“Knock the cover off the ball!”

I was alerted to this by a Chicagoan friend, a long-suffering Cubs fan   It shows how statistics don’t tell the whole story. From NRO:

Not only did Garcia’s teammate, Jose Abreu, slug two home runs against the Indians on Thursday evening, reports Lindsey Foltin of Fox Sports Ohio, he managed to tear open a brand-new ball with another swing.
Abreu’s 439-foot bomb in the second inning of that game came off Danny Salazar. Gammons Daily’s Bill Chuck noted that the 24-year-old fireballer had a most peculiar outing:
Salazar faced just 18 batters [over three and two-thirds innings,] allowing six hits, including two homers and a double, and walked two and permitted five runs.

Now here’s the amazing part . . .

He struck out every other batter he faced.

Check out his BABIP yesterday — the White Sox were perfect [1.000].

In the meantime, we should always strive to knock the cover off the ball.

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Posted in Just Too Cool | Tagged , | 4 Comments

ASK FATHER: Kids told to confess one sin only.

From a reader…


At a local youth rally, the kids were told to confess one of their sin in the confessional. There were multiple priests present along with the bishop.

Are their sins forgiven?

First, if that recounting is accurate, telling people to confession only one sin is WRONG WRONG WRONG!

The bishop present ought to have immediately gone to the microphone to correct that.

I can’t say for sure what God did in regard to what these kids confessed.   God gave the Church the ordinary means for the forgiveness of our sins, provided we do what the Church requires.  Outside of doing what the Church requires… we get into swampy terrain.

Every sacrament has both form and matter.  The form of the Sacrament of Penance is the absolution spoken by a priest with faculties from the Church to absolve.  The matter is the telling of sins, all mortal sins, to the best of one’s ability.

If a person deliberately hides known mortal sins during confession, then she is not forgiven.

This situation, however, is complicated by the fact that the kids were told to confess only one sin.

It is entirely possible that these young people have never been properly trained or catechized.  Thus, they might do in good faith what they were told, not knowing that it was wrong.  What God does with that… I don’t know.

The way to deal with long lines is not to compromise the sacrament!   To keep things moving teach people what to confess and how to confess!

So, I don’t know for sure if they were absolved of their sins or not.  I suspect not, not in any regular way.  I can’t speculate much about what God might grant to them.

The Sacrament of Penance must not be compromised in this way.  Priests should never leave people wondering whether or not their sins were absolved.  That is why they must teach people to confess all mortal sins both in kind and in number, to confess everything, and to exclude nothing of mortal sins.  Then priests must must must use the proper form of absolution as the Church has given it, not making it up, not personalizing it, not elaborating on it.

Just say the black words and do what the red letters say.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , , , | 44 Comments

ASK FATHER: Communion for person just spotted drinking (probably) coffee

From a reader…


I’m an EMHC [Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion] in our Parish. At yesterday’s Mass, I was sitting a pew or two behind a woman who was chugging what I can only assume was a coffee beverage throughout Mass (it was in the cup-size that rhymes with “plenty” from a major coffee chain). She later presented herself to me for communion. As an EMHC, do I have the authority (or responsibility) to charitably refuse to administer communion, since I had reason to believe that she violated the fast? Should I, or should I leave it between her and God?

If I should refuse to offer communion to her and I fail to do so, am I in a state of sin, which should be confessed?

I had pondered this during Mass, and in this situation, I DID administer communion to her because I realized I DIDN’T know the answers to these questions (or even if it was just water in the cup) and, in any case, I DIDN’T know how to charitably do this.  [Water doesn't break the Eucharistic fast.]

I’m asking you, rather than my Parish priest, because based on his previous track record on other, more serious issues, I don’t trust his judgement in this.

First, those occasions wherein EMHC’s are utilized to distribute Holy Communion ought to be rare.

EMHCs should not take upon themselves any determination of whether or not to admit someone to Holy Communion, unless the priest has instructed them to do so, and unless the situation is obvious, e.g., the person is chewing gum, wearing a rainbow sash during a protests, etc.

Ideally the pastor (parish priest) should regularly remind the flock of the necessity of observing the (paltry) 1-hour Communion fast.  He should take pains to know his flock so that he can take people aside and remonstrate with them as needed (and also praise them for their fidelity and piety – a good shepherd does both).

In such a situation, you should probably give the woman Holy Communion.  Then you should go to Father after Mass and explain the situation, offering the polite suggestion that it might be time to remind people about the fast.  That will also give Father the opportunity to explain the situation to you saying,

“Oh, that was Mindy. She has a rare condition that entails a dangerous lack of caffeine in her blood and commercialism in her psyche, so she has permission to drink the forbidden nectar during Mass…”


Click for your privileges!


If you drink only Mystic Monk Coffee, you get special permissions in the Church, but only if you use my link!

For example, did you know that the drinkers of Mystic Monk Coffee (bought exclusively through Fr Z’s link) have the right to wear the now abolished papal tiara while receiving Holy Communion?  True fact!  Did you know that, when drinking Mystic Monk Coffee, you are granted the privilege of receiving Communion – within a week and under the usual circumstances – on the MOON?  Did you know that Mystic Monk Coffee drinkers using K-Cups are granted an indult to receive Communion in two locations simultaneously when they bilocate?

What are you waiting for?

Mystic Monk Coffee!

It’s swell!

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , | 31 Comments

ASK FATHER: Can I go to same-sex ceremony or reception?

From a reader…


I am invited to my Aunt’s wedding ceremony to her same-sex partner. My family has in the past received conflicting advice from parish priest’s on the issue. One said skip the ceremony and go to the reception; another said to go because you can support the person if not what they are doing. I understand that the Church does not forbid attending invalid weddings, but those responses don’t seem totally satisfactory. What’s your view?

My view… my view….


I think you must not attend either the ceremony or the reception.

This is not like a Catholic and non-Catholic “mixed” marriage situation. Nor it is like a “second marriage” scenario between a man and a woman.

We can’t participate in these situations.

In some cases, as mentioned above, which at least don’t violate natural law and basic common sense, some level of participation could involve attending a reception.  But not this, even at the risk of splits in the family.

Moderation queue is ON.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , | 37 Comments

ASK FATHER: Must the Exsultet be sung by a cleric?

From a reader


Must the Exultet be sung by a cleric?

Short and simple.

The short answer is: It ought to be.

In the Novus Ordo I believe it is permitted for a non-cleric to sing the Exsultet. I guess that option looks more to the aesthetics of the moment than to the true dignity of the laity and the proper role of the clergy.

In the traditional Roman Rite, the singer must be a deacon or priest. A priest would vest in the dalmatic.

Come to think of it, a bishop could do it.  That would be interesting.

The Exsultet, also spelled Exultet, is the liturgical year’s moment for the deacon, par excellence.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

LENTCAzT 41: Monday in Holy Week

Please use the sharing buttons?  Thanks!

Today is Monday of Holy Week.

Examine your consciences.

Have you made your good confession?

Today I use a cut from the Choeur Gregorien De Paris: Gregorian Chants / Liturgy for Holy Week.  Also hear something from the wonderful  CD of music for Lent by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles.


These daily podcasts for Lent are intended to give you a small boost every day,

This project during Lent has been a token of thanks to my donors.

Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

And you thought you had problems!

I think they are being told to but out.

Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged | 16 Comments


My native place of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has its large share of loony dissent.  Some of it is so strange that you wonder if you are actually imagining it.

That said, I am not making this up.

From the Minneapolis Star Sickle comes this big puppet liturgical horror for Palm Sunday at the über-weird St. Joan of Arc parish, in the running for the weirdest parish in these USA.

Actors and musicians presented Palm Sunday Family Mass with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre [apt mane] at Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Community in Minneapolis. Christians around the world celebrated Palm Sunday with the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, when the crowds waved palm branches.

“Celebrant”? in costume? Who knows.  It could be anyone.

Yep, at least the tabernacle is in the center of the … wildlife sanctuary!

It’s the raccoon that does it.  No?

I am pretty sure that the parts of the “liturgical” ministers were performed by the Guardians of the Galaxy.*

*Not to be confused with these guys.

By the way, not far from St. Joan of Arc there is another church where they worship rocks in American Indian rituals.  No kidding.

Posted in Liberals, Lighter fare, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, You must be joking! | Tagged , , , | 58 Comments

How Italians differ.

I recently rediscovered this great filmette about the … well… you’ll see.

Funny and true.

I’ll be in Rome soon, so I will fire up once again my donation button in case anyone would like to pitch in for a cup of coffee, cab fares, lunch, a new vestment, a Bugatti… you know… the usual stuff one gets.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 23 Comments

Z-SWAG: In The Wild – Phoenician Edition


From a reader:

Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

I came across Save the Liturgy, Save the World” and “Say the Black, Do the Red!” while reading Fr. John Lankeit’s bulletin letter to the parishioners at Sts. Simon and Jude Cathedral, Phoenix, Arizona (Diocese of Phoenix; Bp. Thomas Olmsted.) [May he thrive, and his flock with him.] Someone must have given him your mugs! HERE

Fr. Lankeit is a very faithful Catholic priest who has been tirelessly and patiently teaching his flock the truth and the beauty of the Sacred Liturgy ever since he became rector there at SSJ (as we call it.) You may be interested in reading some of his bulletin letters by going to this site: HERE

Thank you so much for your care of Catholics everywhere, by your blog. I find it to be a valuable source for information, affirmation, and solid Catholic teaching. It helps me to appreciate and deepen my own faith.

You are welcome.

Hearty greetings to Fr. Lankeit.  I’ll send him a couple more bits of Z-Swag.

Posted in In The Wild, Lighter fare | Tagged , | 6 Comments