Friday, January 19, 2018

Matt Burke: "Former NFL Player Returns To Faith" | SEEK2015

Catholic Leader Matt Birk (Former Altar Boy From Nativity Parish)

Rome Quotes

"Time to study Roman Law and then translate Latin. Soundtrack: Bartók."

-Fr. Alan 

Rome Quotes

"A professor encouraged us to meditate for 5 minutes each day before Our Lord with 5 words: “I am loved by Jesus.” Today, I noticed a detail of one of our side altars after taking my professors advice: “Dilectus Deo,” (“Loved by God”). That’s the beauty of Sacred Art, Sacred Scripture, Sacred Liturgy: it can say so much, by the grace of God."


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Announcing: FSSP Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 2018

Do not miss out on our third FSSP Holy Land Pilgrimage in a year.

Back by poplar demand -- this time it will include Jordan. 

The tour departs after Thanksgiving and extends into Advent. 


Where to Purchase the Best Traditional Catholic Coloring Books

See here for the best.  

I highly recommend you purchase these for the kids in your family:

Nine Ways of Being Accessory to Another's Sin

By counsel. 

By command. 

By consent. 

By provocation. 

By praise or flattery. 

By concealment. 

By partaking. 

By silence. 

By defense of the ill done.

How It Is Done in Paris

Sunday, January 14, 2018

FSSP Spiritual Highlights of France Tour 2018

Do not miss the truly rare opportunity to visit this very special place -- one of the last Gregorian Chant monasteries left in Europe.

Be a part of living history!


My Uncle Ed has passed at age 96. A fine Catholic man of German stock.  In your charity kindly offer a prayer for the repose of his soul. He was a WWII warrior who was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism and multiple Purple Hearts.  Paratrooper, 82nd Airborne Division, X Battalion.  The Nazis shot him in Sicily, but he survived, by Divine Providence. A great man has passed before us. Requiem!


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Registration is now OPEN!

The organizers of the BC Sacred Music Symposium are very pleased to announce that early registration for the symposium is now open through the end of February 2018. You can find the registration link as well as some additional information about everything that's included in your registration on the symposium page on the host parish website:

Hope to see many of you there!

Thank you in advance!

Lilianne Ploumen Pro-Abort Awarded Papal Knighthood

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


When Knights Surrender Their Swords, Beasts Shall Devour Maidens

Oh sword of truth
Fly swift and sure
That evil die
and good endure!

A  knight fears neither demon nor man; neither is he afraid of death since he longs to die.

-St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Beware of the False Church of Oprah

Best of Mexico City


Every tour to Mexico City is a bit different, making each experience totally unique. 

Because we strive for the BEST possible tour, we are always looking for new ideas, inside tips and fresh recommendations from the locals. 

Our good priest friend living in Mexico City, Fr. Ken Fryar, FSSP offered us this great advice for Catholic pilgrims to see 3 "off the beaten path" sites while visiting Mexico City on pilgrimage.

1. One is the Church of the Fifth Apparition (Santuario de la Quinta Aparición Guadalupana, aka Santa Maria Tulpetlac). Although a very simple building, this church was built over the house of Juan Diego's uncle, Juan Bernardino, whom Our Lady also appeared to. Under the altar is a "healing" well, a fount of special water.

2. The Virrienato Museum (Museo Nacional del Virreinato) is located in Tepotzotlán, about 40 km northeast of Mexico City. Located in an old monastery, it is worth a visit. The Jesuits built this complex in the 1580s, giving pilgrims a rare glimpse of how they set up their mission centers at that time, with a strong focus on education. To see everything requires a good amount of time. Objects to see include art, altarpieces and colonial artifacts.

3. The third one is the house of Juan Diego (Santuario El Cerrito Casa de San Juan Diego), located in Cuautitlán, on the edge of the greater Mexico City urban area. Juan Diego lived here with his wife Maria Lucia until she died in 1529. The excavations of the one-room mud house still exist and have been preserved under the old church for all to see. Next door is a new church that is not so nice to see, but that is another matter!

Thank you, Fr. Fryar for these great tips! We will do our best to incorporate them into future tour itineraries.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

London, England!

Know the History of the Crusades

They were in part pilgrimages.  Read more and know the facts.  There is much false academic history in circulation on this subject.

Save the Date: January 2019 Holy Land Pilgrimage!

Do not miss out on seeing the holiest place on earth.

January is a great time to visit for ideal weather.

Stay tuned for details.

Travel Writer J.P. Sonnen

Join me on pilgrimage.

Follow me on Instagram:

Before and After of the Recent Conrad Schmitt "Restoration" of Assumption Church in Saint Paul (USA)

Don't get me wrong.  I am a huge fan of Conrad Schmitt Studios.  They do fine work and I understand they take their orders from the pastor.  However, I am deeply disappointed and disturbed by the recent interior makeover of the Assumption that was completed in 2017.

This was my childhood parish.  Built in the 1870s.  The Sonnen family has been involved here since before the current church was built.  Our family weddings and funerals have been here.

A common recurring nightmare I have had in recent years is waking up and seeing the interior of this church harmed.

Unfortunately, the interior has been painted as if it is a new church.  None of the statues needed to be touched.  Everything is too dark. 

The Latin quote from the breviary: "Assumpta Est Maria in Coelum" (see top photo) was painted over.  Why?  Is there still an animus against Latin?  Why?

Also, the new, dark stencil work in the sanctuary takes away from the altar, which is supposed to be showcased properly, as it was before.  Why did they not restore the original stencil work of the stars in the blue ceiling?  That would have been a nice touch. 

The original structural form of the sanctuary was "wreckovated" in the mid-1980s under former pastor Fr. Fred Mertz (who died in 2010).  I would like to have seen the sanctuary floor-plan restored according to the design genius of the original architect.  It was not.

The massive 1980s protrusion of sanctuary floor reaching out to the nave is sloppy, was poorly conceived and is in embarrassingly bad taste (especially considering this is a heritage neo-Romaesque church).

Part of the problem is in the hideous light-colored wood floor that was installed recently.  No one has liked it.  I even preferred the old blue carpet to it.  Also, no one likes the odd CSJ icon that put in the back of the church about ten years ago, replacing the pieta' of our lady, kept in the shadows and folds of that quiet corner.

The sanctuary holy oils aumbry box should also have been restored (it disappeared in recent years --  Bill, please finish your work on it and return it).  And the altar stone should have been placed back in the old high altar (it has been kept in the sacristy vestment closet since the 1980s).

Further items should also have been restored, such as the east entrance confessional that was taken out recently and currently stored in the bell tower.  Also, the original oak crosses, kept today in the original schoolhouse, should have been restored to the Stations of the Cross.  I also think the Pieta' and Good Shepherd statues should also be restored to the front of the church.               

Restore Our Men to the Faith

They must lead their families, their most precious cargo, in prayer and example, taking up possession of the cross.  Our men must put on the armor of Christ protecting civilization and the home.

Restoration of Catholic Manhood

Pray for a restoration of Catholic manhood.  #whywehomeschool

I totally support the homeschool movement.  Throughout history many great ones have been homeschooled.

Recent history has shown that as soon as we send our kids off to school parents surrender their parental rights.  The loss has been devastating.

Traditional Catholic Pilgrimage to Poland 2018

Join us for an incredible experience August 2018!

Limited seating.  Terrific once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage experience. 

More info here:

Cardinal Pacelli's Galero Given to the New Cardinal Spellman

Catholic Travel Mugs

Thank you to all who have traveled with us in 2017. 

See here for our 2018 tours!

60th Anniversary of the Death of Venerable Pius XII

His cause for beatification is stalled, waiting on an approved miracle.  Pray for this miracle!

Join the Sodalitas Pastor Angelicus, a fine organization supporting his cause for eventual canonization!


Sunday, December 24, 2017

In The Bleak Midwinter : Choir of Kings College, Cambridge

Catholic Culture: SSA Ministry

"Attention, Lower Mainlanders! You're invited (and are welcome to invite others) to a very special event at Eastern Catholic Church in Richmond. ALL are welcome.

This is a Christmas prayer service to which all are welcome. It's especially meant for anyone who is dealing with heightened tension over LGBT 'stuff' during the holiday season.

Perhaps you feel pressured by your family to conform to a 'perfect Christmas.' Perhaps there's someone in your life you're feeling distant from, as if your respective values are tearing you apart. Perhaps you've felt uncomfortable with public worship since coming out. Perhaps you have a friend who needs your support right now. Perhaps you wish your kids knew how much you love them, and words just aren't working. Perhaps . . . , well, you don't have to explain to anyone what brings you here. The guest list will not be disclosed.

Free admission.

The worship portion, with Byzantine chant and brief reflections, runs for an hour, and then everyone is welcome to join us in the parish hall for another hour of refreshments and caroling."

-Theresa Yoshioka

A Happy Christmas to All: Christus Natus Est!

A parish's Gregorian chant immersion

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

He Came Down




Regem venturum Dominum: Venite adoremus.

Regem venturum Dominum: Venite adoremus.

Iucundare, filia Sion, et exulta satis, filia Ierusalem: ecce Dominus veniet, et erit in die illa lux magnam et stillabunt montes dulcedinem, et colles fluent lac et mel, quia veniet Propheta magnus, et ipse renovabit Ierusalem.

Regem venturum Dominum: Venite adoremus.

Ecce veniet Deus, et homo de domo David sedere in throno, et videbitis, et gaudebit cor vestrum.

Regem venturum Dóminum: Venite adoremus.

Ecce veniet Dominus protector noster, Sanctus Israël, coronam regni habens in capite suo, et dominabitur a mari usque ad mare, et a flumine usque ad terminos orbis terrarum.

Regem venturum Dominum: Venite adoremus.

Ecce apparebit Dominus, et non mentietur: si moram fecerit expecta eum, quia veniet et non tardabit.

Regem venturum Dóminum: Venite adoremus.

Descendet Dominus sicut pluvia in vellus: orietur in diebus ejus justitia, et abundantia pacis, et adorabunt eum omnes reges terræ, omnes gentes servient ei.

Regem venturum Dominum: Venite adoremus.

Nascetur nobis parvulus, et vocabitur Deus fortis, ipse sedebit super thronum David patris sui, et imperabit, cujus potestas super humerum eius.

Regem venturum Dominum: Venite adoremus.

Bethlehem, civitas Dei summi, ex te exiet Dominator Israël, et egressus ejus sicut a principio dierum æternitatis, et magnificabitur in medio universæ terræ, et pax erit in terra nostra dum venerit.

Regem venturum Dominum: Venite adoremus.

In Vigilia Nativitatis cantores hoc additur:

Crastina die delebitur iniquitas terræ, et regnabit super nos Salvator mundi.

Regem venturum Dominum: Venite adoremus.

Prope est iam Dominus.

Venite, adoremus.


Lætentur cæli et exultet terra* iubilate montes laudem.
Erumpant montes iucunditatem* et colles iustitiam.
Quia Dominus noster veniet* et pauperum suorum miserebitur.
Rorate cæli desuper et nubes pluant iustum* aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem.
Memento nostri Domine* et visita nos in salutari tuo.
Ostende nobis Domine miseericordiam tuam* et salutare tuum da nobis.
Emitte Agnum Domine dominatorem terræ* de petra deserti ad montem filiæ Sion.
Veni ad liberandum nos Domine Deus virtutum* ostende faciem tuam, et salvi erimus.
Veni Domine visitare nos in pace* ut lætemur coram te corde perfecto.
Ut cognoscamus Domine in terra viam tuam,* in omnibus gentibus salutare tuum.
Excita Domine potentiam tuam et veni* ut salvos facias nos.
Veni Domine et noli tardare* relaxa facinora plebis tuæ.
Utinam dirumperes cælos et descenderes* a facie tua montes defluerent.
Veni et ostende nobis faciem tuam Domine* qui sedes super Cherubim.
Gloria Patri et Filio* et Spiritui sancto.Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper* et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

Celebrans dicit in tonu capituli: 

Præcursor pro nobis ingreditur Agnus sine macula, secundum ordinem Melchisedech, Pontifex factus in æternum, et in sæculum sæculi. Ipse est Rex justitiæ cuius generatio non habet finem.

Deo gratias.


En clara vox redarguit
Obscura quæque personans:
Procul fugentur somnia,
Ab alto Jesus promicat.

En Agnus ad nos mittitur
Laxare gratis debitum:
Omnes simul cum lacrymis
Precemur indulgentiam.

Beatus Auctor sæculi
Servile corpus induit:
Ut carne carnem liberans,
Ne perderet quos condidit.

Castæ Parentis viscera
Cælestis intrat gratia:
Venter puellæ bajulat
Secreta quæ non noverat.

Domus pudici pectoris
Templum repente fit Dei,
Intacta nesciens virum
Concepit alvo Filium.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
Ejusque soli Filio,
Cum Spiritu Paraclito
In sæculorum sæcula. Amen.

Ad Magnificat cantatur antiphona cuiusque diei secundum ordinem qui sequitur: 

Dies 16.- Ecce veniet Rex, Dominus terræ, et ipse auferet jugum captivitatis nostræ.

Dies 17.- O Sapientia, quæ ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter, suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiæ.

Dies 18.- O Adonai et Dux domus Israël, qui Moysi in igne flammæ rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

Dies 19.- O radix Iesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, iam noli tardare.

Dies 20.- O clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israël; qui aperis et nemo claudit, claudis et nemo aperit: veni et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris et umbra mortis.

Dies 21.- O Oriens, splendor lucis æternæ, et sol iustitiæ: veni et illumina sedentes in tenebris et umbra mortis.

Dies 22.- O Rex gentium, et desideratus earum: lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.

Dies 23.- O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos, Domine Deus noster.

Dies 24.- Cum ortus fuerit sol de cælo, videbitis Regem regum procedentem a Patre, tamquam sponsum de thalamo suo.

Deinde Magníficat cantatur:


Magnificat * anima mea Dominum,
et exsultavit spiritus meus * in Deo salutari meo.
Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae, * ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes.
Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est: * et sanctum nomen eius,
et misericordia ejus a progenie in progenies * timentibus eum.
Fecit potentiam in brachio suo, * dispersit superbos mente cordis sui,
deposuit potentes de sede, * et exaltavit humiles,
esurientes implevit bonis, * et divites dimisit inanes.
Suscepit Israel puerum suum, * recordatus misericordiae suae,
sicut locutus est ad patres nostros, * Abraham et semini eius in saecula.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, * et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio, et nun et semper, * et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Iteratur Antiphona et celebrans dicit clara voce: 

V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.

Oremus. Festina, quaesumus, Domine, ne tardaveris et auxilium nobis supernae virtutis impende ut adventus tui consolationibus subleventur qui in tua pietate confidunt. Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. R. Amen.


2018: 60th Anniversary of the Passing of Venerable Pius XII

 Eight years ago Benedict XVI signed the decree of heroic virtues of PIUS XII.  Let us pray for a miracle for his beatification. 

Thanks, Rodolfo!

Rome Quotes

"Dear Catholic Bishops: Please restore the Ember Days, as called for in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal: In the drawing up of the calendar of a nation, the Rogation and Ember Days should be indicated (cf. no. 373), as well as the forms and texts for their celebration,[155] and other special measures should also be taken into consideration."

-Chris Wells

Bishop Sheen Celebrates Mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

This is the altar under the care of the Latin Church on Mt. Calvary, watched over by the Franciscans of the Custos.  It is called the "Nails of the Cross Altar," where Jesus was nailed to the cross, located adjacent to the Greek-Orthodox chapel where Christ was raised on the cross.  I am privileged to say I have stood here, praying these same words, in the Usus Antiquior, on a FSSP pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  We offer one every November, after American Thanksgiving.  Stay tuned for 2018.    

America's Leading Catholic Newspaper Turns 150: Der Wanderer

Hearty congrats to the Matt family from the Sonnen family.  Our families were close friends at the Assumption going back to the 1860s.  My ancestors read Der Wanderer, as do I.  Please consider taking out a subscription to help keep the momentum of this unique voice in full throttle.  There has never been greater need for clarity in moral teaching and Catholic thought.     

Lovely Antique Cathoic Christmas Images

Baby Jesus Statue from Spain

These lovely statues are seen in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Mexico and other Catholic countries.  The next time you find yourself on pilgrimage, be sure to pick up one of these to display in your home year round, or simply during Christmastide.  These can also be sometimes purchased at your local Catholic book shop. 

Catholic Culture: Christmas Carols

Music plays an important part in the instruction of Catholic youth.  Fill your home with traditional Christian hymns of Christ and His birth in Bethlehem.   

Teaching Your Kids and Grandkids about Christmas

"Christmas is not all about a little fat man with a white beard," my brother told me during a conversation we had in the Holy Land.  Indeed, when instructing your kids, always carefully bring the story of Christmas back to Jesus.