Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Solemn Mass at US Merchant Marine Academy

Thanks to the Society of St. Hugh Cluny for this info:

Saturday, May 18 at 10 AM will be the first Traditional Latin Mass held at the Academy.

More info can be found at the title link above

Thursday, May 09, 2019

American Priest: The Ambitious Life and Conflicted Legacy of Notre Dame's Father Ted Hesburgh


The above link is to the Amazon page for an interesting new book about the long time head of Notre Dame.  Famous for both civil rights and public activity, Hesburgh also was part of the Land O Lakes statement that ushered in the era of Catholic Universities downplaying their Catholicism to appear 'independent'.  The author of the book is Fr. Wilson Miscamble, C.S.C, a fellow Priest of the Holy Cross who was friends with Hesburgh but who apparently has written a balanced account of his legacy.  I just finished watching a good interview with the author by Raymond Arroyo on EWTN.  Fr. Miscamble was clearly on the side of those who felt the Land O Lakes statement and subsequent actions in Catholic higher education hurt the transmission of the faith to the younger generations.  It seems like this book will be a great book about a great and imperfect priest.  Crux News has a shorter written interview on the book here.


Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Father Kedjierski named to lead US Bishops’ Secretariat of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs

"Father Walter Kedjierski has been appointed Executive Director of the Secretariat of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The announcement was made at noon April 24 in Washington, DC, by Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield, General Secretary of the USCCB. The appointment will take effect on June 3, 2019.

Father Jason Grisafi, pastor of the Church of Saint Joseph in Babylon, will assume  Father Kedjierski’s  ecumenical and interreligious responsibilities in the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” With these words the Oxford professor J.R.R. Tolkien ignited a fervid spark in generations of readers. From the children’s classic The Hobbit to the epic The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s adventurous tales of hobbits and elves, dwarves and wizards have introduced millions to the rich history of Middle-earth. Going beyond literature, Tolkien’s Middle-earth is a world complete with its own languages and histories. Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth celebrates the man and his creation. The exhibition will be the most extensive public display of original Tolkien material for several generations. Drawn from the collections of the Tolkien Archive at the Bodleian Library (Oxford), Marquette University Libraries (Milwaukee), the Morgan, and private lenders, the exhibition will include family photographs and memorabilia, Tolkien’s original illustrations, maps, draft manuscripts, and designs related to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

This exhibit is at The Morgan Library and Museum in NYC until May 12th.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

National Catholic Prayer Breakfast hears call for 'Catholic great awakening'

.- The National Catholic Prayer Breakfast heard an uncompromising call to holiness and the defense of every human life Tuesday, with speakers calling for a “Catholic great awakening.”
A total of 1,400 gathered in Washington, DC for the 15th-annual prayer breakfast, where keynotes were delivered by Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix and Curtis Martin, founder and director of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students."


"In his keynote address, FOCUS president Curtis Martin noted that human history was punctuated by periods of renewal, sparked by a return to God in a spirit of atonement. But instead of doom and gloom, he said, the coming generation of young Catholics has the potential to do great things.
The current generation, he said, are “survivors by God’s design” having been born after abortion was legalized and are poised to “wake up” and “vanquish the devil in this generation.”
The United States has experienced ebbs and flows in religious devotion before, and has seen two “great awakenings” among Protestants that resulted in renewed faith for believers. Perhaps, said Martin, this is what the Church in America needs.
"Wouldn't it be a great time for a Catholic great awakening?"
Knights of Columbus pledge support to Sri Lanka after church bombings

I am very glad I belong to this group.

"In response to Easter bombings in Sri Lanka that left over 320 dead, the Knights of Columbus have pledged support to the diocese of Colombo to help rebuild the local Christian community.

“The Knights of Columbus stands in solidarity with our Christian brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka during this time of trial. Terrorist attacks like those on Easter Sunday are the acts of those who reject the sanctity of life, human rights and religious freedom,” said CEO Carl Anderson in a statement."

"Every country should protect its religious minorities, and freedom-loving countries must demand nothing less of their neighbors. Talk of human rights and religious freedom rings hollow when people are killed for nothing more than worshipping the one who taught us to love one another,” he continued.

The financial support of $100,000 from the Knights has been sent to Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo, who has criticized the Sri Lankan government for failing to heed warnings of the attack."
In Praise of James V. Schall S.J.

Over at The Catholic Thing, some authors remember Fr. Schall.  I learned he was a fellow fan of Peanuts and Charles M. Schulz.  I only knew him from his writings so it is great to read of his considerable personal charms, which some intellectuals lack.

"Now much as Fr. Schall loved beautiful cathedrals and “the burning fire of thought,” we must immediately add that he endorses Blake’s next thought, which descends to a more homely level: “He who would see the Divinity must see him in his Children.”

This Schall manifestly did every step of his life. I saw him once befriending a camera crew who had come to film an interview with him and then doing the same with the cab driver who arrived to take the crew away.

Even more I think of an incident as he and I descended a large stone stairway at White Gravenor Hall after class, deep in conversation over Plato. Just ahead of us, a lass began sobbing on the landing, no doubt after some treacherous youth had dumped her there. Schall instantly dropped Plato and was at her side, consoling her and taking her away for a private talk."

Monday, April 22, 2019

Sri Lanka attacks: 'International network' linked to bombings

From the BBC:
"A wave of bombings that killed 290 people in Sri Lanka on Sunday was carried out with the support of an international network, officials said.
The government has blamed a little-known local jihadist group, National Thowheed Jamath, although no-one has yet admitted carrying out the bombings.
Another 500 people were injured in the suicide attacks on churches and hotels.
Police arrested 24 people in a series of raids and the president's office declared a state of national emergency."

Hundreds more Catholic martyred on Easter Sunday by the followers of that horrible and violent ideology of islam. 

Friday, April 19, 2019

Retired Priest from Merrick killed by impaired driver

"Family and parishioners of a Merrick church are mourning the loss of a retired priest who delivered a sermon on Jesus' life and resurrection, then died hours later on Good Friday in a crash allegedly caused by an impaired driver on the Southern State Parkway.

The Rev. T. Chacko Mammen, 69, was driving west in his GMC sport utility vehicle when a Honda driven by Christopher Gomez-Almendarez, 23, rear-ended his vehicle about 12:10 a.m. near Exit 30 in North Massapequa, State Police said. The GMC careened onto the shoulder and hit a tree. Mammen was rushed to St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage, where he was pronounced dead, police said."


This is a tragic loss for his family and for the Mar Thomas Church - this is a Church not in communion with Rome but with its origins going back to St. Thomas the apostle.  God Bless his family and his parish.
More Podcasts of interest to Catholics

I was listening to the Tom Woods Podcast episode on the Notre Dame Cathedral with guest Denis McNamara, professor at the Liturgical Institute at Mundelein Seminary and author of How to Read Churches .  He discussed Catholic architecture and also happened to mention another podcast called The Liturgy Guys.  Their most recent episode was about interesting rubrics in the Triduum so of course I had to listen to it.  I will have to check out more of their podcasts.

Holy Week terrorism suspect arrested

"According to Spanish federal police, Spain’s National Intelligence Center and the Moroccan secret service, 23-year-old Zouhair el Bouhdidi was planning detonate explosives during Holy Week processions in Seville, the city in which he lived.
The arrest took place after the Spanish authorities informed the Moroccans that el Bouhdidi had traveled to Morocco, allegedly in preparation for the attack, according to Spanish newspaper El Confidencial."

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Fr. James V. Schall, S.J., has died at the age of 91

Carl Olsen writes an obit at Crisis Magazine.  He neglected to mention the Ignatius Press book Another Sort of Learning which I have in my library and now I will have to read it again.  Fr. Schall wrote about his book in 2009 here at The Catholic Thing and it sounds very timely even 31 years after publication.
"This book is designed to bypass the colleges without denying their existence. I have always thought that anyone can get an education if he can read, something I learned from both Samuel Johnson and my friend Anne Burleigh. Reading has the great advantage of making an end run around academic correctness, wherein little theoretic order is to be found. Reading can take us to things that no one in the schools tells us about. The problem is, as always, “What to read?”
Twenty Parishes will get new pastors in the Diocese of Rockville Centre

The full list is at The Long Island Catholic

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Notre Dame Cathedral

Various people have suggested that the rebuilding effort of the great Cathedral should be combined with a rebuilding of the Catholic faith in France and Europe.  Hopefully, this huge tragedy will be the impetus for real renewal.  Others have pointed out how universal is the appreciation for this great beauty of a Church- even among those who are indifferent or hostile to religion, Christianity, or Catholicism. 

Steven Schloeder commented on his facebook page a great thought as a Catholic architect, ending with this very true bit:

"Consider the Los Angeles Cathedral. It already looks like a wreck. No one would care if it got destroyed. No one loves it. No one thinks it a sign of God's effusive beauty and glory and goodness and order.

Yet Notre Dame de Paris made us weep for its loss. What a contrast."

This is good news:

Donation Pledges Roll In For Notre Dame's Reconstruction

Rod Dreher: 

Notre Dame Fire: A Sign For Our Time

Smoke rises in front of the altar at Notre Dame cathedral after fire engulfed the building.

Monday, April 15, 2019

The 10 Worst Catholic Church Songs of All Time

The above link takes you to an enjoyable video of The Catholic Talk Show. I am finding that as blogging has become almost dead, the podcasts and vlogs are providing the same thing I used to find with Catholic blogs:  Great conversations, funny and orthodox but irreverent discussions on Catholic stuff.  This topic of awful Catholic music has been discussed for years yet we still hear the same music at most parishes.  Some of the songs discussed in this episode might make fine folk music on its own but the music is not made for congregation singing and is overwhelmingly sappy and thus, not right for Mass. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

O’Malley blesses Marathon runners in first Mass at restored Cathedral of the Holy Cross

"The stately cathedral’s faded red carpet is gone, as are the steps into each pew that sometimes tripped congregants. New stone tiles that were handpicked by O’Malley gleam, and the aging pews have been refinished and fitted with new kneelers. When more than 50 runners gathered at the altar for O’Malley’s blessing, they stood on steps of shining marble.

“It’s a dream come true,” O’Malley said of the restoration in an interview after the Mass. “This is a great old cathedral, and there was a lot of benign neglect over the years. But, as in all of these old churches, if you don’t make the sacrifice to preserve it, eventually you’re going to lose it.”
New Pastors

St. William the Abbott in Seaford is getting a new pastor:  Fr. Joseph Fitzgerald.  He is also the Vocation Director for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.  He was profiled in the National Catholic Register a few years back -

From Olympic Athlete to Diocesan Priest


"I entered Immaculate Conception Seminary in Douglaston, N.Y., on Aug. 30, 2001, which was my 30th birthday. Shortly after that, and only a few miles away, the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center occurred. That was a very jarring time. It showed how goodness and hope, as expressed in the vocation to the priesthood lived out, were sorely needed.

I was ordained on June 9, 2007, and now as a diocesan vocations director, I want to encourage other men to share in this life of generosity and love that the priesthood allows. "

St. Frances De Chantal, right next door in Wantagh, is also getting a new pastor:  Fr. Seth Awo Doku who is currently at St. Agnes Cathedral.

"Fr. Seth N. Awo Doku was born and raised in Ghana. He wanted to be a priest at age 12. After graduating High School, he attended the minor seminary prior to his philosophical and theological formation, and was ordained on July 21, 1990, for the Archdiocese of Accra. He served in two pastoral assignments before proceeding to The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, to do graduate studies. He earned the Licentiate Degree in Liturgical Studies in 1999 and returned to Ghana, where he served as the Director of Liturgical Services of the Archdiocese of Accra and also as a pastor. In 2004, he returned to the Catholic University of America to complete his studies, obtaining the Doctorate Degree in Liturgical Theology. "

Friday, April 12, 2019

Diocesan Day of Reconciliation
Monday, April 15, 2019

 Confession will be heard in Catholic Churches in Nassau
and Suffolk
Monday, April 15th
from 3:00 - 9:00 PM.
This is a great opportunity to approach the Sacrament during the Holy Week,
when the whole Church
prepares to celebrate the great Easter Mysteries of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday itself.
Maryland man inspired by Islamic State attack plotted to drive truck into National Harbor pedestrians, officials say

18 years after 9/11 and we are now so used to terroristic plots they barely make the news!

"A Maryland man inspired by the Islamic State group plotted to ram a stolen U-Haul truck into as many pedestrians as possible at a popular convention and tourist destination just outside the nation’s capital, federal prosecutors said Monday.
The allegation was made in a court filing as prosecutors in Maryland urged a judge to keep the defendant, 28-year-old Rondell Henry, detained on a charge of driving a stolen vehicle across state lines. The police arrested him on March 28 after officers who discovered the stolen truck saw him leap over a security fence."
Save the Date for the first Byzantine Catholic Young Adult Convocation!

Called. Transfigured. Sent.

When: August 1-4, 2019
Where: St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church – 246 East 15th St. New York, NY 10003
Cost: $150
Who: Anyone ages 18-35!
Join us for the 2019 Byzantine Catholic Young Adult Convocation: Called. Transfigured. Sent. from August 1-4, 2019 in NYC!

This four-day convocation will include celebrations of the Divine Liturgy, talks by inspiring Catholic speakers, opportunities for fellowship, sightseeing in New York City, and more! Together, we’ll explore what discipleship means in the modern world through the lens of the Transfiguration and go forth feeling “transfigured” in our own faith. Open to all – you do not have to be Catholic to attend!

Friday, April 05, 2019

Cardinal Sarah on Mass Migration

"It is better to help people flourish in their culture than to encourage them to come to a Europe in full decadence,” he said. “It is a false exegesis to use the word of God to promote migration. God never wanted these heartbreaks.”
The Guinean cardinal, one of the most conservative voices in the Vatican, said priests, bishops and even cardinals were today afraid to proclaim divine teaching.
“They are afraid of being frowned upon, of being seen as reactionaries. So they say fuzzy, vague and imprecise things to escape criticism, and they marry the stupid evolution of the world,” he said.
Migrants arriving in Europe were parked somewhere without work or dignity, he added. “Is that what the Church wants?” he asked.
The Church should not support “this new form of slavery” because the West, with its low birth rate, risked disappearing, he argued. “If Europe disappears, and with it the priceless values of the Old Continent, Islam will invade the world and we will completely change culture, anthropology and moral vision.”
Many of us Catholics were praying for an African Pope to follow Benedict XVI due to their orthodoxy, strength and great understanding of real Christianity in the real world.  Unfortunately we will have to wait.

This list is a bit old but interesting:  Catholic Dioceses in the USA listed by size

Rockville Centre is # 8 and our neighbor and 'parent' Diocese of Brooklyn is #5.  We used to be part of the Brooklyn Diocese so if RVC were not created, the combined Diocese would be #2.

Here are the top twenty:

#CatholicsPopulationPercent CatholicDioceseYearSource
14,174,30411,096,20037.62%Los Angeles (Archdiocese)2004ap2005
22,521,0875,602,41845.00%New York (Archdiocese)2004ap2005
32,442,0006,104,00040.01%Chicago (Archdiocese)2004ap2005
42,077,4873,970,02652.33%Boston (Archdiocese)2004ap2005
61,486,0583,872,78338.37%Philadelphia (Archdiocese)2004ap2005
71,481,8664,441,55133.36%Detroit (Archdiocese)2004ap2005
81,428,5632,753,91351.87%Rockville Centre2004ap2005
91,319,5582,835,59446.54%Newark (Archdiocese)2004ap2005
101,170,4803,000,00039.02%Orange in California2004ap2005
111,041,1234,972,54420.94%Galveston-Houston (Archdiocese)2004ap2005
121,017,1963,556,63128.60%San Bernardino2004ap2005
13930,3793,041,19530.59%San Diego2004ap2005
15904,0004,755,50019.01%Seattle (Archdiocese)2004ap2005
17856,7834,036,79921.22%Miami (Archdiocese)2004ap2005

All In The Family: ISIS Edition

Why is this news not a major news story?  Whenever I see an article on a 'right wing' or 'left wing' site, I always google it to confirm other major news sources have the same details more or less.  I see mostly local Texas news covering the original story and the AP story is here.  But Americans going overseas to join the Islamic State, or Al Shabab, or any other terrorist organization (or anyone covering up for them) should warrant major news coverage.  Now that ISIS has been mostly defeated, we need to bring to justice ALL the people who joined them.  We should not allow what happened with the Nazis to happen with ISIS - hundreds of them starting a new life somewhere else and living freely for decades. No country should allow anyone to return from Syria or Iraq, let them rot in jail or be executed where they caused such evil.
"Arman (28) and Oman (27), ISIS fighters and ideologues to their core, haven’t turned up from the battlefield. The brothers were last known to be fighting with ISIS in Syria after allegedly traveling there from Egypt between October and December 2014. Their father, Mohommad Hasnain Ali, is set to be released from a Dallas halfway house on April 17 as part of his year-long federal prison sentence for covering their tracks. Their mother, Sumaiya Ali, is in federal prison in Carswell, New Mexico until April 2020 for lying on their behalf to investigating FBI agents, although she is writing letters to the judge begging for earlier transfer to home confinement. More on that later.
The Ali family is hardly alone these days as the remnants of destroyed ISIS society are somehow fit back into various parts of the world. Not more than 250 Americans attempted to join the caliphate; not all successfully. Now comes the final chapter of the story, the returnees."

Thursday, April 04, 2019

This looks like an interesting TV show on EWTN.  The broadcast times are strange, I have only watched one episode but it is well done and should be on in Prime Time. 


Chris Stefanick dives into the everyday life of everyday Catholics, who are working,
serving, building, and exploring the world with their faith at their side.

All Our Children

Presented by The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture

April 6 - May 12, 2019
"A terrible crime is taking place in a German clinic for disabled children. The perpetrators argue that it will help struggling parents and lift the financial burden on the mighty Third Reich. One brave voice is raised in objection. But will anyone listen?
Stephen Unwin’s riveting new play is set against a forgotten chapter of the Holocaust, the murder of disabled children and young people, remembering those who died and those who fought against this injustice. Tony Award® winner John Glover (Saint JoanThe Drowsy ChaperoneLove! Valour! Compassion! on Broadway;  “Smallville”) is featured in a company including Jennifer Dundas (The Little FoxesArcadia on Broadway), Karl Kenzler (Fiddler on the RoofYou Can’t Take It With You on Broadway; “Law & Order,” “House of Cards”), Tasha Lawrence (Good People and Wilder Wilder Wilder on Broadway; “The Looming Tower,” “Royal Pains”) and Sam Lilja (The Iceman Cometh on Broadway). Directed by Ethan McSweeny (Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, A Time to Kill on Broadway).
The persecution, sterilization and murder of hundreds of thousands of disabled people is one of the most overlooked chapters in the whole ghastly history of Nazi Germany. Between 1939 and 1945, it is estimated that well over 200,000 people with a wide range of disabilities were dismissed as Lebensunwertes Leben (‘lives unworthy of life’) and systematically killed in six converted psychiatric hospitals across Austria and Germany. Public opposition to the program was limited. The most striking intervention came from the Bishop of Münster, Clemens von Galen, who will be played by John Glover.
All Our Children is a timely work of historical fiction, but rooted firmly in the true evils of the past.
Not appropriate for children under 13."

The above play looks interesting - you can read more about Bishop von Galen here: 

The Lion of Munster


Wednesday, April 03, 2019

The Catholic Church’s Culture Clash

The above link is to a great article by Fr. Dwight Longenecker.  He talks about the consumerist attitude of Catholics today compared to the original idea of a geographic parish in the days where people could not travel easily.  Go read the whole thing.  He says the old way of geographic parishes does not work any more and suggests an alternative that is interesting.  It sounds a lot like the Oratory in Brooklyn I recently found out about. 

"The administrative, sacramental and pastoral structure of our church is geographical. The kingdom of God (which is the church on earth) is divided into Archdioceses, dioceses and parishes.
This system was established when people had a national and regional identity. They were local. They lived in a village where they were born. They lived within an extended family, and the parish had its own hierarchy. “The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate.” The church and the priest contributed to the spiritual part of that model.
This works just fine as long as people remain local. Without modern transportation everyone walked everywhere or at most, rode a horse or took a carriage.
The parish church was simply a part of this larger social structure.
But we don’t live that way anymore. We are mobile and globalist. The family is broken. We go anywhere, live anywhere and settle (if we settle at all) anywhere."
Recently there were dozens of wealthy parents, including a couple of celebrities indicted for bribery to get their children into high priced elite Universities.  George Weigel looks at the state of these Universities and offers an alternative:

The high-priced spread, revisited

"....I said that a first-class liberal arts education at a college or university with a strong Catholic identity would prepare their sons and daughters for anything. Absolutely not, parents insisted. The kid had to get into Harvard, or Stanford, or Duke — or some other academic version of the high-priced spread — lest his or her life be ruined.
When I pointed out that undergraduates at so-called “elite” universities are frequently taught by graduate assistants rather than by senior faculty, the parents were unmoved. When I reminded them that few, if any, members of the philosophy departments at elite schools are convinced that there is something called “the truth,” rather than just “your truth” and “my truth,” they didn’t budge. When I cited the experience of my daughters, who had gone on to premier graduate schools and successful professional careers after attending a small, demanding Catholic liberal arts college, I was met with blank stares.  When I asked why they were willing to spend north of a quarter-million dollars to send their children into a decadent environment in which corruption (chemical, intellectual, sexual, political, or all-of-the-above) was a real and present danger, the mantra continued: the kid must attend an elite school to have any chance in life, because that’s where you begin to “network.”

Friday, March 29, 2019

Bishop Brennan was installed today as the Bishop of the Diocese of Columbus.  The Mass was livestreamed on the Columbus Diocese website and salso hown on Catholic Faith Network.   Columbus is made of 278,000 Catholics with 105 parishes.  I hope Bishop Brennan will make us proud - he is the 6th Long Islander to be sent off the island to serve as a current Bishop.


Bishop Brennan honors faith heritage at installation

"In his installation homily, Columbus Bishop Robert J. Brennan paid tribute to his family’s history of faith and urged the people of his new diocese to appreciate their own faith heritage and give it to future generations through everyday sacrifice and concern for others.

“My grandfathers handed on a priceless legacy of faith, hope and love that was passed on to us by my parents,” Bishop Brennan said at his installation Mass at Columbus St. Joseph Cathedral on Friday, March 29. “These are the great treasures, aren’t they? Here for us in the Diocese of Columbus, we too are the heirs … to a wonderful legacy of faith.

“We stand on the shoulders of the people who built this up for us. And now it’s our turn, It’s our turn as the new generation. The faith they handed on to us – faith, hope, and love – these aren’t museum pieces to be admired and watched, but a living encounter with the risen Jesus Christ.”

About 800 people, including 35 other bishops, filled the cathedral for the one-hour, 50-minute ceremony, at which Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio to the United States, read the letter written Jan. 31 by Pope Francis appointing Bishop Brennan as the 12th bishop of Columbus. He had been auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, for nearly seven years."

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Recalling Mother Angelica, prelate says Catholic journalists are to spread the gospel

".- The crisis facing the Church today calls Catholic journalists not only to “relentless and fair reporting” but also to spreading the gospel, Archbishop Georg Gänswein said in a Mass said in memory of Mother Angelica.
The March 27 Mass at Santa Maria della Pieta in Camposanto dei Teutonici in Vatican City marked the third anniversary of the death of Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, foundress of EWTN Global Catholic Network. EWTN is the publisher of Catholic News Agency."
I found this quote regarding Fr. Gommar DePauw who founded an independent traditionalist chapel on Long Island back in 1968.  The emphasis is mine:

"In matters liturgical we are committed vernacularists, but there is no denying the truth of the DePauw contention that the council's Constitution on the Liturgy permits but does not require increased use of the mother tongue.  The character of the liturgy is not a matter to be determined by popular preference, but in view of the Constitution's permissiveness, the Traditionalist request for one Mass in Latin in each parish each Sunday does not seem unreasonable, at least for an interim period in those parishes where there is some demand for such an arrangement.  It took a long time for the bishops themselves to grasp the necessity for liturgical renewal, and yet few of them, it seems to us, are showing sympathetic understanding of the shock experienced by many Catholics who (despite all the pre-council and conciliar discussion) were not prepared for the changes."

The above quote was from the National Catholic Reporter, January 12. 1966. 

Retreat in NYC with Immaculee Ilibagiza

         Chapel of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary
         325 East 33rd St,
         New York, NY 10016
8:30 AM - 4 PM

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Brooklyn Oratory

I was surprised to see that there is an Oratory located in Brooklyn.  I do not know anything about it but I was thinking the Oratory model could be quite helpful to the Church today. 

"The Brooklyn Oratory

Saint Philip Neri, a 16th century layman, was a native of Florence who lived nearly sixty years in Rome. Always devout, out-going, funny and friendly, Saint Philip often invited friends to his one-room apartment for shared prayer, Bible study and singing. They also began engaging in acts of charity and mercy such as visiting the sick in hospitals, helping pilgrims who had come to Rome, and teaching children the basics of the Catholic faith.  These informal gatherings became so popular they had to be moved to successively larger rooms. In time, these quarters began to be described as Oratories, that is, places where prayers were led, the name being derived from the Latin “orare,” to pray.

Permanence is an Oratory's hallmark.
The lay men and women who gathered there were rightly called Oratorians, or pray-ers. The success of the Oratory naturally caused it to evolve into a more organized structure. Saint Philip was ordained a priest at age 36 and then several other bright young followers were ordained. They were formally given a church in Rome called the Chiesa Nuova, or New Church, which still stands near the Piazza Navona.

The priests and lay brothers who came to pray, live and eat together were designated a formal congregation - the Oratory - by Pope Gregory XIII in 1575. Their "work" was to assist the first, primary group of Oratorians, the laity. The Oratory priests and brothers were and are different from all other religious communities (e.g. Jesuits and Franciscans) in that they take no vows and remain together fully bound only by charity. Oratorian priests and brothers are therefore members of a Pontifical Congregation who live and work within a diocese free to serve where there is a need and a job. Oratories can be found the world over: in England, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Poland, Mexico, South America, Canada, and the United States. The Brooklyn Oratory was established by Pope St. John Paul II  in 1988."

Friday, March 22, 2019

Antoni Gaudí, Patron Saint of Architects?—Gabriela Gonzalez-Cremona

The above link will take you to the Catholic Culture Podcast for a nice discussion of the great Catholic architect Antoni Gaudi. His stunning Basilica La Sagrada Familia was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.  I learned today by listening to this Podcast that the building was actually privately funded 'expiatory temple' and is owned by a Foundation -

The Junta Constructora del Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is a private, non-profit, autonomous pious foundation. Its purpose is to build, preserve and restore the Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família, founded by Josep Maria Bocabella and designed by Antoni Gaudí, on the plot of land delimited by Mallorca, Marina, Provença and Sardenya streets.

"The Sagrada Família, as an expiatory temple, has always been funded through the donations and contributions of thousands of anonymous individuals over the years."

I learned only when putting up this post that the Foundation recently paid $41 million dollars for lacking a work permit and back taxes (LOL).  The government always gets around to getting their hand in everything.

Thursday, March 21, 2019


I was listening to Relevant Radio today on the way home from work (its on 1040 AM in New York).  The guest on the Drew Mariani show was Dr. Jay Richards and they discussed Fasting.  His website The Stream has a 13 part series about fasting here.  I have heard a lot about intermittent fasting after seeing several Catholic bloggers on Facebook talking about losing a lot of weight.  I think it all started with Jimmy Akin who had an incredible transformation.  The discussion was interesting and covered the physical improvements possible with different types of fasting.  Dr. Richards mentioned that the fasting that is done in the Eastern part of the Church is the type done by Christians throughout history, basically saying our Western fasting has been wimpy for the past several decades.  He talked about doing a 48 hour fast which is pretty extreme.  I tried the 18/8 hour fast for a few weeks even though I am skinny and don't have any weight to lose.  I did notice that I was able to go without breakfast without a problem and thought more about whether I really needed to eat or was just bored.  The discussion on the show did not discuss the spiritual benefits of fasting or why Christians fast which I was waiting to hear.  So, I found this article that discusses Christian fasting on The Catholic Gentleman.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

More Than 300 Catechumens at Cathedral Rite of Election

"On the first Sunday of Lent, Cardinal Dolan celebrated the annual Rite of Election at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, welcoming and congratulating more than 300 catechumens who have been preparing to join the Catholic Church.
The catechumens will officially enter the Church in their parishes at the Easter Vigil, April 20, when they will receive the sacraments of initiation—baptism and confirmation and First Holy Communion.
The March 10 Rite of Election ceremony drew about 900 people, including relatives and friends of the catechumens who were present to show faith-filled support and encouragement."

Great Website:  Institute of Catholic Culture

I have had this bookmarked for awhile but only realized recently that it is free to sign up and get the whole library of talks.  I look forward to checking out more of the site which appears to be solid, orthodox education for adults.  One of the founders is a revert:  Greek Melkite Fr. Hezekias Carnazzo who was interviewed on The Journey Home.

Monday, March 18, 2019

A French Parish Gets an Irish Priest, And War Breaks Out in Fall River

The above link is to an interesting historical article (via Domenico Bettinelli of Bettnet.com) that shows that the arguments and battles within the Church are no where near as bad as they were in the past.    After all, the Church as a whole in the US is doing more to make sure various nationalities are welcomed and supported.  I am sure many would like to see the Church do more, but I have not seen anything at the level described in the article.  I have also seen other stories of ethnic clashes within the Church involving Italian, Germans, Irish, Polish, etc.  I found studying history makes me more optimistic than many people because the 'good old days' were never really that good. 

"In 1884, a French parish in Fall River, Mass., locked its Irish pastor out of the church and made his life a living hell. Parishioners evicted him from the rectory, seized the parish finances, insulted him on the street and disrupted Mass. The ensuing turmoil went all the way to the Vatican.
Bishop Thomas Francis Hendricken had deliberately appointed Father Samuel McGee as pastor of Notre Dame de Lourdes. He wanted the clannish Franco-American parishioners to assimilate to their new home. The parishioners resisted. One Franco-American said he would ‘stand on the brink of hell’ before accepting an Irish pastor."

Saturday, March 16, 2019

From the Boston Pilot:

    Hundreds prepare to enter the Church with Rite of Election

"MALDEN -- Nearly 500 people preparing to enter the Church at Easter gathered at Immaculate Conception Parish in Malden March 10 for the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion. These ceremonies were one of the last steps for catechumens, who had never been baptized, and candidates, who are Christian but not Catholic, in their preparation to enter the Catholic Church.
"One of the catechumens from Mission Church was Ahmed Salem, who has a Muslim background. He came to the United States from Egypt, where, he said, he saw churches explode "on (a) weekly basis," yet Christians continued to meet.

"The model of love and peace they showed was amazing for me. So I was curious," Salem said."

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Godfried Danneels

Cardinal Godfried Danneels died today and although Pope Francis called him a 'Zealous Pastor' and John Allen declared him a 'gentleman', the truth is he was a bad person.  He tried to keep an abuse victim from reporting anything and was captured on tape doing it.  He led the Church in Belgium for many years while known as a leading liberal who was part of the group that pushed for Pope Francis to be elected.  So what do you think happened to his Church?  Exactly what one would expect as this older article in the Catholic Herald shows:  Belgium’s crisis of faith
"More so even than most European countries, it looks as if Belgian Catholicism has been living off the glories of previous centuries rather than having much to say to modern society. Certainly, most of the country’s nominal Catholics seem to have little interest in it. Unless it rediscovers a sense of purpose, there is a serious risk of the Church becoming little more than a government-funded heritage agency for the preservation of ancient churches."

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Brooklyn diocese condemns SNL R. Kelly sex abuse jokes

I don't know who at the Brooklyn Diocese thought to issue this statement but they are tone deaf to the anger Catholics have at our leadership.  The defensive posture just does not work anymore as the commentary on social media from serious Catholics show.  Maybe 10 years ago many public Catholics would have agreed with the Diocese but not today.  No one cares about a joke at the Church's handling of the sex abuser priests, we care about punishing those responsible and stopping it from ever occurring again.  We care about how long the evil men like McCarrick, Weakland, and Macial were able to get away with what they did.

.- The Diocese of Brooklyn has demanded an apology from the NBC network, calling jokes comparing Catholics to supporters of a disgraced singer charged with child sexual abuse “disgraceful and offensive.”
The jokes were broadcast by the late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live on March 9. Cast member Pete Davidson suggested that the only difference between practicing Catholicism and supporting disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly is that Kelly’s music is “significantly better.”
The Brooklyn diocese released a statement condemning the routine on Monday.
“The Diocese of Brooklyn is demanding an immediate public apology from Saturday Night Live and NBC,” the statement from the diocese said."

No apology is necessary at all!  The only issue I have with this Pete Davidson joke is this part: 

"The SNL audience had a mixed reaction in response to the joke, while Davidson added that the only difference between the Catholic Church and R. Kelly is that “one’s music is significantly better.”     “The other day, my Mom is like ‘I’m going to Mass’ and I’m like OK, I’m going to go listen to the Ignition remix,” said Davidson, referring to Kelly’s hit single from 2002.

Ok, maybe in the average suburban parish Mass this joke works because it would be true.   But historically, the greatest music in human history was done for the Church or by the Church - classical music compositions, Gregorian Chant, Polyphony, etc.. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Charles Coulombe and Americanism

I do not know why I am only noticing Charles Coulombe but he is very interesting and funny. I have only seen a couple of videos with him but I am think I will enjoy some of these.   In the video linked above, he discusses the book The Star-Spangled Heresy: Americanism by Solange Hertz.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Catholic Podcasts

So I have been (somewhat) blogging for 16 years now but I don't know if anyone reads blogs anymore.  At one point 'St. Blog's Parish' was the happening place to be.  Now, Podcasts and Vloggers are the new hipsters.  I have been listening to some lately on several of my interests:  Healthy eating / fitness, Money, Genealogy, History and of course Catholicism.  At their best, the podcasts remind me of when I first discovered Catholic blogs - there is plenty of discussion, information, inspiration, and interesting people at all spots on the journey of faith.  The only thing missing is the back and forth argument/discussions that had been found in blogs (which happened to be the best part). Here are some Catholic podcasts I have enjoyed:

The Patrick Coffin Show - he is knowledgeable and has a range of guests which includes some popular people not necessarily known for Catholicism such as Milo Yiannopoulos and Gavin McInnes.

Catholic Creatives- I just discovered this one yesterday and already have found two very interesting interviews:  the episode titled JPII Fought Nazis With Theater:  Cole Matson, and Lessons From a Megachurch:  Jake Brown. 

Taylor Marshall - Lots of current Church topics

Untitled Catholic Podcast - this is a local one featuring Fr. Sean Malgaldi where three guys discuss general stuff in addition to 'Church stuff'

Friday, March 08, 2019

Author’s Night: Sohrab Ahmari

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 @ 7PM
From Fire, By Water: An Evening with author Sohrab Ahmari

Journalist and former Wall Street Journal columnist, Sohrab Ahmari was a teenager living under the Iranian ayatollahs when he decided that there is no God. Nearly two decades later, he would be received into the Roman Catholic Church.
In From Fire, by Water, he recounts this unlikely passage, from the strident Marxism and atheism of a youth misspent on both sides of the Atlantic to a moral and spiritual awakening. At once a young intellectual’s finely crafted self-portrait and a life story at the intersection of the great ideas and events of our time, the book marks the debut of a compelling new Catholic voice.

Sheen Center for Thought and Culture

There seem to be a number of worthy events in NYC at the Sheen Center.  I don't know where I have been that I am only recently hearing about it, but it sounds great.

Named after the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, best known for his popular radio and TV ministry in the 1950s and 60s, The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture is a project of the Archdiocese of New York, presenting more than 75 events in theatre, film, music, and thought per season. The state-of-the-art complex has a 274-seat proscenium theater equipped with five-camera high-definition livestream capability and a multi-track recording studio with thirty-two onstage inputs; an 80-seat black box theater; four rehearsal studios; and an art gallery. This facility is the newest arts center in Manhattan in 35 years and a significant addition to the growing artistic community in NoHo/East Village.
Mission Statement
The Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Center for Thought & Culture is a forum to highlight the true, the good, and the beautiful as they have been expressed throughout the ages. Cognizant of our creation in the image and likeness of God, the Sheen Center aspires to present the heights and depths of human expression in thought and culture, featuring humankind as fully alive. At the Sheen Center, we proclaim that life is worth living, especially when we seek to deepen, explore and challenge ourselves, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, intellectually, artistically, and spiritually.


Thursday, March 07, 2019

What Can Sts. Perpetua & Felicity Teach Us About Lent?

Today is the Feast Day of these two early Saints and Catholic Exchange has the above article posted.  I like this quote and think it is appropriate for all Catholics today:

"Before she met a martyr’s death St. Perpetua sought to strengthen her brothers by telling them: “Stand fast in the faith, and love one another. Do not let our sufferings be a stumbling block to you.”

Msgr. Daniel S. Hamilton, RIP

When I was an altar boy we called him Father Superman because of his jet black hair that was slicked back, his black frame glasses, and the fact that he was a newspaper editor - The Long Island Catholic was a weekly paper then.  A few times after serving an 8 AM Mass he 'volunteered' me to serve his private 15 minute Mass before he headed out to work and I headed to school.  I once fainted while serving Mass right at the kiss of peace and he had to drag me to the sacristy to lay down until I felt better.  We used to joke that we could not understand his homilies because he used big words, although it was not really a joke because we really did not understand.  Even after giving up the Editor position and becoming a pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Lindenhurst, he continued his writing as described in this article: 

Why this priest has spent 50 years fighting with the New York Times

I remember seeing his letters either in the Long Island Catholic or in Newsday.  He was a very smart guy - He would have made a great blogger! 

Update:  I completely forgot this, but a decade ago I got to see him speak on the topic "Anglicans Looking To Rome: 1570 - Present".  He had once written an article in America Magazine in 1993 in which he called for a "special geographical prelature" for Anglicans although it will probably "draw sharp criticism from those Catholics who want their own church to take the same doctrinal position that official Anglicanism has already taken or is now taking".   Of course, Pope Benedict did exactly that in 2009 and the exact criticism predicted by Msgr. Hamilton came true.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Gen X Revert = Old

I missed it but my 16th blogiversary was 1/18/19.   January 18, 2003 was my first blog post.

Ignatius Press at Forty

Congrats to Ignatius Press which played a huge role in my reversion.  I still have hundreds of IP books some of which I have yet to finish reading (or start reading).  I keep thinking I will donate them to a Catholic parish library someday but hopefully one that is not far away in case I want to keep reading some of them.  Fr. Fessio has surely accomplished a huge thing for the Church.  If you are not familiar with Ignatius Press check it out.

"Ignatius Press books are invariably well-presented, of a similar size and texture. They are physically good to hold. Their print is easy to read. The editing is always careful. The reader can be sure that there is an argument to be made, a point to be considered that gets to the heart of some basic issue. I recall Father Fessio saying to me years ago that we never know who will read a book. A book is thrown out there into the world, searching, as it were, for a reader. We never know who, if anyone, will ever read it or when or where, or in what language. Book publishing is both an act of faith and a throwing of the dice."

The Spiritual Witness of Flannery O'Connor

This article by Amy Welborn at Catholic World Report is a couple of years old but is a good starting place if you want to get to learn about O'Connor.  I was introduced to her in my Catholic High School and think she is one of the greatest American writers.  The article mentions a documentary about Flannery called Uncommon Grace.

Here is a snip from the article, click on the title of the post to read the whole thing:

"How is it that stories about shyster Bible salesmen, unbelieving preachers, murderers, farmers, racists, and arrogant pseudo-intellectuals—most of whom find themselves at the wrong end of a gun or bull or weaponized textbook at one time or another—can be “spiritual”? Where’s my gauzy cover art and happy ending?
Well, if that’s our notion of “spiritual reading”—either fictional or non-fictional—no, we’re not going to “get” Flannery O’Connor. O’Connor looked at the world and saw a hard place—not because God wanted it so, but because we made it so. Moreover, she saw a loud place, deaf and blind and deeply resistant to grace—grace that she knew and trusted was still being offered.
How do you get the shysters, the unbelievers, the intolerant, and the prideful—namely, all of us—to see? You must, as she said of her own writing, shout. You must exaggerate."

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

I have been a lazy blogger or perhaps just did not have the desire to keep up with Church happenings.  Some of the things I never blogged about:

Telecare is now called Catholic Faith Network

Bishop Brennan was appointed to lead the Diocese of Columbus.  With this appointment, it appears there are 5 Long Island Bishops who have been sent elsewhere:

  • Peter Anthony Libasci appointed Bishop of Manchester
  • Nelson J. Perez  appointed Bishop of Cleveland
  • Robert J. Brennan appointed Bishop of Columbus
  • Robert J. Coyle, appointed Auxiliary Bishop for the Military Services, USA
  • Robert E. Guglielmone, appointed Bishop of Charleston

  • Update:  The site where I took this info neglected another Long Islander who is a Bishop elsewhere:  Bishop Christopher Cardone, Archbishop of Honiara, Solomon Islands

    Long Island Catholic Youth Day

    The Link with all the information is here.

    March 30,2019 at St. Anthony's High School, for students in grade 8-12
    I found this video today and heard some pretty good ideas in it from Fr. Ralph Sommer, pastor of St. Bernard's in Levittown.

    Link for Video:  The Evangelizing Pastor Webinar

    (the part where it is supposed to show a video does not work so it is minutes of a blank screen)  I especially like the poll they had after all their Masses one Sunday asking what areas the parish should put their energy into.   The most popular choice was 'Pass the faith onto the next generation' which did not surprise me.

    The more we hear and see scandals in the clergy, and confusion among the laity, the more helpful it is to have good ideas for passing on the faith at the parish level.  This is where most Catholics connect with the Church, not online or in the publications that many of us have followed for so many years.  That is why it has been great to see some younger priests become pastors recently, as long as they live truly holy lives they can help to influence Catholics in the right direction. 

    UPDATE:  In checking out the website of this parish, I see they are raising money to add a larger lobby for the Church, consolidate some buildings, improve the parking lot and best of all - add a steeple and get rid of the tower pictured below!  The tower is located right on a very busy road - Hempstead Turnpike and I always thought this tower was pretty hideous.  It sounds like this renovation is going to make this a much nicer parish complex.

    Monday, March 04, 2019

    The Biggest Lie In The History of Christianity, How Modern Culture is Robbing Billions of People of Happiness by Matthew Kelly

    My parish had free copies of this book for all at Mass this past Sunday. This is a simple quick read by the man who is a sort of Catholic self help, motivational TED talk type of guy.  Perhaps this is what we need right now in the Church.  If you are looking for deep theology or detailed explanation of Church teaching you will not find it here.  It is a general, positive look at how Catholics can be saintly, make 'Holy Moments' and change the culture.  I would recommend this book if you need a 'pep talk' which I think most Catholics could use.

    Saturday, February 16, 2019

    Traditional Latin Mass at St. Matthew in Dix Hills

    Who?: Don’t worry, we aren’t checking id’s. Feel free to join us no matter your age, but please remember the social after Mass is only for young adults.
    What?: The Traditional Latin Mass, specifically the Missa Cantata, celebrated by Fr. Michael Bissex of Saint Patrick’s in Huntington.
    When?: March 21st. Mass at 7 pm, social following immediately after.
    Where?: St Matthew’s Roman Catholic Church, 35 North Service Rd, Dix Hills. Mass will be in the chapel in the Parish Center.

    I am actually having trouble keeping up with the recent spate of Traditional Latin Masses in the Diocese of Rockville Centre!  I remember being excited that two priests were being sent to the FSSP to learn the Mass but from these announcements it appears the number of young priests who are able to offer the Traditional Mass has increased by at least three.
    Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form in Freeport

    March 3, 2019 5 PM

    See the details here.

    There was also recently a Traditional Latin Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes in Malverne and another at Notre Dame in New Hyde Park.  Both parishes have pastors who on the young side.