Saturday, April 29, 2017


I see from a Crux post by South Carolinian (all South Carolinians are smart) Father Dwight Longenecker, that  the main seminary chapel at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio has once again be renovated, maybe the fourth time in 40 years. The most recent is a restoration and hits the ball out of the park! Here is the restoration and below it is what it originally looked like and what it became in the 1980's:

Yet Father Longenecker writes that this is what one commentator from the National Chismatic Reporter (NCR) says:

Not everyone is happy with the restoration and renovation movement. Writing at National Chismatic Reporter (NCR) Peter Feuerherd quotes Michael deSanctis-a liturgical consultant and theology professor at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. DeSanctis believes the trend for restoration and renovation is a case of “new clericalism imposing old ways on modern architecture.”

DeSanctis opines, “Architecture is how we express our liturgy… the generation of post-Vatican II priests routinely came out of the sanctuary to interact with their parishioners during liturgy. They built churches with a focus on circular design, to bring the congregation closer together, as well as lowered the altar to bring the priest closer to the congregation. But that has changed with the emergence of many younger clergy, schooled in seminary with the thought of Pope Benedict, who re-emphasized clerical distinctions.”
st therese afteri
St. Therese of Lisieux church in Sugarland, Texas, after its renovation. (Credit: Fr. Dwight Longenecker.)
DCF 1.0
St. Therese of Lisieux church in Sugarland, Texas, before its renovation. (Credit: Fr. Dwight Longenecker.)

Feuerherd quotes DeSanctis, “Restoration-minded pastors, most who came of age well after Vatican II, are ordering the changes. Gone are what they sometimes disparage as ‘Pizza Hut’ churches. The goal is to restore tradition. They impose altar rails, the placement of the Blessed Sacrament near the altar, and use expensive marble on the floor to seal off the sanctuary area as a polished and exclusive arena for clerical liturgical action.”

It is surprising that DeSanctis who is a church building consultant does not seem to be aware of the Catholic teaching about this matter. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal directs that,

“The People of God which is gathered for Mass is coherently and hierarchically ordered…Hence the general arrangement of the sacred building must be such that in some way it conveys the image of the assembled congregation and allows the appropriate ordering of all the participants… the sanctuary is the place where the altar stands, the Word of God is proclaimed, and the Priest, the Deacon, and the other ministers exercise their functions. It should be appropriately marked off from the body of the church either by its being somewhat elevated or by a particular structure and ornamentation.”

And then think of the horrible controversy the previous Benedictine Archbishop of Milwaukee did to the once magnificent Milwaukee Cathedral in the early 2000's but with a 1970's mentality:

But when a negative comment about the wreckovation of the Milwaukee Cathedral by Father Richard Vosko who influeneced so many wreckovations of traditional churches in an iconoclastic way was posted on Praytell in conjunction with an interview with Fr. Vosko, this was Rita Ferrone's reaction to the renovation  her former Archbishop ordered be done to his cathedral who then after an immoral homosexual affair paid off his disgruntled lover with over $400,000 in diocesan funds, by any measure what would be called a blatant embezzlement:

Frankly, I am not happy to see a broadside on the Milwaukee cathedral on this thread — this is off topic, and there is not even remotely enough information about it in the post on which to conduct an informed discussion about that design. I happen to know a lot about it, but this is not the subject of this thread. The topic here is the interview.

So much for worship, wit and wisdom!

Friday, April 28, 2017


Pope in Egypt: Catholics and Copts recognise shared baptism

Pope Francis signs a common declaration with Coptic Pope Tawadros II affirming a shared baptism between the two Churches - RV
Pope Francis signs a common declaration with Coptic Pope Tawadros II affirming a shared baptism between the two Churches - RV
28/04/2017 18:24

(Vatican Radio) In a common declaration, signed by Pope Francis and Coptic Pope Tawadros II, Catholics and Copts declare for the first time that they will recognise each other’s sacrament of baptism.


My car, which is five years old and with 93,000 miles, had its air conditioning go out. So it is in the shop and they gave me a lovely loaner! loner? You name it.


It is so weird to me to have two popes. When a pope dies he is still referred to as pope. We now have a "dead pope" who speaks from the "grave." How cool and maybe dangerous is that for the "living pope" and his agenda?

This translation is from Rorate Caeli:

Distinguished Mr. President of the Republic of Poland!
Eminences and Excellencies!
Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen!

With great and profound emotion, gratitude and joy, I learned the news that, on the occasion of my 90th birthday, with the honorary patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland, high representatives of the state and ecclesial authorities of Poland will meet for a scientific conference on the theme: "The concept of the State in the perspective of the teaching of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger / Benedict XVI".

The chosen theme brings together state and ecclesial authorities to dialogue about an essential question for the future of our Continent. The clash between radically atheistic conceptions of the State and the emergence of a radically religious state in the Islamist movements, leads our time into an explosive situation, the consequences of which we experience every day. These radicalisms urgently demand that we develop a convincing conception of the State that sustains the clash with these challenges and can overcome them.

In the travail of the last half century, with Bishop-Witness Cardinal Wyszyński and with Pope Saint John Paul II, Poland has given humanity two great figures, who not only reflected on this question, but have brought to it their own suffering and lived experience, and thus they continue to point the way to the future.

With my cordial gratitude for the work that their Excellencies propose in this circumstance, I impart to them all my paternal blessing,

Benedict XVI​


Press the title for the complete article and below photo is my take and comments:

It’s undoubtedly true that there really is a problem about the liturgy today. But the problem doesn’t have a lot to do with the translations.
Mass celebrated on Palm Sunday in the chapel of Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston (John Stephen Dwyer/Wikipedia)’s undoubtedly true that there really is a problem about the liturgy today. But the problem doesn’t have a lot to do with the translations. Nor does it lie in liturgical aberrations like clown Masses and balloons, which came and went during the days of craziness half a century ago.

The underlying problem instead is the decline of the sacramental sense—the fragile discernment of transcendence amid the limitations of our immanence—which has been going on in Western culture over the last several centuries (and which, one might add, is unlikely to be halted, much less reversed).

My take and comments: I have to agree that we don't need a radical re-tinkering of our new and more glorious English translation of the Mass apart from some reorienting of sentences and elimination of useless repetition, often not even in the Latin. 

What we need to do, meaning the pope and the Congregation for Divine Worship is to do what Russell Shaw states is the problem with the reformed Mass and that is the decline of the sacramental sense. 

The reformed Mass from the get-go of the 1970 version of it until today has bought into a dumbed down version or complete redefinition of what reverence is in the Catholic Mass and our other liturgies to include behavior in the church building The laity complained about this throughout the 1970's until they drifted away in mass numbers leading to the abysmal Mass attendance we have today with only 12% to 25% actually liking the dumbed down Mass. 

Rather than having Catholic reverence defined as hushed silence in the presence of the Almighty, now it is defined as noise and activity and being pleasant, giddy and talkative with one another even in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament!

What the pope and bishops must do is recover our oldest Tradition of reverence which is codified in the 1962 Missal. This means, Latin with some vernacular allowed for the changing parts of the Mass, a silent canon and a return to the Gradual and Tract and one reading before it and the Gospel following. The Responsorial Psalm with refrain is useless repetition.

The only change I would make to the order of the EF Mass, using its rubrics, only the Roman Canon prayed hushed style is the elimination of the double Communion Rite of the priest and then the laity. The reformed Mass got this right, except for the elimination of the three-fold "Lord I am not worthy..." 

Of course the common sense kneeling at the altar railing, receiving Holy Communion on the tongue and ad orientem are taken for granted in any renewal of the reformed Mass in continuity with our Tradition of Mass. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


The liturgies of the sacraments, including the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, are a means to an end and the end is the adoration and worship of God and the strengthening of the soul for eternal salvation and all that is required for that salvation with God accomplishes through His Son and the graces we merit by our faith and good works.

Yet, there are those, especially liturgical geeks, who worship the form of the celebration of the sacraments to include its language.

Take, for example, those who kiss the boundaries of schism, be it the SSPX or those who reject the legitimate Magisterium of the Church. They, in an odd way, are the very caricature of the "spirit" of Vatican II which they so deplore. It is called taking on oneself an authority they simply do not have or a neo-Gnosticism that they know something directly from God that the Magisterium is completely unaware. They deplore the corporality of the Church and that she speaks through men in the hierarchy of the Church, the pope and bishops who are in union with him. Gnosticism pure and simple, but cloaked in the external traditions of the Church and the elitist mentality that they alone are preserving authentic Tradition.

As for me and my household, we will serve the true Body of Christ.                                      

Monday, April 24, 2017


We had our first ever Divine Mercy devotions at St. Anne in Richmond Hill! After the Prayer after Holy Communion, we had Solemn Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament followed by adoration until 3 pm. I immediately began hearing Confessions until 2:45 pm. Then at 3 pm I processed to the altar for the chanting of the Divine Mercy Chaplet followed by Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. I felt like I was on EWTN!

What did your parish do?

And since this is a relatively new devotion for Americans, I would like to know if SSPX parishes observe it?

Of course I had no photographer to take photos of St. Anne's fist ever Divine Mercy devotion, but many years ago Dr. Buck Melton took these at St. Joseph in Macon:


An answer to my prayers happened during Holy Week. For the first time since I used incense at a funeral, my first funeral in our new church, which at Holy Communion triggered our elaborate system of smoke detectors causing strobe lights, ear piercing sirens and a mechanical voice declaring in an ominous tone, "a fire has been detected, evacuate now" over, and over again, all of which caused the deceased to rise, I used incense at our Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper to include the transfer of the Most Holy Eucharist as well again at the Easter Vigil and without incident.

While I did not use incense on Easter Sunday, I did on Divine Mercy Sunday at our 11 AM Mass which I see as our "principle" Mass and will continue to do so each Sunday. As well we will use incense at our Confirmatioin Mass next Sunday and our First Holy Communion the following Sunday.

You may be wondering, how in the name of God and all that is holy, are you able to use incense without your post-traumatic stress syndrome completely overwhelming you?

We shut the system down altogether, which takes a kind of act of congress to do so. We designate fire monsters, usually our ushers, call our fire monitoring system and indicate to them we are going to turn off the system. They give us permission after we tell them how long a period it will be. Then we go to our mechanical room and enter elaborate codes and push secret buttons and use two separate key pads until the system is disabled.

It is so convenient and so simple, no?????

Sunday, April 23, 2017


It does not surprise me that this is happening in Wichita.  This diocese is one of the most remarkable in the USA. Every parish must adopt the stewardship model of spirituality and charity, that of time, talent and treasure. Every Catholic school in the diocese is supported through tithing and thus there is no tuition! And what the bishop collects to run the pastoral center, which also has a marvelous retreat center is funding though parishioner's tithing on the parish level, no additional Bishop's Annual Appeal or chancery taxes.

The Catholics in Wichita are bread and butter, salt of the earth kinds of people and Catholics!

Wichita men pray before Eucharist overnight for 33 years

Wichita — It’s peaceful in the chapel at 3 in the morning, with only the sound of a softly ticking clock or the occasional rustling from the two men kneeling, one clasping a rosary. Two candles flicker at the sides of the Eucharist; the consecrated bread that the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches has become the actual body, blood and soul of Jesus. The Eucharist is contained in a monstrance, a container that looks like a circle of gold flame. Steve Freach, one of the two men, remembers the story of a peasant who spent hours in front of the Eucharist. When asked why he did so, the peasant said, “I look at him and he looks at me.” For 33 years, Freach and Bob Knoff believe they have looked ...


Read the entire article HERE.

After Four Cardinals, Six Laymen Speak. Who Knows If the Pope May At Least Listen To Them

The four cardinals have never been alone with their “dubia.” Proof of this comes from what happened in Rome on April 22 in an auditorium of the Hotel Columbus, a short walk from Saint Peter’s Square, where six renowned lay scholars came together from as many countries of the world to give voice to an appeal that is being raised from a large part of the “people of God” so that clarity may be brought to the confusion raised by “Amoris Laetitia.”
Anna M. Silvas came from Australia, Claudio Pierantoni from Chile, Jürgen Liminski from Germany, Douglas Farrow from Canada, Jean Paul Messina from Cameroon, Thibaud Collin from France. And one after the other, over the span of one day took stock of the crisis that the document of Pope Francis has produced in the Church, one year after its publication.
Settimo Cielo offers its readers the complete texts of the six presentations, in the languages in which they were delivered. But it calls special attention to the one by Claudio Pierantoni, a scholar of patristics and professor of medieval philosophy at the Universidad de Chile, in Santiago, an abridgment of which is provided below.
Pierantoni brings up again the cases of two popes who fell into error during the first Christian centuries, the one condemned “post mortem” by an ecumenical council and the other induced to correct himself during his lifetime.
But also today - he argues - there is a pope who is “victim,” although “hardly aware of it,” of a widespread tendency to error that undermines the foundations of the Church’s faith. And he too is in need of a charitable correction that may bring splendor back to the truth.
Pierantoni is not the only one among the six to have recalled the lessons of the past, ancient and recent.
Thibaud Collin, a professor of moral philosophy and politics at the Collège Stanislas in Paris, recalled for example the opposition of numerous theologians and entire episcopates to the encyclical of Paul VI “Humanae Vitae,” which was downgraded to purely “ideal” and thereby made inoperative. And he showed how this deleterious “pastoral” logic has come back into vogue with “Amoris Laetitia,” concerning indissoluble marriage and soon also concerning homosexual amours.
Anna M. Silvas, an Australian of the Eastern rite, a scholar of the Fathers of the Church, and a professor at the University of New England, instead emphasized the danger that the Catholic Church might also go down the road already traveled centuries ago by the Protestants and Orthodox toward divorce and remarriage: just when - she surprisingly added - the Coptic Church is returning to the indissolubility of Christian marriage, without exception.
On a response from Pope Francis to the “dubia,” as also on the possibility of a “correction” from him, Anna M. Silvas expressed skepticism. She instead proposes a “Benedict option” for the current post-Christian era, inspired by the monasticism at the collapse of the ancient era, a humble and communal “dwelling” with Jesus and the Father “Jn 14:23) in the faithful expectation, made up of prayer and work, that the tempest shaking the world and the Church today may cease.
Six voices, six different interpretations. All profound and nourished by “caritas in veritate.” Who knows if Pope Francis may at least listen to them.


It must be 1978 all over again, like the movie Groundhog Day. When I listen to certain Jesuits, like Fr. Reese teach about Jesus' words in the Bible being only culturally conditioned by H/his times and thus must be reinterpreted to accommodate our far superior cultural times, this elitism makes me feel like I am back in a 1976 seminary Scripture class. And you know what? I am!

Fr. Reese and other Jesuits of his age and kind, some in high places at that, want to take us back to the 70's whereas prelates like Cardinal Sarah and Bishop Morlino are the prophetic voices wanting to take us "Back To the Future!" I want to get into their car!

Friday, April 21, 2017


Boston has been closing ethnic city parishes right and left, but now is opening a newly built one downtown which will so be consecrated. Nice, no?
An interior view of the church Our Lady of Good Voyage in Boston.

An interior view of the church Our Lady of Good Voyage in Boston.
Sister Caterina and Sister Veritas were letting people know the Our Lady of Good Voyage exists.
Sister Caterina and Sister Veritas were letting people know the Our Lady of Good Voyage exists.