Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mental Prayer for May 14-Mary, Most Perfect Follower of Christ

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God.

Grace I Ask: Dear Mother, obtain from your Son for me the grace to know you better, that I may love and imitate you in your knowledge, love, and following of Christ.

Mental Picture: A form in brilliant white garments bows low before Mary; "Hail, full of grace," he says, "the Lord is with you." This is the woman God Himself picked out among all women to be His own mother. How holy, spotless, sinless she must have been! Even the mighty Angel Gabriel bows low before her! This is the Mary that would carry our Lord in her body for nine months - ­how many a prayer she would whisper to Him there! From Mary, Christ would be born into poverty and lowliness in the stable of Bethlehem. She would watch her child grow from an infant to a boy and into manhood. She would prove herself strong and brave when He would leave her alone to begin His public life. He would be obedient to the will of the Father - how could she resist it or complain? This is the Mary who would stay close to her Son in His shame and abandonment on the cross, the loving Mother of God for whom Christ would show concern even at His crucifixion.

I Speak to Mary: Dear Lady, how tremendous your love and understanding of Christ must have been! How out of the question it was for you to do anything that displeased Him! I make you my patroness in the perfect following of your Son. Help me to come to know Him, love Him, and serve Him as you did; help me to pray to Him, to do His will unselfishly, to share my sorrows with Him, just as you did.

Thought for Today: Through Mary to Jesus.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Eleven new priests for Denver, largest ordination class in 40 years

Denver, May. 09, 2006 (CNA) - Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver will ordain 11 new priests for his diocese May 13, on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

The ceremony will bring the total number of ordinations for Denver this academic year to 14; three men were ordained in December. This is the largest number of ordinations in Denver since the 1960s. There were five ordinations in 2002-03 and seven in 2004-05.
Great news!!!

Gospel for Saturday, 4th Week of Easter

From: John 14:7-14

Jesus Reveals the Father

(Jesus said to Thomas,) [7] "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; henceforth you know Him and have seen Him.

[8] Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied." [9] Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, `Show us the Father?' [10] Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does His works. [11] Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the words themselves.

[12] "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. [13] Whatever you ask in my name I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; [14] if you ask anything in my name, I will do it."


8-11. The Apostles still find our Lord's words very mysterious, because they cannot understand the oneness of the Father and the Son. Hence Philip's persistence. Then Jesus "upbraids the Apostle for not yet knowing Him, even though His works are proper to God--walking on the water, controlling the wind, forgiving sins, raising the dead. This is why He reproves him: for not recognizing His divine condition through His human nature" (St. Augustine, "De Trinitate", Book 7).

Obviously the sight of the Father which Jesus refers to in this passage is a vision through faith, for no one has ever seen God as He is (cf. John 1:18; 6:46). All manifestations of God, or "theophanies", have been through some medium; they are only a reflection of God's greatness. The highest _expression which we have of God our Father is in Christ Jesus, the Son of God sent among men. "He did this by the total fact of His presence and self-manifestation--by words and works, signs and miracles, but above all by His death and glorious resurrection from the dead, and finally by sending the Spirit of truth. He revealed that God was with us, to deliver us from the darkness of sin and death, and to raise us up to eternal life" (Vatican II, "Dei Verbum", 4).

12-14. Before leaving this world, the Lord promises His Apostles to make them sharers in His power so that God's salvation may be manifested through them. These "works" are the miracles they will work in the name of Jesus Christ (cf. Acts 3:1-10; 5:15-16; etc.), and especially the conversion of people to the Christian faith and their sanctification by preaching and the ministry of the sacraments. They can be considered greater works than Jesus' own insofar as, by the Apostles' ministry, the Gospel was not only preached in Palestine but was spread to the ends of the earth; but this extraordinary power of apostolic preaching proceeds from Christ, who has ascended to the Father: after undergoing the humiliation of the cross Jesus has been glorified and from Heaven He manifests His power by acting through His Apostles.

The Apostles' power, therefore, derives from Christ glorified. Christ our Lord says as much: "Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it". "It is not that he who believes in Me will be greater than Me, but that only that I shall then do greater works than now; greater, by him who believes in Me, than I now do by myself without Him" (St. Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang.", 72, 1).

Jesus Christ is our intercessor in Heaven; therefore, He promises us that everything we ask for in His name, He will do. Asking in His name (cf. 15:7, 16; 16:23-24) means appealing to the power of the risen Christ, believing that He is all-powerful and merciful because He is true God; and it also means asking for what is conducive to our salvation, for Jesus is our Savior. Thus, by "whatever you ask" we must understand what is for the good of the asker. When our Lord does not give what we ask for, the reason is that it would not make for our salvation. In this way we can see that He is our Savior both when He refuses us what we ask and when He grants it.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mental Prayer for May 13-Mary, My Mother

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God.

Grace I Ask: To have complete confidence in Mary, the Mother of all mankind.

The Idea: In an age that is as social-minded as our own, this beautiful truth of Mary's mother­hood of all men should take on a deeper and fuller meaning.

Mary is the Mother of Christ; we are members of the Mystical Body of Christ. She who cared so tenderly and lovingly for the person of Christ is just as much interested in her spiritual children. This is not just a pious thought or figure of speech, but a living and real fact. In accepting the position of Mother of the Redeemer and in suffering along with Him on Calvary, she has won the right and the duty of being Mother of all those for whom her Son died. This means she is really our Mother...; and most important for me, my Mother.

My Personal Application: Do I turn to my heaven­iy Mother when I need help? Do I ask Mary to help me see Christ in all her other sons and daughters, so that I'll give them the respect they deserve as brothers of Christ and children of Mary? Do I ask Mary, the Mother of the Mystical Body, to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves to overcome false prejudices against our fellowmen?
It is said that a mother is the heart of a family, the one who brings unity and love. Ask Mary to turn our earthly family, in our homes and community, into the wonderful society that the Holy Family must have been.

I Speak to God: Dear Lord, fill my heart with love and confidence in our holy Mother.

Thought for Today: "Son, behold your mother!"
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Fearful of Joining in a Protest?

Whenever the time comes to publicly proclaim the Faith, a certain measure of jitters is to be expected. To overcome these jitters, TFP Member Michael Whitcraft decided to wet his feet a little by participating in a preemptive theater protest at Regal Theaters in Harrisburg, Penn. last Sunday. He could not believe how simple it was or the amount of public support he received.

Click here for more details.
"Be not afraid!"

Do the clergy oppose theater protests against The Da Vinci Code film?

...the truth is that many church officials have come out in support of peaceful theater prayer vigils against The Da Vinci Code. Until now, their voices have been generally unheard.
. . .
Most Reverend Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop of St. Louis, expressed his gratitude for protest efforts:
“I was very pleased to receive your letter of April 5th last in which you invited me to take part in one of the protests organized by the America Needs Fatima Protest Campaign against ‘The Da Vinci Code.’”
He finished this letter offering his prayers and apostolic blessing for Da Vinci Code protests and all other TFP activities:

Be assured of my prayers for the work of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property and its America Needs Fatima Campaign, as it seeks to support the Catholic Church and uphold its traditional beliefs. I know that there will be many people involved in this campaign and I ask you to extend to them my prayerful best wishes.
The list continues with Most Reverend Michael J. Sheridan, Bishop of Colorado Springs. He stated:

I am very pleased to know that so many faithful people will be giving peaceful and prayerful demonstration of their faith as this film opens in theaters around the country. May the Lord bless you for your courageous stance; and know that I will hold you in my prayers in a very special way.

Vatican prepares for anniversaries of first Fatima appearance,...

...JPII assassination attempt on Saturday
Vatican City, May. 12, 2006 (CNA) - Officials at the Vatican are preparing to recognize two major anniversaries tomorrow. May 13th marks both the 89th anniversary of the first appearance of the Virgin Mary to 3 children in Fatima, Portugal and the 25th anniversary of the failed assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in St. Peter‘s Square.

Tom Hanks Blasts Da Vinci Critics

The row over the imminent release of the Da Vinci Code film grew today when star Tom Hanks hit out at its Catholic critics.

Cardinals, speaking with the authorisation of the Vatican, have called for the Hollywood version of Dan Brown's bestselling novel to be boycotted.

They say the theme of the film - that Jesus Christ had children with Mary Magdalene and that hardline Catholic movement Opus Dei covered up his secret life - is highly blasphemous.
This bit about Opus Dei has become tiresome...The ignorant are wont to use "hardliners" or "ultra conservative" or some other perjorative label, knowing little or nothing about the apostolate. I have even heard some priests refer to Opus Dei as the "Pope's Watchdogs"...Cute, yes?
But Oscar-winner Hanks said objectors to The Da Vinci Code are taking the film too seriously, telling the Evening Standard: "We always knew there would be a segment of society that would not want this movie to be shown.

"But the story we tell is loaded with all sorts of hooey and fun kind of scavenger-hunt-type nonsense. If you are going to take any sort of movie at face value, particularly a huge-budget motion picture like this, you'd be making a very big mistake. It's a damn good story and a lot of fun... all it is is dialogue. That never hurts."
Of course, Tom, it'll be a hoot to see the lies portrayed as truth on the bigscreen! Can't wait for protests, boycotts, or as some have suggested, "othercotts"...


Another New Bishop in China, Without Vatican Approval

Cardinal Zen of Hong Kong, China, offers Pontifical Solemn High Mass in the Tridentine rite

Religious Leaders Unite Against “The Code”

Posted as received:
Interfaith Coalition Against The Da Vinci Code
Urges Boycott of the Movie

Washington, D.C. – Today, the newly formed Interfaith Coalition Against The Da Vinci Code announced it will gather religious leaders from across the country, uniting in opposition of Sony’s soon-to-be-released film, to hold a press conference coinciding with the premier of the film at the Cannes film festival on May 17th.

“The distortions contained in The Da Vinci Code novel are as dangerous as they are numerous,” Dr. Ted Baehr, Chairman of Christian Film and Television Commission, continued. “The movie threatens to strike another massive blow to the understanding of the Judeo-Christian teachings and understanding. This is particularly alarming because of the sheer scale of influence a popular movie can have.”

“We are committed to exposing the movie’s offensive and misleading content and are calling for a boycott. This film is a clear attack on all religions,” said Don Feder, syndicated columnist and President of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation.

Wednesday, May 17 @ 1:30 p.m. EST

WHO: Dr. Ted Baehr of The Christian Film and Television Commission,
Don Feder of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation,
Austin Ruse of The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute,
Robert Knight of The Culture and The Family Institute and Concerned Women for America,
Patrick Reilly of The Cardinal Newman Society, and
Patrick Fagan of The Heritage Foundation

WHAT: A press conference, featuring the nation’s religious leaders, to denounce The Da Vinci Code and call for a boycott of the film

WHEN: Wednesday, May 17 from 1:30 to 3:00 pm EST

WHERE: Murrow Room
The National Press Club
529 14th Street N.W.
Washington D.C

Dr. Baehr, founder and publisher of MOVIEGUIDE® and Chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission, is a well known Christian Leader, movie critic, educator, lecturer, and media pundit. Don Feder is a syndicated columnist and President of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation.

Anti-Prostitution Pledge for Federal Funds Violates Free Speech

From the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute:
A US Federal judge has determined that the US government may not refuse to fund pro-prostitution groups overseas. This means that American funds may go to those that aid sex trafficking. Outrageous.

Spread the word.
Yours sincerely,
Austin Ruse
This "Friday Fax Article" is not yet available, but should be later today/

Catholic School Teacher Fired for Having In Vitro

The schools say [Kelly] Romenesko agreed to follow church teachings when she was hired. One of those teachings was [is] that the in vitro technique was [is] morally wrong because it replaced natural conception.

"I did not know what the Catholic doctrine stated against in vitro fertilization. Yes, I signed a contract, but the contract was vague in my opinion. I didn't know what I was doing as far as in vitro goes that that went against doctrine. My understanding was it was the Ten Commandments."
Where were those who were charged with teaching these things? Was this negligence solely on her part? Are the priests who preached to her at Mass partially culpable? Is the penalty too harsh? Was she, in fact, culpably ignorant? Would her continued employment be a source of scandal?

One can only wonder if the Church's teachings on contraception and other life issues were proclaimed from the pulpit, if this type of issue could not have been prevented.

Romenesko appealed to the school board, but it would not reinstate her. Now a state agency is looking into the case. Meanwhile, the Romeneskos have stopped practicing Catholicism.

"I think the issue here is the fact that Kelly was released from her job for being pregnant, not the in vitro fertilization itself," Eric said. "Our daughters have been baptized Lutheran at this point in time. Kelly and I haven't converted yet."

Native St Louisan Ordained Transitional Deacon, Fathers of Mercy

From the St. Louis Review:
Brother William Bellrose, CPM, a St. Louis native, was ordained a transitional deacon by Archbishop Henry Mansell of Hartford, Conn., on April 22 at St John Church in Cromwell, Conn. Rev. Mr. Bellrose, 36, professed perpetual vows in the Fathers of Mercy and is expected to be ordained to the priesthood in 2007 after completing studies at Holy Apostle Seminary in Cromwell. A graduate of Bishop Dubourg High School, Rev. Mr. Bellrose earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla before joining the Fathers of Mercy in June 2001. This summer he will serve at Sacred Heart Parish in Eureka. He is the son of William and Kathleen Bellrose of St. Matthias Parish in South County.

Ave Maria University enters its second year in St. Louis

The program was introduced in St. Louis at the invitation of Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, who was instrumental in bringing the program to his former Diocese of La Crosse, Wis. The program is expanding to Kansas City, Mo., Madison, Wis., Phoenix, Ariz., and Orlando, Fla. this fall. The program also is offered in Naples and Green Bay, Wis.

Archdiocese of Los Angeles Celebrates...

...20th Anniversary of its Lesbian-"Gay" Ministry

If this "ministry" is an aid in helping those with disordered inclinations live a life of chastity and holiness, then it is a reason to celebrate...

Last Night's "Meet the Pastor" with Fr. Elliott

Last night we attended the "Meet the Pastor" night at Immaculate Conception Parish in Dardenne. This was an opportunity for parishioners to meet Father Timothy Elliott who is to be the new pastor of the new parish named St. Gianna. It is the first new parish in the Archdiocese in about 25 years.

The previous night Fr. Elliott had met with a group from St Patrick's in Wentzville about the move and he indicated that several people had volunteered to help with PSR and such. He mentioned last nite that he would be sending out a form for those who might be interested in assisting in some manner or another.

It is estimated that about 700 families are affected by the establishment of the new parish. However, it remains to be seen how many actually make the move.

Fr. Elliott, as a devoted and humble priest, began the meeting with a short personal introduction followed by the Sign of the Cross and then a reading from St. Paul followed by some prayers, including a special litany invoking the intercession of St. Gianna. Fr. Elliott, with Fr. Robert Reiker, pastor of Immaculate Conception, greeted each person as he or she arrived, and gave each a copy of the prayer, a Holy Card of St. Gianna, and a flyer containing biographical information about St. Gianna.

Fr. Elliott stressed that he did not yet have all the answers to many questions, however he wished to welcome all new founding members to the parish. Deacon Dan Henroid, from the Archdiocese offices was there to help.

Fr. Elliott, echoing Archbishop Burke and emphasizing St Paul's words about making sacrifices, told us that we would probably experience bouts of confusion initially, but with prayer and faith we would be able to work everything out. He stressed the necessity of building our new parish on the one and only foundation stone - that of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We, then, after having this firm foundation would become the building blocks or stones for the new parish. Fr Elliott also stated that we would have a beautiful church. ( In a previous conversation with him, he had indicated that he already had a baldacchino picked out for the new church and that he had his eyes on some beautiful stained glass windows...)

There were a number of questions about PSR, the temporary space for Mass, sports, school, etc.

I want to relate one comment and then add some observations...

One man, during the Q&A period, asked the question why the parish was given the name of such a recent saint and why such a recent person was named a saint? Why did we not have a patron saint whose name was well known? His followup was, "Is there some sort of political statement or agenda being made by naming the parish after this particular saint?" (paraphrased)

Fr Elliott responded that he did not see it as a political statement, but perhaps as a moral statement. After all, St. Gianna was a devoted mother, a faithful member of the Church, dedicated to helping others and fulfilling her vocation as a wife and mother. What a perfect example she is to us today - she reminds of sacrifice, she followed our Lord's example, by giving her life so that her child might live. We, too, are called to a life of holiness, heroic virtue, a life of sacrifice. Her example should be an inspiration to us.

Another person asked about PSR, specifically, how many nights a week would we get to choose from (ICD currently has 3). Of course, since there may only be 100 or so families with children who would attend and the fact that the local middle school would have to be used in the interim for this project, one night a week would seem to be sufficient. Then the question, I suppose, would be which night? Privately it was suggested that perhaps it could be on Sunday morning during the time between the 2 morning Masses as this might serve as an incentive to get more people to Mass.

Some observations:
In talking briefly with a some people after the meeting, some were undecided about transferring to the new parish. Others felt it would be too much of a sacrifice to switch. Some felt content to stay where they are (at ICD) and stated that Fr. Reiker had told them they did not have to go. Still others are excited and thankful, even if one must endure the pains of growth and development inherent in going from an empty 25 acre tract of farm land to a full fledged parish with all its structures and programs.

I did notice some rather "distinctive" attitudes among those who were called to be be founding members of the new parish. There were attitudes of ambivalence, hesitation, fear, and uncertainty. There were also attitudes of complacency, feelings that "I'm good right where I'm at." Others seemed to be reluctant because the new parish might be "too Catholic"...Some of us, though, while not looking forward to the sacrifices, feel that we have been blessed beyond belief. The tremendous gratitude expressed by a number of people with whom I spoke - gratitude for Archbishop Burke and Fr Elliott - is a joy to witness!

Anyway, it looks to be very interesting...Now perhaps, I can donate the 100 year old tabernacle (or as it was described to me, "a Catholic sacrament holder") that I acquired (in a effort to save a very sacred object from further profanation) at a local flea market recently - complete with keys!

Ford Makes Historic Move in Support of Groups Pushing Homosexual 'Marriage'

Interview with Archbishop Burke on the Tridentine Indult

A short except of this excellent report:
(From the May 18 edition of The Wanderer)

Archbishop Raymond Burke, who previously consecrated his former Diocese of La Crosse, Wis., to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is known as one of very few bishops in the United States who has sincerely been "wide and generous" (Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, by Pope John Paul II, June 1988) in allowing all of the Classical Roman rite sacraments in his diocese. He has begun to show his benevolence toward the Classical Roman liturgy and sacraments also in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, as will be shown later in this interview.

Q. What has your experience been with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest?

A. Given the demands on priests today, as I experienced both in the Diocese of La Crosse, and as I am now experiencing in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, I have always tried to establish some centers of the apostolate for the Old Mass. I have been very blessed to come to know the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest in a little way while I was working in Rome, and then after I came to the Diocese of La Crosse and I was looking for some priests to help with this apostolate, they were willing to give me that help. It has been a very good relationship.

In the Diocese of La Crosse, there was a very large territory. There were four centers where the Mass and the other sacraments were being celebrated, and the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest had charge of two of them. At the two other places, diocesan priests were doing it.

In St. Louis, we have two centers now. One is at St. Francis de Sales right in the heart of the city, and then the other one is at the Passionist Monastery. The Institute of Christ the King has charge of the one at St. Francis de Sales. A new community in its first years of existence, the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem, have charge of the one at the Passionist Monastery. [Editor's Note: Dom Daniel Augustine Oppenheimer is the founder of this new traditionalist community.]
And this one on Latin!
Q. Do you see any benefit to the unity Latin and Gregorian chant breeds with the continuing influx of Spanish-speaking Catholics into the United States?

A. I think that is one of the great blessings of Gregorian chant and the Latin language is its universality and drawing us together. I think it certainly can be a great help.

In particular, if one sees the celebration of the pontifical liturgies in Rome — the liturgies of our Holy Father — if we are able to sing some of the responses in Gregorian chant, and some of the responses, that Latin is the language that draws us all together.

I remember when I was a boy — we were farmers, so we didn't travel very much — but I remember people who traveled that would come and visit our home, this was the great thing: Everywhere they traveled, wherever they went to Mass, it was the same. You could be in Hong Kong or New York City or Paris, and Mass was always the same.

So I think if there could be recovery of at least some standard elements — in terms of the music such as the use of Gregorian chant and the use of the Latin texts in communities that are diverse — this would be wonderful!
Archbishop Burke confirms much of has been posted recently on the use Latin.

Read more of this interview here.

Gospel for Friday, 4th Week of Easter

From: John 14:1-6

Jesus Reveals the Father

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [1] "Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. [2] In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? [3] And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. [4] And you know the way where I am going." [5] Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going; how can we know the way?" [6] Jesus said to him, "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but by Me."


1-3. Apparently this prediction of Peter's denial has saddened the disciples. Jesus cheers them up by telling them that He is going away to prepare a place for them in Heaven, for Heaven they will eventually attain, despite their shortcomings and dragging their feet. The return which Jesus refers to includes His Second Coming (Parousia) at the end of the world (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:5; 11:26; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 1 John 2:28) and His meeting with each soul after death: Christ has prepared a Heavenly dwelling-place through His work of redemption. Therefore, His words can be regarded as being addressed not only to the Twelve but also to everyone who believes in Him over the course of the centuries. The Lord will bring with Him into glory all those who have believed in Him and have stayed faithful to Him.

4-7. The Apostles did not really understand what Jesus was telling them: hence Thomas' question. The Lord explains that He is the way to the Father. "It was necessary for Him to say `I am the Way' to show them that they really knew what they thought they were ignorant of, because they knew Him" (St. Augustine, "In. Ioann. Evang.", 66, 2).

Jesus is the way to the Father--through what He teaches, for by keeping to His teaching we will reach Heaven; through faith, which He inspires, because He came to this world so "that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life" (John 3:15); through His example, since no one can go to the Father without imitating the Son; through His merits, which make it possible for us to enter our Heavenly home; and above all He is the way because He reveals the Father, with whom He is one because of His divine nature.

"Just as children by listening to their mothers, and prattling with them, learn to speak their language, so we, by keeping close to the Savior in meditation, and observing His words, His actions, and His affections, shall learn, with the help of His grace, to speak, to act, and to will like Him.

"We must pause here...; we can reach God the Father by no other route...; the Divinity could not be well contemplated by us in this world below if it were not united to the sacred humanity of the Savior, whose life and death are the most appropriate, sweet, delicious and profitable subjects which we can choose for our ordinary meditations" (St. Francis de Sales, "Introduction to the Devout Life", Part II, Chapter 1, 2).

"I am the way": He is the only path linking Heaven and Earth. "He is speaking to all men, but in a special way He is thinking of people who, like you and me, are determined to take our Christian vocation seriously: He wants God to be forever in our thoughts, on our lips and in everything we do, including our most ordinary and routine actions.

"Jesus is the way. Behind Him on this Earth of ours He has left the clear outlines of His footprints. They are indelible signs which neither the erosion of time nor the treachery of the Evil One have been able to erase" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 127).

Jesus' words do much more than provide an answer to Thomas' question; He tells us: "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life". Being the Truth and the Life is something proper to the Son of God become man, who St. John says in the prologue of his Gospel is "full of grace and truth" (1:14). He is the Truth because by coming to this world He shows that God is faithful to His promises, and because He teaches the truth about who God is and tells us that true worship must be "in spirit and truth" (John 4:23). He is Life because from all eternity He has divine life with His Father (cf. John 1:4), and because He makes us, through grace, sharers in that divine life. This is why the Gospel says: "This is eternal life, that they know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent" (John 17:3).

By His reply Jesus is, "as it were, saying, By which route do you want to go? I am the Way. To where do you want to go? I am the Truth. Where do you want to remain? I am the Life. Every man can attain an understanding of the Truth and the Life; but not all find the Way. The wise of this world realize that God is eternal life and knowable truth; but the Word of God, who is Truth and Life joined to the Father, has become the Way by taking a human nature. Make your way contemplating His humility and you will reach God" (St. Augustine, "De Verbis Domini Sermones", 54).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mental Prayer for May 12- Mary, the Mother of God Presence of God.

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God.

Grace I Ask: Lord, give me the grace to under­stand the dignity of the grace of Mary's divine motherhood.

The Idea: To what dignity and honor can a creature be elevated that is higher than that of Mother of God? Specially chosen by God the Father and richly showered with gifts of grace, overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, Mary conceives within her the Son of God Himself, the Second Person of the Trinity. What intimate union with God! No creature could even imagine such an honor, much less aspire to it. And yet on this humble young girl of Nazareth, God heaped all these gifts.

My Personal Application: First, do I congratulate the Blessed Mother for such a high position and honor? Do I thank her for the part she had in my salvation? Then, do I imitate her as closely as possible? Do I strive to be united to God by trying with all my power to increase the grace in my soul? Do I imitate her humility in accepting the gifts that God has heaped upon me? Have I ever stopped to realize what a tremendous honor it is for every man - for me - that a human being should be God's mother?

I Speak to God: Lord, give me the grace to address my prayers to Our Lady with greater con­fidence in her powerful intercession. Give me a deep realization of Mary's high role in winning my salvation... (And to Our Lady) Mary, Mother of God, bring me closer to your divine Son.

Thought for Today: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Missouri House Restricts Monies for Abortion, SCNT, Cloning

The House voted overwhelmingly Monday to make abortions, human cloning and certain types of stem cell research out of bounds for any money gained by selling some of the assets of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority.
Good move...we know how those obsessed with promoting the culture of death just love to use public funds to carry out their nefarious deeds.

That was quick!

Belgium Bishops release declaration on church occupations
Brussels, May. 11, 2006 (CNA) - Today the Bishops of Belgium held a press conference in order to explain their position on the current occupation of church buildings by undocumented foreigners. A formal declaration was issued subsequently. This comes a day after the declaration of the Apostolic nuncio in Belgium. . .


Pope Benedict Exhorts Canadian Bishops to Rediscover Centrality of the Eucharist

Vatican City, May. 11, 2006 (CNA) - In a meeting earlier today with a group of prelates from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Pope Benedict XVI had strong words regarding the state of the Church in that country, stressing the need for increased devotion to the Eucharist, stronger priestly formation and greater outreach to young people.

The Holy Father began his address by chiding Canadian society, calling it marked by “pluralism, subjectivism and increasing secularization.” In this light, he said he was grateful for the visit as it allowed him the opportunity to reflect on the Church’s mission in that country.

The Vatican Information Service has the Holy Father's comments here.

Father Robert Altier to be Assistant Chaplain of Nursing Home

Father George Welzbacher, pastor of the Church of Saint Agnes, has issued a statement regarding the unexpected reassignments of both himself and Father Robert Altier. Sometime in mid-June, Father Welzbacher will be leaving Saint Agnes parish at his own request and move to an unspecified location. But the biggest surprise is Archbishop Harry Flynn's shocking decision to remove Father Altier from Saint Agnes and appoint him as assistant chaplain of a nursing home in an outlying district 30 miles southeast of Saint Paul-Minneapolis.
More here...

One can only wonder how soon it will be before rainbow banners will be hanging in St Agnes and the little children of the Archdiocese are educated in the adult aspects of sexuality.

The Family who runs a "Voice in the Desert" has requested that faithful Catholics cahritably contact Vatican officials about this injustice.

Please pray for Frs. Altier and Welzbacher and also for Archbishop Flynn.

Catholic priest convicted of nun's 1980 murder

Prosecutors said the Rev. Gerald Robinson killed Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl because he was angry over his stalled career.

TOLEDO, Ohio — A jury convicted a Catholic priest Thursday of the 1980 slaying of a nun in a hospital chapel.

The panel deliberated six and a half hours before finding the Rev. Gerald Robinson guilty of one count of murder in the strangulation and stabbing of Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl.

Robinson, 68, was immediately sentenced to life in prison, cuffed and taken from the courtroom. He will be eligible for parole after serving 15 years of the sentence.

A News Alert from the Thomas More Law Center

National Petition Drive Launched to Save Mt. Soledad Cross

ANN ARBOR, MI – In an effort to save the famous 43-foot Mt. Soledad Cross and the granite memorial walls surrounding it as a National Veterans Memorial, the Thomas More Law Center has launched a national petition drive requesting President Bush to take the land under the federal government’s powers of eminent domain. The petition will be sent directly to President Bush.

The petition requests the President to direct the Secretary of the Interior to “immediately begin legal proceedings” to take the land by eminent domain.

The petition quotes from a May 22, 2001 letter from President George W. Bush describing the Soledad site as a “place to reflect on our past, be inspired by true American patriots, and offer war veterans our heartfelt gratitude for the freedom we all enjoy today.” You are invited to view and sign the petition by clicking here.

For the latest information on the Mt Soledad Cross controversy you may visit the Thomas More Law Center website at .

A Religious Awakening in Europe?

In a Very Secular France, Nicolas Sarkozy Is Breaking a Taboo
In a book, the candidate for the presidency of the French republic acknowledges the public role of religion. And the Church is paying attention, in Italy and Rome, too
by Sandro Magister

Bishop Anthony Pilla Reflects on Years as Diocese Leader

Pilla To Retire After Serving 25 Years As Cleveland Bishop

CLEVELAND -- He's the first Clevelander to ever serve as bishop of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, and after 25 years, Bishop Anthony Pilla will official step down on Monday. . .

The faithful of Cleveland will need a strong, faithful bishop...This would be a good intention to keep in your prayers.

A Mother's Day Reflection

Mother's Day - Mother, I Love You

"But Mary kept in mind all these words, pondering them in her heart." St. Luke, 2:19.

It was a busy moment of a busy day. The street-car was crowded in that noon hour rush of the holiday season, when a young, pleasant-faced woman boarded the car with her two small sons. The smaller sat with his mother, while the older, a lad about four, took a seat across the aisle from them.

His eyes flashed out the window, then toward his mother, then toward his little brother. After he had sized up everything and everybody, the four-year old leaned across the aisle and whispered faintly: "Mother."

But mother did not hear, for all the noise and distraction of the trolley. The lad leaned still farther toward her, and in one of those childish whis­pers that start the echoes, he exclaimed: "Mother."

She heard, turned to him, and smiled. The boy brightened, and with all the breath in his little body he told her in a sort of stage whisper: "Mother, I love you!"

The mother returned a loving look. Passengers glanced at one another and smiled, turning tender faces toward the mother and her son. The street car became a place of joy, simply because a small son had told his mother that he loved her. The heart of everyone felt a tender tug.

We do something similar on Mother's Day. As we whirl along on the busy, crowded, distracted, unfeeling, thoughtless street-car of life, we take time out to tell our mothers that we love them. Sad it is that we must be reminded and prompted to do this. Yet, better far than forgetting them altogether is our custom of picking out one Sunday, the second Sunday of May to show our love and respect for the most important members of so­ciety.

Like that small boy, we want to say: "Mother. I love you."

In different ways we will say it. Some of us with a letter, a card, a phone call: others with some simple gift - flowers, candy, a pair of gloves.

Some of us may have mothers who live at no earthly address; they dwell in a mansion along some street of heaven. Even these we will not forget­ - no, we will send them, too, a winged prayer, a Communion, a Mass.

Many a son and daughter will be far from mother on her day. Large numbers of us will not be able to send her much, if anything, in the way of candy or flowers, but we can and must send her a greeting, we can and must send her some spiritual gift. My suggestion is that everyone of you who ever had a mother - and that includes all of us - attend Holy Mass and re­ceive Holy Communion for her on Mother's Day. And then, or better still, the week before, write and tell her that you are offering Mass and Commun­ion for her on her day.

How happy that will make her. She will be happy because you thought of her, and in such a beautiful way. Her happiness will be greater for the knowledge that you are attending Holy Mass and receiving our Lord. Aren't those the things that will gladden her mother heart more than anything? Isn't it the greatest happiness of a Catholic mother - to know that her boy and her girl are faithful to the religion which she helped to plant in their hearts? Will it not make her supremely satisfied to be thus assured that you are doing the right thing? What better proof can a mother have that her boy and her girl are trying to be the girl and boy she wants them to be, than the information that they have received Holy Communion and have offered Holy Mass - for her intention?

There is someone else to whom we want to say: "Mother, I love you."

To the Mother of all mothers we want to say during these May days: ""Heavenly Mother, I love you."

The earthly woman who gave you birth was the very first to tell you about that other woman who gave birth to the Son of God. At the knees of her who brought you into the world, you learned about her who brought Jesus into the world. Least jealous of the love and devotion we show to Mary, is the earthly mother who told you about her, who taught you to love her, who showed you how to imitate her, who trained your lisping lips to hail in angelic words the Mother of us all.

To that Mother her Son leaned over across the aisle of hate and separa­tion and agony, and from the cross said in effect: Mother, I love you."

There and then Jesus gave her to us, and gave us to her: "Son, behold thy Mother - Mother, behold thy son."

And, oh, how the world needs a Mother today! Did you ever notice how skilfully a mother calms the quarrels of her children? Did you ever ob­serve how deftly and firmly a mother will settle the arguments between her sons and daughters? How she defends the weak? How she curbs the strong? Did you ever notice how she makes peace between quarreling chil­dren?

A world Mother is what the world needs today and all the time. The children of the nations are quarreling. Every generation or so that quar­reling is unto blood and death, breaking out in a cruel world war. Only a Mother common to them all can quiet the angry arguments, can decide the deadly disputes, can bring peace to blood-thirsty brothers.

With all the ardor in our make-up we will tell our Blessed Mother dur­ing this season of May that we love her and want all men and women to love her. Then we will ask our Blessed Mother to help us love our earthly mothers more, and to make all mothers worthy of the high calling for which God has chosen them.

We wish to say to every mother in this parish: "Mother, I love you." And for the parish we wish to say to Mary: "Mother, I love you." Amen.
Adapted from Occasional Talks
by Fr. Arthur Tonne, OFM (©1949)

July 16 - Pontifical High Mass with Archbishop Burke

St Francis de Sales Oratory
2653 Ohio Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63118

Sunday July 16 - 10:00am

This is the Closing Mass of the Latin Liturgy Association convention.

It will be a Pontifical High Mass, celebrated by Archbishop Burke.

Jun 23 - Feast of the Sacred Heart with Archbishop Raymond Burke

St Francis de Sales Oratory
2653 Ohio Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63118

Friday June 23 - 7:00pm.

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Special guest homilist will be Archbishop Raymond Burke.

June 11 - Fr Michael Witt on Christianity under Attack

Supporting Orthodoxy and the Holy Father

Is Proud to Present

Father Michael Witt

Speaking on the Topic

“Christianity under Attack”

On Sunday, June 11, 2006

Crown Plaza Hotel
7750 Carondelet Blvd.
Clayton MO

Father Michael John Witt will examine the nature and motivation behind the recent intense attacks on Christian beliefs and values.

Father Witt is a priest of the archdiocese of St. Louis, ordained in 1990. He served as associate pastor at St. Monica, Sante Genevieve and pastor of Blessed Sacrament in St. Louis City and as Director of Continuing Formation for Priests for the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Prior to ordination he served the Church for 22 years as a Christian Brother, teaching in Oklahoma, Missouri and Tennessee. He holds a Ph.D. in Modern European History from St. Louis University and a M. Div. from Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. He is often heard on WRYT Catholic Radio. Currently he resides at St. Mary Magdalen Church in Brentwood and teaches Church History at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

Join us on Sunday June 11th for a delicious dinner at the Crown Plaza Hotel at 7750 Carondelet Blvd. in Clayton. Meal include Tossed Garden Salad, Appropriate Vegetables, Dinner Roll & Butter, Beverage and Dessert. Cost is $20.00 per person. Time 6:00 p.m. Free inside parking at the 7777 Bonhomme Garage. Use the Orange Level Bridge to the hotel.

Contact: Howard Brandt at 314-894-0357 or by e-mail at hbrandt AT

Entree choice is Grilled Salmon or Chicken Parmesan.

May 21 - The DaVinci Code Protest, Having An Impact On Our Culture


You and your family are cordially invited to a presentation titled:

“The DaVinci Code Protest - Having An Impact On Our Culture”

to be held at

St. Raymond’s Cathedral

939 Lebanon Dr.
St. Louis, MO

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 1:30 PM.

With an introduction by Father Andre Mhanna,
Rector of St. Raymond’s Cathedral

In this talk, American TFP member John Horvat will speak about the 1000 protest vigils being held by The American TFP and its America Needs Fatima campaign against Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code movie.

He will discuss some of the reactions to the campaign, refute some of the arguments used against protesting and talk about future plans.

This talk is one of a series of regularly held talks sponsored by the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) and its America Needs Fatima campaign.

A question and answer period will follow the presentation. Please join us for what promises to be a stimulating evening of Catholic conviviality, enlightening conversation, and hope for the future.
For additional information, contact Mark Serafino at (573) 459-5531.
The American TFP – America Needs Fatima • P.O. Box 341 Hanover, PA 17331 717-225-7147

Mental Prayer for May 11 - I Desire Nothing More

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God.

Grace I Ask: That I may understand the extent of this offering, and have the generosity to fulfill it. Take,O Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, my whole will. You have given me all that I have.

I restore it all to You and surrender it: Everything that is me - my mind, my will, my talents - that they may be used in Christ's battle to bring the world to you.

That You may dispose of it according to Your will: Christ, I want you to call the signals. I know you show me your will through those who take your place in my life: my parents, my teachers; my priest, my bishop, Your vicar, my pope. I break the chain of command you have set up when I refuse my devoted service to these, your liaison officers. My "I surrender" becomes then, "I want out."

Give me only Your love: True, Christ, you love every man, but in proportion as each has a capacity for your love. You offer me the special love of a captain for his devoted soldiers.

And Your grace: Both sanctifying grace, the life of the soul (for without it we can do nothing in our service), and actual grace, the impulses and inspirations, the lights and urgings always to do better in your service.

And I am rich enough: If I really live this offering, I am one of the richest persons in the world. I have everything that really counts for true happi­ness, for true security. Much richer than I deserve to be for my past weaknesses in your ranks. God, you yourself actually love me. You want me to fight as a soldier in your cause. What a tremen­dous thought and challenge! With all of this I am quite rich enough!

And I desire nothing more: What else of any real importance is there to want? You have proved your love for me by your death. How am I going to prove mine? By this offering of my whole self!

Thought for Today: Give me your grace and I am rich!
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Gospel for Thursday, 4th Week of Easter

From: John 13:16-20

Jesus Washes His Disciples' Feet

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [16] "Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. [17] If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. [18] I am not speaking to you all; I know whom I have chosen; it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, `He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.' [19] I tell you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am He. [20] Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives any man whom I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me."


15-17. Jesus' whole life was an example of service towards men, fulfilling His Father's will to the point of dying on the Cross. Here our Lord promises us that if we imitate Him, our Teacher, in disinterested service (which always implies sacrifice), we will find true happiness which no one can wrest from us (cf. 16:22; 17:13). "`I have given you an example', He tells His disciples after washing their feet, on the night of the Last Supper. Let us reject from our hearts any pride, any ambition, any desire to dominate; and peace and joy will reign around us and within us, as a consequence of our personal sacrifice" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 94).

18. Lifting one's heel against someone means hitting him brutally; metaphorically, therefore, it means violent enmity. Judas' treachery fulfills the words of Psalm 41:10 where the psalmist complains bitterly of a friend's treachery. Once again the Old Testament prefigures events which find their full _expression in the New.

Through Baptism, the Christian has become a son of God and is called to share in God's good things, not only in Heaven but also on earth: He has received grace, he shares in the Eucharistic Banquet..., he shares with his brethren, other Christians, the friendship of Jesus. Therefore, if a person sins who has been born again through Baptism, in some sense his is a sort of treachery similar to Judas'. However, we have the recourse of repentance: if we trust in God's mercy we can set about recovering our friendship with God.

"React. Listen to what the Holy Spirit tells you: `"Si inimicus meus maledixisset mihi, sustinuissem utique"'. If it were the enemy who insulted me, I could put up with that. But you...`"tu vero homo unanimis, dux meus, et notus meus, qui simul mecum dulces capiebas cibos"': you, My friend, My Apostle, who sit at My table and take sweet food with Me!" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 244).

19. Jesus tells the Apostles in advance about Judas' treachery, so that when they see Christ's predictions come true, they will realize He has divine knowledge and that in Him are fulfilled the Scriptures of the Old Testament (cf. John 2:22). On the words "I am", cf. note on John 8:21-24.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Update on Da Vinci Code Protests

Below is an update I received on the upcoming protests...

Vatican Urges Worldwide Boycott and Protest of The Da Vinci Code Film

You’re invited to join in prayer and reparation in union with 1,000 Peaceful Protests nationwide at the theater of your choice:

Chase Park Plaza Cinema
212 N. Kingshighway
St. Louis, MO

Friday May 19th at 6PM
Saturday May 20th at 6PM
Sunday May 21st at 6PM
Mid Rivers 14 Cine
1220 Mid Rivers Mall
St. Peters, MO

Friday May 19th at 6:30PM

Edwardsville Showplace 12
6633 Center Grove Rd.
Edwardsville, IL

Friday May 26th at 6PM
Saturday May 27th at 6PM
Sunday May 28th at 6PM

Des Peres 14 Cinema Cinema 1 Plus
12701 Manchester Rd.
Des Peres, MO

Friday May 19th at 6PM
Saturday May 20th at 6PM
Sunday May 21st at 6PM

at Burger Park across from the theater
1900 Phoenix Center Dr.
Washington, MO

Friday May 19th at 6PM

The Esquire Theater
6706 Clayton Rd.
St. Louis, MO

Friday May 19th at 7PM

Rome, 4/28/06 – Archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary to Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, very close to Pope Benedict XVI, urged Catholics around the world to boycott and organize protests against The Da Vinci Code Film. * According to the book ‘Jesus’ and ‘Mary Magdalene’ had sexual relations and a child, and the Catholic Church supposedly hid this ‘secret’ for the last 2,000 years! To attack the purity and divinity of Our Lord is a blasphemy we reject with all our souls! * Reuters and other news reports.

“Everyone therefore that shall confess me before men; I will also confess him before my Father in Heaven. But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in Heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)

As Catholics, this rally of reparation is a peaceful and lawful fulfillment of our filial duty to defend the honor of Our Lord. Comfort Our Lord on any or all dates in the protest schedule above. Show your rejection of this blasphemy and your love for Our Lord by joining us in these legal and peaceful prayer vigils.

Call: Mark Serafino (573) 459-5531 Madeleine Jordan (314) 918-8950
John Horvat (717) 309-7147 Anne Zivnuska (314)-997-3307

The American Society for the defense of Tradtion, Family and Property – TFP P.O. Box 251 – Spring Grove, PA 17362 - 1-866-661-0272

A Lesson Apparently Not Learned

Church of England Child Protection Adviser Suggests Counselling Rather than Jail for Pedophiles

[Janet Hind, National child protection adviser to the Church's Archbishop's Council] argued that "One shouldn't necessarily think that because somebody hasn't gone to prison that isn't the safe option, because obviously offenders come out of prison and, if they haven't had proper treatment, they're not going to be as safe as if they have had a good treatment programme under continuing supervision, with an eye kept on exactly what they're doing and what their thoughts are," according to a report in The Observer.
Safe due to the counseling and rehabilitation? When and where have we heard this before?

Mental Prayer for May 10 - Take and Receive

Mental Prayer Meditation Helps

Presence of God.

I Speak to God: My Lord and my God, for the past five days I've been praying over your love for all men, for me, your goodness to all of us, to me in particular. I've found you present in this world full of gifts you've given me; I've seen you working in them for me; I've seen that all their goodness and beauty is just a hint of what you are like. Well, how am I going to repay you for all this? What would any person with an ounce of gratitude give? Lord, I offer you myself. I make this offering in the form of a fine old prayer; that prayer will be the matter of my mental prayer today and tomorrow.

Take, O Lord, and receive: This isn't just one of those "if-you-wish" offerings. I urge you to take my gift, Lord. (Am I actually prepared to give what I offer? To go all the way?)

All my liberty: I choose to do what you want me to do, Lord; to go where you lead me. It may cost me something, maybe more than I realize now. (Why should I be afraid? Isn't Christ my leader? Would He ever lead me the wrong way?)

My memory, my understanding, my whole will: Here, my God, take the best things of his own that a person has to give. I'll use my intelligence to work for you, to bring the world to you; I'll study hard, to make my mind a sharp, efficient tool for you; I won't waste my brains on unworthy thoughts and memories; I'll use my will to choose what's really good for myself and my world, what will give glory and joy to Christ. I'll never will what would displease you, God; that would be taking back this offering.

You have given me all that I have: I can't call any­thing my own. My particular talents, the com­fort and love and security all around me, the strength and health of my body, my immortal soul - you gave them all to me. In giving them back to you, I'm only returning what has come from you in the first place.

I restore it all to you and surrender it that you may dispose of it according to your will. Give me only your love and your grace, and I am rich enough and I desire nothing more.
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)

Swedish Study Author Confirms - AP Misrepresents Report on Homosexuality

STOCKHOLM, May 10, 2006 ( - A US researcher has called to task the Associated Press for misrepresenting a scientific report on homosexuality. On Tuesday, May 9, the AP ran a story saying that a group of Swedish researchers had evidence showing that the brains of lesbians "react differently to sex hormones than those of heterosexual women".
. . .
Dr. Warren Throckmorton, a researcher and Professor of Psychology at Grove City College, found AP's assertions suspect. He wrote to Dr. Ivanka Savic, the leader of the Swedish team at the Stockholm Brain Institute, who confirmed his suspicions. She wrote that AP's conclusion is "incorrect and not stated in the (research) paper." In fact, Dr. Savic confirms that in her team's paper, she specified learning as a possible answer to the cause of homosexual inclinations.

The Anti-Liturgical Heresy

By Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., Abbot of Solesmes

I'm going to have to read this entire work written in 1840. The excerpts, however, are chilling. Dom Prosper Gueranger appears to have been prophetic:
Dom Prosper-Louis-Pascal Gueranger, founder of the Benedictine Congregation of France and first abbot of Solesmes after the French revolution, wrote in 1840 his Liturgical Institutions in order to restore among the clergy the knowledge and the love for the Roman Liturgy.

1. The first characteristic of the anti-liturgical heresy is HATRED OF TRADITION AS FOUND IN THE FORMULAS USED IN DIVINE WORSHIP. One cannot fail to note this special characteristic in all heretics, from Vigilantus to Calvin, and the reason for it is easy to explain.

Every sectarian who wishes to introduce a new doctrine finds himself, unfailingly, face to face with the Liturgy, which is Tradition at its strongest and best, and he cannot rest until he has silenced this voice, until he has torn up these pages which recall the faith of past centuries.

2. This, as matter of fact, is the second principle of the anti-liturgical sect: TO SUBSTITUTE FOR THE FORMULAS OF THE ECCLESIASTICAL TEACHINGS READINGS FROM THE HOLY SCRIPTURE.

In every age, and under all forms of sectarianism, it will be the same: No ecclesiastical formulas, only Holy Scripture, but interpreted, selected, presented by the person or persons who are seeking to profit from innovation.

3. The third principle of the heretics concerning the reform of the Liturgy is, having eliminated the ecclesiastical formulas and proclaimed the absolute necessity of making use only of the words of Scripture in divine worship and having seen that Holy Scripture does not always yield itself to all their purposes as they would like, their third principle, we say, is to fabricate and introduce various formulas, filled with perfidy, by which the people are more surely ensnared in error, and thus the whole structure of the impious reform will become consolidated for the coming centuries.

4. ...all the sectarians without exceptions begin with THE VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF ANTIQUITY. They want to cut Christianity off from all that the errors and passions of man have mixed in; from whatever is “false” and “unworthy of God”. ALL THEY WANT IS THE PRIMITIVE, AND THEY PRETEND TO GO BACK TO THE CRADLE OF CHRISTIAN INSTITUTIONS.

To this end, they prune, they efface, they cut away; everything falls under their blows, and while one is waiting to see the original purity of the divine cult reappear, one finds himself encumbered with new formulas dating only from the night before, and which are incontestably human, since the one who created them is still alive.

5. Since the liturgical reform is being undertaken by the sectarians with the same goal as the reform of dogma, of which it is the consequence, it follows that as Protestants separated from unity in order to believe less, they found themselves led to cut away in the Liturgy ALL THE CEREMONIES, ALL THE FORMULAS WHICH EXPRESS MYSTERIES.

Thus, no more Sacraments, except Baptism, preparing the way for Socialism, which freed its followers even from Baptism. No more sacramentals, blessings, images, relics of Saints, processions, pilgrimages, etc. No more altar, only a table, no more sacrifice as in every religion, but only a meal. No more church but only a temple, as with the Greeks and Romans. No more religious architecture, since there is no more mystery. No more Christian paintings and sculpture, since there is no more sensible religion. Finally no more poetry in a cult which is no longer impregnated by love or faith.
. . .

8. Since the liturgical reform had for one of its principal aims the abolition of actions and formulas of mystical signification, it is a logical consequence that its authors had to vindicate the use of the vernacular in divine worship.

This is in the eyes of sectarians a most important item. Cult is no secret matter. The people, they say, must understand what they sing. Hatred for the Latin language is inborn in the hearts of all the enemies of Rome. They recognize it as the bond among Catholics throughout the universe, as the arsenal of orthodoxy against all the subtleties of the sectarian spirit. ( . . .)
Much more here...

Bishops to Vote on Mass Translation

From the current issue of Adoremus:
ICEL Texts for Order of Mass, Amendments, Adaptations to be Considered at June Meeting
by Helen Hull Hitchcock

This June, at the meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Los Angeles, the bishops will vote on the first English translations of the new Roman Missal, released four years ago -- the third “typical edition” of the Missal since the Second Vatican Council.

There are two “Liturgy action items”:

1)Voting on the English translation of the Order of Mass, preceded by voting on proposed amendments to this text; and
2) A list of adaptations, proposed by the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy as additions to the Missal for the United States.
This will be very interesting...

Mother's Day Abortion Push by Actress Gwyneth Paltrow

Disturbing and sickening...

Karl Keating on Liturgical Dance....

...Or as known at The Curt Jester , "Leotardation", or as renamed by some local St. Louis parishes and others..."Danced Prayer".

On the Karl's E-Letter:

Dear Friend of Catholic Answers:

...If you have thirteen free minutes, watch this video:
LA-REC Liturgical Dance Video

Here are some shots:

It [the video] was taken April 2 at the concluding Mass of the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. The chief celebrant was Roger Cardinal Mahony. Total attendance at the Congress was 42,000, with 19,000 attending the final day's liturgies.
"Liturgical" Dance (Leotardation, Danced Prayer) is not allowed in the Mass whatsoever. What does the Church say about this?

The document Dance In The Liturgy contains the explanation. In summary, it states:

"[In western culture] dancing is tied with love, with diversion, with profaneness, with unbridling of the senses: such dancing, in general, is not pure."

"For that reason it cannot be introduced into liturgical celebrations of any kind whatever: that would be to inject into the liturgy one of the most desacralized and desacralizing elements; and so it would be equivalent to creating an atmosphere of profaneness which would easily recall to those present and to the participants in the celebration worldly places and situations."
The Bishops also have expressly prohibited any and all forms of dancing in the Liturgy and this directive has NOT been changed. From the NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS (BISHOPS' COMMITTEE on the LITURGY) NEWSLETTER. April/May 1982:
"FROM THESE DIRECTIVES, from the NATIONAL CONFERENCE of CATHOLIC BISHOPS, all dancing, (ballet, children's gesture as dancing, the clown liturgy) are not permitted to be 'introduced into liturgical celebrations of any kind whatever.'"

Karl quotes from Cardinal Ratzinger's "Spirit of the Liturgy":
"Dancing is not a form of expression for the Christian liturgy. In about the third century, there was an attempt by certain Gnostic-Docetic circles to introduce it into the liturgy. ... The cultic dances of the different religions have different purposes--incantation, imitative magic, mystical ecstasy--none of which is compatible with the essential purpose of the liturgy. ...

"It is totally absurd to try to make the liturgy 'attractive' by introducing dancing pantomimes (wherever possible performed by professional dance troupes), which frequently (and rightly, from the professionals' point of view) end with applause. Whenever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. ...

"I myself have experienced the replacing of the penitential rite by a dance performance, which, needless to say, received a round of applause. Could there be anything further removed from true penitence? ...

"None of the Christian rites includes dancing. What people call dancing in the Ethiopian rite or the Zairean form of the Roman liturgy is in fact a rhythmically ordered procession, very much in keeping with the dignity of the occasion."
Those from Gnostic-Docetic circles tried to introduce it, eh? Don't we have the similar "Gnostics" today atempting and doing the same thing? Yeah, I thought so...

Archbishop Chaput: Lessons from the 2006 Assembly Session

Apostolic Succession: Spiritual & Historical Tie to Jesus Christ

VATICAN CITY, MAY 10, 2006 (VIS) - Apostolic succession was the subject of Benedict XVI's catechesis at this morning's general audience, held in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 50,000 people.

"The Church, which came into being at Jesus' will and around Him, continues her journey through history," said the Pope. "The Twelve ... involved others in the functions with which they themselves were entrusted, so that those others could continue the ministry. ... Just as at the beginning of the apostolic condition there is a call and an invitation from the Risen One, so the call and invitation of others, ... from those who are already within the apostolic ministry, will be the way by which the ministry of the 'episcope' is passed on."

"In this way," the Holy Father continued, "the succession of the episcopal function is ... a guarantee of the endurance of apostolic tradition...

Opus Dei's "Open Letter to Sony"

The Information Office of Opus Dei in Japan sent an open letter to the shareholders, directors and employees of Sony Corporation, which is producing "The Da Vinci Code" film. An English translation of the Japanese original is here.

In a related story, Director Ron Howard has rejected demands by Opus Dei to attach a disclaimer to his would-be blockbuster labeling the film as a work of fiction.

Allah Takes Over Catholic Church

The Belgian Bishops have opened their churches to illegal immigrants in order to pressurize the Belgian authorities to allow the immigrants to stay in the country.

Most of the immigrant squatters in the churches are Muslims. They display banners in the church showing the name of Allah (picture taken in the church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Brussels).

The Muslim squatters hold Islamic prayer services in the church. The altar has been moved and the statue of Our Lady covered by a cloth to hide her from the eyes of the Muslim believers.
Without looking it up in more detail, I seem to recall that a church is reserved for "sacred use"...Any profanation would require that a church be reblessed or reconsecrated...

The Altar


"And Noe built an altar unto the Lord: and taking of all cattle and fowls that were clean, oHered holocausts upon the altar." Genesis, 8:20

One of the bloodiest battles of World War One was fought at Verdun. The Germans were threatening to over run France. A stand was made at Verdun, as the French shouted: "They shall not pass." For several months Verdun took a shelling and battering that left practically every building in ruins. At last the Germans retreated.

A war correspondent made his way into the shambles. Not one building was left untouched. A French guard took him to the cathedral on the hill. The roof was shot away. The windows were shattered. The walls were full of holes. A giant shell was imbedded in the floor. Practically every­thing was demolished in the great temple of God except - except the altar. On its four beautifully polished pillars it stood unmarred in the midst of the rubble. The sight of that altar aroused in the newsman the thought that religion and its altar will always remain.

Yes, the altar of God will always remain. Something so enduring deserves our attention. In the beginning of the human race we read that Abel, the son of Adam and Eve, offered gifts to God. We read that Noe built an altar unto the Lord. All through the Old Testament we read of altars and sacrifices.

The New Testament emphasizes their importance, especially when the Son of God changed bread and wine into His very Body and Blood. The altar on which St. Peter is said to have offered Mass is still preserved in St. John Lateran in Rome. Upon it only the Holy Father is privileged to say Mass. Nevertheless, that same sacrifice is offered here upon our altar.

How we love our altars! How we love to reverence and honor them, to adorn and decorate them. For these reasons Mother Church has several regulations regarding the place of sacrifice, rules which will be enlightening and inspiring to us. We are here speaking of the altar table. [Note: These regulations existed prior to Vatican Council II]

1. It must be a single stone, a figure of Christ, "the cornerstone," the Founder of our religion, the center and foundation of all our spiritual life.

2. The altar must be consecrated in this solemn way. After a number of prayers and ceremonies the bishop blesses salt, ashes, and wine, and mixes them with holy water. These elements represent the human and divine natures of Christ and also the mortal body and the immortal soul of man.

With this mixture the bishop makes five crosses on the altar stone, one in the middle, the others on the four corners, at spots where there are five crosses dug into the stone. They are the five wounds of Christ from which flow all graces.

3. In the stone must be inclosed the relics of two martyrs. Why? Mainly because the first Christians erected altars on the tombs of the martyrs, as we still can see in the catacombs. In each altar-stone there is an opening where these relics are placed. This is sealed. Above this spot the priest bends several times during Mass to kiss the relics of the martyrs. This shows the relation between the death of Christ for all of us, the death of the martyrs for love of Christ and the Holy Sacrifice being offered up this very hour on this very altar.

4. Another requirement is that the altar be on an elevated place, and, if possible, facing the east. The word altar is from the Latin, "altus," which means high. It must be high in order to raise our heads and eyes and hearts towards heaven. The altar faces the east because it represents Christ, the Sun of Justice, the true Sun of our life.

(Right here I would like to say a word of gratitude to those of you who have helped to make this church a fitting setting for the altar of God. Your generous sacrifices have made this temple possible. God will reward you.)

Yes, the altar must be a single stone; it must be consecrated, set aside for a spiritual use only; it must contain the relics of two martyrs; it must be high; it must face the east. The altar is something stable and sublime in a changing and drab world.

It will survive all the storms of the world. Today men are looking for security.

Things are changing and changeable. Everything passes, even the things we love and treasure. Everyone is looking for something that endures, something that lasts, something to hold to, something to look up to, something that has survived the centuries, something that will survive the years to come.

Here is the very thing the world is looking for. Here is something last­ing and enduring, something unchanging and unchangeable - the altar.

As you look up during this Mass think of the rich meanings and the careful regulations of Mother Church regarding the altar upon which the Son of God will be offered in sacrifice. Look up as the Sun of Justice rises above the head of the priest. Look up and thank God for this place of security in a world of change and worry.

Indeed, just as that newsman found the altar still intact, still standing in the shattered cathedral of Verdun, so men of all time will find the Catholic altar surviving all the battles and turmoil of time. Amen.
Adapted from Talks on the Mass
by Fr. Arthur Tonne, OFM (© 1950)

4th Week of Easter - The Light in the Window

"Your sorrow shall be turned into joy." St. John, 16:20.

This is the story about a boy who was born in a log cabin, who grew up to be president of the United States. No, it was not Abraham Lincoln.

This boy's first name was James. He had a hard time getting an educa­tion. There were very few books in his log cabin home. These he read and read again until he almost knew them by heart. His mother was poor, so he chopped wood, plowed fields, drove mules, and worked in a lumber mill to help support his mother.

Finally he made enough to go to college, where he studied hard. When he was not studying he was working; he had to. Another boy in his class was also a good student, so good that he almost beat James. Late one night after Jim had finished studying and was about to go to bed, he saw a light in a window across the street.

"Ah," he said to himself, "my friend is still studying. If he can study this late, so will I. I better put in another hour at my books."

And he did, not just that night, but every night. As a result he gradu­ated with high honors from Williams College. After graduation he set out to make his way in the world. Step by step he advanced, until in 1880 he was elected the twentieth president of the United States. Can anyone of you tell me his name?

Yes, it was James Arthur Garfield. Just twenty-five years before he moved into the White House he had seen that light in the window of his rival, and had decided to study just a little bit more. That is what made the big difference between President Garfield and the other young men of his time. He worked just a little harder than they did.

That is the way all great things are done. Great things are done by those who work just a little harder than others. Read the lives of all the wonder­ful men and women of our country. All of them put extra time and effort to their work.

1. Look at the two greatest Americans - Washington and Lincoln. When they were boys and young men they worked hard, they studied hard. They wasted no time, especially in school. They did not wait for any bell to ring or whistle to blow. They worked until their job was finished.

2. Look at our wonderful doctors. For years they study hard to help peo­ple get well and stay well. They learn all they can about the body and about medicine. The more a doctor knows, the better he will be. It is the same with a lawyer and a teacher.

3. The next time you go to a big store or factory look at the boss. You may think he has an easy job. Don't fool yourself. He often works harder than anybody else. Before he became boss he worked day and night to do the job better than anybody else.

4. You boys wish you could be a Johny Lujack and shoot passes for Notre Dame. You wish you could hit home runs like Ted Williams or Joe Di­Maggio. Some of you would like to be a great musician or singer. It's fine to wish those things, but wishing alone will not get you there. You have to work and work hard to be a star in anything. You have to practice day after day for long hours. You have to cut out smoking and drinking, get to bed early, and eat things that are good for you, not just what you like.

You never see a great athlete stuffing himself with candy and cake; you see them eating things that will build muscles and a strong body. Anybody who wants to be extra good at anything, has to study and work extra hard. He has to see the 'light in the window'; he has to study and practice more than others.

5. This is especially true of the saints. We might say that the saints are star Catholics, champion Catholics. How did they become stars and cham­pions for God? By praying a little more than other people; by receiving Holy Communion a little more often than others received; by doing more acts of charity; by studying their catechism more than others; by working extra hard to be saints.

Jesus tells us: "Your sorrow shall be turned into joy." When a boy or girl wants to be a great doctor or lawyer or writer or singer or actress or athlete or saint, that boy or girl has to work and study more than others. If you want to be president, you have to study like young James Garfield.

I hope that many of you want to be something, want to make something of yourself. Especially I hope that all of you want to become saints, that is, star and champion Catholics. Work at it. We need more Catholic doc­tors and lawyers and writers and great men and.women. How about it?

Now is the time, when you are in school, to start doing great things for God and for other men and women. Everything you learn will help you. Learn it well. Learn all you can. Study hard. Study extra hard.

It will be difficult, we all know. But after the work will come great success. After the sorrow of studying hard will come the joy of doing wonderful things - for God and the people of God. Amen.
Adapted from Talks for Children
by Fr. Arthur Tonne, OFM (© 1948)

Gospel for Wednesday, 4th Week of Easter

From: John 12:44-50

The Unbelief of the Jews

[44] And Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me, believes not in Me, but in Him who sent Me. [45] And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. [46] I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness. [47] If any one hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. [48] He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be His judge on the last day. [49] For I have not spoken on My own authority; the Father who sent Me has Himself given Me commandment what to say and what to speak. [50] And I know that His commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden Me."


44-50. With these verses St. John brings to an end his account of our Lord's public ministry. He brings together certain fundamental themes developed in previous chapters--the need for faith in Christ (verse 44); the Father and the Son are one yet distinct (cf. 45); Jesus is Light and Life of the world (verses 46, 50); men will be judged in accordance with whether they accept or reject the Son of God (verses 47-49). The chapters which follow contain Jesus' teaching to His Apostles at the Last Supper, and the accounts of the Passion and Resurrection.

45. Christ, the Word Incarnate, is one with the Father (cf. John 10:30); "He reflects the glory of God" (Hebrews 1:3); "He is the image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15). In John 14:9 Jesus expresses Himself in almost the same words: "He who has seen Me has seen the Father". At the same time as He speaks of His oneness with the Father, we are clearly shown the distinction of persons--the Father who sends, and the Son who is sent.

In Christ's holy human nature His divinity is, as it were, hidden, that divinity which He possesses with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit (cf. John 14:7-11). In theology "circumincession" is the word usually used for the fact that, by virtue of the unity among the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, "the Father is wholly in the Son and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Son wholly in the Father and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit wholly in the Father and wholly in the Son" (Council of Florence, "Decree Pro Jacobitis, Dz-Sch", 1331).

47. Christ has come to save the world by offering Himself in sacrifice for our sins and bringing us supernatural life (cf. John 3:17). But He has also been made Judge of the living and the dead (cf. Acts 10:42): He passes sentence at the Particular Judgment which happens immediately after death, and at the end of the world, at His Second Coming or Parousia, at the universal judgment (cf. John 5:22; 8:15-16).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Holy See OKs Revised Norms in Sex-Abuse Cases

U.S. Bishops Get a Decree Signed by Cardinal Re

WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 9, 2006 ( The Congregation for Bishops has granted its "recognition," its permission to implement, to the U.S. bishops' revised norms on dealing with clerical sex-abuse allegation.

The Vatican dicastery gave its permission for the "Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons," adopted by the bishops' conference last June.

The decree of the congregation, signed by its prefect, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, grants the "recognitio" indefinitely.

4th Week of Easter - How to Hear Mass

"A little while and you shall not see me, and again a little while and you shall see me." St. John, 16:17.

One Sunday morning about two hundred years ago a missionary among the Seminole Indians of Florida was about to begin Mass. A horde of hostile Indians swooped down on the tiny church with the intention of putting the entire congregation to death. The priest asked the leader to allow them to finish the service. Reluctantly the chief consented.

The Mass went on, with priest and people praying as they never prayed before. As the Holy Sacrifice ended the helpless little group was put to death.

How that priest must have offered that Mass. How those people must have followed every prayer and ceremony. How closely they must have united themselves with the crucified Christ. It was their last Mass.

Suppose you knew that this was your last Mass. Suppose you knew that after this Mass you would die or be killed. How devoutly, how attentively, how thoughtfully you would spend the next half hour.

This might seem an extreme suggestion. But if it helps our attention and devotion it will be worth while. Of some it can be said today, of all it will be said some day: "A little while and you shall not see me, and again a little while and you shall see me." Mass lasts but a little while; in Mass we see God. After Mass we will not see God again until our next Mass. May our joy at Mass be the joy of which our Lord speaks today: "I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no one shall take from you." St. John, 16:22.

That joy will be ours if we attend Mass thoughtfully. The best method of attending Mass is with missal in hand, that is, with a book which gives you the prayers which the priest is saying at the altar. An intelligent Catholic knows what is being said and what is being done. In his missal he follows the ceremonies and repeats the prayers which have come down to us from saint and scholar and from the Apostles themselves.

Another method is to unite yourself with Christ, the Chief Priest. Offer Mass for the desires of His Sacred Heart. Just as the priest has a special intention for each Mass, so you should have some special desire or inten­tion each time you attend. Make that intention thoughtfully and clearly. Offer this very Mass for something definite - your family, your friends, the conversion of the world, universal peace. There are thousands of pos­sible intentions.

Another method is to offer Mass for the four purposes of sacrifice, namely, to adore God, to thank God, to ask favors of God, and to beg God's pardon. To adore God means to tell Him in thought, word and action that He is above everyone and above everything. He is supreme. The Mass does that. To thank God means to express your gratitude for His countless blessings of soul and body, especially for the Eucharist. As Mass is the best time to adore and thank God, it is also the best time to ask for favors and to beg for pardon. We offer God the Gift most pleasing to Him, His own Divine Son, asking Him for material and spiritual blessings, and begging His pardon for failing to use His gifts properly in the past.

Others find it inspiring to recall the rich and thrilling meaning of every action performed by the priest. To understand the ceremonies of the Mass requires some study, but such a study will be a labor of love to one who wants to get the most out of the Holy Sacrifice.

Some attend Mass with the thought of Calvary in mind. They picture themselves at the foot of the cross. They hear His dying words, they catch His dying breath. The Mass is Calvary re-presented. ­

Most prayer-books offer several methods of attending Mass. Find the method best suited to your talents and training. I repeat: The best way is with your missal, but I do not condemn those who have their favorite prayers and devotions. Let Grandma lisp her loving prayers, even though they are not literally the same as those said at the altar.

I even hold a brief for the Catholic who prays his rosary during Mass, if he prays it with thought. The Creed is a part of Mass. The Our Father is a part of Mass. The Hail Mary recalls Christ's coming: He comes in the Mass. The Glory Be pays tribute to the Trinity, present in a special way during the Holy Sacrifice. The mysteries, glad, sad, and glorious, call back scenes which are of the essence of Mass.

But I do insist that without a prayer-book or rosary it is almost impossible to keep one's mind upon the Mass. I urge you all, I beg you all to be intelligent, thoughtful, mentally alert during Holy Mass. Hear every Mass, as if it were your last. Serious as that may seem, it will bring you the joy Christ promises. Amen.
Adapted from Talks on the Mass
by Fr. Arthur Tonne, OFM (© 1950)

Bishop Finn Restores Catholicism in Kansas City

So much so, in fact, that the National Catholic Distorter cries foul...Those who favor heterdoxy are beside themselves that a bishop would actually perform his duties to teach, govern and sanctify. Why are NCR and others upset? The first week of his appointment, he:

Dismissed the chancellor, a layman with 21 years of experience in the diocese, and the vice chancellor, a religious woman stationed in the diocese for nearly 40 years and the chief of pastoral planning for the diocese since 1990, and replaced them with a priest chancellor.
There's probably a good reason for this although NCR neglects to provide more details.

Cancelled the diocese’s nationally renowned lay formation programs and a master’s degree program in pastoral ministry.

"Nationally Renowned"? This needs to be checked out...If it was orthodox, surely he would not have cancelled it.

Cut in half the budget of the Center for Pastoral Life and Ministry, effectively forcing the almost immediate resignation of half the seven-member team.
Within 10 months all seven would be gone and the center shuttered.

What was this group doing? Again, NCR leaves us in the dark.

Ordered a “zero-based study” of adult catechesis in the diocese and appointed as vice chancellor to oversee adult catechesis, lay formation and the catechesis study a layman with no formal training in theology or religious studies.

As if NCR is even capable judging who is better able to oversee authentic catechesis? That's a stretch...

Ordered the editor of the diocesan newspaper to immediately cease publishing columns by Notre Dame theologian Fr. Richard McBrien.

And the problem with this is what...One of NCR's favorite proponents of heresy is denied the opportunity to infect the faithful with his flawed and dangerous theological opinions?

Announced that he would review all front page stories, opinion pieces, columns and editorials before publication.
As any good and faithful bishop should do unless he has delegated that to someone whose fidelity to the teachings of Christ and His Church is beyond reproach.

But this is not all. NCR then lists the new bishop’s "priorities", as they see them:

The budget of the Office of Peace and Justice was cut in half. One of two full-time staff positions was eliminated, and the other may be reduced.

And the problem with this is what? NCR doesn't tell us.

Support of the Diocesan Bolivian Mission, a relationship established with the La Paz archdiocese in 1963, was cut from $50,000 annually to $10,000 annually. Fr. Michael Gillgannon, the diocesan priest missioned to Bolivia since 1974, learned of the cut while home on leave in April.

It's so nice of NCR to be able to second guess the bishop. Perhaps this was a waste of funds with few, if any, results to ustify the expenditure? Again, we are left wanting actual facts.

The Vocation Office went from a part-time priest vocation director to a full-time priest vocation director with a part-time priest assistant and additional support from the head of the newly established Office for Consecrated Life.

And this is a bad thing? People want to complain about a lack of priests but then they want nothing to be done about it save for doing away with celibacy and having women "priests"...What a pathetic bunch!

A separate Respect Life Office was established to handle pro-life issues and battle stem-cell research.

This, too, is a great step to help the uncatechized Catholics learn what their obligations are.

The diocesan-sponsored master’s program, administered for eight years by the Aquinas Institute of Theology, a Dominican school affiliated with Jesuit-run St. Louis University, was transferred to the Institute for Pastoral Theology at Florida-based Ave Maria University. Ave Maria is being developed by former Domino’s Pizza magnate Thomas Monaghan, who has funded a host of conservative Catholic efforts.

As if Aquinas could hold a candle to Ave Maria...This is probably one of the best things Bishop Finn could have done. At least one can be assured that heterdoxy will not be tolerated or taught by Ave Maria professors, something sorely lacking, it seems, with Aquinas.

Finn upgraded a Latin Mass community, which has been meeting in a city parish, to a parish in its own right and appointed himself pastor. ( See accompanying story.) Later, he asked the parish that the Latin Mass community will be leaving to donate $250,000 of the estimated $1.5 million the Latin group needs to renovate the old church Finn gave them.

OH NO!!!! Not the Latin Mass!!! Actually, it's encouraging to see a bishop celebrate the Tridentine Mass. What a blessing the faithful of Kansas City have received with the appointment of Bishop Finn.

In the July 22, 2005, issue of the diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Key, Finn explained his actions at the center in terms of mission and money.

“We have to understand where the power of the laity is,” [Finn] said. “It’s in the family, the workplace, the marketplace. That’s where [the transformation of society] has to happen.
Quite to the point...It's a shame that more don't understand this and believe they are "called" to a "vocation" of running the diocese with their own personal agendas, which are sometimes far removed from being authentically Catholic.

It gets even better, though:
In May 2004, Finn, while still coadjutor, called [the editor of the diocese newspaper, Albert] de Zutter into his office to complain about a column by Notre Dame theologian Fr. Richard McBrien. He had called bishops who wanted to bar politicians from Communion “a tiny number of extremist U.S. bishops” and “zealous, but theologically unsophisticated.” He included Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis, Finn’s former boss.

De Zutter recalls: “Finn became quite incensed.” Finn said McBrien’s columns were “generally offensive,” the comments about Burke “hurtful,” and he wanted the columns stopped. But the paper continued to run McBrien’s columns while Boland remained bishop. Once in charge, Finn declared that “McBrien would never again appear in the paper,” de Zutter said.
I don't understand how any Catholic could ever read, much less support, a man such as McBrien. Kudos to Bishop Finn again.

The NCR article is quite demonstrates that some bishops have the courage to do what is right, to do their jobs, to be successors of the Apostles, and true followers of Christ. That which is detrimental to souls should be banished, that which does not serve the mission of the Church, salvation of souls, should be eliminated.

While the article attempts to foster suspicion or worse on Bishop Robert Finn, I think faithful Catholics can read this and rejoice that those who embrace heterdoxy are justifiably worried and concerned about their future and their agenda to form a church in their image, to their desires, and some bishops are not going to permit them that luxury any longer.

We need to continue to pray for our faithful and courageous bishops. Let them know that we support them in their difficult positions of bringing back the Faith to areas where it has all but disappeared.

The NCR article is here.