said ‘Now I have benefits and I work 40 hours a week. I want to thank you for that blessing,’” Carney says. “I said ‘I don’t know if anyone is going to believe this. Can you send an email to me?’”

So the man did, logging another story, one of many that the priest says are now mounting in his third year in St. Joseph. Carney, an ordained Catholic priest originally from Wichita, Kansas, came to St. Joseph in early 2014 to walk the streets, praying the rosary and meeting people.

“The stories continue to multiply,” he says. “I start to see people over and over again. That’s where you can see that God is working on them. It’s very interesting what they have to say.”

During the afternoon six days a week, he walks from his current home at St. James Catholic Church, praying the rosary while he walks. He estimates he talks to 10 people a day, totaling between 2,000 and 5,000 different people in the last three years. He gives out rosary beads and miraculous medals, answers questions and prays with people if they approach him.

Almost every day, people come and they confess,” he says. “… People have a need to confess because there is so much sadness in the world. When we turn to God and allow him to rule our life, then we become happy. I want to give that to other people. When we give charity, it’s free. The more that we give, the more that we receive.”

Despite many positive stories, the work isn’t without challenges, Carney says. Missouri summers can be hot and humid, and not everyone he encounters is receptive or polite, he says.

“Sometimes the people make fun, but as someone was telling me, our Lord is pleased when we imitate him and people would make fun of him, too. What I do is I say a prayer for these people,” he says. “… I ask for Mary to save those graces because they rejected the grace of speaking kindly to a priest and that maybe someday they will have a change of heart and they can receive the grace of living for God.”

His ultimate goal is to have other men join him in the ministry to eventually form the Canons Regular of St. Martin of Tours in St. Joseph, a model of monastic life that blends contemplative and apostolic practices and dates back almost 1600 years, Carney says.  [Very cool.]

“Canons Regular are known for being on a spectrum between being completely contemplative like monks that go out in the country their whole life and being active, like diocesan priests who serve the parishes,” he says. “… We want to be in that mix, mostly contemplative, but sometimes coming out to the apostolate. We would be monks at home in our monastery and apostles abroad.”

Currently, prayer is the biggest need, Carney says.

“We are still in the stages where prayer is the main means to make this happen,” he says. “When we submit ourselves to God and to the reign of Christ the King and to the Blessed Virgin Mary as our queen as good subjects with a good prayer life, then these things will have their due course.”

In 2015, Carney was approached by an Arizona-based publisher about producing a book about his experiences. It will hopefully be published this year, he says. Carney also celebrates Mass daily with the nuns of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Gower, Missouri.

Although he prays as he walks, he encourages people to approach him as desired and is optimistic about the future in St. Joseph and wherever else he is needed, Carney says.

“At the end of our life, it’s important to look back and say ‘How did I serve God?’” he says. “Because if we gave him everything, we are going to be happy at that moment.”

I wonder if some “authority” or other will find a way to crush this good man.

Didn’t Pope Francis recently mock priests who used the saturno?


John Hastreiter at Leaflet said that if people can’t afford to get a saturno, they can get part of one, pay part of the cost along with other people.  Many hands make lighter loads.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Be The Maquis, Fr. Z KUDOS, GO TO CONFESSION, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

The plural of anecdote is “data”


Click to buy just 1 or packs of car magnets to give to others.

Disturbing data points have come to me in the last few days.

First, I had a telephone conversation with a priest who described how the local bishop had removed the faculties of a number of priests pretty much because he didn’t like their style.  No accusations.  No crimes or delicts.  BAM.  Some of the priests have had successful recourse to Rome, but the damage to those priests is done.

Next, I have read of the case of the a priest who came into the Church under the Pastoral Provision for Anglicans.  This last week he was removed from his parish in order “to dedicate some time to reflect on certain specific concerns” which “relate to expressions in the life of the parish that indicate an identity separate from, rather than simply unique, among the parishes”.   It seems that he hasn’t done anything wrong, like commit a crime, but he doesn’t conform.

Also, I read last night at Rorate  – we really need to close ranks now, lads – of a Bishop in South America, of the Diocese of Pereira, Columbia, who suspended a priest because the priest, “expressed publicly and privately his rejection of the doctrinal and pastoral teachings of the Holy Father Francis, mainly regarding Marriage and the Eucharist”.  That priest was summoned by the bishop to explain himself in front of others.  The decree claims that he “separated himself publicly from the communion with the Pope and the Church”.  However, there is no indication in the bishop’s decree about the nature of the priest’s “separation”.  I suspect that the priest has not professed obstinate heresy regarding clearly and definitively doctrines of the faith.  It may be – may be – that this priest has declined to accept that those who have committed publicly known mortal sins and who have no purpose of amendment can be given Holy Communion.   That may be it.  And barring a clarification from on high about what Amoris laetitia means, that priest’s interpretation could be just as good as another person’s.

Then, we heard a rumor – rumor – during the week that a Bishop of Malta, who perpetrated with another bishop The Maltese Fiascohad threatened to suspend priests who refused to give Communion to the divorced and civilly remarried, in other words in an adulterous state.  The bishop has denied that he said that.  The Maltese Fiasco was, by the way, reproduced in L’Osservatore Romano.  That could give cover to other bishops to adopt the same unheard of approach as the Maltese bishops.

Add to these certain personnel reports from the Roman Curia.

Anecdotes are accumulating.  And we all know that the plural of anecdote is “data”.   But seriously, when anecdotes start to pile up, something – not nothing – is going on.  What it could be is unclear.

What is clear and has always been clear is that when you scratch a liberal, you find a despot underneath.

I had a chat by phone with another priest friend who has under his care, inter alia, a retreat center. Our conversation drifted into the situation of all the priests who will be unjustly persecuted for the crime of adhering to Catholic teaching. Apparently there are dozens of rooms at that center. We could found a new community called, say, Fratres Unitatis.  Over the entrance gate there could be emblazoned:

 “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled clerics yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Perhaps the apostolate of the FUs, in addition to teaching remedial catechism, could be to say Mass ad orientem, to teach priests to implement Summorum Pontificum, and to uphold canons 915 and 916. They would have to give talks in the public parks near parishes in dioceses where they have been banned about the Sacrament of Matrimony and explain other mean and merciless teachings of Our Lord and His Holy Church, such as the dogma of the existence of Hell, the reality of sin and personal guilt.

Dear readers, pray for priests and pray for bishops.  Pray especially for bishops.  The Devil hates bishops and relentlessly works to twist them into instruments of harm in the Church.  Pray for them and do penance.  Ask you Guardian Angels also to assist your local bishop as well as your parish priests.

Our Lady, Queen of the Clergy…

Posted in Mail from priests, Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, Turn Towards The Lord, What are they REALLY saying? | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

The elation of a good confession humbly made

13_01_02_confessionAt The Catholic Thing there is a piece by Regis Martin about the Sacrament of Penance.

When was the last time you went to confession?  When was the last time you made that good and complete confession of all mortal sins in both kind and number?  What was the last time you heard those words of absolution, freeing you from the bonds of your sins?


O Blessed Box!

He waited nearly a half-century before deciding to shake the Anglican dust from his feet, but when G.K. Chesterton finally resolved to become Roman Catholic, his reasons were perfectly simple: “To get rid of my sins.”

It is also why I, and certainly a great many other sinners, have chosen to remain Catholic. How else does one get to become five minutes old all over again? As Georges Bernanos used to say, “Five minutes of Paradise will make everything well.” Why not a sneak preview, then, before the show begins?

Besides, aren’t we all sinners? Why else am I asked to beat my breast at the beginning of Mass? It’s surely not my neighbor’s fault that I have fallen into sin. Grievous sin, even, which, recalling the prescribed formula, I freely admit, “in my thoughts and in my words, / in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.”

That way I may turn to God to ask forgiveness, beseeching as well both angels and saints, brothers and sisters, to lift me up in prayer lest I be tempted to refuse ownership of those sins. “May Almighty God,” I implore, joining my voice to all the members of the Church Militant, “have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.”

If you think about it, there are only two ways to go when you find yourself in a fix. Either you deny your situation, or you freely confess the fix that you’re in, and go look for immediate and blessed release from it. There is no third way, no room to maneuver between the two bookends of either complete denial or total acceptance of the mess you’ve made.


There can be few pleasures – for Catholics, anyway – as keen as hearing the priest announce, amid the darkened anonymity of the confessional, “I absolve you from your sins.” Which he does, we Catholics further believe, in the very accent of Jesus Christ. Thus setting free the soul from all that had previously encumbered it, immersing everything in a great sea of mercy.

What more could you possibly ask for than to regain that radiance for which we were born? It leaves you positively stupefied, while wave upon wave of gratitude washes over the guilt-free soul. Not only is it the gift that keeps on giving, but one that you could never give yourself.


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No Poet at Inauguration 2017

There was no Poetry or Poet Laureate at the Inauguration.  I am pleased.  Do you remember the drivel from May Angelou, the gibberish from Elizabeth Alexander and the rubbish from Richard Blanco?

Long gone at the days of a Robert Frost in 1961.   He had written a poem for the occasion, “For John F. Kennedy His Inauguration”.  However, the light was so bright and it was so cold that he couldn’t read it.  Frost therefore recited from memory “The Gift Outright”, which he wrote 20 years earlier.

The land was ours before we were the land’s.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia,
But we were England’s, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.

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WDTPRS: 3rd Ordinary Sunday – “abound with good works”

The Collect for the upcoming 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time in the Ordinary Form.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus,
dirige actus nostros in beneplacito tuo,
ut in nomine dilecti Filii tui
mereamur bonis operibus abundare.

This was in the 1962 Missale Romanum as the Collect for the Sunday in the Octave of Christmas.

I wrote about sempiternity HERE.

In the superior Lewis & Short Latin Dictionary we learn that beneplacitum means “good pleasure, gracious purpose”.  The preposition in using the ablative case indicates a condition, situation or relation rather than a reference to space where or time when something was occurring.  In the Vulgate beneplacitum translates the original Greek eudokia in, e.g., Eph 1:9; 1 Cor 10:5.  Other phrases are used for eudokia too (e.g., bona voluntas in Luke 2:14, the famous “peace on earth to men of good will” or “peace on earth good will toward men”).  Paul wrote eudokia at the beginning of 2 Thessalonians (1:11-12), rendered as voluntas bonitatis in the Vulgate:

oramus semper pro vobis ut dignetur vos vocatione sua Deus et impleat omnem voluntatem bonitatis et opus fidei in virtute ut clarificetur nomen Domini nostri Iesu Christi in vobis et vos in illo secundum gratiam Dei nostri et Domini Iesu Christi…

…we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his call, and may fulfill every good resolve (omnem voluntatem bonitatis) and work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ (RSV).

We can find connections between 2 Thessalonians and our Collect at several points: mereamur in the Collect with dignetur in Paul (both having to do with meriting or being worth of), beneplacitum with voluntas bonitatis, bona opera with opus fidei (good works flowing from lived faith), nomen Filii with nomen Domini Iesu Christi.   Taken in the sense of “gracious purpose” we can make a connection to Paul’s vocatio too, our “calling” or the purpose for which God placed us on this earth with a part of His plan to fulfill.

Abundo means, “to overflow with any thing, to have an abundance or superabundance of, to abound in.”  If we go back to the idea of the preposition in and the ablative indicating place or location in space, (in beneplacito tuo) we have an image of our good works originating in God and, coming from Him, overflowing out from us.

Some Protestants are under the false impression that Catholics think we “earn” our way to heaven by our own good works, as if our good works had their own merit apart from God.


Catholics believe that true good works always have their origin in God, but the works are truly our works as well because we cooperate with God in performing them.  Therefore, having their origin and purpose in God, they merit the reward of God’s promises.  As Augustine would say, with His merits He crowns His own works in us.

Whenever you find a reference to works in these liturgical prayers, do not forget the Catholic understanding of good works.


Almighty eternal God,
direct our actions in your gracious purpose,
so that in the name of Thy beloved Son,
we may merit to abound with good works.


All-powerful and ever-living God,
direct your love that is within us,
that our efforts in the name of your Son
may bring mankind to unity and peace.

At least they didn’t split it into two or three sentences.  “Oh God, you are so big.  Help us to be big like you.”

In the Obsolete ICEL version note the vague term “love”, rather than the indication of God’s eternal plan.  Perhaps this is a bit picky, but when I hear “we may merit to abound with good works”, I think we are abounding because of God’s action within us through the good works He makes meritorious.  They overflow from us because of His generosity. In the Obsolete ICEL version, however, God’s “love” is in us, but this leads to “our efforts”.  Yes, this can be reconciled with a Catholic theology of works, but … it just doesn’t sound right.  Also, I don’t think that “efforts” to “bring mankind to unity and peace” means the same as us “meriting” by God’s grace to “abound with good works”.

When we feed the hungry and console those who mourn, visit the shut-in and imprisoned and pray for the dead, sure we are building “unity and peace”, but that phrase is so vague as to mean very little to someone in the pew.

Is it possible that the guitar strumming and all those kumbayas of the 1960’s affected the translators choice of words?  Hmmm….

Please understand: I don’t object to praying for unity and peace, but I think we ought to pray the prayer as the Church gave it to us, what the prayer really says.  We are far closer to that with the newer, corrected ICEL version now in use.

And… we can always use the Latin!



Almighty ever-living God,
direct our actions according to your good pleasure,
that in the name of your beloved Son
we may abound in good works



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A word for the wise (bishop) from Summorum Pontificum

Summorum Pontificum, Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio, applies to the entire Latin Church.  Bishops can’t override it.

Some articles of SP get more attention than others.  Here is one which might not be immediately present in your mind:

Art. 7. Ubi aliquis coetus fidelium laicorum, de quo in art. 5 § 1 petita a parocho non obtinuerit, de re certiorem faciat Episcopum dioecesanum. Episcopus enixe rogatur ut eorum optatum exaudiat. Si ille ad huiusmodi celebrationem providere non vult [previously non potest] res ad Pontificiam Commissionem “Ecclesia Dei” referatur.

Art. 7. Where some group of the lay faithful, mentioned in art. 5 § 1 will not have obtained the things sought from the pastor, let the Diocesan Bishop be informed about the matter. The Bishop is strenuously asked that he graciously grant their desire. If does not want to provide for a celebration of this kind, let the matter be referred to the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei“.

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PRAYER REQUEST: Archbp. Carroll’s “Prayer for Government”

washingtonprayingFathers, you might want to have everyone pray this after Mass on Inauguration Day and other major public holidays.  This, and other prayers, are deeply needed.

The following prayer was composed by John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore, in 1791. He was the first bishop appointed for the United States in 1789 by Pope Pius VI. He was made the first archbishop when his see of Baltimore was elevated to the status of an archdiocese. John was a cousin of Charles Carroll of Maryland, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

This needs no translation for Catholics who love their country!


We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.

We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope N.,the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state , for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

I became familiar with this moving prayer at my home parish of St. Agnes in St. Paul (MN) where it was recited after all Masses on civic holidays of the USA, such as 4 July and Thanksgiving.

Americans among the readership might print it and bring it to your parish priests and ask them to use it after Mass on national holidays.

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Continental Congress at Prayer

The opening prayer session of the 1st Continental Congress was about 3 hours long.

Posted in PRAYER REQUEST, Urgent Prayer Requests | Tagged , | 4 Comments

A level stretch

From the Gospel reading today for the Feast of St. Fabian and St. Sebastian:

Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Luke
R. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.
Luke 6:17-23
At that time, Jesus coming down from the mountain, took His stand on a level stretch, with a crowd of His disciples, and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to listen to Him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the crowd were trying to touch Him, for power went forth from Him and healed all. And He lifted up His eyes to His disciples, and said, Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed shall you be when men hate you, and when they shut you out, and reproach you, and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and exult, for behold your reward is great in heaven.
R. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.
S. By the words of the Gospel may our sins be blotted out.

UPDATE: It is interesting that one of the ministers who prayed at the Inauguration also read the Beatitudes, from Matthew 5.

Posted in Just Too Cool | 3 Comments

“As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free”

I must admit that I get a little choked up at the last verse of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.  Remembering also that Pres. Bush had the US Army Chorus sing this for ” target=”_blank”>Pope Benedict at the White House

Posted in Just Too Cool | Tagged , | 15 Comments

25 January: Brick by brick in YONKERS! 1st Solemn Mass in decades!

17_01_19_YonkersNext week Wednesday, 25 January, for the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, my good friend Fr. Leonard Villa, Pastor of the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Yonkers, NY, will have a Solemn Mass for the Patronal Feast of the parish.

Mass begins at 7:30 PM to give people extra time to commute up to Yonkers. (If you are commuting from Manhattan, St. Paul’s is a short ride from the final stop on the 1 Train and the 4 Train.) After Mass, there will be reception in the parish school Cafeteria.

This will probably be the first Solemn Mass celebrated at St. Paul’s since the Second Vatican Council.

The choir at this Mass will include singers who will be at the Solemn Mass at St. Mary’s in Washington DC after the March for Life next week.  They will sing Charles Gounod’s Messe breve aux Chapelles no.7, Gabriel Fauré’s Ecce Fidelis Servus, and Cesar Franck’s
Tantum Ergo.

As many of you know, those who devoutly visit a parish church on the date of its Patronal Feast may earn a Plenary Indulgence under the usual conditions.

Fr. Villa is a former Navy lawyer who entered the seminary after he left active duty. He is a great priest. If you are in the area do not miss your chance to support the worthy celebration of the extraordinary form of the Mass at a new location.  That’s what we want, right?

Brick by brick!   Converge on Yonkers!

Posted in Brick by Brick, Events, The Campus Telephone Pole | 3 Comments

Have priests of Malta been threatened with suspension if they resist The Maltese Fiasco?

UPDATE 20 Jan:

The Catholic Herald says:

Maltese bishop denies he will suspend priests who don’t give Communion to the remarried

Bishop Mario Grech has denied that he will suspend priests who abide by traditional Church teaching on the Eucharist.

Several websites had reported rumours that the Maltese bishop had threatened to suspend priests from saying Mass unless they give Communion to the remarried.


But the bishops have denied the rumours. A statement on the Facebook page of the Diocese of Gozo said: “What is being stated by certain sections of the (international) media with reference to Bishop Mario Grech, namely that he ‘threatens priests will be suspended a divinis for refusing Communion to divorced/remarried’, is absolutely false.”

___ ORIGINAL Published on: Jan 19, 2017 ___

The Italian language site Messa in Latino has written.. mind you, this is rumor, rumor, mind you…

Ci è stato riferito da persone affidabili ed attendili, di cui conosciamo l’identità ma che per ovvi motivi non possiamo rilevare, che in questi recentissimi giorni mons. Mario Grech (vescovo di Gozo, nella foto) di ritorno da Roma ha MINACCIATO i preti della propria diocesi di Malta di “proibire loro la Messa se non supportano le direttive su Amoris Laetitia scritte con il vescovo Sciucluna”. … Quindi: minaccia di sospensione a divinis (o comunque interdetto di celebrare pubblicamente) per i preti maltesi che non daranno la comunione ai divorziati risposati

We were told by reliable and trustworthy people, whose identity we know but for obvious reasons we cannot reveal, that in these last few days, Bp. Mario Grech (Bishop of Gozo, in the photo) on his return from Rome THREATENED priest of his diocese in Malta to “prohibit them from saying Mass if they don’t support the directives about Amoris laetitia written with Bishop Scicluna.  … Hence, he threads suspension a divinis (or rather interdict to celebrate publicly) for Maltese priests who do not give Communion to the divorced and remarried.

You know that these Bishops put out what can only be judged a dreadful document, a mockery, which we call The Maltese Fiasco.  What’s worse is that it was also published in L’Osservatore Romano.

Has this been confirmed yet by other sources?  So far, I haven’t seen it.  However, if bishops are capable of putting out The Maltese Fiascothis sort of treatment of priests would follow.   It’s all about the mercy, right?

The restrictive moderation queue is ON.


Posted in Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

TRAD LIVES MATTER! US Bishop attacks “ad orientem” worship, overrides Summorum Pontificum

17_01_18_Rockford_01UPDATE: COMMENTS CLOSED.

___ Originally Published on: Jan 19, 2017 @ 14:25 ___

I received a copy of a letter sent by the Bishop of Rockford, Most Rev. David J. Malloy, to the priests of that diocese.

In this letter, a follow up to their diocesan “Presbytery Day” (where he spoke to them about “challenges”), the bishop writes:

Following that talk, I write now to ask for your cooperation on several matters that have since been referred to me in connection with my comments last September:

First, as I noted at that time, we are all aware of the on-going discussion surrounding the celebration of the Mass “ad orientem.  However, for the reasons I discussed at that time, and in order to underscore our unity in prayer and to avoid differences between and even within parishes on this point, I ask that no Masses be celebrated “ad orientem” without my permission.

It seems to me that the bishop is, in this regard making a request, but he confuses the request by adding the word “permission”.  This letter has no juridical form or force.  It doesn’t make diocesan law.

Frankly, I don’t think a bishop can forbid celebration ad orientem.  Priests can follow the rubrics of the Roman Missal.  I don’t think that they can be forbidden from following the rubrics.  Should they be prudent about how they implement it?  Sure!  However, it’s hardly a sign of confidence in the priests to forbid them to exercise a legitimate pastoral decision.

However, there’s more (my emphases):

Second, for similar reasons, in keeping with Art. 5 § 1 of Summorum Pontificum, and with due regard to Art. 2 of that same document, Masses are not to be celebrated using the Extraordinary Form without my permission.

Hmmm….  No.  His permission?  Fail.

Art. 2 of Summorum Pontificum says (my emphases):

Art. 2. In Missis sine populo celebratis, quilibet sacerdos catholicus ritus latini, sive saecularis sive religiosus, uti potest aut Missali Romano a beato Papa Ioanne XXIII anno 1962 edito, aut Missali Romano a Summo Pontifice Paulo VI anno 1970 promulgato, et quidem qualibet die, excepto Triduo Sacro. Ad talem celebrationem secundum unum alterumve Missale, sacerdos nulla eget licentia, nec Sedis Apostolicae nec Ordinarii sui.

Art. 2. In Masses celebrated without the people, any priest whosoever of the Latin Rite, whether secular of religious, can use either the Missale Romanum issued in 1962 by Bl. John XXIII, or the Missale Romanum promulgated in 1970 by the Supreme Pontiff Paul VI, and indeed on anyday whatsoever except during the Sacred Triduum. For such a celebration according to one or the other Missal, a priest does not need permission, neither from the Apostolic See nor from his Ordinary.

The Bishop of Rockford wrote “with due regard to Art. 2” and then he completely ignored it and wrote something that precisely contradicted it.  According to Art. 2, priests of that diocese – or any other diocese in the world for that matter – do not need his permission.  Granted Art. 2 says “without the people”, but the Bishop did not restrict himself to that.  And there is also the next part.

Let’s look at Art. 5, § 1:

Art. 5, § 1. In paroeciis, ubi coetus fidelium traditioni liturgicae antecedenti adhaerentium stabiliter exsistit, parochus eorum petitiones ad celebrandam sanctam Missam iuxta ritum Missalis Romani anno 1962 editi, libenter suscipiat. Ipse videat ut harmonice concordetur bonum horum fidelium cum ordinaria paroeciae pastorali cura, sub Episcopi regimine ad normam canonis 392, discordiam vitando et totius Ecclesiae unitatem fovendo.

Art. 5, § 1. In parishes, where there is stably present a group of the faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition, let the pastor willingly receive their petitions that Mass be celebrated according to the Rite of the Missale Romanum issued in 1962. Let him see to it that the good of these faithful be harmoniously brought into accord with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the governance of the Bishop according to canon 392, by avoiding discord and by fostering the unity of the whole Church.

QUAERUNTUR: How does it foster “the unity of the whole Church” if some people in a diocese are made by the bishop to feel like second-class Catholics?

How do you “avoid discord” by managing these traditionally inclined faithful Catholics (with their large families) when at the same time you allow every other parish to do just about anything they want without the slightest peep, even in the face of absurd innovations or liturgical abuses?

civil rights Birmingham firehose students

Birmingham – 1963

Just go ahead and manage the, for example, Spanish-speaking groups in the same way that you treat traditional Catholic.  No no.. that wouldn’t be “pastoral” (pronounced “pastORal”, or worse, “past-OR-ee-al”).

Apparently you can treat Catholics who desire traditional expressions of our Faith and of our sacred worship any way you want.  No problem, they’re a small group and they’re weak and they tend to obey, so… GET ‘EM! 

Maybe the people of Rockford should start referring to the 1963 Missale!  The Missal of St. John XXIII!

The Church’s universal law directs priests to receive the petitions of the faithful to celebrate Holy Mass with the 1962 – 1963 Missal.  This was Pope Benedict’s wish, which is pastoral and in keeping with what St. John Paul II wrote in Ecclesia Dei adflicta. But the local bishop directs the priest to refuse the petitions of the faithful.  St. John Paul had written – nay rather had commanded by his Apostolic authority that bishops should be generous to the faithful who have these “legitimate” aspirations.

The Bishop of Rockford seems openly inimical to the pastoral concerns of Benedict XVI and St. John Paul in telling his priests to violate Summorum Pontificum and saying that priests don’t have the right to follow the rubrics even of the 2011 Missal.  Moreover, I have not found anything in the explanatory document Universae Ecclesiae that supports what the Bishop of Rockford has done.

But, “Will it play in Peoria?”

civil rights fire hoseSome of you younger readers might not know that phrase.  The idea is this: if a product or a show will have some success in the “fly over” states, in a “test market”, maybe it is good enough to bring to more “important” places.

Choose your analogy.  Trial balloon?  Canary in the coal mine?  Will it play in Rockford?

It is possible that this ultra vires move on the part of the Bishop of Rockford is a trial balloon.  A couple of other bishops sent up trial balloons against ad orientem worship not long ago.  Think also about The Maltese Fiasco. These are small dioceses, where well-organized groups of laity with priests having a will to resist is unlikely.  A raw exercise of power is tough for the average diocesan priest to handle: bishops can crucify a priest in a thousand creative ways, especially in this new age of mercy, wherein, under the surface, mercy isn’t mercy at all.  Chop down a few priests… pour encourager les autres.

What a loving gesture to a “periphery”.  What way to give due regard to their rights.

Do “Trad Lives Matter”?

civil rights Birmingham dogs sm

The moderation queue is ON.

Posted in Goat Rodeos, Liberals, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Pò sì jiù, Si vis pacem para bellum!, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Olympian Middle, Turn Towards The Lord, Wherein Fr. Z Rants, You must be joking! | Tagged , , , | 58 Comments