Pure joy: Enjoying the fruits of Benedict’s Marshall Plan!

I received word from a close friend, the great Roman, Fabrizio Azzola, who also helps staff the COL Forum, that his latest child, wisely named “John”, has been baptized, the first child to be so brought into the firm embrace of Holy ROMAN Church at the new traditional parish Ss. Tirnità dei Pelegrini.

I am therefore, on this beautiful feast, at the end of a glorious day, out on the deck with Penjing who is enjoying with me a fine glass of Johnny Walker Black Label, in honor of the new Christian of course, and a good cigar, sent me by the same praiseworthy Fabrizio.  Pengjing and I are having a fine Macanudo Diplomat, slightely torpedo shaped, a good double maduro.

Pengjing tends to smoke very deliberately.

The birds are chirruiping enthusiastically.  The Chickadee Contingent is vociferous.  As am able to quite accurately whistle chicakdeese, they are continuously thrppp thrpping up to the deck to find out what is going on.

However, there is a massive storm coming, I am telephonically informed by a dear friend.  Wind and lots of hated hail.  I am sure we will all be dead by morning.   It has been a  good ride.

Bye all!

In any event, here is Fabrizio’s great news.  This is his own English:


Please join me in thanking Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother for the wonderful Baptism of our fourth child. Our Lady is celebrated both in the old and new liturgical calendar with many important feasts and commemorations and devotions on this day. We know she was there.

With the names of John Paul, Expeditus, Pius, Mary our son was baptized today in the wonderful Church of the Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini in Rome, a typical church of the Counterreformation (Most Holy Trinity of Pilgrims, go figure, I actually looked for my ban-button in the sacristy! :P ). Why was that so special? I mean, beside the immense grace of Baptism which Our Lord came to institute to reopen the gates of Heaven at the cost of his sorrowful Passion and Death? Because as usual, God loves to exceed our expectations with superabundant graces and consolations:

Our son was the very first child to be baptized in the “personal parish” entrusted to FSSP in Rome by the will of the Holy Father following Summorum Pontificum. His name will be forever the first in the parish records, and if by the mercy of God I am saved, I will enjoy watching historians form Heaven as they discuss the history of the “reform of the reform” when it will have displayed all its effects. We are now the first family to belong to the parish that will have the important task of renewing the continuity of traditional parish life and liturgy in the very heart of Christianity! The celebrant was the Reverend Father Joseph Kramer FSSP, the pastor, who seemed just as happy as we were. God bless the FSSP.

But our greatest consolation came for the relatives and friends we had invited
. While only some of them were familiar with the traditional liturgy, all wanted to thank us personally for the wonderful discovery they had made, even those who’d come afraid of having to attend something weird and boring. One friend, not a traditionalist liturgy-wise, had the best comment of all: “I had no idea an old ritual could speak to the mind and the heart so powerfully, that’s something the people can feel as their own! So simple and yet so solemn!”. I was (almost) in tears. Of course I had given some brief explanations before and prepared a booklet with the Ordo Baptismi Parvulorum, but all were struck by the visible meaning of the actions perfomed and many (other consolation) told me that it was evident that those were not just “symbols”, but effective actions actually doing what was being said, especially the struggle with the devil and the repetition of acts performed by Jesus Christ in the Gospel to heal the suffering and free the possessed.

The fact that all felt edified, even those who don’t normally practice our faith was of enormous importance to us, second only to the fact that our baby is now incorporated to Christ and in a way that places him in the history of the post-conciliar madness and recovery.

Then there was the light and frugal Italian reception. All noticed that the children outnumbered the adults (our friends tend to ignore Malthusian prejudices). We drank, we sang, we laughed, smoked cigars, talked babies, sports, politics and history, all prayed for the Holy Father. Since the good fight never stops, we invited also a couple of friends who are responsible for a charity that helps families with terminally ill newborns and did some fundraising. It was a wonderfulday of May, in the old calendar, the feast of Mary’s Queenship. It was all so sweet, so Catholic. We are so blessed.

Someone took pictures, I hope they are good enough to post.

Praise God and pray for Pope Benedict!

I want the photos and soon!

I think this is simply wonderful.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Classic Posts, My View, SESSIUNCULA and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. I remember Fabrizio from my COL days. Congrats, Fabrizio – to you, your wife where, through God’s grace, you are entrusted with yet another precious soul.

  2. ThomasB says:

    BLACK LABEL? Fr., we simply have to do something about that!

  3. ThomasB: With donations using the donation button, I would happily upgrade. This is what I can do at the moment.

    Send suggestions, however.

  4. Father V. says:

    How about Royal Salute?

  5. Dan Hunter says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf,
    What are your feelings on Irish whiskeys, specifically “Blackbush” by Bushmills?

  6. Guy Power says:

    Fr. Z says, Send suggestions, however.

    Talisker — a single malt brewed on the Isle of Skye. Nice, mellow, peaty flavor. I lived at Ardvassar the summer of 1978 and that is where I was introduced to it.

    Wiki states: “…Both Johnnie Walker and Drambuie (a liqueur, not a whisky) use Talisker as a component of their blended drinks; its presence is most notable in Walker’s Green Label 15 Year Old Pure Malt…..” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talisker

    The article states that the flavor is “salty”/spicy, and that it might be a challenge. I thought it was quite tasty.


  7. prof. basto says:

    Congratulations, Fabrizio!


    Glad to see that even those who don’t normally practice our Faith were edified. That is what was to be expected. In my experience, many Catholics who don’t practice their Faith are just people in doubt, that need a little “stimulus” from the Church herself. And the fact that the Church seems to have changed, abandoned her past, makes them question their beliefs, or at least stop practicing the Faith. Now, when the Church employs authentic Liturgy, and effective cathechesis (and the traditional Liturgy is rich in cathechesis regarding the essentials of our Faith often overlooked nowadays — the struggle against evil, the sacrifice of Christ, etc), then those people find a new confidence, remember old values, and become practicing Catholics again. No one wants to practice a wattered down religion. But when you give people the real thing…


    Black label is not bad, but with a cigar a single malt would be much better.

  8. Dan: What are your feelings on Irish whiskeys, specifically “Blackbush” by Bushmills?

    Well… Irish goes down rather hot. But I do like Bushmill Blackbush. Excellent stuff. I think also they make a single.

    Walker makes a single too, Green Label. Very good, even if blended.

  9. Guy: I really like these big peat laden offerings, I am a fan of Laphroaig.

  10. Mark M says:

    Wonderful news! :)

  11. lmgilbert says:

    The anti-puritanism here is breathtaking. Whatever happened to ecumenism?

    Bread and water on Fridays would be a nice offset and a splendid gesture. We have a baker here who makes a nice garlic parmesan loaf. For water I would recommend anything from the Cambrian Ordovician aquifer system. Chilled is best.

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Sometimes you guys are totally hilarious.

  12. Limbo says:

    We are indeed truly blessed, Praise God for these wonderful times.

  13. Father, I can bear this no longer. A man who appreciates Laphroaig should never be reduced to Black Label. To those of us with Scots blood it is as great a blasphemy as liturgical dance and giant muppets in the sanctuary.

    I have made use of the donation button to dispel this emanation of the smoke of Satan. Please avail yourself of a decent Cardhu, Blair Athol or Edradour. I trust you not to add water.

    Have a drink on me to celebrate the baptism of your namesake.

  14. Appalled Scotswoman: I thank you for the donation you have dedicated to my acquisition of the properly smoky distillation, sure to dispel Satan’s smoke. The sum you clicked and zoomed to me won’t cover the cost of the bottle – Satan and American taxes have both seen to that – but along with the penultimate and the proximate, I will hie myself to procure the same. Many thanks!

  15. frobuaidhe says:

    Anti-puritanism is good. Catholicism is into feasting and fasting both.

    Oh, and thank God for any community where the children outnumber the adults.

  16. Guy Power says:

    Fr. Z,

    A propos … The “Bread of Life” meets “Water of Life”. Uisgebeatha is Scots Gaelic for “water of life” and is the etymological root of “whisky” (uisge=water).


  17. frobuaidhe says:


    “Slangevar!” Is that an anglicised, “Sláinte mhath!” or similar? My knowledge of the Scottish branch of Gaeldom is limited.

  18. Guy Power says:

    Halò a Fr. Obuaidhe,

    Ciamar a tha sibh, a Athair? Yes, slangevar is the anglization of sláinte mhath, much like “jock and doris” is for deoch an dorus. Wouldn’t it be mean for parents to name their son and daughter “Jock” and “Doris”? :^D

    Isn’t the “buaidhe” in your name the Gaelic for victory?

    Mar sin leibh,

    n.b., … and that’s about all the Gaelic I remember from Skye so please do not inundate me :)

  19. frobuaidhe says:

    victory? : Tá tú ceart go deimhin! Ach níl fhios agam cén buadach a bhí ann.

    Sorry, just looked up and saw your remark about not inundating etc – think before posting and all that…

    The name refers to a victor rather than a victory, but well spotted! Odd thing is, only two people (you are the second) have spotted that, and both are acquainted with Scottish Gaelic. Irish people tend to think (in my experience) that it’s some kind of a pre-spelling reform version of yellow(haired).

    Don’t know about Jock and Doris, but there was a dog in Gaoth Dobhair called ‘Goitse’ = ‘Come here!”

    Beannacht Dé ort, a Ghuy, agus coinnigh an chreideamh!

  20. Larry says:

    Good grief! I know things are better with the folks in Belfast; but, you could at least mention Jameson or Redbreast. In their aged reditions they are quite smooth. Oban is a wonderful tonic from that other Isle. Any are great with a good cigar and I don’t think abyone will dispute the quality of that Macanudo. Perhaps if the wind is strong enough from your storm Father I may catch a whiff of it down here where smoke is just simply out of the question. I’m surprised they haven’t outlawed incense in the church here.

  21. Larry: I know Jameson, Bushmill, and Powers, but not Redbreast. Redbreast would probably be welcomed here at the Sabine Farm by the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak and the Red-Bellied Woodpecker. Isn’t there a cider called Woodpecker? Anyway, I am unfamiliar.

  22. CK says:

    What? For such a pure occasion one chooses burnt whiskey over the purity of bourbon?

    Or, if you wish to salute the “godfather” try scotch mixed with Amaretto and ice. It’s an old drink called the godfather.

  23. Mairead says:

    I don’t think you can beat a 12 year old Glenlivet

  24. Tom says:

    Too much ice, Father.

  25. Aaron Sanders says:

    My son John Paul was *also* baptized this past Saturday, the Queenship of the BVM, in the traditional rite. Who would have thought there could be two such brilliant families in synch with each other half the world apart, baptizing their John Pauls on the same day?

  26. Tom: I tend to drink my blended scotch fairly cold. Mea minima culpa.

  27. Jason says:


    First, congrats to your friend on the baptism of his child! I was mad God-father back in April and the priest used the Traditional Latin baptism; I was blown away at the differences in the ceremony. the Traditional form REALLY puts the emphasis on the God-parents (particularly the God-Father, gulp). Why did they strip out all of that symbolism!

    Next, I’m actually surprised. Smoking a CIGAR! What about your carbon footprint, what about the ozone?! and this on a popular blog! Oh the horror! I’m a pipe man myself ;-), but to each….

    I’ve been searching for a drink that compliments my evening smoke, so I think I’ll have to try all of your suggestions (not at the same time of course).

  28. Father, you must try a bottle of Laphroaig 10yr Cask Strength, I underscore “cask strength”, scotch. It is around $60 a bottle, here in Oregon, but well worth every penny.

  29. Jesse: The donation button is on the left side bar! o{]:¬)

Comments are closed.