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.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Consecration of Paschal Baptismal Water:
Beginning of baptisms:
Another baptism (13 in all)
Clothing with white garment:
Giving the sponsor the neophyte's lighted candle:
Preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation:



My previous post on Paul Inwood's concern about an Easter Vigil in America run amuck was startling to me because Praytell usually supports liturgical irregularities while deploring the EF Mass and those who attend it and wholeheartedly call for its expansion.

So I was relieved that Praytell has not abandoned its true reputation and posted a backhanded slap down of Inwood but in a nuanced sort of way, by Rita Ferrone who exerted Praytell's true Liturgical ideology:

Here's her comment on Inwood's post:

  • #7 by Rita Ferrone on April 19, 2017 - 6:54 pm 
    Is it a black parish? I notice all the songs substituted for the psalms are spirituals, and another song later in the liturgy sung by the choir is too. The ad hoc choir is drawn from the Eritrean community… they may be trying to accommodate the elderly who have sung spirituals all their lives? Such songs are actually a very important anchor in the black church, and while it doesn’t conform to liturgical norms for psalms, it’s the stuff people sing even when memory fails — and it’s lived theology. I wouldn’t judge it too harshly without knowing some more about how this came to be. I also note the author says there was an “altar call” which is a borrowed term from the Protestant (often Baptist) background that many black Catholic churches include because their families span the ecumenical gamut too.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


In my questions to those who attend either SSPX or FSSP parishes, I asked the following:

My impression too, was that actual participation in the Mass saw many praying the rosary or simply zoning out, but not all of course. Is actual participation in its two expressions combined, that of the interior/contemplative and that of the verbal/exterior better today that in pre-Vatican II times in these parishes?
So, today in these types of parishes, what does the "time (prayer/and religious formation dedicated to God), talent (what the laity do for the institutional church with  the gifts they have) and treasure (tithing) look like?

What does Father's convert class look like and how does your parish compare in size with the "modern" Catholic parishes, liturgies and actual participation nearby?

Then one of my commenters had a common sense, no nonsense, response that takes the cake.  And her answer betrays the wrong road we have been traveling since Vatican II where the focus is on human activity, right or wrong, during the liturgy and getting everyone to do it the "right" way rather than the "wrong" way as perceived by the intellectual elite in liturgical academia. What has gotten lost, is the true purpose of the Catholic parish and the Sacraments of the Church, especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass--TO GET PEOPLE INTO HEAVEN SO THEY WON'T GO TO HELL. 

In fact, the Fatima Prayer of the Holy Rosary is a brief summary of what Catholic parishes should be praying for and doing:

"O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy."

 Here's Bee's common sense, no nonsense answer to my post:

Bee here:

While these are good questions Fr. McD, my question would be, what percentage of pre-Vatican II Catholics went to heaven as opposed to the percentage of those Catholics baptized post-Vatican II?

I know we can't know with any certainty, but my guess is even the people praying the rosary during Mass in the pre-Vatican II days stand a better chance of reaching heaven than post-Vatican II Catholics.

Maybe I'm wrong. I hope I am. I guess I'll just keep praying.


There was a colossal controversy in my parish for the Easter Vigil, my first one here. I told the choir director and deacon that all the lights of the darkened church should be illuminated at the third "Lumen Christi".

But the custom here has been for these to remain off until the Gloria, necessitating a flash light for the deacon to chant the Exsultet not to mention the readers needed one too.

The other colossal controversy was when to the light the laity's candles after the Easter Candle had been lighted. I recommended that it be done outside as the people processed into the church, but others stated, no, they should be in the church and their candles lighted from the Easter Candle (which would have taken all night if each one did it individually).

I noticed at the London Oratory where John Nolan frequents that the lights were not turned on at the third Lumen Christi, but remained off for the Exsultet and the readings as documented in the photos above.

But our American Roman Missal's rubrics clearly state that the lights are to come on after the third "Lumen Christi" and no mention of them being turned off again "to symbolize as one deacon taught, that we are thrown into darkness again).  The rubrics state only that the altar candles are lighted at the Gloria with the ringing of bells throughout the Gloria.

The rubrics also state that the laity's candles are lighted after they enter the Church, but this is logistically a nightmare, quite literally. 

What did you experience at your Easter Vigil, the correct way or the London Oratory's wrong way?
I ask; you answer.


Believe it or not, Paul Inwood writing for Praytell decries what happened in a "spirit" of Vatican 🇻🇦 II parish at the Easter Vigil this past Holy Saturday.

Given my post on "Deliver Me O Lord From the Easter Vigil" you know that I must disagree with Paul and Praytell for mocking this lovely, timely and oh so necessary reform of the refoermed Easter Vigil! 👅 In cheek folks! 👎👍🙏😇😎🤡

This is from Praytell and not from incredible but true:

Here isa verbatim report of a rather different Vigil that an American friend sent me:
No Service of Light, no blessing of fire or candle, nor Exsultet. The service started in the church with the Liturgy of the Word. The paschal candle was already lit and in place when I arrived.
After the Genesis creation reading, the “responsorial psalm” from the choir: He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
2nd reading is Exodus. “Responsorial psalm”: When Israel Was in Egypt’s Land (Let My People Go) (soloist accompanied by choir)
3rd reading is Ezekiel, new heart and new spirit. “Responsorial psalm”: I’ve Got That Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart….
After the epistle the choir sang the song  We Fall Down But We Get Up, a gospel song by contemporary Black Gospel artist Donnie McClurkin. No sung Alleluia.
Then came a “sprinkling rite”. Using the “stainless steel baptismal stock pot with spigot at the bottom”, folks were encouraged to come up and get some holy water from the tap and make the sign of the cross. Those unable to walk forward had a small glass finger bowl of water brought to them. With a towel. A deacon and a nun stood by the spigot to distribute the water. Sister held a little bowl to catch the drips. During this altar call to “come and get you some holy water” we sang This little light of mine.
There had been no blessing of water. Father said “Let us pray” and maybe the prayer was about the water but his accent was sufficiently thick so that I could not discern. He did everything from his chair and didn’t move from it. Gospel followed the water rite.
No baptisms or confirmations, no sung Gloria or Holy, etc., but still a two-hour liturgy.
I should mention that this is a very senior congregation. About 75 in attendance because no one wants to drive in the dark (start time was 8 pm when it was still daylight). Average age over 75: probably only two people in the church under 60. Choir numbered about eight — is also primarily older and included a few singers from the Eritrean Mass community that worships there. They all used their cell phones as lights because the church lights (hanging fluorescent ballasts) were really dim.
Very low ceiling (about 10 foot) and pot of incense being swung about unintentionally by a very “senior” altar server who held the thurible in one hand and his cane in the other. Carpeted, with padded chairs, only about 30 feet from the back of the church to the altar, about six pews deep, in a fan shape. So much incense that I had a coughing fit. The nun came across to me with a handful of cough drops….
Sad, because it used to be a very vibrant, multi-generational parish with a thriving school. Like many parishes, it is a clustered parish — made of three similarly ageing assemblies in nearby churches, now shuttered. So no candle tapers, possibly because they would have incinerated themselves, but lots of shaking (Parkinson’s, arthritis, etc.).
It was definitely a spectacle! But something made me think that maybe it’s the effort of the people, not the words or rites, that matter. Those older folks made an effort to be there. They sang, they greeted each other, and they weebled and wobbled but they did sit and stand.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


If rejecting Vatican II's poorly implemented legacy is the way to go for the Church, I would like to ask those who attend SSPX parishes or FSSP parishes to tell me what their parish life is like and how large their parishes are in the number of households.

My impression of the pre-Vatican II Church is that priests and nuns and just a tiny fraction of the laity did everything in the institutionalized aspect of a parish. The pastor consulted no one but only a handful of cronies or good friends. Apart from the school there weren't too many other ministries and the laity's role usually involved major fundraising extravaganzas. Apart from altar boys and the women who kept the church clean and well ordered, there were no visible liturgical ministries apart from the choir and ushers.

My impression too, was that actual participation in the Mass saw many praying the rosary or simply zoning out, but not all of course. Is actual participation in its two expressions combined, that of the interior/contemplative and that of the verbal/exterior better today that in pre-Vatican II times in these parishes?

So, today in these types of parishes, what does the "time (prayer/and religious formation dedicated to God), talent (what the laity do for the instituional church with  the gifts they have) and treasure (tithing) look like?

What does Father's convert class look like and how does your parish compare in size with the "modern" Catholic parishes, liturgies and actual participation nearby?

I ask; you answer.


I am convinced that Pope Benedict's liturgical legacy will bear fruit in the future. Although Pope Francis does not focus so much on Liturgical renewal in continuity, for his part he does encourages renewal in popular devotions and frequent confessions. This is an important recovery as well because modern anarchist  liturgists of the 1960/70's tried to destroy both, the liturgies of the Church and her popular devotions to include the cult of the Blessed Virgin Mary, not to mention the Sacrament of Confession! Of course this iconoclasm destroyed Catholic identity in order to align Catholicism with Protestantism and form a sort of Tower of Babel kind of church of human construction.

Benedict XVI
[Corriere della Sera, April 15, 2017]

Nihil Operi Dei praeponatur - "Let nothing be set before the Divine Worship." With these words, Saint Benedict, in his Rule (43,3), established the absolute priority of Divine Worship in relation with any other task of monastic life. This, even in monastic life, was not necessarily obvious, because for monks the work in agriculture and in knowledge was also an essential task.

In agriculture, as also in crafts, and in the work of formation, there could be temporal emergencies that might appear more important than the liturgy. Faced with all this, Benedict, with the priority given to the liturgy, puts in unequivocal relief the priority of God himself in our life. "At the hour for the Divine Office, as soon as the signal is heard, let them abandon whatever they may have in hand and hasten with the greatest speed." (43, 1)

In the conscience of the men of today, the things of God, and with this the liturgy, do not appear urgent in fact. There is urgency for every possible thing. The things of God do not ever seem urgent. Well, it could be affirmed that monastic life is,  in any event, something different from the lives of men of the world, and that is undoubtedly fair. Nevertheless, the priority of God which we have forgotten is valid for all. If God is no longer important, the criteria to establish what is important are changed. Man, by setting God aside, submits his own self to constraints that render him a slave to material forces and that are therefore opposed to his dignity.

In the years that followed Vatican II, I became once again aware of the priority of God and of the divine liturgy. The misunderstanding of the liturgical reform that has spread widely in the Catholic Church led to putting ever more in first place the aspect of instruction and that of one's own activity and creativity. The action of men led almost to forgetting of the presence of God. In such a situation, it becomes ever clearer that the existence of the Church lives on the just celebration of the liturgy, and that the Church is in danger when the primacy of God does not appear anymore in the liturgy, and therefore in life. The deepest cause of the crisis that has subverted the Church is located in the effacing of the priority of God in the liturgy. All this led me to dedicate myself to the theme of the liturgy more widely than in the past because I knew that the true renewal of the liturgy is a fundamental condition for the renewal of the Church. 

The studies collected in this volume 11 of the Opera Omnia are based on this conviction. But in the end, despite all the differences, the essence of the liturgy in East and West is one and the same. And therefore I hope that this book may aid also the Christians of Russia to understand in a new and better way the great gift that is given to us in the Sacred Liturgy.

Vatican City, on the feast of Saint Benedict
July 11, 2015 - See more at:

Monday, April 17, 2017


Maybe it is a sign that I am on my way to being 64 years old and have almost 37 years of priesthood under my alb, but I am beginning to think that the Easter Vigil needs a make over! Of the three liturgies of the Easter Triduum, my favorite is Holy Thursday; I simply love it.

Good Friday is a bit stark and disjointed to me in terms of its abrupt entrance with prostration, collect without greeting or Let us pray, the long passion, the long intercession and the the unveiling and veneration of the cross, then Holy Communion and simple exit.

But the Easter Vigil takes the cake. Its full celebration is best done in a monastery or intentional community. I have celebrated the vigil with all the readings, but no more, no matter how much my younger parochial vicars will protest.

We had three Old Testament readings and the Epistle and Gospel of course.

But do we have to have all of that???? Can't we have a more family, less liturgical geeks 🤓 oriented Easter Vigil?


1. Allow it to be at the normal Vigil Mass time no matter how bright and sunny!

2. Light a torch in the church near the entrance and have the congregation comfortably turn towards the entrance of the church (as they do, btw, at funeral Masses for the blessing of the body) then bless the fire, the candle and begin a quick procession with the Lumen Christi chant. No candles for the congregation as these are a fire hazard and get wax on your new padded pews!!!!!! These candles should be anathema! Maybe little electric ones would suffice!

3. Use the short version of the Exultet.

4. Have one Old Testament reading with a short Gradual, not a long Psalm with refrain and an infinite number of verses but keep the prayer, followed by the Gloria, Collect and then the Epistle. But by all means maintain the three-fold Alleluia and Gospel!

5. Keep the homily brief or omit it altogether!

6. Only do baptisms, no receptions into the Church, those could be on Easter Sunday.

7. Do away with the double renunciation of Satan and profession of faith, one for those to be baptized and the other for the congregation.

8. Use the 2nd Eucharist prayer but have something in it for the newly baptized and the Roman Canon's acknowledgment of the Easter night/day.

All of this could be accomplished in a hour and a half rather than 2 and half to three hours.

I was psychologically exhausted a 8 PM when we began the Vigil outside and I could not get the taper to light from the fire so that I could light the candle and then get the congregation's candles lighted.



(Photograph from the dedication of the church in February of 2016. Unlike Macon, and with Dr. Buck Melton, a wonderful photographer who took so many photos gratis for me and sent them to me digitally in order for me to post on my blog, I have no Dr. Buck Melton in Richmond Hill, sad 😭 to say!)

I was a bit nervous about the fact that St. Anne's in Richmond Hill only as two Sunday morning Masses at 8:30 AM and 11 AM (a very nice schedule for one priest, by the way.  I knew we would have a ton of visitors and others who come to Mass on at Easter and Christmas.

I wondered if I needed to add a Mass but decided against it since the new parish church can seat 1,200 comfortably. My first experience of it completely full, but no one standing was on Christmas Eve.

Both our 8:30 am and 11 am Masses were filled to capacity with the 8:30 AM having more small children than the 11 am and thus it won the competition for having the most. (Our Easter Vigil at 8 pm Holy Saturday was a little less than 3/4th full, with 13 baptisms and about 15 receptions into the Full Communion of the Church. It took 2 and a half hours!

What impressed me the most about my new parish is how fertile it is. We have so many young families (many are army families) and many have many children. It is wonderful.

While I am disappointed that these families don't come every Sunday, I am glad that they at least respond to God's grace to come at Christmas and Easter. I tried to be very welcoming of them and pray that some will become more engaged in their Catholic faith.

At the announcement time, in my best southern accent I said, "Ya'll come back now, you hear!"

Sunday, April 16, 2017


It starts pouring at the Universal Prayers, which included one for Pope Benedict, and then by the Roman Canon it is sunny.

Mass in Latin, Sistine Choir, marvelous, decorations/flowers the best I've seen for Easter. Pope Francis gives a stunning off-the-cuff homily and earns applause which is not encourage at Mass under this pontiff. The crowds are told, in fact, prior to Mass not to applaud the pope when he enters.

Saturday, April 15, 2017


Easter has arrived! Alleluia! The splendid Papal Mass for the Vigil of Easter at St. Peter's Basilica:

Pope Francis visits Benedict XVI to wish him a happy 90th birthday which in on April 16

  • April 15, 2017
Pope Francis visits Benedict XVI to wish him a happy birthday
Pope Francis, right, talks with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in the former Convent Mater Ecclesiae at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (Credit: L'Osservatore Romano/pool photo via AP.)

Buon Compleanno in musica! Tanti Auguri a Te... by JuliannAlmanza


It is easy to be negative and cynical about the state of the crisis of the Church today. Many want to bury their heads in the sand and simply be grateful that at least 12 % of Catholics in some American dioceses actually practice the Faith by attending the Liturgies of the Church.

For Holy Thursday and Good Friday, my new church that can seat up to 1,200 people, was less that half full which is about 500 people. It looked half full, but if the same number were at the previous church that seats 500 it would have looked packed. So it is all a matter of perspective. And Richmond Hill, Georgia only has about 30,000 people but is a fast growing bedroom community of Savannah, if that many, compared to Macon with over 150,000 people, but a declining population.

I am not as negative about the modern liturgies of the Church as some are. I am not negative at all about the extraordinary form liturgies either. I've only celebrated Mass, baptisms and Nuptial Liturgies in the ancient form, never Holy Thursday, Good Friday or the Easter Vigil. I would find that I would be a fish out of water if I had to do it now after 37 years of the modern forms of these liturgies.

I think where ultra-traditionalists miss the mark is in their negativity about the modern forms which can be celebrated well if there is attention to detail, rehearsals when needed, and doing it by the book, meaning that old cliche, do the red and read the black, but without being robotic.

I know from experience that prior to the reforms of the Mass, most priests were not robotic with the ancient form of the Mass. Younger priests today, and maybe it is scrupulosity that also existed in the pre-Vatican II Church, seem so robotic, as though the liturgy is foreign to them, not integrated into their very soul and they are trying just a bit too much to disengage their humanity from the divinity they celebrate, not realizing that the Mystery they celebrate is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, one Divine Person, with two natures, human and divine and the human part comes from the humans that God created in His image and likeness, especially the Blessed Virgin Mary who was no robot!

The hope for the Church is coming from not only our Emeritus Pope's liturgical legacy, but from the likes of Cardinal Sarah and  Bishop Morlino. They recognize the crisis in the Church and have a "Marshal" plan to fix it beginning with the Liturgy of Vatican II celebrated in continuity with the Liturgy of the Church from all times, with beauty, care, solemnity and sobriety.

Friday, April 14, 2017




Healing prayer service for survivors of abuse held at Cathedral

Originally Appeared in : 9708-4/13/17
Following is the homily Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM. Conv., gave March 29 at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Savannah during the diocese’s first Lenten prayer service for survivors of abuse.

The suffering of the innocent has mystified and bewildered people of Faith long before Isaiah the Prophet wrote the moving description of God’s suffering Servant that we just heard in our first reading.

The suffering of the innocent goes back to Cain killing his brother Abel out of jealously; out of a complete lack of respect for the sanctity and the preciousness of human life.

Christians have always envisioned Jesus as the unique Innocent One whose suffering is a unique source of healing and life for all of us.  Yet we also know that Christ is not the only innocent person ever to have suffered.

Recently we have had to admit that far too many innocent ones have lived with the pain of abuse at the hands of those who should have protected them, nurtured them, and sanctified them.

Isaiah’s prophecy of the Suffering Servant, while it was perfected in Christ, remains a source of mystery and confusion in the world that Christ has already redeemed.

The suffering of the innocent is the reason that we are gathered this evening in prayer in our Cathedral; the mother church of our diocese.  It is the reason that you and I are here in God’s house at this moment in time.

A light yoke placed on the shoulders of two oxen makes for an easier burden – what a fascinating image the Gospel of Matthew offers us.  Most of our yokes are very heavy and the burdens that some of you carry are extremely difficult to endure.  Too many people carry yokes and bear burdens of which few people may be aware.

This is especially true of people who have suffered the violence of abuse – sexual, physical, emotional or the dreaded combination of all three of those forms of brutality.  And the yoke and burden are made infinitely more difficult to endure because so many people feel that they must bear them all alone.

Some of you are here because you have had your innocence taken from you, others are here because they have endured domestic violence – physical or psychological, some are here because they have been abused in ways that they alone know, still others have come to this prayer service because you want to support those whose lives have been damaged by any form of violence.

For more than three decades the Church of Christ has been compelled intensely to find ways to comfort, to heal, to console, to support our people who bear such burdens and who labor under such yokes of pain and isolation.

And the most important part of this challenge has been the duty of all of us to acknowledge that the Church herself has too often added to the burdens and weighed down the yokes of too many people through the deeds of some of her ministers and colleagues, through the negligence and regrettable decisions of some of her Shepherds and through reactions that have added to the feelings of isolation of those who were bent low with the burdens and yokes that events in the past had placed upon their shoulders and most importantly within their hearts.

The Church in South Georgia gathers this evening in prayer and in solidarity with some of the people who bring these yokes and burdens with them in hopes of finding some peace, finding some understanding, and in God’s grace……… perhaps discovering a bit of closure.

As the Shepherd of this local Church, I acknowledge a few things before all of you this night.  First, there is much pain and sorrow that fills the hearts of many in our Church that I do not fully realize.

There are yokes and burdens that are beyond my meager ability to grasp.  Therefore, I cannot pretend to comprehend the depth of sorrow that so many people have and continue to endure.

I do not want anything that I might say in our prayer this evening to suggest that I know more or that I understand more than I do about the pain that fills too many hearts.

I also want to apologize for people that I may never have met and for events that occurred before I became your bishop or in places far removed from Savannah or Georgia.  I do that from the heart and I do that in justice and in love because these people deserve to hear no less than those words spoken sincerely and from the heart of the Church.

I am truly sorry for any pain that a Church minister might have inflicted upon any person here or upon any relative or friend of anyone gathered here in prayer this evening.

I am sorry that a spouse or a child has had to live with domestic violence of any kind or form. I am sorry for those who have been abused by a teacher, a coach, an organizational leader, a parent or family relative or a stranger.

These words of apology need to be spoken and to be heard many times in the future because the residual hurt that so many people may continue to feel requires that the Bishop of a local Church offer these words again and again.

I must do more, however, than speak a word of apology, I must continue to assure people that the Church is doing everything within our power to provide a safe environment for the vulnerable, comfort for the injured and a compassionate heart for those who seek to share their sorrow with us.

Some of you are present because you are counselors and the therapists who have assisted people who have endured abuse.  I thank you sincerely for all that you have done to bring comfort to broken hearts.  I thank especially the families of survivors of all forms of violence for the understanding and the compassion that you have extended to your loved ones, for the tears that you have shed for them, for the hope that you offer them as they continue their journey of healing.

I thank my brothers priests and deacons both those in attendance this evening and those who have worked quietly, generously, and effectively to comfort and console the victims of violence and abuse.

Some of you may be at this prayer service with heavy hearts because you have been alienated from your own families and friends because of what you have endured.  I assure you that Christ, who in His Passion, was betrayed and abandoned by many of His own friends and loved ones, understands the pain of alienation and isolation and He stands with you.

May Christ heal all the hearts and spirits of the survivors of violence of all types.  May the truly Innocent One who endured suffering for all of us bring healing and comfort to all here, gathered in prayer and especially to those whose burdens and pains still weigh them down.

May the Lord grant you his peace.  Amen.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


What this great bishop is asking and leading by example is the only way to authentic reform of a broken Ordinary Form Mass. I would love to know how many of his brother apostles, bishops, are mocking and deriding him?

So much for "Resoursement" and a return to the "home Church" style of celebrating the Mass in the first few decades after the Resurrection!

Bishop Morlino Calls for All to Receive Communion on Tongue While Kneeling

For I have learnt for a fact that nothing so effectively obtains, retains and regains grace, as that we should always be found not high-minded before God, but filled with holy fear. –St. Bernard of Clairveux
Bishop Morlino at the 2017 Chrism Mass for the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin.
On April 11, 2017, the Diocese of Madison joined with Bishop Morlino at the Chrism Mass. It was a glorious evening, with many of our priests in attendance.
During Bishop Morlino’s homily, he alluded to a recent March 31 address by Cardinal Sarah, the “Vatican Liturgy Chief” (Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments). In his address, Cardinal Sarah was forthright in calling for a recognition of “the serious and profound crisis” which, since the Council, has affected the liturgy by placing man and not God at the center of worship:
“The serious crisis of faith, not only at the level of the Christian faithful but also and especially among many priests and bishops, has made us incapable of understanding the Eucharistic liturgy as a sacrifice, as identical to the act performed once and for all by Jesus Christ, making present the Sacrifice of the Cross in a non-bloody manner, throughout the Church, through different ages, places, peoples and nations,” he said.
“There is often a sacrilegious tendency to reduce the Holy Mass to a simple convivial meal, the celebration of a profane feast, the community’s celebration of itself, or even worse, a terrible diversion from the anguish of a life that no longer has meaning or from the fear of meeting God face to face, because His glance unveils and obliges us to look truly and unflinchingly at the ugliness of our interior life. But the Holy Mass is not a diversion. It is the living sacrifice of Christ who died on the cross to free us from sin and death, for the purpose of revealing the love and the glory of God the Father,” he added.
The notion that the Church is in crisis is not new. Pope Benedict XVI wrote, “I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is, to a large extent, due to the disintegration of the liturgy.”
In his Chrism Mass homily, Bishop Morlino highlighted the fact that the Catholic Church is very good at social issues at every level – Catholic organizations, dioceses, parishes and individuals – but, ours is a crisis of faith, revealed by less than 25% of Catholics attending Mass any longer (less than 5% in many parts of Europe). Where we are failing is in a lack of fervor in our faith, Bishop stated. This is most evident in how we, as priests, are offering the Mass, and how the faithful are praying the Mass.
Bishop Morlino went on to speak about “actuosa participatio” as being more about “actual participation” than “active participation.” Bishop lamented that we seem to feel everyone needs to be busy “doing something” at the Mass, when it is more important that we are deeply contemplating what is being done at the Mass … that God is made Present – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. This should stir our soul and fill us with awe and wonder. But, are we too busy to take notice?
A year ago, Bishop called for all tabernacles to be in church and in the center of the sanctuary. Last Fall, as part of the Bishop’s overall plan to add sacred beauty and reverence to all Masses in his diocese, Bishop Morlino encouraged all of his priests to strongly consider Cardinal Sarah’s call to offer the Mass ad orientem. Bishop Morlino then announced he would, from now on, be offering all of his Masses ad orientem.
Now, during last evening’s Chrism Mass, Bishop Morlino concluded his homily by appealing to all of his priests in his diocese to strongly encourage their parishioners to begin receiving Communion on the tongue while kneeling, beginning this September.
Praise be Jesus Christ! Now and forever!