Sunday, January 30, 2011

FORGET ABOUT CHURCH STUFF, NOW FOR THE REALLY IMPORTANT AND LIFE-CHANGING NEWS!

IT IS
DEGREES IN MACON, GEORGIA TODAY, 70 DEGREES YESTERDAY. THIS IS TRULY HEAVEN ON EARTH IN JANUARY AND WE DESERVE IT!

COMPARING THE OPENING PRAYER OF MASS FOR THE 4TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Where's the Latin?

This is the English translation of the Latin Opening Collect (prayer) in the 1973 Roman Missal. For this missal the Vatican allowed the translation to be what is called an "equivalent" translation even allowing for paraphrasing and ordinary, everyday speak for these prayers in English:

Lord our God,
help us to love you with all our hearts
and to love all men as you love them.


Father Z's slavishly, word for word translation from the original Latin striving to use English words that mean what the Latin means:

Grant us, O Lord our God,
that we may venerate you with our whole mind,
and may love all men with rational good-will.


The new and improved English translation coming a year from today. While the English translation is not slavishly literal, which would be unwise in terms of English sensibilities, it does follow what the Vatican asked English translators to do--to be faithful to the meaning of the original Latin and to be less "street-speak" in the English language:

Grant us, Lord our God,
that we may honor you with all our mind,
and love everyone in truth of heart.

THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF CANADA GIVE SEXUAL ADVICE WITHOUT GIVING TOO MANY DETAILS, THAT MIGHT BE GOOD



The one thing that you hear and see all the time on TV and the other medias is sex talk and action. There are even advice shows.

The one thing you don't hear from the Church anymore is sex talk. Are we too embarrassed? Does the Word of God and Sacred Tradition have no credibility anymore? Has the world's view on sex conquered the truth?

Well the Canadian bishops have taken a stand and have issued a document. YOU CAN READ ALL ABOUT IT BY PRESSING THIS SENTENCE.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

THE LITURGICAL REFORM OF THE NEW TRANSLATION OF THE ENGLISH MASS; FROM THE SILLY TO THE SUBLIME!

From the really stupid and silly:

and the really obnoxiously silly:

All the way to the sublime:

An excerpt from the November 2010 talk by Bishop James D. Conley, auxiliary bishop of Denver:

I don’t want to revisit the errors of the past or tell liturgical horror stories (and we all have them!) But in order to understand the context for this new edition of the Missal, it is important that we understand some of the errors that have crept into our liturgical thinking since the Council.

To illustrate the basic problem, I want to return to the mid-1960s. Many of you know the background of the Servant of God Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. Dorothy was a true radical in the best sense of the word, a prophet of the Church’s social teaching. She was also a devout, traditional, and saintly Catholic.

One day, while Dorothy was away, a young enthusiastic priest came to celebrate Mass at the Catholic Worker house. And he used a coffee cup as a chalice. When Dorothy came home and heard about it, she was scandalized at the sacrilege — that a common household item had been used to consecrate the Precious Blood of Christ. The story goes that she found a trowel and dug a deep hole in the backyard behind the house. Then she kissed the coffee cup and buried it.

Later she wrote about the incident. She said this:

I am afraid I am a traditionalist, in that I do not like to see Mass offered with a large coffee cup as a chalice.… I feel with [Cardinal] Newman that my faith is founded on a creed … “I believe in God, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. And of all things visible and invisible, and in His only Son Jesus Christ, our Lord.”

I believe too that when the priest offers Mass at the altar, and says the solemn words, “This is my body, this is my blood,” that the bread and the wine truly become the body and blood of Christ, Son of God, one of the three divine person.

I believe in a personal God. I believe in Jesus Christ, true God and true man. And intimate, oh how most closely intimate we may desire to be, I believe we must render most reverent homage to Him who created us and stilled the sea and told the winds to be calm, and multiplied the loaves and fishes. He is transcendent and He is immanent. He is closer than the air we breathe and just as vital to us.2

In these beautiful words, Dorothy Day here puts her finger on the basic issue. We cannot separate liturgy from creed. Our law of prayer is our law of belief. Lex orandi, lex credendi.

We believe in a God who is transcendent. Yet through the pure gift of His grace, this God has humbled Himself to share in our humanity, so that we might share in His divinity. This is what is going on in the offering of the Mass. The mission of Christ’s incarnation continues in every celebration of the sacred liturgy. In the Mass, God stoops down to lift us up to His level. He makes it possible for us, though we are but creatures, to sing and worship with the angels, in praise of our Creator.

A lot of the liturgical renewal since the Council has got this dynamic exactly backwards. And that’s because a lot of the so-called renewal started from exactly the wrong place.

Pope Benedict XVI has described the problem this way. He has said that too many people interpreted Vatican II with a “hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture”. Now “hermeneutic” is a big word that means “way of interpreting”. What the pope is saying is that some people interpreted Vatican II as a decisive break — a rupture and rejection of all that had gone before in the Church. I remember in the 1980s when I was in the seminary some of my professors would refer to the “pre-Vatican II” Church and the “post-Vatican II” Church as if these were two totally different Churches.

In reality, the right way to understand the Council is with a “hermeneutic of continuity”. In other words, we should interpret the Council’s reforms not as a break with the past, but as a natural, organic and integral development of the tradition that has been handed down to us from the apostles.3

I say all of this by way of background and context. Because I believe that in this new edition of the Missal, the Church is trying to reassert the continuity of the Novus Ordo with the ancient liturgy of the Church.

In particular, I see in the changes a real effort to restore the transcendent dimension of the liturgy and to reassert the proper balance between God’s transcendence and His immanence — so that the Mass always reveals and makes real our communion and intimacy with God.


My prediction: As you know I may well be clairvoyant, but maybe not. There might be a little bit of the Wiccan in me, but maybe not--NOT! (Is Wiccan where we get the English word "wicked?")

But I digress. I predict that in about five years after our new English translation of the Mass has settled down and it becomes a part of the clergy and laity, that we will see a new a Renaissance in the Church at large and a more awe inspired attitude in our Church and the clergy and laity's spirituality that will be enhanced, more reverent and will be based on a view of God as God, as Creator, as Judge, as Redeemer and we as God's creatures, sinners; in need of mercy; in need of redemption; liable to judgement and that the only way that we can be saved is by God stooping down to save us and re-making us in His complete image, that is "perfect" not we make God in our unredeemed, sinful image.

More and more I see the wisdom in Pope Benedict's liberal allowance of the "Pre-Vatican II" Mass, the Extraordinary Form. There should be reverence and awe as a very real form of sacred continuity between it and its centuries old heritage of awe-inspiring reverence and the reform of its celebration in what we call now the Ordinary Form of the Mass.

In other words, as a priest and as a congregation, we should be just as reverent about all our actions and participation in the Ordinary Form of the Mass as we are in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. Both should inspire transcendence and immanence, awe and wonder! Whatever works against that in the newer form of the Mass should be eliminated. Getting the new English translation is one step already being accomplished. Kneeling for Holy Communion and receiving on the Tongue as Pope Benedict models for us at his Masses is a work to be promoted and mandated, just as the new English Mass is being mandated.

The new English translation of the Mass and restoring kneeling for Holy Communion will work wonders for the new liturgical renewal that is so desperately needed in our Church! Just my two cents.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A VERY GOOD ARTICLE ON THE NEW ROMAN MISSAL IN ENGLISH TIED IN WITH BISHOP SCHNEIDER'S TEACHINGS ON THINGS OF THIS NATURE




The Adoremus Bulletin has an article by Bishop James D. Conley, auxiliary bishop of Denver, who presented this address to choir members and church musicians at Queen of Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church, Wheat Ridge, Colorado, on St. Cecilia’s Day, November 20, 2010. Read it by pressing:
THE REVISED ENGLISH EDITION OF THE NEW ROMAN MISSAL

As I have mentioned before, no one who authentically desires to be a Catholic in union with his/her bishop and the Pope can deny the documents of the Second Vatican Council or even deny the authority of Pope Paul VI to issue a reform of the 1962 Roman Missal in the vernacular as he did in 1969 and what Pope Benedict will do on the First Sunday of Advent, 2011.

Pope Benedict interprets the documents of the Second Vatican Council using the "hermeneutic of reform within continuity." Others, including some bishops, priests, laity and theologians want to interpret these documents using the "hermeneutic of reform with rupture from the Church prior to the Second Vatican Council." Others want to deny the validity of the Second Vatican Council altogether and this would include some bishops, priests, laity and theologians.

This brings me back to my post below which quotes another Auxiliary Bishop, The Most Rev. Athanasius Schneider. This is what he taught at the Vatican back in December:

Two groupings that maintain the theory of rupture are evident. One such grouping tries to protestantize the life of the Church doctrinally, liturgically, and pastorally. (My comment: I think this first form of rupture is the most insidious because it often is presented to the laity as coming from the Magisterium, the living, visible one.)

(Back to the bishop's theories:)On the other side are some traditionalist groups that, in the name of tradition, reject the Council, and avoid submission to the supreme living Magisterium of the Church, the visible Head of the Church, submitting for now only to the invisible Head of the Church, waiting for better times.


Me again: So once again I ask which school of thought do you endorse?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS A GOD, ESPN IS PREDICTING AN EARLY SPRING!



This morning at 5:45 AM as I exercised on the elliptical machine at the Macon Health Club, I was watching TV and praying the Holy Rosary to my self, using my fingers as the beads when low and behold ESPN had an advertisement for the Master's Golf Tournament that they will televise which always occurs the first full week in April in my hometown of Augusta, GA.

Certainly this advertisement is like the Ground Hog on Ground Hog Day, February 2, which is also Candlemas Day which causes the ground hog to come out of his hibernation because of all the commotion outside to either see hundreds of people with shining candles being blessed or no one celebrating this feast outdoors because it is too cold. Whatever he sees, it either means more winter or an early spring.

Certainly the advertisement of the Master's Golf Tournament (say it as Augustans do: Tune-ah-mint)means a early spring. I can't wait!

And by the way on Saturday it may get very close to 70 degrees here in good old Macon! Spring is here alright! ESPN is infallible!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

BISHOP ROBERT VASA, COAJUDTOR OF SANTA ROSA, CA; HE'S NO POLITICIAN TRYING TO PLEASE EVERYONE!


From Catholicculture.org:

Bishop Vasa requires profession of faith from all catechists, lectors extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and others:
January 26, 2011


In an interview with Catholic World Report, Bishop Robert Vasa-- recently named the coadjutor bishop of Santa Rosa, California-- discusses his concerns about the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the importance of denying Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, and his decision to require all “lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, cantors, and catechists to attest to the fact that they affirm and believe the basic teachings of the Church as found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

He adds, “This includes declaring such things as: I believe in God, the virgin birth, the existence of purgatory, the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. I also accept the Church’s moral teachings, such as the evil and sinfulness of contraception, homosexual activity, and adulterous behavior.”


Read the interview with the newly appointed coadjutor of Santa Rosa, California by pressing this entire sentence!

BEING REALISTIC ABOUT LITURGICAL CHANGE AND ITS SPEED





An excerpt from Bishop Athanasius Schneider:
An interpretation of rupture of doctrinally lesser weight is shown in the pastoral-liturgical field. One can cite under this topic the loss of the sacred and sublime character of the liturgy and the introduction of more anthropocentric gestural elements. This phenomenon makes itself evident in three liturgical practices well known and widespread in nearly all the parishes of the Catholic world: the nearly total disappearance of the use of the Latin language, the reception of the Eucharistic Body of Christ directly on the hand and standing, and the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice in the modality of a closed circle in which priest and people continually look each other in the face. This manner of praying, that is: not all facing in the same direction, which is a more natural bodily and symbolic expression with respect to the truth of everyone being spiritually turned toward God in public worship, contradicts the practice that Jesus Himself and His Apostles observed in public prayer at the temple or in the synagogue. Moreover, it contradicts the unanimous testimony of the Fathers and all the prior tradition of the Eastern and Western Church. These three pastoral and liturgical practices, in noisy rupture with the laws of prayer maintained by generations of faithful Catholics for nearly a millennium, find no support in the conciliar texts, but rather contradict either a specific text of the Council (on the Latin language, see Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 36, § 1; 54), or the “mens”, the true intention of the conciliar Fathers, as can be verified in the Acts of the Council.

My comments:
Pope Benedict himself seems to indicate in SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM that having two forms of the one Roman Rite (Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms) will allow a more organic develop of the Mass. One could infer from this that eventually the Church will once again have one form of the Latin Rite Mass that will have developed organically from celebrating both forms freely. My suggestion below this post is based on that possibility.

But we must be realistic. It took over 40 years for the older, unreformed Mass to be re-instituted as the "out of the ordinary" form of the celebration of the one Roman Rite.

It may take as long if not longer for the Roman Missal to be revised to reflect a more "organic development" in its reform than what we got on the First Sunday of Advent 1969 and through the design of a secretive committee of specialists in Liturgy in Rome.

However, we must acknowledge that the Second Vatican Council's document on the Liturgy SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM is still the most authoritative document we have concerning the reform of the 1962 missal. We can't ignore it, we must simply interpret it properly. That document has been seriously misinterpreted by many and some of that many in high places.

Keep in mind that Bishop Athanasius Schneider, ORC, gave a presentation at a conference of cardinals and bishops held in Rome on December 17, 2010 and the proper interpretation of Vatican II and his call that the Holy Father issue a apostolic teaching on the correct interpretation. The author is auxiliary bishop of Karaganda, Kazakhstan. He is also a student of Joseph Ratzinger. The bishop's presentation certainly implies and also makes explicit that there are some seriously flawed interpretations that have been used by many in the Church, some of the many in high places, that led to ill-advised reforms or reforms in the wrong direction. You can read his suggestions for the proper interpretation of Vatican II HERE. His presentation is significant although many will ask, "Who is this obscure auxiliary bishop from Karaganda, Kazakhstan? Can anything good come from Kazakhstan?" Of course many asked the same question about Jesus and where he came from. So keep an eye on this lowly auxiliary bishop. He may be destined for higher places.

So folks, don't hold your breath for a new Roman Missal that is markedly different than the Ordinary Form we celebrate today; but we are getting a new English translation of the Roman Missal on Saturday evening, November 26, the Vigil of the First Sunday of Advent. This new missal is based upon the typical edition of the Latin Missal that was released in 2002 and it does have some minor changes from earlier post Vatican II Latin missals. This new missal is a monumental step forward, although the English parts of some of the priest's prayers are a bit lacking in beauty although accurate in translation. We've had a lack of beauty and a lack of accurate translation since the Roman Missal of 1970. So this is a monumental step forward.

The only reforms that I think we could see in the near future will be the clear option of kneeling for Holy Communion which may lead to the recovery of altar railings and the preference of Holy Communion received on the tongue.

The option of Mass ad orientem will be made clearer also.

But just remember I am not clairvoyant although I might be.

Let me conclude with another quote from Bishop Schneider's recent presentation:

Two groupings that maintain the theory of rupture are evident. One such grouping tries to protestantize the life of the Church doctrinally, liturgically, and pastorally. (My comment: I think this first form of rupture is the most insidious becasue it often is presented to the laity as coming from the Magisterium, the living, visible one.)

(Back to the bishop's theories:)On the other side are some traditionalist groups that, in the name of tradition, reject the Council, and avoid submission to the supreme living Magisterium of the Church, the visible Head of the Church, submitting for now only to the invisible Head of the Church, waiting for better times.


My questions:
In the arena of rupture, which one are you? How do you "reform" your rupture and get with the Church of today?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

ARE WE HEADING TOWARD YET ANOTHER ROMAN MISSAL THAT IS MORE TRADITIONAL AND I'M NOT SPEAKING ABOUT THE NEW TRANSLATION





Many people say many things about His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI but no one can say that he hasn't created controversy in the Church and the world.

In no other area has there been more foment in the Church since the Second Vatican Council than in the liturgy, thanks to Pope Benedict XVI.

I have to write that I never thought that clergy and laity actually could advocate for Mass ad orientem, Mass in the Tridentine Form, Holy Communion kneeling and Holy Communion on the tongue without being ridiculed and silenced by the hierarchy and the intellegencia of the more progressive liturgical wing of the Church. Pope Benedict has changed the discussion and charged it into a new and higher level.

So, emboldened by the Holy Father himself and the ability to offer suggestions without fear of reprisals, how might a new Roman Missal that is more faithful to the 1962 missal, yet still reformed as the Sacrosanctum Concilium on the Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council mandated look?

I would like to start with the first revised missal that was not universally prescribed by the Church, but in use in the USA from 1965 to about 1968 or 1969. It is the 1965 Roman Missal.

To many of us, this missal embodies what Sacrosanctum Concilium mandated as it regards the reform of the Order of the Mass (not its lectionary, as the lectionary of the 1965 missal is the 1962's lectionary but in English). What does this Missal change from the 1962 Missal, what is now called the Extraordinary Form?

1. The "Sprinkling Rite" as it is now called, could substitute for the "Prayers at the Foot of the Altar."

2. Active participation of the assembly in all of the parts of the Mass, including all those that were formerly reserved to the Altar boys was encourage. Full, conscious and active participation meant that the laity shouldn't be day dreaming during Mass, praying other devotions, the rosary the most popular, but should concentrate on the Mass. This movement started in the early 20th century, but was kicked up a notch in the 1950's with the dialogue Mass which is codified in the 1962 missal by the way and the advent of personal, pew missals to assist the laity in following and understanding the Latin Mass in English.

3. The Sprinkling Rite and the Prayers at the Foot of the altar could be chosen, one or the other or even both--thus a new flexibility in arranging the Mass arrived with the 1965 missal.
4. The Prayers at the Foot of the Altar were reformed and the version that was used only in Requiem Masses chosen--this version eliminated the recitation of Psalm 42 and thus made the Prayers at the Foot of the altar simpler and briefer.

5. The option of praying the "Introductory Rite" or all the prayers through the Opening Collect, at the presiding Chair (as a bishop does in the Sung Mass of the 1962 Missal) was extended to ordinary priests, but it was their choice. This meant that the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the Kyrie, the Gloria and the Collect could have all been done at the "presidential" chair, as we do in the Ordinary Form of the Mass today. But the option of doing it at the altar as in the 1962 missal was still allowed. It wasn't either/or, but both/and!

6. The option of ad orientem or facing the people was explicit; there were two explicit choices in the 1965 missal.

7. The Liturgy of the Word could be proclaimed from the ambo and only once and in English. A lay lector could read the Epistle and Gradual. The first arrangement for this form was having a smaller podium facing the people slightly to the side but in front of the Epistle side of the altar for the reading of the Epistle and the Gospel read at the ambo on the Gospel side of the Altar.(It was no longer required for the priest to read the Epistle and Gospel first in Latin at the altar sides.)

8. All the altar boy parts which now the laity were mandated to say or sing could be in English or Latin. This included the Prayers at the Foot of the altar or the Asperges responses, the Kyrie, Gloria, Opening Collect, the Sanctus, Agnus Dei and Prayer after Holy Communion and Final dismissal and blessing.

9. The Last Gospel was suppressed, no longer read, so the Mass ended with the final blessing.

10. The parts of the Mass as in the 1962 missal that are prayed silently remained in Latin: the Offertory Prayers, the Roman Canon, and any private prayers of the priest. Thus Latin was preserved in the 1965 missal, but it was clear that all parts of the Mass could be entirely in Latin if so desired.

11. The "Through Him, With Him..." was reformed in the 1965 missal similar to the Ordinary Form of it today, with a "Great Amen" sung by all.

12. The non use of the paten during the Eucharistic prayer and hiding it under the corporal was suppressed as was the little ritual of taking it out after the Our Father, the priest blessing himself with it and kissing it.

So with the 1965 reformed Missal as our base or foundation, which is extremely faithful to what Sacrosanctum Concilium desired for the Mass, what might a new and improved Post Vatican II Order of the Mass look like that amalgamates the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and the Ordinary Form of the Mass? By this I mean each form exerting influence on the other. Well these are my humble suggestions:

1. Keep the 1965 Roman Missal as the base.

2. Use the Revised Calendar of the Ordinary Form of the Mass.

3. Use the revised lectionary which in fact incorporates Sacrosanctum Concilium's desire that the more Scripture be used in the Mass and in a lavish way.

4. Use the same form of the Liturgy of the Word as we have in the Ordinary Form today, including lay lectors.

5. Use the soon to be revised English Mass in the Ordinary Form for all the parts of the Mass that the laity are asked to sing or say and for all of the orations (collects, prayer over the gifts (secret) and Prayer after Holy Communion). This would also include all the new and wonderful prefaces there are and additional Masses for saints and various occasions.

So the only thing that would really be different for the Ordinary Form of my future revised version of it is that it follows the Order of Mass of the 1965 missal with all of its rubrics in place, uses only the Roman Canon and silently prayed. Everything else comes from the new English missal that is about to be implemented in Advent of this year.

Finally, kneeling for Holy Communion and receiving on the tongue would once again become the norm. If the laity are allowed the Precious Blood, it would be through intinction.

Not even Pater Ignotus could say that my proposal isn't a reform of the 1962 missal and faithful to Sacrosanctum Concilium.

Monday, January 24, 2011

THE HOLY FATHER TELLS BLOGGERS AND COMMENTERS TO BE NICE, TO BE CHRISTIAN, TO BE CATHOLIC! HOW NOVEL!

Pope Benedict sprinkling Catholic bloggers to purify and cleanse(as in the temple) them of incivility!

My comments first: I've had to bleep out some comments written on my otherwise benign and non controversial blog. We haven't yet developed a sense of civility when we comment anonymously as we are when we normally converse with someone face to face. So be nice in your comments and don't get into personalities.

I read a more liberal liturgy blog and the commmenters there are down right nasty to one another at times. Evidently they don't see a connection between being Catholic and the golden rule either. Conservatives and liberals alike can be nasty. Commenters on a wide variety of blogging ideologies operate like hit and run drivers. What a shame, especially for Catholics who engage in such sinful, mortally sinful, ways.Get thee to confession.


Pope to Catholics online: It's not just about hits

(AP) – 2 hours ago

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI told Catholic bloggers and Facebook and YouTube users Monday to be respectful of others when spreading the Gospel online and not to see their ultimate goal as getting as many online hits as possible.

Echoing concerns in the U.S. about the need to root out online vitriol, Benedict called for the faithful to adopt a "Christian style presence" online that is responsible, honest and discreet

"We must be aware that the truth which we long to share does not derive its worth from its 'popularity' or from the amount of attention it receives," Benedict wrote in his annual message for the church's World Day of Social Communications.

"The proclamation of the Gospel requires a communication which is at once respectful and sensitive."

Benedict didn't name names, but the head of the Vatican's social communications office, Archbishop Claudio Celli, said it was certainly correct to direct the pope's exhortation to some conservative Catholic blogs, YouTube channels and sites which, with some vehemence, criticize bishops, public officials and policies they consider not Catholic enough.

"The risk is there, there's no doubt," Celli said in response to a question. He confirmed that the Pontifical Council for Social Communications was working on a set of guidelines with recommendations for appropriate style and behavior for Catholics online.

"I don't love such things, but I think we can define some points of reference for behavior," he said, adding that he hoped such a document would come out as soon as possible.

The Vatican's concern comes at a time when incendiary rhetoric — in the media and online — has come under increasing fire; even U.S. President Barack Obama has urged greater civility in political discourse following the attempted assassination of a U.S. congresswoman.

In his message, Benedict echoed many of the same themes he has voiced in years past about the benefits and dangers of the digital age, saying social networks are a wonderful way to build relationships and community. But he warned against replacing real friendships with virtual ones and warned against the temptation to create artificial public profiles rather than authentic ones.

"There exists a Christian way of communication which is honest and open, responsible and respectful of others," he wrote. "To proclaim the Gospel through the new media means not only to insert expressly religious content into different media platforms, but also to witness consistently, in one's own digital profile and in the way one communicates choices, preference and judgments that are fully consistent with the Gospel."

The 83-year-old Benedict is no techno wizard: He writes longhand and has admitted to a certain lack of Internet savvy within the Vatican.

But under Benedict, the Holy See has greatly increased its presence online: It has a dedicated YouTube channel, and its Pope2You.net portal gives news on the pontiff's trips and speeches and features I-Phone and Facebook applications that allow users to send postcards with photos of Benedict and excerpts from his messages to their friends.

Celli said the Holy See was working on a new multimedia portal that would be the point of reference for the whole Vatican that he hoped would be operational by Easter. It would start out in English and Italian, with other languages added later.

Currently, the Vatican website www.vatican.va has links to the Vatican newspaper, the Vatican Museums and other Vatican departments, but it's clunky and out of date.

Celli acknowledged that the pope's annual message — which is full of technical jargon — is not his alone. Celli's office prepares a draft and the pope then makes changes. Celli said he didn't know if Benedict had ever been on Facebook, but said he expected one of his aides had probably shown him around.

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S TRAGIC AND FLAWED PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT AND OF CHOICE

Substitute this caption for the one you see on this cartoon: "All Three Branches of Government do not wish to interfere with the private family matters of killing unborn children."

On Monday, Macon, Georgia joins hundreds of thousands of pro-life people of all political parties in marking the 1973 Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion.

Read how President Obama praises this decision that has led to the slaughter of millions of babies waiting in the warmth of the womb to be born:

Obama praises Roe, says decision protects women’s health and freedom
January 24, 2011


President Barack Obama issued a statement on January 22 praising Roe v. Wade, the infamous Supreme Court decision that struck down laws across the nation protecting unborn children. In the 38 years since the decision, 53 million unborn children have been slain in their mothers’ wombs.

The president said:

Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, and affirms a fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters.

I am committed to protecting this constitutional right. I also remain committed to policies, initiatives, and programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption.

And on this anniversary, I hope that we will recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights, the same freedoms, and the same opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.

My comments:

I am left dumbfounded by the following statement of President Obama:

(Roe v. wade promoted the) fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters.

Let's talk about private family matters then!

1. Are we to presume that President Obama believes that government should not interfere in private family matters when parents starve their children, use any means available including the death penalty to punish their children and that the sexual abuse of their children as well as incest in the home are private family matters?

2. Are we to presume that President Obama believes that government should not intrude on a private family matter when parents do not educate their children, keep them locked up in the home and do not properly clothe and feed them?

3. Does President Obama believe that government should not interfere in private family matters when parents sell their children for sexual exploitation or to make a buck; experiment on them to see how they will react to pain and neglect and torture them for the fun of it.

You catch my drift. The Barbarians and those who offered child sacrifice to their gods have nothing on us when it comes to government not interfering in private family matters as it concerns the dismembering, torturing and killing of the innocent unborn. May God have mercy on us and on the whole world!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

COMPARING LITURGICAL TRANSLATIONS AND COMPARING JUST TO WHOM THESE PRAYERS ARE DIRECTED!


Prayer that "looks" like it is directed to God:

Prayer that "looks" like it is directed to the congregation:


By now you know that our current English translation of the Mass is a lame-duck. Actually it is paralyzed. It will be completely replaced the First Sunday of Advent which begins Saturday evening of November 26th.

I read other liturgical blogs. There is one blog where a good number of those who comment think that the new translation is clunky, too literal to the original Latin and will destroy the Catholic Church. In other words they think it is a disaster in the making and gives them the opportunity to bash the authority of the Church, that authority's secrecy and so on and so forth. So much for hyperbole. People that love the liturgy can be rather like cranks sometimes. They suffer from a psychological malady called hysteria. But I digress.

Please note the difference in the revised Collect for the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time. Realize that another translator could have translated the prayer in a more eloquent way, but the third prayer below is the one we're getting. What do you think of it when compared with what we now have?

Father Z's SUPER LITERAL TRANSLATION of the original Latin prayer:

Almighty eternal God,
direct our actions in your gracious purpose,
so that in the name of Thy beloved Son,
we may merit to abound with good works.

Paralyzed 1973 Translation (current one):

All-powerful and ever-living God,
direct your love that is within us,
that our efforts in the name of your Son
may bring mankind to unity and peace.


Very soon to be cured and walking upright revised translation:

Almighty ever-living God,
direct our actions according to your good pleasure,
that in the name of your beloved Son
we may abound in good works.


One of the complaints that I read on other blogs is that people won't like or understand the new translation and that the translators could have done a better job given the sacred nature of their mission.

I think the fact that so many people were involved in the re-translating process and that there were probably too many chefs that had to be pleased that our new translation won't be as beautiful in some places of the missal as it could have been. I suspect if the Church had hired a committee of five translating experts, gave them the Liturgiam authenticam and locked them in a room until they gave us a good, beautiful English translation, that we would have had an exquisite translation. But since almost 7000 people had their finger in the pudding, we're getting what we get which is better than the old but not as good as it might have been if the number of people working on the translation had been much, much fewer.

So all I can say is the new translation will be wonderful compared to the old, but compared to what might have been it might be mediocre. Someone has described the new translation like an 8th grader trying to write Shakespeare! Yikes!

Finally, though, isn't prayer directed to God the Father from the people (clergy and laity) through Jesus Christ, the One Mediator, and by the power of the Holy Spirit? If so, isn't this prayer directed to God and not to us?

Yes, we want to give God our best and the best we have now is the current translation and the best we will have is the revised translation that only Rome has the ultimate authority to approve after a rather lenghty and arduous consultative process. But it is prayer directed to God, not directed to us. Does anyone misunderstand this or worse, have an erroneous understanding of this?

Yes, many Catholics and in high places either misunderstand or have an erroneous understanding of this because for over 40 years the prayers of the Church have been read and directed toward the congregation. That's a big problem and hopefully it will be resolved one day too by the only person that can really resolve it, the Holy Father, the pope.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

ONE OF MY EVERYDAY RUN OF THE MILL WEDDINGS: NOT!

Amy and Mike got married last year. Mike was a catechumen and received into the Church the Easter prior to the wedding. Please note the Filipino customs. This is great:


Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in Yahweh, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Jeremiah 2:32 Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.

Matthew 9:15 Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

Joel 2:16 Gather the people. Sanctify the assembly. Assemble the elders. Gather the children, and those who suck the breasts. Let the bridegroom go forth from his room, and the bride out of her chamber.

John 3:29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.

THEN shall the kingdom of heaven be like to ten virgins, who taking their lamps went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride.

2 Corinthians 11:2 I am jealous over you with God's own jealousy. For I have betrothed you to Christ to present you to Him like a faithful bride to her one husband.

Ephesians 5:27 that He might present the Church to Himself a glorious bride, without spot or wrinkle or any other defect, but to be holy and unblemished.


Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and triumph and give Him the glory; for the time for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready."

Revelation 21:2 I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband.

THE RHETORIC OF VIOLENCE AND THE VIOLENCE OF ABORTION: WE ARE A VIOLENT SOCIETY BY LAW



The abortionist arrested in Philadelphia for the murder of babies:

The result of an abortionist's murder:

In this morning's Macon Telegraph there is a story of an abortionist in South Philadelphia who has been arrested and charged with murder for performing late term abortions. So far he and others in his clinic have been charged with 9 counts of murder. What they did was allow an almost full term baby to exit the womb, a baby that could have survived an early birth, and then plunged a pair of forceps into the back of the baby's neck and then sever the spinal cord and allow the baby to die.

I think what I described is just as horrible as what that gun man did in Arizona if not worse.

There has been a lot of talk by the political left about rhetoric in America and its link to the shooting in Arizona.

Yet, almost every Sunday morning I watch an early morning program on PBS called "To the Contrary." It's a woman's show with all women on the panel. Almost every show has some comment on the mean old political right that wants to limit a woman's right to choose an abortion, even a late term abortion. It is cloaked under the "respectability" of promoting the economic and psychological welfare of women, especially poor women.

Thus this TV show and its participants are complicit in assisting women to make the choice to violently killed their unborn, even late term babies. There is no law against it and you won't hear the political left castigating them for their complicity.

Hypocrisy reigns supreme in secular America and her politics. And many Catholics have drunk the cool-aide of the political left. That's another horror in all of this.

If there is a link to violence against those who walk the streets, let us begin to look at the violence that the Supreme Court and other laws of the land have upheld that allows the innocent unborn to experience a fate worse than what most people experience on the streets and in shopping centers in terms of violence and murder.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

SOME PHOTOS I TOOK IN MIAMI BEACH AND SOUTH FLORIDA, GOOD NO?

That's me talking on the phone, don't ask how I took this great picture in a Jewish deli.


Saint Vincent de Paul Seminary, Boynton Beach, Florida




The back yard of the rectory of St.Joseph Church, Miami Beach (I hope they use land fill to fill it in and then build more very highrise condos! It makes me sick!

INTERPRETING VATICAN II AS VATICAN II WAS MEANT TO BE INTERPRETED: REFORM WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF CONTINUITY WITH THE PRE-VATICAN II CHURCH



The auxiliary of Karaganda, Athanasius Schneider, was present at the conference in Rome from December 16-18, as a speaker.

Below is presented the final portion of his presentation. Which concludes with a request to the pope for two remedies for the abuses of the post-council: the release of a "Syllabus" against the doctrinal errors of interpretation of Vatican Council II, and the appointment of bishops who are "holy, courageous and deeply rooted in the tradition of the Church."



THE CHALLENGE OF OPPOSING INTERPRETATIONS

by Athanasius Schneider


[. . .] For a correct interpretation of Vatican Council II, it is necessary to keep in mind the intention manifested in the conciliar documents themselves and in the specific words of the popes who convened and presided over it, John XXIII and Paul VI.

Moreover, it is necessary to discover the common thread of the entire work of the Council, meaning its pastoral intention, which is the "salus animarum," the salvation of souls. This, in turn, depends on and is subordinate to the promotion of divine worship and of the glory of God, it depends on the primacy of God.

This primacy of God in life and in all the activity of the Church is manifested unequivocally by the fact that the constitution on the liturgy occupies, conceptually and chronologically, the first place in the vast work of the Council. [. . .]

*

The characteristic of the rupture in the interpretation of the conciliar texts is manifested in a more stereotypical and widespread way in the thesis of an anthropocentric, secularist, or naturalistic shift of Vatican Council II with respect to the previous ecclesial tradition.

One of the best-known manifestations of such a mistaken interpretation has been, for example, so-called liberation theology and the subsequent devastating pastoral practice. What contrast there is between this liberation theology and its practice and the Council appears evident from the following conciliar teaching: "Christ, to be sure, gave His Church no proper mission in the political, economic or social order. The purpose which He set before her is a religious one" (cf. "Gaudium et Spes," 42). [. . .]

One interpretation of rupture of lighter doctrinal weight has been manifested in the pastoral-liturgical field. One might mention in this regard the decline of the sacred and sublime character of the liturgy, and the introduction of more anthropocentric elements of expression.

This phenomenon can be seen in three liturgical practices that are fairly well known and widespread in almost all the parishes of the Catholic sphere: the almost complete disappearance of the use of the Latin language, the reception of the Eucharistic body of Christ directly in the hand while standing, and the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice in the modality of a closed circle in which priest and people are constantly looking at each other.

This way of praying – without everyone facing the same direction, which is a more natural corporal and symbolic expression with respect to the truth of everyone being oriented toward God in public worship – contradicts the practice that Jesus himself and his apostles observed in public prayer, both in the temple and in the synagogue. It also contradicts the unanimous testimony of the Fathers and of all the subsequent tradition of the Eastern and Western Church.

These three pastoral and liturgical practices glaringly at odds with the law of prayer maintained by generations of the Catholic faithful for at least one millennium find no support in the conciliar texts, and even contradict both a specific text of the Council (on the Latin language: cf. "Sacrosanctum Concilium," 36 and 54) and the "mens," the true intention of the conciliar Fathers, as can be seen in the proceedings of the Council.

*

In the hermeneutical uproar of the contrasting interpretations, and in the confusion of pastoral and liturgical applications, what appears as the only authentic interpreter of the conciliar texts is the Council itself, together with the pope.

One could make a comparison with the confused hermeneutical climate of the first centuries of the Church, caused by arbitrary biblical and doctrinal interpretations on the part of heterodox groups. In his famous work "De Praescriptione Haereticorum," Tertullian was able to counter the heretics of various tendencies with the fact that only the Church possesses the "praescriptio," meaning only the Church is the legitimate proprietor of the faith, of the word of God and of the tradition. The Church can use this to fend off the heretics in disputes over true interpretation. Only the Church can say, according to Tertullian, "Ego sum heres Apostolorum," I am the heir of the apostles. By way of analogy, only the supreme magisterium of the pope or of a future ecumenical council will be able to say: "Ego sum heres Concilii Vaticani II."

In recent decades there existed, and still exist today, groupings within the Church that are perpetrating an enormous abuse of the pastoral character of the Council and its texts, written according to this pastoral intention, since the Council did not want to present its own definitive or unalterable teachings. From the same pastoral nature of the texts of the Council, it can be seen that its texts are in principle open to supplementation and to further doctrinal clarifications. Keeping in mind the now decades-long experience of interpretations that are doctrinally and pastorally mistaken and contrary to the bimillennial continuity of the doctrine and prayer of the faith, there thus arises the necessity and urgency of a specific and authoritative intervention of the pontifical magisterium for an authentic interpretation of the conciliar texts, with supplementation and doctrinal clarifications; a sort of "Syllabus" of the errors in the interpretation of Vatican Council II.

There is the need for a new Syllabus, this time directed not so much against the errors coming from outside of the Church, but against the errors circulated within the Church by supporters of the thesis of discontinuity and rupture, with its doctrinal, liturgical, and pastoral application.

Such a Syllabus should consist of two parts: the part that points out the errors, and the positive part with proposals for clarification, completion, and doctrinal clarification.

*

Two groupings stand out for their support of the theory of rupture. One of these groupings tries to "Protestantize" the life of the Church doctrinally, liturgically, and pastorally. On the opposite side are those traditional groups which, in the name of tradition, reject the Council and exempt themselves from submission to the supreme living magisterium of the Church, from the visible head of the Church, the vicar of Christ on earth, submitting meanwhile only to the invisible head of the Church, waiting for better times. [. . .]

In essence, there have been two impediments preventing the true intention of the Council and its magisterium from bearing abundant and lasting fruit.

One was found outside of the Church, in the violent process of cultural and social revolution during the 1960's, which like every powerful social phenomenon penetrated inside the Church, infecting with its spirit of rupture vast segments of persons and institutions.

The other impediment was manifested in the lack of wise and at the same time intrepid pastors of the Church who might be quick to defend the purity and integrity of the faith and of liturgical and pastoral life, not allowing themselves to be influenced by flattery or fear.

The Council of Trent had already affirmed in one of its last decrees on the general reform of the Church: "The holy synod, shaken by the many extremely serious evils that afflict the Church, cannot do other than recall that the thing most necessary for the Church of God is to select excellent and suitable pastors; all the more in that our Lord Jesus Christ will ask for an account of the blood of those sheep that should perish because of the bad governance of negligent pastors unmindful of their duty" (Session XXIV, Decree "de reformatione," can. 1).

The Council continued: "As for all those who for any reason have been authorized by the Holy See to intervene in the promotion of future prelates or those who take part in this in another way, the holy Council exhorts and admonishes them to remember above all that they can do nothing more useful for the glory of God and the salvation of the people than to devote themselves to choosing good and suitable pastors to govern the Church."

So there is truly a need for a Syllabus on the Council with doctrinal value, and moreover there is a need for an increase in the number of holy, courageous pastors deeply rooted in the tradition of the Church, free from any sort of mentality of rupture, both in the doctrinal field and in the liturgical field.

These two elements constitute the indispensable condition so that doctrinal, liturgical, and pastoral confusion may diminish significantly, and so that the pastoral work of Vatican Council II may bear much lasting fruit in the spirit of the tradition, which connects us to the spirit that has reigned in every time, everywhere and in all true children of the Catholic Church, which is the only and the true Church of God on earth.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I KNOW THAT MANY WILL DISAGREE WITH ME BUT I JUST DON'T LIKE IT...

I love the Benedictine altar arrangement for Masses that are ad orientem. But when the Mass is facing the people as in the photo below, it just doesn't look right. And certainly if the priest was facing "toward God" and not the assembly, the bow with his head cocked to the side to read the missal wouldn't look as dreadful as it does when he faces the people as in this photo.

I have a sympathy for ad orientem Masses and see its benefit, but I also have sympathy for facing the people if the focus of the priest is not on them. A simple crucifix on the altar that is not overpowering, meaning lower than the head of the priest would help dramatically in this regard. You could still have the six candlesticks but much lower ones and angled differently on the altar so that it doesn't become an obstacle course for the congregation. The priest looks like he's behind bars and in this day an age not a good image at all!!!!

Now if you look at St. Joseph Church's altar arrangement, you notice a very modest crucifix on the altar for the priest but the huge crucifix on the reredos for the laity. The six candles are behind the altar not on it. The floor candlesticks flank the altar but don't compress it. I like this much better for Masses facing the congregation:
Click twice on the photo to blow it up and you'll see what I mean better:

STRIPPED DOWN ALTARS AND STRIPPED DOWN PRAYERS; DRESSED UP ALTARS AND DRESSED UP MAJESTIC PRAYERS IN ENGLISH!

Holy Mother Church should not engage in a burlesque type strip tease and certainly pictures of it on this blog would be inappropriate. But that's exactly what many liturgical theologians and bishops in high places forced Holy Mother Church to do when it came to the Liturgy of the Church and her magnificent treasury of spirituality, devotion and the official prayers in English of the Mass. These photos and stripped prayers are shocking and are rated "R"! If you are offended by such photos and stripped prayers look away!


Look at the photo below. You can click on it to enlarge it. Apart from the fact that the EF Mass is being celebrated on the original high altar and your eyes are drawn to that celebration and that altar, please look, though, at the post Vatican II altar that has been placed in the main aisle of this beautiful chapel in England.

This arrangement is what we had in my seminary in the 1970's at St. Mary in Baltimore. A portable altar was placed in the aisle (we had monastic or choir seating as in this chapel) and in front of the altar and facing it in a confrontational way, but some distance back, was the ambo. In the picture below you can barely see this arrangement but the ambo with an eagle on it (symbol of John's Gospel) peeks out. The altar had one rinky dink candle on it and the ambo had a floor candlestick by it. Apart from the old crucifix some distance back still hanging over the old altar, there was no sign of a crucifix anywhere near the new and "improved" altar.

Our seminary chapel had the traditional altar in the sanctuary with a magnificent canopy over it, similar to the one over the papal altar at St. Peter Basilica. The marble of this massive altar which did not have a reredos, but rather a curtain behind it, was covered in a similar green color fabric as the curtain, but made of corduroy in order to make it "unseen" but in fact it was certainly not invisible, but simply unseen!

When as a first year seminarian I first stepped into that chapel in 1976 and noted the original altar, now stripped, and the actual altar used for the reformed Mass, I could not but feel that our understanding of the Mass, how we celebrate it and what it represents had been stripped too. I felt empty as I felt that the new and supposedly improved altar arrangement and the decor of things was empty compared to a previous era.

Look at the post Vatican II altar and tell me how you feel when you view it.


And now a comparison of prayers in the Mass. Below you will find first the 1973 version of the opening collect of the Mass for the Second Sunday of Lent. Below it you will find the revised 2010 version of the very same prayer. Keep in mind that the original Latin prayer in the 2002 Roman Missal in Latin has not changed over the course of years only the method of translating it into English has changed. For the first, which like the modern altar below is stripped of its glory and the humble attitude that we who pray this prayer to God should have before the Most Holy Trinity, we begin to realize that the Vatican made a miserable mistake in the late 1960's when it directed English translators to use "equivalency of English words for the Latin words" not a "literal translation of the Latin words" when translating the Latin prayers into English.

The revised English translation follows, but not slavishly, the very same Vatican who offered an indirect "mea culpa" in regards to the method of translation it first proposed in 1968 or so, when it issued a new document called Liturgicum Authenticum which called on English translators to be more literal in translating the Latin prayers and adhering to the spirituality and tone of these Latin prayers which the Church offers to God in humble thanksgiving and in awe and wonder for the majesty of the Most Holy Trinity.

Please offer me your insights on the stripped down English version of the Latin Prayer for the Second Sunday of Lent and the new and improved more faithful English version to the Latin version of the very same prayer:

CURRENT: God our Father,
help us to hear your Son.
Enlighten us with your word,
that we may find the way to your glory.


FORTHCOMING: O God, who have commanded us
to listen to your beloved Son,
be pleased, we pray,
to nourish us inwardly by your word,
that, with spiritual sight made pure,
we may rejoice to behold your glory.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

CHILDREN'S LITURGY OF THE WORD




We have our stewardship renewal in late summer. When we sent our stewardship packets to our parishioners I invited them to volunteer for the various ministries we have. I also indicated that if there was a ministry that we don't have and someone wanted to spearhead organizing it to let me know.

Well low and behold I got an email from one of our mothers. She had lived in New Orleans for about four years while her husband pursued a higher degree in dentistry. In her new parish they had the "Liturgy of the Word" for children. She volunteered for it and loved it and so did her younger children.

So I met with her and told her to go at it in organizing it here. We began last Sunday, The Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord. It is for children K-4 through 2nd grade.

After the Opening Collect, the priest invites the children who wish to participate to come forward with their adult leaders. They are commissioned to go to their liturgy of the Word and that we look forward to them rejoining us for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. They then depart with hands folded in the traditional praying mode and quietly process out.

They return after the Credo and Intercessions.

I was away last Sunday for the debut. But I celebrated our 9:30 Mass today which is the only Mass which we do it and it worked marvelously! After I dismissed our catechumens following the homily and then after the Credo and Intercessions the little urchins came back in very quietly and even the youngest found his/her parents and family.

The moms and dads seem to love it too.

I was somewhat skeptical of doing it, but I think it is a good option for those children and parents who appreciate it. We're averaging about 40 children participating but expect that number to double once parents are convinced this is a good idea.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

ST. JOSEPH CHURCH IS HELPING TO SPONSOR SISTER HELEN PREJEAN AT MERCER UNIVERSITY'S "FREEDOM LECTURE" ON MLK'S DAY



I am pleased that St.Joseph Church is one of the sponsors for Mercer University's "Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Freedom Lecture at Mercer University." Mercer University is a Southern Baptist university. Not only does this lecture occur on Dr. Martin Luther King's holiday but also during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. We are pleased that Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ will be speaking at this wonderful event.

Dead Man Walking Author to Speak at Mercer on King Day
January 17 at 7:00 PM


MACON — Sister Helen Préjean, author of Dead Man Walking, will deliver Mercer University’s inaugural Freedom Lecture at 7 p.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 17, in Willingham Auditorium on the University’s Macon campus. The event is free and open to the public, and a book signing will be held immediately following the lecture in Newton Chapel. In addition to Préjean’s lecture, she will give a writing workshop and there will be two free film screenings.

One of the foremost advocates for the abolition of the death penalty, Préjean is a Roman Catholic nun, social activist, community organizer, best-selling author and a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee. While serving the poor of New Orleans, she began correspondence with a man on death row, eventually became his spiritual adviser and accompanied him to his execution. From her experiences, Préjean wrote Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States. A Notable Book and Pulitzer Prize nominee, the book was on the New York Times bestseller list for 31 weeks. It was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film by Tim Robbins, starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.

The book and film have helped to propel Préjean to the forefront of the debate over the death penalty and she has been interviewed by hundreds of broadcast and print media outlets around the world. Her second book, The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, was published in 2004. In it, she tells the story of two men, Dobie Gillis Williams and Joseph O’Dell, whom she accompanied to their executions. She believes both of them were innocent. Fifteen years after beginning her crusade, the Roman Catholic sister has witnessed five executions in Louisiana and today educates the public about the death penalty by lecturing, organizing and writing. As the founder of “Survive,” a victim’s advocacy group in New Orleans, she continues to counsel not only inmates on death row, but the families of murder victims, as well.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day Freedom Lecture at Mercer seeks to bring leading thinkers to the University whose vision reflects the values of faith, education, freedom, community and morality expressed in the institution’s mission and in the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr.

Film Screenings (Free)

At the Death House Door
A documentary that focuses on the career of a chaplain at the Texas Department of Corrections and his change of heart and view about the death penalty.
Sunday, Jan. 16, at 1:30 p.m.
St. Joseph Catholic Church, Social Hall

Dead Man Walking
Starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn and directed by Tim Robbins
Monday, Jan. 17, at 2 p.m.
Cox Capitol Theatre

The event is co-sponsored by Mercer University’s College of Continuing and Professional Studies, Mercer Office of the Provost, Centenary United Methodist Church, St. Joseph Catholic Church and The Regeneration Writers. It is presented in partnership with Congregation Sha’arey Israel, Cox Capitol Theatre, Daughters of Charity, Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, Georgians for an Alternative to the Death Penalty, High Street Unitarian Universalist Church, the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, St. James Episcopal Church, Temple Beth Israel, Tubman African American Museum and Tremont Temple Missionary Baptist Church.

About the College of Continuing and Professional Studies
The College offers degree programs and lifelong learning opportunities for adults who seek leadership roles in their communities and beyond, professional transition and advancement, and lives that have meaning and purpose. The College offers undergraduate degree programs in organizational leadership, human resources administration and development, public safety, liberal studies (individualized), and human services, and graduate programs in counseling, school counseling, and public safety leadership. Its programs are offered on Mercer’s Macon and Atlanta campuses, at the University’s regional academic centers in Henry County, Douglas County, Eastman and Newnan. Beginning the fall of 2011 the College will offer a Bachelor of Science in Informatics and in January 2012 a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,200 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.

NOW THIS IS FUNNY!

REFUSING SOMEONE HOLY COMMUNION IN THE NAME OF PROTECTING THE SANCTITY OF THE SACRED SPECIES


I read a story about a priest in the Pensacola Diocese who refused a mother and daughter Holy Communion. Read about it by pressing these two sentences.

Our post Vatican II method of distributing and receiving Holy Communion is the elephant in the room that progressive liturgists don't want discussed. If a Catholic truly believes what the Church teaches about Holy Communion and receiving our Risen and Glorified Lord, then we should all be offended that the intentional or unintentional desecration of the Blessed Sacrament occurs weekly in most parishes throughout the world.

I consider St. Joseph Church as a parish to be someone conservative, traditional in understanding the Mass and what it means to receive Holy Communion. Our members who attend Mass regularly receive Holy Communion properly. But almost weekly, we have problems with people who are visiting or simply attend Mass on an infrequent basis and present themselves for Holy Communion without a clue about how to receive and what to do with the host once they are given Holy Communion.

Weekly, I see or someone reports to me that someone walks off with the host, brings it to the pew or goes directly out of the Church once "taking" Holy Communion. I've had parishioners tell me they go directly to the "culprit" and ask that they "eat" the Host or give it to them.

Personally I have a difficult time "policing" what people do with the host once they "take" it. By "taking" it, I am referring to those who receive in the hand, not on the tongue. I do notice that many people take the host and place it in their mouth as they walk away. Others do what is taught; they step to one side, place the host in their mouth and then leave. We teach that people should not leave the minister of Holy Communion until they have placed the host in their mouth. But are those distributing Holy Communion meant to be "policemen?"

We have found hosts in the pews, on the floor, in missalettes and hymnals.

This will drive those who are progressive and think "taking" the host and self-communicating is more adult and post-Vatican II than "receiving" the host on one's tongue, but here it goes. I think the likelihood that someone will discard the host in an inappropriate way is lessened when receiving on the tongue.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'M GETTING MORE AND MORE EXCITED ABOUT THE REFORM OF THE ENGLISH MASS


The opening Collect (prayer) For the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (January 16).

THE CURRENT VERSION:
Father of heaven and earth,
hear our prayers, and show us the way
to peace in the world.

WDTPRS LITERAL RENDERING:
Almighty eternal God,
who at the same time does govern things heavenly and earthly,
mercifully hark to the supplications of Your people,
and grant Your peace in our temporal affairs.


2010 REVISED ENGLISH VERSION WHICH WE'LL HAVE NEXT YEAR!:
Almighty ever-living God,
who govern all things,
both in heaven and on earth,
mercifully hear the pleading of your people,
and bestow your peace on our times.


(You can see how impoverished the current opening prayer is. It in no way is a good translation of the original Latin Text. Fr. Z then does his own literal translation, word for word. The new translation which we'll have next year is very beautiful, don't you think? It is much better than what you'll hear in most parishes this Sunday!)

It won't be perfect and it will be more difficult to pray compared to what we currently have for the English Mass. However, I am very excited about introducing it to my parish. In March, I am mailing out a booklet written by Rev. Paul Turner explaining the new English Mass.

We've been discussing the upcoming new English Mass for about three years in our parish. I think they are ready for it. I've been reading over the various re-translated prayers and find them very nice. However, the priest really needs to do his homework because it is not the type of English you pray without studying it before hand and even praying it out loud to make sure you read or sing it properly.

As I read other blogs on the internet there is such anxiety by so many that our laity as well as our priests will not like the new translation and that there might be rebellion. I can't imagine that our adult laity, and that's what we've been calling them for the last 40 years, won't act like a adults and accept the new translation.

Of course there needs to be catechesis and explanations for the changes. That's what it is all about. In those places where there isn't much explanation, I still think the laity will respond well. In those places where dissent is encouraged then you will hear and see dissent. Such a pity! Stay tuned! READ THE FINE ARTICLE BELOW BY JEFFREY TUCKER:

Five Changes to Expect with the New Missal
by Jeffrey Tucker


As with the Y2K hysteria of ten years ago, it is easy to find apocalyptic warnings about the dreadful fate that is going to befall the English-speaking Catholic world on November 27, 2011, which is the first Sunday of Advent, the day on which the new Missal with its new English translation will be implemented.

We hear of the “trauma” we will experience, how disastrous splits are going to surround us not only between parishes but within them, how people are going to be even more shocked and stunned by the new translation than they were in 1969 when the entire Missal moved from Latin to English.

But just as with Y2K, I expect no disaster at all. In fact, I believe the opposite. There will be no shock and awe. It will be different but it won’t be startling. It will change us as a people but only gradually over time. In the end, the changes will be dramatic but essentially organic. I’m happy to revisit this column one year from the implementation date to see if these five predictions about the new Missal hold up.

1. Restored Sensus Fidelium. The most disturbing aspect of the translation that has been in place for forty years is the way in which it stripped out subtlety and grandeur from the Latin original. It has the feeling of something gone over by a by-the-book magazine editor working at a popular weekly. The voicing is direct, the shadings are made stark, repetitions are taken out, metaphoric imagery is removed, and the complexity and richness of the text is made simple and necessarily thin.

If the translators didn’t see the point or didn’t understand why the phrase or sentence appeared in Latin - or it seemed to smack too much of the “old Church” - it was generally tossed out or replaced by something common, more familiar, or just new and fashionable. So long as the theme was generally the same, the new version stuck. It became nearly impossible to put the Latin and English side by side and expect anyone to figure out the parallels, and this was true even in the order of Mass itself!

This wouldn’t be a terrible problem if it happened only rarely but this approach became the method by which nearly everything in the Missal was evaluated and re-rendered. It affected the people’s parts profoundly but even more thoroughly in the celebrant’s parts. The net result has been a form of prayer and a perceived content of the faith that has lived a separate existence from the Catechism of the Catholic Church or our history of popular devotions and prayers.

The Mass seemed like a thing apart from the rest of our lives as Catholics. It had a different flavor and tone, a peculiar casualness about its approach and message.

The new translation changes this. It treats the Latin as the text of continuing normative relevance. The result is a text that has more solemnity, seriousness, and dignity, and feels more Catholic in the sense in which people expect.

Compare the first Sunday of Advent preface:

CURRENT: When he humbled himself to come among us as a man, he fulfilled the plan you formed long ago and opened for us the way to salvation. Now we watch for the day, hoping that the salvation promised us will be ours when Christ our Lord will come again in his glory.

FORTHCOMING: For he assumed at his first coming the lowliness of human flesh, and so fulfilled the design you formed long ago, and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, that, when he comes again in glory and majesty and all is at last made manifest, we who watch for that day may inherit the great promise in which now we dare to hope.


The second is incomparably more evocative of the idea of Advent, complete with information missing from the first: the lowliness of flesh; the eternity of salvation; the glory and majesty of the coming; the inheritance of the promise; the dare of our hope. It has so much more color and drama!

The point is further illustrated in this preface for the first Sunday of Lent on The Temptation of the Lord:

CURRENT: His fast of forty days makes this a holy season of self-denial. By rejecting the devil’s temptations he has taught us to rid ourselves of the hidden corruption of evil, and so to share his paschal meal in purity of heart, until we come to its fulfillment in the promised land of heaven. .

FORTHCOMING: By abstaining forty long days from earthly food, he consecrated through his fast the pattern of our Lenten observance, and by overturning all the snares of the ancient serpent, taught us to cast out the leaven of malice, so that, celebrating worthily the Paschal Mystery, we might pass over at last to the eternal paschal feast.


So from the forthcoming text, we see the relationship of Christ’s fast to our own, the parallel of the devil in the desert and the devil in the garden, the rejecting of sin and the need for our own repentance, and the final relationship between Christ’s resurrection and our own eternal life of which the season of Easter serves as a metaphor. The first first flattens out all this and renders it at all plainly and unimaginatively as possible. Thus can we see how the new translation might even help restore unfashionable ideas like fasting during Lent!

2. A Push for Sacred Music. Of course the music of the Mass is the elephant in the living room, but at last some people are starting to talk about it. ICEL is emphasizing the propers of the Mass over random hymns that now dominate the liturgy. This is a very important, practical step toward fulfilling the hope for Gregorian chant to have pride of place in the Roman Rite.

The Missal itself contains a tremendous number of chants that are beautifully written and easy to sing, even without any instruments. My impression is that there is far more music, and that this music is more integral to the liturgical text itself. It contains the music and the Latin for Vidi aquam, Crux Fidelis for Good Friday, Ubi Caritas for Holy Thursday, and Gloria laus for Palm Sunday.

The beauty and dignity of the Mass text alone is going to create a better environment for chant and the music of the Roman Rite. More than any other change, this is the one that will lead to a general settling down at Mass so that the liturgy will be more prayerful and reflective, a time when time itself ceases and we are better able to contemplate and see into eternity. It is a fact that music makes a much larger contribution to the orientation of our mind and heart than is generally supposed.

And let us never forget that the Missal alone is not enough to provide music for the Roman Rite, though the excellent offerings in here might tempt us to think so. The sprinkling rite chant outside Paschal time, the Latin ordinary chants, and all the propers of the Mass in Gregorian chant - which must have first place at Mass - are all found in the Graduale Romanum or its English-language offshoots. These are also liturgical books of the Roman Rite, and this new Missal will provide new impetus to revisit them or discover them for the first time.

3. The End of the Liturgy Wars. Everyone knows about the wrangling and argument and contention of the last decades, an environment in which all sides squared off in bitter dispute about the environment of worship. The new Missal settles many of these disputes, not by declaring one side victorious but by reminding everyone of the real point behind our gathering for Mass in the first place. It is not about us. Once we decrease, he can increase, and in that increase we will find a new peace in our communities through the grace of the sacrament.

Indeed, the decades of wrangling have an underlying cause, which has been the attempt to push the Mass into being something that it really cannot be, which is nothing more than an uplifting gathering of like-minded friends with a unified theme. A translation that highlights the majesty and presence of of God brings the liturgy closer to its true personality and purpose, and in this we will find a new way of understanding the faith and the reason for our gathering in the first place.

4. New Decorum. The casualness of the Missal text and its studied attempt at plain speaking had many spillover effects, one of which has been to encourage a sort of sloppiness in the way we all comport ourselves at and during the liturgy. The seriousness that has been missing can more easily reassert itself in the context of a liturgical text that itself is more elevated and oriented toward heavenly things.

A new sense of dignity and decorum will come more easily to us when we cut the plain-talking ways and speak and listen to words that are not like any words we use in conversation. I fully expect that the new Missal will give impetus to other related reforms such as an altar orientation toward the East, kneeling for communion, and better and more dignified vestments and furnishings.

5. A Hinge of History. I’ve had several people point out to me the similarities in language between the new Missal and the transitional Missal of 1965. Much of the music that came out immediately following the Council - English plainchant - is now making a comeback. More and more people are looking back to the Second Vatican Council to discover what is that the Council meant to do and compare that to what actually happened from the late sixties onward.

I’ve joked that sometimes it seems like the whole of Catholic liturgical history has done as giant leap from 1965 to 2011 and it remains somewhat foggy and unclear what happened in the intervening years. At last, and after much suffering and pain, we seem to be on the right track again. We might find that our parishes will fill up again, our seminaries will have new vocations, and popular devotions will return as part of Catholic life. All of this will get a huge push forward with the new Missal. This is the year, the year that in 100 years people will look back and say: this was the turning point.

None of this will be obvious on November 27, but it will become more and more clear as time goes on. And for that we must be supremely grateful to all those who prayers and hard work have brought us to this point where the light of the faith as expressed through the liturgy is appearing before us in our time.