31 May 2010

Feast of the Queenship of Mary

I apologize for the gap in blogging this weekend, but my Mac is having problems. I thought they were immune from these-- where's Jeff Geerling when you need him?

Today is the feast of the Queenship of Mary, perfectly timed with the end of Eastertide, the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, and the approach of the great feasts of our Lord-- Corpus Christi and the Sacred Heart.

Saturday, the Archbishop ordained 8 men to the priesthood. May God bless them and may they always stay close to Mary, the Queen of Priests. Keep them in your prayers. Speaking of Jeff Geerling, he took some nice photos of the event, which you can see here.

Also on Saturday, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, led by Monsignor the Prior General Gilles Wach, led a pilgrimage to the Shrine at Holy Hill in Wisconsin. For those who were not able to attend, here is a prayer on this Feast of Mary's Queenship so you may join spiritually in this pilgrimage:

O Most Holy Virgin who wast pleasing to God and didst become His Mother. Immaculate in your body, in your soul, in your faith and in your love, we beseech thee to look graciously upon the wretched who implore thy powerful protection. The wicked serpent, against whom the primal curse was hurled, continues nonetheless to wage war and to lay snares for the unhappy children of Eve. Ah, do thou, our blessed Mother, our Queen and Advocate, who from the first instant of thy conception didst crush the head of our enemy, receive the prayers that we unite single-heartedly to thine and conjure thee to offer at the throne of God, that we may never fall into the snares that are laid for us, in such wise that we may all come to the haven of salvation; and in the midst of so many dangers may holy Church and the fellowship of Christians everywhere sing once more the hymn of deliverance, victory and peace. Amen.

28 May 2010

Traditional Confirmations at the Institute's Oakland Apostolate and a Trip Down Memory Lane

Jay Balza has good coverage of the Confirmations celebrated by His Excellency Salvatore Cordileone on May 20 at St. Margaret Mary in Oakland, CA--an apostolate of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

I really posted this just to include the photograph above. No, that's not Bishop William Avis. It is Canon Avis, Rector of Old St. Patrick Oratory in Kansas City, and formerly Vicar at St. Francis de Sales Oratory. But, alas, he is not a Bishop. Canon Avis, the Master of Ceremonies for the Mass, is shown vested this way, in traditional fashion, because of the rank of the prelate celebrating the Mass. I would like to think it is a sneak preview of future events; if so, it means better days are ahead for the Church.

Canon Avis was also Master of Ceremonies for the Pontifical Low Mass, in Kansas City, of His Excellency Bishop Robert Finn on September 14, 2007, the effective date of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. I remember greeting him that day by addressing him as "Monsignor". Luckily, he got the joke, but probably thought I was indiscreet.

As a bonus, here is another picture of Canon Avis with another good Bishop, Archbishop Raymond Burke. This photo was taken on the day of Canon Avis' priestly ordination in St. Louis, and he is imparting to His Grace his priestly blessing.

By Way of Explanation this Memorial Day Weekend

Sorry for the lack of posting today. It is a busy stretch in my particular line of real world work. I don't plan to take off the weekend from blogging, but with the holiday weekend, we'll play it by ear.

Have a great weekend everybody.

27 May 2010

Back in the Day

All of the following propositions of the Jansenist Council of Pistoia were condemned by Pope Pius VI in the Bull Auctorem Fidei (1796):
  1. That popular language be introduced into the liturgical prayers;

  2. That the power of ecclesiastical ministry and of rule is derived from the community of the faithful to the pastors;

  3. That the Roman Pontiff does not receive from Christ in the person of blessed Peter, but from the Church, the power of ministry, which as successor of Peter, true vicar of Christ and head of the whole Church he possesses in the universal Church;

  4. That it is fitting that there be only one altar in each temple;

  5. That cases of sacred relics or flowers should not be placed on the altar;

  6. To recall the liturgy to a greater simplicity of rites, by expressing it in the vernacular language, by uttering it in a loud voice; "as if the present order of the liturgy, received and approved by the Church, had emanated in some part from the forgetfulness of the principles by which it should be regulated."
Something to think about, I guess; it seems things have changed somewhat.

26 May 2010

Deranged Gunman Opens Fire on Shooting Range

Deranged Gunman Opens Fire On Shooting Range

SAN ANTONIO—A man described by eyewitnesses as "unsettled" and "disturbed" walked into the local Guns Galore Shooting Range early Tuesday morning, paid for a half hour's worth of time, and then calmly opened fire on dozens of unsuspecting targets.

Sources said the man, now identified as Bryon James Woodrich, entered the establishment at approximately 8:30 a.m. armed with a pistol. After a brief exchange with the gun range manager, Woodrich purchased a box of ammunition, showed two pieces of ID, signed in, walked to stall No. 17, and at once began his crazed shooting spree.

"He just kept firing, over and over again—bam, bam, bam, bam, bam," said manager Clyde Jenkins, recalling the chilling scene. "From the moment he stepped into Guns Galore, it was clear that this man only had one thing on his mind."

Witnesses said Woodrich displayed no emotion whatsoever during the 29-minute barrage. Many watched in silence as the gunman unloaded 12 shots at extremely close range into the chest and head of a defenseless target, pausing only to reload. One witness said that the shooter actually exited the gun range with a "look of relief" on his face.

"I should have seen this coming," said San Antonio resident, Carlotta Vasquez, who has known Woodrich for over 10 years. "He's been having a tough time since [ex-wife] Sheila left him, and they recently cut his hours at the plant. And he was always talking about needing to blow off some steam, but I never would have thought that this is what he meant. Had I known, I would have tried to be there for him, to say something."

"It didn't have to come to this," Vasquez continued. "We could have gone fishing or bowling or whatnot."

A handwritten note on the gunman's refrigerator warned the shooting spree would occur "after he picked up groceries."

Close friends of Woodrich, who is believed to own at least two other handguns and an unknown number of rifles, said he displayed many warning signs in the months leading up to the shooting. A loner, Woodrich was known to be quiet and withdrawn, channeling all his energies into his work and violent hobbies, like hunting.

"I once saw Bryon shoot a beautiful six-point buck like it was nothing," friend Kenneth Schlissel said. "In the end, I guess I'm not surprised he ended up at the gun range."

According to his ex-wife Sheila Mann, Woodrich was "obsessed" with firearm and hunting magazines, which he would frequently read alone in his basement "for hours and hours on end."

"He and his friends were always talking about guns and the shooting range and how they couldn't wait for the weekend to come," Mann said. "They'd argue about who was the best shot and what guns they were going to buy and whose gun was the biggest."

"It scared me," she added.

After exhausting his final two clips, Woodrich reportedly fled the premises still carrying the loaded weapon. He was then seen entering a bank, a gas station, and a fried chicken restaurant before returning home and voluntarily disarming himself.

Thus far, no charges have been brought against the deranged shooter, nor has the gun range taken any extra precautions to prevent a similar incident in the future.

In fact, some residents, like Guns Galore assistant manager Ken Marshall, said they only have themselves to blame.

"Looking back, it was only a matter of time before something like this happened," Marshall said. "Bryon pretty much comes in here every Tuesday."

Story from the Onion.

My only question is this: in light of recent news stories such as
this, how long will it be before this isn't satire?

Give the Onion credit for the perfect mainstream media "rampage" story template.

The Mass that Dare Not Say Its Name-- or, What Passes for the Current State of the "Reform of the Reform"

The Church moves slowly. This is a truism for anyone who has joined or followed the effort to accomplish the great task of the Church in our time-- cleaning up the wreckage of liturgical and theological destruction left in the wake of the Second Vatican Council.

In fact, one of the most notable things about the destruction is that it was accomplished with great speed and violence in a very short time. It takes years to build a Gothic cathedral, or even a beautiful parish church. It takes minutes to smash an altar or tear out a communion rail. For the Catholic faithful, forms, rites, and rituals of venerable age, developed organically and in a real sense "handed down" as gifts of the Church for more than a thousand years (some nearly two thousand years old) were changed radically by liturgical experts in committee. And by "experts", I mean by those who claimed the term, much like global warming experts have claimed their exalted status.

Speed. That is what was necessary. Why? Because the changes made to the Mass and the architecture of sacred spaces, not to mention the nuancing of traditional Catholic doctrinal formulations, would never have been accomplished had these come as a result of the normal process of things Catholic-- had these taken the time to develop organically, to be desired by the faithful and justified in the light of Tradition and prudential considerations.

Speed was needed; it was a blunt force weapon. Take a 1,500 year old Mass and simply remove it. It's there one day and gone the next. The altar ripped from the wall, or replaced with the "table of plenty". Shock and awe. The only problem is that the shock of these changes did not produce awe. They weren't designed to. They were designed to elevate the banal. They were designed to desacralize and make vulgar the mysteries of faith.

Once the damage was done, and the seminaries, convents and churches were denuded of their doctrinal, human and architectural beauties, it was clear that the Church was in decline. Of course, the Church will exist to the end of time, and cannot ever be defeated. Yet it was not only down in temporal terms. The faith of her members also went through a kind of desert. In this Octave of Pentecost (which by way of fitting illustration no longer exists in the new calendar) I would point to the words of Christ Himself:

He that shall drink of the water that I will give him shall not thirst for ever. But the water that I will give him shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into life everlasting. (John 4:13b-14)

The Church is Christ's holy spouse, and this fountain will never be extinguished. But by way of imperfect analogy may I suggest that the flow "springing up" within her was in some sense diminished?

The traditional Mass, now called the Extraordinary Form, was never abrogated. It was always in principle permitted. Yet it was essentially choked off and practically suppressed nearly everywhere. Without going into the history of the recognition of the Extraordinary Form's continued liceity and vitality, it is enough to point to Summorum Pontificum, and the Pope's accompanying letter to Bishops, for recognition of its continued status.

During the leanest years it was, practically speaking, a kiss of death for any priest in the typical diocese or order to stand for the principle of celebrating this Mass. Celebrating it was a very good way to ensure that one would never advance. Discretion, silence, heroic suffering and forbearance were the keys for survival. Priests attached to the traditional Mass were practically forced to live an eremetical life within the diocesan setting.

Moreover, the de-coupling of worship and belief that was made possible by the way the new Mass was typically celebrated produced a generation or more of Catholics who were not taught their faith outside of Mass, nor reinforced in their faith during Mass.

To address the serious problem, many good-hearted and well-intentioned priests, religious and faithful opted to attempt to "reform the reform"-- to fix what went wrong with the new Mass in the aftermath of Sacrosanctum Concilium. This was seen by most as the only practical way to find a solution, since it did not "reject" the new Mass in favor of the old, but rather was an attempt to get at what the Council fathers "really wanted".

It is now decades later, and I ask what has done more to address the problem of reverence in the liturgy: the reform of the reform, or the wider celebration of the traditional Mass and the growth of traditional Catholic societies? Some would say this wider celebration is itself part of the reform of the reform. I concede that for many this is part of the strategy. But I maintain that the Mass itself, the Extraordinary Form itself, is the catalyst for whatever resurgence is slowly but steadily taking place. Three years of the motu proprio have done more than forty years of trying to defend the Maginot Line within the new liturgy, or spackling the more obvious cracks from without.

All of which leads me by a very long route (as usual) to my point. It is time to celebrate the return of the classical forms of Mass and the other sacraments. It is time to celebrate what makes us Catholic. As I said in an earlier post, why should the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite be a matter that seems so embarrassing that it must be hushed up, as though one saw their grandfather going to a nightclub? Why do faithful Catholics have to tip-toe around modernism and its adherents, whether they are in parishes or rectories?

Even in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, considered one of the most vibrantly orthodox Archdioceses in the world and a leader in liturgical restoration, there is still great reticence by priests and faithful to take up the standard in a public way. It is thought best to continue to keep this restoration low-key, to avoid sticking our necks out for fear of offending some, or of having our necks cut off. Perhaps it is the province of a blogger to lack patience, but I ask you--Why should this be?

I think it might be uplifting to many of beleaguered faithful who attend parishes throughout the Archdiocese-- who have suffered through years of "Table of Plenty" and "Gather Us In", liturgical committee politics, inclusive language, rubrical abuses and questionable homilies-- that many more priests are now being trained in the Extraordinary Form, have an affinity for beauty and reverence in the liturgy, and have sound theological formation. More and more priests are regularly celebrating the classical Roman Rite as part of their priesthood.

These priests are bringing this approach to the life of the typical parish setting; they are bringing beauty and reverence to both Forms of the Mass, they are preaching from the pulpit in such a way that parents don't have to be on high alert to explain to their children after Mass "what Father really meant to say" in order not to scandalize them. They are the first signs of that New Springtime we have been promised. Can we not celebrate this?

Or should we just pretend that the Extraordinary Form is for those crackpots who are (to paraphrase someone famous) bitter, clinging to their [Mass] and religion?

The Pope has spent the five years of his Pontificate calling for priests to be formed precisely in this way. For the traditional Mass to come back into the life of every parish precisely in this way. For faith and liturgy to support and enrich each other precisely in this way. For the faith we profess and the liturgy we pray to inform our lives, and our culture, in precisely this way.

But if this restoration of faith, liturgy and culture continues to be ignored in the Catholic press and in Catholic rectories, is it any wonder it remains unrealized in Catholic homes?

25 May 2010

Discombobulated Blogging Ahead

I have been working on a particular theme in the past few days-- sort of an up-from-the-Catholic-ghetto thing. I have had a bit of a setback in this effort, and I am trying to reformulate it. The setback itself shows the need for the theme, I think. It is only my opinion, of course, but it is my blog.

Don't know what's coming next. Stay tuned.

23 May 2010


A blessed Pentecost to all of you. Remember that you can gain a plenary indulgence today, under the usual conditions, for the public recitation of the Veni Creator Spiritus.

21 May 2010

A Great Account of St. Maximilian Kolbe

This brief essay on St. Maximilian Kolbe was linked at John Zmirak's recent article on Inside Catholic. It is a wonderful insight on the life of this great saint, and in a brief space. I highly recommend it.Link

20 May 2010

This is an Absolute Classic

So-called liberals really can be funny, though usually through no fault of their own, as they rarely possess an actual sense of humour.

This is amply illustrated by an article in the Post-Dispatch today about a Washington University Physics professor who was removed from an "elite" team of scientists working on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.


See if you can guess; it was due to one of the following reasons:
  1. he fudged empirical data relevant to his scientific field;

  2. he owed hundreds of dollars of back taxes to the IRS;

  3. he had a conflict of interest because he was on the pay of powerful oil company lobbyists; OR,

  4. he disapproved of homosexuality.

If you answered "4", then you are right on the money. The other answers are reasons the current administration HIRES you, not fires you.

Really, the world we live in is something else. Liberals do not think the Church should be able to discharge someone who publicly dissents from a core Catholic teaching from a position where adherence to these teachings is an essential part of the job. But if one disagrees with the politically correct opinion on a tangential matter that has nothing to do with one's field, the job one holds or his qualifications to perform it, liberals do think he can be discharged.

If liberals believed the Pope could clean up the oil spill by miraculous prayers, they wouldn't let him-- because of his homophobia.

If you like, check out the full article in STLToday:

Anti-gay view costs WU prof job on oil spill
By Tim Barker

Just a week after being asked to join an elite team of scientists working on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a controversial Washington University professor has been dismissed from the group.

Physics professor Jonathan Katz's tenure on the team was cut short after Obama administration officials — under pressure from gay rights groups — decided his polarizing opinions and writings could get in the way. Katz has not been shy about expressing his thoughts about a range of topics, including a defense of homophobia.

His writings — which have appeared on his university website — apparently escaped the attention of administration officials charged with putting together the team that also included scientists from Lawrence Berkeley Labs and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu confirmed Katz had been removed.

"Dr. Chu has spoken with dozens of scientists and engineers as part of his work to help find solutions to stop the oil spill," the spokeswoman said in a written statement. "Some of Professor Katz's controversial writings have become a distraction from the critical work of addressing the oil spill. Professor Katz will no longer be involved in the Department's efforts."

BUT WAIT-- there are even more horrors hinted at in the article:

Some of the criticism has centered on Katz's views questioning whether global warming is really a threat and challenging the value of the diversity movement.


19 May 2010

What Do You Get When You Cross Surveillance Cameras with the Teletubbies, then Add Just a Hint of the Rainbow Sash Movement?

The 2012 London Olympics Mascots, that's what!

"In reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."

St. Louis Crusade has information and a link to protest a amazingly blasphemous play in Austin, TX, that portrays Our Blessed Mother as (and I can hardly type this) a lesbian.

Don't we owe Our Lady at least that much effort and concern for her defense?

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

He Who Made "the Great Refusal"

Few things make me happier in life than when a Hollywood actor appears in some public interest announcement and tells me how to be a good parent, a good citizen of the earth, more tolerant and non-hatey, or other such bilge. Try watching more than one "The More You Know..." spot on NBC without feeling as though you've had a full frontal lobotomy-- I dare you.

Well, I suppose that in earlier times, when people were more intelligent and well-formed, Hollywood's part was taken by poets and playwrights. Which leads me to today's feast on the Church's calendar-- that of St. Peter Celestine, the hermit who came to rule for about 3 1/2 months as Pope Celestine V, and who then abdicated the papacy.

In the Inferno (as an aside, the Divine Comedy should be read at least once a year for life), the great poet Dante places St. Celestine in hell. Actually, in the vestibule of hell, or ante-hell, as one of the culpable "neutrals". Why are these "neutrals" (Longfellow translates the term as "opportunists") in hell? To quote Dante, through the mouth of Virgil, in Canto III:

34 And he to me: This miserable way
35 is taken by the sorry souls of those
36 who lived without disgrace and without praise.

37 They now commingle with the coward angels,
38 the company of those who were not rebels
39 nor faithful to their God, but stood apart.

40 The heavens, that their beauty not be lessened,
41 have cast them out, nor will deep Hell receive them,
42 even the wicked cannot glory in them.

Because of their abject state, Virgil states that these souls "are envious of every other fate".

After examining the scene where these souls were tormented, Dante recognizes one:

59 I saw and recognized the shade of him
60 who made, through cowardice, the great refusal.

61 At once I understood with certainty:
62 this company contained the cowardly,
63 hateful to God and to His enemies.

This person, the majority of experts agree, is none other than Pope St. Celestine V. To Dante, he is a cowardly figure, whose abdication led to the election of Pope Boniface VIII, the reign of whom Dante considered disastrous and whose soul Dante later predicts (Canto XIX) will suffer the fate of simoniacs in the eighth circle of hell.

Knowing of his canonisation and his feast day for some years now, I always felt badly that it seems that those few persons who know of St. Celestine were probably informed by the Inferno and not the liturgical calendar. So, I offer this little post today to try to make readers aware of the extraordinary life of this saint, and to repair some little portion of the damage. St. Celestine was undoubtedly canonised for his personal holiness, and not his papacy, which was fairly disastrous. He was a monk and founder of religious communities, and a person of great sanctity, prior to his ascension to the throne of St. Peter. From the
Catholic Encyclopedia:

He was of humble parentage, became a Benedictine at the age of seventeen, and was eventually ordained priest at Rome. His love of solitude led him first into the wilderness of Monte Morone in the Abruzzi, whence his surname, and later into the wilder recesses of Mt. Majella. He took for his model the Baptist. His hair-cloth was roughened with knots; a chain of iron encompassed his emaciated frame; he fasted every day except Sunday; each year he kept four Lents, passing three of them on bread and water; the entire day and a great part of the night he consecrated to prayer and labour. As generally happens in the case of saintly anchorites, Peter's desire for solitude was not destined to be gratified. Many kindred spirits gathered about him eager to imitate his rule of life, and before his death there were thirty- six monasteries, numbering 600 religious, bearing his papal name (Celestini). The order was approved, as a branch of the Benedictines, by Urban IV, in 1264.

How this holy monk became pope is truly extraordinary:

In July, 1294, his pious exercises were suddenly interrupted by a scene unparalleled in ecclesiastical history. Three eminent dignitaries, accompanied by an immense multitude of monks and laymen (the article says approx. 200,000), ascended the mountain, announced that Pietro had been chosen pope by unanimous vote of the Sacred College and humbly begged him to accept the honour.

He did accept, but in his short reign, it was obvious he lacked the capacity for organization and was extremely naive. Among other problematic decisions, his cardinalatial appointments, heavily favoring the French, set the stage for the removal of the Papacy to Avignon some years later. He felt his papacy to be a disaster, and after a short period of indecision, he decided to abdicate. This caused a crisis of ecclesiastical theology:

But the serious canonical doubt arose: Can a pope resign? As he has no superior on earth, who is authorized to accept his resignation? The solution of the question was reserved to the trained canonist, Cardinal Gaetani, who, basing his conclusion on common sense and the Church's right to self-preservation, decided affirmatively.

Cardinal Gaetani became Pope Boniface VIII. The new Pope sought to keep St. Celestine near him so that opposition parties could not make use of the previous Pope for their own ends. St. Celestine escaped and tried to reestablish his monastic life, but was thwarted:

Finally, he attempted to cross the Adriatic to Greece; but, driven back by a tempest, and captured at the foot of Mt. Gargano, he was delivered into the hands of Boniface, who confined him closely in a narrow room in the tower of the castle of Fumone near Anagni (Analecta Bollandiana, 1897, XVI, 429-30). Here, after nine months passed in fasting and prayer, closely watched but attended by two of his own religious, though rudely treated by the guards, he ended his extraordinary career in his eighty-first year. That Boniface treated him harshly, and finally cruelly murdered him, is a calumny. Some years after his canonization by Clement V in 1313, his remains were transferred from Ferentino to the church of his order at Aquila, where they are still the object of great veneration. His feast is celebrated on 19 May.

Again, contrary to Dante, the Catholic Encyclopedia declares as calumny the charge that Boniface was cruel to St. Peter Celestine while he was in captivity. And his reign was not all bad; for all his faults, Boniface VIII did issue a definitive defense of the doctrine of Extra Ecclesia Nulla Salus in his Bull Unam Sanctam: "We declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff."

God's providence is a mysterious thing, and St. Celestine reminds us that for all of our problems the barque of Peter has survived many dangers. And just because Hollywood says it, or because Dante wrote it, it may not be accurate.

If you have time, the entire article on this saint is worth reading, as is this short essay by Plinio Correa de Oliveira.

St. Celestine, pray for us.

18 May 2010

Apparently, Karl Marx Has Purchased a Panera Franchise

There are only two possibilities: 1) this store will last 6 weeks, tops; or, 2) people really are saps.

In our little suburb of Clayton, Panera Bread Co. is opening a not-for-profit restaurant that allows people to get whatever they want to eat and pay whatever they think best. They can literally pay nothing. Experience has shown that there are many people who are comfortable getting something for free if other people pay. Communism has yet to succeed; our country is proving this again.

Perhaps you should line up for free breakfast and lunch before the party's over.

Panera cafe says pay what you want
Bakery hopes to expand nonprofit restaurants around U.S.

By Christopher Leonard

May 18, 2010

CLAYTON, Mo. - Panera Bread Co. is asking customers at a new restaurant to pay what they want.

The national bakery and restaurant chain launched a new nonprofit store here this week that has the same menu as its other 1,400 locations. But the prices are a little different — there aren't any. Customers are told to donate what they want for a meal, whether it's the full suggested price, a penny or $100.

The new store in the upscale St. Louis suburb of Clayton is the first of what Panera hopes will be many around the country. Ronald Shaich, Panera's CEO until last week, was on hand at the new bakery Monday to explain the system to customers.

The pilot restaurant is run by a nonprofit foundation. If it can sustain itself financially, Panera will expand the model around the country within months. It all depends on whether customers will abide by the motto that hangs above the deli counter: "Take what you need, leave your fair share."

Panera hopes to open a similar location in every community where it operates. Other nonprofits have opened community kitchens, where customers set the price, and the idea has spread among food enthusiasts and philanthropists. But Panera brings new scale to the idea — its community restaurants will use the company's distribution system and have access to its national food suppliers.

The first location bears the name St. Louis Bread Co. Cares — the chain's former name and one it still uses in its hometown. Customers seemed alternately puzzled and pleased by the concept.

Dawn Frierdich, 52, came in to buy three loaves of bread and an iced tea. She asked how much the drink would cost.

"About $1.85," said the 21-year-old cashier, Michael Miller.

And the whole order?

"It would be, like, $12," Miller told her, reminding her she didn't have to pay if she didn't want to. Frierdich tried to hand him $12 in cash, but he directed her to put it in the donation jar.

"This is a little hard. I just can't wrap my head around this," Frierdich said.

A young man spoke on his cell phone nearby. "Seriously," he said. "They don't charge tax or anything."

The clientele at the Clayton location is a mix of well-to-do attorneys and bankers from Clayton, as well as lower-income customers who work nearby or are visiting the sprawling St. Louis County offices and courthouse nearby. Miller, the cashier, said most customers paid full price for their meals Monday, but some took a discount of a few dollars, or paid half-price.

Panera is using its nonprofit foundation to support the restaurant and any future locations. The foundation will pay the new restaurant's bills, including staff salaries, rent and food costs. At the end of each month, the foundation will tally donations to see if they cover food costs. The Panera parent company won't bear losses if the experiment fails.

Saich was CEO of Panera until he stepped down Thursday, taking the post of executive chairman. He will run the nonprofit along with other projects for Panera.

Other similar experiements have worked. The One World Salt Lake City restaurant has operated as a nonprofit with pay-what-you-want prices since 2003, said founder Denise Cerreta. She works for a foundation that helps similar restaurants open around the county. She said the places don't get swarmed by crowds and emptied, but have managed to stay afloat based on the honor system.

"It somehow stays in balance," Cerrata said. "I think ultimately people are good. They want to contribute."

Abbe Awesome Turns 23

Abbe Alex Barga (front row, center as usual), an Oblate of the Institute stationed at St. Francis de Sales Oratory, turns 23 today.

Ah, youth--wasted on the young. ;-)

Raise a glass of Chartreuse to wish a happy birthday to the man the homeschoolers call "Abbe Awesome"!

Another Immigrant Wins Political Asylum

Not many do, but count Aunt Zeituni in.

Fight the power!

Of course, I wonder if the DHS will appeal this decision, as it did when the German homeschooling family was granted asylum by an Immigration Judge.

Quick Quiz

What do you think I was writing about when I worked about 45 minutes on a post, was in the proofreading stage, and my brother walked by, read it, and expressed his opinion that I couldn't post that, causing me to reconsider and then delete the whole thing?

Winner gets a ham.

17 May 2010

Que Dieu bénisse l'Institut du Christ Roi Souverain Prêtre!

Vows of the Benedictines of Mary

Kansas Catholic has the goods as usual on the profession of vows of this traditional Benedictine order in Kansas City. You will see lots of friends as you go through the photos of this profession and Mass, held at Old St. Patrick's Oratory. It looks as different from a Call to Action Mass as I can imagine. Part one is here, with links to the rest.

We Have Always Been at War with Eurasia

Up is down, black is white. The Constitution of the United States is just so much Kleenex.

The Supreme Court has held, with only two dissents (Thomas, and Scalia in part), that federal officials can indefinitely hold inmates considered "sexually dangerous" after their prison terms are complete. Of course!! Some federal official considers them dangerous.

Even if the Constitution gave them this power, which of course it doesn't, I don't remember Congress ever passing a law that made it a crime to be considered "sexually dangerous". Usually, one has to commit an act that is against the law, then he faces a trial by jury where he is considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, then he is sentenced, then he completes his sentence, then he is released.

But no more. Indefinite detention is A-OK.

As long as he is "sexually dangerous."

Boy, I can't wait until "religiously dangerous" people are locked up indefinitely!

15 May 2010

Novena to St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Novena to St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)
Say once a day for nine days

Dear God, Thou hast generously blessed Thy servant, St.
Pio of Pietrelcina, with the gifts of the Spirit. Thou hast marked his body with the five wounds of Christ Crucified, as a powerful witness to the saving Passion and Death of Thy Son. Endowed with the gift of discernment, St. Pio labored endlessly in the confessional for the salvation of souls. With reverence and intense devotion in the celebration of Mass, he invited countless men and women to a greater union with Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

Through the intercession of St.
Pio of Pietrelcina, I confidently beseech Thee to grant me the grace of (mention your intentions here). Amen.

Recite three


The following litany of St. Pio is not part of the novena, but of course may be prayed in conjunction with it:

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the World,
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Virgin Immaculate,
pray for us.
St. Pio of Pietrelcina,
pray for us.
Beloved of God,
pray for us.
Imitator of Jesus Christ,
pray for us.
Good shepherd of the people,
pray for us.
Model for priests,
pray for us.
Light of the Church,
pray for us.
Adorer of the Blessed Sacrament,
pray for us.
Faithful son of St. Francis,
pray for us.
Marked with the stigmata of Jesus,
pray for us.
Patient in suffering,
pray for us.
Helper of the dying,
pray for us.
Director of souls,
pray for us.
Heart of gold,
pray for us.
Apostle of mercy,
pray for us.
Worker of miracles,
pray for us.
Consoler of the afflicted,
pray for us.
Lover of the Most Holy Rosary,
pray for us.
Helper of souls in doubt and darkness,
pray for us.
Comforter of the sick,
pray for us.
Example of humility,
pray for us.
Source of wisdom,
pray for us.
Mirror of the divine life,
pray for us.
Lover of Jesus Crucified,
pray for us.
Resigned to the will of God,
pray for us.
Doing good upon earth,
pray for us.
Filled with the spirit of self-sacrifice,
pray for us.
Our help and hope in all our needs,
pray for us.
Vessel of the Holy Ghost,
pray for us.
Leading us to Christ,
pray for us.
Our spiritual father and advocate, pray for us.
Crowned with glory in Heaven, pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Let us pray:

God our Father, You helped St. Pio to reflect the
image of Christ through a life of charity and self-sacrifice.
May we follow your Son by walking in the footsteps of
St. Pio of Pietrelcina and by imitating his selfless love.

If anyone has the opportunity, may I request this novena for a special intention of the Sister Marie of the Love of God, of the Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus Christ Sovereign Priest? God bless you.

Also, thanks to all of you who so generously offered prayers for my wife. I sincerely appreciate it, and keep you all in my prayers as well.

14 May 2010


Please, could you in charity offer a prayer for my wife's health. Thank you.

Update-- Some pregnancy issues affecting mom, not child. A brief concern but tests back & all looks OK. Thanks again.

Daily Consecration of the Institute of Christ the King to the Immaculate Conception

In the presence of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and with heaven and earth as our witness, we prostrate ourselves at thy feet, O Mary, Our Lady.

We acknowledge Thee as our Mother, as the Immaculate Conception, living tabernacle of the Divinity, as Queen of angels and of men, as Mother of the Church and of the Catholic priesthood, and as refuge of the afflicted. That is why, small and weak that we are, we wish to consecrate to Thee our Institute, our families, our persons, our works, our future, all that pertains to us and is in us, and which God, in His immeasurable goodness, has entrusted to us for our good use.

We also consecrate to Thee the value of our good actions, past, present, and future, leaving to Thee the entire and full right of disposing of us and all that belongs to us. Mary, be our Mother; sanctify us, purify us, correct us, guide us, pray for us and protect us.

Help us to perfectly fulfill the duties of our state of life. Extinguish in us all self-love, which prevents Thy Divine Son, King and Sovereign Priest, from reigning in and around us.

Cover abundantly with thy maternal protection all the parishes, chapels, schools, works and missions entrusted to the Institute, and mayest Thou forever impede the devil from reigning, in any manner, in this Institute which desires to be entirely Thine for the greater glory of God, the exaltation of our Mother the Holy Catholic Church, and for the conversion of sinners. Amen.

13 May 2010

From the Pope's Homily Today: A Desire that the Coming Years "Hasten the Fulfilmment of the Prophecy of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary"

The Holy Father doesn't sound like someone who believes that the triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart, as foretold at Fatima, has already occurred. From his homily at today's Mass:

"We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete. ..." (Contrast the 2000 press conference where Fatima was insinuated to refer to past events.)

And this:

"May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity." (Perhaps the fall of the Soviet Union is not the "conversion" of Russia or promised "period of peace"; perhaps the consecration of Russia is still to be done.)

I Should Say So

From the article at Breitbart.com:

FATIMA, Portugal (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday called abortion and same-sex marriage some of the most "insidious and dangerous" threats facing the world today...

Regarding Certain Recent Remarks of Bishop Fellay

Brian Mershon recently interviewed the Superior General of the the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, mostly concerning the SSPX's Rosary Crusade and the ongoing doctrinal discussions with Vatican officials. This interview first appeared in The Remnant.

However, I want to address one minor comment by His Excellency, which really had the character of an aside, which referenced the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. I do not, of course, speak in any official capacity for the ICRSP, but I did want to make a few comments. Here is the relevant question and answer:

Brian Mershon: Some critics say that the Society’s rejection of a canonical or practical solution is a sign of obstinacy or ill will. How do you answer that?

Bishop Fellay: It is very simple. The Holy See has agreed that the doctrinal talks should happen, so that should answer the questions without putting the burden on me. Besides that, it is very clear that whatever practical solution that would happen without a sound doctrinal foundation would lead directly to disaster. We don’t want that. We want and need the security of a sound solution on the level of doctrine to go ahead. So to pretend there is something definitive prior to engaging in the doctrinal talks…

We have all these previous examples in front of us—the Fraternity of St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King and all of the others are totally blocked on the level of doctrine because they first accepted the practical agreement.

There is a history, of course, between the Fraternity of St. Peter and the Society of St. Pius X. The Fraternity began its unique existence in 1988, when some members of the SSPX objected to the Episcopal consecrations of the four current SSPX bishops, and received recognition by the Holy See as the FSSP.

Whatever the issues that remain between these two groups, I am not terribly knowledgeable about them. I wish to limit my observations to Bishop Fellay's allusion to the Institute as being "totally blocked on the level of doctrine."

I would like to know in precisely what way the Institute is "totally blocked" on the level of doctrine. Which doctrines? Name one. I know of no Catholic doctrine with which the Institute disagrees, let alone with which it is "blocked" from contesting.

And, with respect, just what "practical agreement" did the Institute reach before settling a doctrinal question? Though its antecedents were already there, the Institute was canonically formed in 1990, two years after the consecrations and the formation of the FSSP. It was not an offshoot or remnant of the SSPX. The Institute's priests were formed under the great Cardinal Siri. Its canonical structure was, at first, one of diocesan right, and since 2008 one of Pontifical Right.

The Institute's growth and trajectory were based first and foremost on its own unique charism based on its patrons, its dedication to liturgical tradition and beauty in the spirit of St. Benedict, its Salesian spirituality, and its adherence to Thomistic theology. And it is consecrated to is principal patroness-- Our Lady, under her title of the Immaculate Conception.

Its approach has never involved any doctrinal compromise, and the wisdom of its approach has seemingly been rewarded by the Holy See in that it was elevated to Pontifical Right after establishing a long track record of fidelity to the faith, healthy growth, and proof of the benefit of its mission for souls--not as a precondition in exchange for obedience, but as a recognition of its worth.

I respect Bishop Fellay. I respect the SSPX and FSSP and the other traditional societies. But His Excellency clearly speaks beyond his knowledge here.

What may be most telling about the growth of the Institute is that His Excellency mentions it at all; this is the first time I have personally seen him do so in print. Having fewer priests than the other two societies in question, it probably did not register before. But the Institute has done much to advance the cause of the restoration of Catholic tradition and liturgy, and more people are becoming aware of it.

I pray that the SSPX will soon reach an understanding with the Holy See that will allow all Catholics of good will to have the maximum possible positive effects on souls.

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, pray for us!

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us!

St. Benedict, pray for us!

St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us!

The Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord

"Oh my God, O my Jesus, You are going away and leaving us! Oh! what joy there will be in heaven! But we have to remain here on earth. O eternal Word, what has Your creature done for You, that You should do so much for him and then ascend into heaven to glorify him even more? Tell me, what has he done for You, that You should love him so much? What has he given You? What do You look for in him? You love him so much that You give Yourself to him, You who are all things, and besides whom there is nothing. You want from him his entire will and intellect, because when he gives them to You, he gives You all that he has. O infinite Wisdom, O supreme Good, O Love so little known, little loved, and possessed by so few! Oh! our ingratitude, cause of every evil! O Purity, so little known and so little desired! O my Spouse, now that You are in heaven, seated at the right hand of the eternal Father, create in me a pure heart and renew a right spirit within me." (St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi)

"Alas! how long this exile is, O Lord, and how the desire to see You makes it seem longer still! O Lord, what can an imprisoned soul do?... I want to please You. Behold me, O Lord! If I have to live longer in order to serve You further, I refuse none of the crosses which may await me on earth. But alas, Lord, alas! These are but words; I am capable of nothing else. Permit my desires, at least, to have some value in Your sight, O my God, and do not regard my lack of merit!

"Ah! my works are poor, my God, even if I could perform many! Then why should I remain in this life, so full of misery? Only to do Your will. Could I do anything better than that? Hope, therefore, my soul, hope. Watch carefully, for you know not the day nor the hour. Everything passes quickly, even though your desire makes a short time seem very long. Remember that the more you struggle, the greater the proofs of love you will be giving to your God, and afterwards the more you will enjoy your Beloved in happiness and felicity without end." (St. Teresa of Jesus, Exclamations of the Soul to God)

--taken from Divine Intimacy, Fr. Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

12 May 2010

Missouri House Strips Amendment from Education Bill that Would Have Lowered Compulsory School Attendance Age

Yet further proof that homeschoolers have some political clout in Missouri, as the Missouri House drops the reduction in compulsory school attendance age. This was the subject of the HSLDA action alert I posted recently. From STLToday:

Education bill loses its steam as it goes through Legislature

By Juana Summers


Senators stripped out a number of provisions late Monday in an attempt to move the bill ahead in the legislative process.

"The thought last night was to take this down to the smallest bill that we possibly could," said Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg.

One provision given the ax was an amendment proposed by Sen. Joe Keaveny, D-St. Louis, that would make the mandatory school attendance age 6, instead of 7, in St. Louis and Kansas City schools. The provision drew the ire of home school advocates who said parents, and not the government, should decide when a child is ready to begin school.


Great news, but remember that the fight is not necessarily over. From the article:

A number of provisions cut from the House bill — which is likely to go to conference — could still be amended onto other bills.

11 May 2010

Fatima: 33 Reasons to Conclude that the Entire Third Secret Has Not Been Released

The Holy Father arrived in Portugal today, on his way to Fatima, site of perhaps the most famous of the apparitions of Our Blessed Mother. The following is excerpted from his remarks upon arrival, as translated at Rorate Caeli:

I come as a pilgrim to Our Lady of Fatima, having received from on high the mission to strengthen my brothers as they advance along their pilgrim journey to heaven.


As for the event that took place 93 years ago, when heaven itself was opened over Portugal – like a window of hope that God opens when man closes the door to him – in order to refashion, within the human family, the bonds of fraternal solidarity based on the mutual recognition of the one Father, this was a loving design from God; it does not depend on the Pope, nor on any other ecclesial authority: "It was not the Church that imposed Fatima", as Cardinal Manuel Cerejeira of blessed memory used to say, "but it was Fatima that imposed itself on the Church."


Fatima, indeed, imposed itself on the Church. It remains relevant for our times, and in all likelihood encompasses events that are even now yet to pass.

For those of you who are not aware of the controversy over the release (partial or otherwise) of the so-called 'Third Secret" of Fatima in 2000, and especially for those who may think that the entire secret has been made public, I direct you to this talk given by Christopher Ferrara last week at the Fatima Challenge conference. It runs under an hour, and I think your time will be rewarded.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Homeschoolers: an Action Request in Missouri from HSLDA-- and a Headline from Texas Sure to Warm Your Heart

The Homeschool Legal Defense Association is asking Missouri homeschooling supporters to take action. From their email update:

Missouri--Act Immediately to Prevent
Expansion of Compulsory School Attendance

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Yesterday the Missouri Senate amended HB 1543 to lower from 7 to 6 the
age at which compulsory school attendance starts in St. Louis and
Kansas City. This bill is moving very quickly, and we must act
promptly to block this expansion of government control over the lives
of young children and their parents.

This amendment is known as "the Keaveny Amendment."


Call both your state senator AND representative. Your message can be
as simple as, "Please remove the Keaveny Amendment from HB 1543.
Parents--not the government--should decide whether 6-year-olds are
ready to start schooling."

Use our legislative toolbox to find the name and contact information
for your senator and representative.


It's bad enough that the Keaveny Amendment would put 6-year-olds under
educational compulsion in St. Louis and Kansas City. But if this
passes, it would surely eventually be forced on the entire state.
This is exactly what happened when "only" St. Louis was authorized to
raise the compulsory age a while back. In short order, the age was
raised for the entire state. Wherever you live in Missouri, your
freedom is threatened.

Under the Keaveny Amendment, any child parents "intend" to homeschool
would not be subject to the lower compulsory age. But allowing the
application of law to hinge on something as vague and subjective as a
parent's mere "intention" invites a court challenge. And it invites
the public to look on all homeschoolers with a jaundiced eye. Either
the exception will be struck down by a court, or it will encourage the
public to think less of homeschool families.

Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child's formal
education too early may actually result in burnout and poor scholastic
performance later.

Lowering the compulsory attendance age erodes the authority of parents
who are in the best position to determine when their child's formal
education should begin. The bill would restrict parents' freedom to
decide if their children are ready for school.

Expanding the compulsory attendance age would bring an inevitable tax
increase to pay for more classroom space and teachers to accommodate
the additional students compelled to attend public school.

Families for Home Education and HSLDA are united in opposing the
Keaveny Amendment.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=2051.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.,
HSLDA Senior Counsel


And, in case you're wondering if you really need to be that vigilant in the United States--after all, who would be against homeschooling? Check out this headline from the Houston Chronicle:

Home-school is so popular, some are getting suspicious

You can be sure that the "some" who are "getting suspicious" are the teacher union thugs and the wardens of the failed prison schools.

10 May 2010

Pope Prescient XII

"I am worried by the Blessed Virgin's messages to little Lucia of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the faith, in her liturgy, her theology and her soul... I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past.

"A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalene, weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, 'Where have they taken Him?'"

--Eugene Cardinal Pacelli, future Pope Pius XII, 1931

07 May 2010

Here It Comes: The Annual Semi-Holy Day of Non-Obligation Known as Ascension Sunday--er, Thursday

In six days, Catholics will again come to grips with the Great Ascension Thursday Switcheroo. Like Epiphany, the Feast of Our Lord's Ascension is transferred to the following Sunday (in most of the United States including local Dioceses). Unlike Epiphany, the Ascension is a Holy Day of Obligation in the United States. Therefore, there is often a cause for confusion for the faithful:
  • do we still have the obligation to assist at Mass on Thursday?
  • can the Feast of the Ascension be celebrated on Thursday?
  • does the traditional calendar still apply to the traditional Mass?
Well, I will try to help.

First, Sundays are always obligatory, so Ascension "Sunday" is of course a day of obligation. As lamentable and illogical as moving Ascension Thursday to Sunday remains, however, the decision of the Bishops' conference to do so does remove the obligation to assist at Mass on Thursday. So a Catholic does not sin by failing to assist at Mass on that day, regardless of the form of Mass one chooses.

On the other hand, in response to a dubium submitted by the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales in 2008, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei clarified that the traditional Missal presupposes the traditional calendar. In other words, the Vatican confirms that it is perfectly legitimate that the Mass of Ascension Thursday actually be the Mass of Ascension Thursday. And further the PCED stated that it was "appropriate" that the Feast of the Ascension also be celebrated on the transferred Sunday.

The PCED's confirmation of the legitimacy of the nearly two millenia-old tradition of celebrating our Lord's Ascension on that Thursday does not surprise. What is noteworthy is that although the PCED finds it appropriate to also celebrate it on Sunday, it does not require it.

All of which I relate to clarify the situation for readers. That being said, why not go Thursday to a Church that celebrates the Feast on its proper day?

Oh, by the way, take a moment to complete the poll at the right of the page.

Relating to the PCED's response, my post from 2008:


For Immediate Release10 November 2008

* Traditional Mass Can be Celebrated on Traditional Feast Days, Says Rome

Transferred Holydays of Obligation: an Important Clarification From the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei


...The reply from the Ecclesia Dei Commission confirms that the Mass and Office of Holy Days can continue to be said on the days prescribed in the calendar for the Extraordinary Form and that the right to use this calendar is intrinsic to the right to use the Extraordinary Form.

The LMS’s letter requested confirmation that:

I. the legitimate use of the liturgical books in use in 1962 decreed by the Sovereign Pontiff in Summorum Pontificum includes the right to the use of the calendar intrinsic to those liturgical books.

II. That, whilst in accordance with Canon 1246 the Episcopal Conference with the approbation of the Holy See legitimately transfers Holydays of Obligation or suppresses the obligation of Holydays, it is legitimate to celebrate the Mass and Office of those feasts on the days prescribed in the calendar of the liturgical books in use in 1962 with the clear understanding that, in accordance with the legitimate decision of the Episcopal Conference, there is no obligation to attend Mass on those days.

III. That, in accordance with nn. 356-361 of the Rubricae generales Missalis romani of 1962, it is appropriate to celebrate the external solemnity of Holy Days on the Sunday to which they have been transferred by the Episcopal Conference as has been customary in many other countries hitherto.

Ecclesia Dei’s reply stated:

“1. The legitimate use of the liturgical books in use in 1962 includes the right to the use of the calendar intrinsic to those liturgical books.

2. While in accordance with Canon 1246 §2 of the Code of Canon Law the Episcopal Conference can legitimately transfer Holydays of obligation with the approbation of the Holy See, it is also legitimate to celebrate the Mass and Office of those feasts on the days prescribed in the calendar of the liturgical books in use in 1962 with the clear understanding that, in accordance with the legitimate decision of the Episcopal Conference, there is no obligation to attend Mass on those days.

3. Thus, in accordance with nn. 356-361 of the Rubricae Generales Missalis Romani of 1962, it is appropriate to celebrate the external solemnity of Holy Days on the Sunday to which they have been transferred by the Episcopal Conference, as has been customary in many other countries hitherto.”

Ecclesia Dei’s reply is signed by its Vice-President, Mgr Camille Perl.