Are you Middle Aged yet?

Something lighter on a heavy Friday:

For those among you who are well-read, do you know about:

Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog

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“Thanks for your blog. It saved this seminarian from a particularly mortifying purification.”

From a seminarian:

Just wanted to say a big “Thanks” for your blog. I was sure glad for the liturgical minutiae I’ve picked up here when I found a fly in the Precious Blood tonight after Mass. Your advice about skewering the fly with a pin and then burning it saved this seminarian from a particularly mortifying purification of the vessels.

My work here is done.

Yet another reason to wear a pin-on maniple.

Fathers! Just “tie one one”!

I have written about what to do when critters get into the chalice. HERE

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Linking Back, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Our Catholic Identity, Seminarians and Seminaries | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Compare and contrast: VIDEO – 1983 Pres. Reagan about Korean Air 007

Pres. Reagan about the massacre of passengers on civilian aircraft Korean Air 007, blown out of the sky by the Soviet Union’s pilot.

Sure, there is a different between air to air and surface to air attacks.  Sure, there is a difference between the Soviet Union and the Russian Republic…. I think.

Compare and contrast the reaction and the tone of Pres. Reagan and the present office holder.

Short version:

Full version:

What’s up with Russia, friends?

Is it possible that Vladimir Putin, a KGB operative and finally Lt Col from 1975 until 1991, having taken stock of the present locum tenens, has determined that he can act with impunity?

Please say prayers for the poor, innocent people who were slain today.

Let some good come from this monstrous wrong.

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“Are you still there? Did I do something wrong? I need to know…”

For your intense consideration:

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Voice of America on Holy Innocents in Manhattan: a vibrant Catholic community

There was another media story about Holy Innocents in Manhattan.  This is the only parish in Manhattan which as daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form.  It is a beautiful place with great people.

As you know a commission in the Archdiocese of New York has recommendation to Cardinal Dolan that Holy Innocents (which is reviving, thriving and paying its bills) be closed. Check this out at Voice of America News.

What’s really interesting is that this is on Voice of America.

VOA was established in WWII to provide accurate information for the peoples oppressed by tyrannical regimes trapped behind enemy lines.  VOA really ramped up during the Cold War, to bring a message of freedom and news to those who suffered under Communism.  I remember tuning into VOA on my little shortwave radio when I was first in Rome, huddled in my cold and squalid digs.  I had sort of forgotten about it!  (Similarly, I had listened to Vatican Radio when I was in seminary in these USA in the 80′s.)  I digress.

Manhattan’s Catholic Churches Face Consolidation, Possible Closures

Some Catholic churches in Manhattan could be closed as the Archdiocese of New York implements a strategic plan to consolidate the churches. Shifting populations, limited resources and fewer priests are among the factors driving the consolidation. At one midtown church facing possible closure, parishioners pray for a miracle.

The Church of the Holy Innocents is the only church in Manhattan offering a high Latin Mass every day of the week. It is such a rarity that many travel across the New York metropolitan region for the daily 6:00 pm service.

Edward Hawkings makes the trek every day despite his disabilities, because the Mass inspires his soul.

“The Mass takes us to a different place. We concentrate at the Mass. It requires a great concentration. It lifts us up. It brings us to a different level, removes us from the world,” said Hawkings.

But this church, and others in Manhattan, are at risk. A program called “Making All Things New” by the Archdiocese of New York is evaluating the membership, ministry and fiscal solvency of the churches under its jurisdiction. Based on the results, some communities might see their churches closed as part of a consolidation.

The potential closure of Holy Innocents [It isn't a done deal, officially.] signals a larger problem to Thomas Basile, who has been coming to this church since he was a child.

It seems to me almost like someone is intentionally dismantling the Catholic patrimony of this city. This is basically a Catholic city with a Catholic history,” said Basile.

The parishioners in Manhattan once made up 25 percent of the Archdiocese’s population, but now they account for only 12 percent. That and the dwindling number of Catholic priests are just two reasons why the Archdiocese has to make hard choices, said communications director Joseph Zwilling. [What do you want to bet that priests could be found to cover Holy Innocents?]

“Any kind of change is always difficult. We understand that it’s difficult especially for people in their parishes who love their churches, who love the way things are, who don’t want to see any change. And we understand that. But we also realize that if that church is going to effectively meet the needs of the people, it has to meet the needs of the people as they exist today,” said Zwilling. [The needs of the people as they exist today... such as... Mass, confessions, spiritual conferences, works of mercy.  At Holy Innocents you find all these things.  They even have a discount clothing store in the basement, in cooperation with businesses nearby.  Holy Innocents is in the Garment District, which is on the upswing.]

But some Manhattan Catholics fear that their historic, city churches – built on valuable real estate – are only on the chopping block to improve the Archdiocese’s finances.

“The financial condition of the Archdiocese somehow may be corrupting decisions to make decisions to sell churches,” said Hawkings.

Zwilling denied that claim. He said the Archdiocese spends $30 to $40 million dollars a year to subsidize churches that cannot pay their debts, an amount that is unsustainable. [My understanding is that Holy Innocents pays its bills and also exceeded their quota for the annual capital campaign for the Archdiocese.] The sale of a church will be the last resort, Zwilling said, and even when that happens the proceeds will be used for the parishioners.

The Archbishop of New York, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, is currently evaluating the program’s final recommendations and is expected to announce a decision in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the parishioners of Holy Innocents pray for the future of their church. On the Feast of Corpus Christi, an annual celebration of the Eucharist, they took their faith to the streets as proof that the city is still home to a vibrant Catholic community.

There is a good point at the end.  Holy Innocents is a vibrant place.  You can sense it when you go into the church and watch Manhattan coming in and out in a constant stream, to pray, light candles, be in the quiet, participate at the reverent Masses.

You might check something I wrote about Holy Innocents, HERE and HERE.

And NYTNRORod DreherNational Catholic Register.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Be The Maquis, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, Pò sì jiù, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Olympian Middle | Tagged , | 23 Comments

UPDATE: 2013 Scalfari Interview now BACK on the Vatican website. Why?

Originally Published on: Jul 16, 2014 @ 11:36

17 July: The interview has been removed.  More below.


Can someone explain to me why the first Scalfari Interview from October 2013 is once again back on the Vatican’s website under the official category of the Holy Father’s speeches? HERE

It had been on the website. There are problems with that interview. The interviewer says he didn’t take any notes or record it.  Nevertheless he put “” around the Pope’s words.

How does that work, especially when the interviewer is an inveterate and notorious left-leaning atheist?

The interview was taken down. HERE

Now it is back.


Is that interview to be considered now in some respect part of the Holy Father’s Ordinary Magisterium?


I remind the readership that I recommended the riveting book

UPDATE 17 July:

It seems that the interview has been – once again – removed from the Vatican site, at least from under the Holy Father’s official “speeches”:

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Great article in FIRST THINGS: Correcting Catholic Blindness. ACTION ITEM!

I must alert you to a piece at First Things by Sam Gregg: “Correcting Catholic Blindness”.

Alas, it is behind a paywall.  Alas, they made some other less worthy pieces available for free.

That said, we have the option of buying this article for $1.99 and it is worth every penny and the inconvenience.

Gregg gives examples of globalization and free markets that work, and he points out problems as well while underscoring that the fastest way out of poverty for people is this not that.  It is fair.

For example, Gregg contrasts Chile and Uruguay with Argentina.  They both come out of the same sorry mess and have a lot of the same issues.  Argentina is going down the toy-toy while Chile and Uruguay are not.

Do we want to get people out of poverty or do we just want to talk about it?  Do you want to score points by bloviating or do you want to help them?

Thus, it is good to have a thoughtful and well-informed article about these issues – for a change.

Here’s what I suggest.

Since this article is entombed in First Things (journal of record for the choir), and in the August edition no less, when everyone is at the beach, we have do some of the lifting for them.  Perk up some people at FT, which has had some struggles over the last few years.

Purchase the article, print, read, and share.  Yes, buy it.  Stick the crow-bar in your wallet and give up some of that stuff that you can’t take with you.  It’d be great if about 2000 of you regular readers here spent the $1.99 and then got to work.  Just do it.

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At Eccles is saved we find an interview of Scalfarius and Jesus from 30 AD.

Sample (omitting the striking… art) with my emphases :

Galilee, 30 A.D.

Many people will know of me as the leading journalist of the Roman Empire, and founder of the newspaper Res Publica. I spoke to Jesus of Nazareth shortly after his famous Sermon on the Mount, and what He had to say will shock you.

I interviewed Jesus under the best possible circumstances: I refused to record the interview, or to take notes, and my hearing aid was broken, so I couldn’t hear Him either. In fact most of the time I hid in a cupboard, so as to resist the temptation to try and lip-read the Messiah. Nonetheless, I can tell you exactly what He said, even though He spoke Aramaic, a language unknown to me.

Jesus told me that He is very keen on an all-female priesthood, and that the all-male priesthood favoured by Jewish tradition was simply a mistake. He had given the keys of Heaven to Petra, an ambitious young lady that He had met somewhere, and she was going to become the first Holy Mother.

Jesus is well-known for saying “I came not to judge the world, but to save it.” He expanded on this theme to me, explaining that old-fashioned notions of Good and Evil were now redundant. “If a man wishes to commit theft, murder, adultery or even bear a little false witness, who am I to judge? Who is my Father to judge? No, just SMILE, that’s all I ask my disciples to do.”


Read the rest there.

I am sure that all characters appearing in this work are fictitious and that any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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Thom Peters: Progress 1 year after his life-changing accident

Remember that Thomas Peters (blogger and son of canonist Ed Peters) had a swimming accident that caused severe damage?  That was one year ago, today.

I saw THIS and want you all to know about it:

One year since, one year strong
Today, the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, marks the one year anniversary of Thom’s accident. As this day approached, we reflected together upon where we were last year and where we are today. We agree that we want this day to be a joyful remembrance and not a sorrowful one. After all, the all-encompassing effects of the accident are with us every day, but today is a chance to be grateful for God’s mercy, continued providence, and His love. As Thom wrote in his reflections when he left the hospital, so many miracles were needed for him to get through the accident alive and to survive the following months. We are so grateful for all of these miracles.

Today we invite you to pray and celebrate with us for all the grace and beauty that has come out of the accident. We are grateful beyond words for the outpouring of love and support this past year.

We want to leave you with a video and photo of what gives us hope and joy these days — this progress wouldn’t be possible without your prayers and generosity!


My readers will, in their goodness, pray for your progress and recovery.

The combox here is CLOSED! Go over there and post! HERE

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Pew by Pew: a lesson Christian identity suicide

How to commit identity suicide, pew by pew.

I saw in the Christian Post:

Removing Church Pews for Muslim Prayer Mats in the Name of Religious Tolerance

My alma mater, The University of Chicago, was recently in the news for an overtly politically correct act for replacing its historic Bond Chapel’s pews for Muslims to worship. This act is raising hackles reminiscent of the university’s other, recent, tone-deaf decision to demolish the childhood home of former President Ronald Reagan, on its campus, and replace it with a parking lot and a commemorative plaque.

The school, founded by the Rockefeller family in the late 19th century as a Baptist-affiliated institution of higher learning, with an English-style undergraduate college, and German-style graduate research school, today positions itself as completely non-denominational research university.

However, being a non-denominational organization means that the organization is Christian, in terms of values, but does not express its Christianity in a particular form, welcoming all baptized Christians, regardless of denomination.

There are a number of wonderful, non-denominational churches on campus, including the Rockefeller Cathedral, and the Bond Chapel, providing space for communal worship for Christians on Sundays, and holidays and as a beautiful setting for weddings.

Yet, it appears that the administration has developed a new understanding of exactly what non-denominational means. The university permanently removed pews from Bond Chapel in the name of religious tolerance, so that Muslims in the school community could conduct their prayer services. The pews from the Bond Chapel were shuttled across town to the Museum of Contemporary Art, where they are on exhibit as some sort of cultural relics from an ancient civilization.


I direct the readership to The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America by Andrew C. McCarthy.


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