Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bill Buckley, RIP

What Does the Bishop's Letter Really Say

I saw this letter from the Bishop of Portland and was disappointed to see a blatant attempt to extort money from the Traditionalists who desire the Traditional Latin Mass.

1. The priest who will be assigned (provided the money is there!) will begin his duties July 1st. That will make it nearly a year since the Motu Proprio was released.

2. quote- "The faithful having recourse to Father Parent will remain parishioners of the parish where they live. The jurisdiction of the chaplain extends to Mass and confessions for such persons." Do I detect a sneer?

3. quote- "The chaplaincy will be funded through the donations of the faithful at the Masses celebrated by Father Parent. The chaplaincy will exist as long as there is sufficient funding to meet its expenses. This budget is being prepared and will be communicated to those who will be benefiting from his ministry."

Let me say that I cannot wait to see this budget. You may pay by cash, check or credit card and once the donations have cleared the bank the Traditional Latin Mass will become available. Very pastoral.

4. The people who have been disappointed in the failure of the diocese to uphold the Catholic Faith have voted with their pocketbooks.
They are being reined back in, told to ante up and get in line. Or else.

5. Fr. Parent has been in Maine for some time. He already adminsters 2 parishes. What will the budget include? Gas money? Salary? Health insurance? A pension? Gym fees? So the two parishes he administers are getting a "free priest" and I guess that's okay but the Traditionalists better get their checkbooks out, or the Bishop will not be able to implement the Motu Proprio in the manner in which he would like. What a burden that would be to bear you cheapskate, miserly traditionalists.

6. IF this was about the money, which it clearly is not, why doesn't the Bishop in his ardent desire to implement the Motu Proprio invite a Traditional order into the diocese? Like the Institute of Christ the King or the Fraternity of St. Peter? Because that would mean the diocese loses money and control.

New slogan for the Diocese of Maine- "Saving Souls and Money"

The letter:

February 24, 2008

Dear Friends of the Noon Mass at the Cathedral:

As you may be aware, I have been endeavoring to provide for the implementation of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum on a more stable basis and on a more extended basis in other locations in our diocese in addition to Portland and Newcastle.

I am pleased to announce that as of July 1, 2008, Father Robert Parent will serve as chaplain to the persons attached to the extraordinary form of the Roman liturgy residing in Southern and Central Maine. Father Parent is a native of Lewiston and a priest of the Melkite Catholic Eparchy of Newton, Massachusetts. He enjoys all the ministerial faculties of the Latin Church. Currently, he is the administrator of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Sabattus and St. Francis Mission in Greene. He will continue to reside at the family home in Auburn.

After July 1, he will be responsible for Sunday Mass in the extraordinary form here at the Cathedral and at the Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul in Lewiston, and in whichever additional locations may be possible either on the weekends or on weekdays. He will be available for the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals, including funerals, as needed and where the provisions exist for these celebrations. The faithful having recourse to Father Parent will remain parishioners of the parish where they live. The jurisdiction of the chaplain extends to Mass and confessions for such persons. Jurisdiction for other sacraments and sacramentals would be obtained from the proper pastor of the place where the individual lives.

The chaplaincy will be funded through the donations of the faithful at the Masses celebrated by Father Parent. The chaplaincy will exist as long as there is sufficient funding to meet its expenses. This budget is being prepared and will be communicated to those who will be benefiting from his ministry.

It is my hope that this will allow for greater access to the extraordinary form of the Roman liturgy. I am grateful to Father Parent for accepting this new position. I count on your support and encouragement to him as he begins his ministry among you.

May God bless you with His peace. Please know that you are in my prayers.

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Richard J. Malone
Bishop of Portland

Jailed Saudi Blogger

Friday, February 22, 2008

Currently making...

Orange Breakfast Granola

6 c. oats
1 c. wheat germ
1 c. hazelnuts or sliced almonds
2/3 c. honey
1 tsp shredded orange peel
2/3 c. O.J.
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix oats, wheat germ and nuts. In a small saucepan combine honey, orange peel and juice and cinnamon. Heat until just boiling; remove from heat. Add honey mixture to oat mixture tossing until coated.

Oil or spray a 15 x 10 nonstick pan. Spread mixture evenly. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes. Stir and bake another 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool. Store in airtight container.

Serve topped with fruit and yogurt. 224 cal per 1/2 c. serving.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Why I love this blog...

Allison is the writer, and mother, and housekeeper of Brocante Home Chronicles.

Here is today's post:

"As I was going through drawers filled with old linen embroidered with my grandmother's and great grandmother's monograms, I came across a small plastic bag in which were two coat hangers covered in blue wool with a label my mother had written, undoubtedly intended for me: "Crocheted by Bertha Kaufmann in about 1920".

So my Mother had gone to extreme trouble, at some unknown date to anticipate my future discovery. She knew that one day I would have to carry out this testing, nostalgic, heart-rending task of choosing what must be kept or not kept in the family house. She must have foreseen that moment when she would not be there, and so she had left me this information. She had wanted to draw my attention to it. As if she were addressing me, post mortem, to say to me: "Look, this is precious, keep it or throw it away, but know where this object came from.It was your great-grandmother who crocheted this. I would like you to keep it in memory of her and me. Give it to your children and the children of your children. This is testimony of a long line of women who were dexterous with their hands, attentive about fine linen, caring about their family's well being, take good care of it, as I have done before you. This is your female inheritance."

Lydia Flem. The Final Reminder.

Perhaps tomorrow it will be a lovely, twinkly sunny day. You will dress in a pretty rose spotted skirt and a fair aisle cardigan and kiss your babies have a good day at the school gate. Then you will walk into town, swinging your green basket as you go, waving hello to old Mrs Hambledon and stopping for a moment to admire the daffodils in the market square. Across the street you see a milky blue jug in the window of your favorite little antiques shop, a jug that will look divine sitting atop a pile of vintage hardbacks, holding a pretty spray of flowers picked from the garden. You see it and you step across the street to get it, but what you do not see is the car that knocks you over. The car that takes your life.

Or perhaps not. Perhaps instead there will be time to say goodbye. Or a lifetime of hello's and tomorrow's. We none of us know and yet we live within the spectre of death daily and most of us make peace with it. But what we don't do, beyond the simple act of financial insurance and will-making, is prepare for it. Not in a way that will resonate in the hearts of those who would grieve for us should the very worst happen. We do not take the time to mark our place in the world, to give provenance to the things we have made or the places we have been. Too many of us don't make a ritual out of record keeping on our children's behalf. We don't catalogue memories, photographs or dreams in any meaningful way and we don't write down all that we would say to the grown people our children will one day become.

This isn't meant to be morbid. Nor intended to deliver a little bit of misery to another shiny weekend. It is instead a reminder. A reminder to hold what we have dear. It is a call to arms. A gentle push to make this the weekend we stick those piles of photographs into an album and bless them with handwritten memories and quips from the day. The afternoon we too will spend hand stitching monograms on to our collection of fine linen, or ordering labels to be sewn into the clothes we have knitted for our children. Let's make this the weekend we put our financial affairs in order, or pour a big glass of wine and write letters to our children on the day they turn eighteen. Let's walk our children around the house and tell them why this picture reminds you of your Nana, why this tiny little brass maid matters so much to Daddy. Let's continue to fill our journals with all our unspoken thoughts. To not censor ourselves for fear of discovery, but to write in blood, what is. To offer our children the opportunity to one day fully know the woman we really were. And let's give them the gift of themselves: scrapbooks filled full of their first scribbles, a file of their own full of personal documents, a tiny notebook with all the funny things they once said in it...

We cannot know what will matter to them when they are gone. Memories are too personal. After the recent death of her Mother, Martha Stewart was gently thrilled by the care her Mum had taken to bestow upon her something she knew Martha would hold dear...

"That night we gathered at my brother George's home and were each handed envelopes prepared by my Mother. In mine were documents I had never before seen- my birth certificate, my Baptism certificate and communion papers, my diphtheria and measles shot certifications, a $10,000 savings bond, and a note from the pediatrician saying I was fit for school. Only Mom, with her sense of organisation, would have known that these would touch my heart like nothing else she could bestow upon me. Thank you Mother."

Perhaps tomorrow won't come. Or perhaps like Martha Kostrya we will live long, rich, satisfying lives. Who knows? But what we do know is that this is our job. To stuff our days with memories worth keeping. To be memory keepers and do our very best to leave nothing unsaid when we are gone.

To say our goodbyes every time we press a kiss on to their foreheads.

What more can be said? She get's it. What's important. What is meaningful. Family. Housekeeping (which sounds so mundane but is so critical). Creating the set for the drama of family life. Creating the environment where the family is so relaxed, so at ease, so at peace that they can safely tell jokes around the fire. Or say the Rosary. Or share their greatest fears. Deepest hopes. Most poignant memories. Most ardent aspirations.

The family, the home as the launching pad of everything. Everyone. But also the "home safe". Remember in the games of "Hide and Seek". Is your home, "Home safe"? The place that your children would rather be? More than anywhere else?

Brocante Home Chronicles.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Currently Listening to...

Favorite song:

A Maid in Bedlam

Abroad as I was walking one evening in the spring
I heard a maid in Bedlam who mournfully did sing
Her chains she rattled on her hands, and thus replieth she
"I love my love because I know my love loves me"

Oh cruel were his parents who sent my love to sea
And cruel was the sailing ship that bore my love from me
Yet I love his parents since their his, although they've ruined me
I love my love because I know my love loves me

With straw I'll weave a garland, I'll weave it wondrous fine
With roses, lilies, daisies I'll mix the eglantine
And I'll present it to my love when he returns from sea
I love my love because I know my love loves me"

Just as she sat there weeping, her love, he came on land
Then hearing she was in Bedlam he ran straight out of hand
He flew into her snow-white arms, and thus replied he
"I love my love because I know my love loves me"

The history behind this song is fascinating:

"Maid in Bedlam" was a drastic reworking of an earlier song
in which a black, George Sighous, was in Bedlam for his mad
love for an English girl. It's on a single sheet song with
music, c 1740, called "The Black's Lamentation", but the
tune on the single sheet is nothing like "Gramachree Molly".

Found it at CDBaby which I had never heard of before. You can order it here. You won't be sorry.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Natural Superwoman

Available from Amazon.

As soon as I heard about this book I was very interested in reading it.

I know that when I watch my diet, eat healthy and possibly even exercise (which alas means moving away from the computer)I feel better, so much better that I vow to continue it but my good intentions usually fall by the wayside.

The book addresses four topics:

1. The Natural Superwoman Lifestyle
2. What Bioidentical Hormones do for the Natural Superwoman
3. Natural Superwoman Strategies for Balancing Mood
4. Living Disease-Free as a Natural Superwoman

Why wait to find out why you are tired, achy, feeling depressed or overwhelmed?

In many cases, if you're functioning at a less than ideal level in one of your four key areas (nutrition, hormones, mind and mood and activity), chances are that's the way it has been throughout your life. Many symptoms go untreated (or can develop)until they build and a larger system malfunction develops. At this time, you may discover all sorts of untreated symptoms and glitches. But why wait? Why not address the glitch and become more efficient at any age?

There is even a chapter on "Relieving Stress". This is why I need this book. That evening glass of wine only goes so far. There are also chapters on Anxiety, Depression, Insominia. Most women experience one or all of these at some time in their lives.

And even more importantly than our own health, this is a good book to have for a mother with daughters. This will equip you to monitor their health, establish good habits and help your daughters become natural superwomen.

I think this is a book that will become essential. Keep it right next to the Bible, the Douay Rheims of course ;).

Happy St Valentine's Day

You can go to some blogs today and find the nifty little homemade valentines that some mothers have made. You can see the beautiful cards really wonderful mothers has designed and executed. You can see gorgeous little displays of handmade candy, chocolates, petit fours. But you won't see that here. So you can relax and you don't have to go away feeling insecure and inferior.

I thought about making chocolate mousse until I discovered that you have to have a beater for that. So I'll be grabbing something at the grocery store, scraping something up for dinner- the ramen noodles are all gone so that's out. And I hope my children learn that love comes in many forms. Sometimes it comes in the form of elegant, handmade trifles. And sometimes it comes in the form of having spent the last three days stripping wallpaper from the horsehair plaster in your living room. And it comes in the form of really listening when they want to tell you how their day was. Or in the form of being committed to them, your family and giving them an assurance of stability. And it comes in the form of laying down your life, your will, your needs and your desires in a million little ways for them and not out of obligation either, but only out of love.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Stolen Art

In the worst art theft in history 4 paintings by Van Gogh, Degas, Monet and Cezanne were stolen from an Art Museum in Zurich Italy.

Where are they going to unload these? Probably the Middle East or South America. I just wanted to alert my readers that if you see these pieces on ebay or at a garage sale this summer- do not buy them. There is a $90,000 reward for information leading to their recovery.

Blooming Chestnuts by Vincent Van Gogh

Edgar Degas (famous for his paintings of ballerinas) Ludovic Lepic and daughters, the painting is called Place de la Concorde.

Monet with another one of his tiresome landscapes, Poppy field at Vetheuil.

Cezanne, Boy in a Red Waistcoat. You can't help but think that Cezanne would have been helped with a prescription for antidepressants. But I suppose then we would not like him so well.

Friday, February 08, 2008

What's Wrong with McCain?

Dr. Dobson of Focus on the Family sums it up nicely:

"I am deeply disappointed the Republican Party seems poised to select a nominee who did not support a Constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage, voted for embryonic stem-cell research to kill nascent human beings, opposed tax cuts that ended the marriage penalty, has little regard for freedom of speech, organized the Gang of 14 to preserve filibusters in judicial hearings, and has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language," Dobson stated.

"McCain actually considered leaving the GOP caucus in 2001, and approached John Kerry about being Kerry's running mate in 2004," Dobson continued. " McCain also said publicly that Hillary Clinton would make a good president. Given these and many other concerns ... I cannot, and will not, vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience."

From Lifesite News

Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Tumultuous Privacy of Storm

Photography by Danny Burk

The Snowstorm

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
and veils the farmhouse at the garden's end.
The sled and traveler stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.

Come and see the north wind's masonry.
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
Curves his white bastions with projected roof
Round every windward stake or tree or door.
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, naught cares he
For number or proportion. Mockingly
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall,
Maugre the farmer's sighs; and at the gate
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
In all his own, retiring, as he were not,
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


It sounds like fruit. It sounds like juice. It sounds like smooch! It sounds like fun!

I was asked to have my kids sample this new organic drink. At first I thought it was going to be one of those powdered mixes that you have to mix painstakingly into water or milk and no matter how much you mix you still have lumps.

It's not.

It comes in the only container known to preschoolers- the sacred juice box.

The kids sampled pear, cherry and peach flavors and while there were 9 juice boxes in the morning they were all gone by noon. The ingredients are organic and nutritious. You can order all you want right here.

Now, normally I am a suspicious person. I remember the story of Nestle convincing African women to formula feed and the devastating impact that had. I remember the Gerber food scandals when it was discovered that those little jars had fillers and almost no nutrition in them. And that's why it is so exciting to see a product with things like brown rice as an ingredient. Imagine all the nutritious properties of brown rice without your kids even knowing what they are doing.

Keep them ignorant that's what I say!

Now I haven't checked my supermarket yet to see if they carry them but I will and if they don't I will ask for them. (On the hunt for the Froose Moose!) These will be perfect for trips this summer. You know how lousy you feel after a few days of "road food." What an opportunity to have nutrition so near at hand. So conveniently packed. And so willingly eaten by our innocent and unsuspecting kids.

Innocence is a wonderful thing. Especially when we can manipulate it to our own happy ends.