Sunday, August 30, 2009

Words of Wisdom: Paul VI vs. Communion in the Hand

In some places the desire to return to the practice by which the Eucharistic bread is placed in the hand of the faithful who communicates himself by putting it in his mouth. In some communities and localities this rite has even been performed without obtaining the prior approval of the Apostolic See and occasionally without appropriate preparation for the people…..In the following period, after the true meaning of the Eucharistic mystery, its effect, and the presence of Christ in it had been profoundly investigated, from a pressing sense of reverence toward this holy Sacrament and of the humility which its reception demands, the custom was introduced by which the minister himself would place the piece of consecrated bread on the tongue of the communicants…
In view of the state of the Church as a whole today, this manner (on the tongue) of distributing Holy Communion must be observed , not only because it rests upon a tradition of many centuries but especially because it is a sign of the reverence of the faithful toward the Eucharist….
This manner of communicating, which is now to be considered as prescribed by custom, gives more effective assurance that Holy Communion will be distributed with the appropriate reverence, decorum, and dignity; that any danger of profaning the Eucharistic species, in which “the whole and entire Christ, God and man, is substantially contained and permanently present in a unique way,” will be avoided; and finally that the diligent care which the Church has always commended for the very fragments of the consecrated bread will be maintained: “If you have allowed anything to be lost, consider this a lessening of your own members.” 
 Pope Paul VI: Memoriale Domini

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Scientist: Pope Was Right About AIDS, Affirms Abstinence, Fidelity More Effective than Condoms

RIMINI, Italy, AUG. 27, 2009 ( The director of Harvard's AIDS Prevention Research Project is affirming that Benedict XVI's position was right in the debate on AIDS and condoms.

Edward Green stated this in an address at the 30th annual Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples in Rimini, sponsored by the lay movement, Communion and Liberation.

Green, an expert on AIDS prevention, said that "as a scientist he was amazed to see the closeness between what the Pope said last March in Cameroon and the results of the most recent scientific discoveries."

He affirmed: "The condom does not prevent AIDS. Only responsible sexual behavior can address the pandemic." [well, let's wait for the "scientific rebuttal" of those who are pro condoms.]

Green continued, "When Benedict XVI said that different sexual behavior should be adopted in Africa, because to put trust in condoms does not serve to fight against AIDS, the international press was scandalized." [But that is their whole point!  They do not want to change their sexual behavior!]

The Pope made this statement in a meeting with journalists en route to Africa last March.

The scientist affirmed that the Holy Father spoke the truth. He noted, "The condom can work for particular individuals, but it will not serve to address the situation of a continent."

Green added: "To propose the regular use of the condom as prevention in Africa could have the opposite effect."

He explained the phenomenon of human behavior called "risk compensation," whereby a person "feels protected and thus exposes himself more."

The researcher and medical anthropologist asked: "Why has an attempt not been made to change people's customs?" [the customs being changed are those that are pro-life, pro-family and pro-morality!  The Obama-change hype Fr. Jenkins of ND wants us all to "engage" (leaves a bad taste in the mouth everytime I say that.)]

"The world industry has taken many years to understand that measures of a technical and medical character are of no use to solve the problem," he added. [sometimes, it all depends on the person.]

Green highlighted the successful policies that have been implemented in Uganda to battle AIDS, programs based in the "ABC" strategy: "Abstain, Be faithful, and, as a last resource, use a Condom." [as a last resort!  but most of the time, it becomes the only option.  why?  don't want to abstain...don't want to be faithful.]

He reported: "In the case of Uganda, an impressive result has been obtained in the fight against AIDS."

"The president was able to tell the truth to his people, to young people, that on occasions some sacrifice, abstinence and fidelity are necessary.' [In a hedonistic society, the last thing they'll ever listen to is sacrifice.  My rights, what I want are all that matter.  Well, even the Catholic Church suffers from "sacrifice-deafness".  Go to a Sunday Mass and all you hear is "Meal of Love"!]

"The result has been formidable."

"Zee!  I zold you!"

Oblates of Mary Immaculate in the Philippines' work with Indigenous People

I was alerted by this news item from the CBCP website about the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in the southern part of the country particularly in Mindanao.  My emphasis and comments, Z style.  I lifted just the excerpt.

St. Eugene de Mazenod
The meeting [of the members of the Oblate Ministry for Indigineous People] of concluded with the identification of some essential elements of the framework of Oblate ministry among the IPs:
1. Oblates are engaged in this ministry because the indigenous peoples are among the voiceless and excluded in society today; [not because they need the sacraments?]
2. Oblate ministry among the IPs entails living with the indigenous peoples in their specific locales or communities (inculturation; learning the language; knowing their socio-cultural-political contexts, etc.); [not because they need the saving Grace of God?]
3. The indigenous peoples are not a monolithic group, but are composed of various sub-groupings with their own distinctiveness; [duh!  we know this already.]
4. Programs for the IPs should be identity-based, [not Catholic-based?] prioritized according to importance, [how will you know which is important?] and empowering; [Vatican 2 style or liberation theology style?]
5. Oblates serving in this ministry need to be secure in their own Catholic Christian and Oblate identity, [I guess they are not secure.  Why would they have to emphasize this?] and possess an attitude of openness and interest to embrace such ministry; [Yes. I know this is hard work.]
6 Oblates in this ministry should be critical in engaging other partners and stakeholders, [wow!  business terms!] so as not to compromise our values and the best interests of the indigenous peoples we seek to serve.

The work of the Oblates in Christianizing the Muslim-dominated Southern Philippines is wonderful.  The entire island of Mindanao was under one diocese when the group of 7 pioneering Oblate missionaries arrived from America and Canada in 1939.  From the Oblates work came the first Catholic radio station of the Philippines, DXMS (MS for Mindanao and Sulu where they work and Maris Stella, Star of the Sea, a title of Our Lady); the birth of the Notre Dame Educational System where I am an alumnus; the founding of a congregation of sisters dedicated to rural catechetical instructions, the Oblates of Notre Dame; the founding of dozens of parishes thus the erection of the Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo, the dioceses of Marbel and Kidapawan, and the Archdiocese of Cotabato.

BUT as of late... most of the Oblates, I am not saying all of the, are busy with OTHER ministries other than those of the charism of their founder, St. Eugene de Mazenod.  That is the preaching of the Gospel for the salvation of souls.  I would often hear Pinoy Oblates, who I personally know, talk about their work with Justice and Peace, Indigenous People, Education, etc., but I can barely see nor feel that what they are doing is in the Light of the Gospel, following the charism of their holy founder.  I mean, look at what the earlier Oblates did.  They Christianized much of Mindanao which earlier missionaries, like the Jesuits had a hard time to do.

I remember asking an Oblate Father about this and he said, "St. Eugene's vision of Christianinzing Muslims does not work anymore especially after what the Church declared in Vatican 2.  We'll not make them Christians.  We'll just help them become good Muslims."
"Oh yeah.  Because you know more of the Qur'an than the Bible and the Catechism so you can make them better Muslims than convert them to the One True Faith!" (I thought to myself.)

This was what their founder, St. Eugene de Mazenod, said to his Oblate sons gathered around his deathbed as his dying wish: "Charity amongst yourselves and Zeal for the salvation of souls."

Whatever happened to working for the salvation of immortal souls?

They call this aggiornamento

The sisters at the monastery learned from a New Age "sister" on the "updated" way to handle the loneliness of cloistered life.

I'm baaack!

Back from the farm and blogging!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mickey Rourke Thanks God and Catholic Faith for "Second Chance"

Rome, Italy, Aug 25, 2009 (CNA).- Famed Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke, who was at the Sarajevo Film Festival last week, told a Bosnian newspaper that he thanks God and his Catholic faith for giving him a “second chance” in life to overcome his addictions, which almost led him to commit suicide.

Speaking to the Bosnian daily “Avaz,” Rourke said, “God gave me a second chance in life and I thank Him.” 

Rourke achieved fame in the 80s with action films and erotic thrillers. At the beginning of the 90s he left film for boxing and fell into heavy drug and alcohol addiction.

According to the newspaper, during the most difficult moments of his life, his psychiatrist and his priest were his best friends.

“When you fall people push you down even more. The world is full of materialism and envy. When you are famous and you fall, people don’t want you to come back. It is almost impossible to come back. It’s hard enough the first time, but the second time it’s like you don’t even exist …God gave me a second chance, the guy upstairs helped me out,” he said.

Several years ago Rourke began his return to the big screen and this year he won his first Golden Globe Award for the film “The Wrestler.” Rourke was also an Oscar favorite.

Now, he says, he doesn’t think about Hollywood much. “I don’t care about Hollywood and what the people of Hollywood think. I don’t think about how it works because I simply don’t care. I don’t even dream about it.”

In 2005, when he began to land bigger roles in films, he revealed to a magazine that he was meeting often with his pastor in New York and was on the verge of suicide. “If I weren’t Catholic I would have blown my brains out,” he said.


God bless Mickey Rourke! Now I am a Mickey Rourke fan! May he continue to grow in our Faith!

The words of the Lord come to mind, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul in return?'

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Praying towards the East

The turning of the priest toward the people has turned the community into a self-enclosed circle. In its outward form, it no longer opens out on what lies ahead and above, but is closed in on itself. The common turning toward the east was not a "celebration toward the wall"; it did not mean that the priest "had his back to the people": the priest himself was not regarded as so important. For just as the congregation in the synagogue looked together toward Jerusalem, so in the Christian liturgy the congregation looked together "toward the Lord".... They did not close themselves into a circle; they did not gaze at one another; but as the pilgrim People of God they set off for the Oriens, for the Christ who comes to meet us.... [A]common turning to the east during the Eucharistic Prayer remains essential. This is not a case of something accidental, but of what is essential. Looking at the priest has no importance. What matters is looking together at the Lord

- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (The Spirit of the Liturgy pp. 80-81)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Words of Wisdom: Holy Communion

"If we could comprehend all the good things contained in Holy Communion, nothing more would be wanting to content the heart of man. The miser would run no more after his treasures, or the ambitious after glory; each would shake off the dust of the earth, leave the world, and fly away towards heaven." 

-  St. John Marie Vianney


That's St. (Padre) Pio of Pietrelcina receiving Holy Communion from the priest celebrant which is the right thing.  Before the changes after Vatican II, priests in attendance do not get the Hosts by themselves (or self-communicate).  They go down on their knees and receive the Lord from the priest who offered the Holy Sacrifice.

We fall on our knees not because we honor the one giving us Communion.  But we honor Him who we are about to receive. That's what Moses did in the sight of the burning bush.  That's what people did when they saw and recognized Christ (Luke 5:8).

Oh, if we could just comprehend what we are receiving...

In the farm...

I will be in a farm up north for a series of seminars and trainings.  Yes, it is a farm and connection will be sloooowwwww.  I was having a hard time connecting here in the city.  Imagine, when I get to the farm.  More grrrrsss?  Hope not!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Can someone do the Church a great favor?

What do you suggest we do with this?  By the way, does anyone know his name?

FYI.  It's not Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston. 

Doctors in Spain To Choose Jail before Performing Abortions

Modern-day confessors and martyrs for the Faith!  Standing for the Gospel of Life!


Madrid, Spain, Aug 20, 2009 (CNA).- Dr. Esteban Rodriguez, spokesman for the organization Right to Life (Derecho a Vivir) in Spain, responded yesterday to comments by the country’s Minister of Justice, Francisco Caamano, who said there was no room for a conscience clause in the new law on abortion. [These murderous laws respect other human rights except the right to choose life!]

“We are willing to go to jail rather than following a criminal law, Rodriguez said, “and we are willing to commit the supposed crime of disobedience before the crime of abortion.” [God bless these doctors!  It is the same as the anti-thesis of the devil "Non Serviam!"  but in this case they will not serve something that would force you to commit a most despicable crime!  The murder of the defenseless and the weak, the unborn!] 

“We will not kill our patients, nor will we commit a crime against the public health deliberately harming the health of women, no matter how much the Minister of Justice threatens us and abuses his power,” the doctor said.

“We doctors are not soldiers, nor policemen, nor executioners. There is no civil disobedience in the refusal to kill a human being, but rather the fulfilling of our professional obligation,” he added. [And that is what doctors swear to do.   This is a part of the Hippocratic Oath doctors take.  "Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art."]

If the government carries out the threat by the Minister of Justice to penalize conscientious objectors as disobedient, Rodriguez said that a “new category of victims of the laws on abortion and the regulation of conscience will be created in the gynecologists who wish to carry out their moral obligations in the face of an imposed ideology.”

After recalling that the statute in the Spanish constitution allowing conscientious objection must be respected, Rodriguez expressed his surprise that the law would shield from prison some doctors who have been convicted of performing illegal abortions, while punishing with prison those doctors who have fought to defend the lives of their patients and the health of women.

We recommend they think about creating a new level of officials at the ministries of Justice and Equality: fetal executioners,” Dr. Rodriguez remarked. [Damn sure he got it right!]

“We find the totalitarian intentions of the Ministry of Justice, in conjunction with those of Equality, to be highly troubling. If the former Minister of Justice stirred things up with officials in the judiciary, this one is going to accomplish the same thing with medical professionals,” he warned.

If this isn't barbarism, then what is it?

Has human civilization gone to an extreme low?

God bless these doctors!

Pinoy Bishop to his priests: Wear your collar/cassock!

Courtesy of my dear friend and fellow Pinoy blogger, Jay Balza of Veritatem facientes in caritate.


MAY 27, 2009 - "Effective today, all priests in the diocese of Pasig, whether incardinated or guest priests, should always wear clerical attire when they go to their office and other official functions in or outside the parish."

This was announced by Pasig Bishop Francisco C. San Diego, D.D. (pictured above) in circular 2009 005.

Invoking Canon 284, "Clerics are to wear suitable ecclesiastical dress in accordance with the norms established by the Episcopal conference and legitimate customs", the bishop also announced that during liturgical celebrations, priests should always wear the sotana or alb with the chasuble as demanded by proper church decorum.

"I pray that all will be properly guided by this policy, all for the greater glory of God that all may be one!" the bishop said.

Kudos to Bishop San Diego! It's about time the identity of the priesthood is made visible once again. Once, when the Holy Father Pope John Paul II ordained Msgr. Gilles Wach - Founder and Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, upon learning that he was from France, said to him "You are French. Keep the cassock!". How I wish the other dioceses would follow.


Amen to that bro!  At the Year of the Priest, the clergy must regain their identity by wearing the garb that signifies the dignity of their chosen state of life.

See my comments on a related post here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

US Lutherans: Active homosexual couples can serve as clergy

From Yahoo News

MINNEAPOLIS - The nation's largest Lutheran denomination took openly gay clergy more fully into its fold Friday, as leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to lift a ban that prohibited sexually active gays and lesbians from serving as ministers.

Under the new policy, individual ELCA congregations will be allowed to hire homosexuals in committed relationships as clergy. Until now, gays and lesbians had to remain celibate to serve as clergy.

The change passed with the support of 68 percent of about 1,000 delegates at the ELCA's national assembly. It makes the group, with about 4.7 million members in the U.S., one of the largest U.S. Christian denominations yet to take a more gay-friendly stance.

"I have seen these same-gender relationships function in the same way as heterosexual relationships [huh?!] — bringing joy and blessings as well as trials and hardships," the Rev. Leslie Williamson, associate pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Des Plaines, Ill., said during the hours of debate. "The same-gender couples I know live in love and faithfulness and are called to proclaim the word of God as are all of us." [How could they "proclaim the word of God" when they are in a relationship that the Bible condemns?  Read Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-27] 

Conservative congregations will not be forced to hire gay clergy. [Well, that's good.] Nevertheless, opponents of the shift decried what they saw as straying from clear Scriptural direction, [Obviously.  Well you are Lutheran.  Your founder strayed from Scriptural direction.  Why be surprised at all that this is happening?]and warned it could lead some congregations and individual churchgoers to split off from the ELCA. [Want a church that does not stray from Scriptural direction?  Try the OHCAC or the One, Holy, Catholic and  Apostolic Church aka Roman Catholic Church.]

"This will cause an ever greater loss in members and finances. I can't believe the church I loved and served for 40 years can condone what God condemns," said the Rev. Richard Mahan, pastor at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Charleston, W.Va. "Nowhere in Scripture does it say homosexuality and same-sex marriage is acceptable to God. Instead, it says it is immoral and perverted." [Just as I commented above.] 

David Keck, a delegate from the Southern Ohio Synod, said he feared that by embracing partnered gays as clergy that the ELCA was heading down a road that would ultimately lead to "the blessing of same-sex unions as the policy of this church," he said. [Trying the Vicki Gene Robinson policy, eh?] 

Mahan said he believed a majority of his congregation would want to now break off from the ELCA. [The Catholic Church is calling you back home, brothers and sisters.]

Other leaders indicated they might leave as well, but ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson said after the vote he was committed to keeping opponents of the new policy within the ELCA fold.

"I'm pleading with people to stay in there with us in this conversation," Hanson said. [Just like what Obama says regarding opposition to legalized abortion. "Searching for Common Ground"]

In September, Lutheran CORE — the group that led the fight against the changes — is holding a convention in Indianapolis to discuss the next steps. It also encouraged ELCA members and congregations to direct finances away from ELCA churchwide organizations and toward "faithful ministries within and outside of the ELCA."

Other Christian denominations in the United States have struggled to remain united in the face of such debates. In 2003, the 2 million-member Episcopal Church of the United States consecrated its first openly gay bishop, a move that alienated American Episcopalians from its worldwide parent church, the Anglican Communion. The divide has led to the formation of the more conservative Anglican Church in North America, which claims 100,000 members.

But ELCA supporters of its change said failure to ratify it ran just as great a risk of alienating large portions of the membership, particularly those from younger generations. [Oh really?]

The Rev. Katrina Foster, pastor at Fordham Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Bronx, said Lutherans heard similar warnings about flouting Scripture when they made past changes that are now seen as successful — chiefly, the ordination of women. [See that?  Creating a precedent.  Then why change what Scripture has taught?] 

"We can learn not to define ourselves by negation," said Foster, who is a lesbian. "By not only saying what we are against, which always seems to be the same — against gay people. We should be against poverty. I wish we were as zealous about that." [Good grief!  Helloooo! What's the topic here?  Is it changing what Scripture preaches?  Then why talk about poverty?  Are you joining Ms. America?]

Tim Mumm, a gay man and an assembly delegate from Whitewater, Wis., said the Scripture that guides opponents of the more liberal policy was written by mortals, at a much earlier time, and doesn't reflect what many Christians now believe. [So the lessons that Scripture preaches is time related?  So killing was condemned by the Bible in the Ten Commandments.   Tomorrow, I get out of my house, kill someone and when I get arrested I tell the police officer, "Hey, the laws against murder was written by mortals at a much earlier time and it does not reflect what many now believe!" Does that follow?  Even if society allows murder, like abortion, it is still condemned by Sacred Scripture.  Unless he does not believe in Scripture as Sacred as Mr. Mumm sees it to be.]

"I believe for me to marry a woman would be wrong — even sinful," Mumm said. [Duh! of course you hate marrying a woman!]

Some ELCA congregations had already been flouting the ban on noncelibate gay priests by hiring pastors in gay relationships. Some synods looked the other way, while others removed such priests from their rosters. 

It was such divisions and inconsistencies in enforcement that an ELCA task force aimed to finesse when it began several years ago to draw up the ministry recommendations and a broader social statement on human sexuality, which passed earlier this week.

Under the new policy, heterosexual clergy and professional lay workers will still have to abstain from sex outside marriage. The proposed change would cover those in "lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships." [Do you need policies to be written?  It's in Sacred Scripture!  Oh yes, I forgot.  Your Lutheran.  Your founder changed Scripture!]

This kind of trouble happens in a church governed by a voting collegial body.  No wonder the Church is in stable ground.  Founded by the "stone rejected by the builders"... Founded upon Peter...Led, by the Successor of the Rock in the Name of the Founder...

Imagine if the Catholic Church is governed in the same way as the Anglicans, Episcopalians and Lutherans do?  And the Liberals want it this way... As Hans Kung, champion of collegiality, the collegiality that these "churches" practice.

By the way...the convention was hit by a tornado.  A warning from the Almighty yet they did not heed it?  Obviously they do not even listen to reason anymore, why would they listen to God?

My advice?  Heed St. Paul's warning...

I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by (the) grace (of Christ) for a different gospel (not that there is another). But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed!  As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed!  Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ. Now I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel preached by me is not of human origin. For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Gal. 1:6-11

Another Miraculous Story of the Miraculous Medal

Another story of how God works miracles through the Miraculous Medal.  Wear yours today!

For the approved blessing and imposition of the Miraculous Medal, click here

The future pope from Milan

Giovanni Battista Montini, then Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, proudly wearing his galero.  Notice the tassels hanging.  Just like how it would look at the episcopal arms.  And modernist liturgical hobbyists say he is not traditional.  Bah!

SNAPSHOT: What is so wrong with this picture? (UPDATE)

Well, here is what's wrong with this picture.

Canon 1271, speaks of the lamp that should burn before the tabernacle.  It reads as follows: 

"At least one lamp is to be kept burning day and night before the tabernacle in which the Blessed Sacrament is kept. In this lamp olive oil or beeswax is to be used; but where olive oil is not available, with the sanction of the Ordinary other oils may be used, but they should be vegetable oils, if possible."

By the way it looks, the lamp is an electric bulb and it is not 'burning before the tabernacle'.  The lamp was placed above the tabernacle.  Isn't it disrespectful to place a lamp above the tabernacle where the Lord is?  They made the Lord a footstool of the lamp!

Personally for me, it's not much of the church legislation.  It's how you treat the Lord in that shows what kind of faith you have in him.  

My own grrrr!!!

Father Z, has had problems in the past days about his computer system.  Now I am having headaches of my own wiht my internet connection!  GRRR!!! I wasn't able to update my blog because of this!  Grrrr!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What the Western Media did not report about Novak

I was watching a newscast of ABC and CBS and learned of the death of Robert Novak.  I only learned that he is a Jewish convert to Catholicism by reading it online.  Was it a deliberate attempt to hide that part of his life to millions of viewers not only in America but also the rest of the world?  Once can only speculate.  But something tells me, it was deliberate.

Read the article below to learn of the faith journey of Mr. Novak.  Requeim aeternam dona ei, Domine.


Catholic Convert and Political Commentator Robert Novak Passes Away 

Washington D.C., Aug 18, 2009 (CNA).- The death of Robert Novak has led many to remember the career of the expert political journalist. Some noted his conversion to Catholicism later in life, with one former colleague calling it his “most important” change of heart.

Novak died of a malignant tumor at his Washington, D.C. home on Tuesday.

One half of the Evans-Novak “Inside Report,” begun in 1963 with journalist Robert Evans, Novak was known for his ability to explain the feuds and factions of American politics with the help of his many inside sources. For a long time he was co-host of the CNN debate show “Crossfire.”

Though a political conservative, he opposed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. Later in 2003, he became the object of controversy for exposing the identity of a CIA agent married to retired diplomat John C. Wilson, who investigated and questioned the factual basis for the justifications of the war.

Tim Carney, a former employee of Novak, described the journalist’s late-life conversion to Catholicism as “his most important change of heart.”

“Brought up a secular Jew, and having lived seven decades as an agnostic, Novak entered the church in his 60s,” Carney wrote at “When I went to work for him, I was considering entering the Catholic Church as well. Novak pointed me to the priests who helped answer my remaining questions and cement my faith.”

He reported that Novak told aspiring journalists to pick a different field if they aimed to change the world.

“But, by simply aiming to inform and to do his job as well he could, Novak changed the lives of his readers and those of us blessed to work with him.”

Announcing his cancer diagnosis in his final column for the Chicago Sun-Times on September 7, 2008, he said his health problems first became manifest after he hit a pedestrian with his car. Tests later showed he had lost his left-side vision.

A biopsy revealed a major tumor, leading his oncologist to estimate that he had six months to a year to live.

“Being read your death sentence is like being a character in one of the old Bette Davis movies,” Novak said. “I believe I was able to withstand this shock because of my Catholic faith, to which I converted in 1998.”

Novak went into greater detail about his faith in his 2007 book “The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington.”

Novak attended Christian services sporadically until the mid-1960s, but then stopped going to religious services for nearly 30 years.

In the early 1980s, a friend gave Novak Catholic literature after he came close to dying from spinal meningitis. Ten years later, his non-Catholic wife Geraldine persuaded him to join her at Mass at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Washington D.C.

The celebrant, Fr. Peter Vaghi, was a former Republican lawyer and adviser to Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM). He was also a former source for the Evans and Novak column.

Novak then started to go to Mass regularly and decided to convert a few years later. According to Novak, the turning point came when he visited Syracuse University in New York to lecture. Before he spoke he was seated at a dinner table near a young woman who wore a cross necklace. Novak asked her if she was Catholic, and she asked him the same. [This is related to my latest post about the Miraculous Medal.  See what positive effect an outward expression of your faith have on other people?  Produly wear your crucifix, cross, scapular or medal!  Catholic and be proud of it!  Wear it proudly!  We are not in the days of the Diocletian persecution.]

Novak said that he had been going to Mass each Sunday for the last four years, but had not converted.

Mr. Novak, life is short, but eternity is forever,” the woman responded, thus moving the journalist to begin studying for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, the rite by which people learn the Catholic faith. He was baptized at St. Patrick’s in 1998. His wife was also baptized a Catholic.

Novak later recounted his conversion in an interview with a skeptical New York Times interviewer. He said he told her he believed the Holy Spirit was behind coincidences such as his former source becoming a priest.

"I consider this the only one true faith, so I believe the Holy Spirit led me to it," Novak said. 


and this one entitled "Robert Novak finds peace" where it describes some of his thoughts after his baptism.


"The ceremony, in May 1998, was mostly a solemn affair. In the course of it, Novak, then 67, was baptized, confirmed, and received his first Holy Communion. “It was an exhilarating experience,” he says, “one of the great moments of my life. I thought I was in a different dimension.” [Do we feel the same after every Holy Communion?] 

The solemnity lifted for a moment when Monsignor [Peter] Vaghi said how privileged they were to witness the transformation of the “prince of darkness” into a “child of light.”

How Miraculous is the Miraculous Medal

Below is from a talk Fr. John Hardon, SJ has given various times.

One of the most memorable experiences that I ever had was with the Miraculous Medal! It changed my life.

In the fall of 1948, the year after my ordination, I was in what we call the Tertianship. This is a third year of Novitiate before taking final vows.

In October of that year, a Vincentian priest came to speak to us young Jesuit priests. He encouraged us to obtain faculties, as they are called, to enroll people in the Confraternity of the Miraculous Medal. Among other things, he said, "Fathers, the Miraculous Medal works. Miracles have been performed by Our Lady through the Miraculous Medal."

I was not impressed by what the Vincentian priest was telling. I was not the medal-wearing kind of person and I certainly did not have a Miraculous Medal. But I thought to myself, "It does not cost anything." So I put my name down to get a four page leaflet from the Vincentians, with the then-Latin formula for blessing Miraculous Medals and enrolling people in the Confraternity of the Miraculous Medal. About two weeks later, I got the leaflet for blessing and enrollment, put it into my office book and forgot about it.

In February of the next year, I was sent to assist the chaplain of St. Alexis Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. I was to be there helping the regular chaplain for two weeks.

Each morning I received a list of all the patients admitted into the hospital that day. There were so many Catholics admitted that I could not visit them all as soon as they came.

Among the patients admitted was a boy about nine years old. He had been sled-riding down hill, lost control of the sled and ran into a tree head-on. He fractured his skull and X-rays showed he had suffered severe brain damage.

When I finally got to visit his room at the hospital, he had been in a coma for ten days, no speech, no voluntary movements of the body. His condition was such that the only question was whether he would live. There was no question of recovering from what was diagnosed as permanent and inoperble brain damage.

After blessing the boy and consoling his parents, I was about to leave his hospital room. But then a thought came to me. "That Vincentian priest. He said, 'The Miraculous Medal works.' Now this will be a test of its alleged miraculous powers!"

I didn't have a Miraculous Medal of my own. And everyone I asked at the hospital also did not have one. But I persisted, and finally one of the nursing sisters on night duty found a Miraculous Medal.

What I found out was that you don't just bless the medal, you have to put it around a person's neck on a chain or ribbon. So the sister-nurse found a blue ribbon for the medal, which made me feel silly. What was I doing with medals and blue ribbons.

However, I blessed the medal and had the father hold the leaflet for investing a person in the Confraternity of the Miraculous Medal. I proceeded to recite the words of investiture. No sooner did I finish the prayer of enrolling the boy in the Confraternity than he opened his eyes for the first time in two weeks. He saw his mother and said, "Ma, I want some ice cream." He had been given only intravenous feeding.

Then he proceeded to talk to his father and mother. After a few minutes of stunned silence, a doctor was called. The doctor examined the boy and told the parents they could give him something to eat.

The next day began a series of tests on the boy's condition. X-rays showed the brain damage was gone.

Then still more tests. After three days, when all examinations showed there was complete restoration to health, the boy was released from the hospital.

This experience so changed my life that I have not been the same since. My faith in God, faith in His power to work miracles, was strengthened beyond description.

Since then, of course, I have been promoting devotion to Our Lady and the use of the Miraculous Medal. The wonders she performs, provided we believe, are extraordinary.

In teaching theology over the years, I have many semesters taught the theology of miracles. And I have an unpublished book manuscript on "The History and Theology of Miracles." My hope is to publish the manuscript in the near future.
Why wear any type of necklace when you can wear the Miraculous Medal and enjoy the promised protection of the Virgin Mother to those who would wear it with faith and confidence?  You wear it as an outward sign of your faith and trust in God's protection through the patronage of His Loving Mother.  If God our Father trusted the Virgin Mary to bear his ONLY Son, who are we then not to trust Her?


For those looking for the traditional blessing and imposition of the Miraculous Medal, here it is.
Blessing and Investiture with Miraculous Medal
(Priest vests in surplice and white stole)
+. Our help is in the name of the Lord
R. Who made heaven and earth
+. The Lord be with you
R. And with your spiri.

Let us pray.

Almighty and merciful God, Who by the many appearances on earth of the Immaculate Virgin Mary were pleased to work miracles again and again for the salvation of souls; kindly pour out Your blessing + on this medal, so that all who devoutly wear it and reverence it may experience the patronage of Mary Immaculate and obtain mercy from You; through Christ our Lord. AMEN.

Priest sprinkles Miraculous Medal(s) with Holy Water, then presents it to person(s) saying:

Take this holy medal; wear it with faith, and handle it with due devotion, so that the holy and Immaculate Queen of Heaven may protect and defend you. And as she is ever ready to renew her wondrous acts of kindness, may she obtain for you in her mercy whatever you humbly ask of God, so that both in life and in death you may rest happily in her motherly embrace. AMEN.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Our Father...

+. And lead us not into temptation
R. But deliver us from evil
+. Queen conceived without Original Sin
R. Pray for us who have recourse to thee
+. O, Lord, hear my prayer
R. And let my cry come unto thee
+. The Lord be with you
R. And with your spirit.

Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ, Who willed that Your Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary conceived without sin, should become illustrious through countless miracles; grant that we who ever seek her patronage may finally possess everlasting joys. We ask this of You, Who lives and reigns forever and ever, AMEN.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cardinal Arinze warns against liturgical innovations in Asia

excerpt from Union of Catholic Asian News.

Cardinal Arinze in his homily at the closing Mass stressed “the art of proper celebration” of Mass and proper focus on the Word of God in liturgical celebrations.

He cited Church tradition of taking readings only from Scripture, on which the homily should principally be based. The homily is not a time for “theological acrobatics, political discussion, and sociological analysis” or to ask for donations, he said.

Acknowledging the value of Asian cultures in enhancing liturgical celebrations, he cautioned against “downright mistaken innovations and idiosyncrasies of some enthusiastic clerics.” [He knows what's going on in the Asia and the Philippines,  eh?  I think he has some Pinoy clerics in mind.]

Use of dance, he said, needs critical examination [Huh?!  I thought he once said that Mass is not allowed even once by the CDW that he once headed.  And that not once in the history of the Church did dance become part of the Liturgy.  See here.] because most performances draw attention to the performers, and offer enjoyment and invite applause. “People come to Mass not for recreation, but to adore God,” the cardinal said.

He also highlighted the importance of ongoing liturgical formation “since many liturgical abuses are based on ignorance rather than bad will.” [I agree to that.  Some priests are even oblivious of our Eastern Catholic brethren's liturgical heritage.  And they call themselves liturgical experts!  Believe me.  I know some priests.  But there are other reasons other than ignorance.  Some liturgical hobbyists insists that "Vatican II allowed liturgical creativity."  so they say.  And so they write books, pamphlets and "guides" in how to...(wait for it!) plan...the Mass.  Yes you read it right.  Plan the Mass.  An instruction not for the altar boy, but on how to make the Mass, "more interesting, and less boring."  Well, I was trained to do that before.  And boy was I disgusted.]




YANGON (UCAN) -- A decision by a congregation of nuns to dress in civilian clothes almost a decade ago is still not fully accepted by laypeople in Myanmar.

The Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions, [or RNDM, the first letters of the congregation in French since they are a French congregation] who mostly work in Pyay diocese, decided to discard their habit in favor of the traditional Myanmar longyi (sarong) and blouse in 2000 to better integrate with the people they serve. [better integrate?  what? you need to dress like the people to better integrate with them?  so if the sisters work in Papua New or among the aborigines of Australia... you get the picture. that is such a flimsy excuse to escape the religious habit.  I will tell you more of the story of why these sisters don't wear the habit later.]

However, their decision to wear civilian clothing is still being viewed with mixed feelings by laypeople. [hell yeah.]

Mary Ann, 65, a parishioner of St. Francis Church in Pyay diocese, said, "Although youths can accept them as nuns without the habit... I still want them to dress like nuns as they are not ordinary people. They are people who have dedicated themselves to God." [Dress like nuns!  Not ordinary people!  Dedicated themselves to God!  HAH!  It came from a lay woman! BUT obviously these sisters see themselves differently.]

Geraldine Zin Mar Lwin, 40, a laywoman from St. Paul's Parish, also in Pyay diocese, agreed. "We don't want them to dress like ordinary people as they are Religious." She conceded though that it is more practical to wear civilian dress as "the weather is very hot and humid throughout the year." [Do you dress the habit so you can be comfortable?  Tell that to the Marines!  No litereally.  Look at your soldiers, policemen, doctors and nurses.  When they go to their work, they wear their IDENTIFIED IN PUBLIC.  Why be shy of who you are in your state of life?  They do not complain of wearing their uniforms.  They are PROUD of what their uniforms stand for.  They do not complain of the heat or humidity.  These are flimsy excuses.  The religious uniform aka HABIT is your public identification of WHO YOU ARE in the world. It is a public witness.] 

However, U Aung Kywe, 52, said that "by their good example and loving service, the majority of the people in Pyay diocese now accept them as nuns even though they wear civilian clothing." [That is beside the point.  Good or bad nuns must wear the habit, as called for by Vatican II. "The religious habit, an outward mark of consecration to God, should be simple and modest, poor and at the same becoming. In addition it must meet the requirements of health and be suited to the circumstances of time and place and to the needs of the ministry involved." (Perfectae Caritatis - Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life – 17).]

Explaining her congregation's decision, Sister Noreen Htun, 62, said that wearing local dress helps nuns integrate better with people, and makes it easier for the nuns to "approach them and work with them." [Integrate?  Meaning people will have a hard time relating to you because you are wearing a religious habit?  Did they conduct a study that proves that people are more comfortable talking to habit-less sisters than those with the habits? Rubbish.  I find this another flimsy excuse.  Why?  My own personal exprience...I stumbled upon a civilian clothes...walking in the mall...with a young...Never mind.  Imagine if he were wearing his cassock or a clerical collar, would he have that much freedom to move around and do what he wants?  Cannot "integrate" easily, eh?]

In 1986, she started to wear a brown longyi and the traditional long-sleeve blouse while still wearing her veil. She said that when she "attended formation courses in Bangladesh and India," she saw nuns from her own congregation "wearing their own cultural dress." [The longyi is radically different from the sari of the sisters of Mother Teresa.  They too wear a traditional dress of the Indians but they have a veil and they resemble the habit of Latin rite Catholics.  The longyi is different!]

Four years later, the longyi became the norm in her congregation, except for nuns over 60 years of age. [NO!  I say it again, NO!  Why I knew RNDM sisters here in the Philippines and they ARE NOT wearing the longyi.  I'll prove this later.]

Another nun, Sister Rita Phyo recounted an incident in 1998 when they went to work in Rakhine State, where most of the people are Muslims. "At that time we were still using veils and some people thought we were Muslim women," she recalled. Soon, local superiors decided to do away with the veil "and from 2000 all our nuns began wearing the local civilian clothing -- longyi and blouse," she said. [So what if you are considered Muslim women?  Quite frankly it is beneficial.  I knew some missionary sisters in Mindanao, the Southern part of the Philippines, where majority of Muslim Filipinos live.  The sisters said that Muslims respect nuns because of the veil which resembles the veil (or hijab) of Muslim women.  Women who cover their heads are more respectful in the eyes of Muslim men since this practice is prescribed by the Qur'an.  So this is more of an asset rather than a liability.  Again another flimsy excuse that does not hold water.]

The only item which distinguishes them as nuns is a cross they wear around their necks. [Which they designed themselves.  This is how their "cross" looks like .  Looks like more of a Christmas card Star of Bethlehem to me.] 

However, the change to civilian dress was not without problems. Sister Christine May, 40, recalled how five years ago when they attended a religious course in Yangon, nuns from another congregation thought they were postulants. "Not only laypeople but also nuns treated us differently," she remarked. [What do you expect?  You brought this on you.]

Father David Ba Thein, 55, director of Pyay diocese's Karuna Social Service agency said local priests prefer the nuns to wear their veils, at least during Mass. [Like all women back in the days.  It still can be done since NOT ONE SINGLE CHURCH DOCUMENT says that it is forbidden for women to wear veils or mantillas during Mass.] In his view, priests "can distinguish who they are" when they wear their "uniforms." [Exactly as I said earlier!]

Mother Euphrasie Barbier [that's her below.  Lovely isn't she?  Notice her crucifix?  Now that's a crucifix.] founded the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions in 1861 in Lyons, France. The nuns came to Myanmar in 1887. Most worked in mission schools but after the government's nationalization policy in 1962, they began helping priests in parish work, especially in Pyay diocese.

They also began poultry farms, fisheries and vegetable plantations to support their work among orphans and poor rural children, run student hostels, and work with youth and women.

They care for HIV/AIDS patients together with nuns from St. Joseph Congregation and look after leprosy patients in collaboration with the Baptists. [That's how they got their look?  From the Baptists?  Just joking...] They also care for displaced children near the border with Thailand. 

There are presently 64 nuns in 12 convents in Pyay and one each in Yangon archdiocese and Mawlamyine diocese. Worldwide, there are more than 1,000 nuns. Many in other countries also wear civilian dress.


The picture above is the General Council's Meeting of the Sisters.  Notice how each has her own habit.  Not the same longyi as claimed by the sister in the interview.  The sister in the middle is Sr. Maureen McBride, RNDM, the superior general of the sisters.  She was once assigned here in the Philippines along with other sisters.  They were not wearing the longyi or any cultural dress.  They were wearing plain civilian clothes.  She was my former professor in college.  Very nice woman though.  Strong-willed woman.  I remember one time in class when my classmate said that she met this "girl", Sr. Maureen suddenly got agitated.  She does not want us to use the word girl.  It must be "woman" or womyn?  She even gave a different interpretation of the Announciation.  Really distorted.  Classic 60s era feminism.  

She said that their order discarded the habit and veil because:

1)It is the call of Vatican 2(?!)

2) so they can better integrate(?!)

3) the veil is a symbol of submissiveness to the male dominated society (?!)

Radical Feminism in the know where it is headed... Click here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Communion in the Mouth allowed again in Manila

from the Archdiocese of Manila's website,



121 Arzobispo St., Intramuros, Manila 

CIRCULAR NO. 2009 – 27
23 July 2009 



Greetings of Christ’s Peace!

In June our Archbishop Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales instructed that Holy Communion be given only in the hand in view of the increasing number of cases of infection with the Influenza AH1N1 Virus in our country, particularly in Metro Manila. [the issuance of which I found totally absurd and to say the least, over reacting!]

While there remain cases of the disease and its total containment has not been reached, the Department of Health has said that the disease is of a mild form and that proper precautions lessen its spread. Cardinal Rosales has now instructed that Holy Communion by the mouth be allowed, which means that the Communicants may now receive Holy Communion either by mouth or by hand. [even without the spread of the virus, Canon law prohibits a Catholic from receiving in the tongue which is still the traditional, time-honored and preferred manner of receiving Holy Communion.]

At the same time, the Cardinal advises Priests and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to continue to practice proper hygiene and wash their hands thoroughly before and after the Mass. [which must be done even without the directive from the archbishop or the news about the disease.] He likewise exhorts the faithful to observe all the practices recommended by the health authorities to prevent the acquisition and spread of the disease. 

Let us continue to pray that a way to combat the disease be discovered and that all those who are afflicted be restored to health soon. 

Thank you. 

Ministry for Liturgical Affairs


I had this unfortunate experience of a priest distributing communion, distributing the Hosts as if they were poker chips.  No exaggeration!  I stuck my tongue out and his hand was handing out the Host to me at my waist level.  He even forced the Host into my folded hands!  He was insistent that I receive only on the Hand and not on the mouth.

A(H1N1) or not, there are priests and EMHC who insist that Communion in the Hand be the norm.  Why because of this purported text from St. Cyril that instructs faithful how to receive Communion in the Hand.  I will dwell on this in a later post and how the liberals played on this text to suit their "creativities" and capriciousness.

Mass at war ravaged Manila

The continuation from my post "Even in War, the Holy Sacrifice is offered".  The same priest, same soldiers.  I am happy that I am able to attend and serve at the same Mass these brave men of freedom celebrated at the liberation of our beloved country.  The same Mass celebrated by countless number of saints and beati.  The Traditional Latin Mass aka Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Cardinal Arinze Closes 9th FABC Plenary Assembly

courtesy of


Papal envoy, Francis Cardinal Arinze, formally closed the 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) with a Eucharistic celebration August 16 at Pius XII Center, Manila. More than 100 participants of the plenary assembly were present.

In his homily themed “Living the Eucharistic Mystery,” the prelate explained five elements of the Eucharist (Holy sacrifice of the Mass), namely: Eucharistic faith and reverence; Ars celebrandi (art of proper celebration); Word of God and Eucharist; Eucharistic celebration and inculturation; and Role of the Diocesan Bishop.

Cardinal Arinze stressed the Eucharist as the center of sacred worship, quoting from documents like Ecclesia de Eucharistia, Sacramentum Caritatis, and others. [How about Redemptionis Sacramentum?  Was Summorum Pontificum even mentioned...even in passing?  I guess not.] 

At the closing of the Plenary Assembly, the participants issued a Message for the churches in Asia. In the document, the Eucharist is seen as a call to community, to hear the Word of God, a call to faith and hope, and a call to mission.

The participants also agreed to a revised outline for the final document which will be published at a later date.

Return to homily, Eucharist, priests urged



MANILA, Philippines—The 9th plenary assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC) drew to a close yesterday with a call to the clergy to return to the traditional homily and the Eucharist to address the dwindling number of priests, inter-religious marriages, and the reported persecution of Christian minorities, among other problems in the region.

In a message capping the six-day Catholic bishops plenary held at Pius XII Center in Manila, the 117 participants led by Special Papal Envoy [Papal Legate is more appropriate] Francis Cardinal Arinze urged priests to improve their homily skills and make reflections during Mass more “relevant and nourishing.”

In his own homily at the close of the assembly, Arinze told Asian bishops to base their homilies on Holy Scripture, lamenting the use of the pulpit often in “political discussion” and “collection of money.” [Maybe the cardinal is regularly "updated" of the situation here in the Philippines.]

The bishops urged priests to promote “unity in diversity” and make the Eucharist, the sacrament of communion, a “transforming event.” [Uhh. Think this may become another dubious term that liberals would want to interpret according to their own terms.  Remember the term "active participation"?]

“We cannot celebrate the Eucharist and at the same time maintain, practice or tolerate discrimination based on religion or race, culture or language, caste or class. If we are grafted into the Eucharistic Lord, we will reach out and become bridge-builders in a world that is becoming increasingly divisive,” the bishops’ message said.

At the same time, they called on the faithful to cherish the Word of God and the Eucharist as “life-giving solutions to uncertainties and sufferings hounding the world.”

“With both these gifts we shall discover, like the disciples on the way to Emmaus, the deeper meaning and the divine call to hope in the midst of all that we go through in life: sudden economic chaos, increasing global warming, natural disasters, persecutions, untold sufferings of people everywhere, especially of women and children, refugees and of those deprived of freedom in different countries of Asia,” the bishops said.

Stressing the call to return to the basics, Arinze said that if these directives were followed, the local Church would “be spared questionable or downright mistaken innovations and idiosyncrasies of some enthusiastic cleric whose fertile imagination invents something on Saturday night and whose uninformed zeal forces this innovation on the innocent congregation on Sunday morning.” [Now that clear things up.  For a minute I thought  we will be reading something the liberals would be trumpeting for their "creative liturgies".  But the question remains the same, "How will the bishops police the priests down to the parish and even seminary level when it comes to ars celebrandi and ars credendi?  The seminary, most especially theological schools, are breeding grounds of liturgical abuse!]

During the plenary session, several Asian bishops called attention to the decreasing number of priests in their respective countries. [What could be the cause?  Hmm... I wonder.  Why is it that 

At a press conference held on Saturday, Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias attributed the dwindling number to the secularization of societies and the low number of children among Christian families.

Pakistani Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha, for his part, cited the economic crisis as the cause, saying, “It is difficult to make ends meet. It is difficult to have a vocation. It is a big sacrifice (for families) to give up their young son. There are more girls entering the convents than boys entering the seminaries.”

Cotabato City Archbishop Quevedo Orlando said the problem lay with “mortality,” saying, “There is a long time of study. Sometimes they (seminarians) fall in love.”

He added that many Asian priests were also lost to overseas recruitment. [Which is very true for the Philippines!  Our number one export is people!  We export teachers, nurses, engineers, priests, sisters...Name it, the country will export it!  In fact it is the remittances of overseas Filipino workers that keeps the country running.]

“We have a good number of priests who go abroad because of calls of bishops in Europe and the United States asking for priests from us. A great number of religious sisters go to Africa, South America, Europe and the US. We export vocation,” he said.

He pointed out that the current ratio in the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country, is one priest for every 10,000 Catholics.

On the declining homily skills of priests, the bishops said this could be due to lack of preparation.

It is a big issue that priests do not prepare their homilies very well,” Quevedo said. [Not just that.  But because most priests, Filipino priests, tend to make the Mass THEIR SHOW.  Trying to make homilies "more entertaining".  Spending thousands of pesos for "liturgical creativities" such as "liturgical dance" "liturgical one act play", yeah, it goes on and on.  It's not because of the homily.  It's because some want to glorify themselves in their homily.   I knew some who'd spend half an hour telling the people what a great parish priest he is and the projects he has done for the parish.  And the need for more fund drives to fund more projects.  Indeed, you shall know them by their fruits.  Some priests have an identity crisis.  They act as if they are CEOs or town mayors.  They find more time governing rather than being priests who are ordained to offer the Sacrifice.  You shall know the priests who have a deep prayer life with the homilies they deliver.  Truly, one can.]

This problem, he said, was also discussed in the synod of bishops in Rome in October last year. “In fact there was one comment that sometimes homilies were like the sword of constant time, long and flat. But this is (a problem) worldwide,” the Cotabato City prelate said.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Even in War, the Holy Sacrifice is offered

An American military chaplain offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for Filipino and American soldiers in front of the bullet riddled San Agustin Church in the walled city of Manila known as Intramuros.  Manila was the second most devastated city in the world after the war.  San Agustin was the only church that miraculously survived the bombing of Intramuros.  The Americans bombed the city for days to liberate it from the retreating Japanese Imperial Army.  The great devastation of Manila came to be known as the Rape of Manila as escaping Japanese Imperial Forces killed anyone in sight, even women and children.

Even in a time when man becomes more animal than human, Catholics do not forget to offer the Holy Sacrifice to ask God's mercy and forgiveness... especially during that time when we all need it the most.

Let us all be thankful that we are able to attend and be part of the Holy Sacrifice at a time when we do not have to kneel on the rubble and wait for the guns to be silent just to be part of the Holy Sacrifice.

Be at the Mass and PRAY THE MASS.  It is more of being than acting...

Saturday, August 15, 2009


"  By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.

Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.

It is forbidden to any man to change this, our declaration, pronouncement, and definition or, by rash attempt, to oppose and counter it. If any man should presume to make such an attempt, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.  "

-Venerable Pius XII
November 1, 1950


Almighty and eternal God, who hast taken up into the glory of Heaven, with body and soul, the immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of thy son: grant us, we pray, that we may always strive after heavenly things and thus merit to share in her glory. Amen.


O most sweet Lady and our Mother, by the merits of thy happy death obtain for us holy perseverance in the divine friendship, that we
may finally quit this life in God’s grace; and unite with the blessed spirits in praising thee and singing thy glories as thou deservest. Amen.

St. Alphonsus Ligouri (Glories of Mary)

THIS is the way to bless a car

In reaction to a post I made a few days ago about cars being blessed by EMHC in a shrine in the Philippines, my good friend and fellow Pinoy blogger, Jay Balza of Veritatem Facientes in Caritate, posted photos and a video of Canon Jean-Marie Moreau blessing their 1998 Toyota Camry, alongside with another parishioner's car.

NOW that is the right guy for the right job!  That's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, I like it!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Words of Wisdom from a future pope

" What happened after the Council (Vatican II) was altogether different: instead of a liturgy a fruit of continuous development, a fabricated liturgy was put in its place. A living growing process was abandoned and the fabrication started. There was no further wish to continue the organic evolution and maturation of the living being throughout the centuries and they were replaced -- as if in a technical production -- by a fabrication, a banal product of the moment. Gamber, with the vigilance of a true visionary and with the fearlessness of a true witness, opposed this falsification and tirelessly taught us the living fullness of a true liturgy, thanks to his incredibly rich knowledge of the sources. As a man who knew and who loved history, he showed us the multiple forms of the evolution and of the path of the liturgy; as a man who saw history from the inside, he saw in this development and in the fruit of this development the intangible reflection of the eternal liturgy, which is not the object of our action, but which may marvelously continue to blossom and to ripen, if we join its mystery intimately."

-  Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

(Preface to The Reform of the Roman Rite by Monsignor Klaus Gamber)

Speak up and be heard

Fr. Z posted an online poll being made by US Catholic.  The Poll's question:

"The resurgence of the Latin Mass undermines the unity of the Catholic Church"

Click HERE to vote.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Is Madonna really trying to pick a fight with Catholics?

Anti-Catholic bigotry is really becoming the worldwide fad these days.  Speak up against the Catholic Church, it's freedom of speech and expression.  Speak up against gays, lesbians, abortion rights, Jews, are a bigot.  

Read this news about the singer Madonna's latest stunt against, this time, Polish Catholics.


Madonna, who was brought up as a good Catholic girl, [was she?] is taking her Sticky and Sweet tour to Poland, the heartland of European Catholicism — where the faithful, backed by the Solidarity founder Lech Walesa, have made it clear that they will not welcome the pop star.

“It’s a Satanic provocation,” said Mr Walesa, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his part in establishing the first free trade union movement in the communist world.

The problem is one of timing. The Madonna concert, at an old Warsaw airfield, is to be staged on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption, the day Roman Catholics believe that the Virgin Mary was taken to Heaven.

It is the climax of a season of pilgrimages; across the country hundreds of thousands of mainly young people have been sleeping rough in cornfields on their way to the Jasna Gora monastery in southern Poland which shelters a darkened icon of the Virgin Mary, known as the Black Madonna.

The Virgin Mary is supposed to have saved Poland in two moments of peril: in 1655 against marauding Swedes and in 1920, when the Soviet Red Army cavalry tried to attack the country.

As a result, August 15 is also Armed Forces Day, a deeply patriotic as well as religious occasion.

“I am a man of faith and ask for such events not to happen on such an important feast in my religion,” said Mr Walesa, who wore an emblem of the Madonna [THE MADONNA. The Virgin Mary. The REAL ONE.] when fighting against the Communists.

Prayers are being said in the centre of Warsaw every afternoon, calling on God to stop the singer in her tracks; open-air masses are planned to mobilise support; priests will thunder from pulpits this Sunday. The 70,000 fans are to have a solid phalanx of loudly praying Catholics pitted against them when she takes to the stage. [Wow!  Talk about spiritual warfare!  The other with prayer.  The other with loud singing.  Who do you think is on God's side, eh?]

This is an attack by the devil on our immaculate Catholic nation, “said Father Stanislaw Malkowski, one of the protest leaders. “This concert is a profanity and blasphemous.[You got that right, Father!  With Madonna, expect the unexpected. See the picture above? That's during her Rome?]

Some protestors even believe that the collapse of the stage on the French leg of the tour last month — killing two technicians including a British man and injuring eight — was an omen, a sign of divine displeasure. [?!]

The thrust of the campaign is to ensure that Madonna of Bay City Michigan and Notting Hill( twice divorced, mother of Lourdes) [is it a figure of speech or is this woman really toying with anything related to the Virgin Mother?] is not confused with the Madonna of Czestechowa(Virgin, mother of Jesus Christ) and thus lead young Poles up the wrong path. [Now that's Catholic vigilance!]

In truth there does not seem much risk of that. Madonna Louise Ciccone (First Communion 1965) has built much of her career on upsetting the Catholic Church. The Like a Prayer music video featured burning crosses and a scene in which she kisses alive a Christ-like figure. [See?!  Told yah!]

On her Confessions [She loves playing with Catholic terms.] tour three years ago she appeared on stage strapped to a crucifix, wearing a crown of thorns. [Still surprised?] Various milestones in her career have included masturbating on stage in a golden Gaultier corset and merging sado-masochist imagery with a mockery of Catholic ritual. [That for her and her fans is entertainment.]

A German prosecutor investigated whether she should be charged with deliberately offending religious communities (she wasn’t); at least one Cardinal has called for her to be excommunicated, and her photo album “Sex” was banned in several countries.

The Polish protest groups too are considering taking legal action, although against the organisers rather than the singer herself.


If you pay to see her concert on the premise that you go to be entertained but not to condone her anti-Catholic tirade, think again.  You pay the tickets.  She gets a percentage of the proceeds. Her conclusion? "They love what I am doing!  So I'll continue by anti-Catholic charade!"

So by patronizing her work, you are fuelling her rage against the Catholic Church.

"Open Episcopal" bishop's verbal tirade against Roman Catholic bishop over...Facebook!

Yeah you read it right.  It may loook and sound absurd but Archbishop of Westminster, Most Rev. Vincent Nichols, made valid arguments against the excessive use of the youth of the Internet.  Not too much parental guidance has left a lonely teenager to seek refuge behind the keyboard.

Here is the article about the absurdity of this bishop.


In a hard hitting statement Bishop Jonathan Blake, who heads the Open Episcopal Church, [open with what?  open to tradition?  open to innovation?  openly gay?  what?] warned that there were far greater risks to relationships posed by the Roman Catholic church than there were from internet sites. [this sets the tone. watch out.]

The outspoken Rev Blake, the Bishop of Greater London, attack [he is attacking!] was in response to an interview in the Sunday Telegraph in which Archbishop Vincent Nichols said social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace encouraged teenagers to view friendship as a commodity and increased the risk of suicide. [Archbishop Nichols did not attack him.  But he retaliated!  Maybe he has some stocks with Facebook and MySpace, huh?]

Bishop Blake, who was criticised for blessing the civil wedding of the late television personality Jade Goody, said: "So the Archbishop of Westminster warns about the dangers of electronic isolation and relationships mediated through the keyboard. Of course there are dangers and wise parents and balanced adults will guard against them. [Oh really?  As if the Parental Guidance note in the TV works.  As if parents sit beside their teenage sons and daughters while they surf the net.  Oh really?]

"However, there are greater dangers to relationships perhaps in Roman Catholicism. I have counselled those heartbroken that a member of their family had been snatched from them into a closed order of Nuns, others sucked into the loneliness of the celibate priesthood, many more isolated into religious fanaticism, others damaged by the homophobia, authoritarianism and sexism enshrined in church policy." [You have been warned.  Family members snatched into a closed order of nuns!  WHAT?  The Cloistered Sisters have a Vocation Directress who SNATCH women into the cloisters!  Others sucked into loneliness of celibate priesthood?  Come on!  The doors of the monastery and presbytery are open.  No one is forcing your so-called lonely and kidnapped people to stay behind!  You said many more are isolated into religious fanaticism, others damaged by homophobia...enshrined in church policy.  Look who's talking.  Anglicanism has just redefined what the Bible and Natural Law states and you brand Catholicism "religious fanaticism"?  Yeah right.  More rubbish to expect.]

The Archbishop of Westminster had warned that relationships were already being weakened by the decline of face to face meetings and the telephone. "Facebook and MySpace might contribute towards communities but I'm wary about it," he said. "Among young people often a key factor in their committing suicide is the trauma of transient relationships." [I once worked as a call center agent.  My fellow workers sounded and looked so confident in the way they handle calls.  So I asked my fellow workers how would they react if they talk face to face, in English, to the one they are speaking to in the other end of the line.  "That is a different story," a co-employee said.  "I might get tongue-tied!"  "Why?" I asked.  "It's different when you see them in person!"  Precisely!  Face to face communication cannot be replaced by online chatting .  There are things you can do online, like online shopping and payment.  But online social activities can never replace face to face communication.]

But Bishop Blake, who left the Church of England in 1994 to become an "independent minister", [Wow!  He really is a loose cannon!  SOOO Independent.] said the church should encourage young people to join networking sites rather than try to put them off. [He did not say why it is better to join networking sites than having friends you can see, hear and touch.] He said: "Religious bigotry has fuelled the fragmentation of societies, [Being firm on what is right and what is wrong.  They call that bigotry.  Saying yes to abortion and hedonism, that is being politically correct and socially welcoming.  Yeah...right....] the increase in prejudice and reactionary thinking. Strange, because the Sacrament of the Mass is all about Holy Communication."  [And now the "independent minister" became an interim catechist.  Bah!]

"So when Facebook and other social networking sites allow people to communicate, to reconnect, to discover the thrill of friendships and to provide the resources to maintain them and explore them perhaps the church should be encouraging and supportive." ["Facebook and MySpace might contribute towards communities but I'm wary about it."  This was what Archbishop Nichols said but it should not be the first option towards having friends!  This is the whole point!]

Bishop Blake, from Gillingham, Kent, was ordained to the priesthood in 1982 and served in the Bradford and Rochester Dioceses. He specialises in baptisms and wedding blessings. [Wow!  They have those specializations? Not in Biblical Studies?  In Theology?  In Liturgy?  But in baptisms!  Maybe they have different rites of baptisms?] He joined forces [what's this?  the Super Friends?] two years ago with another bishop, Richard Palmer, to set up the Open Episcopal Church, [No wonder he is making so much noise.  He is with a splinter church trying to get media attention.  Well, he just got his sixty seconds of fame at the expense of Archbishop Nichols!] and was consecrated by him. They have since been joined by another bishop, Michael Wilson.

The church claims legitimacy and Apostolic succession through the Old Catholic Church, an organisation founded in England in 1908 that claims unbroken succession from England's pre-Reformation Church.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Younger generation of priests and nuns opting for Tradition

Ten myths about religious life . . .
and the facts from the 2009 NRVC/CARA Study that dispel them

Myth #1: No one is entering religious life anymore.
Fact: More than 70 percent of all religious communities (both men’s and women’s) report having new members in formation. Nearly 20 percent have five or more people in some stage of formation. These numbers do not reflect the large number of entrants in the 1950s and ’60s, although many people have used this period as a point for comparison. The 2009 NRVC/CARA Study on Recent Vocations sets the benchmark for the current century.

Myth #2: No one is entering religious life anymore.
Fact: Our study indicates that the average age of men who entered religious life since 1993 was 30. For women the age was 32. The data also shows that 71 percent of those in initial formation are under 40. Although there always has been, and always will be a place for older or second career candidates in religious life, our study results have confirmed what we have tracked in our Vocation Match Annual Trends Survey, which is that an increasing number of younger people are looking at religious life as a possible life option.

Myth #3: Conservative/traditional communities are the only communities attracting new members.
Fact: Religious institutes that have a focused mission, who live in community, who have regular prayer and sacramental life, and who wear a habit show a higher proportion of newer members. The study indicates that men and women are also drawn to other types of religious life.

Myth #4: Women entering religious life want to wear habits.
Fact: Both men and women seem to be drawn to habited communities. About two thirds of the newer members say they belong to a religious institute that wears a habit. Among those that responded affirmatively, a little more than half indicate that the habit is required in all or most circumstances.  Interestingly, almost half of the men who belong to an institute that does not wear a habit say they would wear it if it were an option, compared to nearly a quarter of the women respondents. [We knew it all along.]

Myth #5: Entering religious life is a last resort.
Fact: New members to religious life report having rich options available to them—in terms of career, education, and personal life choices. [?!  This reminds me of a myth in the Philippines that if a young man decides to become a priest or a brother, that he is either unlucky in love, cannot find a job, wants to escape the responsibility of caring for his/hre aging parents or is of a different sexual preference.  Baloney.] Seventy percent of respondents had at least a bachelor’s degree before entering, with one third of these respondents also having degrees in higher education. Nine out of ten respondents said that they were employed prior to entering their institutes.

Myth #6: Younger religious are not interested in traditional devotional practices.
Fact: Newer members have ranked highly daily Mass as very important to them.Their prayer style also expresses a strong preference for Liturgy of the Hours, faith-sharing, nonliturgical common prayer, Eucharistic adoration, and common rosary and meditation. [Hah! Hear that?]

Myth #7: Religious communities are dying out.
Fact: The rise and diminishment of religious institutes has always been part of the continuum of religious life. Once a need is met, unless a community adapts its founding charism to addressing the changing needs in the Church, it is not uncommon for the community to end. Many congregations today that share a same charism are either consolidating or merging into new religious institutes. One little known fact is that since the end of Vatican II in 1965, approximately 175 newer religious communities have been founded in the United States alone. Some were only short-lived, but others are canonically recognized as religious institutes by the Church today.

Myth #8: Religious communities are homogeneous and lacking in ethnic and cultural diversity.
Fact: This may have been the case previously, but newer members are definitely changing the face of religious life in this country. Fifty eight percent of newer religious are white Anglo, compared to 94 percent of the finally professed men and women religious in the US. Nearly 20 percent of newer entrants were born in a country other than the United States. Hispanic/Latino vocations make up 21 per cent of the newer religious while 14 per cent are Asian/Pacific and 6 per cent are African or African American.

Myth #9: New members would prefer to live alone.
Fact: Newer members are coming to religious life not just for ministry, but also for common prayer and community living as well. [So Lone Rangers of the 1960s are slowly becoming...aLone?  Community life was part of the life of Jesus and his Apostles.] Respondents were much more likely to indicate a preference for living in a large (8 or more) or medium-sized (4 to 7) community than living in a small community and especially living alone. This is especially true of younger members.

Myth #10: New members want to live with younger members.
Fact: Although having a peer group of their age cohort is extremely important to younger members, the evidence shows an extremely high percentage (93) of newer members who prefer to live in community with people of different ages. In addition, newer members also show a preference for living with people of different cultures and who do different ministries.

Myth #11: New members are drawn to the ministries of a community.
Fact: Newer members indicate that they are drawn to religious life because of the example of the members, [EXAMPLE!] the spirituality, prayer life, [PRAYER LIFE which is rarely done by the corporate Father, Brother and Sister.  Too busy in the ministry..."My life and work is my prayer." Baloney.] community life, and mission of the institute. In fact, more than half of the newer members surveyed indicate that they were previously involved in either some liturgical ministry [maybe as a Knight of the Altar for those in the seminary?] or other volunteer work in a parish [Knight of Columbus, Legion of Mary, Apostleship of Prayer, Mother Butler's Guild?] or other setting. Since newer members were already previously involved in some type of ministry, clearly, they are coming to religious life not just for ministry—they are coming for a way of life that is different from what they were living before.
This is just a part of the study conducted by the National Religious Vocation Conference.  You can read more of the study by clicking here.
So the aggiornamento envisioned by the hippies of the 1960s upheaval are now lining up in the the ideological care unit (ICU) of the Dynamic Orthodoxy Medical Center.  (Thanks to Carlos of Rorate-Caeli for that one!)  Is it because the younger generation find in religious orders that the practice of nature worship, mother goddess, polka mass, charismatic service, un-habitted priests and nuns, active witnessing are slowly becoming a thing of the past?  
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