Friday, June 29, 2007
I Have Returned from Florida

After a 20-hour ride, I have returned to my home state after nearly a week in Florida. I hope to post about the journey in greater detail including my visit to the Mission of Nombre de Dios in St. Augustine, Florida. I also gladly visited Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Mantanzas as some readers suggested. Overall, the trip was extremely enjoyable, and I do plan to post more about the trip in the following days. Thank you for your prayers.
Pope Benedict XVI Urges The Practice Of Eucharistic Adoration

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 10, 2007 ( Benedict XVI recommends the practice of Eucharistic adoration, saying that the capacity for interior silence and recollection is ever more important in life that is often "noisy and scattered."

The Pope said this today after praying the Angelus with crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square. His address centered on the Eucharist, as many nations celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi today.

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Today’s solemnity of Corpus Domini, which in the Vatican and other nations was already celebrated this past Thursday, invites us to contemplate the great mystery of our faith: the most holy Eucharist, the real presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in the sacrament of the altar.

Every time that the priest renews the Eucharistic sacrifice, in the prayer of consecration he repeats: "This is my body … this is my blood." He does this giving his voice, his hands, and his heart to Christ, who wanted to remain with us as the beating heart of the Church. But even after the celebration of the divine mysteries, the Lord Jesus remains living in the tabernacle; because of this he is praised, especially by Eucharistic adoration, as I wished to recall in the recent postsynodal apostolic exhortation, "Sacramentum Caritatis" (cf. Nos. 66-69).

Indeed, there is an intrinsic connection between celebration and adoration. The holy Mass, in fact, is in itself the Church's greatest act of adoration: "No one eats this food," St. Augustine writes, "if he has not first worshipped it" (Commentary on Psalm 98:9; CCL XXXIX, 1385). Adoration outside holy Mass prolongs and intensifies what happened in the liturgical celebration and renders a true and profound reception of Christ possible.

Today, then, in all Christian communities, there is the Eucharistic procession, a singular form of public adoration of the Eucharist, enriched by beautiful and traditional manifestations of popular devotion. I would like to take the opportunity that today's solemnity offers me to strongly recommend to pastors and all the faithful the practice of Eucharistic adoration. I express my appreciation to the institutes of consecrated life, as also to the associations and confraternities that dedicate themselves to this practice in a special way. They offer to all a reminder of the centrality of Christ in our personal and ecclesial life.

I am happy to testify that many young people are discovering the beauty of adoration, whether personal or in community. I invite priests to encourage youth groups in this, but also to accompany them to ensure that the forms of adoration are appropriate and dignified, with sufficient times for silence and listening to the word of God. In life today, which is often noisy and scattered, it is more important than ever to recover the capacity for interior silence and recollection: Eucharistic adoration permits one to do this not only within one's "I" but rather in the company of that "You" full of love who is Jesus Christ, "the God who is near us."

May the Virgin Mary, Eucharistic Woman, lead us into the secret of true adoration. Her heart, humble and silent, was always recollected around the mystery of Jesus, in whom she worshipped the presence of God and his redemptive love. By her intercession may there grow faith in the Eucharistic mystery, the joy of participating at holy Mass, especially on Sunday, and the desire to bear witness to the immense charity of Christ.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
St. Thomas More

Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar): June 22
Feastday in the 1955 Calendar: July 9

St. Thomas More (1478 - 1535) was a knight, Lord Chancellor of England, and author that was born on February 7, 1478, and later suffered martyrdom on July 6, 1535, on the orders of the heretical King Henry VIII. His final words on the scaffold were: "The King's good servant, but God's First."

Pope Leo XIII beatified St Thomas More, St John Fisher and 52 other English Martyrs on December 29 1886. Pope Pius XI canonized More and Fisher on May 19, 1935, and More's feast day was established as the 9th of July. Since this blog uses the traditional feast days before Vatican II, we observe it on July 9th. Since 1970 the General Roman Calendar has celebrated More with St John Fisher on the 22nd of June (the date of Fisher's execution). St. Thomas More's feastday was kept only in England and Wales as a regional feastday through the 1960 Roman Catholic Calendar. 

The following biography is from the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society:
Thomas More was a famous lawyer and writer. He was born in London in 1477. His father had been a lawyer, too, and a judge. Thomas was always grateful to his father for being so loving and for not spoiling him. Thomas' first wife, Jane Colt, died very young. More was left with four small children. He was married again, to a widow, a simple woman who could not even read or write. Her husband tried to teach her. Thomas made home life enjoyable for his family because he was so pleasant to be with. During meals, one of the children would read from the Bible. Then they would have fun and tell jokes. St. Thomas often asked poorer neighbors in to dinner, too. He always helped the poor as much as he could. He loved to delight his guests with surprises. He even kept some playful monkeys as pets. Yet few could have imagined how deeply spiritual St. Thomas really was. He prayed long hours into the night and performed penances, too. He was very much aware that being a true Christian took the grace and help of God.

Thomas held important government positions. For three years he was lord chancellor, another name for prime minister. Henry VIII used to put his arm affectionately around Thomas' shoulder. Yet although the saint was a most loyal subject, he was loyal to God first of all. In fact, when the king tried to make him disobey God's law, Thomas refused. Henry wanted to obtain a divorce from his wife to marry another woman. However, the pope could not give permission, since that is against God's law. Henry was stubborn and at last he left the Church. He wanted everyone to recognize him as the head of the Church in England. Thomas could not do that. He chose to remain faithful to the Catholic faith and to God. He was condemned to death for that, yet he forgave his judges. He even said he hoped he would see them in heaven. He really meant it, too.

At the scaffold, where he was to die, St. Thomas kissed his executioner on the cheek. Then he joked, saying that his beard should not be cut off because it had not done anything wrong. He was martyred on Tuesday, July 6,1535, at the age of fifty-seven. Along with his friend, Bishop John Fisher, Sir Thomas More was proclaimed a saint by Pope Pius XI in 1935. This saint is universally admired because he believed so much in the truth of his faith that he was willing to die for it. Thomas More risked losing everything: his fortune, his position, his own security and the safety of the individuals he loved most. But he held fast to the faith, even to the point of sacrificing his life. He makes us ask ourselves what we might do in a similar situation.

The following story, which is virtually unknown, powerfully shows how the birth of St. Thomas More was also a blessing from God:

During the time of the Crusades, a young English gentleman, named Gilbert, undertook a journey to the Holy Land, accompanied by his servant Richard, to fight against the Infidels who were at that time in possession of the holy places. Both were soon taken prisoners, and fell into the hands of a Saracen Prince, who treated Gilbert with some con- sideration on account of his superior education and excellent qualities. In this state of slavery the virtues and piety of Gilbert attracted the attention and admiration of his master's daughter, who took every opportunity of conversing with him unobserved. She questioned him regarding his country and religion, and the interest which she took in his answers encouraged him to unfold to her by degrees the truths of our holy Faith. He so moved the Princess that she took a resolution to embrace the Christian religion at any cost, whenever the opportunity occurred. Meanwhile a plan of escape was secretly formed among the slaves, and Gilbert and Richard found themselves once more at liberty after a captivity of eighteen months. The young Princess wept bitterly when she saw herself deprived of Gilbert's instruction and advice, and detest- ing from her heart the superstitions of Mahomet, took a generous resolution of seeking out Gilbert in the land of his birth, in order to procure through his means the grace of Baptism. Accordingly she fled secretly from her father's house, and embarking in an English vessel, arrived at length, destitute and friendless, in the city of London. Almighty God did not abandon a soul which had so generously corresponded with the call of grace. As the Saracen maiden was wandering in great distress through the busy streets of London, unable, on account of her ignorance of the language to make any inquiries as to the object of her search, she suddenly recognized among the crowd the form of Richard, who had been sent out on some message by his master. Overjoyed at this meeting, she acquainted him with the object of her journey, and implored him to conduct her to his master, that he might complete the work of her conversion. Gilbert, informed of her arrival, pro- cured a lodging for her in the house of a pious lady of his acquaint- ance, where, on the following day, he went to visit her. The young maiden, throwing herself at his feet, besought him with tears to procure for her that priceless gift of the Divine friendship, which he had declared to be more precious than life itself. Gilbert was deeply moved at her lively faith and generous dispositions, and not only promised to do his utmost to obtain for her what she asked, but felt himself inspired by God to make her the offer of his hand, that he might be able, with a better title, to devote himself to the work of her instruction. His resolution was approved of by the Bishop, whom he consulted on the subject. Shortly afterwards she was baptized under the name of Matilda, and then solemnly espoused to Gilbert in the presence of the Bishop, who himself gave the nuptial benediction to the holy couple. Soon after their espousals Gilbert, to fulfil a vow which he had taken, returned to the Holy Land, where he served for three years and a half against the Infidels. His time of service completed, Gilbert returned to England, to the joy of his virtuous spouse, and God blessed their union with a son, the great S. Thomas à Becket, who received the crown of martyrdom under Henry II., in defence of the liberties of the Church.


 O God, who didst raise up from among the English people, Thy blessed Martyrs, John and Thomas, to be the zealous defenders of the true Faith and of the primacy of the Roman Church, grant through their merits and prayers that, by the practice of the same Faith, we may all become and remain united in Christ. Through our Lord . . .

Traveling for a Week

After Mass this evening, I will be leaving on a 20-hour trip to the state of Florida. While there, I hope to be able to visit several historical landmarks and Catholic sites. However, I will have no access to the Internet until July 1, 2007, at the earliest. I ask for your prayers for a safe trip.

Let us all remember to continue our Devotions to the Sacred Heart during June, the Month of the Sacred Heart. If we stay close to the Sacred Heart like St. John, the Beloved Disciple, we too shall follow St. John to life everlasting. I will try to pray the Rosary and the Breviary during this week. If you have fallen out of the practice, now is a perfect time to rekindle these devotions. Let us never forget the words of Mary: "One day through the Rosary and the Scapular I will save the world."

And, to the kind readers who sent me donations through Paypal, thank you!! Your donations are highly appreciated. Thank you again for the generosity.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Fighting for the Tridentine Mass in Niafles

Update: As one reader wrote below, the Catholic Faithful are under attack because of their faithfulness to the Traditions. Please pray for them! They have been driven out with force!

Please pray for these brave Catholics. The following is an excerpt from A Faithful Rebel. For photos and more of the story see his post The Catholic Heroes of Niafles Continue Occupation of Village Church in a Brave Stand for Catholic Tradition and The Situation in Niafles:

The sad situation in Niafles continues as the people of that little faithful village are taking turns occupying the Church after the Bishop of Laval has ordered an end to the traditional Latin Mass there, which has continued in that village with the permission of diocesan bishops despite the liturgical revolution of Pope Paul VI, that is until Bishop of Laval Diocese (upon the complaints of the village's Socialist mayor) says that the Latin Mass that the village has always known is no longer allowed except once every eleven Sundays (the compromise that has been offered by the Bishop), at a location over 40 kilometers away in a renovated Novus Ordo Church. This is of course at the same time that a lawful priest of the Fraternity of Saint Peter is already in Niafles to offer the Mass for the faithful there. This is the completely unjust!

The eyes of the traditional Catholic world are focused upon Niafles to see how the Church handles this situation, which could be a sign of things to come in the Church. If the bishop is allowed to suppress the Traditional Mass in Niafles, that could not bode well for the expansion of the traditional rite as the Pope wishes throughout the Latin Church.
Friday: Abstain from Meat

Today is Friday, the day in which we commemorate Our Lord's Passion and Death. It was our own sins that condemned our glorious Lord to death on Good Friday - death on a Cross. As Catholics, we are still bound to either abstain from meat or rather to do some act of penance each Friday in the entire year. It was on this day of the week that our glorious Redeemer died for us. Please, never forget this, especially at 3 o'clock, the hour that He died. At 3 o'clock attempt to pray the 3 o'clock Mercy Prayer. Please remember Our Lord's love and repent today.
Code of Canon Law:
Can. 1249 All Christ's faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following canons prescribe. 

Can. 1250 The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent. 
Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. 

Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance. 

Can. 1253 The Episcopal Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are to be observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.
Today is also a great day to pray the Stations of the Cross. The Stations are a wonderful devotion that can be prayed in Church or at home. Nonetheless, the stations allow us to contemplate the true love of our Redeemer during His bitter Passion. Please join me in praying the Stations of the Cross. Remember, it was on this day that He gave up His life all for you.

Prayer to the Glorious Cross:

I adore You, O glorious Cross, which was adorned with the Heart and Body of my Savior Jesus Christ, stained and covered with blood. I adore You, O Holy Cross, out of love for Him, Jesus, who is my Savior and my God.

(Pope Pius IX declared that reciting this prayer five times on Friday will free five souls from Purgatory and 33 souls by reciting it on Good Friday. This prayer should be recited before a crucifix with a contrite heart and praying a few minutes for the Pope).

Prayer to Jesus Christ Crucified:

My good and dear Jesus, I kneel before you asking you most earnestly to engrave upon my heart a deep and lively faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm resolve to make amends. As I reflect upon your five wounds, and dwell upon them with deep compassion and grief, I recall the words the prophet David spoke long ago concerning yourself: they have pierced my hands and my feet, they have numbered all my bones!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Pray for Marianne's Father

Please say a prayer for the health and well-being of Marianne's father. She is the person who is kindly drawing all of the names for the Saint for the Year Devotion. Her father is in grave need of prayers.

Final Update: Her father has passed away. Requiem aternam!
St. Aloysius Gonzaga

Memorial (1969 Calendar): June 21
Double (1955 Calendar): June 21

Each year at this time, the Church remembers the life of St. Aloysius Gonzaga (1568 - 1591). Born to Italian nobility in the family’s castle in Castiglione delle Stiviere, St. Aloysius was the son of a compulsive gambler. He is also the cousin of Saint Rudolph Acquaviva. St. Aloysius was trained as a soldier and courtier even at the young age of four. In 1577, at the age of 8, he was sent to serve at the court of Grand Duke Francesco I de' Medici. While there, he began to suffer from kidney disease and later viewed it as a blessing because he spent the time in prayer and spiritual reading. At the age of 9, he made a private vow of chastity.

In 1580, St. Aloysius returned to Castiglione, and he received First Holy Communion from the hands of St. Charles Borromeo on June 22, 1580, who was then a cardinal. While still a young boy, St. Aloysius began to teach catechism to poor boys. St. Aloysius felt his vocation was to become a Jesuit; while his mother consented, his father was furious. His family tried relentlessly to deter him from his vocation, and they eventually tried to persuade him to become a diocesan priest. The family of St. Aloysius was prepared to "buy" him a bishopric. At age 18, he signed away his legal claim to his family's lands and title to his brother and became a Jesuit novice.

In November 1585, St. Aloysius went to Rome and was granted an audience with Pope Sixtus V. On November 25, 1585, he was accepted as a Jesuit novice. He was sent to Milan for his studies, but due to his poor health - skin disease, chronic headaches, kidney disease, and insomnia - he was sent back to Rome. In 1590, St. Aloysius had a vision in which the Archangel Gabriel told him that he would die within a year. With the outbreak of the Plague in 1591 in Rome, the Jesuits opened a hospital for those stricken with the Plague. St. Aloysius worked in a ward where there were no plague victims, but when a man became afflicted with the disease, St. Aloysius soon developed symptoms. As he was dying, he spoke many times with his spiritual director, St. Robert Bellarmine. St. Aloysius received another vision in which it was revealed that he would die on the Octave Day of Corpus Christi. St. Bellarmine gave him the sacraments and recited the prayers for the dying. On June 21, 1591, the Octave Day of Corpus Christi, St. Aloysius died shortly before midnight.

St. Aloysius Gonzaga was canonized on December 31, 1726, in Rome, Italy, by Pope Benedict XIII. His relics are entombed under the altar of Saint Ignatius Church in Rome.

For more information, please see "Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, S.J.: With an Undivided Heart" by Silas Henderson.


O God, The Giver of heavenly gifts, Who in the angelic youth Aloysius dist unite a wonderful innocence of life with an equal spirit of penance: grant through his merits and prayers, that we, who have not followed his innocence, may imitate his penance. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
New Donation Feature


After asking for opinions from my readers on whether or not to allow Paypal donations, I have decided to add a feature to the sidebar of my blog. I have always asked for opinions from readers before making certain decisions on this blog, and since most readers enthusiastically supported the idea, I have decided to add a feature. I have decided to read about Paypal and create an account. This is the first time I did it and I was a little nervous, but I think everything is working well. If anyone would really like to send in a donation to me, I will also gladly accept checks sent through the Postal Office.

As I previously wrote, I do not like posting about fundraisers. I have always blogged in order to spread the message of Christ, wary of His command, "Without cost you have received, and without cost you are to give." I will continue providing posts of the Catholic Faith regardless if I ever receive a donation. Allowing donations and charging for the Gospel message are two entirely distinct issues. I will never ask for any money on this blog or sell anything. I am merely allowing readers to donate to me. Since I am preparing to enter the seminary, donations would most likely be used to pay for books such as a Liturgy of the Hours 4-volume set, liturgical vestments like a surplice, or accessories for college. I must, however, state that it would not be a tax-deductible contribution.

Thank you for everyone's advice. And, most especially, thank you in advance for any donations. I will appreciate each and every donation. Again, thank you in advance.
Words of Inspiration: June 21

"The dying should be given attention and care to help them live their last moments in dignity and peace. They will be helped by the prayer of their relatives, who must see to it that the sick receive at the proper time the sacraments that prepare them to meet the living God" (CCC 2299)

Please remember to pray for the sick and dying. Pray not only the Rosary for them but also the Divine Mercy Chaplet. And please do not pray just for their physical body but most importantly their soul. When a relative does die, please have Gregorian Masses said for him/her.

Image Source: Holy Cards
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road

The Vatican has released a 36-page document titled, Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road. According to numerous sources, the document outlines the "Ten Commandments for Drivers":

1. You shall not kill.

2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.

3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.

4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.

5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.

6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.

7. Support the families of accident victims.

8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.

9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.

10. Feel responsible toward others.
Gothic Cathedrals in Original Colors

Via the Fish Eaters Forum, I found a post at Daniel Mitsui's blog, which shows Gothic Cathedrals in their original colors and beauty. Some of these Cathedrals are truly magnificent!
Catholic Carnival #124

This week's Catholic Carnival #124 is now available.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
St. Romuald

Double (1955 Calendar): February 7
Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar): June 19

St. Romuald (c. 951 - 1027) was born at Ravenna, Italy and lived a wild youth, far from observing the commands of the Gospel. After watching his father die in a duel, St. Romuald sought to atone for the crime by becoming a Benedictine monk. From 996 - 999 AD, St. Romuald even served as an abbot. St. Romuald established several hermitages and monasteries in northern and central Italy. He tried to evangelize the Slavs with little success. St. Romuald is best remembered for founding the Camaldolese Benedictines.

Dom Gueranger writes of the Camaldolese monks as follows:
The calendar’s list of martyrs is interrupted for two days; the first of these is the feast of Romuald, the hero of penance, the saint of the forests of Camaldoli. He is a son of the great patriarch St. Benedict, and, like him, is the father of many children. The Benedictine family has a direct line from the commencement, even to this present time; but, from the trunk of this venerable tree there have issued four vigorous branches, to each of which the Holy Spirit has imparted the life and fruitfulness of the parent stem. These collateral branches of the Benedictine Order are: Camaldoli, founded by Romuald; Cluny, by Odo; Vallombrosa, by John Gualbert; and Citeaux, by Robert of Molesmes.
For the last fourteen years of his life, he lived in seclusion at Mount Sitria, Bifolco, and Val di Castro. He was also a spiritual teacher of St. Wolfgang. On June 19, 1027, St. Romuald died at Val-di-Castro, Italy of natural causes. His body is incorruptible and his relics were translated on February 7, 1481. In 1582 he was canonized by Pope Gregory XIII. Pope Clement VIII added his feast to the general calendar in 1595.

The Divine Office of the Church traditionally had this reading on his holy and illustrious life:
Romuald was the son of a nobleman, named Sergius. He was born at Ravenna, and while yet a boy, withdrew to the monastery of Classis, there to lead a life of penance. The conversation of one of the religious increased in his soul his already ardent love of piety; and after being twice favoured with a vision of St. Apollinaris, who appeared to him, during the night, in the church which was dedicated to him, he entered the monastic state, agreeably to the promise made him by the holy martyr. A few years later on, he betook himself to a hermit named Marinus, who lived in the neighbourhood of Venice, and was famed for his holy and austere life, that, under such a master and guide, he might follow the narrow path of high perfection. 
Many were the snares laid for him by Satan, and envious men molested him with their persecutions; but these things only excited him to be more humble, and assiduous in fasting and prayer. In the heavenly contemplation wherewith he was favoured, he shed abundant tears. Yet such was the joy which ever beamed in his face, that it made all who looked at him cheerful. Princes and kings held him in great veneration, and his advice induced many to leave the world and its allurements, and live in holy solitude. An ardent desire for martyrdom induced him to set out for Pannonia; but a malady, which tormented him as often as he went forward, and left him when he turned back, obliged him to abandon his design. 
He wrought many miracles during his life, as also after his death, and was endowed with the gift of prophecy. Like the patriarch Jacob, he saw a ladder that reached from earth to heaven, on which men, clad in white robes, ascended and descended. He interpreted this miraculous vision as signifying the Camaldolese monks, whose founder he was. At length, having reached the age of a hundred and twenty, after having served his God by a life of most austere penance for a hundred years, he went to his reward, in the year of our Lord one thousand and twenty-seven. His body was found incorrupt after it had been five years in the grave; and was then buried, with due honour, in the church of his Order at Fabriano.

Father, through Saint Romuald you renewed the life of solitude and prayer in your Church. By our self-denial as we follow Christ bring us the joy of heaven. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Novena Prayers to Our Mother of Perpetual Help

As a reminder, the Novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help lasts from June 19-27.

First Prayer

Behold at thy feet, O Mother of Perpetual Help, a wretched sinner who has recourse to thee and confides in thee. O Mother of mercy, have pity on me. I hear thee called by all the refuge and the hope of sinners: be then, my refuge and my hope. Assist me, for the love of Jesus Christ; stretch forth thy hand to a miserable fallen creature who recommends himself to thee, and who devotes himself to thy service for ever. I bless and thank Almighty God, who in His mercy has given me this confidence in thee, which I hold to be a pledge of my eternal salvation. It is true that in the past I have miserably fallen into sin, because I had not recourse to thee. I know that, with thy help, I shall conquer. I know too, that thou wilt assist me, if I recommend myself to thee; but I fear that, in time of danger, I may neglect to call on thee, and thus lose my soul. This grace, then, I ask of thee, and this I beg, with all the fervor of my soul, that in all the attacks of hell I may ever have recourse to thee. O Mary, help me. O Mother of Perpetual Help, never suffer me to lose my God.

Three Hail Marys.

Second Prayer

O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke thy most powerful name, which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying. O purest Mary, O sweetest Mary, let thy name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, O Blessed Lady, to help me, whenever I call on thee; for, in all my temptations, in all my needs, I shall never cease to call on thee, ever repeating thy sacred name, Mary, Mary. O what consolation, what sweetness, what confidence, what emotion, fill my soul when I utter thy sacred name, or even only think of thee. I thank the Lord for having given thee, for my good so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely uttering thy name. Let my love for thee prompt me ever to hail thee, Mother of Perpetual Help.

Three Hail Marys.

Third Prayer

O Mother of Perpetual Help, thou art the dispenser of all the gifts which God grants to us miserable sinners; and for this end He has made thee so powerful, so rich, and so bountiful, in order that thou mayest help us in our misery. Thou art the advocate of the most wretched and abandoned sinners who have recourse to thee: come to my aid, for I recommend myself to thee. In thy hands I place my eternal salvation, and to thee I entrust my soul. Count me among thy most devoted servants; take me under thy protection, and it is enough for me. For, if thou protect me, I fear nothing; not from my sins, because thou wilt obtain for me the pardon of them; nor from the devils, because thou art more powerful than all hell together; nor even from Jesus, my judge, because by one prayer from thee He will be appeased. But one thing I fear: that in the hour of temptation I may through negligence fail to have recourse to thee and thus perish miserably. Obtain for me, therefore, the pardon of my sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance, and the grace ever to have recourse to thee, O Mother of Perpetual Help.

Three Hail Marys.

Invocations to Our Lady

O Mother of Perpetual Help, thou whose very name inspires confidence.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.
That I may be victorious in the trying time of temptation.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.
That I may quickly rise again should I have the misfortune to fall into sin.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.
That I may break asunder any bonds of Satan in which I may have become entangled.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.
Against the seductions of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.
That I may return to my former fervour should I ever become lukewarm.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.
That I may approach the Sacrament of Penance with a heart pierced by sorrow for my sins.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.
That I may receive and adore the Most Holy Eucharist with love, thanksgiving, and awe.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.
[Priests: That I may live my holy priesthood in intimate union with thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Victim and Priest.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.]
Against my own inconstancy.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.
Against my own infidelity.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.
In the spiritual battle against my vices and sins.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.
When the powers of darkness threaten me.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.
That I may persevere to the end in faith, hope and charity.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.
That I may never despair of the Mercy of God.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.
That I may ever love thee and serve thee and invoke thine assistance.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.
That I may make thy Perpetual Help known to others.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.
That I may invite others to pray to thee and to venerate thy sacred image.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.
At the hour of my death.
R. Help me, O loving Mother.

Blessing of the Sick By A Priest

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who hath made Heaven and earth.
V. 0 Lord hear my prayer.

R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
V. The Lord be with you.

R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

Look down, O Lord, upon Thy servants failing from bodily weakness, and refresh their souls which Thou hast created that being bettered by Thy chastening they may presently feel themselves healed and saved by Thy pity.

Grant, O Lord, we beseech Thee that these Thy servants may enjoy continual health of body and soul, and through the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary ever Virgin, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, be freed from their present sorrow and enjoy eternal gladness. Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

The Lord Jesus Christ be with you to defend you; within you to preserve you; before you to lead you, behind you to guide you; above you to bless you, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns forever and ever.
R. Amen.

The blessing of Almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit descend upon you and remain with you always.
R. Amen
Monday, June 18, 2007
Adding a PayPal Feature

Several prominent Catholic blogs such as The New Liturgical Movement use Paypal to allow their readers to donate to the blog. Since some readers of my blog have previously expressed interest in being able to donate to me on this blog, I wanted to ask if anyone would like me to add this feature to this blog.

First and foremost, I must state that I do not like posting about fundraisers. I have always blogged in order to spread the message of Christ, wary of His command, "Without cost you have received, and without cost you are to give." I will continue providing posts of the Catholic Faith regardless if I ever receive a donation. I am merely interested in asking for opinions. I would like to know if anyone is still interested in using paypal to be able to donate. Since I am preparing to enter the seminary, donations would most likely be used to pay for seminary classes, books, or liturgical accessories. However, I must state that it would not be a tax-deductible contribution.

Please comment below and let me know whether or not you would be interested in an option to donate through Paypal. I would prefer if all comments were done anonymously below so that everyone can express his/her thoughts as honestly as possible.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Traditional Propers: Third Sunday After Pentecost

Vestments: Green

Psalms 24: 16, 18
Look Thou upon me, O Lord, and have mercy on me: for I am alone and poor. See my abjection and my labor; and forgive me all my sins, O my God. -- (Ps. 24. 1, 2). To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, my God, I put my trust: let me not be ashamed. V.: Glory be to the Father . . . -- Look Thou upon me . . .

COLLECT - O God, the Protector of those who put their trust in Thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: multiply upon us Thy mercy, that with Thee as our ruler, and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we may not lose those which are eternal. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost . . .

I Peter 5: 6-11
Dearly beloved, Be you humbled under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in the time of visitation; casting all your care upon Him, for He hath care of you. Be sober and watch, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith; knowing that the same affliction befalls your brethren who are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto the eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will Himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you. To Him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalms 54: 23, 17, 19
Cast Thy care upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee. V.: When I cried to the Lord He heard my voice, from them that draw near to me.

Alleluia, alleluia. V.(Ps. 7. 12). God is a just judge, strong and patient: is He angry every day? Alleluia.

Luke 15: 1-10

At that time, the publicans and sinners drew near unto Jesus to hear Him: and the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them. And He spoke to them this parable, saying: What man is there of you that hath a hundred sheep, and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which was lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders rejoicing an coming home, call together his friends and neighbors, saying to them: Rejoice with me because I have found my sheep that was lost? I say to you that even so there shall be more joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need no penance. Or what woman having ten groats, if she lose one groat doth not light a candle and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it? And when she hath found it, call together her friends and neighbors, saying: Rejoice with me because I have found the groat which I had lost? So I say to you, there shall be joy before the Angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.

Psalms 9: 11, 12, 13
Let them trust in Thee who know Thy Name, O Lord: for Thou hast not forsaken them that seek Thee: sing ye to the Lord, who dwelleth in Sion: for He hath not forgotten the cry of the poor.

SECRET - Look, O Lord, upon the gifts of Thy suppliant Church: and grant that they may with constant hallowing be received unto the salvation of those who believe. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity . . .

PREFACE (Preface of the Sacred Heart) -It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God; Who didst will that Thine only-begotten Son, while hanging on the cross, should be pierced by a soldier's spear, that the Heart thus opened, a shrine of divine bounty, should pour out on us streams of mercy and grace, and that what never ceased to burn with love for us, should be a resting-place to the devout, and open as a refuge of salvation to the penitent. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:

Luke 5: 10
I say to you: there is joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.

POST COMMUNION - May Thy holy Gifts, O Lord, which we have received, give us life: and having purified us, prepare us for Thine everlasting mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth . . .
Friday, June 15, 2007
Institute of Christ the King Ordinations

From the Institute of Christ the King:

On Friday, June 15th, starting at 1:00 pm, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis will be the site of a church event not seen in St. Louis in decades -- ordinations to the priesthood in the Traditional Latin Rite. The Most Reverend Archbishop Raymond L. Burke will be presiding at this ceremony, in which two deacons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest will be ordained Roman Catholic priests.

The Institute of Christ the King is a society of priests dedicated to Catholic tradition, founded in Italy in 1990. Priests of the Institute were assigned the historic St. Francis de Sales Oratory in July 2005 by Archbishop Burke. Once known as the Cathedral of South St. Louis for its size and magnificence, this church is now home of the Latin Mass Community of St. Louis. A vibrant community has grown at St. Francis de Sales since the Institute arrived almost two years ago, attendance increasing from 300 to nearly 800 each Sunday. Here the Classical Latin Mass is offered every day, and twice on Sundays, along with several traditional Catholic devotions throughout the week.

The “Latin Mass” has been the focus of much media attention in the past months, since rumors surfaced that Pope Benedict XVI plans to issue a document granting a wider use of the Classical or “Traditional” Latin Rite. This millennial liturgy was substituted in 1969 by the “New Order of Mass,” now celebrated in most Catholic churches. However, Pope Benedict and other high ranking officials of the Catholic Church see an important role for the Classical Latin Rite, and recognize the ever waxing interest and desire for the traditional Mass in Latin.

Unlike what many would think, the Traditional Latin Rite is not a subject of nostalgia. Anyone attending one of the now hundreds of churches in the United States where the Latin Mass is celebrated, will immediately note the youthfulness of the congregation, and the vibrancy of the community. Young adults and young large families with many children skew the average age to the mid 40s if not lower. The reverence, beauty, timelessness and transcendence of the venerable Rite are often cited as the points of attraction. And it is the general experience of the clergy who celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass that their congregations are growing very steadily. All the churches staffed by the Institute of Christ the King demonstrate this phenomenon, St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis being a particularly striking example, were the congregation has nearly tripled in size in two years.

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest itself is evidence of this growth factor. It was founded in 1990 by two French priests, Msgr. Gilles Wach and Fr. Philippe Mora, who sought to establish a seminary that would train young men for the priesthood desiring to be formed and educated in the tradition of the Catholic Church -- theological as well as liturgical. While at first established as a mission seminary in Gabon, Africa, in a matter of months the Institute was invited by the Archbishop of Florence, Italy, to relocate to the village of Gricigliano in his archdiocese. Two heiresses had left property to the Archdiocese of Florence to be used by any Catholic order or community dedicated to the Traditional Latin Mass. It was to in this property, the Villa Martelli in Gricigliano, that the Institute established its motherhouse and seminary.

After only sixteen years the Institute of Christ the King now has more than 50 priests stationed in over 40 locations in Europe, Africa, and the United States, where all the sacraments of the church are offered in the Traditional Latin Rite. In the United States the Institute is present in Chicago, Rockford, St. Louis, Kansas City, Green Bay, Wausau, Oakland, and Santa Clara. It receives several inquiries on a weekly basis from young men who wish to become priests in the Institute. As its seminary formation program is nearly filled to capacity with 70 men at the different stages of preparation for the priesthood, the superiors of the Institute of Christ the King have the rare problem of having too many aspirants to their seminary.

The ceremony on June 15th, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis will mark the first time that priests of the Institute of Christ the King are ordained in the United States. Usually, the ordinations take place at their seminary in Florence. Members of the Institute will be providing the Gregorian Chant and filling the several liturgical roles of the intricate and strikingly beautiful Ordination ceremony and Pontifical Solemn High Mass, which will be presided by the Most Reverend Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop of St. Louis.

Father Karl Lenhardt, Rector of St. Francis de Sales Oratory operated by the Institute of Christ the King, commented: “All the members of the Institute and faithful who attend our several churches around the country are very much looking forward to this special event. We are especially grateful to His Grace, Archbishop Raymond Burke, for having the ceremony at his own Cathedral Basilica, and above all for his kindness to the Institute throughout so many years.”

Update: The ordination has taken place and there were between 1,100 to 1,200 people in attendance as Archbishop Burke ordained Fr. Avis and Fr. Talarico. A few images are available on the blog Saint Louis Catholic. More photos are at The New Liturgical Movement. More excellent photos are available on the Fish Eaters Forum.
World Day of Prayer for Priests

Today is not only the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, but also the World Day of Prayer for Priests. The priest is more than just a social worker or a therapist. Above all, the priest is a doctor of souls, whose sole purpose is to work for the salvation of the people of God.

The Roman Catholic Church has the sole privilege of possessing the four marks of the Church of God: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. Because of the connection to the apostles, the Roman Catholic Church still has a valid priesthood along with the Eastern Orthodox Church. No protestant church has a valid priesthood.

Jesus came to destroy sin, satan, and death. He gathered twelve disciples to replace the twelve tribes of Israel - forming a new covenant with His people. These twelve disciples were the only ones allowed to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass, instituted at the Last Supper. These twelve were the only ones given the power to forgive sins and celebrate the Eucharist, which is passed down only through the ordained priesthood (CCC 1411). The apostles - meaning those sent by Christ - were given the full power of authority by Christ: "Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." The sacred power of the priesthood is passed down at the ordination ceremony by the laying on of hands.

And at the Last Supper, Our Savior's words, "Take and eat, this is my body... take and drink this is my blood" (Matthew 26:26-28) truly transformed the bread and wine into His Body and Blood. In yet another act of humility, Christ gave Himself to us through this Sacrament - the Holy Eucharist. The apostles alone were given this power passed down through apostolic succession.

Our priests today have this same power to stand at the altar on account of their ordination. Our same priests have the power to forgive sins (John 20:21-23) and baptize (Matthew 28:19). Only the hands of the priest are consecrated to touch the Most Holy Eucharist; lay people should never touch the Eucharist. Only deacons and priests are truly allowed to touch the sacred vessels including the chalice and paten. Even though few parishes teach thus: servers, subdeacons, and even acolytes should only touch the sacred vessels using a chalice veil or a purificator.

Jesus Christ is the invisible head of the Church (CCC 792), but He chose to build His Church on St. Peter (CCC 552). And through the Church's history, priests have received the heavenly gift of ordination, mystically turning them into an "alter Christi". The priest stands in the person of Jesus Christ at the Mass and in ministering the Sacraments. In the "Catechism on the Priesthood" by St. John Vianney, St. John Vianney writes, "If I were to meet a priest and an angel, I should salute the priest before I saluted the angel. The latter is the friend of God; but the priest holds His place. Saint Teresa kissed the ground where a priest had passed." I highly recommend reading the Catechism on the Priesthood.

Of all the accounts of the Last Supper and the Institution of the Priesthood, which took place there, I am most fond of the account in The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. From pages 76-88, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich recounts a vision of the Institution of the Eucharist. In pages 89-93, she recounts the Institution of the Priesthood using holy oils. It is a wonderful section of the book to read - especially today.

The Theme for the World Day Of Prayer for the Santification of Priests (2007) (.pdf) is available on the Internet. To conclude, I ask my readers to pray for priests not only today but at least once a week, preferably on Thursday, the day that the priesthood began. Please also pray for more priests - more holy, traditional priests. Several prayers and a reflection are available at my post on the 44th World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Motu proprio "Signed and Imminent"

Unlike most blogs, I do not post on speculations as to when the motu proprio will be released. The document, for those unfamiliar with it, will widen permission to celebrate the Tridentine Mass. However, as opposed to the usual speculations, I truly believe this one:

Exclusive: "Motu Proprio" signed by the Pope, liberalization of Latin Mass imminent

By Bruno Volpe

The Papal "Motu Proprio" for the liberalization of the Latin Mass according to the Tridentine rite of Saint Pius V is ready, is about to be translated into several languages and will be published right before the departure of Benedict XVI for the summer vacation. [Rorate note: The Pope's vacation this summer will take place in a small villa of the property of the Diocese of Treviso, in the tiny hamlet of Lorenzago di Cadore, Province of Belluno, in the Veneto region, in the July 9-27 period.]

The text has already been signed by the Pontiff, who has even written a long explanatory letter, of a theological character, "addressed to all the Bishops of the world", as it can be read in its introduction, "so that they may receive this document with serenity and patience".

The Pope thus asks to the Bishops, to the clergy, and to the faithful a serene mood in the acceptance of the "Motu Proprio", which will be presented in a Press Conference by Cardinals Francis Arinze, Dario Castrillon Hoyos, and Julian Herranz.

The delay in the publication of the document seems to be related to strong oppositions from some sectors of the clergy (especially from the French Episcopal Conference).

Monsignor Nicola Bux (a personal friend of the Pope), a theologian and collaborator of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, declares: "You may write calmly [that] Pope Benedict XVI loves agreement and collaboration, and does not wish to decide everything on his own, which is why he has heard several and repeated opinions, but the Motu Proprio for the liberalization of the Latin Mass has been signed and its publication is imminent, I would say it is a matter of days."

The Tridentine Mass is completely celebrated in Latin, with the exception of a few words and sentences in Ancient Greek and in Hebrew; it is interspersed with long periods of silence, to allow the faithful to adequately meditate on the greatness of the Eucharistic mystery which they are called to assist. The faithful follow the liturgy reading the bilingual handmissal or leaflet, which carry, side by side with the Latin text, the integral translation of the actions in Italian or in the other national languages.

It is not only the use of the ecclesiastical and universal ("Catholic" means precisely universal) language which represents the sole standing difference between the Tridentine Mass and the modern one. The priest, differently than what takes place in the course of the new rite, turns his back to the faithful, as he celebrates turned to the tabernacle and the altar which constitutes the representation of Calvary; the image is that of the celebrant who guides the people.


Old Latin Mass Makes a Comeback

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a great story today entitled Old Latin Mass Makes a Comeback. Here is an excerpt:
Old Latin Mass Makes a Comeback
By Tim Townsend

Melinda Scanga (left), of Jefferson County, prays during Latin mass at St. Francis De Sales Oratory. (Dawn Majors /P-D)

The church's windows are broken, its beige bricks are sooty, its paint is chipped. The 300-foot steeple, a hallmark of the St. Louis skyline, is pulling away from its foundation. One day it could tumble into traffic on Gravois Avenue.

St. Francis de Sales church, often called the Cathedral of South St. Louis, is an ideal home for a group of Roman Catholic priests devoted to restoration. But restoring this 19th-century neo-Gothic church to its former glory is only one reason St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke assigned the priests to oversee St. Francis de Sales.

The real mission of the group, called the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, is the restoration of the traditional Latin Mass.

The 1,600-year-old Mass isn't used much today, but it's making a comeback.

That effort will get a boost Friday when Burke — one of the most devoted supporters of the old Latin rite among U.S. bishops — will ordain two deacons of the Institute at the Cathedral Basilica. Burke has ordained members several times in Italy, where the institute is based outside Florence. But Friday will mark the first time members of the 17-year-old institute will be ordained in the United States and the first time the traditional Latin liturgy will be used in an ordination here in more than 40 years.

Most of the world's 1 billion Catholics are familiar with the celebration of Mass in their own languages. The traditional Latin Mass, also referred to as the Tridentine Mass, Classical Latin Mass, Old Rite, Classical Roman Rite or Mass of Ages, was largely set aside by the church in the 1960s when the Second Vatican Council approved changes in the liturgy.

The Latin Mass is thick with pageantry, solemnity and symbolism and is often referred to as "smells and bells" for its generous use of incense and music.

A papal decree, which Vatican officials have said should be released soon, is likely to expand the use of the ancient Mass. The decree — called a motu proprio — is expected to allow any priest to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass without the permission of his bishop.

Vatican watchers say the decree could be released July 14, the date, in 1570, when Pope Pius V published the liturgical text that would be used to celebrate Mass for the next 400 years — until the reforms of Vatican II.

In today's church, priests are free to celebrate the post-Vatican II liturgy, or new order Mass, in Latin — though most don't. What a priest cannot do without the permission of his bishop is celebrate the traditional Latin Mass as it was structured, worded, sung and heard in 1962, the last time it was changed before Vatican II.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Our Sunday Visitor: May 27, 2007

In the "Our Sunday Visitor" from May 27, 2007, my blog is mentioned in regards to an article on priestly celibacy (page 12). A few weeks ago the author of the article emailed me and asked my opinion on three questions. I replied to him, but he was only able to include a little amount of my words due to limited space. Here is what is written:

"Two seminarian bloggers - Matthew ( said that the abuse scandal is often put forward as an argument against priestly celibacy." The article goes on to refute arguments that attack the practice of mandatory priestly celibacy.

Below is a copy of his questions to me and my response. Although these were not published in the periodical, they are still something that I want to share.

1. In his recent apostolic exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, Pope Benedict XVI confirmed that priestly celibacy remains obligatory in the Latin tradition (no. 24). What are the most common objections you have encountered to obligatory priestly celibacy, and how might you answer those objections?

First and foremost, as a Roman Catholic Seminarian preparing to enroll at St. John Vianney College Seminary in Minnesota, I am honored to be part of group of a holy and reverent seminarians upholding the Traditions of the Church. Priestly celibacy is a gift from God. If a man is truly called to the priesthood, he is not called to the married life. If priests did marry, they would be unable to provide adequate time and devotion to either the family or the congregation. Both vocations - marriage and the priesthood - require full-time attention and devotion. I am proud to go to a seminary with Catholics who hold similar opinions.

However, some Catholics do prescribe to the ideology that priestly celibacy is harmful to the Church. One of the most common reasons cited to end the ancient practice of mandatory priestly celibacy is that it would stop the sexual abuse of minors. Firstly, I must state that the abuse of minors by members of the clergy is not only mortally sinful but repulsively disgusting and scandalous. However, removing the requirement for priestly celibacy will not improve the situation. Statistically, the number one abusers of children are not priests but rather parents. After considering the number of married men and non-Catholic ministers that have committed the grievous sin of molesting children, the argument against celibacy is negated.

Some people claim that mandatory priestly celibacy burdens a priest with unrepressable sexual energy. However, if a man is called to the priesthood, wouldn't God give him the ability to respond to the call and fulfill the obligations established by the Church? Of course - a man truly called to the priesthood would have the ability to forsake marriage and love celibacy by the grace of God. As St. Paul affirmed in the midst of trial and persecution: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). And priests can do all things through the grace of Christ. Relaxing requirements would only allow more doctrinal and theological room for error. The Catholic Faith does not principally flourish in areas where the priest does whatever he wants. Rather, the Faith flourishes in the midst of intense obligations and requirements. Since the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s, modernism and liberalism have spread around the globe, and a decline in not only vocations to the priesthood but also to the married life has taken place. There are more and more divorces. According to statistics, 1 in 2 families experienced divorce in the 1990s compared to 1 in 7 in the 1950s. The current crisis in our world is simply a crisis in commitment and removing mandatory priestly celibacy would not correct the crisis.

Some people claim that with the implementation of mandatory priestly celibacy men will become fearful of women. This again is unfounded. By learning and internalizing the teachings of the Church through the centuries, man can communicate with women without difficulties. I see this all of the time with priests. I have never met a priest or a seminarian scared to talk with women. Celibacy is a gift, and if a man is truly called to the priesthood, the gift will not be a burden but rather a blessing.

2. What, in your judgment, is the single most compelling objection to obligatory priestly celibacy, and how might you answer that objection?

I believe it is the argument against the sexual abuse of minors, and I previously addressed that.

3. Do you have any additional, more general reflections on priestly celibacy that you might wish to share with Our Sunday Visitor readers?

We must remember the words of Our Savior: "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it" (Matthew 19: 11,12). Similarly, St. Paul remained celibate for the safe of the Kingdom of God and his words formulate the essential reply to critics of mandatory celibacy: '' I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord" (1 Cor 32-35)

To follow Jesus as a priest requires commitment and commitment is the answer to the current crisis in commitment in our society. By remaining celibate and following the words of Jesus and St. Paul in the New Testament, a priest places all of his trust in Jesus and renounces Himself for the Gospel (Luke 9:23). By living a life of Sacrifice, the priest becomes more and more like Christ, which is gravely important since the priest is an "alter Christi" at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Just as the habit is a symbol of faith in the midst of a secular world, celibacy is a sign that a priestly soul is entirely dedicated to furthering the Kingdom of God.
Feastday of St. Anthony of Padua

"Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak. We are full of words but empty of actions, and therefore are cursed by the Lord, since he himself cursed the fig tree when he found no fruit but only leaves. It is useless for a man to flaunt his knowledge of the law if he undermines its teaching by his actions" (St. Anthony of Padua)

Today is the feastday of St. Anthony of Padua. Please see my post from last year for information and stories about him. He is one of my favorite saints.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Bishop Joseph Kurtz made Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky

Bishop Joseph Kurtz of Knoxville, Tennessee will succeed Archbishop Thomas Cajetan Kelly as the Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky. I certainly hope that Archbishop Kurtz is favorable to Traditional Catholicism.

The pope on Tuesday accepted the resignation of Louisville, Ky., Archbishop Thomas Cajetan Kelly and appointed Knoxville, Tenn., Bishop Joseph Kurtz as his successor. Kelly turned 75, the normal retirement age for bishops, last July.

Kurtz, 60, has been serving as Knoxville bishop since 1999.

A Pennsylvania native, Kurtz is a licensed social worker and chairman of the Committee on Marriage and Family for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, serving as a point man for the group on issues such as gay marriage.

In Knoxville, Kurtz has sponsored joint social services between Catholic Charities and Lutheran Services, and has focused his outreach work on East Tennessee’s growing Hispanic population. The Louisville position would not be the first for which Kurtz has been considered. Last year, he was among eight bishops who were candidates to lead the Pittsburgh diocese.

The Knoxville diocese includes about 50,000 Catholics across East Tennessee, compared to the nearly 200,000 Catholics across 24 counties included in the Louisville archdiocese. Kelly, who was appointed Louisville archbishop by Pope John Paul II in 1982, submitted his resignation last year after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.
Monday, June 11, 2007
The Most Beautiful Thing This Side of Heaven

Called the Mass of the Ages, the Most Beautiful Thing This Side of Heaven, the Tridentine Latin Mass, the Usus Antiquor, and most recently, the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, this Mass truly is one of the most beautiful forms of worship for the Catholic Church.

I encourage you to browse by the tag of Traditional Latin Mass in addition to visiting these posts linked below.

For more general information on the most beautiful thing this side of heaven, see my resource list: Tridentine Latin Mass Resource List
Words of Inspiration: June 11

"Frequent visits to Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Altar are a great help to the souls that love Him" (St. Alphonsus Liguori).

Yesterday, in the United States, we celebrated Corpus Christi and especially honored and glorified Our Lord for coming to us in the Holy Eucharist. Each day He remains in the Eucharist but He is frequently alone and unvisited by us and many others. Just as the sun transforms human skin because of exposure, sitting in the presence of the Sun of God radically transforms our souls. If possible, please try to attend Eucharistic Adoration at least once a week if possible. Jesus speaks to all of us: "Could you not watch one hour with me?" (Matthew 26:40)

Also See:

What is Eucharistic Adoration?
Find Eucharistic Adoration Locations
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Special Intention

I am asking for prayers for the health and safety of a good friend of mine. I would appreciate any and all prayers. Thank you and God bless.
President Morales of Bolivia Advocates Paganism

From CWNews:

Bolivia's President Evo Morales has suggested replacing the feast of Corpus Christi, which is a national holiday in that country, with a day officially dedicated to the sun god, Vatican Radio reports.

The Bolivian president, a Socialist who won national elections in December 2005, claims to be the first descendant of native Bolivians to lead the country since the days of the Spanish conquest. Morales identifies himself with his Indian ancestors, and says that he is a sun-worshipper.

Church leaders in Bolivia argue that Morales can make only a weak claim to historical precedents for a national holiday. Bishop Krzysztof Bialasik of Oruro reported: “Bolivians from the eastern part of the country told me that historically, there has never been observance of a day dedicated to the sun god.”

Apparently the President of Bolivia is a pagan who worships the "sun god" and wishes to bring Bolivia to formally participate in the false worship. How truly sad...
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Pope Benedict XVI Recognizes Franz Jaegerstaetter as a Martyr

Pope Benedict XVI has officially recognized Franz Jaegerstaetter as a martyr. After refusing to serve in Hitler's army, Jaegerstaetter was executed under the charge of treason. Jaegerstaetter was the only person in his village to have voted against the creation of "Greater Germany" shortly after Austria was annexed by the Nazis in 1938. In 1943, he was beheaded. Only ten years ago did a Berlin court posthumously exonerate Jaegerstaetter.

Franz Jaegerstaetter's recognition as a martyr advances his cause for sainthood. For beatification, being declared a martyr eliminates the need for a miracle attributed to the person after death to have occurred. However, a miracle attributed to his intercession is still required prior to canonization.
Words of Inspiration: June 9

"I find myself so bound to the divine will that neither death nor life is important: I want to live as He wishes and I want to serve Him as He likes, and nothing more."

Saint Rose Venerini (1656-1728)

Quotation found on the blog A Catholic Mom in Hawaii.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Cardinal Pell defends human life in Australia

For those unaware, Australia has been considering a bill that would allow therapeutic cloning. This is a response from Cardinal Pell.

By Cardinal George Pell
Archbishop of Sydney
8 June 2007

Is all human life equally precious?

We should not be distracted away from the elephant in the corner of the room. A huge diversionary tactic has been mounted to focus attention on hypothetical punishments for Catholic politicians by authoritarian bishops, and away from the destruction of human life.

Human life is the issue at hand. Serious anti-lifers and publicity seekers have been trying to shoot the messenger, while they work to bury the message.

Neither should anyone be tricked into believing that opponents of this bill are insensitive to human suffering or inactive in the search for cures.

Three days ago the science journal Nature reported that mouse tissue cells in U.S.A. and Japan were turned into embryonic-type stem cells without the use of eggs or embryos. Old age blindness through macular degeneration might be curable within ten years.

"We now have the right mechanism for sourcing cells without ethical quibbles" said Peter Mountford, head of the Melbourne and London based Stem Cell Sciences.

While objections to the creation and destruction of human life are not quibbles, this development shows the hot air and irrelevance of much of the low level debate on cloning and Christian teaching.

Despite the many advances in adult stem cell research, the Federal and Victorian parliaments have already passed bad legislation legitimizing the destruction of human embryos. The Anglican archbishop of Sydney and the Catholic Bishops of New South Wales continue to oppose such a bill in N.S.W., because we are serious about the importance of human life and oppose State sponsorship of the destruction of human life. This is a marker event and such unethical research is unnecessary.

Caring for the sick is a core business of the Catholic Church, and so is supporting medical research. Research institutes around St. Vincent's Hospital make up one of the largest bio-medical research complexes in the Southern Hemisphere health care. In health care, the Catholic Church is a player, not a wrecker. We've been in this field for two millennia, and we back healing and research with institutions, people, and dollars.

Professor Alan Mackay Sim's Queensland team of scientists working on nasal stem cell research for spinal cord injuries and Professor Pritinder Kaur's team at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre working on using adult stem cells for burns victims are both supported by grants from Sydney archdiocese.

Such adult stem cell research has been much more productive than work on embryonic stem cells which so far has proved to be a dead end. Little has been produced except massive grants for the researchers.

After more than 25 years of experiments with embryonic stem cells in animal models, researchers have yet to develop one successful treatment in mice for any disease that could be used as a model to undertake the first steps for a clinical trial with human patients.

Meanwhile, in the US alone there are currently 1422 government-approved clinical trials related to adult stem cells either on patients or recruiting patients. There is also peer reviewed evidence of the therapeutic benefit to patients who have received an adult stem cell treatment for 72 disease and conditions.

Adult stem cells have also been successfully used in treating type -1 diabetes, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported recently. Most government efforts in Australia are backing the wrong horse.

Finally however, have the Pope and some bishops gone one step too far in even hinting at sanctions for Catholic legislators who reject important teachings? Does this imperil the separation of Church and State? Perhaps legislators should be above Church laws and immune to sanctions for lapses of moral judgement?

Certainly a Catholic Church without sinners would be like a hospital without patients. That is why the blunt instrument of excommunication has hardly ever been used in Australia, as we are a church of the imperfect, not a sect for the elite.

But all of us who wish to remain Catholics have to be measured against Catholic teaching.

To be a disciple of Christ means accepting discipline because the Catholic Church has never followed today's fashionable notion of the primacy of conscience, which is, of course secular relativism with a religious face.

In a pluralist democracy bishops are free to explain Catholic doctrines and discipline, while all individuals and legislators are free to accept or reject what is proposed. But actions have consequences, some of which follow naturally, some of which are imposed and just as members of a political party who cross the floor on critical issues don't expect to be rewarded and might be penalized, so it is in the Church.

On May 9th Pope Benedict explained one Catholic teaching quite succinctly; speaking about abortion he said, "It simply states in Canon Law that the killing of an innocent child is incompatible with going to Communion, where one receives the Body of Christ". While recognizing that legislating for abortion or destructive human cloning is another matter again, it is useful to remember that Archbishop Hickey of Perth, Cardinal O'Brien of Edinburgh and Archbishop Smith of Cardiff have all spoken recently on life issues in a similar vein.

Pro-life forces are grateful to the N.S.W. Premier and Leader of the Opposition for allowing a conscience vote on this issue. Politicians and voters will make up their own minds, but everyone should be clear at least about Catholic teaching on the sanctity of human life.

I regret the vote of the Legislative Assembly on cloning and hope that the legislative Council will be better informed.
Minor Orders

One thing that I find extremely appealing concerning seminary formation is the minor and major orders. Unfortunately, except in indult societies and traditional orders, seminary formation no longer includes any of the minor orders and the major orders are reduced to just deacon and priest. These orders dated back all the way to Pope St. Caius in the late 200's AD.

I find the old practice of slowly growing in rank in the Church extremely spiritually edifying. I feel that as the seminarian obtains more rights and powers in the Church, he will become more prepared for ordination as a priest of Jesus Christ.

The New Liturgical Movement has a post on its blog with photos of a minor ordination: A view into the Life of the Institute of the Good Shepherd and commentary on Minor Orders.

Baltimore Catechism No. 3:

Q. 981. What are the grades by which one ascends to the priesthood?

A. The grades by which one ascends to the priesthood are:

  1. Tonsure, or the clipping of the hair by the bishop, by which the candidate for priesthood dedicates himself to the service of the altar;
  2. The four minor orders, Porter, Reader, Exorcist, and Acolyte, by which he is permitted to perform certain duties that laymen should not perform;
  3. Sub-deaconship, by which he takes upon himself the obligation of leading a life of perpetual chastity and of saying daily the divine office;
  4. Deaconship, by which he receives power to preach, baptize, and give Holy Communion.

Minor Orders Explained:

Porter (Doorkeeper): In the early Church, the porter was charged with ringing the bells for Mass and for the offices, opening the church and the sacristy, holding the book in front of the preacher and keeping troublesome persons out of the church. Spiritually, this symbolizes closing oneself to the devil and opening oneself to God by one's words and examples, our souls being temples of the Holy Ghost. In giving this order, the bishop has the candidate touch the keys, saying: “Comport yourself as if you were to render account unto God, of all that you close with these keys.”

Lector: Those ordained lectors have the privilege to read Lessons and Prophesies during the liturgy. The Bishop calls them to “Apply yourselves to reading the word of God in a clear and distinct manner to instruct and edify the faithful."

Exorcist: The bishop has the candidates touch the ritual, containing the rite of exorcism. He instructs them, saying “As you drive forth the devil from the bodies of your brothers, be sure to reject from your spirit and body all impurity and iniquity, so as not to be slaves of him from whom you deliver others.” However today, exorcists do not have the faculties to exorcise, that being left to priests with permission of the diocesan bishop.

Acolyte: The acolyte carries candles during ecclesiastical functions and presents wine and water at Mass. The bishop cites the Gospel according to St. Mark, saying “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father that is in heaven.”
Friday: Still a Day of Penance

O Lord, Our God, have mercy on us sinners!

Today is Friday, the day in which we commemorate Our Lord's passion and death. It was our own sins that condemned our glorious Lord to death on Good Friday - death on a Cross. As Catholics, we are still bound to either abstain from meat or rather to do some act of penance each Friday in the entire year. It was on this day of the week that our glorious Redeemer died for us. Please, never forget this, especially at 3 o'clock, the hour that He died. At 3 o'clock attempt to pray the 3 o'clock Mercy Prayer. Please remember Our Lord's love and repent today.
Code of Canon Law:

Can. 1249 All Christ's faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following canons prescribe.
Can. 1250 The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.
Can. 1253 The Episcopal Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are to be observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.
Today is also a great day to pray the Stations of the Cross. The Stations are a wonderful devotion that can be prayed in Church or at home. Nonetheless, the stations allow us to contemplate the true love of our Redeemer during His bitter Passion. Please join me in praying the Stations of the Cross. Remember, it was on this day that He gave up His life all for you.

Prayer to the Glorious Cross:

I adore You, O glorious Cross, which was adorned with the Heart and Body of my Savior Jesus Christ, stained and covered with blood. I adore You, O Holy Cross, out of love for Him, Jesus, who is my Savior and my God.

(Pope Pius IX declared that reciting this prayer five times on Friday will free five souls from Purgatory and 33 souls by reciting it on Good Friday. This prayer should be recited before a crucifix with a contrite heart and praying a few minutes for the Pope).

Prayer to Jesus Christ Crucified:

My good and dear Jesus, I kneel before you asking you most earnestly to engrave upon my heart a deep and lively faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm resolve to make amends. As I reflect upon your five wounds, and dwell upon them with deep compassion and grief, I recall the words the prophet David spoke long ago concerning yourself: they have pierced my hands and my feet, they have numbered all my bones!

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