Saturday, December 25, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
TO THE CATHOLIC CLERGY ON PRIESTLY SANCTITY
Apostolic Exhortation given by Pope St. Pius X on August 4, 1908.
This letter by Pope St. Pius X is an essential read for seminarians, especially in today's day and age. Our seminarians are being formed to become the next generation of priests. We are in desperate need of holy priests. Priests who will set aside creature comforts to offer themselves totally and completely as did our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Priests who will emulate St. Jean Vianney in sacrifices and penances and who will emulate the defense and protection of our holy Catholic Faith as did St. Pius X.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
I have recently thought of the question on how to survive college and not only keep the Catholic faith, but to grow in it. This is a very important question as countless Catholics enter into the secular or at best conservative colleges and universities in North America each year.
The majority of Catholics today do not think enough about the moral implication of current university and college life, or are just simply not aware of the circumstances in most universities and colleges. Traditional Catholics are most likely made aware and are better prepared, yet they are the very small minority. So what about the rest of the world? What kind of advice if any can be directed toward them? Whether they are aware of the dangers or not, they are going. So is there hope for the Catholic entering into the University or College life? Given some guidance and much prayer, we have to hope.
University and college campuses are a haven of moral relativism and vice. It is a place of freedom, liberation and acceptance, at least in the narrow sense from parental guidance and supervision. Real freedom is only found in the truth, not in false ideologies and relativism. In terms of acceptance, anyone is bound to find someone of similar interest and is most likely not to be segregated the same way one can be in high school. Sexual immorality, immaturity, drunkenness and idleness are common marks of college life today. The Remnant has an excellent article that serves as a good aid in preparing to enter into university or college here:
So what to do? How does one prepare for the battle! How does one put on the armour of Christ as St. Paul teaches in Ephesians 6:10-18
"Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God)."
Here are a list of guidelines that I have come up with that I believe are necessary to survive College and University. These guidelines apply whether you are attending a well known party school, or a more well known Catholic university such as the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
1. Establish home base: Find the local Catholic parishes, Newman Center, or Catholic Chaplaincy. Warning! The next step will be to determine whether or not they are acceptable?? Do they teach relativism, or heresy? If the Traditional Latin Mass is not available, do they have a reverent alternative? At best one may only be able to find a conservative parish and or priest. You need to know where you are going to Mass every Sunday (your bare minimum obligation) and on weekdays. If one has not already done so, making the practice of confession a regular habit – every week or two (or as soon as possible when fallen into a state of mortal sin) - will aid against the moral slide that countless students fall into.
2. Equip your dorm room (or off campus room). Place a crucifix (blessed) on your wall. Have a priest come over to bless the room. (Who knows what went on in your very room over the previous years.) It is very important to have the room cleansed (blessed by a priest). You will be spending around 40% of your college life in your room.
3. Pack your weapon! The Rosary is a sacramental weapon against evil. Have one available in your room and one on you at all times. The daily recitation of the Rosary is mandatory in the battle against evil, and in the acquisition of virtue.
4. Holy Water. Have a bottle in your room and use it liberally.
5. Good books. Besides your textbooks, a Good Bible, a Catechism (Baltimore Catechism 3, Trent, etc), and good spiritual reading such as books on the Saints should occupy your bookshelf.
The more time and effort you take to prepare from the get go, the better you will be 4 years down the road on graduation day. Don’t forget this is your soul we are talking about, and your time at university or college will determine so much more than just your career.
Friday, August 20, 2010
For those of you who do not know, this statement was a response to Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae, essentially rejecting the Encyclical by rejecting the Church's teaching on artificial contraception. To this day the Winnipeg statement has not been retracted.
Friday, August 13, 2010
The ancient Mass protected the intellectual health of the Church for at least fifteen centuries because language and ritual escorted the mind and heart toward the transcendent majesty of God. The unambiguous scent of sacrifice enveloped the ancient Mass and properly oriented Catholics toward their need for redemption.
The ancient Mass safeguards culture because it prohibits the order of the two great commandments from becoming inverted, thus uncompromisingly promulgating and protecting the truth about God and man. It effortlessly unveils beauty because it incarnates the Catholic view that reality is a matter of discovery, not of intervention."
Father James McLucas. Latin Mass Magazine, Spring 2007
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Fr. emphasizes the need to pray the rosary every day as well as to stop and pray the Angelus at noon, and 6pm. And 6am if you are up. "Why do we do that, why did the Church develop such a custom as certain hours to pray? Because every six hours is too little. But at least every 6 hours we must remember the very act by which we are saved."
Friday, July 30, 2010
It has been about 4 years now that I have been trying to get my hands on AleSmith Speedway Stout, an American Stout and one of the top ten beers in the world (according to ratebeer.com.) My parents were driving back home from Florida when a light bulb went off in my head. I would call every rated beer store along the I-75 from Cincinnati, Ohio to Detroit, Michigan (Ratebeer.com maps out every beer store in the world). I was looking for Founders Breakfast Stout, Bells Expedition Stout, and AleSmith Speedway Stout. A few stores had the Expedition Stout (which I already have), and the Breakfast Stout was no where to be found. Finally one of the last stores I contacted had a few bottles of AleSmith Speedway Stout. Miami Valley Wine and Spirits in Tipp City, Ohio, about an hour north of Cincinnati and literally right of the I-75. I put a few Wee Heavy's on hold as well.
The only problem is that I ordered 3 Speedway Stouts and 2 Wee Heavy's. A slight mistake here, but I can't complain. I am happy to have 2 beers that have avoided me for 4 years. See link for top 50 beer ratings: www.ratebeer.com/beer/top-50/
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
The Benedictine Sisters of the Abbaye Sainte-Madeleine du Barroux in France (a traditional Catholic order linked in the sidebar under vocations www.barroux.org/monial/monialpres.html) have signed on with the Major recording label Decca Records.
Father Zuhlsdorf has the story here: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2010/07/traditional-benedictine-nuns-in-france-sign-major-recording-contract/
From the Decca Records website:
An enclosed order of Benedictine nuns is set to storm the charts after signing a deal with Universal Music, the world's leading record company.
The Nuns of the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de l'Annonciation, from a remote region of France near Avignon, won a worldwide search to find the world's finest female singers of Gregorian Chant. The search took in over 70 convents, including communities as far afield as North America and Africa. The Nuns' new label-mates include The Rolling Stones, Amy Winehouse, U2 and convent-educated Lady GaGa herself. (Lady GaGa was educated at Sacred Heart Convent School in New York City which is not an actual convent)
The Nuns are part of an ancient order which dates back to the 6th Century. They continue the tradition of leading a hidden life, literally behind closed doors. To remain 'secluded' to the outside world, any visitors, even family, must communicate with the sisters through a grill. Once vows have been taken to live in the Convent, the sisters remain there until their death.
"We never sought this, it came looking for us" said Reverend Mother Abbess."At first we were worried it would affect our cloistered life, so we asked St. Joseph in prayer. Our prayers were answered, and we thought that this album would be a good thing if it touches people's lives and helps them find peace".
To avoid intrusion into their daily lives, the Nuns will film their own TV commercial and photograph their own album cover. The self-sufficient Nuns, who count amongst them a plumber, an engineer, an electrician, a silk-weaver and a dental assistant, have already forbidden record company bosses from entering their cloister.
Dickon Stainer, Managing Director of Decca Records, said, "I passed the contract through the grill, they signed it and passed it back. Although the nuns do not leave the Convent, the whole world will now hear the true beauty of their singing".
The Nuns' album will feature the most ancient form of Gregorian Chant, which the sisters sing eight times a day, and was the first music ever to be written down. Tom Lewis, Head of A&R at Decca Records, says, "When you hear the sound of nuns chanting, it's like an immediate escape from the challenges, stresses, noise and pace of modern living. You're given a glimpse of a secret world of peace and calm".
This signing follows the worldwide success of the Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz whose 2008 Universal Music album, 'Chant: Music For Paradise', sold over 1 million copies.
The Nuns' album, 'Voices - Chant from Avignon', will be released worldwide in November.
Double click the video to open youtube to view.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
To this day I cannot recall a sermon dealing with purgatory. Even outside of the Mass purgatory is rarely mentioned. We know that there is a big liberal camp who do not believe in purgatory. But you have to wonder with the more conservatives who do not deny purgatory, but have this sort of nonchalant attitude towards it. I have heard more than a few times the saying, "I am aiming for heaven, but if I get purgatory I will be happy!" I think the mentality is that since those in purgatory can only go to heaven, then it is not so bad a place at all. It really does not matter how much time one must spend there, or what one will experience while in purgatory because you will get to heaven regardless.
Another problem is that some cradle Catholics and many who have converted to the faith, measure themselves against secular society, or their past lives. They think because they are practicing Catholics or are now no longer living the life they once used to, everything will be just fine. The call to be perfect, to be saints is just an afterthought that will only apply to a special few. To help with this mentality and the mentality that purgatory is just a stop over to heaven, I will quote a few stories from Fr. F.X Schouppe's book "Purgatory, Explained by the Lives and Legends of The Saints":
"The historian Bzovius, in his History of Poland, under the date 1598, relates a miraculous event which happened to the Venerable Stanislaus Chocosca, one of the luminaries of the Order of St. Dominic in Poland. One day, whilst this Religious, full of charity for the departed, recited the Rosary, he saw appear near him a soul all enveloped in flames. As she besought him to have pity on her, and to alleviate the intolerable sufferings which the fire of Divine Justice caused her to endure, the holy man asked her if this fire was more painful than that of earth? "Ah!" she cried, "all the fires of earth compared to that of Purgatory are like a refreshing breeze." Stanislaus could scarcely believe it. "I wish," he said, "to have a proof. If God will permit, for your relief, and for the good of my soul, I consent to suffer a part of your pains." "Alas! you could not do this. Know that no human being could endure such torment and live. However, God will permit you to feel it in a light degree. Stretch forth your hand." Chocosca extended his hand, and the departed let fall a drop of sweat, or at least of a liquid which resembled it. At the same instant the Religious uttered a piercing cry and fell fainting to the ground, so frightfully intense was the pain. His brethren ran to the spot and hastened to give him the assistance which his condition required. When restored to consciousness, he related the terrible event which had occurred, and of which they had a visible proof. "Ah! my dear Fathers," he continued, "if we knew the severity of the Divine chastisements, we should never commit sin, nor should we cease to do penance in this life, in order to avoid expiation in the next."
Here is another story in the book quoted by St. Robert Bellarmine:
"In the first place, let us see what the pious and learned Cardinal Bellarmine quotes from Venerable Bede. England has been witness in our own days, writes Bede, to a singular prodigy, which may be compared to the miracles of the first ages of the Church. To excite the living to fear the death of the soul, God permitted that a man, after having slept the sleep of death, should return to life and reveal what he had seen in the other world. The frightful, unheard-of details which he relates, and his life of extraordinary penance, which corresponded with his words, produced a lively impression through out the country.....
There was in Northumberland a man named Drithhem, who, with his family, led a most Christian life. He fell sick, and his malady increasing day by day, he was soon reduced to extremity, and died, to the great desolation and grief of his wife and children. The latter passed the night in tears by the remains, but the following day, before his interment, they saw him suddenly return to life, arise, and place himself in a sitting posture. At this sight they were seized with such fear that they all took to flight, with the exception of the wife, who, trembling, remained alone with her risen husband. He reassured her immediately: "Fear not," he said; "it is God who restores to me my life; He wishes to show in my person a man raised from the dead. I have yet long to live upon earth, but my new life will be very different from the one I led heretofore." Then he arose full of place, and there remained long in prayer. He been dear to him upon earth, to whom he declared that he would live only to prepare himself for death and advised them to do likewise. Then having divided his property into three parts, he gave one to his children, another to his wife, and reserved the third part to give in alms. When he had distributed all to the poor, and had reduced himself to extreme indigence, he went and knocked at the door of a monastery, and begged the Abbot to receive him as a penitent Religious, who would be a servant to all others.
The Abbot gave him a retired cell, which he occupied for the rest of his life. Three exercises divided his time - prayer, the hardest labor, and extraordinary penances. The most rigorous fasts he accounted as nothing. In winter he was seen to plunge himself into the frozen water, and remain there for hours and hours in prayer, whilst he recited the whole Psalter of David. The mortified life of Drithelm, his downcast eyes, even his features, indicated a soul struck with fear of the judgments of God. He kept a perpetual silence, but being pressed to relate, for the edification of others, what God had manifested to him after his death, he thus described his vision:
"On leaving my body, I was received by a benevolent person, who took me under his guidance. His face was brilliant, and he appeared surrounded with light. He arrived at a large deep valley of immense extent, all fire on one side, all ice and snow on the other; on the one hand braziers and caldrons of flame, on the other the most intense cold and the blast of a glacial wind.
"This mysterious valley was filled with innumerable souls, which, tossed as by a furious tempest, threw themselves from one side to the other. When they could no longer endure the violence of the fire, they sought relief amidst the ice and snow; but finding only a new torture, they cast themselves again into the midst of the flames.
"I contemplated in a stupor these continual vicissitudes of horrible torments, and as far as my sight could extend, I saw nothing but a multitude of souls which suffered without ever having repose. Their very aspect inspired me with fear. I thought at first that I saw Hell; but my guide, who walked before me, turned to me and said, 'No; this is not, as you think, the Hell of the reprobate. Do you know,' he continued, 'what place this is?' 'No,' I answered. 'Know,' he resumed, 'that this valley, where you see so much fire and so much ice, is the place where the souls of those are punished who during life, have neglected to confess their sins, and who have deferred their conversion to the end.....
Such was the recital of Drithelm. When asked why he so rudely treated his body, why he plunged himself into frozen water, he replied that he had seen other torments, and cold of another kind"
There are many stories similar to the ones I have quoted above, stories of Christians who lived very saintly lives, yet due to the slightest fault, would have to undergo much suffering in Purgatory.
Knowing and keeping in mind the reality of purgatory will motivate us to do more penance, fasting, and indulgences in order to remit our temporal punishment due to sin. It will also enable us through compassion to pray for the souls suffering in Purgatory.
Purgatory makes up one of the three parts of the Church, the Church Suffering.
The Church Militant (Christians on Earth)
The Church Suffering (Christians in Purgatory)
The Church Triumphant (Christians in Heaven)
We, the Church Militant, must assist our brothers and sisters in purgatory (The Church Suffering) with our constant prayers, especially praying for those who have no one to pray for them.
Our Lord showed St. Gertrude the Great that the following prayer would release a vast number of souls from purgatory each time it is said:
Eternal Father, I offer you the most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in purgatory. Amen
We must strive to live perfect Christian lives, free of sin, to avoid as much time as possible in Purgatory. We must also aid the Church Suffering with our prayers and penances, as they will return the favor and aid us when they are in Heaven.
Here is a short sermon on Purgatory:
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Just a few days ago I ran into a friend who is about to get married in a Markham parish, by a priest from St. Gabriel's. Remembering what I was told just a few weeks before, I decided to look up St. Gabriel's. Was I ever in for a shock. I was expecting an ugly Church built between the 60's and 90's, or an older one that was "wreckovated." But I did not expect a new church that does not look at all like a church. St. Gabriels was completed in August 2006 at a cost of 10.5 million. See the picture below.
This building reminds me of the computer science building at York University.
Which one is a Church?
It could easily pass for a community center.
St. Gabriel's church has been designed to embody the eco-theology of Passionist Father Thomas Berry and his belief that the most important challenge of our time is to establish a mutually-enhancing human-earth relationship. This from here (click the link):
OK, so now we are on to something. So who is Father Thomas Berry?
Fr. Thomas Berry, C.P. (November 9, 1914 – June 1, 2009) was a Catholic priest of the Passionist order, cultural historian and ecotheologian (although cosmologist and geologian — or “Earth scholar” — were his preferred descriptors).
Among advocates of deep ecology and "ecospirituality" he is famous for proposing that a deep understanding of the history and functioning of the evolving universe is a necessary inspiration and guide for our own effective functioning as individuals and as a species. He is considered a leader in the tradition of Teilhard de Chardin.Well that explains things. Read the rest here:
Are there not Church authorities who could have prevented this Church from being built? This is one of the worst Catholic Church interiors I have ever seen. I also wonder if there are kneelers on those pews?
The Stations of the Cross.
Did they consider that the Stations are meant to be prayed, and are to be an aid to entering into prayer?
Here is a video interview with the architect. You can really get a sense of his architectural theology or lack thereof by the language he uses. It seems that worshiping the universe was more important than worshiping Christ in the design of this building.
Thestar.com - VideoZone - Architect's new twist on stained glass
The sad thing is unlike the Churches that have been gutted but can be put back together (you can fix many Churches by putting back the high altar, communion rail, stain glass etc.), this Church needs to be bulldozed. There is no hope for this structure. A High Altar would not work here. And it was just built for a large sum of money. What a disappointment. But I can't complain too much, as this is not nearly as bad as the new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles that cost 189 million dollars to build.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Hillsong church can trace its routes back to Frank Houston who is
an admitted child abuser.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Zenit has posted a very good interview with Fr. Calvin Goodwin FSSP.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Audio: The Battle for the Ancient Mass
Click the link above: Father Calvin Goodwin, FSSP, from Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska discusses the history and struggles associated with the Traditional Latin Mass in this hour long talk.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Over the last year I have compiled more than enough resources to make (in my opinion) an irrefutable case for communion on the tongue. Below are the links to all the resources I have compiled for this position. Want to learn why communion on the tongue is a more reverent way to receive our Lord? Want to make a strong case for communion on the tongue?
Here are the links (I will continue to add to this list):
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
The letters are arriving
What can you tell us?
Furthermore, I invite you, dear Brothers, to send to the Holy See an account of your experiences, three years after this Motu Proprio has taken effect. If truly serious difficulties come to light, ways to remedy them can be sought.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
This comes from Father Zuhlsdorf's blog, WDTPRSHere is the link:
And here the excerpt:
From a reader:
Hey Father, I wanted to share with you an anecdote from my day at work. I’m a consultant manager at a department store and my job consists of walking around and assisting customers and getting feedback about our store. I noticed an older gentleman in a plaid oxford and slacks sitting in my favorite patio-furniture chair, so I went over to ask him if he loved it as much as I did. Over the course of the conversation it came out that he was an Irish priest visiting, and I had been a seminarian for four years.UPDATE 2228 GMT:
We discussed a few things but as soon as I found out that he was a priest, my attitude changed noticeably, so sayeth a co-worker. When Father rose to leave, he shook my hand, and out of habit, I kissed it, and Father began to weep. He told me that no one had kissed his hand in thirty years, and it suddenly "brought forth what a priest, in his dignity, really is." Father then embraced me on the sales floor and told me, still crying, that he was going to go back to the house where he was staying and put clericals on and continue wearing them in public from now on, even when on vacation.
In short, even though this Priest of God was not in clericals, a fairly simple, and rote act informed the coworkers, and even Father, I think, that he was a VIP. Incidentally, it gave me a window to explain to some coworkers about the nature of the priesthood. So it really made my day!
A priest reader sends this from the UK:
Two and a half decades ago, as a newly ordained priest I was venturing out on to the street, when an elderly lady came up to me grasped my hand and kissed it. “Oh get up get up” I said, with all the arrogance of the young, “I am only an ordinary man you know”. The woman looked at me with gentle humour and perhaps pity in her eyes “Father” she said “I am a wife and a mother, I have a husband, I have three sons, I know how ordinary a man can be. It is the Priesthood of Christ I reverence; a priesthood you are privileged to share. Never forget that Father”. I haven’t or the Lady for whom I frequently pray with gratitude.
With thanks for the work you do and the assurrance of my prayers.
Friday, May 14, 2010
(Update) Patrick Madrid posted on this video. Link: http://patrickmadrid.blogspot.com/2010/06/contempervent-sunday-come-as-you-are.html
Friday, May 7, 2010
In March, a few of my friends and I embarked on a road trip to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. On our way we stopped at the FSSP apostolate in St. Catherines for Mass, and Our Lady of Victory Basilica (one of the most beautiful Churches in the United States) in Lackawanna New York. While in the Pittsburgh area we visited St. Anthony's Chapel with over five thousand relics (the largest reliquary outside of the Vatican), St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe Pennsylvania (the first Benedictine Monastery in North America), a quick stop at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and St. Boniface Church for Sunday Mass (The Pittsburgh Latin Mass Society). Add sunny 23 degrees C (74 Fahrenheit) weather in March, and it made for an incredible trip.
If you are in the Pittsburgh area on a Sunday, make sure you attend the High Mass at St. Boniface Church. Here is the link to the Pittsburgh Latin Mass Society. www.pittsburghlatinmass.org
This picture was taken in the museum in Our Lady of Victory Basilica, and below is a picture of one of the side altars.
The remaining pictures include driving through Pittsburgh the first evening, the following morning at St. Vincents Archabbey in Latrobe PA, inside St. Anthony's Chapel in Pittsburgh, and finally Sunday morning before High Mass at St. Boniface Church in Pittsburgh.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The Baltimore Catechism 3 is a must own resource for all Catholic teenagers. In fact, It is should be owned by all adults as well. The Baltimore Catechism series is essential for all Catholics. Numbers 1 and 2 are for elementary level students, 3 for late elementary and high school students.
From the TAN website.
"With an easy to read question and answer format, the Catechism combines solid Catholic doctrinal teaching with meaningful exposure to Scripture and practical application.
The revival of interest in the Baltimore Catechism reflects Catholics growing realization that a clear, concise presentation of the truths of the Faith is just what people young and old need to appreciate, practice and defend Church teaching. Catechists and parents will find this Catechism an invaluable teaching tool as they prepare children and catechumens to receive the Sacraments and lead authentic Catholic lives. Students will find this an uncomplicated and friendly guide to authentic Catholicism"
This website will help keep you informed.