Monday, July 30, 2012

U.S. Ordinariate pushback again EF?

Hey, where's the trust? Christian Clay Columba Campbell, "Monsignor Steenson Continues to Express Enmity Toward the Extraordinary Form" (The Anglo-Catholic, July 29, 2012), writes:
I have it on unimpeachable authority that there is on ongoing crackdown on those AU/Ordinariate priests who would dare to learn or celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite on the part of Steenson, Hurd, and Chalmers. The affected priests are naturally frightened, and unwilling to go on record, but make no mistake, the leadership of the U.S. Ordinariate at present has set itself against both Summorum Pontificum and Anglicanorum coetibus. I also have it on good authority that this intimidation, an abuse of power, is being reported directly to the Roman Authorities. And the contention that the traditional Latin Mass has no bearing on the Anglican Patrimony — this simply has me flabbergasted. Is there just a shortsightedness on the part of the Ordinary, or is he ignorant of the history of English Catholicism?
[Hat tip to Rorate Caeli]

Related:"NLM: 'The Potentialities of the English Missal for the Ordinariate and the Roman Rite'" (Rorate Caeli, August 2, 2012):
The Ordinariates for former Anglicans established by Anglicanorum coetibus can be something mediocre and tame - but they can also be something truly great for the whole Church. The name of the game-changer is "The English Missal" (the Anglo-Catholic translation of the traditional Roman Missal in Early Modern English), not as the sole rite, but as a possibility open to all their priests - and our friend Shawn Tribe, of The New Liturgical Movement, explains why. Read more >>

Trent, Vatican II, and clarity

Catholics tortured within living memory

The untold story of Marxist torture of Catholics in hundreds of Romanian 'prisons' during the 1970s and 1980s, while the Bee Gees hit made famous by John Travolta, "Staying Alive" soared to the top of the charts back in the U.S.A.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Is it permissible to worry about the future of the Church?

A profound question posed by Rorate Caeli about realism about the current circumstances of the Church and words of encouragement from St. Maximilian Kolbe about the promises of Christ:
The fact that the Church is of God and exists because of supernatural life, is today made to correspond to an absolute prohibition of worrying about Her future in the world.

Nowadays, whoever dares express in public their disquiet about the destiny of the Bride of Christ in the world, is immediately assaulted by a mighty chorus of judging voices that cry: “How dare you be so pessimistic, the Church belongs to the Lord, it is not right for you to speak like this, She is never going to be abandoned by God.”

In Catholic environments, you can hardly express anymore a realistic judgment about the situation in the Church....

Extraordinary Community News

Tridentine Community News (July 29, 2012, External Solemnity of Ste. Anne):
Upcoming Special Masses in Historic Churches: August 4: Holy Family Church, Detroit

The Tridentine Mass continues to be reintroduced in an increasing number of local historic churches. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Andrew Fanco and Paul Schultz, Juventútem Michigan’s annual pilgrimage walk through Detroit this coming Saturday, August 4 will conclude with Mass in the Extraordinary Form at 7:00 PM at Detroit’s Holy Family Church. The Mass will be the anticipated Mass of the Ninth Sunday After Pentecost.

Located in downtown Detroit on the west side (southbound) service drive of I-75 adjacent to the Blue Cross Tower, Holy Family is an Italian/Sicilian parish with a long tradition of reverent liturgy. Parking is along the street; a few spaces are available on the driveway that encircles the back of the church.

Holy Family is one of very few churches in the world which can make the claim that almost every scheduled Mass it has ever offered has been in Latin, including even weekday Masses. Until recently, almost every scheduled Mass has also been celebrated ad oriéntem. That being said, the Mass on Saturday will be the first public Tridentine Mass to have been celebrated at Holy Family in over 40 years.

While the Mass is part of a Juventútem event, faithful of all ages are invited to attend.

August 14: St. Mary Star of the Sea, Jackson

The Tridentine Community in Jackson, Michigan is based at St. Joseph Church, a 1960s-era edifice. For only the second time in memory, they have arranged a special Mass at Jackson’s grand, historically-intact St. Mary Star of the Sea Church. The Mass will be an anticipated Mass for the Feast of the Assumption, on Tuesday, August 14 at 7:00 PM. It will be a Solemn High Mass with Deacon and Subdeacon, a form of the Tridentine Mass rarely celebrated in Jackson.

St. Mary Star of the Sea is located at 120 E. Wesley St. in downtown Jackson. The current church is the second one built by the parish and was dedicated in 1926 by Bishop Joseph Plagens, who just happens to have been pastor of Detroit’s Sweetest Heart of Mary Church at the time. In those years Jackson was a part of the Diocese of Detroit; now it is part of the Diocese of Lansing.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 07/30 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Ss. Abdon & Sennen, Martyrs)

Tue. 07/31 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Ignatius Loyola, Confessor)

Fri. 08/03 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) [First Friday]

Sat. 08/04 7:00 PM: High Mass at Holy Family, Detroit ([Anticipated] Tenth Sunday After Pentecost)

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for July 29, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Working class grows a bit testy?

Rainbow Flag Imperialism

In an article the provoked the ire of LGBT websites, Family Research Council wrote (July 16, 2012):
When it comes to foreign policy, the Obama Administration has made it clear they will have two priorities -- promoting homosexuality and promoting abortion. The Administration has not only vocalized this policy but been quick to put taxpayer funds and resources behind it -- regardless of other countries' views on the matter. Earlier this year in the country of Bulgaria, the Administration spent tax dollars on a Gay Bulgarian Film Festival as well as an "after show party." In June, the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria, alongside 12 ambassadors from other countries, endorsed that country's gay parade in an official declaration.

This brought the attention of 20 civil society organizations who wrote a letter to the embassies expressing their outrage that these countries would seek to promote activity that is against Bulgarian law, which clearly defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. This all seems to be part of the President's push, headed up by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to use official U.S. resources to promote homosexuality. For example, while the Administration is slow to defend oppressed Christians who are being killed for their beliefs in Muslim and communist countries, they took less than one day to condemn the Russian government for barring a homosexual pride parade in Moscow. It is clear with this Administration that family and babies take a back seat to exporting immorality.
Related: [Hat tip to J.M.]

" Traditional Catholic soccer professional gets serious"

Rorate Caeli reported yesterday:
It is a rare thing to read about a major league sports figure who talks openly about Catholicism in a positive light. New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira did so a couple months ago in the National Catholic Register.

Even more enjoyable is to see a major league sports figure talk openly about the traditional Latin Mass in a positive light. In the same publication, Eddie Gaven, who played this week in the Major League Soccer all-star game, said the following:
I grew up with the Novus Ordo Mass, unaware of the Latin Mass. However, when I started looking into the faith more seriously, I came across the Latin Mass, which was quite an experience to see for the first time. It was beyond anything I’d ever dreamed of. There’s so much reverence in the Latin Mass, which I attend regularly now.

I’m very thankful to Pope Benedict for making the “extraordinary form” more widely available through his motu proprio five years ago. I enjoy sharing the Latin Mass with others and often invite teammates to attend with me. It truly is, as many have said before, the most beautiful thing outside of heaven.
The full article/interview may be read here.

[Hat tip to J.M.]

B16's "Bombshell By the Bay"

Rocco Palmo, "B16's 'Bombshell By the Bay' -- Marriage Chief Cordileone to Rock San Francisco" (Whispers in the Loggia, July 27, 2012):
Depending on how one looks at things, this Friday morning brings either the most courageously bold -- or stunningly brazen -- American appointment in the seven-year reign of Pope Benedict XVI.

. . . Now, finally, the dust has cleared... and even for a city well-accustomed to seismic activity, the ecclesial Richter Scale both by the Bay and well beyond is about to record a right whopper.

. . . at Roman Noon the pontiff named Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, 56 -- the San Diego-born head of the neighboring Oakland church since 2009, and lead hand behind the US bishops' national effort to defend the traditional definition of marriage -- to succeed Archbishop George Niederauer, who reached the retirement age of 75 in June 2011. Read more >>
Related:[Hat tip to J.M.]

Why Don't We Dress Up Anymore?

Jennifer Fulwiler, "Why don't we dress up anymore?" (NCR, June 27, 2012):
Last week Monsignor Charles Pope wrote a thought-provoking post lamenting our lax modern attitudes regarding the way we comport ourselves in public, especially when it comes to attire. It was occasioned by an ad for Skinny Girl liquor (which you can watch at the bottom of Msgr. Pope's post) that juxtaposes a caricature of a woman from the 1950s to modern women. The '50s woman wears a tailored dress, white gloves, high heels -- and of course the stereotype wouldn't be complete without a gaudy string of pearls. While this woman sits stiffly and rattles off rules about how a real lady behaves, the ad flashes to images of modern women having fun while breaking all of these rules (and drinking Skinny Girl beverages, naturally).

There's a lot one could say about this ad, starting with the crushing irony of the fact that its message dismisses the behavioral laws of generations past, while loudly proclaiming the unspoken laws of our own times ("A real woman watches her calories so that she can be 'skinny'!" one hears in the undertones of the entire marketing campaign). But I think that Msgr. Pope has identified the most telling aspect of the ad when he writes:
As the commercial rolls on, I think we see that we have lost a lot. The picture flashes away from the elegantly dressed woman, careful for modesty and dignity (though excessively portrayed), to the modern scene where we are suppose to rejoice and approve at how far women have come.

And what do we see? Half drunk women, with painted nails and flip flops, liquor bottles in abundance, and the indelicate and boorish behavior of those who have been drinking too much. Further there are numerous displays of immodest dress, immodest posture and unbecoming behaviors. In effect, if you ask me, it is a celebration of all in our culture that is boorish, immodest, indelicate, and excessively informal.
[Hat tip to J.M.]

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Extraordinary Community News

Tridentine Community News (July 22, 2012):
Conference Reports: CMAA Sacred Music Colloquium

Your reporter was privileged to attend two significant liturgical conferences over the past month.

The largest and most successful convention on traditional Catholic sacred music yet was held June 25-July 1 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Church Music Association of America’s annual Sacred Music Colloquium attracted well over 200 participants. Seminars were offered on numerous aspects of music performance and directing, with a special emphasis on Gregorian Chant. Both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms were given attention. Attendees spanned the spectrum, from singers new to the traditional repertoire, to veteran Tridentine Mass music directors. Liturgies were served by choirs organized to train singers, including a women’s chant choir, a men’s chant choir, and a mixed voice polyphonic choir. It was a pleasant surprise to run into Dr. Ron Prowse, the Music Director of Detroit’s Sacred Heart Seminary, as well as several well-known music directors from around the world, including Connecticut’s David Hughes and the London Oratory’s Charles Cole.

Interestingly, the principal Mass of the convention, held at Salt Lake’s Cathedral of the Madeleine, the Solemn High Tridentine Mass on Friday, June 29, was celebrated by none other than Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth, the General Secretary of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). That’s right, the priest in charge of the new translation of the Ordinary Form was the celebrant of a major public Mass in the Extraordinary Form. He and Cardinal Cañizares Llovera of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments are examples of the clear trend of Church leaders charged with the Ordinary Form increasingly involving themselves with the Tridentine Mass.

Fota Liturgical Conference

The fifth annual Fota Liturgical Conference was held in Cork, Ireland July 7-9. Distinguished guests included Raymond Cardinal Burke and the new Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Brown. Talks were of an academic nature, most revolving around the theme of the Sacrificial aspect of the Eucharist. Detroit was represented by Sacred Heart Seminary professor Fr. Daniel Jones, who presented a paper on St. Augustine.

Every Mass and Vespers service offered was according to the Extraordinary Form, at Cork’s historic Ss. Peter & Paul Church. A Pontifical Solemn Mass celebrated by Cardinal Burke was offered on Sunday, and the First Mass of an Institute of Christ the King priest was offered on Monday. The Lassus Scholars provided the music; this choir is based at Dublin’s St. Kevin Church and travels throughout Ireland to perform at many of the country’s major Tridentine Mass events. Interestingly, they chose polyphonic settings of most of the Mass Propers in favor of the traditional chant settings.

Catholic Ireland

Much has been written about the state of the Church in Ireland in recent months. Not to dismiss any of the unfortunate facts, it’s important to look at the bright side of things, as well. While not as dominating as in England, the Extraordinary Form has a significant and growing place in Irish Catholic life. For example, St. Kevin’s offers daily Tridentine Mass and a spectrum of devotions. The main Irish Catholic newspaper, the Catholic Voice, contains several articles and advertisements concerning the Tridentine Mass. For an idea of what is available, see the Latin Mass Society of Ireland’s web site,

Architecturally, there are some truly stunning sites to behold. St. Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh, perched on the side of a hill overlooking a harbor where cruise ships dock, offers not only a magnificent vista, but inspiring, towering Gothic Revival design inside. St. Colman’s has been the site of occasional Tridentine Masses, with music supplied by ... you guessed it ... the Lassus Scholars.

St. Finbarr’s Oratory [pictured below] is an idyllic historic chapel on a lake in Gougane Barra, open all day. It marks the site where St. Finbarr established a monastery in the 6th century. There is something intensely spiritual about this particular site, heightened by the mist and rainbows that occur over the lake due to Ireland’s seemingly continually alternating intervals of rain and sun. Imagine a smaller, more isolated version of St. Hugo’s Stone Chapel [in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan]. Today St. Finbarr’s is a popular site for weddings.

One concluding observation: In Ireland you drive on the left. In Ireland the driver’s seat is on the right. In Ireland the streets are ... narrow. In Ireland there are countless country roads with no shoulders, on which farm tractors will come at you in the opposite direction, occupying at least 50% of the width of the road. In Ireland you will learn the true meaning of fear while driving. St. Christopher, patron of drivers, pray for those renting cars in Ireland.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 07/23 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Apollinaris, Bishop & Martyr)

Tue. 07/24 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Christina, Virgin & Martyr)

Wed 07/25: Previously announced Mass at St. Josaphat cancelled

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for July 22, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]

Friday, July 20, 2012

The fake unity of multi-lingual Masses (vs Latin)

An anonymous priest's rant is posted by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, "GUEST RANT: Many languages for Mass and fake 'unity'" (WDTPRS, July 20, 2012).

Vatican II called for the preservation of Latin in the mandated reform of the Roman liturgy. Most Catholics today find it convenient to forget this, assuming that Latin was an alienating, divisive thing that kept the pew peasants in ignorance about what was going in the Mass. Besides, learning Latin today would be a chore and a drudgery. So to Latin they bid "Good riddance!" and to the Vernacular they bid "Welcome!"

But then one finds that people today are rather grandiloquent about celebrating cultural diversity. In large metropolitan parishes one frequently encounters occasions when parts of the Mass are parceled out to native speakers or those otherwise fluent in various languages -- Spanish, Vietnamese, Polish, Italian, Portuguese, German, French, etc. -- in an expansive and sometimes all-too-self-congratulatory display of linguistic diversity and prowess.

All of this, of course, is quite as bewildering as it is impressive. Does anyone imagine that the majority of any congregation is familiar (let alone fluent) in all of these languages? Or even two or three? Is the purpose of jettisoning the Latin being forgotten here? Or wasn't the purpose effective communication to begin with? Hmmmmm ........

One thing apparent to anyone familiar with the traditional form Latin rite is that the rudiments of the Mass are transparently clear to anyone acclimated to it. Evelyn Waugh, a convert to the Catholic Faith in 1930, attests to this. The ordinary parts of the Mass -- the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei -- were always familiar even to those untutored in Latin. Any Catholic of age before the 1960s knew what was signified by these parts of the Mass (he knew, for example, what "Kyrie eleison" or "Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi" means), which seems more than one can sometime assume of English-speaking adults these days in the ordinary form of the Mass.

Furthermore, one could go to any country in the world and celebrate the same Mass with an identical form. This is not true since 1970. Any properly-catechized Catholic adult might figure out roughly where he is in the Mass, but the ordinary parts of the Mass would not be familiar, as they would be if he were acclimated to the Latin in the traditional Latin Mass. At one of the Spanish-language Masses I frequented in NC, the musical setting for one of the ordinary parts of the Mass was regularly Simon and Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence." If one did not know Spanish, he might well wonder what was going on.

But all this is a mere detail. Here's the post from the guest priest on Fr. Z's blog:
In my diocese we are often asked (read, expected, pressured) to participate in or to celebrate Masses in more than one language in the name of multi-culturalism. I am not talking Latin here. The result is that for bilingual people they are great, and for those who are not, at least half the Mass is incomprehensible. It is something of an irony, since I thought the very thing the liberals of the Church wanted was to run like lemmings towards the sea away from a language they could not understand. But now its all the rage, particularly in the Southwest where Spanish is so common. But now they cannot help themselves but make us sit through the new Mass to be culturally enriched by a modern romance language we do not understand. I am told that at a recent LA Religious Ed conference they did a Mass in five modern languages, meaning that four fifths of the devoted attendees did not know what they were listening to. My preference under such circumstances would indeed be Latin for real multiculturalism…but thats not going to happen where I live. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"Wheaton College (Protestant) joins Catholic institutions in lawsuit against HHS mandate"

Wheaton College is joining Catholic instititutions to fight the Obama Administrations attacks on our 1st Amendment rights.

Any of you familiar with the Evangelical world have got to find this interesting. Wheaton College is the flagship academic institution of the American Evangelical world. It is as all-American and Evangelical as Billy Graham and the magazine Christianity Today.

Read more here >>

Honors & awards: “Somebody else made that happen!”

[Hat tip to Fr. Z]

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Extraordinary Community News

Tridentine Community News (July 15, 2011):
Each year on the Sunday closest to July 16, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, both Assumption-Windsor and St. Josaphat Churches bless and distribute Brown Scapulars and enroll those who have not yet been enrolled in the scapular. Enrollment is a form of blessing that is only to be done once in a person’s life. As the enrollment prayer must be prayed in Latin and is rarely printed for the faithful to read, today we are printing the rite in both Latin and English. The text is from the Extraordinary Form Rituále Románum, the Church’s book of rites and blessings. The version for enrolling multiple people is presented, as we ordinarily use on this occasion.


. Osténde nobis, Dómine, misericórdiam tuam.
. Et salutáre tuum da nobis.
. Dómine, exáudi oratiónem meam.
. Et clamor meus ad te véniat.
. Dóminus vobíscum.
. Et cum spíritu tuo.

Dómine Jesu Christe, humáni géneris Salvátor, hunc hábitum, quem propter tuum tuaéque Genitrícis Vírginis Maríæ de Monte Carmélo amórem servi tui devóte sunt est delatúri déxtera tua sanctí+fica, ut eádem Genitríce tua intercedénte, ab hoste malígno defénsi in tua grátia usque ad mortem persevérent: Qui vivis et regnas in saécula sæculórum.
. Amen.

Áccipe hunc hábitum benedíctum, precans sanctíssimam Vírginem, ut ejus méritis illum pérferas sine mácula, et te ab omni adversitáte deféndat, atque ad vitam perdúcat ætérnam.
. Amen.

Ego, ex potestáte mihi concéssa, recípio vos ad participatiónem ómnium bonórum spirituálium, quae, cooperánte misericórdia Jesu Christi, a Religiósis de Monte Carmélo peragúntur. In nómine Patris, et Filii, + et Spíritus Sancti.
. Amen.

Bene+dícat vos Cónditor cæli et terræ, Deus omnípotens, qui vos cooptáre dignátus est in Confraternitátem beátæ Maríæ Vírginis de Monte Carmélo; quam exorámus, ut in hora óbitus vestri cónterat caput serpéntis antíqui, atque palmam et corónam sempitérnæ hereditátis tandem consequámini. Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.
. Amen.


[The candidate for the scapular is kneeling. The priest, vested in surplice and white stole, or at least the latter, says:]

. Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy.
. And grant us Thy salvation.
. O Lord, hear my prayer.
. And let my cry come unto Thee.
. The Lord be with you.
. And with your spirit.

Let us pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of mankind, sanctify + by Thy right hand this habit, to be worn with devotion by Thy servants out of love for Thee and Thy Blessed Mother, our Lady of Mount Carmel. Through her intercession, may they be defended from the hostile foe and persevere in Thy grace until death. Who livrest and reignest forever and ever.
. Amen.

[The priest sprinkles the garment with holy water, and invests the candidate, saying to each one:]

Receive this blessed habit, and call upon the most holy Virgin, that by her merits thou mayest wear it without stain, and be protected by her from all adversity and brought unto life everlasting.
. Amen.

[He continues:]

By the power granted to me, I receive you as a partaker of all the spiritual favors which, by the merciful help of Jesus Christ, are acquired by the religious of the Order of Carmelites. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit.
. Amen.

May almighty God, Maker of heaven and earth, bless + you – He Who has deigned to choose you for the confraternity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. And we intercede with our Lady that, in the hour of your death, she will crush the head of the ancient serpent, so that you can finally come into the possession of the crown and palm of the eternal inheritance. Through Christ our Lord.
. Amen.

[He sprinkles the person with holy water.

If only the habit is to be blessed, the blessing begins with the versicle “Show unto us, O Lord”, and concludes with the prayer “O Lord Jesus Christ.”]

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 07/16 6:00 PM: Solemn High Mass at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel-Wyandotte (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel)

Mon. 07/16 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel)

Tue. 07/17 7:00 PM: High Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Alexius, Confessor) [Celebrant: Msgr. Arthur Calkins, retired English Correspondence Secretary, Pontifical Commission Ecclésia Dei]

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for July 15, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lesbian quits gay community after 30 years, comes out Catholic

One of our friends since coming to Michgan, Robin Teresa Beck, has just authored I Just Came For Ashes(Dunphy Press, 2012), a remarkable story about her exit from a same-sex lifestyle as well as her departure from her Evangelical Protestant background in order to come into full communion with the Catholic Church. This book is an articulate testament by a woman of deep faith, possessing impressive talent, and a disarming sense of humor that will leave you laughing till it hurts, intrigued, edified, and unrelentingly inspired throughout.

After 30 years as an active member of the gay community, Beck innocently walked into a Catholic Church with a friend one Ash Wednesday just to "do ashes". Having no intentions of leaving gay life or of ever become Roman Catholic, I Just Came For Ashesis the amazing story of God's alternate plans for His daughter's life.

As one reader put it, "Her story is a song of praise to God, the “hound of heaven” who never stops pursuing his lost sheep even into the darkest corners. To read this book is to have one’s amazement rekindled at the relentless love of God, the power of grace and the treasures of the Catholic faith."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Vatican, a Chinese bishop, and Obama

CNA reports:
The Vatican has praised the approved ordination of a Chinese bishop, who is now missing after announcing his split from the state-run Catholic Church during his ordination.

“The ordination of the Reverend Thaddeus Ma Daqin as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Shanghai on Saturday 7 July 2012 is encouraging and is to be welcomed,” said a July 10 Vatican communique.

During the ordination ceremony, Bishop Ma revealed that he was quitting his posts within the government-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association which refuses to acknowledge the authority of the Pope. [Fr. Z comments: This will be a real blow to Doctrix of the Church Nancy Pelosi and the First Gay President in their attempt to set up the American Patriot Catholic Association.]

Bishop Ma, however, has not been seen in public since. Various media outlets suggest he was whisked away by state-officials following the ceremony.
Prayers obviously needed here.

[Hat tip to Fr. Z.]

Sunday, July 08, 2012

"My life flows on": a birthday compilation

My sister's husband and daughter celebrated their birthdays today, and some friends and extended family members put together this compilation of the hymn, "My Life Flows On," also known as "How Can I Keep From Singing?" popularized in 1991 by Enya's rendition.

Among the things for which I am grateful for the tradition in which I was raised is how children were brought up, as a matter of course, to learn singing in harmony. At the drop of a hat, any one could break forth in song that was recognizably singing -- something I have missed among Catholics with rare but notable exceptions over the last twenty years. Part of what is being lost these days, at least for men, is the understanding that singing can be a manly thing, in THIS, or for that matter THIS.

[Hat tip to R.B.]

Zing! Talk about homiletic flourish!

Via Fr. Z, "The Curé of Blackfen riffs The Curé of Ars: 'If only your soul was as beautiful as your iPad!'” (WDTPRS, July 7, 2012), Fr. Tim Finigan ("the mighty P.P. of Blackfen, the Dean of Bexley, His Hermeneuticalness") offers a post on the occasion of English people being given the opportunity to venerate the heart of St. John Vianney:
There are various videos and texts related to the visit at the website of the Diocese of Shrewsbury. Bishop Davies is a great devotee of St John Vianney and knows his life and work in depth. In his sermon at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Liverpool for a National Day of Prayer for the renewal of parish life and vocations, he recalled an amusing story:
St. John Vianney never set out to ‘please people’ responding to demands like a tin can blown about on the piazza outside. [Great image.] Rather he proceeded purposefully in seeking to please God. This led him very close to all his people and especially close throughout his life to the most difficult and confused of his people – the types of people we might naturally be inclined to avoid. Yet there was nothing of a ‘people pleaser’ in this. The stories are legion of his remarks and sayings which might appeal to Lancastrian plain-speaking. Yet it is hard to know how they were first received such as when he told his congregation that in their dealings with each other most of them were probably thieves! Or that man who brought his fine dog for the Curé to see, who was told with a sigh ‘If only your soul was as beautiful as your dog!’.”

There’s no need to use this quote to have a dig at people with dogs. That gentle jibe of the holy Curé could be applied to our cars, our iPads, our gardens or anything else that we take more care of than our souls. [emphasis and comment Fr. Z's]
[Hat tip to J.M.]

Pop song parodies honoring 5th anniversary of Summorum Pontificum

Back in 2007, official WDTPRS Parody Song Writer, our own esteemed Tim Ferguson, offered Fr. Z a tune in honor of the July 7, 2007, release of the text Summorum Pontificum by Pope Benedict XVI. The tune was based on Pete Seeger’s classic, made famous by the Byrds in 1965, "Turn! Turn! Turn!" Fr. Z thought Ferguson's lyrics good enough to repost again this year HERE, and anyone unfamiliar with the tune can find the Byrds' rendition of it HERE.

Inspired by the reposting of his offering 5 years ago, Ferguson has come to Fr. Z's service again this year with an endeavor that takes the cake, this one to the Beatles’ “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.” Ferguson remarks: "Unfortunately, to fit the tune, you have to put the emphasis on the last syllable of “Summorum”, but it works." Indeed it does.

In case you don't know the tune, click on the following online recording of "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" by the Beatles, and sing along with Ferguson's lyrics HERE.

Extraordinary Community News

Tridentine Community News (July 8, 2012):
Msgr. Arthur Calkins to Celebrate Tridentine Mass at Assumption-Windsor on Tuesday, July 17

Metro Detroit will be privileged to host one of the most accomplished priests in the history of the modern Tridentine Mass: Msgr. Arthur Calkins, the recently retired English Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclésia Dei, will celebrate a Missa Cantata at Windsor’s Assumption Church on Tuesday, July 17 at 7:00 PM. This is a rare opportunity to see a priest who has shaped much of the age we live in – For most of the last 20 years, virtually all English correspondence from the Vatican concerning the Extraordinary Form was written by Msgr. Calkins. He was the PCED’s problem solver, the man who tried to find solutions for countless challenges facing priests, the faithful seeking guidance in establishing a Mass in their region, and liturgical planners needing official clarifications on matters of rubrics. We here in Detroit and Windsor have benefitted enormously from the counsel Msgr. Calkins has given us over the years; his advice was always practical, succinct, and followed-through. He also presided over one of the most impressive recordkeeping systems this writer has ever seen: every letter received by the Commission was given a permanent home in a meticulously organized set of filing cabinets. The lesson learned: Don’t write what you don’t want remembered. You, too, could have a file at the Vatican.

Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, Msgr. Calkins is a priest of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Louisiana, to which he has returned after his time in Rome. Apart from his work with the Commission, Msgr. Calkins is also a retreat leader and a noted Marian scholar, with several works to his credit.

Our local Juventútem chapter has set up a Facebook event page for a possible post-Mass dinner if there is sufficient interest. Interested young adults age 18-35 are asked to register on Facebook so plans can be made.

We’re proud to note that Msgr. Calkins specifically requested Michel Ozorak to compose Chant Sheets for the occasion. How often does an [ex] Vatican official consider someone from our corner of the world as a go-to guy?

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel – Wyandotte To Host Solemn High Mass on July 16

In honor of the parish titular feast, Wyandotte, Michigan’s Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish [pictured] will hold a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form on Monday, July 16 at 6:00 PM. The celebrant will be Fr. Charles White, the deacon will be Deacon Richard Bloomfield, and the subdeacon will be Tim Ferguson. This will be the second Solemn High Mass the parish has hosted in recent years. As many of our readers know, Our Lady of Mount Carmel has long offered a monthly Tridentine Mass on one Saturday morning per month; call the parish for a schedule of future Masses.

This Mass will be part of that day’s bus tour of historic churches, however all are welcome to attend, even if you are not going on the bus tour.

It should be noted that St. Josaphat will hold its usual 7:00 PM Mass that Monday, as well.

Brown Scapular Distribution on July 15

In honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, blessed Brown Scapulars will be distributed after Holy Mass at both St. Josaphat and Assumption-Windsor next Sunday, July 15. Enrollment in the Brown Scapular, a ceremony to be performed only once in a person’s life, will be offered for those who have not been enrolled before, provided our celebrant has time.

The Brown Scapular is a devotional object to be worn around the neck. Our Blessed Mother promised assistance at the time of death to those wearing this scapular. Numerous graces are associated with devoutly wearing it; a quick Google search will yield some of the history and traditions.

Next St. Albertus Mass

The next Tridentine Mass at St. Albertus Church will be held in two weeks, on Sunday, July 22 at noon.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 07/09 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria – Celebrant may choose a Votive Mass)

Tue. 07/10 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Seven Holy Brothers, Martyrs, and Ss. Rufina & Secunda, Virgins & Martyrs)

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for July 8, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]

Saturday, July 07, 2012

"How do I qualify for ... ?"

[Hat tip to R.B.]

The Twelve Ways (To Instantly Improve the Novus Ordo)

by Monica Migliorino Miller, Ph.D.
[Originally published in the August/Sept. 2010 issue of The Homiletic and Pastoral Review and posted here by permission of the author]
Serious changes are about to take place that will affect the way Catholics in English speaking countries celebrate Mass. These changes have to do with the actual translation of the prayers of the Mass itself—a translation more faithful to the original Latin and intended to infuse the Liturgy with a spiritual solemnity and organic connectedness to the history of the Roman Rite. Before I continue with the subject of this article I think that it needs to be said: the Novus Ordo, at least as it is celebrated in English-speaking countries, is in need of serious reform.

It is fair to say, that while there exists something called the “Roman Rite,” in practice the Roman Rite is a non-entity. At the practical level, the Rite is treated as a general template that is more or less followed by the celebrant and the congregation. There exists such a wide-range of personal liturgical styles, literally from one parish to the next, even from one priest to the next, that the Roman Rite, as such, doesn’t exist. The Roman Rite-general template-is the “order of the Mass” in terms of the Opening prayers, Kyrie, the Gloria, the readings, the homily and so forth. Many priests, liturgists and laypeople believe that as long as this order is respected, all that is required for a proper celebration of the Roman Rite has been fulfilled.

This article does not intend to take issue with the Novus Ordo. The author may certainly be called “a Vatican II Catholic.” I accept the New Rite, though I sympathize with those many Catholics who prefer the Old Latin Rite or what is commonly called the Tridentine Rite. Nonetheless, we need to take a very long, very hard and very honest look at the way the Novus Ordo is celebrated. Many years ago I wrote an article for the Homiletic and Pastoral Review entitled “The Models of the Mass.” In that piece I discussed what continues to be a problem, namely the imposition of the priest-celebrant’s own personal style on the public prayer of the Church. It is not only a matter of the priest whose personality dominates the Liturgy, but even more egregious, the priest who tailors the Mass to reflect his own theological opinions and quirks. This imposition reduces the universal prayer of the Church to the priest’s own private possession that he may, on his own authority, manipulate to reflect his personal bias. Vatican II’s Sacrosanctum Concilium (The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy) taught that the regulation of the Liturgy depended upon the authority of the Church—that is the Apostolic See, the local, bishop or various kinds of bishops’ conferences. “Therefore, no other person, not even a priest, may add, remove or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.” This is may be the most ignored teaching of Vatican II.

I am not going to spend time here reciting the litany of liturgical horrors that the Novus Ordo has been subjected to since Vatican II. They are far-reaching, they are vast, they are everywhere. For the purposes of our discussion, this article is focused on perfecting the Mass that is already celebrated more or less with respect to the rubrics and not Masses corrupted by serious liturgical abuses.

The Versus Populum Debate

In his well-known book, Spirit of the Liturgy, Benedict XVI discussed the problem of the Mass stamped with the priest’s personality. The Holy Father traces this cult of personality to the common post-Vatican II practice of the priest celebrating Mass “versus populum”— namely the priest facing the people. The Pope very clearly articulates the negative liturgical consequences of this Mass style. The “versus populum” position emphasizes the Mass as a meal and suppresses the Mass as a sacrifice, a liturgy in which the priest “presider” becomes the focus and center of the ritual in a kind of new post-Vatican II clericalism. In addition, the congregation becomes a circle closed upon itself, rather than a people, including the priest, who face God together in an act of worship. Benedict XVI leaves no doubt that he favors the “ad orientum” position of the priest and the people—in other words— that the priest and the congregation together face the altar, perhaps even “face east” in liturgical worship.

I believe the Holy Father would like to mandate the “ad orientum” or what is also called the “ad Deum” position as a way to instantly reform liturgical practice in the Roman Rite. With this liturgical gesture, coupled with the re-introduction of kneeling for Communion, nearly all abuses affecting the Church’s worship would be swept away.

However, while we hope for and wait for a formal and official reformation of the Liturgy, there are quite a few things that a worshipping community can do right now that will instantly improve the Sunday Mass . The items that I discuss below can be implemented immediately without a “moto proprio” from the Pope, without a bishops’ conference mandating changes. My hope is that this article will be duplicated, sent out, reprinted, given away and copies distributed far and wide to priests and Catholic lay people everywhere. With it I hope to provoke, thought, debate, and discussion on what constitutes “good liturgy.” I hope to influence priests and regular Mass-goers and perhaps even bring about a change in the whole way we think about and conduct Sunday Mass services. What is at stake is the very quality of the worship that we as a Church offer to God.

I call these items “The Twelve Ways”—in other words, the twelve ways that next Sunday the Mass, celebrated in your local parish, can be elevated and perfected—in short, made a more beautiful act of liturgical worship. These “Twelve Ways” are certainly not an exhaustive list. Many who read this article may wonder why I neglected certain issues. Certainly, this list could be longer. But making the list longer is not the goal. The goal here is to at least begin a discussion of liturgical issues that could instantly lead to better Catholic worship.

The First Way—The Mass is Ritual Prayer

The first item on the list has to do with a foundational principle. This principle in some ways governs all the subsequent points that will be discussed. As Catholics we need to rediscover the very nature of liturgical worship. We need to again appreciate that the Mass is a ritual. As ritual prayer, as a divine ceremony, it is meant to take the participant into another world. Every gesture, every step has a meaning that is designed to draw the worshipper into the mysteries of God. The rite itself should lift the worshipper out of the ordinary. A real shift of dimension ought to be facilitated by ritual worship. In short—we leave behind the profane world and enter a sacred realm. This means that nothing should intrude into the rite of worship that is in any way banal, vapid, insipid, frivolous, pedestrian or silly. Whatever is casual, informal, or sloppy has no place in divine worship. Unfortunately, in many cases, these are the very things that characterize Sunday liturgy.

We need to re-discover that the Mass is real prayer—thus as prayer and as ritual, the ceremony of the Mass should be seamless. The Mass should be celebrated from the opening song to the recessional hymn as a seamless unbroken rite. The 2000 year-old spiritual tradition of the Church teaches that when a Christian enters private prayer, distractions are to be fought, distractions are to be overcome—they are not to be encouraged, they are not to be deliberately indulged. Anything that diverts attention away from a prayerful focus on God and unity with God is to be avoided. This important spiritual principle applied to private prayer, also applies most certainly to the universal, public prayer of the Church. Whatever disrupts the seamless flow of the divine liturgy must be excluded. This will be discussed further in the Second Way.

The Second Way—Eliminate Folksy Remarks

Very frequently Masses begin with a greeting from the priest such as “Good morning, I hope you are all having a good day.” This “good morning” usually comes right after the Sign of the Cross. Thus, the opening hymn has been sung, the Sign of the Cross made and then the ritual prayer of the Church veers off course by the intrusion of non-liturgical jargon. Nothing sets the tone of banality more than such useless and liturgically irrelevant vocabulary. The Introductory Rites of the Mass are to prepare the worshipper to enter into God’s presence. Folksy greetings and other sorts of welcomes very subtly draw attention away from God and shifts it to the priest and the congregation. I have even been to masses where, not only is the liturgical action tainted by this particular banality, but priests add such comments as: “And how about those Packers—weren’t they somethin’ last night?” Sorry, but such remarks have absolutely no place in a sacred rite of worship. Always be mindful that the Mass is ritual prayer.

"It's better naked"

Another undertaking by "Bad Catholic" (see previous post below) and others is the blog 1flesh, which carries the banner: The revolt against contraception in marriage." It's the kind of thing my colleague Janet Smith would love, as any GOOD Catholic should.

That's what makes this so "bad," as in "really good."

One thing you'll enjoy, in addition to all the excellent posts you'll find here (some with video clips) is the collection of great graphics, with slogans like "Stop supporting breast cancer," or "100 percent organic," "Free range, hormone-free people," or, yes, "It's better naked."

And then there are the articles, like "How condoms ruin sex," or blog posts, "In response to Jezebel," by Marc (1flesh, July 5, 2012), or "I love you just the way you aren't," by Jacob (1flesh, July 6, 2012).

Kudos to our friends at 1flesh! Good show folks!

[Hat tip to C.B.]

"Why I'd make a bad atheist"

The blog Bad Catholic offers a new hip Catholic style that seems "bad" only in the recent sense, where anything really cool or hip or fantastically good is called "bad." Here's an example, "Why I'd make a bad atheist" (July 1, 2012). Apologetics in a new key, if you will. Check out some of the other posts as well. They're really quite funny as well as thought-provoking.

[Hat tip to C.B.]

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

"VP Biden and the Sisters share cookies and ice-cream. No, I am not making this up."

Read more here >>

More fun: "Ex-lax Catholics"

"3.5 time-outs: confessions of an ex-lax catholic" (Not a Goblin, But a Troll, July 3, 2012) writes:

"[A]s a certifiable REALcatholic, i pride myself on not being accommodating or lax with anything or anyone.... [T]he downside to this, at least in my experience, is that being so uptight makes certain, um, “movements of nature” a little more difficult to execute...."

All of which leads to a discussion of Metamucil, Phillip's Stool Softner, Milk of Magnesia, Apricots, and "reading posts by Amy Welborn (go figure)."

[Hat tip to C.B.]

Andrew Klavan: Happy Dependence Day!

Read more here >>

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

An inconvenient juxtaposition: a "great springtime for Christianity" ... and scandal

"The worldwide agony: news of a single week in June-July" (Rorate Caeli, July 4, 2012).

"As the third millennium of the redemption draws near, God is preparing a great springtime for Christianity, and we can already see its first signs." (John Paul II, Redemptoris missio, December 7, 1990) ...

... and a worldwide week of scandalous Church news ... Read more >>

Extraordinary Community News

Tridentine Community News (July 1, 2012):
The Classic Form of Confirmation

A bishop is the ordinary minister of the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Holy See has issued regulations permitting a priest to administer Confirmation under certain circumstances, such as if a person is at the point of death. In some dioceses, the Ordinary has even authorized priests to celebrate the Sacrament as a matter of course, due to the lack of availability of bishops. For the purposes of this discussion, we will assume that a bishop confers the Sacrament.

The Sacrament of Confirmation imparts an indelible seal on the soul. It imparts the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord. The candidate must have been baptized and should be in the state of grace. The place of the ceremony, inside or outside of Mass, is not specified, and thus is left to local custom.

The bishop begins by admonishing those present that the confirmed may not leave until the blessing has been given which will be administered after each has been confirmed. If an infant for good reason should be confirmed, the child is to be held in the right arm of the sponsor. The sponsor should place his right hand on the right shoulder of the candidate.

The candidates kneel while the bishop begins, “May the Holy Ghost come down upon you, and may the power of the Most High keep you from sin.” With his hands extended over the candidates, he says a prayer invoking the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. Each sponsor and candidate comes forth; the candidate kneels before the bishop.

Dipping his thumb into the Holy Chrism and tracing the Sign of the Cross onto the brow of the candidate, the bishop recites the essential form of the Sacrament: “N., signo te signo Cru+cis et confírmo te Chrísmate salútis. In nómine Pa+tris, et Fí+lii, et Spíritus + Sancti.” (N., I seal thee with the sign of the Cross and I confirm thee with the Chrism of salvation. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.) The confirmed responds: “Amen.” The bishop lightly strikes the confirmed upon the cheek, saying: “Pax tecum” (Peace be with thee).

In some places it is the custom to fasten a linen band around the forehead of the newly confirmed. If this is not done, the bishop wipes the brow of the confirmed with cotton after the anointing. This cotton is later burned and the ashes disposed of in the sacrárium of the church, or into the soil outside.

The bishop then washes his hands as the following antiphon is said or sung: “Confirm, O God, what Thou hast wrought in us, from Thy holy temple which is in Jerusalem.” While the confirmed all kneel, the bishop recites a prayer asking that the Holy Ghost “may come and abide in the hearts of them whose brow we have anointed with Holy Chrism and sealed with the sign of the Holy Cross.” He says a concluding prayer, followed by a special blessing.

The bishop sits down, puts on his mitre, takes his crosier, and addresses the confirmandi on their duties. The confirmed then recite aloud the Apostles’ Creed, the Our Father, and the Hail Mary. The bishop gives the Pontifical Blessing, after which the Te Deum or Psalm 112 (Laudáte Púeri) is customarily sung.

The Ordinary Form of Confirmation, in comparison, begins with a reading from the Acts of the Apostles. A brief homily is given, followed by the Renewal of Baptismal Promises. The Laying on of Hands and the Anointing are similar, although no posture is specified for the candidates. In practical matters, this usually means that the candidates stand before the bishop. Some General Intercession-like prayers follow, then the confirmed recite the Our Father, and the bishop imparts a blessing.

Compared to the other Sacraments, the content of the Sacrament of Confirmation is rather similar between the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms. Perhaps this is why one sees less debate about the wording of the two forms.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 07/02 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Tue. 07/03 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Irenaeus, Bishop & Martyr)

Fri. 07/06 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) [First Friday Mass with Devotions to the Sacred Heart and Prayers for Vocations]

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for July 1, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]

LCRW humor: Do you laugh, or cry, or laugh till you cry?

[Hat tip to R.F.]