ADVENTCAzT 2023 – 06 – Friday 1st Week of Advent: Immaculate

A series of 5 minute daily podcasts for Advent and Christmas 2023.

Today, Fr. Troadec about Mary as Virgin of virgins. Joseph Ratzinger and St. Maximillian Kolbe pipe up too.

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News of the Church 03

It’s 3 December 2023 and it is the 1st Sunday of Advent, beginning a new liturgical year. Some time ago, I saw a movie called News of the World in which years after the Civil War a former confederate officer ekes out a living going about and reading to people who pay a dime a head various newspaper stories from all over. The idea caught my imagination and here I am, a gazetteer.

An audio “gazette” of Catholic things.

00:12 – Init
00:52 – Prison Journal of Card. Pell Vol. 3.
03:34 – Anthony Esolen Tweet
07:31 – Benedictines of Mary, Newsletter
10:55 – The Wanderer 16 November Fr. Brian Harrison on orthodox priests
15:10 – The Wanderer 23 November – After School Satan Club
18:41 – Latin Mass Society Newsletter – December 2023
21:09 – Angelus July/August 2023 – City Under Siege
29:50 – Exit

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I’m selling beautiful 3 volume Latin/English sets of the traditional “Roman Breviary” by Baronius Press

I have a limited number of these beautiful sets and I’m selling them. Unopened. More HERE   

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8 December: Happy Birthday BLOG!

My first post on 8 December 2005.  Happier days.


Many ups and downs.  Many blessings.

You, dear readers, are blessings.

Thank you.

Non mihi, Domine.


RECITED in Latin: 1st Vespers of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception – Traditional Roman Breviary

Just for nice.  Thank you, Queen of Priests.  Help all priests, especially those of us who are cancelled, alone, in need, ill, or close to death.

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7 December: Some cool things about St. Ambrose

Today is the feast of St. Ambrose.  I have a 1st class relic in the Two Trinities Chapel, so he is, in a sense, a homie.

St. Ambrose of Milan (+4 April 397), was a titanic figure of the late 4th century who changed the shape of Church and State relations for a thousand years.  He brought much of the wisdom of Greek writings to the West. He helped God bring St. Augustine of Hippo into the fold.

There are many things to write about Ambrose.  Here are a few.

There is a famous moment recounted by St. Augustine in his Confessions (6.3) about visiting St. Ambrose. Firstly, you should know that, in the ancient world, when people read, they read aloud, or at least moved their lips. It helped the memory in a time when written works were precious. One day Augustine walked into the room where Ambrose was sitting and saw him staring at a book! Ambrose was reading and not even moving his lips! Augustine was so impressed by this that slipped silently out of the room without saying anything to Ambrose, lest he disturb him.

St. Jerome pretty much hated Ambrose. I have a theory about that. Anyway… of Ambrose, Jerome wrote that he was like a raven croaking ill omens and a jackdaw who dressed himself in the feathers of other birds (i.e., he was a plagiarist… ). Of his swift rise from being unbaptized to be the mighty bishop of the imperial city Milan within one week, he savagely wrote of Ambrose

Heri catechumenus, hodie pontifex; heri in amphitheatro, hodie in ecclesia; uespere in circo, mane in altari; dudum fautor strionum, nunc uirginum consecrator: num ignorabat apostolus tergiuersationes nostras et argumentorum ineptias nesciebat?

One who was yesterday a catechumen is today a bishop; one who was yesterday in the amphitheater is today in the church; one who spent the evening in the circus stands in the morning at the altar: one who a little while ago was a patron of actors is now a dedicator of virgins. Was the apostle ignorant of our shifts and subterfuges? Did he know nothing of our foolish arguments?

Ambrose complained to his sister St. Marcellina about being in pain from his right shoulder.  In 2018 there was a forensic examination of the remains of Ambrose.  They found that his right clavicle had been broken (an injury in his youth) and it hadn’t healed properly.  This also explains his asymmetrical posture in a mosaic of him – probably while still alive – in the chapel of S Vittore in Ciel d’Oro in the Basilica of St Ambrose in Milan.

Legend has it of baby Ambrose that once when he was sleeping, bees swarmed in and out of his mouth, foretelling that his preaching would be as sweet as honey.  St. Bernard is the called Doctor Mellifluous, however.  On the theme of bees, the Exsultet has bee imagery and the text is sometimes attributed to Ambrose.

Want to read more about him?  The best you can find is Ambrose by Boniface Ramsey. US HERE – UK HERE

I also have several old PODACAzTs in which I speak of Ambrose. HERE

There’s not a single bishop alive today who can vaguely approach Ambrose for either brains or b****.  Shall we see his like again?

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Photo by The Great Roman™

Thanks to donor PG … I have no way to write a thank you note to you. No email address.

Welcome new registrant:


Meanwhile,… white to move and mate in 3.

1. Qe7+ Nd7 2. Qxd7+ Kxd7 3. R1e7#
NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

Crazy.  A month ago Hikaru set a new record (breaking his own record after 3 years) on for blitz (3 minutes).  Yesterday, Magnus went on a tear (10.5/11) and hit 3340, a new record.

There’s a photo of him achieving this … FROM HIS PHONE … with a dog.   He beat the best blitz players in the world, from a phone, with a dog.

I feel so inadequate.  And not because I don’t have a dog.  I don’t want to have a dog.  I would like to play chess better than I do.   I’m terrible at blitz.  He makes it look so easy.


ADVENTCAzT 2023 – 05 – Thursday 1st Week of Advent: Ambrose

A series of 5 minute daily podcasts for Advent and Christmas 2023.

Today, St Ambrose and one of his hymns.

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Meanwhile – and happy St. Nicholas day – this was from yesterday.

This explains quite a bit, as do the real Grimm’s tales.

Meanwhile, white to move and mate in 4.  Good luck.

1. Qc3+ Bxc3 2. Rd6+ Qxd6 Ng4+ Ke6 4. f5#
NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

Speaking of moving, do you need to, want to move?

Have you been following Eccles’ Advent calendar on X/Twitter?

In chessy news, Michael Adams is the sole leader in London and four are tied for second, including Gukesh and the rather unlikeable Niemann. FIDE issued a “clarification” about what tournaments count for circuit points and a lot of players are seriously irritated at the lack of transparency. FIDE imposed that x number of tournaments had to be in different countries after the phenom of Ding Liren playing about a million games in a month all in China to be able to qualify by rating in the Candidates in Madrid that led to his beating Nepo for the ultimate egg roll. Former champ Garry Kasparov has a new Kasparov Chess Foundation Academy. And why not? He has some strong players… I hope they are good teachers… working with him on courses at three levels.

Yesterday, with black I had a long OTB conflict with The Club’s Leader™. He threw his own line of the Queen’s Gambit (Declined) at me again, which involves an irritating, but ultimately ill-advised, pawn rush on the queen’s side which I have analyzed and learned to punish. But, he’s a crafty one, yes, crafty he is. I got into some trouble and went down a piece when his tragic queen became involved on my side of the board. However, I spotted my chance and, realizing that Her Tragicness didn’t have a lot of squares, I plotted my revenge. I trapped that nasty piece and then, realizing that I could take one of his minor pieces without unspringing the trap, I gained back my material and delivered the queenly coup de grace on the next move. In the end game, in the two rook and opposite bishop endgame, I just outplayed him. Forcing our rooks off the board after he allowed his bishop to be pinned to his doomed monarch. Addio, Eccellenza!  He had a passer on the a file, but I still had my bishop. There was no way he could promote. With my kingside four on three and a more active king, plus the piece, he resigned on move 38. Here’s a shot of where I prevailed. Black to move.

I figured that if instead of taking he went 2. Rc2 Ra3 3. h4 Kd6 he still is toast.

”Chess helps you to concentrate, improve your logic. It teaches you to play by the rules and take responsibility for your actions, how to solve problems in an uncertain environment.”

Garry Kasparov

Speaking of solving problems in an uncertain environment, today is a thin day for monthly donations.   It would be a great day to sign up, via PayPal, or Zelle through your online banking, which doesn’t take fees.  How about it?   Can I get, say, 5 more today?  Depending, that’s like a bag of groceries!


Even as I wait for a few additional monthly donors, a loud shout of thanks to a “St. Nicholas Day” donor


Thank you. I have no way to write an email to you.


ADVENTCAzT 2023 – 04 – Wednesday 1st Week of Advent

A series of 5 minute daily podcasts for Advent 2023.

Today we have notes about Santa Claus, a vivid description of a crime scene, and a comforting note about our future.

We hear a taste of Nicholai Presuli and a baroque surprise at the end.

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Daily Rome Shot 873 – Prohibition Repeal Day!

Meanwhile,… white to move and mate in 2.

Your use of my Amazon affiliate link is a major part of my income. It helps to pay for insurance, groceries, everything. Please remember me when shopping online. Thanks in advance.  US HERE – UK HERE

NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

Use FATHERZ10 at checkout

In chessy news… meh. Not much. There’s a thing in London at the moment. After two wins Gukesh Dommaraju blundered away a victory and lost to Jules Moussard. Gukesh hopes to reach Candidates via the FIDE circuit route. I heard on a podcast with Fabiano Caruana that tournament is going to happen in India before the end of the year. I’m guessing that it will be organized swiftly so that Indian players have a chance to boost their ratings before the Candidates slots are finalized. That podcast was pretty interesting for other reasons. There was quite a lot of talk about the value of coaching and lessons, for example. Lastly, the Italian Chess Championships are underway. Woohoo!

And this just came in from the people who handle the wine made by the traditional Benedictines of Le Barroux in the ancient vineyards of the Popes…



ADVENTCAzT 2023 – 03 – Tuesday 1st Week of Advent: Time

A series of 5 minute daily podcasts for Advent 2023.

Today, Joseph Ratzinger speaks about the time and creation full of meaning rather than emptiness. St. Alphonsus Liguori prays about being a sinner and begs for help.

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Giving to worthy causes in times of confusion

I am sometimes asked about worthy causes for donations.  I respond with my preferences:

  • Archdiocese for Military Services (our Catholic chaplains!): HERE
  • Our Lady of Hope Clinic (a fantastic Catholic model, such good people): HERE
  • Tridentine Mass Society of Madison (I’m still the prez, in exile, doing stuff): HERE

There are a sprinkling of other groups too, to which I give.  Wounded Warriors, etc.  Other than the Archdiocese for Military, I can’t say I have a lot of faith in official structures these days.

I would be irresponsible not to mention myself, but I don’t have a 501(c)(3) – yet.  Gotta get that going.

These days, the best way is through Zelle:  frz AT wdtprs DOT com

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REMINDER : Visit of the Relics of Saint Jude the Apostle to these USA from September 2023 to May 2024


From a reader:

I visited the St. Jude relic at Holy Trinity Church in Poughkeepsie NY. When Father said this arm hugged Jesus, I was overwhelmed!  I brought my grandson “Jude”.  Truly, an unforgettable experience.  It is hard to express my experience in words.

Right now the “tour” is in NY State and New Jersey area, then Pennsylvania.

Originally Published on: Sep 6, 2023

My friend Fr. Carlos Martins has been entrusted with the mission of bringing a major relic of the Apostle St. Jude aka Thaddaeus, to these USA for a “tour” of many American cities.

St. Jude is sometimes called “Patron Saint of the Impossible Cause”. More HERE.

The tour starts in Chicago at St. John Cantius. What an honor. I suspect that hordes will visit these relics during the tour. The schedule will grow a great deal, I think.

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Meanwhile, your use of my Amazon affiliate link is a major part of my income. It helps to pay for insurance, groceries, everything. Please remember me when shopping online. Thanks in advance.  US HERE – UK HERE

Meanwhile, white to move and mate in 2.

1. Qh1 Bxc8 2. Rxc8#
NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

Interested in learning?  Try THIS.

Chess is being played in London.  Who will try the London, I wonder?

And now this from the honored Laudator.  NB: There is more to “Roman” than mere governance.  Just ask The Great Roman™!

The Latin Language

Lorenzo Valla (1407-1457), Elegantiarum Libri, praefatio, tr. Christopher S. Celenza, The Italian Renaissance and the Origins of the Modern Humanities: An Intellectual History, 1400-1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021), p. 23 (brackets in original):

It is the great sacrament, indeed, the great divinity of the Latin language that in a holy and religious fashion has been defended among pilgrims, barbarians, and enemies for so many centuries, to such a point that we Romans should not lament but rather rejoice and indeed, with the whole world hearkening, take pride. We have lost Rome, we have lost our kingdom, we have lost power — but this is not our fault but that of the times. And yet we rule over most of the world through this more illustrious power: Italy is ours, as are France, Spain, Germany, Pannonia [meaning the territory that is today partially in Hungary, Austria, and Serbia], Dalmatia [today covering much of Croatia], Illyria [modern Albania], and many other nations. For wherever the Roman language dominates, it is there that one finds Roman power.

The Latin, from Eugenio Garin, ed., Prosatori latini del Quattrocento (Milan: Ricciardi, 1952), p. 596:

Magnum ergo latini sermonis sacramentum est, magnum profecto numen quod apud peregrinos, apud barbaros, apud hostes, sancte ac religiose per tot saecula custoditur, ut non tam dolendum nobis Romanis quam gaudendum sit atque ipso etiam orbe terrarum exaudiente gloriandum. Amisimus Romam, amisimus regnum atque dominatum; tametsi non nostra sed temporum culpa; verum tamen per hunc splendidiorem dominatum in magna adhuc orbis parte regnamus. Nostra est Italia, nostra Gallia, nostra Hispania, Germania, Pannonia, Dalmatia, lllyricum, multaeque aliae nationes. Ibi namque romanum imperium est ubicumque romana lingua dominatur.

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ADVENTCAzT 2023 – 02 – Monday 1st Week of Advent: Gabriel

A series of 5 minute daily podcasts for Advent 2023.

Today Card. Zen talks about time. We hear about Gabriel talking to Daniel and to Zechariah.

There’s a taste of a Byzantine Chant for Communion: The Lord Hath Sent Deliverance

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Send 2023 CHRISTMAS CARDS to Fr. Z!

I always enjoy your Christmas cards.  The notes and letters which describe the year people have had are interesting and, often, moving.  I read them all.

And drawings by kids are great!  I’ve included one below.

If you would like to send me Advent/Christmas greetings or cards, please send by snail mail (if possible with really cool stamps).

Remember mail?

As I have done in years past, I’ll try to post all the places whence they were mailed from around the world.  Keep in mind that if you don’t include your address, at least your city, I can’t easily do that.

I have a US PO BOX address.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
733 Struck St.
PO BOX 44603
Madison, WI 53744-4603

That is the P.O. Box of the Tridentine Mass Society of Madison

Someone will regularly check the P.O. box for me and forward everything.  NB: That will add a little time to how long it takes to reach me… but they do reach me.

If you want to send something time sensitive, or perhaps expensive – like keys to a Bugatti – contact me. HERE   We might be able to find you a much faster address!  If you’ve been a regular benefactor and we’ve had contact, you might consider that option.

Please DO NOT send perishable food items. I am sure they would be wonderful but, please, just don’t.

If you put glitter in the card, I’ll recite the Maledictory Psalms against you.

If  I receive something threatening or illegal, I will immediately turn it in to law enforcement.  I’m sorry I have to write that under such a cheery topic, but this is the world we live in, especially in this dreadful craziness going on.


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Meanwhile, the 13th London Chess Classic is underway from 1-10 December. 10-player single round-robin with a classical time control. Nine super grandmasters.   In other news, the dreaded MITTENS is back.

Meanwhile, white to move and… save his bacon!

Every purchase of Birra Nursia advances the monks’ efforts to restore monastic life in Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict.

NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

Your use of my Amazon affiliate link is a major part of my income. It helps to pay for insurance, groceries, everything. Please remember me when shopping online. Thanks in advance.  US HERE – UK HERE


Your Sunday Sermon Notes – 1st Sunday of Advent 2023

It’s the 1st Sunday of Advent.  A new liturgical year begins.

Was there a GOOD point made in the sermon you heard at your Sunday Mass of obligation?

Share the good stuff.  Quite a few people are forced to sit through really bad preaching.  Even though you can usually find – if you are willing to try – at least one good point in a really bad sermon, that can be a trial.  So… SHARE THE GOOD STUFF which you were fortunate enough to receive!

Tell about attendance especially for the Traditional Latin Mass. I hear that it is growing. Of COURSE.

Any local changes or (hopefully good) news?  We really need good news.

I have some thoughts about the Sunday Epistle reading posted at One Peter Five.

Early on living in Rome I learned always to close doors so they latched and to block or latch windows, often the tall, vertical kind that meet in the middle.  Why?  Because when the wind is blowing, by opening a door in one area, the air flow changes, and – BAM! – a door or window slams elsewhere, sometimes very hard indeed.  You learn to take proper steps so that you aren’t shocked out of your socks.  In any event, this common experience of life in Italy led to a proverb which I’ll get to later for dramatic effect.

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ADVENTCAzT 2023 – 01 – 1st Sunday of Advent: bedight with Alleluias

A series of 5 minute daily podcasts for Advent 2023.

Today, Card. Zen reflects and Fr. Z rambles and Bl. Ildefonso amazes and Fulton Sheen… well… shines.

Cardinal Zen’s Advent Reflections – US HERE – UK HERE

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Here we go again!