ASK FATHER: Should we pray for “Servants of God”?

From a reader…


We pray with our Necrologium every night during Compline and we have many “Servants of God” along with “Venerables” and “Blesseds” among the dead of our Congregation.

I was wondering, do we pray for their souls?

Servants of God are those whose causes for beatification/canonization have been opened.  Until they are official declared “Blessed” So-and-So we don’t have a statement of moral certitude from the Church that they are in heaven.  “Venerable” means that the person lived a life of heroic virtues, but they have not yet been declared “Blessed” or “Saint”.

Yes, we can pray for the repose of the souls of “Servants of God” and that they be brought swiftly into the glory of heaven, if they do not already enjoy it.

Some will pray to a “Servant of God” for intercession even though their causes have not yet progressed.  That said, there must be no public cult for a “Servant of God”.  That is not permitted until at least beatification.

Our prayers for a Servant of God who is, in fact, in heaven – though we don’t know that for sure now – are not in vain.  God knows how to dispose of the good works we perform for the sake of the souls in Purgatory.

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Saints: Stories & Symbols | Tagged , | 7 Comments

ASK FATHER: Marriage licenses with “Spouse 1” and “Spouse 2”

From a Protestant clergyman reader…


Thank you for your blog. Your courage and clarity motivate me. I am a Protestant clergy and am struggling with whether or not I should even morally be signing marriage licenses anymore. I had my first marriage since the Supreme Court decision [Obergefell v Hodges] and the new form has “spouse 1” and “spouse 2” on it. I felt like I was condoning and participating in an evil act. Do you have any advice for me about how you manage this current muck?

If the marriage is between a man and a woman, then there isn’t any moral problem with signing the licences.  “Spouse” is neutral and is, in fact, accurate… for men and women.

If, however, you are signing the licenses for same-sex … blech… unions…

… STOP DOING THAT and you won’t have to sign them.

There are 9 different ways to participate culpably in the sin of another, namely:

  1. By counsel (to give advice, one’s opinion or instructions.)
  2. By command (to demand, to order, such as in the military.)
  3. By consent (to give permission, to approve, to agree to.)
  4. By provocation (to dare.)
  5. By praise or flattery (to cheer, to applaud, to commend.)
  6. By concealment (to hide the action, to cover-up.)
  7. By partaking (to take part, to participate.)
  8. By silence (by playing dumb, by remaining quiet.)
  9. By defense of the ill done (to justify, to argue in favour.)

It is not morally permissible to participate in any homosexual ceremony on any level.

Sodomy is a “sin that cries to heaven”.  Same-sex unions are mockeries of the natural order and, hence, of God.

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, One Man & One Woman, Sin That Cries To Heaven | Tagged , | 16 Comments

ASK FATHER: Scheduling a specific Mass for a profession: IT professionals

From a reader…


How do you go about scheduling a specific Mass for a profession? I am a member of a new group called Saint Isidore’s Guild, a professional apostolate of programmers and other IT professionals under the patronage of the St. Isidore of Seville based in St. Paul. We were thinking of having a Mass on the Feast of Saint Isidore for IT People/Programmers, but have no idea what that would actually entail.

I like your initiative.  I suggest that you approach a parish priest about this and simply ask him.

There are in most places specific annual Masses for certain professions.  A “Red Mass” is celebrated for those in the legal professions, such as lawyers and judges.  A “Blue Mass” is celebrated for law enforcement.  A “White Mass” is for health care professionals.  I’ve also heard of “Gold Mass” for scientists, etc., gold because of the old hunt in alchemy for a way to turn substances into gold.  I don’t think that has caught on yet.

Why not a Mass for IT pros?

What would it be called, I wonder.  It should perhaps be a sufficiently obscure color name so as to reflect a measure of nerdiness.

How about Wenge Mass?  Fulvous Mass?  I know… Incarnadine Mass!

I wish my POLL PLUGIN was working!

Speaking of St. Isidore, have a look at the prayer I wrote many years ago before using the internet.  It has been translated into lots of languages and it has official recognition from quite a few dioceses.  I have a page with an explanation of why I wrote it, way back when, and the different language versions.


I am always happy to have new versions, along with audio recordings by native speakers.

I always have a link to that page and prayer at the top menu of this blog.

BTW… apparently the Klingon version of the prayer wasn’t very good, but the nerdy jackass who sent me a nastygram about it didn’t provide a better version.  Now that the new Star Trek series is going, with lots of Klingon, we could get a more acceptable rendering.


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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box | Tagged , | 7 Comments

ASK FATHER: Firearms at Mass, laity and priests – UPDATED

In the wake of the recent horrible Texas church massacre, I now have several email conversations going on – with laity and clergy – about having a concealed firearm in church.

This is an issue which needs sober assessment by everyone, laity and clergy alike.

One person wrote…


Is it correct that a Catholic ignoring his bishops policy on firearms would be committing a sin of disobedience ? Is it a good idea for those with specialized permits and training to write a respectful and humble letter requesting a change ? (please drop my name if you feel its good to post this)

First, I don’t think it is necessarily a mortal sin to ignore the local bishop’s policy, unless there are other, attendant circumstances.  It might be a venial sin.   And venial sins are sins.

It seems to me that ignoring a “No Guns” posting is not grave matter, a requisite for commission of a mortal sin.  Why?  I’m pretty sure that in most places, should the owner of location which is “posted” note that you have a gun, and if you refuse to leave after you are asked, the violation would be only a misdemeanor.  Civil law doesn’t identify this as being a serious violation, such as a felony.  Review the laws where you live.  As far as the spiritual dimension is concerned, bishops and priests cannot tell you what to wear or carry about your person.  They can ask you to leave a church if what you wear or carry is outwardly blasphemous or obscene or immodest or it would disturb a service or cause scandal.  Guns are not, in themselves, blasphemous or obscene, etc.  If they are concealed, they don’t disturb or cause a scandal.  Guns are not, in themselves, evil.  They don’t violate the sacrality of the church, which is itself a sacramental, a sacred place.

Bishops and priests can, however, set policy according to the civil laws for the property the have under their charge.  If the church property is “posted”, pay attention to the local civil statutes!  Just because it probably isn’t a mortal sin to ignore such postings, that doesn’t mean that I think it is right to ignore them.  If it is even a venial sin, and it could be, should it be committed purposely?

Next, is it a good idea to write to the bishop?  I guess so.  People have the right to express themselves to their pastors in a respectful way.  I suppose that if enough people wrote to the bishop, that might make a difference.  However, both sides can do that.  And I suspect that a bishop who would impose such a policy is probably ideologically committed to the point that a reversal would be highly unlikely.

Moving on, a priest wrote, on a lighter note, but not really light, since we are all concerned about violence in churches…


You often post about firearms, keeping oneself safe, etc. I have carried a concealed weapon for a few years (having received requisite training).

I have worn my firearm during Mass before, but always on the waist. Because of my vestments, this isn’t the ideal location to carry on my body.

Do you have any advice re: where to locate a concealed weapon for a priest at Mass?


After one is tied up with amice, cincture, and chasuble (at least my chasubles are secured with a cloth tie), the only option is the traditional, “Joe Friday” armpit-style holster. One could easily have an opening cut in an alb near the heart for access.

I would say this, Father.

First, if you have done some training, get even more training.

Next, make sure you attend to the civil laws and diocesan policies where you are.

Moreover, you should read my response to the use of the beretta at Mass.  HERE   I opined that perhaps the firearm could be carried by an altar boy on a silver salver covered with a white linen.

Alternatively… perhaps a good number of firearms could be positioned on stands about the sanctuary so that one is always near to hand?  After all, some sanctuaries are filled with lots of useless clutter, large pots of frondy plants, etc.  If with lots of clutter and plants, why not with lots of guns?  Racks of AR-15s?

Then, how might the priest carry at Mass….  not easy.   Having one’s weapon under all that gear isn’t really practical.  The alb with the slit in it might work.   Perhaps one might experiment with an old, worn out alb, slated for burning.

That said, remember, Father, that the holster and firearm are not yet officially approved liturgical vestments.  They shouldn’t be exposed to view as if they were.

“But Father! But Father!”, some of you are countering. “Those awful microphones aren’t liturgical vestments, but priests and – especially bishops – clip them on all the time!  They also cause loud noises and they make some preachers truly lethal.  If a microphone, which is a tool that often causes spiritual harm – far more serious than physical harm – can be worn openly during Mass, why not open carry your gun?  We all know, don’t we!  YOU HATE NEHEMIAH 4:18!”

don’t hate Nehemiah 4:18!  As a matter of fact, that is one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture, along with John 21:3.

Okay, let’s work with this.

I suppose that, when celebrating ad orientem, one could molle the holster to the underside of the front of the Roman chasuble.  It could be helpful to have the holster in the liturgical color of the day. Perhaps several weapons should be available in the sacristy safe, cerakote treated in the liturgical colors, including cerulean for those blue pontifical sets where they are used.  One could also arm the deacon and subdeacon: dalmatics are copious and concealing.  Just so, the weapons would be occasionally visible, but discrete.

Let’s say that the liturgical Beretta (and its variations, the sacred Sig, the glorifying Glock, etc.) were to be carried openly and at the waist.  Since there is now a vesting prayer for the microphone – HERE – we might have another prayer.

Off the top of my head, after the stole but before the chasuble:

Domine, scutum noster et salvator, firma manus meas ad debellandas inimici insidias et digitos meos doce ad proelium contra omnes diabolicas potestates.

Perhaps we can come up with something better, but that could do for now… unless that one receives immediate ecclesiastical approval from a competent authority.

Tracking back to seriousness, everyone should engage in situational awareness at all times.  We never want to read of such a church shooting incident ever again.

I warmly encourage anyone who considers carrying to review local laws and to seek even more training.  In fact, I think everyone should seek the training, even if you know you will never carry: it is extremely useful.  Pay attention to local laws.  I hope also that all law enforcement officers will be always armed and especially vigilant during every church event and act of liturgical worship.  Perhaps let their pastors know who you are and discuss with them what precautions might be taken to secure the sacred precincts… always in good cooperation.

And finally, Father…

Prudence.  Prudence.  Prudence.

The moderation queue is ON for ALL comments right now.


At the risk of making this longer, this next bit is merited.

From a priest friend (with my usual):

Apropos of the discussion about concealed-carry at Mass, let me tell you a story. I ask, however, that all identifying information be redacted.  [Of course!]

Last Sunday, in the wake of the shooting in Texas, I realized: if it could happen in rural Texas, it could happen where I am, in a rural part of my state. So I thought about it, and resolved to contact a parishioner who I know has all the proper expertise and good judgment. I called him and set up a meeting for later that week.

The next day, another parishioner stops by my office. He has the same thing on his mind. He suggests I contact the very same person; and he offers to help.

The next day, the fellow I originally contacted comes to me with a pretty well thought out plan — helped by input from the other gentleman — which calls for recruiting 12 or so men of the parish who have both a CCW permit, and a sufficient level of training. The thing is, these aren’t 12 who have to go GET the permit and training; THEY ALREADY HAVE IT. The folks I needed were already there. All I had to do was ask. And all the people suggested are solid, level headed men. We don’t want any loose cannons, pardon the pun.

The policy of the diocese is that I must give specific authorization to individuals — not a blanket authorization. Three of those letters have been sent, and more will come in the next few weeks.

We discussed the merits of calling attention to this, versus keeping a low profile. My decision was that it would not help to be a CNN story; the bishop would not like it, and why take a chance that pressure on him would result in a different policy? So we are not telling anyone about this; but if questions are asked, we will just say, “we have a plan.” My guess is that people will know what that means.

That’s one approach.  Thoughtful.  I recommend considering additional professional training for teamwork, etc.  Surely it is available.

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Going Ballistic, Lighter fare | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

MUST READ: Carl Olsen on the #USCCB17 Pro-Life committee vote!

Today’s must fulfill assignment is to go to Catholic World Report and to read thoroughly Carl Olsen’s piece about lib aspirations for the USCCB election of the Pro-Life committee chair and their subsequent spittle-flecked nutty.

Olsen brings in the analysis of several other writers, such as George Weigel, Sam Gregg and Rusty Reno.

You might want to make popcorn and crack a brewski for your perusal of observations about the catholic Left, including The Coyote and Beans (which sounds like an 80’s sitcom).

For example:

Not surprisingly, [Fishwrap’s] Winters—who brings to Catholic punditry all the gifts and talents that Dan Brown brings to “thrillers” starring symbiologists—goes simplistic after going apoplectic

Olsen has a pretty extensive examination of the lib aspiration that Card. Cupich of Chicago was really the man for the job.  He also looks at the claim that the same prelate was/is in harmony with the “consistent life ethic” advanced by their long-lamented dream-boat, the late Card. Bernardin, also of Chicago.  That part is particularly stinging, I must say.

Olsen wraps up:

Harsh? Yes. Unfair? I don’t think so. And it helps explain a few things about the Naumann-Cupich election. And, in doing so, I suggest what transpired today was a step in the right direction.

Weigel’s piece at NRO is also to be read.  He goes into the catholic Left’s golden calf, the fabled “Francis Effect”.

Good reading!  There’s a great deal to mull today.


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Posted in Emanations from Penumbras, Fr. Z KUDOS, Liberals, The Drill | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

QUESTION: Traditional SPANISH language sermons and catechetical sources?

A question to the readership…

Do you know of sites and books which have sermons in Spanish for the traditional Roman Rite?   Catechisms?

Is there anything like the Baltimore Catechism in Spanish?

You can find materials in abundance for English.  Sources for sermons in Spanish?

Also, some years ago I posted here about the printing by the Angelus Press of a Latin/Spanish hand missal for the older, Traditional Latin Mass.  HERE   –


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Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization | Tagged | 11 Comments

Sour Beans!

This morning I found two interesting recipes for Sour Beans.

The first involves beans and rice, garlic, ginger, onions, carrots and lean pork, and a couple of types of vinegar. I think I’ll try it this week.

The second involves the bishops of the USCCB election of a new head for their Pro-Life Committee.

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Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged | 10 Comments


In what he surely thought was a serious analysis from High Atop The Thing, over at Fishwrap, Michael Sean Winters, the Wile E. Coyote of the catholic Left and one of the New catholic Red Guards, looked at the beginning of the USCCB’s annual November meeting.

Comrade Coyote wrote:

Some of the bishops are good friends with Cardinal Raymond Burke who has asserted that Amoris Laetitia is not a magisterial document.  [How ominous!]

Everything about the culture of the bishops argues against them ever allowing their division to be aired too obviously in public. The divisions are clear, this year most tellingly in the race for the next chair of the Pro-Life Activities Committee, which pits Cardinal Cupich against Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas. Naumann is the embodiment of the culture warrior style of episcopal leadership and Cupich personifies the consistent ethic of life approach advocated by his predecessor in Chicago, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. No one is sure how that vote will turn out. Everyone is sure the vote will be a quasi-referendum on support for Pope Francis.


This morning the bishops voted to elect Archbishop Naumann, not Cupich, as head of the Pro-Life Committee, 96-82.

212 bishops participated in a “practice” vote.  178 voted on the matter of this committee.  So, 34 abstained.

But… “Everyone is sure the vote will be a quasi-referendum on support for Pope Francis.”

It will be interesting to see what Wile E.’s analysis will be of this!   NB, his ominous mention of Card. Burke.   Hmmm….

I know!



Comrade Winters has offered his inevitable penetrating analysis from his fainting couch at National Schismatic Reporter(Take note the photo of Naumann they chose to post.  Wow, do they hate him.)

Thus, Winters:

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this amounted to the bishops giving the middle finger to Pope Francis.

It is revealing that Comrade Winters would think like this: Catholic bishops elect for their PRO-LIFE committee someone whose priority would be defense of the unborn and against euthanasia… and that is considered an insult to THE POPE.

If you are the Coyote, and Francis is your first Pope ehvur… then, yes, that makes sense.

Winters goes straight into NEW cATHOLIC RED GUARD attack mode.  You can practically hear the whistle blowing.

The current chair [of Pro-Life] is Cardinal Timothy Dolan who, like Naumann, is a protégé of Cardinal Justin Rigali. Some of us who have been watching the bishops for a long time from the bleachers on the left have a saying about Rigali’s career: “He has ruined everything he ever touched.” In giving his committee report on Monday, Dolan singled out Naumann for praise. It was a none too subtle placing of his finger on the scales.

So, this is Winters signalling that Dolan must now be hauled into the street with a sign around his neck and “struggled” for being against Francis Thought.  The Four Olds must be smashed!

This brutal attack on Card. Dolan, and of course Archbp. Naumann, was followed by what can only be characterized is as a sycophantic whine about the merits of his favored candidate.  Well, done Comrade.


It has been reported that Archbp. Naumann was spotted talking to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia before the election!   Kirill is said to have been carrying a dossier prepared by Card. Rigalli, the contents of which haven’t yet been determined.


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Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

CHICAGO 18 Nov: 1st Traditional Latin Mass at great North Side church in almost 60 years

The north side of Chicago has massive and venerable Polish churches.  Some have languished and were in danger of closure, such as St. John Cantius and St. Mary of the Angels.

What revived them?  Traditional Catholic liturgy and teaching.

I had a note from a reader that St. Stanislaus Kostka, nearly taken out by the building the Kennedy Expressway, will have its first TLM in many decades.

Everyone one in Chicagoland should go and support this Mass.  It is very important.

Here is a link to our Facebook event page for this Holy Mass:

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Posted in ACTION ITEM!, Events, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Stir Up Sunday and Advent is coming! GET READY!

Advent is upon us soon.  The Last Sunday of the Year is 26 November.  That is “Stir Up Sunday“, when you should prepare your Christmas puddings.

Think about getting your Christmas shopping done early.

First, remember always… always… to use my links and/or search box when you shop online on Amazon.



I have no idea who orders what.  I can see some things that are ordered however.  They don’t necessarily have to be religious items.  Yesterday readers ordered – among other things –

  • Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • TeckNet Ultimate Professional Optical Computer Wireless Gaming Mouse
  • Nature Nate’s, 32 Ounce, 100% Pure, Raw and Unfiltered Honey

Again, I have no idea who ordered these things, or if one or several ordered them.  However, I know that using a mouse can cause carpal tunnel, and that honey and mice don’t mix well.

Good gifts include…

Helping traditional Carmelite monks – their samplers could be good office worker gifts or stocking stuffers.

Give a membership to the beer club of the Benedictine monks of Norcia, building a monastery after the horrible earthquakes.  GREAT beer!

Help the Sisters! They have lots of postulants and no space.

There’s always my stuff

The wonderful Benedictine Sisters in Missouri have beautiful music CDs, including one for Advent.

And there are excellent Christmas music discs


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Posted in The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Liturgical worship… priestly vocations… Is what we are doing working or not?

I had mentioned that I was re-reading Robert Hugh Benson’s prophetic Lord of the World.  I finished it yesterday. US HERE – UK HERE

Just as I finished it, I found these things.

First, I want to preface with this: When you are on a journey towards a goal, and you discover that you are heading in the wrong direction, you stop, turn around, and correct your course.  Right?

Put that side by side with a) the fact that in the next few years, many dioceses will see a sharp decline in the number of active priests and b) some people are going to push viri probati really hard in the next months as we approach another (probably rigged) Synod.

Now, my friend Fr. Ray Blake, the PP of Brighton, reflects:

“Has it worked?” the question we dare not ask

In this centenary year of the Soviet Revolution, it is worth reflecting that after 70 years the Russian people actually asked the question, “Has it worked?” It is the question an efficient business asks regularly, I suspect parents in a healthy family ask that question. it should be the fundamental question of the spiritual life.

Fifty years after the implementation of the liturgical changes, it is the question the Church should be asking itself, any business would have product tested before a change of brand. I suppose that Summorum Pontificum was Benedict’s way of doing this retrospectively.


QUAERITUR: Has it worked?

Fr. Blake continues:

There are two areas where, ‘has it worked?’ should be asked, the first is liturgical reform, the second is the modern use of the papal fiat that introduced them, it was an unprecedented use of papal power.

[… Go to Fr. Blake’s page for that part…]

Apparently a large number of French Seminaries are closing, [Do I remember correctly that, last year, 25% of ordinations in France were for traditional groups?  How many seminarians does all of Ireland have?] as are a whole lot of ancient monasteries and practically every convent has become a retirement home.  I am not sure what the number is this year, but last year, in our diocese [Arundel and Brighton] we had only 3 seminarians. Whilst I was at the seminary we had in this city of Brighton and Hove almost 30 priests, in 17 years time by the year 2030 we will be lucky to have 2 under 65, they will age prematurely out of exhaustion. [If they haven’t been martyred a la Lord of the World!]

The thing is that there isn’t an absence of vocations, [RIGHT!  YES YES YES!  See this HERE] from my little parish we have three men, two preparing for the priesthood and one in a rather rigorous contemplative monastery but they were very much involved in the Old Rite and have gone to communities outside of the diocese. It isn’t even that there is an absence of contemplative religious, there are new convents opening in the Channel Islands and in the Diocese of Lancaster but again the sisters will worship according to Old Rite. The only monastery flourishing, without scandal, in Italy (despite episcopal opposition) is Old Rite, at Norcia. The same in France, where a quarter of this years ordinations were of priests attached to the Old Rite, and where monastic life is retracting but Old Rite monasteries like Fontgombault are actually making new foundations. I am quite willing to accept that it is not necessarily the Rite itself but if it is not then it is the theology that goes with the Rite, or the ‘ecclesiological experience’ that goes with it. On a practical level the Old Rite seems to work.  [Fr Blake, if I am right about this… and I am… we are our rites.]

Why are we incapable of asking, “Has it worked?”, presumably it is because of an ideological attachment, rather like the politburo of the Soviet Union that will not allow itself to question givens until long after they had collapsed.

I was told that there was recently a meeting in the Vatican of heads of dicasteries of the Curia.  One of the topics discussed, though this was not published, was viri probati.

I wonder if anyone had the courage to bring up the obvious.

I’ll bet not.

The priesthood numbers crisis was an self-inflicted wound, I think intentionally.  The continuing crisis of numbers is a continually self-inflicted wound by those who want to remake the Church to the world’s liking and by those who are too cowardly to stand up, say “NO!” and then do the right thing.


  • The post Vatican II liturgical reform – imposed by fiat: has it worked?
  • Approach to vocations to the priesthood while excluding tradition: has it worked?
  • Where liturgy “works”, what is going on?
  • Where there are vocations to the priesthood, what is going on?

We ARE our rites.

Change them and you change everything about who we are and what fruits we produce as Catholic, as the baptized.

For anything initiative in the Church to work, we MUST have a renewal of our sacred liturgical worship.

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Priests and Priesthood, Seminarians and Seminaries | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Fr. Z’s Kitchen: Vincent edition

Most of my meals are accomplished alone.  As a result, I don’t always make food that is complex.  I  do, however, sincerely enjoy making a larger meal for guests and consuming it in a leisurely way.

I have friends in town from Chicago, so I determined that it was time to dust off a favorite: Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourgignon.  I haven’t made it for quite some time.

The choice of the beef was pretty easy: the sirloin tip, in just the right quantity, was on sale for $3.99/lbs.  It’s pretty lean, but I knew there was lots of time.

Each piece should be browned a bit.  Always dry off with paper towels the meat you wish to brown, or it just doesn’t go as well as you would wish.

Put some brown on the veg.  I use more carrot and onion that the original recipe suggests: I live lots of vegetables and the recipe doesn’t suffer in the least.  I will often add them to the concoction in the oven about half way through, or later.

Season along the way.

One of the key processes of this recipe calls for you to sprinkle the boeuf with flour and put it in a hot oven – 450F – for some minutes.  The recipe calls for 4 minutes, then remove, stir, and put it back again for 4.  I go a little long in each trip to the oven.

The effect is that you are making the basis of a roux directly on the meat.  When you add the cooking liquid, it creates the sauce to thicken.

Some other stuff that goes in.

I discovered something that my iPhone does now.  When I view photos, there is a split second of video.  Have any of you noticed that?  Very cool.  Alas, the image doesn’t do that when transferred to the blog.

Starting to combine ingredients.

I used a Pinot Noir this time.  I’ve had good success with it in the past.  Use about 3 cups of wine and then use beef stock to cover all the ingredients.  Bring to a simmer on the stove before putting it into the oven, the temperature reduced to 350.   That temp will have to be lowered.

You want to find that point at which the “stew” slightly bubbles.  The temp will different if you cover or uncover.  Since I intended to leave it in for a couple hours longer than the recipe called, I covered and set the oven to 225.   Then we went to a movie: Loving Vincent about Vincent van Gogh.  I’ve never seen anything even remotely like it.  I highly recommend it.

Later in the evening, I sauteed mushrooms, prepared peas, and braised little onions.  The onions can take a quite a while.  Use a low heat.  Let them caramelize.

When you extract the boeuf from the oven, you may have to skim the fat.  Since my boeuf was pretty lean, this wasn’t too challenging.  Also, the sauce had thickened to just about the right point, so the rest was easy.

With the meal: Barolo.

So… boeuf.

Meals shared with others are important, especially in our time and society when people are more and more atomized.  And there’s no substitution for slow food.  It is satisfactory in a way that fast prep dishes can’t attain.

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Posted in Fr. Z's Kitchen | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Remembrance Day

In these USA we have observed Armistice Day, commemorating the 11th day of the 11th month when, at the 11 hour, 99 years ago, hostilities ceased and WWI closed. This coincides with US Veteran’s Day and UK Remembrance Day.

For those of you who don’t know much about the UK’s observance of Remembrance Day, you might see this. This year, Queen Elizabeth did not attend at the Cenotaph. Remembrance Day, as I understand it, is observed in the Sunday closest to 11 November.

The coverage is predictably correct, politically. However, there is a great deal of interest. And we do well to remember the tremendous events which are memorialized in this moments… lest they be repeated.

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Posted in Just Too Cool | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

ASK FATHER: The usual requirements for gaining indulgences

From a reader…


Do all indulgenced works (eg visiting the Bl Sacrament for 30 mins) carry with them the three usual requirements (Communion, Confession & prayer for the Pope’s intentions)?

In the Norms for gaining indulgences in the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum we read that (my emphases):

23 a. Beside the exclusion of all attachment to sin, even venial sin, the requirements for gaining a plenary indulgence are the performance of the indulgenced work and fulfillment of three conditions: sacramental confession, eucharistic communion, and prayer for the pope’s intentions.
b. Several ?plenary? indulgences may be gained on the basis of a single sacramental confession; only one may be gained, however, on the basis of a single Eucharistic communion and prayer for the pope’s intentions.
c. The three conditions may be carried out several days preceding or following performance of the prescribed work. But it is more fitting that the communion and the prayer for the pope’s intentions take place on the day the work is performed.
d. If a person is not fully disposed or if the prescribed work and the three mentioned conditions are not fulfilled, the indulgence will only be partial; the prescriptions in N. 27 and N. 28 for those impeded are exceptions.
e. The condition requiring prayer for the pope’s intentions is satisfied by reciting once the Our Father and Hail Mary for his intentions; nevertheless all the faithful have the option of reciting any other prayer suited to their own piety and devotion.

I hope that helps.


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Smoking and Saints

Pope Francis decided to ban, as of 2018, the sale of cigarettes in Vatican City (cheaper for employees which leads, of course, to a black market).  Cigarettes are bad for people and, probably, the environment.   Hence, they must be banned.

I saw on Twitter (where else) defenses of this enlightened choice including the suggestion from those who probably don’t think that contraception, adultery or abortion are mortal sins that smoking surely is.

If it is indeed the case that smoking is a mortal sin, then no person who smoked without amending his life could possibly have lived a life of heroic virtue.  What, then, to say about the beatified (for other than martyrdom) or the canonized whom we honor at the altar and whose lives are offered for our edification and imitation?

There came to mind Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.  He smoked.  Surely he will never now be canonized.

He – oh the horror – smoked cigarettes!  And the priest is smiling?!?

He smoked a pipe!

He smoked cigars!

And… I  can barely bring myself to write… drank alcohol with friends!

And… oh the scandal… a Saint and a Pope is near a photo of Pier Giorgio with a cigar!

Now, along with the obscuring of John Paul II’s magisterium, his title will have to be stripped from the Album Sanctorum.  

Speaking of obscuring, look carefully at some of the images of Bl. Pier Giorgio and you will see… or not see… something interesting.  Here is a collage:

The pipe, cigar, cigarette… photoshopped out.


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Posted in Lighter fare, Saints: Stories & Symbols | Tagged , , | 35 Comments