Friday, December 29, 2006

On the 5th day of Christmas I sat down to blog

Christmas has been great so far. I am in such a good mood and it's been no stress at all. I did most of my cooking on Christmas Eve and put it all in the fridge. The turkey, ham, stuffing, gravy, rolls and mashed potatoes were prepared at the last minute on Christmas Day. Rocky loved the hot and spicy string beans I did this year and everybody was crazy about the double chocolate cake.

Mass on Christmas Eve was lovely, simple and sweet. Fr. Theoden looked very happy to see us--- what a good man. Despite the size of his parish he manages to say and remember something about all of us. Fr. Aragorn was jollier than usual.

For Christmas Day Mass we had five altar boys and a delightful seminarian. The church organist played the new carillion and mercifully the cantor toned it down and sang a Kyrie and Glory to God that you didn't need years of vocal training to actually follow. Traditional hyms and carols were sung. The church was decorated beautifully and the creche was displayed in Mary's chapel. My mama, who is not Catholic was favorably impressed and that is saying something.

I didn't decorate until Christmas Eve and decided that I absolutely had to have a white tree this year so I hopped on the bus, marched over to Sears and bought one. It's pre-lit and the branches are hinged on. Oh yes, yes, yes! I cought a cab home and had the tree decorated in record speed. The tree, along with my new living room curtains and two coats of wax on the floor made the living room look pretty good. Rocky doesn't care about decorating (thank God) but his eyes lit up when he came through the front door from work. I wish I'd had a camera ready.

May your octave of Christmas be beautiful.

Born to die



I wonder as I wander out under the sky...


how Jesus, our Savior did come forth


to die

for poor onery sinners like you and like I.....


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve thoughts

In the drab Nativity movie Mary is presented as a sullen teen who complains about being betrothed to man she doesn't know or love. This is silly. Nazareth was an itty bitty little town. Everybody knew everybody. It was in the eyes of the other Gallileans, a crummy little backwoods place.

To this insignificant hamlet the angel of God, Gabriel came. An old hymn describes him as having wings of snow drift white and eyes like flame. I like that description it sounds like he was an awesome sight. And who did he come to? A young girl. Mary, just 14 or 15 and this angel asked her to be the mother of the messiah. Imagine that for minute. And Mary said yes. She said, "I am the Handmaid of the Lord." Archbishop Sheen once noted that in Aramaic she actually said, "I am the slave of the Lord." What perfect trust. What perfect acceptance. Oh thank you, dear Mother!


And think for a moment of Joseph. A good man, probably a young man ( the Jews of that day didn't like May-December marriages) already on his way to being a saint even then. When friends or neighbors approached him remarked rudely on Mary's pregnancy he had the presence of mind to say nothing. He knew the Child in her womb was not his but knowing Mary he surely couldn't have imagined that she did anything wrong. He would not denounce her to the world. He would not expose her to a death sentence. He decided to divorce her quietly. Divorce, not break off an engagement but actuall divorce. Mary was not an unwed mother. It makes me sick when people say that, especially if it's a priest. A betrothed couple were married under the law. They weren't living together yet but they were married.

And then the angel spoke to Joseph and he believed. He did not argue like the educated priest Zachariah did. He didn't complain that this Event was going to change his life forever. He simply believed and quickly had the wedding ceremony performed and moved Mary into his home. Thank you dear Saint Joseph. You did not care what the neighbors and your buddies said, you rushed to obey the Lord and to protect your little bride.


And then the day came to go to Bethlehem. It couldn't have been an easy trip. The pictures of Mary on a donkey look sweet but that's no luxury ride. But she and Jospeh knew their scripture. The Messiah was foretold as coming out of Bethehem, David's city. So she went. Bethlehem is a small town. Once Rocky and I were in Blacksburg and were trying to find a hotel for the night. Alas there was a football game that night and there were no rooms to be had as far as West Virginia. When Mary and Joseph arrived every inn was full of people come to pay their taxes. Inns in those days were simple affairs. One might have two or three private rooms and a courtyard where poorer guests could bed down with their animals and other people. No woman would want to have a baby under those circumstances. Commentators have guessed that Mary asked for privacy and Joseph wanted her to have it. They couldn't get a room and for some reason didn't want to join the swarm in the open courtyard or just staying with one of the caravans that surely must have been surrounded Bethehem that night. Some inn keeper offered them his stable. I hope he didn't charge them too much for it.

The Child was born. Thank you, God for sending Your only Son. Thank you Jesus for leaving Heaven and coming to the world as a tiny Babe. You came not to live a pleasant life but to die. The Cross loomed over Your cradle. You came on a rescue mission to reclaim hopeless sinners. Thank you Lord!


Merry Christmas dear readers and blog friends!

Friday, December 22, 2006

An open letter to our bishops

I found this on the Lair of the Catholic Cavemen Blog. It's a real doozy and pretty much sums up all that can be said about the leadership of most of our bishops for the last 45 years.

random thoughts for a Friday night


  • I've been running around, finishing up work so I could go home for Christmas vacation, delivering gifts and cards and making a half hearted attempt at cleaning up the sty--- I mean the living room. We don't have a tree yet which isn't bad because I hadn't planned to put one up until Christmas Eve anyway but so far every place I've contacted has sold out of the trees I want.




  • I went to church on Wednesday to say a rosary for my co-worker and was annoyed as all get out by my fellow parishioners. About four or five people stared at me like they've never seen a black Catholic before. I usually laugh this off but it really got me this time. I mentioned it to a priest and bless his heart, he told me that perhaps those silly people are staring because I'm beautiful. Aw shucks, that was sweet.


  • According to The Cafeteria is Closed and Whispers in the Loggia retired Bishop Gumbleton has finally been told to sit down and shut up. That's great but what about all the souls he's messed up over all these years?


  • I wish Virgil Goode was my Congressman instead of that wretch, Jim Moran.



  • I got a lovely Christmas e-mail from the Sisters of Carmel in Colorado. They made my husband's rosary and I got my Holy Face medal from them.

Our Lady of America, pray for us


Here is the newest statue of Our Lady of America. You can read about this devotion here.

Jerusha

My co-worker Jerusha passed away from pneumonia.




Eternal rest grant unto her Oh Lord.
May pepetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

a few questions on my mind

An Anglican priest converted to the Faith and was recently ordained as a Catholic priest. A lot of people across the Catholic blogosphere are delighted and I guess I should be but I have a few questions.

The new Father has a wife and kids. Who is supporting his family? Obviously he's got to make more than the average priest so he can keep his family decently. Where will he live? He can't live in the rectory unless the parish is going to kick any other priests in residence out. If he's living in his own home who is paying his mortagage? Will his wife be able to keep up her previous standard of living? Suddenly going from shopping at department stores to thrift shops could be pretty demoralizing. If his wife divorces him will the archdiocese have to pay child support and alimony? What will his wife's role be in the parish? The wives of Baptist preachers are expected to be both servants and queens to the congregation. Will Mrs. Priest be running the parish or will she just show up at Mass with the kids on Sunday? If she becomes depressed (many preacher's wives suffer from depression) who will pay for therapy? Speaking of the kids is the archdiocese responsible for sending them to college? If Fr. dies before they all turn 18 will the parish or the archdiocese be forced to take care of them until they reach maturity?

I hate to be the skunk at the garden party but it sounds to me like married convert priests might be a costly decision for the church.

Prayers needed

A co-worker of mine has pneumonia. Yesterday she went into Code Blue status which is as bad as you can get this side of the grave. She is not expected to make it through the weekend. Jerusha has a five year old adopted son. Please, if you get a chance say a little prayer for them.





St. Therese, patron of the sick pray for her.

Give Mel a break

I wish people would get off Mel Gibson's back. Stop projecting your paranoia, needs and wishes on to him. I have read comments from several tradionalist bloggers bemoaning the fact that Mel "failed" to make a movie on the Nativity leaving the story open to the Evangelicals who made the lackluster The Nativity Story movie. On a traditionalist message board some pitiful creature complained that Mel Gibson bought himself a new house instead of giving some of his earnings from The Passion to the SSPX or some independent ultra traditionalist order. What utter crap. Where is it written that Mel Gibson is obligated to make biblical movies for the rest of his career? What business is of ours what Mr. Gibson chooses to do with his own money?

Commenters on a Catholic blog viciously attacked Mel Gibson's daughter becase she got married at the chapel Mel paid for and because the man she married doesn't appear to be Catholic. Several people even threw hissy fits because they thought the poor girl's wedding dress was immodest. It wasn't. Padre Pio, who was a stickler for modest attire would'nt turned her away so I don't know what these people were complaining about. It seemed like they all had a beef with Mel and had to pick on his kid in order to get their ugliness out of their systems.


And then there are Catholic bloggers on the Left side who are bitching that Apocalypto is too violent. Do these saps really believe that the Maya were peaceful angelic beings who lived in perfect harmony until the mean old white man came? No, the Mayan culture was hideous (and a lot like ours in some ways-- they slaughtered thousands to their gods and we slaughter millions of unborn children to the gods of choice and convenience) and if Apocalypto was to be anything other than a cartoon Mel had to show that.

I'm also totally sick of people harping on Mel's alcohol problem. Since most of the folks in Hollywood are perverts, freaks and deviants who are they to criticize for anything? As I've said before, alcoholism runs in my family. I've seen decent, kind and beautiful people turn into monsters when they drink. It's a tragedy--- a running sore on the soul. I hope he can recover fully and I thank him for making The Passion. Period. Mel Gibson makes movies. That's all he owes the public. If you want more from him than that you really need to check yourself.

Thank God

I wish that my African ancestors could've come to America the same way my Irish ancestors did: via a cheap ticket on the steerage level of a ship. I wish that my African ancestors could've been spared slavery and all it's horrors. I wish my grandmother could've avoided all the racism she endured. I wish that my great grandparents could've gotten married but interracial marriage was against the law unti 1968. I wish that my parents could've grown up without feeling uneasy every time a white man looked at them. I wish black American didn't have an over 70% out of wedlock birth rate. I wish that black America could reject the idiotic and self defeating thug culture. I wish a lot of things but when I read stories like this I thank God that my African ancestors ended up in America.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

random thoughts for a wednesday night

  • I love Monday night Mass at my church. Usually there's no music and no sign of peace. It's a smaller crowd and somehow more homey.


  • After reading Rocco Palmo's blog (just for giggles) and seeing his Guadalupe post I was left wondering if this guy is for real. Does he honestly believe the stuff he writes or is he just putting us all on?

  • Yesterday I came across a cradle Catholic who went to 12 years of Catholic schools who swore she never heard of Holy Days of Obligation until she was an adult. I think her parents should sue the diocese for their tuition money back.

  • This is a really great site.

  • Gerald of the Cafeteria is Closed blog got married. His lovely bride looked glorious and it was quite refreshing to see a bride who didn't have most of her cleavage exploding out of her dress. I'll be so glad when that immodest fad is finally over.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

random thoughts for a thursday night

1. Remember tomorrow is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It's a Holy Day of Obligation so get yourself to Mass.

2. It's now December 7 (Feast of St. Ambrose who was so holy that the local people demanded that he be made their bishop even before he graduated from the seminary!) and no Universal Indult has been announced.

3. Yesterday we had a stuck in the 60s guest priest at noon Mass. Today young Fr. Frodo was back and boy was I glad to see him.

4. I try never to read Rod Dreher because he makes me ill most of the time but I came across his nasty comments on the Bush twins and was disgusted. He calls them party girls. That may mean something different in Texas but where I come from party girl is a euphemism for slut. If attacks on young women because you hate their father is a crunchy conservative value I don't want any part of it.


5. Some of the commentary about Mel Gibson's Acpocalypto strikes me as being well, totally unhinged.

Mass on Wednesday

Today we had a visiting priest and his homily was pretty much what you'd expect from a Baby Boomer who probably went to the seminary in the 70s or early 80s. He said he didn't care whether the chalice holding the Precious Blood was glass or gold and he didn't care about altar girls who purified the chalice and ciborium. All that mattered to him was whether Catholics are compassionate or not. Good thing Fr. Visitor is not the pope. I found it sad that a man his age had confused the worship of God with being a social worker.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Nativity movie review

A priest has written a very fair, I think and very perceptive review of The Nativity movie.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Advent

Today is the begining of Advent. We went to the Vigil Mass last night because Rocky had to work on Sunday. It turned out to be one of the funniest Masses I've ever been too. We arrived early and said our prayers and sat down. Suddenly we heard boom, boom, boom. The organist and the cantor were flying up the aisle. They stopped to genuflect before the Blessed Sacrament and almost ran into the sacristy. Their backs were both ramrod straight. Their faces were set like stone. They apparently had had a disagreement and intended for Fr. Theoden to settle it right then and there. Judging by her expression when she came out I'd say that the cantor won.

Next came the song of the old folks. For some reason several elderly parishioners couldn't contain themselves and were talking very loudly. The old woman sitting in front of me had a voice like a fog horn. You'd never believe such a deep sound could come out of a little tiny woman. Then came the baby chorus. A babe yowled in the back. Two toddlers danced and shouted in the front while their mother tried to hush them.


Then Mass started. Young Fr. Aragorn looked splendid in the purple Advent vestments and we had eight altar boys and three of our four ushers put on ties and jackets. One of the lectors had stage fright and whispered the second reading. Fr. Theoden gave them homily on---- pledge week. It's time in our parish to decide what we are going to give on a weekly basis for the next year. There was so much whispering and fidgeting in the pews. It was like a bunch of bad kids had been called into the principal's office. One man sitting behind me stage whispered in an aggrieved tone, "I give $20 a week!" Oh wow, dude. Did we all have to know it?

Fr. Theoden ignored that and reminded us all that our collection plate money goes into running our very old little church and blessed us all for our generosity. His homilies are always so great. I think he would have made a fine 8th grade teacher if he hadn't beeen called to the priesthood.

something decent from Bishop Loverde

I'll be blunt. Bishop Loverde is my bishop and I'm not overly impressed by his leadership or treatment of his priests but I'll give credit where it's due. He recently released a pastoral letter on pornography and it's worth reading. In America people spend more money on porn than on football, baseball, and basketball combined. That's an ocean of filth washing over us every day.

And it's not just hard core porn either, a lot of men wink at the problem by buying "swimsuit" or cheesecake mags. They claim they aren't supporting real pornography because although the girl in the picture is naked she's covered by a piece of fabric or feathers. Bull shit.

A lot of women blithely contribute to the porn industry too. Those "erotic" romance novels are just as bad as Playboy. Those women's magazines like Cosmopolitan, Marie Clare and Jane are huge occasions for sin. They endlessly promote mindless sex, abortion and try to make being a low down skank some kind of admirble thing.

Thanks be to God!


The Holy Father has left Turkey in one piece. Thanks be to God. Thank you to the Blessed Virgin, Saint Michael and all the angels and saints who walked beside him the whole trip. Now, about that visit to the Blue Mosque. I know that a lot of people are either pissed or merely disappointed. I'm not one of them. Look at it this way, the Holy Father did not drop to his knees in prayer like Paul VI, nor did he kiss a koran, like John Paul II. He merely closed his eyes and appeared to be deep in thought. When the first missionaries came to America they prayed and said Mass in a land that had previously been in the grip of demons. So I have no problem if Benedict XVI said a little prayer among the heathens in a mosque. Besides, Turkey aint a nice place. The Holy Father had the lives of Christians there to worry about. He may well have prevented a pogrom and I can't criticize that. Trust B16, I think he knows what he's doing.




Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A visit from Fr. Dubay

Rocky and I heard that Fr. Thomas Dubay was going to be in Northern Virginia so we got in the car and drove to Blessed Sacrament Church. Blessed Sacrament is one of the uglier churches in the Arlington Diocese but good, good things are happening there. Fr. Keegan, the pastor is a solid priest and he has people like Fr. Groschel, Dawn Eden and George Weigel come to give talks. Fr. Dubay is a charming man and an excellent teacher. We were both dog tired after a long work day but we're glad we went.

The Holy Father

Pope Benedict has made it through day one of his trip to Turkey. He has two more to go. Let's keep on praying for him. I miss John Paul II but I've come to love Benedict and every rosary I say this week will be for his intentions and his safety.




Pope Saint Pius, pray for him.
Saint Teresa Benedicta, pray for him.
Saint Pio, pray for him.
Servant of God, Fulton Sheen, pray for him.
Saint Therese, pray for him.
Saint Dymphna, pray for him.
Mary, most gracious advocate, pray for him.

The Nativity movie

I don't plan to see it. So far from the reviews it sounds very Evangelical. Many Protestants see Mary as just a vessel, a mere convenience to get Jesus born in the usual way and Joseph as just a convenience to keep scandal away from the door. No thanks. Judging by Barbara Nicolosi's comment I don't think she liked it much.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Oh King of Kings

O Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory, deliver the souls of all the faithful departed from the pains of hell and from the bottomless pit; deliver them out of the lion's mouth,l est hell should swallow them up, lest they fall into the outer darkness; but let Thy standard-bearer, Saint Michael,bring them back into Thy holy light,which Thou didst promise of old to Abraham and to his seed. Amen.
From The Roman Missal

Pray, pray, pray


overheard on Friday night

Rocky and I went to Baltimore to visit the newly restored Basilica. It is stunning. I especially liked going downstairs to the crypt. It was humbling to stand in front of Archbishop Carroll's tomb. I said a short prayer asking him and Cardinal Gibbons to please pray for the church. We visited the Blessed Sacrament and were sad to see people just strolling by without even acknowledging Jesus' presence.

The museum is very nice and so is the gift shop. There was a large tour group visiting and we saw nuns from the Missionaries of Charity and the Virgin of Materra orders. It was great seeing those happy young women all in full habit.

Next we went to Lexington Market for lunch. Baltimore black people have a unique style and Rocky and I stood out as much as the few white people who were there. Some --- oh hell, I'll be honest--- most of the men looked scary but if you don't stare, walk like you know what you;re doing and mind your own business you'll be fine in that part of town. Besides, the food is delicous. After Lexington Market we went to the beautiful Saint Jude Shrine.

Rocky loves trains so we went to the B&O Railroad musem next and I must say that it is even better than the train museum in Strausburg, PA. After that we stopped by Saint Alphonsus which has a Tridentine Mass but they were closed tight so we just peered through the glass of the front doors.

Once we got home to Virginia we were starving and since it was Friday we went to a seafood restaurant. Sitting next to us was a family from (judging from the wife's accent) the western or middle part of Virginia, maybe Lynchburg, or as far as the Roanoke area. They were talking about the pope and the Catholic church and what they were saying was so ridiculous and ignorant that I stopped eating. Rocky was so into his crab legs that he never heard a word and I didn't mention anything to him. Archbishop Sheen once said that most of the people who hate the church don't even know what they're talking about. They've been taught a passle of lies and half truths (half truth is more dangerous that the outright lie sometimes). I wished them well and hope they meet some nice, patient Catholic some day.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm not cooking this year. The whole family is going to a restaurant and I'm delighted.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

wondering...

I've been reading Catholic Answers Forum for about a year and judging from the questions and responses there and from reading several big time professional Catholic blogs I've come to the sad conclusion that a lot of mainstream American Catholics are unknowingly, really Roman Protestants. 40+ years of bad to non-existant catechesis has had tragic results.


Our Lady of Akita, pray for us.

Imans on a Plane

Somebody is calling for a Muslim boycott of US Airlines. Ann Coulter predicts that the boycott will work but not the way these fools think.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Pro multis

The Vatican has ruled that the English translation of the Mass should say "for many" instead of the mistranslation of "for all" that we've been living with. Good news for a change.

church friends

I've known a number of new Catholics to complain that their new Catholic parishes aren't as loving and friendly as their old Prot church. That's true. Catholics don't follow the love bomb the new people methold and so what? You go to church to meet Jesus, not to party down.
Rocky and I have been at the same suburban parish for going on two years and people (I't just the working class folks. The upper class ones still don't speak, interestingly enough.) are only now just starting to warm up to us. I'm a lone wolf anyway so this never bothered me. I'm just happy that they've stopped looking surprised when we walk in.

One of my relatives is a Jehovah's Witness. He has no friends outside the Kingdom Hal and that's the way the JWs want it. Since his whole social life revolves around the hall he'll be less likely to ever leave because naturally he don't want to lose everything. It's a mind control method.

Casino Royale

We went to see Casino Royale last night and it was great. I had my doubts about Daniel Craig at first but he pulled it off. Forget about Pierce Brosnan. Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Sean Connery.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

random thoughts for a thursday night

  • The US Bishops are having their meeting in Baltimore and so far it's just been a miserable waste of time and money. It's tragic but obviously many of the bishops have no idea about what needs to be done to serve God's people or they just don't care. I'm terribly disappointed.

  • I bought the Christmas With the VonTrapp Family Singers album and it is gorgeous. That family could really sing. It was thrilling to hear the voice of the real Maria and the real Barron. The musical of their lives premiered today in 1959.

  • Anathema Sit has a few things to say about Rocco Palmo (that kid who runs the Whispers from the Loggia blog) and none of them is "Happy Birthday." Read all about it here and here

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Go to your mother




Remember how when you'd fall down and scrape your knees you'd run to Mama? Well the US is in world of serious moral hurt right now and we need to turn to our Mother. Although it was ignored by most, if not all of the big Catholic blogs the US bishops consecrated America to Our Lady at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception yesterday. Rocky and I watched it on EWTN.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

random thoughts for a Saturday morning

  • In the last couple of months I've read two really poor books written by priests. Today I'm settling in with a fantastic one. It's Ever Ancient, Ever New a collection of articles written by Fr. John Corapi. Do check this one out.


  • It's now the 11th of November. I don't think the Universal Indult is coming.

  • I just got a veil from Modesty Veils. It's cheap, very pretty and is made of good quality lace in America by a Catholic seamstress/business owner.

Pray for the Holy Father.

I'm very worried about his safety on this upcoming trip to Turkey.

another charity struck off my list

I will never give to Samaritan's Purse again. Franklin Graham you should be ashamed. Hat to the lovely and gracious Christine at

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Thank God tha's all over

I hate politics. It's a dried up old whore's game and I'm so glad this wretched election is over. Rick Santorum lost. Apparently Catholics turned against him in a big way. Satan won in South Dakota. It looks like really nice guy Michael Steele lost in Maryland. George Allen has probably lost Virginia. Queen Hilary won an easy as pie victory in New York.

The election means America will end up more gay coddling, more taxed, more aborted and will probably cut and run out of Iraq. Oh well....

random thoughts on a rainy wednesday night

1. If Tom Cruise gets a Catholic wedding we'll all know that the Church in Italy is in serious disarray.


2. I keep putting it off but I realize that I really do have to buy Randy Engel's book, The Rite of Sodomy.

3. We went to the Dominican House of Studies for night prayer on Sunday night. It was lovely. Praying and listening to the chanting of all those young seminarians was a priceless experience.


4. I wanted to have a set of Gregorian Masses said for the repose of my father's soul. The secretary at the parish office didn't even know what I was talking about and grudgingly allowed me to pay for only ten. I just found this web site and will arrange to have the Masses said by a priest with the Catholic Missions Office.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hunting for God

I just finished reading Hunting for God, Fishing for the Lord, which was written by a young priest. It's okay for new converts, Protestants or kids but I was impatient with it and longed for something more substantial. This is the second book by a priest that I've read lately that turned out to be a dud. I guess I'll just re-read my Archbishop Sheen collection.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

random thoughts for a saturday morning

  • What an abomination. Things aren't perfect in my diocese but at least none our parishes have had anything like this going on. This priest needs to go read a book on Padre Pio and fast!

  • When IVF was first introduced almost everyone was delighted. Some people warned that this would lead to trouble but they were ignored. If you've ever wondered what happens to all those "extra" embryos read this.


  • Rocky had to work late on All Souls Day so we went to the vigil the night before. When we got there Fr. Theoden was praying by the altar. When he noticed us he whispered that the Mass was going to be in Spanish. Rocky said that was fine, it's a valid Mass and would fulfill our obligation. Fr. Theoden seemed pleased that we didn't scurry out of there and the Mass was lovely. I had to concentrate becuase I've forgotten most of the Spanish I learned in school but I understood his excellent homily and was able to tell Rocky the gist of it. The Spanish parishioners were very friendly and no-one seemed to be shocked to see a black couple. That's a far cry from the icky experience we had at St. Anthony's in Falls Church.

Monday, October 30, 2006

My favorite B16 picture

Pray for the Holy Father

From whence do scandals come....?

Swing on over to New Oxford Review and read this.


When you're done go to Lair of the Catholic Cavemen and read what Vir has to say about the US Bishop's plan to spend $335 K to study the causes of the pedophile scandal.

Halloween

I used to enjoy Halloween but now I don't feel all that comfortable with it. Isn't it weird to dress your child up as a fictional child molestor and killer (the character of Freddy Krueger), a demon, a pimp (the pimp costume was very popular around here last year), a ghost (damned soul) or a witch and then send them out to beg the neighbors for candy with the implied threat (Trick or treat). that if they don't hand over the good stuff the house will get toilet papered later?

In my neighborhood we've done away with door to door trick or treating. The kids meet for a party in the community center. This is safer and is a big relief to those who don't want to take part in the whole thing.

professsional catholics

Lately I've been very disappointed by the blogs of some professional Catholics. The professionals are lay people who make their living by writing books and giving lectures on Catholicism. I used to read the blogs of four professionals. One really turned me off by his nasty attitude towards anyone who didn't slavishly agree with his every utterance in print and by his incessant need to mock Catholics who aren't drinking The-New-Springtime-is-Just-Around-the-Corner Kool-aid and any Catholic whose faith isn't as "sophisticated" as his. I don't read his blog anymore and I'll never buy any of his products. If he shows up at my parish I'll be sure to write Fr. Theoden a protest letter.

Another professional that I used to read has made statements that left me seriously doubting his orthodoxy. I don't read him anymore. And one professional Catholic blogger has left the Church altogether. I never really trusted him because although the man is a really a good writer I remembered his remarkably uncharitable columns back when he was writing for a New York paper. When the young singer, Aalyiah died in a plane crash he made fun of her funeral. Since her parents gave her a funeral that was no different (except for size) than that of the average black Baptist he got a firestorm of protest. Not a tactful guy by any means. The professional's blog that I still read on a daily basis is entertaining but I stick with it mainly for the Catholic news of the day not so much for the author's middle of the road opinions.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Michael J. Fox

I'm shedding no tears for Michael J. Fox. He's been, whether he realizes it or not, hightly blessed. He's rich, he has a wife who is apparently content to be his wife and who stays out of the tabloids. He has two children I think, and even with Parkinsons he lives a life of luxury that the average American can only dream about it. I'm sorry he's sick but so are a lot of people and they aren't avocating slaughtering innocents.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

bad nights in a bad inn

I had to go back to New York City on business again. Everything job related and after hours went well. I went to Confession and Mass at St. Francis and prayed at St. John the Baptist. The hotel itself was a nightmare. Bungled reservations, rude service, incompetence on every level and no-one cleaned my room the whole time I was there. To paraphrase St. Teresa it was a bad (couple of nights) at a bad inn. I will never stay in that place again. Next time I'll go to the Hotel Wolcott or the Marriot Marquis. Ususally when Rocky and I go to NYC we stay at the Travel Inn, which is great (Especially if you drive. They do not charge you to park your car in their garage) but if I'm alone I want a hotel that's close my company's NY office. The train trip was lovely as usual.


Thank you St. Christopher, St. Dymphna, St.Therese and St. Francis for getting me there and back again in one piece and relatively sane.

Madonna's newest stunt

I've been reading a lot of disturbing comments from people who I thought would know better about Madonna's "adoption" of a baby from Africa. Most people seem to think it's great because the kid will live in luxury. Are people really so foolish as to think money is everything? Michael Jackson's kids live amidst wealth but I wouldn't want to be them or any other kid in his circle. How would you like to have Christina Crawford's childhood? She grew up in luxury but life with Joan Crawford was hell. J.P. Getty was the richest man in the world but his kids hated him. Money didn't make up for the fact that he was a dreadful person. Gloria Vanderbilt grew up rich but her mother was a mess and Gloria was miserable for years.

Apparently a civil rights organization in Malawi is opposing the adoption and Madonna may be facing a legal investigation back in England so this might not be a done deal after all. Baby David is not a Versace dress or a Louis V. bag. He deserves a real home with decent people who are really going to love him. I'm tired of African babies being the new celebrity accessory.

A separate peace

Several months ago Peggy Noonan wrote an op ed where she opined that our country's elites have pretty much decided that the rest of us can go to hell. They are willing to establish a "separate peace" with our enemies, and the current economic situation. Peggy is right but this separate peace idea goes back for years. When I was in elementary school there was a report on our local news that the rich kids in Fairfax County, VA were taking Russian language courses. The rationale was that the Soviet Union would be the dominant world player and that smart parents would make sure their kids spoke Russian. In Canada Pierre Truedeau actually took his sons to visit Russia because the little twerp felt that the future was going to Russian and he wanted them to see the people and the culture. Well, thanks to God, the efforts of JPII and a guy named Ronald Wilson Reagan the Soviet Union died with nary a shot.
By the time I was in high school the fad among rich parents was for their kids to take Japanese lessons because the teachers and parents apparently thought Japan is going to be dominant business force in the world and the kids might as well be prepared for that. Now the rage in certain high income neighborhoods is for the kids to learn Chinese or Arabic. I wonder if well to do parents in the 40s "prudently" had their kids study German--- just in case? Somehow I doubt it.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

i read a lousy book

I just finished reading My Life With the Saints. I won't bother to link to it because it's lousy. It was written by a Jesuit priest but it sounds like the musings of an emotionally retarded 16 year old. Fr. showed an ignorance and sometimes indifference of basic Catholicism and tradition that stunned me. If this is what the Jesuits are producing somebody beg the Pope to suppress the order please.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Two beautiful icons of Our Lord and Our Lady


random thoughts for a thursday night

  • Apparently Rod Dreher has left the Church and has converted to the Orthodox faith. I don't know how old Dreher is but he seems young enough to still believe that there must be a church made up of perfect members. I suspect he'll soon start writing disallusioned diatribes about all the unexpected sinners he'll find among the Orthodox. Sad.

  • It's being whispered that the Holy Father is going to issue a universal indult for the celebration of the Tridentine Mass. I refuse to get excited. I'll believe it when I see Raymond Arroyo report it the EWTN news.

  • I've been toying with the idea of asking Fr. Theoden (no that's not his real name) about starting a rosary prayer groupat my parish. What time I'd actually have to devote to it is another question but lately the urge to do more at church has been nagging at me.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

St. Francis


This morning I was in New York City (for work) and before my train to Virginia took off I visited St. Franciscan on 31rst street. It looked like a small chapel from the street but once I got in I was awed by how beautiful and big it was. They have a heart melting statue of the Divine Infant and the most touching statue of the death of St. Anthony I've ever seen and they have confession from 8AM to 6 PM on Saturdays.

Looking at the portraits and statues of St. Francis I was struck by how our modern era gets the saint so wrong. When I was in high school our teacher showed us a horrible movie-- a one man musical about St. Francis' life. He was presented as the Middle Ages version of a dreamy, high on something flower child. I was repulsed and I think a lot of other girls were too. St. Franics was no flake. He was a mighty man of God.

I saw this "motivational poster" on the Anathema Sit blog. Too bad I can't track down my old teacher and send this to him.

PS, New York is great for a quick trip but I'm so glad to be home in my beloved Virginia. The late Lewis Grizzard once wrote a book about the time he left his Southern home and followed a career in Chicago. He called it, If I Ever Get Back to Georgia, I'm Gonna Nail My Feet to the Ground. That's how I feel about Virginia. Plus I missed Rocky something fierce. Life, even for a few days, without that man is like tofu that's been substituted for Angus beef.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

random thoughts on a wednesday night

1. I wish Rosie O'Donnel would go back under whatever rock she was hibernating under. I'm sorry her mother died when she was young. Lord, knows I suffered when my father died when I was 13 but that's no excuse for her to be such a phenomenal jerk now.

2. I wish Madonna would go away forever. She's apparently just adopted an African baby. I'm really sick of these celebrities adopting kids for publicity as if the children were Pugs or Pekes. A human being deserves something better than being an accessory for a bubble headed singer or actor. We certainly have come a long way from the days when a bishop refused to let Elizabeth Taylor adopt a baby from a Catholic orphanage in the 50s. The good bishop stated flatly that he couldn't send a child into the home of a public adulteress, which is what Liz was at the time.

3. Ever notice that when criminals get caught they try to excuse their behavior by claiming to have been abused or of having an addiction?

4. If you're in DC on the third Monday in October stop by St. Matthew's Cathedral for Eucharistic Adoration led by Fr. Caulfield.

5. I'm reading The Murky Water's of Vatican II. It's not a very readable book and I can't say that I'm enjoying it one bit.

6. This may tick off any female readers---- sorry--- but Catholics really need to reevaluate the way many of us use NFP. It was never intended to be long term birth control and should be used for serious reasons only. If your doctor tells you that you will turn into Andrea Yates if you have another baby then NFP or a Josephite marriage is perfectly acceptable provided your husband is willing to go along. Not wanting to have a waist bigger than 17 inches is NOT a valid reason. So many women fear pregnancy as if it's some sort of dread disease. My grandmother had three children and was a farmer's wife. She lived way back in the country with no air conditioning, no washing machine, a wood burning stove, no indoor plumbing and no microwave. She cooked, sewed, cleaned, chopped wood, raised animals, grew a garden and had a part time job as a restaurant cook and being pregnant didn't slow her down.
Other women simply fear having a bunch of kids but because of the STD scourge and waiting so long to get married many women are infertile anyway. You probably couldn't have 16 kids even if you desperately wanted to. Trust God. He knows what you need and He knows what you can handle.

7. I just bought the New Testament volume of the Navarre Bible. It's an incredible study source. It is not cheap ($45) but it was well worth it. My husband has started reading it for the commentary sections before going to his bible class each week.

8. Say a rosary for our priests. The good ones need it. The bad ones need it even more.

9. Pray for the Pope.

7.

what fresh hell is this?

A 32 year old sadistic, freaked out bastard walked into an Amish school and killed (so far) six young girls and himself. Amish country in Lancaster, Pennsylvania is one of my favorite vacation spots. The Amish are fine, gentle people this must be such a tremendous shock to them. Last week a crazy man walked into a school in Colorado, picked out several teenaged girls, molested them and shot one before killing himself. There are many men in this country who are obsessed with young girls, the stinking sewer of kiddie porn (actually underage victims and over age 18 women who are posed to look like girls) is stark proof of that. Lust is a consuming demon. The more a person feeds it the more it requires. These guys have such perverted fantasies and more and more of them have no fears of acting them out.

Sometimes I read the comments on Anglequeen and I keep coming across people who long to head back to the farm, pull their kids out of school, find a priest who will offer the traditional Mass and just forget about the rest of the church and the world. This terrible crime against innocent Amish children shows that you can not hide from the sin of the world. There is no safe place anymore.

St. Maria Goretti and St. Dominic Salvo, pray for us.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Tridentine Mass today

Rocky and I went to the Tridentine Mass at St. Lawrence in the Virginia suburbs today. We loved it; we really, really loved it. With this Mass there are less distractions. I was so busy following the missal and praying that all I really noticed was what was happening on the altar. It was all so beautiful. There was no gossiping before Mass, no backslapping, no cantor screeching into the microphone, and no eucharistic ministers. After Mass there was not a great rush to the door and people waited until they were outside to chat with their friends.

The homily was decent, and the organ was well played. St. Lawrence is hideous on the outside but on the inside it's lovely. Someone who really loves Jesus must be in charge of the decorations and the altar rail is intact.

Happy Feast day St. Therese!


This picture was taken of the saint when she was a 15 year old novice. It's one of my favorites.

what a week

Well, my mother in law is out of the hospital. Thank you to everyone who said prayers for her. She had one really rough night because a nurse tripped and tore out her tube. Putting it back was very painful and Big Mama thrashed around so much that her IV tube was yanked out as well. So they had to try six times to put it back in. After that particular drama the nurse responsible was removed from the floor and Big Mama actually began to feel better. On Monday night the stomach tube was removed and she was allowed to go home on Tuesday morning.

Rocky and I went on vacation and were startled to find out how poorly things are done in the Richmond diocese. We couldn't find a church that had daily Mass in Williamsburg, Newport News or Norfolk or Richmond. The only bright liturgical spot was visiting the Catholic chapel at William and Mary. It was great seeing all those young kids at Mass, not because their parents mad them go but because they wanted to be there.

We stayed in Williamsburg and visited the historic area as well as the outlet malls. We saw the Virginia Living Museum (Excellent!) and the Norfolk botanical garden ( Go if you get a chance) and we took the ferry to Surry. We spent time in Portsmouth and rambling around Newport News. They have a huge park there that was great.

Alas, our hotel room had a a small mold problem which explains why my eyes were so irritated all week and all our clothes that we took on the trip smell. I'm off to the dry cleaners .

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Support the Holy Father!

prayers please

My mother-in-law, Big Mama has a kink in her small intestine. She's in the hospital with a tube going down her throat that is pumping out all of the um... stuff that built up in the last three days. She's in a lot of pain because the doctors can not give her any medication. If her stomach muscles relax it will interfere with the pumping process. Please say a prayer for her.


And please say a short one for me. This is a trying time and my patience level is as short a two year old's right now.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Prayer for the Pope

Dear God, I beg You to keep Your servant, Benedict XVI safe. Send Your holy angels to be a mighty shield of protection around him.
I beg this in the name of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ.




Pope St. Pius pray for Benedict.
Pius XII, pray for him.
St. Peter, pray for him.
St. Benedict, pray for him.
St. John Vianney, pray for him.
St. Pio, pray for him.
Sts. Linus, Cletus, Lawrence and Crysoganus, pray for him.
Pope St. Gregory the Great, pray for him.
Servant of God, John Paul II, pray for him.
Servant of God, Fulton Sheen, pray for him.
Venerable Solanus Casey, pray for him.
Sts. Francis, Dominic, Anthony, and Ignatius, pray for him.
St. Theresa Benedicta, fellow German to the Pope, pray for him.
St. Michael, defend him from the works of the devil.
My dear St. Dymphna, pray for him.
My dear St. Therese, pray for him and all struggling priests.
Oh Mary, saint of saints, mother and queen of all the clergy, pray for him.
Amen.

Media hyped hysteria


Hilary at LifeSite news points out that the media created the whole Muslim hysteria. I no longer buy the New York Times (I stopped years ago) and after the Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal I look at everything it publishes with a scrutinizing eye. As for the BBC, they so obviously hate Jews and Christians so much that I ignore them as well. And speaking of somewhat strange reactions to the Pope's Regensburg speech Jimmy Akin wimps out and calls it a gaffe. I've been fairly uncomfortable with some of the things I've been reading on Akin's blog lately and this pretty much cuts the cake for me. I won't bother to read him anymore.

Monday, September 18, 2006

random thoughts on Monday night.


  1. What in the world….. My husband and I visited this church a few weeks ago. I'm sorry for the parishioners. It must be very shocking to find out that your pastor is a pervert.

  2. After reading this I'm seriously thinking about going back to receiving communion on the tongue.

  3. I went to Adoration tonight at St. Mathew's Cathedral. It was wonderful kneeling before the Lord and it is always great to be able to go to confession. Fr. Caulfield is an excellent confessor and he has a good heart.

  4. Pray for the safety and health of the Pope. Pray for our priests, pray for the conversion of sinners.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I've been tagged

Best title ever for a piece of music-

Dropkick me Jesus or Don't Come from Drinkin' with Lovin' on Your Mind

Most underrated guitarist -

Umm. I have to pass on this one.

Music that moves me to tears-

Samuel Barber's Adagio in G minor and Un Bel di from Madam Butterfly.

Most unusual lead instrument in a piece of music -

The Yoruban "talking drum" from Marsha Long's Ave Maria album.


Coolest name ever for a Rock 'N Roll band -

Gun-n-Roses


Worst genre of music ever -

Gangsta rap. Can you imagine how shocked the Four Tops and Temptations would've been 40 years ago if you'd told them that guys who can't sing or dance would one day become rich and famous for talking about rape, robbery and murder to a dance beat? At least Disco was about dancing. Rap is just mysoginistic crap.


Best guitar jam -

That thing Slash did on the November Rain cut.


Music that's ever scared your kid -

No kids but I was disturbed by Marilyn Manson doing Sweet Dreams.



National Anthem that most gets the blood pumping - The Star Spangled Banner.

Tagging anybody who's reading this post.

A nun was murdered in Somalia

An Italian nun was shot in Somalia.


Religion of peace, my ass.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hitler and his boss, the devil

Here's an interesting post on The Inn at the End of the World on Hilter and two brave priests who were convinced that he was possessed.

Friday, September 15, 2006

A lioness has passed

Oriana Fallaci, one of the writers I most admire has died after a hard fought battle against cancer. She was utterly fearless and wrote with aferocity that was in turns shocking and beautiful. I hope she was able to reconcile with the church before the end came and so because all things are possible with God I pray:


Eternal rest grant unto her, Oh Lord. May perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace.
Heart of Jesus, once in agony, have mercy on the departed.
Amen.

random thoughts on a thursday night

  1. I felt sad after reading this suspicious reaction on Mary Alexander's blog to the institution of a new traditional order made up of former SSPX priests and seminarians. I get the impression that some people really don’t want things in the church to get better. They would rather sit on a hill and criticize how the spiritual battle is going than get down on the ground and fight.

  2. Good news from my diocese.

  3. The Pope's parents met through a personal ad so don’t be ashamed to go to Ave Maria singles or Catholic Match if you need to.


  4. I think America might be too soft and weak at heart to really fight a war on terror. A lot of people thought Iraq was going to be as easy as when Bill Clinto bombed Serbia. But dropping bombs on a village is a cakewalk comapred to actually being on the ground with guerilla fighters. Strange how few people seemed to realize that.

  5. Say a rosary for your parish priest this week. If he's a good guy he needs it. If he's not such a good guy then he needs it even more.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Lifesite news

Lifesite needs your help. Click here to donate.

9/11

In 1998, Peggy Noonan wrote the greatest column of her career. It put all all my fears for the futures in print.

On 9/11 I remembered her column. I was surprised by the way the attack went down but I was not shocked that an attack was happening. Not at all. For years I had a nagging feeling that America's blessing of protection was about to run out. Looking at the rest of the world I thought it was miraculous that no huge terrorist action had happened here and that it was just a matter of time. I figured it would be like Oklahoma city or like something the IRA used to do.

I remember standing around the TV in the conference room at my old job watching it happen.
My office was right across the square from the White House and we were all expecting something to blow up at any minute. Our office manager was so stunned she couldn't make a decision whether to let us leave or not.. I decided that whatever was going to happen next I would at least die trying to get home. Everyone else came to the same conclusion and people began leaving quietly.

I'm so proud of the people in DC that day. There was no panic. Everyone was just calmly walking or slowly driving home. The whole city was so still. All I could hear was the sound of shoes on the pavement and the remarkably soft murmur of voices. Everyone cooperated. Everyone was nice which is a miracle because DC is normally a cold, nasty town.

I walked for six or seven blocks and finally got a cab all to myself. Most of the cabs had several people crammed in. Some folks were even sitting on laps. I couldn't get back to Virginia so I went to my mama's home in DC. As soon as I let myself in I hugged her and got my rosary out. Eventually my cell phone worked for a few minutes at a time and we were able to call relatives.

I called Rocky and told him not worry. Though lovers be lost love shall not, so Dylan Thomas said. Rocky doesn't go in for poetry. He hightailed it for his truck and spent hours trying to get to me. Late that night we finally went home and drove past the Pentagon.


Dear God, I can not describe how it looked. Dear God have mercy on all those people who died with no chance to go to confession, no chance to repent. Dear God.....

My mama sometimes kids me becuase I go to confession every week. I do it because I don't care to be caught by death unprepared.

A poll said that America's faith hasn't changed since 9/11. Well butter my backside and call me biscuit. Abortions haven't stopped and neither has the multi billion dollar porn industry in this country so it's obvious that most of us are still partying like it's 1999. Does it seem like there's an air of desparation to the party though? It seems like people are trying to forget, trying to consume, trying to lose themselves in sex, drugs, music---anything.


So many of us are trying to stamp our feet and close our eyes and pretend that there are not hard men watching us. Hard men who have no problem killing themselves as long as they can take us with them. Hard men who don't give a poot on a high wind about love, life or the future because they see their perverted version of paradise waiting for them.

We are like fat, soft children playing in a garden and oblivious to the cobras waiting inches away in the bushes and ready to strike.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Mary the teacher


In 1944, Claude Newman was sentenced to the electric chair. While in prison he met a Catholic prisoner who gave him a Miraculous Medal. After recieving this medal Claude's life changed. He recieved instruction in the Faith and was baptised under the name of Claude Jude. You can read the amazing story here. Mary is a true mother and like a true mother she seeks out lost children.

random thoughts for a thursday night


Oh Sacred Heart, Oh Holy Mighty One, Oh Holy Immortal One have mercy on us. Send us priests after Thine own heart.



  1. The whole Taize thing was weird. Either this man, "Brother" Roger was Catholic and for some convuluted reason he didn't want to admit it or he was just play acting all along. I'll chalk this up to reason 53,000 on why you shouldn't go off to a foreign country and sit at the feet of a guru.


  2. This article shows yet another reason why I don’t give to Catholic Charities. There are plenty of solidly Catholic charity groups that could use my money instead.

  3. Run to the bookstore and buy this and take a look at this one too


  4. I just finished reading Understanding Medjugorje by Donal Foley It's a very sobering read. I never believed that the Virgin was appearing in that village and after reading Foley's book I'm convinced the whole thing is of demonic origin.


  5. There is a newly formed commission on Medjugorje. Hopefully their findings will be the beginning of the end of this travesty.

Monday, September 04, 2006

this was a lousy day

I take one day off and everything goes to heck. Rocky called me from his job to tell me that there was a shooting on the grounds but not to worry becuase he'd been sitting at his desk and didn't notice a thing until a co-worker came by and mentioned what had happened. My father- in- law, Big Daddy slipped on a newly mopped restaraunt floor this morning and fell hard. His magnificent poundange didn't save him and he has a very painful separated shoulder and Steve Irwin got killed by a stingray.

Dang! I'll miss you Steve. Rest in peace and may Terry, Bindi and Robert get through this sad time.

Friday, September 01, 2006

It finally came

I bought a Holy Face medal from the wonderful Sisters of Carmel
You can't see it in this picture but the detail is incredible. The image is taken from the Shroud and I was very moved when I first held it in my hands.

If you are looking for fine quality, beautiful sacrementals please check out the sisters. Now I just have to get the medal blessed.

a cautionary tale

Way back in the 60s a wonder drug came out of Europe. It eliminated morning sickness. American women clamored for it. The FDA decided to study the drug before allowing it in the US. The drug manufacturers harassed the woman doctor who was in charge of the study. Women grumbled and moaned about why the dumb old FDA was taking so long with the study after all it was being used in Europe and everybody knows the Europeans are smarter than us.

Some rich women decided that their morning sickness was just too much to bear so they got on a plane and went overseas to purchase the drug. And then after testing the drug the doctor decided that it was way too dangerous to use. Just as she discovered this many European women who took thalidomide gave birth to horribly deformed children. America was spared this tragedy because Dr.Frances Oldham Kelsey refused to be cowed by the drug manufacturers. President John F. Kennedy gave her a medal for her work.

Today we have Plan B, the emergency over the counter contraceptive. The FDA has approved it and I suspect that this drug is not only sinful (it’s an abortion drug after all) but it's going to turn out to be another health disaster. Besides that it will surely be a boon to swinish men, rapists and child molesters. What'sto stop a man from going to the drug store, buying a supply and forcing his willing or unwilling sex partners to consume it before he allows them to leave? This is an ugly, ugly thing. God help us.

Ernesto

Ernesto is soaking Virginia right now. It's raining so hard I half expect to see one of Noah's sons hurry by while yelling, "I told ya my old man was right!"

I'm going to spend the evening planted on my sofa with a throw blanket, a bunch of Martha Stewart magazines and one of Fr. Corapi's mission CDs.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I'm sorry but this is ridiculous

Swing over to Lair of the Catholic Cavemen and check out this post on Fr. Stan Fortuna's latest concert. I love Fr. Groeschel. I love the Franciscans of the Renewal but Fr. Stan makes me want to avert my eyes. It's like watching your grandpa suddenly strip naked and do the samba.

Something beautiful


Here's a beautiful picture of a Cistercian nun. This nun's convent is located in Wisconsin and the sisters make hosts for Mass. They also accept online prayer requests.

Goodbye Good Man

What a shame.


St. Pio, St. John Vianney, Blessed Solanus Casey, and St. Athanasius please pray for this priest.
St. Therese, St. Dymphna, please pray for this priest.
Oh Mary, queen of the clergy have mercy.....

Friday, August 25, 2006

Genetic meme

Chris from IMHO tagged me……..


1. Which famous person would you most like to learn that you are descended from? Queen Catherine of Aragon

2. Which famous person would you hate to learn that you are descended from? Senator Robert Byrd

3. If you could be ancestor to any living famous person, who would it be and why?
Paris Hilton, so I could come to her as ghost to tell her to put some damn clothes on and stop acting like a um….good time girl.

4. If you could go back in time and meet any known ancestor(s) of yours, who would it be?
My mother's father who died from a black widow spider bite before I was born. I'd like to go in time to warn him to not put on the boot that the spider was hiding in. I'd also like to meet Caroline my great great great grandmother; born a slave in South Carolina in 1811. I'd like to find out the names of her parents and where she is buried.

5. Tag five others: anyone else who would like to play.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

random thoughts for a Thursday night

  1. A while back my husband was asking me about Fr. Haley. I told him that I hadn't heard or read anything about his status. Today in Renew Ameican I read this I wonder why the sisters bothered to get the book in the first place.

  2. So far Archbishop Wuerl is saying all the right things and he's actually visiting a wide variety of parishes not just the ones in the suburbs and he even went to my old childhood parish, St. Augustine in DC. But I look at his past in Pennsylvania and I don't expect him to do much of anything good here.

  3. After Mass on Saturday a beautifully coiffed older woman dressed in red a red shirtwaist dress, a white blazer, and black patent leather pumps stood up to give a speech. She was a nun from the order of the Sisters of St. Joseph. She was there to ask for donations for the support of their Peruvian mission. She said that they'd sent two of their younger sisters to Peru and because of the order's dwindling numbers it was a real sacrifice to do so. I thought, gee, perhaps if the sisters actually looked and acted like nuns you might have better luck with vocations and fundraising….. I prefer to give my money to nuns like these .

  4. The owner of the Catholic Sensibility blog posted that he thinks pro-lifers need to stop looking so gloomy and learn to sparkle. I think I understand what he's saying. You do catch more flies with honey than vinegar but I can't agree with him. I don't want the pro life movement to sugar coat abortion. It is a sin that cries out to God for justice and this country is risking terrible punishment. We are worse than Sodom. We are worse than Ninevah or ancient Egypt or even the Aztecs and the Romans. There's no way to put on a happy face about this. Our Lady of Akita, pray for us.

  5. Here is a wonderful source for those who love St. Therese. It has photos of her that I've never seen before.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Her roses still fall




Two weeks ago I said a novena to St. Therese. My prayer was answered and a few days later someone sent me a St. Therese chaplet. The chaplet is made by Carmelite nuns in Spain out of crushed rose petals. Getting that chaplet was a complete surprise. The dear saint has a sense of humor.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Thanks EWTN



Thanks for all the coverage of the papal Masses, thanks for the daily Mass, the rosary with the nuns, thanks for Fr. Corapi, Fr. Straub, and Fr. Bill Casey, thanks for nourishing my faith.

Happy 25th anniversary

Happy Feast of the Assumption!





Oh clement, oh loving, oh sweet Virgin Mary.



Pray for us, holy Mother.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

strange experience

Yesterday my husband and I felt like going to the 7 PM Mass at a local church. We went in, sat down, prayed and meditated. Around 6:45ish a group of Latinos came in carrying a Senor de Los Milagros crucifix and a Divino Nino statue. Then one of them walked up to us and curtly asked if we had come for Mass. My first inclination was to say, "Yeah, buddy, what's it to ya?" but I was sitting right in front of the Blessed Sacrament so I simply said, "Yes."

He frowned and looked like he was passing a kidney stone. "Do you know Rosa?," he asked. Umm no, dude. He gave us a what the heck are you people doing here look and went away frowning. Another man glanced curiously at us and started working on the electric candles for the mini shrine in front of the Divine Child.

Rocky and I hadn't been to this church in a while so we guessed that the schedule had changed and that this was going to be a Spanish Mass. We were about to go find a bulletin and decide whether to stay or leave when the priest walked in. He stared at us and began speaking in Spanish. I got up, genuflected and headed for the door. Rocky followed. Some of the people in the pews seemed happy to see us go. We checked the bulletin and sure enough the 7 PM has been changed to Spanish but still the reactions we got seemed odd. I realize that the Mass was in Spanish but does than mean no non-Spanish speaking people are allowed to attend? When did that rule get put in place? No-one was overtly mean to us but we clearly got the vibe that we didn't belong. Catholic means universal. I guess they've forgotten that is this parish. My husband and I won't be dropping by again.

Random thoughts for Friday night


  1. Amy Wellborn, recently posted a long, odd apology of sorts as to why her daughter isn't going to Catholic school this year. My first thought was to wonder why she was bringing it up. After all her kid's education is nobody's business. But then it dawned on me that a lot of people look up to her and might (wrongly) be upset because her kid is in public school when Amy makes her living from writing about Catholicism. Ah the trials of being a public figure.


  2. At lunch time today I was so bored that I picked up a bridal magazine. I was startled to see a large add from Holy Trinity parish in Reston, Virginia saying that if you want to get married there divorce is no impediment and that a priest will "marry" the bride and groom in any dignified location. I couldn't believe this at first until I looked at the web site. This parish is a schismatic outfit that has nothing to do with the Arlington diocese or Roman Catholicism. If any couple goes there to get married it won't be a valid marriage.

  3. Remember, next Tuesday is a Holy Day of obligation!


  4. Thanks to Lair of the Catholic Cavemen, I just discovered a new blog written by a no nonsense priest. Check it out.

  5. Why does the Arlington Catholic Herald (the newspaper of my diocese) accept ads for pilgrimages to Medjugorje? It's an as yet unapproved apparition and by allowing these ads the paper is running the risk of making people think that Medj is legit.

  6. Happy Feast of St.Clare to all the Poor Clares, especially my favorite Poor Clare, Mother Angelica.

  7. God bless this woman and shame on the people who have made her life difficult in the last few weeks.

  8. Does Mass at your church look like a mommy and me party? Are most of the males who do come to your Mass old men, boys, or gay? New Oxford Review has a stirring article explaining why.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

NOVENA time

Madonna is planning on doing a mock crucifixion during her concert in Rome. She's also going to prance around wearing a fake crown of thorns. Sometimes when spiritually empty women who live on their looks reach middle age they panic. They start feeling as though they need to do something---anything--- to get attention and prove to themselves that they are still young and attractive. That's why you see 50 year old mincing through the mall in crotch high mini skirts and five inch heels or you see a grandma suddenly take a lover who's half her age. In Madonna's case her behavior is mostly a ploy to reboot her career but I suspect it's partially middle age panic and faded beauty that makes her act the way she does.
Novenna Prayer for Conversion
After each invocation say: My Jesus, pardon and mercy through Thy Sacred Wounds

My dear parents and grandparents,
My brothers and sisters and other near relatives,
My godparents and sponsors of Confirmation,
My spiritual and temporal benefactors,
My friends and neighbors,
All for whom love or duty bids me pray,
Those who have offended me,
Those who will offend me,
Those who have suffered disadvantage of harm through me,
Those whom I, still a sinner, will offend,
Those who are especially beloved by Thee,
Those whose death is near at hand,
Those who desire most to be united to Thee,
Those who endure the greatest sufferings and trials, especially spiritual torments,
Those whose death is most remote,
Those sinners have no one to pray for them,
Those who are most deserving on account of their services to the Church,
The rich who do not need Thee and are thus the most destitute,
The mighty who spurn Thee,
The spiritually blind, that they might see their folly,
The frivolous, who spend their time in idleness,
The poor, who do not seek the treasures of Heaven,
The tepid, who devote little time to prayer,
The indolent, who neglect to perform good works,
Those of little faith, who neglect the frequent reception of the Sacraments,
The habitual sinners, who require for their salvation to a miracle of grace,
Parents who fail to watch over their children,
Superiors who are not solicitous for the salvation of those entrusted to them,
Those who strive for worldly riches and pleasures,
The worldly minded, who fail to use their wealth and talents in the service of God,
Those who witness the death of others, but do not think of their own,
Those who blaspheme and commit sacrilege,
Those who violate the dignity of the human body and mind through impurity,
Those who sin because of my sins and bad example,
Those who do not provide for the life hereafter,
Those whose judgment will be severe because of the great things entrusted to them,
The pope, kings and rulers,
The bishops and their counselors,
My teachers and spiritual advisors,
The priests of this diocese,
The priests and religious of the Catholic Church,
The defenders of the holy Catholic Faith,
Those who die on the battlefield,
Those who fight for their country,
Those who will be buried in the sea,
Those who are to die suddenly, in accidents and from other causes,
Those who will die of heart attacks,
Those who suffer with cancer,
Those who suffer with AIDS,
Those who shall die without the last rites of the Church,
Those who shall die within the next twenty-four hours,
For Catholic apostates, heretics, and other unbelievers,
For Catholics who hold Masonic membership or in other secret societies,
For the conversion of the Jews, Thy chosen people of old,
For abortionists and those who aid them,
For women who seek abortions,
For those who promote or practicre contraception,
For those who give scandal, especially to children,
My own poor soul when I shall have to appear before Thy judgment seat.
PRAYER
Final perseverance and pardon grant unto all of these, O Lord; and let Thy graces through these petitions flow unto them and be fruitful. Amen.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Book Meme

Lair of the Catholic Cavemen tagged anybody reading the blog so.....


1. One book that changed your life: The Life of Christ by Fulton Sheen.

2. One book that you have read more than once: Salem's Lot by Stephen King

3. One book you'd want on a desert island: I'll take the Bible.

4. One book that made you laugh: I Should Have Seen it Coming When the Rabbit Died by Teresa Bloomingdale. Teresa was a Catholic mother of ten wild kids and her adventures with them are gut busters.

5. One book that made you cry: Madam Bovary.

6. One book you wish would have been written: There and Back Again: A Catholic Girl Survives Lousy Catechesis and College and Comes Back to the Church in Relatively One Piece.

7. One book you wish had never been written: Having it All by Helen Gurley Brown. That book was a soul destroyer.

8. One book you are currently reading: Emma and the Vikings. It's a biography about Anglo Saxon Queen Emma.

9. One book you have been meaning to read: St. Faustina's diary.

10. Tag some others: Anyone reading this.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

random thoughts for a Thursday night



1. Here is a video of solemn high Tridentine Mass. The video quality is so poor that when I first saw it I thought, 'Oh shit, my contacts must have fallen out somewhere,' but when I looked up everything was normal so I knew for sure it was the video. Hat tip to the spunky young priest, Fr. Tucker of Dapped Things.


2. I'm sick of hearing about Stephen Colbert.


3. I thought all Carmelite nuns were contemplatives but that's not so. This fantastic looking order also does teaching and retreats.

4.I spent the weekend reading this book. The author was ordained a priest very late in life and has recently passed away.

5. Check out the preaching of Fr. Larry Richards.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

But for the grace of God....

I can't join the feeding frenzy on Mel Gibson that most of the big Catholic blogs are engaged in right now. Alcoholism runs in my family. I've seen some things you wouldn't believe. Some of my relatives are the sweetest finest people you could ever meet but give them a sip of home brew, a bottle of beer or a shot of whiskey and they turn uglier than a one eyed bastard billy goat.

Considering what lurks in my own family tree all I can do is look at Mel's situation and say, "There but for the grace of God go I".

And since Hollywood is chock full of drunks, junkies, adulterers, fornicators, wife beaters and a whole lot worse I have to ask why this personal tragedy is such big news.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Balm

After the doggie Mass I was feeling pretty low but on Monday my husband and went to our usual parish for a holy hour and just sitting there with Jesus I began to feel a measure of peace. Later that week we were in Prince William County, Va and stopped by the perpetual adoration chapel at Our Lady Queen of Angels. There were six other people there. Three were teenagers who came on their own and I was thrilled to see them. In the middle of the day on a Friday those young people came not to be entertained, not to see a freak show but to sit and kneel before Christ. Our bishops have failed us. The lay people who really run our parishes have failed us but there still is faith.

This weekend we took a trip to West Virginia and went to Mass at the brand new church, St. James. It's gorgeous. I'm not sure what the style is but it's full of stained glass and the tabernacle is right in the middle of church where it should be. It was a very reverant Mass and the congregation says the rosary before Mass starts.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

WMOAT

I had a hair appointment yesterday that ran late so Rocky and I couldn't make the 5PM vigil Mass at our church so we went to the 6PM at another parish. It was without a doubt the WMOAT (Worst Mass of All Time). When we walked in I knew something was wrong right off the bat. Jesus was not behind the altar, not in a chapel but stuck in a corner. That's right, the the Blessed Sacrament-- Jesus in the flesh, our joy, our strength, our salvation--- was stuck in a dank, drab corner next to the side door.

The choir was rehearsing when we came in and I realized that the songs they were singing were the same ones I used to hear at Mass when I was young child back in the 70s. It was like we had fallen into a time warp. There was a gray haired guy vigorously attacking the guitar and most of the shorts wearing parishoners looked to be in their 50s and 60s. There was only one baby, and a few little kids and two teenaged boys. Everybody else was a Boomer. There were even banners (ugh!) hanging on the wall.

A bored looking altar girl sat in her chair on the altar for half an hour before Mass. I've never seen an altar server just hang out like that before. Usually the altar boys at my church are actually doing something to assist Fr. Theoden and Fr. Aragorn. This child seemed to be just lounging.

And then I saw the dog. I love animals, dogs especially. I'd rather play with a dog than talk to most people. I think the Doberman is one of the most perfect creatures God ever made but a dog does not belong on God's holy altar. It was the priest's dog and I guess he was just checking his territory. He walked around, stopped to be petted by various delighted people and seeing that everything was in order he returned the the sacristy. Then the priest came out. He wore an orange Polo shirt and greeted us like a maitre d at a swanky restaurant. He was very nice and the people were very sweet to us, obvious newcomers but it was so noisy that we never got to pray in peace. Even if your "ministry" is to be the church greeter if you see me hunched over saying my rosary with my eyes closed don't come over to talk to me unless my car is on fire in the parking lot.

Finally Mass started. The priest had on the green vestment but there was no alb or maniple underneath. He dropped some parts of the prayers and improvised. There was no Confiteor (when I was a kid I called it the Comforter) and when was time for the homily Fr. left the ambo and strode into the aisle. My first horrified thought was that he was going to walk the pews like a Pentecostalist preacher but he mostly stayed in one place. His homily consisted of jokes and audience participation.

I looked behind him at one the altar girls and was stunned. This child spent the homily and most of the Mass drumming her fingers on her chair's armrest, resting her head on the back of her chair and staring at the ceiling while she sat sprawled, with legs gapped open. I have never seen such disrepect in my life. These people wanted altar girls so badly (Why?) that they picked a girl who obviously didn't want to be there.

They held hands at the Our Father but I declined. I don't hold hands with anyone but my husband and blood kin, sorry 'bout that buckaroos. The priest added some words to the Concecration and told more jokes at the end of Mass. He would've made one hell of a stand up act. At the end no one stopped to pray and no-one visited the Blessed Sacrament. One man looked at me with a quizical expression when I genuflected before the tabernacle. We ran out the side door.

Rocky told me that this was the first time he ever had to say a Hail Mary in order to get the strength to sit through a Mass. He wanted to get up and leave at several points but kept telling himself that it was a valid Mass. I spent the whole Mass thinking of Jesus in that corner. There is a prayer in the Tridentine rite that asks God to look at our poor efforts with an indulgent smile. I thought of Our Lord smiling at this mess like a dad who's just been presented with a hideous rice and macaroni mosaic by his beloved seven year old and took some comfort in that.

I felt like Kurtz from The Heart of Darkness lisping, "The horror! The horror!" As I said this Mass reminded me very much of the 70s. It was weak, wishy washy Catholicism lite and I saw nothing there to live my life for and nothing to drink death like water for if need be. It was like a Lutheran or AME Zion sevice. I can't imagine a young woman or man sittiing in that church and feeling any call to the religious life. I can't imagine a young woman or man from that parish wanting to stay Catholic after high school.

Afterwards Rocky and I both decided that when we see our pastor again we're going to tell him that we love him and thank him for the beautiful reverant way he celebrates Mass.