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Friday, December 26, 2008
Pledge against Indecent and Immoral Motion Pictures
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The American bishops at a meeting in Washington in 1938 requested all Ordinaries to have the Pledge of the Legion of Decency taken by all the Faithful at all Masses, in all churches and chapels throughout the United States, on the Sunday within the octave of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

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In the Name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost.
Amen

I condemn indecent and immoral motion pictures and television programs, and those which glorify crime or criminals. I promise to unite my efforts with all those who protest against them.

I acknowledge my obligation to form a right conscience about films and television programs that are dangerous to my moral life.

As a true Roman Catholic, I pledge myself to watch only good motion pictures and television programs. I promise, further, to stay away altogether from places of amusement and sources of entertainment which are offensive to God and occasions of sin for myself and others for whom I am responsible.

Source: Half the Kingdom


Further Reading: Vigilanti Cura: Encyclical of Pope Pius XI promulgated on June 29, 1936.
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Good King Wenceslas
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In honor of the Feast of St. Stephen.

St. Stephen, ora pro nobis!
St. Wenceslas I, ora pro nobis!
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Thursday, December 25, 2008
Christmas 2008 Urbi et Orbi
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This year, The Holy Father will not wear cope and mitre for the Urbi et Orbi blessing

To forestall any rash comments, this is not without precedent, as may be seen from the accompanying picture of Pius XII imparing the Urbi et Orbi blessing on Easter 1952. The choice would seem to be connected to the fact that the Pope does not publicly celebrate the Missa in die, and is therefore not vested prior to the blessing. Msgr. Marini explains that it is "a solemn benediction which is not connected to a particular liturgical rite."

Source: NLM
Text:

"The grace of God our Saviour has appeared to all" (Tit 2:11, Vulg.)

Dear brothers and sisters, in the words of the Apostle Paul, I once more joyfully proclaim Christ’s Birth. Today "the grace of God our Saviour" has truly "appeared to all"!

It appeared! This is what the Church celebrates today. The grace of God, rich in goodness and love, is no longer hidden. It "appeared", it was manifested in the flesh, it showed its face. Where? In Bethlehem. When? Under Caesar Augustus, during the first census, which the Evangelist Luke also mentions. And who is the One who reveals it? A newborn Child, the Son of the Virgin Mary. In him the grace of God our Saviour has appeared. And so that Child is called Jehoshua, Jesus, which means: "God saves".

The grace of God has appeared. That is why Christmas is a feast of light. Not like the full daylight which illumines everything, but a glimmer beginning in the night and spreading out from a precise point in the universe: from the stable of Bethlehem, where the divine Child was born. Indeed, he is the light itself, which begins to radiate, as portrayed in so many paintings of the Nativity. He is the light whose appearance breaks through the gloom, dispels the darkness and enables us to understand the meaning and the value of our own lives and of all history. Every Christmas crib is a simple yet eloquent invitation to open our hearts and minds to the mystery of life. It is an encounter with the immortal Life which became mortal in the mystic scene of the Nativity: a scene which we can admire here too, in this Square, as in countless churches and chapels throughout the world, and in every house where the name of Jesus is adored.

Continue Reading

Image Source 1: REUTERS/Osservatore Romano
Image Source 2: Wikipedia
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Extraordinary Form Instructional DVD for Priests by the FSSP
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Message from John Mallon
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John Mallon is trying to assemble an email list of Blogs in the English speaking world, especially in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. He is currently working as Contributing Editor for Inside the Vatican magazine, doing media relations for Human Life International, and assisting at the Envoy Institute in a promotional capacity. He has two degrees in theology and frequently has items of interest to Catholic Bloggers worldwide. With 25 years of experience in the Catholic Press, he has found that major secular outlets are often closed to these messages. If you have or know of Blogs that would be interested in receiving press releases and other pertinent materials for your Blogs, he would very much appreciate getting a mailing list of these blogs for this purpose. This is not spam. Anyone not wishing to receive these materials will be removed from the list immediately upon request. Catholic Blogs are absolutely critical for spreading credible information on the Church. This mailing list could serve as a News Agency supplying news and other information to Catholic Blogs.

It is absolutely maddening trying to harvest emails off of Blogs, where people won't post their emails. He is only interested in people who want to receive these messages, not bothering anyone.

For more on John Mallon please visit his website at: http://johnmallon.net

Please let me know if you can help.

Thanks & God bless you,

John Mallon

Email: johnmallon@mac.com

Editor note: the Website is no longer available.
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Sunday, November 16, 2008
In the Sight of the Angels
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Dear friends,

It is with great pleasure that I can announce a new liturgical blog, "In the Sight of Angels". This blog hopes to focus on the liturgical year, taking Dom Prosper Guéranger, and his magnum opus "The Liturgical Year" as its inspiration.

Named after a remark of the self-same Guéranger, "In Sight of Angels" hopes to offer material for the major feastdays of the Roman calendar, as well as insights from Dom Guéranger and other authors on the liturgical year. We hope to describe the liturgy of the Catholic Church throughout the liturgical year, including the Mass and the Divine Office. It is also hoped to feature biographies of saints and their liturgies on their feast days. (The blog will use the liturgical calendar of 1962 as its basis, though may, at times, comment on later developments.)

Posting proper will commence on Advent Sunday (Sunday 30 November), with posts being made 24 hours, or thereabouts, in advance to account for time zone differences. Until then we will feature a précis of the General Preface to "The Liturgical Year" and some other short pieces. After that date, there will be posts for all 1st and 2nd class feasts; the Collect will be given in both Latin and English and relevant links, commentaries, and other materials.

The blog can be accessed at the following Internet location:
http://sightofangels.blogspot.com/

As a minor collaborator and general gopher on this blog, I must crave your indulgence for any assumptions, errors and omissions, all of which will likely be mine. Your suggestions, comments, and continued prayers for this are ever welcome and sought. Please do not hesitate to pass this message on to those who will be interested, as well as emailing me if you spot any errors!

Best wishes, and God bless,
Mark

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Armistice Day: 90th Anniversary
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The Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month at the Eleventh Hour...

Before Omaha Beach, D-Day (June 1944)

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be

During World War I (1914 - 1918)

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,

Funeral Mass (Date Unknown)

A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers blest by the suns of home.

Mass on the Battlefield (Date Unknown)

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thought by England given;

Mass on the Battlefield (Date Unknown)

Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English Heaven

Source: "The Soldier" by Rupert Brooke (1887 - 1915)

Image Sources: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Senator John McCain (R - AZ) Concedes to Senator Barack Obama (D - IL)
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I did not anticipate Senator John McCain to defeat Senator Barack Obama for the Presidency, but I am still very disappointed in this turn of events. Taxes, Health Care, the War in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pro-life Issues, etc will all be adversely affected over the next four years. From this point forward, I will attempt to post on political issues in addition to religious issues.

But, I will continue to love my country. I will continue to echo the words of the McCain Campaign: "Country First". God help our nation!
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Election 2008: Social Issues
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A proposed ban on same-sex marriage in California — widely seen as the most momentous of the 153 ballot measures at stake nationwide — remained undecided early Wednesday.

The proposed constitutional amendment would limit marriage to heterosexual couples, the first time such a vote has taken place in state where gay unions are legal.

Sponsors of the ban declared victory early Wednesday, but the measure's opponents said too many votes remained uncounted for the race to be called.

Even without the wait, gay rights activists had a rough day Tuesday. Ban-gay-marriage amendments were approved in Arizona and Florida, and gay rights forces suffered a loss in Arkansas, where voters approved a measure banning unmarried couples from serving as adoptive or foster parents. Supporters made clear that gays and lesbians were their main target.

Elsewhere, voters in Colorado and South Dakota rejected measures that could have led to sweeping bans of abortion, and Washington became only the second state — after Oregon — to offer terminally ill people the option of physician-assisted suicide.

A first-of-its-kind measure in Colorado, which was defeated soundly, would have defined life as beginning at conception. Its opponents said the proposal could lead to the outlawing of some types of birth control as well as abortion.

In California, the night had started out optimistically for many who believed that a large Democrat-voter turnout would help defeat the state's proposed ban on same-sex marriage.

With 90 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday, the ban had 4,922,675 votes, or 52 percent, to 4,577,453 votes, or 48 percent, against.

Late absentee and provisional ballots meant as many as 3 million ballots were left to be counted after all precinct votes were tallied.

Similar bans had prevailed in 27 states before Tuesday's elections, but none were in California's situation — with thousands of gay couples already married following a state Supreme Court ruling in May.

Spending for and against the amendment reached $74 million, making it the most expensive social-issues campaign in U.S. history and the most expensive campaign this year outside the race for the White House.

Source: LISA LEFF, Associated Press Writer
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tridentine Mass at St. Rose of Lima in Kankakee, IL
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This past month the annual Tridentine Latin at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Kankakee, Illinois took place. The Mass is yearly celebrated by the Institute of the Christ the King Sovereign Priest and includes a Rosary Procession.

Attached are the parts of the pamphlet for the Mass.

If anyone is interested in the DVD of the Mass, please email me as I have a copy and can produce additional copies for those interested.
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Sunday, October 26, 2008
Proposition 17: Women to be Lectors!?
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From HallowedGround, illustrating the alarming presence of modernism still deep within the modern Church. This is completely antithetical to the Order of Lector.  St. Pius X, ora pro nobis!
Probably the most newsy — and somewhat unexpected — item in the final propositions of the Synod of Bishops on the Bible was a proposal to allow women to be officially installed in the ministry of lector.

The issue was raised in Proposition 17 on “The ministry of the word and women,” and on Saturday morning it passed with 191 votes in favor, 45 opposed and three abstentions, according to our sources***.CNS article

Isn’t that special? I cringe when I hear people speak of Modernism in the past tense, as if it was some early 20th century heresy that was crushed, vanquished, and we can now breathe easy. Nonsense. Modernism has the Church in a strangle hold, and is slowly squeezing the life out of Her as we watch. These men with itchy ears are running the Church, and are the instruments of destruction. You never know what they are going to do, they’re almost totally untrustworthy. Another abuse becomes the norm.

Source: Hallowedground

Shall we ever see a return to the minor orders?
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Sunday, October 12, 2008
Summorum Pontificum Is Being Used to Expose Conservative Seminarians so that They Can be Expelled
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Summorum Pontificum Is Being Used to Expose Conservative Seminarians so that They Can be Expelled From: The Fathers

Reports are coming in that Summorum Pontificum is being used by Newchurch bishops to ferret out conservative seminarians and expel them. The same technique was used with the "indult" of 1988. The seminarian thinks that he is protected by Benedict-Ratzinger's Apostolic Letter, but fails to recognize that the post-conciliar popes have given up their control of Newchurch and passed that authority down to the Newchurch bishops. Novus Ordo seminarians admitting to an interest in the "Motu" Mess are being kicked out of Novus Ordo seminaries. Loyalty to the Novus Ordo service is being used as a litmus test.

The current policy of the Newchurch bishops simply confirms the advice that the TRADITIO Network has given: no one considering himself Catholic should ever attend a Novus Ordo seminary. They are simply not Catholic, and, in the end, you will not even be ordained to offer Mass for the living and the dead, but only be "installed preside over the assembly" in the Novus Ordo Protestant fashion. It will be a waste of many years, and the seminarians won't even get a decent education out of it.

Source: http://www.traditio.com/comment/com0709.htm
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Thursday, October 9, 2008
50th Anniversary of Pope Pius XII's Death
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Pope Benedict XVI Recalls Apostolic Trip to France
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HOLY FATHER RECALLS HIS APOSTOLIC TRIP TO FRANCE VATICAN CITY, 17 SEP 2008 (VIS) - In today's general audience, which was held in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope spoke of his recent apostolic trip to France, which culminated in his pilgrimage to Lourdes for the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to St. Bernadette. The Church in France "has since the 2nd century played a vital civilising role", said the Holy Father, noting how, "in this context, the need developed for a healthy distinction between the political and religious spheres. ... True laicism", he went on, "does not mean overlooking the spiritual dimension, rather it means recognising that such a dimension is, in a radical way, the guarantor of our freedom and of the autonomy of earthly things, thanks to the dictates of creative Wisdom which human conscience knows how to accept and put into effect. "This was the perspective of my broad-ranging reflections on the theme of 'the origins of western theology and the roots of European culture', which I delivered at my meeting with the world of culture in a place chosen for its symbolic significance, the College des Bernardins". The starting point of that talk, Benedict XVI explained, was "a reflection upon monasticism, the aim of which was to seek God, 'quaerere Deum'". This practice, "by its nature, led monks to a culture of the word. ... In seeking God Who revealed Himself to us in Sacred Scripture, an important role was played by the physical sciences, which seek to investigate the secrets of language. Consequently, what developed in monasteries was the 'eruditio' which facilitated the formation of culture. Precisely for this reason 'quaerere Deum' - seeking God - is today, as it was yesterday, the foundation of all true culture".

The Pope recalled how he had encouraged priests, deacons, religious and seminarians "to give priority to listening to the divine word", while to young people "I consigned two treasures of Christian faith: the Holy Spirit and the Cross. The Spirit opens human intelligence to horizons larger than itself, and brings it to understand the beauty and the truth of God's love revealed on the Cross". During the Eucharistic celebration on the esplanade of Les Invalides, said the Pope, "I invited the faithful ... to seek the living God, Who showed us His true face in Jesus, present in the Eucharist, encouraging us to love our fellows just as He loved us". "In Lourdes", he went on, "I immediately joined thousands of faithful on the 'Jubilee Way'" and "participated in the traditional torchlight procession, which is such a stupendous expression of faith in God and of devotion to His Mother and ours. Lourdes really is a place of light, of prayer, of hope and of conversion, ... where pilgrims learn to see the crosses of their own lives in the light of the glorious Cross of Christ". The Pope highlighted the fact that "the first gesture Mary made when she appeared to Bernadette in the Grotto of Massabielle was the sign of the cross. ... That gesture encapsulates the entire message of Lourdes", he said. During the Mass for sick people, celebrated in front of the basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary on the liturgical feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, Benedict XVI recalled, "I meditated upon the tears Mary shed upon the Cross, and upon her smile which illuminated Easter morning". Having called on the faithful to render thanks to God for the fruits of this apostolic trip, the Holy Father affirmed that "in Lourdes the Holy Virgin invites everyone to consider the earth as the place of our pilgrimage towards our definitive homeland in heaven. The truth is we are all pilgrims, we need the Mother who guides us; and in Lourdes her smile invites us to continue our journey trusting in the knowledge that God is good, God is love".
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Friday, August 22, 2008
Rev. John Del Priore of St. Barnabas Parish in Mazomanie, Wisconsin
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This is an excerpt from an article in the Remnant. God bless and protect Rev. Fr. John Del Priore for abolishing the "altar girl" program at the parish. I encourage you to visit the article and send Fr. Del Priore a letter of support at this time.

On July 3, 2008, an obscure radical group calling itself "Women's Ordination Conference" (WOC) released a press release blasting the courageous decision of Rev. John Del Priore of St. Barnabas Parish in Mazomanie, Wisconsin to terminate the altar girl program as part of a larger measure to encourage vocations to the priesthood. Having been installed as pastor only one month before, Father Del Priore obviously wasn't wasting any time righting the ship.
Update (April 2009): I have written him a letter of support
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Catholic University of San Diego Nixes Feminist Professor
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SAN DIEGO, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The University of San Diego has withdrawn its offer of an endowed chair to a Catholic feminist scholar who supports abortion rights.

The announcement that Rosemary Radford Ruether had been appointed to the Monsignor John R. Portman Chair in Roman Catholic Theology was greeted with dismay by many Catholic and anti-abortion groups, the San Diego Union-Tribune said Wednesday. Ruether sits on the board of Catholics for a Free Choice.

University spokeswoman Patricia Gray Payton said that one person who did not object was the anonymous benefactor who endowed the chair.

"Her public position and the symbol of this chair are in direct conflict," Payton said. "This chair is a powerful, visible symbol of Roman Catholic theology, and in Roman Catholic theology abortion is disallowed."

The news that Ruether's appointment had been rescinded has created more controversy. Two Catholic women's groups have gathered 2,000 signatures on petitions asking the university to change its mind again.

Source: UPI
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Into Great Silence: Office of the Night
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I was recently given the opportunity to review "Into Great Silence: Office of the Night". The CD features the recording of the Monks of the Grande Chartreuse chanting the Sunday offices of Matins and Lauds. I tremendously enjoyed listening to this CD on Sunday mornings as I sat outside and watched the sun rise. As I listened to the beautiful chant, I prayed along with the monks with my Douay Rheims Bible. I highly recommend this CD to all Catholics.
Product Description
Only in complete silence, one starts to hear.
Only when language resigns, one starts to see.

In 1984, German filmmaker Philip Gröning wrote to the Carthusian order for permission to make a documentary about them. They said they would get back to him. Sixteen years later, they were ready.

In 2007, the documentary film Into Great Silence came to American theaters. Audiences and critics embraced it immediately. After releasing the soundtrack to the film, Jade Music is proud to release Into Great Silence: Office of the Night.

This is the first time that any recording of the Office of the Night at the Grande Chartreuse is made available in its entirety. The two-CD album is a collection of chants, readings, prayers, and sounds of silence recorded by the film director Philip Gröning during his six-month stay at the monastery.

This Office of the Night appeared to me to be the core of the Monks life and spirituality, the heartbeat of the Order for more than 1000 years. I wanted to share my experience with an audience. - Philip Gröning
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008
St. Stanislaus Oratory in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Solemn High Mass
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On Sunday, August 10, 2008, I decided to take a trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While in Milwaukee, I attended Mass at the Oratory of St. Stanislaus, which is the location of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Solely by Divine grace did I choose to attend Sunday Mass there on a highly important day for the local Traditional Latin Mass community. On this occasion, a Solemn High Mass was celebrated according to the Missal of 1962 by Right Reverend Father R. Michael Schmitz, Vicar General in the Institute and Provincial for the United States.

Afterwards, I was able to take a few photos of the Oratory of St. Stanislaus. I have attached them to this post. If you wish to publish these photos on the Internet, I ask you to first specifically write to me about your request. I would also be most interested in finding any photos of the Solemn High Mass, as I did not feel it was appropriate to take photos of the Mass while sitting in the midst of the faithful.

After Mass and Breakfast at a nearby restaurant, I attended the Brewers - Nationals Major League Baseball Game, where the Brewers won 5-4 in the 13th Inning. It was a good game to watch.

Photos:




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Institute of Christ the King Website Updated
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Dear Blogger,

The Institute of Christ the King has launched a new Web site at www.institute-christ-king.org.

The new Web site features:

* a fresh, elegant design
* easy navigation and better organization
* a new email list
* RSS news feed
* more resources and information
* new mini-sites for each apostolate with new pictures and maps
* a new home page that pulls the site together
* a solid, secure online donation system
* and much more . . .

This new site will be a great resource for news and information about the Institute, as well as Catholic Liturgy, Tradition, and culture.

The announcement of this new site on your blog would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, and God bless you.

Yours in Christ the King,

Don Taylor [I have met the webmaster before]
Webmaster, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest
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Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Traditional Latin Mass: August 30, 2008, St. Paul’s Church, Emo, Co. Laois, Ireland
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Saint Conleth’s Catholic Heritage Association invites you to honour the Holy Year of St. Paul with Holy Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite on Saturday, 30th August, 2008, at 11 a.m. in St. Paul’s Church, Emo, Co. Laois, Ireland, followed by a tour of Emo Court House and Gardens.

For the past 15 years, St. Conleth’s Catholic Heritage Association has been working prayerfully for the provision of the Traditional Latin Liturgy in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin.

Please confirm your attendance to: catholicheritagegroup@catholic.org

For further details consult: http://www.catholicheritage.blogspot.com

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain

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Leo XIII: Church & State in France
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The calumny made headway; and in their credulity the pagans called the first Christians “useless creatures, dangerous citizens, factionists, enemies of the Empire and the Emperors.”But in vain did the apologists of Christianity by their writings, and Christians by their splendid conduct, endeavor to demonstrate the absurdity and criminality of these qualifications: they were not heeded. Their very name was equivalent to a declaration of war; and Christians, by the mere fact of their being such, and for no other reason, were forced to choose between apostasy and martyrdom, being allowed no alternative. During the following centuries the same grievances and the same severity prevailed to a greater or less extent, whenever governments were unreasonably jealous of their power and maliciously disposed against the Church. They never failed to call public attention to the pretended encroachment of the Church upon the State, in order to furnish the State with some apparent right to violently attack the Catholic religion. (Leo XIII: Church & State in France)
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Christian Society - Pope St. Pius X
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The civilization of the world is Christian. The more completely Christian it is, the more true, more lasting and more productive of genuine fruit it is. On the other hand, the further it draws away from the Christian ideal, the more seriously the social order is endangered. By the very nature of things, the Church has consequently become the guardian and protector of Christian society. That fact was universally recognized and admitted in other periods of history. In truth, it formed a solid foundation for civil legislation. On that very fact rested the relations between Church and State; the public recognition of the authority of the Church in those matters which touched upon conscience in any manner, the subordination of all the laws of the State to the Divine laws of the Gospel; the harmony of the two powers in securing the temporal welfare of the people in such a way that their eternal welfare did not suffer. (St. Pius X: Catholic Action)
Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Monday, August 4, 2008
Our Lady of Sorrows Priory, Roodepoort Johannesburg
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Rev. Fr. A. Esposito SSPX offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows Priory, Roodepoort Johannesburg. It is a truly beautiful image - our Lord Jesus Christ in the person of the priest.

Source: Summorum Pontificium Johannesburg
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Saturday, August 2, 2008
Served My Second Tridentine Mass
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Today I served my second Traditional Latin Mass. Again, Fr. Bernard Danbar OSA said the High Mass, today in honor of St. Alphonsus Liguori with a commemoration of St. Stephen I, Pontiff and Martyr. This Mass was held at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Calumet City, Illinois.

The Traditional Latin Mass is currently held at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Calumet City on the 1st Saturday of each month.
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Sunday, July 27, 2008
Society of St. Catherine of Siena
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I have added a link to the Society of St. Catherine of Siena to my sidebar.
Editing Note: the original website is no longer available. For similar content, try the St. Catherine of Siena site in Phila., Pa.
Directly quoting from the original website at http://www.caterinati.org.uk:

The Society of St. Catherine of Siena is committed to the renewal of the intellectual apostolate in the Roman Catholic Church. The Society has an association with the English Province of the Order of Preachers. It is registered charity number 1088118.

In particular interest, this Fall the Society of St. Catherine of Siena will launch a new journal: Usus Antiquior. More information on this initiative has been posted by Mark at the above linked post to his website.
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Friday, July 25, 2008
Liturgical Institute, Mundelein, Adds Course on the Extraordinary Form
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From Creative Minority Report:


One year after the release of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, The Liturgical Institute at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois, announced that it has added a required 3-credit course on the history and spirituality of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite to its roster of classes. The Liturgical Institute was founded by Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago (left) in the year 2000. Though the primary emphasis of the Institute involves the reformed liturgical books, this course comes in response to the call of Pope Benedict for freer study and use of the missal of 1962. In the summer and Fall of 2007, immediately after the release of the motu proprio, the Institute included several lectures on the topic in its Hillenbrand Lecture Series, including one by Rev. Dennis Gill, Director of Worship for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and another by Bishop Joesph Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago. The formal course, whose description is below, will be also be offered for priests and others not enrolled in the Institutes's degree programs.

LI 557 History and Spirituality of the Extraordinary Form

Pope Benedict XVI’s assurance in the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum that every Roman Rite priest may offer the Eucharist and other sacraments according to the form of the rite that was preeminent prior to 1969, provides new opportunities for people to encounter a manner of worship that represents two millennia of exegetical reflection and theological contemplation. Now designated as the “extraordinary” form of the Roman Rite, the Mass that serves as the rite’s liturgical center requires careful consideration. The constituent structures of this eucharistic liturgy’s ordo missae, the content of its ecclesiastical propers, its protocols for integrating biblical readings and antiphons, and the complex character of its multiple eucharistic prefaces and single eucharistic prayer (Roman Canon) preserve a form of liturgical celebration that was already well-established in Europe and North Africa before the 5th century. Subtle but meaningful refinements in this liturgy were implemented by Popes Gregory the Great (7th century), Innocent III (13th century), Pius V (16th century) and, at the start of the Second Vatican Council, John XXIII (1962). In a two-part course that considers the history and spirituality of the Mass of the Roman Rite in its extraordinary form, students will examine the theological foundations and tangible traditions within the Mass whose antiquity and subsequent centuries of celebration on every continent testify to the capacity of liturgy to transcend historical epochs and cultural divisions.
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Monday, July 21, 2008
First Traditional Latin Mass in Lake Charles, Louisiana in 40 Years
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The Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul of this year was an historic one for the Catholics of the Diocese of Lake Charles, Louisiana: it was celebrated by the offering of the first Solemn High Mass according to the Extraordinary Form in the Diocese since the end of the Second Vatican Council. This alone would have been cause for rejoicing, but the faithful of Lake Charles had even more to celebrate. The Mass was offered in the Cathedral of their Diocese, with their Bishop, Glen John Provost, himself in attendance, in choir, attended by two chaplains; and the Bishop himself preached a fine, strong homily on the fundamental continuity of the Faith, echoing Pope Benedict’s assertion that “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too.” Over four hundred people attended the choral Mass, including many who are not regulars of the usual weekly Mass according to the Extraordinary Form. The diocesan newspaper sent a reporter and a photographer to cover the story; the Mass was also video-taped for posterity.

The history of the Gregorian Rite in Lake Charles in the past few years is a microcosm for the general movement of the Church in this time. The faithful there first had their long-standing “indult” Mass summarily canceled by their previous (and short-lived) Bishop; they suffered and agonized and prayed; and they then received — in the space of a few months — both the great gift of Summorum Pontificum and their present, and already much beloved, Bishop, who was ready to implement the motu proprio in accord with the mind of the Church. With these graces, they have rebuilt their community rapidly, organized a fine choir, and now split their time between the Cathedral and a local parish church; though many of the regulars hope eventually to have a more permanent, and regular, home, they are thrilled and grateful for the far-sighted generosity of the Bishop.

The spirit of harmony and good will was much in evidence at the celebratory Mass. The Bishop offered his own matched set of fine martyr-red vestments for use during the ceremony — how many Bishops have a spare set of Solemn High Mass vestments on hand, complete with maniples? The clerics were all diocesan priests. Fr. Rommel Tolentino — a young pastor who is one of the three usual celebrants for the weekly EF Mass — celebrated the Mass, chanting his parts with an aplomb born of enthusiasm and much diligent practice. The deacon was another young priest, newly ordained Fr. Nathan Long; while the role of sub-deacon was filled by a transitional deacon, the Rev. Mr. Scott Connor. These last two clerics are the first wave of a growing group of seminarians who have volunteered to take extra instruction in Latin, with the Bishop’s approbation and encouragement, from a classics professor at the local University — and lover of the Gregorian Rite — Barbara Wyman.

The Mass ended with a beautifully chanted Te Deum, perfectly expressing, in the Church’s traditional way, the great spirit of rejoicing — and relief — widely felt among the faithful that their Diocese is prospering under the piloting of its new Bishop, who himself is wisely responding to the guidance and spirit of Pope Benedict’s leadership of the Church. Deo Gratias!

...

The Solemn High Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Rommel Tolentino as priest, Rev. Fr. Nathan Long as deacon, and Deacon Scott Connor as subdeacon was excellent.

Source: The Lake Charles Latin Mass Society

Wonderful news. The only real disappointment is the fact that the High Altar was not used for this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
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Saturday, July 19, 2008
Served My First Tridentine Mass
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Today at a Convent for the Poor Clare Nuns I served my first Tridentine Mass. It was a Tridentine High Mass celebrated by Fr. Bernard Danber, OSA. I am very thankful to have served my first Mass now.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Monday, July 14, 2008
Fr. John Levoir Named Bishop of New Ulm
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Today Fr. John Levoir was named Bishop of New Ulm, Minnesota. Here are some of Fr. Z's comments:

Please pray for Bishop-Elect (or "Designate" as some prefer) John LeVoir, presently pastor of St. Michael’s and St. Mary’s in Stillwater, MN (home of the famous bookstore). Also he was once pastor of St. Augustine’s in South St. Paul, where the Extraordinary Form has been celebrated for many years.
As someone familiar with this area and these parishes, I am very excited to learn of this news. I have met his brother, the director of the Schola at St. Agnes Parish in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Food Crisis Deepens as Countries Restrict Exports
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Let us pray for those in poverty during these difficult times:

By Keith Bradsher and Andrew Martin
Published: June 30, 2008

BANGKOK: At least 29 countries have sharply curbed food exports in recent months to ensure that their people have enough to eat, at affordable prices.

When it comes to rice, India, Vietnam, China and 11 other countries have limited or banned exports. Fifteen countries, including Pakistan and Bolivia, have capped or halted wheat exports. More than a dozen have limited corn exports. Kazakhstan has restricted exports of sunflower seeds.

The restrictions are making it harder for impoverished importing countries to afford the food they need. The export limits are forcing some of the most vulnerable people, those who rely on relief agencies, to go hungry.

"It's obvious that these export restrictions fuel the fire of price increases," said Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organization.

...

Source: International Herald Tribune
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Tuesday, July 1, 2008
The Most Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ
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In the traditional Catholic Calendar, today is the 1st Class Feast of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Litany of the Most Precious Blood

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father,
save us. *

(* Save us is repeated after each invocation.)

Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God,
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament,
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony,
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging,
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns,
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross,
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation,
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness,
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls,
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy,
Blood of Christ, victor over demons,
Blood of Christ, courage of martyrs,
Blood of Christ, strength of confessors,
Blood of Christ, bringing forth virgins,
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril,
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened,
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow,
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent,
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying,
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts,
Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life,
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory,
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honour,

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
graciously heart us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

You have redeemed us, O Lord, in your Blood,
And made us, for our God, a kingdom.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
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Monday, June 30, 2008
Transformed by the Trinity by Sr. Carol Frances Jegen, BVM
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I recently was asked to review the new book "Transformed by the Trinity" written by Sr. Carol Frances Jegen, BVM. Overall, I found the book disappointing. I offer my thoughts on each of the chapters below. For positives, the book was organized well and it was a fast, easy read. But, theologically, the book is flawed.

Chapter 1: "The Befriending Spirit"

The most distracting aspect of this chapter is the continued repetition of "Befriending Spirit". Sr. Jegen virtually completely refers to the Holy Spirit as "the Befriending Spirit", which is highly distracting. Even more problematic, Sr. Jegen rarely uses the term "Holy Spirit" even though the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "'Holy Spirit' is the proper name of the one whom we adore and glorify with the Father and the Son" (CCC 691). Throughout the entire chapter on the "Befriending Spirit" there is no mention of any council before Vatican II, even though doctrines on the Holy Spirit were fundamental in numerous ancient councils. Leaving out such references causes this Chapter to lose credibility. Even the Bibliography at the back of the book lists only recent books - the oldest was written in 1971. Why does she omit thousands of years of Theological disputations on the Holy Spirit?

Chapter 2: Jesus

Sr. Jegen in this chapter cites literation theologican Sobrino positively (36), even though liberation theology has been condemned by both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Another controversial theologian, Jürgen Moltmann, is cited. No references to any of the numerous saints or theologians before Vatican II.

Chapter 3: Jesus' Abba and Ours

The most glaring error of this chapter is a further quotation of Sobrino: "The Father suffers the death of the Son and takes upon himself all the pain and suffering of history" (44-45). It is heretical to say that God the Father died on the Cross. This statement seems to sound like Patripassionism, a long-held heresy.

Chapter 4: The Meaning of God as Tripersonal

This chapter read quickly and easily, but I found it without any great spiritual insights. There were far too many peace and justice issues mentioned.

Chapter 5: Making All Things New

Again, Sr. Jegen references liberation theology: "...in the light of liberation theology...[we understand] that the lives of crucified peoples are continuations of Jesus' sufferings" (88).

Overall:

Sr. Jegen offers no dogma on the Holy Trinity. She merely offers a few anecdotes and numerous references to social justice and liberation theology. I was disappointed in this book. For real information on the Trinity, find a copy of another truly Catholic book.
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Sunday, June 29, 2008
Introit: Ss. Peter and Paul
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Intriot: Nunc scio vere, quia misit Dóminus Angelum suum: et erípuit me de manu Heródis, et de omni exspectatióne plebis Judæórum. (Ps. 138: 1, 2) Dómine, probásti me, et cognovísti me: tu cognovísti sessiónem meam, et resurrectiónem meam. V. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. Nunc scio vere...

English Translation: Now I know in very deed, that the Lord hath sent His angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. (Ps. 138: 1, 2) Lord, Thou hast proved me, and known me: Thou hast known my sitting down, and my rising up. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Now I know in very deed...
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Greater Than You Think by Fr. Thomas D. Williams
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http://amzn.to/2uD0e6Q
Over the past few days I have read "Greater Than You Think" by Fr. Thomas D. Williams. This book is simply superb. Fr. Williams writes this book as a response to the arguments of popular atheistic writers - Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, and Dennett. Breaking down their arguments into several sections - Religion in General, Religion in Society, Faith/Science/Reason, and Christianity under Fire - Fr. Williams offers thoughtful and highly effective counter arguments to the atheistic writers. How exactly do the atheist's arguments compare to the facts? Do the atheists use logic fallacies such as ad hominem attacks? Fr. Williams responds powerfully. In the final chapter, Fr. Williams turns the tables on atheists and asks "What are the real fruits of atheism for both the individual and society?" Once again, Fr. Williams uses facts and not opinion.

Tired of the blasphemous, outrages tirades from atheistic authors? Tired of lies said about Christianity and our Lord Jesus Christ? Have you read some of these atheistic works and would like to read the counter position? Are you an amateur apologist who enjoys evangelizing? If you have answered yes to these questions, please consider this excellent recourse. Every apologist should have a copy of "Greater Than You Think" readily available on their bookshelves.
Product Description

The recent runaway bestsellers God Is Not Great and The God Delusion have left Christians feeling defensive but not necessarily equipped to refute the accusations of nonbelievers. The bestsellers have also provoked those who are the fence about whether God exists, and if so, whether He's good. In his trademark elegant prose, Father Williams provides accessible but intellectually rich answers for both groups. Questions include "Isn't religion just another name for superstition (or magic or myth)?""If God is all-good and all-powerful, how can evil exist in the world?" and "Hasn't science disproved God's existence?" For believers and those searching for something to believe in, Father Williams offers an easy-to-use resource for building up one's own faith and igniting others'.

About the Author

Thomas D. Williams, LC, ThD, is Vatican Analyst for CBS News and a professor of theology at the ReginaApostolorumPontificalUniversity in Rome. He has also worked extensively for NBC News and Britain's Sky News, covering church and ethical issues, including the final illness and death of Pope John Paul II, the 2005 papal conclave, and the election of Pope Benedict XVI. Father Williams also regularly appeared in the MSNBC series The Ethical Edge and is author of several books and dozens of articles, both scholarly and popular.
"Greater Than You Think" is available for sale on Amazon.com.

Book Giveaway

Note: The contest is now closed. Thank you to everyone that participated.

Attention Readers of This Blog! I am hosting a book giveaway of "Greater Than You Think". The first five readers who respond via email with the correct answers to the following questions will win a free copy of "Greater Than You Think".

The following answers can all be found on my website (A Catholic Life). If you do not remember some of these answers, simply search my blog using the search feature in the right-hand column. When you have the answer to each question, email me the answers at acatholiclife[at]gmail.com

In your subject line include the words "Book Giveaway". Be sure to include your mailing address in case you are a winner. If you are a winner, I will notify you. As soon as five winners have been chosen, I will add a note in this post informing everyone that the contest is closed. Only citizens of the United States of America and Canada are eligible for this giveaway.

Questions:

1) According to the Traditional Catholic Calendar of 1955, what day of the year is the Feast of St. Pius X?

2) How did our modern musical notes (do, re, mi, et cetera) obtain their names? (Hint: Because of which saint)

3) In which year was Visitation by Mariotto Albertinelli painted?

4) Who said the following? "Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment." And, what similar words did St. Pius X have to say on this topic?

5) At what Chapel in Jerusalem are our Lord's footprints still visible? What event occurred their in the earthly life of our Lord?
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Sunday, June 22, 2008
Preparing for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
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As June 24th approaches, the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, the last of the prophets, similarly advances. Along with solely the sinless Blessed Virgin Mary and our Lord Jesus Christ, the Church remembers the birth of St. John the Baptist. Together, the Church only liturgically celebrates these three holy births.

In the Traditional Catholic Calendar, June 23 is the Vigil of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. From the propers of the Mass for June 23, the Introit occupies a place of importance, expressing comfort and hope:

Fear not, Zachary; thy prayer is heard, and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John; and he shall be great before the Lord, and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother's womb; and many shall rejoice at his birth. V. (Ps. 20: 2) In Thy strength, O Lord, the king shall joy; and in Thy salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Fear not, Zachary...


From a sermon given on the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, the Doctor of the Church, St. Augustine proclaims, "When John was preaching the Lord's coming he was asked, 'Who are you?' And he replied: 'I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.' The voice is John, but the Lord 'in the beginning was the Word.' John was a voice that lasted only for a time; Christ, the Word in the beginning, is eternal."

Devotion to St. John the Baptist has been widespread for centuries. "A homily on the Ascension that same year (May 26, 1960) afforded Pope John XXIII the opportunity to assert that it may be piously believed that St. John the Baptist and St. Joseph were bodily assumed into heaven at the time of our Lord's ascension."

As we prepare for the 1st Class Feast of the Nativity of St. John, we focus on the Scriptures and the Traditions of the Church. The Gradual Prayer from the Vigil Mass' propers is taken from John 1:6-7, "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came to bear witness to the light, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people". I suggest meditating solely on these two scripture verses over the next few days. Let these be foundational in our daily prayers. As we seek to pray daily with the Church's liturgical prayers, we now turn to the exemplar figure of the last of the prophets of whom Jesus said, "Amen I say to you, there hath not risen among them that are born of women a greater than John the Baptist: yet he that is the lesser in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he" (Matthew 11:11). And interesting fact is that our musical scale (do, re, mi) took its names from the tones of the Vesper Hymn for St. John.

I will be celebrating the 1st Class Feast of the Nativity of St. John by having a traditional Bonfire, during which old, worn-out sacramentals are reverently burned. Describing this ancient custom, Fish Eaters writes:

The temporal focal point of the festivities, though, is the building of fires outdoors in which to burn worn out sacramentals and to serve as a symbol of the one Christ Himself called "a burning and shining light" (John 5:35). These fires used to be huge, communal bonfires, and this still occurs in parts of Europe, but smaller, "family-sized" fires will do, too. The fire is built at dusk, with this blessing from the Roman Ritual, and allowed to burn past midnight:

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray. Lord God, almighty Father, the light that never fails and the source of all light, sanctify + this new fire, and grant that after the darkness of this life we may come unsullied to Thee Who art light eternal; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

The fire is sprinkled with holy water;
after which the clergy and the people sing the "Ut queant laxis":


O for your spirit, holy John, to chasten
Lips sin-polluted, fettered tongues to loosen;
So by your children might your deeds of wonder
Meetly be chanted.

Lo! a swift herald, from the skies descending,
Bears to your father promise of your greatness;
How he shall name you, what your future story,
Duly revealing.

Scarcely believing message so transcendent,
Him for a season power of speech forsaketh,
Till, at your wondrous birth, again returneth,
Voice to the voiceless.

You, in your mother's womb all darkly cradled,
Knew your great Monarch, biding in His chamber,
Whence the two parents, through their offspring's merits,
Mysteries uttered.

Praise to the Father, to the Son begotten,
And to the Spirit, equal power possessing,
One God Whose glory, through the lapse of ages,
Ever resounding.

P: There was a man sent from God.
All Whose name was John.

Let us pray. God, Who by reason of the birth of blessed John have made this day praiseworthy, give Thy people the grace of spiritual joy, and keep the hearts of Thy faithful fixed on the way that leads to everlasting salvation; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

...

After the blessing, a decade of the Rosary is prayed while walking sunwise -- clockwise, not widdershins -- around the fire, the old Sacramentals are reverently burned, and then the party begins. In most places, brave souls leap over the flames of the bonfire -- an act which is given different meanings in different places, with most saying it is an act to bring blessings.

If you're in a farming family, it is customary to carry torches lit from this fire through your fields to bless them. Whether you're a farmer or not, tend the fire as late as you can go (at least until after midnight) and have fun. If you have a fireplace, light a fire in it with flames from the bonfire to bless your home. Note that it is customary, too, to save some of the ashes from this fire to mix with water to bless the sick.

It is my hope that many of my readers will take part in similar celebrations on the night of June 23, as we begin to celebrate the birth of holy St. John. Christ Himself is truly the "burning and shining light" (John 5:35), which knows no darkness. And St. John the Baptist was his herald. Let us pray with joy on June 24, the Collect from his feastday: " O God, Who hast made this day honorable to us on account of the birth of blessed John, grant Thy people the grace of spiritual joys, and direct the minds of all the faithful in the way of everlasting salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God... Forever and ever. Amen"

Sources

Image 1: The Birth of Saint John the Baptist by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Oil on Canvas, Completed in 1655
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Courage Apostolate
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I wanted to share the following email that I received from a blogger, who is a member of Courage. Courage is an apostolate of the Roman Catholic Church, which ministers to those with same-sex attractions and their loved ones.

I find your blog very interesting and educational and I admire your zeal for Orthodox Catholicism. I share the same view with you. Your obedience to your superiors is definitely praiseworthy. I pray that you remain faithful to your vocation. By the way, I am a member of Courage, the Roman Catholic Church's apostolate for people struggling with same-sex attraction. You can visit www.couragerc.net for more details. You can add it to your long list of links too. I will also link you to my blog. Hope you can link mine too. My blog is about my struggles to live a chaste life despite my condition. I read with great interest your article about people with deep-seated homosexual tendencies desiring to enter the religious life. In our group, we have ex-seminarians who are struggling with same sex attraction and I know a person in our group who is also contemplating of entering the priesthood. What can you say about that personally? How can you tell that person without offending his sensibilities that maybe, just maybe, a religious life is not the right vocation for him. Im very much aware about the Holy Father's instructions on those candidates for priesthood with homosexual tendencies. I hope you can counsel me on this. God bless you brother.


Going Straight
http://gayguygoingstraight.blogspot.com
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Saturday, June 21, 2008
Patriarch Alexy II: Unacceptable to Bless Homosexual Unions
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Moscow, June 19, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia considers church blessing of homosexual unions unacceptable though it becomes wide spread among Protestant communities in the West.

"Blessing of the marriage urges God to bless childbearing and giving birth," Alexy II said at his meeting with general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance Neville Callam in St. Daniel's monastery in Moscow.

"We have every reason to think that the majority of Baptists share our concerns for today's state of Christian communities in the world and together we can oppose these destructive tendencies," the patriarch said.

The Baptist World Alliance's general secretary believes "militant secularism has become the highest and the strongest challenge" Christians face today.

"We, Baptists, also oppose this cancer of secularization and we seek to spread the good news of Jesus Christ like you do," Callam said. He hopes that friendly relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian Baptists will develop and it will let both parties "denounce the monster of secularism."

The patriarch reminded that the resolution of the last joint seminar of the Moscow Patriarchate and Russian Baptists held in 2006 "expressed deep concerns with alarming tendencies in some Protestant communities which revise Biblical norms of morality and ordain women." The resolution further stated "the necessity to reach harmonic unity between human rights and moral values."

The Russian Orthodox Church suspended contacts with the Lutheran Church of Sweden as it "not only blessed homosexual "marriages," but even worked out the text for blessing them in the church," Alexy II noted.

The Moscow Patriarchate had to suspend relations with the Episcopal Church of the USA as its leaders ordained an open homosexual.

Source
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Friday, June 20, 2008
Orthodox leader suggests "Dual Unity" for Eastern Catholics
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Constantinople, Jun. 19, 2008 (CWNews.com) - The Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople has responded favorably to a suggestion by the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church for a system of "dual unity" in which Byzantine Catholic churches would be in full communion with both Constantinople and Rome.

Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople welcomed the proposal in an interview with the magazine Cyril and Methodius, the RISU news service reports. The acknowledged leader of the Orthodox world suggested that the "dual unity" approach would produce something akin to the situation of the Christian world in the 1st millennium, before the split between Rome and Constantinople.

Cardinal Lubomyr Husar of Kiev, the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church-- the largest of the Eastern Catholic churches-- had offered the possibility that Byzantine Catholics might seek communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, without giving up their communion with the Holy See. Patriarch Bartholomew expressed distinct interest in the idea, saying that "the mother Church in Constantinople holds the doors open for the return of all her former sons and daughters."

Patriarch Bartholomew acknowledged that a restoration of unity would require study, and important differences would have to be overcome. However, he observed that major steps have already been taken to resolve disagreements-- most importantly the revocation of the mutual decrees of excommunication issued by Rome and Constantinople against each other in 1054.

While Catholic and Orthodox theologians continue their efforts to reach agreement on doctrinal questions, Patriarch Bartholomew said, "the people at the grass roots have to come together again." He pointed to the "dual unity" idea as a possible step toward practical unity.

Cardinal Husar, the Ukrainian Catholic leader, has suggested in the past that the Orthodox and Byzantine Catholics of Ukraine should unite under the leadership of a single patriarch. That provocative suggestion is particularly interesting for two reasons.

First, Byzantine Catholics in Ukraine argued for years-- particularly since emerging vigorously from the shadow of Communist repression-- that the Ukrainian Catholic Church should be accorded the status of a patriarchate. Both the late Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have expressed some sympathy for that suggestion. The Byzantine-rite Ukrainian Catholic Church is substantially larger than other Catholic churches that are recognized as patriarchates, including the Maronite, Melkite, Chaldean, Syrian, Armenian and Coptic Catholic churches. However, Kiev is not a historical patriarchal see like Antioch or Alexandria. And the recognition of a Ukrainian Catholic patriarchate would be sure to provoke outrage from the Russian Orthodox Church, which has complained frequently and bitterly about the activities of Byzantine Catholics in Ukraine.

Second, the Orthodox Church in Ukraine is badly split, with three different groups competing for recognition as leaders of the Byzantine faithful. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Kiev Patriarchate is led by Patriarch Filaret, who was once acknowledged by Moscow but broke with the Russian Orthodox Church after Ukraine gained political independence. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Moscow Patriarchate retains ties to Russian Orthodoxy. The Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine, smaller than the other two, has frequently sided with the Kiev patriarchate in efforts to form a single, unified Orthodox Church in Ukraine, independent from Moscow.

Source: Catholic World News
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Fr. Thomas J. Euteneuer: Uruguay in Dire Need of HLI Family's Help
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As I write you today, the situation in Uruguay is extremely perilous!

The agents of death are intentionally sacrificing the women and unborn of Uruguay in order to establish an abortion beachhead in Latin America.

A loophole in Uruguay’s laws allows for “abortion counseling” in public hospitals. Acting as “counselors” abortion advocates tell vulnerable women that they’d be better off killing their babies ... and that abortion is a “reproductive right.” Official statistics reveal that 90% of Uruguayan women “counseled” in this way choose to have an abortion. And once they do, medical personnel tell them how to obtain the drug Misoprostol in pharmacies or on the black market ... and how to use it at home in order to abort their babies.

As you know, however, taking Misoprostol alone does not always result in an abortion. It’s only half of the RU-486 regimen. And the callous individuals in Uruguay who are telling women to take Misoprostol know this!

Not surprisingly, then, 56% of the mothers who begin these Misoprostol abortions come back to the hospitals hemorrhaging and needing a dilation and curettage (D&C) to finish the abortion.

This is precisely what the heralds of the culture of death want to happen. They are literally creating the “unsafe abortion” crisis that they plan on using to launch a new call for legalized abortion-on-demand in Uruguay. And if a few thousand unsuspecting women die in the process, so be it.

Even as you read this, our HLI pro-life missionaries are working round the clock to expose this treachery.

But they desperately need your help in order to succeed.

We can make a big difference for them ... and at relatively little cost. For example:

* $10,000 will enable HLI to sponsor a conference that would instruct pro-life activists on what’s going on, organize them into a cohesive force, and show them how to mobilize the people to demand that government officials restore Uruguay’s lifelong pro-life and pro-family laws.

* $14,000 will allow HLI to provide materials – films, publications and preborn baby models – to pro-life high school teachers in every school in the country, which they can use to refute the abortion propaganda now rampant in Uruguayan schools and instill in young people respect for innocent human life.

* $5,000 will allow HLI to publish brochures, pamphlets and other publications to HLI’s pro-life missionaries who are on the ground and ready to distribute these materials all across the country.

We need to act now to help spread the truth about what the culture of death has in store for the women and babies of Uruguay.

Click here to send an emergency contribution that HLI will use to help the people of Uruguay cast out the abortion demon. Time is of the essence.

Catholics for a Free Choice and other liberal pro-abortion groups have targeted this small Latin America nation to become the abortion base of operations from which they will spread out and impose their anti-life agenda throughout all of Latin America. Years of anti-life propaganda has already reduced the country’s fertility rate to below replacement levels. And earlier this year, the agents of death put on an international abortion conference in Uruguay’s capital city of Montevideo. Conference leaders had the gall to promote the use of Misoprostol as a way to end “unsafe abortions” ... all the while knowing that this “abortion cocktail” would in fact lead to the deaths of many women and create the very crisis they proclaim to the world they are trying to prevent!

Right now, only a few brave pro-lifers – led by HLI’s pro-life missionaries – stand in the way of these “murderers” and “liars.”

This is your chance to help rescue an entire country – and quite possibly an entire continent! – before it becomes the next victim of the culture of death!

Click here to send HLI the largest gift you can give today.

And please join me in invoking the heavenly aid of Uruguay’s Guardian Angel. Lift your heart to God and say the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. Do this right now:

St. Michael the Archangel, defend the people of Uruguay in battle! Be their protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil! By the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who prowl about Uruguay seeking the ruin of souls!

May God bless you!

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Russian Orthodox Reject Interconfessional Worship
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Portal-credo.ru, 12 May 2008

Once again it has been asserted in the Russian Orthodox church of the Moscow patriarchate that they do not consider it possible for Orthodox persons to perform divine services jointly with representatives of other Christian confessions.

"We wish to affirm once again our intention to refrain from participation in joint worship with persons of other confessions," a worker in the Secretariat for Inter-Christian Relations of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow patriarchate, the priest Alexander Vasiutin, told the "Interfax-Religion" portal.

He said that this matter has acquired new pertinence in the process of preparing for the XIII General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches which is scheduled for July 2009 in Lyons (France).

The news agency's interlocutor, who also is a member of the assembly's organizing committee, noted that "the position of the Russian Orthodox church, unfortunately, does not always meet with understanding among representatives of other local Orthodox churches."

As an example, Fr Alexander told how at a recent session of the organizing committee Metropolitan of Gaul Emmanuel (Constantinople patriarchate) responded to the suggestion of refraining from performing interconfessional worship at the assembly by saying that "the position of representatives of the Moscow patriarchate on this matter reminds one of the behavior of a man who has a wife but doesn't sleep with her."

In addition, the representative of Constantinople posed the question, "why do representatives of the Moscow patriarchate always refuse to participate in joint worship with non-Orthodox, while Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and all-Rus participated in joint worship with Catholic clergy in the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris when he was there?"

"There is no need to repeat the information disseminated by many church and secular news media that in reality an Orthodox prayer service was conducted in the Paris Notre Dame cathedral at which representatives of the Roman Catholic church were merely present, including Archbishop of Paris André Vingt-Trois. But one cannot speak of any joint service or worship in this case," Fr Alexander stressed. (tr. by PDS, posted 6 June 2008)

Source: Russia Religion News
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Saturday, June 14, 2008
Requiem Mass for Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, Andrew Bertie
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The New Liturgical Movement has several excellent photographs (including the above image) from the Requiem Mass offered for the repose of the soul of the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, Andrew Bertie.

His full title was His Most Eminent Highness Fra Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie, Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, Most Humble Guardian of the Poor of Jesus Christ. He was the fourth cousin twice removed of Queen Elizabeth II of England.

Image Source: Via, New Liturgical Movement
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Spanish Cardinal urges Parents to Resist Government Indoctrination
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Toledo, Jun. 13, 2008 (CWNews.com) - A Spanish cardinal has called upon Catholic parents to "use all legitimate means in your power to defend your right to determine the moral education of your children."

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera spoke out in response to the obligatory "Education for Citizenship" classes that will be introduced in some Spanish public schools in the next academic year. He warned that the courses offer "a moral formation that is not determined by parents" and sometimes contradicts the moral teachings of the Church.

In a pastoral letter issued for the close of this academic year, Cardinal Cañizares argued that "public authority cannot impose any certain moral code on all people, whether it be supposedly a majority choice, or Catholic, or any other kind." That authority is reserved for parents, he insisted.

Addressing himself specifically to administrators of Catholic schools, the cardinal said that they should not accept the "Education for Citizenship" curriculum because it "would go against your mission." Even public schools should not promote the course, he continued, because it would violate "the ideological neutrality they should have."

Cardinal Cañizares strongly encouraged citizens to use every means to stop the imposition of the moral-education program, assuring them that "there is still time remaining to change the course of events." Political activism is amply warranted in this case, he added, because parents "are not asking for anything more than they should have."

Source: Catholic World News
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Archbishop Capalla on Mass Dress Code
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MANILA, Philippines - A Catholic bishop on Wednesday said that "freedom of expression" should not be used as an excuse for some churchgoers who continue to ignore a "dress code" inside the church.

Davao archbishop Fernando Capalla said it is foolish to invoke personal freedom in the choice of dress for liturgical functions.

"We have to admit that, while living in society, our personal freedom is limited by the rights of others. And if we want to live in peace and harmony with others we have to observe certain proprieties of behavior," he said in a statement on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines website.

Capalla said the dress code is a sign of propriety and reminded all Catholics in the archdiocese that liturgical functions require decent and simple attire.

According to him, he issued the reminder not because he took offense felt insulted, but he is simply concerned about order and propriety in human relations.

"This applies to both ministers and the faithful and there are liturgical guidelines to this effect," he said.

"I am only supporting what the home, the school, and social and civic institutions are supposed to be doing on this matter," he added.

Capalla said that in the celebration of the Eucharist, which the Church considers a solemn occasion, churchgoers are required to be in their decent attire.

"Everyone should be able to dress up simply and decently even not elegantly for Mass. (But) to come to Mass in short pants or jogging pants would be out of place and can be very improper and unbecoming (behavior). Short pants are for the person's privacy or sporting occasions, so are the jogging pants. Beach wear and working outfits are not for the solemn and sacred celebration like the Mass," he stressed.

"Sunday best has become a common expression of people who know the value of the Sunday celebration and so those who pride themselves on self-respect choose the best for the Lord. I am not very sure now whether that passage in the Gospel where an invited guest was thrown out because he was not dressed properly, is applicable here. It seems it is," he added. - GMANews.TV

Source
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Friday, June 13, 2008
Beatification soon for 250 Spanish Civil War Martyrs
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Valencia, Jun. 12, 2008 (CWNews.com) - The Spanish financial newspaper La Gaceta de los Negocios reports that the Vatican has given the green light to the beatification of 250 Spaniards martyred in Valencia during Spain's Civil War. The Vatican has not issued any formal announcement.

Valencia's Cardinal Agustin Garcia-Gasco opened the cause in 2004 for 183 priests, 10 religious, and 57 laymen, including a woman who was 9 months pregnant, who asked her captors to let her give birth to her child so that she could baptize him (her request was denied). In 2001, John Paul II beatified 226 other Valencian martyrs of the Spanish Civil War.

Source: Catholic World News
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Thursday, June 12, 2008
Romanian Clerics Create Trade Unions to Protect Themselves from their Executives
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Bucharest, June 11, Interfax - Priests of the Romanian Patriarchate come from different regions of the country to join trade unions to protect their own interests from the church management.

In particular, some time ago, 20 priests filed documents to Iasi court for incorporation of the "Holy Virgin Protection" trade union. Later, 35 clerics from Oltenia province declared the official incorporation of the independent "Good Pastor" trade union and their intent to hold a strike action aimed at protecting their rights.

"There is an abyss between the church hierarchy and the priests who serve in churches. We are put under pressure, and have already lost some of our members," priest Nikolay State, vice-president of Good Pastor, said in his interview to the Gyndyl newspaper.

He also said that Oltenian priests were seeking to create their trade union for several years. The main objective of trade union members is to oppose low wages of priests and support their right to make decisions related to their parish without prior approval of the diocese.

Besides, trade union members are seeking for the right to run for any position in administrative bodies without prior consent of their executives.

The Metropolitan of Oltenia, however, warned the priests, who had established the trade union, of their possible defrocking.

"There is the principal incompatibility of priests' servicing and trade union activity, because the priest's mission is to unite people with each other and the God, and any trade union activity involves confrontation and separatism," the official message of the metropolitan reads.

Source: Interfax Religion
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Hildengard von Bingen's "Marriage of the Heavens and the Earth"
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http://amzn.to/2v2DyOqI have also had an opportunity to review Hildengard von Bingen's "Marriage of the Heavens and the Earth". This CD is a collection of Hildengard's best compositions - a true gem to own!
After being forgotten for several centuries, Hildegard von Bingen is recognized today as one of the universal minds in Western culture. The abbess at the monastery of Saint-Rupert close to the town of Bingen, Hildegard was a composer, writer, physician and visionary who lived in the 12th century A.D.

Hildegard von Bingen s music is undoubtedly her most inspiring legacy. She is considered one of the leading composers of the Middle Ages. One of her works, the Ordo Virtutum, has been called the first form, and possibly the origin, of opera. She composed seventy-seven more songs mostly for her monastery. Only a few decades ago, this incredible treasure was rediscovered and presented to a larger audience.

Jade Music is proud to release Marriage of the Heavens and the Earth, an album by Catherine Braslavsky and Joseph Rowe that contains some of von Bingen s best known compositions.

For more than 15 years, Catherine Braslavsky has been playing Hildegard von Bingen s music. Herself a composer and Greogorian chant enthusiast, she also studied Indian, Judeo-Spanish and harmonic chant. She is currently also pursuing her research on ancient music. Soloist, musical director, and teacher, she has performed all over Europe, the United States and Japan. With Joseph Rowe, she recorded six albums that explore contemporary sacred music, and sacred music of Europe, and the Mediterranean.
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