Thursday, March 31, 2011


Blogging not too few blogs ago, I had a brainstorm about printing in my parish bulletin the new English translation of the Collect, Prayer over the Offerings and the Prayer After Communion.

It reminded me of the old hand missals people had in pre-Vatican II times that gave them the English translation of the Latin Prayers.

Well, the current lame duck translations are so poor and no where near what the original Latin is, we need to see what the actual Latin translation is, so from now until the First Sunday of Advent the new, improved and theologically and doctrinally correct translation can be seen and read as the priest sings or says these lame duck translations. My mouth is watering for the Beijing Duck translations to be here on the table as soon as possible; but I'll have to wait until Advent!

While some of these prayers could have been translated into a more flowing English style, I'm so glad that these are theologically and doctrinally correct with the correct Catholic spirituality, that I don't care about some of the clunkiness. That clunkiness can be alleviated in later adjustments of the new missal. Keep in mind that the current lame duck missal had several readjustments since 1970!

Press this for the SAINT JOSEPH BULLETIN. Then scroll to the end for the Beijing Duck!


You can read about the silent "Clown Stations of the Cross" in the Archdiocese of Baltimore about three years ago by pressing this entire sentence!

Someone once said that if a parishioner comes up to you and says that a Mass or prayer service was very meaningful or very "precious" then beware, you missed the mark in what Catholic prayer, Mass and spirituality are all about.

But this is precious, wouldn't you agree?

And I thought all the liturgical and praying clowns were gone. Where are the clowns? They are at the Stations!


The National Catholic Reporter has an ARTICLE YOU CAN READ HERE, on Sister Elizabeth Johnson's reaction to the Bishop's Committee who panned her book. Of course Sister is 69 years old and certainly within that realm of "descontructionists" who push a "spirit" of Vatican II agenda in this day and age. These people are usually around this age who remember as though it was yesterday the headiness of the "spirit of Vatican II" days of the 1960's and '70's and were leaders in implementing this "spirit" in their communities only to have the "reform of the reform within continuity" come and derail their Utopian plans for the Church and for God Himself. This ideology has had a deleterious effect on religious orders and on the Church. But there is a very strong current of denial in what it has wrought, both in their communities and in the Church.

Her theology captures the essence of the theology of many religious orders that find feminism that is post-Christian and certainly post-Catholic much to their liking.

Anyway, read the NCR article, let them report and you decide!

And you can see John Allen's summary HERE as well as WDTPRS comments!


When I was in the seminary, there was real talk about the Catholic Church changing its name. Now this talk was amongst seminarians inspired by Vatican II and the euphoric attitude the Church had concerning ecumenism in the immediate aftermath of the "spirit" of Vatican II. What better gesture toward ecumenism than to change the Catholic Church's name to the Christian Church. That would unite us with all those who are Christian. The only requisite for receiving Holy Communion is that we be Christian, that is baptized in one form or another. Instant Christian unity, everything else could be sacrificed and was considered fluff!

Now mind you, I'm not talking about serious theologians and bishops considering this, it was the lunatic left that was a very powerful force in the late 1960's and 1970's, drunk on the euphoria of the "spirit" of Vatican II.

But consider what more radical, left leaning reformers after Vatican II did to the Church and her Catholic identity.

1. They dismantled all traditional Catholic piety including a very powerfully strong Marian piety. The Holy Rosary was definitely out! Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was out--the tabernacle was moved to locations that very few people would visit except for the most die hard of adorers. Novenas, processions and the devotional music were out.

2. The Mass itself was reformed to reflect Protestant sensitivities and allure them to become enamored with the Mass as meal, simplified, in the vernacular,and devotion surrounding it not as pietistic, all the things that would appeal to Protestant sensibilities and thus bring us closer together.

3. The English translation of the Mass was a paraphrase of the original Latin reform of the Mass. In many places the English translation has no resemblance to the Latin meaning whatsoever. This is now being shown with the new English translation which is more faithful to the Latin, especially as it concerns theology and doctrine which are the most important things to be preserved. In many of the translations there is the heresy of Palagism. Catholic devotion is lost in terms of superlatives to describe the Church, Christ, Eucharistic actions, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints. All of this would appeal to Protestant sensibilities. It would dumb down our Catholic identity and it certainly has (the law of prayer is the law of belief and if the prayer is wrong, diminished, heretical and dumbed down, the same happens to our belief!)

What Pope Benedict has done in his short papacy is to identify the need to the Catholic Church to be unabridged in her Catholic identity. He has done this with his theology of "Reform within continuity" approach with what the Church was prior to Vatican II. He has sought to bring about inner healing in the Church so that we do not view the Church prior to the Second Vatican II as some nasty anachronistic institution that Vatican II did away with and instituted something entirely new altogether.

The liberal allowance of the "unreformed" Mass using the Missal of 1962 which was the missal used at Vatican II is a sign that what was good for the Church since the 1500's if not before cannot be bad for the Church today.

The Holy Father's view of Christian unity is important too. It means that those who wish to enter the full communion of the Catholic Church which is always to be understood as being under the authority of the successor of St. Peter, the Pope, means that they must become more Catholic, the Catholic Church does not become more Protestant.

Thus we have the Anglican Ordinariate. This structure will allow Anglicans and Episcopalians to return to the full communion of the Catholic Church but only after its Protestant ideologies are purified. However, their tradition of prayer and liturgy that are in keeping with Catholic traditions can be retained. There is now talk of Lutherans returning to the Full Communion of their Church (The Catholic Church) through a similar means! Pope Benedict is the pope of Christian unity!

The greatest struggle the Church has now is with her own. Those who wish to remake the Catholic Church according to the principles of liberal Protestantism symbolized by the Episcopal Church.

That won't wash! Yes many Catholics want a Church that is no different from Protestant communions, embraces all the secular trends concerning human sexuality and marriage, included homosexual marriage, divorce, remarriage and a million other combinations of human relationships. It won't work though. It can't! The Church can never be officially opposed to Christ and His teachings. That would make us the Anti-Christ.

Yes, we will see many Catholics defecting for more liberal expressions of Christianity and for no religion whatsoever. We have to let them go if we can't persuade them to change and convert to Christ.

Yes, the Catholic Church many be fewer in numbers and that's just fine if we are faithful to Christ and our Catholic identity.

The "spirit" of Vatican II babel is not dead. It keeps rearing its ugly head in diehard liberal theologians. At least in this case below, the bishops of the United States grab the "bull" and it is that, by the horns and call it for what it is:



Wednesday, March 30, 2011


"Bless me father for I have sinned. It has been a week since my last confession and these are my sins. I am distracted in prayer and at Mass and I am overly critical of what happens at Mass. I am too negative. I am sorry for these sins and all the sins of my past life, especially being too negative about how the Mass is celebrated."

I have to confess that when I am on vacation and attend Mass incognito, I am very critical of what I experience in parish Masses elsewhere. This is a litany of the things that set me off and become an occasion of sin for me:

Priests who are overly pious as though they are acting for the congregation--makes me long for ad orientem Masses!

Too much activity in the sanctuary before Mass begins, clergy prancing around in their vestments getting things ready; choir people milling about, laughing, talking and being a distraction.

Introductions to the Mass after the greeting that become homilies or just plain silly, boring banter, explaining what will be happening, what the readings will be etc.

Sloppy preparations for Mass; ugly art; altar servers who are clueless about their ministry; lectors who can't read; communion ministers who are poorly or improperly dressed, just a lack of attention to detail.

Choirs and cantors that think they must entertain the congregation, direct them and draw attention to themselves.

Music that sounds like it is better suited for a piano bar and a gin and tonic. Get rid of pianos, banjos and guitars! I like these, but not at Mass!

Talking before and after Mass to the point no one can pray privately.

I haven't seen any clowns at Mass in a really long time. There is a God!

And the beat goes on.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


This video brought back memories on two levels. I saw this when it first aired as a child. My dad loved Ed Sullivan and it was must see on Sunday night at my home. Although my dad was somewhat miffed that Ed had the Beatles on his show, which I also saw live!

But my parish in Augusta where I grew up had a folk group shortly after Vatican II, somewhere around 1968 or 69 and of course Kumbaya was sung repeatedly and with one of the singers shouting out words that we should repeat as in this video. What nostalgia! And this was purported to be the wave of the future! Latin Gregorian Chant was out! Polyphony was out! Traditional Music was out! This was in and would be forever until the Second Coming! Anyone have Alka-Seltzer?

Benedictine Nuns of Erie, PA (Kumbaya the Cause?)

(Of this effect?:)
Evidently the song leader must have shouted out, "sing, get rid of your habit, Kumbaya, Get rid of your habit, Kumbaya, Get rid of your habit, kumbaya, O Lord, Kumbaya! The two seem to be counter opposed!

Now this I really dig!

Sadly, Sister Bertrell had to give up flying when her order gave up the habit! Sister Bertrell shortly after giving up the habit and how she looks today. She's aged well!


If the following images produce feelings of loathing the Catholic Church and her traditions, how do you then allow God's grace to redeem you and help you to love the Church, warts and all?

The Church of today is a Church of extremes. On one end of the spectrum, we have those who live in the past and think everything that has happened since Vatican II has been negative. They loathe the "AM Church" as some call it.

Then you have those on the opposite end who think everything that happened in the Church prior to Vatican II was just horrible. They loathe cappa magnas, authority, order, hierarchy, and just about anything else that was of the culture of the Church prior to Vatican II.

Some loathe Latin, some loathe the vernacular. Some loathe the priest facing away from them, some loathe the priest facing them.

Some loathe burlap and felt, others loathe Gothic gold and fiddle back vestments.

What if we all joined in the middle and followed Pope Benedict's hermeneutic of reform within continuity with the Church prior to the Council. Would that help to put an end to self-loathing and inspire Catholics to love the Church as she is and is developing grateful for the past, happy in the present and looking forward to the future, especially life in heaven which the Church is meant to prepare us?

Another blog has asked the question, "what positive things do you like about the Church as she is now?"

I might ask the same question. Don't be negative or loathing in your responses.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Last year's newly baptized bringing forward the gifts for the Holy Eucharist. We only had five last year. This year we have 16. The 16 will begin their exorcisms this Sunday and for the next two Sundays!

Last year's candidates being received into the Church at the Easter Vigil:

The Third, Fourth and Fifth Sundays of Lent are the days when the Scruntinies are celebrated for the Elect. The Elect are the unbaptized candidates for the Easter Vigil when they will receive Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion and thus be fully initiated into the Church.

The Second Sunday of Lent is the Sunday that those who are baptized in other Christian Communions are acknowledged and prayed over, seeking God's grace.

Often when you read what theologians have to say about a certain ceremony of the Church, you will hear them say for example, that Baptism washes away Original Sin. The Scruntinies purify the elect of the effects of evil.

In my mind, I think it is better to say that Jesus washes away Original Sin through the Sacrament of Baptism. Jesus purifies the human person of the effect of the devil in the Scruntinies. The ceremonies and prayers are the means by which God's grace in the Divine Person of Jesus is made manifest to the one receiving the grace and to those who witness it.

We prayed over our baptized candidates last week, about 15 of them. This Sunday and the next two Sundays we will pray over our Elect, about 16 of them.

I can't wait for the Easter Vigil when the Risen Lord fully initiates all our candidates into His life, death and resurrection through the ceremonies of the Church and Her sacraments.

This is what Father Paul Turner writes about the Scruntinies:

Tell people they will face a scrutiny before they can join your community, and they will probably say, "Thanks, but no thanks." Boldly, our church expects not one but three scrutinies of elect before their baptism at Easter. Scrutinies are rites of self-searching and repentance.

When people from another spiritual background seek baptism in the Catholic church, they do so by stages. First we accept them into the order of catechumens. Then as they complete their catechetical formation we enroll them among the "elect," or those chosen for baptism.

This rite of election generally coincides with the beginning of Lent. Three times during Lent the church prays the scrutinies to encourage a spirit of repentance among those who seek a worthy celebration of baptism. Although scrutinies have returned fairly recently to Catholic parishes, they originated early in church history. St. Ambrose and St. Augustine celebrated them in the fourth and fifth century to mark the spiritual progress of the catechumens. The moral preparation of catechumens included prayers of exorcism to drive out the spirit of evil which kept them from embracing Christ as their light.

In the scrutinies the church discerned if those exorcisms had achieved their effect. Catechumens entered the church, stood barefoot on goatskin and renounced evil influences all night. Those unworthy of baptism had to wait another year for Easter to roll around again. Today's scrutinies seem less intense. They still include an exorcism, in which the priest or deacon prays that the spirit of evil may be replaced by the spirit of good.

Their purpose is not so much to examine the candidates' mental readiness but their spiritual readiness. Scrutinies offer the catechumens the support they need to approach the waters of baptism worthily. For those who are already baptized, the scrutinies invite us to embrace the same spirit of self-searching and repentance. At Easter we renew our baptismal promises as we see the catechumens baptized. So during Lent we renew our repentance as we see the elect scrutinized.

The scrutinies remind us of the seriousness of our Christian life and inspire us to turn from evil and pursue good. They enliven our recommitment to Christ at Easter.

These rites are intended to purify the catechumens' minds and hearts, to strengthen them against temptation, to purify their intentions and to make firm their decision. They are designed to help the elect recognize anything that is weak, defective or sinful in their hearts so it may be strengthened. In other words, these rites are to be focal points in the ongoing conversion of the elect, times for coming to grips with the reality of evil and the struggle necessary to root it out of their lives (and our lives as well).

The scrutinies are celebrated on the Third , Fourth , and Fifth Sundays of Lent. The Roman Ritual of the R.C.I.A. states that ordinarily Cycle A readings are used for these three Sundays, regardless of the year. Each scrutiny occurs after the homily at Mass in the presence of the community. The scruntinies consist of prayers for the elect by the whole community and an exorcism with an imposition of hands. The elect are then dismissed from the assembly.

Copyright © 1997 Resource Publications, Inc., 160 E. Virginia St. #290, San Jose, CA 95112, (408) 286- 8505, Paul Turner, pastor of St. Munchin Parish in Cameron, Mo.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Every time I read the difference between the lame duck and the Beijing Duck prayers, I cringe that I have to pray before our believing community the stripped down prayers that we currently have in the Roman Missal. I almost feel like printing the new translation in our bulletin and praying the Latin version of it at Mass so people aren't malformed by these old prayers that we have to say until November 26th! Or I could start placing the new prayers in the bulletin each week so people can see just how horrible the older ones are and this would prepare them for November 26th! Brilliant, if I do say so myself! What would I do without me?


Current lame duck:

Father, you have taught us to overcome our sins
by prayer, fasting, and works of mercy.
When we are discouraged by our weakness,
give us confidence in your love.

Forthcoming Beijing Duck:

O God, author of every mercy and of all goodness,
who in fasting, prayer and almsgiving
have shown us a remedy for sin,
look graciously on this confession of our lowliness,
that we, who are bowed down by our conscience,
may always be lifted up by your mercy.


Current lame duck:

Lord, in sharing this sacrament
may we receive your forgiveness
and be brought together in unity and peace.

Forthcoming Beijing Duck:

As we receive the pledge
of things yet hidden in heaven
and are nourished while still on earth
with the Bread that comes from on high,
we humbly entreat you, O Lord,
that what is being brought about in us in mystery
may come to true completion.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Photos of Solemn Sung Vespers and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament for the Vigil of the Annunciation

Eucharistic Procession as prelude to Vespers and Benediction:

Incensing the Most Blessed Sacrament:

Homily for our Second Graders and 9th Graders preparing for First Holy Communion and Confirmation respectively. Please note the Most Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance on the reredos and please note the center window which is the Annunciation Window of our Church:


Last night's Vigil of the Annunciation with a Eucharistic procession, Adoration, Solemn Sung Vespers with our women's schola singing a lovely setting of the Magnificat and our candidates for First Holy Communion and Confirmation present was very beautiful. It concluded with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. I'll post pictures when I get them!

View these artistic renderings of the Annunciation and the final piece of art you can even eat today it you wish!
The Annunciation in art:

Because of the Annunciation and even though it is a Friday during Lent you can eat this today! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Tonight, the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord will see St. Joseph Catholic Church in good old Macon, Georgia celebrating Solemn Sung Vespers. It will begin with a Eucharistic Procession in the Church, followed by solemn Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the singing of Solemn Sung Vespers (Evensong) and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Our children candidates for First Holy Communion and Confirmation will form an honor guard. As well our "elect" and candidates for full communion into the Church will be present. All will be acknowledged and the children will receive a special prayer of blessing.
Some images of Eucharistic Processions and Solemn Vespers in years gone by:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


The National Catholic Fishwrap, I mean, Reporter has a brief article on Richard Sipe. Sipe has been an out-spoken person asking for sweeping reforms in the Church due to the sex scandals. In this article it is pointed out what Pope Benedict should do. "What can Benedict do to resolve the sexual crisis of Catholicism? At the very least he could open up for discussion and study the antiquated sexual teachings on such common practices as birth control, use of condoms and sex outside of marriage. Further, he could lead the way to making celibacy optional for priests and allow women in the ministry."

The other thing Sipe says is that Pope Benedict and most of the bishops of the world should resign. Read the NCR article by pressing HERE.

Richard Sipe is a former Dominican priest who in the 1960's left the priesthood and married. He is a product of the flakey 1960's.

In an obvious prejudicial statement against the elderly,(an anti-elderly position) both the NCR and Richard Sipe conclude the following: "But it is unlikely that any of these reforms will happen as long the aging pope and the old men of the Vatican persist on retaining their power and control."

Keep in mind that Richard Sipe is probably as old as the pope, not to mention most who read the NCR and write for it! These are the mirror image of the Holy Father, the hippie generation of the 1960's and 70's! Richard Sipe and his ilk are in arrested development, still banging that drum from the 1960's and thinking it is cool, man!

In the 1970's Richard sipe was hired by St. Mary Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland to teach pastoral theology, which means that he taught me pastoral theology at St. Mary's Seminary.

He was a lightweight teacher and extremely boring. All of his students made fun of his class. It was something we had to endure and we learned nothing except the following two things that stick in my mind to this day:

1. He loved Mother Teresa of Calcutta. He was obsessed with her. Every class it seemed had something about Mother Teresa in it.

2. He loved the bringing up of the gifts of bread and wine in procession at Mass with his children. He said that just as the "bells" at consecration were so important to children at the pre-Vatican II Mass (keep in mind that by the 1970's most parishes had done away with any bells at Mass, so children no longer heard them nor adults)that today (1970's) it was the procession of the gifts to the altar that was important to them. So he equated the bringing up of the gifts at Mass with the bells at consecration. Is it any wonder that the children that Richard Sipe was speaking of in the 1970's no longer practice the faith today as adults if the bringing up of the gifts to the altar was more important that what happens at the consecration in their eyes?

Richard Sipe is an old man, if you pardon me borrowing from his jargon, who thinks that he can effect change and reform in the Church through all of his efforts to take her down. He is a Pelagian formed by a corrupt translation of the Mass which has poorly translated prayers that indicate that we can do all things and God will simply pat us on the head and say, "go for it.!" Sipe is a sad character indeed.

Richard Sipe has become a left wing Episcopalian. He should be honest about it and join them.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Father Robert Girardeau died unexpectedly this past Sunday. I processed his application to the diocese to become a seminarian and worked with him as his vocation director until he was ordained. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him.

Press HERE to read what the Americus, Georgia newspaper wrote about him. Americus is near Plains, Georgia.

Press HERE for the obituary.


It was a feast for the whole person and all his senses, sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch and the sense of the sacred. I'm speaking about our Extraordinary Form Solemn High Mass for the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Mass was instituted by our Savior on Holy Thursday during a Seder or Passover meal. It was a formal affair and Jesus reinterpreted the meaning of this meal, although within the hermeneutic of continuity of its Jewish meaning, to show forth the saving events of Good Friday, the passion and death of Jesus Christ, His sacrifice on the Cross that saves us from sin and death. He also changes the bread and wine of this meal into His Body and Blood.

His actions at the Last Supper can only be fully comprehended with 20/20 hindsight in light of Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.

The Sacrificial aspect of the Mass comes first. We are prepared for it through acknowledgment of sin, more elaborate in the EF Mass than in the OF Mass, but present in both. We listen to the Word of God and are instructed by God Himself in the Sacred Scriptures proclaimed.

We remember the events of salvation during the praying of the Eucharistic prayer as the One Sacrifice of Christ which is now eternal is made available to us in the present, although in an "unbloody" way. Having experienced the essence of our salvation, Jesus' self-giving to the Father on our behalf which is for all present (even those unable to receive Holy Communion), the many than come forward to share in the banquet of the Body and Blood of our Lord under the form of bread and wine. Not all are invited, only those initiated into the Church through Holy Baptism. For those who have committed mortal sin after baptism, the sacrament of penance is necessary in order to worthily receive Holy Communion. Those who are not properly prepared or disposed should not come forward to receive our Lord in Holy Communion. But they should be at the Sacrifice of the Mass participating as the Church requests.

The only problem I see with an emphasis on the "meal" aspect of the Mass is what people mean by a meal. We can't take it for granted anymore that people have any sort of a formal meal at home, not even on Sunday. We've become a fast food culture. this has corrupted our understanding of meal.

And the type of meal that is the Holy Eucharist isn't one of laughter and gregarious fellowship. After all the Last Supper was precisely that, the Last Supper of a Man who would be condemned to death. It was a sober event tinged with anxiety and pain. It was a meal that preceded the Host being sent to the gallows. I wouldn't call that a time of superficial fellowship and clinking glasses in inebriated delight.

We're talking about a "meal" that remembers the passion and death of our Lord, the cruel torture He went through to sacrifice His life so that we could live for ever with Him in heaven. We're talking about a sacrifice so profound and painful, that the Heavenly Father embraces it and His Son as the final act of sacrifice needed for the atonement of sin. The animal sacrifices of the Jewish Temple are no longer needed or required. Jesus' sacrifice is it! It is cosmic in its eternal nature far outreaching any sacrifice that preceded it.

Perhaps we should reexamine just what kind of meal we are sharing and experiencing in the Most Holy Eucharist, the Sacrifice of the Mass.

Wouldn't it be better to have fellowship after the Mass, receptions, church dinners and the like? Shouldn't we fast before Mass and feast only afterward?

The type of fellowship modern liturgists tried to drag into the Mass these past forty years is really the type of fellowship that should be experienced after the Mass, in our Church halls and our dining rooms at home.

After Vatican II, liturgists tried to suppressed every form of popular devotion, including Eucharistic Adoration, and dump every form of odd devotion onto the Mass including the more profane understanding of meal. In doing so it turned the Mass into a closed circle of hand holding, Kumbaya singing, emotionally needy people who thought every liturgical novelty from clowns to leaping dancers would making the Mass more meaningful. They even turned the event of receiving Holy Communion at the altar railing which is an extension of the altar table into a drive through service where one walks up, grabs His "Food" and walks away while eating.

I much prefer the manner of receiving Holy Communion in the EF Mass. It's not like a drive through at a fast food restaurant or a ration line for the victims of some kind of natural disaster. The manner of receiving Holy Communion at the EF Mass is much more like a real, formal meal than the manner of receiving at the OF Mass, which is more like the grab and run of the McDonald's Last Supper.

Sunday, March 20, 2011



This Sunday afternoon at 2:00 PM we have an organ recital in the Church featuring Gail Archer. Then tomorrow at 7:30 PM we have an organ and brass concert; then on Thursday we have Solemn Sung Vespers with a Eucharistic Procession in the Church, Exposition and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Be there or be square!
My white Honda Accord, Fr. Justin's black truck and others covered in green pine pollen!

The green thick stuff that sticks in your throat! O the joy of Spring and the Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon. Note the Cherry tree in full bloom, a light pink, but the thick green pollen is from the pine trees, you can taste it! The Cherry trees all through Macon are splendid, thousands of visitors!

A better view of one of Macon's Cherry trees, 300,000 in Macon, this is the only one on the Church's property next to the rectory.