@BishopZubik announces traditional practices for @DioPitt

Bp. Morlino, in his 27 August Statement, asked the faithful of the Diocese of Madison to observe the Ember Days as times of reparation for the sins that brought on The Present Crisis.  HERE

I read at LifeSite that Bp. Zubik of Pittsburgh, which has suffered dreadfully and while was a focus of the PA AG Report, has asked the faithful of that Diocese also to observe the Ember Days.

I am hopeful that this course of events, a return to traditions and devotions that work and that have a track record, will bear fruit.

Pittsburgh bishop revives traditional devotions in response to abuse crisis

PITTSBURGH, September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Traditional devotions that have all but vanished from the majority of Catholic parishes will be revived in one prominent American diocese on account of the abuse crisis.

Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh has announced a “Year of Repentance” in his diocese that will begin on Sunday, September 23, 2018. Zubik has asked all clergy to fast and pray for the purification of the Church “in light of the scandal of sex abuse.”

In service of this fasting and prayer, the bishop has instructed the priests to observe the twelve Ember days of the coming year by abstaining from meat and praying before the Blessed Sacrament for an hour on those days.


Tradition works.

When Benedict XVI wrote to the Irish people, after their world fell apart, he recommended a return to traditional devotions.

May he was on to something?

It is interesting how the Ember Days have been dusted off.

Oh yes… there’s more:

In addition, the Bishop of Pittsburgh has asked his priests to consider leading the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel after all Masses, a devotional practice established in 1884 and discontinued in most parishes after the Second Vatican Council. Two or three other American bishops have recently requested its return.

Rather than creep up to it, why not just institute the Leonine Prayers, the whole thing?

Still, Fr. Z kudos.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Ms. M-S says:

    “Stand by the roads, and look
    and ask for the ancient paths,
    where the good way is; and walk in it,
    and find rest for your souls.”
    What’s true is still true. What has always worked still works. How hard is that to grasp?
    Hurrah for Bishop Zubik!

  2. Carmelite2 says:

    @BishopZubik announces traditional practices for @DioPitt
    He’s very good at moving the attention to where he wants it. Sound familiar?
    As for tradition and Bishop Zubic; he forbids the Traditional Latin Mass, except for ONE place in the diocese, he forbids Mass being celebrated Ad Orientum, any priest with traditional leanings such as wearing a cassock and/or promoting Communion on the tongue is placed either in limbo or as a nursing home chaplain. Or they are sent to St.Luke’s to be rehabilitated.
    Plus he is currently closing tons of churches and forbidding any extra Masses so that one Mass per Sunday will be the norm.

  3. Bellarmino Vianney says:

    I agree with what is written above – especially the suggestion to pray the St. Michael the Archangel prayer after every Mass.

    I’m surprised, though, that Archbishop Zubik did not mention the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Maybe he did in the full article.

    On a side note, Fr. Z., what is up with your choice of “artwork” at the top of your web page? As I type this, there is an image of an “angel” in a ballerina pose which has all the appearances of a transgender. The “artwork” is profane. It is likely gravely sinful as well.

    I am aware of the fact that angels have no gender. However, they most often are described fully clothed and in white. Call me mean-spirited all you want, but such profanity has no place in the Church, even if it is famous.

    Perhaps one could even apply the Golden Rule here as well: if you were an angel, would you want to be depicted as a transgender in an effeminate ballerina pose?

    [Your ignorance can be forgiven, though your approach to the topic is less acceptable, since the question is a vague accusation of something that I find distasteful and insulting. That image is a detail of a fresco in a gallery of the Vatican Library. The gallery was restored by Pope Leo XIII in 1883-7. Leo commissioned the German artist Ludwig Seitz (+1908) to do the frescoes. The subject of this particular fresco presents an allegory (i.e., the figures are symbols). The background in monochrome shows deck to deck and hand to hand combat in the Battle of Lepanto. The foreground in polychrome shows a Winged Victory (a commonplace since ancient Greece – cf. the Louvre and the Winged Victory of Samothrace). Victory, a palm of victory in one hand, gives a Rosary to a knight in armor, kneeling, with a battle standard which seems to show the papal tiara and keys. The knight is probably the personification of the Church Militant, rather than of Juan of Austria. Above them, framed, is the inscription in Latin of a text from an encyclical of Leo XIII about the Rosary, which I have on that same masthead. I suppose you would also object to the ballerina ribbon tied in a bow at the knees of the knight. Right? You may send a note of apology by email. For now, you are on moderation by default.]

    Click for larger.

  4. MrsMacD says:

    @Bellarmino Vianney traditionally angels are represented as men that are as beautiful as women because they are the most beautiful beings, which is represented by women and they have the manly character to provide and protect. It’s a representation that may not work in our crazy culture. That said I do prefer when St. Michael is represented as a strong man like in this picture of a statue in Mexico https://stmarkcatholicchurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/St-Michael-statue.jpg

  5. Shonkin says:

    On the subject of androgynous religious art, it seems deeply wrong that Saint John the Evangelist is depicted as a sissy boy in most paintings. I think that may have had its start during the Renaissance.

  6. Kathleen10 says:

    Shonkin, you have hit on something that always has creeped me out. I would love an explanation of St. John and why was he the disciple “Jesus loved”, and why is he depicted as a woman or an effeminate. I’ve never understood this.

    There is an image called “The Watcher”, with an angel by a child’s bedside. It’s incredible, that image of the angel. Wouldn’t we all love to have that angel by our side, and it makes one discouraged, frankly, to see the mistreatment children get. Where were their angels.

  7. Kathleen10 says:

    Oh, forgot the original point. The Prayer to St. Michael needs to be ordered, not suggested. Come on Bishops! We need you to have some fire in your belly!

  8. Kathleen10 says:

    Whoa! My apologies, the print I mentioned is “Watchers in the Night”, not the Watchers.
    The Watchers is a demonic, scary looking weird thing. Good grief.

  9. PetersBarque says:

    This is a good step in the right direction; however, I am not going to get too excited about this because reviving practices and traditions alone will not be enough to expose and eradicate deep seated issues within the Church, which is protected by a culture of secrecy. If the Church does not take concrete steps to be morally transparent and financially accountable to the Body of Christ, the issues giving rise to the current crisis will continue to either fester or morph into something else. In PA, the Grand Jury investigation went back 70 years, well before the good old days prior to Vatican II.

  10. hwriggles4 says:

    A few weeks ago, Bishop Caggiano from the Diocese of Bridgeport (CT) announced that his parishes were to return to reciting the St. Michael’s Prayer after Mass, starting this weekend.

    Personally, I didn’t start doing this myself until just a few years ago. I remember seeing a large family at our parish reciting this prayer together after Mass, and would like to see this more. I go to daily Mass once in a while, and I have witnessed a priest reciting this prayer, but I think it would be a good idea to say this prayer after Sunday Mass. Thanks to some good bishops for the emphasis.

  11. Joy65 says:

    Our Parish has been saying the Saint Michael Prayer after Mass (weekdays & weekends) for a very long time. I’m glad we do that. We all need St. Michael’s protection

  12. youngcatholicgirl says:

    Bishop Zubik also invited the Institute of Christ the King to his diocese; they will be “taking over” a parish next month.

  13. CalvinistConvert says:

    not sure i understand “Year of Repentance”….can one repent for a sin they did not commit? unless of course Bishop Zubik is implying all the clergy are guilty of sex abuse/cover up
    why not Year of Penance ? or Year of Reparation?

  14. Suburbanbanshee says:

    St. John the Evangelist is traditionally portrayed as a young good-looking man, because when he was first an apostle, he was young and good-looking. The long hair is traditional too, and implies youthful pre-manhood in Greek paintings and icons. (When you became a man, you got a haircut.)

    Now, that said, his symbol as an Evangelist is either a man or an angel, and his biographical facts make him out to be a mystic. So yeah, he is probably portrayed as somewhat angelic in features.

  15. LeeGilbert says:

    My mother, who had a great education from the Dominicans, attributed both the vocations crisis and the abuse crisis to our failure to keep the ember days. She had been taught that the ember days were instituted precisely to obtain vocations and grace for priests to live good lives.

    When I research this, I cannot find support for this view, but whatever the reason for their institution, at this point I doubt that many Catholics would be opposed to their being re-purposed precisely for the increase of vocations to the priesthood and that priests live holy lives.

    We need to put this on something other than an ad hoc basis, and work it or something like it into our liturgical life. Maybe Pope Leo XIV will take this up.

  16. Fr. Kelly says:

    When I arrived in my current parish 7 years ago, they had the custom of the priest returning to the center of the nave after the recessional hymn and kneeling along with the whole congregation to lead the St. Michael Pryaer.

    Once Obama Care passed and with it came the threat of a requirement on all to pay for abortifacient contraceptive in their Health care plans, the USCCB put out a call for all Catholics to pray for Religious Freedom. That was the year when the Fortnight for Freedom was started. I heard of a number of pastors composing such a prayer to pray after Mass.

    I figured that rather than make up something new, we should expand our prayer after Mass to the full version of the Leonine Prayers. The Collect “O God our refuge and our strength….” petitions “for the conversion of sinners and the liberty and exaltation of our Holy Mother, The Church.”

    We have prayed the Leonine prayers after Mass ever since.

  17. Therese says:

    MrsMacD, you might enjoy this older entry from the Badger Catholic blog about the lovely St. Mary’s Oratory in Wausau, WI, that houses my favorite stature of St. Michael.


    You’ll have to page down a bit to see the image, but all the photos are worth a look. The right hand of the Archangel wields a truly fearsome sword; in his left are golden scales for weighing souls. You must see it in person to get the full effect. Astounding beauty and ferocious masculinity.

  18. excalibur says:

    God bless Bishop Zubik. We should all contact him and than him for this. I also see that he has invited the Institute of Christ the King to take over a parish. Each journey begins with the first step.

  19. oldCatholigirl says:

    Besides the Thursday night vigils from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., our pastor just announced that we’d be doing the whole set of prayers (3 Hail Marys….) after every Mass , even the Sunday High EF for the restoration of the Church. We have the NO on Monday & Tuesday mornings and Wednesday evening; the EF on Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings (Low Mass); the NO on Saturday evening and Sunday morning; and the EF at noon on Sundays (High Mass). We also say a prayer to St. Philip Neri after all but the Sunday High Mass, because we are an Oratory in formation.

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