Saturday, January 30, 2010

Scenes from the 2nd National Congress of the Clergy

Priests praying the rosary on their knees. Models of piety!

"Mass" consecration

Knights Donate 1/2M Soldiers' Prayer Books

WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 29, 2010 ( The Knights of Columbus are delivering 100,000 more prayer books for U.S. armed services personnel, bringing their donation of the books to more than a half million copies since 2003.

The latest delivery of "Armed With The Faith: A Catholic Handbook for Military Personnel" will be taken Saturday to the Washington, D.C. headquarters for the Archdiocese for the Military Services.

The version provided to members of the armed forces are spiral bound, printed on special coated stock, and are sized to fit in the pockets of uniforms worn in the field.

The Knights offer a version on regular paper to family members of service members. These prayer books can be obtained through the Knights of Columbus Catholic Information Service. [Where I got other booklets for free!]

Last year, the Knights of Columbus also produced "Armour of Faith: A Catholic Handbook for Canadian Military Personnel," and 30,000 of that version have been printed and distributed for Canadian soldiers.

What started me out with the Knights of Columbus was the free booklets I received via mail courtesy of Catholic Information Service which is funded by the Knights.

So I donate my money and hours to the Order...because I believe in our brotherhood's cause.

Be a Knights of Columbus!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nuns say witnessing more important than conversion

LOIKAW, Myanmar (UCAN) — For the Sisters of Missionaries of Faith living among animists and Buddhists, evangelization is about setting a good example for others to follow.

“We show the Good News to the people with good examples. That’s how we carry out evangelization, said Sister Flora Aye, superior of the nuns in Dousanbu village near Loikaw. Evangelization, said the nun, was not proselytizing. “We are not trying to convert them to becoming Catholics,” she said. [So the eternal salvation of their souls is not important?  And you call yourselves Catholic missionaries?]

Her community of four nuns [wow!  Lots of vocation!  Great example.] work among the Padaung, whose women are characterized by their distinctive brass neck coils. The nuns work primarily for the development of villagers and have even opened a nursery school.

There are 30 houses in the village, with only 10 of them Catholic. [Great missionary work!] The villagers are poor, illiterate and daily wage earners. The village has no electricity and living conditions are very poor.

The nuns visit villagers regularly, help with children’s education and reach out to the disabled. They also invite villagers to church during special occasions such as Christmas. [No conversions right?]

“We invite the villagers to our house too. That is how we share our lives with them,” Sister Flora said. “In the past, they didn’t know us well but now they even volunteer to help out with some of our work.”

During Lent, the nuns set aside a handful of rice before they cook their meals, and distribute it to the poor.
Villagers overcame initial suspicions

Sister Monica Jalin, in charge of a nursery school, recalled that when the nuns first started the school in 2005, villagers were wondering if it was a ruse to convert them. “But later on they understood that we were there to help with their kids’ education and develop the village.”

The nuns were not from the locality and had to struggle to learn the local language. “No matter what difficulties we faced, we proceeded with our mission of showing our faith through our example of love and helping the villagers,” Sister Flora said. [And still no conversion?  Nothing wrong with being good but the ultimate goal of every missionary is to lead people to Christ!  Baptisms, conversion...that's the goal!]

The nuns also carry out “re-evangelization” in Dousanbu and its surrounding four villages. “Re-evangelization” means strengthening the faith of Catholics by teaching them catechism as well as regularizing the marriages of couples from different faiths, the nuns said. [NOW WE'RE TALKING!]

Thein Mo Law Mu, a Buddhist man from the Padaung tribe, said, “I’m very glad that I have seen the improvement of my children with regard to education. I am thankful to the nuns. I want to help them as much I can in supporting their running of the nursery school.”

Nan Mya Mya Oo, a Buddhist, said she is closer to the nuns now after her Catholic husband passed away than when he was alive.

The Sisters of Missionaries of Faith is a congregation based in Italy with a local presence in Loikaw diocese. Its mission is service to all people. Presently, seven nuns work at two different locations in Loikaw diocese.


The issue of witnessing sometimes waters down the real purpose of a missionary's 'being'.

Salvation of souls is the great commission given by Christ to all the baptized, lay or ordained!

Chupungco vs. Guido Marini

I have received a copy of Fr. Anscar Chupungco's talk wherein he openly criticizes our dear Pope's Reform of the Reform. He even mentions the Papal Masters of Ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini by name.

Here's an excerpt.
Springtime fittingly describes the liturgical renewal before, during, and the twenty or so years after Vatican II. [More like a never ending autumn!] Firmly grounded on historical research, theological investigation, and pastoral consciousness, [*%$@#&!] the framers of the postconciliar liturgy [aka Bugnini and the Gang] set out to implement the decisions of the Council. Across the globe local churches experienced the flowering of liturgical worship. [and the flowers stink!] The noble simplicity of the revised rites and the use of the vernacular helped immensely to promote full, intelligent, active participation, which the Council had declared as the primary aim of the liturgical reform. [And we saw the emptying of churches and watering of our Catholic identity]
But even before we could, with satisfaction, gather the flowers and harvest the fruits of summer, a cold wind has begun to blow on the face of the postconciliar reform. [And how we loved that gentle breeze!] The autumn leaves are starting to fall. [wrong.  more like a new springtime!]  No less than the papal master of ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini, announced on January 6, 2010 that there is need for a new reform of the liturgy. He intimated that the postconciliar experts did not grasp fully the meaning and intention of the liturgy constitution, which they had drafted and presented to the council fathers. He claimed that as a result, the postconciliar reform has “not always in its practical implementation found a timely and happy fulfilment.” [He is sounding as if he all got it right and that the Pope and Msgr. Marini don't.]
What are the possible implications of a reform of the postconciliar reform? What remedy does it offer for a reform that according to some Catholics has gone bad? [That some is Pope Benedict, Father!] What agenda does it put forward so that liturgical worship could be more reverent and prayerful? [Hmm... Maybe less sales of his books?]
The agenda is, to all appearance, an attempt to put the clock back half a century. [More like righting the wrong.] It seems to conveniently forget that since Vatican II, the Church has been marching with the times, [towards perdition?] acknowledging the changes in social and religious culture, and adopting new pastoral strategies. [like empty seminaries, convents and churches.] Will Latinised English make the liturgy more awesome? [Bp. Trautman 2!] It will certainly sound mysterious, but will it be more prayerful? [Yeah!  You should try it.  Simply ineffable!] Will the silent recitation of the Eucharistic Prayer, preferably in Latin, evoke more vividly the Last Supper of Jesus? [So making it in the vernacular makes it all the more vivid?  The Last Supper was in Aramaic.  Can't wait to see him do it.] Is receiving Holy Communion on one’s knees and on the tongue more reverent than receiving it standing and in the hand? [Will saluting the President standing up be more respectful than doing it sitting down?  Duh!  See how this priest hates reverence?] Will the priestly role of mediation be reinforced by praying at the altar with the back to the assembly? [Oh yeah!  No reverend showman!]


You can feel the angst of the liturgist known to many as the master inculturator.   Dying breeds of modernists are feeling the clock ticking and that their own interpretation of Vatican 2 will soon be part of the Church's dark history.

Probably feeling that the liturgical reform train of Papa Benny is catching up, eh?

I heard a story that Fr. Anscar once taught at Rome.  He got the boot after a cardinal hated his style of liturgical inculturation.  Everybody knows who that cardinal is or was.  So my source tells me that his crusade against Papa Benny's liturgical reform is quite personal.


I love this exchange from the pro- and anti-Chupungco from the modernist blog that praised the paper.  I am not going to lead you that site.

I have some serious doubts about the rhetoric of “reform-of-the-reform,” since I think it often masks a nostalgic restorationism. But I become a bit more sympathetic when I read someone saying (approvingly) that “since Vatican II, the Church has been marching with the times.” Of course I know that Fr. Chupungco is a more sophisticated thinker than this single quotation would indicate, but it is these sorts of statements that give the reform-of-the-reform rhetoric its traction.   -  by F C Bauerschmidt on January 25, 2010 - 11:17 am
 Are we going to let the liturgical experts, i.e. elitists, tell us that our nearly 1500 years of Latin Rite heritage are nothing compared to what “they” say is the “spirit of Vatican II” which in only 45 years supposedly trumped as “new and improved” everything that preceded it? ? I prefer what Msgr. Marini speaks of, as it is in continuity with the Holy Father’s writings and example. The Holy Father is calling for “organic” development of the Liturgy, which an “elitist” committee in Rome foisted upon the universal Church after Vatican II. Vatican II was much more measured and nuanced about any future revisions compared to what a small body of so-called liturgists eventually imposed upon us with the help of Pope Paul VI. These revisions, while authoritative and yes valid, are in no way comparable to the liturgical document of Vatican II–therefore Vatican II actually must be the hermeneutic we must follow in the “reform of the reform.” We must go back to what Vatican II actually requested! The Holy Father is on to something. Liturgists still living in the pseudeo-euphoria of 1965 need to sober up–it’s 2010! We’re not trying to turn the clock back on Vatican II, only on the ill-advised post Vatican II revision of the Mass and lack of oversight on vernacular translations and just what inculturation means. Not everything in any one’s culture is good or should be dragged into the Latin Rite liturgy. Some things are good. The question is, who decides? I think our Roman Catholic Tradition and ecclessiology makes that quite clear. -  by Fr. Allan McDonald on January 26, 2010 - 8:38 am 
Fr. Allan, I live right in the thick of liturgical reform in Collegeville, and I honestly don’t know anyone who is “still living in the pseudo-euphoria of 1965.” I do know lots of sincere people of differing opinions who are doing their best to serve the Church. I’m finding some of your stereotyping and word choice to be divisive. Pax in Christo  - by Anthony Ruff, OSB on January 26, 2010 - 8:46 am 
“I’m finding some of your stereotyping and word choice to be divisive.”It may be divisive to conclude that many liturgists are “still living in the pseudo-euphoria of 1965”, but I think it’s largely true. To “march with the times”, was the governing principle then and is still as the preceding quote from Fr. Chupungco proves. That desire to bend the essentials of the Faith to suit modern sensibilities, which had been gaining strength since the beginning of the 20th century, was held back from spewing its poison largely by The Anti-Modernist Oath required of all clergy and professors in philosophical and theological seminaries. If some Catholics feel a little outrage at the junking of that oath and the seemingly consequent dismantling of the sensus Catholicus, perhaps a little understanding is in order.
Fr. McDonald’s disgust with modernists and “elitists” hijacking Vatican II in the name of the so-called “Spirit of Vatican II” is justified and Fr. Chupungco’s insistance that any Reform of the Reform requires “serious academic work” smacks of that modernist elitism. Just what does he think has been going on in Pope Benedict’s head? Oh, that’s right – he told us – “mere romantic attachments to the past that close the eyes to the reality of the present time”. His claim of finding “sound tradition” “precious” rings hollow. - by Robert Burns on January 26, 2010 - 7:31 pm

Priests at 2nd National Clergy Congress give tithes

"Hmmm... this one has more into it than our regular Sunday collection! And not all have given yet. Maybe my brother priests give more!"

Priests really have given and continue to give more...

Pray for our priests!

Photo above courtesy of 

PS: It's tithe from tithes?

Pinoy EMHC asks: "Can I self communicate?"

From Zenit answered by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university. Fr. McNamara is beginning to be one of my favorite liturgists, along with Fr. Z, of course.  Frs. AC and GD are OUT OF THE QUESTION!


Related to our comments on the laity taking the host directly (Jan. 12), a lay extraordinary minister of Holy Communion from Manila, Philippines, presented a particular case:

"Each weekend I distribute Communion among the sick in our parish. Occasionally, because of the absence of some of the sick, I end my rounds with an unconsumed, consecrated host or two. I am told that it is all right to consume the hosts myself. However, I want to know if self-communion is really allowed as a practice. At the moment, the only option is to make the long way back to return the hosts to the church."

The rite for distributing the Eucharist to the sick in this kind of case does not foresee the extraordinary minister receiving Communion; nor does it foresee that hosts might be left over. An exception occurs when Communion to the sick is made under the species of wine; [they do that?! why do that?!] in that case, the minister always consumes the extra species after administering the sacrament.

The rite for Communion outside of Mass by an extraordinary minister, however, does make allowances for the minister to take Communion and for reservation in the tabernacle.

The reason for this difference is that the rite supposes that in the first case the minister to the sick has had ample opportunity to receive Communion from a sacred minister, whereas the second circumstance normally presupposes the absence of an ordained minister. It would be paradoxical in the latter situation that the only person inhibited from receiving the host would be the minister who is giving out Communion.

The fact that the second rite permits the "self-communion" [which happens with communion in the hand if you ask me.] of the extraordinary minister proves that its absence in the rite for the sick is based on practical and not theological grounds. There are probably some circumstances in which the extraordinary minister to the sick could receive Communion if it were the only opportunity to do so on a given weekday.

It must also be remembered, however, that one may receive Communion twice in a day only if the second time is at Mass. Viaticum is an exception to this rule (see canons 917 and 921.2 of the Code of Canon Law).

Therefore, I do not think that the minister consuming the extra hosts is the most apt solution. [I think self-communion is out of the question!  Only a priest who offered the Mass himself can do this.  Even the pope, who attends Mass in choir, received the Lord from the hands of the officiating priest.  He does not self-communicate, nor should we.  In the TLM, since there are no concelebration, except during ordination Masses, priests attending receive the Lord from the officiating priest even if the priest in choir will assist in the distribution of Holy Communion.]

I would suggest that the easiest and most practical solution to having one or two extra hosts is to administer two hosts to the last communicants. This may be done to the sick if they are able, or to one of those attending the sick. Receiving more than one host at the same time, or receiving half a host, in no way increases or diminishes the grace received and constitutes a single act of communion. [Amen!  Christ's Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity is in the host no matter the size and number.]

A reader from Ireland asked: "In our parish it is the practice that the ministers of Communion self-administer the chalice from the altar and the last minister brings the chalice to a side table for the members of the public who are celiac to self-administer the blood of Christ. Can you advise if this practice is acceptable?"

The short answer is no. [Hah!  Our modernist parish priest loves to do this.  Even some EMHCs would take away the chalice even if the priest (the other one) has not fully consumed the Precious Blood, probably the priest intends to consume It fully after he distributes Holy Communion.] Everybody except the priest should receive the Eucharist from a minister. Even the deacon should receive the host and the chalice from the priest, after the priest has made his communion.

In the case of those who are celiac, the minister should go to a suitable place and present the chalice to them one by one, saying, "The blood of Christ." They may then take the chalice and reverently consume the species as this is not a case of self-communion but the most practical means of avoiding any loss of the Precious Blood. An acolyte with a Communion plate should be present, and the minister should have a purificator available in order to wipe the chalice rim.

The 2nd National Congress of the Clergy

A bird's eye view of the 5,500 strong clergy that attended the opening Mass presided by Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Edward Adams at the World Trade Center.  Photo courtesy of Noli Yamsuan of


This is courtesy of the great Fr. Z's blog, What does the Prayer Really Say?

This was posted after the Notre Shame debacle of honoring that POTUS with an honorary doctorate in law when he hasn't done anything.  Oh yeah, I forgot.  He said a LOT.

So for the record, let this be my liturgical manifesto from this day forward!


On Sunday we heard resound from Notre Dame well-crafted speeches well-delivered.

They were designed to shift the present controversies from the basis of reason to that of emotion and they succeeded.

The backdrop was perfect.

Controversy insured high reportage. Thousands of cheering young fans, products of the education they just received, blithely drank up their obviously deserved praise. Gray-haired veteran liberals whose skills were honed by a real education and decades of progressivist trench warfare provided the spear-carriers of a more authentic ecclesiastical establishment, a Church establishment as it truly ought to be if we lived in a more just world. A few pathetic court-jesters shouted incoherently during the President’s speech. They provided the students with some entertainment and gave the Doctoratus in Chief his chance to reveal his patient benevolence by means of a prepared one liner.

Who needs The Tudors? This was like watching Henry suborn the English Church away from the interference of Rome.

Neither President, Jenkins nor Obama, needed to say much of substance. And they didn’t. All they had to do to vindicate the inevitable rightness of their agendas was to sound reasonable.

Fr. Jenkins, throbbing with emotion after these weeks of persecution, cuddled the students and their adorers, inviting them into his sufferings.

President Obama, wise realist, offered astonishing insight. For example, you surely noted his stunning admission that the two sides in the abortion debate – wait for it – have irreconcilable differences!

In the final analysis we heard various expressions of "can’t we all just get along" even as we were being told to "shut up".

A great goal has been held up for us. Gaze with wonder upon the new calf. Our new goal is dialogue. Common ground is our promised land. There we will find healing from divisions and lots more talk. Endless dialogue and then more dialogue. Our side might not be able to say very much, but that is neither here nor there. It’s the goal of dialogue which is important.

But this dialogue must not be allowed to become mean-spirited. Forefend! We must not "demonize" – a favorite new word – anyone with their past records or the Church’s clear principles about the sanctity of human life.

In an era when emotion trumps reason, facts are just plain mean.

The progressivist side knows they will not win by arguments. They win by projecting the image of deep-caring, of brow-furrowed nuance, of struggling with those hard decisions.

Remember: If you will have first "struggled" you are thereafter justified in anything you chose.

So, Sunday was pretty black for Catholics who are waking up to a clearer Catholic identity in continuity with our Tradition. It was a great day for adherents of Catholic-lite, especially in the many long-subverted institutions of higher learning. They are sure to be revitalized.

It is hard to imagine, they will surely assume, that Ex corde Ecclesiae will ever be implemented now.

Frankly, I agree.

After all, who would implement it?

Unless we see, soon, some concrete gesture on the part of either the local bishop where Notre Dame is (and other bishops where there are other universities) or the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome, then a battle will have been lost and won in this ever more closely joined culture war over the Church’s role in the modern world.

Among the reactions I gathered from the smart people I talk with about pivotal events – and we witnessed something pivotal on Sunday – I heard grim assessments and forecasts.

One person said, "America has a new pope".

Therefore, after pondering this for a day, my response is finally to return to a basic premise of this blog.

More than ever, we must have what the Church really says, what Holy Church really has to offer.

We are not getting the fullness of the Church’s teachings from Notre Dame or other, now lesser, water carriers of the secularist agenda. We are not getting it from very many of our leaders in the Church.

And so…

I urge all priests and bishops who read this blog with any slight quaver of resonance or benevolence, to consider this with care:

If you sense that something quite serious and important is going on right now, for the love of God rethink your approach to how you foster Holy Church’s proper public worship.

Do all in your power and through your influence to foster a worship of God which conforms not to worldly goals – as praiseworthy as they may be in a world still dominated by its dire prince – but rather to the real point of religion: an encounter with mystery.

Our worship must become more and more focused on the one who is Other. Seek what is truly above in your rites and raise people to encounter mystery.

You will be challenged and reviled, blocked and attacked as you do. You will be worn down and afraid under the weight of resistance.

But I think that to save the world we must save the liturgy

Sunday reaffirmed this for me.

They can’t compete with the fullness of Catholic liturgy and sound preaching.

Reforming the liturgy along the lines Pope Benedict has proposed may be the most loving and effective option we have in these ever hotter times.

People will have to keep working very much in the sphere of the secular. Of course! Our inward Catholic Christian identity must find outward expression and bring concrete fruits.

But I think the real work now – where we will make some effective headway – must be done at the level of our public worship.

In the present circumstances, we are not going to argue most people out of danger or error. But together we can draw them in and along and back through worship.

So long as we remain doctrinally faithful and active in works of mercy both spiritual and especially temporal, if we get our public worship together we will have a strong bastion against error.

Holy Catholic worship will be an attractive force for conversion

We need to foster worship which stuns, which leaves the newcomer, long-time practicing Catholic, above all the fallen-away simply thunder stuck. Worship must at some point leave people speechless in awe. We need language and music and gesture which in its beauty floods the mind with light even while it swells the heart to bursting.

The more people encounter mystery through liturgy, the more hollow will clang the false or incomplete messages of those who have strayed from the good path, either to the left or to the right

Our goal must be that which is good and beautiful because it is true, that which reflects what is of God, not man’s image merely. Give us mystery, not fabrications smacking of the world, fallen and transitory.

Fathers, and you Reverend Bishops, if anything of alarm has sounded in your hearts and minds of late, rethink your approach to our worship. Examine your approach with an eye on the signs of the times. Take a new approach.

The approach we have had least last few decades isn’t getting it done. Really … it isn’t

Going neither left nor right along the road toward the Lord, even as He comes to us, take the flock now deeper, now higher on that path, but always to encounter the mystery which distinguishes truly Catholic liturgy… and therefore true Catholics.

Lines are being drawn, sides taken, choices made.

More than ever we need what Christ, the true Actor of our liturgy, desires to offer us through Holy Church’s worship.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Significance of the Sign of the Cross

Courtesy of Zenit


LAKE MARY, Florida, NOV. 22, 2004 ( The simple gesture that Catholics make thousands of times in their lives has a deeper meaning most of them don't realize.

Now, the multifaceted significance of the sign of the cross has been investigated and explained by Bert Ghezzi, author of "Sign of the Cross: Recovering the Power of the Ancient Prayer" (Loyola Press).

He told ZENIT how the sign came about, what six meanings it has and why making it reverently can enhance one's life in Christ.

Q: When did the sign of the cross originate?

Ghezzi: The sign of the cross is a very ancient practice and prayer. We don't have any indication of it in Scripture, but St. Basil in the fourth century said that we learned the sign from the time of the apostles and that it was administered in baptisms. Some scholars interpret St. Paul's saying that he bears the marks of Christ on his body, in Galatians 6:17, as his referring to the sign of the cross.

In the book, I note that the sign originates close to Jesus' time and goes back to the ancient Church. Christians received it in baptism; the celebrant signed them and claimed them for Christ.

Q: How did it become such an important liturgical and devotional practice?

Ghezzi: I speculate that when adult Christians were baptized, they made the sign of the cross that claimed them for Christ on their forehead proudly.

Tertullian said that Christians at all times should mark their foreheads with the sign of the cross. I can imagine that Christians would make a little sign of the cross with their thumb and forefinger on their foreheads, to remind themselves that they were living a life for Christ.

Q: Beyond the words themselves, what does the sign mean? Why is it a mark of discipleship?

Ghezzi: The sign means a lot of things. In the book, I describe six meanings, with and without words. The sign of the cross is: a confession of faith; a renewal of baptism; a mark of discipleship; an acceptance of suffering; a defense against the devil; and a victory over self-indulgence.

When you make the sign, you are professing a mini version of the creed -- you are professing your belief in the Father, and in the Son and in the Holy Spirit. When you say the words and pray in someone's name you are declaring their presence and coming into their presence -- that's how a name is used in Scripture.

As a sacramental, it's a renewal of the sacrament of baptism; when you make it you say again, in effect, "I died with Christ and rose to new life." The sign of the cross in baptism is like a Christian circumcision, which united Gentile converts to the Jewish nation. The sign links you to the body of Christ, and when you make it you remember your joining to the body with Christ as the head.

The sign of the cross is a mark of discipleship. Jesus says in Luke 9:23, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." The word that the Fathers of the Church used for the sign of the cross is a Greek word that is the same as what a slave owner put on a slave, a shepherd put on a sheep and a general put on a soldier -- it's a declaration that I belong to Christ.

Self-denial is not just giving up little things; to be a disciple you are under Christ's leadership and you don't belong to yourself. By doing the sign of the cross, you're saying to the Lord, "I want to obey you; I belong to you. You direct all my decisions. I will always be obedient to God's law, Christ's teachings and the Church."

When suffering comes, the sign of the cross is a sign of acceptance. It's remembering that Jesus became a man and suffered for us and that we participate in Christ's suffering. The sign of the cross says, "I am willing to embrace suffering to share in Christ's suffering."

When you're suffering, when you're feeling like God is not there, the sign of the cross brings him there and declares his presence whether you feel it. It is a way of acknowledging him at that time of trial.

One of the main teachings of the early Church Fathers is that the sign of the cross is a declaration of defense against the devil. When you sign yourself, you are declaring to the devil, "Hands off. I belong to Christ; he is my protection." It's both an offensive and defensive tool. [St. Benedict is a devotee of the cross.  Notice the Benedictine Jubilee medal and it's accompanying prayer.  A lot of saints are devotees of the cross.  I will blog about this later.]

I've found that the sign of the cross is a way to put to death self-indulgence -- those big problems we have, the stubborn things we can't get rid of. The Church Fathers say if you are angry, full of lust, fearful, emotional or grappling with fleshly problems, make the sign when tempted and it will help dispel the problem.

I began to make it to gain control with a problem with anger. Signing myself is a way of destroying the anger, putting on patient behavior, imitating Jesus' practice of virtue.

Q: Do non-Catholics use the sign of the cross?

Ghezzi: Yes, the sign of the cross is used by Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists and Presbyterians, particularly in baptisms. In his small catechism, Martin Luther recommends making the sign of the cross at bedtime and first thing in the morning.

It's a shame that many non-Catholics see it as something they shouldn't be doing; it comes from an ancient Church that we all share. One of my hopes in writing this book is that non-Catholics will read it and share in the sign of the cross. [Bible thumping evangelicals don't because they can't find it in the Bible. Guess St. Joseph is still alive since it is not written in the Bible?!]

Q: Why do Catholics use the sign of the cross with holy water upon entering and exiting a church?

Ghezzi: In order to participate in the great sacrifice of the Mass, you need to be baptized. Using holy water to sign yourself is saying "I am a baptized Christian and I am authorized to participate in this sacrifice."

When you make the sign of the cross when you leave, you say that the Mass never ends -- your whole life is participating in Christ's sacrifice.

Q: Why should Christians learn more about this prayer?

Ghezzi: I think that it's not something to be taken casually. The sign of the cross has enormous power as a sacramental; it does not cause the spiritual thing it signifies but draws on the prayer of the Church to affect us in our lives. The sign of the cross is the supreme sacramental.

When I see professional athletes make the sign of the cross during games, I'm not critical of them. It says that everything I do, I do in the name of Christ -- even games can be played in the presence of God.

When people make the sign of the cross casually, I pray that they will recognize how serious it is -- that they are declaring that they belong to Christ, they want to obey him and accept suffering. It's not a good-luck charm.

Q: Why is the sign of the cross significant today, especially in areas where laws are becoming less tolerant of public displays of faith?

Ghezzi: They can tell us that we can't have the Ten Commandments in a public building, but they can't stop us from making the sign of the cross publicly. We need to remember what Jesus said: If we are ashamed of him, he'll be ashamed of us.

We should feel confident in letting people know that we are Christians and that we belong to Christ.


Be proud that you are a Christian!

Wear a cross/crucifix!

Make the sign of the cross, often!

Port-au-Prince Archbishop finally laid to rest

 Requeiscat in pace!

Proudly? Pinoy...

They have become instant celebrities.  But these are no ordinary men.

They are inmates of Cebu Penitentiary and they danced one of Michael Jackson's hit songs.

The guy in the middle is Jackson's choreographer.

The title of the song speaks much...

Well, just a break...

Dancing inmates...
with Michael Jackson's choreographer...
Only in the Philippines!

I remember an interview I saw on TV of a wife of one of the prisoners say "I am proud that he is part of this."

Now that's an understatement.

Pope decries rising "Christianophobia"

ROME – Pope Benedict XVI decried Monday what he called "growing aversion" to the Christian faith in the world.

The pontiff in his homily in a Rome basilica didn't single out any geographic area, but his worry about the plight of the Christian minority in the Middle East will shape discussions Mideast bishops will hold later this year at a special meeting at the Vatican. [The situation of the Christians especially in Muslim majority countries is pitiful!  The attacks against Christians are increasing for the simple reason that they are Christians.  And yet, these Muslim "brothers" demand that we give them religious liberty in countries where they are a minority!  Catholics cannot build churches or even worship in the open in Saudi Arabia yet they demand their human rights be respected in Europe! Where's is equality in that!]

The Vatican has repeatedly expressed concern about the flight of Christians from the overwhelmingly Muslim region as well as about the religious discrimination that many of those who remain are suffering.

Benedict urged Christians to invigorate efforts to spread their faith's message despite what he described as the unfriendly climate to Christianity in parts of the world.

'"In a world marked by religious indifference and even by a growing aversion toward the Christian faith, a new, intense activity of evangelization is necessary," the pope said. [And to quote Fr. Z, the pope's Marshall Plan to reinvigorate Catholicism by rediscovering our Catholic identity, through the liturgy and catechism!]

He urged Christians to overcome their differences through dialogue [not the ecumaniacal dialogue that waters down our Faith for the sake of accommodation!] so that they can unite their efforts to influence debates in society on ethical issues like abortion, euthanasia and the limits of science and technology.

Benedict was leading a Vespers service in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls to mark the end of a week that the Vatican each year dedicates to prayers for Christian unity.

The pontiff has made better relations among Christians an important aim of his papacy. [The Pope of Christian Unity!]

Despite that goal, relations with Anglicans were strained [Oh really?  Or is the journalist just lacing the article with some spice?  Eh?] last year when Benedict made it easier for the conversion to Roman Catholicism by traditionalist Anglicans who are disillusioned by their own church's embrace of gay priests, blessing of same-sex marriages and women clergy.


It is as if the Catholic Church is once again in the Roman times when "being" just a Christian is a social scourge.  Anti-catholic rhetoric is almost everywhere.  Protestants, apostates and heretics in the Philippines devote their radio and TV programs for anti-Catholic propaganda.  Even our own Catholic schools, no thanks to liberals and modernists, incubate anti-Vatican thought.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pope to Pinoy Priests: Be holy

MANILA, Jan. 23, 2010— Pope Benedict XVI called on Filipino bishops to work for the sanctification of priests, so that they may be able to fulfill their mission in the church and in modern world. [WHAT?!  Not champions of human rights and protectors of the environment?! Okay, I am being rude.]

In a letter to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, the pontiff said that bishops have a major role to play on how priests would exercise their pastoral functions. [Yeah, like some show it by being on TV most of time speaking about politics and less time with their own the one who just retired or preempted a Vatican "call" to resign early, eh?]

He said a bishop’s role is to sanctify, and in order to do this one must first tend to his own holiness of life. [Hmmm...still nothing about being too active in politics.]

By preaching the Word, offering Eucharistic sacrifice, and administering the sacraments to God’s people, the clergy in your respective dioceses ...may grow in holiness,” Benedict XVI said. [This is precisely the point why the Pope declared the Year of the Priest; to model themselves after the example of the humble priest from Ars.  Not hugging the spotlight, nor spending too much time out of his church.  And some liturgists who have lost their clout after Papa Benny ascension to Peter's Throne are using every opportunity to spread their venom on liturgical innovation.  And I won't be surprised if this topic will be incorporated in the Congress of the Clergy.  But I digress.]

The letter was read by Saturday CBCP President Bishop Nereo Odchimar during the bishops’ 100th plenary assembly at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila. [And the word became paper, and left on the shelf.]

The pope’s message was relayed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican’s Secretary of State, to the CBCP.

Bertone said the pope is urging Filipino prelates to continue acting their role as the chief catechists [do we still have catechism in our dioceses and even parish levels?  The last catechism I witnessed sees a nun teaching children to love the environment.  Where is that in the CCC?] of their respective pastoral jurisdictions.

This means, he said, that bishops must be willing always and everywhere to stand up and teach those in need of instruction and for them to “manifest ever more clearly the spirit of God at work in the world.” [which some of the ordained construe as working more for justice and peace and less with the administration of the sacraments.]

In parting, Cardinal Bertone assured the bishops of the pontiff’s “apostolic blessing” while commending their works for the Catholic Church.

Around 90 bishops are currently in attendance on the plenary meeting which will end on Sunday.

The CBCP has a total of 130 prelates, 32 of them are retired.

The Plenary Assembly is the CBCP’s highest decision-making body which meets in regular session twice a year—in January and July.

The pope’s message to the clergy also came in time for the 2nd National Congress of the Clergy which will be held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City on Jan. 25-29.

Around 5,000 priests [imagine the cost of transporting and housing all of them! will the provinces be priest-less for the whole week?  The devil will be at play.] are expected to attend the gathering with the theme “Faithfulness of Christ, Faithfulness of Priests,” which the pope has chosen as the official slogan for the celebration of the “Year for Priests” (2009-2010).

The CBCP through its Commission on the Clergy is organizing the retreat-style national congress which will be facilitated by Preacher to the Papal Household, Capuchin Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa. (Roy Lagarde)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blessed Sacrament stolen!

Monk's Hobbit reported, thanks to Carlos Palad of Rorate, that the Blessed Sacrament at the Shrine of the Divine Word was stolen!

You can read more about this travesty and sacrilege here.

Pray and atone!

SNAPSHOT: Papa Benny on the World Day of Communications

Hmmm...Maybe I should start my own blog.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Eucharistic Miracle in Lourdes?

Watch the video and judge for yourselves.

Watch the host during the epiclesis (the moment the Holy Spirit is invoked upon the the host and wine.)

And here are video screen caps.


 During the epiclesis

Look at the Host!


This proves that the Novus Ordo Mass is a valid Mass as declared by our Holy Mother Church through the Holy Father.

Domenico Bettinelli on his blog says that "At the time, the French bishops decided to keep it quiet. Recently, it was brought to the attention of a cardinal in the Curia, who took it upon himself to verify the origin of the clip and ask the current archbishop of Lyon for the position of the French bishops on the matter. This cardinal in turn passed it on to the Holy Father. He is concerned that certain bishops were too quick to put the lid on what seems to be an authentic sign."

A humble request from a Nazareno devotee

(Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Manila website)

I am a Nazareno devotee so correct me if I am wrong.

The priest above is Fr. Anton Pascual. He is the director of Radio Veritas and spiritual director of the charismatic group El Shaddai. I always see him on TV but I rarely see him say Mass at the Quiapo Basilica.

I always see him during the Feast of the Black Nazarene every January 9. He has the mic before the grand procession begins. He asks the devotees to either raise their hands, wave their white towels or hankies or to follow verbatim the prayer he utters.  That's right,

Wouldn't it be nice to see him regularly at the Basilica saying Mass, let's say every Friday? Not just every feast day, right?

Just asking, Father.

Relics of St. John Mary Vianney in Manila!

 In celebration of the Year of the Priest and the Second National Congress of the Clergy, the relics of St. John Mary Vianney, the patron saint of priests, and on whose 150th Dies Natalis the Catholic world celebrates the Year for Priests, will be venerated.

 According to the Archdiocese of Manila website "A part of the body together with his stole and breviary relics of St. John Mary Vianney will arrive from France accompanied by two French priests."  I was hoping that his incorrupt heart was the one that arrived.  Well, just thank the Lord for the grace of having the relics of this great priest here in Manila.

The papal preacher, Fr. Raniero Cantalamesa, OFM, will speak during the National Congress.

The schedule of the relics’ exposition is as follows:

(January 23) Arrival at NAIA at 9:30 a.m., National Shrine of the Sacred Heart at 11 am;
(January 24); EDSA Shrine at 12 noon;
(January 25-29) 2nd National Congress of the Clergy at the World Trade Center;
(January 29) Sto. Niño de Tondo Parish at 12 noon;
(January 30) Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Quiapo Church/St. John The Baptist Parish at 12 noon; (January 31) St. John Mary Vianney Parish at 12 noon; and
(February 1) Departure at NAIA at 11:30 a.m.


Just a question.

St. John Mary Vianney spent his entire priestly life administering the sacraments.  If he were alive today, would he be appreciative of the fact that there are no priest for one week to offer the Holy Sacrifice, absolve sins and even be at the side of the dying?

You don't leave your home without making the proper provisions right?  Honestly, with the advancement in technology, few priests must remain in their dioceses and follow the proceedings online. Can this this be dome on a diocesan or regional level?  Imagine the cost for transportation and lodging of all the priests coming and Manila is no place to find anything affordable nowadays.  What if there is someone dying and he needs absolution?  Will I trust my soul to an EMHC?  DUH!

Buenasmarias shared this "Yes, I do understand their need for recollection, fraternal bonding, resting time with the Lord....but, can there not be at least one left in every parish?...I shudder to think of a situation where a priest is needed by a dying person...and there is no one to minister to him...isn't it more faithful to priestly vows.... being always available for the sacraments?"  Makes sense.

Just imagine...

What would the Cure of Ars say?

New Survey Shows Youth Becoming More Pro-life

New Haven, Conn., Jan 21, 2010 (CNA).- Just one day before the March for Life in Washington D.C. and the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a new survey shows that the number of Americans who say they are pro-life is continuing to grow. Members of the Millennial generation say abortion is “morally wrong” at a rate of 58 percent.

The survey, which was conducted between December 2009 and January 2010, was co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the Marists. It asked, among other things, if abortion was “morally wrong.”

Fifty-six percent of Americans said they thought that abortion was indeed “morally wrong.”

The survey shows that Americans are becoming more pro-life, but more importantly, it showed that the upcoming generations are more pro-life than those nearing retirement. [Expect Obama Catholics (aka pro-death) will release a new survey coutering this one!]

The “Millennials,” as the generation of 18-29 year-olds is called, responded that abortion is morally wrong at a rate of 58 percent. Sixty percent of those belonging to “Generation X,” or people between 30 and 44, also fell in the pro-life camp.

Americans of all ages – and younger people in even greater numbers than their parents – see abortion as something morally wrong,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson.

“America has turned a corner and is embracing life – and in doing so is embracing a future they – and all of us – can be proud of,” Anderson commented.

“Baby Boomers,” or people between the ages of 45 and 64, are less likely to call abortion morally reprehensible, with 51% saying abortion is wrong.

Those over age 65 said abortion is immoral at a rate of 60 percent.

“Advances in technology, show clearly – and ever more clearly – that an unborn child is completely a human being,” Anderson pointed out. “The majority of Americans now understand that abortion has consequences, and that those consequences are not good.”

Second collection in Manila for Haiti

From CBCPNews

MANILA, January 21, 2010—The Archdiocese of Manila has recently announced that the second collection on all masses this Sunday, January 24, 2010, will be allotted for the earthquake victims in Haiti. [Huzzah!]

“We request that a second collection be made in all Masses in parishes, shrines, and communities in the Archdiocese of Manila on Sunday, January 24, 2010,” read a circular issued by the chancellor of the archdiocese Fr. Rufino Sescon.

“We are deeply saddened by the recent earthquake that struck Haiti. Its city was laid wrecked and its people are in dire need of all possible humanitarian assistance,” said Sescon.

The circular also urged the public to continue praying those who died and those who are suffering due to the calamity that befell on Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

Last week, the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines recommended that all the dioceses in the country allocate Sunday second collection for the earthquake victims of Haiti. (Kate Laceda)


The Archdiocese of Manila is one that deserves a TPC "HUZZAH!"


Where's the Iglesia ni Cristo when you need them?  Huh?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jesus of Nazareth 2

Courtesy of CNA

Vatican City, Jan 20, 2010 / 09:12 pm (CNA).- After meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in a private audience, American Rabbi Jacob Neusner, prolific writer, professor and expert in Judaism, told L'Osservatore Romano newspaper about his history with the Pope. He also mentioned that the Holy Father confided to him that the second volume of Jesus of Nazareth is complete.

The two met privately on Monday at the Vatican for 20 minutes, which the Rabbi Neusner called a "great gift" and said was "time enough for a nice meeting between two professors." During this encounter, the Pope chose to reveal to him that the second volume on Jesus is ready for the press.

The American rabbi was in Rome to take part in Catholic-Jewish dialogues following the Pope's visit to the Synagogue of Rome. He's no stranger to the environment, having dedicated his life to the scholarly study of Judaism, including how it interacts with Christianity and Islam.

Rabbi Neusner has written various treatises addressing inter-religious subjects. In fact, so impressive was his 1993 treatise "A Rabbi talks with Jesus" that then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote that it was "the most important novelty in the last decade for Jewish-Christian dialogue," a review which the Rabbi published on the inside cover of the book.

The next contact between the two came in 2007 when Pope Benedict XVI dedicated several pages in his first volume on Jesus of Nazareth to the Rabbi's treatise, which concerns Christ's teaching of the beatitudes on the mount.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

GULP Alert: Liturgical abuse or plain liturgically dumb?

Every Sunday, I work at our parish as a marshall during Mass.  As a Knight of Columbus, we are tasked with collection and guarding against those who might not receive Communion properly (i.e.:  not dressed properly, those who might go away with the Host without consuming It.)

Last Sunday, I was assigned to be the Communion Marshall near the celebrating priest (not out parish priest).  He used a huge host for consecration, one that is as huge as a serving plate.

During the Agnus Dei, the priest broke the Host.  I noticed that he consumed only a portion of the Host.

When he went down for Holy Communion, I noticed that he gave the parts of the Host to the communicants.  Most of those who communicated did so by hand.  As a marshall, I watched closely if the communicant, especially those who receive by hand, consumed It.

Here's where the sad part begins.

AS one of the communicants places the Host in his mouth, a small Piece broke off from the Host.  Remember, this came from the big Host.  The Piece fell to the floor and the altar server, who was holding a communion paten, failed to catch the Fragment and even notice It fall to the marble floor of the church.

I immediately picked up the Piece and placed it on the communion paten.  The priest continued with the communion as if nothing had happened!

After I communicated, since I am the marshall, the priest did not even bother to take the communion paten from the altar server, even though he saw me put the Fragment onto the communion paten.  I pulled the altar server aside and told him to remind the priest to consume the Fragment.

The priest does not purify the vessels himself.  He lets the EMHC do it.  I did not see what he did to the communion paten nor to the Piece.

I could not talk to the priest.  We know each other too personally.  A fraternal correction would not be welcome with him.  He thinks of me as too liturgically conservative.  And the guy does not take corrections lightly, be it good intentioned or otherwise.

Two things...

1.  The risk of profanity because of Communion in the Hand -  How many fragments fall off?  How many get trampled on the ground?  How many times is He stepped on?

2.  Priests who couldn't care less....

Are we simply dumb, no matter how good intentioned we are, we are unaware that what we are doing is a grave abuse or even a sin?  Or are we just playing dumb?

Eucharistic Adoration: Exposed or in the Tabernacle

I found this very interesting article in Zenit about Eucharistic Adoration of which I am devoted. I am posting this in its entirety so you can read it and be inspired.


ROME, JAN. 19, 2010 ( Answered by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university.

Q: We have a very unusual problem in my parish regarding the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Our pastor is very devoted to the Holy Sacrament and dedicated to the adoration of the same. He spends long hours in the chapel and encourages all the parishioners to do the same. However, he believes that the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is unimportant and unnecessary. Christ is present in the tabernacle, and having the door of the tabernacle open or closed does not make any difference. His logic seems to be: that the parishioners should be taught to pray and adore the Blessed Sacrament all the time and that the practice of exposition in the monstrance is irrelevant and counterproductive to any real devotion. Your thoughts, please. -- J.L., Cumberland County, New Jersey

A: The pastor's devotion to the Eucharist is commendable, and our reader is surely thankful for this. The pastor also has a valid point in stressing adoration of Our Lord in the tabernacle, since reverence toward the tabernacle has often been neglected in recent times. It is necessary to do all that is possible to recover the spirit of silent prayer and adoration in many of our churches.

Adoration of Our Lord in the tabernacle is and remains the normal and most common mode of adoration. There is, however, a small number of Catholics who emphasize exposition of the Blessed Sacrament so much as to give the impression that they consider this to be the only authentic adoration.

That said, I think the pastor should go deeper into Church doctrine so as to discover that it is not a question of aut--aut but of et--et. Almost all magisterial documents recommend both practices. In some cases, they allude to exposition and Benediction as bringing to the fore certain doctrinal aspects that are less apparent in adoration in the tabernacle.

Thus, Pope Pius XII in his 1947 encyclical "Mediator Dei" speaks of how adoration has contributed to doctrinal progress with a deeper understanding of Christ's presence outside of Mass. He points out that the different forms of Eucharistic adoration "have brought a wonderful increase in faith and supernatural life to the Church militant upon earth."

Regarding Benediction, he says: "Of great benefit is that custom which makes the priest raise aloft the Bread of Angels before congregations with heads bowed down in adoration, and forming with It the sign of the cross." This "implores the heavenly Father to deign to look upon His Son who for love of us was nailed to the cross, and for His sake and through Him willed [...] to shower down heavenly favors upon those whom the Immaculate blood of the Lamb has redeemed."

The 1967 instruction on the Eucharistic Mystery underlines the importance of both forms of practice:

"58. Devotion, both private and public, toward the sacrament of the altar even outside Mass that conforms to the norms laid down by lawful authority and in the present Instruction is strongly advocated by the Church, since the eucharistic sacrifice is the source and summit of the whole Christian life …

"60. Exposition of the blessed sacrament, either in a ciborium or a monstrance, draws the faithful to an awareness of the sublime presence of Christ and invites them to inner communion with him. Therefore, it is a strong encouragement toward the worship owed to Christ in spirit and in truth."

It is possible to quote many other magisterial sources, such as Pope Paul VI's encyclical "Mysterium Fidei," and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1378.

I believe the following texts from the two most recent Holy Fathers is sufficient to illustrate the point.

Pope John Paul II in his final encyclical "Ecclesia de Eucharistia" admirably summed up the doctrinal essentials:

"25. The worship of the Eucharist outside of the Mass is of inestimable value for the life of the Church. This worship is strictly linked to the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The presence of Christ under the sacred species reserved after Mass -- a presence which lasts as long as the species of bread and of wine remain -- derives from the celebration of the sacrifice and is directed towards communion, both sacramental and spiritual. It is the responsibility of Pastors to encourage, also by their personal witness, the practice of Eucharistic adoration, and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in particular, as well as prayer of adoration before Christ present under the Eucharistic species.

"It is pleasant to spend time with him, to lie close to his breast like the Beloved Disciple (cf. Jn 13:25) and to feel the infinite love present in his heart. If in our time Christians must be distinguished above all by the 'art of prayer,' how can we not feel a renewed need to spend time in spiritual converse, in silent adoration, in heartfelt love before Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament? How often, dear brother and sisters, have I experienced this, and drawn from it strength, consolation and support!

"This practice, repeatedly praised and recommended by the Magisterium, is supported by the example of many saints. Particularly outstanding in this regard was Saint Alphonsus Liguori, who wrote: 'Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us.' The Eucharist is a priceless treasure: by not only celebrating it but also by praying before it outside of Mass we are enabled to make contact with the very wellspring of grace. A Christian community desirous of contemplating the face of Christ in the spirit which I proposed in the Apostolic Letters Novo Millennio Ineunte and Rosarium Virginis Mariae cannot fail also to develop this aspect of Eucharistic worship, which prolongs and increases the fruits of our communion in the body and blood of the Lord.

"In the course of the day the faithful should not omit visiting the Blessed Sacrament, which in accordance with liturgical law must be reserved in churches with great reverence in a prominent place. Such visits are a sign of gratitude, an expression of love and an acknowledgment of the Lord's presence."

Finally, our present Pope touches on this theme in the postsynodal exhortation "Sacramentum Caritatis," Nos. 67-68:

"The practice of eucharistic adoration

"67. With the Synod Assembly, therefore, I heartily recommend to the Church's pastors and to the People of God the practice of eucharistic adoration, both individually and in community. Great benefit would ensue from a suitable catechesis explaining the importance of this act of worship, which enables the faithful to experience the liturgical celebration more fully and more fruitfully. Wherever possible, it would be appropriate, especially in densely populated areas, to set aside specific churches or oratories for perpetual adoration. I also recommend that, in their catechetical training, and especially in their preparation for First Holy Communion, children be taught the meaning and the beauty of spending time with Jesus, and helped to cultivate a sense of awe before his presence in the Eucharist ….

"Forms of eucharistic devotion

"68. The personal relationship which the individual believer establishes with Jesus present in the Eucharist constantly points beyond itself to the whole communion of the Church and nourishes a fuller sense of membership in the Body of Christ. For this reason, besides encouraging individual believers to make time for personal prayer before the Sacrament of the Altar, I feel obliged to urge parishes and other church groups to set aside times for collective adoration. Naturally, already existing forms of Eucharistic piety retain their full value. I am thinking, for example, of processions with the Blessed Sacrament, especially the traditional procession on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Forty Hours devotion, local, national and international Eucharistic Congresses, and other similar initiatives. If suitably updated and adapted to local circumstances, these forms of devotion are still worthy of being practiced today."

From this, it seems clear that the Church desires the practice of both adoration in the tabernacle and exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. If well-prepared, exposition should lead to more-frequent visits to the tabernacle and to a deeper living of the mystery of the Eucharistic sacrifice.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

$25M from the Catholic Church

Benedict XVI Keeping Up with Haiti Situation, Catholic Relief Services Commits $25M

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 17, 2010 ( Benedict XVI affirmed today that he is being continually informed about developments in Haiti in the aftermath of last Tuesday's earthquake.

The Pope mentioned the catastrophe during his address after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square.

A 7.0 earthquake struck the capital of Port-au-Prince at about 5 p.m. local time Tuesday. Though rescue efforts continue and an accurate number of victims will be days in coming, it is estimated that between 50-000 and 100,000 people died.

"Our thoughts, in these days, turn to the dear people of Haiti, and [we] raise up sorrowful prayer," the Holy Father said. "The apostolic nuncio, [Archbishop Bernardito Auza], who, thanks be to God, is unhurt, keeps me continually informed, and thus I heard of the sad passing of the archbishop [Joseph Serge-Miot of Port-au-Prince], as well as of many priests, religious and seminarians.

"I am following and encourage the numerous charitable organizations, who are taking charge of the immense necessities of the country. I pray for the injured, the homeless, and for those who tragically lost their lives."

Catholic relief

The Vatican congregation that oversees the Church's charitable activities, the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, has asked U.S.-based Catholic Relief Services to spearhead the Church's relief effort.

CRS had some 300 staff already working in Haiti before the quake.

The agency reported that its initial pledge of $5 million is now five times that, [five times five, folks, is 25.] thanks in part to donations to CRS of more than $10 million [The Knights of Columbus sent an initial $50,000.]-- "including $1 million from the Gates Foundation and $225,000 from the New York Yankees." [I heard that the wife of Bill Gates is a devout Catholic.]

Karel Zelenka, country representative for CRS Haiti, spoke of the stress on the island. Another aftershock hit even today.

"You drive up and down the streets and you see all these bodies that are just laying down there because they have no common grave and they cannot do a proper funeral. The worst part are the children -- these little bodies," he said. "I mean, can I tell you, in general earthquakes are the worst, worst disaster that can happen."

The agency has opened a special Web site for the relief effort and donations can be made by mobile phone.


The Catholic Church has pledged $25M for the Haiti relief effort...

Where's the liberal anti-Catholic media when you need them?

Where's the oil rich Islamic nations who are followers of the 'religion of peace'?

Where are the Masonic lodges who are proud of their charitable work?

Just asking...

No need to flare up.

WHAT?! No Masses for a whole week?

MANILA, Jan. 19, 2010—There will be no mass the whole next week in majority of the country’s Catholic Churches—because there are no priests to celebrate it.

A ranking church leader said thousands of priests are going to Manila to attend the 2nd National Congress of the Clergy from Jan. 25 to 29 and many dioceses can’t supply stand-in.

The cancellation of regular masses also means that weddings and other liturgical rites such as baptisms and confession will also temporarily be suspended so that priests could attend the gathering. [What if there are sick calls? ]

But Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales said that in the absence of priests, lay ministers will take over in administering communion to the faithful and bless the dead [WHAT?!  EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION (EMHC) DO NOT HAVE THE FACULTIES TO BLESS!!!  Only the ordained can do this!  This is a perfect example of a liturgical abuse that has been going on.  I have witnessed this in several occassions, in several parishes of different dioceses all around the country!  Now this proves it!]  in at least five-day period.

“There are dioceses where 100 percent of the priests will be here together with the bishop so no one will be left in the parishes. The lay ministers will be the ones to give communion and bless the dead,” he said.

Rosales said there only about 8,000 priests all over the country and around 6,000 clergymen are expected to attend the nationwide gathering in Manila.

More of a spiritual retreat in dynamics, the congress aims to bring the clergy to a deepening of their pastoral commitment through interior renewal, he added.

“The reason also (for the cancellation of Masses) is to let the people realize that priests have also their needs. We also need some solitude. We need to pray also,” the cardinal said. [And some folks don't know that yet.  Calling priests even late in the evening.]

Rosales added that even Masses in Metro Manila will also be adjusted for his priests to attend the congress.

“Those in Metro Manila and nearby provinces will just hold early Masses,” he said.

“In Luzon, some of the priests will be shuttling; for example in Tagaytay they leave early in the morning and then they leave in the evening,” added Rosales.

The prelate said he is certain the faithful will understand the need of priests to come together and reflect for the good of the church.

“It’s time for parishioners to realize that we priests also need some quiet and I think that’ll be behind the reasoning,” he said. (Roy Lagarde)


I was prepared to rant for having no Mass for the whole week...

But for the Primate of the Philippines and a Prince of the Church to say that EMHCs can bless the dead!

God forgive me...

All those folks can do is sprinkle holy water and that's that.  The outstretching of hands and blessings they utter are invalid and illicit!

Remember this post about an EMHC blessing a car?

Maybe it would be practical to ordain some of these hard-working, dedicated, good family man EMHCs to the permanent diaconate...

What do you think?

Monday, January 18, 2010

John Paul II would-be assassin released

Mehmet Ali Agca is finally released.

Read this breaking story here.

Excerpt of Pope's address to the Roman Synagogue

Here in this place, how could we not remember the Roman Jews who were snatched from their homes, before these very walls, and who with tremendous brutality were killed at Auschwitz? How could one ever forget their faces, their names, their tears, the desperation faced by these men, women and children? The extermination of the people of the Covenant of Moses, at first announced, then systematically programmed and put into practice in Europe under the Nazi regime, on that day tragically reached as far as Rome. Unfortunately, many remained indifferent, but many, including Italian Catholics, sustained by their faith and by Christian teaching, reacted with courage, often at risk of their lives, opening their arms to assist the Jewish fugitives who were being hunted down, and earning perennial gratitude. The Apostolic See itself provided assistance, often in a hidden and discreet way.


Papa Benny's way of telling those who are so into the anti-Pius XII polemics...

You can read the full discourse here.


"Pit Señor!"

These are the words that ring out in the Basilica and in the streets of Cebu, as devotees and on-lookers alike celebrate the Feast of the Santo Niño of Cebu.

 "Pit Señor!" is a shortened form of the Cebuano prayer to the Lord "Sangpit Señor!" or "Hear my Lord!" , a prayer of supplication of the devotees who dance the Sinulog or religious dance.  This dance has its pagan origins where according to historians was danced by native Cebuanos before the Christianization of the island and of the country.  Natives would dance holding their idols.  But after the arrival of Magellan, the newly baptized natives continued the tradition and offered the dance to the Child-King-God!

The Philippines is the only country in the world which the Holy See approved a special liturgical feast for th Holy Child.    It is celebrated every 3rd Sunday of the month of January or the week after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

The Santo Niño of Cebu pre-dates the Infant Jesus of Prague.  The Cebu icon was given as a gift on 1565 while the Prague image can trace its origins in 1628.

Like the Prague image, devotees (like me) attest to the miracles and graces they have received through the image.  My family and I received a special favor from the Holy Child after I made a pilgrimage to Cebu.

Here is the miraculous image where image is kept.

At the base of the image is a small reliquary where you can find the relic of the True Cross.  Devotees kiss this also.

Here is a photo of the main altar of the Basilica.  The retablo is the original one and survived the liturgical frenzy of the '60s.

 The image of the Santo Nino is on the left side altar while the tabernacle is on the right side of the altar. (I can only speculate why.  I'll keep it to myself.)

You can see in one of the niches an image of the Santo Nino, second row from the top, right above the crucifix.  It is a replica.  The saints in the other niches are Augustinian saints, the basilica being under the care of the Augustinians.  One side chapel features a huge frame containing reliquaries of these saints.

A piazza, if I may call it, was built in front of the Basilica to accommodate the large number of devotees who come to Mass every Friday, which is assigned as the day novena masses are held.

For more interesting articles about the Holy Child of Cebu...
   The Wikipedia entry
    The official website of the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño 
    More before and after photos of the Basilica
   Interesting history of the Image
   International Association of Devotees

What could have the Pope said to the Chief Rabbi of Rome?

a. I'll be beatifying Pius XII this year, with or without your approval.
b. You know Christ is the Messiah you have long been waiting for.
c. Don't worry. Bishop Williamson is not here.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

FYI: The Papal Nuncio to Haiti

Filipino Archbishop Bernardino Auza, the Papal nuncio to Haiti, during his visit to the Philippine in May 2008. Auza said thousands of people died following a huge quake in Haiti and among them are those of Catholic clergy and missionaries.
(Photo and caption courtesy of


Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti and those who are working for the relief, rescue and retrieval operations.

Send in your donations to Catholic Relief Service or through the Knights of Columbus.