Today I have often thought of the late, great “Extraordinary Ordinary”, Bp. Robert Morlino, Bishop of Madison, who died in November 2018.

After Summorum Pontificum Bp. Morlino embraced the Church’s traditional liturgical worship and responded to requests with fatherly generosity to his flock, giving them bread and not stones, fish and not serpents (cf. Matthew 7).  He asked his seminarians to learn to celebrate the TLM even if they didn’t think they would use it: he knew that it was important for them to know it.  They responded well and the number of TLMs in Madison grew, cum serena pace.  custo

It is not just because Morlino was the “Extraordinary Ordinary” that he came to mind today.  As is happens, perhaps because he was originally from Scranton where the National Shrine of St. Ann is located, that he had a strong devotion to St Ann.

Tomorrow 17 July through 26 July, Ann’s feast day in both traditional and post-Conciliar calendars, we can pray a NOVENA to the grandmother of God.

Here is one novena prayer to St Ann.  There are others.  Pray it (or others) every day from 17 through 26 July.   You will have your own petitions as I have mine.

I especially will ask St Ann to soften the hearts of all those who will now be involved with the implementation of Traditionis custodes  I will ask Ann to “guard the guards”.

Say this each day.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Glorious St. Anne, we think of you as filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer. Heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present affair which I commend to you under your special protection  

(Mention your intention here…) 

Deign to commend it to your daughter, our Blessed Lady and lay it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy conclusion. Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted. Above all, obtain for me the grace of one day beholding my God face to face.  With you and Mary and all the saints, may I praise and bless Him for all eternity. Amen. Good St Anne, mother of her who is our life, our sweetness and our hope, pray for me.

Say 1: Our Father…
Say 1: Hail Mary…
Say 1: Glory Be…

Who will join me in this Novena?



I suspect quite a few people will need to go after today.

By the way, an exorcist friend of mine said that, shortly after Bp. Morlino’s death, he use Morlino’s name on a demon.  The demon went bananas in fury.   I’m pretty sure, especially as Bp. Morlino, a good man, was anointed and given the Apostolic Pardon at two times during his decline into death.  I think we have in him an intercessor in heaven.

He would like this novena.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I dug this up prayer from Bp. Morlino earlier today after a long while. I probably got it from your web site. It seems VERY appropriate.

    Daily Prayer for Priests

    O Almighty Eternal God, look upon the face of Thy Christ, and for the love of Him who is the Eternal High Priest, have pity on Thy priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the bishop’s hands. Keep them close to Thee, lest the Enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation.

    O Jesus, I pray Thee for Thy faithful and fervent priests; for Thy unfaithful and tepid priests; for Thy priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for Thy tempted priests; for Thy lonely and desolate priests; for Thy young priests; for Thy aged priests; for Thy sick priests, for Thy dying priests; for the souls of Thy priests in Purgatory.

    But above all I commend to Thee the priests dearest to me; the priest who baptized me; the priests who absolved me from my sins; the priests at whose Masses I assisted, and who gave me Thy Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who taught and instructed me, or helped and encouraged me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way, particularly N. O Jesus, keep them all close to Thy Heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen.

    +Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison, 6 September 2018

  2. KateriK says:

    Dear Father,
    Salve, Pater!
    Please count us in!
    Also, thank you for your guidance during these tough times. The inspiration you’ve imparted is to be calm, charitable and also joyful in the face of the current evil.
    God reward you!

  3. LT Brass Bancroft says:

    I’ll be saying “Ghost” instead of “Spirit”, but I’ll do it!

  4. APX says:

    Thank you for this. As a single lady, I was looking for a novena to St. Ann that was a little bit more noble than, “St. Ann! St. Ann! Send me a man as fast as you can!”(Apparently this “novena” was popular in the 50s).

  5. G1j says:

    Good morning,
    I will add this to my daily prayers for the next 9 days. Started a novena to St. James (Greater) yesterday as well. Thanks for being a voice of reason within the Church. JMJ Pray For Us

  6. beelady says:

    Count me in!
    Thank you for this excellent, practical suggestion!

  7. dahveed says:

    Father, although I’ve never done well with novenas in the past, this one is more dear to me than all the rest, by virtue of its intention. I will pray this the next nine days. May Our Lord keep us all close to His Sacred Heart. Thank you for all you do, Father.

  8. Jack in NH says:

    We’re in Father! And I think the “guard the guards” intention is perfectly fitting & exactly what we’ll do.
    God Bless you, Fr. Z!

  9. Philliesgirl says:

    By the time I read this I had already said day 1 of the Novena to St Anne (I spell her name with an e because it’s my sister’s name and she always went bananas when the e was missed off!) I had my own intention, of course and I hadn’t included our current woes but I will add that from now on. After I heard the news I just kept saying ‘Jesus I trust in You’. There didn’t seem to be anything else to say but I think I’m still struggling with meaning it.

  10. Ryguy says:

    Thank you Father! Count me in on prayer this novena!

  11. Suburbanbanshee says:


  12. Chris in Maryland 2 says:

    Father Z:

    I have just prayed. Day 1 if the Novena to St. Anne, and joined to that Bishop Morlino’s Daily Prayer for Priests.

    Thank you for always striving for faithfulness and intelligence and candor.

    And may the Holy Spirit strengthen you in his mighty and sanctifying power.

    And remember this, from The Everlasting Man, whose eternal words go out, and never return until his will is done: “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

    Semper Fidelis…

  13. RosaryRose says:


  14. Semper Gumby says:

    “we can pray a NOVENA to the grandmother of God.”

    Sterling idea Fr. Z. I’m in.

    “After Summorum Pontificum Bp. Morlino embraced the Church’s traditional liturgical worship and responded to requests with fatherly generosity to his flock, giving them bread and not stones, fish and not serpents (cf. Matthew 7).”

    Now that is how a shepherd carries out the Plan of the Day.

    “By the way, an exorcist friend of mine said that, shortly after Bp. Morlino’s death, he use Morlino’s name on a demon. The demon went bananas in fury.”

    Excellent. Fire for Effect.

  15. Kathleen10 says:

    APX, lol! We’re in, Fr. Z. Thank you.

  16. Skeinster says:

    Will do, as she is my and my eldest daughter’s patroness.

    The lovely prayer for priests used by Bp. Morlino was actually composed by the late Ignatius Cdl. Kung, a priest who knew a lot about suffering…

    [While it is true that Card. Kung knew suffering, and while it is true that Bp. Morlino did not write the prayers in question, Card. Kung didn’t write it either.]

  17. Tessmhall says:

    Thank you, dear Fr. Z, for your wise and holy counsel. St. Anne, mother of the Mother of our Lord, “guard the guards” and pray for us.

  18. Discipula says:

    I’ll gladly join you in the novena to St. Anne.

    Bp. Morlino cast a long shadow here in Kalamazoo (his one time home). I never had the privilege of meeting him in person though. Not surprised to hear that he is so “popular” with the demons. That story gave me a chuckle.

  19. Of course, being on the lay board running St Anne Shrine in Fall River MA (which our gracious host has written about from time to time), we are livestreaming our Novena, Mass, and exposition/benediction in honor of our patroness (as we have for 149 years continuously) every evening 7/17-25 starting at 6PM, with the festival Mass, celebrated by our ordinary on the evening of the 26th.

    FB page is “St. Anne Shrine of Fall River”. (hope it’s ok to post that). Please join us in this most beautiful celebration!

  20. IaninEngland says:

    I routinely hear Mass at S. Anne’s Chapel, so our priest asked us last Sunday to say a novena to S. Anne for the Patronal Festival. Started it this morning; daily reminders from (if I have it right) praymorenovenas dot com.

  21. prayfatima says:

    We will join, thank you.

  22. Brendan McGrath says:

    As a Catholic, I tend to be fairly liberal, though also fairly traditional in many ways too, and even though I’ve never been to a celebration of the extraordinary form of the Mass, I’d love to go to one sometime. But even apart from that, I really think this was a mistake on Pope Francis’s part, and completely unnecessary. I mean, it’s a MASS — what’s wrong with having a diversity of ways to celebrate it? And while it’s true that people who prefer it can often link it to all sorts of other beliefs, attitudes, etc., it doesn’t HAVE to be that way. I mean, in theory, one could prefer the extraordinary form of the Mass, while still being in favor of all sorts of liberal causes, etc.

    Also, as a Theology teacher in a Catholic high school, I tend to look at things through that lens — and I have to say… I mean, so many Catholic kids these days are SO distant and alienated from the Church, SO lacking in knowledge of basic things about Catholicism, Scripture, etc., so disengaged, with families that rarely go to Mass, that… I mean, if, for one of our monthly Masses in the auditorium, we did Mass in the extraordinary form, and said, “Today we’re doing an older form of the Mass, and it’s in Latin, so you won’t understand a lot of it, but here’s a paper with a translation if you want to follow along,” I think most of the kids would be like, “Oh, OK.” And they simply wouldn’t care or find anything strange about it, or even know what was significant about it. Most (or at least many) of them are bored or zoning out during Mass anyway; they’d either be bored and zoning out with the extraordinary form too, or perhaps intrigued just by the variety. They actually might find it more interesting just due to the novelty (I know I would). And yet for some reason, it seems like many bishops still seem to think there’s something so unthinkable or dangerous about having a diversity of Masses. I mean, do they think it would turn off young people? What turns off most young people is usually the Church’s teachings regarding sexuality — a more “modern” liturgy isn’t going to solve that.

    Rightly or wrongly — and this isn’t meant to argue for a change in Church teaching on sexuality; it’s simply a fact — I can think of a number of my students, in particular many girls, who, if the Church were to “liberalize” its teachings on sexual issues, start ordaining women, etc., they would, quite likely, start identifying as Catholics again with great joy, and would be perfectly happy going to a Traditional Latin Mass; in fact, they might even enjoy it more than the ordinary form. In other words, given the choice between, say, a Church that doesn’t ordain women and has the ordinary form, vs. a Church that ordains women and has the extraordinary form, with the most over-the-top, ostentatious displays of Baroque ceremony you can imagine, they would choose the second every time.

    So, why the preoccupation with stopping the extraordinary form? It just seems to me that there are so many things that are far, far more important and urgent — I mean, we’re hemorrhaging young people, and Pope Francis and the bishops are worried about people going to the extraordinary form of the Mass? Why not just be glad that they’re going to Mass at all? “Oh, it’s creating divisions between those who go to the ordinary form and those who go to the extraordinary form.” Well then, why not just make the extraordinary form more widespread, so that more “average” Catholics will end up going to it, simply because it’s the Mass that happens to be at the time they want to go? Heck, if unity on something like this is so important, why not just go back to the extraordinary form ENTIRELY, and bring about unity THAT way? Really, most young people probably would not care — it’s not the liturgy that drives them away. Or at least, it’s not the way Mass is currently said that’s keeping them in the Church.

    Also, if they say it’s “creating divisions” — part of me wants to say, “who cares?” I mean, really, for the average, ordinary Catholic, does it really make a difference? Are they even aware of any divisions? Even for me, as a theology teacher, I never sense any divisions over this issue. Among whom are these divisions occurring, and whom are they affecting? The divisions might be affecting priests and bishops, but are they really affecting average people? The division that Pope Francis should be worried about, at least when it comes to countries like the U.S., is the division between Catholics and former Catholics.

  23. IaninEngland says:

    @ Mr McGrath
    I’m not so sure that PF is being totally honest in saying he wants to stop the creation of division. It seems that this document is divisive per se.
    As you say, the evidence of division among Catholics is somewhat lacking. One man saying “I go to the TLM” and the next saying “I go to NO” in a parish is rather like saying “I go to the 9 o’clock” or “… to the 10:30 High Mass”; not really a division at all. Diversity of worship, though, is not the point.
    What I believe is happening is that this is an attempt (?initial onslaught) to rid themselves of the TLM, which focuses of God and on worshipping Him, in order to replace it with a liturgy focused on man and on worshipping him. The TLM is more obvioulsy God-centred, while the NO, to be frank, is wishy-washy at best, second-rate. What does God deserve? Second-rate? No, He warrants the best we can give Him.
    Now, as to your point about ordaining women and so on: This is precisely the sort of thing Satan desires; compromise with the world and its fair- and noble-sounding ideals. This is not what God requires. Think about it. Had Jesus compromised with the world (the Jewish authorities, the Roman Governor, the majority of the population of Jerusalem at the time), then He might possibly have avoided His death on the Cross. The bad news is that He would not then have saved us from or sins. Still, I hear you cry, at least He would have lived to a ripe old age. No, God requires that there be no compromise with the world, no matter how fair and noble its ideas appear.

  24. Sandy says:

    I’m praying the novena to St. Anne; yes, Anne with an e, for my patron Saint!

  25. KateD says:

    Jeg er den tjuefemte personen!

    Sorry, we are watching Tye Thirteenth Warrior…

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