Thursday, November 29, 2007


I received this comment today on an old post entitled "Face East Young Man" and if you want to you can read it here.

I smiled at the March 13 entry where it said, "Fr. Thomas Kocik" is forbidden to say the Latin Mass at the Indult located just a few miles away from his parish. As the Associate Pastor of the Indult parish myself in my own Archdiocese, I was expressly forbidden in writing by my ordinary from offering the Tridentine Mass. Thank heavens Pope Benedict freed it up for the whole world now, I'm happy to have offered it twenty times by now. Wow, what a difference! Wow, what we have lost! I hope a change comes, and, finally admitting the obvious failure of the Novus Ordo, the Pope and Bishops simply return to the 1962 Missal and prohibit the Novus Ordo to the same measure they squashed the Tridentine Mass.

How many untold stories of priests forbidden to say the Traditional Mass. Slowly it's all coming right.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Papal Reforms of Legionnaires Continues

From Matt Abbot at Renew America

A reader sent me the following English translation of a Nov. 19, 2007 story on

Vatican City — Vatican sources said today that Pope Benedict XVI personally requested the abolition of two special private vows professed by seminarians and priests of the Mexican religious congregation, the Legionaries of Christ.

They deal with promises related to internal aspects of the order. The first prevents any criticism by members of their superiors or of their decisions; the second prohibits religious from seeking positions within the congregation itself.

Vatican sources have told Notimex that the measure was taken by the Congregation for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life following disciplinary actions in 2006 against Legionary founder, Marcial Maciel Degollado.

In May of that year the Apostolic See announced that the Mexican priest was being obliged to follow a "reserved life of prayer and penitence." This followed an investigation by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith "for crimes falling within the exclusive jurisdiction of this office."

Sources stated that the abolition of the private vows is a "measure parallel" to that of Maciel's sanction and that it was personally ordered by Benedict XVI and given to the current director of the Legionaries of Christ, Alvaro Corcuera.

These vows, which are included in the text of the congregation' s constitutions, specifically state that one is "never to desire, seek or scheme to acquire responsibilities or positions in the congregation for oneself or for others." They also state that no one may ever "criticize the outward actions of governance or the person of any director by written word or by any other means. If it is known for certain that a religious has broken this promise, [one must] inform his immediate superior."

According to a letter written by a former legionary, Emilio Bartolomé, and confirmed as being true by Vatican officials, Corcuera has carried out a series of visits to Legionary houses throughout the world. The purpose of these visits has been to inform superiors of the abolition of the vows and the "relaxation" of certain restrictions placed on seminarians, such as those related to visits with family members.

Previously restricted to a few times a year, visits between seminarians and their families will now be more regular and less restrictive as part of the pope's directives to the order.

The norms related to family visits were approved by the congregation' s Chapter General (or assembly) and cannot be changed by the director general. Only another Chapter General or the pontiff himself can modify them.

Sources conclude that, "since no Chapter General has taken place and the constitutions have not been modified, this confirms that it was a papal decision."

Friday, November 23, 2007

U.S. Soldier in Iraq

This is from Catholic News Service.

May Our Lady Watch over and protect our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Daring Book for Girls

Available at Amazon.

[And Amazon is having an awesome sale right now- though the list price for this book is $24.95 it is on sale for $14.97]

Just in time for Christmas a companion book for The Dangerous Book for Boys has been released. Paging through the chapters it has so much to offer for girls of any age. I believe it is recommended for girls 12-14 but that didn't stop my 16 and 17 year old daughters bringing it up to their rooms to begin the feast on all that it had to offer.

Some of the chapters include:

Pressing Flowers, Princesses Today, Jump Rope- Double Dutch and Chinese, How to Tie a Sari, Queens of the Ancient World, Joan of Arc, Explorers, Words to Impress, Peach Pit Rings, Make your own Paper and Books that Will Change Your Life.

If you are like me you want your daughters to be curious about things, familiar and exotic, cultured, capable and well informed. This book presents so much interesting information in an approachable format. A must have for sleepovers. The girls may even forget to turn on the TV.

When my sons received their copy of The Dangerous Book for Boys they stayed up until 4am reading it. And the next day they headed out to the woods to try some squirrel hunting. Thankfully the squirrels outwitted them.

But this is the kind of book that inspires action, involvement and interest in the real world. It is such a welcome alternative to electronic entertainment. It's a great book to read with your daughter and you find that you will get to know her a little bit better.

I do want to mention that as a mother doing this review for MotherTalk that I understand that some objections have been raised to a few of the chapters- specifically the chapers on Palm Reading, a discussion of Levitation- remember "Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board"? From my perspective the two pages on Palm Reading acknowledge that the "reader" uses psychology and observation to draw conclusions about the person. I didn't find it of concern. The section of levitation actually began with a discussion on saints that levitated like St Edmund, St Joseph of Cupertino, St. Gemma Galgani and others. Again, I did not see any occultic indications but I do want to make any mothers who may have a concern about this book aware of it.

I enjoy having this book in our home and look forward to paging through its treasures with my now 2 year old daughter in just a few short years. For Christmas it's a gift you can enjoy with your children.

Dying to Date

by Kathleen Parker seen in the Detroit News

If you're younger than 30 or maybe even 35, you may not recognize the word "date" as a verb. But once upon a time, dating was something men and women did as a prelude to marriage, which -- hold on to your britches -- was a prelude to sex.

By now everyone's heard of the hook-up culture prevalent on college campuses and, increasingly, in high schools and even middle schools. Kids don't date; they just do it (or something close to "it," an activity that a recent president asserted was not actual sex), and then figure out what comes next. If anything.

As one young woman explained "hooking up" to Washington Post writer Laura Sessions Stepp (author of the book "Unhooked"): "First you give a guy oral sex and then you decide if you like him."

This conversation took place in the family room of the girl's home. Immediately after that definition was served, the mother offered Stepp a homemade cookie. And we thought cluelessness was for teenagers.


Too often what follows the hook-up is emotional pain and physical disease, the combination of which has created a mental health crisis on American campuses.

That diagnosis comes from Miriam Grossman, author and psychiatrist at UCLA and one of five women, including Stepp, who spoke recently at the Washington-based Ethics and Public Policy Center about sex on campus.

Grossman is most concerned that politically correct ideology has contaminated the health field at great cost to young lives. As Grossman sees it, when the scientific facts contradict what is being promoted as truth, then ideology has trumped reality.

Speaking to a packed room of mostly women, Grossman noted that while some in the audience had attended college during the free-love days, the world is far more dangerous now. Today there are more than two-dozen sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) -- 15 million new cases each year -- some of which are incurable.

The consequences are worse for young women, says Grossman. In her psychiatric practice, she has come to believe that women suffer more from sexual hook-ups than men do and wonders whether the hormone oxytocin is a factor. Oxytocin is released during childbirth and nursing to stimulate milk production and promote maternal attachment. It is also released during sexual activity for both men and women, hence the nickname "love potion."

Feminists don't much like the oxytocin factor, given the explicit suggestion that men and women might be physically and emotionally different. But wouldn't a more truly feminist position seek to recognize those hormonal differences and promote protection for women from the kind of ignorance that causes them harm?

Physically, young women are getting clobbered by STDs with potentially deadly results. If a young woman begins having sex as a freshman in college, there's a 50 percent chance she'll have the human papillomavirus (HPV) by her senior year. While most cases of HPV are harmless, the virus causes nearly every case of cervical cancer, says Grossman.

Stacey, one of the college students featured in Grossman's book "Unprotected," contracted HPV even though a condom was used. But HPV, like herpes, lives on skin that may not be covered by a condom. An HPV expert tells college women, "You'd be wise to simply assume your partner has HPV infection."

Your partner. What happened to your dearly beloved? He -- and she -- disappeared with coed dorms and the triumph of reproductive health ideology. While coed dorms replaced obstacle with opportunity, ideologically driven sex-education programs promoted permissiveness and experimentation.

Because sex ed is based on the assumption that young people are sexually active with multiple partners, kids have been led to believe by mainstream health professionals that casual sex is OK. That's a delusion, says Grossman, because scientific data clearly indicate otherwise. Casual sex is, in fact, a serious health risk.

Rather than spread that word, sex educators have tweaked their message from urging "safe sex" to a more realistic "safer sex," any elaboration of which would defy standards of decency. Interested parents can find out for themselves by visiting one of several university-sponsored sex advice Web sites, such as Columbia's

To all good and bad, there is an inevitable backlash, and casual sex has lost its allure for many students. Having learned painful lessons from their elders' misguided altruism, they are seeking other expressions of intimacy.

At Duke University recently, Stepp asked how many in her audience of about 250 would like to bring back dating. Four out of every five raised their hands.

It would seem that young people are not hook-up machines, but are human beings who desire real intimacy and emotional connection. Toward that end, parents might buy Grossman's book for their children -- and themselves.

Serve with cookies.

Kathleen Parker writes for the Orlando Sentinel. Her column is distributed by the Washington Post Writers Group, 1150 15th NW, Washington, DC 20071. You can reach her at

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tea Party

I had such a nice visit with my friend Rebecca. (Rebecca is on the left holding her adorable baby, Leo) It was the perfect way to spend a rainy day- we had tea and orange cinnamon bread and chatted.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Absolutely Love This!

The Buy Nothing Christmas

Filched from The Brocante Home Chronicles- a vintage housekeepers blog I haunt.

Let's not let the Mennonites get ahead of us, shall we?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Heresy and Choice

Heresy is from the Greek word meaning 'choice'.... But we are not permitted to believe whatever we choose, nor to choose whatever someone else has believed. We have the Apostles of God as authorities, who did not...choose what they would believe but faithfully transmitted the teachings of Christ. So, even if an angel from heaven should preach otherwise, he shall be called anathema.

--Saint Isidore of Seville

(with thanks to Saint Quote of the Day Blog)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Latin Mass at the University of Notre Dame

With gratitude from the Shrine of the Holy Whapping.

This picture was taken from the back of the Traditional Mass held on Notre Dame's campus every Sunday morning at 8 AM.

Not bad.

Kidz at the Patriots game

My sister took this picture and did some photoshop editing. It was the Patriots-Giants Preseason game where the Patriots killed the Giants. It almost met the definition of bullying. My sister, the fearless, wore her Eli Manning jersey regardless. She's loyal if nothing else. Happily inspite of wearing a "Manning" jersey she survived the experience and left the stadium in one piece.

From back, left to right- Rose, Anastasia, Andrew, then in the front two friends- Patrick and Jacob Crory and Nathaniel and Tim.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


And that's all I have to say about that.

Friday, November 02, 2007

November the Month of Hope

From the very talented poet, Hilary Flanery and her blog, "Long Skirts".


Yes, I know November
The tolling of the bell,
The whispers of the suf'ring souls
From mountain top to dell.

The chilly, gray, damp mornings
The rusting of the leaves,
The whispers of the suf'ring souls
Like moans from one who grieves.

And in the windy noon-time
When clouds fight 'gainst sun's might,
The whispers of the suf'ring souls
Cry, "Sanctuary light!"

So 'fore the red-glassed candle,
Compelled, I go to pray,
The whispers of the suf'ring souls
Plead, "Sacrifice today!"

Now, deep, dark sanctuary
Is lit by candle, bold,
The whispers of the suf'ring souls...
"Your prayers are autumn gold!"

So like the leaves of autumn
I fall to kneeling posture,
The whispers of the suf'ring souls
Beg, "Say a Pater Noster!"

The flicker in the red glass
Burns hotter, now, with Creed.
Oh, yes, I know November!
The month of Hope...souls freed!

In honor of All Souls

A series of images compiled by a Florentine Art Historian Cecilia Frosnini, in commemoration of All Souls Day. She describes the images in her own beautiful way thus:

I have some images for All Souls Day on my blog.
The text points the close relationship between
death and life in the ordinary daily life in the
Medieval Age. There were lot of frescoes, on the
facades of the buildings, inside the palaces and
houses (not only in churches) representing it
and admonishing about the possible sudden death.

It is an honor to know someone who has dedicated her life to the study of beauty as expressed by the human soul through art.