Saturday, June 28, 2008

I just have one more thing to say about Holy Trinity closing....

... if it wasn't a naked cash grab- why wasn't the Church offered to the Institute of Christ the King or the Fraternity of St Peter?

Why was the Latin Mass Community forbidden to advertise the existence of the Traditional Latin Mass?

I guess the answer is obvious.


And yet there is something about the idea of hardworking German immigrants saving and scrimping pennies to build Holy Trinity, and current parishoners, some who have large families, trying to support the parish, the German people, so proud of their heritage, and the homeless, at-risk-youth who are served by Holy Trinty being told to "take a hike".

It rankles.

More on Holy Trinity's closing- I didn't think they would get away with it.

Holy Trinity Closing, But Welcoming Doors Not Opening – Yet

No German, Latin Masses for Displaced Parishioners; Reopening of Homeless Program Delayed

BOSTON – June 26 – On Sunday, June 29, Holy Trinity parishioners will hear for the first time the decree that formally closes the 164-year-old South End parish effective the following day, June 30. Despite the short interval between the formal announcement and the closure, parishioners will immediately appeal the decision to Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

The decree, signed early this week but yet to be formally read, will designate the Cathedral of the Holy Cross as the welcoming parish for Holy Trinity. At a parish council meeting Tuesday night, parishioners learned, however, that the Cathedral parish will be unable, at least in the near future, to offer Masses in German and English and in the traditional Latin (now known as the extraordinary form). In addition, parishioners learned that the Cardinal Medeiros Center , a day program for homeless older adults that had been run from the hall in the lower church, has been delayed in reopening in its new location.

Masses in English and German the extraordinary form have defined the life of Holy Trinity, and parishioners requested that they be part of the life of their welcoming parish. Holy Trinity, the Archdiocese’s oldest ethnic parish, was founded by German immigrants and has continued to offer readings and hymns in German at Mass. From 1990 to 2007, when special permission was still needed for its celebration, Holy Trinity was the only parish in the Archdiocese to offer the extraordinary form, the Mass used before revisions following Second Vatican Council in the mid 1960’s. In response to recently expanded papal permission, celebration of the extraordinary form resumed at Holy Trinity in February.

Cardinal O’Malley first announced his intention to close Holy Trinity in May 2004. The closure, which was originally to take place on June 30, 2005, was delayed for three years because the parish shared its facilities the Cardinal Medeiros Center and another group, the Bridge Over Troubled Waters residence for at-risk youth. The latter group moved this month to a residence in Brighton .

The Medeiros Center closed its doors at Holy Trinity on May 29 to move to the basement of Our Lady of Victories Church on Isabella Street . The program expected to reopen there on June 9, but it has yet to reopen because it does not have the necessary occupancy permit. According to Joe McPherson, the outgoing director, misunderstandings about the permitting process led to the delay. The group has received assistance from the Archdiocese and is working with them to resolve the remaining issues. As a best case, the program could reopen next week, three weeks behind schedule.

McPherson, who leaves the program after thirty years on Friday, is grateful for the twenty-five years it spent at Holy Trinity. “It [the program] was a continuation of the good works they had always done, such as the orphanage and the school, and I felt appreciated by the parishioners,” he explained during a telephone call. The parish founded an orphanage and home for the poor in Roxbury in 1888 and founded the first of three schools in 1848; all were closed in the early 1960’s.

The inability of the Cathedral to offer additional Masses in the near future will leave Holy Trinity parishioners scrambling to find Masses at other parishes. The closure of the 131-year-old church building, designed by renowned architect Patrick Keely and filled with stained glass windows and statuary from Germany , combined with the absence of the German/English Mass, effectively ends the German heritage in the Archdiocese of Boston.

The closure of Holy Trinity also again leaves the Archdiocese with only one Sunday Mass in the extraordinary form, celebrated at noon at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes in Newton . Attendance at that Mass, which draws about 300 people, is all but impossible for those without cars and difficult for people living northeast and southeast of Boston . Although expanded Vatican permission for the extraordinary form allows its celebration in every parish, establishing new locations, whether at the Cathedral or elsewhere, could take months. Attendance at the extraordinary form Mass at Holy Trinity has grown fifty percent in just four months, from 100 to 150 parishioners, as interest in the extraordinary form has grown throughout the Catholic Church.

These parishioners are keenly watching developments with the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), a group that broke with the Church in 1988 after it consecrated more bishops than allowed by the Vatican . Although it has used the extraordinary form exclusively since its founding in the 1960’s, that is not the reason for the break. According to reports in the Italian and French media, the SSPX has been given until June 28 to accept five preconditions for its return to full communion with Rome . If the SSPX does return, it may be offered a personal prelature, an arrangement where it, and not the local bishop, runs its parishes. Holy Trinity is considered an ideal church to be given to a potential personal prelature because it was never permanently altered to accommodate the post-Vatican II form of the Mass, is accessible both by automobile and public transportation, and has a reputation for fostering the extraordinary form.

For now, Holy Trinity parishioners will concentrate on the appeal process. They will have ten days, not counting Sundays, to appeal the closure to Cardinal O’Malley. If he rejects their appeal, they will then have recourse to the Vatican . Because the parish will be under appeal, Church law will forbid its dismantling or sale. The Holy Trinity property could be a prime candidate for redevelopment, just as the nearby Boston Herald and its parking lot have been recently reported to be. In fact, according to the South End News, developers have already approached the Archdiocese about Holy Trinity.

Throughout their four-year struggle, they never received an answer to the questions originally posited by the Parish Council: “Why was Holy Trinity designated for closure?” and “How does the loss of the Archdiocese’s German Catholic Heritage, relocation of the Traditional Latin Mass [extraordinary form], and the eviction of the Bridge Over Troubled Waters and the Cardinal Medeiros Center serve the best interest of the Archdiocese?”

Now, their questions have become, “What do they have planned for our beautiful buildings? Why are the buildings going to sit there when they could still serve our parishioners, our homeless, and our youth?”



Committee to Preserve Holy Trinity Parish

Christine M. Quagan, Media Coordinator

617-325-5905 (home); 617-852-0315 (cell)

NOTE: Please refer all questions about the Cardinal Medeiros Center to its main number, 617-619-6960.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Holy Trinity Church in Boston is closing June 30th, 2008

These two websites have more information about Holy Trinity along with pictures of the stunning architecture and sacred art.

Visit here for the pictures.

And here for history.

We have a marble reredros.

Exquisite Stations of the Cross.

Parish of the famous Fr. Francis X. Weisner, author of The Easter Book and the Christmas Book.

A Church that has served the poor and unfortunate for years with social service programs.

Home of the Latin Mass.

History, liturgy, beauty, tradition, charity versus a commercial real estate deal.

I don't even think they thought twice.

All that money, (the property is likely to fetch several million once the wrecking ball clears away all the trappings of Christianity), and the Latin Mass is exiled from Boston at the same time.

That's what they call a "two-fer".

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bear Hill Trail, really!

My parents have recently moved back from Ireland to live on Bear Trail, Henniker, NH.

These are their pictures!


Without further ado- Ragu!

Well I was reminded that I was supposed to post about a delicious sample I was so generously given and I thought:

What's better than anything for dinner?


Friend of the working Mom?

Friend of the stay-at-home Mom?

Friend of the homeschooling-Mom?

Friend of the camping-Mom?

Pasta of course!

I was invited to try something new: Ragu Spaghetti sauce in a pouch!

Now every mom knows that when you have your kids unloading the groceries from the car you just kind of wait to see what they will break... a gallon of milk? a jar of spaghetti sauce? a dozen eggs?

But now- just you wait! Ragu comes in a pouch.

When I first saw this I immediately thought.


For those nights when the boys don't exactly come back with a catch. For those nights when you really don't feel like venturing out to an overpriced "camper's store" for dinner.

A little pasta. A little Ragu. A little parmesan. And you have dinner.

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's Always Nice to hear from readers....

I received this rather charming letter today about my post concerning the girl who wanted to bring another girl to the prom. I have censored some of the ahem, adjectives but I don't think anything is lost.

I currently live in a state where being Southern Baptist is the chosen path. I continue to look back and appreciate my Catholic experience at Bishop Feehan and being raised in North Attleboro. I continue to respect and take pride in the beliefs of being a Catholic in the North Eastern States of the United States of America.

I recently read the blogs regarding the girl who wanted to accompany another girl to the prom at Bishop Feehan High. I personally think you are a ****ing Idiot and you make me want to retract my above statements. Why don't you begin basterdising [sic] the Catholic religion and start going door to door converting people. Nobody gives a **** about what you think, just keep your mouth shut and treat others as you wish to be treated.

Thank you for your time!

This post on the Bishop Feehan student who wanted to bring another girl to the prom has continued to generate some of the most interesting commentary. The irony is that this young lady went to the press with her story. So for her to claim persecution is rather amusing and a little bit beside the point.

Isn't it funny that I cannot be offended by anything that liberals and homosexuals do but they are allowed to be offended by what I believe and say? Ironic, n'est ce pas?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Real Problem...

Has anyone been following the story of the 870 prisoners that were released when a group of Taliban attacked a prison?


They all got out?

Did any American soldiers die?

And then I saw this article by the most unreliable U.K. Times: "Bush says Get Bin Laden Before I Leave Office"

No doubt in my mind Bush said this in a plea to get the British to hang in there in Iraq and not bail prematurely.

A good friend of mine is a Ranger and on a special mission in Iraq travelling with a small elite group. I'm convinced they are hunting Bin Laden in the mountains. I hope to see news footage of him smoking a cigar some evening in Afghanistan.

And putting the two news articles together I wondered if some of the prisoners in the Afghan prison are being tracked either visually or electronically in hopes that they will lead the U.S. to Bin Laden. And the prison escape was staged or even instigated by the U.S.

And while this seems perfectly logical and even likely to me. At the same time I wonder if I have been watching way too much La Femme Nikita.

Forgive the hyperbole because in reality there is no such thing as too much La Femme Nikita.

I just finished watching Season 1 and 2. Season 3 and 4 are now available on DVD at BJ's. I informed my sister (who upon my receipt of these DVDs will henceforth be known as "my favorite sister"). In re-watching them they are even more sinister than I remember.

The premise of the show:

"I was falsely accused of a hideous crime
and sentenced to life in prison.
One day I was taken from my cell
to a place called Section One,
the most covert antiterrorist group on the planet.
Their ends are just, but their means are ruthless.
If I don't play by their rules, I die."

There are so many blog posts about this show. (Amateurs).I was trying to find the promo on youtube but it seems to have been removed. Unfortunately the covers on the DVD cases are very trashy. An obvious attempt to get men to watch this series however in my experience they won't.

So if you tend to be a paranoid person, and honestly what Traditional Catholic isn't? This is the series to watch to hone your level of paranoia to a finer, sharper grade.

And my sister (soon to be known as "my favorite sister") believes that the character Madeline was based upon her. If you knew my sister you would understand that comparison. In honor of her getting me these DVDs for my birthday (which is in only 13 days!) I found this on youtube for her. Apparently someone made their own episode about, of all people the infamous, the nefarious Madeline.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert, Deceased

Tim Russert died of an apparent heart attack after returning from a celebratory trip to Italy to celebrate the graduation of his son, Luke from Boston College.

When I told my sister, the first thing she said was, "Is he really dead or in the witness protection program?"

And then I read this from a Fox News story:

His reputation — criticized both by conservatives for liberal bias and liberals for conservative bias — might have been the only one left untarnished by the scandal involving former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and former CIA operative Valerie Plame in the CIA Leak case, which turned on Russert's testimony.

Another case where you have to wonder what really happened is that of the FBI agent and Opus Dei operative that went to jail, Robert Hanssen.

Is he in jail or protective custody?

Is Russert really dead?

It's a sign of the paranoia of our times when we question every news item and especially those that seem suspicious.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Graduation Speech

At the Traditional Catholic School my son attends, the 8th Grade class competes for the privilege of giving the Graduation speech. This is the speech that my 14 year old son Andrew wrote. You might remember that he also wrote a short essay on Perseverance. Andrew received an A for this speech and I am very proud of him. He was not selected to give the speech at graduation however. The two students who will give the speech must have really written something extraordinary and I can hardly wait to hear them.

Andrew Alexander May 28, 2008
Grade 8
Christ Our Hope

“ I am coming sent by Jesus Christ to bring you His word of life. Together, with my bishops I have chosen as a theme of my journey three simple but essential words: Christ our Hope. Following the footsteps of my venerable predecessors Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II, I shall come to the United States as Pope for the first time to proclaim this great truth.” These are the words of our holy father, Pope Benedict XVI before his arrival to our country. A lot of people might ask,” why is the topic Christ our Hope? What does this mean?”

Our visible head of the Church meant something our ignorant world needs to hear. When we think of Our Lord, we think of our Divine Creator, or the second person of the Blessed Trinity who died for us. We can all agree that this simply defines Christ, but He is much more, for He is our Hope who can help us in any difficult time in life. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the one that keeps us in existence. He is the only one that gives us a reason to live our lives to the fullest of our expectations whether we are living in good times or bad. During times when we may be having a bad day, or long tiring week, it may not occur to us that the only way we can get through these troubles is Christ. We must rely on Christ so that He may help us stand strong in our faith in the midst of these troubles.

Here, at this school, Christ gives us the blessing of living around other Catholics, who are willing to live and die for their faith. When Christ gives us this opportunity, we should take advantage of it, enjoy it, cherish it, for the Lord can give and the Lord can take away.

We must prove how much we rely on Christ through prayer that He may help us pull through any problem or tragedy in our lives. In the Battle of Lepanto, it seemed hopeless for the crusaders to conquer the Muslims, but when our ancestors of Christian Europe prayed the Rosary, the soldiers of Christ came to a victorious domination over the Islamic Turks. Surely, people must have realized that no matter how hopeless situations can appear, miracles can happen and Christ will prevail.

Here in our time, we live in a restless world that will remain restless until the end of time. No matter how difficult life may be, it does not mean we alone can change the ideas of our world and teach them the main goal of life: Eternal Salvation in Heaven. Without the help of Christ, we will continue our errors, neglecting to perfect our lives, our nation, and the rest of the world. So, today I challenge each and every one of you to perfect your lives as Catholics and show the world the one supernatural goal in life, for it is not too late, and with Christ, there is still hope.

And here he is- Andrew, just a regular guy.