Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Roger Scruton the Great

My hero.  Was nice to chat with him.  He once lived four months in Rome.

He understands beauty like no other living philosopher on the planet earth. 

The late Monsignor R.J. Schuler once turned to me after singing Solemn High Mass in Latin and asked: "How can anyone witness the beauty of the Roman Rite and not see that it is the truth?"

Would be great to hear Roger write on beauty in relation to liturgical rites, for example, as seen at the Brompton Oratory in London.

See his site here and begin to collect, read, and share his books:

"Pregnancy is Not a Disease"

The modern world tells us otherwise.

We know better.

Rejoice in life.  Life is precious.  And sacred.

And as Bishop Sheen often said: "Life is worth living!"

Pray for Persecuted Christians

Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for Us!

Coquitlam, Canada. 

Catholics Come Home

Kneeling for Holy Communion

Holy Mass celebrated at 

Redeemer Pacific College in

Langley, British Columbia.

Classic Architecture in the Great White North

Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. 


Catholic Architecture in the New World

Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Europe Under Siege: the Crusades

Image from the Internet. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Padre Pio - Celebrates Extraordinary Form

One Word: Mercy

King of Mercy.

We sing the praises of Your mercy. 

Be merciful, O Lord.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Catholic Culture: Madonna House

A beautiful thing.

Pray about joining if this is your vocation.

Know of the "Little Mandate" of the Servant of God and Confessor of the Faith: the Baroness Katrina Kolyschkine de Hueck Doherty. 

See here:

The word ora is found in the word restoration.  To pray, is to be restored.  

Catholic Statuary

Vancouver, Canada. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Word About Modern Church Architecture

Of course cost is always a concern.  This was the winning bid. 

A new megaplex chancery/curia/pastoral center for a North American archdiocese. 

Although all is said and done, would have been nice to have seen a more Catholicesque plan.

Call me a dreamer, but my vote was for the Canadian Château Style.  A bit like what Opus has been building for the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.  When builders are expected to fit their work into some pre-existing arrangement of unchangeable Catholic symbolism.   

Unfortunately, we live in an age where buildings are understood primarily in terms of utility, and aesthetic constraints, while they are possible, are by no means necessary, in the builder's enterprise.

We live in the age of the functionalists. Their peculiar dogmatism speaks an unargued generality that has even often served to discredit their own conclusions.

Architecture, as many have pointed out, is the most political of the arts, in that it imposes a vision of man and his aims independently of any personal agreement on the part of those who live with it.  It would have been nice to have seen Catholic glory shining from this edifice.  Ordinarily, people are forced to confront the surrounding buildings they see, and to absorb from them whatever they contain of political or religious significance.   

Just to see a new Catholic building structure worthy of the name Catholic - beauty and greatness not fallen into desuetude, but part of a living tradition.  It is still possible to compose like Beethoven or Brahms.  Tradition is a good thing.  It was for T. S. Elliot and so many others an ideal to be rediscovered by the modern consciousness, whatever the state of a person's imaginative understanding.  

Such a building can stand as a visible symbol of historical continuity as well as the enforced announcement of something special - a special message.  

"For the serious architect the past exists not as a legacy to be possessed through a self-conscious act of the 'modern' will, but as an enduring fact, an ineliminable part of an extended present.  From Vitruvius through the Renaissance to the Gothic revival, responses to architecture have been at one and the same time practical and backward-looking.  Even the architecture of the future envisaged by Ledoux was based on conceptions of architectural symbolism, and of architectural details, that are profoundly classicist in their inclinations.  And the pervasiveness of this respect for the past is only confirmed by the frequently somewhat hysterical nature of recent attempts to break with it."  -Roger Scruton

Collegium Thomae Aquinatis

   As you know, the College has been deliberating for some time about taking legal action against the HHS contraceptive mandate.  Up to this point in time, many lawsuits have been dismissed for lack of “ripeness” or timeliness.  Now that the administration has finalized the wording of the mandate, the time has come for the College to initiate legal action.

Accordingly, on behalf of Thomas Aquinas College and its co-plaintiffs the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, The Catholic University of America, and others, the Washington, D.C., office of the Jones Day law firm today filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the U. S. government.

The complaint alleges that the government’s HHS contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act violates our rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution by substantially burdening our free exercise of religion without a compelling governmental interest.

It further alleges that the HHS contraceptive mandate violates the Administrative Procedures Act by unlawfully requiring employers such as Thomas Aquinas College with religiously motivated objections to provide coverage for abortion-producing products, sterilization, contraception, and related education.

The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction against enforcement of the HHS contraceptive mandate on the College and all those filing suit.  It also seeks an order vacating the mandate itself.

It is important for a Catholic educational institution such as Thomas Aquinas College to bear witness to its Catholic character by challenging measures which create a conflict between its duty to obey the civil law and its duty to remain faithful to Catholic teaching.

It is also important for Thomas Aquinas College to work to overturn measures which seriously threaten its financial stability.

For these reasons, I believe it is incumbent upon the College to oppose, by any legal means possible, a government regulation which aims, by imposing substantial financial penalties, to compel us to cooperate in providing insurance coverage for medications and procedures which are contrary to Catholic moral teaching, such as contraception, abortion, and voluntary sterilization.

Rather than file a suit on our own in the Ninth Circuit, and after consultation with Archbishop Gomez, our Board of Governors, and the faculty, we have made a prudential judgment to join the suit being filed in the D.C. district court.  We are very pleased that the other parties have welcomed our participation.

I ask now for your prayers that our efforts might be successful.

Thank you.


Michael F. McLean, Ph.D.

For Angelicum Students in Rome

A helpful new site... - We Are At War

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Catholic Manhood: Fishing with the Guys

Great to sit back with a cold one and chat bout all things holy.  With the guys.  On a guy trip.

Salmon fishing in the wilds of North America in bear country is a great experience.  Dads, spend time with your sons!  It is an important ingredient for adulthood.

Eat what you catch.  Never waste.  Bless the name of the Creator for His blessings and design. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Catholic Culture: Hunting

Guy time.   Call it fellowship.  Or whatever.  The guys getting together. 

Always nice.  And important time spent together around the campfire.  

Different woodsmen have different weapons on their gunrack.

For some it is a .30-.40 box magazine Winchester, with Lyman sights.

Yours truly prefers  the simple.  A Smith & Wesson, blued, six-inch barrel, shooting the .22 caliber long-rifle cartridge.  Also with an eight-inch barrel.  In addition, a six-shooter .45 Colt.

The main point with guns, no matter what the kind, is to keep them in good shape.  After shooting, clean them, no matter how tired you may be. 

Spaniard Salustiano Sanchez-Blazquez: Born During the Reign of Leo XIII

 Salustiano Sanchez-Blazquez



Thursday, September 12, 2013

Teach Your Kids: About Palestrina

2013 National Pro-Life Conference in Canada

Be there.

If you have never attended a pro-life conference, then you need to change that.

It will change you.

You will change the world.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Catholic Syria

In this religious-biblical oriented history, Belloc provides a full and fair treatment of the ancient Jews and other Middle Eastern cultures and their impact in history, and in today’s world. He affirms a special divine design in the story of Syria and particularly of Israel, reaching a climax in the event of the Crucifixion of Christ. His famous motto, “Europe is the Faith, the Faith is Europe” has been interpreted as a form of religious ethnocentrism. But he was making the point that what we regard as the greatest cultural, political and artistic achievements of Western civilization stem from the old creed. Without the one, the other would not exist.


In Memoriam: AD 2001

Brings back lots of sad memories. 

Where were you that day...

Yours truly was on the Pacific at Long Beach.  Awoke the morning of 9-11-01 on  the old Cunard Line RMS Queen Mary, North Atlantic ocean liner first launched in 1934.  I was scheduled to fly out of LAX that same fateful day.  

I had been awake all night in our stateroom, with what I thought at the time was food poisoning, but in reality was my appendix giving away (surgery was imminent). 

The morning was overcast.  I awoke alone and wandered to Picadilly Circus for the daily news.  There, an employee shared the news: we had been bombed.  I had been expecting it for years and was not at all dumfounded.  I think I was likely one of the last humans on the planet to hear of the attack. 

Flights were cancelled that day.  Spent the day in Hollywood, Cali.  Drove by the Bel Air home of Ronald Regan.  Security was tight.  Spent that night at Santa Monica, in prayer.     

Sacerdos et Pontifex: Santo Subio

Sunday, September 8, 2013

What to Give a Priest
Thank you for visiting! In meditation recently it seemed to me that St. Joseph, in his role of protecting our Infant Lord Jesus, is like a pall, which, being laid over the chalice, protects His Precious Blood. Also, I have entrusted my vocation to his intercessory prayers (as I do with you, dear reader!) and each pall I sell will help me in this quest.
My palls are hand-embroidered, using no machines whatsoever, as they were for centuries. On average a pall may take anywhere from 10-20 hours to complete, depending on the intricacy of the pattern.
I'd also like to welcome Sarah as my new helper in case there are too many orders at one time.
To order any of the items on my page, or for further inquiries, please email me at
The prices noted are suggested donations (SD) based on a rate of $8/hour.
In the Spirit who cries, "Abba!",


Gilbert: the Magazine of the American Chesterton Society

Pray for Peace

Thanks, Fr. Christian!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Catholic Canada: Annual Marie Reine du Canada's 10th Pilgrimage!

A big success.

North America's most significant annual pilgrimage.

Grace at work.  

See here:

Heretical Bishops of Vatican II

An image of Bishop James Patrick Shannon taken during the final session of the Council in St. Peter's Square. 

His own bishop, Leo Binz, called him a heretic.  Archbishop Binz (Diocese of Saint Paul, USA), took the blame for his fall.  Binz was the one who promoted him to the sacred purple.  The poor Archbishop died of a broken heart in 1979.  Binz had been a Vatican careerist.  Shannon ran away with a mistress in 1968. 

You can read the 1990s autobiography of this apostate bishop, Reluctant Dissenter.  Most frightening for me upon reading it was the realization of Bishop Shannon's penny catechism understanding of all things Catholic (sensus, theology, grace, etc.).  In addition, his broken understanding of the canons of the CIC (Code of Canon Law) becomes dangerously clear.  In retrospect, a bit of a revelation as to how poorly many of our clergy (and bishops) were educated at that time (as well as today).

He needs prayers.  Around the Holy Year 2000 he was privately received back into the Church through the good graces of Pope John Paul II, of blessed memory.  He died in 2003. 

What you don't read in his autobiography is that he ran away with a thrice divorced woman, a Protestant.  She even showed up at his episcopal consecration.  And he doesn't tell you that Vatican II condemns contraception as well as conscience not properly formed by the Church.  

Archbishop Sheen often lamented what eros has done to agape.  He was right.  And Sheen was right on his critique of Shannon's performance on TV.  You read of this in the autobiography.  This was too much for Shannon.  A lesson to be learned for us all on the corrupting effects of pride.

Sheen's autobiography starts out talking about clay "pots" in the hands of the potter.  Shannon's autobiography starts off by saying how great people are born in Minnesota.  Both, ironically, attended the same major seminary.  One professor at the seminary saw through Shannon, Fr. Francis Missia.  The rest were duped.  His nickname was Lord Jim.  

Maybe the priesthood for Bishop Shannon was about the color green, about writing witty columns, about being liked on campus.  About having an NPR voice, travels, big donors, all things Irish.  Those who knew him warned how he always wanted to be a bishop.  It was his lust.  Or at least one of them.  His father desired that he be a bishop.  His dad pushed him.  Many blame the dad (who had already passed away by the time Shannon left active ministry).  

Pray for our clergy and bishops.  Both offices must be protected.  Integrity is an important thing.  And so is the glorious teaching office of Holy Mother Church, the Magisterium.  And the Sacrament of Confession.  And if you are an ordained priest struggling with purity, then I even suggest daily confession to form better habit for as long as it takes.   

Let us pray for the living and the dead.  The Church is Jesus Christ and we stand on Her authority.  She does not error in Her teaching.  

The Way It Is

Liturgy Conference in USA

October 13–15, 2013

The Church Music Association of America
in collaboration with
the Twin Cities Catholic Chorale, the Church of Saint Agnes,
the Cathedral of Saint Paul, and the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

The Church Music Association of America will hold a conference exploring renewal movements within the Church’s liturgy and sacred music on October 13–15, 2013, at the Church of Saint Agnes and Cathedral of Saint Paul in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The conference marks the 40th anniversary of the residence of the Twin Cities Catholic Chorale, founded by Msgr. Richard J. Schuler, at the Church of Saint Agnes in Saint Paul.

The conference seeks to explore, through critical analysis, former and present efforts to revive the Church’s sacred liturgy and music, particularly as exemplified by Msgr. Schuler’s work. Questions central to the conference theme include:

– Which efforts have resulted in a true restoration of the Church’s liturgy and sacred music?
– Upon which principles has authentic liturgical and musical renewal operated in the past?
– Which reform actions have had deleterious effects on sacred music and the liturgy?

The conference will include the celebration of vespers (featuring Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore) and Missae Cantatae at the Cathedral of Saint Paul and Church of Saint Agnes, featuring an orchestral Mass (Paukenmesse by Franz Joseph Haydn), classical works for organ, chanted Gregorian propers, and a modern polyphonic setting of the Mass ordinary (Messe Salve Regina by Yves Castagnet).

The keynote addresses to be delivered are:

- Dr. William Mahrt (Stanford) – “The Treasury of Sacred Music at Saint Agnes: From Chant to Mozart”
- Dom Alcuin Reid (Monastère Saint-Benoît in the Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, France) – “The New Liturgical Movement after the Pontificate of Benedict XVI”
- Jeffrey Tucker (The Wanderer and Sacred Music) -“Chant as Free Culture: The Legacy of Msgr. Schuler’s Revolutionary Resistance”


Seeing the Other Side of Italy: Agriturismo

Big cities are nice, but if you have a rental car, try the countryside where no tourist has yet been.

Staying on old working farms, with converted guest accommodations, can be the best of tourist experiences.

 Agriturismo in a place like the Tuscan countryside is not to be missed. 

Pray for the Roman Pontiffs

Living and deceased.

The burden of command is just that, a burden.

The Holy Ghost be with them.

Tell Your Boss to Read It: Rerum Novarum

Thanks, Richard!

Crescent Beach: Concours d'Elegance

A splendid event for all ages. 


Thanks, Richard!

Castor Oil: Palma de Cristo (the Palm of Christ)

Traditional, folk or holistic medicines are a great thing.

I recommend a few items for the family medicine cabinet.

One such is castor oil.  Another is cod liver oil.  And probiotics. 

Castor oil has been called the "palm of Christ," thanks to its healing capabilities.

You can read of it here:

Yours truly has a bad back, and a castor oil back massage seems to really help. 

Read It

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Catholic Vietnam: A Tribute To the Boat People

Mission, Canada.  

The boat people have taught us much about life: courage, grit, stamina, hard work, suffering, dedication, and the victory of the human spirit.

In the 1970s my family sponsored  one such family from Vietnam - they had escaped with their lives - just barely.  A mother and father with their young children, the Chung family. 

God bless them all - living and deceased.  And may the citizens of Vietnam be free forever.  Amen.

Lovely Example of a Marian Shrine

Vancouver, Canada. 

The VIII Commitments of St. Joseph's Covenant Keepers

Commitment One:
Affirming Christ's Lordship Over Our Families

Commitment Two:
Following St. Joseph, the Loving Leader and Head of the Holy Family

Commitment Three:
Loving Our Wives All Our Lives

Commitment Four:
Turning Our Hearts Toward Our Children

Commitment Five:
Educating Our Children in the Discipline and Instruction of the Lord

Commitment Six:
Protecting Our Families

Commitment Seven:
Providing for Our Families

Commitment Eight:
Building Our Marriages and Families on the "Rock"


Catholic Studios and Film Production

See here and start making use of these guys.

Catholic pastors, chanceries, evangelization offices, lay apostles: start making videos to promote the cause.  Do not be behind the times!

MV Studios leads the way.  Contact them and start a project here.  

New FSSP Parish in Minneapolis!

You can see the photos of the opening Mass here.

Their new site is here

In AD 1680, the Recollect Franciscan, Father Louis Hennepin, at the suggestion of the Catholic explorer, La Salle, risked his life in order to find the source of the mighty Mississippi River; but especially for the purpose of carrying the light of the Gospel to the native Indian tribes, the  Sioux Nation, known to other tribes as emphatically "The Enemy."   In Minneapolis he celebrated the first Holy Mass, celebrated in the same "Extraordinary Form."

Today, the populous commercial center on the western bank of the upper Mississippi is known as Minneapolis.  A city founded by a Franciscan clergyman, a Catholic priest.  Father Hennepin, a member of the expedition of the Cavalier de la Salle simply found himself on a mission to explore the upper waters of the Mississippi and to bring the Gospel message to the nations. 

He was the first white man to set foot on the soil which is now Minneapolis.  He discovered the cataract there, naming it Saint Anthony Falls after the patron saint of his expedition, St. Anthony of Padua.  Although it is no longer possible to look upon the wild and unrestrained grandeur of the scene which made such an impression upon him, that area has been the nucleus around which the life and history of the community has developed.  One of the main Minneapolis thoroughfares continues to pay tribute to his memory, as does the name of the county.  His Christian eyes were the first to behold the wonders of this northwest land.  And his Christian feet were the first to leave a mark in the soil upon which a great city was born. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Catholic Philippines

An inspiration.

See here:

Thanks, Clayton!

Support Christians in the Middle East

Image from the Internet. 

A persecuted and abused minority.  

Christian Martyrs of Syria: Pray for Us!

Know of these holy saints, these holy victims:

International Day of Prayer: for Peace in Syria

Prayers for the former cradle of Christianity: Syria. 

My dream has always been to attend a solemn Divine Liturgy celebrated in Damascus in the hallowed Greek Rite, as the people there did before the arrival of the sword of Islam.  For 600 years there was Christianity in Syria before the arrival of the heresy of Mohammed.  St. Peter was seven years in Damascus before his arrival in the heart of the dragon, Rome. 


Rome Quotes

"Brother, peace!  Prayers going up.  Oculi nostri ad Dominum Jesum."

-Fr. Capo (aka il vero capo). 

National Day of Prayer and Fasting: for Canada

Human life is sacred.

The Church's battle each generation has been to get this truth through the thick skulls of people of every nation and background. 

Respect life!

Join us!