Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

And then There are First Things.

Some of us all but "lust" after the arrival of First Things. There are more than one of us:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The March For Life Is Today

Pray for the quarter million Americans marching in Washington today for the rights of babies in the womb.

Jennifer Harper tells us in the Washington Times that Nellie Gray "pines for some meaningful attention from the press." She a group of bloggers and others are meeting to develop new strategies for getting the word out. Our own Sam Brownback, (a Kansas Republican Senator) will be a featured speaker.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Father Newhaus: "The God Solution:" His Columbia Homilies

Andrew Flynn reports in the Columbia Blue and White, "When it comes to religion in the public sphere, Columbia's Father knows best."

He writes, "Richard John Neuhaus is Columbia's intellectual superstar you've never heard of. You've never written a paper for him, you've never checked his CULPA reviews [student ratings?], and you've certainly never shown up late to one of his classes. This is because Neuhaus's lectures are delivered not from a Hamilton Hall lectern, but from the pulpit in St. Paul's Chapel. Every Sunday for the past four spring semesters, Father Neuhaus has made his way uptown from his parish on 14th Street to say the 5 PM Mass at Columbia. "

As a special bonus you can hear Fr. Neuhaus' Spring Semester homilies from the last three springs at Columbia online.

I got the link from Andrew Flynn's article in the Blue and White.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Liturgy As Teacher

"Human nature is such that it can not easily rise to the meditation of divine things without external aids"

How do we learn? Particularly, how do we learn the work of adoring the Triune God? Do we listen to lectures, jotting down each word? Do we read the Monarch Notes? Do we take an on-line course?

Consider a passage in an interview in Italian language Zenit with Don Mauro Gagliardi, a Professor of Theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome and a recently appointed Consultor for the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. Don Gagliardi discussed a book published by Don Nicola Bux on the topic of the liturgy and the debates surrounding it following the Council: La riforma di Benedetto XVI: La liturgia tra innovazione e tradizione.

Don Gagliardi said, "I want to take a clear stand with the author: I am convinced that the [academic] liturgical formation of the people of God - while necessary and recommended at least by the Council of Trent onwards - is not alone sufficient to foster the true liturgical spirit and proper form of adoration [to be characterized] in Christian worship. The Council of Trent taught that 'human nature is such that it can not easily rise to the meditation of divine things without external aids, and for this reason the Church as a loving mother has established certain rituals [...] to make more evident the majesty of a sacrifice so great and bring the minds of the faithful, with these visible signs of religion and piety, to the sublime contemplation of reality' (DS 1746). This means that the mind rises to God not only through formation, but also and above all through the sacred and the visible signs of divine worship, which are set by the Church. Don Bux may therefore welcome the fact that 'a new liturgical movement is emerging which watches the liturgies of Benedict XVI; the instructions prepared by experts are not enough, exemplary liturgies are that which bring us to God' (p. 123)."

The translation is by The New Liturgical Movement.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ad Orientem

Benedict has been a consistent advocate of having the priest's facing east (ad orientem) as a theologian (Josef Ratzinger) before becoming pope. Michael Kowalewski has put together a set of his quotations on the topic which are posted on the New Liturgical Movement.

Father Jerry Wooten Was the Homalist

The New Liturgical Movement reports on a beautiful mass said on the Feast of the Epiphany (old calendar, i.e., January, 6th, 2009.) This was said according to the Missal of John XXIII or the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (i.e, the Traditional Latin Mass.)

The New Liturgical Movement was "told that several local seminarians from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King, and the seminary of St. Charles Borromeo, as well as diocesan priests, who served or sang at the Mass.

The celebrant was Father Gregory Thompson, assistant pastor of All Saints church in Manassas, Va. The deacon was Father Kevin Beres, assistant pastor of Saint Michael's church in Annandale, Va. The subdeacon was Abbe Michael Stein of the Institute of Christ the King. The homilist was Father Jerry Wooten, assistant pastor of the church that hosted the Mass, Holy Trinity in Gainesville, Va.

"The schola consisted of three seminarians (two FSSP and one diocesan deacon) as well as three men from Saint Mary's in D.C. The acolytes consisted of two or three FSSP seminarians as well as men and boys from the parish and surrounding area."

Father Wooten is an excellent priest. Like quite a few in the Arlington diocese he is ex-military. He is a priest most worthy of your prayers. The the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) and the Institute of Christ the King are two new orders created to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

This is significant for two reasons. You have diocesan priests and seminarians joining together with the two priestly orders. This is cross-fertilization at the personal level. This is a great event for Arlington which we left just three years ago. I had not perceived Bishop Loverde as being the sort of bishop who might be caught reading the New Liturgical Movement. Still Arlington is a diocese whose priests gradually remold their boss in their own image. It has a great bunch of priests who will find a way to do the right thing.

Wow a new Church that is pretty!

Father Wooten has found himself a very fine church to be assistant pastor in.

Note the prominence of the tabernacle and the Latin above it and the altar: "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him" (from today's gospel , the Feast of the Baptism of Christ.)

The altar allows them to go around it and celebrate ad orientem and they have used the "Benedictine" candle arrangement. What is ad orientem, you ask? The priest and other celbrants are facing the same direction toward the East or at least toward the liturgical east. If that is not enough of an explaination read on in my litugical postings. (Sorry no continuing ed credits given.)

Father Wooten's parish's has a website which gives its mission statement:

"The Mission of Holy Trinity Church is to lead all parishioners to Heaven and the Beatific Vision of the Holy Trinity."

How's that for getting back to basics?

I might have to think twice about my visceral rejection of parish's having mission statements.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


The film "Doubt" will have you thinking, talking , and debating. I have not experienced such good acting as we got from Meryl Streep (Sister Aloysius), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Father Flynn), Amy Adams (Sister James), and Viola Davis (the boy's mother) last night. The setting was perfect. The East Bronx of 1964 was filmed to a "T." St. Nicholas (actually St. Aloysius of Shanley's youth) was complete with unturned around altar. One anachronism was the use of the Taize chant version of "Ubi Charitas Ibi Est" at the end. I also wonder if there should not have been a lectern on the espistle side.

Mark Moring interviews John Patrick Shanley in Christianity Today. Lauren A.E. Schuker interviews Philip Seymour Hoffman in the Wall Street Journal.

Two initial comments. Fr. Flynn did not seem all that "charismatic" to me. The Principal I remember from my Catholic school was a bit more human than Shanley would like us to believe that type was.