450K-500K estimated at 2020 March For Life

A contact Trump 2020 campaign says that the Park Service estimated 450000 – 500000 people participated in the March For Life yesterday. I supposed that number does not the unborn.

It was huge, as large a crowd as I have seen.

Here is the time lapse video.

If you didn’t hear the President’s terrific address, here it is:

Transcript:  With my emphases.

Thank you very much and thank you, Jeanne. It is my profound honor to be the first president in history to attend the March for Life. [applause] We are here for a very simple reason: to defend the right of every child, born and unborn, to fulfill their God-given potential. [applause]

For 47 years, Americans of all backgrounds have traveled from across the country to stand for life.

And today as President of the United States, I am truly proud to stand with you. [applause]

I want to welcome tens of thousands – this is a tremendous turnout – tens of thousands of high school and college students who took long bus rides to be here in our nation’s capital. And to make you feel even better, there are tens of thousands of people outside that we passed on the way in. If anybody would like to give up their spot, we can work it out.

We have a tremendous group of people outside. Thousands and thousands wanted to get in. This is some great success. [applause]

Young people are the heart of the March for Life. And it’s your generation that is making America the pro-family, pro-life nation. [applause]

The life movement is led by strong women, amazing faith leaders, and brave students who carry on the legacy of pioneers before us who fought to raise the conscience of our nation and uphold the rights of our citizens. You embrace mothers with care and compassion. You are empowered by prayer and motivated by your unselfish love. You are grateful and we are so grateful ­­– these are incredible people – to be joined by Secretary Alex Azar and Kellyanne Conway. [applause]

And thanks also to Senators Mike Lee and James Lankford who are here. Thank you, fellas. And Representatives Steve Scalise, Chris Smith, Ralph Abraham, Warren Davidson, Bob Latta, John Joyce, Lloyd Smucker, Brian Fitzpatrick, and Brad Wenstrup. Thank you all. I have to say – and I look at it, and I see it exactly – we have many more politicians in the audience. But if you don’t mind, I won’t introduce them all.

All of us here understand an eternal truth: Every child is a precious and sacred gift from God. [applause] Together, we must protect, cherish, and defend the dignity and the sanctity of every human life. [applause]

When we see the image of a baby in the womb, we glimpse the majesty of God’s creation. [applause] When we hold a newborn in our arms, we know the endless love that each child brings to a family. When we watch a child grow, we see the splendor that radiates from each human soul. One life changes the world – from my family, and I can tell you, I send love, and I send great, great love – and from the first day in office, I have taken historic action to support America’s families and to protect the unborn. [applause]

And during my first week in office, I reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy and we issued a landmark pro-life rule to govern the use of Title X taxpayer funding. I notified Congress that I would veto any legislation that weakens pro-life policy or that encourages the destruction of human life. [applause]

At the United Nations, I made clear that global bureaucrats have no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that protect innocent life. [applause] Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House. [applause]

As the Bible tells us, each person is wonderfully made. [applause]

We have taken decisive action to protect the religious liberty – so important – religious liberty has been under attack all over the world and frankly, very strongly attacked in our nation. You see it better than anyone. But we are stopping it. And we’re taking care of doctors, nurses, teachers, and groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor. [applause]

We are preserving faith-based adoption and to uphold our founding documents, we have appointed 187 federal judges, who apply the Constitution as written, including two phenomenal supreme court justices – Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. [applause]

We are protecting pro-life students’ rights to free speech on college campuses. And if universities want federal taxpayer dollars, then they must uphold your First Amendment right to speak your mind. And if they don’t, they pay a very big financial penalty, which they will not be willing to pay. [applause]

Sadly, the far left is working to erase our God-given rights, shut down faith-based charities, ban religious leaders from the public square, and silence Americans who believe in the sanctity of life. They are coming after me because I am fighting for you and we are fighting for those who have no voice. And we will win because we know how to win. [applause] We all know how to win. We all know how to win. You’ve been winning for a long time. You’ve been winning for a long time.

Together, we are the voice for the voiceless. When it comes to abortion – and you know this, you’ve seen what’s happened – Democrats have embraced the most radical and extreme positions taken and seen in this country for years and decades, and you can even say, for centuries.

Nearly every top Democrat in congress now supports taxpayer-funded abortion all the way up until the moment of birth. Last year, lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb right up until delivery.

Then, we had the case of the Democrat governor in the state of Virginia, the commonwealth of Virginia. And we love the commonwealth of Virginia, but what is going on in Virginia? What is going on? The governor stated that he would execute a baby after birth. You remember that.

Senate Democrats even blocked legislation that would give medical care to babies who survive attempted abortions. And that’s why I’ve called on Congress – two of our great senators here, so many of our congressmen here – I called upon them to defend the dignity of life and to pass legislation prohibiting late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in their mother’s womb. [applause]

This year, the March for Life is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which forever enshrined women’s rights to vote in the United States and given by the United States constitution. Such a big event. Today, millions of extraordinary women across America are using the power of their votes to fight for the right and all of their rights as given in the Declaration of Independence – it’s the right to life. [applause]

To all the women here today, your devotion and your leadership uplifts our entire nation and we thank you for that. The tens of thousands of Americans gathered today not only stand for life – it’s really here that they stand for it so proudly together. And I want to thank everybody for that. You stand for life each and every day. You provide housing, education, jobs, and medical care to the women that you serve. You find loving families for children in need of a forever home. You host baby showers for expecting moms. You make – you just make it your life’s mission to help spread God’s grace.

And to all the moms here today, we celebrate you and we declare that mothers are heroes. [applause] Your strength, devotion, and drive is what powers our nation. Because of you, our country has been blessed with amazing souls who have changed the course of human history.

We cannot know what our citizens yet unborn will achieve. The dreams they will imagine. The masterpieces they will create. The discoveries they will make. But we know this: every life brings love into this world. Every child brings joy to a family. Every person is worth protecting.

And above all, we know that every human soul is divine and every human life, born and unborn, is made in the holy image of Almighty God. [applause]

Together, we will defend this truth all across our magnificent land. We will set free the dreams of our people. And with determined hope, we look forward to all of the blessings that will come from the beauty, talent, purpose, nobility, and grace of every American child.

I want to thank you. This is a very special moment. It’s so great to represent you. I love you all. [applause] And I say with a true passion, thank you, God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you all. Thank you. [applause]

I want to add a comment about that point, above:

This year, the March for Life is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which forever enshrined women’s rights to vote in the United States and given by the United States constitution…

That’s well and good.


Let us not stray anywhere close to connecting a pro-abortion or pro-life position to women’s rights.   The right to life is NOT A WOMEN’S ISSUE, as voting or equal pay or other issues might be.  The right to life is a CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE before it is a women’s issue.

Terrific speech by the President.

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Washington DC DAYS 2-3: Motus and POTUS


Since I am behind in mail, I want to thank those of you who sent donations to help pay for my trip to DC for the March.  Thanks a million.  As always, I consider it an honor and duty to pray for benefactors.

I hope I didn’t miss anyone, since I am working a lot on my phone, but thanks to:



It has been a couple of really busy days, so email and blog has taken a back seat.

You may have seen on the news that the March for Life took place and that Pres. Trump – NOW President and soon Re-Elected President – appeared and gave a superb address at the rally.

I wasn’t able to get in close enough to the stage, so I duck back out onto Constitution, parked myself on a raised mound under a tree in a place that had more mobile phone bars, and watched the stream. Also, the elevated position gave me the change to scan for people I know. I watch the stream (with a priest from Buffalo – “Please pray for us”, he asked). I spotted Fr. Martin Fox, of the blog Bonfire of the Vanities whom I cite here. A good friend and good parish priest.

I spotted also the troop from the great Mater Ecclesiae in Berlin, NJ.  Fr. Pasley is also a friend of many years.  Nice homburg, Father.

While I was spotting friends, readers were spotting me and coming over to introduce themselves.   That is one of the best parts of these tripe: meeting the people who read here and finding out where they are from, etc.   LOTs of people said hello.

There were very many signs in support of Pres. Trump, the most pro-life President ever.

This was fun.  Attorney General Bill Barr was watching the March from his window.   He returned waves.

Just after that wave above, we had a fun moment.   He looked down directly where I and a friend from NYC were looking up.   I shot him a blessing, sign of the Cross, and then flashed a thumbs up, which he immediately flashed back.   So, blessing seen and appreciated.

There is a spot on the way up the hill where you can turn back and see the enormous throng.   It would be an interesting way study fluid mechanics.

I’ve been to quite a few of these now.  This had a special vibe and it was probably the largest I’ve seen.  I am eager to see numbers.

We then went to St. Mary’s for the annual Mass.  Msgr. Charles Pope was celebrant for Solemn Mass.   It was jammed.

After a couple hours at the pub across the way from the church with a “seasonal beverage” and good conversation, it was great to see Frs. Bradley, Akers and Smith, I went with friends over to their hotel for an nightcap with some pro-life organizers.   We wound up getting some great cheeses, good enough to share with you.

What hotel was that?   The TRUMP, which was the old Post Office.   Magnificent.    Even more magnificent is this tab for the food and drinks.

I don’t get to many of these high flight hotels.  Sometimes I eat and Firehouse Subs and you can round up for a foundation for first responders, but I have never seen anything like this on a hotel tab.

I have a latish flight out of DC today, so I will have to kill some time in the afternoon, unless I park myself and just catch up or go really early.

It has been a great trip.



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Washington DC DAY 1: Goofing around, a kitchen and a quote

Firstly, I have decided to hold a rare DC blognic. However, I determined it would be best for it to be at an undisclosed location and by invitation only. Who knows if there would be some counter blognic held?

Meanwhile, I met a group of serious pro-life activists last night for supper. Among our guests were Abby Johnson, depicted in the movie “Unplanned”.

Today, after a quiet start and writing for the Catholic Herald, I went over to the Trump Hotel to meet friends for lunch.  On the way I greeted General Von Steuben, fellow Prussian.

You know this next place.  The Dimocrats are trying to throw the resident out.

We’ll see POTUS tomorrow.

BTW… I had a shot at a pass to the Senate gallery today, but passed it up.  Historic, yes, but would you want to listen to the Dems bloviate and just make stuff up?  I’d rather listen to an incessant leaf blower.

Trump Hotel.  The old Post Office.  Quite the building.

After lunch we popped over to the Museum of American History.   We mainly wanted to visit Julia Child’s Kitchen.  I had seen it before, years ago.

Fun.   And there was the real “Star Spangled Banner”.   Too bad they only showed the first verse of the anthem!

On the way back to my digs.

Tonight there is a big pro-life do at the Occidental.   I’m sure I’ll see lots of people I know.

Walking around town you see already hordes of young people here for the March from all over.  I was stopped a few times with loud “Hey Father Z!”s for a brief chat.   It is great to meet people and hear where they are from.

Heading home I walked along the side of the Hoover Building, Dept. of Commerce.  I read this quote:

“Commerce defies every wind, outrides every tempest, invades every zone.”

In the talk I gave in Rome at the Summorum Pontificum conference, I used the image of market forces.   We should not fear the successes of other groups.  The success of one group, like a tide, raises all others.  To use another analogy: this is not a zero sum game.  This is not a finite pie which when cut up can serve only a limited number of slices.  If I get one, you can’t that what I have.   No.  The pie grows.   By interaction between our groups and cooperation, we cannot be defeated.   We have to have holy commerce between our groups.  We will invade every zone and outride every tempest and defy the winds that the enemy will blow against us.

Anyway, that was a quote from George Bancroft quondam Secretary of the Navy.   He also wrote, however:

It never was a prosperous world
Since priests have interfer’d with temporal matters;
The custom of their ancestors they slight,
And change their shirts of hair for robes of gold;
Thus luxury and interest rule the church,
Whilst piety and conscience dwell in caves.

It seems that lofty Bancroft didn’t have the slightest idea what the time of day was, since Catholic clergy developed modern economics.   (cf. School of Salamanca)

So, ignore that last part and stick to what I said.


Tonight there was a cocktail party and talks sponsored by Solidarity HealthShare at the Occidental.    Very nice.  Here is a table where a Soviet operative handed off a plan to a journalist in 1962 which helped to avert problems during the Cuban missal crisis.

I was going to give the opening prayer at the meeting, but I wound up giving the final prayer and blessing.  We prayed for everyone on the road coming to DC for the March, that God would protect them from spiritual and temporal harm.  And, because we are in a time of war for life, and I reminded them that it is our fight because this is the time God wanted us to be born, we prayed also for the softening of the hearts of elected officials.

What impressed me was the chance to have a photo with a real hero.  Dr. George Delgado has been pioneering a chemical abortion REVERSAL protocol.

I saw stats the other day about a drop in abortions over the last years.  Those were, I learned, mostly surgical abortions.   The number of chemical abortions, with drugs is another matter.

What happens when women take the first abortion pill and then change their minds?   THERE IS A WAY TO SAVE THE CHILDREN.   Dr. Delgado is on the forefront with his Steno Institute, named after Blessed Nicolas Steno, 17th century Danish scientist, physician and bishop.

I know about this because of my work with Heartbeat International, who has taken over the network of doctors who will prescribe the Abortion Reversal Protocol that Dr. Delgado developed.  It has been really successful.   This guy is a hero.


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Posted in Emanations from Penumbras, Fr. Z's Kitchen, On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged , | 16 Comments

My View For Awhile: To Washington DC, NON-Impeachment Edition

Pres. Trump declared that 22 January is National Sanctity of Human Life Day. CNA HERE  Of course today is the anniversary of the 1973 SCOTUS decision Roe V Wade.

I am on my way to Washington DC today, so I can meet up with friends, see people in a pro-life organization I have contact with, and participate in the March For Life.

I haven’t been able to go every year, but I try.  It is a great event and inspiring to see so many people, especially young people, there.  Another advantage is that the number of TLMs celebrated around the area has increased by quite a few.  This is, among other things, an indicator that the TLM is gaining across the board.

I could use a hand in defraying expenses for the flight and stay. 


They are playing Alex De Grassi in the airport. Blast from the past for sure.


The local fighter wing is putting their F-16s up this morning. Sounds like freedom.

Not one of them…

A benefit of the fighter wing being here is that we have great runways.

I’ve got a good slo-mo video of a take off. Maybe I’ll be able to get it to upload later.

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Posted in Emanations from Penumbras, On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged | 16 Comments

A site with statistics for the growth and availability of the Traditional Latin Mass?

Is there a good site with statistics for the growth and availability of the Traditional Latin Mass in these USA?

We know it is happening.

Do we have numbers?

Please share!
Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged | 24 Comments

21 January St. Agnes: “Intercede and beg a return of orthodoxy, sanity and sanctity to the Roman Church!”

Let us today invoke St. Agnes, virgin and martyr.

O glorious Agnes who, though weak, were chosen by God to make His own might manifest in your martyrdom, together with the Peter and Paul and the other Roman martyrs and confessors intercede now before the throne of our Our Father in heaven and beg a return of orthodoxy, sanity and sanctity to the Church especially in Rome and in particular the Roman Curia at every level.  O holy Agnes, who bravely suffered torments, ask the Queen of the Clergy to protect and aid all priests, so that they will all stand up boldly and teach the truth about the Sacrament of Matrimony, the integrity of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, and the truth of the Real Presence in the Most Holy Eucharist of the Lamb who was slain.  This we ask with confidence.  Amen.

I have posted the following in times past, but it bears repetition. Newcomers to this blog may not have seen it.

Behold the skull of Agnes, in situ, in her beautiful church in Rome on the Piazza Navona.

The dies natalis (“birthday into heaven”) of Agnes was recorded in the register of the depositio martyrum as 21 January.

St. Agnes was slain probably during the reign of the Emperor Diocletian in 304. Some say she died during the time of the Emperor Valerian (+260).

The little girl was buried by her parents in praediolo suo, on their property along the Via Nomentana where there was already a cemetery.

This cemetery expanded rapidly after that, because many wanted to be buried near the grave of the famous martyr. The ancient cemetery grew in stages between the Basilica which Constantina, daughter of Constantine and Fausta began over her tomb from 337-350 and the small round Basilica of Constantia (Constantine’s daughter).

There was an acrostic inscription from that time in verses about the dedication of the temple to Agnes:

Constantina deum venerans Christoque dicata
Omnibus impensis devota mente paratis
Numine divino multum Christoque iuvante
Sacravit templum victricis virginis Agnes…

You get the idea.

The Basilica of St. Agnes was reconstructed towards the end of the 5th c. by Pope Symmachus (+514). Honorius I (+638) rebuilt it as a basilica with three naves, adding a wonderful fresco of Agnes. It was worked on again in the 16th c. by St. Pius V and in the 19th by Bl. Pope Pius IX.

Excavations in 1901 uncovered the silver sarcophagus made by Pius V for St. Agnes together with St. Emerentiana.

It contained the headless body of a young girl.

Zadock gave us a photo of the miraculous protection of Bl. Pius IX when once at the Basilica there was a near disastrous cave-in/collapse and no one was injured.

While Agnes’s body is in her tomb on the Via Nomentana, her skull is now at the place of her supposed martyrdom at the Piazza Navona in Rome’s heart. It is a fitting place to venerate a saint so much in the heart of the Roman people even today. It is not unusual for people today to name their children Agnes in honor of this great virgin martyr, whose name is pronounced in the Roman Canon.

The skull was bequeathed to that church at the Piazza by Pope Leo XIII who took it from the treasury of the Sancta Sanctorum.

The Piazza itself was in ancient times the Stadium of Domitian (+96) a place of terror and blood for early Christians, far more than the Colloseum ever was. The Piazza is thus called also the “Circo Agonale” and the name of the saint’s church Sant’Agnese in Agone. “Navona” is a corruption of “Agonale”, from Greek agon referring to the athletic contests of the ancient world. St. Paul used the athlete’s struggle as an image of the Christian life of suffering, perseverance, and final victory even through the shedding of blood. Early Christian tombs often have wavy lines carved on the front, representing an metal instrument called a strigil, used by athletes to scrape dirt and oil from the bodies after contests. Victory palm branches are still used in the iconography of saints, as well as wreathes of laurels.

We know about St. Agnes from St. Jerome, and especially St. Augustine’s Sermons 273, 286 and 354. St. Ambrose wrote about Agnes in de virginibus 1,2,5-9 written in 377 as did Prudentius in Hymn 14 of the Peristephanon written in 405.

Ambrose has a wonderful hymn about Agnes (no. 8), used now in the Roman Church for Lauds and Vespers of her feast. The Ambrosian account differs somewhat from others. For Ambrose, Agnes died from beheading. Prudentius has her first exposed to shame in a brothel and then beheaded.

Here is the text of the hymn from the Liturgia horarum for the “Office of Readings” with a brutally literal translation.

Igne divini radians amoris
corporis sexum superavit Agnes,
et super carnem potuere carnis
claustra pudicae.

Shining with the fire of divine love
Agnes overcame the gender of her body,
and the undefiled enclosures of the flesh
prevailed over flesh.

Spiritum celsae capiunt cohortes
candidum, caeli super astra tollunt;
iungitur Sponsi thalamis pudica
sponsa beatis.

The heavenly host took up her brilliant white spirit,
and the heavens lifted it above the stars;
the chaste bride is united to the
blessed bride chambers of the Spouse.

Virgo, nunc nostrae miserere sortis
et, tuum quisquis celebrat tropaeum,
impetret sibi veniam reatus
atque salutem.

O virgin, now have pity on our lot,
and, whoever celebrates your victory day,
let him earnestly pray for forgiveness of guilt
and salvation for himself.

Redde pacatum populo precanti
principem caeli dominumque terrae
donet ut pacem pius et quietae
tempora vitae.

Give back to this praying people
the Prince of heaven and Lord of the earth,
that he, merciful, may grant us peace
and times of tranquil living.

Laudibus mitem celebremus Agnum,
casta quem sponsum sibi legit Agnes,
astra qui caeli moderatur atque
cuncta gubernat. Amen.

Let us celebrate with praises the gentle Lamb,
whom chaste Agnes binds to herself as Spouse,
he who governs the stars of heaven
and guides all things. Amen.

We can note a couple things from this prayer. First, the reference to fire probably a description of Agnes’s death related in a metrical panegyric of Pope Damasus about how Agnes endured martyrdom by fire. On the other hand, St. Ambrose, when speaking of her death, speaks of martyrdom by the sword.

Pope St. Damasus composed a panegyric, an elogia, inscribed in gorgeous letters on marble (designed and executed by Dionysius Philocalus) in honor of Roman saints, including Agnes.  This was the period when the Roman shifted from Greek to Latin.  Damasus was also trying to make a social statement with these great inscriptions, set up at various places about the City.   The panegyic of St. Agnes was placed in the cemetery near the saint’s tomb, but through the ages it was lost. Amazingly, it was at last rediscovered in 1728 inside the basilica, whole and complete: it had been used as a paving stone!  Fortunately, upside down!  Its rediscovery was a find of vast importance.

Now it is affixed to the wall in the corridor descending to the narthex.

damasus inscription agnes


It is told that one day the holy parents recounted that Agnes, when the trumpet had sounded its sad tunes, suddenly left the lap of her nurse while still a little girl and willingly trod upon the rage and the threats of the cruel tyrant. Though he desired to burn the noble body in the flames, with her little forces she overcame immense fear and, gave her loosened hair to cover her naked limbs, lest mortal eye might see the temple of the Lord. O one worthy of my veneration, holy glory of modesty, I pray you, O illustrious martyr, deign to give ear to the prayers of Damasus.

Damasus used the sources available. There were the stories told by her parents, the 4th edict of Diocletian against Christians in 304 (lugubres cantus tuba concrepuisset). Agnes did what she did of her own free will (sponte). Note the reference to the body as temple of God (1 Cor 3:16 and 2 Cor 6:16).

St. Agnes of Rome, has two grand churches in Rome.  She has two feast days in the traditional Roman calendar.

Since the reform of the calendar, Agnes now has only one day, alas.

Ask Agnes to intercede with God for a return of sanity to the Roman Church.

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OLDIE PODCAzT 127: The Eve of St. Agnes and a Bleak Midwinter

As a favor to a friend, I’ll repost this old podcast.  It is the Eve of the Feast of St. Agnes, which of course reminds us of the famous poem by Keats.

I, fan of poetry that I am, read out Keat’s poem, 42 Spencerian stanzas.  It is torrid and lush, with marvelous moments and imagery, imbued with the revival of romantic, courtly love which was coming back into vogue in the early 19th century.

The poem takes inspiration from a superstition, which I explain in an introduction.

The Eve of St Agnes would inspire the Pre-Raphaelites, as a matter of fact.

Speaking of Pre-Raphaelites, one of their circle, was Christina Rossetti, a poet in her own right.

Christina Rossetti wrote a poem which later was made into a Christmas carol: In the Bleak Midwinter.  We are still within the Christmas cycle until Candlemas.


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A diocese smells the coffee: starts planning for decline of the Novus Ordo and growth of the TLM

A sink hole.

That’s the image I use most frequently right now for what is going to happen to the Church in the near future.

A demographic sink hole is about to open up under the Church in these USA and elsewhere.   Younger people are in large part “nones”, that is, professing no religion.  They will inevitably stop even pretending to identify with the religion of their parents.  As senior, seasoned Catholics pass to their reward, their monetary contributions will be lost.  The children who will inherit or who are building their own fortunes are not going to contribute.  We are faced also with the sink hole opening up beneath the priesthood, too.

The numbers are going to drop big time, both at the altar and in the pews.

What are we going to do with our churches and other buildings?

Some dioceses are starting to think inside the box labelled “T”.

However, a group that is steadily growing are those who want Tradition.   The TLM is growing.

A friend of mine used to say provocatively that one day the Novus Ordo would disappear and only the TLM would remain.  I didn’t buy that at the time.  These days, I’m not so sure.

Frankly, as I have written before, I think that when the sink hole opens two groups will remain strong and vibrant: evangelical converts and charismatics and, on the other hand, traditionalists.   Eventually these two groups will move closer and closer together and start to cross pollinate.  As a matter of fact, I think that it is already happening.

There will be some tentions in that contact, but the results will prove to be amazing.  I might see them in my life, but… who knows?  Motus in finem velocior.

So, I – who am President of the Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison – am pretty chuffed by a Tweet I spotted today in my feed.  Take a look.

In some places churches are being entrusted to traditional groups.  Those churches are being saved from closure and loss.

Traditional sacred worship and traditional preaching with strong dedication to works of mercy.

Watch what happens!

We have to think inside the box again.

This merits some discussion and ideas.


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Posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism, Our Catholic Identity, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , | 32 Comments

ASK FATHER: Glass chalices…. again?

From a reader…


I read about a parish using invalid hosts made from several varieties of grain. I have been to a mass recently where a glass chalice was used (as a matter of fact, with a simple blessing, the new chalice was “inaugurated”).
I always thought and what I found in internet was that the chalice must be made from noble materials and of course may not absorb the wine. Glass does not react or absorb. But is it considered a noble material?

Thanks for the question.

Various opinion might be given about the “nobility” of glass.  Certainly glass can be beautiful.  Also, materials that are called “glass” can be really really tough, such that even if dropped they would not shatter, whereas a metal chalice might dent.

That’s all beside the point.

The document Redemptionis Sacramentum clearly states that glass is not to be used.

3. Sacred Vessels

[117.] Sacred vessels for containing the Body and Blood of the Lord must be made in strict conformity with the norms of tradition and of the liturgical books. [Cf. Missale Romanum, Institutio Generalis, nn. 327-333.] The Bishops’ Conferences have the faculty to decide whether it is appropriate, once their decisions have been given the recognitio by the Apostolic See, for sacred vessels to be made of other solid materials as well. It is strictly required, however, that such materials be truly noble in the common estimation within a given region, [Cf. ibidem, n. 332] so that honour will be given to the Lord by their use, and all risk of diminishing the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species in the eyes of the faithful will be avoided. Reprobated, therefore, is any practice of using for the celebration of Mass common vessels, or others lacking in quality, or devoid of all artistic merit or which are mere containers, as also other vessels made from glass, earthenware, clay, or other materials that break easily. This norm is to be applied even as regards metals and other materials that easily rust or deteriorate. [Cf. ibidem, n. 332; Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments,, Instruction, Inaestimabile donum, n. 16: AAS 72 (1980) p. 338.]

A key word here is reprobated.  This is a technical term meaning that it is abolished, or forbidden in such a complete way that no one can appeal to custom (‘but I’ve been doing this for years now!”) nor can anyone try to establish a custom by violating the law over a long period of time.

In other words…. NO GLASS CHALICES.

But WAIT!  There’s MORE!

It seem that the USCCB (the Conference, mentioned above) has allowed that other materials can be used, provided that they do not break easily and that the material is suitable for sacred use.

Firstly, it seems to me that the sacred “idiom” should be protected.  What do I mean?

For example, in music, when you hear a pipe organ, you generally think of church. Gregorian chant does the same, whereas a brass band does not.  Once upon a time the early trombone was used in sacred music.  Only later was it employed in secular music.    The same goes for architecture.  Although this escapes a lot of people today, churches look one way, and municipal airports another.  Things used for sacred worship have a certain appearance while things for daily use have another.  That, I think, applies to chalices for Mass.  We should avoid chalices that look like they are meant for drinking beer or sipping brandy.

So, once again, we are in a situation where in the post-Conciliar context we lack clarity about what can be done and what can’t.

Finally, however, it seems to me that, while a metal chalice will dent, it won’t shatter or crack into pieces.  Unless the glass is actually as tough as that stuff 600 times stronger than stainless steel made from superheated powdered iron and sintered with a spark-plasma process and subjected to electric current under 1000 atmospheres of pressure, or maybe even the amazing “Prince Rupert’s Drops” or Scotty’s transparent aluminum, we shouldn’t even think for a nanosecond about using it.

Are those noble materials?  They are impressive, for sure.  They’re not noble.


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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

A few things of interest: TLM pilgrimage opp, new book, against pendulums, and Warhol the hack

A couple of notes…

First, this sounds good.  Someday I too would like to visit Poland.

A pilgrimage to Lithuania and Poland, with daily celebration of the TLM, is being planned from May 4-16, 2020, under the spiritual guidance of Fr. Neil J. Roy, STL, PhD. Highlights include visits to Vilnius, Gdansk, Torun, Warsaw, Czestochowa, Cracow (the Divine Mercy Shrine and the Convent of St. Faustina), and Wadowice (birthplace of St. John Paul II) among other sites. The cost, including taxes and tips, is CAN 3,640 – 3,420, the lower price contingent on enrolling more than 30 participants. The pilgrimage begins and concludes in Toronto. The deadline for registration is February 4. At least 25 participants are needed by then to make the pilgrimage work. Contact the tour coordinator, Pearl Tam (pearltam@rogers.com) for information.

This looks interesting.

New, from the excellent Sophia Press.

A Year With Fr. Rutler


Also, have a glance at Brad Miner’s column today at The Catholic Thing entitled “The Other End Of Nowhere”.  It grabs you from the start.

One of the traps that libs seem constantly to fall into is that human beings are constantly evolving as a race.  In the Church this takes the form of particular liturgical abuses and patent arrogance, especially in regard to the Blessed Sacrament.  Mr. Miner gets into the weeds of NYC politics (what a mess that is) and into the circus that is the presidential election cycle.  However, his point from the onset is good: “The Enlightenment gave us various forms of Progressivism, which amount, in sum, to the patent idiocy that things are always getting better. They’re not. I may be one of the few who doesn’t believe in pendulum swings.”

Give it a read.

Also, at the always valuable CrisisMichael Warren Davis has a piece about Andy Warhol.  A really interesting figure, not well understood.   And his work is seriously over rated.  I just don’t get why people think it is art at all.  This line is a good indication of where he goes: “He may have been a Christian—but so, too, were the Vandals and the Goths.”


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Posted in SESSIUNCULA, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Your Sunday Sermon Notes – 2nd Sunday – 2020

Was there a good point made in the sermon you heard at the Mass that fulfilled your Sunday Obligation? What was it?

There are a lot of people who don’t get many good points in the sermons they must endure.

I did not have a parish Mass today.

If I had, what might I have said?

Today the Lord changes water to wine, intervening at a wedding at the request of His Mother.  It is the Lord’s first public miracle.  It underscores the Lord’s identity at the Bridegroom, for it was the responsibility of the groom to provide wine.

It also foreshadows that He is going to die, given his reference to “His hour” in the context of a banquet in which there will be superabundant wine.

It also points to the role that Mary has in Christ’s ongoing ministry: the Mother of the King is a powerful intercessor.

The Church has associated three moments as revelations of Christ’s divinity, the changing of water to wine goes with the voice from heaven at His baptism and also the adoration of the Magi.  These are all clumped around Epiphany.

Ancient Jewish brides used to wear crowns that looked like the city walls of Jerusalem and the groom dressed in garments like a priest’s vestments. I might have then circled back to the nuptial imagery, and spoken about the mystery of unveiling and perhaps also the role of the worshiper at Mass at one who participates, yes, in the Sacrifice, but also in the wedding of the Bridegroom, Christ, with the New Jerusalem:celebration.  This has implications for our participation at every Holy Mass.

A couple thoughts off the top of my head.

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Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 6 Comments

Wherein Fr. Z is moved to pray to martyred nuns, newly discovered, about something that happened today. – UPDATED

UPDATE 20 Jan 2020

I received this nice note today:

I cannot tell you why you were drawn to our martyred sisters, but I can tell you this: The order suddenly has an influx of vocations and discerners particularly in Ghana, Poland, the Philippines, and the USA. One of them is me. [Hurray!] At least two of us in our pre-novitiate formation (stateside) have found ourselves here to our own great surprise, feeling sure that the call of Christ led us to this order, but not knowing why.

I read your post on our sisters, and immediately went to the chapel where we have a little reliquary for Bl. M. Stella and Comps. I particularly brought prayers for you and your intentions both to the martyrs and our foundress.

Pray for us. I pray for you.
Bl. M. Stella and Comps., pray for us
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, protect us.

Do hear an “Amen!”?

Perhaps on a future visit to Chicago, I’ll stop and visit that chapel, if permitted.

___ Originally Published on: Jan 18, 2020

I am moved to post this.

It is as if I was dragged for some reason back to my keyboard tonight, after having tried to turn in. A couple of clicks – you know how one thing leads to another – and suddenly I was staring at exactly what I knew I was supposed to be looking at, something I had not know about.

A striking image of nuns being martyred at the hands of soldiers by an open grave.

Blessed M. Stella and her Ten Companions, the The Martyrs of Nowogrodek, in Nazi occupied Poland in 1943.  Now Belarus.  They were beatified by St. Pope John Paul II in 2000.  They were Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth.

Their story is powerful. Wiki HERE, more HERE. These sisters had heard that Jews in the village had been taken to be killed. They prayed and offered themselves to God in exchange. The Jews were sent to work camps. The Gestapo then went for the local priest. Again the sisters prayed, saying, “There is a greater need for a priest on this earth than for us. We pray that God will take us in his place, if sacrifice of life is needed.”

Their prayers were answered.

How very small I felt as I read that.

One of the sisters survived, at the command of her superior, in lay guise.   She found her sister’s grave and marked a tree.  Years later she was free to tell her story.    HERE

I just learned that there is a house of those sisters not too far to the south of me, in Des Plaines, IL (Chicago).  They look at bit modernized, alas.   Alas, they are LCWR members.  I hope that they will be blessed with some young vocations who have traditional religious aspirations and longevity.

Why, I wonder, was I dragged to learn of these beautiful martyrs tonight, of all nights, the Martyrs of Nowogrodek?

I will, tonight at least, ask these blessed sisters to intercede before God for that #UniteTheClans idea that Michael Matt had some time ago, and which I fully endorsed and desire, even as I see an attack on myself on Twitter from one of the very people I pray will relent.

My day began by writing on that initiative.  So, I suppose I should round out my day with that same thought, but hand it over, for tonight, to the Eleven Martyred Sisters of Nowogrodek.  I am minded of the Sixteen Carmelites of Compiègne martyred in 1794.  “Mother, permission to die?”  The Terror ended right after their martyrdom.

During his sermon for the beatification of the Eleven, John Paul II said: “Where did these women find the strength to give themselves in exchange for the lives of imprisoned residents of Nowogródek? From where did they draw the courage to accept calmly the death sentence that was so cruel and unjust?” HERE

Our battle for the Church in these troubled time, The Present Crisis, has to be fought on many levels.

What might not be wrought through the intercession of these Eleven Sisters?

The artwork for the Beatification image painted by Jerzy Kumala (1998).

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Posted in Modern Martyrs, Saints: Stories & Symbols, Women Religious | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

A note of thanks. Mass for Benefactors.

Today I received a very much needed item from my wish list. There was no slip in it to indicate who sent it!  Therefore, I will send out a public note of thanks.

Also, because tomorrow I don’t have a Mass at the parish, I will say Mass for my benefactors, which includes all of you who have donated and all of you who have sent items from my wish list.

It is an honor and duty to pray for benefactors and to remember also their own intentions when they are indicated.

Another note of thanks is due to those who belong to the Seven Sisters Apostolate who have prayed for me as well.  I can’t tell you what it means to me.

Please consider, if this blog is useful to you, signing up to send a monthly donation.  I could use a boost in this matter, given the last year.   In any event, please remember me in your prayers.

Some options

For a one time donation…

Donate with PayPal

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Remember #UniteTheClans ? Wherein Fr. Z rants.


From a friend:

My German friend who attended today told me that De Mattei wanted it kept quiet as he was afraid Marx would step in and shut it down. Apparently the state and Marx work closely together.

It seems to me that that in itself would have been newsworthy.

____ Originally Published on: Jan 18, 2020

This morning my phone starts ringing from a German number.

An old friend had heard that there was going to be a protest in Munich with recitation of the Rosary against the German bishops and their nutty synodal process.  Rather like what was done in Rome before the rigged October Pachamama Synod (“walking together”).  That was Acies Ordinata.

My friend would have gladly gone to Munich to participate but he had no advance warning that it was going to take place.  He heard also that there would be a presser afterwards. He was willing and eager to go to it, even if he missed the protest.

I reached out to get some information for him, BUT, I as learned, it was sort of a secret demonstration.

A secret demonstration?

A press conference afterwards?  By whom and for whom?

I’m afraid it was merely for each other, for the people who were on the inside, in the know.

Just as I write, I see that Ed Pentin is posting on Twitter about the protest at presser.  Archbp. Viganò showed up in his FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE in a long time. 

Pentin also wrote at the National Catholic Register after the fact.

Gee whiz.  I would have liked to be there for that, to lend support.

What I am afraid that we have here, my friends, on the traditional side of things, is a self-licking ice cream cone.

And not even a well packed ice cream cone.

While looking for information on the protest in Munich by Acies Ordinata I found this.

I love that… 18 Gennaio and January 28… and it’s “It’s time for clarity and coherence!”

Problem: not only is the date screwed up, but nowhere on that single page site do you find the PLACE and the TIME of the protest.

What were they worried about?  Thugs from the German Bishops Conference?

Was it secret because Archbp. Viganò was going to be there and they were worried that someone from the Holy See might try to stick him with a radioactive needle.

Actually, that’s not outside the realm of possibility.

I now see, just now, as I refresh that screen, that the banner has been changed to a photo from that protest in front of the Theatinerkirche.

I see John Henry Weston of LifeSite.  No advance news of this on LifeSite.

I see Robert de Mattei.  Nothing on the Lepanto site.

I see the young Austrian idol thrower, Alexander Tschugguel.  Nothing at his Boniface Institute page.

I see Michael Matt.  There is a post, posted today, the day of the protest, at The Remnant.  It says…

 Representatives of the many different Catholic action groups around the world will unite in Munich, Germany today in a peaceful demonstration of silent but prayerful protest against the German Bishops’ Conference “synodal way”.

Oh really?   Many different action groups?  Who would they be?  Do they have some sort of secret handshake or decoder ring so that only they know what’s going to happen, lest anyone who doesn’t share the code might participate?  Is there a “black list”?  Are they using encrypted comms so that word doesn’t get out?  Is there some sort of purity pedigree you have to pass?

It seems to me that if you want real action, you don’t do things on the sly.

Look, I think all these people are terrific. They are dedicated Catholics.  They see that things aren’t going well.  They want to do something.

I don’t think that the self-licking ice cream cone approach is the most effective.

Things are obviously not going well in the Church.  Because our Lord underwent His Passion, the Church also must undergo her own time of torment and upheaval.  I maintain that God, who disposes all things, gave us a magnificent honor to live in these troubled times.

Because of that great gift from Our Lord, to be called into existence at this time in the history of salvation, we have to roll up our sleeves and do our part even as God showers graces on us.  The harder the times, the greater the graces.  What an honor.

Think of the honor God gave to the Jews who, with a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other, worked together under Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.  And their enemies were not as spiritually dangerous as our are today.

May I return to a theme I’ve punched at for years?

What is it about traditional and conservative Catholics that makes them atomize themselves into small groups that won’t cooperate with each other?  We obviously see some cooperation among this little group of groups in Munich.

A few months ago, the same Michael Matt of The Remnant put out a call to UNITE THE CLANS.   A great idea then.  A better ideal now.   However, it’s ironic that his post at The Remnant was called also Mission Impossible.

When Michael Matt called to Unite The Clans I was right there.  HERE

In that post, Michael wrote:

What we’ve got here are two old war horses who’ve not always seen eye-to-eye on everything over the past 25 years, but who nevertheless know Devils when we see them. Unite the clans with Father Z? You bet!  I’m proud to stand together with him against the demons attempting to destroy our beloved Church.

So when not even I have a clue something is going on, I wonder how committed they really are.

The last time that the hashtag #UniteTheClans was used on Twitter was 24 November of last year.

Meanwhile, catholic libs set aside small differences, create fronts, and roll over everyone in their path.

Why don’t Catholics work together?

It seems to me that many on our side of the spectrum are so dedicated to protecting their little wrinkle of turf that they are afraid of the success of others.

Someone is going to have to emerge as a good leader with a good vision and leadership skill to do some uniting.  It’ll have to be a layperson, I think.  As Fulton Sheen said:

“Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops.”

Let’s think of this in terms of strategy.

  • What are the threats to the Church?  Concretely?
  • What the enemies’ centers of gravity?
  • What are the measures we have to take to overcome?
  • How do we destroy, neutralize or coopt their centers of gravity?

None of that is going to happen without united action and concrete work.

Realistically… ask yourself…

  • What are we going to do if they actually start ordaining married men or women as deacons?
  • How far is too far to be pushed?  How much nonsense is enough?


  • Who are the people who will lead in the future?
  • What do I, personally, have to give up in order to make the mission work?
  • What do certain organizations have to give up in order to cooperate with others?
  • How can I help?
  • Am I complacent in what I now have?
  • Is my ego in the way of our collective success?

It tears at my heart daily to see what is going on in the Church.

Once again, I ask that people on the more conservative and traditional side of things do an examination of conscience, set aside smaller differences, and start repairing the walls together.

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Posted in ACTION ITEM!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | Tagged | 56 Comments

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST for a young priest diagnosed with ALS – #padresfight

I have sad news.

Fr.  Dana Christensen, a priest of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, who comments here frequently, has been diagnosed to be in the initial stages of  amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”.   There is no cure for this degenerative disease that affects motor neurons which control voluntary muscles.

Fr. Christensen wrote to ask me about practicalities of saying Mass when it will eventually become hard to swallow, speak, and use his arms and hands.   My Jesus, mercy!

He wrote to me:

I am personally at peace with this, although I have my moments.  I am convinced that this is a mysterious gift from God through the hands of Our Lady of Fatima to bring me to salvation and entrust me with the mission to live my priesthood in a new way.  The way of the cross that Jesus is inviting me to walk will not be easy, but He and His holy Mother Mary will uphold me.  I continue to do my best to surrender myself to Jesus knowing that He will take care of everything.

I ask all of you to pray for a miraculous healing through the intercession of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen using the following prayer.

Eternal Father, You alone grant us every blessing in Heaven and on earth, through the redemptive mission of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and by the working of the Holy Spirit. If it be according to Your Will, glorify Your servant, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, by granting the favor I now request through his prayerful intercession (mention your request here – [the swift, complete and lasting healing of Fr. Christensen’s ALS]).  I make this prayer confidently through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Dear readers, Fr. Christensen has asked that you pray for miraculous healing through the intercession of Fulton Sheen.

What inevitably happens next is that people, well-meaning of course, then post comments like: “I’ll pray for you especially to St. Ugthred and St. Wilibrod, my favorite saints.”  To which I respond, “Thanks!  But would you please pray to Fulton Sheen, like Fr. C asked?”  And then get back, “Okay! And St. Joan the Astonishing, too!”   Which brings the next volley: “Please just ask Fulton Sheen?”  Which results in, “Okay, and Jesus and Mary and all the Saints!”

At which point I pound my head against the desk.

For a miracle to be useful for a cause, there must be a way to substantiate that prayers for intercession were raised that THAT PARTICULAR Venerable or Blessed.   If the cause hears that virtually everyone is being evoked, it becomes less likely that the miracle will be helpful for the cause.

Get it?

Fulton Sheen.

Finally, have a look


He has a goal posted of 500.  Be sure to look at the back when you go there.




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Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, PRAYER REQUEST, Urgent Prayer Requests | Tagged , , , | 37 Comments