Celebrating Holy Relics and St. Charles Borromeo

My friend Fr. Jeff Moore is in Switzerland, at the Collegio Papio in Ascona.

The place was established by St. Charles Borromeo.

He celebrated the Feast of Holy Relics in a way the saint would have easily recognized.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. PMcGrath says:

    Let’s not forget that St. Charles was Pope John Paul II’s patron saint. (Karol = Charles).

  2. Father Totton says:

    Why is there a hand missal sitting on the Gospel side of the altar?

  3. Fr. Totton: I am guessing… guessing… that hand missal serves for the priest to read the readings in Italian after the Gospel. This is at a side altar, as is common in old churches. There is no ambo.

    I suppose the book could have been left on the communion rail. It is true that we should avoid putting extraneous things on the mensa. However, let us not make the perfect the enemy of the good and squint at this.

  4. don Jeffry says:

    Because I put it there after the readings that I read to my students in Italian. Remember, it is a Missal too and especially the book from which I read the Gospel. don Jeffry

  5. Joe says:

    The other person standing in the Sanctuary; would he be required to be in an alb of some sort if he is serving the Mass?
    I presume those are reliquaries on either side of the cross: are the relics of St Charles?

  6. Dr. Eric says:

    Didn’t St. Charles celebrate the Ambrosian Rite?

  7. Oh dear, this is why traditionalists are sometimes treated with suspicion or outright hostility. Father leaves a Missal on the mensa, a man in the sanctuary has no robes…completely missing the glorious point that a priest in communion with Rome is celebrating a Tridentine Mass on the Feast of Holy Relics in 2008, when according to the dreams of a Bugnini this was never supposed to happen.

  8. Cerimoniere says:

    He’d be required to be in a cassock and cotta; but only if they were available. If not, it is preferred that there be a server in lay dress than no server at all. There are all sorts of circumstances which could make this necessary.

    We’re now in a situation where some people assisting at the traditional liturgy on any given occasion are probably only just beginning to get used to it. Masses will often happen in rather improvised circumstances. This is something to be thankful for! It is a sign of the growth we so badly need. Those of us who see things to improve and correct in the way things are being done need to do so tactfully, gradually, and at the right moment.

  9. Cerimoniere says:

    Dr. Eric: of course he did, after he became Archbishop of Milan, but that doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t have “easily recognized” Mass in the Roman Rite!

    Dr. Fratantuono: precisely.

  10. ALL: C’mon. Relax.

    This is the sort of entry I happily post because it is such a good piece of news with a great photo.

    Then somehow it gets side-tracked.

    I don’t think there was anything snarky in the question as to why there was a handmissal on the altar. I took that as a fair question without reading anything into it.

    Don’t assume that questions are challenges.

    Consider that you are seeing a priest (one who was recently ordained, btw) celebrate Mass in a reverent manner with the older missal in a place where St. Charles Borromeo once trod.

    Brick by brick, folks.

  11. Derik says:

    Dear Fr Z.

    Brick by brick. I recognize the importance of this piece of news. A guy like me gets easily distracted by an altar server not folding his hands. I commend Fr. Jeff Moore for getting his students involved in the EF. I suppose things can only improve with time.


  12. Derik: A guy like me gets easily distracted by an altar server not folding his hands.

    You are not alone. BOY are you not alone!

    As I have written and preached often, when we forget that Holy Mass is a glimpse through the “cleft in the rock”, we miss the point. Conversely, worship must clear the way to the rock through which we are asked to peer. Therefore, it should be done properly: Say The Black, Do The Red.

    That said, let us not make the perfect into the enemy of the good.

  13. don Jeffry says:

    It took the death of a grandfather of the girlfriend of one of my students to be the occasion which spurred these students to go to Mass. The occasion was right for them to participate and I proposed. The server had never served before and he was nervous about making a mistake but he was happy to do it. [We must be careful when jumping in with observations. Sometime the circumstances, unknown, are very compelling.] The students were happy that this happened. I had just had a short evening prayer service for my students before the Mass and I had explained to them about the martyrs St. Moritz and the Theban Legion (perhaps a thousand) and how they had been killed at Agaune, what is now St. Maurice in the French speaking part of Switzerland. I showed about 40 students the relics and showed them the book of the church, the \”Martirologio Romano\” and explained the many thousands of Christians who had given their life because not only was Christ worth living for, he was also worth dying for. I explained to them about the Christian massacres in India, Iraq still today and they asked me if I would die for Christ. [Is this the paradigm of a “teachable moment”?] With the grace of Christ! As for the TLM… they had never even heard of a TLM much less be enthusiastic about listening to all the Latin. A couple of them had studied a bit but there was not even an time to prepare them except for the prayers at the foot of the altar. They participated and were happy. The chasubles that I wear, I had to go out and find them because our polyester is not the best if you get my point. I am laying my bricks the best I can!

    Cardinal Borromeo was Cardinal Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Milan and parts of what is now Ticino in Switzerland and there are both Roman and Ambrosian rite parishes in both the Milan Archdiocese and the Diocese of Lugano. My church is the only one that I know of that is both rites. I was told that when the Bishop of Como (Roman) visited the our church, Santa Maria Misericordia, he had to stop at the halfway point so as not to intrude into the Ambrosian area where he was not the authority. The Cardinal was, of course, the bishop and had all rights both Roman and Ambrosian.
    In Cristo, don Jeffry

    [Here are some additional photos, with the relics Fr. Moore mentions.]

  14. Maureen says:

    St. Maurice, the other great soldier saint of the Middle Ages! He needs more press, because he is cool. :)

    Thank you for posting these interesting pictures. Nitpicking is part of the basic nature of the Internet.

  15. Ohio Annie says:

    And here I thought San Moritz was the patron saint of skiing!

    Such an interesting post. Yes, some people want perfection. We are not perfect. I know because I am one of the most imperfect and get impatient with myself.

    I love relics and the communion of saints. I love being Catholic. Maybe some day I will get brave and go to a TLM.

    Those students sound wonderful.

  16. Father Totton says:

    Okay, Okay, it was only a “lob” to see how many would jump on the comment. I am in agreement that far too often, folks will always find something to complain about – they’d complain if we hung them with a new rope! I was just playing devil’s advocate, and I apologize. For those who wish I’d get my “come-uppance” you may assist at the Sung Requiem here tomorrow, then barrage me afterwards with what I did wrong!

  17. Father Totton says:

    And Don Jeffry, God love you for laying bricks. I am most impressed with your students.

  18. don Jeffry says:

    Father Totton, Thank you very much! God bless you and your ministry. don Jeffry

  19. don Jeffry says:

    Joe: “are the relics of St Charles?” Only the biretta. Actually, the relics are extremely old because the parish is extremely old and was very important due to its location at the top of Lago Maggiore. The one (in the 2nd pic) is a part of a cranium of St. Victoria (not researched by me) and the other longer bone is St. Vitalis, who died with Agricolae in an excruciating martyrdom. The longer bone is St. Fruttuoso. don Jeffry

  20. Momma Moore says:

    I am so proud of my brick layer! Love, Mom

  21. don Jeffry says:

    Care to see a deathmask of St. Charles Borromeo? There are only two that exist; one in Milan and one in Ticino, Switzerland.


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