1st graders’ “Valentine’s Day” cards censored

How bad are things getting? Had you told me a few years ago that schools would censor 1st graders’ “Valentine’s Day” cards for religious content, I would have laughed at you.

From The Morning Call:

Suit: Censoring history of St. Valentine violated first-grader’s free speech rights
Nazareth elementary school banned cards explaining religious meaning of holiday.

Donald and Ellen Abramo’s children wanted to share the religious meaning of Valentine’s Day with their classmates in the Nazareth Area School District this year.

That gesture landed the Upper Nazareth Township couple in a fight with school officials over a district policy banning religious materials in class, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday in Allentown.

The Abramos allege staff at Shafer Elementary School in Nazareth violated their son’s First Amendment rights when they removed messages explaining the religious history of Valentine’s Day from cards the first-grader planned to distribute to his friends.

“St. Valentine was imprisoned and martyred for presiding over marriages and for spreading the news of God’s love. In honor of St. Valentine’s Day, I want you to know that God loves YOU!!!” said the notes, which also included a short Bible verse.

The Feb. 14 celebration of Valentine’s Day began as a commemoration of the third-century Roman saint, although the Catholic Church has officially removed the holiday from its calendar.

According to the suit, the Abramos’ three other school-aged children were permitted to hand out the notes with Valentines to their classmates, but only because teachers didn’t notice their religious nature, school officials said.

The suit says Ellen Abramo helped her children create the notes to fill an empty slot in their store-bought cards — left when they removed a piece of candy to comply with a separate policy banning sweets.


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Posted in Liberals, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice | Tagged , | 11 Comments

LENTCAzT 36: Wednesday 5th Week of Lent – “the broad way that leads to perdition”

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Today is Wednesday of the 5th Week of Lent. Passiontide is underway.

Examine your consciences and then…


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

I persevere in this daily project in thanks to my donors. a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.

Today I use a cut from the wonderful  CD of music for Lent by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles.


Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Resurrection by Daniel Mitsui

Daniel Mitsui has just about become the “artist in residence” here. He recently sent me a print of the Resurrection.

Here are a couple shots… it is still under its plastic protective cover.

I like how he riffs from Medieval illuminations.


A detail.




There is a color version, too.

Daniel is a fine Catholic artist.  Give him some support.  His prints make great gifts.  Also, you will be helping his family.  His little daughter has had a lot of medical problems and their bills are pretty daunting.  Get a print.  Help a family.  Everyone wins.

More of my posts on his artwork HERE.

Posted in The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged | 7 Comments

Of the Fishwrap and the Palaces of Bishops

Over at the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap) they are thrashing in the chum-strewn waters of the residences of American bishops.

Those rich bishops! Stealing money from the mouths of the poor! They aren’t humble like …. like… like Pope Francis! He’s The First Pope Ever To Smile Or Kiss A Baby™ or Live In Abject Poverty In Casa Santa Marta™.

I am with Fr. Longenecker, who recently defended a good, and elegant residence for diocesan bishops.

You don’t have to live in a cardboard box under a bridge to have concern for the poor.

Nevertheless, the frenzy is fully underway now. American dioceses far and wide are rushing to defend the residences of their bishops. For example, at CWN we read: Denver archdiocese defends new $6.5 million meeting center, residence for archbishop.  Yawn.

Since Fishwrap‘s Michael Sean Winters is obsessed with Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison (aka His Mightiness aka The Extraordinary Ordinary), whom he continually bashes (HERE and HERE and HERE – just within the last few months) as being out of touch, condescending, a real meanie, I now share a view of His Excellency’s palatial episcopal mansion’s opulent facade and elegant, graceful entrance.  Such lines!

I know.

You are now weighing whether a bishop should live in an extravagant building that has more than one story.

Anyway, I’m just trying to help Fishwrap in their research for their upcoming exposé on the luxury mansions of the rich and famous (conservative) bishops.

Posted in Liberals, Lighter fare | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

AUDIO: John 6

As we are in Passiontide, according to our traditional Roman calendar, and as I think about the reactions to a certain talk given by a certain Dominican sister, it occurred to me to review John 6.

As I reviewed John 6, it occurred to me that some of you might want to review it even by listening to it, or even hear it in its entirety for the first time.

So, as a little offering, here is John 6 in the Douay-Rheims translation.  I chose the archaic language version, which rings a little oddly in our modern ears, so that you would have to work a little harder to attend and grasp.

Posted in Our Catholic Identity, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

ASK FATHER: Why do we call Eucharist “Bread” in Novus Ordo?

From a reader…


My wife who is to be received into the Church at the the Easter vigil (Deo gratias!) recently asked me why in the Novus Ordo Missae one of the options for the Memorial Acclamation is “When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.” Surely we don’t eat “Bread” at all as the substance of the bread is annihilated at consecration. [Perhaps a better way to put it is entirely changed, from one substance to another.] I thought it might be a mis-translation so I checked the Latin. I’m ashamed to say my Latin isn’t up to much but the operative word there seems to be “panem” which also means “bread” as I understand it. I did notice the word “Bread” is capitalised in English, but not in Latin, is this significant in some way? Can you please explain what’s going on? Thank you in advance.

First, I am glad that the formation your wife has received has been adequate to prompt her to ask these questions.

It is perfectly acceptable also… also… to refer to the Eucharist, the consecrated Host, as “Bread”.  Our Lord refers to Himself as “Bread of Life”.  St. Paul teaches the Corinthians in these terms:

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.

To speak of the Eucharist in terms of “Bread” and “cup” is to use Biblical imagery.  It is, for us, an echo consistent with the way that our earliest forebears in the Faith spoke of the Eucharistic Lord.

Many centuries later, we have deepened of our understanding of the what occurs during the celebration of the Eucharist.  We have been able to develop a technical term that goes beyond the poetic, biblical, simple imagery: transubstantiation.  Even after developing this razor sharp, philosophically inspired refinement of terminology, we still use the Biblical images in our sacred liturgical rites.  For example, St. Thomas Aquinas, in composing the Mass formulary and the Office for the Feast of Corpus Domini, includes the bread imagery:

Verbum caro, panem verum
verbo carnem efficit:
fitque sanguis Christi merum,
et si sensus deficit,
ad firmandum cor sincerum
sola fides sufficit.

The Word as Flesh makes
true bread into flesh by a word [Not just bread, but true bread.]
and the wine becomes the Blood of Christ.
And if sense is deficient
to strengthen a sincere heart
Faith alone suffices.

When we adore the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament at Exposition and Benediction we use the verse and response:

V. Panem de caelo praestitisti eis. (T.P. Alleluia)
R. Omne delectamentum in se habentem. (T.P. Alleluia)

V. Thou hast given them bread from heaven (P.T. Alleluia).
R. Having within it all sweetness (P.T. Alleluia).

In this moment we are not talking about the manna of the Old Testament.  We are talking about the Eucharistic bread, of which manna was a foreshadowing.  We we invoke the image of bread when referring to the Eucharist, we bring to the fore in our minds the whole history of salvation.  Bread figures again and again in salvation history before the Word became flesh.

Our use of biblical imagery does not counteract our more philosophical and theological grasp of the Eucharist.  Indeed, it supplements and compliments.

Use of the simpler, virtually “daily” imagery of bread and cup, or chalice, reinforces in us that the Eucharist is our nourishment as we sojourn in this vale of tears, as we march upcountry as pilgrim soldiers toward the heavenly homeland.

Over a lifetime, as Catholics, we learn to hold many concepts up in the air, as it were, as if we were jugglers.  We come more and more easily to see and think of the Eucharist in terms of Bread and Cup, as nourishment, as well as Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, as well as, sacramentum which has its effect, its res in our souls, as well as… etc.  We are able more and more easily to participate at Holy Mass as both renewed Sacrifice of Calvary as well as renewed Last Supper in the upper room.  Catholics are “both/and” believers: both Calvary and Cenacle, both Cross and Table.  We can hold in perfect balance the absolute truth of transubstantiation together with bread and wine imagery without falling into the heresy of Protestants.  For many, this doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes a while to hear and see with a Catholic ear and eye.  We converts settle into the Faith over time, each on his or her own course and schedule.   After the zeal of initial conversion and reception, then the patience and the maturing takes place, much as the new wine needs time in the barrel.

So, congratulations and I hope that helps a little.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

UPDATE: Bp. Jugis (D. Charlotte) endorses Sr. Jane Laurel and talk at High School

I have written about the incident at the High School in Charlotte, where Dominican Sister Jane Laurel gave a talk on human sexuality that produced sparked a mob reaction.  Nun UNDER The Bus and Sister explains the situation. Spittle-flecked nutty, bullying, intimidation ensue.

From LifeNews:

Charlotte diocese backs nun who gave school talk promoting Church teaching on homosexuality

CHARLOTTE, NC, April 7, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The bishop of Charlotte is backing a Dominican nun who has been at the center of a fiery controversy since last month when she gave a speech promoting Catholic teaching on sexuality to students at Charlotte Catholic High School.

After a public meeting with diocesan and school officials turned ugly, with parents and students alike shouting at administrators over what they perceived as “hateful” remarks criticizing homosexual behavior, divorce and extra-marital sex, [To think... that's how conditioned people are now by the MSM and the "new normal".] a spokesman for the diocese told LifeSiteNews that the nun in question, Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel, did nothing wrong and will be welcome to speak on the issue again if she chooses.

Nothing in Sister’s talk opposed Church teaching,” Diocese of Charlotte Communications Director David Hains told LifeSiteNews in an email. “Sister would be welcomed to speak in the diocese in the future.”

Hains said Bishop Peter Jugis is expected to make further public comment on the situation soon.

Sr. Laurel’s critics have complained about a section of her talk in which she discussed scientific findings related to the causes of homosexuality. [And here I thought the Church embraced science.] According to the Charlotte Observer, she was accused of using “suspect anecdotes, antiquated data and broad generalizations to demonize gays and lesbians as well as divorced and single parents.” [That's right... if you state what the Church teaches, that homosexual acts are disordered, that's "demonizing".]

But one Catholic scientist says he recently heard the sister give the exact same speech she delivered to the students, and in his opinion, there is nothing in it to which a practicing Catholic could possibly object.

“I was in attendance at the same presentation when given on Long Island, NY a few months ago,” Dr. Gerard Nadal told LifeSiteNews. “In that meeting, Sister Jane gave medical and scientific data that came from reputable sources and were presented as examples of the consequences for human behavior that contravenes the moral magisterium of the Church. As a Ph.D. in medical science, and as a Catholic schooled extensively in my faith, I saw no contradictions, but rather a seamless presentation.”

Still, in light of all the controversy, Aquinas College announced in a press release Friday that Sr. Laurel has asked to take a sabbatical from her teaching and speaking duties for an indefinite amount of time.

After the sister’s speech at a school assembly last month, students at the school launched an internet petition drive demanding an apology from everyone involved with arranging the speech, which quickly garnered thousands of signatures. Some parents also initiated a letter-writing campaign to the school’s chaplain, the bishop and even the Vatican, to complain. [Complete with pitchforks and torches.]

Last week, school and diocesan officials held a public meeting to address the issue. The meeting attracted nearly 1,000 people, most of them offended by the nun’s remarks.

The Diocese of Charlotte’s newspaper, the Catholic News-Herald, reported that the meeting was acrimonious, with those who dared to speak out in support of Sr. Laurel or the Church being shouted down by an angry mob. The paper’s sources called the atmosphere “disrespectful” and “hate-filled.

[... READ THE REST THERE... several quotes of reactions, all interesting...]

“Darkness has fallen upon us with all of the attendant confusion which it brings,” Kauth continued. “Our Lord can speak to this darkness just as He did in the beginning and say, let there be light.”

To read Fr. Kauth’s full statement regarding Sr. Laurel’s presentation click here.


Diocese of Charlotte
Phone: (704) 370-6299

It is good to see that some sanity is being applied.

Fr Z kudos to Bp. Jugis.  Mega kudos to Sr. Jane.

Posted in Liberals, Lighter fare, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, Throwing a Nutty | Tagged , , | 44 Comments

YOUR Sacred Triduum observances – Who, What, Where, When, How?

It may be that some of you will travel, even considerable distances, to participate in the rites of the Sacred Triduum celebrated in a worthy manner.

I have on more than one occasion over the years, as a guest celebrant for the Triduum in this or that place, met people who came to town from afar specifically for the liturgical observances at my host church.  It is not far fetched and it can be a kind of pilgrimage.

Thus, one of the readers here wrote, asking:

Would you begin a post wherein your follows could post Easter Triduum and Holy Week services? I am more interested for me and some friends in knowing about Extraordinary Form opportunities, however, some magnificent and glorious Novus Ordo events exist, such as Holy Thursday at St John’s Stamford, CT (Novus Ordo, ad orientem).  [Not to mention probably the finest, St. Agnes in St. Paul, where even all of Tenebrae is sung.]

We have for some time taken to the roads to make visits for different flavors of the Roman Rite.

So…. open combox for your news, descriptions, schedules, events for the Sacred Triduum.


Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged | 50 Comments

LENTCAzT 35: Tuesday 5th Week of Lent – “jealousy… envy… vomit… poison”

Please use the sharing buttons?  Thanks!

Today is Tuesday of the 5th Week of Lent. Passiontide is underway.

Examine your consciences and then…


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

I persevere in this daily project in thanks to my donors. a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.

Today I use a cut from the wonderful  CD of music for Lent by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles.


Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Just for nice: Roman Lenten images

Roman images.

First, a priest sent a fine photo of a side altar, in use, of SS. Ternità del Pelegrini.

That’s how it’s done.

And then a couple photos from NLM posted by my friend Gregory DiPippo of the Basilica of S. Nicola in Carcere, in which I was ordained a deacon.


Posted in Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments