Fr. Z’s Kitchen: Concerning the making of tea, biscuits and Zagnut bars

I have recently received from a reader in Blighty a rather nice porcelain tea pot and a little crate of tea.

Remember: You can buy TEA from the Wyoming Coffee Monks.

That said, I am determined to make tea properly.

As I researched the matter, I found that George Orwell, who predicted the Obama Administration, wrote an essay on how to make tea properly.  HERE  There is audio of him reading some of it!

There are, according to Orwell, 11 Points… which I include hereunder in abbreviated form:

  1. Use Indian or Ceylonese tea. CHECK!  The sender sent Ceylonese!
  2. Make small quantities — that is, in a teapot.
  3. The pot should be warmed beforehand. I recall a phrase “hot the pot”.
  4. Make it strong. For a pot holding a quart, if you are going to fill it nearly to the brim, six heaped teaspoons would be about right.
  5. The tea should be put straight into the pot.
  6. Take the teapot to the kettle and not the other way about. The water should be actually boiling at the moment of impact.
  7. After making the tea, one should stir it, or better, give the pot a good shake, afterwards allowing the leaves to settle.
  8. Drink out of a good breakfast cup — that is, the cylindrical type of cup, not the flat, shallow type.
  9. Pour the cream off the milk before using it for tea. Milk that is too creamy always gives tea a sickly taste.
  10. Pour tea into the cup first. This is one of the most controversial points of all.
  11. Tea — unless one is drinking it in the Russian style — should be drunk without sugar.


I shall begin my preparations and have a go.  Perhaps I shall even shine up the ol’ silver biscuit box which I bought at a flea market in Manhattan.

This should help me to get ready for a trip in…. July?

I think I am supposed to have some biscuits.  Or maybe scones.  I used to make scones.  Perhaps I’ll try again.

More later.


I have made tea… I believe Orwell would approve.

First, the new tea pot and the little crate of tea!

There are two kinds.  I’m not sure what they are.  When in doubt start on the right… and it has black.

I brought the teapot close to the electric kettle, as Orwell would have.


Before I added the several teaspoons, I “hotted the pot” as instructed.


Playing the “Jeopardy” theme…

Orwell wanted me to use a straight sided cup.  Hence, one of my Leo XIII quote mugs.


The milk went in after.


They went with…

As for the mug…

The “Libertas praestantissimum 31” Coffee or Tea Mug

Click HERE


I wonder how these would be with the tea… ?

Recently, to console a worker in the chancery here for performing an unpleasnt task above and beyond the call of duty, I obtained for him and for other staff a case of Zagnut bars.

Perhaps they have some left.

Want some?  Click HERE

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Posted in Fr. Z's Kitchen, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged , | 29 Comments

Your Good News

Do you have good news to share with the readership?

Let us know.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 18 Comments

VIDEO about Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage in Rome, October 2015

The Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage in Rome is a great event. I hope to go as long as they are held.

There is now a video documentary of last year’s experience with English subtitles. HERE

There are high quality views of some of the liturgical events and interviews with participants.

Ad Petri Sedem VOSTEN from Les Films du Lutrin on Vimeo.

A note to the organizers: you might include clerics from the other side of the Atlantic in your plans.

Posted in Events, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM | Tagged , | 1 Comment

ASK FATHER: Was it right to leave a “Mass” with a string of serious abuses?

From a reader…


Thank you for your Priesthood!

I have a question about the validity of a Mass. My mother was in town for Mother’s Day and we went to Mass on Sunday (Novus Ordo). I am far from a “radical traditionalist”.

I prefer the old rite and am a member of an FSSP parish, however, I often attend daily Mass and receive the Sacraments in the Novus Ordo.

That said, I have a question regarding the validity of a Mass, or when it is illicit and/or invalid.

We attended a Mass on Sunday where the Priest began the Mass speaking to the congregation and saying that he wanted do to something different.. and not to tell Father (the Pastor of the Parish).

He skipped all of the introductory Rites. No reverencing of the alter, no Sign of the Cross, no Penitential Act. No Gloria. No Collect.

Instead, Father invited some family of his up and introduced them. A grand niece and her husband, a Navy Seal, and their two children, one an infant who he had just baptized several days prior. He then invited them into the sanctuary. He then proceeded to take the newborn into his arms and sit to read the Gospel. He told all to remain seated during his reading of the Gospel. This was the start of the Mass.

Afterwards, he had the first reading read by a lector. No responsorial psalm, no Gospel Acclamation.

We stood up and left at this point, to find another Mass. I have great respect for young families and anyone who serves/has served in the military. However, in Church, I worship God and God alone.

Question is: was the Mass valid? or illicit? Did we do the right thing in leaving?

Wow.  That was weird.  In my opinion, you didn’t do anything wrong by leaving early from … whatever that was.  It was at least a travesty.

Whatever that … mess was, it was illicit.

First, I would let the pastor of that parish know what happened and that you left.  The coward even told people not to say anything?  Say something.

Next, you didn’t mention anything about the two-fold consecration.   I suspect you left before that.  So, I can’t say anything about validity.

That priest needs a serious talking to.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liberals | Tagged , | 24 Comments

How about a Masters in RATZINGER STUDIES? – UPDATE

Last November I posted HERE about getting a Masters in Ratzinger Studies at the Augustinianum in Rome.  They do the program in both Italian and English and it has been a huge success.  HERE

Now saw on Crux 2.0 an interview with a friend of mine in Rome, Msgr. Florian Kolfhaus about this program.

UPDATE:  Apparently, the original story was at CNA in German.  Then Crux picked it up and beat CNA to it in English.

Now CNA has an English translation.  I therefore am making substitutions.

A sample…

Love Pope Benedict’s theology? Try a master’s degree


For whom is this program intended? Who would enjoy it, or benefit from it?

The program is pertinent to anyone interested in studying theology – regardless of which author someone especially admires. It’s not a “Ratzinger Fan Club,” but rather about joy in the “sacred discipline” that makes an offer to the mind to better understand the faith. Just as there are many spiritualities, so too are there many theologies. Insofar as they don’t contradict doctrine, they are legitimate. The theological “menu” should be abundant, and Joseph Ratzinger can’t be missing from it. The master’s program has proven to be popular among European and American students, but unfortunately there are no German students.


ow is the response thus far? Is the offer catching on?

The offer has been so well received that the lecture hall is filled to the last seat. There are actually two programs – one in English and another in Italian. Both are, so to say, “booked up.” The students want good theology, and “hunger” for texts that offer more than an information-rich, historical-critical analysis. So there is a true “Ratzinger renaissance,” still in the lifetime of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Only a few years after his resignation, not only are important topics being discussed but also theological methods – like the allegorical or typological interpretation of Sacred Scripture – are being enthusiastically rediscovered. I am sure that this master’s program has a future and I would hope that other universities would adopt this program’s curriculum.

For someone who does not want to start a master’s now, but is interested in studying the most important works of Joseph Ratzinger, what works would you recommend?

As a Mariologist, I would of course recommend Daughter Zion. This short work is about the mother of Jesus, but at the same time it is also about the Church. In Mary, the Church can view herself – like looking in a mirror – in order to understand more deeply who she is. The Church is the important theme of Ratzinger, and he always shows that this mystery leads in turn to Christ, whose body is His people on earth. Ratzinger shows in all of his works that no mystery of the faith is isolated from another. Everything forms a harmonious unity, a nexus mysteriorum. Whoever pulls a book with his works off the shelf finds his way from page to page deeper and deeper into the manifold mysterium of the one faith. I also want to recommend the many lectures of Ratzinger, which are relatively short yet all the more dense, as an introduction to the reading.

What meaning does Joseph Ratzinger have for the interpretation of the Second Vatican Council?

Pope Benedict XVI coined the term “hermeneutic of continuity,” which has since been essential for the interpretation of Vatican II. He himself took part in the Council as a theological advisor and knows not only the texts but also their history of development. In his speech to the Chilean bishops in 1988, which is not yet published in the Opera Omnia, he already said that the last council is no “superdogma” that placed everything preceding it in the shadows. How different is the widespread characterization of the council documents as milestones of a “Copernican Revolution.” For decades, an interpretation of the Council as a fraction in the Church has reigned in many places, which has allowed a new chronology beginning with the Council to come into existence. It is one of Ratzinger’s great merits for this to not be followed in the mainstream. That also earned him – as we know – not only friends, but also enemies.


Read the rest there.

Posted in Just Too Cool, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Donations, PayPal, alternatives, and you

Some of you have asked about alternatives to giving donations via PayPal.

1)  To set up a recurring, monthly donation via PAYPAL (even a small one) go to the bottom of this blog and look for the drop down menu.  PayPal has worked well so far.  There is also a button on the side bar near the top of the blog’s page.  Feel free to use it!

2) I set up a CONTINUE TO GIVE account, which functions rather like PayPal (or so I understand).  I couple of you have tried it. Information and links for Continue To Give are on the side bar (scroll down).  There is a QCode you can use with your smart phones.  Try it!
Also, to receive a link to donate via Continue To Give using your smart phone SEND MESSAGE: 4827563 TO: 715-803-4772 (USA)

3) Some donations also come through CHASE.  That works well.  I don’t think they take any percentage as fees.

4) I recently revived a personal UPS snail mail box that people used for Christmas cards and the like.   I was going to drop this, but my 25th Anniversary of ordination is coming up on 26 May, and some of you asked me where they might send a card.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
6666 Odana Road #455
Madison, WI 53719-1012

They are authorized to sign for things.  They are also able to contact law enforcement, if you get my drift.  NB: I will probably shut down this mailbox in a couple months.

I remember benefactors in my prayers and periodically say Mass for your intention. Thank you all for your prayers and support.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes | Leave a comment

ASK FATHER: Blessing of olive oil and incense

olive-oilFrom a reader…


Hello Father, I would like to start occasionally using incense at home for my private devotions as well as lighting a couple oil vigil lamps by icons hanging on my walls. Do you have any blessings for these two items (incense and olive oil) that I can print off and bring to my Priest to use to bless these items for me?

We Catholics bless all sorts of things for our daily use.

Or we used to.

You can check out the traditional Rituale Romanum for many blessings of even quite ordinary things.  The nice folks at St. John Cantius put the Rituale on line so you can (and you could have) look things up on your own.

That said, I do like the prayers for the blessing of oil.   As in the case of water and salt… such basic elements… the priest first addressed the oil personally, with the “you” form in the second person.  He exorcises it, thus tearing it away from the foul clutches of the prince of this world and his evil cohorts, if they’ve gotten their clutches on it – the agents of the Devil are known even to curse foods in the production, transport and sales stages … yes… it’s true – say your prayers before eating.  Then he blesses it, transferring it to the King of all things.

Let’s have a look.  This, friends, is a super Catholic prayer!


P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

God’s creature, oil, I cast out the demon from you by God the Father + almighty, who made heaven and earth and sea, and all that they contain. Let the adversary’s power, the devil’s legions, and all Satan’s attacks and machinations be dispelled and driven afar from this creature, oil. Let it bring health in body and mind to all who use it, in the name of God + the Father almighty, and of our Lord Jesus + Christ, His Son, and of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, as well as in the love of the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who is coming to judge both the living and the dead and the world by fire.

All: Amen.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Lord God almighty, before whom the hosts of angels stand in awe, and whose heavenly service we acknowledge; may it please you to regard favorably and to bless + and hallow + this creature, oil, which by your power has been pressed from the juice of olives. You have ordained it for anointing the sick, so that, when they are made well, they may give thanks to you, the living and true God. Grant, we pray, that those who will use this oil, which we are blessing + in your name, may be delivered from all suffering, all infirmity, and all wiles of the enemy. Let it be a means of averting any kind of adversity from man, made in your image and redeemed by the precious blood of your Son, so that he may never again suffer the sting of the ancient serpent; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

It is sprinkled with holy water.

I almost always use Latin when I bless things, because the Devil hates it.  Also, I always use only the older Rituale Romanum.

For incense, there is the one on Epiphany for Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, but the priest can always use the


This form may be used by any priest for the blessing of anything that does not have its own special blessing in the Roman Ritual.

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

God, whose word suffices to make all things holy, pour out your blessing + on this object (these objects); and grant that anyone who uses it (them) with grateful heart and in keeping with your law and will, may receive from you, its (their) Maker, health in body and protection of soul by calling on your holy name; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

It (they) is (are) sprinkled with holy water.


Pastors of parishes (and lay people too) would do well to get a calendar for a year or more and write down dates which have special blessings for things.  For example, wine on the Feast of St. John the Apostle, candles on St. Blaise along with bread, wine, water and fruit,  bonfires on the Vigil of the Nativity of John the Baptist, herbs on Assumption, seeds and seedlings on Nativity of Mary.  We have blessings for places and machines and people, especially in important moments such as when women are pregnant or after they have had a baby (alive or stillborn).   There are special blessings for infants and small children, when alone or in groups, when healthy or ill. Pilgrims can receive a special blessing before they set out.   There are even deprecatory prayers against things such as pests (rats and bugs, not liberals) and storms and diseases and floods.

On the flood point, I once mentioned here that a bishop go to bless a river about to break dikes in a flood stage and to use older Rituale.  I was later told that he did and the river subsided.  I myself once was watching TV coverage of a terrible storm with tornadoes tracking directly at my house.  I got out the Ritual and went through the Litany with the prayers against a storm and then watched on the TV at the storm split and went around north and south of where I lived as the weather man said how strange it was.

Holy Church gives us these things so that they will be used when we need them.

We should have a greater awareness of sacramentals and blessings and priests should talk about them more.  You all can help be asking for things to be blessed.  It may be that Father doesn’t know how to do things like this, so make it easy for him.  Get him books, for example.


Are you looking for a gift for a new priest (or an older priest)?

Get him a set of Weller’s translation (with the Latin) of the traditional Roman Ritual.


If you want your priests to do things, make sure they have the tools, such as books or fine vestments, etc.

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

Fr. Z’s Voice Mail: The 3 Year-old Prayer Warrior Edition!

I very much enjoy most of the voice mail I receive through my US and UK phone numbers and directly through Skype.

First, to the lady in Cleveland who wants me to write something that she can “un-apologetically rip off” for a speech she has to give.

Well… okay.

Next, don’t let anyone tell you that memorizing prayers, even long ones, is too hard for children.

This, by the way, hits 11 on the 1-10 Cute Scale.

Now THAT was a treat.

And if any of you Latin Church types are wondering why a 3 year-old is receiving Holy Communion, keep in mind that in the Eastern Churches infants are given Confirmation and Eucharist along with Baptism.

I have given very little Eastern Church children Communion a few times which, as a Latin priest is a little strange for me, but… hey!  We “breathe with both lungs”!

Please leave me voice mail. I don’t call back, but I listen to it. You have three options:


 020 8133 4535


TIPS for leaving voice mail.

  1. Don’t shout!  If you shout, your voice will be distorted and I won’t be able to understand you.
  2. Come to your point right away.
  3. Let me know at the onset if I can use it on the blog.  I may be able to anonymize it a little by editing if need be.
Posted in Both Lungs, Just Too Cool, Voice Mail | Tagged | 7 Comments

Card. Müller’s remarks on ‘Amoris laetitia’ – some analysis

We must deal soberly with the ramifications of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia.   Despite some of its advantages, the document has problems.

A friend sent an email with some interesting analysis, which I am reworking and posting hereunder.

Sandro Magister has just now published the background report of Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s talk in Madrid from last week along with key excerpts of it in English.  HERE  Italian HERE  The original Spanish of Card. Mller’s address HERE

The English excerpts contain all his important statements about the issue of Holy Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried.

I know this is getting tedious, but this is important.


Card. Müller, former bishop of Regensburg and the editor of Joseph Ratzinger’s Opera Omnia, is still the Prefect of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  It is still his right and obligation, and that of his Congregation, to clarify the meaning of papal documents.

Unless and until Pope Francis changes by a published decree the force and intent of the apostolic constitution, Pastor Bonus, the Roman Curia remains constituted as it was before this pontificate. If Pope Francis wants to change this, he knows how to do so.

The upshot of Mueller’s intervention in Spain is that Amoris laetitia does NOT change the teaching of the Church as it is expressed in Familiaris Consortio 84.

Here is a quote from Cardinal Müller’s the English translation of Spanish address with my emphases:

“Some have affirmed that “Amoris Laetitia” has eliminated this discipline and has permitted, at least in some cases, the divorced and remarried to receive the Eucharist without the need to change their way of life according to what is indicated in FC 84, which means abandoning the new union or living in it as brother and sister. To this it must be replied that if “Amoris Laetitia” had wanted to eliminate such a deeply rooted and significant discipline, it would have said so clearly and presented supporting reasons. There is however no affirmation in this sense; nor does the pope bring into question, at any time, the arguments presented by his predecessors, which are not based on the subjective culpability of our brothers, but rather on their visible, objective way of life, contrary to the words of Christ.

“But isn’t this change of course found – some object – in a footnote that says that in some cases the Church could offer the help of the sacraments to those who are living in an objective situation of sin (no. 351)? Without entering into a detailed analysis, suffice it to say that this footnote refers to objective situations of sin in general, without citing the specific case of the divorced in new civil unions. The situation of these latter, effectively, has particular characteristics that distinguish it from other situations. These divorced persons are living in contrast with the sacrament of marriage, and therefore with the economy of the sacraments, the center of which is the Eucharist. This is, in fact, the reason recalled by the previous magisterium to justify the Eucharistic discipline of FC 84; an argument that is not present in the footnote or in its context. That which footnotes 351 affirms, therefore, does not touch the previous discipline: the norm of FC 84 and of SC [= Sacramentum Caritatis] 29 is still valid, and its application in every case.

Thus, Card. Müller.

The importance of these observations by Müller is manifold.

First, they support the interpretation of Card. Burke who, only days after the publication of Amoris laetitia, issued a statement publish by the National Catholic Register saying that Amoris laetitia was not magisterial teaching and that it did not change the longstanding teachings of the Church on holy matrimony and Holy Communion. Burke’s interpretation was challenged by Card. Wuerl, Card. Lehmann and others.  However, Card. Müller has essentially supported Card. Burke.

Secondly, Card. Müller’s statement, even more than Card. Burke’s, throws down the gauntlet and challenges Pope Francis to deny what Müller claimed. If the Pope remains silent, but one of his surrogates does contradict Müller, then we will be one step closer to such a division between senior prelates over the authentic interpretation of Amoris laetitia that a public clarification could be called for.

On the other hand if Pope Francis wants to say that his Prefect of the CDF has Amoris laetitia wrong, then let him do that.

Finally, Archbishop Bruno Forte will be remembered by many as Pope Francis’ aide-de-camp during the 2014 Synod.  He was responsible for introducing into the Interim Report the language calling for the welcoming of homosexual couples into the Church. No one understood really what “welcome” meant. However, on account of that maneuver and the furor that it caused among Synod Fathers, Forte pretty much disappeared from view.

Now Forte has committed a second gaffe, apparently stating to an interviewer that the Pope told him to keep the language concerning Communion for divorced and civilly remarried ambivalent so that conservatives wouldn’t be able to get too upset about it. Forte went on to comment how “Jesuitical” that was of the Pope. HERE


The thick plot thickeneth more.

Posted in One Man & One Woman, Pope Francis, The Drill | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

NB US CLERICS: Confraternity of Catholic Clergy meeting

The US version of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy will be holding its meeting 12-15 July in Philadelphia, PA.

Click on over there and have a look.

The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy is an association of 600 Roman Catholic Priests and Deacons pledged to the pursuit of personal holiness, loyalty to the Roman Pontiff, commitment to theological study and strict adherence to the authentic teachings of the Magisterium.

Founded in 1975, the Confraternity seeks to implement the call of Vatican II (Presbyterorum Ordinis #8, Code of Canon Law #278, Pastores Dabo Vobis #81, and the Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests #29) for ongoing intellectual, spiritual and pastoral formation of the local clergy.

The Confraternity achieves this in three ways:

a) Annual Convocation where theological scholars and experts give lectures and hold discussions with members;
b) Networking of members and access to Magisterial and Papal documents using social media (internet webpage, Face Book, Twitter);
c) Local chapter meetings where afternoons of recollection take place, including time for theological reading/discussion, common prayer (Vespers), Eucharistic Holy Hour, Rosary, confessions and time for fraternity.


Posted in Mail from priests, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged | 2 Comments