BOOK RECEIVED: 1962 Parish Ritual – HUZZAH!

Preserving Christian Publications has reprinted a 1962 Parish Ritual.  Hooray!   This book includes what the Collectio Rituum had but it includes more items and moments useful for parish life.  It’s like the British Sacristy Manual, but it is set up for use in these USA.


I am so glad to see this book!  WELL DONE!

Just a while ago I had a post in which I dealt with the Collectio Rituum and what the priest had to say in Latin and what he could say in English.  The problem is, while the later, post-62 versions of the Collectio were available, the 1962 wasn’t.  And there were significant changes by 1965 in what had to remain in Latin.

This volume solves the problem.

Fairly sturdy cover, to the point of being a little stiff.  But it will be durable.

Two ribbons.

This supremely useful book should be ready at hand in every sacristy.  It has common blessings, the rites of sacraments, the prayers for the blessing of Holy Water, for the lifting of censures, for burials and for visits to the sick and the dying.

In the inside cover are emergency forms of sacraments, etc.

In the back, there is the rite for the blessing of Holy Water.  Of course, traditional Catholics are using and, therefore, blessing Holy Water all the time.  As a matter of fact a couple short hours ago I did so myself before Sunday Mass, which has an Asperges.   But people wanted Holy Water back in the day, and so the rite was quickly found in the book.

I note with a bit of a cringe the train-wreck name of the long-time dominating liturgist, in the spirit of V2 liturgist, the late Freddy McManus.  Oh well, being an editor isn’t that hard.

Notice this… the New Latin Psalter was replaced in this volume by the Vulgate Psalter!  HURRAY!

Not so auspicious a beginning, but entirely trivial, is the typo on this page – the first of the intro.  Can you find it, like Waldo?

See how practical this is.  From the onset it indicates the stole color.  The rubrics are translated.  If something can be said in English, you are double columns.  When something must be said in Latin, there is only one column (a small type English translation at the bottom in the footnote area).

I think Homer’s editor might have nodded here.  The Rite indicates “White Stole” but the rubric goes on to say, “The priest, vested in surplice and violet stole…”.

There are a few little things to correct in the subsequent printing.

The rites for FORTY HOURS!   If there were a parish moment to be revived far and wide, I would have to be FORTY HOURS DEVOTION, specifically intended for prayer to avert disaster and/or beg forgiveness from God.

Common and happy rites.  I am glad they call it “Churching”.

Here is one people might not know about!

I enjoyed paging about in this new volume and exploring, reviewing things I haven’t done or haven’t done for a while.

This is a really tool for a priest.  Every priest should have this, just as a carpenter has a hammer and measure on his belt.


Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, REVIEWS | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Archbp. Viganò offers thoughts on The Present Crisis before the Rome “Summit”

At the National Catholic Register, there is a series of op-ed pieces by well-known figures.

Today they published one by Archbp. Carlo Maria Viganò.

Despite Grave Problems, the Lord Will Never Abandon His Church
REGISTER SYMPOSIUM: I continue to have hope, because the Lord will never abandon his Church.

Archbishop Carlo Viganò

I thank you for inviting me to take part in this symposium on “Abuse and the Way to Healing” in anticipation of the upcoming bishops’ summit at the Vatican. My contribution will draw on my personal experience of 51 years of priesthood.

It is evident to all that a primary cause of the present terrible crisis of sexual abuse committed by ordained clergy, including bishops, is the lack of proper spiritual formation of candidates to the priesthood. That lack, in turn, is largely explained by the doctrinal and moral corruption of many seminary formators, corruption that increased exponentially beginning in the 1960s.

I entered a pontifical seminary in Rome and began my studies at the Gregorian University when I was 25 years old. It was 1965, just months before the end of Vatican II. I couldn’t help but notice, not only in my own college but also in many others in Rome, that some seminarians were very immature and that these houses of formation were marked by a general and very serious lack of discipline.

A few examples will suffice. Seminarians sometimes spent the night outside my seminary, as the supervision was woefully inadequate. Our spiritual director was in favor of priestly ordination ad tempus — the idea that ordained priesthood could be a merely temporary status.  [We got that, too.  We got a lot of Schillebeeckx and that sort of rubbish from a heretic who eventually quit… thanks be to God.]

At the Gregorian, one of the professors of moral theology favored situation ethics. [ditto… and Curran and McCormick, etc.  There was one good prof, however.] And some classmates confided to me that their spiritual directors had no objection to their presenting themselves for priestly ordination despite their unresolved and continual grave sins against chastity.

Certainly, those who suffer from deep-seated same-sex attraction should never be admitted to seminary. [This was a huge problem at SPS in my day.] Moreover, before any seminarian is accepted for ordination, he must not only strive for chastity but actually achieve it. He must already be living chaste celibacy peacefully and for a prolonged period of time, for if this is lacking, the seminarian and his formators cannot have the requisite confidence that he is called to the celibate life.

Bishops have the paramount responsibility for the formation of their candidates to the priesthood. Any bishop who has covered up abuse or seduction of minors, vulnerable adults or adults under a priest’s pastoral care, including seminarians, is not fit for that responsibility or for any episcopal ministry and should be removed from his office.

I am praying intensely for the success of the February summit. Although I would rejoice greatly if the summit were successful, the following questions reveal that there is no sign of a genuine willingness to attend to the real causes of the present situation:

  • Why will the meeting focus exclusively on the abuse of minors? [The reason is obvious.] These crimes are indeed the most horrific, but the crises in the United States and Chile that have largely precipitated the upcoming summit have to do with abuses committed against young adults, including seminarians, not only against minors. Almost nothing has been said about sexual misconduct with adults, which is itself a grave abuse of pastoral authority, whether or not the relationship was “consensual.”
  • Why does the word “homosexuality” never appear in recent official documents of the Holy See? [The reason is obvious.] This is by no means to suggest that most of those with a homosexual inclination are abusers, but the fact remains that the overwhelming majority of abuse has been inflicted on post-pubescent boys by homosexual clerics. It is mere hypocrisy to condemn the abuse and claim to sympathize with the victims without facing up to this fact honestly. A spiritual revitalization of the clergy is necessary, but it will be ultimately ineffectual if it does not address this problem.
  • Why does Pope Francis keep and even call as his close collaborators people who are notorious homosexuals? [They are easily controlled.] Why has he refused to answer legitimate and sincere questions about these appointments? In doing so he has lost credibility on his real will to reform the Curia and fight the corruption.

In my third testimony, I begged the Holy Father to face up to the commitments he himself made in assuming his office as Successor of Peter. I pointed out that he took upon himself the mission of confirming his brothers and guiding all souls in following Christ along the way of the cross. I urged him then, and I now urge him again, to tell the truth, repent, show his willingness to follow the mandate given to Peter and, once converted, to confirm his brothers (Luke 22:32).

I pray that the bishops gathered in Rome will remember the Holy Spirit, whom they received with the imposition of hands, and carry out their responsibility to represent their particular Churches by firmly asking for, and insisting on, an answer to the above questions during the summit.

Indeed, I pray that they will not return to their countries without proper answers to these questions, for to fail in this regard would mean abandoning their own flocks to the wolves and allowing the entire Church to suffer dreadful consequences.

Despite the problems I have described, I continue to have hope, because the Lord will never abandon his Church.

Archbishop Carlo Viganò is the former apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Posted in The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Suffering and attacks on the Church’s “Eldest Daughter”

What beautiful Faith there was once in France.  So lovely was it, so early in our history was the Faith embraced, that France was called the Church’s Eldest Daughter.

However, for decades now Europe – no, let’s say centuries, since the Cartesian revolution and the Enlightenment – and France in Europe, has been on a suicide mission.  European identity is all but destroyed.  Moreover, the practitioners of the Religion of Peace have been systematically invading Europe and eating her alive from within.  Joseph Ratzinger wrote eloquently about the dissolving identity of Europe.

Today I read at the Catholic Herald of seemingly systematic attack on French Catholic churches.

You might pay attention to this.  You see, people tend to think that these sorts of things, and natural and man-made disasters, won’t happen to them.  It’s always someone else, right?  Until it’s our turn.

From the CH:

At least 10 incidents of vandalism and desecration of Catholic churches have been reported in France since the beginning of February, according to French news sources and watch groups.

Vandals in Catholic churches throughout the country have smashed statues, knocked down tabernacles, scattered or destroyed the Eucharist, burnt altar cloths and torn down crosses, among other acts of desecration of religious items.

According to La Croix International, one of the earliest incidents occurred February 4 at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Houilles, Yvelines, where a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was found smashed on the ground. The church had experienced earlier incidents of vandalism just weeks prior, when the altar cross was found thrown to the ground and the celebrant’s chair was damaged.

The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, a Christian watchdog group, documented another attack at St. Nicholas Church on February 10, when the tabernacle was found thrown to the ground. A 35 year-old man later confessed to committing the act to police.

On February 5, an altar cloth was found burnt and crosses and statues torn down or disfigured at Saint-Alain Cathedral in Lavaur, in south-central France. The fire was found early by a parish secretary and did not spread, though the smoke damaged the altar and adjacent walls.

The 800 year-old building had also recently undergone renovations, local sources reported.

“I strongly condemn the vandalism of Lavaur Cathedral and I share the outrage aroused by this intolerable act,” Jean Terlier, a local district deputy, said in a statement following the incident, according to La Croix.

“God will forgive. Not me,” the city’s mayor Bernard Carayon said of the vandalism, La Croix reported.

On February 6, just a day after the Saint-Alain Cathedral incident, vandals at a Catholic Church in Nimes broke into the tabernacle and scattered the hosts on the ground, drew a cross on the wall with excrement and damaged other religious items in the church, according to local reports.

In a statement posted to the Diocesan website, Bishop Robert Wattebled of Nimes denounced the desecration, which “greatly affects our diocesan community. The sign of the cross and the Blessed Sacrament have been the subject of serious injurious actions. This act of profanation hurts us all in our deepest convictions,” he said.

The Bishop also announced that a Mass of reparation must be said in the church before regular Masses can continue, and noted that local religious orders of the diocese had already offered to observe days of fasting and prayer in reparation for the act. He encouraged lay Catholics to join in acts of prayer and reparation.

The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe documented another incident on February 9 at the Church of Notre-Dame de Dijon in Côte-d’Or, about 175 miles to the south and east of Paris.

Again in this incident, the tabernacle was opened and the Eucharist scattered. An altar cloth was also stained and a missle book was torn.

Father Emmanuel Pic from Notre-Dame parish told La Bien Public news that since nothing of great monetary value was damaged, it seems the vandals wanted to attack the “heart of the Catholic faith.

Nothing of value has been broken, but it is the intent that is very shocking. This is what characterizes profanation,” Pic said.

The vandals seemed to have known that attacking the altar and the Eucharist would be “a very strong symbol for (parishioners), since the hosts consecrated during the previous Mass are no longer just a piece of bread in the eyes of Christians” but the body of Christ, he added. The priest also posted photos of the desecration to his Twitter account. Mass resumed at the parish after a Mass of reparation was said by the local archbishop.

In a statement posted to the group’s newsletter, Ellen Fantini, executive director of the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, joined local priests, bishops and civil authorities in condemning the “shocking” acts of vandalism.

“It is our sincere hope that the perpetrators are brought to justice and that awareness of increasing anti-Christian hostility in France reaches the public square,” she said.

In a statement posted to Twitter on February 13, Prime Minister of France Edouard Philippe also condemned the acts ahead of a meeting with the country’s bishops.

In one week, in France, 5 degraded churches. In our secular Republic, places of worship are respected. Such acts shock me and must be unanimously condemned. I will tell the bishops of France at the meeting of the forum of dialogue with the Catholic Church,” he said.

Besides the confession in the incident at St. Nicholas Church, investigations are ongoing as to the perpetrators of these acts of vandalism.

While it is yet unclear if the incidents are at all related, they recall the series of attacks and vandalism that the Catholic Church in France and Belgium experienced in 2016 by the Islamic State. The worst of those attacks included the murder of Fr. Jacques Hamel, who was killed by jihadists while celebrating Mass at a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in Normandy. The assailants entered the church and took the priest and four others hostage. Local law enforcement reported that the priest’s throat was slit in the attack, and that both of the hostage takers were shot dead by police.

Posted in Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice, The Religion of Peace | Tagged | 24 Comments

Mister McCarrick

McCarrick has been “laicized”, that is, stripped of the clerical state.  While Holy Orders leaves an indelible mark on the souls (meaning that even death doesn’t remove the sacramental character – a priest is a priest forever, even in heaven or… *shudder* in the other place) he may not function in any priestly capacity for the rest of his life.

The Catholic Herald writes:

Pope Francis and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ordered this week the laicization of Theodore McCarrick, a former cardinal and archbishop emeritus of Washington, and a once powerful figure in ecclesiastical, diplomatic, and political circles in the U.S. and around the world.

The decision followed an administrative penal process conducted by the CDF, which found McCarrick guilty of “solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power,” according to a February 16 Vatican communique.

The conviction was made following an “administrative penal process,”which is a much-abbreviated penal mechanism used in cases in which the evidence is so clear that a full trial is unnecessary.

Because Pope Francis personally approved the guilty verdict and the penalty of laicization, it is formally impossible for the decision to be appealed.

According to a statement from the Vatican on February 16, the decree finding McCarrick guilty was issued on January 11 and followed by an appeal, which was rejected by the CDF on February 13.

McCarrick was notified of the decision on February 15 and Pope Francis “has recognized the definitive nature of this decision made in accord with law, rendering it a res iudicata (i.e., admitting of no further recourse.)”


While I take little pleasure in any of this, I find it grimly pleasing.  I had long held McCarrick as one of the most loathsome people at large in the Church, based on what I had heard of him decades ago, and on his blatant lying about Ratzinger’s letter to US bishops and about what Arinze said in a presser when I was present.

Good riddance.  The barque is a little less grimy today.

What remains to be determined is to what extent McCarrick was involved with Francis and Team Francis before and after the 2003 conclave.

That will come out.  After all, the Devil makes good frying pan, but he doesn’t make covers for them.  Eventually, things come out.


Posted in The future and our choices | Tagged | 50 Comments

Fr. Z’s Kitchen: Shiny little fish!

I was at the market and spotted shiny little fish in the ice bank. Someone had ordered fresh sardines and didn’t need them all. They were fresh, unfrozen, and uncleaned. I got them on the spot.

So… what to do?

Gut them.

Stuff some lemon and thyme in them.

Put them on pans with more thyme, oil, and garlic.   Sprinkle salt.

I did 2 and then 3.

They need only a few minutes, close to the heat source.

These critters are as oily as a conference of bishops!  Hence, you need something that will cut through.

I had an unusual Basque white wine with strong citrus overtones and slightly effervescent.  Ameztoi Getariako Txakolina (pronounced “cha-koh-leena”)

In the end, I had 5 nice broiled sardines and a green salad.

Don’t be afraid to try new things.  When something catches your eye, it’s generally okay to change plans and work with it!

Posted in Fr. Z's Kitchen | Tagged | 19 Comments

Interesting observation by @CCPecknold about laicization of McCarrick

Rumor has is that ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick – disgraced – may very soon be “laicized”, that is, stripped of the clerical state.

Prof. Chad Pecknold of CUA has a piece today in the NY Post.  He has some interesting posts:

Behind Ted McCarrick’s fall: the wrong kind of ‘openness’

The Roman Catholic Church is sometimes viewed as an impenetrable fortress. To many liberals, that’s exactly the problem.

The church, they think, needs to come of age, modernize its teachings and ­accommodate ­itself to the sexual revolution that has been roiling the West since the 1960s.

Yet those who want a church “open to the world” must face an inconvenient truth: Theodore “Uncle Ted” McCarrick championed just this kind for openness. And this emblem of openness, this man who caused so much pain to underage boys and young seminarians under his authority, will be laicized, likely Saturday.

Before last summer’s sexual-abuse revelations put an end to his brilliant ecclesial career, McCarrick, as cardinal archbishop of Washington, promoted Catholic chumminess with cultural liberalism. [NB] He was a regular visitor to President Barack Obama’s White House. He ran interference for Notre Dame University when it conferred American Catholicism’s highest honor on the pro-abortion-rights Obama. He opposed calls to deny Communion to pro-abortion-rights politicians. He was beloved at Davos.

An entire generation of boomer-age bishops, priests and theologians claimed that the Second Vatican Council demanded a concordat with liberal values. But no one chanted the mantra of openness louder, or raised more money around its central aims, than did McCarrick.

He personified the spirit that swept the church in the immediate years after the council — one that mistook the council’s teachings for an invitation to endless experimentation and the demolition of ancient moral barriers. McCarrick’s laicization is a judgment not only against the man but also against that rebellious spirit.


I can see Team Francis – the New catholic Red Guards – balling up their fists in rage but unable screeching in protest, because it would seem as if they were defending McCarrick.

Posted in Liberals, The Drill, The future and our choices, Vatican II | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

WDTPRS – Septuagesima Sunday: PRE-LENT BEGINS!

While in the new-fangled calendar Sunday is the 6th in Ordinary Time, and celebrated in green vestments,in the traditional Roman calendar this Sunday is called Septuagesima, Latin for the “Seventieth” day before Easter.

The Roman Station for Septuagesima is St. Lawrence outside the walls.

These pre-Lenten Sundays prepare us for the discipline of Lent, which once was far stricter.

The number 70 is more symbolic than arithmetical.

The Sundays which follow are Sexagesima (“sixtieth”) and Quinquagesima (“fiftieth”) before Ash Wednesday brings in Lent, called in Latin Quadragesima, “Fortieth”.

One of our frequent commentators here enriched my view of the numerical adjectives:

A fairly literal interpretation of the terms Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima:

• Septuagesima Sunday is the 63rd day before Easter and thus falls in the 7th (septimus) decade or 10-day period consisting of the 61st to 70th days before Easter;
• Sexagesima Sunday is the 56th day before Easter and falls in the 6th (sextus) decade consisting of the 51st to 60th days before Easter; and
• Quinquagesima Sunday is the 49th day before Easter and falls in the 5th (quintus) decade consisting of the 41st to 50th days before Easter.

Septuagesima gives us a more solemn attitude for Holy Mass.

Purple is worn on Sunday rather than the green of the time after Epiphany.  These pre-Lent Sundays also have Roman stations, just as each day of Lent does.   The station for Septuagesima is St. Lawrence outside the walls.  St. Gregory the Great (+604) preached a fiery sermon here, which we have, and which is read in part for Matins in the traditional Office.  The traditional Office also presents three figures over the three pre-Lent Sundays, all foreshadowing Christ: Adam, Noah and Abraham.

When we want to follow what Holy Church is giving us in our sacred liturgical worship we should remember that Mass is only part of the picture.  We also have the Office, the “liturgy of the hours”.  They mesh together and reinforce and complete each other.  PLEASE don’t say “the liturgy” when you mean “the Mass”.  Say “Mass”.

Alleluia is sung for the last time at First Vespers of Septuagesima and is then excluded until Holy Saturday. 

There was once a tradition of “burying” the Alleluia, with a depositio ceremony, like a little funeral.  A hymn of farewell was sung.  There was a procession with crosses, tapers, holy water, and a coffin containing a banner with Alleluia.  The coffin was sprinkled, incensed, and buried. In some places, such as Paris, a straw figure bearing an Alleluia of gold letters was burned in the churchyard.  Somehow that seems very French to me.  This custom has been rediscovered and it is being revived far and wide.  Each year we see photos of the charming moment from more and more parishes.

The prayers and readings for the Masses of these pre-Lenten Sundays were compiled by Gregory the Great, Pope in a time of great turmoil and suffering.  Looking at Gregory’s time, with the massive migration of peoples, the war, the turmoil, you are reminded of our own times.

I like to imagine the Romans who were aspiring to be brought into the Church at Easter, catechumens.   Try to picture it…

They were brought out to St. Lawrence for today’s Mass.  In the echoing space, wreathed in smoke and shafts of light, they heard chanted antiphons about suffering and crying out to God.  Then they heard the chanted passage in which Paul says that God wasn’t pleased with everyone who drank from the rock.

These catechumens might have looked at each other and exclaimed:  “What am I getting myself into?!?”   Indeed, I think that was the intended effect of the formulary.

That’a actually a good thing to ask every day.  If you are a real Christian, you think about what you have gotten yourself into!  And more may be coming!

On the other hand, if throughout the ancient Mass formulary there are grim messages, there are also signs of great hope.  God does hear the cry of those who invoke him.

In the Novus Ordo of Paul VI there is no more pre-Lent.

A terrible loss.

We are grateful that with Summorum Pontificum the pre-Lent Sundays have regained something of their ancient status.  May they through “mutual enrichment” correct the Novus Ordo.

The antiphons for the first part of Mass carry a theme of affliction, war, oppression.  We hear from 1 Corinthians on how Christians must strive on to the end of the race.  The Tract (which substitutes the Gradual and Alleluia) is Ps 130 (older 129) the De profundis.

This has been set to music by many composers.  But the chanted version is special.


Preces populi tui, quaesumus, Domine, clementer exaudi: ut, qui iuste pro peccatis nostris affligimur, pro tui nominis gloria misericorditer liberemur.

This prayer, as well as the other two we will see, is in versions of ancient sacramentaries, such as the Gregorian. Our wonderful Lewis & Short Dictionary says ex-audio means “listen to” in the sense of “harken, perceive clearly.” There is a greater urgency to exaudi (an imperative, or command form) than in the simple audi. Clementer is an adverb from clemens, meaning among other things “Mild in respect to the faults and failures of others, i.e. forbearing, indulgent, compassionate, merciful.” We are asking God the omnipotent Creator to listen to us little finite sinful creatures in a manner that is not only attentive but also patient and indulgent.


We beseech You, O Lord, graciously to hark to the prayers of Your people: so that we who are justly afflicted for our sins, may mercifully be freed for the glory of Your Name.

The first thing you who attend mainly the Novus Ordo will note, is the profoundly different tone of this prayer. 

The focus on our responsibility and guilt for our sins is alien to the style of the Ordinary Form.  Such direct references to our sinful state were systematically excised from the ancient prayers which survived, in some form, in the post-Conciliar Missale Romanum.

We need them back.

It is just as succinct as most ancient Roman prayers.  It has the classic structure.  But the focus on our responsibility and guilt for our sins is very alien to the style of the Novus Ordo.  For the most part, such direct references to our sinful state were systematically excised from the ancient prayers which survived in some form on the post-Conciliar Missale Romanum.


Muneribus nostris, quaesumus, Domine, precibusque susceptis: et caelestibus nos munda mysteriis, et clementer exaudi.

This ancient prayer was also in the Mass “Puer natus” for 1 January for the Octave of Christmas.  The first part of the prayer is an ablative absolute. In the second part there is a standard et…et construction.  The prayer is terse, elegant.


Our gifts and prayers having been received, we beseech You, O Lord: both cleanse us by these heavenly mysteries, and mercifully hark to us.

In the first prayer we acknowledge our sinfulness and beg God’s mercy.  In this prayer we show humble confidence that God is attending to our actions and we focus on the means by which we will be cleansed from the filth of our sins, namely, the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, about to be renewed upon the altar.

As the Mass develops there is a shift in tone after the Gospel parable about the man hiring day-laborers.  An attitude of praise is introduced into the cries to God for help.


Fideles tui, Deus, per tua dona firmentur: ut éadem et percipiendo requirant, et quaerendo sine fine percipiant.


In an ancient variation we find per[pe]tua, turning “by means of your…” into “perpetual”. That éadem (neuter plural to go with dona, “gifts”) is the object of both of the subjunctive verbs which live in another et…et construction.  Requiro means “to seek or search for; to seek to know, … with the accessory idea of need, to ask for something needed; to need, want, lack, miss, be in want of, require (synonym: desidero)”.  Think of how it is used in Ps. 26(27),4: “One thing I have asked of the Lord, this will I seek after (unum petivi a Domino hoc requiram); that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”  Quaero is another verb for “to seek”, as well as “to think over, meditate, aim at, plan a thing.”  The first meaning of the verb percipio is “to take wholly, to seize entirely” and then by extension “to perceive, feel and “to learn, know, conceive, comprehend, understand.”

Notice that these verbs all have a dimension of the search of the soul for something that must be grasped in the sense of being comprehended.

Just to show you that we can steer this in another direction, let’s take those “seeking/graping/perceiving” verbs and emphasize the possible dimension of the eternal fascinating that the Beatific Vision will eventually produce.


May Your faithful, O God, be strengthened by Your gifts: so that in grasping them they will need to seek after them and in the seeking they will know them without end.

In this life, the closest thing we have to the eternal contemplation of God is the moment of making a good Holy Communion.

At this moment of Mass, which so much concerned struggling in time of oppression, we strive to grasp our lot here in terms of our fallen nature, God’s plan, and our eternal reward.

I don’t believe this prayer, like Septuagesima Sunday, made it into the Novus Ordo, to our great impoverishment.

Start thinking about Lent NOW, not on the morning of Ash Wednesday.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | 4 Comments


I very much liked this tweet…

Posted in GO TO CONFESSION | 7 Comments

Of Flaring Suns and Starry Nights

While Ham Radio operators are vexed by the lack of spots on your planet’s yellow star, there is still activity.

Frankly, having read recently 48 Hours by William Forstchen – US HERE – UK HERE – this sort of story makes me edgy enough to push me to an examination of conscience.  Scary stuff.

From SpaceWeather.

BIG ACTIVITY ON THE SUN: A gigantic filament of plasma is dancing along the northwestern edge of the sun, rising more than 150,000 km above the solar surface. How large is that? It’s fully 1/10th of the sun’s diameter and almost a dozen times taller than our entire planet. Click to view a 2-day movie from NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory:

This is called a “hedgerow prominence.” Hot glowing plasma inside the structure is held aloft by unstable magnetic fields. If the magnetic support collapses, plasma can fall back to the solar surface, exploding in a Hyder flare–a type of solar flare that can occur with no underlying sunspot.

NASA and Japanese space telescopes have taken high resolution images of similar prominences and seen some amazing things such as (1) tadpole-shaped plumes that float up from the base of the prominence; (2) narrow streams of plasma that descend from the top like waterfalls; and (3) swirls and vortices that resemble van Gogh’s Starry Night.

I like that reference to Van Gogh.

Did ya’ll see the movie Loving Vincent?  US HERE – UK HERE

This tells something of the painter’s rather sad story, but in an amazing way.  They found a way to animate some 90+ paintings… portraits, landscapes, stills, etc…   It is a painted movie…. a motion painting. There is a sample of one his “Starry Night” paintings in the trailer, moving like the SpaceWeather piece suggests.

Posted in Look! Up in the sky! | Tagged , | 17 Comments

A quick book plug: A Catholic Introduction to the Bible: The Old Testament

May I have a moment of your time to plug a book?

Since it has been a loooong time since I’ve had formal courses in Scripture (and some of that wasn’t so great), I’ve determined I need some refreshers. I’ve been gathering materials and doing a little each day.

Regarding the Old Testament, may I recommend to my fellow priests, especially, A Catholic Introduction to the Bible: The Old Testament by John Bergsma and Brant Pitre published by Ignatius Press?


This is turning out to be a very good resource, especially in the sometimes murky front of the Bible.

These guys get the need to maintain an excellent approach to texts according to modern tools of scholarship.  At the same time, they are rock solid faithful to the Church’s teachings and traditions.  They seem to have taken their marching orders from Benedict XVI and his Verbum Domini.    They’ve sought an integrated approach.

You might remember that Benedict, in the introduction to one of his Jesus of Nazarth volumes, said that we need to recover a way of Scripture that is faithful to the texts’ content, much as the Fathers read it.  Without, of course, abandoning modern scholarship.

Also, quite helpful in the book, are frequent references to the CCC.

That said, I would like there to have been much more on the Psalms.  As I’ve been reading the Office lately, I’ve been marking things mentally and then seeking greater understanding through some online resources (there are some good Protestant Scripture tools online with interlinear texts, etc.).  The authors, while stressing the importance of the Psalms, don’t devote much time to them.  One might respond that that, in itself, would take a large book and this book is intended as an introduction.  They make the introduction, and move along.  However, good bibliography is provided for further reading.

I warmly recommend this.


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Opportunity: R.I.P.

How sad.  Mars rover Opportunity seems to have come to the end of its mission.  HERE

Low batteries and a bad dust storm.  That was it.

A 3 month mission lasted almost 15 years.

Posted in Look! Up in the sky! | Tagged , | 11 Comments

POLL: Prayers after Mass

There is a poll at the ridiculously liberal blog Pray Tell which some of you readers might want to look at.

The question of the poll:

Should additional prayer texts be recited communally after the dismissal of the Mass?


While this might have something to do with special petitions for important concerns in a parish or diocese, it seems that this really has to do with the recitation of the traditional “Leonine Prayers” after Mass, or at least part of them, such as the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

Some bishops asked for the recitation of the St. Michael Prayer in response to the homosexual crisis in the Church which is at the root of abuse of minors and of seminarians, etc.   That has, apparently, upset the curator of Pray Tell.

Right now there are not many results in their poll.  I doubt there would be anyway, since it isn’t widely read.  As I write, the score is NO-10, YES-4.

Because they have a thin readership, you might want to help them out and give them a larger sample in their informal poll.

Meanwhile, this is where you can find their poll, right now.  I added some indications about other items they have going, in red.

Posted in Liberals, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, POLLS | Tagged | 35 Comments

“Know also this, that, in the last days, shall come dangerous times.”

From Matins today:

Lesson from the second letter of St. Paul the Apostle to Timothy (2 Tim 3:1-5)

Know also this, that, in the last days, shall come dangerous times.
Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked,
Without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness,
Traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasures more than of God:
Having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof. Now these avoid.

Our Lady at Akita, Japan:

October 13, 1973

“My dear daughter, listen well to what I have to say to you. You will inform your superior.”

After a short silence:

“As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests.”

“The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres…churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.

“The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them”

“With courage, speak to your superior. He will know how to encourage each one of you to pray and to accomplish works of reparation.”

“It is Bishop Ito, who directs your community.”

And She smiled and then said:

“You have still something to ask? Today is the last time that I will speak to you in living voice. From now on you will obey the one sent to you and your superior.”

“Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach. Those who place their confidence in me will be saved.”

Our Lady at Quito in 1610.  Brrrrrr!  Read that yourself.  HERE


Posted in Four Last Things, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged | 11 Comments

Do you know priests who are struggling, under attack? Terrific movement: Seven Sisters Apostolate

The other day I posted about priests who are bullied when they do the right thing.   In my email I got notes from people offered financial help, a place to live, pro bono counseling, etc.  Some of you readers are simply amazing.  You keep me going on a daily basis.

On the sidebar of this blog, I have an item you can click to say a daily prayer for priests.   The prayer, which has been around for awhile, was renewed through an imprimatur given by the late, great, Extraordinary Ordinary, Bp. Morlino, who understood the needs of priests none better.

This morning another thing came to mind.  Hence, below, I repost something I wrote back in August 2018.

Originally Published on: Aug 18, 2018

Terrific movement of prayer for priests: Seven Sisters Apostolate

Recently, I’ve written about some things that bishops and priests should do in this crisis time.  I’ve also made suggestions to lay people about things they can do.

However, there is one thing that lay people can do… especially lay women… which will be of enormous value in the coming days.

Last June, I attended a party arranged for the 90th birthday of a priest friend in my native place at the parish where he still helps on Sundays.  The pastor there is also an old friend.  While I was there, I kept hearing references to the “Seven Sisters”.  I inquired and learned of this great apostolate.

Seven Sisters Apostolate

This is a bit of a movement, actually.

In essence, 7 women and perhaps a couple alternates, commit for 1 year to 1 hour of prayer for 1 priest each week.   Hence, there is a lady on Monday, one on Tuesday, etc., ideally in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

In some cases, though this is not obligatory, the priest or bishop may not even know who they are.

There are good resources at their site.

This is a terrific apostolate.   They are in the process of having the movement designated as an association of the faithful.

May I suggest to some of you women who read here regularly that you might contact them and seek to start a local group for your local bishop and priests, the pastor of your parish, a retired priest, where you are?

Also, I would not object were a group of Seven Sisters might consider praying for me.   Perhaps one of you know six others where you live who also read this blog.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Movement in the causes of Bl. John Henry Newman and Card. József Mindszenty

Here’s some news from today’s Bolletino.

Francis met with the Prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints and he approved some decrees.  Among them…

il miracolo, attribuito all’intercessione del Beato Giovanni Enrico Newman, Cardinale di Santa Romana Chiesa, Fondatore dell’Oratorio di San Filippo Neri in Inghilterra; nato a Londra (Inghilterra) il 21 febbraio 1801 e morto a Edgbaston (Inghilterra) l’11 agosto 1890;

That is, a miracle was authenticated by the intercession of John Henry Newman.  Since he has already been beatified, the way is open to his canonization.

And also…

 le virtù eroiche del Servo di Dio Giuseppe Mindszenty, Cardinale di Santa Romana Chiesa, già Arcivescovo di Esztergom e Primate di Ungheria; nato a Csehimindszent (Ungheria) il 29 marzo 1892 e morto a Vienna (Austria) il 6 maggio 1975;

The heroic virtues of József Card. Mindszenty have been recognized.  That means he will now be called “Venerable” and, with a miracle, the way is open to his beatification.

Posted in Saints: Stories & Symbols | Tagged , | 6 Comments