Recent Posts, Thanks to Donors, Mass for Benefactors

First and foremost, help each other.  YOUR URGENT PRAYER REQUESTS

Also, posts scroll out of view pretty quickly.  Here’s what’s been going on lately.

Now… thanks to all of you who have been sending donations or items from my wishlists.  I am deeply grateful to all my benefactors for whom I regularly say Holy Mass.

As a matter of fact, I will designate ASH WEDNESDAY’s Mass, in the evening, 6:30 PM, 10 February, for the intention of my benefactors.  For those of you in the zone, Mass will be at St. Mary’s, Pine Bluff.  Mass will be in the Extraordinary Form.

Also, some of you subscribe to send a monthly donation.  Some days well-subscribed and some are rather lean.  Today is a lean day… perhaps because not all months have a 31st day, I don’t know.  There are only three people signed up for the 31st.  *heavy sigh*

If you use the blog regularly, please consider subscribing for a monthly donation.

Some options

Also, as a bonus, I get the opportunity to gain an indulgence for praying for benefactors.  In the Enchridion Indulgentiarum conc. 24:

Preces pro benefactoribus

Partialis indulgentia conceditur christifideli qui, supernaturali grati animi affectu ductus, orationem pro benefactoribus legitime adprobatam pie recitaverit (e. g. Retribuere dignare, Domine).

Retribuere dignare, Domine, omnibus nobis bona facientibus propter nomen tuum vitam aeternam. Amen.


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Please use the sharing buttons! Thanks!

Registered or not, will you in your charity please take a moment look at the requests and to pray for the people about whom you read?

Continued from THESE.

I get many requests by email asking for prayers. Many requests are heart-achingly grave and urgent.

As long as my blog reaches so many readers in so many places, let’s give each other a hand. We should support each other in works of mercy.

If you have some prayer requests, feel free to post them below.

You have to be registered here to be able to post.

I still have a pressing personal petition.  Really.  And I would appreciate prayers for a swift, complete, and lasting recovery from a present illness.


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Peters on Allen on Francis’s silence on abortion, etc.

You heard, I’me sure, about the huge lay-run “Family Day” event in Rome that drew vast crowds from all over the peninsula to the City.

Pope Francis and the Italian bishops were un-involved and even silent about this big and important manifestation of family values in the public square.

At the blog of the distinguished canonist Ed Peters, In The Light Of The Law, there a great piece of analysis of some comments made by John L. Allen, formerly of the Fishwrap now of Crux, about the absence of involvement by and silence from Pope Francis and the Italian bishops.   Allen argues that Francis and Co. are doing all sorts of other things to support the family and so they didn’t have to do anything for Family Day… or for the March for Life in these USA.  Avoiding the public square but doing smaller, less flashy things are, in a way, support.  ?!?  Allen:

Perhaps that’s where Francis is an innovator — not in rethinking whether Catholicism should still oppose abortion or same-sex marriage, but in pioneering a more compassionate, and thus at least potentially more convincing, way of doing it.

Peters has a different view.  Peters:

Allen, associate editor of the on-line news site Crux, recently arguedthat “Francis pioneers a merciful way to oppose abortion, gay marriage”. Setting aside questions as to what the ubiquitous and apparently infinitely malleable adjective “merciful” means here, I take from his headline Allen’s claim that Francis recently did or said some things to “pioneer” new ways to oppose abortion and so-called gay marriage. That claim gets my attention, naturally, but should it not be proven by what Allen includes in his article? Allen offers four points. [I provide only two, below.]


Francis need not, of course, have attended the March for Life (no pope has); he need not have sent it a supportive message (though other popes have); he need not even mention the March for Life if he does not wish to. But, if he did not attend, did not greet, and did not even mention the March, how exactly is this series of non-actions evidence that the pope is ‘pioneering’ a new way to oppose abortion? If eisegesis is reading one’s opinions into another’s words, what is it when there literally are no words to read one’s opinions into, but a message is divined from them anyway?

Italy’s Family Day. Per Allen, “With regard to Italy’s Family Day, Francis used an address to judges of the main Vatican [sic] court on Friday to insist that ‘there can be no confusion between the family willed by God and any other type of union,’ which was taken locally as a green light for resistance to the civil unions measure.” Sorry, but, as above, Francis did not mention Family Day, he did not mention Italian parliament members or its proposed legislation, and he said nothing about marriage or family that any Catholic could not have said in casual conversation. How, then, do Francis’ remarks to the Roman Rota ‘pioneer’ a new way to oppose ‘gay-marriage’ in Italy or anywhere else?


I conclude as I began. These remarks are not a criticism of Francis—there is no doubt whatsoever where he stands on the gravity of abortion and on the impossibility of ‘gay-marriage’ (even if his manner sometimes muffs his message) [A good way to put it.] and he is not obligated to engage in any specific acts of opposition to either. But my remarks are a criticism of reporters who, with some proclivity these days, seem to offer the pope’s silence on various matters as evidence for what they think he means on various matters. May I suggest, instead, that silence is usually, pretty much, just silence.

These are excerpts.  Read the rest there.

Peters has a point.

Posted in Emanations from Penumbras, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Pope Francis, Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, What are they REALLY saying? | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

ASK FATHER: Father said say Act of Contrition afterwards. Fr. Z rants… at priests.

12_03_31_confessionFrom a reader… who recently went to confession!



I just went. Yay! After confessing my sins I had a question about a friend who fell away from church. It took 2 minutes, 3 tops. I don’t usually get into asking for advice in the confessional. Then he gave me my penance including an act of contrition to be said right there in the church– find a quiet place. Then – ‘Now I will say a prayer granting you absolution’. I was a bit confused and started to say the act of contrition but he was praying kinda loud so I waited. Then I asked -‘Don’t I say the act of contrition now? Right? He said ‘no- I told you to say it after you leave here…’ I said ‘Really? That’s okay?’ I was confused and it didn’t feel right- maybe because I always follow the formula. He says again -‘Yes it’s okay’…so I responded -‘if you say so’. He told me to tell the next person they could come in. (?) I went out into a pew & said my penance & my act of contrition. I’m asking you just because it wasn’t feeling right…I thought I had to say it in the confessional in the presence the priest and then he gives absolution.

I general, yes, the Act of Contrition should be spoken after you confess your sins and before the priest gives absolution.

There are good reasons to say the Act of Contrition when it is classically assigned.  First, it helps you truly to be sorry for your sins and to deepen your resolve to amend your life.  Also, the priest has to be reasonably certain that the penitent is sorry for her sins.

One could argue that the fact of the confession itself is the minimum adequate to convince him of the sorrow.   That, however, has to be the exception rather than the rule.  Hearing at least attrition during the Act of Contrition is the normal way that Father comes to reasonable certainty that you are sorry and have a firm purpose of amendment.  The Act of Contrition says, first, that you are sorry for your sins because you fear punishment.  That kind of sorrow is called attrition.  A more perfect sorrow for sins comes from love of God.  This is contrition.  Both attrition and contrition are sufficient for receiving absolution validly.  Once the priest knows you have at least sufficient sorrow, and a purpose of amendment, he should give absolution.

However, there are times when the line of penitents is quite long and the confessor is up against a scheduled event, such as the beginning of Mass at the top of the hour for a church full of people.  In that case Father might try to move things along so that more penitents can be heard.  That is usually why a confessor might occasionally ask penitents to say the Act of Contrition afterward.  Again, that is not the optimal practice, but, if you are sorry for your sins and made your good confession, it would not invalidate the absolution.  And during “high volume” times, that can get a few more people in.  That’s a good thing, right?

This situation prompts me to remind everyone reading this not to “ramble” when there is a line of people behind you.  Be thoughtful!

Please, friends, be clear, be concise, be blunt, and be gone.   Get in there and confess those sins in number and kind, and include just the details that might aggravate or attenuate the sins.  Under the normal circumstances of regular confession times, priests don’t need the story of your life or account of your week.  It isn’t chat time.  Nor is it a psychotherapy session.  You don’t have to speed talk, like the disclaimers at the end of a radio commercial.  Just be clear, be concise, be blunt, and be gone.

To this end, examine your conscience beforehand.  Pretty please?  You should know what you are going to confess before entering the confessional.  Before, right?

And, please, pay attention to that request for “bluntness”, above.  Be blunt.  Don’t beat around the bush.  Use the clearest words, even if embarrassing.  “Father, I did ___ X times, ___’d X times, I failed to ___ although I must add that the house was on fire at the time, I ___’d my ___ X times….” etc.

There is very little that a priest hasn’t heard before.  He usually has no idea who you are, especially if you whisper.  He can’t reveal anything to anyone.  He usually – and this is something just about every priest you will ever meet can verify – he usually forgets what you told him even as he goes to the next penitent on the other side of the box.  It’s weird, but true… at least for me and priests I know.

Making a good confession regularly will help you with being clear, concise, blunt and gone.

In the meantime, if you are really nervous or haven’t gone to confession often for a long time, Father can help you out, but ask him to help you out so that he doesn’t wonder about intervening.  Be direct.

If you are reasonably sure that a) there isn’t anyone in line behind you and b) you can truly be concise with a question and c) Father isn’t up against a schedule and d) your question doesn’t pertain to your own confession, then you might ask that question after making your confession and receiving absolution and after asking if it is okay to ask a question.

And please be patient and understanding with priest who tries to get a few more penitents in before being forced to get out of the box?  Be brief.


Don’t ramble!  Some of you guys go on and on and on and on and we penitents have to just kneel there and take it.  And, often, you are not… how to say this… terribly inspiring.

If we want our penitents to be brief, then we should do unto them as we would like them to do unto us.  Right?  RIGHT?

There we are… kneeling there… and we know there are people in the line.  Of course, we are imagining that everyone out there thinks that we are the ones keeping the line from moving.  Until, of course, the next penitents get into box and you get your garrulous clutches on them, too.

Just… please… do us all a favor.  Keep it brief.

We penitents thank you in advance.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

ASK FATHER: Reciting the Office or reading silently

From a seminarian…


I am a seminarian and I pray the EF Office faithfully. I know I have read somewhere that even when praying alone the words should actually be pronounced (however quiet) and not read as completely silent. What prompts my question is that I see so many guys just reading the Liturgy of the Hours and their lips aren’t even moving. Do you know of any reference that would enlighten me on this issue?

Those of us Latins who are bound to say the Office fulfill the obligation by reciting either the Roman Breviary as it was during the Second Vatican Council (that is to say with the Breviarium Romanum of Saint John XXIII, the actual Vatican II Office) or with the Liturgia Horarum of Paul VI revised by St. John Paul II in 1985 with the New Vulgate.  And were I to participate in the singing of monastic office, any of the hours at, say, the wonderful Benedictine Monastery at Norcia or at Le Barroux, I would fulfill my obligation.

The General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours says

103. The psalms are not readings or prose prayers, but poems of praise. They can on occasion be recited as readings, but from their literary genre they are properly called Tehillim (“songs of praise”) in Hebrew and psalmoi (“songs to be sung to the lyre”) in Greek. In fact, all the psalms have a musical quality that determines their correct style of delivery. Thus even when a psalm is recited and not sung or is said silently in private, its musical character should govern its use. A psalm does present a text to the minds of the people, but its aim is to move the heart of those singing it or listening to it and also of those accompanying it “on the lyre and harp.”

There is some recognition of silent recitation.

Recitation of the Office should be aloud, since it is official and mainly vocal prayer. This is why of yore and even now priests move their lips when saying their Office.  However, even when you don’t read aloud, there is a measure of subvocalization going on when reading.

That said, I am of the opinion that a priest fulfills his obligation even when not moving his lips, only reading silently.

And before someone asks, yes, priests and deacons can use mobile phone apps and websites for the Office.  They don’t have to be holding a book in their hands.  The Office is the text, not the book.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Seminarians and Seminaries | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

ASK FATHER: Report a priest who gave Communion to a Protestant minister?

From a reader…


Does one have to report a priest who knowingly gave communion to a protestant pastor?

In my parish we had an ecumenical rorate mass [An “ecumenical Mass”…?] during advent and the protestant pastor present (who also gave the homily) [lay people are not permitted to preach homilies at Mass] was given communion in public at the alter for everybody to see. [?!?] I seem to be the only one who cares. Do i have to speak to the priest about this or does this not seem rather out of place for a young lay womam to confront an elderly priest? So far he has been kind enough to allowe me to take communion on the tongue. [The priest doesn’t have the right/ability to “allow” you to receive on the tongue.] I don’t wish to loose that priviledge (i know it’s right but noone here cares about what Rome says).

Since this was all quite public, and it is in the past, I would write to directly to your local bishop.  Save a copy of your letter and any responses.

The document Redemptionis Sacramentum says:

[184.] Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.

Keep in mind that, according to can. 844 in the 1983 Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church only the diocesan bishop can decide if a non-Catholic may be admitted to Communion and under what circumstances.

Can. 844 §3. Catholic ministers administer the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick licitly to members of Eastern Churches which do not have full communion with the Catholic Church if they seek such on their own accord and are properly disposed. This is also valid for members of other Churches which in the judgment of the Apostolic See are in the same condition in regard to the sacraments as these Eastern Churches. [This doesn’t seem to describe the Protestant minister.]

844 §4. If the danger of death is present or [if] if, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it, Catholic ministers administer these same sacraments licitly also to other Christians not having full communion with the Catholic Church, who [1] cannot approach a minister of their own community and [2] who seek such on their own accord, provided that [3] they manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments and [4] are properly disposed.

Do NOT instruct the bishop about the law: he knows it already.  Just give the facts of what happened without lots of comments.  However, you might ask the bishop if he gave permission for Communion to be received and for the minister to preach.

That said, for your own knowledge…

The Code of Canon Law and the General Instruction of the Roman Missal are pretty clear that the homily is reserved only to a bishop, priest or deacon who have faculties to preach.  A Protestant minister cannot give a homily.

The 1993 document Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity says:

134. In the Catholic Eucharistic Liturgy, the homily which forms part of the liturgy itself is reserved to the priest or deacon, since it is the presentation of the mysteries of faith and the norms of Christian living in accordance with Catholic teaching and tradition.

Also, Redemptionis Sacramentum clarifies the abuse of lay-people giving a homily.

[64.] The homily, which is given in the course of the celebration of Holy Mass and is a part of the Liturgy itself,“should ordinarily be given by the Priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating Priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to a Deacon, but never to a layperson. In particular cases and for a just cause, the homily may even be given by a Bishop or a Priest who is present at the celebration but cannot concelebrate”.

[65.] It should be borne in mind that any previous norm that may have admitted non-ordained faithful to give the homily during the eucharistic celebration is to be considered abrogated by the norm of canon 767 §1. This practice is reprobated, so that it cannot be permitted to attain the force of custom.

[66.] The prohibition of the admission of laypersons to preach within the Mass applies also to seminarians, students of theological disciplines, and those who have assumed the function of those known as “pastoral assistants”; nor is there to be any exception for any other kind of layperson, or group, or community, or association.

Going on, say there is some sort of ecumenical “pulpit exchange”:

[74.] If the need arises for the gathered faithful to be given instruction or testimony by a layperson in a Church concerning the Christian life, it is altogether preferable that this be done outside Mass. Nevertheless, for serious reasons it is permissible that this type of instruction or testimony be given after the Priest has proclaimed the Prayer after Communion. This should not become a regular practice, however. Furthermore, these instructions and testimony should not be of such a nature that they could be confused with the homily, nor is it permissible to dispense with the homily on their account.

Non-Catholic ministers don’t get a pass.  They are not to give the sermon at Mass.  They are not to be given Communion at Mass.

The moderation queue is ON.


Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

CQ CQ CQ #HamRadio Saturday: Winter Field Day – Lost!

Now for another edition of Ham Radio Saturday.

I created a page for the List of YOUR callsigns.  HERE  Chime in or drop me a note if your call doesn’t appear in the list.

Today I have been listening on 20m to Winter Field Day activity.

These Field Days seem to have the goal of encouraging emergency preparedness.  Can you pick up, and move and operate successfully?

It seems fairly chaotic, as sometimes several stations find themselves on or near the same frequency. Also, there are “codes” in use to identify the kind of station you are operating (at home or outside somewhere) and where you are (which state or part of a state in your operating from).  Some people seem to be eagerly working stations as contesters, others… not so much. Also, you hear operators explaining to some of their contacts how to identify themselves for Field Day.

Not wanting to demonstrate my ignorance, I’m listening. I don’t quite have all the nuances of making contacts in such a contest.

Anyway… I’m on as I write this. 20m

I am tempted to load up my radio, my emergency power source (Juicebox), and heavy duty 100 ft cable, drive out to the parish cemetery and connect to the 40m dipole I left up in the trees.


It seems that I add 1 Hotel Whiskey Sierra during my QSOs.

Posted in Ham Radio | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

ROME: Huge crowd for Family Day

Family Day is underway in Rome. Huge crowds have converged on the Circo Massimo.

Here are some pics from the Great Roman™ Fabrizio.


The traditional parish staffed by the FSSP is represented.


Posted in Emanations from Penumbras, Events, Just Too Cool, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity | 9 Comments

WDTPRS – 4th Ordinary Sunday: Billy loves bugs

bugsToday’s Collect prayer was not in the post-Tridentine editions of the Missale Romanum but it does have its origin in the ancient Veronese Sacramentary.

Were you to hear this prayer intoned in Latin, or at least in an accurate translation, you would be thereby transported back 1500 years to our most Roman of Catholic roots.

Concede nobis, Domine Deus noster,
[et (in Ver.)] te tota mente veneremur,
et omnes homines rationabili diligamus affectu

Lord our God,
help us to love you with all our hearts
and to love all men as you love them.

Is this what the Latin really says?

Grant us, Lord our God,
that we may honour you with all our mind,
and love everyone in truth of heart

Grant us, O Lord our God,
that we may venerate you with our whole mind,
and may love all men with rational good-will

“Affection” just doesn’t cut it for affectus and something more pointed than “love” is needed too.  I came up with “rational good-will”.  We mustn’t reduce all these complicated Latin words to “love”.  Why not?  Note in the prayer the contrast of the themes “reason” and “mood”, the rational with the affective dimension (concerning emotions) of man; in short, the head and the heart.   The fact is, a properly functioning person conducts his life according to both head and heart, feelings under the control of reason and the will.  The terrible wound to our human nature from original sin causes the difficulty we have in governing feelings and appetites by reason and will.

Today’s prayer aims at the totality of a human person: our wholeness is defined by our relationship with God.

We seek to know God so that we may the better love Him and His love drives us all the more to know Him.  Furthermore, possible theological and Scriptural underpinnings of this prayer are Deuteronomy 6 and Jesus’ two-fold command to love God and neighbor: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets” (cf. Matthew 22:36-38; Mark 12:2-31; Luke 10:26-28).  In Deut 6:5-6 we have the great injunction called the Shema from the first Hebrew word, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might….” Jesus teaches the meaning and expands the concrete application of this command in Deuteronomy 6.

There is no space here for the subtle relationships between the Latin words St. Jerome chose in his translations and the Greek or Hebrew originals of these verses.  Suffice it to say that in the Bible the language about mind, heart, and soul is terrifically complex. However, these words aim at the totality of the person precisely in that dimension which is characteristic of man as “image of God”.  Heart, mind and will distinguish us from brute animals.  We are made to act as God acts: to know, will and love.  Thus, “mind” and “heart” in man are closely related faculties and cannot be separated from each other.  Mind and heart are revealed in and expressed through our bodies and thus they point at the “real us”.

Love is at the heart of who we are and it the key to our prayer today.

We are commanded by God the Father and God Incarnate Jesus Christ to love both God and our fellow man and God the indwelling Holy Spirit makes this possible.

But the word and therefore concept of “love” is understood in many ways and today, especially, it is misunderstood.  “Love” frequently refers to people or stuff we like or enjoy using.  Bob can “love” his new SUV. Besty “loves” her new kitten.  We all certainly “love” baseball and spaghetti.  But “love” can refer to the emotions and affections people have when they are “in love” or, as I sometimes call it, “in luv”.

Luv is usually an ooey-gooey feeling, a romantic “love” sometimes growing out of lust.  This gooey romantic “love” now dominates Western culture, alas.   The result is that when “feelings” change or the object of “luv” is no longer enjoyable or usable, someone gets dumped, often for a newer, richer, or prettier model.

There some other flavors of “love” you can come up with, I’m sure.  But Christians, indeed every image of God in all times everywhere, are called to a higher love, the love in today’s prayer, which is charity: the grace-completed virtue enabling us to love God for His own sake and love all who are made in His image.  This is more than benevolence or tolerance or desire or enjoyment of use.

True love is not merely a response to an appetite, as when we might see a beautiful member of the opposite sex, a well-turned double-play, or a plate of spaghetti all’amatriciana.

True love, charity, isn’t the sloppy gazing of passion drunk sweethearts or the rubbish we see on TV and in movies (luv).  Charity is the grace filled adhesion of our will to an object (really a person) which has been grasped by our intellect to be good.

The love invoked in our prayer is an act of will based on reason. It is a choice – not a feeling.

Charity delights in and longs for the good of the other more than one’s own.  The theological virtue charity involves grace.  It enables sacrifices, any kind of sacrifice for the authentic good of another discerned with reason (not a false good and not “use” of the other).  We can choose even to love an enemy. This love resembles the sacrificial love of Christ on His Cross who offered Himself up for the good of His spouse, the Church.  St. Augustine, as a matter of fact, taught that “enemy love” is the perfection of the kind of love we can have in this earthly life.  Rationabilis affectus reflects what it is to be truly human, made in God’s image and likeness, with faculties of willing and knowing and, therefore, loving.

Knowledge and love are interconnected.

The more you get to know a person, the more reason you have to love him (remember… love seeks the other person’s good in charity even if a person is unlikable).  Reciprocally, the more you love someone or (in the generic sense of love) something, the more you want to know about him and spend time getting to know him.

For example, Billy is fascinated by bugs.  From this “love” for bugs Billy wants to know everything there is to know about them.  He works hard to learn and thus launches a brilliant career in entomology.  Given Our Creator’s priority in all things, how much more ought we seek to know and love God first and foremost of all and then, in proper order, know and love God’s images, our neighbors?  He is far more important that the bugs He created.  Even spouses must love God more than they love each other.  Only then can they love each other properly according to God’s plan.

We also have a relationship with the objects of both love and knowledge.  What sort of relationship?  With bugs or spaghetti it is one thing, but with God and neighbor it is entirely another.

In seeking to understand and love God more and more we come to understand things about God and ourselves as his images that, without love, we could never learn by simple study.  The relationship with God through love and knowledge changes us.  St. Bonaventure (+1274) the “Seraphic” doctor wrote about “ecstatic knowledge”. This kind of knowledge is not merely the product of abstract investigation or analytical study (like Billy with his bugs).  Rather, it comes first from learning and then contemplating. According to Bonaventure, by contemplation the knower becomes engaged with the object. Fascinated by it, he seeks to know it with a longing that draws him into the object.

Consider: we can study about God and our faith, but really the object of study is not just things to learn or formulas to memorize: the object of our study and faith is a divine Person in whose image and likeness we ourselves are made.  To be who we are by our nature we personally need the sort of knowledge of God that draws us into Him.  Knowledge of God (not just things learned about God) reaches into us, seizes us, transforms us.  To experience God’s love is to have certain knowledge of God, more certain than any knowledge which can be arrived at by means of mere rational examination.

Bring this all with you back to the last line of our prayer and the command to love our neighbor, all of them made in God’s image and all individually intriguing – fascinating, in a way that resembles the way we love God and ourselves.  This we are to do with our minds, hearts, and all our strength.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

250 kneeling students sing Gregorian chant for ‘ad orientem’ Mass in motel bar

By now we have all heard about the March For Life pilgrims in the snow, the buses in the snow, the Masses in the snow, etc.

Here is an interesting article at Catholic Pop:

Stranded Pro-Life Group Holds Sung Ad Orientem High Mass in Motel Bar


You’ve probably already heard of the Great Turnpike Mass of 2016, but they weren’t the only ones to have Mass while stranded. Another pro-life group stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike was able to make it to a nearby motel where 250 kneeling students sang Gregorian chant and celebrated an ad orientem high Mass in the motel’s bar room! (Pictures at the end of this article.)

“They knelt on the floor for the duration of the Mass,” Fr. Joshua Caswell, SJC, one of the group’s leaders, told ChurchPOP. “Tears could be seen on many faces—tears of gratitude, I think.” He added: “I have never seen a more reverent scene.”

Fr. Caswell is a priest at St. John Cantius Parish in Chicago, IL. […]

Like many groups, their buses got stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Thankfully, they were near a small town and were able to all walk to a nearby motel.

“The first morning assembly there,” Fr. Caswell said, “Fr. Nathan announced we would be starting ‘Our Lady of the Snow Monastery.’ And come to think of it, all we did was work and pray (ora et labora)!”

It was the students’ who got the idea to try to have Mass at the motel. “I doubted if it were possible,” Fr. Caswell said, “but I promised I would look into it.”

He called a nearby parish to try to get supplies. “Amazingly a priest answered, and he found Catholic couple who risked a drive through the blizzard to bring us the things needed!

[…]The only place big enough to hold Mass in the motel happened to be the bar area. The motel owners graciously let them take over the space and the students did what they could to get it ready for Mass.

“The youth cleaned the bar room as best as they could and found whatever they could to beautify the space,” Fr. Caswell explained. “Furniture was rearranged. A small crucifix over a clean bed sheet could be used as a raredos. A hotel desk bell would ring out the consecration.  [What do you ring when you want someone to show up and help you?] Br. Matthew Schuster gave a music practice to the youth. The Rosary was recited as Confessions were heard. The newly purchased linen-scented candles were lit for Mass.”

Not only did the Dominican sisters’ group come, but other people from the motel joined them, including the motel owners! “Word spread, and by the time Mass happened, there were as much as 250 people in the bar.”

Fr. Caswell describes how the Mass was celebrated: “We celebrated a sung Mass in the ordinary form ad orientem. Latin and English were used. This Mass on Saturday evening would fulfill our Sunday obligation, presuming we would travel home on Sunday (we were wrong). We certainly might have celebrated Mass in the extraordinary form, but altar cards and other necessary items could not be found in the snow stranded hills of Pennsylvania.” [They needed the wonderful travel altar cards from SPORCH!]

They also sang beautiful music: “The students, many of whom are enrolled in our choirs, sang the Gregorian Chant ordinaries from the Missa de Angelis—and with gusto! The youth also sang some motets, including one in four parts. I think the whole experience of finding some comfort and solace in the Sacred Liturgy in this hardship really focused them. I have never seen a more reverent scene.” [I just have to wonder if some of those people went back to their regular parishes and, as the guitars started up, wished they could have something else.  “Those kids could do that in a bar. But we… get this?”]


Read the rest there.

We must be Catholic everywhere.

Posted in Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , | 14 Comments