A new priest opines on “Extraordinary Ministers” and people with only minor sins after several years.

From a priest, on two points:

For our vigil Mass, we had our extraordinary ministers failed to show up.  I also did not have a deacon.  I preached about a 12 minute homily, used the Roman Canon, and distributed Holy Communion on my own to a congregation of about 200.

It still took only about an hour.  I don’t see how communion would be unduly delayed.  Therefore, I see no need for extraordinary ministers.

I’m still a new priest, but I really wonder about what they’ve been teaching the people here.  If someone hasn’t been to confession in several years and their only sins are minor, either they’ve not examined their consciences or they don’t know how to examine their consciences.  My bet is on the latter.

I really wonder about what they’ve been teaching the people here…”.

You are not alone, Father.

I’m glad you have your head screwed on in the right direction.

Now, learn to say the Extraordinary Form.  Also, get into that box and…


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A joyous young woman enters Carmel

This is pretty cool. A friend alerted me to this video of a young woman entering a Carmel.


More HERE.

You young women out there, think about it.

I don’t think that God is calling fewer women per capita to religious life than He did before. Fewer can hear it for the din of modern life and the horrid expectations and images placed in women’s minds and hearts in this twisted world.

In each age since Christ’s Ascension, people have felt they were in the End Times. They were right. In any moment, when the conditions are right, the Lord could return.

Considering what is happening in the world now, I am pushed to think about the way Mass is being celebrated, even the number of Masses being celebrated. Many more people went to confession.

Once there were many communities of contemplatives, spending time before the Blessed Sacrament or in contemplation, in collective and in private prayer.

Who can know how they lifted burdens from the world and turned large and small tides by their prayers to God for mercy and in reparation for sin?

Posted in Just Too Cool, Women Religious | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

PODCAzT 150: Leo XIII on Right Christian Conduct and the “bent of our age”

For this 15oth PODCAzT I offer Pope Leo XIII’s 1888 Encyclical Exuente iam anno, On Right Christian Conduct.

Despite the claims of many, the Church began neither with the Second Vatican Council nor the Pontificate of Francis.   There are inestimable treasures available to us in the magisterial documents of Popes stretching back through the centuries.

Today let us hear, in its entirety, this wonderful encyclical which could be addressed – and is – to us in this troubling age.

I’ll give you some pointers about Leo XIII, talk about the 1880’s and specifically 1888 and then give you the whole text.  If you can imagine such a thing, encyclicals were used to be brief and clear. They didn’t make you scratch your head as you turned to the Roman Catechism or the documents of the Council of Trent to make sure that what you just read was really what you just read.  But I digress.


Leo paints a bleak picture, but he also offers consolations and counsel for how can can get out of this mess we are in with God’s help.  He makes a powerful plea to clergy, to priests, for learning and for virtue and for detachment.

Leo makes a strong case for the only thing that is going to help turn society around and avert the disaster that awaited every state and empire in history when it turned away from virtue. And Leo points to the fact that the pursuit of true virtues can only be rooted in faith in Christ.

Listen for the what he calls the “bent of our age”, meaning the overriding direction. Tune your ears for this paragraph:

“Nor is there any power mighty enough to bridle the passions, for it follows that the power of law is broken, and that all authority is loosened, if the belief in an ever-living God, Who commands what is right and forbids what is wrong is rejected. Hence the bonds of civil society will be utterly shattered when every man is driven by an unappeasable covetousness to a perpetual struggle, some striving to keep their possessions, others to obtain what they desire. This is well nigh the bent of our age.”

Posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism, New Evangelization, PODCAzT, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

WDTPRS – 11th Sunday after Pentecost: We pray as Holy Church directs, bending our will to hers

With a minor variation this week’s Collect was in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary.  It survived the cut to live on in the Novus Ordo Missale Romanum as the Collect on the 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui abundantia pietatis tuae et merita supplicum excedis et vota: effunde super nos misericordiam tuam; ut dimittas quae conscientia metuit, et adicias quod oratio non praesumit.

Our information-oozing Lewis & Short Dictionary, says votum means “a solemn promise made to some deity; a vow.”  It is therefore also the thing promised or vowed.  In a more general sense it is a “wish, desire, longing, prayer.”

Supplex is an adjective, used also as a substantive, meaning “humbly begging or entreating; humble, submissive, beseeching, suppliant, supplicant.”  This and other derivative forms are commonly used in our Latin prayers; for example, now and again we see the adverbial form suppliciter.  I never get tired of this word.  As we have seen the L&S says supplex is from sup-plico, “bending the knees, kneeling down”.  The article on supplex in the French etymological dictionary of Latin by Alfred Ernout and Antoine Meillet offers that supplex comes not from plico but from plecto, “to plait, braid, interweave”.  E&M offers also the possibility that it is from placo, “to reconcile; to quiet, soothe, calm, assuage, appease, pacify”.   The former describes the physical attitude of the suppliant.  The latter describes his moral attitude.  The more probable plecto gives us much the same impact as plicoL&S also says plico and plecto are synonyms.  Thus, the imagery I have invoked in the past of the supplicant being bent over or folded in respect to his knees (i.e., kneeling or bent low toward the floor) works well.  Also, in the ancient world it was usual for the supplicant to wrap his arms around (plecto) the knees of the one from whom he was begging his petition.

Let’s keep drilling into supplex for a moment.   In many places during Holy Mass instead of abasing ourselves humbly before the Real Presence of Almighty God, we celebrate ourselves in remembrance of Jesus our non-judgmental buddy.  The concept of humility, inherent in supplex, was systematically expunged from translations of prayers, contemporary music in parishes, and (in churches now lacking kneelers) architecture.

One of the most “Catholic” of prayers, nearly eliminated after Vatican II, underscores an important dimension of healthy spirituality.  In the once familiar Dies irae, the haunting sequence of the Requiem Mass by the Franciscan friar Thomas of Celano (+ c.1270).  Sung amidst the inky vestments symbolizing our death to sin and the things of this world, in the Dies irae we contemplate our inevitable judgment by the Rex tremendae maiestatis… the King of fearful majesty, who is iustus Iudex, our just Judge.  In two of the verses we pray:

“Once the accursed have been confounded,
once they have been delivered to the stinging flames,
call me with the blessed.
(Knees) bent and leaning over (supplex et acclinis),
My heart worn down like ash, I pray:
Have a care for my end.”

The use of supplex in our Catholic prayers conveys an attitude of contrition for our sins which then shapes other more joyful and confident prayers.  This lowly attitude keeps in close view the reality of our sins, God’s promises of forgiveness, the ordinary means of their cleansing (confession) and thus the joyful comfort we have when we surrender to this merciful plan.

God takes our sins away, but only when we beg Him to.

We retain the memory of actual sins, but not their stain.  When we reduce ourselves to the ashes of humility and confess our sins we know those sins are not merely covered over; they are washed away clean.  Before modern times, soaps were made partly from ashes.  The Dies irae is not forbidden in Masses with the Novus Ordo, it simply is no longer obligatory.  The Church’s documentation on the use of sacred music establishes that suitable (i.e., truly sacred and truly artistic) pieces can be substituted into the Mass for the proper purpose and occasion.   Nothing is more suitable for Catholic piety than the use of the Dies irae.


Almighty and everlasting God, who in the abundance of Your goodness surpass both the merits and the prayerful vows of suppliants, pour forth Your mercy upon us, so that You set aside those things which our conscience fears, and apply what our prayer dares not.

That last line of the Collect is consoling: adicias quod oratio non praesumit…add that which prayer does not dare… or rather … anticipate.  Praesumo also means “foresee” or do something “in advance”.  With our limited powers of discernment we cannot see or pray about every contingency we must face in life, but God knows them all.  He can mitigate our fears, both about the sins we remember as well as the things we worry over and can only guess at.

We should glance at what must be used on the 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time in the Novus Ordo.  First, the bad old days.


your love for us
surpasses all our hopes and desires.
Forgive our failings,
keep us in your peace
and lead us in the way of salvation

I actually had to double-check to make sure I matched the correct Sunday in the respective editions of the Missal.


Almighty ever-living God,
who in the abundance of your kindness
surpass the merits and the desires of those who entreat you,
pour out your mercy upon us
to pardon what conscience dreads
and to give what prayer does not dare to ask.

Try reading these versions, my literal version and the old ICEL’s, bit by bit, alternately: “Almighty and everlasting God” becomes “Father”; “abundance of Your goodness” is reduced to the nebulous ICEL catch-all “love”;  “the merits and the prayerful vows of suppliants” is banalized into “our hopes and desires”; “pour forth Your mercy upon us” becomes “Forgive our failings” (not sins! … they’re just boo boos); “those things which our conscience fears” (our sins, the everlasting punishment of hell and having offended God) is rendered down to the amorphous “keep us in your peace”; and “what our prayer dares not” veers away from the misery of our true state into “lead us in the way of salvation”.

Some Collects we have encountered seem to refer to the Lord’s Prayer.  Perhaps this one does as well.  First, we have the word oratio.  In Latin the Lord’s Prayer is oratio dominica where dominica is an adjective, “lordly; of or pertaining to the Lord.”  In our Collect the “prayer”, oratio, is grammatically the subject of that last verb adicio.  After the Eucharistic Prayer the priest introduces the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer saying “audemus dicere…. we dare to say….” On our own we could never presume or dare to raise any petitions to the Father if the Son had not already enjoined them on us, given us permission, nay command, and made us members of His own mystical Person as coheirs.   A noble and even courtly style of speech our prayer helps us avoid being presumptuous.  The banal, humility-stripped style of the obsolete ICEL versions? Not so much.

In today’s Collect we must make a tricky translation choice.  In dimitto (used also in the Lord’s Prayer) we have “to send away; separate” and thus logically “to forgive”.  The verb ad(j)icio is “place a thing near; add as an increase, apply”.  It is hard to get the impact of this “spatial imagery” into English without circumlocutions.  We want to have sins and their lethal effects separated far away from us, but we want God’s favors and promises to stick to us.

Our Latin Collect gives us a model for an attitude of prayer.  We see the figure of one who is bowed down, folded, knees bent (supplex, – plico).  This suppliant is frightened by what the just Judge will apply to him because of the sins which bother his conscience.  This lowly beggar prays and prays, entwining (– plecto) his arms about the knees of his Lord.  He petitions the Almighty Father, merciful and good, to allay his fears by totally removing his damning sins and then supply him with whatever he dares not ask or does not even know he ought to beg for (non praesumit).  He simultaneously has the humility of the kneeling suppliant but also the boldness of sonship.  He can dare what is beyond his own ability because God the Father Himself made him His son through a mysterious adoption.  He is emboldened to ask many things of the Father with faith and confidence (cf. Mark 11:24 and 9:23).

The Gospel of Luke recounts (cf. ch. 11 and 18) three parables of Jesus about persistent, even audacious, prayer of petition.  When we pray with the right attitude, particularly during Holy Mass before the altar of sacrifice, turned in hope to the liturgical East with our mediator the priest, Christ makes up for what we are cannot do.  He takes our hearts, minds, voices, gestures and makes them his own so they may be raised to the merciful Father.

St. Augustine (+430) says that Jesus

“prays for us as our priest, prays in us as our Head, and is prayed to by us as our God.  Therefore, let us acknowledge our voice in Him and His in us” (en Ps 85, 1).

Holy Mass is all about what Christ does for us.

Mass is a sacred action in which God is the principal actor.  By our baptism we participate actively in His sacred action.  Christ is the Head, we the Body.  He takes our voices and makes them His own.  Our actions become His.  We must therefore never usurp the liturgy, change it around to suit our tastes.  With Christ’s own authority Holy Church gives us the Mass. She alone provides the proper prayers and rubrics.

When we pray as Holy Church directs, bending our will to hers, our earthly voices ring authentically with the celestial, and ecclesial, voice of the Risen Christ.

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Will SSPX get Personal Prelature? Could be, but obstacles remain.

From Christ und Welt, which is in German, via an English translation at Sunesis Press.

The Secretary of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” said that (with some added emphases and comments).

Note the references to doctrinal questions.


C & W: Recently there was an acceleration of relationships, why?

Pozzo:I would not speak of an acceleration, but by a patient process of rapprochement.  The Vatican is not demanding, insisting on ultimatums, instead we jointly planned some steps to reach full reconciliation. Since the stages were agreed upon, the way is easier to tread. [NB] We are still interested in clarifying some doctrinal and canonical questions. It is very important to promote a climate of mutual knowledge and understanding. In this respect, much progress has been made.  [Doctrinal questions remain.]

C & W: What has changed in the attitude of the Vatican since the beginning of the pontificate?

Pozzo: Several new perspectives were integrated. 2009 to 2012 was primarily a theological debate in the foreground.  There were doctrinal difficulties which hindered the canonical recognition of the Fraternity. We know, however, that life is more than doctrine. For through the theological discussion in the past three years we have come to know the desire and understand the reality of the Fraternity. [Interesting.]

[…]C & W: Bergoglio knew the Fraternity from Argentina.How crucial is this personal contact for the Pope?

Pozzo: This is certainly an important element. When he was still Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis had contacts with the Fraternity. He saw how much effort they put in evangelization and in charitable work. The Fraternity does not, as is often claimed, only value the traditional liturgy, but also has substantive work.

C & W: Francis always stressed the pastoral aspect. Is this also the key to an understanding with the SSPX?

Pozzo: Pastoral and dogmatic theology are inseparable. The style and concrete willingness of Pope Francis to help the unity between the people not only to think but also to learn. Of course, some gestures are important. He has allowed the Priests of the SSPX to hear confessions of  the faithful, he has received the Superior General of the Fraternity, Monsignor Bernard Fellay in private audience. The rapprochement and resumption of talks was all made possible by the [lifting of the] excommunication by Benedict XVI.

C & W: Why is a Personal Prelature appropriate for the SSPX?

Pozzo: That seems to be the appropriate canonical form. [NB] Monsignor Fellay has accepted the proposal, even if in the coming months details remain to be clarified. Only Opus Dei currently enjoys this canonical structure, which is a big vote of confidence for the SSPX. [HOWEVER…] It is clear that the solution of the canonical form requires the solution of the doctrinal questions.

So, it seems that IF the doctrinal questions can be worked out, THEN the SSPX could get a Personal Prelature.

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VIDEO: Ordinary Form Mass very much in the Roman style

I was sent a link to a video of the Holy Mass in the Ordinary Form celebrated at the Proto-Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Seattle in Vancouver, WA for their Patronal Feast of St. James the Greater.

At this parish you can tell that they are trying to celebrated the Novus Ordo in continuity with the Roman liturgical style, in keeping with the Roman genius inhering in the Vetus Ordo or Extraordinary Form. Absent are the oddities that have slowly become virtually de rigueur in the Ordinary Form. The servers were well trained and reverent. The celebrant and single concelebrant were reserved and capable.

I must say, this parish music program is excellent. For the Mass they used Widor’s Mass for two organs and choirs, Op. 36 and they did it splendidly. They also executed some fine motets and Gregorian chant (though I am not a fan of mixed voice Gregorian chant).

Here is the video.

The Patronal Feast of St. James the Greater at the Proto-Cathedral of St. James the Greater from Proto-Cathedral of St. James on Vimeo.

For my part, I think that Father should have taken his seat at the sedilia as the music went on. Also, you will note that they, quite properly, separated the Sanctus and Benedictus. However I noticed that the celebrant waited for the two parts to end before continuing with the text. It seems to me that, in keeping with what Joseph Ratzinger had recommended, this would have been good moment simply to continue the Canon inaudibly (as we done for so many centuries – yes, yes I know what the stupid rubrics says in the OF). I also noted that they used the Gradual rather than the responsorial psalm. Well done.

I compliment them for their reverence. Also, it is good that Latin is being used in the Novus Ordo. I hope that, in the future, the celebrant will also sing the Canon, also in Latin.

In my native place, at St. Agnes in St. Paul, the principle for the Novus Ordo “High Mass” in Latin, for both the orchestral and a cappella Masses, is that Latin is sung and the vernacular was spoken. So, the readings, petitions, etc. were spoken while everything else was sung.  Each place where sacred worship is taken seriously will develop their own house style.

It is possible to raise questions about the advantages of one rite or the other.  Some might say that, “If the Ordinary Form succeeds to the extent that it is like the Extraordinary Form, then why not just use the Extraordinary Form?”  That’s a legitimate point in an idea world.  Some places might need a way a) to make a transition to the Extraordinary Form or b) to keep at bay the howling wolves who would rend them limb from limb for being so traditional.

Another thing that impressed me about the parish is the fine examination of conscience available on their website. HERE They get it.

Fr. Z kudos.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments

ASK FATHER: Are your podcasts on iTunes?

From a reader…


Can your podcazts be obtained on iTunes? I would like to subscribe on my new ipod. Thanks!

Yes, indeed.

That said, remember that our world is becoming ever more dangerous.  I warmly recommend that, when you are out and about, you take the buds out of your ears and keep your eyes off those little screens.  Watch your surroundings.  Be alert.  Know where you are.  See everyone.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, PODCAzT | Tagged | 17 Comments

WDTPRS – 18th Ordinary Sunday: cold, clear reality

adam-and-eve-original-sinWhen the priest, alter Christus, says our prayers during Holy Mass, Christ, Head of the Body, speaks.

His words have power to form us.

Formed according to the mind of the Church, we Catholics then go out from Mass to shape our world around us.

It is the work of Christ’s Body to bring the content of these prayers (Christ Himself!) to every corner and nook we influence.

Holy Church shapes us and we shape the world around us. We then bring gifts – the very best we can conceive – back to Holy Church who makes them her own.  This is dynamic exchange is called inculturation.

However, in this simultaneous two-way exchange, what God offers to the world through Holy Church must always have logical priority over what the world offers back.  This is authentic inculturation!

The Collect for the 18th Ordinary Sunday was not in any previous edition of the Missale Romanum.  The ancient Veronese Sacramentary has a close cousin used by our ancestorsOur modern version simplified the grammar.  I found similar vocabulary in the works of Cicero (+ BC 43 – Ep. ad fam. 2.6.4), in the writings of St Ambrose of Milan (+397 – Hexameron, Day 1.2.7), and in the sermons of St Augustine (+430 – s. 293d, 5).   The Church and culture have been deeply interwoven through the centuries.

Here’s the Collect:

Adesto, Domine, famulis tuis, et perpetuam benignitatem largire poscentibus, ut his, qui te auctorem et gubernatorem gloriantur habere, et grata restaures, et restaurata conserves.

Adesto is the “future” imperative of the verb adsum, “to be present”, in both the physical and the moral sense.  By logical extension, adsum means, “to be present with one’s aid.”  It can also mean, “to be present in mind, with attention” and “to be fearless.”  “Adsum!” is the famous word in the rite of ordination to Holy Orders.  Men are officially “called” by name to Holy Orders (vocatio).  One by one they respond, “Adsum! …  I am present!”  Men may have inklings or personal convictions that they are called by God to the priesthood, but this “calling” during ordination is the Church’s affirmation of the vocation.

At this time of year some of our Collects use similar vocabulary, including slightly unusual words which spark our attention.

Last week we saw dux (“leader, guide, commander”) and rector (“ruler, leader, governor; helmsman”).  This week we have the similar term gubernator, “a steersman, pilot” or “a ruler, governor”.   During Ordinary Time there are groupings of Collects linked by vocabulary, theme, or images, (e.g., military, agricultural, judicial).

The Collects in the Novus Ordo are usually either derived from prayers in ancient sacramentaries or directly from orations in previous editions of the Missale Romanum.   Though they were taken from different times of the year in those sources, they are now grouped together.  This must have been a conscious choice.


Father of everlasting goodness, our origin and guide, be close to us and hear the prayers of all who praise you. Forgive our sins and restore us to life. Keep us safe in your love.

What is this I see?  Uncharacteristically, the old ICEL allowed the word “sins” into their version!   The old incarnation of ICEL consistently expunged references to sin, guilt, our humility, the possibility of hell for the unrepentant, propitiation, etc.


Be present to Your servants, O Lord, and grant Your unending kindness to those seeking it, so that You may restore favors to those who glory in having You as author and guide, and You may preserve them once restored.


Draw near to your servants, O Lord, and answer their prayers with unceasing kindness, that, for those who glory in you as their Creator and guide, you may restore what you have created and keep safe what you have restored.

Take note of the unequal statuses of those to whom the Latin prayer refers.

On the one hand, God is our creator.  He directs our paths.  He is eternal and kind.  He gives gifts.  He can be present to us.

On the other hand, we are servants and needy seekers.  We need God’s favors. We must be grateful, for they are unattainable apart from His kindness.  We do not deserve anything apart from Him. Some of us, moreover, have lost God’s favors.  We are incomplete until He restores them to us. He will not restore them unless we beg Him in His kindness to do so.

Because we are weak, God must preserve His gifts in us once He has given them back.

Our status as lowly servants is the key to everything we receive or regain.

The clear, cold reality of our neediness is today masterfully juxtaposed with the warming, reassuring confidence we find in God’s presence.

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1 August – Madison, WI – Pontifical Requiem at the Throne, “Month’s Mind”

His Excellency Most Reverent Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison, the Extraordinary Ordinary, regularly celebrates Holy Mass also in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

The next Solemn Pontifical Mass – a Requiem – will be offered by Bishop Morlino on the evening of Monday 1 August 2016 at 7:00 PM, at the chapel of Holy Name Heights (aka Bishop O’Connor Center).

The Mass is organized by the Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison at Bp. Morlino’s request.  This will be a “Month’s Mind” for the repose of the soul of the late Msgr. Delbert Schmelzer, PA, a beloved priest of the diocese.

The music will be the Missa Defunctorum for 4 Voices by Tomás Luis de Victoria as well as Gregorian Chant.

All at welcome.  Clerics are warmly invited to participate in choir dress.

Visit the site of the Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison.

Posted in Events, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Wherein Card. Burke greets YOU, the readers of Fr. Z’s Blog

Here is something from Card. Burke for all of you out there!

Posted in Just Too Cool | Tagged | 15 Comments

The ULTIMATE GIFT for a priest revisited: Portable altar from St. Joseph’s Apprentice

I have written before about the ULTIMATE gift for a priest: the marvelous portable altars by St. Joseph’s Apprentice.  In 2014 HERE and in 2015 HERE

With each iteration, these altars are being perfected.  He has taken some of my past suggestions and incorporated into the design.

St. Joseph’s Apprentice sent me an altar for my 25th anniversary (which was 26 May).

Let’s unbox it!

First, it was well-protected in the shipping box, but that part – important as it is – is boring.

It has a protective case and suitcase handle.

Beautiful glossy finish.

The underside is smooth and it won’t scratch any surface.  There are brass fittings to protect the corners, but they are raised from the bottom and there is a felt pad.

The cover lifts up, that’s the vertical part.  Wings fold out.  There is an altar stone set into the hinged lid that opens to reveal in the inner compartment.

This is what he carved on the underside of the cover to the central, inner compartment.

There are two brass bars which you push outward from the inner compartment to act as supports to the side wings.

Fit these two pieces together: book stand.

Inside the bag was the crucifix for the summit of the top lid.  You can see the tongue that fits into a groove on the top of the lid, to keep it in place.

Beautifully packaged altar cloths, including a vesperale.

A proper Roman altar has three altar cloths.

Set up with two little votive candles, a set of the travel altar cards from SPORCH.  A Missale Romanum which I bought through the FSSP.

With the vesperale.

It came with nice altar cards, which were described as being from a priest who was a Franciscan of the Immaculate who is now, after the persecution began, trying to eke out a living.  They are a little too flexible to stand up straight in the grooves, but they could easily be reinforced or given an extra stability by an additional lamination.

The altar, when opened, is 36″ wide and it weighs only 17 lbs!

The maker, Joseph’s Apprentice, Rick Murphey, said that this is of the same quality that all his other altars are.  If there are any problems or defects, he will remedy them.  He also wrote:

“Pray for me and for benefactors for those priests who are not able to afford one.  We are keeping you in our prayers during these troubling times and ask that you remember us too”

Outstanding, all the way around.

Keep this in mind for your priest’s, for their ordinations and their anniversaries.

St. Joseph’s Apprentice.

Posted in Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Priests and Priesthood, Seminarians and Seminaries | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

“Sandwiched between two forms of dhimmitude: Koran or Agenda-driven”

Fr. Jacques Hamel (+2016)

At the online site of the excellent Regina magazine there is a good piece about the rock and the hard place, the Scylla and Charybdis, the fire and the frying pan, the deep blue sea and the devil, betwixt which we find ourselves.

A Catholic Caught Between Jihad and the Agenda

ISIS has made its intentions clear: “the Christian community… “will not have safety, even in your dreams, until you embrace Islam. We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women….”

It happened yesterday, but it could have been the 700’s. Yesterday, Pere Jacques Hamel, an octogenarian pinch-hitting for a vacationing parish priest in Normandy’s beautiful city of Rouen, was forced to kneel before the altar where he was saying Mass, and martyred.

Only a couple of old nuns and two parishioners were present to see this gentle servant of God beheaded by blood-stained jihadis. Two hundred years of aggressive secularism has had its effect. France today is a proudly secular state run almost exclusively by leftists; few French people attend Mass outside of the traditionalist Catholic community, which is astonishingly large and strong, though a secret outside of France.

This martyrdom is of course only the latest in a series of Islamist outrages that almost now daily attack the civilized world. In 2015, France endured more than 800 attacks on Christian places of worship and cemeteries – most unreported.


[…]Why is this? Allahu Akbar does not fit the Narrative. In the view presented by the mainstream media across the West, almost without exception, we are governed by good, decent men and women who only want to promote global trade and peaceful relations. In a word, ‘Coexist’. These powerful men and women are just like us, the governed. They have children, even grandchildren. They live modest, decent lives. They are ‘public servants.’ They are against ‘hate’ and ‘judging’ we are solemnly assured, until of course Wikileaks reveals otherwise.

Most people are too busy to focus on this. We all want to believe that all is basically well, that these events are tragic anomalies, that everything is under control. When the furor dies down, we will all go back to our lives. As a Catholic, I will go back to my rosary and my Mass. I will ‘coexist’ of course, what choice do I have?

That the West’s political elites know this–and bank on it as the source of their power–is clear. Politics as usual goes on in service of this agenda. Payments are made into bank accounts. Police in America will be targeted and executed by thugs paid out of slush funds. Less spectacular attacks on women with children in the streets of Frankfurt or Paris or Peoria will go unreported. School curricula will be changed to reflect the new world order. Anyone questioning this will be ostracized, placed on ‘extremist’ list. Public toilets will be gender -neutral. Children will be trafficked for the tastes of those who can pay for it. Victims be damned.

Meanwhile, in the political arena, gargantuan egos collide, seemingly impervious to the fact that the ‘little people’ now have a window into their world, far beyond what we used to see in their apparently-controlled media.

Today, the little people see the corruption, the double-dealing, the selling of favors, the gambling with our children’s lives. We understand that the mainstream media is also for sale. But most frighteningly of all, we see that our Western leaders are fiddling while Rome burns.

I think I speak for many millions when I say that I do not want the dystopian future all this portends. I do not want to live sandwiched between two forms of dhimmitude: Koran or Agenda-driven.



May I recommend a couple books?

The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America by Andrew McCarthy

Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War by Sebastian Gorka


Meanwhile, at Fishwrap (aka National Sodomitic Reporter) we find this:

Dublin archbishop rebukes Cardinal Burke’s comments on Islam


In a recent interview on his new book, Burke said that Islam seeks to govern the world and that the only way to save Western civilization is to return it to its Christian roots. “I don’t think that helps at all,” Martin rebuked.

“Does Islam want to rule the world? There may be some people of the Islamic faith who do, but Islam itself has another side within it — a caring and a tolerant side,” he added.

Interreligious tensions, he suggested, are caused by inequalities, people feeling excluded, and the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, which he warned would be used to justify violence the longer it was allowed to continue. “Long term solutions will come from education,” he said.


Right!  They just need some education.

I posted on Burke’s comments HERE.

Be sure to read what I posted from Gorka’s book (above) about Islam’s goal of world rule.

Posted in Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments

Card. Burke’s new book: Hope for the World – To Unite All Things in Christ

I was pleased to see that the UK’s best Catholic weekly has taken interest in His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke’s most recent book, Hope for the World: To Unite All Things in Christ.  UK HERE

The cardinal said the devil tries to sow doubt in Catholics’ minds about defending human life publicly

Cardinal Raymond Burke has revealed that his mother was advised to abort him.

In a new book-length interview with the French journalist Guillaume d’Alançon, Cardinal Burke says that when his mother was pregnant with him, she became seriously ill and a doctor advised her to have an abortion.

According to Cardinal Burke, the doctor said: “You already have five children, it is important for you to be in good health so as to take care of them”.

“My parents refused,” says the cardinal, who is now chaplain to the Order of Malta. “My parents told him that they believed in God and that Christ would give them the necessary help. My mother gave birth to me, and everything went well.

“I was therefore quite touched by this question of defending human life, because I could very well have been killed.”

In the book, entitled Hope for the World, Cardinal Burke argues that the “ferocious attack against life today” results from “the distortion of the sexual act by contraception”, [and homosexual acts and demonic “gender” twisting] and urges Catholics to defend human life.

He adds: “The devil, of course, wants to discourage us: he tries to sow doubt in our minds about defending human life publicly. And he subtly tempts us to remain silent, to mute our conscience, to tell ourselves that we are personally against abortion but do not have to express our faith and moral convictions in public.”

Elsewhere in the book, the cardinal claims Barack Obama “wants to push the Church back behind the walls of her church buildings”. He appears to be referring to the legal battles over President Obama’s healthcare mandate, the ongoing conflict surrounding religious freedom, and the administration’s demand that public schools, including Catholic ones, adopt gender neutral bathrooms.

“The federal government is trying to reduce religious liberty, contrary to the Constitution of the United States,” Cardinal Burke says in the interview.

President Obama wants to push the Church back behind the walls of her church buildings and to prevent her applying her law to her own hospitals and schools.




Posted in Emanations from Penumbras, REVIEWS | Tagged , | 7 Comments

27 July: Canon Law Conference – Speculum Iustitiae

The Speculum Iustitiae conference continues today.  You will recognize the title as being that given to Mary in her beautiful litany.

It is encouraging that beautiful churches can be built still today in beautiful places.

As Mass closed yesterday, Cardinal Burke on his way out.  I had been in the confessional during Mass since I generally eschew concelebration.

This morning, having read even more about the murder of the priest in France, I spent some time with St. Miguel Pro, to whom we ought perhaps to turn in these troubling times.

His altar and relic.

Today our talks are by Msgr. Jason Gray on “The Promoter of the Faith in Causes of Canonization: Its History and Implications for the Defender of the Bond” and by Dr. William Daniel: “Analysis of the 2015 Reform of the Marriage Nullity Process”.  Later Card. Burke will speak about “The Defender of the Bond as a Distinct and Necessary Office in the Matrimonial Process”.

Indeed, I hear one canonist here suggest that there should be formed some kind of association of Defenders of the Bond, in the wake of Mitis index.

Posted in Canon Law, On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | 7 Comments

“The shortcut to handling the crisis is to deny that it exists.”

From Fr. Rutler at LifeZette:

A Christian Duty in the Face of Terror

After another devastating ISIS attack in France, this time against a priest in his 80s while he was saying Mass, the answer isn’t just, “Do nothing.” As racism distorts race and sexism corrupts sex — so does pacifism affront peace.

Turning the other cheek is the counsel Christ gave in the instance of an individual when morally insulted: Humility conquers pride. It has nothing to do with self-defense.


A father is culpable if he does not protect his family. A bishop has the same duty as a spiritual father of his sons and daughters in the church, just as the civil state has as its first responsibility the maintenance of the “tranquility of order” through self-defense.


The shortcut to handling the crisis is to deny that it exists.

On the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, there were over 60 speeches, and yet not one of them mentioned ISIS.


From my the increasingly well-known Fr. Murray:

A Catholic priest embodies the soul of European culture. Murdering a priest is symbolic of the intention to kill the entire Christian West. Muslim expansionist warfare has historically been directed at conquering the Christian nations of Europe. ISIS is carrying out that warfare today — and the past few weeks have shown that they have agents of death all over Europe.

Posted in Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , , , | 31 Comments