Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bishop Williamson again

The bishop has left Argentina and landed in England. The English press has not been kind but what else would one expect? There is some talk that Bishop Williamson is planning to give a conference/talk for traditionalist Catholics. I hope this is just a rumor but I'm starting to wonder if the bishop isn't on board with the reunion thing and is deliberately causing trouble.

Papa's looking good

Fr. Gollum reminds me of the pope. There is no physical resemblence but Fr. G. almost visibly shines with goodness. His eyes are the eyes of an innocent kid and he'll probably be like that in 50 years. The pope is 81 but his eyes look the same as when he was a fresh faced innocent minor seminarian. It's extraordinary really.

In the St. Alphonsus Ligouri's stations of the cross the saint talks about how the soul which was once beautiful becomes hideously disfigured by sin. On the other hand there are souls that despite everything keep on glowing bright and beautiful.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

a blessed lent to you

I love Ash Wednesday. It's wonderful after Mass to suddenly realize who's Catholic, especially when it's a person who I never even suspected to be remotely Christian. I'm also interested in the reactions I get. I went to the 8 AM Mass at St. Matthews, (young Fr. Frodo gives an excellent homily and has a lovely singing voice) and then went to work.

A couple of co-workers launched into some mildly offensive Catholic jokes. I wasn't upset I just wondered if their lives were so wicked that the mere sight of ashes on my forehead was enough to turn them into min Bill Mahers.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

please say a prayer

Please pray for my mother in law. Big Mama is going through a bout of lousy health right now and please prayer for blogger, Carrie Tomko. She's just been given devastating news. There have been many times when I've read Carrie's blog and went "Oh for God's sake, Carrie, how can you say such things!," but that doesn't matter now. A sister in Christ is suffering.

St. Benedict and St. Peregrine, be with them.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I went to a bar to see a married priest

This week Rocky and I went to the DC Theology on Tap night. It was held at James Hoban's Irish restaurant and the speaker was a married priest. I enjoyed my bangers and mash (a soft, very mild sausage with mashed potatoes made with beer) and my iced tea. Rocky had a burger and fries. The service was quick and efficient but management demanded a credit card before our meals arrived. I suspect they've been stiffed by large dinning groups before but I really didn't like having our card in the waitress's pocket all evening.

Fr. Scott Hurd seems like a very nice man and is an amusing speaker but the whole talk made me feel as if I'd rolled in kudzu--just a little bit uncomfortable. He was an Episcopalian priest (hence the wife and kids) and converted after a few years of pastoring a small church in Texas. It was not deemed necessary for him to attend a Catholic seminary after his Episcopalian training. There are a handful of married priests in the DC diocese and we may get a few more in coming years.

Fr. Scott's story of the long and winding road that led him to the Church is interesting and he is in a unique situation but I don't see it as an answer to the vocations crisis. A married priest can not give his full attention to the vocation, something that Fr. Scott was gracious enough to acknowledge. As St. Paul said, a married man must be concerned with the world and pleasing his wife. If he fails in this, there will be trouble. That trouble could spill over into parish life.

A large subclass of married priests is a can of worms that we don't need to open. I guarantee you that one day some married priest will get a divorce, fall in love with another woman and will demand the "right" to marry again. More likely than not a group of lay fools will rally behind him.

As I said before, Fr. Scott struck me as being a very nice gentleman and I'm not picking at him---God bless him and keep him, his wife, and the little ones too, but I find myself very, very wary.

the mouth that roared leads to a hand that is slapped

Archbishop Williamson's big mouth has led to Argentina ordering him out of the country. He had a right to say a foolish thing and everybody else has a right to react. I just hope he doesn't end up in the US or the Vatican.

Monday, February 16, 2009

sometimes you just want to open up a can of whup ass

God bless the lone priest in deepest darkest dreary San Francisco who spoke up about these blasphemous candles.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

St. Bede's and Bruton Parish Church

Last week this time Rod and I were in Williamsburg. We went to St. Bede's for Mass and it's a puzzling place. When we first arrived I was struck by how odd it looks. They have a large lobby with a sofa and chairs and tables. It's tasteful but reminded me of the visitor center at the Mormon temple in Maryland. The sacristy, parish office, parochial vicar and pastor's offices are just off the main lobby. We walked around a bit and then went into the actual church. It's one of those church in the round designs from the '70s and the decor is very plain. White walls and no stained glass. They have a large crucifix that makes Jesus look like a short body builder and a disturbing statue of Mary and baby Jesus. For some reason Mary has a weirdly thick neck, huge hands and a honker of a nose and baby Jesus looks deformed. There must be a reason for that or maybe the artist came cheap.

The Blessed Sacrament is kept in a separate chapel. Few people visited while we were there and even fewer genuflected as they passed by.

Before Mass the cantor came out and made us all practice the alleluliah. Either she does this all the time or the singing was really off the week before. A couple of times Rocky asked me if I wanted to go. There's a Catholic church in Yorktown and if we really hurried we could've made it. I decided not to risk it so we stayed. I'm glad we did becuase the priest said a completely non-wonky Mass and gave a sterling homily. He seems like a good guy but it looks like he has a lot of work to do with taming his parish. There must have been about 40 eucharistic ministers. When they were standing around the priest all I could see was a glimpse of green.

St. Bede's gets a lot of tourists so no-one stares at strangers and nobody seemed freaked out by the sight of black people, which is always a plus. That and the brave young parochial vicar are the best things I can say about it. Next time we're in Williamsburg I think we'll go to the Catholic chapel at William and Mary Univeristy or to either of the churches in New Kent or Yorktown.

The next day Rod and I were in the historic area of Williamsburg and visited Bruton church. George Washington and Jefferson went to church there among other notables. It's a beautiful old church. The sad thing, and I do mean sad was that this Episcopalian church looked more Catholic than St. Bede's.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

a baby is dead

You've probably read about the Florida so-called "botched" abortion story. An 18 year old went to the abortion abattoir to have her unborn baby killed. Instead she had a live birth and a worker at the clinic put the baby the trash and left her to die. The police are involved now. The doctor's license to kill has been revoked. The natural mother is suing the doctor and the clinic. I hope she doesn't get a dime.

When I read stories like this I'm not shocked anymore. Horrors occur in abortion clinics every day. That's the point. A baby is murdered horribly, a doctor makes money and the mother goes home and tries to forget the "mistake". What the hell happened to America? We are no better than the worshipers of Moloch or the Germans of WWII who knew doggone well what was happening to the Jews but shrugged their shoulders and muttered that there was nothing they could do and perhaps it was for the best anyway.

birthday weekend

For my birthday Rocky and I went to Williamsburg. We stayed in a lovely B&B in Charles City, VA. It's called Orange Hill and we liked it so much I'm gooing back next year. I am now the same age my father was when he passed away. That feels strange, first because I never thought I'd live this long. Probably becasue of the shock of my father's passing ( I was a shy sensitive girl before he died but after he died I was a shy, sensitive, horribly anxious and depressed girl) and probably because his oldest sister died in her 20s, his youngest sister almost died at 30 , his middle sister has been suffering for years and his niece died at 13.

There's a scene in the movie Camille where the hero shows her a painting of his mother and tells her that his parents have been married for 30 years. Camille sighs and says no-one will love her in 30 years because she couldn't live that long anyway. I felt that scene intensely.

I feel a new closeness to my father, an understanding. He was my dad of course but now I have a glimpse into what may have been on his mind that last year. We're both 42. Amazing. Simply amazing.

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

Friday, February 06, 2009


Amy Welborn's husband died. They were the parents of two very small boys.

Oh man thou knowest not the day, nor the hour..........

things i'm tired of hearing about

  1. Fr. Marciel's sex life. Apparently he liked snails AND oysters. There's a fine line between commenting on news and thoroughly enjoying gossip. Some bloggers have clearly crossed it.

  2. C.S. Lewis quotes in homiles. He wasn't Catholic.

  3. Hurricaine Katrina. Right now thousand of Kentuckians are suffering in the cold and the MSM doesn' seem to give a hoot.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

a vast messy family

My family reunion is going to be in July in Charleston this year. My people are a colorful lot. Some are brilliant, some aren't. Some are rich and others are just barely hanging on right now. One cousin and her husband were both laid off from their jobs. Please pray for them. Some are AME Zion, Baptist (several different varities) and some haven't been to church since the last family funeral. We have had a little more than our share of tragedy but there are a ton of funny family stories too. We are like a big net full of fish.

The Church is like that too. We have Sr. Joan Chisseter, we have that priest who jumps naked over campfires; in my diocese we had a priest who's hobby was exposing himself in parks. He's gone now, I don't know if he's even still Catholic but until his last escapade went public he was a priest in good standing. We had a priest in Virginia who had a wife and kids hidden one county over from his parish. He was apparently dipping into the parish money too. We have a bishop who is under Federal investigation, we've had bishops leave their posts in disgrace. We have bishops who smile benignly while dancing girls gyrate in gauze and leotards before the Blessed Sacrament. We have nuns who think it's more important to be social workers than adore the Lord, we have heretics in all but name teaching kids CCD. We have meddlesome busybodies who interfere with everything their priest tries to do.

On the otherhand we also have all the saints, in heaven, unknown on earth and in Purgatory.

The big net of the Church has fish like St. Joan of Arc and monsters like Gilles de Rais. The net is big enough to hold the whole world so I guess it's big enough to hold the SSPX and the Anglo Catholics too.

Happy Superbowl Sunday. I'm off to have an appletini.