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Thursday, September 20, 2018
Check the Fidelity (or lack thereof) for Your Bishop

A very timely website has come out through the leadership of LifeSiteNews.  The following is from an August 31st article by the organization:
LifeSiteNews launched a new website today dedicated to providing U.S. Catholics with evidence of whether their bishop is faithful or unfaithful to perennial Church teaching.
Faithful Shepherds helps hold American bishops accountable by providing years, sometimes decades, of past tweets, public speeches, sermons, actions, pastoral letters, and diocesan guidelines. 
Faithful Shepherds currently gives evidence of where U.S. bishops stand on ten issues: Archbishop Vigano's testimony, Amoris Laetitia, pro-life leadership, homosexuality, abortion politics, contraception, “LGBT” ideology, liturgy, marriage and family life, and education. More will be added as new evidence is gathered. 
For each of the nine issues, bishops are given one of four rankings: 
1. Faithful to Church teaching
2. Not faithful to Church teaching
3. Unclear whether they are faithful to Church teaching
4. Not enough evidence has been collected for this bishop on this issue 
LifeSiteNews co-founder John-Henry Westen commented that Faithful Shepherds is “extremely important for the life of the Church in the 21st century.”

Check it out here: Faithful Shepherds
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Our Lady of La Salette (Reconciliatrix of Sinners)

Today in the Traditional Missal under Mass "In Some Places and Congregations" is the important feast of Our Lady of La Salette.  These are incredibly important words spoken by the Blessed Virgin Mary in her apparition to Melanie and Maximin and we need to hear these words in our current age of apostasy.


LORD JESUS CHRIST, Who by Thy precious blood hast reconciled the world to God the Father, and hast deigned to make Thy Mother the Reconciliatrix of sinners, grant, we beseech Thee, that by the pious intercession of the same most blessed Virgin Mary we might attain forgiveness for our sins, Thou Who livest and reignest as God with the same God the Father in union with the Holy Ghost. Amen.

History of the Apparition of Mary in La Sallete, France taken from and Tridentine-Mass:

Oon the 19th of September 1846, the feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows, the Virgin Mary appeared again; this time in a small village called La Salette. Near Corps, 1.800 meters above sea level and about 35 kilometers from Grenoble in France. She appeared in La Salette to two small children who were looking after the cattle. They were Melanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud aged 15 and 11 years who had only known each other for two days. The two children clomb the slopes of the Mont sous-les-Baisses, each urging four cows up the mountain. Melanie tells us: “I had seen from a hill that ours cows were lying down placidly chewing the cud. I went down and Maximin started to climb upwards. Suddenly I saw a beautiful light, much brighter than the sun and felt full of tremendous loving wonder and respect. In that light, I saw a very beautiful woman with her head resting in her hands. The lady stood up and said; come nearer children, do not be afraid “I am here to tell you great news.”

 The children were amazed to see that The Lady looked very sad and had tears streaming down her cheeks. She folded her arms over her breast. At first she spoke to the children in French but quickly started to speak to them in their own local dialect. Our Blessed Lady spoke over people swearing, not keeping the Sunday has a day of rest and disobeying Gods laws. Her words were very important and impressive: “If My people do not obey God, I shall be forced to let go of My Sons Hand”. This statement points to the last days of the world. Our Blessed Lady's sad expression, her tears, and words show us Her very real care for and sympathy with all people. “……. you’ll never be able to repay Me for what I have done for you.  Our Lady asked us to pray a lot to save the world. She asked us all to confess our sins, turn away from our evil ways, do penance and pray. In La Salette Mary pointed out the great blessings and mercy of the holy rosary and begged us: “be reconciled with God”. During the period of time when she was appearing to both of the children, they were each individually given a secret. Maximin received his secret first and then Our Lady told a secret to Melanie. Whilst Our Blessed Lady was talking to Maximin, Melanie saw her lips moving, but could not understand what She was saying.

Melanie says that both secrets were written down and were handed to Pope Pius 1X in 1851. Maximin never published the secret given to him, as he died before so doing. Cardinal Antonelli did give a copy of this secret to the Countess of Clermont-Tonnerre. A. Peladin in the “Annales du Surnaturel” published it in 1888.

Below you can read some of this secret:

  • three-quarters of the population of France shall lose their Faith
  • a Protestant nation in the North will repent and proclaim their Faith. Because of this other nations shall return to God in faith.
  • the Church shall grow and bloom once more:
  • after this peace will be greatly disturbed by the ‘monster’! The (great) monster shall come at the end of the 19th century or at the latest at the beginning of the 20th century. 

What about the secrets given to Melanie in La Salette? The Blessed Virgin had said to her, “Melanie, what I am going to tell you now does not have to remain a secret. You may tell it in 1858” (this is the year that Our Lady appeared in Lourdes). These secrets told to Melanie have caused a lot of unrest and disagreement. Among other things, Our Lady told of the coming attempt to murder the Pope, which would not shorten his life.

The prophetic language used by Our Blessed Mother, the painful truths She told and her announcement of Godly righteousness pending. People took these things very much to heart. Mary warned that faith would be lost on a large scale, leaving room for materialism, false teaching (Karl Marx published his communist manifest in 1848), spiritualism and many other sins. She continues: “all those who persecute the Church of Jesus Christ and all those people who have surrendered themselves to sin, will die and the earth will be like a desert. Then there shall be Peace, the reconciliation between God and man” (thus there will be people alive).

Whilst these apparitions of Our Lady took place 153 years ago, these words are extremely relevant today. The given secrets are important to the entire development of the Church and the world until the end of the period of time. She asked the children to pray morning and night and if time was a problem, to at least say an Our Father and a Hail Mary. Finally, Our Lady said; "you’ll tell this to all my people”. This She repeated again.

When Our Blessed Lady talks of Her people, She means everybody in the entire world who believes in Jesus Christ, Her Son. She spoke has The Queen of the World/ Queen of all Nations. Maximin tells us that the Lady was beautiful, great, a wonderful shining brilliant light, she wore a white cloak, a bright yellow apron, and her white shoes were decorated with roses of many colors. Roses were also clearly visible on Her crown. Around Her neck, She wore a chain on which was hanging a large cross with a hammer and pliers on the crossbar.

Maximin also describes how they saw The Lady disappear. First, she was elevated to about one and a half meter high and then She faded and vanished before our eyes. Melanie said: “She must be a great Saint if we had known that we would have asked her to take us with her”. The children were horribly victimized, with threats, teasing, bribes and very mean tricks. But despite all this, their stories remained exactly the same time and again. Finally, after a long and stringent examination of the facts, the Bishops formally recognized that Our Blessed Mother did appear to the children in La Salette. This was in 1851.

Maximin died on the first of March 1875 at just 40 years of age. Melanie lived for many years in various convents in France, England, and Italy. She died 15 December 1904 and was put to rest in Altamura (Italy). 

The Real Meaning of the Messages of La Salette: Having told us the reasons for God’s anger, all our sins, disobedience, impurities, materialism, and pride. (St Maria Goretti is an example of purity), Our Lady implores us to change our ways and turn from sin to GOD.

"This apparition in La Salette is fully approved by the Holy See: November 16th, 1851"
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Newly Revised Reparation and Apology Program: Make a Holy Hour in Reparation for Sin

Originally published in 1974 by the Apostolate for Christian Action, Phillip Bellini of the Archdiocese of New Orleans has updated this excellent program for today's Crisis in the Church. The original programs from 1974 are no longer in existence.  The program was done by Fr. Francis Larkin who was famous for promoting the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the Home.

Mr. Bellini has retyped it in Word on an 11x15 margin because it was the only way for it to fit on one card, back and front, so as to be used at Church if need be. Please print this out and use it. Please also disseminate this far and wide.  Let as many people know of this program and make a holy hour in reparation for sins.

Thursday, September 6, 2018
Who was St. Cloud?

Those who lived in Minnesota will be familiar with the city of St. Cloud, MN.  But do many of them know who St. Cloud was?  St. Cloud is an often unknown saint to most people - even to Minnesotans.

St. Cloud's feast day is September 7th.

Saint Clodoald cut his hair as a sign of renouncing his rights to the throne to devote himself to the monastic life. (At that time, long hair was the privilege of the Merovingian princes.)

"Saint Cloud is the most illustrious Saint among the princes of the royal family of the first French dynasty, the Merovingians (499-752). Born in 522, he was the son of Chlodomir, King of Orleans and eldest son of Clovis and Saint Clotilda. He was not yet three years old when his father was killed during a war. His grandmother, Saint Clotilda, brought him and his two brothers to Paris to be educated, and loved them dearly.

"Their ambitious uncles, however, desiring to divide the kingdom of Orleans between themselves, slew with their own hands the two young brothers of Cloud. He, by a special dispensation of Providence, was saved from the massacre. Later, renouncing the world, he privately consecrated himself to the service of God. After distributing to the poor what he could salvage of his heritage, he retired to a hermitage to be under the discipline of a holy recluse named Severinus, who dwelt near the gates of Paris and who clothed him with the monastic habit. His uncles left him alone, seeing his inalterable decision to live as a religious, and conceded certain heritages to him. When he became famous through an act of charity rewarded by a miracle, he withdrew secretly to Provence. There again, his hermitage was sought out by petitioners. He decided to return to Paris, where he was received with the greatest joy.

"At the earnest request of the people, he was ordained a priest in 551 by Eusebius, Bishop of Paris, and served the Church of that city for some time in the functions of the sacred ministry. Again he found himself in great honor; he, therefore, retired to Nogent, a place now known as Saint Cloud, two leagues south of Paris, where he built a monastery. There he was joined by many pious men, who fled from the world for fear of losing their souls in its midst. Saint Cloud was chosen by them to be their Superior, and he animated them to virtue both by word and example. He was also indefatigable in instructing and exhorting the faithful of the neighboring regions. He died at Nogent in 560, and the major part of his relics remain still in the parochial church of the village.

"Reflection: Let us remember, as Saint Cloud did, that he who ruleth over men must be just (II Kings 23:3), and that it is by faith that the just man lives. (Cf. Galatians 3:11)."

Source: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 10; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894)
Monday, August 27, 2018
Monthly Tridentine Mass at St. Catherine of Siena in Burlingame

Yesterday I had the privilege, for the 14th Sunday after Pentecost, to attend the 5:30 PM Latin Mass that is held monthly on the 4th Sunday (not last but 4th) of the month.  It was a wonderful experience and I only wish the Mass was better publicized.  Only around 20 people were present and yet Father gave an excellent sermon and the Mass was even a Missa Cantata with a schola that consisted of five members.

The Mass itself was a little on the long side at around 1 hour and 20 minutes but that was due to a reverent and prayerful experience.  Granted the Mass only takes place once a month so the ceremonies did lack the polish we come to expect in a Latin Mass.  For example, the servers walked too far ahead at the opening procession and had to go both after noticing Father wasn't fully vested yet, some servers were unsure where to stand, and the handouts were printed for the propers for the incorrect Sunday in the liturgical year. The music also had too many breaks - different from the soft musical interludes from the organ I have come to expect during the High Mass.

But the Mass was reverent and solemn.  The Mass was preceded by a recitation of the Rosary in Latin at 5 PM!  It's rare to see the Rosary said before Mass and I've never seen it said in Latin, even before an SSPX Mass.  So that was unique and nice to see its connection with Catholic Tradition. And it's quite rare to find an evening Latin Mass on Sunday in the Bay Area so this is nice for Catholics who travel into the Bay area and arrive late or who sleep in on Sunday morning. This Mass location is in addition to those highlighted in my article: 6 Traditional Latin Mass Locations for Bay Area Catholics Reviewed

I very much wish that the Latin Mass Society of San Francisco, St. Catherine's parish, and others in the community would make this Mass more widely known!  I'd go weekly if they had it offered. 

There is a simple website regarding this monthly Mass so if you have questions, please reach out to the Mid-Peninsula Latin Mass.

Photos from the Mass (you are free to share these as long as you attribute them to this blog article):

Thursday, August 23, 2018
Vigil of St. Bartholomew

While today is the feastday of St. Philip Benizi, there is a commemoration of the Vigil of St. Bartholomew in today's liturgy as well. We could do well to continue to observe these Vigils throughout the year even though the mainstream calendar no longer keeps them. 

Taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia:
The feasts of the Apostles are spread throughout the liturgical Cycle as if to show that the Apostles are the foundation on which the whole Church rests. St. Bartholomew is the sixth in the list of twelve, as given by the Evangelists. Like the other Apostles he learned the secrets of the divine law and made them known to the world, confirming them by his martyrdom (Gospel). On this day the liturgy prepares us for his feast of to-morrow (Collect).

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that the solemn feast of Thine apostle Bartholemew, which we anticipate, may both increase our devotion and advance our salvation.

Monday, August 20, 2018
Mission Santa Clara and Servant of God Magín Catalá

A few weeks ago I visited Mission Santa Clara in Santa Clara, CA. Inside the mission of Santa Clara is the tomb and the story of a remarkably holy man: Father Magín Catalá.  In particular, the beautiful Crucifix shown above is the miraculous Crucifix in front of which Father would pray and was seen levitating from the ground by witnesses who have sworn under oath to this miracle's authenticity.  Father Catalá lived a heroic life of sanctity.  As stated in the below pamphlet from the Mission: "[He] fasted ever day of the year, tasting nothing until noon and then allowing himself but a little milk and corn bread.  He never ate flesh, meat, eggs, or fish."

Let us pray for the canonization of Fr. Catalá:

O God, you sent your holy servant, Father Magín Catalá, to preach your gospel to Native Americans, and you inspired him to glorify your holy name among them by the example of his eminent virtues. We humbly ask you to honor Father Catalá on earth with the testimony of miracles performed through his intercession. Grant us by his merits all manner of blessings. Fill our minds with the light of your truth that, walking always in the way of your commandments, we may come to eternal union with you. We ask this through Christ, our Lord
Friday, August 17, 2018
Hyacinth of Poland

Double (1954 Calendar): August 17

St. Hyacinth of Poland was born in 1185 in what was then Upper Silesia (today modern Poland).  He was a relative and possibly the brother of Blessed Ceslas Odrowaz.

St. Hyacinth was educated in both law and Sacred Studies and studied in the illustrious cities of Krakow, Prague, Paris, and Bologna.  Despite his education, he was first and foremost a holy priest.  After his ordination to the Sacred Priesthood of Jesus Christ, he worked to reform convents in his native country. 

While on a trip to Rome with Bishop Ivo Konski, his uncle, he witnessed the glorious Patriarch St. Dominic perform a miracle which changed his life.  He became a personal friend of St. Dominic and then one of the first Dominicans. In fact, he was the first Polish Dominican and he brought the Order to Poland.  He was prolific in his work, evangelizing throughout Poland, Pomerania, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Scotland, Russia, Turkey, and Greece.

During an attack on a monastery, Hyacinth managed to save a crucifix and statue of Mary, though the statue weighed far more than he could normally have lifted; the saint is usually shown holding these two items. Hyacinth never served as provincial nor even a prior, but toiled as a simple friar, focusing on the internal and external missions facing the Polish Dominicans: to deepen their own faith, and to spread it through Poland.


O God, Who sendest us joy year by year on the feast of blessed Hyacintha, Thy Confessor, which we are now keeping: mercifully grant on this day of his heavenly birth that we may grow like him in deed. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
Friday, August 3, 2018
First Friday of August

Today is the First Friday of August. Because today is the first Friday of the Month, many Catholic parishes will have special Masses today for the First Friday Devotion.  Find one near you!

Beginning on December 27, 1673, through 1675, Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque asking her to receive Him in Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month and to meditate on His passion from 11:00 PM to 12:00 midnight each Thursday. He also revealed to her twelve promises for all who are devoted to His Sacred Heart; he asked for a Feast of the Sacred Heart to be instituted in the liturgical calendar of the Church. Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque with twelve promises for those devoted to His Most Sacred Heart.

Promises for those devoted to the Sacred Heart:

1. "I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life."
2. "I will establish peace in their homes."
3. "I will comfort them in their afflictions."
4. "I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death."
5. "I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings."
6. "Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy."
7. "Tepid souls shall grow fervent."
8. "Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection."
9. "I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored."
10. "I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts."
11. "Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out."
12. "I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."

Prayer of Reparation:

O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore thee profoundly. I offer thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of thee the conversion of poor sinners. Amen.
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Catholic Youth Conference in Buffalo, NY – September 14-16

I'm honored to be a speaker on Saturday morning at this Conference in Niagara Falls.  Please join us and listen to these excellent talks.


“Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.”  – St. Augustine

In the madness of the modern world, those who want to live the truths of the Catholic Faith often turn to the past. But if the Church is to survive, we must also look to the future.


Like St. Augustine in his time, many Catholic young people today are restless. They believe in Jesus but are not sure what relevance He has for the challenges they face. How can they learn about and grow in the True Faith, while dealing with the pressures brought on by school, work, family, friends, society, the culture and the pleasures and temptations that surround them? Many young Catholics don’t know what the Church teaches on issues that are important to them. Many others  have never even heard of Fatima. This must change!

Our Lady came to Fatima to three young children. She told them what we must do NOW to make the future a time of peace in which the love of God will guide our hearts and minds. It is by acting NOW – in the present – that we can shape the world we live in and the world future generations will inherit.

Decide now to come away from your restless life for a weekend. Meet Our Lord at Mass and in
Confession.  Learn about the truths taught by Our Lord, His Church and Our Lady of Fatima, all of which will answer the deepest yearnings of your heart. Listen to talks from amazing speakers on vital issues and get to know other Catholic young people like yourself from all over North America.

After the conference, you will return to your life refreshed, with a new purpose, and on fire with love for Our Lord, Our Lady, and your glorious Catholic faith. By changing your life, you will change the lives of those around you and, together with them, will change the world.

Learn more at the Fatima Center
Friday, July 20, 2018
The Catholic Church in Latin America Under Fierce Assault by Evangelicals; Church Seen as Uncaring to the Poor

Just yesterday I heard from a close friend of mine who is in Latin America doing research work for one of the largest companies in the world.  While there, he interviewed a number of people in Sao Paulo who all expressed concern with the Catholic Church being out of touch and losing ground to the Evangelicals.  While they stated that Brazil was founded by the Portuguese and greatly enriched by the monks and friars who settled there, the Church today is seeing a massive exodus of souls who are leaving her ranks and joining the Evangelicals.  This is deeply troubling as these souls are leaving the only barque of salvation and joining the ranks of Evangelical, Pentecostal, and other heretical sects. 

And this trend is well documented in various studies consistently over the past decades.  I read one such report this morning by Vanessa Chesnut.  Some quotable points of Ms. Chesnut's May 2018 article for NBC entitled, "As Catholicism declines in Latin America and U.S., parishes still count on Latino growth" include:
While 70 percent of adult Latinos identified as Catholic in 2006, that figure fell to 57 percent by 2015, according to The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), a nonprofit research center... 
A Chilean polling firm, Latinobarómetro, reported in a January 2018 survey that the number of Latin Americans who identified as Catholic has fallen from 80 percent in 1995 to 59 percent now. But there is great variation among countries — while only 37 percent of Hondurans and 39 percent of Salvadorans identify as Catholic, that figure rises to 80 percent among Mexicans... 
Even Pope Francis has been unable to reverse the five-decade decline despite his high approval rating among Latin Americans. The Chilean poll shows that from Francis' election in 2013 to 2017, Latin America saw a 4-percentage-point drop in people identifying as Catholic.

Why are they doing this?  My friend, an experienced researcher, stated that his subjects all expressed resentment that the Church is not doing enough to help the poor.  It is the Evangelicals who are actively going to the poor regions and ministering.  And the poor are being won over, just as they were in centuries past when Catholic missionaries dedicated their lives to such works. 

Where have all the Catholic missionaries gone when they are so badly needed? 

They are in their rectories relaxing.  Or they have forsaken their vocations or failed to pick up the Lord's call to serve as missionaries.  These trends are the result of liberal Catholicism having taken hold now for the past 50 years since Vatican II in Latin America.  This is far from a "new springtime."  This is complete desolation and souls are leaving the Church founded by Jesus Christ for counterfeit religions because the Lord's ministers are failing.  It is not watered down teachings, modernized liturgy, or LGBT rights that will save the Church in Latin America.

We need to earnestly pray for great missionaries to rise up and serve the poor, enforce the love and charity of God expressed in the Traditional Liturgy, and who care about saving souls.  Souls cannot be saved in false religions.  We as Catholics profess without a doubt the dogma that there is no salvation outside of the Church

Please join me in praying for more vocations to the SSPX's missions in South America and for their House in Brazil, for the FSSP's South American missions, and for the Institute of the Good Shepherd.  I also pray for the modern dioceses to follow them in their work for the poor, for good Liturgy, for sound catechesis, and for doing all things for the salvation of souls!

Prayer for Lapsed Catholics:

Almighty Father, You desire not the death of the sinner, but that he may be converted and live. Pour out upon us Your mercy and hear the prayers of Your servants. Soften the hearts of Your children who have strayed from the true path which You established for their salvation.  They are now forgetful of their duties as Catholics and pursue the pleasures of the world.  Grant that they may quickly return to the practice of every Christian virtue, so that their lives may shine with the integrity of faith, the fervor of piety, and the ardor of charity.  Restore them all to Your sacraments and the life of Your grace, through the merits of the most precious blood of Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.


Com. of St. Margaret of Antioch

Saint Margaret of Antioch by Peter Candid

Today is the feast of St. Jerome Emiliani, great patron saint of orphans, but today also features a commemoration of St. Margaret, Virgin and Martyr.  This St. Margaret is not St. Margaret Mary, who received from Our Lord Himself the First Friday Request.

According to the version of the story in the Golden Legend, St. Margaret was a native of Antioch and the daughter of a pagan priest named Aedesius. Her mother having died soon after her birth, Margaret was nursed by a Christian woman a short distance from Antioch. Having embraced Christianity and consecrated her virginity to God, St. Margaret was disowned by her father, adopted by her nurse, and lived in the country keeping sheep with her foster mother. Olybrius, Governor of the Roman Diocese of the East, asked to marry her, but with the demand that she renounce Christianity. Upon her refusal, she was cruelly tortured, during which various miraculous incidents occurred.

St. Margaret was tortured at Antioch in Pisidia, in the last general persecution during the third century. After having endured many torments, she finished her martyrdom by the sword.


O God, one of the marvelous examples of Your power was granting the victory of martyrdom even to delicate womanhood. May the example of the blessed virgin martyr Margaret, whose birthday we celebrate today, draw us closer to You. Through our Lord . . .
Sunday, July 15, 2018
6 Traditional Latin Mass Locations for Bay Area Catholics Reviewed

I've had the opportunity to explore the various Tridentine Latin Mass locations in the Bay Area this summer.  For those Catholics living in San Francisco, Oakland, the Peninsula, or even down in San Jose, there are relatively few options for Traditional Catholics to avail themselves of the Sacraments.  Thankfully, there are nevertheless still options available.  I've taken the time to attend Mass at these locations so as to provide an honest review.

Of course, the Mass is of infinite value and renders the greatest homage to God (and is the greatest act of religion).  My reviews concern the external factors of these Mass locations and include tips since not all of them were easy to find.  I would always choose one of these Masses (even if it is in a modern and uninspiring church) over a Novus Ordo.

Please join me in praying for an increase in the Faith, in the pursuit of supernatural virtues, and for the reign of Christ to come to all of those living in the Bay Area

Star of the Sea, San Francisco, CA
Mass Times: 11:30 AM on Sundays; 7:30 Daily

Star of the Sea is a parish of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.  I had written of them in the past when they made the courageous decision to rightfully only allow men to serve at the altar.  The Church is quite beautiful and, at least on the Sunday I attended Mass, they had two priests hearing Confessions.

The sermon was not the most engaging though and the music was acceptable though not extraordinary in quality.  The artwork though was beautiful.  They have a convenient parking lot as well and a large restroom at the entrance, which is quite useful for families who need a little room for the baby to have a diaper change.

All in all, it was a beautiful Mass but the location is quite far for anyone living in the suburbs or on the other side of the Bay.  For those Catholics who live in the city of San Francisco though, make the commute to this Church for their Sunday Tridentine Mass at 11:30.  Note, this is a new time and the previous schedule of 11 AM and 5:30 PM on Sundays has been replaced with only a Latin Mass at 11:30 AM.  They do though offer an early 7:30 AM Daily Mass as well for those who are local to the Richmond area of San Francisco.

St. Francis of Assisi, East Palo Alto, CA
Mass Times: 6:00 PM on Fridays only

While the parish only offers the Traditional Mass on Fridays, it is still good to see it being celebrated at all.  Part of restoring Catholic tradition and restoring Christian culture necessitates the restoration of the Mass of All Times.  So I welcome an occasional time rather than no time at all.

The parish itself is quite modern but they do have an inspiring and beautiful piece of art featuring St. Francis directly behind the altar.

However, the Mass that I attended for the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul had its shortcomings.  The priest saying Mass was noticeably elderly and had a difficult time moving and speaking.  His Latin was read very slowly.  And most problematic of all, after about 15 minutes into the Mass, he began to repeat the readings in English and in Spanish and he gave an English and a Spanish sermon.  Now after nearly 50 minutes had passed, we were finally entering the Offertory of the Mass.

I won't be back but I pray this location helps restore some of the sacred and brings back some reverence to Catholics of the area even though this parish has some improvements to be made.

St. Athanasius Chapel, San Jose
Mass Times: 7:00 AM, 8:30 AM, 10 AM on Sundays; 7:45 AM Weekdays

While over an hour from downtown San Francisco even in non-existent Sunday traffic, the city of San Jose is easily reachable for those living in the Peninsula and those on the lower side of the East Bay.  The chapel of St. Athanasius/St. Thomas More is a beautiful chapel, though a little small like many of the other chapels on this list.  The place was filled with large families and Father gave a truly captivating sermon (the most captivating sermon that I heard of any of the parishes on the list).  They also were offering Confessions during Mass as well.  And like the other SSPX Chapels I've attended (but unlike the other places on this list), they have a large container of holy water allowing you to fill up your holy water bottles for home use.

The Chapel offers 3 convenient Mass times on Sundays and even daily Mass before work for those living in or close to San Jose.  I will definitely return and encourage those Catholics in the area looking for a beautiful liturgy but also authentic and non-watered down doctrine to attend Mass here.

Five Wounds, San Jose
Mass Times: 9 AM and 12:30 PM on Sundays; Weekdays: 12:15 PM; Sat: 7:30 AM, except 8:00 PM, 1st Sat.

Also in San Jose is the beautiful Five Wounds Portuguese National Church.  The parish church is unfortunately though only used by the Institute of Christ the King priests and is not there own so, for that reason, 60% of the collection goes not to the ICKSP or the Latin Mass but to the parish's checking account.  The Mass times also change frequently in the short time I've known of the parish.  For example, the Low Mass was canceled by the parish due to events for the entire month of June.  And in May, the daily 12 Noon Mass was moved to 7:15 AM to accommodate the parish.  Consequently, the feeling exists that the Latin Mass is not an integral part of the parish but merely a "renter" and at the whim of the parish's decisions and frequent schedule demands.

I attended the Low Mass at 9 AM.  But, much to my surprise, the Low Mass is not in the actual church but located on the same block in a small building in the parking lot called the IES Chapel.  The IES Chapel (pictured below) is extremely small making it quite crowded and uncomfortable to attend Mass.  

The Mass was beautiful and said with great care for the rubrics (e.g. of all the Low Masses I attended in the Bay Area, only the Institue of Christ the King priests observe the placing of a lighted candle on the altar during the Canon). However, the majority of parents were having a very difficult time minding their children (at least on the Sunday I attended) and the sounds of screaming, crying, and shouting penetrated the chapel almost incessantly.  These piercing sounds and the difficulty of understanding Father's sermons due to his Japanese accent made it extremely difficult to enter into the mystery of the Mass.

I would not recommend attending the Low Mass.  The High Mass at 12:30 PM does use the beautiful church and offers much more space even though the sanctuary has a rather hideous table altar that isn't moved during the Holy Sacrifice.  

Please pray for the Traditional Catholics of San Jose. 

Mater Dolorosa, South San Francisco
Mass Times: 5:00 PM on Sundays; 12:00 PM on Weekdays

Mater Dolorosa is a very modern looking parish. And like some of the other locations on this list, the priests who come in and say the Latin Mass are not a part of the parish.  So while it's not possible to attend Mass at a more appropriate morning hour, it is still possible to attend Mass here almost every day of the week (except Saturday mornings).

The Friday when I attended Mass, Mass was moved at the last minute from the main church to the monastery's chapel.  While it took me at least 15 minutes to find it, it was actually on the other side of the large parking lot and in a building that looked like a house.  The Mass itself was beautiful - one of the most beautiful and spiritually enriching Masses I attended, as evident of the holiness, care, and reverence of the priest.  While still small, the chapel was beautifully set up and even for a feria weekday Mass, they had a cantor chanting throughout the Low Mass.

The priest is a member of the Contemplatives of St. Joseph (COSJ) which say the Tridentine Mass at Mater Dolorosa even though their main monastery is down in Monterey, CA (over 2 hours south in no traffic from San Francisco).  The monastic house on the Mater Dolorosa ground allows them to serve the Archdiocese of San Francisco and they do so well.  They even broadcast on Facebook Live the weekly Sermon on Sundays. They even celebrate the Byzantine Liturgy at their Monterey Monastery.

The downside is that the actual parish Church where Mass is said on Sundays, and all weekdays special exceptions aside, is very modernist.  And also problematic, the priests of the COSJ also personally do offer the Novus Ordo.  And they have no qualms about the work of Paul VI and John Paul II who in their short sermon, they openly praised and quoted from. They are what some call "conservative" priests rather than "traditionalist" priests, using those terms loosely and in the manner in which most traditionalists do.

I do think their Masses were beautiful and I know they are doing good to restore the love of the Liturgy - and I will likely attend their Masses from time to time - but for those looking to have both the Tridentine Mass and pre-Vatican II doctrine, I would recommend only the SSPX.

St. Margaret Mary, Oakland, CA
Mass Times: 7 AM and 12:30 PM on Sundays; M - F: 6:00 PM (except Thurs, 12 noon); Sat: 10:00 AM; Holy Days, usually 6:00 PM

The Institute of Christ the King borrows the parish church of St. Margaret Mary in Oakland.  The parish itself is a great community of those united in the Faith but they have a small parking lot, are located in an area that makes it difficult to reach for those in the East Bay, and the priest's French accent makes the sermons difficult to understand. The parish is also a bit dark and lacks some of the beauty of other chapels and parishes on this list in terms of its ornamentation.

The Novus Ordo priest though did kindly hear Confessions throughout the Mass (but absolution was in English and not in Latin).  The sermon too, while difficult to understand, was meaningful and helpful to hear.


As mentioned above, this honest recap of my experiences is in no way to diminish the value of the Traditional Latin Mass.  But for those familiar with the grandeur and splendor of St. Mary's in Kansas, or St. Josephs in Detroit, or the Institute's Shrine in St. Louis, or St. John Cantius in Chicago, the Latin Masses in the greater San Francisco Bay area leave much to be desired.  Finding a robust Catholic Mass community that actually owns a parish, makes the TLM the centerpiece of the parish and not as an aside to the Novus Ordo, preaches powerful and yet understandable sermons, and is in a parish church that is large enough to allow regular mobility and movement is difficult to find.

Let's keep praying for the Catholics in the Bay Area and for more places to offer the Latin Mass.  As for me, I will likely be attending the SSPX Masses in San Jose and occasional Masses at St. Margaret Mary in Oakland.

Also, more photos of each of these sacred places can be found on my Flickr Album Gallery.
Thursday, July 12, 2018
The Americanism Heresy: What Is It? Is it Still Around?

The Encyclical Testem benevolentiae nostrae published Jan 22, 1899, was released by Pope Leo XIII on the history of Americanism.  Testem benevolentiae nostrae was written to Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore from His Holiness Pope Leo XIII.  And while this encyclical is unknown by the vast majority of Catholics, it is nevertheless an extremely relevant document to the modern Catholic. 

Much of what we are suffering from in America is the loss of our Catholic identity, and those familiar with this forgotten encyclical will see that the situation of today is largely due to the cultural liberalism of American Catholics.  In this document, Pope Leo XIII condemned the notion that Catholics could decide doctrine for themselves (i.e. cafeteria Catholics) and accept and reject doctrines, customs, and practices according to their own whims.  The Holy Father emphasized that Catholics must obey the magisterial teachings of the Universal Church which is a universal faith that does not alter its dogmas from nation to nation.

This heresy is practiced by many Catholics who have no idea they have fallen into this heresy. 

Pope Leo XIII condemned the following trends:

  • Undue insistence on interior initiative in the spiritual life, as leading to disobedience.  He condemned the practice to put natural virtues (e.g. hard work and persistence and frugality) ahead of the Theological and Cardinal Virtues which have a supernatural element at their core.
  • Attacks on religious vows and disparagement of the value of religious orders in the modern world
  • Minimizing Catholic doctrine (especially manifested by failing to speak out and actively live, proclaim, and defend the Faith in the tendency of American life to hide religious convictions or to think that all religions are to be respected)
  • Minimizing the importance of spiritual direction
  • Maintaining the idea that all opinions should be publicly aired (this is because speech that harms morality and the truths of the Faith has no right whatsoever to be publicly proclaimed) 

In this month during which we remember America’s independence from England, I suggest reading the text online of this obscure but important document for American Catholics.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Daily Prayers for an Increase in the Virtues

The following prayers, taken from the Raccolta, were assigned an indulgence by His Holiness, Blessed Pope Pius IX on May 17, 1852:

AN INDULGENCE OF FIFTY DAYS; to be gained once a day for saying with a contrite heart the following prayers, each on its appointed day, in order to obtain thereby the intercession of this Saint for the acquisition of certain special virtues.

I will be adding these to my own prayer life on a daily basis as a means to continue to try to grow in the virtues which we truly supernatural and a means of furthering our own spiritual life. 


Prayer to obtain the virtue of Humility.

St, Philip, my glorious Patron, who on earth didst so love humility as to count the praise and even the good esteem of men as dross; obtain for me also this virtue by thy prayers. Thou knowest how haughty I am in my thoughts, how contemptuous in my words, how ambitious in my doings. Ask for me humility of heart; that my mind may be freed from all pride, and impressed with the same low esteem of self which thou hadst of thyself, counting thyself the worst of all men, and for that reason rejoicing when thou didst suffer contempt, and seeking out for thyself occasions of enduring it.  Great Saint, obtain for me a true humble heart and the knowledge of my own nothingness; that I may rejoice when I am despised, and resent not when others are preferred before me; that I may never be vain when I am praised, but may ever seek only to be great in the eyes of God, desiring to receive from Him alone all my exaltation.

Pater, Ave, Gloria.


Prayer to obtain the virtue of Patience.

St. Philip, my Patron Saint, whose heart was ever so constant in time of trouble, and whose spirit was so loving under suffering, that, when persecuted by the jealous, or calumniated by the wicked who thought to discredit thy sanctity, or when tried by God with many long, painful infirmities, thou didst always bear thy trials with wonderful tranquillity of heart and mind; pray for me that I may have a spirit of true courage in every adversity.  Alas, how much I stand in need of patience!  I shrink from every little trouble; I sicken under every light affliction; I fire up at and resent every trifling contradiction; never willing to learn that the road to paradise lies amidst the thorns of tribulation. Yet this was the path our Diving Master deigned to tread, and this too, my Saintly Patron, was thy path also.  Obtain for me, then, this courage, that with good hearty will I may embrace the crosses which every day I receive from God, and bear them all with the same endurance and ready will as thou didst when thou wast on earth; that so I may be made worthy to enjoy the blessed fruit of sufferings with thee in heaven above.
Pater, Ave, Gloria.


Prayer to obtain the virtue of Purity.

St. Philip, who didst always preserve the white lily of thy purity unsullied, with such great honour to thyself that the brightness of this fair virtue dwelt in thine eyes, shone forth from thy hands, and cast its fragrance over thy whole body, causing it to emit so sweet a perfume that it gave consolation, fervour, and devotion to all who conversed with thee; obtain me from the Holy Spirit of God so true a love for that virtue, that neither the words nor bad examples of sinners may ever make any impression upon my soul.  Never permit me in any way to lose that lovely virtue; and since avoidance of occasions, prayer, labour, humility, frequent use of the Sacraments, were the arms with which thou didst conquer the flesh, which is our worst enemy, so do thou obtain for me grace to use the same arms to vanquish the same foe.  Take not away thy help from me; but be as zealous for me as thou wast during thy life for thy penitents, keeping them far removed from all sensual infection.  Do this for me, my holy Patron; and be ever my protector in respect of this fair virtue.

Pater, Ave, Gloria.


Prayer to obtain the Love of God.

St. Philip, I am filled with wonder at the great miracle which was wrought in thee by the Holy Spirit when He poured into thy heart such a flood of heavenly charity, that in order to contain it two of thy ribs were broken by the power of Divine love; and I am confounded when I compare thy heart with mine own.  I see thy heart all burning with love; and mine, all frozen and taken up with creatures.  I see thine inflamed with a fire from heaven, which so filled thy body that it radiated like flames from thy countenance; while mine is full of earthly love.  I love the world, which allures me and can never make me happy; I love the flesh, which ever wears me with its cares, and can never render me immortal; I love riches, which I can enjoy but for a moment.  O when shall I learn of thee to love nothing but God, my incomprehensible and only Good!  Help me, then, blessed Patron, that by thy intercession I may begin at once: obtain for me an efficacious love, manifesting itself by works; a pure love, making me love God most perfectly; a strong love, enabling me to surmount all obstacles hindering my union with God in life, that so I may be wholly united to Him for ever after my death.

Pater, Ave, Gloria.


Prayer to obtain the Love of our Neighbour.

Glorious Saint, who didst employ thyself wholly in the good of thy neighbour, thinking well of all, sympathising with all, helping all, who throughout thy whole life didst ever try to secure the salvation of all, never shrinking from labour or trouble, keeping for thyself no time or comfort, that thou mightest win all hearts to God; pray for me, that together with the pardon of my sins I may have charity for my neighbour, and be henceforth more compassionate to him in his necessities, and obtain for me grace that I may love every man with pure, unselfish love, as mine own brother, succouring each one, if I am unable to do it with temporal goods, at least with prayers and good advice. And teach me too on every occasion to defend the honour of my neighbour, and never to say to him a hurtful or displeasing word; but ever to maintain, even with my enemies, sweetness of spirit like thine own, whereby thou didst triumph over thy persecutors.  Blessed Saint, ask of God for me also this lovely virtue, which already thou hast gained for so many of thy clients; that so we may all one day come to praise our God with thee in an eternity of bliss.

Pater, Ave, Gloria.


Prayer to obtain detachment from temporal goods.

Great Saint, who didst prefer a poor and austere life to the comforts of thy home, despising the honour and glory of thy station; obtain for me grace ever to keep my heart detached from transitory goods of this life.  St. Philip, whose desire it ever was to become so poor as one day to have to beg thy bread, and find no charitable hand to offer thee a crumb wherewith to support life; ask of God for me such love of poverty that I may turn all my thoughts to goods which never fail.  St. Philip, who didst prefer to live unknown, to promotion to the highest honours of the Church; intercede for me, that I may never seek after dignities, but always content myself with that state where God has set me.  My heart is too anxious for the empty fleeting things of earth; but thou - ah, what a maxim didst thou leave us by thy two words: "And then-" !  O wonder-working words! may they ever be deeply impressed upon my soul; that, despising the nothingness of earth, God alone may reign sole object of my affections and my thoughts.

Pater, Ave, Gloria.


Prayer to obtain perseverance in good works.

St. Philip, my holy Patron, who, ever constant in good works and full of merit, didst receive from Most High God the crown of glory in reward of all thy labours; obtain for me grace never to weary in His service.  St. Philip, who didst recompense those who loved thee by acquiring for them the gift of perseverance in good, ask of God this gift for me; stand by me, dear father, at the last moment of my life, and pray for me that I may depart this life strengthened with the grace of the Holy Sacraments.  Meanwhile intercede for me, that I may do penance for my sins, and deplore them bitterly all my days.  St. Philip, who from on high beholdest all my miseries, and the chains which yet bind me to my sins and to this earth; pray for me that I may be liberated from them, and be constantly devoted to my God.  Obtain for me an ardent desire to co-operate in my own salvation, and unshaken firmness in the good which I have begun; that so by thy intercession I may deserve to be for ever in thy company in an eternity of bliss.

Pater, Ave, Gloria.

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