Saturday, March 01, 2003

Although my past comments might make you think the Marianists at Chaminade High School are rather traditionalist, they are not. The music at the monthly masses in high school was typically Here I Am Lord, and Sing to the Mountains Sing to the Sea. When sung by a choir they can be fine hymns although I now wish they would have done some more traditionalist stuff. But I don’t think I would have cared or noticed at the time. There was no Latin at the Masses that I can remember and since we were in the auditorium we stood throughout the Eucharistic Prayer. But the Masses were some of the most reverent I have ever seen and the preaching was good. I guess I should mention some background (I don’t know all the details): In the mid 70’s the Marianists at Chaminade broke away from the New York province to which they had always belonged. This was done with Vatican approval and assistance. I don’t know the exact reason, but I suspect they did not want to have the brothers and priests go off and do different things. This is a very unique school and the Province formed, Meribah, is dedicated to education exclusively. It is a non-territorial province which is kind of unique. The deal was, they had to create a second school within 10 years which they did in 1987 (Kellenberg). In 1988 they created a middle school division at Kellenberg for 6th -8th graders, and all 7th and 8th graders study latin. They are considered “conservative” by some other religious orders and groups but this is silly. They are modern in the best sense of that word and traditional in many ways.
All of the members of the community work in the area of education, focusing on running these 2 schools. The other Marianist provinces all combined recently to form 1 province for the United States, mostly due to falling numbers of vocations. They are mostly known for the University of Dayton where Erma Bombeck graduated. (Martin Sheen went to another Chaminade High in Dayton). The community here on Long Island has benefited from the break since they continue to get vocations and also do not have the kind of corruption found in many religious communities.
"Drunks are funny from a distance but certainly not in your family. All of Western civilization is one family, and it is full of drunks. They write most of the scripts."

C.S. Lewis for the Third Millennium by Peter Kreeft, page 161
What He Said!!

Catholic Blog for Lovers on the wimpy Lenten disciplines of today. The Bishops' guides to fasting sounds like normal, healthy eating. If that is fasting, then why even bother????

Thursday, February 27, 2003

John M. from the comments below wanted to know my thoughts on Fr. Papa, who was caught checking out porn sites on his computer, and the debate about whether some of the sites were child porn. Fr. Papa was encouraging parishioners to join the Voice of the Faithful, until he was removed for his perverted activities. Fr. Papa seems like the typical screwed up, 70's type priest we have had to put up with on Long Island for many years. I do remember attending a lecture on Liturgicum Authenticum and hearing a woman tell the priest-lecturer that he should check out the parish in Sound Beach because there were some weird things going on there in the Liturgy. I have mentioned before how "conservative" Catholics, including a writer for the Wanderer, complained about Msgr. Ribaudo and his liturgical abuses years before he was finally removed when he turned out to be a child molester. It sometimes seems that these priests who shun all tradition, who can't stand criticism from "conservatives", who are popular usually because they smile and don't tell people anything that would upset them, or challenge them, are fearful and dismissive of good old fashioned Catholicism precisely because they fail to live it in their personal lives. (See Weakland, Ribaudo, Shanley, Papa, Cauwcutt, Huels, etc..) What is it about priests today that make them think they can do whatever they please in the Liturgy or elsewhere???
Did anyone notice that disgruntled looking man walking around Manhattan tonight? That was me. I had taken a train to the city after work to attend the Christifideles Campion Lecture featuring Joseph Pearce on Tolkien only to find out it was cancelled. I found this out from the doorman at the lecture site. Now I can't get on the website to find out why this was cancelled. As Charlie Brown would say "I can't stand it, I just can't stand it."

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Group Wants Bishop Disciplined

Some comments on this article:

First, the first line of the story is another example of this paper's bigotry, the former high school seminary is a retired priests residence, they make it sound like it is used exclusively for child molesters.

Second, my own mother can vouch that Vinny Cioci is a good man, a wonderful, well-respected man.

Third, it is true that many younger Catholics that never knew the Latin Mass are seeking it out, I am one of these many.

Fourth, it is a sad fact that at this Mass, there are usually more children than at a typical Sunday Mass at my regular parish, which includes about 6400 families. (!) (Read this sentence again, it is true)

Fifth, the children at this Latin Mass are very well behaved, it is truly amazing to see this.

Sixth, the typical modernist spin is present in the article here: "In the traditional Mass, the priest prayed in Latin with his back to the congregation" That sentence should read: "In the traditional Mass, the priest and congregation all pray facing the altar"

Seventh, the next sentence includes an outright lie: "The current liturgy is in the native tongue of the congregation and includes much more participation by the laity, with the priest facing the congregation." - The fact is that I participate more at the Latin Mass than at my parish, since I pray the whole time and must work harder to follow the prayers and action. I have seen my parish filled with people who stand silently with blank looks on their faces, but at the Latin Mass people follow with their missals. Also, the priests at the current liturgy do not face the congregation, they are usually at the center with people on 2 or 3 sides of them, thus facing only 1 group. This kind of obvious spin is always advanced by Bob Keeler at this paper, who sold his soul for a spot on the editorial board and a fat paycheck. (yeah I said it)

Eighth, the next sentence is also wrong: in 1988 Pope John Paul II did not respond to "pressure from traditional Catholics" and say that "individual bishops could allow some celebrations of the Latin Mass"- he responded to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s ordinations of bishops by asking bishops to be more generous with the Latin Mass (and other traditional things) than they had been.

Ninth, the idea that a Latin Mass at a parish would somehow interfere with normal parish activity is ridiculous!!!!!! The last regularly scheduled mass could be changed to a Latin Mass, or it could be done in the afternoon, at a time not interfering with baptisms. This is yet another attempt by people in the diocese to stop the Latin Mass from becoming more popular than it already is for fear of…..what? I don’t know.

Tenth, the monthly Latin Mass in Suffolk county mentioned in the article was in a seldom used old chapel that was literally falling apart, an hour or more out on the east end of Long Island. Having the Latin Mass there, and at the St. Pius Chapel once a month, was former Bishop McGann’s way of fulfilling the bare minimum of Ecclesia Dei. Refusing to allow the Mass to be held at a parish indicates fear and more intolerance on the part of the diocese.

Eleventh, honestly I think the situation in the diocese and Church today is being exploited here, and the dangers of the St. Pius chapel location is a bit exaggerated.

Twelveth, I am wondering if the group made a wise tactical move here, as the Latin Mass is going to be “re-evaluated” in June. Nevertheless, I hope that we can get this Mass into a parish setting for the sake of the wonderful families that attend weekly, and also because other Catholics might attend for the first time and realize how sacred and beautiful liturgy is supposed to be. The Latin Mass can have the effect of helping the regular masses at parishes become more reverent.

Thirteenth, this is yet another sad episode in the local Church today, but hopefully it will spur reform and generate real Catholicism, in whatever rites or chapels people pray the Mass.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

My second favorite show on EWTN is Bookmark with Doug Keck (who grew up on Long Island). I love hearing authors interviewed about their books as much as I love reading them. Cspan II has Book TV which shows authors being interviewed or talking about their books as well. My favorite EWTN show? The Journey Home, with Marcus Grodi, which features converts and reverts discussing their story. There is something interesting about hearing people’s faith journey and as a cradle Catholic, it shows how much you can take for granted. I bought a satellite dish to get EWTN and I have not been disappointed. Although I never watched Mother Angelica’s show, I respect what she has done. When asked what she would do if some of the liberal bishops she has battled with gained control of EWTN, she responded, “I’d blow the whole damn thing up before turning it over to the likes of them”. If only more people in the Church had been as strident in protecting orthodoxy….

Monday, February 24, 2003

Liturgy of the Hours

I don’t pray the Rosary, except sometimes in groups like at a Holy Hour. I have never been able to do it individuality and find the Liturgy of the Hours more suitable to me. First introduced to this at Vocation Discernment Weekends, I found it a beautiful way to start and end the day. I am not good at keeping up with it and find it easier to do in a group. I understand Vatican II called for this to be done in parishes or homes- anyone do this at their parish??
I went to the Faith on Tap gathering tonight at the Wantagh Inn, the first time I was able to make it. Fr. Koch of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal gave the talk. He brought along 3 other friars who spoke briefly about their entry to the religious life. This is one of the best communities around, and they are now 16 stronger as of this year. Who says there are no vocations out there? It was a very good turnout and it is great to be in a room filled with dozens of young people serious about their faith, along with Guinness.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

Disordered Affections links a Smoking Gun article that says the Bloated Byzantine priest has been "removed". If this is true, then once again the people at Roman Catholic Faithful have done a good job exposing (pun intended) a corrupt priest. I don't know about you, but although the past year and a half has been very painful for Catholics, it is fun to see these corrupt, phony, evil, lying, conniving priests exposed.
"It is the same living spirit of revelation, manifested in the teaching authority, which gives the Church its flexibility and power of expansion, and enables it to adapt itself to every age, to every civilisation, and to every mental outlook."

The Spirit of Catholicism by Karl Adam

---A great book, maybe the best I’ve read on Catholicism. I first downloaded it from Dave Armstrong’s website but when it went back into print, he removed the link and I bought the book just to have a hardcopy.