Fr Z asks a prayer – UPDATE Socks Plot™


Even times of pain can be amusing.

For example, I was contemplating putting on my socks.  For those of you who have experienced back pain, this is not a small undertaking.

Part of my Socks Plot™ involved the use of one of those long shoe horns that hotels sometimes provide.   Having carefully maneuvered my components into what I deemed the optimal mis en place, I launched my cunning plan.    Just as I began, across the room an alarm went off on my mobile phone with the Mission Impossible ringtone.   The perfect timing compensated for the additional pain that came from laughing out loud.

BTW… for travel, I highly recommend Fox River socks, which are milspec and which dry really fast if you rinse them out frequently.   The black crew dress liner is my summer go-to sock when on the road.  US HERE – UK HERE

You long-time readers might recall that we had a sock drive for soldiers in Afghanistan which was sparked by a chaplain friend of mine.   We exceeded all expectations.  HERE and HERE

Originally Published on: May 4, 2018

I had hoped to avoid this.

Friends, I think that with the help of antibiotics I have beaten the crud that infested me.   My eye is also better.

I did something to hurt my back.  It’s not a little discomfort, but rather drive air from the lungs pain when doing things like … moving.   I spent today in a chair.

May I ask your prayers for swift and complete relief?

This is ridiculous.  So far this trip is going well for most people, a few have had relatively controllable issues.  I, on the other hand, have been beset.

However, it is also a 1st Friday and helped my determination even to figure out how to get out of the aforementioned chair and even attempt the putting on of socks.



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4 May – St Monica, intercessor for children who have fallen away from the Faith

In the older, traditional Roman calendar today is the feast of the mother of St. Augustine, St. Monnica, widow.  She died in Ostia (Rome’s port) in 387, when she and her family were heading back to North Africa after Augustine’s conversion and baptism by St. Ambrose.  She caught a fever during a blockade of the port.

(Yes, you can spell her name “Monnica”, more consistent with her Punic origins.)

In the chapel of The Cupboard Under The Stairs I have a first-class relic of this marvelous woman.


In the post-Conciliar calendar, her feast was moved to be next to that of her son.

As she lay dying in Ostia near Rome, Monnica told Augustine (conf. 9):

“Lay this body anywhere, let not the care for it trouble you at all. This only I ask, that you will remember me at the Lord’s altar, wherever you be.”

She was buried there in Ostia. Her body was later moved to the Church of St. Augustine in Rome across the street from where I lived for many years.

May she pray for us, for widows and for parents of children who have drifted from the Church.

Be sure to pray for the departed. Pray for them! Don’t just remember them. Don’t just think well of them. Don’t just, as the case may be, resent or be angry at them. Pray for them!

Read about St. Augustine

Prayer for the dead is a spiritual work of mercy.

Also, I’ll remind you of a newish book on Augustine:

REVIEW: The book on Augustine which Pope Benedict would have wanted to write.

Also, if you want a really interesting book on the Doctor of Grace, check out Serge Lancel‘s volume.  UK HERE

BTW… read about how here original epitaph inscription was found by some kids.  HERE

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Priests appeal to Bishops about “pastoral crisis”

This comes from the National Catholic Register via ed Pentin:

Priests Appeal to World’s Bishops to Address ‘Pastoral Crisis’ in the Church

A group of priests has issued a plea to all the world’s bishops to “reaffirm Christ’s teaching” in the face of today’s “pastoral crisis” in the Catholic Church.

Fifteen American and European clergy, including Father Gerald Murray, a frequent guest on EWTN’s The World Over program, highlight a resurgence of “gravely harmful moral errors” regarding the feasibility of living Jesus’ teachings, the nature of conscience, and the role of the Church.

With measured and respectful words, A Pastoral Appeal to the Bishops for an Apostolic Reaffirmation of the Gospel expresses the hope that “much of the damage” caused by this trend “could be healed or mitigated” if bishops were to “reaffirm Jesus’ teachings and to correct those errors with the full authority of your apostolic office.”

Doing so would “benefit those entrusted to your care,” they continue, and would “contribute greatly to the unity and well-being of the universal Church.” The priests warn that “without such assistance, this detrimental situation will worsen significantly.”

The priests’ appeal, signed on April 22, Good Shepherd Sunday, comes after frequent statements and actions from some of the hierarchy, theologians and even Pope Francis himself which many of the faithful believe question or even openly contradict the Church’s established teaching and pastoral practice.

Without referencing the Holy Father or any particular document, priest, bishop or theologian, the priests highlight a general “mistaken approach” which asserts that those who “commit objectively evil acts, and judge themselves subjectively free of culpability, must be allowed to receive Holy Communion.”

They argue that this can lead to the mistaken belief that, although certain behaviors are always evil, “in some circumstances those behaviors are the most realistic good that can be achieved or, indeed, are simply good.” Taken even further, they argue that this could lead to believing that such sinful “behaviors can be approved or proposed by God.”

“Christ’s life and moral teachings are thus presented as abstract ideals that must be adjusted to fit our circumstances, rather than as realities already attuned to free us from sin and evil in every situation,” the priests explain.


Filial and Fraternal Spirit

Such thinking is not a “new and legitimate development,” they add, and the Church has always vigorously opposed these theories as “contrary to the Gospel,” especially in the 50 years that have passed since Blessed Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae.

The resurgence of these theories shows the need for a “more effective pastoral response” than priests can offer, and so the priests say they wish to call on bishops to exercise their “full apostolic authority” and issue a “formal reaffirmation of the Gospel and correction of these errors.”

In a “filial and fraternal spirit,” they then list 10 “crucial issues” they would like bishops to formally address.

These include the affirmation that “God is love,” meaning that “fidelity to Christ and his teachings is realistic and achievable, not an abstract ideal needing to be adjusted to circumstances of life.”

They ask the bishops to reaffirm that conscience is the “immediate norm of behavior but not the infallible voice of God. It can misjudge… [and therefore is] in need of being conformed to the Gospel.”

The priests also would like bishops to restate that “reception of Holy Communion cannot be reduced to a private act based on a subjective judgment of innocence because it is a public witness to one’s embrace of the communal faith and life of the Church.”

And they underline reception of Holy Communion by those who have divorced and remarried “depends on the objective reality of the bond of their first marriage and on the avoidance of sin and public scandal.”

The priests observe that the Church’s apostolic witness can often be mistaken by both clergy and laity, affected by “secular mentalities and the false moral theology of past decades,” as “outmoded or even cruel” and so mistakenly perceive that witness as legalistic or abstract.

“This is extremely painful for everyone involved,” they go on to say, adding it can be an obstruction to “a clear and authentic presentation of the Gospel.”

But they also recall those clergy and laity who, despite “a deep sense of grief and betrayal” caused by these errors, find hope and offer encouragement in their “unambiguous and loving witness.”

Father Gerald Murray

“All the more, then,” the priests conclude, “would the personal witness of a bishop, expressed with the pastoral care and full authority of a Successor of the Apostles, provide an effective means for Christ to gather, support, and guide his people.”

In May 1 comments to the Register, Father Murray said the appeal is an effort to remind the faithful that “the doctrine of the Faith is a gift from God that allows us to understand his revelation and conform our lives to God’s will.”

He added that the appeal’s public nature is an “exercise of the right of Catholics, set forth in Canon 212, 3, to make known to the Church’s pastors, and to the rest of the faithful, ‘their views on matters which concern the good of the Church.’”

He also stressed that the affirmations presented in the appeal “are drawn from the Magisterium of the Church and are not mere opinions of the signatories.”

Father Murray, a canonist and priest of the Holy Family church, New York, believes one cannot deny or minimize the fact that the current crisis has been “occasioned” by Chapter 8 of Pope Francis’ exhortation Amoris Laetitia. 

“If persons who engage in publicly known adulterous behavior are authorized to receive Holy Communion, then the doctrinal integrity of the Church is under direct threat,” he said.

“If Catholics no longer have to conform their lives to Christ’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage in order to be considered worthy to receive Holy Communion, then many other sins will be subject to a similar re-consideration. That would be disastrous.”


Cardinal Burke’s Response 

Cardinal Raymond Burke responded to the appeal by telling the Register that it “expresses what I hear repeatedly from good and faithful priests laboring in various parts of the world.”

He said the current “reintroduction of an erroneous moral teaching, which the Church has, at various times in the past, corrected and disciplined, is causing a most grave confusion and division in the Church to the great harm of souls and the hindrance of the Church’s mission to be a ‘light to the nations.’”

The patron of the Order of Malta said “the only remedy” is the “reaffirmation of the Apostolic faith by the Successors to the Apostles.”

The cardinal said he commended the “good priests who have written and signed” the pastoral appeal “out of love for the Church and, in particular, for the portion of the flock of Christ in their priestly care.”

“May their wise and courageous action inspire their bishops to dispel the confusion of the present time in the Church and thus to begin to heal the division regarding the Catholic faith and its practice,” Cardinal Burke said.

The organizers say priests are invited to add their name to the appeal by entering their details on the appeal’s website:

Update May 3: The organizers say the appeal now has 77 priests who have signed the appeal from over 17 countries on all 6 inhabited continents, up from 15 US and European signers at the beginning. However, they add it is “not a matter of numbers, but of evangelical witness.”

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Archbp. Sample’s good sermon at the National Shrine

The other day I posted about the great sermon that Archbp. Sample gave at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the Pontifical Mass in honor of the 10th Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum.   While I posted a video of the whole Mass and noted the start time of the sermon, here is the sermon itself.

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ASK FATHER: Traditional Baptism but with parts in English?

From a priestly reader…


I am a parish priest who often does an Ad Orientem Novus Ordo Mass. I was approached by a family asking for a baptism using the Extraordinary Form. I am happy to do so, given the evident power of the prayers, but then they also wondered if it could be done using an English translation they showed me [from]. Do you know if that is licet?

First, thank you for being open to doing this!  I must warn you, however, once you start using the traditional rite you are probably going to want to continue to use it all the time.

To the question, yes, much of the older, traditional form of the Latin Church’s rite of baptism can be done in English. This is useful and often disarming for some people in attendance.

However, when permission was given way back when for some vernacular languages to be used for baptism, certain parts had to be done in Latin.  For example, the exorcisms and blessings of salt and water must be in Latin, the exorcism of the one to be baptized, the form of the sacrament, the anointings must be in Latin.  That’s what was in force in 1962 and that’s what Summorum Pontificum designates as our reference point.  Hence, in 1962 that’s what we could do, so that’s what we do today.

Some editions of the Collectio Rituum (a small compilation of the most used items in the more comprehensive Rituale Romanum) have this laid out clearly so that you know which parts can be English and which must be Latin, and also provide the English even of the part that must be in Latin.

There are, or at least were, very good booklets for the participants in the rite published by Angelus Press.  At the time of this writing, I am in a moving vehicle and can’t hunt it up.

I think you and your people will be edified by the older, traditional form of baptism which is richer in its symbols.  Thanks to the provisions of Summorum Pontificum 9  § 1 priests can also use the older Rituale Romanum for this foundational sacrament.

All Roman priests should be familiar with the older books and their Roman rites.   Don’t you think that priests should know the rite for which they were ordained?

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Some Views From The Journey: Castra moventur

Castra moventur.

That shot just about sums up preparation for the transfer to a new statio.

And here’s a statio on the way to the statio.  A nice outdoor lunch.

With hedges of blooming jasmine.

Some lavender.

And even artichokes.

Homemade pasta and eggplant and caccioricotta.

Some grilled veggies.   This food is soooo easy and so easy on you.

Granita di limone.

And off we go again… WESTWARD!

That photo just about sums it up.

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New music disc from the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles

The wonderful Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles have produced another great CD of music.

The Hearts of Jesus, Mary & Joseph At Ephesus


Enjoy this video! You can hear music from the new disc and see shots of the new church they are building.

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Some Views From The Journey: Angels of heaven and of mercy

Just to get you going… anchovies!

More about this later.

We went to Alberobello, famous for its trulli, these houses of ancient construction with conical stone roofs.

Okay… well this is a plate of sausage, etc., out of order.

We visited one of these houses that was well preserved and then had a lunch outside, cooked by the mother of the man who owns the house.

We visited an olive grove that has some of the oldest of these amazing trees. This one is well over 2000 years old and producing very good fruit.    There are some 55 million olive trees just in Puglia.  40 million are centuries old.   It is an awesome sight to see mile after mile of olive trees.

This grower has a press going back to ancient Greek, ancient Roman and medieval times in different phases of development side by side.

The family had it’s chapel, of course.  Maybe next time we’ll arrange for Mass there.

For our lunch they served a wine that had never been bottled, very rough and ready.  It reminded me soooo much of seminary and wine we got there.

Matera, where many movies are being made these days.

We visited a preserved cave house and heard about life: imagine some 10 children, donkey, chickens, pig, everyone in a smallish cave carved out of the mountain side.  Just a few 100 sq feet.

In Matera is a church dedicated to the Poor Souls.

I love the pulpit.  I want a pulpit like this.




The cathedral of Matera.  This architecture makes my socks roll up and down.

And, pasta with a mudbug.

Today, we visited St. Pio at his shrine.


Then we went on to the magnificent Sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel.  I would like to spend a couple days.

I prayed for all my cop, LEO, friends and military friends, past and present.

Here our group is visiting a pro-life center in Monopoli which has an incredibly successful model of volunteerism, carrying on  over a generation.  We visited this local center of Movimento Pro Vita with members of the board of Heartbeat International.

You might say a prayer for them.  In June there is a mayoral election.  They have their building from the city council.  So far, with volunteer work they have kept their overhead to E. 2000 but there have been amazing results including many mothers helped, babies brought to term, abandoned babies rescued, families supported.  Their patroness is Mother Theresa!  As she worked, so do they: on the fly.

If every town had such a group….

So, today, we went from Padre Pio to the heights of St. Michael back to the depths of a local, coastal pro-life hand-on center… on the Feast of Joseph.

Spiritually packed.  And I had a specific intention today, which I think is resolved and resolved just in time.  That’s my man JOSEPH.


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1 May – St. Joseph the Worker – Mighty Intercessor

Georges_de_La_Tour_Joseph_Carpenter_workerPray to St. Joseph, especially in your needs concerning your work and your vocation.  St. Joseph is a powerful intercessor.  He comes through for you especially when you are specific about what you need and when you need it.

I’ve had a couple amazing experiences with his intercession and I have friends who have as well.

I recommend St. Joseph especially for fathers in families.

And remember the mighty Bux Protocol™.  This is more needed today than ever before.  Joseph is the Patron of the Church, after all.

Today’s feast of St. Joseph, the Worker, is modern.  It was given to the Church by Ven. Pope Pius XII in 1955.

We celebrate Joseph today especially as a patron of workers.  No doubt the thought behind the feast was, among other motives, to offset the incorrect atheistic, materialist view of work and workers presented by Socialism and Communism.

May Day had been a civic feast in many places since ancient times and festivals were held.


Rerum conditor Deus, qui legem laboris humano generi statuisti: concede propitius; ut, santi Ioseph exemplo et patricinio, opera perficiamus quae praecipis, et praemia consequamer quae promittis.

Remember not to confuse the verbs condo, condere and condio, condire, both of which give is “conditor“… one being cónditor and the other condítor.


O God, creator of things, who established the law of labor for human kind: grant, propitiously; that, by the example and patronage of Saint Joseph, we may bring to completion the works which you command, and we may attain the rewards which you promise.

At the heart of our vocation as images of God we all have work to do.  God, our Creator, “worked” and then rested and saw that His work was good.  This is also our paradigm as His images.

When our First Parents revolted against God’s command, the entire human race fell.  The human race consisted of only two people, but it was the whole of the human race.  In their fall, we fell.

As a consequence of the Fall, man is now out of sync with God, himself, others and nature.  We do not live in the harmony that would make the tasks of stewardship of the gift of life and the honor of being at the pinnacle of material creation without sorrow, toil and pain.

And yet even before the Fall man had been given labor by God the Father.  Man had duties in the Garden.  It was our Fall that transformed that labor into toil.

God knew every one of us from before the Creation of the universe.  He calls us into existence at the exact point and place in His plan He foresaw in His providence.  We have a role to play in God’s plan.  We have work to do.

When we dedicate ourselves to fulfilling our part in God’s plan according to our vocations, whatever they may be in our own circumstances, God will give us every actual grace we need to do His will and come to our perpetual reward in heaven.

He gives us the work, the grace and the glory.

With our wounded nature, our disordered passions and appetites, it is hard to understand that the work we do in life is a manifestation of both present grace and anticipated glory.

As an early American preacher once said,

“grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected”.

Put another way, God gives us the work and then He makes our hands strong enough for the task.  The achievement is therefore both His and truly ours.

As St. Augustine says, God crowns His own merits in us.

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1 May: Feast of St. Jeremiah, Old Testament Prophet


Today is not only the feast of St. Joseph the worker, but also the feast of the prophet Jeremiah.

Some people do not know that many figures of the Old Testament are considered saints by the Catholic Church.  They are not celebrated on our main liturgical calendar but they are in the Roman Martyrology, an official liturgical book.

Here is the text of the 2005 MartRom, which I will leave to you readers to work through animi caussa (just for fun)!

Commemoratio sancti Ieremiae, prophetae, qui, tempore Ioachim et Sedeciae, regum Iudae, Civitatis Sanctae eversionem populique deportationem monens, multas persecutiones passus est, quam ob rem Ecclesia eum habuit ut Christi patientis figuram.  Novum aeternumque insuper Testamentum in ipso Christo Iesu consummandum praenuntiavit, quo Pater omnipotens legem suam in imo filiorum Israel corde scriberet, ut esset ipse iis in Deum et essent illi ei in populum.


The moderation queue is ON so that you can work on your own English version without the distraction of someone else’s. I’ll release them later in the day.

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