31 December 2007
30 December 2007
29 December 2007
Today is the feast day of St. Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury who was martyred in 1170 by agents of the King. St. Thomas defended the rights of the Church from encroachment by the crown, earning the King's ire and prompting the famous royal outburst-- "Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?" Well, someone did.
28 December 2007
His Eminence Francis Cardinal George will visit the Institute of Christ the King's Chicago headquarters, the Shrine of Christ the King, on Saturday, December 29th at 1:30 PM. His Eminence, the president of the USCCB, will attend a Solemn High Mass and crown the precious, recently acquired statue of the Divine Infant King. All are invited to attend!The church building, until now "gutted," has been cleaned and beautifully prepared for this occasion, and will now be used regularly as construction work allows. Funds are still being sought to restore the church. Details about the restoration project are available at historic-landmark.org. All donations are most gratefully accepted.
You can see pictures of the Shrine Church here, as it now appears after being gutted and during the ongoing restoration. This is simply amazing, and why I think donating to the Institute is money well-spent. They always, always, make sacred spaces feel sacred. They are always reverent. And they have a great sense of art, beauty and style. If they can do this in a very temporary setting, think of what they can do with the finished product. For example, the north sacristy at St. Francis de Sales was restored in the last year. Pictures here.
27 December 2007
There is a new Veggie Tales Movie opening in January. From LifesiteNews:
By John-Henry Westen
...On January 11, 2008, Universal Pictures and Big Idea, makers of 2002's wildly successful Jonah-A VeggieTales Movie, present The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything - A VeggieTales Movie. The CG-animated adventure, from Big Idea's enormously popular VeggieTales franchise is a new story of heroism in the beloved VeggieTales' world. Big Idea founder Phil Vischer and his partner Mike Nawrocki have brought another family friendly film to the big screen.
The new adventure follows three wanna-be hero vegetable pals zapped into the past and called to real heroism. The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything must each face their fears-becoming unlikely heroes in a battle to rescue a royal family from an evil tyrant, and themselves from living the life of common couch potatoes...
Liturgy reform: No going back
By invoking the church in biblical terms as the pilgrim people of God and as the body of Christ, Vatican II set the stage for a crucial shift away from the juridical “perfect society” embodied in the unabashedly monarchical church of Trent. Nowhere would this be reflected more clearly than in the way the church prayed. The throne room protocols of the Tridentine Mass, the elevations, barriers, brocade, structures and language separating clergy from laity gave way to a worshiping community in which all the baptized were called to full, conscious, active participation. A new way of worshiping marked the beginning of the end of the vertical ecclesiology that for 500 years had shaped every aspect of the church’s life and ministry around hierarchical and clerical preeminence. The council carried the same biblical imagery and expansive approach into the major constitutions on the church and the church in the modern world.
But there really is no turning back. “Vatican II helped us to rediscover the idea of the priesthood as something universal,” Marini said in an interview. “The faithful don’t receive permission from priests to participate in the Mass. They are members of a priestly people, which means they have the right to participate in offering the sacrifice of the Mass. This was a great discovery, a great emphasis, of the council. We have to keep this in mind, because otherwise we run the risk of confusion about the nature of the liturgy, and for that matter, the church itself.”...
26 December 2007
Benedict XVI resurrects the aesthetics of the Mass.
By Michael Knox Beran
In a recent address to the bishops and priests of St. Peter’s, Pope Benedict called for a greater “continuity with tradition” in the music of the Church, and spoke of the value of the Church’s older musical traditions, among them the baroque sacred music of the 17th and 18th centuries and Gregorian Chant. The address followed the pope’s issuance, in July, of an Apostolic Letter(accompanying letter in English here) in which he permitted broader use of the Latin Mass, the “Tridentine” rite authorized by the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century and promulgated most recently by John XXIII in 1962.
The pope’s pronouncements were received with skepticism by those who regard his views on sacred music, like his sympathy for the Latin Mass, as so much reactionary old-fogeyism. But neither the pope’s critics nor even many of his supporters appear to have grasped what His Holiness is up to.
24 December 2007
Puer natus est nobis, et filius datus est nobis: cujus imperium super humerum ejus: et vocabitur nomen ejus, magni consilii Angelus.
23 December 2007
The following letter to the editor appeared in this week's St. Louis Review:
22 December 2007
More evidence of the growth and appeal of the Traditional Mass in St. Louis in the wake of Summorum Pontificum: The Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus will have Mass in the Extraordinary Form once a month, on the second Wednesday of each month at 7 a.m. These Masses will take place in the Chapel of the St. Agnes Home, which is one of the order's apostolates and also the location of their convent for the Central Province of the U.S.
21 December 2007
From the article at STLToday:
During an earlier struggle between the board of St. Stanislaus and the Archdiocese of St. Louis, I suggested that Archbishop Raymond Burke would be well-served if he had a wife to give him counsel. Such frank and loving counsel is beneficial for all men, but especially, I suspect, for powerful men.
He then recounts a fictional dialogue between the Archbishop and his wife:
"There is nothing wrong with holiday cheer, Raymond."
"I have plenty of it, Martha."
"I know you do, Raymond, but nobody else knows that. It seems like every holiday season, you're angry at somebody. It was during the Christmas season that you announced your intention to declare the board at St. Stanislaus excommunicated. This year, you're angry with Rabbi Susan Talve."
"She had no right to provide legitimacy to that charade about women priests, Martha."
"Oh, Raymond. There was no legitimacy to that service. Who took it seriously? It's not as if those women are actually Roman Catholic priests now. Perhaps Susan shouldn't have gotten involved in that whole business, but she did, and that's that. We can either live with it, or make it a bigger deal than it is. Besides, you know how I feel about women and the church. …"
"Love trumps scandal, Raymond. 'Love thine enemy. Bless those who curse you. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for those who use you and persecute you.' Matthew didn't write about scandal. He wrote about love."...
"...Speaking of the media, we'll invite some of them, too."
"Martha! I don't even talk to the media."
"That's why they portray you as a grumpy man who spends too much time worrying about rules and so-called scandal. And we'll invite the board from St. Stans. And those two women who want to be priests. God bless them for wanting to serve. We all love the same Lord. And I'm sure Catholic Charities could suggest some needy families who would really appreciate a party."
There is more of this tripe in the article if you can handle it. Gee, I never knew about that "love your enemies" bit until Bill McClellan was good enough to point that out. Excuse me, Bill, but I think your effort at humor fails, and that you are in over your head when you pass judgment on the Catholic Church and our Archbishop. I notice you didn't take any shots at the Rabbi, the Priestettes, or St. Stan's Board. No, just the easy mark. Look out for a lump of coal this Christmas.
With my best wishes for a blessed and spiritually fruitful celebration of this Holy Christmas Season
Yours devotedly in Christ the King
Fr. Karl W. Lenhardt
Episcopal Delegate/Rector/Vice Provincial
By Rob Stein
For the first time in 35 years, the U.S. fertility rate has climbed high enough to sustain a stable population, solidifying the nation's unique status among industrialized countries.
The overall fertility rate increased 2 percent between 2005 and 2006, nudging the average number of babies being born to each woman to 2.1, according to the latest federal statistics. That marks the first time since 1971 that the rate has reached a crucial benchmark of population growth: the ability of each generation to replace itself.
"It's been quite a long time since we've had a rate this high," said Stephanie J. Ventura of the National Center for Health Statistics. "It's a milestone."
While the rising fertility rate was unwelcome news to some environmentalists, the "replacement rate" is generally considered desirable by demographers and sociologists because it means a country is producing enough young people to replace and support aging workers without population growth being so high it taxes national resources.
"Americans are much more religious than Europeans: They believe in God more. They go to church more," said Charles Westoff, a Princeton University demographer. "That sort of religious attitude or set of values is strongly correlated with fertility."
"The world is now consuming resources faster than the Earth can sustain over the longer term," said Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute. "Forests are shrinking. Fisheries are collapsing. Water tables are falling. Large parts of the world's grasslands are deteriorating. The U.S. is already disproportionately responsible for that because of our very high consumption levels."
20 December 2007
19 December 2007
18 December 2007
Jackson and studios agree to make Hobbit films
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After months of bitter legal wrangling, Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc have agreed to make two movies based on the book "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien.
In a statement Tuesday, the companies said Jackson, the director of the smash hit "Lord of the Rings" movies, and producer Fran Walsh will executive produce both a "Hobbit" movie and a sequel, but Jackson was not named as the director...
POSTED: 5:41 pm EST December 14, 2007
UPDATED: 4:36 pm EST December 17, 2007
OCALA, Fla. -- A 10-year old Ocala girl brought her lunch to school and a small kitchen knife to cut it. She now faces a felony charge after being arrested. The school and the sheriff's office disagree on the reason for the arrest.
It happened in the cafeteria at Sunrise Elementary School. The 10-year-old used the knife to cut the meat.
"She did not use it inappropriately. She did not threaten anyone with it. She didn't pull it out and brandish it. Nothing of that nature," explained Marion County School Spokesman Kevin Christian.
But a couple of teachers took the utensil and called the sheriff. When deputies arrived, they were unable to get the child's parents on the phone, so they arrested her and took her to the county's juvenile assessment center.
17 December 2007
A new interest in old ways takes root in Catholicism and many other faiths
Posted December 13, 2007
Worshipers come to St. Mary, Mother of God in downtown Washington, D.C., for various reasons, but many say that a big draw is the Tridentine Latin mass that is said here every Sunday. Soon, St. Mary may be less well known for that distinctive liturgical offering than for the number of big-name government and media types that occupy its pews. Now that Pope Benedict XVI has loosened the restrictions on churches that want to observe the pre-Vatican II rite, more parishes are availing themselves of the option. Call it part of a larger conservative shift within the church—one that includes a renewed emphasis on such practices as personal confession and reciting the rosary as well as a resurgent interest in traditional monastic and religious orders.
Put simply, the development is a return to tradition and orthodoxy, to past practices, observances, and customary ways of worshiping. But it is not simply a return to the past—at least not in all cases. Even while drawing on deep traditional resources, many participants are creating something new within the old forms. They are engaging in what Penn State sociologist of religion Roger Finke calls "innovative returns to tradition."
Please, contact our office for further information. 314-771-3100
2 Conversions to the Catholic Church
1 Adult Baptism
About 700 hours of confessions were heard by the clergy of the oratory.
We invite you to celebrate with us the 140th Christmas at St. Francis de Sales.
Monday, December 24, Christmas Eve
11:30pm: Christmas carols
12:am: Midnight Mass
Tuesday, December 25, Nativity of the Lord, Christmas
(Dec. 24) 12am-Midnight Mass
8am, Low Mass with organ: Missa in aurora
10am, Solemn High Mass: Missa in die
Daily: 8:00am Low Mass
Sunday: 8:00am Low Mass, 10:00 Solemn High Mass
Tuesday: 6:30pm Low Mass, followed by Perpetual Help devotions
Wednesday: 8am; 12:00 NOON, Low Mass
Thursday: 7:00pm Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament with Benediction
First Friday: 7:00pm Solemn High Mass
Holy Days: 8:00am, and 12:10pm, 7:00pm Solemn High Mass
Confessions/ Holy Rosary 30mins before all Masses
Thanking you for all of your help and your commitment, I wish you and your beloved ones all the heavenly blessings of the advent and birth of our Divine Redeemer.
Yours devotedly in Christ the King
Fr. Karl W. Lenhardt
Episcopal Delegate/Rector/Vice Provincial
The second is of our delusional friends' comical ceremony in which they pretend to be ordained. This video is simultaneously hilarious, nauseating and infuriating. Two questions immediately came to my mind: 1. What is it with these people and the dancing bowls of incense? 2. What were the saints doing when this crowd had the temerity to invoke their aid in this schismatic and blasphemous effort?
Nice catch, AMDG.
16 December 2007
For those who have already finished their Christmas shopping, today's Mass is for you:
15 December 2007
Confirmation of the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary expansion came yesterday as His Grace addressed the seminarians themselves last evening. Some highlights:
14 December 2007
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In a new book, a Vatican archbishop has chronicled the birth pangs of the liturgical reform generated by the Second Vatican Council and warned of a Roman Curia tendency to return to a "preconciliar mindset."
1. The Doctrinal Note is devoted principally to an exposition of the Catholic Church’s understanding of the Christian mission of evangelization, which is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ; the word "Gospel" translates "evangelion" in the Greek New Testament. "Jesus Christ was sent by the Father to proclaim the Gospel, calling all people to conversion and faith. ‘Go out into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature’ (Mk 16,15)." [n. 1]
2. The Doctrinal Note cites Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical Letter "The Mission of the Redeemer" in recalling that "‘Every person has the right to hear the Good News [Gospel] of the God who reveals and gives himself in Christ, so that each one can live out in its fullness his or her proper calling.’ This right implies the corresponding duty to evangelize." [n. 2]
3. Today there is "a growing confusion" about the Church’s missionary mandate. Some think "that any attempt to convince others on religious matters is a limitation of their freedom," suggesting that it is enough to invite people "to act according to their consciences", or to "become more human or more faithful to their own religion", or "to build communities which strive for justice, freedom, peace and solidarity", without aiming at their conversion to Christ and to the Catholic faith.
Others have argued that conversion to Christ should not be promoted because it is possible for people to be saved without explicit faith in Christ or formal incorporation in the Church. Because "of these problems, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has judged it necessary to public the present Note." [n. 3]
Full text here.
13 December 2007
Pope repeals "secret vows" of the Legion of Christ
Excerpt of an article published yesterday by the Mexican daily La Jornada:
The derogation of the secret vows of the Legionaries.The Pope has derogated the private vows of the Legionaries of Christ, precisely those which were used by the superiors of this religious congregation to protect themselves from possible complaints. The sources of news agencies indicate that these are "parallel measures" to the disciplinary penalty imposed on Marcial Maciel for sexual abuses in 2006.
Pope Benedict XVI had personally asked for the repeal of the private vows professed by the seminarians and priests of the Legionaries of Christ. These were oaths, related to the internal life of the order, which assured its secrecy and impermeability: the first [oath of "charity"] prevented any kind of criticism of superiors and their decisions by members, while the second [oath of "humility"] forbade the religious men from aspiring to positions within it.
Is there any parallel move planned with any other congregation?
Their church building — big, warm and dry — stood just yards away, but the St. Cronan parishioners had decided that they'd rather be cold and wet than without a woman they called their "friend and sister," Rabbi Susan Talve of Central Reform Congregation.
Talve has spoken at St. Cronan's, a parish known for its progressive social activism, during many previous prayer services during the Advent season. But this year, the pastoral leadership received a phone call from St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, asking them to revoke Talve's invitation.
I have received a lot of feedback on the St. Cronan's post-- both positive and negative. Some of those defending the non-protest vespers protest on Sunday pointed to the fact that the presence of Rabbi Talve is a tradition at St. Cronan's. Without addressing the obvious issue of just why would a Catholic parish routinely invite a leader of another faith to lead its advent reflections, there are other factors that make this particular choice inappropriate.
This speech occurred back in March 2006 at Aquinas Institute, itself the subject of a visit by Vatican officials in the wake of the abuse scandal and the resulting investigation of the course content and formation of all seminaries. See this story from NCR for general info, and this report from KSDK for specifics as to Aquinas. In her speech, the Rabbi offers her insights on, among other things, the sin of the Israelites and the golden calf. She gives an interesting spin on it-- and I don't want to be accused of taking these remarks out of context, thus the link to the full speech above.
From an Evening Prayer Reflection by Rabbi Susan Talve on the Occasion of the Aquinas Lecture
March 9, 2006
...The sin of the golden calf is the sin of certainty, believing that we can know what we cannot know, losing all humility, and from this sin, despite Moses' pleas for forgiveness, many of us die. We learn that the price for the certainty is great.
Like the golden calf, the sin of certainty reduces the complex nature of creation to a single simple response that leaves no room for interpretation. The sin of certainty is what keeps us from tempering passion with compassion. The sin of certainty also has room for only one idea. It is what keeps us from listening to alternative views with open minds to receive new information and ideas that could change our beliefs not for political or self serving reasons but because our hearts have opened to them.
To counter the sin of certainty, we try to produce souls who are not afraid to interpret situations in multiple ways and offer arguments for different positions and points of view with a kind of humility that always remembers that this is the human point of view and not Gods.
The sin of certainty always limits us and keeps us from the wonder and the promise of the possibilities for healing and hope in our mishkan.
The calf tells us that we need to be certain to commit to a relationship or a goal and that questioning and doubt are weakness. With the golden calf we see a frozen reflection of what is and we become attached to it even if it is no longer true or good for us. We are trapped in the certainty that this is the only way; the only solution, the only path and we cling to it even when it isn't right for us anymore. The mishkan always leaves the space for doubt and allows us to take risks that will grow into greater love, greater opportunity.
I'll bet Thomas Aquinas never imagined these two Jewish women would be preaching and teaching in his mishkan on his feast day!...
Now, of course, as a Rabbi, Susan Talve should not be expected to hold a Catholic view on any particular matter, or of any point of scriptural exegesis. She has her own religious convictions. That is precisely the point, though. Is it not? The reflections above seem to give comfort to those persons who consider themselves both Catholic and progressive. Those who believe that holding to "certainty" may foreclose them to greater gifts. Those who believe that the truths of Catholicism aren't something that can be defined by the authority of the Pope but rather are the result of an ongoing dialectic in which dissent of the "faithful" is a force for a slow realization of the truth given by God that the faithful themselves determine. In fact, precisely the kind of thing condemned in the strongest possible terms by Pope St. Pius X in Pascendi.
With regard to the public actions of Rabbi Talve, we have as the foremost problem her congregation's hosting of the infamous fake ordinations in defiance of the request of the Archbishop. Moreover, she was featured in one of the "stories of hope" on the site of the euphemistically named "Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures", supporters of Amendment 2, that amended Missouri's constitution to protect embryonic stem cell research.
Everything that I have covered above may be perfectly in line with the religious traditions of Judaism, of which I am certainly not an expert. I will also assume that she is 100% in good faith as to the motivation for her actions and beliefs. Great. But the point is that these positions and actions make her a person that a Catholic parish true to its name, its faith, and its duty, would never invite to lead a prayer service for its members.