Sunday, March 31, 2019


Another thing that galls me is progressive ecumenicism in the Church which loves to work toward inner communion and the like with Protestantism which has no valid sacramental system apart from Holy Baptism and Holy Matrimony and even Matrimony as a Protestant sacrament could be questioned on a number of grounds.

These Catholic ecumenists glow in admiration of the liberal Protestants and so desire to be like them or achieve greater harmony with them, yet when it comes to the FSSXP, who are in more communion, might I add, full communion with the Church, these traditionalists groups are treated as pariah!

Such nonsense!

Thus this is truly good news regarding this papal appointment and I would dare say it is better for the Church to become more like the FSSXP than the Anglicans, no?

From the National Catholic Register:

Pope Francis Appoints French Patristics Scholar to Handle SSPX Talks


Msgr. Patrick Descourtieux, a former official at the now abolished Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei,’ is a distinguished patristics scholar who is said to be sympathetic to the SSPX and traditional communities.

Pope Francis appointed on Saturday a French Vatican official to oversee the care of religious communities of a traditional nature, and to assist with the regularization of the Society of St. Pius X.

Msgr. Patrick Descourtieux becomes head of the section within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith dealing with such communities.

He effectively takes over the responsibilities of Archbishop Guido Pozzo who was Secretary of the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei’ which the Pope abolished through a motu proprio (papal decree) in January.

A distinguished expert in patristics at the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum in Rome, Msgr. Descourtieux worked for ten years as an official at the pontifical commission.

Vatican insiders told the Register March 30 that his appointment shows that the abolition of Ecclesia Dei did not mean an end to its duties as some had feared, but rather amounted to an administrative change.

They therefore said that the work of caring for traditionalist communities in communion with Rome, and seeking reconciliation with the Society of St. Pius X, are expected to continue as before.

In a March 30 article, the French traditional Catholic periodical L’Homme Nouveau described Msgr. Descourtieux as a man of “exquisite kindness and great discretion” who is “said to have direct access to Pope Francis.”

It also pointed out that the appointment means the SSPX will be able to deal directly with the CDF, something they had requested.

Msgr. Descourtieux has “always had the desire to help all traditional groups,” the article continued, but especially with the various representatives of the SSPX.

“His appointment has all the appearances of being a positive sign,” it added.

One source told the Register that the French prelate is “very sympathetic to traditional communities and the SSPX and has good relationships with them all.” He is a “good and clever man,” the source added, “has very good scholarship, and can manage the conversations about doctrine.”

In January, the Holy Father said he had decided to abolish Ecclesia Dei after “ample reflection” and having considered what he called the “changed conditions” today compared to those that led Pope St. John Paul II creating the body in 1988.

In his Jan. 17 motu proprio, he wrote that the tasks of the commission would be “entirely assigned” to a “special section” within the CDF that would “continue the work of vigilance, promotion and protection” carried out by Ecclesia Dei.


Pontifical College Josephinum’s wreckovation under Msgr. Cupich in the 80’s:

Msgr. Chris Schreck’s, current rector, restoration:

Do not miss the symbolism of where this powerful talk was given by Archbishop Chaput, The Pontifical College Josephinum. Cardinal Cupich was the rector there in the 1980’s. In fact when I was vocation director, the then Msgr. Cupich offered me a position there.

Here is an excerpt of Archbishop Chaput’s powerful talk at the Columbus Pontifical Seminary:

And many bishops are also frustrated — to put it gently — with Rome for its unwillingness to acknowledge the real nature and scope of the abuse problem. Clerical privilege is not the problem.Clericalism may be a factor in the sexual abuse of minors, but no parent I know — and I hear from a lot of them — sees that as the main issue. Not naming the real problem for what it is, a pattern of predatory homosexuality and a failure to weed that out from Church life, is an act of self-delusion.”

Read the rest there:

Abp. Chaput: Sex abuse crisis has left laity, priests, bishops ‘angry’ with Rome

Saturday, March 30, 2019


This is 1958 and I still have this Santa Claus and yes he is still in great condition; I not so much.

Italian cowboy at our Napoli villa, actually mountaintop suburb overlooking Napoli, Vomero, 1955:

My first grade Atlanta St. Anthony everyday school uniform, 1959-60 school year.

My everyday play uniform, East Point, Ft. Macpherson, 1957. Apartments gone and Walking Dead now filmed here!!!!!

My favorite Italian eatery in my hometown of Napoli, 1956, and boy do I love that Italian wine from my mother’s region of Tuscany!


I was finishing my freshman year of college when this happened, and we hippie dippie college students were not amused! If this had not have happened, Augusta today would be the new Broadway, but alas, Broadway was not amused!

In retaliation and protest many of us radical collegians, not me, I was not that self confident, began the streaking rage of that period!

From this morning’s Augusta Chronicle:


MARCH 30, 1972
Augusta police temporarily interrupted the performance of the rock opera "Hair" at Bell Auditorium after a nude scene at the end of the first act.

City Police Chief James Beck said 12 actors, the stage manager and company manager Richard Grayson would be charged with public indecency.

Grayson said that there was a confrontation between police, performers and himself backstage after the nude scene, and that police "disrupted the performance" by trying to take pictures of nude actors.

Augusta police were accused of hitting actor Kenny Ortega in the face with a camera while interrupting a performance of “Hair” in 1972. [FILE/THE
Actors charged that police action in taking the picture was against Union Equity rules, and one actress charged that police struck star Kenny Ortega in the face with their camera.

Friday, March 29, 2019


(Stunningly Catholic interview of Cardinal below this which is the antidote to this!)

Secularists  and their new puritanical religion will stop at nothing to neutralize traditional Christianity if these traditional Christians take the moral teachings of Jesus seriously especially as it regards human sexuality and God's design for marriage.

Maybe that is why Pope Francis and His Holiness preferred advisors are watering down through pastoral acquiescence the Church's teachings in these areas to appease those who will strive to shut us down too?

Is this a wise policy or is martyrdom to be preferred?

Those in San Antonio promoting this kind of religious bigotry and hatred are Fascists pure and simple. 

Chick-fil-A Banned From Opening in San Antonio Airport

The San Antonio City Council voted to pass a project as long as it didn’t allow Chick-fil-A to open an eatery in the airport.

By Alexa Lardieri, Staff WriterMarch 22, 2019 
U.S. News & World Report

Chick-fil-A Banned From Opening in Airport

Chick-fil-A Restaurant logo sign with brick background.

The city council's decision comes a day after it was revealed that the Chick-fil-A Foundation gave more than $1.8 million to three organizations with a record of anti-LGBTQ discrimination  (Schulte Productions/Getty Images)

Chick-fil-A has been banned from opening a store in San Antonio International Airport because of its "legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior."
The San Antonio City Council on Thursday approved a new concessions agreement at the city's airport that will bring new food chains to one of its terminals.

But City Councilman Roberto Trevino made a motion regarding the deal, amending it so that it did not include a planned Chick-fil-A eatery. Trevino's amendment was approved 6-4 by the council.

"With this decision, the City Council reaffirmed the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion. San Antonio is a city full of compassion, and we do not have room in our public facilities for a business with a a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior," Trevino said. "Everyone has a place here, and everyone should feel welcome when they walk through our airport. I look forward to the announcement of a suitable replacement by Paradies."

But Cardinal Sarah in a new interview has the antidote for the Church! May this prophet be heard and promoted!!!!!!!

Cardinal Sarah: God never abandons His Church

“True reform is about our own conversion,” said CardinalRobert Sarah in a recent interview with a French weekly. “If we do not change ourselves, all structural reforms will be useless. Lay people, priests, cardinals, we must all return to God…”

Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, leaves a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 5, 2018. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 
Press title above for complete article, below are excerpts:
Sarah said that “we must rediscover this primary responsibility of the pope and each bishop.”

“Christ founded a Church whose mode of government is hierarchical. The first person in charge of the Church is the pope. The first person in charge of the local Church is the bishop in his diocese, and not the episcopal conference, which is useful for exchanging (views), not for imposing a direction,” he said when asked about synodality.

The cardinal warned that contradictions between different bishops’ conferences on moral teachings do not serve Catholic unity and faith. “An episcopal conference has no legal authority or competence in the field of doctrine,” he said.

Sarah said that the primary responsibility for the collapse of faith in the West “must be assumed by the priests.” He pointed to decades when, he said, confessionals were empty, liturgy desacralized, and doctrine was not taught in Catholic universities and seminaries.

“Clearly, there is a strong majority of priests who remain faithful to their mission of teaching, sanctification and government. But there is also a small number that yields to the morbid and villainous temptation to align the Church with the values ​​of today’s Western societies,” Sarah said.

“They want above all to say that the Church is open, welcoming, attentive, modern. But the Church is not made to listen, she is made to teach: she is Mater and magistra, mother and educator,” he added.

Cardinal Sarah defended celibacy in the priesthood, calling it one of the “greatest riches of the Church.”

“The abandonment of celibacy would further aggravate the crisis of the Church and lessen the position of the priest, who is called to be not only another Christ, but Christ himself, poor, humble and single,” he said.

The cardinal also emphasized the importance of a united community in facing the challenges of the secularized world, which often opposes “the road of Christ.”


In the last days of the 1967/68 school year, the first year of our new school, the Science club that I was in planned to place items in a time capsule that would be buried and opened in the year 2000. Our school started out as 8th through 10th in 1967 and added a class each year. The first graduating class was 1970. Mine was the second, 1971. It was the first air conditioned high school in Augusta and I can still remember the pleasures of it. In fact it was quite cold in the heat of the summer and most of us needed sweaters!!!!!!

A typical tape recorder of that day, with two reels. The principal, teachers and we students in the Science club all said something on this tape recording. The principal, as you will hear, opines that there may not be traditional tape recorders in the year 2000 and wonders if it can be played then!

Yes, Mr. Ollerich, not only played but put on YouTube!!!!!!!!

I recall that day on May 31st when I made my brief remarks (and I sound like a baby) that I needed to remember this day so as not to forget about 2000 as I wanted to hear my voice as a 9th grader in 2000! I never forgot, but no one every told me that the time capsule was opened.

Last night, and only by a fluke, or an intervention from the other side of life, I went to Facebook, which I very rarely use, and found by accident a website for my class of 1971 which I did not know existed.

As I scrolled down through the years of posting, somewhere around 2014 or so a classmate posts the tape recording that had been discovered in tact and now on YouTube! The sound quality is amazing!!!!

On the video, the recording of my voice is at minute 8:35!! I sound like a baby!

I am still stunned, Adrenalin running and did not sleep well last night because of it. It brought tears to my eyes hearing all those voices.  I thought this thing was lost forever but I never forgot about it!!!!

The principal and teachers all have the very, very classic Augusta southern accent which I think is being lost today in Augusta. Each major city in Georgia as a unique take on the southern accent and quite different in Augusta, Savannah and Macon.

The kids, though, for the most part are all army brats and have been around the world and thus sound different but with tinges of southern accents depending on how long they lived in Augusta.

I am 14 years old in this recording having arrived by boat from Italy ten or so years earlier. My Canadian father by this time had a neutral midwestern accent (no accent). My mother had a very thick Italian accent with her broken English. How in the name of God and all that is holy do I sound sound like a Georgia Cracker?????????? with a tinge of the classic Augusta southern sound?


Thursday, March 28, 2019


At least multiple credible and incredible sources are saying!

· Pope Francis is expected to appoint Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta to serve as the next Archbishop of Washington, multiple sources have independently reported to CNA. 


Can you imagine 10s of people kissing you hand. What germs does the 10th one get?

Well...just think of the common chalice and the last few who drink the dregs (which one wonders if it is Precious Blood because it is so diluted with 10s of people's saliva).

The Holy Father has concern for the 10s of people who kiss his hand/ring and the contagion it presents to them and yes to His Holiness.

We know that in Europe it is very unusual for anyone to include priest concelebtrants to drink from the common chalice. It just isn't done out of an abundance of caution when it comes to contagion and epidemics (think of the plague!).

At the Vatican, not even the Cardinal concelebrants drink from a common chalice upon the altar, they intinct their Host. The other concelebrants do the same!

Thus we have yet another clarification from the Vatican this morning concerning the Papal Ringgate:

In comments to reporters today, Vatican spokesman said he asked the this morning why he decided not to let some of the faithful kiss his ring in Loreto. Francis said he didn't want to spread germs among the many who had come to greet him


Not a peep out of Collegeville, who secretly colluded  with the Vatican prior to Vatican II to make their liturgical insensibilities go viral worldwide, about the preferred way to orient the pope during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!

But if the pope had set up a card table in front of the magnificent ad orientem altar, it would have been covered as the best thing everrrrr:

Wednesday, March 27, 2019



The Cherry Blossom Festival brought thousands of visitors to Macon each year. Sometimes the cherry blossoms cooperated and were in full bloom but at other times not so much. I hear that this year the Cherry Blossoms have cooperated spectacularly!

St. Joseph Church in Macon has a wonderful team of tour guides to welcome the thousands that came through to see our splendid Cathedral, I mean, Church. 

Here are some photos of the way we were:

 Katelyn Heck (whose wedding I officiated; her husband was in our RCIA class prior to the wedding and thus a Catholic the time of it!) WMAZ 13 News Anchor and Fr. Godfred, Parochial Vicar. It rained that Cherry Blossom Festival Parade Sunday and Fr. Godfred and I were to ride with Katelyn as our Chauffeur. Sadly, we couldn't ride in the open air with the top down. But it was fun nonetheless. Katelyn gave me a gift of a crystal candy bowel with a top with a cross on top. It was so nice that now I use it at St. Anne Church as the ablutions bowl next to the tabernacle. It is just perfect!

The other priest depicted is former parochial vicar Fr. Dawid Kwiatkowski!

 Now retired US Senator Saxby Chambliss speaking after Holy Communion, a really, really nice prince of a man!

Above in the passenger's seat is a convert of mine, Nate Swan, now a third year theologian at Mt. St. Mary's and to be ordained a transitional deacon in May. Not pictured are two other converts of mine who are now seminarians at Mt. St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, Lewis King and Michael Downey!

Deacon Donald Coates:

Cherry Blossom Tree by rectory back door:


This comment is from Bee who lives in Chicagoland! I thought it good enough to be a post:

Bee here:

If this guy (Jussie Smollett) had pulled this hoax but it never went national, or never even got picked up by local news, and he only got the sympathy of his family and friends, and then upon investigation the police found out it was a hoax, he probably wouldn't have had 16 felony counts against him, but he probably would have gotten charged, convicted, and sentenced to probation and maybe some hundreds of hours of community service. And that would have been the end of that.

So the problem is not what happened, but that he became a symbol, and once again, we were baited by the media to pay attention to something that at it's heart is inconsequential. Whatever the outcome, the media used the story from start to finish to create division and hostility between people in order o further a political agenda. Now everyone has a strong opinion, and may feel outrage, on both sides!

We gotta stop falling for this socialist technique the media uses to create a dialectic, presenting things in such a way as to create outrage and encouraging us to take a side. Then we argue and insult each other on social media over those opinions. And no one wins except the socialists who are employing a strategy of divide and conquer.

Jussie Smollett is of no consequence whatsoever. Nathan Phillips is of no consequence whatsoever. And the next Leftist loon who will step onto the stage with his/her victim story is of no consequence either.

Turn off the media. If you can't turn it off, turn it down. Way down. What they are doing is manipulating us in order to destroy our country. Don't let them.

God bless.


Documents. Lucetta Scaraffia's letter to the Pope and the reply from the director of "L’Osservatore Romano"

On the morning of Tuesday 26 March, just as Pope Francis was visiting Rome, the earthquake that brought all the Vatican media under the full control of Santa Marta saw the last bastion of resistance fall: "Women, Church, World ", The monthly supplement of" L'Osservatore Romano ", with the resignation in block of the director, Lucetta Scaraffia, and of all the members of the editorial committee, including the Dominican psychologist and theologian Catherine Aubin, lecturer at the" Angelicum ", and the authoritative Jewish historian Anna Foa.

Lucetta Scaraffia, until Giovanni Maria Vian was abruptly removed as director of "L'Osservatore Romano" on December 18, was also "editorial consultant" of the newspaper of the Holy See, as well as a columnist, and daily supervised the layout of the newspaper , before it was put into print.

From that day this role has ceased and his signature has disappeared from the pages of the newspaper. However, it remained at the head of "Women Church World", which recently had raised the veil over the exploitation of so many sisters by members of the clergy, an exploitation also made of sexual abuse.

Settimo Cielo emphasized an editorial in "L 'L'Osservatore Romano" on 26 July, of vigorous and original defense of the encyclical of Paul VI "Humanae vitae".

The reasons that have now led Lucetta Scaraffia and her collaborators to leave are explained - as well as in various interviews - in the letter she wrote to Pope Francis, reproduced in full below.

This is followed by the "note" of the current director of "L'Osservatore Romano" Andrea Monda, released on the morning of March 26th.


Dear Pope Francis,

With great regret we inform you that we are suspending our collaboration with “donna chiesa mondo”, the monthly magazine of the Osservatore Romano founded by us, of which Benedict XVI allowed its birth seven years ago and which you have always encouraged and supported. We throw in the towel because we feel surrounded by a climate of mistrust and progressive delegitimization, from a look in which we do not feel esteem and credit to continue our collaboration.

With the closure of “women church world” a new and exceptional experience for the Church ends, or rather breaks, for the first time: a group of women, who have organized themselves independently and who have voted within them and the entrance of new editors, he was able to work in the heart of the Vatican and of the communication of the Holy See, with free intelligence and heart, thanks to the consent and support of two popes. Our initiative, as you know, has had and has an uncommon success, with a printed edition in Spanish published by "Vida Nueva", a more recent edition in French with "La Vie" and an English edition published online.

 In these seven years, our goal is to give a voice to women who, as Churches, work in the Church and for the Church, opening themselves to a dialogue with women of other religions, has come true and involved thousands of lay people and consecrated women, confronting continuously with thought and with the vision of lay people, of consecrated persons, of presbyters, of bishops. There were many topics addressed: from scientific discoveries to political presence; from the reinterpretation enriched by the acquisitions of the most recent history of holy doctors of the Church, such as Teresa d 'Avila and Ildegarda di Bingen, to canon law; from the special feminine qualities that emerged in the proclamation of the Gospel and in the actions of pacification in the world to the requests of consecrated women in the Church today. In each issue space has been given to meditation on the Gospel texts, edited by the sisters of the monastic community of Bose, and to biblical exegesis by scholars, even non-Catholic. From this second vein three books were born about the women of the Old Testament, those of the Gospels and those of St. Paul, edited by Nuria Calduch Benages and also published in Spanish.

Our editorial staff, which met annually for a three-day spiritual retreat at the monastery of Bose, worked as an intellectual and interior laboratory, attentive to listening and welcoming what the readers indicated as a fruitful place and as a research reality, convinced like you that reality is superior to ideologies, to open new avenues of dialogue. And we were ready to walk even unexplored paths. Particularly rich and interesting was the deepening of the relationship with Muslim women, which was accompanied by the rediscovery of a dense female presence in the ancient Islamic tradition, today almost ignored. We have often felt like miners who discovered precious metal strands and brought them to the light and to the knowledge of all: a true human and universal wealth, and in this sense "catholic".

 Of course, among the many letters we have received from readers, including numerous consecrated women, there have also emerged painful cases and experiences that have filled us with indignation and suffering. As you well know, we were not the first to speak, as perhaps we should have, of the serious denunciations of exploitation to which many consecrated women have been and are subjected (both in the subordinate service and in the sexual abuse) but we have told it after that the facts had emerged, also thanks to many media. We could no longer be silent: the trust that so many women had placed in us would have been seriously injured.

Now it seems to us that a vital initiative is reduced to silence and that we return to the antiquated and arid custom of choosing from above, under direct male control, of women deemed reliable. In this way a positive work and a beginning of a frank and sincere relationship are discarded, an opportunity for "parresia", to return to clerical self-referentiality. Just when this road is denounced by you as infertile.

Holy Father, to you and your predecessor we owe the gratitude for these seven years of passionate work which - we are sure of it - has contributed, albeit to a small extent, to giving feminine conscience, thought and soul to the Church in the world: why indeed, as we read in your apostolic exhortation "Evangelii gaudium" (104) women "ask the Church profound questions that challenge her and that cannot be easily evaded".

Lucetta Scaraffia

21 March 2019

I take note of the free and autonomous decision of Professor Scaraffia to interrupt the collaboration with "L 'L'Osservatore Romano", and to consider her direction of "Women Church World" closed.

Our sincere thanks go to you, together with the good wishes of all, for the precious work carried out in these years with great commitment and in complete freedom.

In these few months since I was appointed Director I have guaranteed to Professor Scaraffia, and to the group of women of the editorial staff, the same total autonomy and the same total freedom that have characterized the monthly insert since it was born, refraining from interfering in any way on the invoice of the monthly supplement of the newspaper and limiting myself to offer my due contribution (in the suggestion of themes and persons to be possibly involved) to the free evaluation of the teacher Scaraffia and of the preparation of the supplement.

My commitment was not in any way to weaken the monthly "Women Church World", to which the budget was rather fully confirmed and translation and dissemination in other countries was guaranteed despite the general need to contain the costs of Curia.

My commitment has been and remains that of strengthening the daily edition of "L'Osservatore Romano" (certainly not in terms of competitiveness but complementarity with the supplement) as is natural and rightly so.

In no way have I selected someone, man or woman, with the criterion of obedience. If anything, on the contrary, avoiding to interfere with the monthly supplement, I have asked the bill of the newspaper for really free comparisons, not built on the mechanism of one against the other or closed groups. And I did it right in the sign of openness and “parresia” asked by Pope Francis, in whose words and in whose magisterium we all recognize ourselves.

If, on the basis of ecclesial and cultural actuality, I have devoted attention to issues such as plurality and difference in the world of the Church, this derives only from the centrality that these themes, thanks to the role of women, have acquired.

Next Monday 1 April - just to give an example - a round table will be held in the offices of the editorial staff starting from the publication of the essay, signed by 17 renowned theologians and scholars, "The voice of women" (Ed. Paoline).

As for the future of the monthly supplement of "L'Osservatore Romano", I can assure you that it was not in question. And so his story does not stop but continues. Without clericalisms of any kind.


This parish is in San Francisco and can gather people of a like-mind from all over the Bay area. It is an intentional community in other words.

But others of an unlike mind still have their mediocre and creative parishes to attend which have changed little since the 1970's.

I don't think a pastor like me in a one horse town, I mean a one Catholic parish town, can imposed this model, especially ad orientem on everyone and think I won't lose a significant number of parishioners to include the young and old. But who knows?

What do you think?

Bring your parish back to life: here’s how

Mass attendance is up 12 percent, income has more than doubled at Star of the Sea Parish in San Francisco

Star of the Sea Church, San Francisco: the parish is primarily a school of prayer (Courtesy of Fr Joseph Illo)

I copy this from The Catholic Herald:

Mass attendance is up 12 per cent a year. Income has more than doubled. Here's what I've learned in the process:

Four years ago the Archbishop of San Francisco assigned me to the Star of the Sea, a large and beautifully Catholic building. Its statues, stained glass, marble altar and altar rail were still intact, but, like the entire parish, languishing in dilapidation. Mass attendance had dropped precipitously since the Italians and Irish began moving to the suburbs in the 1980s. The aggressive secularism of the last decade seemed to seal the fate of this once thriving parish, and the archdiocese began talking about a “merger”.

The other day a priest who had served 10 years ago at Star of the Sea remarked on the parish’s “amazing revival”. Mass attendance has been growing annually at 12 per cent, and income has more than doubled. We’ve planted flowers and shrubs, installed new lighting, restored the marble sanctuary and flung the doors wide open to the city. The parish school begins an Integrated Classical Curriculum (consisting of grammar, logic and rhetoric) this autumn, and parishioners are caring for the homeless and advocating for the elderly and unborn.

Mother Teresa famously said, however, that “we are called not to success but to fidelity”. Success and fidelity are essentially different categories, motivated as they are by different ends. While not demanding success, the Lord does expect the fruit of fidelity. His first command, to “be fruitful”, has never been abrogated, and “every branch that does not bear fruit will be cut off” (John 15:2). Christ promises 30, 60 and a hundredfold fruit to those who faithfully sow his Word. There is a way of measuring the revival of a parish, but it is not “success”. It is fruitfulness.

Mass attendance and activities are good fruits, but the best fruit of any parish is healthy Catholic families. Are parishioners getting married and staying married? Are they having children? Are spouses faithfully living their sacramental vows, and is this fidelity reflected in their children’s lives? As healthy families are generational and need years of cultivation, a pastor may not see this fruit during his tenure. But he will see swifter fruits, such as increasing Mass attendance, blossoming schools and a zeal to serve the poor.

We have seen both short and long-term fruits by building on St Prosper of Aquitaine’s three laws, the lex orandi (relating to prayer), lex credendi (belief) and lex vivendi (living). The way we pray determines the way we believe, which determines the way we live. Fidelity to these three laws provides Beauty, Truth and Goodness.

In his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, Benedict XVI defined the three munera, or essential tasks, of the Church, governed by Prosper’s three laws. “The Church’s deepest nature,” he wrote, “is expressed in her three-fold responsibility: of proclaiming the word of God (kerygma-martyria), celebrating the sacraments (leitourgia) and exercising the ministry of charity (diakonia). These duties presuppose each other and are inseparable.”

All parishes put time and money into all three tasks, but some focus disproportionately on kerygma (Catholic schools, dynamic preaching, social media), others on leitourgia (where either “progressive” or “traditional” liturgy becomes an obsession), and others on diakonia (“social justice” parishes). Mother Teresa, it seems to me, struck a healthy balance between orandi, credendi and vivendi. Her Missionaries of Charity pray four hours a day, but also study and teach continuously, and hit the streets daily in “wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor”.

Let’s consider how a parish can balance these three essential tasks.

The parish is first of all a school of prayer, in the words of John Paul II. It teaches prayer best by following the lex orandi which make liturgy beautiful. The Curé of Ars began his pastorate by spending money on new vessels and vestments for his country parish. Making everything in and around our churches bright, beautiful and clean is a priest’s first business. It’s as simple as following the General Instruction to the Roman Missal and reading the 2001 Vatican Instruction Liturgiam Authenticam closely.

Music, as the queen of the liturgical arts, requires particular attention. In music you get what you pay for, and people will pay for what they get. At one point we were spending 25 per cent of our budget on music, but our offertory increased by 50 per cent.

This school of prayer must also provide the Sacrament of Penance, because we all make mistakes and can learn from them. Young adults flock to the parish mostly because we put a priest in the box at every Mass, and an hour every Tuesday night.

Eucharistic Adoration seals the deal. We put $300,000 (£226,000) into a Eucharistic Chapel that burns brightly day and night. It’s worth every penny, because people need a beautiful place to pray before the Eucharistic Christ. The sacred liturgies must stir the soul with deep beauty.

The parish must also be a school of God’s Word. Following the lex credendi through fidelity to the Church’s doctrine revives a parish because “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). After Beauty, we seek Truth.

In our parish, priests teach children and priests teach adults, along with lay instructors. Besides the forthcoming Integrated Classical Curriculum, our school uses the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, both proven effective in transmitting the kerygma. Homilies are expected to be good enough for publication and website posting, and our communications staff broadcast the Word through extensive use of social media, including a weekly bulletin for older folks. “How will they believe if they have not heard?” asks St Paul (Romans 10:14). The parish’s homilies, catechesis and school must stir the mind with deep truth.

Finally, the parish is a school of service, following the lex vivendi. Beauty leads to Truth, and Truth leads to Goodness. Charity begins in the rectory, with priests taking meals together and praying a weekly “family rosary”. I require my priests (there are currently four of us) to pray lauds and vespers together every day in the church. Lay people always join us.

Having ordered our lives together in charity, we can serve others. Our parish serves the very poorest of the poor by praying every week outside an abortion clinic. We feed the homeless every day from the rectory and join Mother Teresa’s Sisters regularly in the streets. A stewardship council articulates what St John Paul II called the “Law of the Gift”, which motivates all charitable giving. According to this law, we increase in the measure that we give, because life is about giving, not getting. The parish’s spirit of charitable service must stir the heart with goodness.

Structuring the parish on the three laws of praying, believing and living guide the parish’s three essential tasks of Sacrament, Word and Charity. But there is a fourth way to revive a parish: let no parish forget Our Lady.

“Is this the face that launched a thousand ships?” the poet spoke of the beautiful Helen. The Trojan War lasted 10 years, but we are engaged in a much longer struggle. It must be the face of Mary that launches pastoral action. My very first act in a new parish is to consecrate it to Our Lady. I myself lead the rosary processions, the Angelus before Mass and the rosary after Mass. No parish devoted to Our Lady will fail to bear fruit, because she is the mother of all the living.


What does the Catholic Church have to teach the corrupt democratic machine in Chicago that allowed a rich, spoiled, narcissistic celebrity get away with murder, I mean a colossal hoax?  Is this a case of clericalism, i.e. privilege accorded to the rich and famous but not accorded to the poor and infamous?

And is it LGBTQIA (as I heard spelled out by Jussie’s lawyer) clericalism similar to what has been happening in the Church for the past 50 years?

I have no idea what the i and a represent, do you????????

Tuesday, March 26, 2019


As it concerns the jerking of his hand away from those who wished to kiss is ring:

A Vatican spokesman said the Pope was “amused” by the reaction to the video. “Sometimes he likes it, sometimes he does not. It’s really as simple as that”.

In other words, the pope is fickle. 

UPDATE: CNN, the leader in fake world news, had a segment on this on their morning show. We are not amused, though.  Alison opined that he was in a rush to visit the sick and was trying to move things along.


It appears there is more video of the ring kissing laity and religious offering their homage to Pope Francis. Is Pope Francis the new Covington Catholic Kid falsely accused by a partial video? I show; you decide.

But many do kiss the pope's ring/hand and His Holiness isn't stopping them. Maybe his hand began to hurt or he got sickened by the thought of all the siliva on his hand from multiple sources. That, as you know, grosses me out too especially when I have to drink it from a chalice! So let's cut the Holy Father some slack. He isn't wearing a MAGA cap so maybe the press got it wrong?



I am beginning to question the need for Catholic schools, not so much because we need them, yes we do, but because the ethos of having them has changed so much over the years, that so many who use them are using them for the wrong reasons and the ones who need to be using them can't afford them.

My former parish in Macon had a Catholic elementary school. When I got there, it was pre-K through 6th grade. The private Catholic School there decided that year to add a 6th grade to their school and desired that our parochial school relinquish the 6th grade to them as had been done decades earlier with the 7th and 8th grade. As the new pastor, I dug in my heels and kept the 6th grade.

When I got there in 2004 we may have had about 360 kids enrolled in the school. But over the course of years, that number kept declining. It must be kept in mind that Macon's population has been declining consistently over the years since that time too.

From what I understand, in the next academic year there will be only one class of each grade instead of the two sections it has had for decades. Enrollment is down to about 180.

This is my personal opinion. While subsidies are given to families who qualify, it is still very, very expensive to send a child, let alone multiple children, to a Catholic School. The rich have options, not only with Catholics schools but other private schools be these religious or non-sectarian.

An example for the rich was present at St. Joseph. Our 6th grade tuition in 2016 was a little less than $5000 for active parishioners. Yet some pulled their kids from our school and placed them in the private Catholic school's 6th grade which was twice as much. Yet, many of my parishioners couldn't send their kids to our school for the $5,000 rate let alone twice that much.

The rich also would enroll their kids in other private schools who had tuition around $12,000 for pre-k through 12th! That is indeed a luxury.

So my question is this, how in the name of God and all that is holy can we win back Catholics who have multiple children who would like Catholic education but can't afford it? How do we get homeschoolers to consider their parish's Catholic school and apart from tuition reason, don't want to sent their kids to a public or Catholic school.

What's wrong with Catholic schools and parishes when there are an abundant of children available for our schools but those who need them won't use them?

I ask; you answer.


In the photo above, it is His Holiness, Pope Francis who is the celebrant. This is the chapel in the house of our Blessed Mother which is in the Shrine of Our Lady of Loretto in Italy.

If one did not know this is Pope Francis, and I think few would think it, this could be any bishop or priest in the world celebrating this Mass. That is the genius of ad orientem--the focus is off the human priest. He is covered by priestly vestments and his face is not visible.This eliminates the "actors' syndrome" of priests playing and appearing to be praying to the congregation in front of him. Ad orientem helps to reduce priestly liturgical narcissism!

The other thing, that is so symbolically powerful, (actually two other things, I'll mention the third in a moment) is that when you watch the video of Pope Francis celebrating this Mass, the camera is slightly above and in front of His Holiness. Yet, the Holy Father isn't playing to the camera; he may not even know it is there. He is praying! He is offering Sacrifice "in persona Christi" and he is leading those behind him as he intercedes before God on their behalf.

And now the third other thing. Facing at least symbolically the liturgical East, thus facing Jerusalem (and this is also accomplished in a less than perfect way compared to the actual liturgical east of the Church, by having a crucifix on the altar facing the priest when he faces the nave) is that we all, priest and laity, are "looking" toward the East where Christ  died, rose and will come again, just as the sun rises in the east. This is powerful and completely diminished when the priest faces the congregation and there is no crucifix on the altar for at least a less than perfect symbolic expression of facing the east.


Caryn and her mom were in my last RCIA at the Church of the Most Holy Trinity in 2004 in Augusta. They were both refugees from the Protestant Episcopal Church. This is a great Catholic obituary. Eternal rest grant unto Caryn and let light perpetual shine upon her!

Her obituary:

Caryn Elaine Maness entered into rest on Monday, March 11, 2019 at Blue Ridge in Brookview House. Miss Caryn E. Maness was born on January 2, 1960. She was the daughter of Ellen F. Maness and the late Harold Sanford Maness and the granddaughter of the late Claude E. Maness and the late Lynn Maness Adams, all from Beech Island, SC and Gaffney, SC. Her maternal grandparents were Christine Fulcher Ellison and Joseph C. Fulcher of Augusta, GA.

Caryn was a native of Beech Island, SC having made her home in Gaffney and the Upstate the last two years. Caryn was an avid bird watcher, a member of the Alley Cats Bowling league, the Beech Island Historical Society, a HUGE Clemson fan, being a member of IPTAY. She was a graduate of Jackson High School in Jackson, SC and attended Clemson University. 

There were three things Caryn was glad she did, that included the disco years dancing in her 5" heels, attending Clemson University and becoming a Roman Catholic. She was received into the church of the Most Holy Trinity of Augusta, GA on Easter Sunday of 2004, where she was also a member of the over fifties club. Caryn's favorite joke was that being in a wheel chair you always have your own seat.

After arriving in Gaffney, she became a member of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church. Caryn has devoted her last fifteen years to praying the Rosary for the conversion of sinners and praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the Reparation for sins of the world. Caryn was a member of the Society of Marian Helpers.

Her family members include two brothers, Harold S. Maness Jr. (deceased), Douglas Maness (Maura) and their children, Elise, Lydia and Aiden; sisters, Patricia L. Maness, her children, Aimee Farabee (Todd), their daughters, Kyla and Chloee; Jacqulyn (Sassie) and Jack (Heather) and their daughter, Mckenzie Grace; Holland Maness, and her children Will and Merritt; Amelia Maness-Gilliland (Corey) and their children, Katherine Pilger (Kenneth) their children, Zoey, Whyatt and Cambria, Sydney Anna, Sabrina, Samuel, Ellen and Shepard.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 until 7:00 PM on Friday, March 15, 2019 at Blakely Funeral Home. A Rosary will be held at 5:30 PM. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Father Michael McCafferty officiating. Interment will be in Oakland Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial may be made to: Eternal Word Television Network, 5817 Old Leeds Road, Irondale, AL, 35210 or Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 403 Vernon Street, Gaffney, SC, 29340.


Vatican women's magazine staff quit, citing 'climate of mistrust'

ROME — The director and all-female staff of a monthly women's magazine published by the Vatican's newspaper have resigned in protest, claiming the newspaper's new chief editor sought to water-down the publication by placing it "under the direct control of men."
The editors of "Women Church World," which has operated as an independent part of L'Osservatore Romano since the magazine's initial creation as a supplement to the newspaper in 2012, were set to announce their resignations in a planned April 1 editorial that now appears unlikely to be published.
The editors also wrote an open letter to Pope Francis explaining their decision, in which they say they are "throwing in the towel because we feel surrounded by a climate of mistrust and continual delegitimization."


Bluffton man who fought off an alligator at age 69 dies of cancer

Joe Elam returned in 2010 to the lagoon where an alligator bit him behind his Bluffton home. “The alligator bit the nicest guy in Rose Hill Plantation,” a neighbor said in 1999.
Joe Elam survived an alligator attack outside his Bluffton home when he was a mere 69.
Twenty years later, on last Saturday afternoon, he slipped peacefully from this world following a bout with an enemy he couldn’t escape, pancreatic cancer.
The alligator story went as viral as things could go in June of 1999.
Elam was replenishing a bird feeder in the backyard of his home in Rose Hill Plantation when he heard a loud splash from the lagoon behind him.
He turned to see an 8-foot alligator lunging for him. What followed sounds like everyone’s recurring nightmare. He slipped and fell, and when he hollered no one could hear him.
The gator latched onto his right leg as he repeatedly hit it on the nose and in the eyes with fists that would later swell to double their size.
“The adrenaline took over,” he said at the time.
Finally, something worked, and the alligator let go. He got to the house and told his wife, Ginnie, to bring a towel and call 911.
Injuries included a 6-inch laceration on his right calf, puncture wounds on his leg and bruised muscles. He also broke a collarbone and toe when he fell.
He spent three days in the hospital and did months of physical therapy. He told the doctor he was scheduled to take a trip to Russia in three weeks, and he made it.
Elam eventually got a settlement of some $50,000 from the Rose Hill property owners’ association, along with an apology, because he had repeatedly asked the association as well as a state agency to remove the gator. It had lost its fear of people because it had been fed.
But this gator attacked a strong and sturdy man. As a retiree, he walked an hour a day and several times tackled rugged chunks of the Appalachian Trail.
Yet, Elam’s neighbors didn’t know him as an action figure.
“The alligator bit the nicest guy in Rose Hill Plantation,” one said after the attack.
On Monday, neighbor Cynthia McClelland said, “Joe was everyone’s beloved uncle — always a smile and chuckle, never an unkind word.”
And he gave a lot more to the Lowcountry than a viral news story.
He was a Mason and past worshipful master of the Unanimity Lodge No. 418 on Hilton Head Island. For 10 years, he was a Shriner clown entertaining at parades and in hospital rooms.
He was a Volunteer of the Year with the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance and Motoring Festival. For 14 years, he organized public parking for the event.
He was an elder and usher at First Presbyterian Church on Hilton Head.
He was the church’s liaison to Boy Scouts Troop 245, which meets at the church. He participated in its many Eagle Scout ceremonies. Elam was a Boy Scouts district commissioner and led troops for decades.
He was into garden railroading, setting up model train villages in his garden in Rose Hill. He did it at Christmas at the senior living complex he and Ginnie moved to last April in Dalton, Mass., to be closer to their three children.
Elam was an engineer, always full of solutions.
He often shared solutions in letters to the editor about better striping on U.S. 278, jug-handled intersections, or the solution to offshore drilling: Close all nonessential businesses one day a week.
And there was this 20-word letter to the editor when people complained about a new cinderblock wall rising along U.S. 278 for a Walmart in Bluffton: “Paint the wall to look like the woods it replaced. Let the students from SCAD have a shot at it.”
He caught Ginnie’s eye when she was singing in a church choir in Cleveland, Ohio. He winked at her. After she saw the first wink, he gave her a second wink with his other eye. He said she couldn’t stop looking back after that. They were married for more than 65 years.
“It’s a terrible loss for me,” Ginnie said Monday. “I met him when I was barely 17.”
She said Joe’s solution to life was devotion to family, church and God.
And perhaps that strong right punch to the eye for a Lowcountry gator that attacked the wrong guy.


From the Clonard Monastery in Belfast: