Friday, November 30, 2012

Pius XII Medals for Sale in Rome

Facade of the Vatican Basilica at Midday

Roma Express

From the port of Rome to the heart of Rome. 

Trains in Italy are electric, except this one. 

Stand afar or you might find yourself dying, of diesel.

Franciscans in Rome

Franciscan spirituality, history, and way of life have an immense appeal to Italians. 

Pius IX and Defence of Rome

Keeping Christ in CHRISTmas

Image from the Internet. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Catholic Culture: Baby Presented at Lady Altar

Baby von Sonnen was presented last Sunday at the side altar of Our Lady at our local parish.

Atop the consecrated altar stone and starched linen altar cloths, it seemed like the right thing to do.

Days after the churching of women and baptism, as baby approached one month, we decided to present this new life entrusted to us by Our Blessed Lord, to Our Lady.

After our wedding we placed a rose before a blessed icon of Our Lady, and now the following year we have placed our child - a new rose - before a similar icon of Our Lady.

Our Lady of Dublin, thank you!

Miracles do happen.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gregorian Institute of Canada

Chant and Culture

8th Annual Colloquium of
The Gregorian Institute of Canada
August 6–9, 2013

University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia
Keynote speaker: William Mahrt

Return of the Roman Chasuble: Beauty in the Liturgy

A beautiful thing.

With a quiet matter-of-factness, beauty is returning to the liturgy.

We are today taking into better consideration the historical, geographic and social insights of the worship of GOD in the Latin Rite.

The age of deterioration of liturgical art is ending.  Today it is okay to wear a Roman style chasuble.  At the bottom of it all is the correct concept which represents the integration of the fundamental values of the beautiful, the true and the good.  

The 1960s unfortunately coincided with a general Council of the Church.  The timing could not have been worse.  The disastrous withdrawal of the decorative behind the integral and existential meaning of the beautiful became overpowering in culture and even in church circles.  It all coincided with the extensive collapse of belief itself.

The 1960s cult of the unhewn and unfinished and cheap is already behind us.  The artistic ideas of that time no longer prevail - that the greatest possible efficacy is to be aimed at with the least possible expenditure, or that raw materials are to be employed according to their own laws governing them, or that the execution of workmanship must correspond to the not always so clear meaning of the spiritual idea which it is to express.

The sharp rejection (non-conformism) of the sixties came out of seemingly nowhere and hit the Church hard.  Since the Reformation, the aesthetic aspect of the liturgy had been frequently assessed by those outside the Church.  Building up for some years, the Church was not prepared for this change in culture.  Catholic artistic taste caved to the mounting critical observation (characteristic of Goethe, etc.) that peaked and blew open in 1968.  Any opposition was accused of clinging to nostalgic admiration (romanticism).

Catholics of today take the standpoint that a sacrament makes present in visible form an invisible and spiritual grace, indicated by its institution and containing sanctification.  It has come to pass that the sacraments are and should be enshrined in beauty.

The sixties brought metal liturgical art that resembled protruding plasticity.  This is now over.  A certain gnostic religiosity refused to allow any union of art and liturgy.  This has ended.  The similar mentality based on the independence or self-sufficiency of art is ending, too.  The modern existentialistic dislike of material objects (or multiplication of material objects) in connection with worship, remains, but this time we are ready for it. 

Support Catholic Multimedia

New initiatives.

Wish every diocese had something like this.

Support these worthy new Internet efforts:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Catholic Art

"All great art has instinctively selected religious themes, and thus bears witness how deeply the sacramental instinct is rooted in human nature."  -Bernard Leeming, SJ

Catholic Italy

Monte Argentario.

The place to visit for scuba diving.

Just north of Rome.

Restored Bell Tower

Santa Marinella, outside Rome. 

Obama's War on the Modern World

As the US goes, so goes the world. 

Look Ma, No Hands

Verb: charioteering - present participle of charioteer.

Joy of Cooking Italian: in Rome

When you are the guest in the home of an Italian, then you learn. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Forgotten Pius XII Window Inside the Vatican

Living in the Shadow of the Dome

Tuscan cigars on the rooftop with blended old scotch whiskies.

Cool Roman breeze.

Sirens and bells.

Glory and might.

Blood and water flowing from the side of Christ.

Sure is great to be Catholic! And on pilgrimage in the Alma Citta'.

Go, Team Roma!

Forza, ragazzi!

Just don't wear these sacred colours in the port of Rome, Civitavecchia.

Santo Svbito

Rome Suburbs

Pines of Rome

Teach Your Kids: Only Buy Christian Christmas Cards

These Christmas cards, and many of the best today, are made in Communist China.

$13.95 for these 16 quality cards.

Inside text : "May your Christmas and the coming year be blessed by God above.  And may you always know the Joy of His everlasting love."   Also printed in the inside is a Bible verse from 1 John 4:9.

Easy to buy in a place like Texas.  Very difficult to find in a place like the rest of the world.  Even in Rome it has become tricky to find a shop that sells even half decent Christmas cards with any Christin significance.

Keeping Christ in Christmas has become more and more tricky with each passing year  Do something to stop this cultural suicide.  

Buy yours online.  And only buy ones with Christian semblance.  Even if you are a business owner, only send out Christian cards.  The cards in the pic are from here:

Jesus is the reason for the season.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

Catholic Poland in St. Peter's Square

A great place to purchase a nice soutane for the right price is always Poland. 

1930s Architecture in Rome

Before the Fascist style took control, this is what Rome was producing.  Very nice balance and it works well for Rome. 

Mussolini's Old Bridge Into the Vatican

With the Lateran Treaty in '29, this bridge was constructed by the Kingdom of Italy into the new Vatican City State so as to connect it with a rail line. 

From the Vatican: Fraternity of St. Peter

Rome Quotes

 "Gratius animus est una virtus non solum maxima, sed etiam mater virtutum omnium reliquaram."

—Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.), Oratio pro Cnaeo Plancio, 23

Thursday, November 22, 2012

HHS Mandate and Mass for the Defence of the Church

Sometimes we need a little more.

The nice guy stuff of the Novus Ordo Missae and Gaudium et Spes have not always taken into account the titanic and never-ending clash between the cross and the world.

Any votive Mass of the Usus Antiquior is absolutely gorgeous.

Here is one for the USA:


Collect: "Almighty, everlasting God, in Whose hand are the strength of man and the nation's sceptre, see what help the Christians need: that the heathen peoples who trust in their savagery may be crushed by the power of Thy right hand."

Gradual: "Let the Gentiles know that God is Thy name: Thou alone art the Most High over all the earth.  O my God, make them like a wheel, and as stubble before the face of the wind."

Tract: "Help us, O God our Saviour, and for the honour of Thy name, O Lord, deliver us: and be propitious to our sins, for the sake of Thy name.  Lest the Gentiles should say: Where is their God? and let Him be known among the nations before our eyes.  Avenge the blood of Thy servants which has been shed, let the sighing of the prisoners come in before Thee."

Alleluia: "Alleluia, alleluia.  Stir up Thy might, O Lord, and come, that Thou mayest save us.  Alleluia.  O God of hosts, look down from heaven and see, and visit this vineyard; and perfect that which Thy right hand hath planted.  Alleluia."

Secret: "Look, O Lord, upon the sacrifice which we offer; that Thou mayest deliver Thy champions from the wickedness of the heathen, and place them safe under Thy protection."

Postcommunion: "Look upon us, O Lord, our Protector, and defend Thy champions from peril of the heathen: so that all disturbance removed, they may freely serve Thee."

Rome Altar Cards

Public Display of Devotion in Rome

Orthodox Christian immigrants from East Africa. 

Name that Habit

Toy Cars in Rome

A bit like the cart of the ancient world. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rome Wedding in Extraordinary Form

Antique Nun Dolls

One can often find these in antique shops. 

Rome Quotes

"Did you know that President John Garvey told the faculty of the Catholic University of America in Washington DC that under the Obama Mandate (Health & Human Services Mandate) the university would be fined $62,000,000 per year if it does not comply?!! The university would be bankrupt in two years. WE WILL NOT COMPLY!!!"
 -Fr. Benedict 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Read Ad Gentes (Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity)

This Catholic Memes pic has gone viral on Facebook.  It means something. 

See the Splendor of Global Liturgies

Always lots of good news in the world of sacred liturgy.

See here for updates from across the world... .

There's lots of hope.  We need to focus on the hope.  The world is not ending.  Good things are happening.  TEACH!  And share what has been handed on to you with Catholic youth. 

Rome Quotes

"In all the moral virtues, the first mover is prudence, which is called the charioteer of the virtues."

-Thomas Aquinas

A Little Humour Now and Then

Image from the Internet. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Image from the Internet. 

Human Rights Violations in Our Back Yard

Image from the Internet (Facebook - Tina M).

Internet Evangelization Images

Image from the Internet. 

Rome Quotes

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."

-Flannery O'Connor

Stanisław Cardinal Dziwisz at Usus Antiquior

Very nice to hear of this Mass and to see the photos here:

The Mass was celebrated on November 11 in Krakow.  His Eminence had some tender things to say about the Extraordinary Form. 

I always liked Cardinal Stan.  It was thanks to him that I had the honor to meet Blessed John Paul II on January 5, 1999.  I was just a college student at the time.  He always took the time to telephone and invite numerous persons each morning to join the Holy Father for Holy Mass in his private chapel in the Apostolic Palace.  To my death, I will be grateful to him for this noble service - and for having called me, a nobody.  And then he was so nice as he greeted us as we entered the papal apartment.  He spoke English and asked each of us where we were from.  Then he remembered where each person was from, as he introduced each of us individually to the Holy Father.  With a twinkle in his eye, the Holy Father quipped in English, "Happy New Year!"

What can I say?  Polonia est semper fidelis.  Grazie mille, Eminenza!  

Deeper understanding of the liturgy, placed squarely within the context of the mystery of the Church, is most clearly visible in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite, as well as in the Eastern rites.  These rites have a dignity all their own by reason for their ceremonies.  The youth of today have need of this deeper understanding AND dignity. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

New Priests: Buy Your Rituale Romanum Here

Latest from the NLM Blog...

Hot off the press...

Get your copy here:

Every sacristy ought to have a copy.  And clergy ought to keep a copy in their car.

"Text layout and indeed the beauty of the volume show that we have observed the high quality standards of the great liturgical publishing houses of the past."  --Publisher

Springtime of Liturgical Renewal: 50 Years Later?

This could be a common response from Catholic youth today.

Check out these words spoken in 1966 at the Fifth International Church Music Congress:

"We are told that the Latin chants will remain in use for celebrations of an international level.  But, let us be serious for a moment!  If it was possible for us to sing all together without any difficulty, at the opening of the Congress, with one voice singing the same Veni Creator and the Pange Lingua, it is because each one of us knew these pieces already in his own country using the same language and the same music.  To pretend that our successors deprived of the same preparation will be able spontaneously to do the same one day, when they will find themselves next to their brothers from other lands, could be justified at best by a strong act of faith in the revival of the miracle of Pentecost, but we do not see any other argument in favor of such a consolation."

-Jacques Chailley of the University of Paris

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Where to Purchase Beeswax Pillar Candles

Nice for liturgical services.

See here:

To Understand Islam

The Most Anti-Catholic President in the History of the Union

 Image from the Internet.  

When Christians Are Hated

"If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you.  If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."  -John 15:18-19

As the Culture War Steps Up

Image from the Internet. 

Rome Quotes

"...As the family goes, so goes our civilization."

-Ronald Reagan

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Churching of Women (After Childbirth)

Six days after Baby von Sonnen was born, we had the "Churching of Women" for mother.

A rite of blessing and thanksgiving in memory of the compliance of the Holy Virgin Mary with the Jewish Law of Purification after childbirth.  

Many thanks to family and friends for being present.  Thanks, Andy!  As well as to the celebrant, Padre Paolo.  My dad remarked: "Grandma used to have this done at the Assumption after her babies were born."

The celebrant needs only the ritual, stole, and holy water.  We provided the beeswax candle with ribbon.  I encourage young Catholic mothers to ask for this blessing in church after childbirth.  If the priest says no, then find one who will.  It is a fitting little tradition.  

We were received at the entrance to church.   Psalm 23 was prayed.  Then the priest introduced the mother into the church, giving the end of his stole into her hand and saying: "Enter into the temple of God, adore the Son of the blessed Virgin Mary, who giveth thee fruitfulness of offspring."  We then processed to the altar where mother knelt for the invocation, prayer, and blessing: "Almighty, everlasting God, who, through the delivery of the Blessed Virgin Mary, hast turned into joy the pains of the faithful in childbirth: look mercifully upon this Thine handmaid, coming in gladness to Thy holy temple to offer up her thanks: and grant that after this life, by the merits and intercession of the same Blessed Mary, she may deserve, together with her offspring, to attain to the joys of everlasting happiness.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen."

Read about this hallowed and forgotten rite here:

As the Battle Lines Have Been Drawn

Image from the Internet. 

99 Balloons: Tears in the Eyes

Tuesday, November 13, 2012