Fidel’s Ignoble Exit and A Drink Suggestion

The jeep carrying Fidel Castro’s ashed today – wait for it – broke down and had to be pushed. HERE

In case you didn’t know…

cuba libreHOW TO MAKE A CUBA LIBRE (or How to Make Cuba Free)


  • Tall glass
  • Long spoon or stir stick


  • Ice cubes
  • 2 wedges of lime
  • 1 part Rum
  • 2 part dark cola (e.g., Coca Cola, etc.)
  • optional mint leaves


  1. Fill glass with ice cubes
  2. Squeeze and then drop 2 lime wedges into the glass – coat the ice with the lime juice
  3. (Add optional mint leaves)
  4. Pour in the Rum
  5. Top up with chilled cola
  6. Stir gently, briefly
Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Fr. Z's Kitchen, Lighter fare | Tagged , | 1 Comment

ACTION ITEM! Pontifical Vestments Fund Raising – WHITE

action-item-buttonThe end of the tax year is coming and you are surely thinking about charitable donations.

The Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison – 501(c)(3) – is at it again.  Of course it’s at it again: I’m the president and the tank has only one gear.

To find our GoFundMe campaign…


This time we must raise funds for a full set of Pontifical in WHITE.

We have to take some pressure off our beautiful gold set, which is silk.  We have to use it more sparingly, but we are having Pontifical Masses pretty often!   It’s a good problem to have, right?

I found some beautiful and durable and affordable while jacquard damask. We will buy the fabric ourselves and take it to Gammarelli in Rome.


A full Pontifical Set typically includes:

  • Chasuble with stole, maniple, burse, veil
  • Three dalmatics with 1 deacon’s stole and maniples.
  • Two tunics with a maniple.
  • Humeral veil
  • Cope and stole
  • Antependium
  • Gremial
  • Pontifical dalmatic and tunic
  • Pontifical gloves
  • Buskins

We will also get fabric and trim for tabernacle veil.  These vestments can also be used for Solemn Masses with priest, deacon and subdeacon.

Down the line we will have a new Black set made (the one we have now… meh…) and a Rose set!   Of course, I continue to harbor hope for the approval of liturgical blue.

Please help us?   Donate now.  The dollar is strong against the Euro now.  I’d like to get this project started at the first of the year.

Here are some action shots of our vestments.

YOU helped to make these!



And not in action…




JD, MH, J, MP, Fr AS,


Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, ACTION ITEM!, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , | 2 Comments

ASK FATHER: Book recommendations for young men discerning priesthood

From a reader…


In reference to one of your latest posts, do you have any solid book recommendations for young men discerning priesthood. A lot of the stuff usually recommended is emotionally based and does little in the way of sacerdotal theology.

This is interesting.  I had this same question this morning in the sacristy after Mass!   I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to receive such a question.

Immediately there comes to mind…

(This book is good for a range of ages.)


For someone maybe a little older…


I would be delighted to receive – FROM PRIESTS – other suggestions.  Please, Fathers, send them in.

The moderation queue is on.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

ADVENTCAzT 08: Little drummer boys

Here is ADVENTCAzT 08, for the 2nd Sunday of Advent.

This presents a little identity prod for priests… and for lay people to remember who their priests are.  How are you to see them?

These 5 minute offerings, to help you prepare for the upcoming feast as well as for your own, personal, meeting with the Lord, are a token of gratitude for my benefactors who donate and send items from my wishlist.  Thank you!

Make some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen!

Some music : US HERE – UK HERE

Please chime in if you listened.  I enjoy and need the feedback.

PS: These podcasts should also be available through my iTunes feed, though in years past I have had problems with it. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plug in on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading?

Posted in ADVENTCAzT, ADVENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Veneral Sky Show

The Moon and Venus are at it again in the early evening sky. They are just a few degrees apart. However, given your Moon’s crescent state, you may be able to see some great Earth Shine.  It is also called “Da Vinci Glow” after the guy who figured out what it was.

See SpaceWeather:


Posted in Just Too Cool, Look! Up in the sky! | 2 Comments

WDTPRS – 2nd Sunday of Advent: LIONS!

“We escape neither the Enemy lion nor the glorious Lion of Judah”!

Our Collect (once called the “Opening Prayer”) for the 2nd Sunday of Advent was not in the pre-Conciliar Missale Romanum but it was in the so-called Rotulus (“scroll”) of Ravenna, dated perhaps as early as the 5th century.

Omnipotens et misericors Deus,
in tui occursum Filii festinantes
nulla opera terreni actus impediant,
sed sapientiae caelestis eruditio
nos faciat eius esse consortes

Impedio (built from the word pes, pedis, “foot”), at the core of this prayer, is “to snare or tangle the feet”.   A consors is someone with (con-) whom you share your lot (sors).   The phrase “faciat eius esse consortes” recalls both the Collect for Christmas Day and the priest’s preparation of the chalice during the offertory.  Deus, “God”, is declined irregularly. In solemn discourse the nominative is used as the vocative form (e.g. cf. Livy 1, 24, 7).  Sapientia (“wisdom”) and eruditio (“learning”) are packed, technical terms from ancient rhetoric and philosophy.

Almighty and merciful God,
let no works of worldly impulse impede
those hurrying to the meeting of Your Son,
but rather let the learning of heavenly wisdom
make us to be His co-heirs.

God of power and mercy,
open our hearts in welcome.
Remove the things that hinder us
from receiving Christ with joy,
so that we may share his wisdom
and become one with him
when he comes in glory,…

Almighty and merciful God,
may no earthly undertaking hinder those
who set out in haste to meet your Son,
but may our learning of heavenly wisdom
gain us admittance to his company.

Last week in our Collect we rushed to meet the Coming Lord while striving for our reward through works made meritorious by Him alone.

During Advent, as the Baptist warns us, we are to make ready the path for the coming of the Lord.  This week we are still rushing but perhaps we are wiser after the first rush of excitement.

This week we are wary of obstacles which could impede us, snare our feet.  These impediments are merely worldly ways and works, not meritorious for salvation since they are not performed in Christ.

Worldly ways entangles us.  St. Paul contrasts the wisdom of this world with the Wisdom of God (cf. 1 Cor 1:20;  3:19; 2 Cor 3:19).  In Romans 12:2 Paul admonishes,

“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

This is not just a Pauline concept.  Compare today’s Collect with 2 Peter 1:3-4: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge (cognitio: cf. eruditio) of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature (efficiamini divinae consortes).”

St. Augustine of Hippo (+430) dismantled Donatist arguments that all clerics ordained by a sinful bishop would automatically be stained by the same guilt. He used imagery reminiscent of today’s prayer:

“The mire (lutum) their feet are stuck in is so thick and dense that, trying in vain to tear themselves out of it, they get their hands and head stuck in it too, and lingering in that muck they get more tightly enveloped” (c. Don. 25).

The Donatist argument was based on worldly, not heavenly, wisdom.  Sticky lutum is a metaphor for a worldly, sinful life. Augustine contrasts being lutum with being children of God. “Noli esse lutum …Don’t be muck, but become (efficere) a child of God through His mercy!” (diu. qu. 68.3).

If we neglect God, we weak sinners can eventually convince ourselves of anything: down becomes up, back becomes front, black is white, wrong is right, and muddy is clean.  We excuse away our sins.  Once self-justification becomes a habit, it is a vice in more than one sense of that word.  Our consciences may occasionally struggle against the vice of self-deception, but the proverbial “Struggle” supplies permission:

“I really ‘struggled’ with this, … before I did it.”

If we go off the true path into the sticky mire of error, we escape neither the Enemy lion seeking whom he might devour (1 Peter 5:8), nor the glorious Lion of Judah who will open the seals and read the Book of Life (Rev 5:5).

This all, it seems to me, is pertinent to our present debates surrounding Amoris laetitia.

During Advent, let us make straight Christ’s path and watch our step.  Nevertheless, no matter how sticky may be the mess we have gotten ourselves into, Christ’s loving mercy washes its stain away in a good, complete confession before Christmas.


Posted in ADVENT, GO TO CONFESSION, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

What marriage is and what it isn’t

I have turned back the clock to June 2016 to find a post at the blog of canonist Ed Peters, who also – to our benefit – comments on these electronic pages.

Peters breaks it down Barney style so that even the most obtuse of libs can follow.

Papal comments on cohabitation and civil marriage suggest a direction

Let’s be clear: marriage is marriage but cohabitation (as that word is nearly universally understood in social discourse) is only cohabitation. Where to begin?

Everybody starts off single. One stays single unless one goes through a ceremony called a wedding, at which point, one is (presumptively, at least) married. People who are married get to do certain things that people who are not married don’t get to do, like, say, submit a married-filing-jointly tax return with a certain someone and have sex with that same certain someone if they both so choose. In addition, though, married couples who are baptized get something else at their wedding, they receive a sacrament called Matrimony, and with that sacrament come very powerful graces put there by Jesus to help Christian couples living the difficult and wonderful thing called marriage.

But, if one is not married, one does not get to submit a married-filing-jointly tax return with anyone and one does not get to have sex with a certain no-one or with anyone else. Moreover, even if one is baptized (and regardless of what other sacramental or actual graces might be wonderfully at work in one’s life) a single person does not get the specific graces of Matrimony. Why? Because cohabitation is NOT marriage, let alone is it “true marriage”, and cohabiting couples do NOT share in the graces of Matrimony.


Read the rest of this brilliant entry over there.

Posted in One Man & One Woman | Tagged , , , , | 39 Comments

ADVENTCAzT 07: ‘If only things were different…”

Here is ADVENTCAzT 07, for Saturday in the 1st Week of Advent.

These 5 minute offerings, to help you prepare for the upcoming feast as well as for your own, personal, meeting with the Lord, are a token of gratitude for my benefactors who donate and send items from my wishlist.  Thank you!

Make some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen!

Some music : US HERE – UK HERE

Chime in if you listened.

PS: These podcasts should also be available through my iTunes feed, though in years past I have had problems with it. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plug in on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading?

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

Leadership in the Church, Reading, and You (Fathers)

Donald Trump has made a stupendous decision to nominate Gen. James Mattis, USMC Ret., as Secretary of Defense.

Here is a video of Gen. Mattis answering questions, especially about leadership.

Fathers: watch this.  We could use this spirit.

♫ Gimme that ol’ Marine Corps spirit! ♫

Mattis suggests looking at the Commandant’s Professional Reading List.  HERE

Couldn’t we use a reliable reading list?

Here are a few titles… just to think about starting to scratch the surface.









Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, ACTION ITEM!, Be The Maquis, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Mail from priests, Priests and Priesthood, Seminarians and Seminaries | Tagged | 16 Comments

Innovations which Vatican II did NOT call for, but which we got anyway.

I saw this on Facebook:

innovations of v2

Today a priest friend told me that Summorum Pontificum was the obituary of the Spirit of Vatican II.

More and more we will see how important Summorum Pontificum is.  It will have an ever greater impact.

Posted in SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM | Tagged | 34 Comments

Anthony Esolen is under attack by Providence College

I’ve mentioned Prof. Anthony Esolen quite often in these electronic pages. He is a serious scholar with a great pen. I’m usual struck with a little envy at his writing style.

Esolen is under attack by liberals.

There is an article about this at the ever more useful Crisis.

A sample:

The Providence College Mob Comes for Anthony Esolen.


A group of students accused him of racism. His attempts to discuss the issues with them were rebuffed. A band of students instead held a demonstration led by a bullhorn-wielding woman demanding “inclusion” and attention to a list of other demands to remake the university according to adolescent utopian ideals.

The band of students did meet with the president of the college, Fr. Brian Shanley. Sadly, Fr. Shanley followed the template of invertebrate college administrators everywhere: He weakly defended Esolen’s academic freedom but—and there’s always a “but”—rebuked him for causing “pain” to the protesting students. Shanley then suggested that Esolen’s truth-telling had violated “our fundamental imperative on a Catholic campus: to be charitable to one another.”

Several questions come to mind. First, did Shanley bother to read Esolen’s essay on diversity? It is truly inclusive, in the genuine meaning of that word. It focuses on what a Catholic college is supposed to be about—imparting the truth about God and his creation, where all are “truly at one with each other” when they “behold the same object of wonder, and lose themselves in that wonder.”


Posted in Liberals, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Drill, The Last Acceptable Prejudice | Tagged , | 13 Comments

ACTION ITEM! Petition in support of the Four Cardinals and Five Dubia

action-item-buttonLifeSite has a petition in support of the Four Cardinals and their Five Dubia.


Please consider signing.  I, for one, want clarity about the questions submitted by the Four Cardinals.  The questions were necessary to maintain the integrity the papal Magisterium.  Certain elements of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia seem to contradict directly the Magisterium of St. John Paul II in, especially, Familiaris consortio and Veritatis splendor.

Posted in ACTION ITEM!, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, The Drill | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

ADVENTCAzT 06: Silence

Here is ADVENTCAzT 06, for Friday in the 1st Week of Advent.

These 5 minute offerings, to help you prepare for the upcoming feast as well as for your own, personal, meeting with the Lord, are a token of gratitude for my benefactors who donate and send items from my wishlist.  Thank you!

Make some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen!

Some music : US HERE – UK HERE

Chime in if you listened.

PS: These podcasts should also be available through my iTunes feed, though in years past I have had problems with it. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plug in on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading?

Posted in ADVENTCAzT, ADVENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Just Too Cool: Measuring instruments altered by electromagnetic disturbances when placed on Christ’s tomb

I just finished writing a brief piece about technology (for the Catholic Herald) and I ran across this from EWTN UK.  You may have read that restoration work and scientific examination of the Edicule which encloses the Christ’s empty tomp was undertaken in October.  …

Astonishing discovery at Christ’s tomb supports Turin Shroud

On October 26, 27 and 28, 2016 a group of scientists and religious authorities oversaw the removal of the marble slab that covers the tomb of Christ. Marie-Armelle Beaulieu, editor-in-chief of Terre Sainte Magazine, reports that some of the measuring instruments used by scientists were altered by electromagnetic disturbances when they were placed directly on the stone in which Christ’s body rested. The scientists reports that their measuring devices either malfunctioned or ceased to work at all. Aleteiareports

The phenomenon was confirmed by one of the scientists authorized to access the tomb. Later, one of the heads of the building and construction team, Antonia Moropoulou, indicated that it is really hard to imagine that someone would be willing to put in danger his or her reputation just because of a “publicity stunt.” Moreover, the journalist testifies to the scientists’ surprise during the opening of the slab: they hoped that the grave would be much lower than it was. Their conclusion: previously performed analyses with the instruments seemed to have been distorted by an electromagnetic disturbance.

The observation of unusual electromagnetic disturbances at the tomb of Our Lord may support a scientific hypothesis proposed to explain the creation of the mysterious image on the Holy Shroud of Turin. …


It goes on to talk about the amount of energy that would have to be emitted by a special kind of laser to produce a man-sized image on a linen cloth like the Shroud:

2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts

Just. Too. Cool.

Posted in Just Too Cool | Tagged , | 62 Comments

Douthat on The End of Catholic Marriage

I’m out and about and so can’t do more than point you in the direction of Hell’s Bible (aka NYT) where the redoubtable Ross Douthat has written more about the Great Matter of what’s up with the Church’s teaching on matrimony and a raft of related moral and doctrinal issues.

The End of Catholic Marriage


I haven’t written in this space for some time, but now that the election is over some additional interventions seem necessary to capture what’s happening in Roman Catholicism’s remarkable period of controversy. My Sunday column talked a bit about the way in which varying interpretations of “Amoris Laetitia,” Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation on the family, have produced variations in official Catholic teaching on marriage from diocese to diocese, region to region – a “submerged schism,” to borrow a phrase from the Vatican-watcher Andrea Gagliarducci, which thanks to the astringent words of certain bishops is no longer even that submerged.

And another…

But let’s be clear: The way out of all these difficulties proposed by the bishop of San Diego [Robert McElroy] is a way out of the traditional Catholic understanding of marriage, period. Drop the mention of annulments and the pro forma nod to “indissolubility,” replace “priest” with “pastor,” and there is nothing in his language that couldn’t be reproduced by a Protestant church dealing with the same issues and seeking to reintegrate its remarried members to fellowship and the Lord’s table. It is a plausible approach if you don’t believe what Catholics are supposed to believe about the sacraments; it is perhaps well-suited to Christian traditions that do not. It is reasonable-sounding response to modern realities; so is Episcopalianism. But it is not an approach that treats Christian marriage as actually indissoluble, actually real in a way that transcends the subjective experiences of the spouses, and a Catholicism that takes this approach can claim to believe in its historic teaching on marriage only in the most vaporous of ways — which is to say, not.



But you will note that only one of these men is a bishop, a public teacher of the faith, a Francis appointee. I am uncertain of the wisdom of the dubia offered by the four conservative cardinals, fearful (unlike certain heighten-the-contradictions traditionalists) of what might happen in the church if the pope actually clarified his teaching and intentions. But if Pope Francis does not mean his apostolic exhortation to be implemented along the sweeping, come-all-eventually-back-to-communion lines proposed by Bishop McElroy, he should say so, and soon. Because in the diocese of San Diego, there may be something called the sacrament of matrimony, but the church itself plainly does not believe in Catholic marriage anymore.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged , , , , | 34 Comments