The Sacrifice of Fr. Schmitt, the Second Sunday of Advent, 1941.

American military chaplaincies predate the Constitution, as do both the Army and the Navy. The United States Navy was established by the Continental Congress on 13 October, 1775, and the first set of “Rules for the Regulation of the Navy of the United Colonies” (commonly known as “Navy Regulations”) were promulgated by the Second Continental Congress on 28 November, 1775. Within the second Article of this first set of Navy Regulations we find:

"...the Commanders of the ships of the thirteen United Colonies are to take care that divine services be performed twice a day on board and a sermon preached on Sundays, unless bad weather or other extraordinary accidents prevent."

Thus was born the United States Navy Chaplain Corps. Chaplains in the Armed Services are commissioned officers, and wear the uniform of branch in which they serve. Some chaplains serve for only a few years, others serve for an entire career. I served as a medical officer aboard two United States Navy warships: USS Wasp (LHD-1) and USS Nassau (LHA-4). Aboard both, at 2100 hours (9PM) some version of the following would be piped over the 1MC (public address from the bridge): “All hands stand by for the evening prayer.” The the chaplain would come on and offer a short prayer. Generic, to be sure, but a prayer, nevertheless. On Sundays and Holy Days of obligation, when a priest was available (he usually was flown over from another ship on the ‘holy helo’ yuk yuk) there was Mass, sometimes in the medical spaces, occasionally on the flight deck, assuming no flight ops, a rarity except when in port.

Which brings us to this from US Naval Institute News regarding Fr. Aloyius H. Schmitt, Lieutenant (junior grade), Chaplain Corps, USN, and his sacrifice on the morning of December 7th, 1941. LT (jg) Schmitt was serving as Catholic Chaplain aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma.

Fr. Schmitt.jpg

The USS Oklahoma was the second of the Navy’s Nevada class battleships, laid down in 1912 and commissioned in 1916. Like many of the WW I era Navy ships, she underwent several modernizations through the period of the 1920s and 1930s, and eventually found herself as part of the Pacific Fleet moored that peaceful Sunday morning in berth F5, “Battleship Row”, Pearl Harbor Naval Base when the Imperial Japanese Navy carried out the sneak attack which brought the United States into World War II. The Oklahoma was torpedoed, capsized and sank during the attack.

From the Citation for Fr. Schmitt:

As Oklahoma was capsizing, Schmitt sacrificed his own life to assist many of his shipmates’ escape through an open porthole. Schmitt had been hearing confession when Oklahoma was hit by four torpedoes, according to the Navy.

Schmitt helped a small group of sailors escape, before he attempted getting through the porthole. He was struggling to get through when he noticed more sailors had entered the compartment he had been in, according to the Navy.

Schmitt realized the water was rapidly flooding the compartment, and soon this exit would be closed. Schmitt asked to be pushed back into the compartment, so others could escape, urging the sailors with a blessing, according to Navy. Oklahoma continued filling with water and capsized. More than 400 sailors, including Schmitt, died on Oklahoma…

battleship row.jpg

The USNI article continues:

Last year (2016-TC), (Fr.) Schmitt’s remains were positively identified using DNA testing and were re-interred at the Loras College chapel, which was dedicated to Schmitt, a 1932 graduate. A memorial to Schmitt in the chapel includes his chalice, prayer book, military medals and more of his personal belongings recovered in the ship’s wreckage. The book is still marked with a page ribbon for Dec. 8 prayers, according to Loras College…

Before Fr. Schmitt died, he saved 12 of his shipmates. Christ the King Chapel at Loras College was built in 1946 as a memorial to Fr. Schmitt. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star on December 7th, 2017. Fr. Schmitt was the first American chaplain of any faith to die in World War II. December 7th, 1941 was the Second Sunday in Advent.


Since 1985, all Catholic chaplains (and, for that matter, all Catholics serving in the military and their families) fall under the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA) sometimes known as “AMS” or the “Military Ordinariate”) established by Pope John Paul II. Some details are here. For whatever it’s with, although the chaplains themselves are commissioned officers (and thus paid by their Service), that’s all that’s paid for. From the FAQ page (my emphasis):

The AMS is a church entity. It is not a part of the Armed Forces and is not funded by the federal government. It is a “home” mission diocese that depends almost entirely on financial support from individual donors including personal donations from its military and VA chaplains, gifts from military communities, gifts from dioceses, charitable bequests, and grants.

The military chaplains are members of the Armed Forces and, as such, are paid by the government. The AMS must pay all the considerable travel costs for its clergy to visit military installations around the world. They do not travel on military aircraft. The AMS receives limited support from certain US dioceses and foundations that support Catholic causes.

On a personal note, I and my wife went through RCIA under the auspices of the AMS while stationed in Italy, and we came into the Church in the military chapel at the Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy. I have been to I don’t know how many Masses offered by priests in the USN Chaplain service aboard several different warships, as well as in Italy, Spain, and various locals in the Persian Gulf. I cannot express how important these men have been to me in my life, and to others serving haze gray and underway.

USS Oklahoma

USS Oklahoma

Curate, ut valeatis.

Advent Lessons and Carols and the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

This just in:

Advent Lessons and Carols.jpg

And, don’t forget the schedule for this Saturday, 8 December 2018:

December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception:

8AM: Low Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 307 Congress St., Portland, ME (sponsored by St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy).

Noon: Low Mass at St. Anthony of Padua. 268 Brown St, Westbrook, Maine

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

Noon: Sung Mass at the Saints Peter and Paul Basilica, 122 Ash Street, Lewiston, Maine (sponsored by St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy).

Curate, ut valeatis.

Thoughts on the passing of Bishop Robert Morlino for this First Sunday of Advent, Anno Domini MMXVIII

We noted Bishop Robert Morlino’s sudden and unexpected passing on November 24th, 2018 here. There are many biographies on the Bishop, a reliable one is from the Diocesan paper, the Madison Catholic Herald. Fr. Z, who knew him well, has written a lot about him in recent days: go here for the archive. Pundits have written as well; Fr. Raymond deSouza wrote here, and one of the most complex eulogies is that of Rocco Palmo. Some have interpreted Rocco’s piece as a slam on the Bishop before the body is cold; I think it is an ode to a happy warrior.

Both the SSPX and the FSSP have weighed in as well.

Why is such a deal being made about all this? In my opinion, it is because the Bishop was a happy warrior, a man who was simply unafraid of the world, the culture, even what people and even other bishops said about him. From my distant vantage point, he appears to be a man who understood exactly what his job was, and went ahead and did it, and the heck with what people said about it. He didn’t answer to them, he answered to a higher authority.

Fr. Z wrote this (my emphases):

It was Bp. Morlino’s desire to provide the city and diocese with a new Cathedral church once again, which would have a crypt chapel for their bishops… The old cathedral burned down, due to arson, over a decade ago and has not been replaced…

To give you a sense of the sort of bishop he was, he shelved plans for a new cathedral in order to raise money for a foundation that would pay for formation for seminarians for the priesthood. When he took over the diocese, there were about 6 seminarians – total – and that was what was budgeted. However, under Bp. Morlino vocations soared to a high of some 34, and 24 now. As you can imagine, a budget for 6 was not adequate. He shelved his cathedral to build a “priests for the future” campaign. It was quite successful. He left that aspect in good shape. He also ordained 40 men for the diocese in his time...

Joseph Pearce wrote about how the Bishop understood the evangelizing power of beauty, and its importance in “cultural apologetics”, in the National Catholic Register. It is worth your time to read the entire article. A snippet:

At [Bishop Morlino’s] behest, I spoke of the good, the true and the beautiful as being a reflection of the Trinity, inseparable, coequal and yet mystically distinct. The good was the way of virtue or love; the true was the way of reason; the beautiful was the way of creation. In an age which had corrupted the meaning of love, removing its rational and self-sacrificial heart and replacing it with narcissistic feeling, and in an age which had corrupted reason to something merely relative and devoid of objectivity, the power of beauty to evangelize was more important than ever…

To me it seems that Bishop Morlino saw his job as saving souls, not superstructures (nevertheless understanding that one side benefit of a robust Church is robust superstructure; it’s all related), and he understood the importance of beauty – objective beauty – as well as clear and unambiguous orthodoxy in that job of leading souls to salvation.

The Diocese of Madison has a page here. This page lists Requiem and Memorial Masses being said, not just in Wisconsin but elsewhere in the country, and internationally.

EWTN will be broadcasting the funeral at 11AM, Tuesday, December 4th.

Thought you might be interested.

Curate, ut valeatis.


Latin Masses in the Portland, Maine area in December, 2018, including a Midnight Mass (revised schedule).

We are in to Advent, the beginning of a new Liturgical Year, and there are a plethora of Masses to be offered in the Extraordinary Form in the Portland area in December! (Around seventeen altogether, if you include the “regular” Sunday 8AM and noon Masses).

There are three Extraordinary Form Masses to be at St. Anthony of Padua, located in St. Hyacinth Church, 268 Brown Street, Westbrook, ME 04092 (207-857-0490 or E-mail to: For those who (like me) may be unfamiliar, Westbrook is right outside of Portland. Details on these Masses are below.

In addition, the St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy will be having Masses as usual every Sunday at 8:30AM (Basilica, Lewiston) and noon (side chapel, Cathedral, Portland), as mentioned on the sidebar, in addition to two Masses on each of the Holy Days (8 December, 25 December, 1 January).

So, here is the December schedule:

December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception:

8AM: Low Mass at the Cathedral (St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy).

Noon: Low Mass at St. Anthony of Padua.

Noon: Sung Mass at the Basilica in Lewiston (St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy).


8AM: Low Mass at the Cathedral (St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy).

Noon: Sung Mass at the Basilica in Lewiston (St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy).


MIDNIGHT MASS 12AM St. Anthony of Padua

New Year’s Day:

8AM: Low Mass at the Cathedral (St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy).

Noon: Sung Mass at the Basilica in Lewiston (St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy).

2018 Midnight Latin Mass.jpg

Latin Masses in the Portland area in December, including a Midnight Mass!

As you know, this Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent, the beginning of a new Liturgical Year, and there are a plethora of Masses to be offered in the Extraordinary Form in the Portland area in December! (Around fifteen altogether, if you include the “regular” Sunday 8AM and noon Masses).

There are three Extraordinary Form Masses to be at St. Anthony of Padua, located in St. Hyacinth Church, 268 Brown Street, Westbrook, ME 04092 (207-857-0490 or E-mail to: For those who (like me) may be unfamiliar, Westbrook is right outside of Portland. Details on these Masses are below.

In addition, the St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy will be having Masses as usual every Sunday at 8:30AM (Basilica, Lewiston) and noon (side chapel, Cathedral, Portland), as mentioned on the sidebar.

So, here is the December schedule:

This Saturday, December 1st, is First Saturday Mass (sung Mass) 9AM, with confessions at 8AM, St. Anthony of Padua.

Next Saturday, December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception there are two Masses:

8AM: Low Mass at the Cathedral (St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy).

Noon: Low Mass at St. Anthony of Padua.


8AM: Low Mass at the Cathedral (St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy).


MIDNIGHT MASS 12AM St. Anthony of Padua

2018 Midnight Latin Mass.jpg

RIP Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison, WI

From the Diocese of Madison, WI, via Fr. Z:

It is my sad duty to inform you of the death of Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison. Bishop Morlino died tonight, Saturday, November 24th, at approximately 9:15 pm at St. Mary Hospital in Madison at the age of 71...

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.

I never met Bishop Morlino, but I knew of him, and his work, and he was an inspiration to me as an example of what a good and faithful Catholic could be. Along with one of Fr Z’s commentators, I pray that he has heard these words:

Well done, O good and faithful servant.”


The End of Ordinary Time

This Sunday, 25 November, in the "New Universal Roman Calendar" (source: USCCB Liturgical calendar) is the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. The subsequent week is the 34th (or Last) Week in Ordinary Time, and it’s conclusion next Saturday evening brings to an end the second of the two Ordinary Time periods, as well as the Liturgical Year. From the National Shrine of St. Jude website:

The "Lectionary," the Mass readings from the Holy Bible, follows a Sunday cycle and a weekday cycle. The Liturgical Calendar follows a three-year cycle, each year being represented by the letters, A, B, and C. During the year A cycle, the Gospel of Matthew is the primary Gospel that is used for the readings. In year B, Mark is the primary Gospel. In year C, Luke is the primary Gospel. The Gospel of John is proclaimed on particular Sundays in each of the years.

The "New Universal Roman Calendar" (sometimes called the “Revised Calendar”), as we recall from this earlier post, was promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969 as part of the 1969 Edition of the Roman Missal, also known as the Novus ordo missae, which took effect on the First Sunday of Advent, 1969. In the Revised Calendar, there is “Ordinary Time” (there are two “Ordinary Time” periods, actually) and there is Advent, Lent, Christmas Time and Easter Time. During ordinary Time there is a three year Sunday lectionary cycle as we saw above (A, B and C) and a two year weekday lectionary cycle (Year I, which is odd years, and Year II, which is even years). Advent, Christmas Time, Lent and Easter Time have their own annual set of readings and prayers.

The Traditional Latin Mass 1962 Calendar is much simpler as there’s only one annual cycle (although because of this there’s certainly far fewer Scripture readings over the year: increasing the amount of Scripture was one of the stated reasons for the Revised Calendar). This coming up Sunday is the 24th Sunday After Pentecost (the Solemnity of Christ the King is on the 4th Sunday of October in the old calendar) and the readings for the final week of the liturgical year are either those for whatever Saint’s Day it happens to be, or a free day ("Feria").

Since we’re discussing Calendars and Missals, here’s a plug for a beautiful 1962 Missal,

Baronius Missal 1962.jpg

and a beautiful Novus ordo Daily Roman Missal.

Daily Roman Missal 3rd Ed.jpg

And, don’t forget your Advent Candles and other Cloister Shoppe goodies from our friends the Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ!

Cloister Shoppe Advent Candles.jpg

Curate, ut valeatis!

Thanksgiving 2018

Some Thanksgiving reflections which originated at The Presence Radio Network. Let us remember that we are, in this nation, blessed in so very many ways:

We'd like to share a Thanksgiving reflection from Glen Lewerenz (Glen's Story Corner) heard weekdays on Morning Air® from 7am-9am.

Here are some points to ponder as we celebrate this Thanksgiving:

If you woke up this morning with more health, than illness, you're more fortunate than the million who will not survive this week.  

If you've never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you're ahead of 500 million people in the world. 

If you can attend church without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you're more privileged than 3 billion people in the world. 

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over head and a place to sleep, you're richer than 75% of this world. 

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you're among the top 8% of the world's wealthy. 

If you can hold someone's hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder, you're blessed because you can offer healing touch. 

If you were to read this message, you're more blessed than over 2 billion people in the world who cannot read at all. 

If you hold your head up with a smile on your face, and are truly thankful, you're blessed because the majority can, but most do not. 

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ~ In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

May God bless you all, and wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!


Clarity is rare.

To quote Monsignor Charles Pope of the Diocese of Washington, DC:

Clarity is rare.

If you haven’t read Archbishop Carlo Maria Vignano’s third letter, well, it can be found right here. Msgr. Pope courageously and forthrightly discusses it here, and comes right out with Archbishop Vignano’s “bottom line,” with which I wholeheartedly agree. From the Archbishop’s letter (my emphasis):

[T]his very grave crisis cannot be properly addressed and resolved unless and until we call things by their true names. This is a crisis due to the scourge of homosexuality, in its agents, in its motives, in its resistance to reform. It is no exaggeration to say that homosexuality has become a plague in the clergy, and it can only be eradicated with spiritual weapons. It is an enormous hypocrisy to condemn the abuse, claim to weep for the victims, and yet refuse to denounce the root cause of so much sexual abuse: homosexuality. It is hypocrisy to refuse to acknowledge that this scourge is due to a serious crisis in the spiritual life of the clergy and to fail to take the steps necessary to remedy it.… the evidence for homosexual collusion, with its deep roots that are so difficult to eradicate, is overwhelming. …To claim the crisis itself to be clericalism is pure sophistry.

None of this is about people with disordered inclinations, whether it be inclinations towards adultery, fornication, or lust; inclinations towards excessive drink, inclinations towards sloth, gluttony or greed; or inclinations towards engaging in sex with others of your own sex. All of us have our own crosses to bear regarding disordered inclinations. The problems come when we act on these inclinations. The problem – the systemic problem, the crisis in the Church - is men, ordained as priests, engaging in homosexual activity, and using their positions as priests to further their activities.

Msgr. Pope:

...Whatever the number or percentage of philanderers (i.e., ‘womanizers’ among the priesthood – TC) — one is too many — the much larger number of homosexual offenses (80 percent) in clergy sexual delicts shouts for attention. But few, very few bishops or Vatican officials are willing to talk openly and clearly about it. This must change if any solutions are to be credible and trust is to be restored with God’s people. Excluding any reference to active homosexuality in the priesthood is like excluding any talk about cigarette smoking as a cause for lung cancer. It results in a pointless and laughable discussion that no one can take seriously. Will any other bishops follow the lead of Archbishop Viganò and a few others, such as Bishop Robert Morlino? It remains to be seen, but credibility remains in the balance.

The US Bishops have just finished their confab in Baltimore, convened at the expense of those of us still willing to put cash in the collection plates. These men flopped around pretty much one might expect. You can get as much on the Baltimore spectacle as you can stomach in lots of places – the National Catholic Register, the new Catholic Herald "America" section (which is excellent, by the way), or whatever venue you like. I personally doubt that the USCCB, as a body, has the courage to address this: "Is Catholic clergy sex abuse related to homosexual priests?"

I have said before, do not use this as an excuse to “give up” on the Church. Fr. Z had some calming thoughts on the matter here. The truth is, I am as disgusted with the antics of highly-placed churchmen as anyone, maybe more so: if I discharged my professional obligations as stupidly and incompetently as your average bishop, I’d not only be unemployed but might even be in jail. However, if watching this freak show is painful for me, how much 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 – those who desire to be good and faithful priests - make up the majority of the clergy. More than ever, they need our support.

I am grateful for Msgr. Pope, and all those priests (and bishops, yes, there are a few) who are showing clarity and courage on this. It cannot be easy.

Keep calm.jpg

Valete, ut cureate.

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).

St Bede Clapham Park.jpg
St Bede Clapham Park Interior.jpg

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.