Thursday, 30 October 2014

A Bit on Reconsidering Liturgy

America, the Jesuit magazine, published an interview with Cardinal Francis George as he prepares to cede pastoral responsibilities for the Archdiocese of Chicago to current Spokane Archbishop Blaise Cupich. The  wide ranging interview touched upon secular hot button political issues, sacerdotal celibacy, clerical sexual abuse and the recent Synod of the Family.

But Cardinal George's comments about Liturgy have particular as the third anniversary of the implementation of the New (Third) Translation of the Roman Missal approaches.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Prophetic Dust

Yesterday, the dust was from Africa, in a wind storm called ghibli, and today the wind is from Turkey and is called the grecale, I think.

The point is that I and my flat are covered in dust. This dust reminds me of the ruins of the great cathedrals of Northern Africa and Turkey, the ruins of Christianity, which no longer exists in any of the seven great churches mentioned in the book of Revelation.

Dust is the symbol of humanity and Livy called the sirocco vulturnus. 

We are the stuff of the wind and rain.

Genesis 3:19Douay-Rheims 

19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken: for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return.
Walking around with sand in one's eyes makes one aware of one's own body's destination.
It is a good thing to think about death and the fact that all of us will be dust. 
My sister is dust and so is her casket. This does not bother me as I grew up going to funerals and hearing sermons on the Four Last Things.
But, it does not hurt us to think of our own passing from life to death to life again.
When I am wiping up dust from the floor, the counter tops, my clothes, shoes and even my breviary, I wonder if some of this dust comes from the old basilica in which St. Augustine gave his sermons.
Am I cleaning away sacred bits? This dust is prophetic, reminding me of whom I am and the fact that this beautiful city which I see before me could be a pile of dust in the very near future.
I always wanted to be an archaeologist, and this dust is the dust of centuries. I could be cleaning up part of Tell el-Amarna.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

A Bit on Archbishop Charles Chaput on the Meaning of Christianity and the Family

Even though Archbishop Charles Chaput was not a participant in the Extraordinary Synod on the Family at the Vatican, the Archbishop of Philadelphia certainly had some strong opinions about the Synod.  After delivering a lecture titled  "Strangers in a Strange Land" at a First Things symposium in Manhattan, Archbishop Chaput was asked the Extraordinary Synod.

Archbishop Chaput opined:  “I was very disturbed by what happened [at the synod]. I think confusion is of the devil, and I think the public image that came across was one of confusion".  

Sunday, 19 October 2014

On Blogging....

This blog helps me as much as it does my readers. I wrote months ago on my own blog how I meditate with a pen in my hand, as did Blessed Cardinal Newman. Some of us work out insights in writing. 

But, since August, I have seriously considered dropping that blog for three reasons.

First, as God shows me more and more of my hidden sins, those predominant faults, the more I realize I 
have no right to write about anything.

Second, the times are such that people must now make decisions and stop reading how to be perfect, and 
become perfect. One can only share so much and then it is time for readers to act.

Third, being in the Dark Night is exhausting. I cannot imagine how Mother Teresa kept going in fifty years of 
the Dark Night. Will power keeps me going...sometimes passion.

But, I cannot yet leave off the blog...not yet. I keep waiting to hear that clear voice I heard to start, stop and re-start again.

My blogging is a work of love and passion, for God and for the Church, which is all of you out there in the 

But, knowing how much I am the wounded healer becomes more and more of a burden.

Today, I read this, by the Pope Emeritus:

"Redemption is not 'wellness' it is not about basking in self-indulgence; on the contrary it is a liberation from imprisonment in self-absorption. This liberation comes at a price, the anguish of the Cross."

Being a writer demands some sense of self-absorption. One must be a wordsmith, working with ideas on paper, 
on the computer, moving pieces of type around mentally in order to communicate clearly.

But, for those of us called to write, the action is part of who we are as well as what we do.

To break through the self-absorption, one must reflect and pray much, and, listen. I must daily listen to God and 
listen to His People.

My liberation from sin comes at a price. Someday, God will clearly say, "Stop writing."

That day has not come, yet.

But, I wait on orders, knowing that more of me will die when I have to give up blogging.

Today, in the Carmelite Church where I went to Mass, I saw the large modern stained-glass window of 
Blessed Titus Brandsma. A bit of comfort, as there is a window of him in the Carmelite Church I attended 
regularly the summer of 2013. It was almost as if he was saying-"No, you cannot quit yet. Keep going."

The Cross is writing in the pain of knowing I have no right to write, that my readers need to out-grow me, and 
that so many I love the most do not read this blog. I write for the absent ones as well as you.

I encourage the members of this Guild to write while the sun shines. Darkness is coming for us all soon.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

A Challenge to English Lay People

thanks to wikimedia
I have loved three men in my life. One I was engaged to and did not marry, one I married, and one I was neither engaged to or married.

Now, it has always been interesting to me that these great loves of my life were English.

One, was an English Jewish convert, whose family had been in London since the 16th century. One was descended from the Danes and the Normans from the 8th century and 11th century. The third came from old English stock as far back as the 12th century.

My great love for England and my passionate love for the Faith and the Church in England became focused like a laser pointer in these relationships. 

In each encounter, I learned to love England more and more, as well as loving the person more and more. The blood and bone, soul and mind of these three men taught me to love England and the Catholic Church in England more and more. Each one taught me something new about my own faith as well.

There is no mistaking that this all was part of a plan in God's Mind to keep alive in me a passionate desire to bring others to Christ in England and more so, to strengthen the Church in England in any way that I could. 

My missionary heart and my woman's heart merged into one big flame at these three different times. From the one marriage, came my son, the seminarian, no accident, but a God incident of the first degree.

He is named after two martyrs and a bishop. He is English through and through. He is dedicated to Mary. He loves England, our home.

Now, my love for these men has not faded. It has changed, but love is love, and if from God and not tainted by lust or selfishness, love brings one to God.  Love is the stairway to God. One may suffer loss, but love transcends loss, and becomes the grist of prayer and sacrifice. And, real love of a Catholic sister for her Catholic brothers never ends. It is the love of heaven.

Of course, because of circumstances, I was not allowed to be in these relationships. In each case, my love was not answered with love or constant commitment. In other words, I was spurned.

Today, in Adoration, God showed me that He is in the same position, and let me experience through my very soul and heart a tiny bit of His tremendous love for the laity of England and for the Church.

Christ's love remains unanswered, unappreciated, unrecognized by the vast majority of English men and women. He yearns for His Mother's Dowry to be renewed, strong and pure. He loves England in a special way. Christ will not lead Mary back to England until there is a band of strong men to greet her. Spiritually, we need that renaissance of holy knights.

In my own small way. God has let me join Him in His love--a teeny-tiny way.

But, here is what is absolutely wonderful. God wants the laity of England renewed in order to renew the clergy. Most people think the other way around. No, God wants strong, dedicated, loyal lay people to renew the Church by evangelizing, by creating strong families, by forming saints in the home, by nurturing vocations.

It is not the other way around. God wants to raise up strong men and women to challenge the mediocrity of the clergy in England.

God wants that old Anglo-Saxon and Norman courage, that rich Hebrew heritage, that Danish independence, to stand up and create a new Church, full of traditional Catholics who are leaders.

They are out there. I know some. I have loved some.

God is calling England to renewal right now in the midst of clerical crises.

It is up to the laity to respond, now, and not with arguments or antagonism, but with love and real leadership.

Bede, Anselm, Boniface, Richard of Chichester, Etheldreda, Stephen Harding,the great mystics, came out of the same stock which died at Tyburn. They were formed on English soil, by English culture, the English Church.

Where are those courageous hearts now? Where are these daring men and women? Where is the new cloud of witnesses?

Where are the recusants, the remnant?

This is the call of the laity, to keep the Church going in hard times when the clergy is either too weak or decimated by persecution. 

With great love in my heart for my adopted country, which has also spurned me, I pray for the renewal of the recusant heart and mind. I desire so much to help the Church in England. Let Mary come and guide us all again.

Ave Maris Stella, guide us, lead us to forgiveness and light. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Final Reminder: Exploration Meeting


Saturday 18th October

The Crypt of St. Mary's Church

West Croydon

 70 Wellesley Road, Croydon CR0 2AR

An Introduction to the School
Presentation on the Free School application process
by Mr Mark Hancock
Assistant Principal of Strood Academy, Kent
(co-writer of successful application for Trinity Free School, Sevenoaks)

Q&A session

For further information:
The entrance to the Crypt is from the exterior of the church, towards rear on north aisle wall
(i.e. the left hand side of the building as one faces the main entrance) 

Some of the Confusion Surrounding the Synod of the Family Interim Report

The Extraordinary Synod on the Family is a two week gathering at the  Vatican of over 250  Bishops to grapple with “pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.”  Each day was dedicated to contemplating a different issue. This Extraordinary Synod will produce a working document which will lay a foundation for an ordinary synod in 2015 which would implement any formal changes to church guidelines touching about difficult family matters as well as a prospective Apostolic Exhortation.

 The Synod Fathers heard from selected lay Catholics from across the globe to illuminate some of the challenging issues facing the modern family.  “Synod 2014"  touched upon hot button issues such as: cohabitation; divorced Catholics who civilly remarry, contraception, homosexuality; and the current elite cause celebre same sex so called marriage. Considering the subject matter the secular media keenly monitored the Synod and promoted any signals of progressive politics.

Unfortunately for the faithful not participating in the proceedings, there are conflicting signals coming from the Extraordinary Synod on the Family.  For example, Pope Francis encouraged participants to “speak fearlessly and listen humbly.”  Pope Francis spoke out against bishops afraid to disagree with the Pope when he said: “This is no good.  This is not synodality.”  Archbishop of Durbin, South Africa Wilfrid Cardinal Napier certainly followed this exhortation.

 Despite assurances from the Vatican Press Office at the start of the Synod that there would be no doctrinal changes only better strategies for communicating the truths of the family, the secular and liberal Catholic media reports  as demonstrated by Jesuit Fr. James Martin report of “stunning changes” on how the Catholic Church approaches the LBGTQQ? persons. This characterizes the Synod of the Media, which capitalizes on the media blackout to interject their Synod spin.


 Mid way through the Synod, a relatio post disceptationem was released which summarized the large group session discussion for the small working groups.  Progressives praised the relatio, implying that it marked monumental changes rather than discussion points.  Conservatives are concerned that final pastoral positions may be preordained.


  Cardinal Burke's reaction to the relatio has be likened to aftershocks to the pastoral earthquake of the synod summary


After the relatio was released and not universally welcomed, the Synod did not hold a regular media briefing with questions and answers. Catholic media sources like the Archdiocese of New York's Catholic Channel on Sirus XM satellite radio went wall-to-wall to correct impressions of the relatio.

 The groundswell of dissent coming from within the Synod demonstrates that those pulling the strings did  not appreciate how the interim report would be proclaimed as the gospel truth in the so called Synod of the Media which has its hot button issues on sexuality. In addition, the relatio did not reflect a balanced view of the discussion points.  Moreover, this relatio concentrated pastoral approaches without clearly reaffirming Church teachings.



Saturday, 11 October 2014

Pray for the Repose of the Soul of Richard Collins

Richard Collin's excellent blog, 'Linen on the Hedgerow', has been updated by his family to tell his readers the sad news that Richard, a devoted and caring husband, father and grandfather, died peacefully this morning surrounded by loved ones, fortified by the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church. An entertaining blogger, kind, humourous and gifted, courageous, honest, humble, always courteous and dignified, devoted to Christ, to His Catholic Church, to the Mass of Ages, to Our Blessed Lady and the Saints, as well as to his wife and family, we are now asked by his family to pray for the repose of Richard's soul.

Pray too, for his family, those closest to him, who have lost such a good and noble man. Richard was blessed to receive the Last Rites and Holy Mass was celebrated in the Extraordinary Form at his bedside. May he enjoy forever the praise, adoration and worship of the Triune God and the ceaseless joys of Heaven. May the soul of Richard Collins, a member of the Guild of Blessed Titus, our dear brother in the Lord, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of our Lord and God, rest in peace.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

A Bit on the Bayonne Nun Who Was Beatifed-- Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich

On October 4, 2014, Miriam Teresa Demjanovich will be beatified at the Gothic styled Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey.  When Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints Cardinal Angelo Amato declares Demjanovich beata, it will be the first time it has been done on American soil.


One may wonder why the Church recognizes Demjanovich entrance into heaven. While Miriam was a postulate and novice, she only took her vows in articulo mortis in April, 1927.  Demjanovich's cause for beatification was advanced by the Sisters of Charity in 1945 because of her saintly life as  her striving for perfection in her religious life, her spiritual writings and intercessions with God.
In December, 2013, Pope Francis approved the miracle of a boy whose eyesight was completely restored from macular degeneration after praying for the intercessions of Miriam Teresa Demjanovich.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

February 24, 303 XV

This is part of a longer series on the persecution of Diocletian. One can use the link at the bottom for more posts.

The Romans had done persecutions before. What was the difference? Diocletian helped calm down the stress of financial difficulties.

He increased taxes, built up the army, made it into a military state which were all things that worked before.

What was the difference which caused the persecution of the Catholics?

Two things caused the hatred of the Catholics-one the stress of the people being on the edge of the decline of the civilization.

Second, the return to rejuvenate the glory that was Rome was based on a conservatism, of a system which was outdated, as the new system emerging was feudalism, which was local government, a new idea, as the empire idea was passe.

Rome was twice the size of the old USSR. The empire model was ending fast, the imperial system was old and weary, whereas the local systems were growing.

The Senate was made up of local Roman families, not world travelers, like the emperors or the army.

Rome was reliant on the supply lines, corn from Egypt, and other far trade routes. Over-centralization killed Rome-Rome could not re-invent itself.

A city like Rome has never existed since then, never. A real center of politics, technology, trade and it was increasingly reliant on charismatic leaders like Diocletian.


Stress is now in the States. I see it and I feel it. Europeans feel the stress. The infrastructures we take for granted are
crumbling, The same was true in 303. The inside  of the empire was crumbling. Therefore, a scapegoat had to be found.

The Catholics became the scapegoats because they were the largest minority group. They were at least 20% to 30% of the population. They were seen as a threat to the old common good.

There were many Catholics in the military. And, they could command armies, and even become emperor.

But, they did not worship the common gods. They did not worship the State.

They were THE threat to the world order. A huge system which was NOT pagan threatened the system.

Yes! We are on the edge now.

I can see and feel the stress here in America where I write, and abroad in many countries. Stress will lead to persecution. It has all happened before.....

Catholicism could not be adopted by the pagans, as other cults were. Catholicism could not be put into the melting pot.
The West is a melting pot, or has been. And the separation of church and state is ending, as the state will create a religion of secularism.

Are you getting ready?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Report: Catholic Identity Conference 2014

For the third consecutive year, the Catholic Identity Conference was held in Weirton, West Virginia, to bring together a broad array of tradition minded Catholics to worship in the Traditional Roman Rite and to share ideas on current issues in the Church.  What follows is a brief report on this year's conference, held 12-14 September.

On Friday, 12 September 2014, Canon Jean-Marie Moreau of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest offered a Solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary at St. Peter Church in Steubenville, Ohio, to open the Catholic Identity Conference 2014.  Canon Moreau preached on the meaning of the name of Mary and of its power, referencing the lifting of the Siege of Vienna in 1683.

St. Peter Church, in the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio, just across the Ohio River from Weirton, West Virginia, offers the Traditional Mass every Sunday, however, this was the first Solemn High Mass to be offered at St. Peter's in the age of Summorum Pontificum.  In addition to conference participants, who hailed from as far away as Oregon and Maine, Michigan and Mississippi, the opening Mass was attended by a number of local parishioners.

After Mass, at a hotel in Weirton, Dr. John Rao, of the Roman Forum, set the theme for the conference with a talk examining the strengths and weaknesses of the "Old Evangelization" with an emphasis on personalism, and the problems it created, and continues to create, in the Church.

St. Peter Church
Steubenville, Ohio
The second day of the Conference began with a Low Mass, again offered by Canon Moreau, at Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Weirton, West Virginia.  This church, originally a Polish parish and built in 1967, had never had the Traditional Mass offered on its altar until the first Catholic Identity Conference held in 2012.

After Mass, there was a full day of conference speakers who examined various aspects of both the Old and New Evangelization.  All of the talks were well presented and very informative.  Audio CD's of the conference talks are available for purchase online.  The day culminated with a dinner, at which Fr. Gregory Pendergraft, of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, gave the keynote address.

The conference concluded on Sunday, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, after a High Mass offered by Fr. Ladis J. Cizik, a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Weirton.  Fr. Cizik preached on the centrality of the sign of the cross to the Catholic faith and in the Traditional Mass.  He also blessed the congregation with a relic of the True Cross.

One of the primary objectives of the Conference organizer, Mr. M. Eric Frankovitch, an attorney in Weirton, was to bring together the various strands of Traditionalism, that sometimes seem to be at odds with one another.  In that regard, this year's Conference boasted an impressive array of participants and attendees that included both ordained and lay members and adherents to the following organizations: the Society of Saint Pius X; the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter; the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest; the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate; the Fatima Center; the Knights of Columbus; Juventutem; diocesan clergy from four dioceses; prominent Catholic academics, journalists, and bloggers, as well as parishioners from parishes and chapels of the various traditional orders and diocesan Latin Mass communities.

This was accomplished both in the formal conference talks, and in the informal social gatherings after the conference sessions.  Participants were able to talk with each other, share ideas, and express opinions about the current situation in the Church and in the world.  Needless to say, there was a wide spectrum of ideas, and not everyone agreed with everyone else, but, they all believed in the teachings of the Church on faith and morals, and were willing to listen to other viewpoints regarding problems, potential solutions, and policy.  There was no attempt to silence or marginalize people who have legitimate concerns and who are trying to seek solutions.

Many participants, who had attended previous Catholic Identity Conferences, commented that this was the best Conference to date, and looked forward to building on the contacts and relationships forged at this year's meeting.

Additional photos of the conference, and a brief summary of each of the conference talks, can be found here.

Knights of Columbus Latin Mass

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

American Bishops Encouraging Fast

The International Prayer and Fasting Coalition are being supported by the Catholic Church in America, and I hope in Great Britain.

From September 20th through the 28th, Catholics are encouraged to join all Christians in the world to fast for those who are being persecuted.  The main objects of prayer are the end of persecutions (peace in the world), worldwide conversion to Christianity, and the building of pro-life cultures.

Only a world under Christ can truly be at peace. More and more, countries are hindered in missionary activities, but we can all pray and fast anywhere.

Suggestions for the week are attending daily Mass, saying the rosary daily, attending Adoration, saying the Divine Mercy chaplet daily.

An opening all-day prayer vigil will occur in Washington, D. C.  Watch this space for details.

Here is the official website.
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