Monday, April 30, 2007

A Man's Very Highest Moment..., I have no doubt at all, when he kneels in the dust, and beats his breast and tells all the sins of his life. Oscar Wilde

I was reading about a "Confession website" maintained by a Church. It reminded me of the Post Card website where people send in very poignant post cards and they are posted on line by the moderator of the site. I haven't linked the site because much of it is adult content. And this Mommy blog definitely does not contain adult content.

Especially now that I've moderated my comments.

Anyway, these websites made me think of the way we all need Confession. As the great Fulton Sheen said, it is our privilege and our obligation. Two short articles about Fulton Sheen's thoughts on Confession. Part I and Part II. They're gold.

I'm not necessarily against these websites because I think they may be a first step. And hopefully the second will be Sacramental Confession which is the only way to receive absolution. No one likes going in to Confession but everyone loves the way they feel when they leave and the state of their soul and the utter relief of being forgiven.

Bad experiences: Please don't let this keep you from Confession. It can take a few times to find a good Confessor. Sometimes you may feel put off by the way you are treated. Get over it. Put it behind you. Move on. Some priests have a beautiful gift for Confession and some do not.

One other thing. The priest cannot reveal your sins under pain of excommunication. Be open and enjoy the consolation of forgiveness.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Interesting Controversy

In spite of Bishop Henry's (Bishop of Calgary, Canada) strident and courageous denunciation of abortion and same sex marriage, he has withdrawn his support for the Centre for Bioethical Reform's photo display that depicts aborted babies and juxtaposes the images with photographs of Holocaust victims.

The Centre gives an explanation
of why they show these images. Simply, lives are saved and proabortion citizens become prolife.

The reasons given for objecting to these displays are that the images are too graphic.

How about the reality?

Another reservation is that the exhibition of the poor murdered babies' bodies violates the dignity they are entitled to.

They have been brutally murdered. Is is possible to violate them any longer? They are deceased.

Finally, we hear that the images are disturbing.

Well they are supposed to be. And if you find them personally disturbing be grateful that you have a shred of humanity left in you. And don't quell it.

The motto of the Centre for Bioethical Reform is "to make abortion unthinkable". They are going about it in exactly the right way. They are exposing the horror of abortion and communicating the humanity of the unborn child.

I have never heard it argued that displaying the victims of the Nazis violates their dignity. I have never heard the Holocaust museum denounced because it is too graphic. I remember seeing movies about World War II that showed the bodies in the Death Camps and lampshades made of human skin.

Can we say that the unborn deserve less than the honor accorded to them and the respect shown their sad suffering by giving them an opportunity to save the lives of their fellow brethren? What could be more dignified than that?

People who make the argument that the images of aborted children should never be shown I believe are lacking in courage- the personal courage to act upon the knowledge that we are sitting by and witnessing a large scale slaughter while we go about our comfortable lives. Maybe if these pictures are never shown we can ignore it a little longer.

The Prayer of the Lukewarm:

Oh Lord, let me live my pathetic little life,
Knowing that nothing will be required of me
That is too difficult, or will require sacrifice.

Let me look good, be popular and always have
Cable tv and a cell phone with lots of free minutes,
And a credit card with a really low interest rate.

If someone is suffering O, Lord,
Let me not be disturbed by images that
Might make me feel guilty, or helpless.

How about this Lord? I'll say a prayer for them
And really hope that they will be as awesome as me
And we can all live happily ever after. Amen.

Mother's Day is coming

Mother's Day is coming and I found this nice little binder which would no doubt make an excellent gift for some deserving mother. (Psst. Alexander children please tell your father.)

Here's a picture and you can order the binder here.

The copy states that it has invitations to women of other religions. N.B. Order it for a woman who is not Catholic.

More Power to the Priestly People

Since a parish priest got fed up "wandering alleys" and going to people's homes to bless them he has put together a "Do It Yourself Bless Your Own Dang House Kit".

The article is here.

Besides saving the priest a whole lot of time and wandering of alleys it will provide some "quality family time."

From theaticle:

"To find everyone at home it was increasingly necessary to visit homes after dinner, which would have meant months to get to everyone," said Fr Priotto, who is giving away 3,500 home kits containing a picture of Jesus, a prayer to read out and a small bottle of holy water.

Fr Priotto said that even if priests no longer visited homes to carry out the blessing, the use of kits would at least ensure some quality time was spent by parish families.

"It's already something if the family unit can get together for a moment to allow the father to read the prayer and make the sign of the cross with the water, which was pre-blessed the Sunday after Easter," Fr Priotto told La Stampa newspaper.

Same Sex Couples & the Prom

A Bishop Feehan Catholic High School Student is not permitted to bring another girl to the prom.

She feels this is discrimination because she is bisexual. The article is here.

In the typical "piling on" of the Boston Herald (and this is our "conservative" newspaper!)we learn that this poor, dateless girl, cannot go to the prom with her girl friend.

And what is really over the top is that her "date" cannot even return her brown spaghetti strap dress and brown pumps to Macy's! Oh the injustice. The absolute cruelty.

Notice the ACLU steps in and threatens any other school that tries this with legal action because it "may be illegal".

Not yet. But it won't be long.

Oh and there is one bright spot in all this. The girl did win "Best Hair" for her class of 250. But you probably already figured that just from looking at the picture.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Gun Control- It's Been Tried

For the ladies- I never knew about this magazine: Women & Guns. Though I really think it should be renamed "Gals n' Guns".

History of Gun Control: and how it facilitates genocide.

(from a post on Free Republic)

In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million 'educated' people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.

In Australia:

It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars.

The first year results are now in: Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent. Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!

In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns! While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.

There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the ELDERLY. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns. The Australian experience and the other historical facts above prove it.

Cardinal Amato (Latin for Love)

Cardinal Amato and Pope Benedict

Gay marriage evil, abortion terrorism: Vatican

By Philip Pullella Mon Apr 23, 2:43 PM ET

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican's second-highest ranking doctrinal official on Monday forcefully branded homosexual marriage an evil and denounced abortion and euthanasia as forms of "terrorism with a human face."

The attack
by Archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was the latest in a string of speeches made by either
Pope Benedict or other Vatican officials as Italy considers giving more rights to gays.

[Don't you just love when they use words like "attack" I think it means the criticism was dead on. Plus it reminds me of the Church Militant which was the way the Church was perceived before we became one big hippie-love-in.]

In an address to chaplains, Amato said newspapers and television bulletins often seemed like "a perverse film about evil." He denounced "evils that remain almost invisible" because the media presented them as "expression of human progress."

He listed these as abortion clinics, which he called "slaughterhouses of human beings," euthanasia, and "parliaments of so-called civilized nations where laws contrary to the nature of the human being are being promulgated, such as the approval of marriage between people of the same sex ..."

to read the rest you can go to Drudge.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Blackberry Girl : a poem

Image availabe as a poster from


"Why, Phebe, are you come so soon ?
Where are your berries, child ?
You cannot, sure, have sold them all,
You had a basket piled."

"No, mother, as I climbed the fence,
The nearest way to town,
My apron caught upon the stake,
And so I tumbled down.

"I scratched my arm and tore my hair,
But still did not complain;
And had my blackberries been safe,
Should not have cared a grain.

"But when I saw them on the ground,
All scattered by my side,
I picked my empty basket up,
And down I sat and cried.

"Just then a pretty little Miss
Chanced to be walking by;
She stopped, and looking pitiful,
She begged me not to cry.

"'Poor little girl, you fell,' said she,
'And must be sadly hurt;'
'Oh, no,' I cried; 'but see my fruit,
All mixed with sand and dirt.'

"'Well, do not grieve for that,' she said;
'Go home, and get some more.'
'Ah, no, for I have stripped the vines,
These were the last they bore.

"'My father, .Miss, is very poor,
And works in yonder stall;
He has so many little ones,
He cannot clothe us all.

"'I always longed to go to church,
But never could I go;
For when I asked him for a gown,
He always answered, "No.

There's not a father in the world
That loves his children more;
I'd get you one with all my heart,
But, Phebe, I am poor."

"'But when the blackberries were ripe,
He said to me one day,
"Phebe, if you will take the time
That's given you for play,

And gather blackberries enough,
And carry them to town,
To buy your bonnet and your shoes,
I'll try to get a gown."

"'Oh, Miss, I fairly jumped for joy,
My spirits were so light;
And so, when I had leave to play,
I picked with all my might.

"'I sold enough to get my shoes,
About a week ago;
And these, if they had not been spilt,
Would buy a bonnet, too.

"'But now they're gone, they all are gone,
And I can get no more,
And Sundays I must stay at home,
Just as I did before.'

"And, mother, then I cried again
As hard as I could cry;
And looking up, I saw a tear
Was standing in her eye.

"She caught her bonnet from her head,
'Here, here,' she cried, ' take this !'
'Oh, no, indeed--I fear your ma
Would be offended, Miss.'

"'My ma! no, never; she delights
All sorrow to beguile;
And 't is the sweetest joy she feels,
To make the wretched smile.

"'She taught me when I had enough,
To share it with the poor;
And never let a needy child,
Go empty from the door.

"'So take it, for you need not fear
Offending her, you see;
I have another, too, at home,
And one's enough for me.'

"So then I took it--here it is--
For pray what could I do?
And, mother, I shall love that Miss
As long as I love you."



I believe.

Isn't it wonderful how art has evolved. Kind of like the liturgy and theology.

The Last Supper:

Painting by Simon Vouet

A More Modern, Relevant and Up to Date expression:

Stick figures, I mean Artwork by Annie Vallotton.

I think this is the artist responsible for the drawings in the Misallettes and "Good News Bible".

Reasons for hope

This is a reason for hope.

And this.

and even this.

And don't forget this.

But this is not.
A document on the shelving of Limbo. First of all what does the document really say? It says that "we may hope" that infants who die without Baptism may be saved. It does not say that infants who die without Baptism will be saved.

But in our rush to oversentimentalize everything- THAT will be completely lost.

And the practical effects will be a further erosion in the importance of Baptism and its necessity for Salvation.

I wonder why we are falling all over ourselves worrying about the effects of the Motu Proprio as if that will be the great cataclysm? And this?

I don't get it.

But happily over at Rorate Caeli they do.

Friday, April 20, 2007


"For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline: think on these things." Philippians 4:8

The importance of purity cannot be overstated in our current decadency. I'm still surprised when I see the so-called "Mommy blogs" with language that would make a rapper blush. The excuses for it are weak- that's just me, it's who I am. Well a picture of your dirty laundry is really "you" and I don't see anyone taking pictures of that and posting it on their blog. (And I hope I'm not giving anyone ideas!)

When we look for a picture or a portrait to hang on our wall to gaze at and to brighten the room we look for something beautiful. We look for something uplifting. We can be that to the people in our lives. And if we are mothers we should be

I have the following Bible verse hung in my kitchen. "Lord, let the mediation of my heart and the words of my lips be acceptable in Thy sight." It's a good reminder.

St Francis de Sales (who may be the most quotable Saint)wrote this short commentary on purity.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Contempt Shown Parents of Large Families

Before you accuse me of Indifferentism- read this through and only be sorry that it was not written by a Catholic.

It makes more and more sense to me why I find it is only my OB/GYN and a few others, always orthodox Jews, who will treat us and help us raise large families. I'm not read the riot act. (the nurses in the hospital take care of that). I'm not scared by horror stories of mothers and babies dying in childbirth. I'm not browbeaten into having search and destroy prenatal tests performed. I'm treated like a mother trusting God and trying to do God's will. May God bless them and maybe even bring them to conversion through us.

The Contempt Shown Parents of Large Families
Posted: March 2, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

A funny thing happened to me the other day when my wife and I had, thank God, another baby (a boy). Many of my friends didn't seem all that happy for me. Sure, they went through the motions of smiles and congratulations. But it was evident that many thought me insane. Why would a young man and his wife ruin their lives with eight children? Who could afford the Jewish day-school bills? Didn't we want to live life a little, and not just be burdened with kids?

It got downright surreal when a European film company, pressed me, while my wife was in labor, to finish shooting a segment that had an urgent deadline (I obviously told them they were insane). And the next day, I was mildly criticized by a Jewish organization which was supposed to be hosting me for a lecture for having to cancel on them because the lecture clashed with the baby's bris.

I don't mind that the world doesn't really love babies, just that it pretends to. It's time we got honest about our priorities. Most people get a new car every two or three years, but one or two babies through the life of their marriage is plenty. You can get drunk on an airplane, laugh hysterically with your mates, and still not really anger people. But if you dare bring a crying baby on board you will be given malicious looks as if the little thing is a package that ticks. If you walk your dog along the street, people will stop you to tell you how cute he is. If you walk down the street with a baby, you might find a woman or two who coos, but for the most part, you'll be utterly ignored.

Indeed, the contempt shown to parents of many children is the last acceptable prejudice in our society. As a father of a large family, I find myself apologizing wherever I go, as if I committed a crime. The frequent and loaded stares from scornful onlookers imply that the famine in Africa was caused by my selfish insistence on overpopulating the earth. Long ago my wife and I discovered that few hotels were prepared to accommodate so many children, even if we took three or four rooms, which is why we bought an RV for travel.

How strange to live in a world where loving children casts one in infamy. Having a family with many children implies a backwardness and primitivism that is deemed unbecoming in the developed countries of the West. Large families, it is thought, exist only among religious weirdoes or the teeming hovels of the Third World.

Rich countries, by contrast, prefer to increase their standard of living rather than the number of the living. Looking at Western birth rates for the year 2001, the United States averaged only 14.2 births for every thousand Americans, and the birthrate among white Americans is so low that the United States will soon lose its white majority. Indeed, one can go for days in a wealthy city like Manhattan without encountering a single pregnant woman. Riches and children have become inversely proportional such that the more of the former, the less of the latter.

Hence, the high birth rates of extremely poor African nations like Uganda – at 47.52 births per 1,000 – or Niger with 50.68 births per 1,000, are deemed to be prime causes and indicators of their penury. The abundant fertility and unconstrained sexuality of these countries confirms the unspoken Western mindset of these country's inhabitants as being just one step above savages. Contraception has become a synonym for civilization.

A Christian mother of six once wrote to me, "I find it troubling to worry about getting pregnant again ... because I don't want to face the criticism of friends and family. Why do people not see children as a blessing?" A fair question which deserves a fair response.

Why is it that even many snagogues today are not children friendly? Why are people impressed that Jay Leno owns 20 motorcycles, but disgusted that some religious families choose to have 10 children?

Let's not finesse the response. We all know why. A world that has lost its innocence has trouble appreciating beings who are innocent. A world that has become selfish has soured to the idea of leading a life of selflessness. A world that has become grossly materialistic is turned off to the idea of more dependents who consume resources. And a world that mistakenly believes that freedom means a lack of responsibility is opposed to the idea of needy creatures who "tie you down."

They can go fly a kite.

By just looking at my children, I become more innocent. By loving them, I become more noble. By spending my money on them rather than myself, I find transcendence. And by being a father and liberating all of the love in my heart, my spirit soars free. I work hard to support a large family and I give up no pleasures in doing so because my children are my foremost pleasure.

I am often asked by women dating men how to tell whether they are marriage material. I tell them, "See if he enjoys children." A man who loves children is playful. He will spend his life joking with his wife because he loves to see her laugh, and will flirt with her because he loves to see her smile.

There was a time when husbands and wives worked hard to ensure they could afford the blessings of a large family. Today, the higher your earning bracket the fewer children you have, but then we always knew that many turn money from a blessing into a curse.

Before he died, the Lubavitcher Rebbe launched a campaign asking parents to have one more child than they originally planned. It is a campaign that a dwindling Jewish community should revive as it continues to disappear.
Children are a gift from God! - our family website

Article exclusive from World Net Daily.

Partial Birth Abortion Ban Upheld by Supreme Court

You could say this is a small victory and will not diminish the huge number of abortions committed every year but it's not small to that one baby who will be spared this brutal execution.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Globe asks- Is this the end of the Latin Mass in Boston?

in this article. The official response is no, while as usual what they really mean, "Yes".

Fr. Terence Donilon, Diocesan spokesman:

"I wouldn't say this is the end of Latin Mass in Boston," said Terrence Donilon, a spokesman for the Boston Archdiocese. "It's not the end of something, but the opportunity to create something better."

...somewhere else.


By relocating Latin Mass parishioners to the Newton church -- where the Rev. Charles J. Higgins, a popular proponent of the Latin tradition and one of only a few priests in the area qualified to lead a Mass entirely in Latin, leads the services -- the archdiocese hopes to strengthen the Latin following. "Sometimes we get hung up on the buildings and we need to be focused on the sacraments and celebration of faith," said Donilon.

However that seems a bit disingenuous consider the Diocese won't allow advertising or promotion of the Latin Mass in Boston. And the Diocese has refused the offer of an approved order like the Fraternity or the Institute of Christ the King to purchase Holy Trinity.

It's too bad we couldn't avoid getting "hung up on buildings" back in the 70s and 80s when we spent millions to destroy the beautiful interiors of our Churches. To make them more relevant. A few Churches were spared, like Holy Trinity but their time as come.

and finally:

"We're trying to work through the issues one at a time. It's taking longer than we hoped, but we don't want to be heavy-handed," he said.

Heavy handed? The Archdiocese of Boston? Perish the notion.

And what will take Holy Trinity's place? Luxury Condominiums? Office Buildings? Perhaps a mosque?

It's hard to enjoy the Springtime of Vatican II when you look out the window and all you see is rain.

The Spin is In

A nice piece of propaganda.

This editorial will explain why when the Holy Father acknowledges broad use of the Latin Mass, he will really not be acknowledging broad use of the Latin Mass.

Why not?

Because Monsignor Timothy P. Stein doesn't want it to mean that.

For your amusement:

When you finish reading the articles about the Tridentine Rite of the Mass on pages 12 and 13 of this issue, don’t go rummaging through trunks in your attic looking for your old missals, and please don’t start calling the Bishop’s office saying “The Holy Father says you have to allow this.

According to Monsignor Stein what the Holy Father REALLY WANTS is more reverence in the Mass. The Novus Ordo Mass that is.

Guess what Diocesan Office will be the first to receive a phone call when it happens? Why the Diocese of Altoona- Johnstown where Monsignor Stein writes for the Diocesan paper of course.

I'll be sure to post the phone number then.

What the World Needs Now is Condoms...

Rarely do we get such a pat example of how liberals and some men regard women. As objects to be assaulted and used.

Richard Gere was over in India (I wish they had kept him as we have no need of him here) promoting HIV Awareness or whatever they call it to make themselves sound like the humanitarians they are not.

To make some type of point, I guess that he can do whatever he wants to a woman, even publicly, and she will welcome his advances he embraced and dipped back a famous Bollywood actress and kissed her. The Indian people have recognized the colonialist insult and are calling for an apology and are burning Gere in effigy.

Here's the picture:

Now if this shocks you, imagine you are living in India where this is really shocking and man would be arrested if he did this to a woman on the street. Even if he was white. And rich.

And then we read on that the event was to promote condom use for truckers who visit prostitutes at truck stops, contract AIDS and then go home and give it to their wives.

Notice there is no call for fidelity to their wives and marriage commitment. That would be asking far too much of the darkskinned impoverished men of India.

Because if Richard Gere cannot control himself, how can we expect anyone to?

I wonder too that the people of India have forgotten so soon, the advice of Gandhi to use self control and not birth control as he so famously admonished Margaret Sanger.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

More Young Nuns

...or still trying to recover from Vatican II.

According to the Boston Globe there are more young nuns.

They link these and these but not these.

The first two are getting vocations. Lots and lots.

The latter sisters are not. Strange that no one is attracted to their dedication to Ecology, Peace and Justice, polyester suits and labyrinth ministry.

And I can't fail to mention my own favorite sisters, the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Marriage is a Participation in the Cross

Catholics and Divorce.

An article by Mrs. Sheryl Temaat published in Homiletic and Pastoral Review.


In the opening to this narrative, I said that priests have been silent while children suffer. Silent about what? Divorce. I cannot remember hearing a sermon on divorce the past forty years. Many of my friends and relatives have taken their marriage troubles to a priest and gotten the advice to file for divorce "You don't have a marriage," they have been told in similar terms and to petition for an annulment. That is the message that has been promoted for Catholic families for the past four decades.

Today Catholics divorce in the same percentages as non-churchgoing people and they go on to date or keep steady company with a member of the opposite sex as if they have a right to remarry.

More Vatican II Mischief:

In the 1970s canonists began to write about a new discovery that they found in Gaudium et Spes which they interpret to change the object of the matrimonial contract from a right to the conjugal act to a right to the community of conjugal life.1

Simply Put:

Catholic teaching does not allow divorce/dating/remarrying. That lifestyle not only creates misery on earth but it leads to eternal punishment, not to eternal life.

God Hates Divorce:

The problem today is two√źfold as I see it. One, no one preaches on sin. God hates divorce (Malachia 2:16); divorce is a grave offense against the natural law (Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 2384); the Catechism calls it a plague and says that divorce traumatizes children # 2385; and study after study has shown the evil effects of divorce upon children.

Scandal of Annulments:

Pope John Paul II gave a yearly address to the Sacred Roman Rota, and often his remarks addressed the scandal of annulments in the English-speaking world, which has fueled the divorce rate among Catholics I would argue, while many canonists argue the other way around, that new grounds for nullity have been offered in order to deal with the rising rate of divorce among Catholics. Either way, the solution of granting many ordinary process decrees of nullity for divorced people is not a solution.

In his address to the Rota in January 2003, Pope John Paul II said that marriage is a participation in the Cross that includes the bearing of suffering. He said that the rosary has shown itself particularly effective in bringing families together. Marriage involves suffering and before Vatican II, we were taught that.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Holy Trinity in Boston: An Architect's View

Update: According to this Boston Pilot story, the Latin Mass will be moved from Holy Trinity as of April 22, 2007.

Boston's Indult: An Expensive Move
by Robert R. Quagan, Architect

BOSTON – April 11 – The Archdiocese of Boston announced on Sunday, March 25th that beginning Sunday, April 22, that the traditional Latin Mass will move from the historic Holy Trinity Parish in Boston's South End. Parishioners plan to appeal the move.

At this time, the plan approved by His Eminence, Sean Cardinal O'Malley appears to be proceeding. The March 25th announcement calls for removal of the Latin Mass parishioners of Holy Trinity (German) Church ( in Boston's South End, which represents three quarters of active parishioners to be transferred to Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Church ( in Newton Uppe r Falls, a suburb west of Boston. This will be the first phase of a plan to merge Holy Trinity’s assets and remaining German congr egation with the nearby Cath edral of the Holy Cross facilitating eventual liquidation of the property.

Recently it was revealed that Holy Trinity's Sacristy Safe, contains numerous priceless patrimonial artifacts. Nearly one hundred relics were discovered having never been made available for veneration by recent Administrators. In recent decades Holy Mass has been only a weekly occurrence and it is suspected their existence were a hold over from the days of Jesuit control. Also discovered was a chalice that apparently was used for generations on special feasts such as Christmas, Easter and Trinity Sunday. The following description is a reprint from the November 1945 issue of The Monatsbote (Parish Newsletter, published continuously since 1899) which provides interesting details about this remarkable sacred vessel:

"When the Golden Jubilee of the new church was approaching (1927) it was felt that for this occasion the parish should have a new chalice. From the start, the parishioners were told that it was not to be a gift of a single individual or a church society, but of the whole parish. Consequently all were invited to contribute gold, silver and precious stones, or cash. In the course of time, hundreds of gold rings, gold watches, chains and other gold ornaments were sent to the rectory, and, above all, gold pieces. All these things were melted and sent to a first-class firm in Germany, Messrs. Koesters & Seegers, Kevelaer, who at the request of Rev. Bernard Wildenhues, SJ had submitted an original sketch of a chalice, which was accepted by the pastor (Rev. Charles P. Gisler, SJ).

At first it had been the intention to buy a chalice of solid silver only, but of exquisite workmanship, to cost about $600. But as gold, precious stones and money began to pour in from all si des , it was decided to have a chalice of solid gold, with a large number of jewels. It is of Roman design, of exquisite workmanship – no factory work; everything made by hand requiring months of labor.

The cup is ornamented with six pictures, representing Christ the King, the Annunciation, the Blessed Trinity in Heaven, the Baptism in the Jordan, the Blessed Trinity with Jesus Christ Crucified, and the Transfiguration. The base contains six pictures of saints, in delicate enamel: St. Ignatius, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Peter Canisius, St. Francis Xavier, Blessed Nicholas von der Flue (the Swiss national saint) and the Little Flower. The artist had been expressly told not to put the picture of the Little Flower on the chalice, but he seems to have misunderstood the order.
The chalice contains about one hundred fifty precious stones – pearls, rubies, amethysts and diamonds. Stem and base, and also the lower part of the cup, are made of the most delicate filigree work. The whole chalice is a masterpiece of workmanship, a worthy gift of the parishioners to the Blessed Trinity, to whom the church is consecrated. May the blessing of the Blessed Trinit y rest upon all who have contributed toward the chalice."

The Jesuit order ran the Parish from shortly after its establishment in 1844 (1848). The present church was dedicated in 1877 and Jesuit administration continued until 1961, when it reverted to diocesan control. It was at that time that the parishes other facilities (Convent, Hall, School) were taken by eminent domain during the height of the urban renewal campaign by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) when the rest of the 19th neighborhood of brick row houses was reduced to rubble. Subsequently, low income housing (projects) replaced the old neighborhood. The then Archbishop of Boston, Richard Cardinal Cushing successfully worked a deal with the BRA to save the church building; hence it has remained since tha t time.

The significance of this church to our Sacred Patrimony cannot be understated to not only German Catholics but Boston Catholics at large. The utilitarianism an d lack of understanding of the role of the Domus Dei in Catholic theology among diocesan administrators in recent times has been all too apparent during the current diocesan reconfigurations. It has resulted in the loss of nearly 65 churches in just the last three years that have dated mostly from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Church (MIL) the expected new home of Boston's Latin Mass was dedicated by Cardinal O’Connell on 24 November 1910. It remains an imposing edifice situated on a hillside in Newton Upper Falls. It was rendered in an Italian Romanesque brick style featuring a 135 foot campanile. Originally the roof was in a red terracotta tile and has unfortunately succumbed (long ago) to the utility of asphalt. The front elevation can be best described as a portico reminiscent of a Roman Temple with a vertical proportion expressed by columns of the Corinthian order supporting a pediment that has sculptural relief of figures th at repre s ent the apparitions of Our Lady to Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes, France in 1854. The focal point of the interior remains the High Altar constructed of white Italian marble. Originally it was set behind an altar rail of red Italian marble with bronze “corkscrew” uprights and gates. The apse was lavishly painted with gilded stenciling serving as a backdrop to the reredos, above which a half dome contained three paintings of the Blessed Virgin: The Annunciation on the left, The Assumption in the center, and The Coronation on the right.

Unfortunately under the pastorate of Fr. Michael F. Doocey (1970-1993), following the Second Vatican Council and the often iconoclastic tendencies that followed, the interior of MIL was generally obscured. The once beautiful sanctuary and nave has been generally white washed. Thi s includes a set of polychromed Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) rendered white. The altar rail was destroyed save about eight feet at the locati ons of the former S ide Altars of St.Joseph and Our Lady. Even these segments were relocated about six feet into the Nave. The marble flooring of the Sanctuary has been obscured by ubiquitous red wall to wall carpet. A new and immovable freestanding Altar was formed about six feet forward of the bottom step of the old High Altar salvaged from the two existing rectangular Side Altars oriented back to back to roughly form a square proportion. The Holy Tabernacle of the old High Altar was systematically plugged and removed to the location of the old St. Joseph Side Altar where a “new” shelf was constructed and enhanced with a marble relief of “The Last Supper” also removed from the lower section (antependium) of the old High Altar. The remaining void from the old High Altar was covered by blank slab of roughly matching marble. Also obvious are t he dozen rows of missing pews in the church's nave, assumed destroyed during renovations of the 1970's.

The Latin Mass co ngregation may face the d aun ting task of reversing and absorbing the cost of the destruction wrought over the last 35 years to even approximate the liturgical order of the sanctuary and nave that remain extant at Holy Trinity. At a very minimum, a temporary altar rail will need to be restored to the devastated Sanctuary of MIL. There is current concern regarding existing sight lines and blind spots encumbered by the permanent placement of an existing freestanding altar and its juxtaposition to the original High Altar. This relationship may especially be problematic with a large liturgical entourage typical during the celebration of a traditional High Mass. At this point, true restoration of the church sanctuary for dignified celebration of the Classical Roman Rite could cost several hundred thou sand dollars. This does not even begin to address the balance of deferred maintenance throughout the balance of MIL’s physical plant that also includes a significant deterioration of roof ing, masonry, exterior wood work and ornamental ironwork. The existing pipe organ, inoperative for years languishes with water damage and cracked bellows. Its restoration could easily cost tens of thousands of dollars to restore.

His Eminence fully expects Boston’s Indult Latin Mass community to invest Time, Talent and Tithe with absolutely no juridical guarantee that the Latin Mass Indult will remain permanently attached to the church of Mary Immaculate. There remains a concern of significant risk associated with the burden of any capital investment at MIL. This is particularly true given recent announcement regarding the Indult and the perception of an "at will" relationship to any given location. Without juridic protection, the ability to fully develop a rooted parish l ife, may hamper its full potentential. Should MIL ever lose its Indult (or its sympathetic Pastor) in the manner of Holy Trinity, trust among many of the Faithful, whose spirituality is formed around the Classical Lit u rgy and Sacramental life could be seriously undermined.

Few older parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston have escaped the iconoclasm of the last 35 years and remain a suitable venue for the Classical Roman Rite. Those that have survived until recent times now face the threat of reconfiguration. The historic Holy Trinity Church remains intact and arguably offers the best extant Sacred Space in the the Archdiocese of Boston for this purpose. Unfortunately, arguments regarding an intact physical patrimony, central location to both major highways and rapid transit and its urban mission continue to have not swayed His Eminence, Sean Cardinal O’Malley. If the Cardinal's plan is implemented as announced, the last Traditional Latin Mass will be celebrat ed at Holy Trinity on Low Sunday, April 15th, ending 16 years at one of Boston's most venerable Catholic landmarks.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Good 'Ole' Days

Do you ever long for the days when a priest would not say something like this:

"It's like online sex — it's satisfying in a weird way, I suppose … but the real thing is so much better, why would you want to waste your time on it?" asked Francis Maier, chancellor of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver and an avid video gamer."

From this article.

And then there is this comment by the Reverend Francis X. Maier:

Dysfunctional, promiscuous sex is hardly a clerical monopoly. In fact, behind all of the lay outrage over the current sexual misconduct tragedy lies a deep ambiguity in the faith and behavior of Catholic laypeople.

from a talk about the laity.

Dysfunctional, promiscuous sex versus, you know, committed sex between two consenting adults. Morally speaking I'm not sure what the difference is. Without the Sacrament of Marriage either will send you to hell. But only if you believe in hell. That thins the ranks nicely.

Or the conscription of Clarissa Estes, an author admired by goddess worshippers, feminists, lesbians, new agers as a featured speaker at a diocesan event at the invitation of Fr. Maier, Director of Communications for the Diocese of Denver:

"Both Estes and Maier avoided controversy at the convention here. In introducing her, Maier referred in passing to the attention the choice of speaker had attracted. Just before the convention opened, Maier told the Denver Post, "I don't know about this lesbian stuff," but said Estes was well able to reflect what Pope John Paul II has called "the new evangelization." Maier told the Post that Estes appeals to "the heart, the soul, the need to regain our humanity."

You can read the context here.

I miss the good ole days. Yes indeed. Anachronism, where is thy sting?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Confessions of an Unrepentant Church Shopper

National Review Online article by Jennifer Graham.

For those of us who have not been to a Novus Ordo Mass in years. I offer this as a reminder of why we drive hours, with kids in tow, arrive 30-45 minutes early to get a seat (one hour early for Midnight Mass), and endure the judgment of family and friends who have determined us "schismatic" and "elitist" and "overly critical" for going to the Latin Mass.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Judas Tree and Legend

From Fisheaters Forum.

The Golden Legend, written in A.D. 1275 by Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, recounts both fascinating, fantastical medieval legend and the true History regarding Judas in its section "Of St. Matthias." The writer clearly differentiates between legend and verified truth with his words "Thus far it is read in the history which is not authentic," so you can easily discern:

The Dream

It is read in a history, though it be named apocrypha, that there was a man in Jerusalem named Reuben, and by another named Simeon, of the kindred of David, or, after S. Jerome, of the tribe of Issachar, which had a wife named Ciborea, and on the night that Judas was conceived his mother had a marvellous dream whereof she was so sore afeard. For her seemed that she had conceived a child that should destroy their people, and because of the loss of all their people her husband blamed her much, and said to her: Thou sayest a thing over evil, or the devils will deceive thee. She said: Certainly if so be that I shall have a son, I trow it shall be so, as I have had a revelation and none illusion.

Cast Out to Sea in a Basket

When the child was born the father and mother were in great doubt, and thought what was best to do, for they durst not slay the child for the horror that they should have therein, neither they wist not how they might nourish one that should destroy their lineage. Then they put him to a little fiscelle or basket well pitched, and set it in the sea, and abandoned him to drive whither it would. And anon the floods and waves of the sea brought and made him arrive in an island named Scarioth, and of this name was he called Judas Scariotes.

Now it happed that the queen of this country went for to play on the rivage of the sea, and beheld this little nacelle and the child therein, which was fair, and then she sighed and said: O Lord God, how should I be eased if I had such a child, then at the least should not my realm be without heir. Then commanded she that the child should be taken up, and be nourished, and she fained herself to be great with child and after published that she had borne a fair son. When her husband heard say hereof he had great joy, and all the people of the country made great feast. The king and queen did do nourish and keep this child like the son of a king.

Rightful Heir Born

Anon after, it happed that the queen conceived a son, and when it was born and grown Judas beat oft that child, for he weened that he had been his brotber, and oft he was chastised therefore, but alway he made him to weep so long that the queen which knew well that Judas was not her son, and at the last she said the truth, and told how that Judas was found in the sea. And ere this yet was known Judas slew the child that he had supposed to be his brother, and was son to the king, and in eschewing the sentence of death he fled anon and came into Jerusalem, and entered into the court of Pilate which then was provost. And he so pleased him that he was great with him, and had in great cherety and nothing was done without him.

The Forbidden Fruit

Now it happed on a day that Pilate went for to disport him by a garden belonging to the father of Judas, and was so desirous to eat of the fruit of the apples that he might not forbear them. And the father of Judas knew not Judas his son, for he supposed that he had been drowned in the sea long tofore, ne the son knew not the father. When Pilate had told to Judas of his desire, he sprang into the garden of his father and gathered of the fruit for to bear to his master, but the father of Judas defended him, and there began between them much strife and debate, first by words and after with fighting, so much that Judas smote his father with a stone on the head that he slew him, and after brought the apples unto Pilate, and told to him how that he had slain him that owned the garden. Then sent Pilate to seize all the good that the father of Judas had, and after gave his wife to Judas in marriage, and thus Judas wedded his own mother.

Oedipus Rex

Now it happed on a day that the lady wept and sighed much strongly and said: Alas! how unhappy that I am! I have lost my son and my husband. My son was laid on the sea, and I suppose that he be drowned, and my husband is dead suddenly, and yet it is more grievous to me that Pilate hath remarried me against my will. Then demanded Judas of this child, and she told him how he was set in the sea, and Judas told to her how he had been found in the sea, in such wise that she wist that she was his mother, and that he had slain his father and wedded his mother. Wherefore then he went to Jesu Christ, which did so many miracles, and prayed him of mercy and forgiveness of his sins. Thus far it is read in the history which is not authentic.

Judas the Apostle

Our Lord made Judas one of his apostles and retained him in his company, and was so privy with him that he was made his procurator, and bare the purse for all the other, and stole of that which was given to Christ. Then it happed that he was sorry and angry for the ointment that Mary Magdalene poured on the head and feet of our Lord Jesu Christ and said that it was worth three hundred pence, and said that so much he had lost, and therefore sold he Jesu Christ for thirty pence of that money usual, of which every penny was worth ten pence, and so he recovered three hundred pence. Or after that some say that he ought to have of all the gifts that was given to Jesu Christ the tenth penny, and so he recovered thirty pence of that he sold him, and nevertheless at the last he brought them again to the temple, and after hung himself in despair, and his body opened and cleft asunder and his bowels fell out. And so it appertained well that it should so be, for the mouth which God had kissed ought not to be defouled in touching, and also he ought not to die on the earth because all earthly creatures ought to hate him, but in the air where devils and wicked spirits be, because he had deserved to be in their company.


Today and during the Sacred Triduum, the Matins and Lauds of the Divine Office are often sung in a haunting service known as the Tenebrae service ("tenebrae" meaning "shadows"), which is basically a funeral service for Jesus. During the Matins on Good Friday, one by one, the candles are extinguished in the Church, leaving the congregation in total darkness, and in a silence that is punctuated by the strepitus meant to evoke the convulsion of nature at the death of Christ. It has also been described as the sound of the tomb door closing. During the Triduum, the Matins and Lauds readings come from the following day's readings each night because the hours of Matins and Lauds were pushed back so that the public might better participate during these special three days (i.e., the Matins and Lauds readings heard at Spy Wednesday's tenebrae service are those for Maundy Thursday, the readings for Maundy Thursday's tenebrae Cercis siliquastrumservice are from Good Friday, and Good Friday's readings are from Holy Saturday's Divine Office).

Legend says that the tree upon which Judas hanged himself was the Cercis siliquastrum -- a tree that is now known as the "Judas Tree." It is a beautiful tree, native to the Mediterranean region, with brilliant deep pink flowers in the spring -- flowers that are said to have blushed in shame after Judas's suicide.

The Carthusians

I discovered that in spite of growing up in Vermont, I had never known that the only Carthusian Monastery in the United States is located there- in Arlington, Vermont.

The Carthusian website

Great article about the Carthusians by Phil Lawler of

And there will be increased interest now that the documentary: Into the Great Silence is being shown around the world.

Cause of War

Who knew?

Babies according to this article.

Of course the article has the solution. It's simple:

One strategy is to reduce the birthrates and the mortality rates of infants and younger children, according to Population Action, which hopes its research will improve contraception programs, education for girls and health services for children and pregnant women.

Not only is it bad but wait until you read this:

Almost a billion people live in countries where birthrates average at least four [oh the horror] children per woman, among them, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan. Those countries need help to improve infant and child survival and the educational status of women, to reduce population pressures and to become more stable, the report says.

G.K. Chesterton recognized this argument as pure capitalism also known as greed. He wrote an essay called On Social Reform versus Birth Control:

A summary:

What he (the Birthcontroller) wants to control is the populace, and he practically says so. He always insists that a workman has no right to have so many children, or that a slum is perilous because it is producing so many children. The question he dreads is "Why has not the workman a better wage? Why has not the slum family a better house?" His way of escaping from it is to suggest, not a larger house but a smaller family. The landlord or the employer says in his hearty and handsome fashion: "You really cannot expect me to deprive myself of my money. But I will make a sacrifice, I will deprive myself of your children."

Syria Invaded

This is unbelieveable.

Speaker of the House, third in line to the Presidency, went to Syria, state sponsor of terror (Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, etc.) to run for President. I mean really, why else is she there?

And I bet the Arabs appreciated the cultural sensitivity Speaker Pelosi showed wearing a mini skirt. Personally I don't mind offending the Arabs when it is called for, when you are standing on principle, but isn't there some etiquette about Grandmothers not wearing miniskirts?

And what happened to her hair? I could never vote for a president with bad hair.

I really don't mind the Democrats making fools of themselves. But when they threaten our national security and consort with terrorists you can't complain that you don't know what you are getting when you vote for them.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Artistic Representations of the Annunciation

Though I know nothing about art I would call this the Edwardian Annunciation.

For really neat Annunciation pictures from a Florentine Art Historian.

Count yourself very fortunate if you read Italian.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A Modern Day Fairy Tale

(formerly titled Rose Red and Rose White)

My sister first told me about these books and my daughters and I really enjoyed reading them together. Regina Domana is a young author and graduate of Christendom College. She has written 3 modern day fairy tales (and by modern I don't mean Disneyesque) that reference the fairy tales they are based upon. Inspite of my initial disinclination the format really works. Character development is good. Morality is interwoven and not imposed awkwardly. A classic Catholic family is presented and the Faith, good music, literature, poetry, kindness and good works are the goals of the girls' lives.

Though some of the dialogue is awkward and Regina is a young author who would benefit from a really professional editor she has a lot of talent and weaves an exciting tale.

The third book is due this summer and will be self published. I don't know what Bethlehem books was thinking by no longer publishing young adult fiction, like we don't need more of that!

The first two books would make a wonderful Graduation or Confirmation gift. Because of some of the themes presented (I think tastefully and appropriately) it should be for older high school girls. Parents will be the best judge.

You can buy them from Bethlehem books here and you can visit Regina Doman's personal website here and correspond with her. I received a delightful letter from her thought she is a busy mother, writer.

Keep the books coming Baby! We're ready for more.

Flicka : the Family Fiasco

We watched this disappointing movie last night. We had heard nothing but good things about it and our hopes were high. I would summarize the movie thus, a rebellious, disobedient and ungrateful teenager teams up with a rebellious and ungrateful horse and show the girl's hardworking, caring father how wrong he is. About everything.

Some of the worst aspects of the movie-

- the dialogue which consisted of the girl saying things like, "I hate him" (about her father naturally, "You're not my father anymore." and "He doesn't get it."
- a 26 year old actress who pouts sullenly and fails to act like a 16 she is supposed to be portraying
- a weird dynamic between the girl and her brother which makes them seem more like girlfriend and boyfriend
- consistent disrespect and disobedience
- the scene where the girl is smacking and hitting her father

When the girl is sneaking out of her house to "train the horse" that nearly kills her a few times I suppose we are supposed to think it is noble or at least cute, much like a chaplain reaching out to a lost soul on death row. But would it still be cute if she were sneaking out to meet her boyfriend? Smoke, drink or do drugs? Go to the mall when she tells her parents she is going to the library? Just because this story is about a horse does not or should I say should not ennoble disobedience.

I found this negative review here and thought this line summed things up nicely:

"Flicka" is the iconic story of a teenager and his horse, but now the he is a she, and the horse has been pushed to cameo status. This dreary, endlessly annoying melodrama comes in the guise of a family film matinee alternative, but who wants to pay to see people grow to loathe each other over a horse?

To a man the whole family disliked this movie. Naturally the ending is that the father was wrong and the girl and the horse prevail to show him the error of his ways. Because being a good, caring father is not what it's all about- giving in to what your kids want, even if it will harm them is what it's all about.