Press release from the Diocese of Portland on the legalization of "assisted suicide" in Maine

Statement from Bishop Deeley, on the homepage of the Diocese (“News from Around the Diocese”, here.

The full statement is here (my emphasis):

The passage of physician-assisted suicide, which comes on the eighth legislative attempt in Maine, legalizes a practice which has devastating effects on the common good. Suicide is always a tragedy. Allowing doctors to prescribe deadly medications to hasten a person’s death is a horrendous wound to the dignity of the human person. With this law, the elderly will feel undue pressure to view this as an option to prevent being a burden to others; there will be a further desensitization of the value of human life; and young people will now think that people can and should be disposable. This law devalues individual human life and the essential human bonds that call us to value one another and care for one another. This is a sad day for Maine. Let us all pray for an increase in the understanding and respect for the value and dignity of human life from conception to natural death.”

Bishop Deeley Coat of Arms.jpg

Of note, the American Medical Association voted overwhelmingly (65% to 35%) to continue to retain opposition to assisted suicide (Here), despite zillions of dollars being poured into efforts to get them to change their position.

Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.”

Thought you might be interested.

Curate, ut valeatis!

Maine is now the 8th state to legalize "assisted suicide".

Maine is now the 8th state to legalize "assisted suicide". Is anyone surprised? Remember, it was Maine Catholics who put these people in power.

From the recent National Catholic Register interview with Wesley J. Smith, an attorney who has written extensively on, among other things, assisted suicide (my emphasis):

Human exceptionalism is more than just the sanctity of human life… [I]t isn’t our opposable thumb that gives us unique value. That’s not a moral difference; that is a biological difference… Only [humans] have an understanding of right versus wrong — what we ought to do and what we ought not to do. Consequently, we have obligations and duties to each other and to our posterity. That said, we also have a duty to treat animals humanely; they are not rocks or inanimate objects; they have emotions and can feel pain. We also have a duty to treat the environment in the proper way; but that isn’t the same thing as giving rights to animals or to nature.

A mother rat may take care of her litter, or she may eat them, depending on circumstances. Either way, we do not cast judgment on the rat, for there is no morality in her world, just survival. A cat may play with an injured bird before she kills it, but again, the is no rightness or wrongness in the cat’s world. The world simply is, and the cat simply functions within it.

Human exceptionalism is not a new idea, in fact it is the foundation of human civilization throughout all recorded history: humans – people -have an awareness that there is right, and there is wrong. Animals have no such awareness. Humans inhabit a moral universe. Animals do not. This makes everything different for us vis a vis animals. Throughout human history, the struggle has been for us as exceptional animals – animals different in a fundamental way from all other animals by our awareness of the moral universe outside of ourselves – to incorporate this moral universe into our world, our civilizations, our societies. Animals do not exist in a moral universe, so they don’t need to worry about this stuff.

As we discussed here, Maine is leading the way in rejecting the notion of a moral universe. These questions – “assisted suicide”, abortion, all the rest – are far more than mere political questions, although they are being played out in the political realm. They are, in fact, fundamental questions about what a human being is. Do we – human beings - exist in a moral universe, or do we not? We are obligated to understand this stuff. If we do not understand that we are exceptional because we, unlike other animals, inhabit a moral universe we will have rejected our exceptionalism and will be, in fact, no different from other animals. We can nurture our young and support our old and our ill, or we can eat them, as is our desire at the moment.

Fast and furious.

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The Octave of Pentecost and Ember Days

Several times we have 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. Some of those posts are here, here, here, and here. I usually try to point out periods of divergence between the 1962 and 1969 calendars as they occur throughout the year, as it can be a source of confusion.

One point of divergence is this week, the week we are in right now, the week after Pentecost Sunday. As we discussed at length recently, in the 1962 Calendar (and Missal) we have Pentecost, or Whitsunday, followed by the Octave of Pentecost. This coming up Sunday is Trinity Sunday in the 1962 Calendar; and it begins the third part of the Easter Cycle: the Season After Pentecost, which runs up to the First Sunday of Advent.

In the 1969 Calendar, on the other hand, this past Monday picked up with the 10th Week of Ordinary Time (we’re no longer in “Easter Time” but “Ordinary Time II), although this past Monday was the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. The Sunday following Pentecost Sunday, in the 1969 Calendar, is The Most Holy Trinity.

So, in the 1962 calendar we are in the octave of Pentecost; this octave has been suppressed in the 1969 Calendar, and we are in the second round of Ordinary Time, and the week we happen to be in is the 10th week.

Anyway, one of the other things suppressed in the 1969 Calendar were Ember Days. What were Ember Days? They were these:

ember-days print.png

One of the things we see in the paragraph on Ember Fasts us that they occurred on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday four times a year: After the First Sunday in Lent (Spring), Pentecost (Whitsunday) in Summer, after the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross in Autumn, and after the Third Sunday in Advent (Winter).

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, as Bishop Zubik has done in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

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

So, what’s the point? This: In the 1962 Calendar, we are in the Octave of Pentecost with Ember Days this Wednesday through Saturday. In the 1969 Calendar we are in the 10th Week of Ordinary Time.

Curate, ut valeatis!

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BIG NEWS!!! Una Voce Maine is now incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit!!!

From the Internal Revenue Service (my emphasis):

Dear Una Voce Maine St. Michael the Archangel Chapter, Inc:

We’re pleased to tell you we’ve determined you’re exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3). Donors can deduct contributions they make to you under IRC Section 170. You’re also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under Section 2055, 2106, or 2522…

Una Voce Maine – St. Michael the Archangel Chapter (I routinely refer to us as “UVM” or “Una Voce Maine”), is now officially incorporated as a public charity, nonprofit organization. Deo gratias!

And what, you may ask, does that mean? It means WE CAN ACCEPT DONATIONS AND YOU CAN DEDUCT THEM!!! (According, of course, to all the usual “charitable deductions” rules).

A “Donate” button is coming soon, but we can accept donations by writing a check to Una Voce Maine and sending it to:

Una Voce Maine

P.O. Box 471

South China, ME 04358-0471

Noto bene: The nice thing about checks is that ALL of your money goes to UVM. Nothing is extracted to pay PayPal or the credit card company. I’m just sayin’...

But what, you may ask, is “Una Voce Maine – St. Michael the Archangel Chapter” a Chapter of? Una Voce America (UVA), which in turn is part of Federatio Internationalis Una Voce (FIUV) More on these guys in a later post, suffice it for now to say that since 2013 UVM has been listed on the Una Voce America Chapters page.

So, the brief history of Una Voce Maine: Organized as a Chapter of Una Voce America, February 2013; incorporated as a non profit public charitable organization, May, 2019.

Although UVM is organized following UVA bylaws and is recognized as an UVA Chapter, Una Voce America asks for no fees or dues. FIUC, UVA and UVM all have more or less the same mission, and I’ll copy a short segment from the About Una Voce page on UVA’s website (my emphasis):

“… dedicated to ensuring that the Roman Mass codified by St. Pius V is maintained as one of the forms of eucharistic worship which are honored in universal liturgical life, and to restoring the use of Latin, Gregorian Chant, and sacred polyphony in Catholic liturgy…

Members believe that use of Latin in the Mass and Sacraments is a unifying force, needed by the Church in these days of widespread controversy. They believe that using the rites which were the form of Catholic worship for over 1,500 years will preserve the traditional emphasis on the Mass as Sacrifice, with its central teaching of transubstantiation, This, in turn, will help reverse the decline in vocations as altar boys, charged with difficult and meaningful duties, will be imbued from an early age with a sense of the sacred. We Catholics possess a living heritage. We owe a duty to our posterity to transmit it in its fullness, and as a living tradition. This is not only the feeling of Una Voce, it is the teaching of all the postconciliar Popes…

A discussion of liturgical and spiritual life will often touch upon theological, historical, aesthetic, ecclesiological, or social influence and factors in the life of the Church. As such, it is often beneficial to provide a range of thought, all within the limits of orthodox doctrine and practice, to give a broader view of the issues of importance to this organization…”

So, what does Una Voce Maine wish to do with these dollars? I shall go into this in Part II: Where the Money Goes.

This has been a long time coming, and it wouldn’t have happened without the help of several people who shall be named when I put up Part III: Who We Are.

Caveat emptor: Una Voce Maine is not affiliated in any way with the Diocese of Portland, Maine, or any other organization (the “Chapter” status with respect to Una Voce America excepted). Also, the opinions expressed in the “Chairman’s Blog” are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone else associated with UVM, or anyone else at all, for that matter.

Curate, ut valeatis.


Latin Mass on the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul, Lewiston, ME, Saturday 29 June 2019

From the diocesan website here:

The Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul will commemorate the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul with a Latin Mass celebrated in the Extraordinary Form on Saturday, June 29, at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend the Mass at the basilica, which is located on 122 Ash Street in Lewiston. The St. Cecilia Schola Cantorum will be singing the “Missa Aeterna Christi Munera” by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. One of the 16th century composer’s later works, the Missa has long been a favorite of church choirs due to its classic simplicity, brevity, and lucidity.

Fr. Steven Cartwright will be the celebrant of the Mass. For more information, contact Prince of Peace Parish at (207) 777-1200.”

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Fast and furious.

From AP News:

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Legislature voted Tuesday to legalize assisted suicide, with supporters declaring it in line with the state’s tradition of individualism and opponents insisting the practice tempts fate.

The bill now goes to Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, who has 10 days to act on the bill and has not indicated whether she will let it become law. Her office said she has not yet taken a position…

The proposal had failed once in a statewide vote and at least seven previous times in the Legislature. If Mills signs it, Maine would join seven other states, including New Jersey this year, and Washington, D.C., with similar laws…

The proposal passed the Democratic-led state Senate 19-16 on Tuesday ... The Democratic-led House had approved it Monday by the narrowest of margins — 73-72…

The new agendas are coming fast and furious, folks. The abortion expansion law (LD 820) that we discussed here and here, which allows public funds to pay for abortion, has passed the Maine House and Maine Senate, and is getting prepped for signature. There is at least one other abortion bill in the Maine legislature as well, we discussed it here. It is also expected to pass.

So called “assisted suicide” has come up numerous times in Maine; like all of these other items the powers that be just keep bringing ‘em back and bringing ‘em back, until the right people are in the legislative and executive branches to pass ‘em and sign ‘em, and the right folks are in the judiciary to keep ‘em passed. Well, those folks are all in place now, and this stuff will pass. Fast and furious.

But, what does “assisted suicide” legislation say to the struggling teenager, the depressed and traumatized middle aged divorcee, the worried and ill and isolated old man? It says this: “Here, let me help you with that.”

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Pentecost (Whitsunday)

From the Glossary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:*

PENTECOST: The “fiftieth” day at the end of the seven weeks following Passover (Easter in the Christian dispensation). At the first Pentecost after the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus, the Holy Spirit was manifested, given and communicated as a divine person to the Church, fulfilling the paschal mystery of Christ according to His promise (CCC paragraphs 726, 731; cf. 1287). Annually the Church celebrates the memory of the Pentecost event as the beginning of the new “age of the Church,” when Christ lives and acts in and with His Church (para. 1076).

Awhile back we started looking at the similarities, and the differences, between the new Liturgical Calendar - which was promulgated in 1969 according Paul VI’s Motu proprio MYSTERII PASCHALIS - and the Liturgical Calendar which had been in use prior to MYSTERII PASCHALIS, the so called “1962 Calendar” which is followed by the Extraordinary Form (the EF, or the “Traditional Latin Mass”). This new calendar was part of the overall revision of the Mass with the promulgation of the 1969 Edition of the Roman Missal – the Novus ordo missae (also known as the OF or “Ordinary Form”)**. I promised, back then, to point out some of the differences in the calendars as we come across them in our journey through the Liturgical Year. We find ourselves at another difference.

Let us jog our memories. In the 1962 Calendar, there were only two main parts, or “Cycles”, to the Liturgical Year: The Christmas Cycle and the Easter Cycle. In the 1969 Calendar, things are broken up a bit differently: There’s Advent, Christmas Time (Christmas Vigil up to the Sunday after Epiphany or after January 6th), the first Ordinary Time, Lent/Triduum/Easter (ending on Pentecost Sunday), and the second ordinary Time.

In the 1962 Calendar, the Christmas Cycle had a season after Epiphany (January 6th) known, cleverly enough, as The Season after Epiphany, and it had up to six Sundays depending on the location of Ash Wednesday. This Season After Epiphany (and, the entire Christmas Cycle) ended the Saturday before Septuagesima Sunday, thus allowing one to sort of slide out of Christmas without abrupt jolts. Likewise, Septuagesima Sunday began the second half of the Liturgical year, the Easter Cycle, as the first of the three pre-Lenten Sundays whose purpose was to help us get ready for the period of Fast and Abstinence known as Lent. My simple-minder way of viewing this was that they allowed a sort of winding down of Christmas, and a gearing up for Lent. These transition periods were eliminated in the 1969 Calendar; right after Epiphany (which may or may not fall on Epiphany, January 6th) we are thrust into the first of the two periods of “Ordinary Time”. This first Ordinary Time ends abruptly on Ash Wednesday.

A similar thing happens with Pentecost. In the 1962 Calendar, and in my Baronius Press 1962 Daily Missal, Pentecost Sunday is also referred to as Whitsunday, referring to the white garments of those baptised during the vigil. Whitsun was, in the 1962 Calendar, a First Class Feast with an Octave week, meaning that there was a unique liturgy for each day of the Octave. Now, the kind and number of feasts and Octaves in the liturgical year have gone up and down through the centuries; suffice it to say that by the 1950’s things were pretty complicated and confusing, and Pope Pius XII simplified things greatly with his General Roman Calendar of 1954, where (among other things) he reduced the number of Octaves from some fifteen or so to three: Christmas, Easter and Pentecost. These three Octaves were carried forward by Pope Paul VI in his General Roman Calendar of 1960, which in turn came from his motu proprio Rubricarum instructum. As it is the 1960 General Roman Calendar that forms the 1962 Missal which is used by Summorum pontificum, we have, in our 1962 Missal Whitsunday, a.k.a. Pentecost, as well as the Octave week of Pentecost.

Thusly, in the 1962 Calendar (and Missal) we have Pentecost, or Whitsunday, followed by the Octave (there are Ember Days during this Octave; one day, but not today, we will discuss Ember Days). The Sunday after Pentecost is Trinity Sunday; this Sunday begins the third part of the Easter Cycle: the Season After Pentecost, which runs up to the First Sunday of Advent.

In the 1969 Calendar (and Missal), Easter Season ends with Pentecost, the Octave of Pentecost is suppressed. Badda bing, badda boom. Thus, there are only two Octaves in the 1969 calendar: Christmas and Easter. The second Ordinary Time begins the Monday after Pentecost, although the Sunday after Pentecost remains Trinity Sunday. Ordinary Time II, of course, runs up until the First Sunday of Advent, when we begin the new liturgical year.

There it is.


* A short post on the development of the current Catechism is here.

** From an older post I offer up this clarification on names for the Rites: “One of the first things one comes up against regarding the Extraordinary Form is the problem of what to call it. It goes by many names, although in this blog I tend to use EF (“Extraordinary Form”) for the Vetus ordo – Old order of the Mass, and OF (Ordinary Form) for the Novus ordo – New order. I do this because that’s how Summorum Pontificum refers to them. Simply calling it "the Latin Mass" is, though widely practiced, not truly accurate, as much of the OF is actually supposed to be said in Latin (and in some parishes in other Dioceses, this is done.)


Six years or life.

Did you know that priests are, under usual circumstances, supposed to be appointed as parochial vicars for life? It’s an interesting little bit of recent Church history. Fr. Tim Ferguson, writing on Fr. Z’s blog here, goes into it a bit more, but I’ll offer my two cents.

The 1983 Code of Canon Law is here. The law in question is Number 522, in Part II, Section II, Title III (Cann.460-572), Chapter VI: “Parishes, Pastors and Parochial Vicars.” Or, you can just go here. It goes like this:

Can. 522 A pastor must possess stability and therefore is to be appointed for an indefinite period of time. The diocesan bishop can appoint him only for a specific period if the conference of bishops has permitted this by a decree.

Notice the second sentence, which nullifies the first sentence: “The diocesan bishop can appoint him only for a specific period if the conference of bishops has permitted this by a decree.” Translated, Can. 522 says “this condition (pastoral stability) must obtain, unless, of course, y’all decide that it needn’t.”

It should surprise no one to find that O these many years ago (1984, to be precise), our bishops, in conference, exempted themselves from Canon 522, as noted on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website, here:

Individual ordinaries may appoint pastors to a six year term of office. The possibility of renewing this term is left to the discretion of the diocesan bishop. The primary provision of canon 522 that pastors may be appointed for an indefinite period of time remains in force.

Except, of course, when it isn’t.

Why does any of this matter? Several things come to mind: why should a priest put a lot of effort into building a new church, building a school, building an altar server training program, building a decent and reverent liturgy, or even trying to get to know more than a handful of the most noisy of his parishioners when he knows he’s going to be moved in six years, and the new guy may just undo all the things he’s tried to do.

Conversely, why would bishops want to nullify the “Stability of Office of the Pastor”, since pastoral stability would seem intuitively to be a good thing? Well, I don’t know. Perhaps it had something to do with the scandal of homosexual predatory priests which was coming to a head in the 1970’s and 1980’s after Vatican II, and this was an honest attempt by the bishops to deal with an unraveling situation. Bishops, you’ll recall, started moving a lot of folks around back then. Or, perhaps it was simply plain ole’ Power. The power to move at will, for any reason or no reason at all, concentrates even more power in the hands of the bishop. Or, maybe I’m just all wet.

Anyway, I thought y’all might be interested.

Curate, ut valeatis!

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Jr High Group at May's First Saturday Mass, and REMINDER First June Saturday Mass is THIS SATURDAY 1 June!!

Edward Pentin, the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register, has done at least a couple of pieces on young people and the Traditional Latin Mass; here, for example, and here. The upshot is that young people, rather than being repulsed by the Ancient Form, are attracted to it: the TLM draws on the treasures of the Church’s heritage, and challenges young people.

This past First Saturday (4 May 2019), Tracy Guerrette, the Director of Faith Formation at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Bangor, along with Deacon Tim Dougherty, took the Parish Junior High Youth Ministry to the TLM in Westbrook (Fr. Steven Cartwright). As Tracy says,

The youth loved their experience, and for many, it was the first time attending a Mass. We were 25 people total in our group…

The most consistent comment is that the youth enjoyed ‘how devout the Mass was.’ All of them were very engaged and were able to follow along with a Mass aid booklet (which included both the Latin and English translation). Father Cartwright was kind enough to spend 45 minutes with us following the Mass where he spoke more about and explained the history and meaning behind the Latin Mass. All of the youth said that would very much like to attend another Latin Mass.

Some comments forwarded by Tracy:

I thought that it was an interesting experience and everyone should be able to go to one. I liked how you could still follow along where the general area of the Mass was and what part it was, even though it was a different language.”

"[T]he Latin Mass is wonderfully solemn, reverent, and beautiful. It's amazing to think that this is how the saints worshiped for hundreds of years. I can't wait to go again sometime."

I noticed they didn't carry a cross and the priest was wearing a weird looking hat; receiving communion was different. (Out of the mouths of Jr High students comes how much we have lost – TC) I really liked the Mass and would go again.”

Jack (13yrs) “Because the Priest was looking towards the alter, I found myself looking up at the cross, it was a very holy experience.”

Luke (10yrs) “I felt like I was in a different time period.”

Jamie (father). “It was my first Latin mass. I found the experience very holy and reverent. The music of the High Mass was especially prayerful.”

Folks, this isn’t “longing for the 1950’s” or some such rubbish. This is our future, this is regaining what we have lost and neglected, this is going backwards to go forward.

REMINDER!!! the First Saturday Mass for June, 2019, is THIS SATURDAY, 1 JUNE!

9AM (Confessions, 8AM)

St. Anthony of Padua Parish

268 Brown, Street

Westbrook, ME 04092

Contact: Fr. Steven Cartwright, Parochial Vicar – Sebago Lakes Region

Office Phone: 207-857-0490 ext. 22

Curate, ut valeatis!

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The St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy (Fr. Robert Parent) will offer, on ASCENSION THURSDAY (30 May 2019), Masses as follows:

8 AM

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
307 Congress Street, Portland

6:30 PM
Saints Peter and Paul Basilica
122 Ash Street, Lewiston

The remaining Sunday Masses for May by Fr. Parent will be at the usual times and places:

8:30 AM
Saints Peter and Paul Basilica
122 Ash Street, Lewiston

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
307 Congress Street, Portland

Curate, ut valeatis!

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The priest shortage is a self inflicted wound.

There is a classic piece by Anthony Esolen, entitled “The Catholic Church’s priest shortage is a self-inflicted wound”, published over 4 years ago on LifeSite, still available here. Worth reading (or re-reading), it goes like this:

Suppose you take a double-barrel shotgun and aim it at your foot. You press the trigger, and half of your toes are bloody fragments. Then you pray, ‘Cure me, O Lord, for I am lame!’…

The Catholic Church is in dire need of priests. She had plenty of priests before the onset of liturgical abuses not sanctioned by the Second Vatican Council's Sacrosanctum Concilium. Mathematician and computer programmer David Sonnier has plotted out the precipitous decline in vocations after the Council, illustrating it by an asymptotic curve he calls, with mordant irony, the Springtime Decay Function, whereby he concludes that we are missing more than 300,000 priests who otherwise might have been ministering to the people of God today. He shows his students the data, telling them that it marks enrollment at a college, and he asks them to guess what happened. They reply in one way or another that the college in question must have made a dreadfully bad decision in 1965.

Did they get rid of football?” asked one of the students.

The answer to that is yes, they did “get rid of football.” Nowhere in Sacrosanctum Concilium or in other documents of Vatican II … are the following liturgical innovations mandated or recommended or even suggested:

* orientation ad populum

* Communion in both species

* Communion received in the hand

* Communion received while standing, as at a delicatessen

* removal of altar rails

* prohibition of Masses said according to the 1962 missal

* exclusive use of the vernacular

* girls serving at the altar

Sonnier understands that correlation and causation are not the same; though it defies all reason to suppose that a decline so sudden and so calamitous was strictly coincidental. One way to show that it was not coincidental – that the foot's agony had something to do with the shotgun and the trigger – would be to go to those dioceses and communities that did not pull the trigger, and to see whether they are walking about hale and hearty and on two feet. And so they are: Lincoln, Nebraska; Arlington, Virginia; Ciudad del Este, Paraguay; the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate; the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter… (the list goes on and on – TC)

There are many potential contributors to the collapse of priestly vocations: smaller Catholic families, the enormous cost of attending seminary, the self destruction of the seminaries (cf. Michael Rose’s Goodbye, Good Men, written in 2002 but still achingly relevant and available pretty much everywhere), the degradation of the sanctuary as a sacred and holy space, the general “feminization” of the church and the Mass; these are just a few of reasons that pop into mind. But in my view, an overarching reason is the loss of the view of the unique, manly, “priestly” role of the priest as, well, a man, set apart from the rest of us not because he is better but because he is intended to act as alter Christus – another Christ. It is a high calling, and a difficult one: done well, it may be one of the most difficult callings imaginable.

I believe that the Mass as it was practiced up until Advent 1969 had to be a constant reminder to the poor, weak man (n.b.: I myself am a poor, weak man) who was the priest of the large, transcendent, vitally important role he was called to fulfill. It did this by making God, not the man, the center of the action, though the man – the priest - was necessary for the action. The ancient rite was suffused with the transcendent mystery of God. Although it is possible for the Novus ordo to be done in a similar way: emphasizing the greatness and mystery of God with man as an appendage (more on this in a later post), generally the innumerable “options” that the N.O. allows means that all too often the reverse becomes the reality: the man is the center, God is the appendage. Further, the new form opens the door to all the additional antics listed above by Dr. Esolen, and none of which are called for by the Novus ordo Missae.

The net effect is this: the Novus ordo, as generally practiced, is sterile, it doesn’t make priests. The Mass of All Time did.

Curate, ut valeatis.

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Latin Mass schedule for May, 2019, Diocese of Portland, Maine

Please feel free to E-mail me at or with additions, deletions or corrections.

FIRST SATURDAY MASS Saturday, 4 May 2019.


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

EVERY SUNDAY (courtesy of the Saint Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy):

  • 8:30 AM
  • Saints Peter and Paul Basilica
  • 122 Ash Street, Lewiston

  • 12 noon

  • Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
  • 307 Congress Street, Portland

Curate, ut valeatis!

Killing the plants in the garden.

I stumbled on something recently in the National Catholic register lately, an essay by Fr. John P. Cush about Bishop Robert Barron, entitled Bishop Robert Barron on the Priesthood. Here is the entire quote as Fr. Cush used it, from a book by Bishop Barron published in 2004 (but with my emphasis):

I came of age in the late sixties and seventies of the last century, in the immediate aftermath of Vatican II. What I witnessed during that period was a terrible war of attrition between two extreme camps (with, admittedly, numerous shades in between): progressives overly in love with the culture and pushing myriad reforming agendas and conservatives desperately trying to recover the form of Catholicism that predated the council. Some of these liberals were so enamored of growth, play, and free development that they allowed John XXIII’s flourishing garden to become overgrown and untamed; while some of these traditionalists were so attached to an outmoded cultural expression of the Church’s life that they effectively killed off the plants in the garden, pressing their dead leaves between the pages of a book. (xiv-xv).

This is a sad caricature of those of us who long for the reverence, solemnity and seriousness of the traditional form of the Mass. As I said here, a return to the traditional form of the liturgy will not magically fix the Church. After all, the Church had plenty of problems before Pope Paul VII’s Novus ordo Missae was mandated in 1969. I do, however, believe that the pewsitters in the Church (that would include me) have lost the sense of the mystery of God, and the mystery of the Mass, with the current liturgical form, and that a return to the traditional form will help return the sense of mystery that we all so very much need as a starting point.

Curate, ut valeatis.


Latin Mass Schedule for Easter, 2019, Diocese of Portland, Maine

Latin Masses in Maine for Easter, 2019

21 April: EASTER SUNDAY (all Masses courtesy of the St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy):

8:30 AM

Saints Peter and Paul Basilica

122 Ash Street, Lewiston


Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

307 Congress Street, Portland

28 April LOW SUNDAY (a.k.a. Sunday in Albis, Quasimodo Sunday, Divine Mercy Sunday)

8:30 AM

Saints peter and Paul Basilica

122 Ash Street, Lewiston


Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

307 Congress Street, Portland

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Bishop Deeley's Call to Action on LD 820

A letter from Bishop Deeley was available at the Palm Sunday Masses today (Palm Sunday, 2019). In it he clearly and courageously called Maine Catholics to oppose LD 820, which would have Maine taxpayers fund abortion services. We discussed this bill not too long ago here. Well, it’s up for a vote soon, possibly this week. Sadly, I cannot reproduce the letter here due to certain technical deficiencies, but here’s the link to the actual letter. Alternatively, if you go to the diocesan website and type LD 820 into the search bar, it comes up. Anyway, here is the seminal paragraph:

As your bishop … I ask you to call your state senator at (207) 287-1540 and your state representative at (207) 287-1400. State your name, where you live and that you oppose LD 820. If you do not know who your senator or representative is, visit to discover who they are. Speak out against these actions and let your voice be heard before it is too late….”

I followed the instructions on the letter Sunday evening, it took less than 10 minutes to identify my senator and representative, call, and leave the messages on the voicemail. I had already written them, but what the heck, I called ‘em anyway. Helpful hint: just put your zip code in the “Faithful Citizen” search bar. Your entire address may confuse it.

Alternatively, these links provide E-mail and regular mail addresses as well.

Find your State Senator

Find your State Representative

Just do it.jpg

A world without God can only be a world without meaning: the April 2019 esay of Benedict XVI

In April, 2019, Pope Emeritus XVI published, with the permission of both the Vatican Secretary of State and the Holy Father, a 6000 word essay in the Klerusblatt [a monthly periodical for clergy in mostly Bavarian dioceses]. The entire essay is presented in the National Catholic Register, here. It has generated no number of responses and critiques, good, bad, indifferent. I only offer a few clips (as always, my emphasis), from Part III. Ratzinger is a clear, linear, concise writer and thinker. He is not difficult to understand, but one must pay attention to what he is writing. Go read it and digest it yourselves.

[From III (1)]:“A world without God can only be a world without meaning. For where, then, does everything that is come from? In any case, it has no spiritual purpose. It is somehow simply there and has neither any goal nor any sense. Then there are no standards of good or evil. Then only what is stronger than the other can assert itself. Power is then the only principle. Truth does not count, it actually does not exist. Only if things have a spiritual reason, are intended and conceived — only if there is a Creator God who is good and wants the good — can the life of man also have meaning…

[From III (2)]: “Let us consider this with regard to a central issue, the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Our handling of the Eucharist can only arouse concern...

...What predominates is not a new reverence for the presence of Christ’s death and resurrection, but a way of dealing with Him that destroys the greatness of the Mystery. The declining participation in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration shows how little we Christians of today still know about appreciating the greatness of the gift that consists in His Real Presence. The Eucharist is devalued into a mere ceremonial gesture...”

[From III (3)]: ”And finally, there is the Mystery of the Church. The sentence with which Romano Guardini, almost 100 years ago, expressed the joyful hope that was instilled in him and many others, remains unforgotten: ‘An event of incalculable importance has begun; the Church is awakening in souls.’ … About half a century later, in reconsidering this process and looking at what had been happening, I felt tempted to reverse the sentence: ‘The Church is dying in souls.’...

In III (3), Benedict develops his comparison between Job and the Church, within the framework of St. John’s Apocalypse.

“..The idea of a better Church, created by ourselves, is in fact a proposal of the devil, with which he wants to lead us away from the living God, through a deceitful logic by which we are too easily duped. No, even today the Church is not just made up of bad fish and weeds. The Church of God also exists today, and today it is the very instrument through which God saves us...”

Enough. I am no theologian. I am merely offering this to alert you – in case you had missed it - regarding a recent writing by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Finally, I do not believe that a return to the traditional form of the liturgy will magically fix the Church (although I have been accused of this). After all, the Church had plenty of problems before Pope Paul VII’s Novus ordo Missae was mandated in 1969. I do, however, believe that the pewsitters in the Church (that would include me) have lost the sense of the mystery of God, and the mystery of the Mass, with the current liturgical form, and that a return to the traditional form will help return the sense of mystery that we all so very much need as a starting point.


Curate, ut valeatis.

Tenebrae 2019

From the Diocese of Portland on Tenebrae:

Tenebrae (Latin word meaning “darkness”) is a service that grew out of a combination of night prayer and early morning prayer, with an additional focus on the commemoration of the Passion of our Lord.

The most significant feature of the service is the gradual extinguishing of the lights and candles around the altar. As it gets darker and darker, the community reflects on the great emotional and physical pain that was very real for Jesus during his Passion.

The schedule of Tenebrae services during Holy Week is as follows (alphabetically by town/city):

Monday, April 15, at 7 p.m.
St. Mary of the Assumption Church
41 Western Avenue

Thursday, April 18, at 9:30 p.m.
St. Anne Chapel of St. Joseph Church
178 Elm Street
(Service follows the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7 p.m. and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament which will continue in the chapel until 9:30 p.m.)

Cape Elizabeth
Monday, April 15, at 7 p.m.
St. Bartholomew Church
8 Two Lights Road

Wednesday, April 17, at 7 p.m.
Holy Family Church
145 Pritham Avenue

Monday, April 15, at 7:35 p.m.
Holy Family Church
607 Sabattus Street

Monday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church
919 Roosevelt Trail

Tenebrae 2019.jpg

Going backwards to go forwards.

From Life Site News (my emphasis):

A historic U.S. Catholic Church has escaped closure thanks to the return of the traditional Latin Mass.

St. Mary’s Church on Broadway in Providence, Rhode Island was the focus of a WPRI news spot this past Sunday because the ancient liturgy now being celebrated there has increased the congregation, leading to a fuller collection basket and thus a future for the 150-year-old church. St. Mary’s “is going back in time in order to move forward,” said WPRI News reporter Julianne Lima in the two-minute report…

the church has been saved thanks to the current Bishop of Providence. In August 2018, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin asked a liturgically traditional order of priests to take charge of St. Mary’s. Father John Berg of the Fraternity of the Priests of Saint Peter (FSSP) is now the pastor and offers Mass solely in the traditional form … the restoration drew Catholics from all over New England to St. Mary’s: the average parishioner now travels for 45 minutes to attend or, to use traditional language, “assist” at the Mass… ‘It will never close now,’ (a parishioner) told WPRI News.

Here is the website for St. Mary's in Providence, RI. In particular, I want to direct your attention to the Activities tab. Look at each subtab: the St. Mary’s calendar, the Server's Guild, the Rosa Mystica Girls Society. Let me sketch a few points, and make comparisons.

What St. Mary’s offers, and (in my experience) all the FSSP parishes offer, is a “full community life”, to borrow a phrase from one of the parishioners in the Life Site article. That means, first and foremost, Masses offered weekly, and all Holy Days, at accessible times, in the main part of the church building. Not at some weird time or place (7AM, 6PM, basement or side chapel, what have you). When the TLM is only offered in a parish at some off the wall time and/or place, that only emphasizes the general notion out there in Catholic land that the TLM is just some weird thing, and makes it profoundly difficult for the TLM to flourish.

“Full community life” also means that there are other things that regularly go on that draw laity into, and strengthen the life of, the parish. These include items such as those under the “Activities” tab. In my experience they also include things like most excellent weekly after Mass gatherings for refreshment and socialization. Some Novus ordo parishes do some of these “community life” things, and some do them well. Others don’t do them at all.

Which brings me to the comparisons.

To the best of my knowledge, the FSSP won’t have a parish with only one priest. There’s always two priests, or at least a priest and a rotating FSSP seminarian. Also, to the best of my knowledge, there are no cluster parishes in the FSSP world. There are two men running one church building. Thus, they are able to focus on one parish, and devote all of their attention to it’s many needs. Finally, and this is really important: the FSSP congregation is self-selected. The people there want to be there, they are not a cross section of the modern American Catholic world. The FSSP priest individually offers no fewer masses on a daily basis as his Novus ordo confrere, and has the same sorts of management headaches, as his Novus ordo brother, but he is doing it all in the same place, the same building, the same congregation. There is only one set of bills, one parking lot needing to be plowed and, most importantly, one (generally heavily invested) congregation.

In the Novus ordo world, you have one parish priest, and maybe a parochial vicar or two, running two, three, five, or more individual churches which were once upon a time separate parishes with their own priests but now have been clustered into a single uber-parish. Thus, you have the priest running out of the 8AM Sunday mass in one church to get to the 10:30AM mass across town, with the 6PM mass out at the other church over the hill and far away yet to come. While the individual priest has limits on the number of masses he can say in a day, it’s still a lot schedule coordination between the (usually multiple) priests, and a lot of driving around and refocusing. Plus, the parish priest has maybe a dozen buildings (church buildings, rectories, parish halls, etc) he has to manage. Finally, unlike the FSSP priests, the N.O cluster parish priest has as many different congregations (with their own needs, wants and oddities) as there are church buildings in the cluster. These congregations are, unlike the self-selected FSSP congregation, a cross section of American Catholics today, and they are every bit as fragmented and fractured as Americans are in general.

Add to that the fact that most (not all) N.O. priests don’t know anything about Latin (although it is supposed to be taught in seminary) and don’t know anything about the TLM. Finally, even priests who are well intentioned towards the TLM know that, were they to try to anything that might suggest “traditional Catholicism”, some of their parishioners (generally of a certain very vocal “boomer” generation of which I am embarrassed to be a member) would simply disapparate.


Nobody needs that.

Last, but by no means least, is the diocesan bishop. The bishop can be a big support to a parish priest trying to bring Tradition to his parish. He can also be big thumb in the eye. And then there is this: once upon a time not too long ago, a priest was assigned to a parish more or less for life. Problem priests could be removed for grave reasons, but in general “parish priest” was a lifetime appointment. In the past few decades, however, the practice has appeared where bishops arbitrarily move priests around every few years. Thus, there is no incentive for a priest to get too heavily invested in long term projects in his parish: build a new school, build a new church, build a new catechetical program, build a robust altar server program, build a Latin Mass. Why should he? All his efforts may just go down the tubes when the bishop decides to move him out and move in a new man who isn’t interested in, say, a school, a catechetical program, or training altar servers, or Tradition.

Our Diocesan priests who want to offer the TLM have many impediments, we laity need to be aware of them. We laity cannot offer Mass, and we cannot decide how a Mass, whether a TLM or Novus ordo missae is done, or whether the Mass is done poorly or well. That is the priest’s responsibility. We can, however, understand the obstacles the priests have, and do what we can in terms of time, talent, and treasure, to assist him.

Curate, ut valeatis.


Paul VI's Missale Romanum turns 50

From the National Catholic Register article St. Paul VI's 'Missale Romanum' Turns 50:

On April 3, 1969, Pope Paul VI promulgated the apostolic constitution, paving the way for the celebration of the Mass according to the Roman Missal promulgated in 1969 (with another slightly revised missal promulgated in 1970), one of the most visible changes to occur in the post-conciliar Church. The revisions to the Roman Missal that Paul VI announced in Missale Romanum went into effect later that year on the First Sunday of Advent, Nov. 30, 1969.

The document, which details the changes that the Roman Missal would undergo, was greeted with great optimism, as many believed these changes would lead to a greater love for and understanding of the liturgy. But the hopes placed in such changes are today tempered by the reality that much work remains to be done to bring Catholics to a greater appreciation for the liturgy, even as the Mass that Paul VI’s document precipitated remains a pastoral touchstone for priests and an accessible entry point for converts to the faith…”

Go read the entire thing there. It is a very optimistic view of the effect of the Novus ordo Missae on the Church.

And we have Fr. Zuhlsdorf's comments:

Precisely 50 years ago today the “God of Surprises”, through his permissive will and his vicar Paul, allowed us to experience a brand new version of Mass.

The Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum was promulgated by Paul VI on 3 April 1969.

The world would never be the same.”

I would especially recommend the comments, not because they’re snarky, but because many of them are thoughtful. For example:

The new Mass has so many permutations with various options, you could visit 10 parishes on a single Sunday and not find the same Mass twice. Imagine there are priests who never use the Confiteor. (This is the case in my parish – TC) The Confiteor! There are Catholics who haven’t said, “I confess to Almighty God…” in years!

That, to me, is one of the greatest among the manifold problems with the New Order of the Mass: the countless number of varieties and permutations and “options”; you never know what you’ll be served up. Is it going to be a beautiful, reverent Mass (and, yes, the N.O can be done beautifully and reverently) or is it going to be flying monkey and space aliens? One never knows. Please note, the NCR points to all this variety as one of its greatest strengths. I believe it is one of the great weaknesses in a liturgy remarkable for its brokenness. And, more importantly, it’s the only thing most Catholics today know.

Curate, ut valeatis!