ASK FATHER: We thought we had a valid marriage…

From a reader…


My wife and I are both converts to Catholicism, and to the best of our knowledge (we even consulted our RCIA people and a priest) we thought we had a valid marriage. Having had her doubts renewed by something on EWTN, my wife and I talked to a different priest who thinks we need a convalidation and we think we understand where the earlier miscommunication occurred; my question to you is: if we need a convalidation, do we need to confess for having had marital relations and/or taking Communion outside of a valid marriage when we, to the best of our non-Catholic-formed knowledge, were doing nothing wrong? (I tried a quick check of your archives, but found nothing that seemed to pertain.)

If the situation is so confusing that different priests have given different answers, then you should call the diocesan marriage tribunal and talk to a canonist.   It could be that that will elicit a third answer.  It is still a good idea to call them.

If there were a need for a convalidation of the marriage, you would not need to confess engaging in marital activity during the time when you – assured by the priest who received you into the Church – thought you were married.  God does not levy the guilt of sin on the souls of those who truly do not know that they are sinning.  Guilt for sin depends on your knowing that you are sinning.  And, in this case, authority had informed you that you were okay.

Again, check with an expert before proceeding…

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Canon Law, One Man & One Woman | 5 Comments

ACTION ITEM! Support Archbp. Naumann of @archkck

Go over to LifeSite and review the petition in support of Kansas City, KS, Archbp. Naumann, who has made some unpopular (and therefore proper) decisions of late.



PETITION: Support Archbishop Naumann’s defense of the Catholic faith

A parish school in Kansas is under fire after declining to enroll a child being raised by a same-sex couple in its kindergarten program.

After the pastor of St. Ann Catholic School in Prairie Village, Kansas, Fr. Craig Maxim, sent a letter explaining their decision – based on Catholic teaching – to parents, faculty and staff, a petition AGAINST the decision was started.

OUR PETITION, however, SUPPORTS the school’s decision AND the Archdiocese of Kansas City, KS and Archbishop Naumann who, in making this difficult decision, have had the integrity to safeguard the innocence of the school’s other children…and, the Church’s teaching on marriage.


Posted in ACTION ITEM! | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Wherein Fr. Z recommends and then rants with frustration and sorrow

There is a good article today at Crisis by Fr. John Perricone about the widespread liturgical wreckovation perpetrated against the People of God by the pointy-headed “experts” who were – and still are – stoned on the vapors of the “spirit of Vatican II”.

Most people have no idea that most of the vandalism – nay, that term does disservice to Vandals – devastation wreaked in churches, and the malfeasance generated against new structures, was not mandated by the Fathers of the Council.   In fact, their mandates were quite limited in scope.

But look what we got.

The fact is that, of the two major teams on the playing field (threshing floor?), only one seems to be able to get organized, work together and carry out their goals.  The other mostly resembles a cross between a clown car and a bird cage, the inmates pecking at each other and squirting seltzer bottles.

Guess which are the sides I mean.

When will the pettiness end and the true cooperation begin?

What I see are various splintered factions who would rather die than leave the tiny wrinkle of ground they’ve claimed.  Like dogs on chaffing chains they will even snap and bite at those who offer aid.

I would ask them: How’s that working for you?  Better yet, how’s that working for all of us?



Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | 15 Comments

LENTCAzT 2019 – 09 Thursday in the 1st Week of Lent: Kneeling expresses what standing does not

These daily 5 minute podcasts are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.

Today is Thursday in the 1st Week of Lent.

Fr. James Jackson helps us to understand why we kneel at Holy Mass in his splendid book:

 Nothing Superfluous: An Explanation of the Symbolism of the Rite of St. Gregory the Great 



I provide these especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

VIDEO: This explains the Church in Germany

Germany seems to be the caput malorum omnium in the Church today.  Every weird, heretical, and just plain stupid thing comes from that dark swamp of arrogant confusion.

“But Father! But Father!”, you libs are blubbering “you are the arrogant and confused one here!  Don’t you understand that it was from Germany and those other countries….. like… up there… that we got the spirit of Vatican II which is still blowing through the church like a springtime Pentecost of renewal and change?   YES!  It’s a springtime now, especially with their fighting for the rights of non-… institutionally non-catholics for their rights to the sacraments, which as GERMAN Karl Rahner explained are celebrations of pre-existing realities.   Those were halcyon days that we relive and relive and relive.  But you don’t get any of that because YOU HATE VATICAN II!”

Well… okay, then.

Here is a video compilation (not sure where it came from other than my inbox) of Ash Wednesday in a church in Germany with Card. Woelki, of all people.


There’s a video of the whole rite… but I couldn’t inflict it.

Anyway, I’m not sure who did this video, but we own him some thanks.

Germany, ladies and gentlemen.  Germany.

Posted in "But Father! But Father!", Liberals, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Pò sì jiù, You must be joking! | Tagged | 36 Comments

Quo Rev.dus Zed Ioanni Hunwicke gratias persolvit

Premite et emite!

Apud paginas Rev.di Ioannis Hunwicke [HOC], et verba exarata erga me clementia benedicentiaque nuper repperi et magno spe gravido nuntio perfruitus sum.  Exempli et animi gratia:

Res mira! Hodie ridentem inveni magnum et carum pontificem! Quem saepe lugentem, miserum inveneram, quinimmo paene flentem, tot miseriis adflictum propter vulnera in Ecclesiam Militantem his temporibus illata, hodie palam gaudentem aspexi. “Cur Domne laetaris?” rogavi. “Propter tuum Zuhlsdorfium” respondit “virum lepidum et ad cor meum, qui mirabiliter prae Mundi oculis exhibuit amicum meum Ganganelli, meum in Sede Petrina sub nomine Clementis XIV successorem. Tot poculis huius papae et imagine et armis adornatis per orbem terrarum missis, gloriam tanti historici valde promovit et promovet!”


Bene mehercule!  Gratia ei persolvo.

Quia coram sculpto Benedicti XVI ridentis imagine meis de poculis Summorum Pontificum ornatis laudes decorissime fabulavit, concinne scripsit, nova papalia ei misi libenter carchesia.

Cetera illic legitote.

Ceterum, ne obliviscamur, “GANGANELLI!”

Posted in Just Too Cool, Latin, Mail from priests | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

LENTCAzT 2019 – 08 Wednesday in the 1st Week of Lent: the struggle of a soul against sin

These daily 5 minute podcasts are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.

Today is Wednesday in the 1st Week of Lent.  Lenten Ember Days!    

John Henry Newman describes in poignant terms the struggle of a soul against habitual sin and the Devil, the longing of a soul for freedom.

I provide these especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

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

FATHERS! Traditional Holy Week Call For Help.

Having been lead by the Sprit into the desert, I feel compelled to put out some feelers.

We of the TMSM would like to be able to facilitate Solemn liturgies in the traditional Roman Rite for Holy Week, at least for the Triduum.  However, our local manpower is being sucked by … well… Novus Ordo things.

Solemn is preferable to Sung and Sung is preferable to Low.  We would really like to have Solemn liturgies.

Perhaps there are a couple of priests out there who would in interested to come to Madison for the sake of functioning as sacred ministers for the Triduum in the traditional form.

I should lay down a few necessary points.

  • You need to have your superior/chancery supply the necessary documents.  You know what I mean.
  • You need to have a strong ability to pronounce Latin and sing the chants… as they are in the book, not in your imagination.  Hence, you need to be able to hit a pitch with more than a heat seeking missile.
  • You need to have a good working knowledge of the basics of the traditional rites.   Having celebrated a Low Mass a couple times privately isn’t going to cut it.

Obviously a priest or a deacon can, both, function as a deacon or subdeacon.

We can work out other terms.

Interested?   Drop a line.  HERE

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Mail from priests, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , | Leave a comment

LENTCAzT 2019 – 07 Tuesday in the 1st Week of Lent: Priests… brands plucked out of the burning

These daily 5 minute podcasts are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.

Today Fulton Sheen tells us about the priests who returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian Captivity.   And Archbp. Lefevbre chimes in.

Today is Tuesday in the 1st Week of Lent.  Remember to examine your conscience.

Today there is a snip from the disc of music for Lent from the Nuns in of Gower Abbey.


I provide these especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bp. Athanasius Schneider’s NEW WEBSITE

Do you remember that some time ago lib camp followers around the Vatican suggested that there should be some sort of approval system for Catholic websites?


Yes… that was a good one.

We know how that would have turned out, especially in light of the brutal sidelining of Card. Burke and then the crackdown on Bp. Athanasius Schneider, who was told not to travel.  They would have posted the New catholic Red Guards on it and that would have been that. Oppression and terror-tactics would abound, because that’s how libs roll.

At the time I suggested that, were such a thing to be attempted, there would immediately rise up a kind of Catholic samizdat.

As it turns out Card. Burke developed a website recently.  HERE

So, too, now has Bp. Schneider!


Lessons on the faith.  I’m intrigued.  Schneider is a seriously good teacher.

¡Hagan lío!

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Just Too Cool, New catholic Red Guards, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , | 8 Comments

VIDEO: Blessing “Combat Rosaries” and Benedict Medals for the Pontifical Swiss Guard

Si vis pacem para bellum!

A few years ago, at my prompting, Fr. Richard Heilman, pastor of St. Mary’s in Pine Bluff here in the Diocese of Madison, sent some of his tough, gun-metal hued “Combat” Rosaries to the Pontifical Swiss Guards in the Vatican. He sent enough for all of them.

As it turned out, those rosaries arrived just when the Guards were in deep discussion about their approach to their duties and their needs. The Commandant, Col. Christoph Graff, distributed the Rosaries and spoke about them during the famous annual oath swearing ceremony in May. More on that HERE

Here is a shot of the Commandant, holding up one of the Rosaries as he described it as their most powerful weapon.

Now, all the Guards have one.

Recently, the Guards asked me to get some more for the new recruits slated to be inducted.

Fr. Heilman, once again, graciously put together a shipping case with enough for two new classes of Guards.

Each Rosary comes in a leather pouch and has an attached St. Benedict Medal.

Since Rosaries should be blessed, and St. Benedict Medals must be exorcised and blessed, on Sunday after Mass Fr. Heilman delivered the case to the sacristy and I did the honors.  Here is a video of the blessings.

Would you like your own Combat Rosary to use or to give as a gift?

Click below…

Posted in Just Too Cool, Linking Back, Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum! | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

ASK FATHER: Does Lent really have 40 days? How does that add up?

From a reader…


Father, sorry for the possibly silly question, but adding up the days from Ash Wednesday to the Lord’s Supper Mass, excluding, it does not add up to 40 if we exclude Sundays as memorials of the Resurrection, but 39 instead. So, how do we count Lenten days?

First of all, 40 is an important symbolic number in Scripture. Hence, the season is associated with Biblical “40s”.

40 shows up many times in Scripture, usually concerning a period of testing.  For example, when God flooded the earth for 40 days and 40 nights. After killing an Egyptian, Moses spent 40 years in the deserts of Midian. Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights was on Mount Sinai. He interceded for the People for 40 days and 40 nights. The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Israel was enslaved by the Philistines for 40 years. Goliath taunted Saul for 40 days. Elijah traveled 40 days and 40 nights to Mt. Horeb. 40 also appears in various OT prophecies.

And of course Our Lord spent 40 days and 40 nights fasting and there were 40 days between His Resurrection and Ascension.

However, as far as Lent is concerned, in the ancient Church Lent began with what is now the 1st Sunday of Lent, that is, six Sundays out from Easter, and it ended on Holy Thursday, with the Triduum. That brings us to 40 days.

Because all Sundays, including those during Lent, are considered to be echoes of Easter, when we don’t do penance, Lenten Sundays were excluded from the count. That takes us down to 34 fast days. Ash Wednesday with Thursday, Friday and Saturday were added. As a result, between Ash Wednesday and Holy Thursday we have 44 days. However, subtract the intervening Sundays, and add back Good Friday and Holy Saturday and you wind up with 40 penitential days again.

There are different ways to tweak the number. However, the important point is the association with Biblical 40s, especially the time that the Lord spent fasting in the wilderness as His public ministry began.


Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , | 15 Comments

LENTCAzT 2019 – 06 Monday in the 1st Week of Lent: “Loving searcher of our heart”

These daily 5 minute podcasts are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.

I provide these especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

Today is Monday in the 1st Week of Lent. Are you taking stock?

We hear today about the hymn for Vespers in Lent.



Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fr. Z’s Kitchen: Sunday Ragù

Lately, Sundays have found me in the kitchen making something interesting… to me, at least.   Yesterday I had a hankerin’ for Ragù alla bolognese.

When I say “ragù” I don’t mean something in a jar!  Ragù alla bolognese is a classic from one of the truly amazing foodie regions of Italy – and that’s saying a lot – Emilia-Romagna and, so they say, Bologna in particular.  The denizens of Bologna, as a matter of fact, have codified the “official” recipe via their chamber of commerce.   You can use this ragù (French ragoût from ragoûter… “revive flavor”) directly on various shapes of pasta or as a layer with lasagne.   Broad, flat noodles, such as tagliatelle and pappardelle are great.  I used the latter, dried.  I was a too lazy to make fresh.

This sauce is easy to make, but you need patience and time.

I used the afrementioned “official” recipe I found online and even measured my ingredients in grams with a scale.

The usual soffritto involves the holy trinity of carrot, celery and onion.  I got this going and then added finely chopped pancetta and let it get some good color.  A couple grinds of pepper went in at this point but I withheld the salt.

The beef I had was ground chuck, so it had a good deal of fat.  I gave it a good browning and then added a generous slosh of white wine which then completely evaporated.

I did the soffritto and the beef in separate pans with the plan of combining everything in a medium sized sauce pan for the slow cooking.

Combining with the tomato.  I had just the right amount – 100 g – of strained tomato left from another project.

The addition of and reduction of some beef broth. There is already a rather creamy texture from the fat of the pancetta.

In goes the milk.   I had just a tiny bit of heavy cream left from last Wednesday’s pottage.  It went in.   During the hours of cooking that followed, I adjusted it with the small additions of broth and I skimmed a little of the fat that rose to the surface.  Next time, I will wait until I am well into the slow cooking time to add the milk/cream.  Putting it in at this point was too early.

Meanwhile, I am really looking forward to the end of winter.  It started out pretty mild, but then it got nasty.  We’ve had days and days and days of freezing rain.  Everything is covered with ice.

The official recipe suggests about 2 hours of cooking time.   Four hours later – on really low heat – I’m thinking about the pasta.  Egg pappardelle.

Ecco!   Pappardelle con ragù alla bolognese.

This portion rests on a discreet bed of chopped parsley.   Down it went with a 100% Sangiovese (Jupiter’s blood).  I now have in the freezer another portion awaiting its eschaton.

As it turned out, I had no need to introduce salt.  The ingredients themselves and the sprinkling of cheese was just right.

Yes, it was every bit as good as it should have been.   Some company would have been the only thing that could have improved it.


In retrospect, a Norcia beer would have gone well with this!   And it’s made by terrific, traditional Benedictines!

Consider joining the “beer club” which helps the monastery.  HERE

Posted in Fr. Z's Kitchen | Tagged | 7 Comments

Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point made in the sermon you heard for your Mass of Sunday obligation?

I was deacon for the Mass so I didn’t preach.  However, the celebrant spoke to not being afraid of three things, temptations towards fear, the Church’s mystery, her doctrine, and her works.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 12 Comments