07/07/07 – 12th Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum – Wherein Fr. Z rants.

Today is the 12th Anniversary of the release of the of Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

Just for fun, this blog’s page on that day: HERE

I call the Motu Proprio “The Emancipation Proclamation”.

Summorum Pontificum was a hugely important gift to the entire Church.  It was perhaps the most important thing that Benedict XVI did in his pontificate.

I’ve called this important Motu Proprio a key element of Benedict’s “Marshall Plan“.  Summorum Pontificum was a key element of Benedict’s vision of revitalizing the Church by jump starting, as it were, the organic development of liturgical worship, so critical to our Catholic identity.  Benedict hoped to rebuild the Church in the wake of post-Conciliar devastation and against the onslaught of the dictatorship of relativism.

No initiative we undertake in the Church can succeed without it being rooted in our sacred liturgical worship.   However, our collective sacred liturgical worship is presently in a state of cataclysmic disorder.   I believe with all my heart and mind that we, collectively, cannot in this present state fulfill properly our obligation to God according to the virtue of religion, that virtue which directs us to give to God what is His due.   Hence, according to the hierarchy of goods which we all must embrace, we are, collectively, disordered.  Nothing we can do as a Church will succeed in this state of affairs.  We have to see to our worship of God.

The use of the TLM will help us to correct our downward trajectory.  The knock-on effect that learning the TLM has on priests is remarkable.  That knock-on effect ripples beyond the sanctuary to congregations.

So much more has to be done.  An alarmed Enemy is fighting back and fighting hard.

The revitalization fo the Church through a restoration of our Catholic identity will require nearly heroic courage from priests.

Priests will need to work hard to acquire tools that they were systematically cheated out of in their formation.  They will be intimidated.  They will fear that they can’t do it.  They can do it, but it will take hard work and support from others.  Graces will be given in this undertaking, because the connection of the priest and the altar is fundamental to the Church’s life.  No other thing that the priest does is more important.  Priests must also be willing to suffer attacks from libs, many of whom are not malicious but who are blinkered and nearly brainwashed.

Next, it is going to require nearly heroic courage and spirit of sacrifice from lay people who must support their priests and encourage them in projects that they will be reluctant to undertake.  Lay people must also be ready to engage in their parishes on a new level.

Remember, friends, that we are our rites.  As the Church prays, so do we believe and live.

Everything that we are and do as a Church flows from and returns to sacred liturgical worship.  We are our rites.

Summorum Pontificum is a great gift.  Pray for Benedict XVI and thank God for this gift.

Finally, a nostalgic image from back in the days of the “Sabine Farm”.

And with a little help from a one-time reader…

Posted in Benedict XVI, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Linking Back, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM | 5 Comments

Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point made in the sermon during your Mass of Sunday obligation? Let us know.

For my part, I underscored – on this 4th Sunday after Pentecost – that God doesn’t choose men who are worthy to serve as priests.  He chooses whom it pleases Him to choose.   Peter was an unlikely choice, a self-described sinner, and Christ chose Him.  We all have callings and we are all imperfect. God crowns His own merits in our efforts.

I make a plea to pray for priests, especially young priests.

Recently, I am informed, the parish is putting the Sunday sermons online. My unworthy offering is here.

Posted in Our Catholic Identity, Sermons | 13 Comments

The beatification of Fulton J. Sheen, patron of faithful priests persecuted by bishops

Now that the wrangling over the body of Fulton Sheen has been resolved by a secular court, and the body of the Venerable has been transferred from this sometimes tomb in New York City to it’s resting place in Peoria, a miracle worked by God through Sheen’s intercession has been recognized by Rome. This opens the way to the Beatification of Fulton Sheen.

The decree concerning his life of heroic virtues had been promulgated by Benedict XVI 2012, thus giving Sheen the title “Venerable”. The cause could not move forward because the Archdiocese of New York refused to release Sheen’s body to Peoria for the obligatory “recognition” of the body, an examination and description, and the taking of relics. Numerous court challenges resulted in a victory for Sheen’s family and the cause.

The Venerable’s body was transferred to Peoria and cause was able to move forward.

Archbp. Sheen had died in NYC. Officially, a person’s “cause” for canonization is handled in the diocese where the person died. However, for a good reason the “actor” in the cause, who wants the cause to be opened, can petition the Holy See to move the cause to another place. That’s what had happened in the cause of Fulton Sheen. His cause had been transferred to Peoria, where his family roots remain. Sheen was ordained for the Diocese of Peoria.

Fulton Sheen was a supremely talented teacher and speaker. He could be a patron for priest’s in these their roles. However, he also once had a horrible tangle with the Archbp. of New York, Card. Spellmam which went all the way to Ven. Pius XII (another whose cause is languishing). Sheen prevailed, but it was a Pyrrhic victory, in that Spellman relentlessly persecuted Sheen thereafter.  Truly Pyrrhic, however, for Spellman, as it turns out.

Sheen could be the patron of faithful priests persecuted by their devious bishops.

I’ve been reading and listening to Sheen for years. Personally, my points of contact with him at two.  When in London, and when I stayed at St Patrick’s in Soho, I heard confessions in the regular confessional Sheen used.  Also, under very different circumstances, we both went to the St. Paul Seminary.  If I remember rightly, there was a incident with a bowling ball.  But I digress.

There is no date yet, for the beatification of Fulton J. Sheen.  With the approval of a miracle through his intercession, his beatification is pretty much a done deal.  It will probably be in Peoria.

This is a turbulent time for the Church in these USA.  It seems to me that Sheen’s beatification will now come at a critical time, a moment when many will be moved to consider anew or for the first time his sound teachings, perhaps in a way that will affect the lives of many Catholics.  Had Sheen’s cause occurred “on schedule”, it would have drawn a lot of attention, but not the sort of attention and with the lens that we now have.  His example will say something different under these circumstances than it would have some years ago.


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

Because of so much darkness, there has never been a better time to be a young priest

 At Complete Christianity (a member of the new FOEDUS – League of Catholic Bloggers) Shane Schaetzel, a lay convert to the Church, wrote a post that I wish that I had written.

Let me just say- as a forward to what I’ll post below – that this is a really tough time to be a priest. But, as I always say, of all the universes God could have created He created this one, into which He called us into existence at exactly the right point in time and with exactly the right set of tools to carry out our little piece of His overarching, divine Plan. If we dedicate ourselves to our state in life, as it is hic et nunc, here and now, God will give us all the actual graces we need to fulfill our part in His economy of salvation. Just as a war-fighter in dire harm’s way is in the safest place spiritually he can be if he acts out of duty and love of God, family and country, so too the priest. Even if the priest is trodden on by his more powerful clerical brethren and unfairly attacked by world-mired laity, he is in the safest spiritual place he can be if he acts out of love of God, Church and patria. Perhaps this is why old soldiers and old priests tend to be great friends.

In any event, the post I mentioned above is addressed to young priests. The writer gives them his perspective on what is truly needed from priests today, what lay people (and other priests, frankly) need from them, even in the face of opposition.

I am reminded of the lot of ancient doctors and their patients in the time before anesthetics. Doctors don’t stop cutting just because the patient is screaming for them to stop. Priests mustn’t stop bringing the right stuff, just because the worldly are screaming for them to stop.

Here is some of the post, which I wish I had written…

The Greatest Time to be a Priest

A candle in darkness outshines a bonfire in daylight.

Not in living memory has there been a better time to be a priest. Not within a hundred years has there been a better time to be a priest. Not within a millennium has there been a better time to be a priest. And I say this as a man who has no desire to become a priest whatsoever.

This is not addressed to the aged men who grace our parishes and cathedrals now, but rather the young men just getting started, those men recently ordained in the last ten years or so, and those men still in seminary, as well as those men contemplating the priesthood. There has never been a better time to be a priest than now, but only if you’re a young priest.

By young priest, I mean a priest who is not only young in body, but also one who is traditional in spirit. For the great darkness that has befallen the Church is your chance to shine like a flame. I’m going to tell you a secret now. It’s probably a secret that you already know, but it helps sometimes to hear it from others, or to get a different perspective on it. There has never been a greater time to be a priest, because now you can do so much with so little effort. The darkness has made this possible.


So, maybe you’re a young priest, or maybe you’re in seminary, or maybe you’re a young man thinking about becoming a priest. Do you want to know how to be a great priest? Do you want to know how to attract Catholics and converts from far and wide? Do you want to know how to build a congregation larger than anyone else. It’s simple really. When there’s a famine, you show up with food. When there’s darkness, you light a candle. There is a hunger in the Catholic Church for tradition, but not just tradition. There’s also a hunger for knowledge of God’s written word as well.

You, young Catholic priests, all you need to do is the following…

1. Wear a cassock.

2. Celebrate a traditional liturgy, and when I say traditional, make it as traditional as you possibly can, whatever form you use, even if it draws the ire of older priests.

3. Then during your homily, explain the Scriptures you just read during Mass. Explain them verse by verse. Use the Baltimore Catechism as an aid, keep everything as orthodox as possible, and end each homily with a short call to repentance and conversion.

If you do these things, you most certainly WILL be persecuted. You’ll be persecuted by old hippy parishioners who prefer to have their priests submissive and emasculated. You’ll be persecuted by older priests who will say you’re rocking the boat, and becoming a trouble maker. You’ll be persecuted by weak bishops who cower to the demands of old hippies, feminists, homosexuals and Marxists. Yes, you will be persecuted, but so was Christ and the Apostles before you. The fact that much of this persecution will come from within the Church only demonstrates just how deep this present darkness is. Yet it is because of this thick darkness that you will shine so brightly. Because the times are so dark, and the hunger is so great, if you do these three simple things, you won’t just be a great priest. You’ll become a Saint.

Well, said.  Fr. Z kudo’s.

Yes, indeed, you’ll be a great priest.  And you’re going to get your teeth kicked in.  Again and again and again.   And the most painful kicks will come from those who need you the most.

Keep getting up.  Don’t ever lie down.  Don’t cower.  Don’t break.  Don’t quit.

At the same time.  Don’t be stupid.  Choose your hills.  Don’t die on the slope of a meaningless or unworthy objective.  Remember your brethren, your allies in the fight.  Keep them close and keep in contact.  You don’t have to do everything alone.

Remember, too, that you – because priests are soon going to be rarer and rarer by decreasing numbers – are a precious resource, not easily renewed.  Therefore, take care for your health out of charity for those who need what only priests can give.  Taking care of yourself is a work of mercy for others.  Allow yourself to be helped.  Also, do all that you can to foster vocations to the priesthood.

It’ll only hurt for about 50 years or so.

Then, glory eternal … greeted by happy souls whom you kept out of Hell.

And this song was on the radio when I was in seminary.

Now that I’m older, there’s this version.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Four Last Things, Fr. Z KUDOS, Priests and Priesthood, Seminarians and Seminaries, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Card. Müller on the proposed reform of the Roman Curia

Yesterday I mulled over the draft of the proposed reform of the Roman Curia.  I’m not optimistic.

Today I see in the National Catholic Register (thanks M) an interview by Ed Pentin with Gerhard Card. Müller.

Müller opines…

PENTIN: What do you think of synodality and this “synodal path” as a means of governing the Church? Do you think there’s a danger, as some believe, that it could bring alien ideas into the Church?

MÜLLER: I think it’s very idealistic. There’s no biblical foundation for it. We speak of collegiality of the bishops, but we now see in the so-called reform of the Curia that the Curia is in danger of turning into any other secular institution. All power is concentrated in the Secretariat of State. They don’t speak about the participation of the Roman Church or the Petrine authority of the Pope. They’re suppressing the word “congregation” [used for Vatican departments with executive authority], which is a translation of synodus in Greek.

So, on the one hand, they’re suppressing the synodality of the Holy Roman Church, the College of Cardinals, and, on the other hand, they’re converting the institution of the Curia into simply a bureaucracy, into only functionalism and not an ecclesiastical institute. We have a common responsibility to be involved in the life of the Church, that is true, but we have had this universal participation since the beginning of the Church, for 2,000 years.

We cannot now invent the Church as if the Church is old-fashioned and now to be refashioned according to those calling themselves progressives, who want to build the Church according to their ideas.

And he has some pointed words about the present German influence and the Instrumentum Laboris for the Amazoniana Synod.

Posted in Synod, The Drill | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A dowager of the catholic Left has get’s a dose of the Left’s own medicine.

A dowager of the catholic Left has, like the cobbler in the story, been given a taste of the Left’s own medicine.  She didn’t take it very well.  Her reaction was to whine about it to a writer at Hell’s Bible, who produced a piece worthy of a Third Nocturn.

General busybody and former LCWR head Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB was disinvited from an education conference to be held in Melbourne, Australia.

Sister Joan Chittister, a well-known American nun, feminist and scholar, was looking forward to speaking at a Catholic education conference in Australia next year, figuring there would be plenty to discuss in a country where Catholic schools educate roughly one in five children.

But then Sister Joan, 83, received an email a few weeks ago effectively telling her not to come, saying that the Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Comensoli, had not endorsed the invitation.

No reason was given, she said. But to Sister Joan and her supporters, the message was clear: The leaders of the church don’t like her ideas — especially her call to empower women and laypeople — so they plan to suppress them.

“It is pathetic,” Sister Joan said on Monday in an interview from Erie, Pa., where she has lived and worked with the needy for most of her life. “These teachers for the next generation of thinkers are being denied the right to pursue ideas.”

“I see it as a lot bigger than one conference,” she added. “I see it as an attitude of mind that is dangerous to the church.”

Fr. Richard Jacobs comments at his blog The Motley Monk

The irony is how Sister C is crying foul when Archbishop is merely applying the identical standard to a theological progressive that presidents of the nation’s Catholic universities and colleges routinely apply to theological conservatives.

And…lo and behold…the theological progressives don’t like it so they’re crying foul to the New York Times which, of course, agrees with their assessment!

It’s all about “fairness,” no?

Yep.  It’s all about fairness.

The lefty catholics tend to whine to the sky when disinvited, as in the case of a certain homosexualist Jesuit, while conservatives tend take it on the chin and move on.   We’re used to it.

A case in point, is, well, the undersigned.   I was slated to speak somewhere.  Everything was printed and distributed.  The locum tenens called in the pastor and commanded him to disinvite me.  No.  This didn’t make it onto the blog at the time.  Why?  Because, I was worried about retribution against other people if it became a more public matter.  As the Fat Man put it in The House of God, “They can always hurt you more.” (Law VIII) What really drips with irony is that that same locum tenens soon after invited the above-mentioned homosexualist Jesuit to speak at his cathedral because, “This is a priest who has given his life for the service of the church”.

As the saying goes, all priests are equal but some priests are more equal than others.

Posted in Liberals, Lighter fare | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

UK readers, especially priests, HELP!

I was sent this.   I very much would like to see the rest of it.

Anyone?  It seems to me that the best bet would be old Missals in the UK. [I’m convinced it’s a send up, folks, as I suggest below.  BUT… I still want to see the whole thing!  Fun.]

Missa “in lamentatione dispossessionis coloniarum nostrarum Americae Septentrionalis”

It looks like a photo taken of a screen.  I can’t find anything online and I am really good at finding things.

The typo suggests that this may be a send up.  Who knows.  If so, it’s well done.

Posted in ACTION ITEM!, Lighter fare, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged | 10 Comments

Francis’ projected restructuring of the Roman Curia – wow…just…. wow…

I’ve been reading around the topic of Francis’ proposed restructuring of the Roman Curia.  It is, in Latin terms, revolutionary: Res novae.

At the National Catholic Register there is a summarizing piece by Ed Condon.   Within, you read…

The most dramatic reform proposed in the current draft of Praedicate Evangelium is the effective ending of any curial department’s ability to exercise papal governing authority on a stably delegated basis.

The draft text lays down that a curial department “cannot issue laws or general decrees having the force of law, nor can it deviate from the prescriptions of the universal law” except on a case-by-case basis “approved specifically by the Supreme Pontiff.” It further provides that any “important, rare, and extraordinary affairs” cannot be treated by the prefect of the dicastery unless and until he has cleared the matter with the pope and received his approval.

Legally, this means that the pope must personally approve every authoritative decision to emerge from a curial department – an historic recentralization of Roman power into the person of the pope.

Closely related to the end of curial departments’ ability to exercise the power of governance is another historic proposed reform: that lay people can serve as the head of any dicastery.

Think about this for a moment.

Right now, and for centuries, the different entities of the Curia exercised power of governance and some jurisdiction, in the sphere of competence, the tasks to which they are dedicated.  This, to use the term in a rather generic sense to indicate both jurisdiction and potestas regiminis, the shorthand “jurisdiction” has been delegated to dicasteries (entities of the Curia) by the Supreme Pontiff.  However, if this power or jurisdiction is withdrawn, then the individual dicasteries or entities of the Curia essentially then have to propose to the Supreme Pontiff stuff to do and he then does them himself or tells them to on a case by case basis.   In military imagery, the curial entity or “dicastery” is is reduced from being a kind of XO to being a kind of dogsbody or batsman.  In academic parlance, they would be a grad-student TA or a “research assistant in residence” (whatever that is).

Power of governance and jurisdiction were, before the Council and then the 1983 Code, closely bound up with the Holy Orders.  Hence, the top officials of a curial entity such as a Congregation, would have to be not only in orders, but also bishops.   There are practical, psychological reasons as well.

Under this new vision for the Roman Curia, if loosely defined jurisdiction has been effectively withdrawn from the curial entity, for example from the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments then anyone can be the figurehead.   If that position doesn’t require the power that is tied in with Holy Orders, then Sr. Randi of the Short-Haired Ministers of Social Action can be the head of the dicastery.  See?

It seems as if this is what is being proposed.   The draft probably won’t be finalized until September.  Then, in October, we will have the extravagant “wag the dog” event, the Pan-Amazonian Synod (cha cha cha) that ought to distract everyone for a while.

This would also mean a massive increase of paperwork for the Roman Pontiff.  This will have to be handled by helpers.   That could happen in one of two ways.  First, perhaps the Pontiff’s household will have to be increased with particular secretaries to handle the specialized papers from each curial dicastery.  Of course they won’t have any jurisdiction either.   See?  But wait!  The working draft also has massively increased the role of the Secretariat of State, whose role was already magnificently increased under Paul VI.   Guess where all the decision making will be done.

At least that’s how I read this.  Keep in mind that the words like “jurisdiction” and “power” and “power of governance” are also technical terms.  And, the concepts behind these terms have been shifting since the Council and the 1983 Code.  It’s murky.   Who can hold offices these days, or who can carry out various tasks seems now, more than ever, to be a matter of the office and task bestowers ecclesiology.   That is to say, frankly, “If I like the person appointed, then I probably won’t complain very much even if I think that it ought to be a bishop or priest in the post, but if I don’t agree with that person’s views, I’m going to be seriousl p.o.d!”   Let’s say that a bishop appoints my friend and highly educated and tradition-loving canonist M, to be a kind of “pastoral life moderatrix” of a parish without a stable pastor. I wouldn’t complain nearly as much at that out-of-the-box non-clerical appointment as if the bishop were to appoint Sr Dyna Moore, a transgendered Daughter of Charity whose prayer life consists of communing with the grass spirits in accord with the Instrumentum Laboris for the upcoming Synod (“walking together”) through the use of crystals and, well, grass, and who keeps switching off the church’s AC in the summer because of Laudato sì.

And here we were worried about “decentralization” of power to regional conferences of bishops.


What a complete mess.


Posted in The Coming Storm, The Drill | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

For UK readers about online shopping

Dear UK Readers, sometimes I appeal to you to use my links to enter Amazon for online shopping.  With each purchase, I receive a percentage.  This is important for my budget.

Right now and until 20 July the percentage has risen to up to 49%.

Also one of the opportunities you can take advantage of is Kindle Unlimited.  US HERE – UK HERE

Posted in ACTION ITEM! | Leave a comment

A young priest reflects on celebrating the TLM and its positive influences

Today at Rorate there is a positive post.

Fr. Tim Iannacone, a young priest ordained in 2017, assistant in a Connecticut parish, contributed an essay on his experience of learning to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass, discovering its benefits for himself, for the congregation and, significantly for another priest: his pastor!

Aside: I’ve corresponded with Fr. Iannacone about various vocation choices since 2011. It’s great to see how he is flourishing and that his head is screwed on in the right direction.

The column was penned originally for a parish bulletin, but it deserves wider visibility.

Please check it out. They don’t have a combox over there, but you can discuss it here.

Here’s a sample:

Through the Extraordinary Form, Catholics can come to see the beauty and love of Christ in the Holy Mass, which has organically developed over centuries. If more Catholics come to understand the Church, and more importantly the Traditional Mass, we will undoubtedly see the laity and clergy become champions of Truth; a Truth that ultimately is Jesus Christ. No longer ought we be discouraged by statistics showing decline in the practice of the faith, but instead we can be encouraged by this solid liturgical grounding to further conform our lives to Christ, Who offers Himself without reserve in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

In this paragraph, Fr. Iannacone touches on something I insist upon. We are our rites. Participation in this rite or that rite of the Church, over time, affects deeply who we are. Fiddle around with our rites, changing them or adapting them to the worlds ways – rather than giving what the Church has to give logical priority – fiddles around with our Faith, our identity. And not in a good way.

Recovery of the traditional rites which were lovingly crafted and polished and embellished by our forebears and then handed lovingly down to us as a precious gift is essential for a recovery of our Catholic identity and, hence our continuing mission ad extra.

We are our rites.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM | 3 Comments

PRAYER SUGGESTION: Archbp. Carroll’s “Prayer for Government”

washingtonprayingEveryone, Happy 4th of July and God Bless America!

Fathers, you might want to have everyone pray this after Mass on major public holidays in these USA.  This, and other prayers, are deeply needed.

The following prayer was composed by John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore, in 1791. He was the first bishop appointed for the United States in 1789 by Pope Pius VI. He was made the first archbishop when his see of Baltimore was elevated to the status of an archdiocese. John was a cousin of Charles Carroll of Maryland, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

This needs no translation for Catholics who love their country!


We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.

We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope N.,the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state , for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

I became familiar with this moving prayer at my home parish of St. Agnes in St. Paul (MN) where it was recited after all Masses on civic holidays of the USA, such as 4 July and Thanksgiving.

Americans among the readership might print it and bring it to your parish priests and ask them to use it after Mass on national holidays.

firstcontcongresslarge (1)

Continental Congress at Prayer

The opening prayer session of the 1st Continental Congress was about 3 hours long.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 10 Comments

SYZYGY WATCH! Rare Total Eclipse of the Sun

There was a rarish total solar eclipse on 2 July which terminated at the eastern coast of S. America (think Argentina… portentous!). Rarish because totality was viewed close to sunset, near to the horizon, producing some amazing views.

A reader writes:

Fr. Z,
I am an eclipse chaser as well as an avid reader of your blog. I am in Argentina this week and was able to witness a magnificent total eclipse of the sun. I recalled your interest in matters celestial, and imagined you might like this photo I captured of the moment.

I put together little solar projections from the syzygies I witness (eclipses and transits), and would be happy to post one to you if you would like.

Pax et bonum,

Yes, please!

Here is the photo he sent.

SpaceWeather also has a few truly awesome photos of this rarish eclipse. HERE Included as some “dreamshots”. For you who read this later, Spaceweather scrolls their stories off the front pretty quickly. Look at THIS!!!

BTW… the “transits” he mentioned are like to those great events of the Transit of Venus across the face of your planet’s yellow star.   I was still living in Rome during the first of the last pair of Transits.  Near the Holy See Press Office, a couple of lads from England had set up their telescopes and were letting everyone who wanted to have a look, have a look.  It was marvelous.

Here’s Sousa’s Transit of Venus March written in honor of a man who had worked on the proper viewing of the penultimate pair of Transits.

Did you know that Sousa also wrote novels?

Posted in Just Too Cool, Look! Up in the sky! | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Historic church, rescued from demolition, to reopen in @FRDiocese

Do you recall the post about saving a spectacularly beautiful church, a shrine to St. Ann, in Fall River, MA?  Miracles have been granted there.

A lot has happened since I posted that.   One thing that happened is that a group of lay people made a deal with the diocese to keep it open.   A long-time reader here, whom I wrote of today in the post about Ham Radio and ZedNet, is involved with that church.

A news story. HERE

Go look at the photos of the place. What a shame were it to close. What a great thing these people are doing to save that historic church!

It is true that great churches come and go.  That’s been the history of Christianity.  Not only churches… but Churches!   Christ didn’t promise that Hell wouldn’t prevail against Churches in N. Africa… or churches in Fall River.

However, we live in a time of wealth and of social communications.   If we lose these churches now, we probably won’t be able build their likes again.


Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Just Too Cool | Tagged | 5 Comments

Excellent twist in Alaska about tax-payer funding of abortion

If it weren’t such a serious topic this would be a real hoot.

Alaska’s governor and legislature are against public funding of abortion.  However, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that tax payers had to pay for abortions.

To deal with that problem, the governor used his gubernatorial power and deducted from the Court’s budget the amount that had to go to pay for abortions.


The story is a LifeSite.

Posted in Emanations from Penumbras, Fr. Z KUDOS | Tagged , | 3 Comments

NEW VIDEO from Bp. Hying of @MadisonDiocese

The other day I posted a video from the new Bishop of Madison, Most Rev. Donald Hying, 5th to wield the pastoral staff in this diocese. Bp. Hying frequently made brief videos while he was still in Gary and he intends to do the same from the Dioecesis Madisonensis. They are worthwhile.

In any event, here is today’s offering. At the moment there are 473 views.

Okay, readers, let’s see if we can’t push that number a little higher! CLICK!

Posted in Just Too Cool | Tagged , , | 2 Comments