Saturday, November 30, 2019
Advent Preparation Guide
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Advent begins this Sunday. This is like a mini Lent. Let's start planning how to spend these days leading up to Christmastide.


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Tuesday, November 26, 2019
St. Leonard of Port Maurice
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November 26th is the Feast of St. Sylvester the Abbot. It is in addition also the feastday of St. Peter of Alacantra, who was one of the first martyrs for combating the heresy of Arius. In the Divine Office a Commemoration is made of him.

Furthermore, in some places it is also the feastday of St. Leonard of Port Maurice. The following account is taken from the St. Benedict Center:
Saint Leonard of Port Maurice was a most holy Franciscan friar. He lived at the monastery of Saint Bonaventure in Rome. He was one of the greatest missioners in the history of the Church. He used to preach to thousands in the open square of every city and town where the churches could not hold his listeners. The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the veneration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus were his crusades. He was in no small way responsible for the definition of the Immaculate Conception made a little more than a hundred years after his death. But Saint Leonard’s most famous work was his devotion to the Stations of the Cross. He is sometimes called the Saint of the Stations of the Cross. So brilliant and holy was his eloquence that once when he gave a two weeks’ mission in Rome, the Pope and the College of Cardinals came to hear him. Saint Leonard of Port Maurice also gave us the Divine Praises, which are said at the end of Benediction. He died a most holy death in his seventy-fifth year, after twenty-four years of uninterrupted preaching.
Spend some time reading one of his greatest sermons: The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved by St. Leonard of Port Maurice

Read more on his life at Nobility.org.
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Monday, November 18, 2019
St. Anthony of Padua Restores a Faithful Woman Her Hair
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Once there was a Holy woman who was kind and charitable to Saint Anthony and his Friars. This infuriated her husband to no ends to the point the jealous husband ordered her to stop giving them alms. The woman knew her husband's orders were unreasonable, so she ignored them. The next time he found she had been giving things to the friars he became quite furious. He laid hands on his wife and beat her unmercifully. He even dragged the poor woman around by the hair so that a good part of it was pulled out by the roots. When the woman saw this, she went to St. Anthony for help. Anthony asked the rest of the friars to pray with him. By the time their prayers had come to an end, the woman's hair had been restored, even more lovely than before. When the husband saw the miracle worked through St. Anthony, he was throughly ashamed and converted. He begged his wife's forgiveness and never more interfered in her works of charity towards the Franciscan friars.

St. Anthony of Padua, pray for us!
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Friday, November 15, 2019
Commemoration of All Souls of the Carmelite Order
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While the Universal Church keeps on November 2nd the Commemoration of All Departed Souls, the various religious orders in the Church keep specific days to remember the dead of their Orders throughout November.

The Dominicans traditionally keep the Feast of All Dominican Saints on November 12th and the Commemoration of All Departed Dominican Souls on November 13th. The Benedictines keep the Feast of All Benedictine Saints on November 13th and the Commemoration of all Benedictine Souls on November 14th. Likewise, the Carmelites keep on November 14th the Feast of All Carmelite Saints and on November 15th keep the Commemoration of all Carmelite Souls.

As many of us have (or should have) been enrolled in the Brown Scapular, which is part of the Carmelite Order, it is certainly meritorious if we would stop and say a prayer this day for all of the departed Carmelite Souls who are in Purgatory and undergoing their final purification before entering Heaven.


Prayers said by Carmelites:

Inclina, Domine, aurem tuam ad preces nostras, quibus misericordiam tuam supplices deprecamur: ut animas Fratrum et Sororum Ordinis nostri, quas de hoc sæculo migrare jussisti; in pacis ac lucis regione constituas, et Sanctorum tuorum jubeas esse consortes. Per Dominum.

Lord, give ear to our prayers as we humbly beseech thy mercy that the souls of the Brothers and Sisters of our Order, who at thy bidding have departed from this world, may be established in the abode of peace and light, and may at thy command have entrance into the company of thy saints: through our Lord.

(Carmelite Liturgy of the Holy Sepulchre with English Translation by the old Carmelite Daily Missal)

Prayers said by the Discalced Carmelites:

Deus, veniæ largitor, et humanæ salutis amator: quæsumus clementiam tuam; ut nosræ Congregatonis Fratrers et Sorores, qui ex hoc sæculo transierunt, beata Maria semper Virgine intercedente cum omnibus Sanctis tuis, ad perpetuæ beatitudinis consortium pervenire concedas. Per Dominum.

O God the giver of forgiveness and lover of human salvation, we ask thy mercy: that the brothers and sisters of our congregation who have passed from this world, by the intercession of the blessed Mary ever-virgin and all thy saints, you would grant them to reach the company of eternal bliss. Through our Lord.
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St. Martin's Lent
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Detail from Charité de Saint Martin by Caroline Sorg (1864)

November 15th in the Eastern Rite Churches begins the Nativity Fast. This 40-day long period fasting is a preparation for the holy celebration of Christmas. Like Lent, the Eastern Churches observe a period of 40 days of fasting in preparation for the Nativity of the Lord. This was practiced for many centuries by the Western Church, especially before Advent became four weeks in Lent. Previously, Advent was modeled after Lent. The fast, which shortly follows Martinmas, is often called "St. Martin's Lent." Learn more at AroundtheYear. The exact beginning has varied. Sometime ago it was begun on November 12th, the day immediately after Martinmas, thus taking the name of St. Martin's Lent. In the Byzantine tradition it is called both the Nativity Fast as well as St. Philip's Fast since November 14th is the Feast of St. Philip in the Byzantine Rite.

[St. Martin’s Lent] was formerly observed, even by the Laity, with Abstinence from Flesh, and with a rigorous Fast, in some Places, by Precept, in others of Devotion, and without any positive Obligation, though universal. The first Council of Maçon, in 581, ordered Advent from St. Martin’s to Christmas-day three Fasting Days a Week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; but the whole Term of forty Days, was observed with a strict Abstinence from Flesh Meat.—Alban Butler

Latin Rite Catholics today may certainly still observe fasting during this time to spiritually prepare themselves for Christmas. Beginning with Vespers on November 15th, the Nativity Fast continues until just before Vespers on Christmas Eve.

As with all periods of fasting, Fasting is forbidden on Sundays. Due to many popular feast days occurring between now and December 9th, many places began to adapt the fast to begin on December 10th. Latin Rite Catholics traditionally already fasted on the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception (December 7th) and on the Vigil of the Nativity (December 24th). Those two days should still be observed by Roman Catholics. In years when these days fall on a Sunday, fasting is suppressed.

The fast's purpose is to spiritually prepare the soul for drawing closer to God. Along with our fasting, we must increase our own prayer life, almsgiving, and good works. Fasting without increased prayer should never be done.

Ask yourself - can you join in this ancient fasting period (aside from Thanksgiving Day and Sundays and the Holy Day of the Immaculate Conception)?

Can you offer this penance for the conversion of sinners as a Christmas present to the Lord?
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Thursday, November 14, 2019
Traditional Latin Mass at St. Monica's in San Francisco, CA
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On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 11 AM, St. Monica Catholic Church at 470 24th Street offers the Traditional Latin Mass. Here are some highlights from my time there on the feastday of St. Josaphat on November 14th.

Logistics:
  • The entrance to the weekday Mass is through the parking lot in the back. It is not through the front doors. The back area near the rectory has a small ramp and a door open where you enter. 
  • There is a restroom near that entrance, which is nice since not all parishes have restrooms available during the week
  • The Mass that I attended featured a sermon and was a Low Mass but went a full hour - actually a bit more than an hour. For someone coming to this Mass on their lunch break, this would be important to know. It was not a "quick" 30-minute Low Mass
Highlights:
  • The priest offered a compelling sermon even on a weekday where he spoke of the Catholic Church as the One True Church, outside of which no one is saved. And he highlighted our role in evangelization as a duty to bring all non-Catholics to the Catholic Faith. He even directly countered the errors of Pope Francis who has spoken negatively on conversions before. This was extremely refreshing to hear.
  • The church is not crowded at all. There was an abundance of room to move around and sit without bumping into anyone.
  • Approximately 20 people were in attendance - of which 17 were women. And all of the women wore veils. All of them. Great to see!
Oddities:

Not to complain, as I do appreciate this parish offering this Mass, there were some oddities that would stand out to someone who often goes to the Tridentine Mass:
  • The main distraction was the "loudness" of the prayers. I noticed even while sitting 6 rows back that I could hear the prayers ascending to the altar, the Munda Cor Meum, and the offertory silent prayers almost word for word. While the Canon was said in a lower voice, I could still hear many of the words and that was a distraction to me. The "Nobis quoque peccatóribus" was said so loudly it was a yell. I hope the priest continues to offer the Traditional Mass but modifies his vocal cords to be more in conformity with the rubrics of the quiet of Low Mass.
  • They were dog friendly, which is fine as I noticed a woman brought her dog with her. But the priest seemed to have a dog of his own that ran around the church and even the sanctuary for about 10 minutes from the start of Mass until the dog decided to jump on top of the priest's chair and sleep. Quite a distraction.
  • The priest did not make the Sign of the Cross at the beginning or end of the sermon
  • The priest did not wear a maniple
  • There was no "sanctus candle" placed on the altar
While it was not a "perfectly" said Mass according to the rubrics, the sermon was spot on. Please say a prayer for this priest.

Photos:





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Wednesday, November 13, 2019
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
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On November 13th, in the United States we keep the traditional feastday of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. On the Universal Calendar, today is the Feast of St. Didacus and in various particular calendars, the Benedictines today celebrate the Feast of All Benedictine Saints, and the Dominicans keep the Commemoration of All Dominican Souls on this day. The life of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini is read as part of the Martyrology entry for December 22nd, the anniversary of the date of her passing to eternal life. In the United States, her feast is celebrated on November 13th, the day of her beatification, in order to avoid conflicting with the greater ferias of Advent.

From childhood Frances Cabrini desired to become a missionary for Christ. After some unsuccessful starts, she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Codogna, Italy; and in 1889 at the urging of Pope Leo XIII, she accepted the invitation of New York's Archbishop Corrigan to work among the numerous Italian immigrants of that era. Mother Cabrini founded orphanages, schools, and hospitals all over the United States, and extended her institute to Central and South America, France, Spain, and England. Everywhere her work succeeded only through her unbounded trust in God's providence. Though always in poor health, she traveled constantly, crossing the Atlantic 25 times in spite of a great fear of ocean voyages.

A naturalized citizen of the United States, Mother Cabrini died in 1917 in the convent of her great hospital in Chicago, and was canonized in 1946, the first American citizen-saint.

Collect:

O Lord, Jesus Christ, You enkindled the fire of Your Sacred Heart in the holy virgin Frances Xavier so that she might win souls for You in many lands, and establish a new religious congregation of women in Your Church. Grant that we too may imitate the virtues of Your Sacred Heart through her intercession, so that we may be worthy of the haven of eternal happiness, who lives and rules with God the Father . . .
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Can Catholics be Buddhist? Why Catholics May Not Practice Buddhism
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"The fundamental tenets of Buddhism are marked by grave defects that not only betray its inadequacy to become a religion of enlightened humanity, but also bring into bold relief its inferiority to the religion of Jesus Christ.

"In the first place, the very foundation on which Buddhism rests—the doctrine of karma with its implied transmigrations—is gratuitous and false. This pretended law of nature, by which the myriads of gods, demons, men, and animals are but the transient forms of rational beings essentially the same, but forced to this diversity in consequence of varying degrees of merit and demerit in former lives, is a huge superstition in flat contradiction to the recognized laws of nature, and hence ignored by men of science.

"Another basic defect in primitive Buddhism is its failure to recognize man's dependence on a supreme God. By ignoring God and by making salvation rest solely on personal effort, Buddha substituted for the Brahmin religion a cold and colourless system of philosophy. It is entirely lacking in those powerful motives to right conduct, particularly the motive of love, that spring from the consecration of religious men and women to the dependence on a personal all-loving God. Hence it is that Buddhist morality is in the last analysis a selfish utilitarianism.

"There is no sense of duty, as in the religion of Christ, prompted by reverence for a supreme Lawgiver, by love for a merciful Father, by personal allegiance to a Redeemer. Karma, the basis of Buddhist morality, is like any other law of nature, the observance of which is prompted by prudential considerations. Not infrequently one meets the assertion that Buddha surpassed Jesus in holding out to struggling humanity an end utterly unselfish. This is a mistake. Not to speak of the popular Swarga, or heaven, with its positive, even sensual delights the fact that Nirvana is a negative ideal of bliss does not make it the less an object of interested desire. Far from being an unselfish end, Nirvana is based wholly on the motive of self-love. It thus stands on a much lower level than the Christian ideal, which, being primarily and essentially a union of friendship with God in heaven, appeals to motives of disinterested as well as interested love."

For more, see: New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia
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Monday, November 11, 2019
Happy Martinmas! (And 101st Anniversary of Armistice Day)
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Today is a two-fold celebration.

Firstly, today is Martinmas, the Feast of St. Martin of Tours, and a great celebration in the Catholic sense.  This is the end of the autumn season and essentially a “Catholic Thanksgiving.”  There are many traditions associated with today.  I encourage you to read up on them by clicking here.  You may also read the life of St. Martin of Tours here.

Secondly, today is Veterans Day (originally called Armistice Day).  President Woodrow Wilson, an anti-Catholic at heart, started this day in an attempt to blot out the long held practice of honoring St. Martin.  While today is a fitting day for us to recall the lives of those who perished and honor their service and commend the repose of their souls to God in prayer, let us not forget the Catholic sense of praying for the dead and those in the military.

Make an effort today to thank a veteran. And make an effort to pray for all who have died in battle - those in World War I, World War II, more recent conflicts, and those from centuries ago who sadly are forgotten. If the souls of those who died in such battles of long ago are still in Purgatory, no one in likely praying for them. Make an effort to pray for all the dead veterans of all times today.

St. Martin of Tours, pray for us to have true Christian charity!

For the repose of all of the souls of the dead...Pater Noster, Ave Maria, Requiem aeternam...

For all living veterans who struggle with addictions, employment issues, or health issues...Pater Noster, Ave Maria...


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
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Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Online Tridentine Mass Stipend Requests
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For those of us who attend the Tridentine Mass, we may find it difficult to arrange a time to have a Mass said for our intentions. Whether it be for the repose of the soul of a deceased friend or family member, a Mass said in thanksgiving for birthday blessings, or a Mass to beseech the Divine Majesty for a particular intention, we often have the need to request Masses often throughout the year. But many Traditional Mass chapels limit the number of Masses to a certain number per family or the next available date for a Mass to be said could be weeks, if not months, away.

Thankfully, there are a number of organizations and orders who offer the Tridentine Mass (some 1962 Missals and some pre-1955 Missals) and accept online Mass stipends. Some of these are religious orders which could really use the stipend as a means to support the priest as some traditional priests have stipends as a sole (or at least) a major source of their support.



Here is a list of 5 Orders / Communities that accept online Mass stipends:

1. St. Gertrude the Great

The majority of the Mass intentions received through this site are passed along to poorer traditional Catholic priests we know in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Nigeria. They rely on these stipends to live. Individual Mass stipends are $25 and Gregorian Masses are offered for $800. You may also request a Novena of Masses for $225. You may visit the Mass request page here.

2. Servants of the Holy Family

For $21, you can request a Mass to be said by the Servants of the Holy Family. $1 is for processing charges and $20 will go to the priest. You may request a Mass here. You may also request a Gregorian Mass for $930. $30 is for processing fees which can be avoided if you pay via a check in the mail. You may request a Gregorian Mass here.

3. Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem (CRNJ)

Those wishing to have a Mass offered by this traditional order based in West Virginia may request a Mass via their donation page. The recommended stipend is $10 and include a note in the donation form that you are requesting a Mass. Include the Mass intention. You may visit the page here.

4. Fraternité Saint Vincent Ferrier

Based in France, the Fraternité Saint Vincent Ferrier is a Catholic religious institute of pontifical right that follows Dominican spirituality and uses the traditional Dominican Rite. Masses may be requested for 17 Euros online here. A novena of Masses may be requested for 170 Euros or Gregorian Masses for 550 Euros.

5. Congregation of St. Pius V

The SSPV through their Immaculate Heart of Mary seminary accepts Mass requests online as well. The cost is $12 which includes the processing fee of $2. Request a Mass here.

Lastly, the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) unfortunately does not accept online Mass requests. Their page provides information on where to mail a check. Their current stipend amount is $20
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