31 March 2011

Photos from the Institute Retreat

Entrance procession at tonight's Mass
Thanks to reader Phil, who sent the following photos from the past several days at St. Francis de Sales, where Monsignor Wach led a retreat for U.S. priests and oblates. Prior General of the Institute, Monsignor Gilles Wach, celebrated Solemn High Mass to begin and end the retreat. Give or take a few, I estimate 16 Canons, most of whom are stationed in the United States, but who hail from France, USA, Austria, Germany, Argentina, Spain, Italy, and Brazil. Before the closing Mass tonight, there were three ceremonies: one receiving a priest who became affiliated with the Institute, one bestowing upon an Oblate his cassock, and one bestowing the cross of St. Francis de Sales upon a family who became members of the Society of the Sacred Heart, the Institute's lay society.

Farewell to all our visitors. Come back soon.


Canon Stein's sermon on the deadly sin of Greed, from Sunday's Mass
Processing out, new "Institute blue" cassocks

Monsignor Wach speaks, with Canon Huberfeld interpreting

That translation better be right!

Canon Stein gives a presentation on the Institute's missions in Gabon

Before Mass tonight, an Oblate receives his cassock

Canon Talarico's sermon tonight on the Psalms as the joy of the Institute family, united in the public prayer of the Church

That Time Again

Do you recognize these people? Not St. Guy-- there's only one of him. Give up?

Well, it's a trick question, because they're anonymous. The only thing I know for sure is that they like to comment on this blog. The problem is, you can never be sure to which anonymous you are talking in the combox.

Hence, I engage in my annual plea for an end to anonymous comments. By this I mean, please, pick a name. Any non-vulgar name will do. It doesn't have to be your real one, but it's polite, and it ensures a more efficient combox. Think of it as your St. Guy mask.

Thus, please sign your comments with some identifier. While I won't put an outright ban on comments without one, you will ensure that you get the benefit of the doubt when I ponder whether to hit the "publish" button.

Thanks!

--thetimmanagement

Restoring the Catholic School at a Rock-Bottom Cost

I am still contemplating a more in-depth post on the subject of His Grace's Alive in Christ school plan, but the more I thought about it the more I was struck with the cost/benefit analysis of concrete changes that would make an immediate difference.


Vibrantly orthodox faith, imparted to the students. This is a goal of the plan, and it is one with which every Catholic can agree. Yet to some this is a mere buzz-phrase that can be morphed into any modernistic stew that fits the fad of the day.



You may recall my wife being driven nuts by the constant desire of some schools to pour money into computers for every tot instead of using a board and chalk to actually teach something. In the same vein, though I am sure that consultants and surveys and market research have their proper ends, let me give you three low-cost items to immediately and dramatically improve the vibrant Catholic orthodoxy of your parish school. Right now. And with long term effect:

The Baltimore Catechism

Yes, the Baltimore Catechism. The image above is the new, lovely Baronius Press edition, $4.95 each (though I'd bet they'd give a volume discount).

Summorum Pontificum, the Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI, given motu proprio, free on the internet. It reaffirms the vitality of, and encourages the celebration of, the Classical Roman Rite, now juridically labelled the Extraordinary Form. Good enough for lots of saints and sinners for more than 1,500 years.

Finally, the Missale Romanum, 1962 edition. This is the Missal to implement the motu proprio on a practical basis, every single day. It seems pricey at $155, but you only need one per school.

So, there you have it. In a school of 200 children, you have a ready-made religion and sacramental program of undeniable Catholicity and time-proven success, all for the low, low cost of $1,145. Surely you can cut $1,145 from some other part of your budget. Like maybe 2 laptops? Or some Sadlier "religion" workbooks?


But no-- it couldn't possibly work. Could it?




Could it?

I Have Conversations LIke This All the Time

If you're checking silhouettes, I'm the fat guy in the big hat. A little lesson in economics:

Ask for Nothing and Refuse Nothing

I say that we must neither ask anything nor refuse anything, but leave ourselves absolutely in the arms of divine Providence, without busying ourselves with any desires, except to will what God wills for us.

--St. Francis de Sales

30 March 2011

Solemn High Mass Thursday at 6:30 pm to Close ICRSP Priestly Retreat

This Thursday, March 31, 2010 at 6:30pm at St. Francis de Sales Oratory, Monsignor Gilles Wach, founder and Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, will celebrate Solemn High Mass to conclude the priestly retreat he led this week.

All are welcome to attend. Map and directions at the link above.


Also, this upcoming Friday is First Friday, which means there will be all-day Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the Oratory.

St. Francis de Sales on the Healing of St. Peter's Mother-in-Law and the Communion of Saints

"When it is written that the Apostles Peter, Andrew, John and James gathered together to ask for the cure of Simon's mother-in-law, this is a very important matter. For this request represents the Communion of Saints, by which the body of the Church is so united that all its members share in the good of one another. From this it follows that all Christians share in all the prayers and good works which are offered in Holy Mother Church. This communion exists not only here below on earth, but in Heaven as well. That position is foolish and stupid, then, which, though willing to believe in the Communion of Saints on earth, will not believe that it extends to Heaven. Certainly, people who hold that view do not believe in that article of the Apostles' Creed. It is most certain that, as we share here below in the prayers of one another, so these same prayers and good works profit the souls in Purgatory, who can be helped by them. Moreover, they and we share in the prayers of the blessed, who are in Paradise. It is in this that this Communion of the Saints consists. This article of faith is symbolized by the cure of our sick woman, who was not relieved by her own prayers, but by those of the Apostles, who interceded for her."

--St. Francis de Sales, Sermon for the Thursday of the third week in Lent, 1622.

Further on the Beatification v. Canonization Infallibility Issue

Since it came up in a recent post on JPII's impending beatification, here is a link to a post on Angelqueen giving Fr. Faber's take on the issue back in 1848. I give the link only, because posting a pdf to blogger such that it can be read is a total mystery to such a one as me. The money quote for me: "Thus a man who should maintain that a beatification was erroneous and a cultus approbatus wrong, would not be guilty of heresy, but of scandal and temerity." I don't think I want to be guilty of either.

29 March 2011

Enough to Make You Lose Your Appetite

What a brave new world this is.

Children of God for Life is an organization that has led the effort to make public the use of aborted fetal cell lines in the research and production of vaccines as well as to encourage the use of ethically-derived vaccines. I just received a press release from their Director (reproduced below) with the horrific news that some prominent food companies are using aborted fetal cell lines to test artificial flavor enhancers. They are calling for a boycott:


Biotech company using aborted fetal cell lines to test food flavor enhancers (Largo, FL) Children of God for Life is calling for a public boycott of major food companies partnering with Senomyx, a biotech company that produces artificial flavor enhancers using aborted fetal cell lines to test their products.


In 2010, the pro-life organization wrote to Senomyx CEO Kent Snyder, pointing out that moral options for testing their food additives could and should be used. But when Senomyx ignored their letter, they wrote to the companies Senomyx listed on their website as "collaborators" warning them of public backlash and threatened boycott. Food giants Pepsico, Kraft Foods, Campbell Soup, Solae and Nestlé are the primary targets of the boycott.


Senomyx website states: “The company's key flavor programs focus on the discovery and development of savory, sweet and salt flavor ingredients that are intended to allow for the reduction of MSG, sugar and salt in food and beverage products....Using isolated human taste receptors, we created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor.”


Their collaborators provide Senomyx research and development funding plus royalties on sales of products using their flavor ingredients.


“What they don’t tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 – human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors”, stated Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director for Children of God for Life, a pro-life watch dog group that has monitored the use of aborted fetal material in medical and consumer products for years.


“They could have easily chosen animal, insect, or other morally obtained human cells expressing the G protein for taste receptors”, she added.


In writing to their collaborators, it took three letters before Nestlé finally admitted the truth about their relationship with Senomyx, noting the cell line was “well established in scientific research".


Both Pepsico and Campbell Soup also responded. Shockingly, Pepsico wrote: “We hope you are reassured to learn that our collaboration with Senomyx is strictly limited to creating lower-calorie, great-tasting beverages for consumers. This will help us achieve our commitment to reduce added sugar per serving by 25% in key brands in key markets over the next decade and ultimately help people live healthier lives.”


Campbell Soup was more sensitive in their response: “Every effort is made to use the finest ingredients and develop the greatest selection of products, all at a great value. With this in mind, it must be said that the trust we have cultivated and developed over the years with our consumers is not worth compromising to cut costs or increase profit margins."


While Campbell didn’t state they would change their methods, their response, gave Vinnedge hope. “If enough people voice their outrage and intent to boycott these consumer products, it may convince Senomyx to change their methods”, she noted. “Otherwise, we will be buying Coca-Cola, Lipton soups and Hershey products!”


See www.cogforlife.org/senomyxalert.htm for mailing addresses of Senomyx and the food companies.

An Update on the Fukushima Reactor Catastrophe

Just to give those interested an update, here is a fairly in-depth article from Der Spiegel. The photo above is from the article--click to enlarge.

28 March 2011

Not as Bad as It Sounds-- by 2050 There Won't Be Anyone to Drive Them

Not the way Europe is contracepting/aborting/euthanizing:


by Bruno Waterfield

The European Commission on Monday unveiled a "single European transport area" aimed at enforcing "a profound shift in transport patterns for passengers" by 2050.The plan also envisages an end to cheap holiday flights from Britain to southern Europe with a target that over 50 per cent of all journeys above 186 miles should be by rail.

Top of the EU's list to cut climate change emissions is a target of "zero" for the number of petrol and diesel-driven cars and lorries in the EU's future cities.

Siim Kallas, the EU transport commission, insisted that Brussels directives and new taxation of fuel would be used to force people out of their cars and onto "alternative" means of transport.
"That means no more conventionally fuelled cars in our city centres," he said. "Action will follow, legislation, real action to change behaviour."

The Association of British Drivers rejected the proposal to ban cars as economically disastrous and as a "crazy" restriction on mobility.

"I suggest that he goes and finds himself a space in the local mental asylum," said Hugh Bladon, a spokesman for the BDA.

"If he wants to bring everywhere to a grinding halt and to plunge us into a new dark age, he is on the right track. We have to keep things moving. The man is off his rocker."

Mr Kallas has denied that the EU plan to cut car use by half over the next 20 years, before a total ban in 2050, will limit personal mobility or reduce Europe's economic competitiveness.
"Curbing mobility is not an option, neither is business as usual. We can break the transport system's dependence on oil without sacrificing its efficiency and compromising mobility. It can be win-win," he claimed.

Christopher Monckton, Ukip's transport spokesman said: "The EU must be living in an alternate reality, where they can spend trillions and ban people from their cars.
"This sort of greenwashing grandstanding adds nothing and merely highlights their grandiose ambitions."

______________

And so Europe swirls down the drain... whimpering all the way.
Qual è 'l geomètra che tutto s'affige
per misurar lo cerchio, e non ritrova,
pensando, quel principio ond'elli indige,

tal era io a quella vista nova:
veder voleva come si convenne
l'imago al cerchio e come vi s'indova;

ma non eran da ciò le proprie penne:
se non che la mia mente fu percossa
da un fulgore in che sua voglia venne.

A l'alta fantasia qui mancò possa;
ma già volgeva il mio disio e 'l velle,
sì come rota ch'igualmente è mossa,

l'amor che move il sole e l'altre stelle.

Souls You Hardly Save

The gates of heaven are lightly locked,
We do not guard our gold,
Men may uproot where worlds begin,
Or read the name of the nameless sin;
But if he fail or if he win
To no good man is told.

The men of the East may spell the stars,
And times and triumphs mark,
But the men signed of the cross of Christ
Go gaily in the dark. . .

The wise men know what wicked things
Are written on the sky,
They trim sad lamps, they touch sad strings,
Hearing the heavy purple wings,
Where the forgotten seraph kings
Still plot how God shall die. . .

But you and all the kind of Christ
Are ignorant and brave,
And you have wars you hardly win
And souls you hardly save.

I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.

Night shall be thrice night over you,
And heaven an iron cope.
Do you have joy without a cause,
Yea, faith without a hope?

--The Blessed Virgin to King Alfred, in G.K. Chesterton's The Ballad of the White Horse

Sermon on Greed

The following is the text of the sermon on the deadly sin of greed, delivered by Canon Michael Stein of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Canon Stein, an American, was ordained by Cardinal Burke last year, and now serves in the Institute's missions in Gabon, Africa. The above photo is from his first Mass.

In the course of this sermon, Canon Stein appealed for support for the missions. In giving me the text of this sermon, he did not ask me to forward that appeal on to you, but nevertheless, I want to do so. I have never asked for any donations for myself or this blog (and won't). But this cause is so meritorious that I will at least encourage you to prayerfully consider the missions at this link, which contains information on how to donate.
______________________

3rd Sunday of Lent, March 27th 2011 Saint Louis,

Saint Francis de Sales Oratory


GREED


Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


Cher Monseigneur, Reverend Canons, Dear Faithful,


The vicious circle continues. After sloth, envy and wrath; after gluttony and that four letter word “lust”; today we will put ourselves on guard against GREED. The Beatitude cited above is clear, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”[i] Saint Francis de Sales, known for his gentleness, adds, “Accursed, then, are the rich in spirit, for the misery of hell is their portion.”[ii] Words of a brutal force, yet words that place us before a Divine Truth; the same Divine Truth that is reiterated by Our Lord Himself in today’s Gospel, “He who is not with Me is against Me.”[iii] We thus conclude that he who is poor in spirit is with God and worthy of Heaven whereas he who is rich in spirit is against God and merits hell.


In order not to become, or to remain, greedy we must know what it is exactly. What is “greed”, “covetousness”, “avarice”? Greed is an excessive love for, and seeking after, wealth and other earthly possessions. A greedy person strives for more riches than he requires and is never content. He clings to what he has and is stingy.[iv] Sacred Scripture is filled with many warnings, “There is not a more wicked thing than to love money: for such a one setteth even his own soul to sale.”[v] “Take heed and guard yourselves from all covetousness, for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”[vi] Yes, greed is a capital sin, and being a capital sin that means it is at the root of many other sins and imperfections. From greed arise lying, cheating, and hard-heartedness towards the poor. And remember, greed was a sin of Judas. His love of money led to the betrayal of Our Lord for but thirty pieces of silver.[vii]


Unfortunately, no one is ever ready to admit that he is greedy. Everyone denies having so base and mean a heart. I couldn’t possibly be equated to Judas. No, I’m not greedy, I go to Mass and give to charities; I couldn’t possibly possess such a hideous vice. Greed is for grumpy old misers, not for me. One man excuses himself on the score that he has to take care of his children, and that prudence requires that he be a man of property. He never has too much. The greediest men not only deny that they are greedy, but even think in their conscious that they are not. Greed is a raging fever that makes itself all the harder to detect the more violent and burning it is. Moses saw the sacred fire that burned, but did not consume the bush.[viii] On the contrary, greed is a profane, unholy fire that both consumes and devours but does not burn a greedy man.


Dear faithful, there is a difference between possessing material goods and being greedy, just as there is a difference between having poison and being poisoned. Pharmacists keep almost every kind of poison in stock for use on various occasions, yet they are not themselves poisoned because they merely have it in their shops and not in their bodies. So also can you possess riches without being poisoned by them if you merely keep them in your home and purse and not in your heart. To be rich in effect and poor in affection is a great happiness for a Catholic. And just as what is poison for one may be a remedy for another, so too our riches, if they are rooted in our heart they are poison, but freely given they may be a saving remedy to the poor.


If we are strongly attached to the goods we possess, set our heart on them, always have them in our thoughts, and fear losing them, then we are infected with greed; with covetousness. If we find our heart afflicted at the loss of property then we love it too much. The strongest proof of love for a lost object is suffering over its loss.[ix]


Dear friends, to see whether or not you are greedy; to see whether or not this capital sin occupies some place in your heart, I propose to you a simple test. I propose to you the “Esau Hair Test”. No, it is not some kind of Biblical Rogaine, it’s an analogy taken from the Introduction to the Devout Life.


“Esau presented himself to his father with his hands covered in hair, and Jacob did the same,[x] but because the hair on Jacob’s hands did not belong to his skin, but only to his gloves, it might be taken away without injuring his skin. On the contrary, the hair on Esau’s hands adhered to his skin, which was naturally very hairy, so if anyone had tried to pluck it off it would have hurt him and he would have cried out, been angry, and defended himself. Thus when our worldly goods cleave to our hearts, what complaints, what trouble, and what impatience do we fall into if a storm, a thief, or a cheat takes any part of them away from us. When our goods do not cleave to our hearts and we think of them only as what God entrusts to us, we don’t lose reason or peace of mind if they are taken from us.”[xi]


So do you have Esau hand hair or Jacob hand hair? Are you attached to earthly goods or detached? Is your heart tied down by the strings of greed or is it free to serve God amongst material goods? Is yours the heritage of heaven or the portion of hell? Examine your heart in daily life. What aches experiences your heart if you lose your cell phone? If a little sister breaks your model ship or your little brother rips your drawings? Or the china dishes broke by negligent guests? Or how about that bonus you were lined up to get but for naught? And so on…


Dear faithful, it is a moral principle that to eliminate a vice, one must practice the opposing virtue. Today, let us exchange greed for generosity. To uproot the weed of greed one must plant the seed of generosity. (And now you’re thinking this is where he asks for money for the missions.) Yes and no. No in the sense that I will not do it like it is practiced in Gabon by the Evangelicals. I heard this account first-hand. The pastor had just preached on the spirit of poverty. He concludes by inviting each person to step up individually and, one by one, he has them close their eyes crying out, “Jesus take my money, take my watch, take my personal belongings, I give them to you. Give me heaven!” Meanwhile the pastor is patting them down taking their wallets, emptying their pockets and filling his. That, my friends, is a scam, and not Catholic charity.


So today, I will not do a “pat-down”. But I will invite you to manifest once again your generosity in helping the family of the Institute. We are building a Parish Church in Gabon. We are daily paying medical bills and schools for our poor faithful. Let me give a glimpse of the sad reality that is theirs. 95% of our faithful live in misery. Countless women, countless girls, give their bodies over to men just to be able to pay rent, to put food on the table for their children, or to pay transportation to get to school. How many of our young Gabonese parishioners fall into these structures of sin just because they lack basic material goods?! We try to help them; we pay rent, we pay hospitals, we pay transportation, we are building them a beautiful Church to raise them out of the slums and into a heavenly, divine mindset, and we count on you.


Please accept this invitation to donate! Please embrace this opportunity to practice once again the virtue of generosity! Please help us help them! “A dollar given, a child helped, a soul saved.” “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Amen.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[i] Mt. 5:3 [ii] Introduction to the Devout Life, III:14 [iii] Luke 11:23 [iv] My Catholic Faith, XXV [v] Eccl. 10:10 [vi] Luke 12:15 [vii] Mt. 26:14-16 [viii] Ex. 3:2 [ix] Introduction to the Devout Life, III:14 [x] Gen. 27 [xi] Introduction to the Devout Life, III:15

Private Masses

Pretty cool experience today at 8am Mass. The American Province's priestly retreat is underway, and there are lots of priests who need to say their daily Mass. There were five private Masses while the public one was ongoing. I snapped this picture after Mass was over to capture the scene in one transept of the Church. It makes concrete the reality of the multiplicity of daily Masses all over the world giving praise to God and yet offering the unity of the one and only Sacrifice. St. Pio once remarked that the world could more easily survive without the sun than without the Mass. True enough.

If you get a chance, say a prayer for these men that their retreat will be spiritually beneficial.

25 March 2011

Déjà Vu

See you Sunday.

Local Press Coverage of the Schools Plan

Weird blogging availability today, and this still isn't my take on things, but I wanted to get these two stories out for your perusal, one from the St. Louis Beacon and one from STLToday.

Just one pull quote from the Beacon story hit me:

"Our biggest challenge,” [Archbishop Carlson] said, “is having parents realize that the best way to hand on the Catholic faith is the Catholic school.”


I agree that making that proposition true would indeed be the biggest challenge the campaign faces. Because it might be a tough sell at present.

The Feast of the Annunciation of the Ever Blessed Virgin

Ecce ancilla Domini: fiat mihi secundem verbum tuum.

"By these... words of thine, O Mary! our happiness is secured. Thou consentest to the desire of heaven, and thy consent brings us our Saviour. O Virgin-Mother! Blessed among women! we unite our thanks with the homage that is paid thee by the angels. By thee is our ruin repaired; in thee is our nature restored; for thou has wrought the victory of man over satan!

St. Bernard, in one of his homilies on this Gospel, thus speaks: 'Rejoice, O thou our father Adam! but thou, O mother Eve, still more rejoice! You were our parents, but you were also our destroyers; and, what is worse, you had wrought our destruction before you gave us birth. Both of you must be consoled in such a daughter as this: but thou, O Eve, who wast the first cause of our misfortune, and whose humiliation has descended upon all women, thou hast a special reason to rejoice in Mary. For the time has now come, when the humiliation is taken away; neither can man any longer complain against the woman, as of old, when he foolishly sought to excuse himself, and cruelly put all the blame on her, saying: "The woman, whom Thou gavest me, gave me of the tree, and I did eat." Go, Eve, to Mary; go, mother, to thy daughter; let thy daughter take thy part, and free thee from thy disgrace, and reconcile thee to her father: for, if man fell by a woman, he is raised up by a woman.

'What is this thou sayest, Adam? "The woman, whom Thou gavest me, gave me of the tree, and I did eat?" These are wicked words; far from effacing thy fault, they aggravate it. But divine Wisdom conquered thy wickedness, by finding in the treasury of His own inexhaustible mercy a motive for pardon, which He had in vain sought to elicit by questioning thee. In place of the woman, of whom thou complainest, He gives thee another: Eve was foolish, Mary is wise; Eve was proud, Mary is humble; Eve gave thee of the tree of death, Mary will give thee of the Tree of life; Eve offered thee a bitter and poisoned fruit, Mary will give thee the sweet Fruit she herself is to bring forth, the Fruit of everlasting life. Change, then, thy wicked excuse into an act of thanksgiving, and say: "The Woman, whom Thou hast given me, O Lord, hath given me of the Tree of life, and I have eaten thereof; and it is sweeter than honey to my mouth, for by it Thou hast given me life."'"

--from The Liturgical Year, by Dom Prosper Gueranger
(emphases mine)

24 March 2011

Monsignor Gilles Wach to Celebrate Solemn High Mass This Sunday at 10 am at the Oratory

Just a reminder, this Sunday at St. Francis de Sales Oratory, the 10am Solemn High Mass will be celebrated by Monsignor Gilles Wach, founder and Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Canon Michael Stein will preach. After Mass, there will be a reception in honor of Monsignor Wach in the church hall. Canon Stein will also give a brief presentation on the Institute's missions in Gabon, Africa.

Also, on Sunday evening at 6pm, the Canons of the Institute will chant Solemn Vespers in choir. There will be several Canons present, as the U.S. priestly retreat will be going on at this time. If you have never heard the Divine Office chanted by a religious community, it is worth the effort just to experience it.

Archbishop Carlson Outlines Plan for Schools

Rather than post any hurried initial reactions, I will try to digest this and offer some thoughts in the next few days. Yet I wanted to post this right away for readers' benefit. His Grace has established a framework for his "Alive in Christ" Catholic schools initiative, and the write-up below is from the St. Louis Review:

Archbishop Carlson outlines framework for Alive in Christ 2018

March 24, 2011
Barbara Watkins

Goal 1: Catechesis/Academic Excellence

To renew our commitment to excellence in all forms of education and faith formation; to build up the finest, most effective schools, religious education and youth ministry programs; to reach out to young adults and adults to engage them fully in the life of the Church and provide them with significant opportunities to know their faith and to grow spiritually.

Objective 1: Develop and implement benchmarks for achieving excellence in academics and faith formation in all parish and archdiocesan schools. Adopt standards that require parishes and schools to be both fully and authentically Catholic in their religious instruction and spiritual formation and fully and authentically professional in their academic instruction — in accordance with “best practices” in education today.

Objective 2: Provide pastors and school administrators with guidelines and assistance with effective marketing and enrollment management in order to “fill the empty seats.”

Objective 3: Promote collaboration among all parish, archdiocesan and private Catholic schools. Work with Catholic universities located in the Archdiocese to design and implement a unified, holistic approach to Catholic identity and excellence in academic instruction and spiritual formation from preschool through elementary, secondary, undergraduate and post-graduate Catholic education.

Objective 4: Engage in proactive pastoral planning on a deanery basis to strengthen parishes and schools and to promote collaboration and consolidation as appropriate.

Objective 5: Strengthen adult faith formation, lay ministry formation, youth and young adult ministries.

Chairperson — Msgr. John Unger

Curia resource agencies: Catholic Education Office (lead agent), Catholic Youth Apostolate

Goal 2: Evangelization

To implement an archdiocesan-wide evangelization program that is designed to help our parishes, schools and archdiocesan agencies become more effective instruments for preaching the Gospel and handing on our Catholic faith.

Objective 1: Sponsor an archdiocesan-wide evangelization program that will engage all parishes, schools and archdiocesan agencies in outreach to Catholics who are no longer active and others who seek to know more about the Catholic faith.

Objective 2: Coordinate marketing and community relations for the Archdiocese, parishes and schools.

Objective 3: Conduct a multi-year Catholic Identity Awareness Campaign designed to raise awareness and encourage appropriate pride in Catholic identity.

Objective 4: Provide outreach programs for our parents after a child is baptized to welcome them into the parish community, offer resources for the education and faith formation of their preschool children and reserve a place for them in the parish school.

Objective 5: Establish pilot parishes that are dedicated to being centers of excellence in education and faith formation of adults, young adults, youth and children. Develop pilot programs and share the results with all parishes in the Archdiocese.

Chairperson — Msgr. James Callahan
Curia resource agencies: Paul VI Institute (lead agent), Apostolic Services

Goal 3: Social Justice

To renew our commitment to learning about, and practicing, fundamental principles of Catholic social teaching and social justice.

Objective 1: Renew our commitment to helping poor children and youth in all 11 counties of our Archdiocese break the cycle of poverty and reach their full potential by providing access to Catholic schools through scholarships and other forms of tuition assistance wherever possible.

Objective 2: Establish new governance models and funding structures for Mission Schools — elementary and secondary schools that primarily serve the poor and that depend on non-traditional funding sources.

Objective 3: Address tensions that exist in our communities, and our Church, based on race and class divisions. Develop and implement training programs for pastors, principals/school administrators, board members who work in mission schools or who serve large numbers of students from poor families and/or families from diverse ethnic, racial or social backgrounds.

Objective 4: Work with civic and business leaders in all 11 counties, but especially in St. Louis city, to advocate for the educational needs of all children, especially the poor, and to build collaborative programs that cut across traditional private, public and parochial divisions.

Objective 5: Work with the Missouri Catholic Conference and other advocacy groups to proactively seek government assistance for families who choose a Catholic school education or other forms of non-government schooling.

Chairperson — Father Jeff Vomund

Curia resource agencies: Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation (lead agent), Catholic Education Office, Catholic Charities

Goal 4: Stewardship

To engage in proactive pastoral planning, stewardship education and development activities that seek to build up and strengthen parishes and schools for service to a growing Church that is Alive in Christ and that models good stewardship in all its temporal affairs.

Objective 1: Offer strategic planning and assistance in governance, leadership development, organizational management and financial planning to all pastors, school administrators and agency directors.

Objective 2: Establish a Catholic Foundation for the Archdiocese of St. Louis to coordinate archdiocesan fundraising and develop new endowment funds for tuition assistance and other priority needs. Plan and implement an archdiocesan-wide capital campaign for the benefit of individual parishes and schools (sensitive to diverse regional and cultural needs); increase significantly the archdiocesan funds available to support mission schools and parishes and schools with financial needs.

Objective 3: Increase the current education assessment for all parishes to provide additional funds for tuition assistance and grants to schools. Develop formulas and assessment policies that are fair and equitable but that provide the minimum funds necessary to stabilize the current system and allow for positive growth and change.

Objective 4: Review current tuition rates in elementary and high schools and provide pastors and school administrators with guidelines for establishing programs that gradually implement tuition charges based on the true “cost to educate” children in our schools and families’ ability to pay their proportionate share of their children’s education.

Objective 5: Use the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation to provide tuition assistance grants to families (based on demonstrated need) from any parish or school in the Archdiocese. Develop guidelines for application, analysis and awarding of tuition assistance grants.

Chairperson — Msgr. Greg Mikesch

Curia resource agencies: Office of Pastoral Planning (lead agent), Office of Stewardship and Development, Finance Office, Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation, Catholic Education Office

Apparently, Sheryl Crow Now Advising Omaha Mayor

Flush with success at foisting human cloning and abortion funding on Missouri taxpayers, noted toilet paper critic Sheryl Crow must have gotten to the mayor of Omaha-- he wants the Feds to tax toilet paper:

Mayor Jim Suttle went to Washington Tuesday flush with ideas for how federal officials could help cities like Omaha pay for multibillion-dollar sewer projects.

Among the items on his brainstorming list: a proposal for a 10-cent federal tax on every roll of toilet paper you buy.

Based on the four-pack price for Charmin double rolls Tuesday at a midtown Hy-Vee, such a tax would add more than 10 percent to the per-roll price, pushing it over a buck.

The idea came from a failed 2009 House measure by an Oregon congressman to help cities and the environment.

___________________

I hope that idea goes quickly down the drain. It's amazing how these politicians cling to the climate change fraud. Funny, though-- no mention of Crow in the article; her name's been wiped clean off.

Commemoration of St. Gabriel the Archangel

Today we begin to anticipate the joys of tomorrow's great feast of the Incarnation of Our Lord. The great messenger of God, the herald of salvation, the comforter of Our Lord in Gethsemane-- the Archangel Gabriel-- is honored today. The traditional calendar of the Church sets March 24 as his feast, giving him, like St. Michael and St. Raphael, his own day instead of mashing them together in a lumpenfest later in the year.

Solemn Stations of the Cross in Belleville

A friend passed along the above item (click to enlarge) as a response to the Yog[i] Bear Stations of the Cross over at Wash U. A different kind of spiritual experience, perhaps.

As an aside, I have always loved the image of Our Lord's crucifixion shown in this photo. The original is by Velazquez, and is one of the favorite paintings of my wife and me in the Museo del Prado. A reproduction of this painting hangs in the sanctuary of the Old Cathedral downtown, where we were married. I think it well depicts the sorrow and utter isolation of Christ as he hung, laden with our sins. A good Lenten image.

23 March 2011

Washington University Catholic Student Center Presents: "Yoga Stations of the Cross"

Fr. Z scooped me on this one, and he sums it up pretty well. Though the event is a sad joke, I assure you I'm not joking.

The
Catholic Student Center at Washington University in St. Louis, is in fact hosting an abomination called "Yoga Stations of the Cross". Just let that one settle in. Here it is:

Yoga Stations of the Cross Tonight!

Wednesday, March 23rd, 7:15pm, CSC Commons

Join us for a contemporary meditative experience of the Stations of the Cross that involves body movement, prayer, meditative music & pictures, and reflections. This CSC original combines traditional images and reflections of the Stations of the Cross with a unique way of feeling the suffering of Christ’s Passion in your own body through Yoga poses that spur a prayerful experience.

All are welcome to attend, please bring your own yoga mat. No experience necessary, there will be a brief instructional time at the beginning to go through the yoga poses before beginning the prayerful experience.

____________________

Yoga Stations? I don't know, is this designed to make people less rigid about the liturgy? OK, not funny. But really, what is this Archdiocesan apostolate doing allowing this kind of insanity? Will Voodoo Stations be next?

Jane! Stop this crazy thing!

The Question of Penitential Practices on the Feast of the Annunciation

Hey, are we required to abstain from meat this Friday-- the Feast of the Annunciation?

That's easy-- no, under current canon law:

Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday (Can. 1251).

In the new calendar, the Feast of the Annunciation is a Solemnity, as was the Feast of St. Joseph, for that matter.

This is confirmed by the Lenten regulations published by Archbishop Carlson in the Review:

All other Fridays of Lent, with the exception of the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, are days of abstinence from meat.

Simple enough, eh? But this question does have relevance for those Catholics who choose to adhere to the traditional fasting and abstinence disciplines of the Church, and who are attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, which retains the traditional calendar. In the traditional calendar, the Feast of Annunciation is a First Class Feast, as was the Feast of St. Joseph, for that matter. Does this equate by analogy to a "solemnity", as both terms indicate the highest level feast possible? It sure seems so. Hence, problem solved, eh?

Well, maybe not. Under the Code of Canon Law of 1917, which was the one in effect prior to the change of the calendar and the subsequent allowance to lift the abstinence requirement on a "solemnity", the key to whether a feast obviated the abstinence (and fasting, also then in force) duty was whether it was a holy day of obligation. In other words, it wasn't enough that it was a first class feast (or solemnity, if you will), it had to have been a day of precept:

Canon 1252 (CIC 1917). 1. The law of abstinence only must be observed every Friday.

2. The law of abstinence together with fast must be observed every Ash Wed, every Friday and Saturday of Lent, each of the Ember Days, and the vigils of the Pentecost, the Assumption of the God-bearer into heaven, All Saints, and the Nativity of the Lord.

3. The law of fast only is to be observed on all the other days of Lent.

4. On Sundays or feasts of precept, the law of abstinence or of abstinence and fast or a fast only ceases, except during Lent, nor is the vigil anticipated; likewise it ceases on Holy Saturday afternoon.


As you can see, the law used to bind Catholics to abstain every Friday of the year (and still does, or some other penance, but that is a different post), and also on Saturdays of Lent as well. It also required fasting on every other day of Lent, except Sundays. So, it would seem that if one wished to keep the formerly-binding rules of fasting, it would still have been required on the Annunciation because a) it is not a day of precept in the U.S., and b)it occurs during Lent.

So, problem solved, eh?

Well, maybe not. The liturgical calendar in existence at the time of the promulgation of the 1917 Code of Canon Law was more complex than the more simplified one later in use from time of Blessed John XXIII, with varying subcategories of feasts. And some of the Vigils were suppressed, that would have affected fasting. But that doesn't affect our question of the day, as the Code lifted the abstinence and fast requirement only on days of precept outside of Lent.

And, if you want to get all technical, and be super-duper abstemious, it used to be the rule long ago that you had to fast and abstain every day of Lent, and even to have modified fast during Septuagesima onwards. And the abstention from meat encompassed not just meat but eggs, dairy and basically anything that came within 50 feet of a cow.

I go into this detail only because it comes up each Lent among those who try, from motives of personal piety, to undertake a more traditional Lenten fasting discipline.

The bottom line is that the current canon law is clear, and that is all that binds in conscience. So you can eat meat this Friday, and you didn't have to fast anyway. And, thinking like a lawyer, since the Extraordinary Form is entitled to use the traditional calendar, the question of the Annunciation is a valid one. But, using current law applied to traditional feast categories, it sure seems like the same result is reached. If you really want to do it the "traditional way", you can abstain and fast, but that is your decision, not mandated by law.

If you think that was a little complex, don't get me started on the Communion fast.

And if you are still reading this, I'll see you Sunday at St. Francis de Sales.

Fr. Edward Richard to Leave Kenrick-Glennon Seminary

A sad loss to Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, as the brilliant moral theologian and La Salette Father Edward Richard is leaving the seminary faculty at the end of the year. Fr. Richard had served as Vice Rector and Professor of Moral Theology, and reportedly was a candidate for the position of President and Rector of the institution, given recently to Fr. Horn.

Fr. Richard deserves great thanks for his strong moral leadership on issues relating to human life and its protection, and for leading the effort for solid, orthodox formation of our future priests. He will be sorely missed.

22 March 2011

Hey-- Good News Out of Harvard

I received this very kind email today about some great liturgical news from the preeminent University in the land. I left his name off, not because he asked, but out of discretion in case he doesn't want it posted. If he does, he can let me know.


Dear fellow Saint Louis Catholic,

I am currently a freshman at Harvard. I am a recent graduate of my beloved Saint Louis Priory School. There I wrote my senior thesis on the orientation of the altar. Currently, I am helping to organize the very first EF Mass at Harvard. I thought you would like to know.

This Friday at 6:15 pm, preceded by the Angelus, we will be having Mass for the Annunciation in the Extraordinary Form at St. Paul's Church in Harvard Square. As far as I know, this is the first Mass in the usus antiquior at Harvard since the Council. Our Celebrant is Father Patrick Armano, a friend of the pastor Fr. Michael Drea who has graciously supported our endeavors, after so many years of frustration for those who have tried to have this Mass in the past.

At the time of this message, it will be a Low Mass on the high altar of St. Paul's. Keep in mind that St. Paul's is the home of the Archdiocesan Boys Choir School, and so we look forward to any potential there.

We plan on having pictures available after the Mass.

_______________________


The Harvard Knights of Columbus and the Harvard Latin Mass Society

invite you to celebrate

The Feast of the Annunciation
of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Friday, March 25th, 2011

6:00pm Angelus
6:15pm Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite
Reception to Follow
All are welcome.

St. Paul Catholic Church, Bow and Arrow Streets, Cambridge, MA

For more information, email
HarvardLatinMass@gmail.com

Find the event on Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/ event.php?eid=100526636698942& ref=ts

Been waiting for this Mass in Harvard Square for years? Want to see how Catholics worshipped for over five centuries?


Then help us celebrate this momentous occasion.

Never been to a Latin Mass before? No clue what the Extraordinary Form is?
This will be the perfect introduction. English-Latin aids will also be available.

To find out more about the Harvard Knights of Columbus, see
www.harvardknights.org
For a great resource on the Extraordinary Form, explore
http://www.sanctamissa.org/en/ faq/index.html

Any questions, email HarvardLatinMass@gmail.com

V. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae
R. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto

Quotable


"I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is, to a large extent, due to the disintegration of the liturgy."

--Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977)

Reservations-- Can They Be Addressed 'Subito'?

This lengthy article, published by Michael Matt of The Remnant, lays out the case for a delay in the cause of beatification of the late Pope John Paul II. One needn't agree with all of these objections to note that there are indeed several troubling aspects of the late pontificate that may give one pause. Hurrying (as compared to the normal process traditionally followed in the Church) this declaration to a world that does not understand the difference between beatification and canonization, nor that the Church's infallibility is only invoked upon the latter, is a question of prudential judgement.

Before you get too excited, read the article. I would be interested to read your respectful take, pro or con, about the piece. Here is the introduction, which states the question:

A Statement of Reservations Concerning the Impending Beatification of Pope John Paul II

The impending beatification of Pope John Paul II on May 1, 2011 has aroused serious concern among not a few Catholics around the world, who are concerned about the condition of the Church and the scandals that have afflicted her in recent years—scandals that prompted the future Benedict XVI to exclaim on Good Friday 2005: “How much filth there is in the Church, even among those who, in the priesthood, should belong entirely to Him.” We give voice to our own concern in this public way in keeping with the law of the Church, which provides:

In accord with the knowledge, competence and preeminence which they possess, the Christian faithful have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and they have a right to make their opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard for the integrity of faith and morals and reverence towards their pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons. [CIC (1983), Can. 212, § 3.]


We are compelled by what we believe in conscience to be the common good of the Church to express our reservations concerning this beatification. We do so on the following grounds, among others that could be brought forth.

The Real Question

We stress at the outset that we do not present these considerations as an argument against the personal piety or integrity of John Paul II, which ought to be presumed. The question is not personal piety or integrity as such, but rather whether there is, objectively speaking, a basis for the claim that John Paul exhibited such heroic virtue in the exercise of his exalted office as Pope that he should be placed immediately on the road to sainthood as a Pope to be emulated by all his successors.

The Church has always recognized that the matter of heroic virtue involved in a beatification is inextricably bound up with whether the candidate performed heroically the duties of his station in life. As Pope Benedict XIV (1675-1758) explained in his teaching on beatification, the heroic performance of duties involves acts so difficult they are “above the common strength of man,” are “accomplished promptly, easily,” “with holy joy” and “quite frequently, when the occasion to do so presents itself.” [Cf. De servorum Dei beatificatione, Bk. III, chap. 21 in Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, The Three Ages of Interior Life, Vol. 2, p. 443].

Suppose the father of a large family were a candidate for beatification. One would hardly expect his cause to advance if it were the case that, while pious, he consistently failed to discipline and properly form his children, who habitually disobeyed him and fomented disorder in the home, even openly opposing the Faith while living under his roof; or if, while attentive to his prayers and spiritual duties, he neglected the industrious support of his family and allowed his household to fall into disarray.

When the candidate for beatification is a Pope—the Holy Father of the universal Church—the question is not simply his personal piety and holiness, but also his care of the vast household of the Faith that God has entrusted to him, for which purpose God grants the Pope extraordinary graces of state. This is the real question: Did John Paul II perform heroically his duties as Supreme Pontiff in the manner of the sainted predecessors we will mention here: opposing error, swiftly and courageously defending the flock from the ravening wolves who spread it, and protecting the integrity of the Church’s doctrine and sacred worship? We fear that under the circumstances surrounding this “fast track” beatification the real question has not received the careful and unhurried consideration it deserves.


21 March 2011

"Never Hire a Ferret to Do a Weasel's Job."


Feast of St. Benedict

Today is the Feast of the great St. Benedict, father of Western monasticism, patron of Europe, patron of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, and protector of Western civilization.

Those who assist at Mass at an apostolate of the Institute today may receive a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions. There is still time to hit Mass today, as St. Francis de Sales Oratory will have another Mass at 6:30 pm.

This beautiful hymn is traditionally sung at second Vespers of the feast:

Gemma Caelestis


Gemma caelestis pretiosa Regis,
Norma iustorum, via monachorum,
Nos ab immundi, Benedicte, mundi
Subtrahe caeno.

Tu solum spernens, cor in astra figens
Cogis heredes fieri parentes.,
Vas Deo plenum, repardare fractum
Promeruisti.

Magnus in parvis eremita membris
Vincis aetatem, superas laborem,
Arcta Districtae rudimenta vitae
Fervidus imples.

Strage saxorum puerum sepultum,
Mox ut orasti, prece suscitasti:
Sensus hinc carni, caro sanitati
Redditur aeque.

Iure sub blandae specie columbae
Nesciam fellis animam sororis
Summa stellati penetrare caeli
Culmina cemis.

Ipse post clarum referens triumphum,
Celsa devicto petis astra mundo:
Luce flammantem radiante callem
Pallia sternunt.

Gloria Patri, Genitaeque Proli,
Et tibi, compar utriusque semper
Spiritus alme, Deus unus, omni
Tempore saecli. Amen.

Benedict, precious jewel of the King of Heaven,
Model for the just and way for monks,
Call us forth
From this troubled world.

Spurning what was base,
you set your heart on the stars.
You made heirs of your parents,
For you, God's perfect vessel,
Were fit to repair a shattered one.

Great among a small company of hermits
You overcame your youthfulness
and excelled in your labor
As you fervently undertook
The narrow beginnings of the strict life.

When a youth was buried
in the rubble of a collapsing wall,
He was raised up as soon as you prayed;
With your prayer you restored
Sense to his flesh and health to his body.

You saw your sister's soul, unknown to sin,
Attain the very heights
Of starry heaven
In the form of a gentle dove.

After this marvel you in turn
Sought starry heights, having mastered this life;
Your cloak shone forth
A flaming path charged with light.

Glory to the Father, to the Only Begotten,
And to you, loving Spirit,
Always their equal,
One God for all ages. Amen.

20 March 2011

Next Installment in Sermon Series on the Seven Deadly Sins

Today's sermon on the deadly sin that violates the 6th and 9th Commandments was given today by Canon Aaron B. Huberfeld, Vicar at St. Francis de Sales Oratory. Following his lead, I won't speak its name, but will let you read on:

Second Sunday of Lent 2011
How to speak of the Unspeakable Vice

At that time Jesus took Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: and He was transfigured before them. And His face did shine as the sun: and His garments became white as snow.


Some of you have been following this series of sermons very closely. The list has been published, so there is no surprise concerning which of deadly sins I’m going to speak about today. But perhaps one or two of you are surprised that I did not begin by quoting today’s epistle. Today St. Paul speaks in very clear terms about our subject. But this is Transfiguration Sunday, and I prefer to begin with the beautiful image of today’s Gospel: that brief moment on Mount Thabor, where Our Lord is transfigured before His closest circle of disciples. Before taking these same three disciples with him to Mount Olivet, where they will see Him in His agony, He grants them the grace to look on Him for one moment in His glory, all resplendent and pure. The scene calls to mind the words of the psalmist: who shall ascend into the mountain of the Lord; or who shall stand in His holy place? The innocent of hands, and pure of heart.


You may recall that, in our program, we now are in the midst of the four most human of the capital vices. The last of these, greed, is a vice which man does not share with any other creature in the universe – he keeps it all for himself. But you’ll hear enough on this subject next week from my dear classmate. Today we must consider the last and worst of the three sins which remind us of what we have in common with the lower creatures. Animals are not capable of sin, but man is capable of becoming a beast.


Before I speak about this sin, I must ask myself, should I speak about it at all? This is the sin of which the Apostle said, let it not so much as be named among you. Our fallen world does little else but speak about it, morning, noon, and night. We have been told for several generations that we must speak about it openly and often, that talking about it is the honest and mature thing to do. In the last fifty years our courts have struck down nearly every law on the books which stood in the way of this sin – in images, words, or deeds. And as for our armed forces, not only are brave soldiers and military chaplains forced to confront the most unnatural and detestable vices, they are now forbidden to speak against them.


You and I, at least, are still free to say what we like. And surely we have a duty to speak out – the salvation of souls is at stake. Our Lady of Fatima said more souls go to hell because of this sin than for any other reason. But what can we say? Those who advertise and glamorize this sin love to hear Christians talk about it, even if we speak against it. The victory is theirs; all that matters is that their ideas, their images, their vocabulary implant themselves in our hearts.


The greatest spiritual authors insist that our strategy for combating this sin in our own soul must be different from the tactic we employ against the others. It is good to stir ourselves up by staring our sloth, our envy, our anger, our gluttony in the face. Here we must stop short. We do not make progress by spending time reflecting on the ugliness and shamefulness of this sin; on the contrary, we risk contaminating ourselves even further. We must strive never to think of it at all – St. Ignatius tells us that in this battle, it’s the coward who takes the field. That is why I am determined not to give this sin any air time today – the less air we give it, the sooner we will snuff it out. But even without speaking directly of it, I can provide you with three sovereign remedies for it. These three remedies apply to everyone, but each is intended for a particular sort of people. What these three groups of people have in common is that they all desire to be pure.


The first remedy I have in mind, then, is primarily for those who have lost their innocence and are mired in this sin. They want to regain the angelic virtue, but they are unable to feel contrition and make the good confession which will start them down that road. To them I repeat my earlier warning: do not spend time trying to reflect on the ugliness of this sin. Meditate instead on the Four Last Things: death, judgment, heaven, and hell. Eternity is coming closer every day, and this sin is devouring the time that remains to you. It may be deafening the ears of your heart to your vocation in life. It may be keeping you from the happy married life which otherwise would have been yours. Now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation. Our good God promises love and forgiveness for those who turn to Him; He does not promise tomorrow.


Secondly, there are those who have returned to God. They are now fighting this sin, and they are resolved to avoid the occasions of it. The first remedy may have helped them thus far, but now they may begin to apply in earnest the second remedy: control of the senses. The devil wreaks havoc on the human race by his exploitation of the senses, especially the sense of touch. Even before the occasions of sin present themselves, we must rise early and take the field by reminding our senses that it is our will that rules the soul. Always maintain good posture, especially in God’s house, but everywhere else as well, even when alone. Always take the time to dress carefully and correctly. Remember the good, Catholic way of enjoying food which we have so recently heard about from the pulpit. At least try to limit your daydreaming, and shun all forms of curiosity with wandering eyes, ears and hands.


Finally, there are those who, by the grace of God, have never lost their innocence, or if they lost it, they have, through prayer and penance, returned to the happy society of pure souls. These souls must never cease to apply and reapply the first and second remedies. But for them, and for all of us, there is a third medicine. We must never cease to nourish our souls by considering the joys and the glories of the virtue of chastity. Whether we look to the school of prayer that is the religious life, to the boundless zeal of holy priests and missionaries, or to the love and generosity of spouses, we find in the hearts of all those who are pursuing the devout life a quiet virtue which gently reminds them that, although they are body and soul, they are soul before body.


I would like to close with a word to all parents here. I know how earnestly you all labor to preserve this great virtue in your households. I know that you cherish your children’s innocence, and that you would defend it with your very lives. Do not lose heart! Continue to fight the good fight of faith! I know well that you are ridiculed, that the world mocks you every day. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven. You and your children have a gladness, a youthfulness, an indomitable strength which the world can never know. May St. Joseph, great lover of chastity, grant us the grace to serve Jesus and Mary with unspotted minds and hearts, so that, when this short life is finished, we may be counted worthy to ascend the Lord’s holy mountain, and find the joy which He promised us in that Sermon on the Mount: blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.