Agatha Christie and the Latin Mass (from the Catholic Herald)

From the Catholic Herald (my emphasis):

“… Opposition to the liturgical reforms and regret at the passing of a liturgical tradition going back to the 4th century, if not further, was widespread, as the radical nature of what was being done in the name of the Second Vatican Council became apparent in the 1960s. The Latin Mass Society (of England and Wales, website here – TC) was founded in 1965, as the first reforming documents from Rome made clear that the Latin language was in the crosshairs, and liturgical experiments and abuses were disturbing the faithful in parishes.

Cardinal John Heenan ordered all parish churches in Westminster diocese to celebrate one Mass on Sundays in Latin, in light of Vatican II’s mandate: “the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites” (Sacrosanctum Concilium 36.1). However, the celebration of the reformed Mass in Latin quickly came to be seen as an anomaly, and the rule was withdrawn early in 1971. The debate resolved for most into a choice between the New Mass in the vernacular, and the “Tridentine” (or Latin) Mass…

The article is a short summary of that brief moment on the eve of the top-down imposition of the Novus ordo Missae on the First Sunday of Advent, 1969 (we discussed this here) when attempts were made to stop the “terrible mistake” of the liturgical “reform” which Pope Paul VI had made the centerpiece of his pontificate. One approach (among many) was developed as a petition to Pope Paul VI…

“… by the remarkable Alfred Marnau, a Slovakian poet who had come to Britain in 1939…

‘…The rite in question, (wrote Marnau - TC) in its magnificent Latin text, has also inspired a host of priceless achievements in the arts – not only mystical works, but works by poets, philosophers, musicians, architects, painters and sculptors in all countries and epochs. Thus, it belongs to universal culture as well as to churchmen and formal Christians.’

knowing time was short, in the space of just three weeks Marnau managed to gather the signatures of more than 50 public figures, including an MP from each of the major political parties, two Anglican bishops, and numerous writers, artists and musicians. These included Graham Greene, Colin Davis, Iris Murdoch, FR Leavis, Malcolm Muggeridge, Yehudi Menuhin and Nancy Mitford. William Rees-Mogg, editor of the Times, ensured that it received national attention.

But it was another signatory who, at least in popular legend, caught Paul VI’s eye, when the petition was presented to him by Cardinal Heenan, on behalf of the Latin Mass Society. Marnau relates: “The story goes that Pope Paul VI was reading quietly through the list of signatories and then suddenly said, ‘Ah, Agatha Christie!’ and signed his approval.”

Sadly, the Pope’s approval was only that the Latin Mass not be entirely suppressed. The Pope chose to not halt the impending trainwreck of liturgical revolution.

Curate, ut valeatis.


On nuns and home improvement.

From the Catholic Herald:

A few years ago I gave a child a holy picture of Saint Faustina, explaining that she was a very holy nun. “What’s a nun?” the child asked…”

The complete collapse of religious orders in the west is no surprise to anyone who has at least brainstem function. The Herald continues, citing the Catholic Philly:

“…The number of women religious in the United States has declined from a peak of 181,421 in 1965 to 47,160 in 2016, National Religious Retirement Office statistics show. About 77 percent of women religious are older than 70.

As many as 300 of the 420 religious institutes in the United States are in their last decades of existence because of aging membership and declining vocations, officials said…” (n.b.: If you want a clue regarding the reasons for the vocations collapse, all you need to do is go the Catholic Philly article – TC)

None of my children has ever seen a nun. Although there are a handful of very elderly sisters cloistered around the state of Maine, for practical purposes the “vocation to religious life” that is mindlessly repeated during the “prayers of the faithful” each Sunday has no meaningful, visible corollary. There are no nuns teaching in the schools. There are no nuns working and taking care of patients in the (ostensibly) Catholic hospitals. There are no nuns walking down the street, there are no nuns in the former convent attached to the school. The old convent has, in fact, been “repurposed” to a secular assisted living facility of some sort. For my children, and for all of the children in the State (and all of these United States) “praying for vocations to religious life” is like praying for dinosaurs. Except, they are taught about dinosaurs in their Catholic school.

However, as the Herald article points out (my emphasis),

“…Certain orders are not going to continue, while others are; the orders women still want to join are by and large, for want of a better term, traditional ones. Those facing extinction, not so much…”

Which brings me to some examples I’d like to share with you, because the nuns are out there, slowly, quietly, patiently rebuilding. Brick by brick. You just have to look.

Firstly, The Dominican Nuns at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary, Summit, New Jersey. What, you may ask, is a “Dominican Nun”? from the website:

Like all contemplatives, our specific mission is unceasing prayer for the entire Church, a spiritual service in the form of praise, adoration, intercession, expiation and thanksgiving…

..Contemplative activity at the service of the Church is the definite pattern set by St. Dominic for the Nuns of the Order, for he founded them ten years before the Brethren to offer their prayers and penances for all “preachers of the word.” From the very beginning of the Order, St. Dominic associated us with “the holy preaching,” through a life of contemplation, liturgical prayer, work, and sacrifice. He founded the nuns before the friars, knowing that the success of his preaching depended upon and was linked intimately with the intercession of his daughters…”

You can explore their website, and learn a great deal about them on your own. However, I’d like to point out their Cloister Shoppe. I’ve been buying stuff from there for a few years now, especially soap and beeswax Advent candles. They sell most of their stuff year ‘round, but you gotta hurry on the Advent candles as they are seasonal, and when they’re gone, they’re gone, until next year!

And, although they are a small group, they are growing, and have a capital campaign (look at the “construction photos” link!)

Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ.jpg


Next up, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Gower, Missouri. From their website,

Our community first began under the aegis of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in 1995, in the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania…

In March 2006, we accepted the invitation of Bishop Robert W. Finn to transfer to his diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri. We were established as a Public Association of the Faithful with the new name, “Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles”. By the grace of God and through the fatherly solicitude of Bishop Finn, we were raised to the status of Religious Institute of Diocesan Right under the supreme authority of Ecclesia Dei on November 25, 2014.”

Like the Dominicans in NJ, the Benedictines are small but growing, and they had a major milestone in the consecration of the newly built Abbey and the Abbess this past September. Fr. Z covered it in great detail with great photos and great videos here, here and here.

They, too, have a store. The Dominicans have an extensive collection of craft items for sale, while these Benedictine sisters have greeting cards and especially music CDs covering all the Liturgical year: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and more. Check it out!

Gower, MO Abbey.jpg


Third, we have Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, founded in 1997 in Ann Arbor, Michigan by four foundresses: Mother Assumpta Long, O.P., Sr. Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz, O.P., Sr. Mary Samuel Handwerker, O.P., and Sr. John Dominic Rasmussen, O.P. Teaching is their primary apostolate. From the Apostolate link (my emphasis):

“…Women religious have been an integral part of the history of Catholic education in the United States. As Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, we seek to continue the tradition of educating generations of young people in their Faith and most of all, to bring youth into deeper relationship with Christ…

In our Spiritus Sanctus Academies or in other Catholic schools where our Sisters are involved in the administration or teaching apostolate, we look to foster, flowing from the Dominican charism, the formation of the students, spiritually, intellectually, and physically. We support the growth and excellence of the whole person so that they too can go out and engage the culture with a knowledge of the Truth. We seek to foster the holiness of our students, because holiness and happiness are synonymous in the light of Faith.

At this juncture in the Catholic Church’s history in our country, which is in such great need for the new evangelization spoken of by Saint John Paul II, we serve the Church by deepening the renewal of Catholic education and bringing consecrated women religious back into the schools.”

In addition to the Mother House in Ann Arbor, they are building a new Religious House in Austin, Texas. They also have teaching missions in Michigan (Lansing, Detroit and St. Claire Shores, and of course, Ann Arbor), Chicago, IL, Worthington, OH, Peoria, IL, St. Paul, MN, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, Kansas City, MO, Houston, TX, Georgetown, TX, Austin, TX and Buda, TX (what’s up with Texas??). They are also in Phoenix, AZ, Sacramento, CA and San Francisco, CA. Finally, they are also in Rome, serving at the Pontifical North American College.

And, of course, they have a store. Here is the Texas Religious House.

Sisters of Mary Texas.jpg


Lastly, I offer the Carmelite nuns of the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA. From their website:

The Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is a papally enclosed Discalced Carmelite community in the farmlands of Elysburg, Pennsylvania. In communion with the Roman Catholic Church and approved by their diocesan bishop, the Most Rev. Ronald Gainer of the Harrisburg Diocese, the cloistered Nuns live lives of solitude, prayer and sacrifice. Their monastery is at full capacity — and their numbers continue to grow.

The primary mission of the Carmelite Order is to pray and offer oblation for the Church and the world. The use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and Divine Office sets this monastery apart and their observance of the Rule and Constitutions is part of an unbroken tradition stretching back from Mexico to Spain to Mount Carmel itself in the Holy Land...”

Since moving into the Elysburg monastery (vacated in 2007 by an aging community), the Nuns have experienced a surge in vocations. Here, this new generation has found the perennial ideals of the cloistered Carmelite vocation lived in all its traditional fullness. While this is a blessing, it has also created a challenge. With these new vocations, the Nuns have outgrown their current monastery. Rooms meant for recreation, meals, and work are fast being turned into living quarters to accommodate new postulants.

...Since moving into the Elysburg monastery (vacated in 2007 by an aging community), the Nuns have experienced a surge in vocations. Here, this new generation has found the perennial ideals of the cloistered Carmelite vocation lived in all its traditional fullness. While this is a blessing, it has also created a challenge. With these new vocations, the Nuns have outgrown their current monastery. Rooms meant for recreation, meals, and work are fast being turned into living quarters to accommodate new postulants.

Bishop Ronald Gainer of the Harrisburg Diocese gave the Carmelites permission to branch out and found a new community. With his blessing, the Carmel of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph began the design process and in 2012 purchased the land on which to build. 

At both Elysburg and the new monastery, the nuns will be able to continually grow, attracting new vocations and providing powerhouses of prayer and sacrifice the world so desperately needs...”

Carmelites of PA.jpg

All of these communities: the Dominicans in New Jersey, the Benedictines in Missouri, the Dominicans in Michigan, the Carmelites of Pennsylvania, are growing. That’s why I’ve posted construction pictures and links. They also have stores and get a fair amount of their income through their stores. They sell beautiful and unique things, and three have music CDs which make wonderful gifts for any priests or seminarians you may happen to know.

Curate, ut valeatis!

Maine General Election 6 November 2018

General information and links from the Maine Secretary of State on the 6 November election are here. It includes the ballot questions, as well as links regarding the candidates.

Here is the Maine Right to Life website. They have a Voter’s Guide here, and endorsed candidates here.

There may be a Voter’s Guide somewhere on the Diocesan website, but I couldn’t find it (I searched).

Not all political issues have the same weight in Catholic moral teaching. Some, such as abortion and it’s ever-proliferating progeny, are intrinsically evil and cannot ever by justified. Others, such as the proper response to illegal entry (not to be confused with legal immigration), need to be addressed using principles of both mercy and justice, but there are many possible legitimate responses to the problem.

Curate, ut valeatis!


All Saints, All Souls, First Saturday, November, Anno Domini MMXVIII

The St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy is offering a Traditional Latin Mass at 8AM at the Cathedral in Portland, and at 630PM at the Basilica in Lewiston, this Thursday for the FEAST OF ALL SAINTS

This Saturday is FIRST SATURDAY, and the Traditional Latin Mass will be offered at St. Anthony’s in Westbrook (see below).

From the Daily Missal (1962):

Thursday, November 1st, Anno Domini MMXVIII: THE FEAST OF ALL SAINTS

We can pay no greater honour to the Saints than by offering up to God in their name the Blood of Jesus. The efficacy of their past merits and present prayers is greatly increased when offered to God in close association with the merits and prayers of our Lord. Therefore the Church commemorates on this day all the Saints in heaven without exception, and thus honours also those who are unknown and have no public reconistion in the Liturgy.

COLLECT: Almighty and everlasting God, who hast enabled us to honour in one solemn Feast the merits of Thy Saints: we beseech Thee, that, with so many praying for us, Thou wouldst pour forth on us an abundance of Thy mercy for which we long.

All Saints Day 2018.jpg

Friday, November 2nd, Anno Domini MMXVIII: THE FEAST OF ALL SOULS

The practice of recommending to God the souls of the departed in that we may mitigate the great pains which they suffer, and that He may soon bring them to His glory, is most pleasing to God and most profitable to us. For those blessed souls are His eternal spouses, and they are most grateful to those who obtain their deliverance from prison, or even a mitigation of their torments. Hence, when they shall enter into heaven, they will certainly not forget those who prayed for them. It is a pious belief that God manifests to them our prayers for them, that they may also pray for us. Let us recommend to Jesus Christ, and to His holy Mother, all the souls in Purgatory, but especially those of our relatives, benefactors, friends, and enemies, and, still more particularly, the souls of those for whom we are bound to pray; and let us consider the great pains which these holy spouses of Jesus Christ endure, and offer to God for their relief the Masses of this day.

COLLECT (The First Mass): O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful: grant to the souls of Thy servants and handmaidens the remission of all their sins: that through pious supplications, they may obtain that pardon, which they have always desired.

All souls day 2018.jpg

And, this Saturday is First Saturday for November.


Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage 2018

For those of you who may find yourselves in Rome, the 7th International Pilgrimage to Rome of the People of Summorum Pontificum is happening Friday, 26 October through Sunday, 28 October. Can’t make it to Rome? Well, we can at least review Summorum pontificum.

What, you ask, is Summorum Pontificum? It is the document, promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI on 7 July 2007, found at the Vatican website here and reproduced in its entirety for your convenience as follows:







The Supreme Pontiffs have to this day shown constant concern that the Church of Christ should offer worthy worship to the Divine Majesty, “for the praise and glory of his name” and “the good of all his holy Church.”

As from time immemorial, so too in the future, it is necessary to maintain the principle that “each particular Church must be in accord with the universal Church not only regarding the doctrine of the faith and sacramental signs, but also as to the usages universally received from apostolic and unbroken tradition. These are to be observed not only so that errors may be avoided, but also that the faith may be handed on in its integrity, since the Church’s rule of prayer (lex orandi) corresponds to her rule of faith (lex credendi).” [1]

Eminent among the Popes who showed such proper concern was Saint Gregory the Great, who sought to hand on to the new peoples of Europe both the Catholic faith and the treasures of worship and culture amassed by the Romans in preceding centuries. He ordered that the form of the sacred liturgy, both of the sacrifice of the Mass and the Divine Office, as celebrated in Rome, should be defined and preserved. He greatly encouraged those monks and nuns who, following the Rule of Saint Benedict, everywhere proclaimed the Gospel and illustrated by their lives the salutary provision of the Rule that “nothing is to be preferred to the work of God.” In this way the sacred liturgy, celebrated according to the Roman usage, enriched the faith and piety, as well as the culture, of numerous peoples. It is well known that in every century of the Christian era the Church’s Latin liturgy in its various forms has inspired countless saints in their spiritual life, confirmed many peoples in the virtue of religion and enriched their devotion.

In the course of the centuries, many other Roman Pontiffs took particular care that the sacred liturgy should accomplish this task more effectively. Outstanding among them was Saint Pius V, who in response to the desire expressed by the Council of Trent, renewed with great pastoral zeal the Church’s entire worship, saw to the publication of liturgical books corrected and “restored in accordance with the norm of the Fathers,” and provided them for the use of the Latin Church.

Among the liturgical books of the Roman rite, a particular place belongs to the Roman Missal, which developed in the city of Rome and over the centuries gradually took on forms very similar to the form which it had in more recent generations.

It was towards this same goal that succeeding Roman Pontiffs directed their energies during the subsequent centuries in order to ensure that the rites and liturgical books were brought up to date and, when necessary, clarified. From the beginning of this century they undertook a more general reform.” [2] Such was the case with our predecessors Clement VIII, Urban VIII, Saint Pius X [3], Benedict XV, Pius XII and Blessed John XXIII.

In more recent times, the Second Vatican Council expressed the desire that the respect and reverence due to divine worship should be renewed and adapted to the needs of our time. In response to this desire, our predecessor Pope Paul VI in 1970 approved for the Latin Church revised and in part renewed liturgical books; translated into various languages throughout the world, these were willingly received by the bishops as well as by priests and the lay faithful. Pope John Paul II approved the third typical edition of the Roman Missal. In this way the Popes sought to ensure that “this liturgical edifice, so to speak ... reappears in new splendour in its dignity and harmony.” [4]

In some regions, however, not a few of the faithful continued to be attached with such love and affection to the earlier liturgical forms which had deeply shaped their culture and spirit, that in 1984 Pope John Paul II, concerned for their pastoral care, through the special Indult Quattuor Abhinc Annos issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship, granted the faculty of using the Roman Missal published in 1962 by Blessed John XXIII. Again in 1988, John Paul II, with the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei, exhorted bishops to make broad and generous use of this faculty on behalf of all the faithful who sought it.

Given the continued requests of these members of the faithful, long deliberated upon by our predecessor John Paul II, and having listened to the views expressed by the Cardinals present at the Consistory of 23 March 2006, upon mature consideration, having invoked the Holy Spirit and with trust in God’s help, by this Apostolic Letter we decree the following:

Art 1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the lex orandi (rule of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. The Roman Missal promulgated by Saint Pius V and revised by Blessed John XXIII is nonetheless to be considered an extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi of the Church and duly honoured for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church’s lex orandi will in no way lead to a division in the Church’s lex credendi (rule of faith); for they are two usages of the one Roman rite.

It is therefore permitted to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Church’s Liturgy. The conditions for the use of this Missal laid down by the previous documents Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei are now replaced as follows:

Art. 2. In Masses celebrated without a congregation, any Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use either the Roman Missal published in 1962 by Blessed Pope John XXIII or the Roman Missal promulgated in 1970 by Pope Paul VI, and may do so on any day, with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such a celebration with either Missal, the priest needs no permission from the Apostolic See or from his own Ordinary.

Art. 3. If communities of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, whether of pontifical or diocesan right, wish to celebrate the conventual or community Mass in their own oratories according to the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, they are permitted to do so. If an individual community or an entire Institute or Society wishes to have such celebrations frequently, habitually or permanently, the matter is to be decided by the Major Superiors according to the norm of law and their particular laws and statutes.

Art. 4. The celebrations of Holy Mass mentioned above in Art. 2 may be attended also by members of the lay faithful who spontaneously request to do so, with respect for the requirements of law.

Art. 5, §1 In parishes where a group of the faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition stably exists, the parish priest should willingly accede to their requests to celebrate Holy Mass according to the rite of the 1962 Roman Missal. He should ensure that the good of these members of the faithful is harmonized with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the governance of the bishop in accordance with Canon 392, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the whole Church.

§2 Celebration according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII can take place on weekdays; on Sundays and feast days, however, such a celebration may also take place.

§3 For those faithful or priests who request it, the pastor should allow celebrations in this extraordinary form also in special circumstances such as marriages, funerals or occasional celebrations, e.g. pilgrimages.

§4 Priests using the Missal of Blessed John XXIII must be qualified (idonei) and not prevented by law.

§5 In churches other than parish or conventual churches, it is for the rector of the church to grant the above permission.

Art. 6. In Masses with a congregation celebrated according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, the readings may be proclaimed also in the vernacular, using editions approved by the Apostolic See.

Art. 7. If a group of the lay faithful, as mentioned in Art. 5, §1, has not been granted its requests by the parish priest, it should inform the diocesan bishop. The bishop is earnestly requested to satisfy their desire. If he does not wish to provide for such celebration, the matter should be referred to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.

Art. 8. A bishop who wishes to provide for such requests of the lay faithful, but is prevented by various reasons from doing so, can refer the matter to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which will offer him counsel and assistance.

Art. 9, §1 The parish priest, after careful consideration, can also grant permission to use the older ritual in the administration of the sacraments of Baptism, Marriage, Penance and Anointing of the Sick, if advantageous for the good of souls.

§2 Ordinaries are granted the faculty of celebrating the sacrament of Confirmation using the old Roman Pontifical, if advantageous for the good of souls.

§3 Ordained clerics may also use the Roman Breviary promulgated in 1962 by Blessed John XXIII.

Art. 10. The local Ordinary, should he judge it opportune, may erect a personal parish in accordance with the norm of Canon 518 for celebrations according to the older form of the Roman rite, or appoint a rector or chaplain, with respect for the requirements of law.

Art. 11. The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, established in 1988 by Pope John Paul II [5], continues to exercise its function. The Commission is to have the form, duties and regulations that the Roman Pontiff will choose to assign to it.

Art. 12. The same Commission, in addition to the faculties which it presently enjoys, will exercise the authority of the Holy See in ensuring the observance and application of these norms.

We order that all that we have decreed in this Apostolic Letter given Motu Proprio take effect and be observed from the fourteenth day of September, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, in the present year, all things to the contrary notwithstanding.

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on the seventh day of July in the year of the Lord 2007, the third of our Pontificate.


This document was accompanied by a “Letter of Instruction” to Bishops. It was published the same day, is found at the Vatican website here, along with further clarification from the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (promulgated 30 April 2011) here. A couple of tidbits from the 2011 letter:

6. The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI (the Novus ordo missae – TC) and the last edition prepared under Pope John XXIII (the “1962 Missal” – TC), are two forms of the Roman Liturgy, defined respectively as ordinaria and extraordinaria (“Ordinary Form” or OF, “Extraordinary Form” or EF – TC): they are two usages of the one Roman Rite, one alongside the other. Both are the expression of the same lex orandi of the Church. On account of its venerable and ancient use, the forma extraordinaria is to be maintained with appropriate honor…

The coetus fidelium (cf. Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, art. 5 § 1)

15. A coetus fidelium (“group of the faithful”) can be said to be stabiliter existens (“existing in a stable manner”), according to the sense of art. 5 § 1 of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, when it is constituted by some people (Note well: no number is given – TC) of an individual parish who, even after the publication of the Motu Proprio, come together by reason of their veneration for the Liturgy in the Usus Antiquior, and who ask that it might be celebrated in the parish church or in an oratory or chapel; such a coetus (“group”) can also be composed of persons coming from different parishes or dioceses, who gather together in a specific parish church or in an oratory or chapel for this purpose.

16. In the case of a priest who presents himself occasionally in a parish church or an oratory with some faithful, and wishes to celebrate in the forma extraordinaria, as foreseen by articles 2 and 4 of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, the pastor or rector of the church, or the priest responsible, is to permit such a celebration, while respecting the schedule of liturgical celebrations in that same church…

There’s more, of course. There’s clarification regarding special qualifications for priests (none, although obviously a priest unfamiliar with it must learn to say it, cf. para. 20), liturgical and ecclesiastical disciplines (e.g., can “new saints” be inserted into the Missal? Yes. Cf. para. 24-28), use for confirmation (yes, para.29), use during the Sacred Triduum (yes – cf. para. 33, including specifically “…the parish priest or Ordinary, in agreement with the qualified priest, should find some arrangement favourable to the good of souls, not excluding the possibility of a repetition of the celebration of the Sacred Triduum in the same church.”)

The website for the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” is here. There’s some interesting stuff there, such as this Letter regarding celebration of marriages by the Society of St. Pius X (yes, “insofar as possible…”).

Curate, ut valeatis.


(Images via Fr. Z's Store and Scelata)

Forever young.

George Weigel described the “working document” (Instrumentum Laboris or “IL”) for the 2018 XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (the “Youth Synod”, currently underway in Rome) in this way:

“…a 30,000-plus-word brick: a bloated, tedious doorstop full of sociologese but woefully lacking in spiritual or theological insight. Moreover, and more sadly, the IL has little to say about “the faith” except to hint on numerous occasions that its authors are somewhat embarrassed by Catholic teaching—and not because that teaching has been betrayed by churchmen of various ranks, but because that teaching challenges the world’s smug sureties about, and its fanatical commitment to, the sexual revolution in all its expressions…”

William Kilpatrick sees it this way:

“…one gets the impression that the biggest challenge young people face in life is discovering their sexuality. …(T)he IL document suggests that the role of the Church is to listen and accompany, but not to teach. What the document authors envision is the “emergence of a new paradigm of religiosity” which is “not too institutionalized” but ‘increasingly liquid’..

Increasingly liquid’? Isn’t this just another way of saying ‘watered-down’? It’s a characteristic of youth—especially of the male variety—that they don’t want to be tied down. And that’s the appeal of this ever-changing liquid faith. It leaves you free to float around. The synod organizers understand this adolescent predisposition and in the IL document they cater to it shamelessly…

But religion is not a free-flowing, New Age, follow-your-bliss affair. The word “religion” is derived from the Latin “religare”—meaning “to bind fast.” At some point, youth needs to grow up. (my emphasis). And growing up in the faith means binding yourself to a set of beliefs and behaviors and, above all, to Christ…

Youth is not a state but a stage: today’s “young person” is tomorrow’s middle aged spread. To be sure, most of us want to retain physical youth – or, at least the ability to climb in and out of the car without too much fuss and bother – but who really wants to remain a mental 14 year old (or 19 year old, for that matter)? Most people, even most young people (at least the ones I know) want to grow up.

Yet, growing up – and I mean mental growing up – doesn’t just happen. There must be adults who behave as adults for youth to observe, and there must be instruction – clear, unambiguous instruction – from which youth may learn. Which brings us to the purpose of the Church: to teach. The obligation of the Church – or, to put a finer point on it, those men who have been entrusted with the role of leadership in the Church – is to ensure that the Church is doing everything possible to instruct clearly on our duties and obligations with respect to each other, and with respect to God. In this, these men (with occasional and notable exceptions) have failed miserably: they waffle, they dissemble, they issue increasingly long, verbose and impenetrable “documents” but they do not teach.

The Cardinal Newman Society has put out a commentary on the Synod entitled 7 Key Things Lacking in the Youth Synod. A few tidbits:

“…Astonishingly, the Synod’s working document places little emphasis on teaching young people the Truth of Christ—the liturgy, traditions, and doctrines that are the great treasures of the Church. Instead, it focuses on guiding them by personal example and nonjudgmental companionship.

Pope Benedict rightly lamented the “educational crisis” among young people who despair because they do not know Christ and His teachings. We cannot soft-pedal the Truth of the Gospel and leave young people drowning in the relativism of “liquid modernity.” (emphasis in original)…

The lives of many young Catholics have become fragmented, incoherent, and indifferent to truth and meaning (my emphasis). The Church needs to stand strong against today’s culture of dissent and radical autonomy, which corrupts the souls of our youth...”

I want to highlight this last paragraph. In my experience as a parent of six children, some of whom are now young adults and teenagers, this paragraph illustrates THE reason that young people leave the Church: the world has become “fragmented, incoherent and indifferent to truth and meaning”, and so has the Church. In short, the Church preaches nothing, teaches nothing, and has become simply irrelevant to them.

The Newman Society continues (emphases in original):

“…The Synod fathers would be wise to renew the Church’s commitment to authentic, faithful Catholic education. For decades, weak Catholic schools, colleges, and youth programs have failed to deeply form young people in knowledge of the Faith, tradition, moral discipline, virtue, and wisdom. Such formation should be a top priority for the Synod.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that the Church has every tool it needs to reach young people, and it has two thousand years of experience leading people, young and old, to Christ in very different cultures and historical realities. Catholicism works. We don’t need “new” and softer approaches; to the contrary, we need greater commitment to educating and forming young people well. We hope and pray that the Synod fathers will take heed and avoid the easy temptation to simply flow with the times.

Sadly, from what little I have seen of the Synod so far, it appears, at best, pathetic. And stupid.

In the best of times and places good adult examples and sound instruction have been rare. Today it is nearly non-existent. It is hard enough going through adolescence (the memory of my own is a hazy and painful blur), I cannot imagine what it must be like for young people growing up today, drowning in the cesspool of social media, with nothing, not even a Church one can respect, to grab on to. How on earth does a young one get all those people in her head to get along?


As cute as the movie was (and is), it takes more than a movie. Much more.

Curate, ut valeatis.

PS: An article from the Newman Society regarding “Authentic Accompaniment” is found here.

How the Old Mass came to Balham.

From the Catholic Herald:

“…Over the past quarter of a century St Bede’s has become one of the great Catholic parishes of London, to be ranked, so far as traditional liturgy is concerned, with Spanish Place, Maiden Lane and even the Brompton Oratory.

St Bede’s rise in the world can be traced back to something that happened on Fort Lauderdale Beach in January 1994. Fr Christopher Basden, then 41, was on the beach with some priest friends. They were on R&R, and talk turned to Klaus Gamber, the late German priest-liturgist whose The Reform of the Roman Liturgy had recently been published. Gamber’s book is a compelling account of the rupture created by the liturgical fidgets during the Second Vatican Council and, even more so, in its wake…” (n.b.: it was Fr. Gambier in The Reform who opined that “turning altars around did more damage to Catholic identity than anything else after the Council”. Fr. Z (among others) has written a lot about this, he has an interesting synopsis here – TC)

The Herald continues (my emphasis),

“…Not long after Pope Benedict XVI released Summorum Pontificum in 2007 and freed all priests to use the old rite, Fr Christopher restored the old custom of celebrating Mass, whether old or new, ad orientem (with the priest facing the altar and God rather than the people). That was a big and brave move, but it turned out not to be especially controversial. There was only one official complaint, from a member of the parish council. It was dealt with amicably. “Most people didn’t notice the difference,” says Fr Christopher…

Here's a couple of take-aways:

1. Who the priest faces during Mass, whether it be the congregation or God, is not dictated by the liturgical form. Both the Old Order of the Mass and the New Order of the Mass can be said ad orientem. The priest facing the people (“versus populi”) is dictated by recent custom and political pressure. Nothing more.

2. The laity cannot restore the Old Rite. We do not have the power or the authority. Only the priests can do this. It is the priest, not the layman, who decides how the Mass will be done.

3. What the laity can (and must) do is support the priests who are willing to use the Extraordinary Form with our time, talent and, yes, treasure (meaning dollars).

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So, for those interested, here is the website for St. Bede Catholic Church in London.

Curate, ut valeatis.

New Liturgical Movement interview with Archbishop Sample

Archbishop Alexander Sample of the Diocese of Portland, Oregon, was interviewed by Julian Kwasniewski for the New Liturgical Movement. You may recall that Archbishop Sample offered a Pontifical Solemn Mass at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception back in April, 2018: we discussed it here, here and here.

Anyway, I offer a few tidbits from the New Liturgical Movement piece (hat tip to Fr. Z, by the by, where I first saw reference to this piece):

JK: The first question I want to start with is very simple. What is a priest?

He is a man chosen by God, called to this order and through the sacrament of Holy Orders, through the laying on of hands and the prayer of the church; he is sacramentally configured to Christ the High Priest. There is that an ontological change that takes place in him, change on the very level of his being. He becomes something new, since his soul is forever marked with the character of the priesthood, so that he can minister in the Church in the person of Christ the head, in persona Christi capitis. So there is a close identification between the ordained priest and the High Priest, Jesus Christ; he is called to be an alter Christus, another Christ. All Christians are by our baptism called to be other Christs, but the priest in a particular way represents Christ in the Catholic Church.

He is to teach the doctrine of the Church, always according to the mind of the Church and in harmony with the magisterium. He is a sanctifier; he is the one who sanctifies God’s people, especially through the sacraments, and most especially through the celebration of Holy Mass and the hearing of Confession. He is a shepherd, the guide of the community, he points the way to eternal life.


JK: It seems that many young people these days are rediscovering contemplation and an ability to give themselves joyfully to Christ through loving the Latin Mass and the old liturgical prayer of the Church.

But more and more, the majority of the people in the church at these masses are people who never lived during the time when this was the ordinary liturgy, that is, before the Council. If you are under a certain age (and that age is getting higher and higher), you never experienced this liturgy growing up. And yet young people — which is something Pope Benedict XVI said in his letter to the world’s bishops when he issued Summorum Pontificum — have discovered this [form] too, and have found it very spiritually nourishing and satisfying. They have come to love and appreciate it.

That is amazing to me: young people who have never experienced this growing up in the postconciliar Church, with the Ordinary Form (sometimes celebrated well, sometimes very poorly with all kinds of aberrations and abuses), have still discovered the Latin Mass and are attracted to it.

JK: What, in your view, accounts for that attraction (of young people to the Extraordinary Form)?

AS: I would say its beauty, its solemnity, the sense of transcendence, of mystery. Not mystery in the sense of “Oh, we don’t know what’s going on,” but rather, that there is a mysterium tremendum celebrated here, a tremendous mystery. The liturgy in the old rite really conveys the essential nature and meaning of the Mass, which is to represent the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ which he offered on the Cross and now sacramentally, in an unbloody manner, in the Holy Mass.

I think young people are drawn to it because it feeds a spiritual need that they have…

Archbishop Sample goes on to discuss how he (when he was growing up), and others younger than he, have been deprived of Catholic tradition - doctrinal, liturgical, musical. Please go there for the details. But he ends with an important point. Please realize that he is talking about stereotypes, caricatures, if you will, but like most caricatures there may be an uncomfortable element of truth:

JK: Do you have any additional advice for young traditional Catholics trying to recover their tradition?

AS: I’d say there is a tendency sometimes to see these things — doctrine, liturgy, devotions — in opposition to things like works of charity, works of mercy. I would emphasize that we must not get to a place where all we are concerned about is being of right doctrine (orthodoxy), having right liturgy (orthopraxy), good sacred music, that we are doing all the right devotions. If we are not doing works of mercy, the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, if we are not taking care of the poor and disadvantaged, then we are not living fully our Catholic faith. That’s part of our tradition too…

We’ve got to pull this together: it is not an either/or, it is a both/and in the Church. The works of mercy go back to the apostolic times, go back to the Acts of the Apostles; as St. Paul says, we must always take care of the poor. This is deeply traditional in our Church.

So, go there and read the whole thing.

Curate, ut valeatis!


More on Ember Days.

Not too long ago, we did a little piece on Ember Days here. Now, the Catholic Herald has done a piece on The Revival of Ember Days.

The Ember Days recall an age when the rhythms of human life were still bound to the changing of the seasons. A corruption of the Latin Quatuor Tempora (“Four Times”), the Ember Days were an attempt by the ancient Church to preserve and sanctify the pagans’ observation of equinoxes and solstices. Our predecessors in the faith marked the cycles of Creation with fasting, prayer and acts of charity – giving thanks to “the Lord of the Harvest”, as Jesus called his Father.

The Ember Days are seldom marked by Catholics today, when every fruit and vegetable is available in the supermarket all year round…

We mentioned Bishop Zubik in the preceding Ember Days post; Bishop Robert Morlino of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, also has an excellent letter in his Diocesan newspaper. Bishop Morlino is an excellent teacher; he explains succinctly what reparation is (and why it is a worthy act even by those not guilty of a particular sin), gives a very concise history of Ember Days (between the intro to the Catholic herald piece and Bishop Morlino’s paragraph, one can get a good outline of what Ember Days were), what the traditional dates are, and how one should do reparation, should one so choose.

The Ember Days came to be celebrated rather vigorously in the Church. In the reform of the liturgical calendar following the Second Vatican Council, the Church retained the days but left the actual selection of the days to the various bishops’ conferences (because days tied to the seasons will not be the same in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, among other reasons).

The United States bishops never selected particular dates, but the generally accepted dates are noted below. While the bishops never selected days, some Catholics have maintained the practice on a personal level.

When are the Ember Days?

The traditional celebrations of Ember Days loosely correspond to the seasons of the year. They occur on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following certain liturgical feasts. These are noted below:

After Feast of the Holy Cross (September 14)

September 19, 21, 22, 2018

After Feast of St. Lucy (December 13)

December 19, 21, 22, 2018

After First Sunday of Lent

March 13, 15, 16, 2019

After Pentecost

June 12, 14, 15, 2019

This is entirely voluntary and is not a requirement of the Church or diocese (of Madison, or any other Diocese, for that matter – TC). It is an option for us all to offer our entire being to God in reparation of sin.

There it is.

Curate, ut valeatis.


Station break.

I, for one, need a little break from the insanity in the Church, and from the rising river of raw chunky sewage and its stultifying miasma that is the “mainstream media.” So, here is my break.

My oldest son entered the Coast Guard boot camp with right out of high school last year. He is smart, but needs to sort himself out. What better way to do it than as an independent young man, doing a man’s job on a small icebreaker.

The USCG cutter Wire (WYTL-65612) is one of a class of 65 ft, 74 ton harbor tug/icebreakers, all commissioned in the early 1960’s, and many of which are still out there breaking the ice in the dark and screaming cold of the blizzarding winter, and doing odd jobs of all sorts during the smiling summertime. The good ship Wire has needed a couple of drydock periods this spring and summer, she had a fair amount of damage. I guess if you were 55 years old and bashed your head through walls for a living, you’d need some drydock time prior to entering the next head bashing session as well. So here she is, returning from her most recent drydock in Rhode Island last week. They left RI, came down the coast (through the remnants of Florence) through NY harbor and finally up the Hudson to homeport in Saugerties, NY, a few miles below Albany. The photos are by Glenn Raymo, who does a fair amount of maritime photos, here and here, for example.

And so, I offer the USCG Cutter Wire, making her way up the Hudson back to USCG ANT Saugerties this past week.

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Looks good with her fresh paint job!

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Submariner’s shot: “down the throat”. The bow wave is known as a “bone in her teeth.”

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I like all things that float, big and small. I guess that’s why I stuck with the Navy for twenty years.

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Lest you think it’s all fun and games, here’s a picture from this past January, taken at dawn, 10 below and a 20 knot wind, as the tough little ship and her crew of seven head out past Saugerties Light to bust a tow boat and her fuel oil barge from the ice.

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Truth is, I’m proud of Will. That’s it, in a Nutshell.



Ember Days in Pittsburgh and St. Michael in Bridgeport

From Bishop Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh:

“… Special observances are called for on Ember Days: four sets of three days throughout the year that were traditionally set aside for prayer and fasting. These days were scheduled near the change of seasons. Bishop Zubik has asked that on each of these 12 days, clergy of the diocese fast and abstain from meat and make a Holy Hour. A Holy Hour is an hour spent in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, which Catholics believe is the real presence of Christ.

Bishop Zubik will liturgically inaugurate the Year of Repentance on Sunday, September 23, 2018, immediately after the first three-day cycle of Ember Days. On Sunday, September 23 at 3 p.m., Bishop Zubik will lead Solemn Evening Prayer within a Holy Hour with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in Saint Paul Cathedral, Oakland. Everyone is invited to participate, and parishes may also choose to hold a similar event at their own churches.

The Ember Days in the Year of Repentance are:
September 19, 21, 22 and December 19, 21, 22 in 2018. In 2019 they they continue with March 13, 15, 16 and June 12, 14, 15. …”

Awhile back we discussed the changes to the Liturgical Calendar which came along with the imposition of the Novus Ordo Missae (now known as the “Ordinary Form”) back in 1969. Those post are here, here, here, and here. One thing we did not discuss was “Ember Days.” So, what are Ember Days?

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Ember Days were suppressed in the 1969 Novus ordo calendar, so they are not found on current liturgical Calendars, and most people these days have never heard of them. But a Bishop can call for them in his Diocese, and that is what Bishop Zubik is doing.

Fr. Z, as usual, has a helpful guide for Ember Days.


From the Diocese of Bridgeport, CT:

The Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel will be recited at the end of every Mass in the Diocese, beginning on the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, September 15, as instructed by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano earlier this month…”

The prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is one of the Leonine Prayers said after the conclusion of the Low Mass (Extraordinary Form). However, as these were suppressed after Vatican II, they are mostly unfamiliar to Catholics today. The prayers in their entirety are here. The prayer to St. Michael (the only one of the Leonine Prayers being used in Bridgeport) goes like this:

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis, satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute in infernum detrude. Amen.

I thought I’d pass these along as interesting responses to the current crisis by various Bishops: among other things (one hopes), these men are turning, ever so slightly, towards Tradition.

St. Micheal, by Daniel Mitsui:

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REMINDER: Catholic Rural Life Festival, with TLM, THIS WEEKEND, 14-16 September 2018

The 2018 Catholic Rural Life Festival will be held THIS WEEKEND, September 14-16 in Farmington and Jay.

In particular, Fr. Kyle Doustou will be celebrating Mass in the Extraordinary Form on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 at 9AM at St. Rose of Lima Parish, 1 Church St., Jay, ME.

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For more information, please visit and see the flyers below (the information is also on the sidebar).

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People still believe in the priesthood.

Fr. Joseph Illo is the pastor of Star of the Sea Parish in San Francisco (a write up is here). He recently wrote a piece in The Catholic Herald entitled "Trust in the priesthood has been shattered - but not entirely." As always, I encourage you to read the entire thing. But a few points caught my eye. As always, emphasis is my own:

The priest whom we thought we knew in America has become a stranger, and a dangerous one at that. When even the Pope – our beloved Daddy, the Papa of all peoples – when even he seems to blithely dismiss credible allegations from the people of Chile and from his own nuncio, when even the Pope seems unwilling to protect his children – what have we left of spiritual paternity?

And yet… I’m amazed to see how people still believe in the priesthood...

... As damning as the crimes of the Church have been – and I think the public exposures will have to get worse before we decide to really clean our house – people still believe in the priesthood. Despite what the Supreme Court has said, we still believe in marriage. Despite fifty years of dismissive media, we still believe in the Catholic Church. The world still needs God, and it knows the Church still administers divine sacraments.

According to Pew Research, the Catholic Church has lost more members than any other "religious tradition" (Pew's term) in the United States. New converts do not offset this loss. The main reasons for this exodus, according to Pew, are the Church's teachings on the ever-proliferating panoply of social experimentation topics which receive the blessings, adulations and legal protection of the State and the commentariat. We all know them: oldies but goodies like abortion, contraception, and divorce; trendy newcomers such as homosexual "marriage", the multicolored paint splatter of LTQGB whatever, and the newest kid on the block: boys who want to be girls and girls who want to be boys. This last, in my opinion, is especially vicious insofar as it involves the medical and surgical (id est, permanent) mutilation of children by their parents, with the approval and support of the State, the state-run schools, and, of course, the commentariat. And we wonder why our children are confused and bewildered.

However, a secondary reason, growing in importance, is the slow motion train wreck of sexual scandals involving priests, bishops, cardinals – scandals which primarily (though not exclusively) involve adult men ordained as priests forcing homosexual activity on young men, teenage boys, and peri-or prebubescent boys.

There's a lot to study and to learn regarding how Fr. Illo does business at Star of the Sea. Go look at the website for his parish. But the point of this post is this: people still believe in the priesthood. I do. However, I also am frankly angry and disgusted with the priesthood. I want to see the priesthood stand up, clean itself up (which is going to be nasty, and ugly, and dirty, but needs to be done), then clean up the liturgical mess of the past half century(which I believe has contributed greatly to the current crisis), and then begin standing up to the world. I don't want the laity to do it, I want the priests (and by this I mean all priests: priests, bishops, even, yes even the Pope) to do it. That is the only way that they will ever regain credibility. The laity can support the priests and bishops who want to do these things, but the clergy has got to do the work. And, yes: it's not going to be pretty.



The FIRST First Saturday Mass this past Saturday, 1 September, 2018

The First FIRST SATURDAY MASS was held this past Saturday, 1 September 2018, at St. Anthony’s Parish in Westbrook, Maine. The plan is for it to continue for the rest of the year. See sidebar or the end of this post (below) for contact information.

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Mass was offered by Fr. Steven Cartwright of the Diocese of Portland. Confessions were heard from 8-9AM by Fr. Cartwright and Fr. Reggie Brissette, retired, also of the Diocese. Mass began at 9AM, about 115 were in attendance.

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Peace to him (or her) who enters, greetings to him who goes out.

Here’s some pictures, more or less in order (all pictures courtesy of Matthew Maloney).

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Ite, Missa est.

The next First Saturday Mass is Saturday, 6 October, at 9AM, confessions at 8AM, same place:


9am (Confessions, 8am)
St. Anthony of Padua Parish
268 Brown Street, Westbrook, Maine

Fr. Steven Cartwright
Parochial Vicar - Sebago Lakes Region Parishes
Office Phone: 207-857-0490, ext. 22


On the Nature of the Crisis in the Church, Part II

From various sources:

Testimony on the Cover Up of Sexual Abuse

Pope Francis and McCarrick: where does the evidence lead?

From a Moral-Historical Perspective, This Crisis is Worse Than You Realize

Pope Francis’ Accuser Turns Up the Pressure With More Accusations

Nebraska Catholic diocese rocked by old abuse allegations (this regarding allegations in the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, which for many of us represents – at least in theory, for those of us who’ve never been there - a bastion of orthodoxy and relief from the current madness. This story has been followed by the National Catholic Register long before it broke in the secular news. But then, that’s true of ALL of these stories...)

Pope: "I will not say a single word" on allegations of McCarrick cover up.

Pope Francis wants concrete action to combat the “emergency” of plastics littering seas and oceans. (New York Post 1 Sep 2018)

Had enough yet? These are just a sampling, there’s LOTS more.

Firstly: as laity, we must first examine our own consciences. The reading for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time for AD. 2018 is from St. Mark: “From their hearts com evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within, and they defile.” Is my heart pure? Are my lips clean? Do I live as Jesus would have me live? I have an obligation as a Catholic to understand the storms and violence rocking and wracking the barque of Peter, absolutely, but first, and foremost, am I living as Jesus would have me live?

Secondly: We must understand what is going on. I have always admired the writings of MSGR Charles Pope, of the Diocese of Washington, DC. I have never met the man, but his honestly, clarity of thought, and outright courage come out in his writings. I would direct your attention to his offering on the National Catholic Register, here. As always, I do not want to be accused of “word picking” or taking things out of context, so go and read the entire thing for yourself. That said, I am struck by this (as always, the emphases are my own):

It is evident that the vast majority of the cases involving both the sexual abuse of minors and of adults involve male victims. The 2004 John Jay Report (The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States), which was commissioned by the U.S. bishops themselves, found that 81 percent of the victims were male and 78 percent of all victims were post-pubescent. Thus, though legally still minors, they were sexually mature in the physical sense. So, the large majority of cases involved attraction by homosexuals to young men who, though legally minors, were physically and sexually mature males, not little children. This is not pedophilia. It is homosexual attraction...

(Regarding situations in seminaries) ...soon enough a subculture sets up where temptations are fierce, and compromises and liaisons soon emerge. And this is what we have seen in the “gay” subculture that is demonstrably existent among a significant number of clergy in the Church.

An honest discussion of the recent crisis needs to include a clear setting forth and analysis of these facts. Ignoring them and staying silent through political correctness is malpractice at this point. We must speak charitably and clearly about this. We must not allow charges of intolerance, homophobia and scapegoating to suppress a frank discussion and analysis of the link of much of this misbehavior to active homosexuals, and a subculture among some of them that tolerates and promotes behavior which God forbids.

See here for a follow-on: An Interview with Msgr. Charles Pope: “It’s hard to find Christ on this terrible hill of Golgotha right now, but this is where he is.”

The systemic problem, right now, is NOT pedophilia. That is not to say there are not genuine instances of genuine child sexual abuse, for there are, just as there are genuine instances of priestly liaisons with married or unmarried women and priests stealing from the collection plate. These cases should be investigated, and dealt with properly and forthrightly. But these cases are also sporadic, and relatively few. They are not the systemic problem. The systemic problem is homosexual activity directed against young men, teenage boys, and peri- or pre-pubescent boys. Yet, once again, in this Diocese and in Dioceses across the land, the current troubles are being clearly and unashamedly spun as “child abuse” problems. See here (also linked above) for a brief history lesson on homosexuality as practiced in ancient Greece.

This needs to be said: The man who wrestles with same sex attraction, who desires to live a chaste life in accordance with the teachings of the Church purportedly founded by Jesus, is really no different from the man who wants to live according to the teachings of the Church yet struggles with attraction to fornication or adultery, or struggles with pride, covetousness, lust not otherwise specified, anger, envy, or sloth. All of us are sinners, and all of us struggle with temptation sin, it is only the flavor of the temptation(s) that varies. Each and every one of us must examine our own lives first.

Thirdly: do not use this as an excuse to “give up” on the Church. I am as disgusted with the antics of highly-placed churchmen as anyone; but if watching this freak show is painful for me, how more more so it must be for those seminarians, priests and bishops who have given their lives to Christ and His Church, and who truly want to be good and faithful priests. I believe these men make up the majority of the clergy. More than ever, they need our support.


Upcoming events in the Fall of 2018, summarized in a nutshell.

There is a lot of stuff going on as we wind down the summer and head into the fall. Here’s a brief recap:

ONE: Maine needs Fatima: I can’t begin to match the sophistication of their website. It has a lot of stuff: go there to learn about them, and what they do, and see some pictures. A couple of impressions from Matt Maloney during his participation in one of the Rosary Rallies are here:

as I arrived at the church, I saw a minivan with the words "Shuttle" handwritten on a large piece of cardboard taped to its side. That's how Dan and Ellen Kasprzyk work, they are great hosts and try to think of everything... Dan is highly energetic and so tech-savvy that he now has a live HD video stream of their events. Ellen ... always makes anyone new feel welcome.  Back in early 2017, their goal was simply to have a monthly rosary rally on or around the 13th of each month to coincide with the apparitions that happened in 1917. Soon it expanded to include confession, Holy Mass, and bringing in guests like Bishop Deeley ... and [for the organization to be] closely connected with America Needs Fatima.

They decided to continue even after the anniversary and so in 2018 they wanted to kick it up a notch by added 3 things.

1) Encourage first Saturday Devotions- Since this was asked for by Our Lady it's a natural next step. What better way to fulfill the Communion of Reparation is there than participating in a Mass devoted to our Blessed Mother?

2) Start the #RosaryChallange  - A social media campaign like the 'ice bucket challenge' but think "drier and holier". They simply ask participants to take a photo or video as you pray the rosary, to pray it somewhere publicly, and to invite a friend to pray with you.

3) To start a public Marian Procession through the heart of Gorham to St Anne's Church where the Rosary Rally takes place under big white tents set up by the local Knights of Columbus council…

Again, go to their website to learn more!

TWO: The ME Needs Fatima First Five Saturdays devotion is conveniently coterminous with the TRADITIONAL LATIN MASS offered every First Saturday beginning THIS SATURDAY, 1 SEPTEMBER, details HERE (and on the sidebar).

THREE: CATHOLIC RURAL LIFE FESTIVAL September 14-16, 2018. All the information and links are on the Una voce Maine website here.

FOUR: MAGNIFICAT PRAYER BREAKFAST 8 September. All the information and links are on the Una voce Maine website here.

That’s it, in a nutshell: if I’ve missed anything, please let me know!

Curate, ut valeatis!


2018 Catholic Rural Life Festival: September 14-16

The 2018 Catholic Rural Life Festival will be held September 14-16 in Farmington and Jay. Fr. Kyle Doustou will be celebrating Mass in the Extraordinary Form on Saturday, September 15 at 9 AM at St. Rose of Lima Parish, 1 Church St., Jay, ME. For more information, please visit and see the flyers below.



On the Nature of the Crisis in the Church

Bishop Robert Morlino of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, has written a letter to his flock, which is available in it’s “official” form here. I have provided what I see as one – and only one - of his main conclusions below. Read the entire thing for yourself to get the full thrust and context of his comments. Keep in mind that the good Bishop calls each and every one of us to examine our own lives first, as not one of us is free from sin. That said (and all emphases are mine),

There has been a great deal of effort to keep separate acts which fall under the category of now-culturally-acceptable acts of homosexuality from the publically-deplorable acts of pedophilia. That is to say, until recently the problems of the Church have been painted purely as problems of pedophilia — this despite clear evidence to the contrary. It is time to be honest that the problems are both and they are more. To fall into the trap of parsing problems according to what society might find acceptable or unacceptable is ignoring the fact that the Church has never held ANY of it to be acceptable…

It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord. The Church’s teaching is clear that the homosexual inclination is not in itself sinful, but it is intrinsically disordered in a way that renders any man stably afflicted by it unfit to be a priest. And the decision to act upon this disordered inclination is a sin so grave that it cries out to heaven for vengeance, especially when it involves preying upon the young or the vulnerable. Such wickedness should be hated with a perfect hatred. Christian charity itself demands that we should hate wickedness just as we love goodness. But while hating the sin, we must never hate the sinner, who is called to conversion, penance, and renewed communion with Christ and His Church, through His inexhaustible mercy…

The Bishop’s letter has been covered by the National Catholic Register, Catholic World Report, and probably elsewhere. Again, please read what the Bishop himself said.

I, for one, think this level of clarity and honesty is way overdue, and I applaud the Bishop’s bravery.