Monday, September 26, 2022

Youth Mass

Mass at the Arlington Cathedral was ....not great this week. Rocky and I knew something was up as soon as we hit the door. Most of the regulars who are seated when we usually arrive weren't there. The flower arrangement was noticeably restrained and more tasteful than usual and there were three extra chairs for priests. The tall microphone was at the bishop's chair so we guessed he was going to be the celebrant.  There were more candles than we normally have and the nicer Christmas and Easter tall candlesticks were out. The sacristans had on suits. The Youth Minister was flying around with a look of intense concentration and then I noticed the little red programs. "It's the youth Mass, " I whispered to Rocky. "How'd we miss it?" Was the answer.

 I sighed. The one week I didn't read the bulletin is the week with the Mass we try to avoid. The choir came in.  They were happy to see each other and their chatter and laughter was so loud  that a priest had to shush them. Instead of the scheduled  elderly lector, who apparently wasn't told this until she arrived;  a teenager did the readings. Instead of the usual cantor who is in his twenties, we got one who was younger and had  bright Joker green hair. 

The noise from the boisterous choir got bad again and I gave up trying to pray because even with whispering my prayers I couldn't concentrate. I wasn't the only one and I noticed that the few regulars who came were looking up at the choir loft with displeasure. This has nothing to  do with the age of the choir members. The children's choir are obviously much younger and somehow manage to behave far better. 

The bishop gave us a homily where he mentioned the new immigration center in Woodbridge, Virginia and the lovely chat he had with two Afghan men who are being helped there. The choir was mostly very good but when they tried to pull off "Most Beautiful" as the Communion song it was embarrassing. 

The young attendees were invited to a reception downstairs and I found it mildly amusing looking at the regulars with their puzzled or downright grim expressions as they went to their cars. As for me, I had a headache after Mass but Goody's headache powder, coke from McDonalds and a weiner schnitzel dinner at a new restaurant took care of it. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Are we ruled by livin' men or monsters?

 

Life is so very beautiful. Last night Rocky and I sat and listened to the cicadas and looked up at the moon. Beautiful.  Last week I stood by a river in Southern Maryland admiring the birds and loving the smell of rain. Beautiful. How perverse that our leaders, who already have everything money can but still can't find joy in that;  seem determined to ruin and kill innocent people because they think it's worth it to create the world they want. Whether you trust Fr. Malachy Martin or not, I think his term "perfectly possessed," describes a lot of the men and women who are in charge. 


The song in this video is from the Twilight Zone episode "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"Peyton Farquhar, has escaped from a hanging and near drowning and the stunned, exhausted man revels in the joy of being alive. His fierce love of life and his family gives him the strength to stagger 30 miles back to his home. He doesn't make it.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Two thoughts on a Saturday night

  •  Actor Shia LeBeouf has converted. I'm not running around shouting hosanna because let's face people, the man is an actor, and one who is promoting his new movie. He's also been a major flake in the past and this could be a phase or he could be harassed out of it.  Actor, Chris Pratt used to thrill the Evangelicals by claiming to be a devout Christian but he faced a lot of nastiness about it in Hollywood. In a recent statement he now claims that he's really not all that religious. Lionizing celebrity converts is not good for them or the foolish lionizers. If the fact that such and such notable person is Catholic is the thing that really makes you proud to be Catholic then you have a problem that could make you lose your Faith one terrible day. I hope that LeBeouf is genuine and remains in the Faith but it doesn't affect mine in any way, shape or form.  St. Genesius, patron saint of actors, please pray for Shia.




  • On September 17th there is going to be a walking pilgrimage from the cathedral in Arlington, Virginia to the cathedral in DC. The pilgrims will be praying for a restoration of the traditional Mass. That's wonderful and I commend those who will be walking and praying but I really hope that plans are being made for helping people who don't drive get to Mass once the restrictions go into place.  I was born and raised in DC and there's no way I'd take a bus or the train to get the Franciscan monastery. The area you will need to travel through  gets rough and I'm putting that mildly. Things are better now but you can still get mugged or see some drug deals going down as you pass by. St. John the Evangelist is in Silver Spring and a lot of Silver Spring isn't all that nice. St. Dominic's mission is too far for most folks.  People who can't drive will need rides. 

    The situation in Virginia is better as far as the number of places that will be allowed to offer the TLM but in the long term it's all supposed to end in two years. Logistical and financial back-up plans need to be ironed out now. I hope somebody is thinking about this and I hope people are talking about getting together to pay for renting spaces for Mass which is what most folks had to do in the 70s and 80s to attend the TLM.


Saturday, August 20, 2022

Random thoughts on a Saturday afternoon

  •  I read a Twitter comment from someone who wrote that traditional Catholics have nothing to fear as far losing the ability to go the traditional Mass in their own parishes if they are docile to their bishops and don't cause any trouble. After Chicago, Savannah, Fargo, DC and the Arlington diocese stories I had to laugh at that comment. I was tempted to  ask the guy if he was a Pod person or if he'd been born yesterday.  Either he was being a jerk or he really is that foolish. 





  • "The most evident mark of God’s anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clerics who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds. Instead of nourishing those committed to their care, they rend and devour them brutally. Instead of leading their people to God, they drag Christian souls into hell in their train. Instead of being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, they are its innocuous poison and its murky darkness. St. Gregory the Great says that priests and pastors will stand condemned before God as the murderers of any souls lost through neglect or silence"…. Saint John Eudes 

    Pray for us, St. John. 

    • Don't send any nasty e-mail or angry letters to Bishop  Burbidge.   It probably just makes him feel righteous with pretentions of being a martyr. Instead wash your hands of the diocese and start thinking about where you are going to put your money and where and how you are going get to Mass. 


    •  A few years ago I was listening to a podcast and the speaker presented a theory that was startling. What if the many of the German scientists who were rescued by the US at the end of WWII were lying about their research? That seemed farfetched and I almost dismissed it  until I actually gave it some thought.

      Imagine you're a German scientist in the last days of the war. You joined either joined the Nazi party because you truly believed or you just wanted to keep your job. Neither reason matters now because in a matter of weeks or days the Red Army is going to arrive and you don't want yourself or your wife to be anywhere in the country when that happens.

      Your best friend at the lab, Wilhelm has quietly told you that he's made contact with the OSS and tomorrow he and his family are going for an after dinner walk. They aren't coming back but will be picked up and flown to England. Wilhem has told his Allied contact about you and the Americans are interested enough to arrange a meeting. You have a chance to get yourself, your wife and her elderly parents out of Germany and to a new safe life, so what do you do? You tell that American the tallest, wildest tale you can possibly think of about your run-of-the-mill work.

      Some disgusting things happened in the 50s to the 70s because our leaders believed that the German scientists had made advances in things that mankind would have been better off not knowing about  and if we didn't get "there" first the Soviets would, based on what they were getting from the German scientist they snatched. This does not excuse America's leaders at the time but the idea that those terrible things may have been based in part on the lies told by  desperate men is almost too much too terrible think about because it sounds exactly like the sort of sly, vicious joke that the Devil would make. 



    • Despite the horrors being visited on Nigerian Catholics  Francis, whom we know likes to talk, has nothing to say. 




    • Psst. Don't let your daughter participate in gymnastics beyond the local level and never let them move to a gym. 

    Sunday, August 07, 2022

    Vacation

     Rocky and I went to Pennsylvania for our vacation and took my mother with us. It was wonderful and I noticed something. The people were so normal. When I got back to Northern Virginia it was startling how many people walk about looking like they're attending a mad costume party. People deliberately pay a lot of money to look ugly and weird. And so many people seem angry or half a step from getting really nasty. It's so omnipresent that you don't notice it until you get away for  a few days. Once again, Rocky and I were reminded that when he retires we have to get out of here. 

    We went to Mass at a Redemptorist parish.  The Mass was about as nice as the Novus Ordo can be and while the cantor got a little out of control and even cut the priest off, the people were very friendly. We needed to fulfill our Sunday obligation and it was okay.

    Sunday, July 31, 2022

    Giving credit where it's due

     A few weeks ago, Fr. Z. said that something terrible was about to happen. Most people who commented on it seemed to think he sounded hysterical. I figured it was about the diocese of Chicago and didn't see how that was going to affect everyone and because I've been terribly disappointed in his judgment before,  I dismissed it as Fr. being overly dramatic again. Well, right after that the DC Cardinal struck down the TLM to three places, the bishop of Savannah made his move and now my bishop has taken 21, traditional Masses and reduced them to 8, with only 3, being in an actual consecrated church. Who's next? I guess this is all part of a plan. It looks like Fr. Z. was on to something after all. 

    My old parish is one of the 8, that has had a temporary stay but St. Francis DeSales in Benedict, Maryland will not be able to continue. Rocky and I drive from Virginia to Benedict every week because Mass there is so beautiful and the preaching is so sterling and unlike Northern Virginia, the people are not snooty.  We also enjoy the ride in the country. What a sad, cruel blow to the fine people who have worked and sacrificed to make that parish so dear. 

    Friday, July 22, 2022

    The hirlings care not for the sheep

     Cardinal Gregory has finally released his Traditional Latin Mass decree. The Mass will be reduced to only three places: the Franciscan Monastery, (I've read some statements from people saying the Mass won't be in the main church but only in the Blessed Sacrament chapel) , St. John the Evangelist in  Silver Spring, Maryland and St. Dominic's Mission in Baden, Maryland.