Tuesday, June 30, 2015
The Year of Mercy: What is Mercy?
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With the announcement of a Year of Mercy by Pope Francis, we should start by asking ourselves "what is mercy?"  And let us follow up that question with another: "what does mercy require of me?"  Far too many think mercy is a nothing more than a complacency with sin in practice: "God loves me.  I am forgiven.  I can go and not feel bad about my sins."

On the contrary, true mercy is found in prayer and penance.  It is found in our spiritual works of mercy: admonishing sinners to repent, go to Confession, and reunite themselves with the Sacraments.  True mercy is not a "feel good ideal" similar to how the protestants view salvation.  True mercy is inseparable from Catholic notions of penance.

Bishop Fellay in his Letter of May 2015 provided a reflection on True Mercy.  The following an except from that document:
What exactly is [mercy] about? In itself mercy is a word that is dear to the heart of every Catholic, because it designates the most touching manifestation of God’s love for us. In past centuries the apparitions of the Sacred Heart were nothing but a more intense revelation of this mercy of God toward mankind. The same must be said about devotion to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Nevertheless true mercy, which implies this initial, extremely touching movement of God toward the sinner and His misery, continues in a moment of the creature’s conversion to God: “God desires not the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (cf. Ezek 33:11). Hence the Gospels insist on the duty of conversion, renunciation and penance.  Our Lord went so far as to say: “Unless you do penance, you shall all perish” (cf. Lk 13:5).

This call to conversion is the heart of the Gospel, which we find in St. John the Baptist as well as in St. Peter. When sinners, touched by preaching, ask what they must do, they hear only this recommendation: “be converted and do penance.” The Blessed Virgin in her apparitions in recent centuries, both in La Salette and in Lourdes or Fatima, says nothing different: “prayer and penance”.

Now the new preachers of a new mercy insist so much on the first step taken by God toward human beings who are lost because of sin, ignorance and misery that they too often omit this second movement, which must come from the creature: repentance, conversion, the rejection of sin. Ultimately, the new mercy is nothing but complacency about sin. God loves you... no matter what.
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Commemoration of St. Paul
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Each year on June 30th, the day after the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, the Church liturgically commemorates St. Paul. 

As stated by the great Liturgist Dom Gueranger:
On the twenty-ninth of June, in the year 67, whilst Peter, having crossed the Tiber by the triumphal bridge, was drawing nigh to the cross prepared for him on the Vatican plain, another martyrdom was being consummated on the left bank of the same river. Paul, as he was led along the Ostian Way, was also followed by a group of the faithful who mingled with the escort of the condemned.
His sentence was that he should be beheaded at the Salvian waters. A two miles' march brought the soldiers to a path leading eastwards, by which they led their prisoner to the place fixed upon for his martyrdom. Paul fell on his knees, addressing his last prayer to God; then having bandaged his eyes, he awaited the death-stroke. A soldier brandished his sword, and the apostle's head, as it was severed from the trunk, made three bounds along the ground; three fountains immediately sprang up on these several spots.
Such is the local tradition; and to this day three fountains are to be seen on the site of his martyrdom, over each of which an altar is raised.
 COLLECT PRAYER

O God, You have instructed many nations through the preaching of the blessed apostle Paul. Let the power of his intercession with You help us who venerate his memory this day. Through our Lord...

COMMEMORATION OF SAINT PETER 

O God, You have entrusted the keys of the kingdom of heaven to Your blessed apostle Peter and have given him the power of bishop to bind or to loose. May his intercession free us from the slavery of sin; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .
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Sunday, June 28, 2015
Faces of Christ: Catholic Art Website
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I receive regular updates from the Catholic Artists Society.  Today I received an update worth sharing:
Our latest update: We are now taking donations at the www.Faces-of-Christ.com website or www.Catholic-Artists-Conference.com. With your support now we can make the 100 piece collection U.S. tour of the Faces of Christ from Europe happen in 2016-2017. The conference is a fund raiser and the kick-off to the U.S. tour coming to major cities in the U.S. After Omaha. There will be much media about the subjects discussed at the conference including coverage by EWTN.

We are taking ads in the program to be distributed widely at each tour venue. In addition to Chicago, Washington DC, Denver, Dallas, Pittsburgh, we are looking for venues in San Francisco, New York, Dayton, Hartford, and Philadelphia. Our success depends upon YOU, God Bless.
Please consider supporting the work of this organization to produce and make available truly good (good, true, & beautiful) Catholic art.

One of the beautiful images from the www.Faces-of-Christ.com website is visible at the top of this page.
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Thursday, June 25, 2015
Video: The Traditional Dominican Foundation of Belgium
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As I mentioned previously, I am in the processing of becoming a Third Order Dominican.  The specific community that I will be attached is located in Belgium.

In this video, Fr. Albert, who I know personally, shares some wonderful insight into the spirituality of the Dominican Order.  I share this for those of you who may benefit from knowing more about the mission of St. Dominic's order.

St. Dominic, pray for us!
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To Form Future Priests: The New Seminary Project of the SSPX
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The seminary is all about forming priests. We're a priestly society, we take care of faithful, we take care of parishes, but we need priests to do that.

Of all the projects that we could possibly do in the Society, this new seminary is the most important project.

The formation of the seminarians, which is the formation of the priests, is the formation of the officers of the Church. When you support the formation of the seminarians, you support the building of the Church.

It's fitting, perfectly fitting, that we do all we can, all our best, to build seminaries, and to form vocations, to form future priests, the future of the Church.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015
10 Ways to Fight Sins Against Purity
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  1. Constant prayer. Hence the admonition of the wise King; As I knew that I could not otherwise be continent, except God gave it, I went to the Lord and besought him. (Wisd. 8:21)
  2. Mortification of the flesh by fasting and abstinence. Jesus says these impure spirits can in no other way be cast out but by prayer and fasting. (Matt. 17:20)
  3. The frequent meditation on the four last things, and on the bitter sufferings of our Lord; for there is, says St. Augustine, no means more powerful and effective against the heat of lust than reflection on the ignominious death of the Redeemer.
  4. The quiet consideration of the temporal and eternal evils which follow from this vice, as already described.
  5. The love and veneration of the Blessed Virgin who is the mother of beautiful love, the refuge of all sinners, of whom St. Bernard says: "No one has ever invoked her in his necessity without being heard."
  6. The careful mortification of the eyes. The pious Job made a covenant with his eyes, that. he would not so much as look upon a virgin. (Job 31:1)
  7. The avoidance of evil occasions, especially intercourse with persons of the other sex. "Remember," says St. Jerome, "that a woman drove out the inhabitants of paradise, and that you are not holier than David, stronger than Samson, wiser than Solomon, who all fell by evil intercourse."
  8. The avoidance of idleness: for idleness, says the proverb, is the beginning of all evil.
  9. The immediate banishing of all bad thoughts by often pronouncing the names of Jesus and Mary, which, as St. Alphonsus Ligouri says, have the special power of driving away impure thoughts.
  10. The frequent use of the holy Sacraments of Penance and of the Altar. This last remedy in particular is a certain cure if we make known to our confessor our weaknesses, and use the remedies he prescribes. The Scripture says that frequent Communion is the seed from which virgins spring, and the table which God has prepared against all temptations that annoy us.
 Source: Fr. Goffine's The Church's Year
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Sunday, June 21, 2015
Why is There a State of Necessity in the Church?
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It's an important question, as souls have the right to obtain the necessary aids for their salvation, particularly sound doctrine and properly administered sacraments.

But the disastrous state of affairs in the Catholic Church today—which constitutes a danger for the Faith—has made the attainment of these aids very difficult, if even impossible.

Inherent to this crisis is the daily dilemma of Catholics having to choose whether to obey the teachings of the Faith or the errors of Modernism.

For their fidelity to Tradition—what the Church has always taught—such Catholics find themselves persecuted and usually unable to obtain the sacraments without a modernist compromise.

This grave crisis of the Faith has led to a state of necessity in the Church and the consequent application of supplied jurisdiction for the salvation of souls.

Source: SSPX.org
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Friday, June 19, 2015
Meditation on the Great Apostacy
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“During this unhappy period there will be laxity in divine and human precepts. Discipline will suffer. The Holy Canons will be completely disregarded and the clergy will not respect the laws of the Church. The Holy Canons and religious dogmas are clouded by senseless questions and elaborate arguments. As a result, no principle at all, however holy, authentic, ancient, and certain it may be, will not remain free of censure, criticism, false interpretations, modifications and delamination by man. These are evil times, century full of dangers and calamities. Heresy is everywhere and the followers of heresy are in power almost everywhere. Bishops, prelates and priests say they are doing their duty, that they are vigilant. – St. Francis of Paola
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Can Catholics Have Tattoos?
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"You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh, for the dead, neither shall you make in yourselves any figures or marks: I am the Lord" (Leviticus 19:28).

The above section of Scripture is taken from the Douay Rheims Scriptures.  Some Scripture translations explictly refer to tattoos.  Let's take the RSV-CE for instance for the same line from Leviticus: "You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh on account of the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the LORD."

While it is true that the above prohibition against tattoos was written in the context of the Old Testament Law (the Mosaic Law). While this Law is no longer in force by reason of Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross, we do have to keep in mind the words of the Redeemer Himself: “Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets.  I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). 

While the Old Testament laws on farming and which crops to keep in your field are no longer in place and while the Laws prohibiting the consumption of pork are no longer in place, all of these Old laws had their fulfillment in the Law of Christ.  Christ came to perfect the Law.  He abolished divorce that was allowed under the Law of Moses in order to perfect the Laws of Matrimony (cf. Matthew 19:8).  Christ also showed us in driving the swine off the cliff that the prohibition on pork was symbolic on the prohibition against sin.  And ultimately these Laws were all done to make the People of God, the Israelites, a holy people set apart from the other nations.  If these were God’s holy people and a special race set aside, then they had to act differently than the other pagan races that were in the ancient world.  Therein lies one of the chief reasons why there were Laws and why we have Laws – to keep us as a special people united to God and separate from those who are not of God.

As a result, while the Leviticus prohibition on tattoos is no longer explicitly prohibited by virtue of the Mosaic Law, tattoos still remain offensive and Catholics should refrain from them?  Why?  Just as the Old Law set aside the People of God for holy things, so too we must set ourselves aside and refrain from certain actions. What makes tattoos wrong? 

In the New Testament we have the revelation of the Son of God and have received the fruits of His redemptive and efficacious Sacrifice on the Cross.  The Church was founded on Pentecost at the Descent of the Holy Ghost, who Christ sent as His Advocate; and we who have been baptized and Confirmed have received within us the gifts of the Holy Ghost.  In this way, we are truly Temples of the Holy Ghost (i.e. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  As such, we must treat our bodies worthily.  We are not to dress immodestly or give in to sensual pleasures of the flesh, as do the pagans and those who are not of God.  And we too must refrain from tattooing our bodies by virtue of the fact that they are Temples of the Holy Ghost and created in the image of God.  

“Know you not, that your (bodily) members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own (property)?  For you are bought with a great price.  Glorify and bear God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

In an online article Fr. Stephen Somerville addressed much of the above points in his own words.  His conclusion is worth repeating here:

“Is, then, the mark of tattooing lawful for the Catholic?  Not wishing to exaggerate what may be a small matter, I judge that I speak with the mind of the Church when I say that tattooing is at least unseemly for a Catholic. It surely could weaken Faith in Christ for one to place a non-Christ permanent mark on his body.  Our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, says St. Paul.  Let that temple be preserved from unworthy marks”
Image Source: Pinterest
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Saturday, June 13, 2015
St Dominic & the Most Holy Rosary: A Necessary Devotion
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On the Holy Rosary given by Our Lady to St Dominic to spread throughout the entire world. How the enemies of the Church realize the power of the Rosary found in the book of a communist AA-1025. Story of Our Lady of Akita & the Jesuits that survived the atomic bombs in Japan. Pray the Rosary!!!
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Thursday, June 11, 2015
Feast of St. Barnabas
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Greater Double (1955 Calendar): June 11

Today the Church recalls and celebrates the life of St. Barnabas, one of the 72 disciples called by Jesus. After Pentecost and the founding of the Church by the Holy Ghost, the apostle Barnabas was sent to Antioch and there he invited Paul, the former persecutor of God's elect, to be his co-worker.

Inspired by the Holy Ghost, the clergy of Antioch dedicated Barnabas and Paul to the work of converting the Gentiles. Both St. Paul & St. Barnabas labored for many years on Cyprus for the Faith.  And many years later, St. Barnabas followed the same fate as nearly all of the other apostles when he willingly suffered martyrdom. 

Taken from today's Lesson at Mass:
LESSON Acts 11:21-26; 13:1-3

In those days, a great number who believed turned to the Lord. The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians. Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

Prayer:

O God, we are made happy by the merits and intercession of Your blessed apostle Barnabas. May the prayers we offer through him bring us the gift of Your grace. Through our Lord . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
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Wednesday, June 10, 2015
St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland
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SemiDouble (1955 Calendar): June 10

Holy Mother Church again places before us the saintly example of a member of the nobility who sought to follow closely the example of Christ and of His Blessed Mother.  Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland.  May we recall her intercession at this time more than others as the United Kingdom falls further from the grace of God and back into the abyss of paganism.  St. Margaret, pray for us!

The following is taken from the great work of Dom Guaranger in his massive collection on "The Liturgical Year":

SCOTLAND had long been Christian when Margaret was given to her to establish, amidst a population so diversified, and so often at mutual enmity as was hers, that unity which makes a nation.

Ancient Caledonia, defended by her lakes, mountains, and rivers, had, up to the fall of the Roman empire, kept her independence. But, whilst herself inaccessible to invading troops, she had become the refuge of the vanquished of every race and the proscribed of every epoch.

Many an advancing wave, that had paused at the feet of her granite frontiers, had swept pitilessly over the southern provinces of the great British island. Britons, Saxons, and Danes in turn, dispossessed and driven from their homes, fleeing northwards, had  successively crept in, and settling down as best they might, had maintained their own customs in juxtaposition with those of the first inhabitants, adding consequently their own mutual jealousies to the inveterate divisions of the Picts and Scots.

But from the very evil itself the remedy was to corne. God, in order to show that he is master of revolutions just as he is of the surging waves, was about to confide the execution of his merciful designs upon Scotland to such casual instruments as a storm or a political overthrow may sometimes prove to be. At the opening of the eleventh century, Danish invasion had driven from the English shore the sons of the Saxon king, Edmund Ironside. The crowned apostle of Hungary, St Stephen I, generously received the fugitives at his court, welcoming in these helpless children the great-nephews of a saint, namely Edward the Martyr

To the eldest he gave his own daughter in marriage, and the second he affianced, to the niece of St Henry, emperor of Germany. Of this last mentioned union were born three children, Edgar, surnamed Atheling, Christina, afterwards a nun, and Margaret, whose feast the Church is keeping to-day. By the turning tide of fortune, the exiles once more returned to their country, and Edgar was brought to the very steps of the English throne. For in the meantime, the sceptre had passed from the Danish princes back again to the Saxon line, in the person of their uncle, St Edward the Confessor, and by very birthright seemed destined to pass ultimately to Edgar Atheling.

But almost immediately after their return from exile, the death of St Edward and the Norman conquest again banished the royal Saxon family. The ship bearing these noble fugitives, bound for the continent, was driven in an opposite direction by a hurricane, and stranded on the Scottish shore. Edgar Atheling, in spite of the efforts of the Saxon party, was never to raise up the fallen throne of his sires; but his sister, the saint of this day, made conquest of the land whither the storm, God's instrument, had carried her.

Having become the wife of Malcolm III, her gentle influence softened the fierce instincts of the son of Duncan, and triumphed over the barbarism still so dominant in those parts of the country as to separate them utterly from the rest of the known world. The fierce highlander and haughty lowlander, reconciled at last, now followed their gentle queen along hitherto unknown paths, thrown open by her to the light of the Gospel. The strong now bent down to meet the weak or the poor; and all alike, casting aside the rigidity of their hardy race, let themselves be captured by the alluring charms of Christian charity. Holy penitence resumed its rights over the gross instincts of mere nature. The frequentation of the Sacraments, once more brought into esteem, produced seasonable fruits. Everywhere, whether in Church or in State, abuses vanished.

The whole kingdom became one family, whereof Margaret was called the mother; for Scotland was born by her to true civilization. David I (inscribed like his mother in the catalogue of the saints) completed the work begun by her; and another child of Margaret's, alike worthy of her, Matilda of Scotland, surnamed' good Queen Maud,'was married to Henry I of England; and thus an end was put on the English soil to the persistent rivalries of victors and vanquished, by this admixture of Saxon blood with the Norman race.

Prayer:

O God, who didst make the blessed Queen Margaret wonderful for her surpassing charity to the poor, grant that by her intercession and example, Thy love may ever grow in our hearts. Through our Lord . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
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Thursday, June 4, 2015
Star of the Sea Catholic Church: Altar Boy Policy Update
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Source: Star of the Sea Parish from Regina Magazine

Earlier this year on January 31st I contacted the pastor of Star of the Sea Catholic Church in San Francisco, as they had been under liberal attacks for restoring the practice of male-only altar servers.  Yesterday I received an email response from Father that I wish to make known:

My Original Message:
Hello Father, 
I just wanted to send you a note of support to thank you for taking this tough stand.
I go to a parish in Chicago that only has male altar servers.  We've seen a large increase in vocations in the parish.  It's important to note, as you have explained, that altar boys is the long standing tradition of the Church.  It is vital for our Church's future vocations that boys be trained in altar serving.  I know that you do not need reminded of this. 
I just wanted you to know that you are very much supported by many.  And I hope that despite the pressures you may face, that you will stay true to this position. 
May Almighty God protect you and may our Blessed Mother intercede for you amidst those who wish to attack you.

Father's Response:
Dear Matthew,

Thank you for your email in support of Fr. Driscoll and me, and for your prayerful support of our dear Archbishop, Salvatore Cordileone. Since the altar girl controversy broke out in January, I have received hundreds of emails from around California, the entire country, and even several dozen from foreign countries. I cannot respond to all of them personally, so am sending this general letter to you.

Archbishop Cordileone is working hard, and suffering personally with resolute magnanimity, to bring the light of Christ’s Gospel and the beautiful teachings of our Church to his people in San Francisco. He is widely misunderstood and even attacked for it, but accepts this with graceful patience. He is a good father. We at Star of the Sea want to share in this mission, and so have accepted also a part of this suffering. Please pray for us, that we accept the wisdom and perseverance that God, through Our Lady, is offering to us. Personally, I hope that this experience will truly purify me and many others, so that we may all be holy and bring glory to God. All of Jesus, through His Holy Mother.

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Joseph Illo
The San Francisco Community of St. Philip Neri
at Star of the Sea Parish

Please join me in praying for the parish and those who suffer so much for remaining true to the Church.  May the Crucified Lord protect them, inspire them, and sustain them.
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Traditional Mass Propers: Corpus Christi
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INTROIT Ps. 80:17
He fed them with the finest wheat, alleluia! and filled them with honey from the rock, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! Ps. 80:2. Sing joyfully to God, our helper, sing aloud to the God of Jacob. V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT - O God, we possess a lasting memorial of Your Passion in this wondrous Sacrament. Grant that we may so venerate the mysteries of Your Body and Blood that we may always feel within ourselves the effects of Your redemption; who lives and rules with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.



EPISTLE
I Cor. 11:23-29
Breathren: For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, And giving thanks, broke and said: "Take ye and eat: This is my body, which shall be delivered for you. This do for the commemoration of me." In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: "This chalice is the new testament in my blood. This do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me. For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come." Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself.

GRADUAL
The eyes of all look hopefully to You, O Lord, and You give them food in due season. V. You open Your hand and fill every living creature with blessing.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. John 6:56-57 My flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, abides in me and I in him, alleluia!

GOSPEL
John 6:56-59

At that time, Jesus said to the crowds of the Jews: "For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me: and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead. He that eateth this bread shall live for ever."



OFFERTORY
Lev. 21:6
The priests of the Lord offer incense and loaves to God; therefore they shall be sacred to their God and shall not profane His name, alleluia!

SECRET  O Lord, graciously bestow upon Your Church the gifts of unity and peace, which are symbolized in this Sacrifice we offer You. Through our Lord . . .

COMMUNION
I Cor. 11:26-27
As often as you shall eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord, until He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily, will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, alleluia!



POST COMMUNION -  O Lord, grant that we may enjoy the eternal presence of Your divinity, which is foreshadowed by our earthly reception of Your Precious Body and Blood; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945

Note: For more information on the Theology of Corpus Christ, please click here.  And for information on this day's processions, please click hereAnd click here to see videos of processions.
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Sunday, May 31, 2015
My New Life as a Third Order Dominican
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As of May 29th, I am now a member of the Third Order of Penance of St. Dominic, which is better known, as a 3rd Order Dominican.  The Order to which I am now a postulant is affiliated with the Dominican Friars of Steffeshausen, a newer community of traditional Dominicans.  As a Traditional Third Order Dominican, I will be following the Rule that was in place as of 1923, the last Rule for Dominican tertiaries before the Second Vatican Council.

I will begin my studying with the text of Fr. Joret entitled "Our Dominican Life." In order to spread the spirit of the Order, I have a copy of this book in PDF and I'd be happy to send it out via email to all who are interested.  Just email me to request it.

For those interested, the Rule itself can be found here:Dominican Third Order (Traditional) Rule of 1923

In summary, the observances of the Rule include:

I am far from perfect and pray that this Rule help me in my quest for spiritual perfection.  Please pray for me to grow in grace and seek the salvation of souls. St. Dominic, pray for me!
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Traditional Mass Propers: FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: Trinity Sunday
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INTROIT Tobit 12:6
Blessed be the Holy Trinity and undivided Unity. We will give glory to Him, because He has shown mercy to us. Ps. 8:2. O Lord, our Lord, how glorious is Your name over all the earth! V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT - TRINITY SUNDAY - Almighty and ever-living God, to You we owe the grace of our true faith, which enables us to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity and to adore the blessed Unity through the power of Your majesty. Grant that by holding fast to that faith we may always be guarded against all afflictions. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST - O God, the strength of all who place their trust in You, graciously hear our prayers. Because of our weak human nature, we can do nothing without You. Help us by Your grace that we may fulfill Your commands and please You in will and action. Through our Lord . . .




EPISTLE
Rom. 11:33-36
O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and recompense shall be made him? For of him, and by him, and in him, are all things: to him be glory for ever. Amen.

GRADUAL
Blessed are You, O Lord, who behold the depths and are enthroned upon the Cherubim. V. Blessed are You, O Lord, in the firmament of heaven, and worthy of praise forever.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Dan. 3:52 Blessed are You, O Lord the God of our fathers, and worthy of praise forever. Alleluia!

GOSPEL
Matt. 28:18-20

At that time, Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: "All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world."


OFFERTORY
Tob. 12:6
Blessed be God the Father, and the only-begotten Son of God, and the Holy Spirit, because He has shown mercy to us.

SECRET  Bless this Sacrificial Offering as we call upon Your holy name, O Lord our God, and through it let us too become an eternal offering to You. Through our Lord . . .

SECRET - Commemoration of the FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST  Graciously accept the offerings we dedicate to You, O Lord, and let them win for us Your unending assistance. Through our Lord . . .

COMMUNION
Tob. 12:6
We bless the God of heaven, and we will praise him before all men, because He has shown mercy to us..

POST COMMUNION -  O Lord, our God, let us be made strong in body and soul by the reception of this Sacrament and by acknowledging the Holy, Eternal Trinity and its undivided Unity. Through our Lord . . .

POST COMMUNION  - Commemoration of the FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
We have received Your exceedingly great Gifts in all their fullness, O Lord. Grant that we may use these graces for our salvation and never cease to sing Your praises. Through our Lord . . .

Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945

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Thursday, May 28, 2015
Prayers for the Salvation of All Men
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PRAYERS FOR THE SALVATION OF ALL MEN

O Lord Jesus Christ, Lover and Saviour of souls, Who didst choose to die for all men and whose Sacred Heart yearns that no soul may perish, but that all may come to the knowledge of Thy truth, grant, I beseech Thee, the salvation of all mankind. Have pity on all Catholics, that they may be true to Thy Faith, steadfast in its practice, faithful to their duties, holy in their lives and happy in their deaths.

Have mercy on all those disinherited children of God who find themselves in the Christian denominations which are separated from Thy One True Church. Grant them the light to see and the strength to embrace the fullness of Thy truth. Encourage them to read and study, and help me to find the means of giving to many of them good Catholic books and of bringing them to instructions. Have mercy, O my God, on the great sad multitude of our fellow countrymen, who wander like lost sheep, far from true Christian teaching. Multiply the number of Thy priests, stir up the zeal of Thy laity, so that all Thy wandering children may be brought to the knowledge and the love of Thy full truth. Amen.

A PRAYER FOR PAGAN PEOPLES

O Lord, have mercy also on the pagan nations of the world, the sad thousands of millions who walk in the darkness of the shadow of the valley of death. Have pity on abandoned sinners, on the malicious, on outcasts, on the fallen and on the depraved. Have mercy on the dying and especially on those who have none to pray for them. With all the fervor of Thy Sacred Heart, my Jesus, pray and beseech Thy Heavenly Father for the conversion of all sinners, and for the perseverance in Thy grace of all the just. Amen.

A PRAYER FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE MISSIONARY SPIRIT

O most merciful Jesus, Shepherd of souls, behold the great multitude of the heathen, redeemed and purchased by Thy Sacred Blood and Thy horrible agony, still wandering far off from Thy holy Fold and ignorant of the very existence of their Redeemer. O Jesus, the abundant treasure of Thy Blood has purchased a million times over those souls so dear to Thy Sacred Heart. Stir up in all Thy faithful a burning zeal for missionary endeavor, a great generosity toward missionary works, and an immense desire to convert the whole world and bring all men to the knowledge of Thy truth. Amen.

IMPRIMATUR; + Albert G. Meyer. Archb. of Milwaukee. Nov. 7. 1956
TAN Books and Publishers. Inc.. P.O. Bo. 424, Rockford. IIlinois 61105

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Whit Embertide Reminder: Fast & Abstain
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During the Octave of Pentecost, the Church traditionally celebrates the Summer Ember Days. Today is Ember Wednesday. This Friday and Saturday will also be Ember Days. As per the traditional discipline of the Church, Ember Days are days of Fast and Partial Abstinence. (Friday of course being a day of complete abstinence). If you wish to read more about the Ember Days, please see my post from last year.

This week serves as an excellent opportunity for all of us to fulfill Heaven's request at Lourdes and Fatima of "Penance, Penance, Penance." (We can also read about the importance of Penance from the very teaching of our Lord and King in the Gospels, for example see Lk 13:3,5 and Mt 4:17, 11:20-21; Mt 12:41)
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015
CORDAID Funds Planned Parenthood and Dispenses Contraception
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CORDAID, which stands for "Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid," is a co-founder and current affiliate of Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican-run umbrella organization that oversees Catholic charity, aid, and development organizations (like Catholic Relief Services) all over the world.

Caritas constitutes part of the governing body for the international Marxist organization known as the World Social Forum, which is avidly pro-abortion and pro-homosexual. CORDAID is the local Caritas affiliate for the Netherlands.

CORDAID promotes abortion, funds Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International, and dispenses contraception of every kind, including abortifacient contraception. CORDAID goes out of its way to make condoms and contraception readily available to the youth at little or no cost. CORDAID indirectly is part of the Vatican's network of charity relief organizations, but CORDAID is passionately anti-Catholic and pro-death.

Source
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Saturday, May 23, 2015
Traditional Latin Mass Propers: Vigil of Pentecost
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Today is the Vigil of Pentecost (Saturday after the 6th Sunday after Easter). 

As I posted previously in my post entitled "Vigil of Pentecost: Fast and Abstinence":
Today's preparation should not be underestimated.  Catholics should fast and partially abstain from meat today (as per 1962 rubrics) in order to better conform themselves to celebrate this High Holy Day of Pentecost.
 As the missal's opening section states before the Propers:
The feast of Whitsun [another name for Pentecost] is as ancient as that of Easter, and First Vespers on the Saturday following begins the liturgical season called Season after Pentecost.  The Ascension of God's Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, to Heaven did not leave us abandoned and helpless. By the Divine Will, the Third Person of the Trinity is to be the soul and guiding light of Christ's Mystical Body.


INTROIT Ezech. 36:23-24, 25-26

When I shall be sanctified in you, I will gather you together out of all the countries; and I will pour upon you clean water and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness, and I will give you a new spirit, alleluia, alleluia! Ps. 33:2. I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall ever be in my mouth. V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT
Let the brightness of Your glory shine upon us, Almighty God, so that the Holy Spirit, light of Your light, may strengthen the hearts of those who are reborn in Your grace. Through Our Lord . . .

EPISTLE 
Acts 19:1-8

Now it was while Apollo was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper coasts, came to Ephesus and found certain disciples. And he said to them: "Have you received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" But they said to him: "We have not so much as heard whether there be a Holy Ghost." And he said: "In what then were you baptized?" Who said: "In John's baptism." Then Paul said: "John baptized the people with the baptism of penance saying: That they should believe in him, who was to come after him, that is to say, in Jesus." Having heard these things, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had imposed his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came upon them: and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve. And entering into the synagogue, he spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and exhorting concerning the kingdom of God.

Alleluia! V. Ps. 106:1. Praise the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.
TRACT Ps. 116:1-2
Praise the Lord, all you nations; praise Him in unison, all you peoples!
V. For His mercy is steadfast towards us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever.



GOSPEL  
John 14:15-21

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father: and He shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever: The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, nor knoweth Him. But you shall know Him; because He shall abide with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you orphans: I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world seeth Me no more. But you see Me: because I live, and you shall live. In that day you shall know that I am in my Father: and you in Me, and I in you. He that hath My commandments and keepeth them; he it is that loveth Me. And he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father: and I will love him and will manifest myself to him."

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON  
Ps. 103:30-31
Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created, and You shall renew the face of the earth. May the glory of the Lord endure forever, alleluia!

SECRET
Bless our offering, O Lord, and cleanse our hearts by the light of the Holy Spirit. Through Our Lord . . .

COMMUNION ANTIPHON  
John 7:37-39
On the last day of the feast, Jesus said, "He who believes in Me, from within him there shall flow rivers of living water." He said this of the Spirit, whom they who believed in Him were to receive, alleluia, alleluia!

POSTCOMMUNION
May the coming of the Holy Spirit cleanse our hearts, and, as a heavenly dew, water them to bring forth good fruit. Through Our Lord . . .
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Traditional Latin Mass Propers: Ascension of the Lord
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I think it is important to recall these prayers throughout all of the traditional Octave of the Ascension.  As I posted about previously, the Ascension was observed as an Octave up until 1954.  These prayers would have been said on both the Ascension of the Lord as well as on the Octave Day of the Ascension.

Click here for more information on Ascensiontide, including the history of the Octaves up until 1954.

DOUBLE OF THE FIRST CLASS / WHITE

INTROIT Acts 1:11

Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to heaven? Alleluia! He shall come in the same way as you have seen him going up to heaven, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! Ps. 46:2. O, clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with the voice of exultation. V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT
O Almighty God, we firmly believe that Your only-begotten Son, our Redeemer, ascended this day into heaven. May our minds dwell always on this heavenly home. Through Our Lord . . .

EPISTLE 
Acts 1:1-11

In the former treatise I made, O Theophilus, of all things which Jesus began to do and to teach, Until the day on which, giving commandments by the Holy Ghost to the apostles whom he had chosen, he was taken up. To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion, by many proofs, for forty days appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And eating together with them, he commanded them, that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father, "which you have heard"(saith he) "by my mouth. For John indeed baptized with water: but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence."
They therefore who were come together, asked him, saying: "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel?" But he said to them: "It is not for you to know the time or moments, which the Father hath put in his own power: But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth." And when he had said these things, while they looked on, he was raised up: and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they were beholding him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments. Who also said: "Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come as you have seen him going into heaven."

Alleluia, alleluia!  Ps. 46:6
God ascends His throne amid shouts of joy, the Lord is taken up with the sound of trumpets. Alleluia!
V. Ps. 67:18-19. The Lord is in Sinai, in the holy place; ascending on high, He has led captivity captive. Alleluia!

GOSPEL  
Mark 16:14-20

At that time, Jesus appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen him after he was risen again. And he said to them: "Go ye into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall he condemned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils. They shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents: and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. They shall lay their hand upon the sick: and they shall recover."
And the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God. But they going forth preached every where: the Lord working withal, and confirming the word with signs that followed.

After the Gospel is read, the Pascal Candle is extinguished.

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON  
Ps. 46:6
God ascends His throne amid shouts of joy, the Lord is taken up with the sound of trumpets, alleluia!

SECRET
Accept, O Lord, the gifts we offer to celebrate the glorious ascension of Your Son. May Your mercy free us from our present dangers and lead us to eternal life. Through Our Lord . . .

COMMUNION ANTIPHON  
Ps. 67:33-34
Sing to the Lord, who ascends above the heaven of heavens to the East, alleluia!

POSTCOMMUNION
Almighty and merciful God, grant that this Sacrament, which we have received in this visible sacred Rite, may bring us Your invisible help. Through Our Lord . . .
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Saturday, May 16, 2015
Collectible Catholic Books for Sale
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I'm offering the following titles for sale.  Each of these collectible Catholic books is only $25.  Free shipping included on all orders! All titles are hardcovers in  good or better condition.  Please contact me if you are interested in any of them:

"From the Other Side: A Look into the Catholic Church," Betty Jean Jeffries, 129 pp., 1954, Bruce publ.

"The Apostles' Creed," Rev. Clement Crock, 279 pp., 1938

"The Wisdom of the Popes," Thomas Craughwell, ed., 228 pp., 2000 (statements from popes over the centuries)

"Philosophy of Nature," Francis Collingwood, 298 pp., 1961

"The Simple Steps to God," Fr. Francois OCD, 153 pp., 1963

"The Church's Amazing Story," by Daughters of St. Paul, 288 pp., 1969-80

"A Layman's Way to Perfection," Robert Eiten, SJ, 120 pp., 1952

"The Ecumenical Councils," Rev. Francis Dvornik, 111 pp., 1961 (brief history of all the councils)

"The Catholicity of the Church," Fr. Avery Dulles, SJ, 180 pp., 1985

"Christian Maturity," John Donohue, SJ, 214 pp., 1955, Kenedy publ.
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Anniversary of the Apparition of our Lady of Fatima
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On this anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, Fr Dominic reminds us that the Fatima Message is Heaven's Plan to bring the world back to God. Let us hear and observe Our Lady's message to stay away, hate, and fight sin; mortify ourselves and do penance, and lead lives of prayer and devotion, especially praying the Holy Rosary at least once a day.

This is especially important concerning the recent death of Fr. Gruner, the Apostle of Fatima.  If you never read his book "Crucial Truths to Save Your Soul" then you must.  It is a short, inexpensive book that I am highly recommending.

On this Vigil of the Ascension, this Rogation Day, and this anniversary of this apparition, let us pray for Fr. Gruner's soul and for all peoples to convert, do penance, and appease the wrath of God.  Let us say with true and heartfelt devotion:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.
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Monday, May 11, 2015
Observe the Lesser Rogation Days
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Last month we observed on April 25th the annual Major Rogation Day. I have previously posted on the Rogation Days & Ember Days as they occur throughout the year.

We are now beginning the Minor (Lesser) Rogation Days that lead up to Ascension Thursday.  Like the Major Rogation, these are day to perform penance, fast, pray litanies, and petition our Almighty God to spare us from natural disaster, to bless our crops, and to save us from our sins.  These were previously days of fasting before changes to the Roman Liturgy that took place even before Vatican II.

I also previously mentioned a wonderful booklet produced by Fr Christopher Smith, a priest of the Diocese of Charleston.  This guide on the Ember & Rogation Day is a great ready for today. It can be downloaded from dropbox.

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Friday, May 8, 2015
The 2 Feast Days in Honor of St. Michael
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Greater Double (1955 Calendar): May 8th

Today is the Feast of the Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel.

Traditionally in the Liturgy of the Church, there were two feasts in honor of St. Michael.  Those familiar with the Litany of Saints will also recall that his name is mentioned by name in the Litany.  And those who attend the Traditional Latin Mass will be familiar with several references to St. Michael in the course of the Liturgy.

St. Michael is regarded as the special Guardian Angel of Saint Joseph and the Guardian Angel of each one of the Popes and one of the seven great angels who stand before the throne of God.  In the 6th century, the angelic St. Michael appeared in southern Italy on a mountain named Gargano.  In this apparition St. Michael asked that the cave in which he appeared would become a shrine to the True God in order to make amends for the pagan worship that once occurred there.  The Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo sul Gargano still remains to this day.

St. Michael later appeared with a flaming sword atop the mountain during a storm on the eve of battle for the Lombards.  The Lombards attributed their victory in battle on that day, May 8, 663, to St. Michael.   And the Church then established a Feast in honor of the Apparition of St. Michael on May 8th.  That Feast is still kept in the Roman Catholic Calendar of 1962 used in the Tridentine Latin Mass.

On September 29th the Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael occurs on which we, for the second time in the year, honor the Glorious St. Michael. 

Let us read from the Roman Martryology for September 29th which explains the reason why his Feast is kept on this date:
On Mount Gargano, the commemoration of the blessed archangel Michael. This festival is kept in memory of the day when, under his invocation, there was consecrated a church, unpretending in its exterior, but endowed with celestial virtue.
The blog Carmelite spirituality and the practice of mental prayer further explains:
The first apparitions of the archangel Michael in Western Europe were granted to the Bishop of Sipontum in Apulia. Three times the Archangel appeared, nightly, the last time on September 29, 493. The Archangel indicated the transformation into a Christian church of a grotto sacred to Mithras, on Monte Tumba. Miraculously, when the bishop and companions arrived, they found that a primitive altar had already been erected, covered with a vermilion altar cloth and surmounted by a Cross; moreover, according to the legend, they found the footprint of Saint Michael in the rock. With immense joy the holy bishop offered the first divine Sacrifice. It was 29 September.
The Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel is the September 29th Feast often just called: The Feast of St. Michael the Archangel. 
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Saturday, May 2, 2015
Are Priests Allowed to Wear Blue Vestments?
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Answer: Yes but only in rare situations. 

The blue chasuble may only be worn by Spain and its dominions beyond the sea. It was a privilege originally given by Pope Pius VII to the Hispanic Church in 1817, later reaffirmed by Pope Pius IX in 1864, in recognition for the centuries-old Hispanic defense of Mary's Immaculate Conception.

No other nation is authorized to use it, and doing so constitutes a grave abuse. The exception is a rare dispense that was given temporarily to Marian shrines on special occasions.
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Friday, May 1, 2015
Monks of Norcia Launch CD: Benedicta
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Theirs have always been hours of study, industry, prayer, service - and song. Monastic chant echoed off the walls of the Monastero di San Benedetto di Norcia for more than 800 years before Napoleonic laws suppressed this branch of the Benedictine order in 1810, causing a break in the continuity of music in Norcia for nearly 200 years. But when a Benedictine Community founded in 1998 by Father Cassian Folsom sought a monastery, the town of Norcia welcomed the monks back to the birthplace of St. Benedict, and the music began again.  

This is the story of The Monks of Norcia. Their alluring chant has been masterfully captured by 11x Grammy Award winning producer Christopher Alder. De Montfort Music has teamed with Universal Music Classics and Decca Records to bring this transcendent debut to you directly from within the monastery walls of Norcia.

Benedicta consists of songs dedicated to the life of Mary, Our Lady, including previously unrecorded chant versions of responsories and an original piece composed by the monks,      "Nos Qui Christi Iugum".

Benedicta will be available on  June 2nd, 2015.

Order now on Amazon.com by clicking here.


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Tuesday, April 28, 2015
A Relic of St. Jude the Apostle Preserved in Chicago, IL
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While often unknown even by local Catholics, the Shrine of St. Jude, a Dominican run Shrine, in Chicago, Illinois houses one of the few relics of an apostle in America.  The Shrine of St. Jude is housed physically inside of St. Pius V Catholic Church at 1919 S Ashland Avenue (and not in the Dominican House which is at 1909 S Ashland), Chicago, Illinois.  Inside of this Church, you will find a relic of the forearm of St. Jude the Apostle.  St. Jude is the author of a short Epistle in the New Testament.

While the sanctuary in this Church has been virutally destroyed in the aftermath of Vatican II, there are a number of small and beautiful shrines inside of St. Pius V Catholic Church.  There is one in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one to the Infant Christ (which I have photographed below) and the one to St. Jude the Apostle.

If you are near Chicago or pass by, spend some time - even just 10 minutes - in prayer before this powerful relic of the holy Apostle St. Jude.  The Church offers a small but gated parking lot across the street.  And for those in the area, there are buses, Divy bikes, and other forms of public transportation that run right by the Shrine.

St. Jude, pray for us who have recourse to thee!






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Donate Your Old Rosary to the African Missions
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#RosariesforAfrica is a movement that I am starting to bring awareness to the Rosary Project for Africa.  This project, mentioned in the America Needs Fatima publication in 2015, is looking for Rosaries for the African Missions.  Take part in a global effort to catechize the souls in Africa who do not know Christ.  Let us entrust their conversion to the Faith to Our Lady of the Rosary.

For information on how to donate your #RosariesforAfrica please read the following article:

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Feast of St. Paul of the Cross
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"When you feel the assaults of passion and anger, then is the time to be silent as Jesus was silent in the midst of His ignominies and sufferings" (St. Paul of the Cross)

Double (1955 Calendar): April 28

St. Paul of the Cross is the renowned Founder of the Passionists.  Born in 1694 to a merchant in Italy, Paul spent his youth in the spirit of Christian piety.  While still a layman, he received a vision and founded the Congregation of Discalced Clerks of the Most Holy Cross and Passion (Passionists) in 1721 to preach about Jesus Crucified.  Their mission: Preach Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.  He was ordained a priest in 1727 by Pope Benedict XIII.

St. Paul is remembered for preaching with such power that hardened sinners and murderous robbers wept at his preaching.  At one point in his life, in a true example for us to perserve in our good works, all of his brothers in the order abandoned him.  Yet, by the will of God, his rule was approved by Pope Benedict XIV in 1741 and the order began to grow anew.

St. Paul died on October 18, 1775, at a time when his order had over 180 fathers and brothers.  Before his death, he had also founded a monastery of contemplative sisters in Corneto.

Prayer:

O Lord Jesus Christ, You endowed blessed Paul with a special love to preach the mystery of Your cross and raised up a new community in the Church through him. May his intercession make us always mindful of Your passion so that we may share in its reward in heaven; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

"Christ Triumphed Over the Devil on the Cross"
(St. Paul of the Cross)

"It is an excellent and holy practice to call to mind and meditate on our Lord's Passion, since it is by this path that we shall arrive at union with God. In this, the holiest of all schools, true wisdom is learned, for it was there that all the saints became wise." Taken from a letter written by St. Paul of the Cross
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Sunday, April 26, 2015
The Primary 2 Moral Errors of Our Time by Pope Benedict XV
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 Now there are two passions today dominant in the profound lawlessness of morals - an unlimited desire of riches and an insatiable thirst for pleasures. It is this which marks with a shameful stigma our epoch; whilst it goes ceaselessly from progress to progress in the order of all which touches the well-being and convenience of life, it seems that in the superior order of honesty and of moral rectitude a lamentable retrogression leads it back to the ignominies of ancient paganism. In that measure, in truth, wherein men lose sight of eternal goods which Heaven reserved for them, they permit themselves to be more taken in by the deceitful mirage of the ephemeral goods here below, and once their souls are turned down towards the earth, an easy descent leads them insensibly to relax themselves in virtue, to experience repugnance for spiritual things, and to relish nothing outside the seductions of pleasure. Hence the general situation which we note: with some the desire to acquire riches or to increase their patrimony knows no bounds; others no longer know, as formerly, how to bear the trials which are the usual result of want or poverty; and at the very hour in which the rivalries We have pointed out set by the ears the rich and the proletariat a great number seem to wish to further excite the hatred of the poor by an unbridled luxury which accompanies the most revolting corruption.


19. From this point of view one cannot sufficiently deplore the blindness of so many women of every age and condition; made foolish by desire to please, they do not see to what a degree the in decency of their clothing shocks every honest man, and offends God. Most of them would formerly have blushed for those toilettes as for a grave fault against Christian modesty; now it does not suffice for them to exhibit them on the public thoroughfares; they do not fear to cross the threshold of the churches, to assist at the Holy sacrifice of the Mass, and even to bear the seducing food of shameful passions to the Eucharistic Table where one receives the heavenly Author of purity. And We speak not of those exotic and barbarous dances recently imported into fashionable circles, one more shocking than the other; one cannot imagine anything more suitable for banishing all the remains of modesty.

Taken from Sacra Propediem of Pope Benedict XV on Januar y6, 1921, the Feast of the Epiphany.
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Mourning Drapes Over Catholic Churches
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With the death of Francis Cardinal George last week, some of the more traditional Catholic Churches in the Archdiocese put the customary purple mourning drapes over the front doors.  A few nice examples of this tradition are shared here:



Shrine of Christ the King


St. John Cantius Catholic Church
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Thursday, April 23, 2015
Spend This Saturday Praying Outside for the Major Rogation
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This Saturday, April 25th, is the Major Rogation

Traditionally, fasting and penance were required on this day, and the faithful would especially pray Litanies on this day.

Rogation Days are the four days set apart to bless the fields, and invoke God's mercy on all of creation. The 4 days are April 25, which is called the Major Rogation (and is only coincidentally the same day as the Feast of St. Mark); and the three days preceding Ascension Thursday, which are called the Minor Rogations. Traditionally, on these days, the congregation marches the boundaries of the parish, blessing every tree and stone, while chanting or reciting a Litany of Mercy, usually a Litany of the Saints.

Spend the day outside on Saturday.  Pray for a good harvest.  Sprinkle the fields and grasses with holy water.  Let us call down God's blessings on our land in an era when even the mainstream Catholic Church has all but forgotten and neglected the Rogation Days.

See here for a Rogation Day Prayer.  

Fr Christopher Smith, a priest of the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina has put together a truly beautiful and excellent illustrated guide explaining both the Rogations and Ember Days, with a number of very useful quotes from various liturgical sources. It can be downloaded from dropbox.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2015
SSPX Re-Dedicates St. James Church in Pittsburgh
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The following is taken from the website of DICI.  “On Saturday, March 28, 2015, the Society of St. Pius X triumphantly re-dedicated the church of St. James in Pittsburgh, PA, Fr. Niklaus Pfluger, the First Assistant of the SSPX, was on hand to lead the solemn ceremonies.”  Some of the photos are as follows:



To help this apostolate of the Society, please consider sending in a donation of any size:

St. James Catholic Church
326 South Main Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15220
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Monday, April 20, 2015
Who Are the "Sheep Not of This Fold"?
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In the Gospels, Jesus spoke of "sheep not of this fold."  In our times there has been a pernicious error arise that Jesus was speaking of the Mormons with this line.  As a result of this error, it's essential that we understand what Jesus was saying when He spoke of "sheep not of this fold."

As the Scriptures state:
I am the good shepherd; and I know mine, and mine know me. As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father: and I lay down my life for my sheep. And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd. Therefore doth the Father love me: because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No man taketh it away from me: but I lay it down of myself, and I have power to lay it down: and I have power to take it up again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:14-18)
Before we can understand any passage of Scripture we have to put it in context.  To start, who was Jesus speaking to?  He certainly was speaking to the Jews.  In particular, He was speaking to the Pharisees when He spoke of Himself as the Good Shepherd.  And at this time the Jews did not understand or even fathom that salvation was possible for non-Jews. These non-Jews, the Gentiles, would be saved by Christ's Sacrifice on the Cross.  And in this way, the Good Shepherd would draw all men to Himself - the Jews (those of the fold) and the Gentiles (the sheep not of this fold).  And together they would form one sheepfold with Christ as the One Shepherd.

Unfortunately, the Mormons have twisted Scripture around and sought to apply words spoken by Jesus thousands of years before their founding to them.  The Mormons emphasize that Jesus was calling them to be of a different sheepfold.  But this is also wrong.  The emphasis of Jesus in the passage is not that there are different groups of followers of His; rather, the Lord was making clear that He would bring all peoples together into one sheepfold.  It is only in that one sheepfold (the Church) that we can all come together and truly follow the Lord.


The Staff of Catholic Answers explains:
Most Catholic biblical scholars, following the teaching of the early Church Fathers, agree that the "other sheep" are the Gentiles, to whom the gospel was sent after the Jews rejected Christ (Rom 11:11-12). 
During his public ministry Jesus confined his proclamation of the gospel to the Jews (Mt 10:5-6, 15:24), and initially this remained the focus of the apostles' preaching, although Jesus had foretold that the gospel would eventually be carried to "all nations" (Mt 28:19, Acts 1:8). This opening up of God's blessing even to Gentiles was foretold in the Old Testament (Ps 2:7; Is 2:2-6). 
Paul explained this to Gentile Christians: 
"Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called the uncircumcision by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands--remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ." (Eph 2:11-13; cf. Rom 3:22; Gal 3:27-28)
Another member of Catholic Answers further states:
In reality, the "other sheep" Jesus mentions are the righteous Gentiles, who did not belong to the "fold" of God’s chosen people, Israel, but who would respond to the gospel when preached to them. While Christ’s earthly ministry served the Jewish people almost exclusively, his great commission to the apostles before his ascension sent them into all the world to preach, baptize and thus unite his believers in one fold (Mt 27:19). Because "he that heareth you heareth me" (Lk 10:16), to hear the gospel from the lips of his disciples is to hear Jesus himself 
The understanding of the "other sheep" as the Gentiles who would come to believe in Christ is the natural understanding of the passage. Mormons sometimes ask Christians, "If the ‘other sheep’ weren’t in the New World then who were they?" 
A Christian often will be perplexed at the fact the question was asked at all and respond, "Well, they’re the Gentile Christians, of course. How could anyone think the text suggests otherwise?" The New Testament has a running theme of how salvation comes from the Jews to the Gentiles. It appears across multiple books, in all of the gospels and most of the epistles. Jesus’ statement about gathering other sheep in the future is simply one more instance of the gospels dealing with this theme. 
The fact that Mormons often do not spot the obvious, face-value interpretation of the text reveals how little Mormons have been exposed to the historic understanding of the passage and how little they have been encouraged to think through its rationale. They have not tried to understand the New Testament as a whole, integrating and understanding its individual passages with other passages and with the general historical backdrop. Instead, they have had the interpretations of certain alleged proof texts force-fed to them in a way that keeps them from knowing of the existence of other, more plausible interpretations.

Above all, the sheep "not of this fold" are the Gentiles.  Together with the original Jews who accepted Christ, the Church was to include all men.  This false teaching of the Mormons has distorted the understanding of Christ's beautiful role as the Good Shepherd.  Like other cults (Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Scientists), the writings of the Mormons are to be burned and condemned.  And like these groups, the Mormons do not accept the Trinity and therefore are not Christians at all; rather, they are a pernicious form of paganism.
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Saturday, April 18, 2015
St. Ignatius on Sin
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"To have prevented one single sin is reward enough for the labors and efforts of a whole lifetime." St. Ignatius
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