Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tony Blair

As every blogging Catholic knows by now, Tony Blair was recieved into the Church. I feel ambivalent. I'd be happier if he'd done it while he was still Prime Minister--that would've been a real act of swashbuckling guts, but so be it. A lot of people are disturbed because while he was in power Blair was pro abortion, pro killing babes in embryo (stem cell experiments) and pro gay rights. He has not publicly repented these public sins. Other people feel that since so many of us are lousy Catholics anyway we can't criticize Tony. I don't know.

Does his conversion help the Church or does it confirm the cynical belief that our prelates have one law for us common folk and quite another set for the stars. Damian Thompson has this sharp post and Mark Gordon has this to say. I'm reminded of what Kathy Shaidle posted when Pavarotti died.

Mass at St. Mary Star of the Sea

Rocky and I went to Baltimore yesterday. We got married in a civil ceremony there 19 years ago--- we were impatient young things and weren't willing to bother with Pre-Cana or the Gordian Knot of his family's disapproval---- and were married in Church a little while later------- so the dirty old town has sentimental value to us.

Baltimore is a rough place. If you go, stay in the tourist areas. Do not take the public bus, especially if you are white or just don't look like a local. Having said that there are many lovely sights and experiences in Bmore if you're careful. We visited the St. Jude Shrine, Holy Cross Church, the Baltimore Basilica, Lexington Market and went to the vigil Mass at St. Mary's Star of the Sea in South Baltimore.

The church is very old and was built by Irish immigrants. Most of it survived the 60s. The main altar is gone and so is what I guess was once the St. Joseph altar which was replaced by a rather drab little box on an ugly plaster pedestal containing the Blessed Sacrament. It made me so sad because nobody stopped to genuflect or visit Our Lord before or as far as I could see, after Mass. The cantors bowed to the altar but ignored the Blessed Sacrament. Moving Jesus to side chapels or even out of the building all togethter was a terrible mistake.

The Mass itself was celebrated in a solid manner. The elderly lector was excellent. The cantors were typically annoying, they butchered the Gloria and the Santus and good grief --it's Mass ladies, not a concert. We're here for Jesus, not you. Both sang beautifully but nobody in the pews joined in because it was too hard to follow. It would be like trying to play football with Peyton Manning--- you'd look and feel like a fool.

The parishioners were very friendly. South Baltimore doesn't get too many black people walking around but no-one seemed the slightest bit surprised to see us. They were really nice folks, especially the old sacristan and his sweet wife.

The priest fascinated me. He's the pastor of THREE churches. After Mass he had just 20 minutes to get his vestments off and trot two or three blocks to another parish to say Mass there. We looked at his schedule in the parish bulletin and were amazed. It's definitely an assignment for a young priest because he does a lot of running. The sight of one priest pastoring three parishes and having no parochial vicar made Rocky sad.

After that we left Baltimore and went to Columbia to look at the drive through Christmas light display.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

There's somebody else I have to thank everytime I go to a Tridentine Mass

Go here, to read a wonderful poem by the terrfic blogger : Long Skirts


Monday, December 24, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

J.K. Rowling took you for a fool oh Christian Harry Potter fan

When a smiling J.K. Rowling announced that Dumbledore was gay a lot of people twisted themselves into pretzels to defend her, the character and the series. Regina Dorman has written an interesting essay in defense of Dumbledore.

Regina is a talented writer but honestly, I'm tired of this......... Can't people just accept the fact that Rowling played them for fools? Gee whiz, stop drinking the Kool-Aid . Please note that Rowling Did Not out Dumbledore until after the last book was published and the millions had already rolled in.

Two priests who need our prayers

*I was born at night but it wasn't last night so I don't believe a word of this.

*Remember the priest who went jogging naked? Well he's about to have his day in court......... The fact that guys like this got ordained in the first place is a tragedy.

Fr. Coyle, martyr of the South, pray for us.

Rocky and I sometimes joke that accept in places like New York and Maryland it's almost impossible to just drive around and happen to come upon a Catholic church. Our churches are usually on side streets or tucked away down a long road. Our joke is that for Pete's sake the KKK is not riding the hills and valleys anymore but we both know that at one time in this country being Catholic could get you killed or discriminated against and it was prudent to not build a Catholic church on the main street. That's why old churches in the South are discretely tucked away. The story of martyred Fr. Coyle is a reminder of those ugly days.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Don't forget Fr. Francis Mary of EWTN

I think it's safe to assume that he won't be coming back to Life on the Rock and that's perfectly sensible but the important thing---- the absolutely vital thing is the state of his vocation. The story has died down now but please don't forget him. He must be terribly sad right now. Imagine being a priest and not being part of your church's daily life. He must miss saying Mass something awful. Let's keep praying for him.


*I spent some time reading the Family of the Americas website and I am studying their book. I'll be talking to one of their instructors via phone tommorow and I feel hopeful that I'll be able to master this method. I'm going to back it up with this.

*Our pastor has been ill for weeks and last night for the vigil Mass he was able to be the celebrant. Rocky and I were thrilled to see him back in action. After Mass he gave us both a blessing and I was greatly comforted. We gave the Frs. a capon for Christmas and they were amazed at the size of the thing. They were even more amazed when I told them what capon is.

*At home I felt good enough to attempt Christmas baking. I'm not going to produce my usual amount of cakes this year but a few people are getting goodies. All in all, it was a happy Saturday.

*Golden Compass is a bomb. One it's boring, two it has Nicole Kidman in it which is never a good sign and it's anti-Catholic crap. This stinker will be headed straight to video faster than you can say, "See I told you so."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My patron saint for 2008

is...... St. Jose Maria Escriva. I find that funny because it was an Opus Dei priest who got me to come back to going to to Mass when I drifted in college and it was in the Opus Dei run Catholic Information Center library in DC that I found a treasure trove of solid Catholic books which inspired me. St. Jose Maria was a no-nonsense kick butt sort of saint. This should be an interesting year spiritually.

Thank you, Angela Messenger for coordinating the saint for the year project.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

I am the Immaculate Conception

Those were the words Our Lady of Lourdes gave St. Bernadette in answer to the little saint's querry as to who she was.

Yesterday Rocky and I went to the 2 PM Tridentine Mass in honor of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at St. Rita's. Fr. Scalia and a visiting priest celebrated the Mass. Frl Scalia's homily was spot on as usual. Davd Alexander of the Man with a Black Hat blog and his lovely friend Sal (she's a lady) sat two pews in front of us but I didn't introduce mysefl. One because I'm shy and two because I dislike chit chat in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

The altar boys were amazing. The church was packed with young people and kids. There were a wide array of veils on display. Mine was cherry red and Rocky is quite fond of it.

I felt pretty good but was exhausted when we got home. I was absolutely wiped out and sore.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Was Shakespere actually St. Edmund Campion?

This website proposes a theory that doesn't seem so wild once you read her arguments. I am pretty sure that Shakespeare, was Catholic but if he could've actually been one of England's greatest saints too..... Alas, we'll never know for sure this side of Eternity.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Oh dear... this is most appalling

I sympathize with many people who go to SSPX Masses. I actually have bought books from Angelus Press and I enjoyed watching the online catechism taught by Fr. Daniel Cooper and Bishop Fellay seems like a cautious and sensible man but Bishop Williamson makes me cringe.

As long as he's the "face" of the SSPX and says things like this the entire worthy Trad movement will have an image problem. Could someone persaude Williamson to take an extended retreat to a nice, cozy hermitage in Pantagonia or South Dakota?

Crushed and anxious

We went to the Vigil Mass at St. Rita's last night. It was my first day back and it was hard. Mass was wonderful, the homily was well thought out and darn near magnificent but I felt crushed. I guess it was the sight of four adorable little kids sitting in the pew in front of us. I was exhausted, and had been worrying myself about the inevitable conversation I am going to have with my gynecologist. She's not Catholic and will probably argue that I'll need to go on the Pill on some other contraceptive method. I know that it would be dangerous for me get pregnant again even as late as January or February and frankly the idea is enough to make me feel like an anxiety attack is coming on. I'm not a fan of NFP and don't look forward to sitting through a class with some gooey, grinning instructor.......... Drat it all.

St. Dymphna, my dear patron please pray for your namesake.
John Mary Thomas, pray for your mom, darling.

Not this crap again

Sooner or later this Advent I'm going to hear the "Joseph and Mary were illegal immigrants/homeless so it's a sin to be worried about the 50 increasingly as the day goes on, drunk or sexually suggestive guys standing at the day labor lot next to your office or to rush past the hulking young man who's demanding a dollar from you after Mass," argument.


First off, Joseph was not an addict who has consumed all the family's money. Nor was he insane and in need of medical care. He and Mary were on their way to Bethelehem to pay his taxes. Bethehem was a one horse town then and it was full of people doing the same thing.

A few years ago Rocky and I were traveling through Blacksburg, Virginia. We were tired and decided to spend the night at a hotel. Alas, Virginia Tech was playing a football game that weekend and there wasn't a hotel room available for a 50 mile radius. That didn't make us homeless, it made us out of luck, hotel wise.

Second, Joseph and Mary were not entering Egypt illegally to work. They fled to Egypt to avoid Herod, yes but they were not technically refugees. Egypt belonged to the Roman empire as did most of the known world. As Roman citizens they were free to go anywhere in the empire. In the face of Roman power Egypt's borders meant nothing.

Third, Joseph and Mary did not bring any social problems to Egypt. They did not demand that their Egyptian neighbors speak Hebrew or Aramaic to them. They certainly didn't demand that the Roman soldiers speak something other than Latin. They did not get onto the Egyptian welfare system, had there been such a thing.

Using the Holy Family to push a political agenda is wrong. Illegal immigrants are working for substandard wages, in often shameful conditions. Creating a permanent underclass of 30 million people who we only want to do our hard work for us is unAmerican and will come back to bite us all. Perhaps it would be best if that day comes sooner rather than later. In the mean time let's not use the Holy Family as slogans.