Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bless all the dear priests, in Thy tender care....

God, for the sake of Thy Holy Son's nativity, bless Pope Benedict. Keep him safe and keep him strong. Bless Your bishops and cardinals, especially the bad ones that they might realize and repent their errors.

Bless, Fr. Theoden. We are grateful for such a saintly pastor! Bless Fr. Gollum, Fr. Aragorn, mighty Fr. Jaffe, Fr. Hurley, Fr. Azuka, Fr. Vanderwoude, Fr. Rippy, gentle Fr. Africanus, Fr. Legolas, Fr. Bombadil in North Carolina, Mnsgr. Jameson, and Fr. Stonewall, that fierce young priest in Woodbridge. Bless the intense priest at St. Louis and all the priests and brothers at the Franciscan monasteries in DC and Maryland. Bless the blogging priests: Fr. Cranky, Fr. Z, jolly Fr. Joe and doughty Fr. Mildew in England, and delightful Fr. Sibley.

Please recover the priests who find themselves discouraged or tempted to stray from their vocation. Please recover the priests who've completely lost it and are living in sin and scandal. Bless Your sick priests, the old worn out priests, the hopeful and brave young priests and the dying priests, and make them all images of Your Son.

a nativity question

St. Joseph surely had a mess of cousins, if not siblings so why were he and Mary going from inn to inn alone on the night of Jesus' birth? Tribe is everything in the Middle East, some relative in Bethlehem would've been honor bound to take them in. It seems that what they wanted was privacy that woud've been impossible with kinfolks and certainly not in an open courtyard at an inn. Could it be that the birth of Our Lord was so miraculous that strangers or relatives couldn't have been trusted to keep their mouths shut?

Maybe the visions from The Mystical City of God and The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary were correct, afterall?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

merry christmas

We were just too tired to do the midnight Mass this year, so we went to Christmas Day Mass at 8 AM. It was lovely, peaceful and not crowded. Fr. Theoden and Fr. Gollum were exhausted but happy. The tree was beautifully decorated and there were masses of poinsettas.

I was a little sorry to see how bummy so many of the parishioners looked. Strange, how folks will get dressed up to go to a club and have a hook up with some stranger but show up in dirty sweats to see the King of Kings.

One of the gifts I got for Rocky was the Pope's Cologne. It smells fantastic! Rocky likes it and I love it on him. It's clean and grown up, like a sophisticated man ought to smell.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mass at Our Lady of the Angels

We couldn't make it to our parish for the vigil Mass and we needed to visit Rocky's parents, Big Mama and Big Daddy (they are doing poorly), so we went to a parish near them, Our Lady of the Angels. The music was.... bad, really bad. I could see that the cantor and organist were doing the best that they could so I'll leave it at that. I listened for a few seconds and then got out my earplugs.

I could hear the priest but the music was mercifully muted. They had several altar boys and the priest said a straight, no-nonsense Mass. Rocky and I were both really relieved.

I hope never to live in Prince William County -- except for the rural end it's not a nice place anymore, but if I had to do it, I guess we could do a lot worse than to belong to Our Lady of the Angels.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Here's another
photo from
the Life archives.
This sister was
studying in the
New York Public
Library in 1944.
For a librarian
like me, this
photo is a real

Be Still My Soul

We are having a baby boom at work. I should be over this but today it felt like I was being smacked in the face with something dangerously close to bitterness. I am glad for my co-workers. I'm even smart enough to realize that my old enemy "advanced maternal age" has probably bested me but damnit... damnit... damnit.

Oh I'm clinging to the hymn, "Be Still My Soul," today.

Pray for Martha Samuel

Here in America Christians are mocked on a regular basis. In hell mouths like Egypt, they get kidnapped, raped and tortured. When President Bush said that Islam is a religion of peace he only, (I think) made that statement in order to calm Americans and reassure Muslims in the US that a can of whoop ass was not going to be opened up on them. But Islam is not a religion of peace, never was, never can be. It's interesting and colorful in a horrifying sort of way but only in small numbers. When it takes over hell comes with it.

Please pray for this poor woman, trapped in Egypt. And remember, if such foul things are happening in "modern," "moderate," Egypt, our "ally" then imagine what life is like for Christian women in places like Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

one special ornanment

In 1967, my mother bought the most beautiful ornament in the world from Hechinger's Hardware store in DC. It was Polish and the pink and white, yest still silvery mercury glass was so thin and fine that later when I was old enough to pay attention to such things, I could almost see through it. I still have the famous Baby Ornament as the family calls it and it sits at the very top of my tree every year. I'd post a photo but by the time I actually took the photo and got it downloaded it would be Lent so you'll have to trust my description.

Merry Christmas!

The seminarians

The new crop of seminarians are pretty orthodox but they're still a bit young and well, we're just gonna have to wait years for them to be old enough to drive, much less to say Mass.
(Actually, it's a photo of students at the a minor seminary. Not sure about the year. I found it on the fabulous Crescent blog. )

Friday, December 19, 2008


Our cable and internet on the desktop as been out for four days. No football, no Survivorman, no Bear Gyrlls, no How It's Made, no Priests concert on PBS. Thank goodness our laptop isn't with Comcast.

A spider, (I think) bit me on the leg and it puffed up like something out of a horror movie. My calf looked deformed from the side. My doctor told me to use Benadryl and hydrocortisone cream and thank God, the swelling has gone down. The inflamed skin is still warm but it's not hot anymore and the area is the color of rare hamburger. I was scratching like a chigger bit hound yesterday but now the urge to scratch is less so.

And to top off the annoying week I actually wished a Jewish attorney merry Christmas today (I never realized he was Jewish but there's a faux pas made with a person who could hurt me later if he decided to hold it against me.)

And I still haven't done any of my baking.......

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

And the Word was made flesh

and pitched His tent among us.

Everytime I say these words I get such a thrill. It's almost too much to fathom. Imagine, God, almighty, infinite Lord, comes down to live with us, His ungrateful creatures. He comes, not to Rome but to crappy little Bethlehem. He lives in Nazareth for 30 years. He works as a carpenter-- no soft white hands for Him. He spends three years preaching and is rejected by the priests and pharisees, the very ones who should have recognized Him first. He is crucified, dies and rises again for love of us. The wood of the cross and the wood of His cradle are related.

And the Word was made flesh and pitched His tent among us. What else can I say but "thank you, Lord," and that with tears in my eyes.

For your listening pleasure.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

a question for the immigration lobby

One thing that I keep hearing over and over again is that we Catholic are supposed to welcome illegal aliens becuase they are such devout Catholics and will help the Church in America. Okay....... since it's often priests and nuns who deliver these lectures I've remained silent. But this week Playboy magazine released the December issue in Mexico. It is blasphemous and insults the Blessed Virgin. Heard any news stories about massive protests? Has Playboy been forced to recall the issues? Has Hugh Hefner left his crypt to publicly apologize? Have Mexican men cancelled their subscriptions in massive numbers? Nope. So, come again with another illegal immigration excuse becuase the devout Catholic one has worn way thin.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Beautiful- both sides of the confessional

These are from Life magazine. It was 1953 in the Belgian Congo. Tonight a young African priest heard my confession. His habit looked very much like the one in this photo.

let all mortal flesh keep silent....

We went to confession and adoration tonight at Queen of Apostles in Alexandria. They have two confessors and vespers are said each Thursday. It was lovely to sit with Jesus for an hour or so.
What indescribable love and charity! Jesus remains with us under the guise of bread. And He, the King of Kings waits for US to come to Him.
Our end of the Arlington diocese is heavily Hispanic so I expect tommorow, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe to be very busy for all the parishes. I hope the priests are getting plenty of rest tonight.
Since it's been such a Marian week. I've been thinking about Our Lady's apparitions, particularly the one in Rwanda. I couldn't help but compare the behavior and fates of the Rwandan seers to that of the alleged seers of Medjugorje. One girl, Alphonsine, became a cloistered nun, another, Anthalie, lives a very humble life in Kibeho, she has dedicated herself to prayer and good works and has vowed to never leave until Mary says so. Four were killed during the slaughter. Quite a bit to meditate on.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

passing on the Faith

Recently a priest lamented on his blog that parents don't take religious education seriously and don't support the DRE. My first thought was well, of course not. The parents and the kids know that what they're being taught is crap but they have to sit through the puppets and skits and lectures from a bitter old soul who oftentimes isn't even very orthodox in order for the kid to recieve the sacraments. Is it any wonder that many Catholics stop even trying to learn as soon as they are confirmed?

My husband attends a bible study at our old parish with a number of cradle Catholics. They've been through years of Catholic education and don't know as much as Rocky does and he's a convert.

I have no idea of how to do it, but there must be a better way to teach the Faith. St. Frances Cabrini and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton didn't have Power Point. St. Thomas Aquinas didn't use puppets or felt banners. What did they do that we can't do now?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I love you Baby Jesus!

"The more you honor Me, the more I will bless you".

A few months ago Rocky bought me an Infant of Prague statue. That's not him, pictured above but is a marvelous example of some devoted woman's home sewing of the vestments. Mine is about 12 inches tall and sits on top of my bookcase in our bedroom. He makes me smile when I look at him. Terry at Abbey Roads has a terrific post on the Infant and this site has a marvelous page on him.

Friday, December 05, 2008


Do they do the touchdown signal during the Our Father at your parish? Unless you're a referee on official business it's pretty dumb looking isn't it? Here's one priest who's sick of seeing the folks in the pews make fools of themselves.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Christmas shopping

I wanted to help out monasteries this year and it's been so much fun looking at web sites and blogs of various orders. I'm getting cookies from Dominican nuns in New Jersey and handmade lotion from Norwegian nuns, and Our Lady of Guadalupe tea from Canada. Rocky was very impressed by the Laser monks so we'll probably be buying from them too.

Monastery Greetings

Laser Monks

Holy Orders

Saintly Soaps (not a monastery but a lovely Catholic homeschooling mom who's running a delightful business)


When I was a child I hated spinach and most other green vegtables. I was also quite anemic so my mother made sure there was some stewed veggie on my plate at every dinner. I tried to avoid the spinach, or to toss it in the trash when she wasn't looking but that never worked. I'd have to sit at the table until everything on my plate was consumed including the rapidly cooling spinach, cabbage or brussel sprouts. I was hard headed and could stay at that table for a loooong time.

Today I went to St. Matthew's Cathedral for the noon Mass and was reminded of those days. The visiting Jesuit priest seemed absolutely determined to get his personality across. He seemed to refuse to just do and say what was in the missal, he had to add his own little comments and say his own dismissal instead of what the Church provides. It was the same way with the visiting priest from yesterday. They just would not say the Mass any other way but their way. I wonder if they even realized it.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

what I'm reading & hearing

Last year I tried to use the Little Office of the Virgin Mary and just didn't get the routine down. Today I visited the Catholic Information Center bookstore in DC and bought a copy of The Divine Office for Dodos by Madeline Nugent. I'm going to try to learn to do the simplified version of the Liturgy of the Hours. I'll be buying the one volume breviary, not the big ole 4 volume one.

I also bought a Latin pronunciation CD by Marion Smedberg and spent some time in adoration in the chapel. Oh and I'm listenng to the Priests CD. It's gorgeous. These aren't just three Irish priests who sing a bit, they have stunning, professionally trained voices. If you only buy one CD this Christmas, this is the one. Plus, they are using the money to help out their parishes.

This weekend I finished Our Lady of Kibeho, a touching book about the only approved Marian apparition in Africa.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

the kindest of men

My husband not only went shopping with me on the day after Thanksgiving, he patiently watched me try on dress after dress in a failed effort to find something to wear to the company Christmas party.

Wisdom! Be attentive.

Here's another picture of the priest from 1953 giving his homily. It reminds a bit of Fr. Gollum. There's no physical resemblence at all but Fr. G's homily this Sunday vigil was given with great passion. He reminded us to watch and be ready for the coming of the Lord.

I am curious about one thing in this photo. Did priests prior to VatII remove their chasuble before preaching?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Fr. Andrew Greeley

Fr. Andrew Greeley, the priest who writes romance novels, had a terrible accident early this month. He's in critical condition. That's old news, I know but years ago he wrote a non-fiction book in which he alleged that there was a homosexual pederast ring of priests opporating in the Chicago area. He said that he wasn't worried about them because if anything were to happen to him arrangements had been made for their names to be released to the press.

"...But even in Chicago, the ring of predators about whom I wrote in the paperback edition of 'Confessions' remains untouched. There is no evidence against them because no one has complained about them and none of their fellow priests have denounced them. Those who have been removed are for the most part lone offenders who lacked the skill to cover their tracks. The ring is much more clever. Perhaps they always will be. But should they slip, should they get caught, the previous scandals will seem trivial...."

Was Fr. Greeley telling the truth or was he just being sensational to sell a book? If he can communicate in any form I hope someone is asking him about his allegations.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank you God, for the holy priesthood.

Google has a treasure trove of photos from Life magazine's archives online.
This photo shows a priest from the 1950s giving a passionate homily.

So, are you enjoying the recession?

I've seen on too many blogs, especially orthodox Catholic ones display an annoying smugness about the recession. People seem gleeful. One guy wrote that he wanted to wag his finger at people eating out in restaurants for wasting their money. Others seem to be glorying in the troubles of their neighbors.

The prophet Jerimiah, (I think) preached to the people of Ninevah and then went to sit down to watch them be destroyed for their sins. Instead they repented and God spared them. Jerimiah was bitterly disappointed. God told him to calm down. A lot of Catholic posters seem like Jerry these days. They can't wait to see their neighbors suffer. That aint Catholic. That's not even humane.

Do you want this country to sink into some kind of Depression? Yes, we would deserve it. For all the horrid sins of this nation particularly the raising of abortion to some kind of secular sacrament, we do deserve it. But do you really want it?

Do you want your brother-in-law living your basement because he lost his job and can't find anything else? Do you want to see working class people reduced to standing in soup kitchen lines? Do you want to see marriages bust up because there's no money coming in? Do you hate your tacky low class sister-in-law so much that you take secret comfort when she loses her job at Ford? Do you disapprove so much of your cousin's high flying lifestyle that you'll feel righteous when his mini mansion is foreclosed on?

Do you want to see marriages explode on a grand scale? Women need security in order to be happy. Even the strongest of us need to know that there is order and rythm in our lives. Love takes a big hit when the rent aint paid and bill collectors are calling. Is that what you want for our country? Want to see child abuse rise even higher than it is now? Weak, demoralized people strike out at weaker targets, you know. They turn to drink, they turn to drugs. They turn to all many of hideous things.

I'm startled at how many Catholic bloggers seem to want to be like the townspeople in The Scarlet Letter all sneering and pointing at Hester. It doesn't seem to occur to these folks that they might lose their own jobs and that all their stockpiled canned goods and garden won't make a bit of difference if the mortgage isn't paid.

Happy Thanksgiving y'all

Oh and forget that Plymouth Rock jazz. The first Thanksgiving was in Virginia at Berkeley Plantation.....

Saturday, November 22, 2008

WTH is Douglas Kmiec thinking?

Sometimes when you make a mistake you can't pull out of it due to pride, fear or shame so you hit bottom and start to dig. I think Douglas Kmiec picked up a bulldozer is working on a making a crater.

I guess Kmiec doesn't remember high school. Sometimes in order to hang out with the cool kids you have to change so much that you don't even recognize what you've become.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The sorrowful mysteries

The agony in the garden
Jesus was in such emotional pain that He began to sweat blood. It's a very rare condition called thromboi haimatos that only occurs in times of extraordinarily intense stress. It leaves the skin tender and sore.

The scourging at the pillar.
The Jews had a law that a man could only be scourged to the count of 39. The Romans had no such restriction. If you look at the back of the Shroud you can see that Jesus' back must have been cut to to ribbons.

The crowning with thorns.
You may have seen the Spina Christi plant and been told that it is the plant that was used to make the crown of thorns. That's unlikely but the crown must have cost Our Lord tremendous pain. Scalp wounds bleed heavily and His face must have been covered with His precious blood.

carrying the cross
Artists traditionally show the cross already assembled when Jesus carries it but a full cross would've been too heavy for a man in Our Lord's condition to bear. He probably carried the cross beam on His shoulders and He must have fallen many times on the way to Golgotha.

the crucifixion

My Lord, my God, my Savior. What can I say? Only "thank you, thank you, oh thank you!"

i'm delighted

I got an award from Vir Speluncae Catholicus of The Lair of the Catholic Cavemen.

The rules:
1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2) Pass the award to other 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment.
3) Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Monday, November 17, 2008

one solitary priest

When Henry the 8th decided to discard his wife and daughter in order to marry his mistress he demanded that the Church go along with him. Most of the bishops said "sure,". One cardinal, said, "No!" He made it clear that he was ready to die to defend the indissolubility of marriage. That man was beheaded and his head was stuck on a pole. Later it was thrown into the Thames. His name is St. John Fisher. Just one very old priest against the might of the king and the world.

Last week one solitary priest spoke up in Greenville, South Carolina. His superiors have turned on him, of course.

Please pray for Fr. Newman. There really isn't a natural priest vocation crisis. There is a Catholic crisis. There aren't enough real Catholics to produce sons who'd want to be priests and there aren't enough Catholics to stand by their good priests when troubles come. What can a devout young man take from this story? That he's expected to say nice things and not the truth? That he must be lispy Fr. Skippy and give homilies as weak as water so that no one will be offended? Who would want to spend their life doing that?

Scrupulous Meaness--- Saddest picture I've ever seen, don't click if you are sensitive

What happened to America? When did the national spirit turn so mean? There is no excuse for this on earth. There will be no excuse in hell.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

november rainy day Mass

As usual we went to the Vigil Mass at St. Rita's. It was beautiful. One of the guys sitting near us was wearing a colonge that smelled like fresh tobacco. I actually like the tobacco plant smell so that was nice. My only bad moment was when it was time for the Sign of Peace. Why, oh why do people feel the need to give crushing handshakes? If I'm wincing in pain after you shake my hand I won't feel too peaceful about you.

Anyway, I always love looking at the stained glass and every little detail of the altar. There was a long line at the confessional and I was happy to see it. It was dark and raining and it seemed like the outside world had faded away. I heard no police sirens, no trucks going by. It seemed to be just us, the Church triumphant that we couldn't see, the Church Militant and of course, the Church Suffering --- a family gathered to worship God.

After Mass Fr. Theoden came out to sit before the Blessed Sacrament. It's a very good thing to see your pastor praying. I wish more priests would do that.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Things I've always wondered...

What was the real story on Cardinal Bernadin?

Was Fr. Malachai Martin good or bad?

Was Fr. Feeney an unjustly persecuted good priest or a proud priest who couldn't accept correction?

What did Mary and Jesus talk about over dinner?

What was the real reason for so many bishops remaining silent about sexually predatory priests? And why did they keep reassigning these men to posts where they'd be around kids? One pedophile priest was even given an assignment that put him in regular contact with Boy Scouts. This was AFTER he'd gotten out of a treatment center.

Did Adam bring up the snake incident every time he and Eve had an argument?

What did Moses say to his brother Aaron in private after the whole thing with the Golden Calf. Aaron gave Moses the all time wimpiest excuse ever recorded by man.

What was the great suffering that afflicted Archbishop Sheen while he was writing "The Life of Christ"?

What was St. Paul's thorn in the flesh? Did he have the stigmata?

Was Pope Paul VI ever happy? I keep reading story after story that ends with him weeping.

Did any of the priests and pharisees who met the Child Jesus in the temple live to see him as a man?

Did Pilate ever go a day without thinking back to the day he met Jesus?

Did Caiphus understand the meaning of the torn temple curtain?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Marines.

And thank you!

Thank you St. Anthony

When my mother was ill back in August I promised St. Anthony that if he helped her with his prayers I'd make a pilgrimage to his Pennsylvania shrine. Ma's okay and this weekend Rocky and I went to Pittsburgh to visit the St. Anthony Chapel. It is a very remarkable and holy place. If you are ever in Pennsylvania and can do it, do yourself a favor and stop by.

This chapel was founded by a saintly priest, Fr. Mollinger and contains over 5000 relics of the saints and has more relics than any other place outside of the Vatican. Sr. Margaret, a lovely habited nun from Ireland gave the tour. Besides the relics, the chapel also has life sized stations of the cross. Oh, and Sr. Margaret was kind enough to bring out the chapel's relic of the True Cross.

After the visit we walked over the chapel's museum and then stopped by Most Holy Name of Jesus parish. They had the altar decorated with pumpkins and wheat and we decided not to go to Mass there. Instead we went to Ephinany which is in downtown Pittsburgh. They had a brisk Mass and had a male cantor. He had a strong tenor voice and was very nice to us. In fact, everyone we met was delightful.

Pittsburgh Steeler fans have got to be the most devoted I've ever seen. They put Redskins fans to shame. Even little old ladies were wearing their Steelers jerseys on Sunday. I don't think we'll be back, except to visit the chapel but it's an interesting town.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Grand Inquisitor-- go read it.

I admit to being one of the apparently five American Catholics who don't find John Zmirak funny. The others are probably a Carthusian monk who last chuckled at something frivolous in 1952, a Traditionalist so tough that he makes most SSPX priests look like slackers, a cat lady in Wyoming and two Trekies who are convinced they really are Vulcans. Zmirak is, I am assured by most Catholic pals, a glass of fine aged brandy and my taste runs more into Cheerwine.

So, it was with some reluctance that I picked up his graphic novel, The Grand Inquisitor. It's good. It's really, really good. A fine and holy cardinal from Africa is elected pope. He's kidnapped and stuck in an insane asylum by the villain, a cardinal who's gone totally rogue. There is intense discussion about the state of mankind, the wounded Church, the clergy, nuns gone astray and at the climax startling vision by villain who sees an Infant of Prague statue suddenly look angry. Later he sees the Infant in dressed in armour and accompanied by butt kicking angels.
Like most graphic novels this is not for kids. It does not have pretty artwork. It disturbs, it thrills. I liked it. I should also point out that I can and do read Zmirak when he's serious. The man can write. I just never got his jokes.

The Catholic Vote

It looks like 53% of Catholics voted for Obama.
There's nothing else to say.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

November 5, 2007

Nobody knew you

“Sorry about your loss dear, but you couldn’t have been very far along.”
Nobody knew you
“It’s not as though you lost an actual person.”…
were real
Nobody knew you
“Well it probably wasn’t a viable fetus. It’s all for the best.”
…were perfect.
Nobody knew you
“You can always have another!”
…were unique, our Dieudonn√©, and no, I probably can't.
Nobody knew you…but God

Sunday, November 02, 2008

For those in purgatory

Oh my Jesus have mercy on:

My dear father and grandparents,*
My 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 suffered disadvantage or harm through me,*
Those who are especially beloved by Thee,*
Those whose release is near at hand,*
Those who desire most to be united with Thee,*
Those who endure the greatest sufferings’*
Those whose release is most remote,*
Those who are least remembered,*
Those whose are most deserving on account of their services to the Church,*
The rich, who are now the most destitute,*
The mighty, who are now powerless,*
The once spiritually blind, who now see their folly,*
The frivolous, who spent their time in idleness,*
The poor, who did not seek the treasures of heaven,*
The tepid, who devoted little time to prayer,*
The insolent, who neglected to perform good works,*
Those of little faith, who neglected the frequent reception of the Sacraments,*
The habitual sinners, who owe their salvation to a miracle of grace,*
Parents who failed to watch over their children,*
Superiors who were not solicitous for the salvation of those entrusted to them,*
Those who strove for worldly riches and pleasures,*
The worldly-minded, who failed to use their wealth and talents in the service of God,*
Those who witnessed the death of others, but would not think of their own*
Those who did not provide for the life hereafter,*
Those whose sentence is severe because of the great things entrusted to them,*
The popes, kings and rulers,*
The bishops and their counselors,*
My teachers and spiritual advisers,*
The deceased priests of this diocese,*
The priests and religious of the Catholic Church,*
The defenders of the holy faith,*
Those who died on the battlefield,*
Those who fought for their country,*
Those who were buried in the sea,*
Those who died of apoplexy,*
Those who died of heart attacks,*
Those who suffered and died of cancer,*
Those who died suddenly in accidents,*
Those who died without the last rites of the Church,*
Those who shall die within the next twenty-four hours,*
My own poor soul when I shall have to appear before Thy judgement seat.*


Saturday, November 01, 2008

all souls day vigil

Mass at St. Rita's was awesome tonight. Fr. Gollum's homily was so good I wish that I had a photgraphic memory and could type it word for word. He is a brilliant young man. We are so lucky to have such a fine mind at our parish. The music was the best I've ever heard it. I must send the church musician a thank you note. And the singers did Dies Irae. You can read about Dies Irae here.

This had to be one of the most sublime and precious masses I've ever attended.

Eternal rest grant unto:

Cleveland, Mamie and Mac, Farr and Minerva, Glenn and Elvira, Caroline, Farr, Taylor, John, Net, Sophie, Marie, Bett, Joe, Mary, Daisy, Junior, Bertha and Yancey, Will and Viola and all Rocky and my beloved dead.

John Mary Thomas, pray for us.

all saints day

We have We powerful friends in heaven. Don't hesitate to ask them for their help. And in honor of the day take a peek at this terribly cute little video
Oh and listen to this gorgeous litany of the saints from John Paul II's funeral.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

And now for something completely different

Rocky and I went to Richmond and visited Sacred Heart Cathedral.

It was completed in 1906, and puts our little "cathedral" in the Arlington diocese part of Virginia to shame. For one thing, it's actually open during the day for people to come and pray and you can even see a priest walking by. And unlike St. Thomas Moore we didn't run into any tyranical staffers. It's beautiful inside and in December they should be done with the restoration. Virginia Commonwealth University has grown up around the cathedral and during the school season you'll see hundreds of kids walking by. Sacred Heart has a lively campus ministry and a large youth group. Monroe park is right in front of the cathedral and we were thrilled to see what I think was a one of the red hawk breeds or a harrier fly over us and perch in a tree there.

Later we went to Comfort on Broad Street to eat. The cheese grits were very good. We also stopped at Sallie Bell's Kitchen for deviled eggs. They are almost as good as my mother's.

Today I met two wonderful people praying in front of Alexandria's abortion clinic. One goes to my parish and the other goes to the parish my husband usually visits on his day off for adoration. It was cold and windy but they were there. God bless them.

Monday, October 27, 2008

So what happens now?

I've been reading a number of posts on Catholic blogs which argue that the abortion fight as it has been fought is over. The cocktail circuit republicans have no use for us. Obama will probably win and he will probably get the Freedom of Choice Act passed. We Christians, these bloggers say, need to take a different approach.

Maybe. I know that if just 50 maybe even only 40% of Catholics were serious about the Faith we could change the world.
There was a time in this country when Catholicism was respected. I'm sure that there were many anti Christians in Hollywood in the 50s and early 60s but they knew that if they made a movie that was offensive decent people wouldn't watch it and their gravy trian would come to an end. Now we, Christians act and react like everybody else. We are too afraid and ashamed of the gospel to stand in the arena so we sit, perhaps in the back, but still there with the people who are cheering on the lions. We want so badly to not look provincial, backwards, uncool that we melt right in to the muck.

If every Christian man who indulges in skin magazines decided to stop reading FM, King, Maxim, and all those others they could drive those publications out of business. If every Catholic woman who buys condoms before a hot date would decide to live chastely it would cause a positive ripple effect. If every Christian woman who wastes her money on "spicy romance" novels gave it up, the publishing world would have to sit up and take notice. If every Christian man who is guffawing at South Park, Family Guy, etc. decided to pass that stuff by we could make network television less dangerous.
Do you remember when NYPD Blue showed a completely naked actress in prime time? How many Christians tuned in that night? I remember flipping chanels and seeing an extreme sex scene one night on HBO. It was only half a step from straight up porn. I turned the channel but I'll bet millions of Christians didn't. Remember the original 90210 or Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Sex in the City? All were beloved by women and all featured a cast where every character was having sex outside of marriage with no consequences. It wasn't just pagans who made those shows into hits.

We, who profess the gospel of Jesus Christ have to change our ways. I'm not saying we need to act like the Amish but we ought not be Young Goodman Brown either. We do need to stand out and live a noiceably different way. We have to actually practice what our better priests and bishops preach. This will not be fun. It will be painful and it might cost friendships, invitations to the better parities and for some of us, even our jobs. But, we are in a spiritual war and every war has it's casualities.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Oh gee. Not this crap again.

According the Catholic News Service there was a proposal at the Bishop's synod to officially install women in the ministry of lectors. This is crap. First off I'm sick of all these ministries at church. You have the flower ministry, the grief ministry, the welcoming ministry, the hospitality ministry. Please!

And what does the proposal mean by "officially install"? Are we talking about a faux ordination ceremony? That's getting into pretty dangerous waters.

There is only one minister-- the priest. Everybody else is just a volunteer or a paid lay worker. Permanent deacons, as we know them today are a fairly recent church experiment and they may have their place, but they are no replacement for the priest.

This proposal (Does anything good ever come out of a bishop synod?), is just another chipping away at the dignity and the uniqueness of the priesthood. If you want a priestess go find another religion.

everyday evil

A few years ago a friend of mine had an abortion. Nobody spoke up for the baby except the father, who had no standing at all, and me. I still suspect that I failed that child because I told my friend that no matter what she did I would not abandon her. Looking back on it now I wish that I'd told her that if she had an abortion I'd never speak to her again. It probably wouldn't have done any good, in fact, it probably would've been the worst thing to do, but maybe, just maybe, it would've given that child a chance. Every single day a mother waits and thinks about whether or not to go through with an abortion is a chance. Everyone, including two priests have assured me that no, my original gentle approach was best but I still wonder...

My friend's father, after she'd gone to the abortion clinic tried to comfort her by saying that it was for the best because he would've had to buy a more expensive larger house (if she'd kept the baby) instead of the smaller one he did buy. By having an abortion she saved him thousands of dollars. Gee thanks, Pop. I was stunned by that. A baby's life compared to the extra cost of a five bedroom house.

The devil doesn't appear in black satin and polished horns. If only he did! It would be easy to resist then. Mostly he appears in common, everyday disguises. Usually he looks so banal that we don't even grasp that it's him until the deed is done.

The abortion did not improve my friend's life. She still suffers.

St. Dymphna, pray for us.

St. Gerard, pray for us.

St. Mary of Egypt, pray for us.

St. Pelagia, pray for us.

Bartolo Longo, pray for us.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Got a good priest? Thank God!

Priesthood Sunday is October 26. Rocky and I are giving Fr. Theoden and Fr. Gollum a cake. It's going to be blue and gold. If I get a decent photo of it I'll post it. If you have good or even just okay priests at your parish do something special for them tomorrow. Say a prayer for their santification or offer or cut the grass. Fr. could probably use someone to help count the collection. Offer to donate the flowers for next weeks mass (instead of complaining about how tacky the floral arrangement usually is) or send him a basket of chicken or cookies your kids made. There are a million kind things you could do.

It's too late --- your brother bishops blew it.

God bless Archbishop Chaput , Bishop Hermann, and Bishop Martino, for speaking out on abortion but it's too late. The bishops as a whole, blew it long ago. As this smoking post from Lair of the Catholic Cavemen points out, Catholics good and bad were filled with grief and utterly crushed in spirit when the homosexual/pedophilia scandal came to light. Not so much because there were perverts in the priesthood. An adult realizes that perverts hide where they will not be suspected and where they will have access to kids.

The problem was that so many bishops chose to look the other way. They ignored, or excused the vile filth that was going on. They very nearly killed the trust and respect that we are supposed to have for our bishops. Many people left the Church and never came back. Others stayed but are half hearted and don't pay the Church any attention when her son's in Holy Orders speak. The shepherds were asleep or were in the company of the wolves. The surviving sheep have strayed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Okay, this will probably irk someone

I frequently read blog posts where parents complain that they aren't "welcomed" in church because someone frowned at them when their kids acted up or becasue Fr. asked their kids to stop running, eating or playing in church. It will probably make some people mad and I'm sorry about that--but I'm really irritated by parents like this .

Folks, your child is your responsibility. This is your precious bane and no-one elses. If he becomes a misery to all the other people trying to pray then you need to do something.

Don't tell me to offer it up. YOU offer it up and take Jr. outside. I'm not talking about babies. Babies are exempt. A parish without babies is a dead parish. I'm talking about normal ten year olds who can't get through Mass without playing video games. I'm talking about teenagers who joke and giggle all through Mass. I'm talking about seven year olds who are allowed to throw tantrums while their parents shamefacedly pretend not to notice. I'm talking about not so little children who can't make it through Mass without snacks. I don't like sitting in gum that was left in the pew, nor do I like slipping in formula that was poured on the floor and those crushed Goldfish crackers? Not charming at all. Somebody has to clean that mess up.

On behalf of that grumpy old man who probably raised several children himself, worked tirelessly for the parish and donates to the school fund every year and now would like to actually hear what Fr. is saying, on behalf of that grouchy woman who didn't think it was funny when your kid threw the gummy worms, on behalf of the widow who was just trying to pray for her dead husband when your kid ran by screaming I'd like to say: think about the rest of people in church. It's not that they're all meanies or anti-child or bad Catholics. Be kind.

WTH?--- Obama is not Jesus. He's not St. Martin either.

I'm ashamed to admit this but in my youth I liked Madonna. I was a fan right up until the night the Like A Prayer video premiered. I was a sloppy, lazy Catholic then and barely went to Mass but when I saw Madonna gyrating and groping the St. Martin de Pores statue in the video I was disgusted. That was it for me forever. I've not had a Madonna CD in my house since. It offended me that she used an image of the saint in such a vulgar way. It horrifies (but doesn't shock) me to see that some jackass dared to put Obama's head on a photo of St. Martin now.

The Obama people really worry me. They have a weird fixation on him that aint healthy or natural. Even the Kennedy brothers didn't incite this much worship.

Friday, October 17, 2008

This years Al Smith dinner

In the 1920s New York state Governor Al Smith ran for president. He was Catholic so he lost to Herbert Hoover. Every year the archdiocese of New York holds the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner. Prominent people are always invited, it is a premier event in the NYC social calendar. This year Senator John McCain sat on one side of Cardinal Egan and Senator Obama sat on the other. Judging by the photos a lovely time was had by all. This whole thing bothers Deal Hudson of Inside Catholic and it really bothers me. Jesus sat with prostitutes and tax collectors--- the scum of Israel but he didn't politley ignore what they were doing. Our Lord called them to repentence. When Mary Magdalene met Jesus she never went back to her old life again. Matthew stopped cheating and abusing his people (tax collectors were paid a share of the taxes they collected and had a staff called exactors to smack the snot out of anyone who didn't want to pay up) and followed Jesus. He became a saint and a martyr.

I know the dinner is for Catholic Charities (which ought to be run like a Catholic organization or be shut down as far as I'm concerned) and I know the two guys running for president are usually invited but the sight of Cardinal Egan sitting there grinning like a mule eating peaches with Obama by his side is distasteful and somehow embarrassing. Maybe it's time to rethink the Al Smith dinner.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The kids are not alright

According to an article in the Catholic News Agency a national poll was taken by an outfit called Public Religion Research and 60 percent of young 18-30 Catholics responded that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, adn 44 percent same-sex marriage. The next time you drop your kid off at CCD you really should cancel your morning plans and sit in on the class. I'll bet you that what the DRE is cooking up in your kid's mind is not what's in the catechism.

Now, granted this poll could be skewed. We don't know what Public Religion Research's agenda is. The pollsters could've really spoken to young Catholics in California or New York. You can lie with statistics but I suspect the poll results are close to accurate.

Don't be complacent about your child's religious education and don't be a hypocrite. You can not tell your son about the wrongness of contraception when his mother's pills are in the medicine cabinet. You can't tell your daughter about abortion when she's heard you tacitly approve of the abortion of a neighbor's wild messed kid.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

travels through Catholic blog land

  • I used to read Amy Wellborn's blog every day but it's changed so much that I only read it a couple of times a month now.

  • The guy who writes Whispers in the Loggia is maturing. He's not an enfant terrible anymore. He is still obsessed with the silly idea that the future of the church in America is Vietnamese or Mexican (hah!). If Rocky showed up at my local Vietnamese parish somebody would probably be upset. Two weeks ago Rocky and I walked into our parish church when the Charismatic Hispanic group was there. The looks we got were not the look of love. How are such segregated communites supposed to be the future?

  • The Cafeteria closed for business and it's replacement GeraldNaus.com has apparently withered away.

  • The Anchoress blog has turned out to be awesome. I read it everyday without fail. Elizabeth Scalia is so smart and so gracious.

  • Steve Skojec is starting to worry me.

  • Rod Dreher makes my nose twitch. He's almost as bad as Mark Shea. I can't read him anymore.

  • New Liturgical Movement and Rorate Caeli are magnificent and deserve far more attention and praise than they get.

  • Thank goodness for Lair of the Catholic Cavemen.

Please pray for my in-laws

This is difficult. When I got married 20 years ago my in-laws were not nice about it. They had an entirely different vision of the girl their son was supposed to marry. Big Daddy and Big Mama were thinking middle class and Baptist. Instead they got working class, Catholic me.

Big Daddy thought/hoped that when his kids did get married it would be Dallas. You know how J.R. and Bobby didn't go too far from Jock and Miss Ellie? They stayed in the same compound. You know how the Kennedy's don't seem to go too far from each other--(except for Jackie who wisely didn't let Caroline and John John hang with Teddy's kids)-- well that's what the Old Man was expecting. Instead Rocky and I got as far away as we could without leaving the state. Rocky's little brother, Clipper did much the same.

About five years ago Big Daddy apologized to me. He meant it. He's gotten used to me, and although it may still gall him that Rocky is Catholic he doesn't tell any priest jokes anymore. I think they're fond of me and I'm feel affection mixed with irritation for them.

They aren't doing so hot. The Old Man has high blood pressure, morbid fat, and diabetes and doesn't deal with any of it well. Big Mama is a teacher and this year has been constantly ill from various things she' s picked up from her kids and her kidneys function has slowed. It's a coporal work of mercy to visit the sick. It's a grace to be nice those who weren't always nice to you. I know this but oh, the ghost of the girl who had to put up with insults from her in-laws still lives in me and she'd be happy to forget and ignore. Please say a prayer for Rocky's folks.

Fr. Aragorn once said to me that Rocky's parents are part of the deal so get on with it. Buck up and do the right thing. He was right then and he's right now. So I'll get on with it and slouch towards Bethehem.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary, say a little prayer for me.

Friday, October 10, 2008

hope and gloom sat down to chat and it turned into fight club

Since the first rule of Fight Club is - you do not talk about Fight Club I won't go into detail ---hope won but barely.

I'm certain now that Obama is going to win. None of the eunuchs ---oops, I mean republicans will dare give him any trouble becaue the race card will be thrown down. Many whites are terrified of being called a racist so that's that. The country is going to be s-----d and for anyone with a brain a that vampire glamour spell that Obama seems to do won't make it any better. But, if you remember after 4 years of Jimmy Carter came Reagan.

After reading some of the rather pathetic details about Fr. Francis Mary's defection from his duty I was forcefully reminded that the priesthood is constantly under attack by the wickedness and snares of the devil. We need to pray, make sacrifices and do pennace. Check out the Opus Angelorum Crusade for Priests and adopt a priest to pray for or visit the Priests in crisis blog and pray for the priests it champions.
In the end, I decided to do what St. Joan of Arc would do: arise, endure, kick some evil butt.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Fr. Francis Mary Stone

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for all our priests.

I've been thinking about Fr. Francis Mary Stone for days now. Oddly enough, a few minutes ago I saw posts on Fr. Joe's blog and Curt Jester that indicate that Fr. Francis Mary has made up his mind and has walked away from the priesthood for good.

But, but, thou art a priest forever...........

Sunday, October 05, 2008

St. Michael, the archangel

Yep, it's a tattoo. I found it on the Fast Squiel blog. No, I wouldn't want Rocky to get one this big but it's my favorite image of St. Michael so far. And speaking of the arch angel, did he ever undergo an long drawn out official cannonization process? Can you imagine Pope Clement, Sixtus, Linus or Cletus going, "Wait, we need a devil's advocate and time to examine his cause." Me neither.

hysteria and noise

A woman came into the library where I work and was so freaked out about the economic situation that she's talking about retreating to the country and raising her own food. Do Americans have a genetic twitch that makes us more prone to hysteria? I'll bet this same woman was panicky about Swine Flu (remember that?), global cooling, and overpopulation back in the 80s. I wanted to smack her.

Instead I went to Mass and afterwords sat with Jesus for while. It was hard praying. All mortal flesh did not keep silent before the Blessed Sacramenmt. It seemed like every jolly soul who'd been dying to talk during Mass did so now. Men shot the breeze--- I have no problem with that, but the time and place was wrong, old women chortled and the ushers had a pow wow. A couple of chatting ladies headed my way so I started to get up from my knees and move. They assured me that I wasn't in their way and to carry on praying. Fr. Theoden had an idea that I was craving peace and quiet and gave a sympathetic smile as he glided by. Some days, some weekends are just grrr ...aaargh!

Friday, October 03, 2008

My friend, Therese

October 1, was the feast day of one of the Church's most beloved saints, the Little Flower, St. Therese. She's never let me down. A few years back her relics were brought to DC and Rocky and I both left work early to visit her. It was one of the most precious experiences of my life.

Most biographies of her usually mention that she died of TB but never get into what that means. TB is a horrid way to die. She was in unspeakable agony. Gangrene attacked her intestines. She was suffocating in her own blood as her lungs fell apart. And yet look at the expression on her face on her deathbed. Even if I didn't know who she was I'd know this is the face of a saint.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Got a good priest? Thank God!

Our new parochial vicar, Fr. G. is going to run in the Baltimore Marathon He's raising money for the Gabriel Project pregnancy assistance and Project Rachel post-abortion healing ministries. Since I wouldn't even run on an indoor track I'm very impressed.

He's been giving a lecture series on the letters of St. Paul every Sunday and it's brilliant. It feels like a college course. The Church no longer has simplex priests, the men in your parish are pretty darn smart as a matter of course. And some like Fr. G., Fr. Aragorn and Fr. Theoden are simply amazing. Your pastor or parochial vicar could've done a lot of things with his life. I've often thought that Fr. Theoden would've made a good teacher or diplomat, Fr. G. used to be a lawyer. Thank God they and all good priests have chosen to follow God's call.
The fabulous Kit Brookside loves my blog! The rules of this meme are that I have to complete the questions name the person who gave the award and pass it on.

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Where is your significant other? work
3. Your hair color? dark
4. Your mother? SC
5. Your father? SC
6. Your favorite thing? cheese
7. Your dream last night? weird, 8. Your dream/goal? beauty 9. The room you're in? bedroom
10. Your hobby? blog
11. Your fear? failure
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? home
13. Where were you last night? church
14. What you're not? bored
15. One of your wish-list items? dress
16. Where you grew up? DC
17. The last thing you did? read
18. What are you wearing? Orvis
19. Your TV? old
20 Your pet? dead
21. Your computer? pc
22. Your mood? grumpy
23. Missing someone? Nope
24. Your car? Ford
25. Something you're not wearing? coat
26. Favorite store? Borders
27. Your summer? fast
28. Love someone? sure
29. Your favorite color? black
30. When is the last time you laughed? yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Sunday
I nominate everyone in my links list because I really do love their blogs.

Friday, September 26, 2008

nastiness abounds...

I've been reading lots of bloggers who seem giddy about the current national financial crisis. What these people intend to do if the system crashes I don't know but I don't think they'll be too smug when their jobs are gone. It never seems to dawn on these people that "the rich" that they hate so much employ the rest of us............

Rock on Pope Benedict!

You know, for an old man, Papa Benedict is working at a breathtaking pace. He's replaced all the members of the Office of Liturgical Celebrations. He's moving and giving his all to restore the Church. What are you doing? How about praying and fasting. When you say your rosary this weekend don't forget to pray for the pope. He has the hardest job in the world and some times he must feel like he's standing in the midst of a snake pit.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I will go to the altar of God --- pray for vocations!

I found this holy card on a really lovely blog named He Gently Calls us and I spent I don't know how long just feasting my eyes at all the beauty. It reminded me once again how far Catholic art has fallen. Mostly our "artists" produce manure piles and call us philistines or stuffy trads for not being fooled.

Why they hate Sarah Palin

I was watching Governor Sarah Palin and felt a bit wistful. She's close to my age. If it weren't for my infertility problems I might have a big boy of Track's age now or a girl the age of Bristol or Willow. If my pregnancy last year hadn't been ectopic I would have a boy close to Trig's age.

When the feminists look at Sarah they are stung becuase she is living proof of the lies they've been espousing. You can have a real man for a husband, you can have children and still make --- if you are fit for it, and a lot of us aren't--- a serious career. Their own mutinous hearts whisper, "Where is my man, where is my child?, "

As Bette Davis said in All About Eve, they are "Just something with a book of clippings, an office full of French provincial furniture, but not a woman," and they know it. How it must gall them and terrify them. That's why they hate Sarah.

The Faithful Departed

I'm reading Philip Lawler's book , The Faithful Departed and so far, I see why it was banned from the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception bookstore in DC (they have Medjugorje books though) and why my beloved Catholic Information Center in DC isn't carrying it, (Opus Dei avoids any book that seems gets too political). Lawler argues that the rot in Boston started a long time ago and made the homosexual child molestation scandal possible. He's gone all the way back to 1919, when the cardinal at the time had to be told by Benedict XV, to get rid of his nephew and a priest who had a wife and home in another state. This same cardinal prized professional priests over holy priests. Sound familiar? Later, they got Cardinal Cushing who seemed to be a jolly fellow but who was way too interested in trying to integrate Boston Catholics into the mainstream life of Protestant America.

It's a fascinating read so far. Painful, becuase this isn't just Boston's problem. To a certain extent the rot is everywhere.

oh well

Remember that scene in Ten Commandments where Moses is told that his name will sticken from the court history and by law nobody is speak his name out loud? Well, I accidentally offended the head of a rather important group at church. I spoke the truth but I don't think ole girl wanted to hear it. So, I don't think my name will be unspeakable but it might be mud with the important group for awhile.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

And now for something calming and beautiful.....

The view of St. Rita's from the choir loft and the statue of Jesus and his Sacred Heart.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I will go to the altar of God

To God, who giveth joy to my youth........

Pray for priests!

Hat tip to the Meeting Christ in the Liturgy blog.

Voodoo practitioners for Obama

There's a shop in my town that looks like a Catholic statue store when you first walk in but has things like penis shaped candles for fertility and sex spells and a voodoo shrine in the back. When Rocky and I accidentally visited it one time, we both wandered down different aisles of the store and just as it was dawning on me that something wasn't right , Rocky rushed up to me an whispered, "There's some kind of a shrine in the back. I don't know what they're praying to but we need to get the hell out of here." Usain Bolt couldn't have left the store any faster than we did.

Today we usually don't even glance at it when we drive by but last weekend we were walking past it on the way to one of our favorite restarants and I noticed a large Obama sign in the window. We both had to laugh. Considering how weird Obama supporters tend to be, it made sense.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pray for our priests!

Except for Jesus, the eternal High Priest, nobody was born a priest. Many a vocation is lost because family and friends discourage a young man.

The Vatican doesn't have a priest nursery somewhere in St. Peters so, let's pray for vocations and support our seminarians and young priests with prayer and helpfulness whenever we can.

Oddly enough, our pastor, Fr. Theoden looks a lot like the baby in the vestments.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


O Lord, the God of mercies, grant unto the souls of Thy servants the anniversary day of whose murder we are keeping, a place of solace, of peaceful rest, of glorious light.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Hallowed Mother, do this favour: Those Wounds that gored my Saviour, deeply on my heart engraved.
Mine it be, Christ's throes in sharing.
Mine it be, his anguish bearing.
These, his wounds, to keep in mind.
From the flame of hell unending, be thou, Virgin, me defending, in that dreadful reckoning day! When in death my eyes are closing, open them, Lord, to see reposing, Victory's crown in Mary's hand.
When my frame by death is broken, and my doom by thee is spoken, be it, Lord, the better land. Amen.

Here was a man

Thomas Vander Woude was the sacristan at Holy Trinity Church in Bristow, Virginia and the father of a local priest in my diocese. He died a horrible death so that his youngest son might live. God bless this brave man and his sorrowing family.

Eternal rest grant unto him, oh Lord, may perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Dorothy Day nuttiness strikes again

The Dorothy Day Worker's House in DC is going to host an abomination. They are going to allow women who are pretending to be priests hold a fake mass. I tend to avoid anything with Dorothy Day's name on it because although she may have been a very holy person the organization with her name on it tends to be whackadoodle. As for these fake priests....well, there's few things more pitiful on earth than a woman who wants to be a man.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

How to save the old city church--put up or shut up

A lot of Catholic blogs post pictures of magnificent old churches and then mention that the church in danger of being closed. They usually blame the bishop. I sigh and comment on occasion, but usually I just move on.

The reason why those big city churches are in danger is pretty obvious but nobody wants to talk about it. It's the Catholic elephant in the living room. In 1964 , the Civil Rights Act was passed and a few years later came the Fair Housing Act. Black people were then legally free to live where they pleased and many began moving into neighborhoods that had been closed to them before. Many white people left the city. Some left because they were racists. Others left becuase they had to. To their innocent surprise their new neighbors frequently were hostile and had some cultural habits that were undesirable to live next to.

Okay, I'm not blaming anyone for leaving who belonged to the latter group. I don't blame anyone who just doesn't want to live in a city. My mom still lives in DC and I'd like to get her out of there. For whatever reason the old German, Polish, Italian, Lithuanian, or Irish Catholics left and only come back to the old parish on Sundays for the Tridentine Mass or they don't come back at all becuase they have their own parishes in the burbs.

Many city churches are open for commuters to attend a morning, noon or after work Mass and then promptly close becuase of the city crime. No pastor wants a situation where a visitor was raped or killed in the church while praying after rush hour. I once had to flee St. Joseph's on Capitol Hill in DC becuase of agressive vagrants. It was a weekday afternoon. The Shrine of the Sacred Heart in DC is not only locked in off hours but has a tall iron fence around the entire church because that neighborhood is rough. I wouldn't even walk there alone.

So, a bishop looks at his old church that may be in such a horrid neighborhood that it doesn't even draw commuters and he realizes that he's spending an awful amount of money on a mostly dead parish. And he decides to close it. Suddenly people who never gave a damn or a dime before come out to protest and Holy Mother Church is made to look bad in the news.

Do you want to save the old church in the old neighborhood? Get in the car and go there to Mass every Sunday and get yourself registered as a parishioner. Better yet, get in the moving van and move to the city and get deeply involved in renewing the parish. Can't do that? You'd never do that? Okay, you have your reasons as do I, but unless you are willing to put your life and your family's lives where your complaints are; you ought to give the bishop a respite in the criticism. Put up or shut shut, dudes.

Oh and to the parishioners of those endangered parishes: God bless you for toughing it out in the city but please, please remember, Jesus is the reason you go to Mass, not becuase your grandfather worshiped in the same pew you are sitting in.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Where were you when....

I stole this meme from Lair of the Catholic Cavemen.

1. President Kennedy's Assassination - 22 November 1963

I hadn't been born yet.

2. England's World Cup Semi Final v Germany - 4 July

This is soccer isn't it?

3. Margaret Thatcher's resignation - 22 November 1990

I can't recall and I'm sorry about that.

Princess Diana's death - 31 August 1997

I was taking a nap when my mother called. I couldn't believe it and felt unreal all day.

5. Attack on the twin towers - 11 September 2001

I was at work, a few blocks from the White House. I wasn't shocked. If you live or work in DC you eventually realize that one day the Big Bad Thing is going to happen and you pray that it will be quick. I figured that a major terrorist act would happen in America one day but the way they did was breathtaking. I remember standing on my balcony and watching bits of burnt paper from the Pentagon float by and realizing that America's long nap from reality was over.

6. The election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to the papacy - 19 April 2005

I was at work again. I stood up cheered. Then I sat down very quickly before anybody saw me.

Good news from the Vatican

Thank the Lord! It looks like the Vatican is taking strong disciplinary meausures with the priest who guides the "seers" of Medjugorje.

Monday, September 01, 2008

leave Bristol Palin alone

When I was in high school I knew two classmates who got pregnant. Both girls came from middle to upper class families. Their "nice", sophisticated suburban parents made them get abortions and although I managed to keep a blase expression on my face, inside I was shocked by that. One girl had two abortions, the other had one. One was incredibly bitter at her boyfriend for dumping her and leaving her to kill their child by herself. The other was just sad that the whole ugly business had to be done because her parents didn't want to be shamed in front of their friends. She was also upset because her boyfriend now seemed to have lost all respect for her. Both these girls knew what they'd done. Planned Parenthood couldn't convince them that they'd just shed some random cells.

Teenaged pregnancy happens. We are hard wired to breed when we are fertile. I am not saying that fornication is not a mortal sin. I am not dismissing fornication or making light of it in any way. I would never say or do that but out of wedlock pregnancy does happen. Our society just sweeps it and the poor innocent babies under the rug by forcing girls to add murder to the original fornication.

My grandmother gave birth to my dad when she was a teenager. She was unwed and could not marry my grandfather becuase he was already married to a relative of hers. It was the scandal of the county and no, my grandmother was not a good mom to her eldest son at all but I thank God she chose to give him life instead of sneaking off to the local abortionist. And she could've done that. Contray to the urban legends, the abortionists in my parent's little backwoods town were well known and were successful at what they did. My grandmother could've made her problem go away and no-one other than my great grandmother would've been the wiser. Give Bristol Palin a break. She has chosen to let her innocent child live. And that's all I have to say.

your choice comes with a price

"A woman who deliberately destroys a fetus is answerable for murder. And any fine distinction between its being completely formed or unformed is not admissible among us.""Those who give potions for the destruction of a child conceived in the womb are murderers, as are those who take potions which kill the child. "

-Saint Basil the Great (A.D. 329-379)

God says, "Take what you want. And pay for it."--- sarcastic Spanish proverb

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Governor Palin

I was happy that John McCain picked Governor Palin for his running mate. I was pulling for her all along. She's pro-life, shoots, didn't use childbearing as an excuse to turn into a slob, eats carribou instead of worshipping them and is my kind of woman. I'm totally down with Sarah. Plus, when faced with baby with Down's Syndrome she and her husband chose to let him live. Most Americans don't. I hardly ever see a person with Down's under the age of 20 anymore. God bless her for that.

However, if the McCain/Palin team shoudl win, I worry for her family. Her husband's a fisherman. He's either going to have to give up his livelihood to come to DC with her or the family will be apart even longer than the regular fishing season. She has young kids who will have to leave beautiful Alaska and go to school in DC or VA. That might be a culture shock. And then what about her marriage. Her husband will really be forced to play second fiddle and that is rarely a good thing. I'm happy for the country but I hope it's not too big of a sacrifice for the Palins.

Having said all that, I still suspect that Obama is going to win. I've never seen people act so weird about a candidate before in my life. His supporters seem to think he's Jesus, their absent dad and dream lover all wrapped into one. God judges the nations with the leaders He allows them to have. We'll see come November. Oh and, no matter who wins, the professional race hustlers and the folks who blame whites for their miserable failed lives will hate white folks just like they did before.