Friday, August 30, 2013
Virtual Tour: St. Ignatius College Prep

Saint Ignatius College Prep is a private, coeducational Jesuit high school located in Chicago, Illinois. The school was founded in Chicago in 1869 by Fr. Arnold Damen, S.J., a Belgian missionary to the United States. The school is coeducational, Catholic, college preparatory and sponsored by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits)

Thursday, August 29, 2013 Reviews

You are really providing a valuable service. The scriptural emphasis is wonderful. I sure hope this gets to be more widely known -- and used!
Dr. Scott Hahn
It is a monumental work for which I have nothing but praise. Clearly, this "Mary" part is spectacular. The organization of each section or chapter is clear and understandable. It is followed through in each section. The different parts fit together and flow into each other: Introduction, Prayer and an explanation, Background from Sacred Scripture, Church teachings as found in Catechisms and Church Documents, Discussion or integration, Activity, Quiz and Closing Prayer. I find that the work has a clear dialectical method that leads the reader to learn experientially and intuitively. It immerses the student into the life of the Church on the topic. There is a feeling of becoming a part of what one is learning. Congratulations to a wonderful work. Again, I must say that this is a monumental work that is very good. I strongly recommend it to everyone. It compiles in a simple yet organized way not only what we believe about the Blessed Virgin Mary but also the cult of the Catholic Church that has grown around this wonderful belief.
Rev. Carl L. Pieber, C.M., Executive Director
Central Association of the Miraculous Medal
During the past four decades, many parents have learned from experience that they must actively take responsibility as their children's primary teachers if they want them to learn anything substantial about their faith. But such parents may have searched in growing bewilderment for reliable, comprehensive, attractive, current catechetical materials. Here is the answer: the Magisterial dogmas and doctrines of our Catholic faith, brought into your home on the Internet. Developed and administered by believers at the resurgent heart of the Church-- experienced religious and lay teachers and parents-- this program has swept through North American dioceses and attracted subscribers on every continent. Its materials are tailored for every age, from docile first graders to senior citizens seeking remedial instruction. And each pupil can work at his own pace as he falls in love with the ageless truth. Praise the Lord, is the real thing!
Mrs. Donna Steichen
Various websites are drawn on to supplement and illustrate their material...Those who register and use the program will find an excellent amount of Catholic resources available. Fidelity rating: Excellent. 
Catholic Culture Website Reviews
Proudly featured on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) with Father Pacwa in 2006
Featured in Volume 10.1 of Envoy Magazine, a quarterly journal of Catholic thought published by the Envoy Institute of Belmont Abbey College, under the guidance of their Editor and Director, Patrick Madrid, renown Catholic apologist
Envoy Magazine
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Tour of the Baltimore Basilica of the Assumption of Mary

Photos (c) A Catholic Life Blog, 2013.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Top 10 Sunday Activities for Catholics

In the Catholic life, Sunday is much more than just the day of obligatory Mass attendance.  Sunday is the high point of the week.  It is the holiest day of the week and a day characterized not by servile work, errands, or temporal concerns.  Sunday is a day dedicated to the Lord and to Him alone.  As such, Sunday has always occupied in the minds and actions of Catholics a special place. 

Here are the top 10 activities for Catholics on Sunday:

1. Attend Holy Mass

Nothing is as holy as the august sacrifice of the Holy Mass.  While Mass attendance is obligatory under pain of mortal sin to all Catholics, this obligation should be accepted with joy and enthusiasm.  Sunday Eucharist should be the high point of our week.  The days leading up to Sunday should be days of spiritual preparation to receive on our tongues and in our bodies the true Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Redeemer and Divine Lord.  The days immediately following Sunday should be occasions of thanksgiving and praise in recognition of this supreme gift.  How many of us fail in adequate Thanksgiving after Mass?  How many of us fail in proper Thanksgivings for the days following our Holy Communions?

Make it an effort to attend Mass with joy and reverence.  Even go to more than one Mass on a given Sunday from time to time.  Perhaps you, like me, sometimes go to an 8 AM Sunday Low Mass and then go down the road to separate parish at 10 AM for a High (or Solemn High) Mass.

2. Pray the Divine Office

If you are like most Catholics, you have little time to pray the Divine Office during the work week.  If this is you, make an effort to pray Lauds, Vespers, and Compline each Sunday as a family.  Pray Lauds before going to Mass.  Pray Vespers before Sunday dinner.  And pray Compline after the Family Rosary in the evening before bed.

The Divine Office is the official prayer of the Church.  Unite your family with the Liturgical Year and pray the Divine Office on Sundays (and other holy days of obligation).

Not sure where to being?  There are various online resources and numerous printed copies of the Divine Office.  For newcomers, I recommend praying the 1962 or 1955 brevaries in English.

3. Family Rosary

Perhaps no Sunday activity is as cherished as the family Rosary.  As the axiom goes, “The Family that prays together stays together.”  Families have a responsibility – as the domestic Church – to foster a sense of holiness and religion amongst their members. The family Rosary should be a time of regular devotion – at least weekly if daily Rosary as a family is not possible.

For those families who have members that have fallen from the Faith, this is a sure means to help them return to the Church.  Beseech our Lady to send them the graces necessary to save their souls. Invite family members to the Rosary. Indeed, the family that prays together does stay together.

4. Charitable Works

Sunday is a day most appropriate for charity.  Our Lord was accosted by the Pharisees for performing miracles (e.g. works of charity) on the Sabbath.  Nowadays, to those who claim that Sunday is not a day most appropriate for charity, we remind them of the Lord’s words: “Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?" (Luke 14:5).  Shall we let those who have fallen in sin or despair remain there without aiding them?

The means by which we are able to serve others is bountiful.  From soup kitchens to visiting the elderly in nursing homes to visiting those in prison to distributing food to the homeless in inner-city streets, the amount of charitable venues for Catholics is numerous.  Yet in all of these venues, charity is done neither for our gain nor for a tax donation nor for the “feel good” mentality of doing what is right.  Rather, charity is done because we are children of God intent on serving others as our Master and Lord has commanded us to do (cf. John 13: 34-35).

Therefore, all of our charity should, if at all possible, be done with an authentically Catholic organization.  In instances when we do not – or cannot – perform charity with a Catholic organization, we must ensure that we are not aligning ourselves with so called “charities” who oppose and work to undermine the Holy Church.  Just a few of these examples are UNICEF, the March of Dimes, Susan G Komen, The Girl Scouts (who support abortion),  the Boy Scouts (who support homosexual marriage), the Salvation Army (which is a protestant denomination), and many others.

All charity must has its roots in our desire to imitate our Lord and unite our actions with His Sacred Heart.  A list of Catholic charitable organization is available readily online.

5. Teach/Learn Catechism

No other day should be as treasured for the passing on or the learning of the Faith than Sunday.  By the virtue of the Fourth Commandment we are forbidden from performing servile work (i.e. the work typical of a servant) on Sundays.  We are also forbidden from commanding those us under our charge to perform such works. Parents may not force their children to mow the lawn (and they should actually forbid such an activity on Sunday!).  Homeowners may not paint their rooms or work on household labors or even command their contractors or hired help to work on Sunday to accomplish a goal.  Rather, we should ask those under our charge to refrain from all such labors on the Holy Day.

What are we to do with our time besides prayer and charity?  We are to study and transit the Faith.  Studying is a discipline of the mind and all forms of intellectual study whether they be studying the catechism, learning Kepler’s laws of the universe, understanding history, practicing Latin, learning a musical instrument, et cetera are permissible on Sunday.  They are even encouraged.

But chief among these activities is the learning and transmission of the Deposit of Faith.  To those who teach the Faith, the Church imparts indulgences.

6. Apostolates and Ecclesial Organizations

Sunday is the chief day of the week for those of us in ecclesial or apostolic organizations to meet, plan, and engage in our ministries.  Those of us in the Holy Name Society, the St. Stephen’s Guild for Altar Servers, the Third (3rd) Orders, prayer groups, Bible studies, Confraternity meetings, and the like should strive to meet on Sundays.  These activities are extensions of charity (e.g. prayer groups) or learning (e.g. Bible studies) and are encouraged on Sundays.  

7. Leisure

Leisure is often viewed as a “do-nothing” state.  Far be it.  Leisure is not idleness or laziness.  Leisure is the reason for which we were created and as the philosopher Josef Pieper affirmed, the very reason why we labor.

In his book, Leisure, the Basis of Culture, Pieper makes the claim that the reconstruction of Western Culture demands a rebirth of the notion of leisure. Leisure is distinctive from the state of inactivity or acedia, because it is a based in festival and an affirmation of the world for what the world truly is (i.e. a creation). This takes place most distinctively in the festival which is founded on the concept of worship, which is recognition that man is dependent on God. What then does it mean to be at leisure, and what is the “act” that is most appropriate to leisure? Contemplation.

The following is taken from Catholic Book Summaries:

The modern world has lost much of what is contained in the notion of leisure. It is strictly opposed to what the ancients called acedia. The worker type, who finds his very meaning in the usefulness he serves to society, can only identify leisure with a sense of idleness and inactivity. Acedia is precisely this lack of doing, but the notion goes deeper still. Acedia is fundamentally a despair of ever accomplishing that which one is meant to be. It is a giving up in the effort to be who one is. This can lurk behind even in the most physically satisfying of exertions.

In order to understand leisure then, Pieper asks what is diametrically opposed to acedia. The modern man would have us believe that it is the industriousness of the worker contributing to the good of the society. But if acedia is fundamentally a denial of man’s existence as man, then its opposite must be a fundamental affirmation of who man is. Pieper turns to Thomas for the startling statement that acedia, so often understood as the man who fails to do any work, is not a resting per se, but is a very sin against the command of rest. Acedia then is a restlessness that is opposed to the very spirit of leisure.

After this contrast, Pieper attempts to provide a concept of leisure to the reader. Leisure then, in the first place is a stillness of spirit, an opening of the mind to receive. It is secondly, opposed to the idea of work as effort, for it takes place in a sense of celebration, of approval of the world. The highest expression of this celebration is the festival. Thirdly, leisure must be understood as opposed to the concept of break-from-work. A break is meant to afford man the ability to continue working. The break is fundamentally for the sake of work. Leisure, though truly refreshing, derives this freshness from the very fact that it is for its own sake. It is only accidental that man is better able to work after being at-leisure. Leisure is not about making the worker a better functionary, but about making him more human. In participating in leisure, something of the human is left behind and a spark of the divine is achieved.

Leisure is found first and foremost in worship (i.e. in the Holy Mass) but there are various other means of Leisure in which we can rightfully participate on Sunday.  Examples include the other points on this list.

8. Authentic Family Time

The image of the “couch potato” father who watches sports on the television but who never leaves the couch to play with his children should never actualize itself in a Catholic home.  Sundays are a family day.  Go on a picnic.  Play football in the back yard.  Visit a park and go on a nature hike in the afternoon after Mass.  With the busyness of modern life, authentic family time without the presence of cell phones, tablets, and computers is quickly disappearing.  Family time should be free of distractions (e.g. emails, phone calls, and temporal concerns).  Visit your elderly parents.  Play with your young children.  Invite in your neighbors for dinner.  Sunday is the paramount day to engage in authentic and heartfelt family fun.  Do not neglect this day and enslave Sunday to consumerism.  Sundays should not be spent at the Mall or the store, since our purchases cause others to have to work on Sundays.  Engage in activities that do not force others to labor.  

9. Hobbies

There is nothing wrong with using part of our Sundays to engage in our personal pastimes.  Do you like to read?  Do you enjoy cooking or playing tennis?  Do you enjoy biking?  Sunday is a day to engage in these joys. Recall that the monks will typically take an afternoon stroll each week only on Sundays.  Sundays are suitable for the pursuit of our hobbies (so long as they do not constitute servile work or force others to work). 

10. Sunday Dinner

And finally last, but not least, we come to the last item on our list: Sunday Dinner.  As eloquently put by Regina Magazine:
Sunday dinner is arguably the bedrock of Roman life. After Mass, Romans take a passegiata (stroll), to prepare for a civilized afternoon of great food and lively talk. No trips to the Mall. No working out at the gym. Sunday dinner is sacrosanct – as it should be for all Catholics. This is because our relationships mean more to us than our ‘me time.’ It also teaches our children how to enjoy the best things in life – carefully prepared food, beautifully served with the give-and-take of conversation and laughter, begun with a Catholic thanks to God for His gifts.
Invite your friends, family, and neighbors.  Let’s take back the sacredness of Sunday dinner as a meal in honor of our Lord’s resurrection.


What of these activities do you do?  What are you going to do differently?  Do you have any other suggestions?
Monday, August 26, 2013
Sins Committed While in Church are Most Serious

 “We read in the little book, called the Ladder of Heaven, that a pious priest who was making his thanksgiving after Mass, near the altar, once saw a devil in the shape of a man writing rapidly on a piece of parchment, and when he came to the bottom of the page, he took it in his teeth, and pulled it out so as to make it wider. The priest, after various exorcisms, commanded him in the name of Jesus Christ to read aloud for the people what he had written. The devil obeyed and in a loud voice cried out: ‘On this parchment I have written all the greetings, conversations, curious and impure looks, indecent behavior, unchaste desires, and, in a word, all the irreverences and sins that the people of this place have been guilty of this morning in church, in order to present them before the judgment-seat of God; for there are no sins that cause us so much satisfaction, as those which are committed in church, because thereby God is treated with the greatest insult and contempt.’ Ah, Christians, if one of those hellish spies were to stand here in our midst, and read out the list of sins that have been committed in our churches during a single year; what a fearful number there would be, even of those of which we take not the least notice! But if he were to call out the names of the guilty ones, and to say: such and such a one has thought, looked, spoken, or acted in such and such a manner in the church; he has hitherto behaved disrespectfully in different ways; how many there are who would have to hide their heads for shame! But the time will come, when everything shall be shown plainly to the whole world; although the punishment may not be deferred till then.” 

— Fr. Francis Hunolt, S.J.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Archbishop Lefebvre: A Documentary: Less Than Two Months to Launch

Dear Friend of Archbishop Lefebvre: A Documentary,  

Exciting News

This important work is finally completed and ready for the inaugural screening on October 13 at this year’s Angelus Press Conference for Catholic Tradition. If you haven’t checked out the conference yet, you should do so by visiting here:

After this inaugural launch, we will start our screenings in select theaters nationwide. Be sure to check regularly for updated information.

What Can You Do?

We need your help. With a few months remaining, we’re asking you to do everything you can to spread the word about this important film. Go to, like us on Facebook, share with your friends, heck, even just email them a link to our site. If you know anyone who you think would like this film, or who you think should watch it, then take just a few minutes and pass it on. The links at the bottom of this email make it easy to share.

What’s Coming Next

Beginning next week, we will start regularly adding clips from the documentary to the official website, giving you an inside glimpse of this upcoming movie.

It’s Not too Late

If you are willing to help organize a screening, it’s not too late. Just email us, and we will help you with any preparations. Even if it’s just a suggestion for screenings, send us an email.

Don’t forget to visit, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Traditional Mass Propers: 14th Sunday after Pentecost

Ps. 83:10-11 O God, our Protector, look, and gaze upon the face of Your Christ. Better indeed is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere. Ps. 83:2-3. How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul yearns and faints for the courts of the Lord. V . Glory be . . .

COLLECT - Keep Your Church, O Lord, in Your everlasting mercy. Without Your assistance our human nature is bound to fall, so help us to shun whatever is harmful and guide us towards those things that will aid our salvation. Through our Lord . . .

Gal. 5:16-24
Brethren: Walk in the Spirit: and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the spirit: and the spirit against the flesh: For these are contrary one to another: so that you do not the things that you would. But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest: which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, Idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, Envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, Mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences.

It is better to trust in the Lord than to confide in man. V. It is better to have confidence in the Lord than to rely on princes.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 94:1 Come, let us praise the Lord with joy, let us sing joyfully to God our Saviour. Alleluia!

Matthew 6:24-33

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. "Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment? Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they? And which of you by taking thought, can add to his stature one cubit? "And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. And if the grass of the field, which is to day, and to morrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith? "Be not solicitous therefore, saying: What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you."

Ps. 33:8-9
The Angel of the Lord shall encamp around those who fear him, and shall deliver them. Taste and see how good is the Lord.

SECRET O Lord, grant that this offering of the Sacrifice of salvation may take away our sins and appease Your majesty. Through our Lord . . .

Matthew 6:33
"Seek first the kingdom of God, and all other things shall be given you besides," said the Lord

POST COMMUNION - May Your Sacrament ever cleanse and strengthen us, O God, and lead us to eternal salvation. Through our Lord . . .

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

The Church's Year by Fr. Leonard Goffine: 

What is meant by serving God?

Doing the will of God, or performing faithfully and zealously all that God asks of us according to our age and condition, and for love of Him.

Who are the two masters whom we cannot serve alike?

God and Mammon or riches, whereby also, the other goods and pleasures of the world are understood. These we cannot serve at the same time, because they command things diametrically opposed to each other; for instance, God prohibits usury, theft, deceit, etc.; to which the desire for wealth impels us. God commands that we keep holy Sundays and holy days, and devote them to His service; the desire for riches tempts man to omit religious worship and to seek temporal gain; it disturbs him even in church, so that he is only present with his body, but absent in mind with his temporal goods and business.

To whom can riches be useful?

To those who, like the saints, perform works of mercy with them, and thus lay up treasures for themselves in heaven.

Why does Christ call our attention to the birds of the air and the lakes of the field?

To excite in us confidence in the providence of God, which preserves even the birds and the flowers. Surely, if God feeds the young ravens which cry to Him; (Ps. 146:9) if He nourishes the birds which neither sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns; if He vests the flowers of the field so beautifully, how much more will He care for man whom He has made to His own image and likeness, and adopted as His child, if he only acts as such, keeps His commandments, and always entertains a filial confidence in Him.

Should we, therefore, lay aside all care and never work?

This does not follow from what has been said. Christ condemns only the superfluous cares, which cause man to forget God and to neglect the salvation of his soul. Besides, God has Himself ordered (Gen. 3:17-19) that man should obtain the fruits of the earth with much labor, that he should earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. St. Paul says: “If any man will not work, neither let him eat.” (II Thess. 2:10)

What should preserve us from superfluous cares?

A firm and lively faith, that God can and will help us. That He can is evident, because He is almighty; that His will is certain, because He promises it in so many passages of Holy Writ, and because He is infinitely faithful to all His promises. Christ encourages us to this lively confidence with these, words: “All things whatsoever you ask when ye pray, believe that you shall receive and they shall come unto you.” (Mark 11:24) Therefore the apostle also commands us to throw all cares upon the Lord, Who provides for us. (I Pet. 5:7) And why should God not care for us, since He sent us His Son and with Him all; for which reason St. Augustine says: “How can you doubt that God will give you good things, since He vouchsafed to assume evil for you!

PRAYER O Lord Jesus! give me a firm confidence in Thy Divine Providence, and daily increase it in me, that when in necessity I may confidently believe if I seek first the kingdom of God and His justice, the rest shall be added unto me.
St. Louis IX, King of France

  Saint Louis, King of France with a Page by El Greco

Son of King Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, King St. Louis IX (commonly called St. Louis) is the only French monarch to have ever been canonized.  He was crowned the King of France and Count of Artois at age eleven, though his mother ruled as regent until he reached 22.  Thereafter, St. Louis reigned for 44 years.  St. Louis made numerous judicial and legislative reforms, promoted Christianity in France, established religious foundations, aided mendicant orders, propagated synodal decrees of the Church, built leper hospitals, and collected relics.

In 1230 the King forbade all forms of usury. Where the profits of the Jewish and Lombard money-lenders had been exorbitant, and the original borrowers could not be found, Louis exacted from the usurers a contribution towards the crusade which Pope Gregory was then trying to launch.[6] Louis also ordered, at the urging of Pope Gregory IX, the burning in Paris in 1243 of some 12,000 manuscript copies of the Talmud and other Jewish books.

He married Marguerite of Provence at age 19, and fathered eleven children.   Furthermore, St. Louis supported Pope Innocent IV in war against Emperor Frederick II of Germany.  He was a Trinitarian tertiary and also led two Crusades.  It was during the second of these Crusades that he died. 

The Holy Crown of Jesus Christ (the relic of the crown which rested on the Head of our Lord) was bought by King St. Louis IX from Baldwin II. It is preserved today in a 19th century reliquary, in Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris.

Traditional Reading at Matins:
Louis IX, king of France, having lost his father when he was only twelve years old, was educated in a most holy manner by his mother Blanche. When he had reigned for twenty years he fell ill and it was then he conceived the idea of regaining possession of Jerusalem. On his recovery therefore he received the great standard from the bishop of Paris and crossed the sea with a large army. In a first engagement he repulsed the Saracens; but a great number of his men being struck down by pestilence, he was conquered and made prisoner.

A treaty was then made with the Saracens, and the king and his army were set at liberty. Louis spent five years in the east. He delivered many Christian captives, converted many of the infidels to the faith of Christ, and also rebuilt several Christian towns out of his own lesources. Meanwhile his mother died, and on this account he was obliged to return home, where he devoted himself entirely to good works.

He built many monasteries and hospitals for the poor; heassisted those in need and frequently visited the sick, supplying all their necessities at his own expense and even serving them with his own hands. He dressed in a simple manner and subdued his body by continual fasting and wearing a hair-cloth. He crossed over to Africa a second time to fight with the Saracens, and had pitched his camp in sight of them when he was struck down by a pestilence and died while saying this prayer: ‘I will come into thy house; I will worship towards thy holy temple and I will confess to thy name.’ His body was afterwards translated to Paris and is honourably preserved in the celebrated church of St. Denis; but the head is in the Sainte-Chapelle. He was celebrated for miracles, and Pope Boniface VIII enrolled his name among the saints.
Death of Saint Louis 1270 by Gustave Dore


"I think more of the place where I was baptized than of Rheims Cathedral where I was crowned.  It is a greater thing to be a child of God than to be the ruler of a Kingdom.  This last I shall lose at death but the other will be my passport to an everlasting glory." (St. Louis IX, King of France)


O God, Who didst translate blessed Louis, Thy Confessor, from an earthly throne to the glory of Thy heavenly kingdom: grant, we beseech Thee, through his merits and intercession, that we may have fellowship with the King of kings, Jesus Christ Thy Son: Who liveth and reigneth.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Excerpt: "Brief Apology for the Church of all Time" by Fr Roger-Thomas Calmel

 Image Source: Bishop Perry of Chicago on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary
“However crazily the Catholic hierarchy may behave, priests cannot take the place of bishops, nor can laity take the place of priests. Do we then think of setting up a huge worldwide league or association of priests and Christian layfolk to enter into dialogue with the hierarchy and force them to restore Catholic order ? It is a grand and touching idea, but it is unreal. That is because any such group, wanting to be a Church group but being neither a diocese nor an archdiocese nor a parish nor a religious order, will come under none of the categories over which and for which authority is exercised in the Church. It will be an artificial grouping, an artefact unknown to any of the Church’s real groups which are established and recognized as such.

“So, as with every grouping together of men, the problem of leadership and authority will arise, and the huger the group, the sharper the problem. Unfailingly it will come down to this: being an association, the group must solve the problem of authority; being artificial (no kind of natural or supernatural group), it cannot solve the problem of authority. Rival sub-groups will rapidly arise, war will become inevitable, and there will be no canonical way to end or wage such a war.

“Are we then condemned to being able to do nothing amidst the chaos, often a sacrilegious chaos? I do not think so. Firstly, the indefectibility of the Church guarantees that down to the end of the world there will be enough of a genuine personal hierarchy to maintain the sacraments, in particular the Eucharist and Holy Orders, and to preach the one and only unchanging doctrine of Salvation. And secondly, whatever be the failings of the real hierarchy, we all of us, priests and laity, have our little part of authority.

“Therefore let the priest capable of preaching go to the limits of his power to preach, to absolve sins and to celebrate the true Mass. Let the teaching Sister go to the limits of her grace and her power to form girls in the Faith, good morals, purity and literature. Let every priest and layman, every little group of laity and priests having authority and power over a little fort of the Church and Christendom, go to the limits of their possibilities and powers. Let leaders and inmates of such forts know and be in contact with one another. Let each of the forts protected, defended, trained and directed in its praying and singing by a real authority, become as far as possible a fortress of holiness. That is what will guarantee the continuation of the true Church and will prepare efficaciously for its renewal in God’s good time.

“So we need not to be afraid, but to pray with all confidence and to exercise without fear, according to Tradition and in the sphere that is ours, the power we have, preparing thus for the happy time when Rome will come back to being Rome and bishops to being bishops.”
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