Sunday, December 30, 2007

First Ever Orthometer Poll!

I want to know how many wimpy parishes there are out there. So, let me know whether your parish used the long (good) option or short (castrated/feminist) option of the Letter of St. Paul to the Colossians on the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

Vote on the bar on the right hand side of the screen.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

You Don't Know Who Chesty Puller Was?

A comment on a previous post has made it clear to me that some benighted souls are unaware of the identity of the Marines' Marine, Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller. Click on his name and read about him; you hear me?!?

Bulldog Puppy Name

I have decide to acquire a successor for my late bulldog Torq. (I say successor because it would be impossible to replace him.) While I won't be getting him until the Spring, I have decided on a name. Gunnery Sergeant Leonides Horatio Freiherr von Richtsteig-- Gunny for ordinary use.

Terrance, the grandson of one of my deacons, is also going to name his new pup, a German Shepherd, Gunny. Chesty was the first choice, but his wife vetoed it. For some reason she did want to have yell Chesty out the back door to call the dog.

New Liturgical Goodies Roundup

I have acquired these items over the last month.
In Rome, I got a new Euroclero Biretta that fits my size 8 head. In Rome, I also received as gifts a new ciborium and green chasuble with very nice iconographic orpheries. The parish has acquired an altar cross with corpus on both sides and maniples of assorted colors.

Stained Glass for the Church

The plans for the next phase of stained glass for the new church came in before Christmas. Within four days, all eight panels had been donated. God willing, they will be done and installed before Easter.
Sorry the photo is blurry. From left to right the images are: S. Gianna Molla, Bl. Theresa of Calcutta, S. Paul, The Immaculate Heart, The Sacred Heart, S. Peter, John Paul II, and St. Pio.

Dave Update

Dave is returning home to Denver via LearJet tomorrow!

Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart

Added to my links of interest is that of the website of one of my favorite religious congregations, the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart whose mother-house is in Alhambra, CA. These good sisters combine fidelity to the Church with contemplation and an active apostolate. Take a look.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Do Not Confuse Benny Hill with Benny Hinn

Which is exactly what I did a few years ago. I was checking the TV listings for something to watch late at night. I saw what I thought was Benny Hill at and thought to myself, "There that's the ticket!" Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a televangelist. The Divine Miss Argent tells us the Pastor Hinn and some of his prosperity gospel buddies are under investigation by the Senate. I hope they also take steps to ensure that no one else gets a Hinn when they want a Hill.
Click here for a video of Hinn set to Hill music. (Zuccetto spin to the ever creative Vincenzo.)
(Benny Hill Trivia: Benny Hill was the Toymaker in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which itself was amazingly enough from a book written by James Bond author Ian Fleming.)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Some SOB(s) Stole My License Plates. Again!

Here I am recuperating from the holy day at mom's and this morning I discover that some ^$&%^ has stolen my license plate. And while it was only temporary tags this time, it has happened before. A couple of years ago, some punk took my personalized tags--which is why I had to fall back on a secondary choice.

Question: would it be very bad to wire the battery to the plate bolts?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dave Update

On Christmas Eve, I talked with Dave's wife Stephanie. It seems that things with Dave are going much better than expected. The skin grafts are taken and his recovery is progressing faster than expected. (He has even been able to drink beer! The hospital is in Germany.) It looks like he will be able to be transferred to a hospital in Denver the first week of January. Keep those prayers coming!

My Caption Entry

For some reason, Pope Benedict was never very good at hide and seek.
(Photo stolen from Fr. Z).

I survived Christmas

Thanks to God's grace, Christmas Eve dinner at the Collon's, the new parish phone system that screens out the 'what time is midnight Mass' calls, Theraflu, and the good people of the parish, I survived Christmas.

Between the Theraflu and Hall's drops, I was able to subdue Kermit enough to chant the prayers of the Mass, but not the preface. I got to use my new white maniple and Euroclero biretta. (Pictures will be forthcoming.) All four of our Masses (Vigil, Midnight, Dawn, and Day all with the requisite prayers and readings) were very well attended despite the heavy snow dropped on Christmas Eve. Our musicians did an especially nice job this year, particularly our new children's choir. (My organist Michael had lots of fun with the Zimmelbells.)

After the last Mass, I bundled Katiedog and myself into the car for the journey to mom's. Once there, it was time to open my presents. (RC helicopter--SCORE--and the requisite bulldog calendars). After presents, it was time to eat --Christmas is a diet hiatus. After food, time for a nice dosing of Theraflu and sleep. I spent most of today sleeping and lounging around mom's. Tomorrow will likely be more of the same with a trip out to the Great Salt Lake to make sure that the scuppers on my boat are clear and functioning. (More snow is on the way!)

Alas, back to work Friday morning.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

More More Cowbell -- Cowbell Hero

Possessed by Kermit

It is winter is Utah. This means that it is time for my yearly throat possession by Kermit. Yup, that frog is in my throat just in time for Christmas. Unless there is substantial improvement by tomorrow, gone are my plans to chant large portions of the Mass (including all of the Roman Canon at the midnight.)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Meme

A while ago, the Tara-wrist at Loved Sinner zapped me with the Christmas Meme:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift bags. Because a) I am too lazy to wrap things and b) my wrapping efforts usually end in disaster.

2. Real or artificial tree? Before ordination, I would have said real. However, since I have had personal experience trying to get dry needles out of the church, I say artificial hands down.

3. When do you put up the tree? Not being an advent-nazi, I have no problems with putting up Christmas stuff early as long as it is left up through the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. However, since I only put up trees in the church now, the rule is no sooner than the Fourth Sunday of Advent.

4. When do you take the tree down? No sooner than the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

5. Do you like egg nog? Heck yes I like egg nog. (It is a very good thing it isn't available year round or I would be round.)

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I got a lot of great gifts as a kid. The ones that come to mind are my telescopes, GiJoe stuff, lego sets, and a Verti-Bird.

7. Did you have a Nativity scene? Yup. In fact, mom gave me the one we had as I was growing up.

8. Hardest person to buy for? Myself--I am too picky.

9. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Clothes.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. Email is cheating.

11. Favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Carol (1984) , A Christmas Story (1983) , and Christmas Vacation (1989) .

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Sometime after Thanksgiving.

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No.

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Waldorf Salad.

15. Clear lights or colored lights on the tree? Colored.

16. Favorite Christmas song? Angels We Have Heard On High

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Are you kidding? It is a work day.

18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Lets see; Comet, Cupid, Agnew, Nixon. Nope, and I date myself.

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Muzaked Christmas music. (One Christmas I worked in a mall and almost went postal due to the mall music.)

22. Best thing about this time of year? Celebrating the proper Christmas Masses at the proper times with the proper readings.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Update on my friend Dave

Before going to Rome, I ask for your prayers for my friend Dave who was badly burned. Here is an update from his wife Stephanie:

Hi Everyone!

It had been 24 days since I'd heard David's voice and my heart is now flying! I was able to call the ICU desk at the German clinic and talk to David through the remote control thingy in his room.
I just want to sum up his progress:
* His skin grafts look VERY good
* Tomorrow they will remove his tracheotomy
* He signed his own release for tomorrow's surgery
* He's off anti-biotics
* Today he was able to get out of bed on his own, stand-up, turn and sit in a chair (the nurses said David is their FIRST patient ever to do this the first time by himself)
* They are leaving him to heal one more week on his own and then next week they'll reassess for more grafts
* They want him up and walking this week
* The doctor told David they've gone from talking about how many months until he can return to Denver to how many weeks
Here's another interesting fact: the last weekend we were there, one of the doctors was updating us on David and said we surely know the such-n-such burn index...he said that if a person's age (David's 41) added to the percentage of the body (60%) burned equals 100, there is only a 10% chance of survivability. He said there were other factors that adjusted the index, one of which was the patient's health. Another one of those miraculous dominoes that had been put into affect was that David had been kickboxing, lifting weights and doing yoga every day.
THANK YOU GOD!!!!! THANK YOU ALL!!!! Again, please don't stop praying now!

P.S. We cannot thank ALL OF YOU ENOUGH for your prayers! This is the best news that we have received in 3 1/2 weeks. He is obviously making great strides. He now knows the % of his burns.
He is determined to do something new every day. There have been soooo many big and little miracles! All of the involved families believe this to be true. We also know that prayers are coming from Northern Ireland, New Zealand, etc., etc. We have heard from so many that these e-mails pleading for prayers have been sent onto family members/friends who in turn forward them to others. It is truly through the grace of God hearing these prayers that he is alive for one of the miracles. Truly this is the VERY BEST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENTS! Blessings to all of you!
Appreciatively, Doug and Mary Terese (Dave's in-laws).


Some people may like modern 'art'. I am not one of them.
Anyway, I'm back from Rome and over jet-lag, so back to blogging.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Off to Rome!

Dang early on Monday morning, 38 folks and myself take off for the Holy City. I will be back on December 4.

While in the Holy City, I will do the usual plus the following: Pope watching, buy a new cassock and a high quality saturno, and quest for the geek cleric's holy grail, the fabled propeller zuccetto.

(I may get in a couple more posts before I leave.)

(Zuccetto and propeller spin to Vincenzo for the picture.)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Another One Bites The Dust

Congratulations to Karen of Gem of the Ocean on her engagement.

Urgent Prayer Request

Please include in your prayers my friend David Dawson. (He is the husband of Stephanie and the father of my senior godson Matthew.) Dave is a contractor in Iraq. He fell in his shower, was knocked out, and now has burns over 60% of his body. He is being evacuated back to the states in critical, but stable condition.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Woo Hoo! 100,000 hits.

This morning, this blog received its 100,000th hit. Wow, there are certainly a lot of bored people in the world.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Idiot Sightings

(Courtesy of my DRE)

IDIOT SIGHTING: Hubby and I had to have the garage door repaired. The Sears repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a large enough motor on the opener. I thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest one Sears made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower. He shook his head and said, "Lady, you need a 1/4 horsepower." I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4. He said, "NO, it's not. Four is larger than two."
We haven't used Sears repair since....

IDIOT SIGHTING: I live in a semi rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the Deer Crossing sign on our road. The reason: "Too many deer are being hit by cars out here! I don't think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore."
From Kingman, KS...

IDIOTS IN FOOD SERVICE: My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for "minimal lettuce." He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg.
From Kansas City !...

IDIOT SIGHTING: I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, "Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?" To which I replied, "If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?" He smiled knowingly and nodded, "That's why we ask."
Happened in Birmingham, Ala....

IDIOT SIGHTING: The stoplight on the corner buzzes when its safe to cross the street. I was crossing with a co-worker of mine. She asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded,"What on earth are blind people doing driving?!"
She was a probation officer in Wichita, KS...

IDIOT SIGHTING: At a good-bye luncheon for a dear coworker: She was leaving the company due to"downsizing. " Our manager commented cheerfully,"This is fun. We should do this more often." Not another word was spoken. We all just looked at each other with that deer-in-the- headlights stare.
This was at Texas Instruments.

IDIOT SIGHTING: When my husband and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver's side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. "Hey," I announced to the technician, "Its open!" His reply, "I know -I already got that side."
This was at the Ford dealership in Canton, Mississippi !..

IDIOT SIGHTING: I work with an individual who plugged her power strip back into itself, and for the sake of her own life, couldn't understand why her system would not turn on.
A deputy with the Dallas County Sheriffs office.

Snakes and Bunnies on a Plane

(Warning bad language.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pet Peeve: Junior Klansman Suits

While well in accord with liturgical laws, altar servers in albs strike me the wrong way. A plain alb looks, well ugly. I am not particularly fond of albs and stoles. If one is just going to wear a stole at something other than a con-celebrated Mass, then I think a cassock and surplice looks much better. Servers look much better in cassock and surplice also.
(Coming soon: Greeting people at the beginning of Mass and blue as a liturgical color.)

My rectory is bugged!

If it weren't, then why else would the phone/doorbell always ring when I am eating or in the restroom? (And NO I am not always either eating or in the restroom.)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Backbone in Baltimore

From CWN

Baltimore priest removed for liturgical abuse

Baltimore, Nov. 9, 2007 ( - Baltimore's Archbishop Edwin O'Brien has removed a pastor who invited a female Episcopalian priest to join him in celebrating a funeral Mass, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Father Martin was removed from his parish assignment at a meeting with archdiocesan officials on November 8. The priest, whose unorthodox liturgical practices had prompted several prior complaints, said that the Episcopalian priest had not participated in the Consecration during the October funeral liturgy, although he had invited her to read the Gospel. There were conflicting reports on whether or not the Episcopalian cleric had received Communion; Father Martin said that he could not recall administering the Eucharist to her.

On the orders of the archbishop, Father Martin resigned his parish assignment and issued an apology for "bringing scandal to the Church," the Sun reports. A spokesman for the Baltimore archdiocese explained that the pastor's removal was called for because "he has repeatedly violated Church teaching."

Father Martin was serving as pastor of three different parishes in south Baltimore, where he had worked for 5 years. His removal comes just 6 weeks after Archbishop O'Brien was installed as head of the Baltimore archdiocese.

Happy to see this action being taken. Sorry that it was necessary

Monday, November 05, 2007

Going over the wall

Every profession has it euphemisms. The Catholic clergy is no exception. For example, if a priest is sent away for treatment for some issue psychological or otherwise, one might hear that he has "gone to Camp Snoopy." (These euphemisms are by no mean universal.) If a priest has left the priesthood, usually to get married, he has "gone over the wall."

Last week, it was announced that a well-known TV priest had "gone over the wall." In a letter he released, he said that he had developed a relationship with a widow that he was trying to help and as a consequence he was going, "to take some time off to prayerfully and honestly discern my future." Whenever I hear something like this, my thoughts and feeling run to disappointment, anger, sadness, and surprise. I do not propose to speak about this particular and his particular situation, but rather I want to reflect on the general issue.

First, whenever I hear of a priest "going over the wall", what comes to mind is a man leaving his wife for another woman. In my view, this is a cowardly and selfish thing to do. Certainly, men have left the priesthood because they are psychologically unsuited and for these I have some sympathy especially if they wait to be laicized and then are married. But to leave because they have found 'love' is something entirely different. When one is ordained one makes an informed choice. Perhaps at one time men were rushed into the clergy, this doesn't happen any more. And this choice is for life, not just until you meet a real nice gal. (Though in my experience, most guys who have left to marry have ended up marrying 'devil women'.) Most of the men who do this are like the guys who trade in their wife of 20 years for the new, unwrinkled and unsagging model. Acts of selfishness and sin (or temptation to sin) need to be recognized for what they are.

Second, I have precious little patience for the apologists who say something to the effect of, "well, the priesthood is a lonely life." A priest is no more or less subject to loneliness persons in other states of life. You are only lonely if you allow yourself to be. The solution to loneliness is healthy, prudent, holy friendships, not sex or romantic love. When I hear a priest opine that marriage is the solution to problems, it always occurs to me that he is not hearing enough confessions. Don't get me wrong marriage is a good and holy thing, but it is also a life sharing in the Cross of Christ as is the priesthood.

Third, even if it makes things 'better' for the priest, it won't for other people. People especially spiritual sons and daughters of the priest will feel betrayed and they have a right to. The priest's life is not his own. He does not live it for himself and his personal fulfillment, but for the salvation of souls. The departure of even a bad priest will effect in a negative way those he has ministered to.

Fourth, a word about discernment. The time for discernment is before ordination, not after.

Best last name of a priest EVER!

I used to think it was HOPE. (As in Fr. Don Hope, a friend from the diocese.) But this week, a former parishioner, now living in that little slice of heaven known as the Diocese of Lincoln, stopped by to visit and told me her current pastor's name. Are you ready???

It is FATHER PANZER! (Need I say more.)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Batshit Crazy Award for best post title goes to...

Mark Shea at Catholic and Enjoying It! for Wicca: Spirituality for People Who Still Live in their Mom's Basement

The whole Dumbledore gay thing

DGD at The Sci-fi Catholic has a great post on this tempest in a tea pot. Take a look at it.

Mail:hate and otherwise

I know the blogging has been thin of late. The dog died. Then there was the trip to and from EWTN. And then there was cleaning up from the trip to EWTN.
Of course, I had Pastor stuff waiting for me when I got home; phone calls to return, checks to sign, etc.... But, I also had a good deal of feedback from The Journey Home appearance to deal with. It fell into the following categories: supportive praise, questions relating to the topic, thoughtful critiques (largely from Mormons), and flaming hate mail (all from Mormons and one a rather nasty post on this blog from a relative.) All but the last category I didn't mind, especially the thoughtful critiques. Disagreement is good for the brain. It helps one to clarify ones thoughts and arguments. The hate mail is another matter. It seemed to boil down to, "You are a nasty man because you said things we don't like." I didn't bother to respond to the hate mail, except for the post. But if I had, I would have made two main points. First, ad hominum arguments don't work. Attacking the arguer doesn't affect the argument. Second, it helps to actually listen to the argument, before taking issue.

Ma Beck on Halloween

In the comments on the preceding posts, several people suggested looking at this post by Chicago's own Ma Back. Having read it myself, I can only second what she has to say.

But, of course, I can't just leave it there. I have little tolerance for the "Halloween is the Devil's day" types. The origins of the day are irrelevant--they don't tell us what it means now. Now it is just a day for kids (and more than a few adults) to dress up and get a sugar high. Does this mean that parents, particularly Catholic parents, shouldn't exercise prudence when it comes to costumes and activities? Of course not. Having your 5 year old dress as Hannibal Lectur, Jason Vorhees, or a streetwalker is a bad idea, mmmkay. But most importantly, it ought not to be allowed to eclipse the Holy Days.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

People who take Halloween seriously

(Maybe too much so.) This house is across the street from my mother's house. The owners decorate it for every season, but Halloween seems to be a special favorite. They go all out. It is fun to watch the people drive or walk by to look at it, particularly those with little children.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thomas v. Gum

Thomas, the official Orthometer gunboy, has had a close encounter of the gum kind. As his mom writes,

I can't get the gum off him.. tried it all. He was playing with it and he pulled it out of his mouth and said "It juts got on my eyes"
I have tried
Peanut Butter
WD40 I know I shouldn't have
Baby Oil
Olive Oil
A warm rag
I even had him chew another piece of gum to put on it to pull it off.. but he kept playing with the gum.. Lesson NOT learned.
I have tried to cut it out and it pulls to hard. There must have been super glue in that gum.
etc.. nothing works

any suggestions welcome.
If you have any ideas, please post and I will forward them to his mom.
PS See, gum is EVIL!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Don't be a Dick

Diogenes the Great reports on yet more drivel from Dickie "Power-tie" McBrien.

"Can you imagine what kind of candidates we would attract to the U.S. Senate, for example, or to any other high-ranking political, corporate or academic office if a commitment to lifelong celibacy were an essential, non-negotiable requirement?"
-- Father Richard McBrien, addressing the
Voice of the Faithful convention yesterday.

Yet more proof that Dick should be sent to the old hippy home and yet more proof that VOF is just a front for CTA Modernism.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sweet home Alabama

No posts until late Tuesday at the earliest. I am taking of for Birmingham for my appearance on EWTN's The Journey Home. This show airs live on Monday October 15th at 6:00 pm MDT. (Please keep me in your prayers. Especially, that I do not give in to the temptation to do either my Dr. Evil, Cartman, Mr. Mackey, or Comicbook Guy impressions on the air.)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Why is the Church hated?

Why should men love the Church?
Why should they love her laws?
She tells them of Life and Death, and of all that they would forget.
She is tender where they would be hard, and hard where they like to be soft.
She tells them of Evil and Sin, and other unpleasant facts.
They constantly try to escape
From the darkness outside and within
By dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.
But the man that is will shadow
The man that pretends to be.

–T. S. Eliot, “Choruses from ‘The Rock’”

(Zuccetto spin to The Art of Apologetics)

Please don't go see the Bastard Queen of England, Pt. II

Yet another canoniztion of the wretched spawn of Horny Henry and Anne Boleyn hits the theaters. Decent films has a good review of this bad movie. Please, don't encourage Hollywood by paying to see this attack on history and the Faith.

Carlos the Unicorn and the Journey to Banana Mountain

(In response to a meme--don't blame me for the Candy Mountain flashbacks, blame Snuffles at The Sci-Fi Catholic.)

A word of explanation: being a good monarchist, I refuse to promote the Marxist propaganda of SVII's Che Lovell and his play The Bananas of Revenge. Instead, I present to you the story of an innocent, hard working unicorn Carlos and his oppression by the Marxist agitator unicorns Red and Pink. The following is the story outline.

Open on Carlos taking his siesta in the middle of a beautiful Latin American field.

Pink & Red: Hey Carlos, you lackey of the Norteamericano imperialists, come with us to Banana Mountain. It is a workers paradise. Come with us Banana Mountain!

Carlos: Oh, &#$r#, it is you guys. Listen I have told you, I don't want to join the International Federation of Working Unicorns. And there is no such place as Banana Mountain.

Pink & Red: Shun the capitalist! Shuuuuun.

(Cut to Carlos, Pink, & Red standing before a dinosaur.)

Carlos: Holy #$#&, what is that?

Pink & Red: Don't you recognize Jimmy Carter? He is taking some time away from propping up Latin American comrades and certifying their elections. Listen. He is telling us the way to Banana Mountain.

(The dinosaur spouts nonsense in a southern accent.)

(Our hero arrives at Banana Mountain.)

Carlos: Holy #$#*, Banana Mountain does exit. Can I go home now?

Pink & Red, pulling out AKs: Sorry Carlos, reactionaries have to go to the Banana Mountain reeducation center.

(As Carlos marches into the reeducation cave, the letters from the Banana Mountain sign come to life and sing a rousing rendition of The Internationale.)

(Cut to a bruised and battered Carlos.)

Carlos: Oh freaking, ^&#EW#, they took my wallet!

(Now you understand why my vampires in rural Utah novel has never been written.)

As if more proof that the Nobel Peace Prize has become a joke were needed.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Algore and his amazing green weenie propaganda machine. One last nail in the coffin of what was once a respectable institution. (Previous examples being Rigoberta Menchu, Yasset Arafat, Jimmy Carter, Mohamed Elbaradei, Mickael Gorabechev, Kofi Annan, and Henry Kissinger.) The name ought to be changed to the Left Wing Image Award.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bad way to start a day

My senior dog Torq died last night. He was 11 years old and a great little guy.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Partisan joke (so sue me)

THE SITUATION: You are in Miami , Florida . There is chaos all around you caused by a hurricane with severe flooding. This is a flood of biblical proportions. You are photo-journalist working for a major newspaper, caught in the middle of this epic disaster. The situation is nearly hopeless. You're trying to shoot career-making photos. There are houses and people swirling around you, some disappearing under the water.

THE TEST: Suddenly you see a woman in the water. She is fighting for her life, trying not to be taken down with the debris. You move closer and she looks familiar. You suddenly realize it's Hillary Clinton! At the same time you notice that the raging waters are about to take her under forever. You have two options: You can save the life of Hillary Clinton or you can shoot a dramatic Pulitzer Prize winning photo, documenting the death of one of the world's most powerful women.

THE QUESTION: Here's the question, and please give an honest answer..... "Would you select high contrast color film, or would you go with the classic simplicity of black and white?"

(Zuccetto spin to Mungo's Mom)

Monday, October 08, 2007

"We are too Christians!" Part II

(From the MyFox Utah site.)

Church Leaders Address Christian Controversy

SALT LAKE CITY -- LDS church leaders addressed an ever-growing controversy during the 177th Semi-Annual General Conference on Sunday. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in Jesus Christ, but some conservative Christians have spoken against calling the LDS faith a "Christian" faith. Much of the controversy revolves around the differences between deities in Mormonism and conservative Christianity. Mormons believe God is a separate, physical being; conservative Christians believe God is a spirit with three natures." They were not imaginary beings, they were beings tabernacled in flesh, and out of that has come our unique and true understanding of deity," said LDS church President Gordon B. Hinckley. The comments come as much of the country, including Republican evangelicals, focus on the Mormonism of presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

I can only echo what my friend James Snow who sent this to me said, "Are there NO fact checkers in news rooms?"

(Related to this, one of my parishioners told me that a Mormon neighbor of hers explain that the reason they are Christian is because the name Jesus Christ is in the title of their Church. Hmmm, I want to be a dragon. I will add dragon to my name and that will make me one!)

Addition: Here is the letter James sent correcting the errant news anchor:

The news story about the LDS conference horribly botched the traditional definition of the Trinity. Additionally, President Hinckley's remarks are an intellectually dishonest and ridiculous caricature more suitably found in a histrionic polemic than a prime time television newscast. If he studied the creeds and doctrines as claimed with honest inquiry and examination, then he would know better than refer to them as imaginary beings: One (Being, Essence, Nature); Three Persons. As to his claim that the Creeds are too much for him to comprehend, I would remind him that "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

"Much of the controversy revolves around the differences between deities in Mormonism and conservative Christianity. Mormons believe God is a separate, physical being; conservative Christians believe God is a spirit with three natures. [Incorrect, this would signify modalism.]
"They were not imaginary beings, they were beings tabernacled in flesh, and out of that has come our unique and true understanding of deity," said LDS church President Gordon B. Hinckley."

First of all, liberal or conservative Christians may be found to profess the Nicene Creed. The usual adjective would be historic, orthodox, credal, or even Trinitarian. A useful soundbite of comparison would be that the Mormon believes the Godhead has three separate beings and three distinct persons while the historic Christian believes God is three distinct but not separate persons.

Another addition:

Check out Deacon Scott's post on this topic.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Name Meme

(Stolen from various).

YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car) - Figgy Saturn (Never let a 5 y. o. name a guinea pig.)

YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)- Cherry Oatmeal

YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name) - E Ric (Which interestingly enough (mis) spells my first name.)
YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal) - Black Dog.

YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first) -Ric Er. (At least its not Jar Jar!)

SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink) - The Purple Glenlevit.

NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers) - Max Norman

TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter) - Woodbury Washington.

SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, favorite flower)- All Souls Rose

CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”) -Orange Sweatpantsy.

HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)- Granola Bar Rowan

YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”) - The Target Shooting Wind Tour!

YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born) John Cedar City

14. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ) John None

(For a more testosterone filled 'Meme', go see this gem by the Caveman.)

Pet Peeve: Homemade Hosts

(Another in my continuing series of post of things liturgical that drive me nuts.)

A few years ago, it was all the rage among the liturgically avaunt garde to encourage parishes to make their own hosts. After all, it looks, tastes, and feels more like bread. It is an opportunity for people to be more involved. It is more like what Jesus and the early Church would have used. Like Frisbee hosts, this is practice is not a priori invalid. However, in my view, other concerns trump reason for doing this.

I have encountered this practice personally three times. First, during college when I was attending a Newman Center. Second, at the seminary. (The Ice Queen was a big fan of what some of the seminarians referred to as 'Chewy Jesus'.) Third, at the Air Force Base I served at when I was in the reserves. I noticed several things about it. First, It leaves particles EVERYWHERE; on the Altar, around the altar, on hands, and hence on the floor. Second, It sticks between ones teeth. Third, It hardens to the consistency of rock in the Tabernacle. Most importantly, one can never be sure whether the bakers actually follow liturgical law and use only wheat flour and water. I have heard numerous first hand reports of people taking it upon themselves add things for reasons of taste or easier baking. This is quite serious it as it can affect validity.

Another thing to be considered, is that many cloistered religious support themselves by making altar breads. By using homemade breads, we are failing to support our religious. I know of several priests in my diocese who use breads made by the big companies that are horning in on the good sisters' livelihood. (One I know has the class to donate money to the sisters to make up for the shortfall. However, I think it is better to support the sisters' labor than to simply give them money.)

In a nutshell, buy normal hosts from the sisters.

(Coming soon: Junior Clansmen Suits and greeting people at the beginning of Mass.)

"We are too Christians!"

This is the first weekend in October. In Utah, this means that we will have some kind of storm (snow or rain) and the Mormons will hold their Fall semi-annual conference. (The Spring version is the first weekend of April.) Some claim a causal connection between the two event. My grandmother would always say, "When the saints meet, the heavens weep." If this is true, then they need to meet more frequently to get us out of the current drought. (And, hence, father will have enough water in the Great Salt Lake for his boat.)
We can also count on some Fundamentalist Protestants tracting and protesting outside Temple Square. I don't like this myself. I think it is rude. But, then again, I didn't appreciate the two Mormon missionaries that I ran out of St. Peter's Square a few years ago after I caught them tracting. ("He guys. I am from Utah and I know what you are doing. I will give you a couple minutes to leave and then I will go and fetch security.") There was also a similar incident about 20 years ago when some of the boys were passing out anti-Catholic tracts in front of our Cathedral.
Quite frequently the speakers at conference feel the need to defend their status as Christians or attack the doctrine of the Trinity. I wasn't surprised that this happened this year what with the discussion of the Mormons Christianity or lack thereof related to Mitt Romney's presidential candidacy. Here is the Salt Lake Tribune account:
Not only is Mormonism a Christian faith, it is the truest form of Christianity, said speaker after speaker on the first day of the 177th Semiannual LDS General Conference.
LDS authorities were responding to the allegation that Mormonism isn't part of Christianity. Made by different mainline Protestant and Catholic churches and repeated constantly during coverage of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, the claim is based on Mormonism's beliefs about God, its rejection of ancient ideas about the Trinity still widely accepted, and the LDS Church's extra-biblical scriptures.
"It is not our purpose to demean any person's belief nor the doctrine of any religion," said Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland in the afternoon session. "But if one says we are not Christians because we do not hold a fourth- or fifth-century view of the Godhead, then what of those first [Christians], many of whom were eye-witnesses of the living Christ, who did not hold such a view either?"
Oh my, where to start and how not to be unduly snarky. If the Mormons want to claim to be Christian, fine let them. But do not object when others dispute that claim. Either the Mormons are correct in their Polytheism, doctrine of eternal progression, etc... or Orthodox Christianity is with its doctrines of the Trinity, Incarnation, etc.... However, both cannot be. To hold this would be to make the very term Christian meaningless. Not too many years ago, Mormons proudly proclaimed their non-Christian nature. However, it recent years there has been a concerted effort to proclaim their own Christianity. Folks, saying that you are a Christian doesn't make it so.
Also, Elder Holland makes a common error it supposing that simply because a doctrine wasn't solemnly taught until the Fourth Century, it wasn't believed until then. Doctrines are only defined when they are disputed. He needs to show us that the first believers did not hold Trinitarian compatible views.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Dick knows squat

Dick McBrien is at it again. (I once made a dart board out of his photo for our late, retired bishop.) This time he is rejecting the recent Vatican clarification on the uniqueness of the Catholic Church. Hmmm, do I believe the Successor of St. Peter or an aging Father Power-Tie? I think I will go with the Pope. The unanswered question is why any church publication is still printing his crap.

(Addition encouraged by readers: The moral--don't be a Dick!)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Bow down before me! says I'm a Nerd God.  What are you?  Click here!

St. Therese story

(I ought to have posted this yesterday, but I was a bit snowed in catching up on Pastorwork.)
I owe a St. Therese a great debt. She helped to convert my maternal grandmother. Here is the story.
My grandmother, Lois Eleanor Thayne Barnes was the daughter of a Mormon bishop. (This is not as impressive as it sounds--Mormon bishops are the equivalent of our pastors. They only serve part-time.) She was raised to fear the Catholic Church in general and priests in particular. She almost passed out from anxiety when she had to meet with a priest due to my aunt marrying a Catholic. Paradoxically, we later found out that she had secretly desired to be a Catholic from a young age. From her late teens, she was a non-practicing Mormon. (Preacher kid syndrome--yup, clerical marriage is SUCH a good idea--sarcasm off.) Anyway, she was always supportive of me becoming a Catholic and becoming a priest.
When the relics of the Little Flower made their world tour, one of the stops was Salt Lake City. My mom was by then a secular Carmelite. She helped the Carmelite sister in suburban Salt Lake when the relic stopped at the Carmel before going to the Cathedral. The sister gave mom some Third Class relics that had been touched to the reliquary. Mom gave one to her mother.
That night, my grandmother had a dream of a beautiful woman. When she woke up, the room smelled of roses. She asked my mother what this meant. Explained the rose smell to her and opined that perhaps it meant that she should become a Catholic. Not long afterward, she asked me to baptize her.
Dear St. Therese, thanks for the rose!

I'm back

I returned to Utah from my retreat at the Sacred Heart Retreat House in Alhambra, CA on Friday at 11:30 pm.

The retreat was sponsored by the Southern California chapter of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy. Our retreat master was The Rt. Rev. Edmund McCaffrey, Retired Abbot of Belmont Abbey. He is a great retreat master; solid theology and a most engaging speaking style. (If you ever get a chance to listen to him, make sure you do so.) The other retreatants were a great bunch of guys both young and old. (An acquaintance of mine, Fr. Dan Mode, author of The Grunt Padre was also on this retreat. He is a Navy Chaplain and just finished a year's tour in Afghanistan.) This was the best retreat I have made since attending one with Groeschel in 1995. (Not to mention that I was able to have my yearly In-N-Out Burger fix.)

On Saturday, I spoke at our diocesan religious education congress on the topic of Confession. (Yes, Confession. I don't like the term Reconciliation. It reminds me of check books.) It was nice to see a whole bunch of folks I have known from years past.

On Sunday, Fr. Frank Pavone MEV celebrated and preached at all our Masses. As you can expect, he gave a very powerful homily. We had several visitors to the parish including DGD from The Sci-Fi Catholic (unfortunately, Snuffles stayed home).

On Monday, I went through my snail mail (filled up a trash can with the junk mail) and my email (170).

Yes, the dogs and the conure were happy to see me.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Off on retreat

No posting till next Sunday. I will be away on retreat.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

New high in YouTube low.

BMP at Cristus Vincit has found something that surpasses even "The Star Wars Holiday Special" in crapitude. What is it? Click here to find out. Hint: it involves 'Sr.' Frodo Chidester's congregation (points if anyone can find her actually in the video) and KUMBAYA.

"Man on a Tightrope"

Earlier this week Fox Movie Channel showed a very interesting movie from 1953 by Elia Kazan. "Man on a Tightrope" was about a circus escaping communist Czechoslovakia. I remember seeing it, but not really understanding it, when I was about six. It is well worth watching. Here is what one of the IMDB reviewers had to say,

This is a particularly fine film, but the other users missed an item that I would like to mention. Namely, communism or, rather, the specific type of communism which was practiced within the old Soviet Empire, was a subtle poison to the human spirit. In a critical scene, just before the fatal run across the border, the Circus manager questions a roustabout about his betrayal of his community(the Circus) and everyone whom he ever knew there. This man, with a straight face, announces that he and the other manual laborers are the heart and essence of the circus. Along with the movie audience, the manager(played by veteran actor Frederick March) is shocked that anyone could convince himself that people come to see him and his fellows, not the aerialists, not the lion tamer nor even the clowns. There are no paranoid political rants here, but that form of communism is "busted" for its "divide and conquer" tactics. People took appalling risks to flee communism and this film gives the viewer part of why they were willing to take them. I couldn't imagine then and I can't imagine now that "a higher standard of living" was the reason for this.

Keep an eye out for it an watch it if you get the chance.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Two-Hour Star Wars Holiday Special in only Five Minutes!

Imfamous from 1978! (And you thought Nimoy singing about B. Baggins was bad!) Zuccetto spin to The Sci-Fi Catholic.

Ugly Austrian vestment mystery solved!

Head over to Sacra Cracovia for the TRUTH about the horrible vestments used during the Holy Father's Austrian visit!
Sacra Cracovia is the blog of my friend Jon. Jon is a graduate student in theology at Notre Dame. (This gives me lots of hope for the Theology program there.) Recently, I attended Jon's wedding the holy, lovely, and gracious Monica Q.

Orthometer on the Journey Home

Mark your calendars. I will be on Marcus Grodi's EWTN program, "The Journey Home", on October 15th. (You will be able to see what my poor parishioners have to suffer through.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Coming to my parish

Father Frank Pavone, MEV, founder of Priests for Life, will be celebrating the Holy Mass and preaching on Sunday, September 30th at St. James Parish in Ogden, Utah. Masses are at 8:00 am, 9:30 am, and 11:30 am. Anyone who is in the area is welcome to attend.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

First principle of liturgy:

Liturgy is first and foremost concerned with the worship of God. It is about God.

Corollary to the First Principal:

Liturgy is not about us; our needs, desires, and/or identities.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Out of the mouths of cartoon cats

Zuccetto spin to John Barnes.

Warning on Halloween Costumes

Before you choose a Halloween costume this year, it's important to consider whether it's appropriate. You may feel your costume is creative, but in these politically correct times, you need to take the feelings of others into account! The following costumes have been deemed politically incorrect, so beware.

Raggedy Ann. This costume clearly objectifies women.
Werewolf. Offensive to animal advocates and those with male-pattern baldness.
Cave man. The proper term should be "evolutionarily challenged"; "man" is overtly sexist; also insulting to those in loincloths.
Cop. Authority figures should not be ridiculed.
Grim Reaper. Trivializes death; may also encourage children to use scythes without the necessary supervision.
Napoleon. Offends the French. (In much the same way deodorant does.)
Frankenstein's Monster. Pokes fun at those with psychological or emotional problems, as well as those with identity crises.
Bride of Frankenstein. Extremely offensive to women—they should not be known by, or valued more, merely because of their husbands.
Skeleton. Exhibits an insensitivity toward those with eating disorders.
Angel. Mocks religion and the religious.

Hunchback of Notre Dame. Ridicules those with physical deformities, as well as those suffering from "ligyrophobia," a fear of noise.
Dracula. Endorses the irresponsible practice of transmitting bodily fluids.
Sigmund Freud. Insults those with the lifelong opinion that a cigar is just a cigar.
Flapper. Demeaning to women and tassel salesmen.
Gladiator. Insensitive to cross-dressers.
Cowboy. Encourages violence, cruelty to animals and spontaneous "whooping."
Mafioso (mobster, "wise guy"). Unfairly stereotypes Italian-Americans. OK, actually, fairly stereotypes Italian-Americans, but it's still stereotyping.
Tarzan. Condones mistreatment of minorities and animals. Again, hurtful to those in loincloths.
Ghost. Glorifies the occult.
Witch. Religious persecution. Also pertains to warlocks, Gnostics, conjurers, chiromancers, shamans and Druids.
Leprechaun. Shows contempt for the Irish-American community, as well as the diminutive.
Presidents. Encourages scorn and contempt for authority figures, at least half of whom have no criminal record whatsoever. (See also "Cop.")
Characters from Star Wars. Offensive to Star Trek fans.
Characters from Star Trek. Offensive to Star Wars fans.
Mummy. Offends Egyptians, embalmers and the undead.
Genie. Objectifies women; subjects those who may be "buxom challenged" to ridicule. (Note: Same applies to wenches.)
Pirate. Distasteful to those with hooks for hands and the vision impaired (wearers of eye patches), not to mention parrot owners.
Zombie. Disrespectful of the dead.
Princess. Contributes to myth that women must be "rescued" to live happily ever after (same goes for Snow White); also insulting to certain Jewish-Americans.
Gorilla. Condescending to our friends in the wild kingdom.
Medusa. Exploits animals; sends the wrong message to young girls by implying women are defined by their physical appearance.
Gumby. Ridicules those with disfigurements (especially of the head).
Knight. Offensive to dragons, I imagine.
Baby. Promotes a lack of respect for youth, human life and those who drool voluminously.
Ballerina. Cruelly mocks the short, not to mention the waif-like.
Indian. Native-Americans have been oppressed, slaughtered and persecuted—imitation buckskin and feathers are the final insult.
Devil. Affront to demons and those currently possessed by demons; Satanists are people, too, all right?
Sports Figures. Belittles our heroes.
Convict/Prisoner. See "Sports Figures"—the groups often seem to overlap.
Fairy. Offensive to interior designers and choreographers. (Note: The same guideline applies to sprites and pixies.)
Bandito. Racial stereotype; subtly condones handlebar mustaches.
Headless Horseman. Blatantly sexist; wrongfully pigeonholes equestrians; also involves another physical deformity—offensive to amputees and the headless.
Viking. Endorses razing; in addition, glorifies pillaging and ravishing.
Porky Pig. Insensitive to members of the Jewish-American community (as well as members of Weight Watchers).
Klingon. Unjustly hurtful to illegal, as well as resident, aliens. (See also "Characters from Star Trek.")
Hobo. Derides the economically and hygienically disadvantaged.
Professional wrestlers. Offensive to just about everybody. (See also "Sports Figures.")
Mermaid. Slights women and aquatic life simultaneously.
Daffy Duck. Unkind to those with speech impediments. (Same goes for Elmer Fudd and Barbara Walters.)
Phantom of the Opera. Unfeeling toward those with physical malformations; shows contempt for those committed to ridding the civilized world of musicals.
Ninja. Perpetuates stereotype of Asians; also promotes "lurking."
Albert Einstein. Insulting to those who have a problem comprehending the particle nature of light.
Chinaman. Sexist; racist; upsetting to immigrants and honor students.
Clown. Deeply offensive to Geraldo Rivera.
Aunt Jemima. Racially inflammatory; serves to exacerbate the already incendiary "pancake vs. waffle" debate.
Robin Hood/Merry Men. Suggests an intolerance for those with alternative lifestyles.

(Myself, I am torn between Severus Snape, Vlad the Impaler, and Ray Stanz.)

Zuccetto Spin to Sharon and Emily.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Note: When musicians are applauded at Mass, something bad is going on.

A friend who is possibly more sarcastic than I am told me the following story. He was visiting the parish nearest his house, which is not his parish. The choir (music group, whatever you want to call it) was up front and elevated in a prominent place. At the end of Mass, the entire congregation gave them a rousing round of applause. Paul, on the other hand, had to fight back the urge to ask the priest, "Father, the performance was great. When the heck is Mass?"

Just as the homily is not supposed to be a stand up act, so music at Mass is not a performance. It is an act of prayer and an offering to God. If musicians are applauded, the first question that should be asked is, "What is being done that makes people believe that this is a performance?"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Speaking of California...

A relative of a parishioner was visiting here last weekend. Like his brother, he discovered that it is fun to yank my chain. "Hey Father, what do you think of Martin Luther." "He was a heretic," I replied. "Well, a couple of years ago at a class in (blank), Bishop (name withheld) said that he was a hero and a saint in heaven. What do you think of that?" "That bishop is a heretic too. Luther would have been lucky to make it to Purgatory."

I vaguely remember reading of a mystic who claimed that Luther was in Purgatory and would remain there until the last soul that his doctrine deceived was released.

Luther and the others commonly referred to as reformers were not. They were rebels. The real reformers were people like S. Theresa of Avila, S. Pius V, and S. Charles Borromeo.

"But Father, I saw the Pope wearing an overlay stole...."

I have gotten several emails and comments stating this or, similarly, pointing out that certain important ecclesiastical types do. My initial and enduring response is, "So what. Just because someone important does it, it doesn't make it right." I think most clergy that engage in this abuse do so innocently. They simply are unaware or haven't thought through the rubrics.

The Pope is a different case. As the supreme earthly legislator within the Church, he has the authority to grant himself a dispensation from liturgical law. However, I am told that this is not what is going on when one sees the Pope in an overlay stole. The Pope doesn't bring his own vestments with him when he travels. It is provided by the area which is hosting his visit. Ideally, the papal Master of Ceremonies would provide guidance on this, but as this is Archbishop Marini.... A few years ago, I was at the ordination of a friend in California. It was about to get ugly after the diocesan MC informed me that, "In this diocese, we wear the stole on top." Just then, my Roman trained friend suggested that I do what John Paul II did when confronted with this, wear another stole under the chasuble. I suspect this is what the current Holy Father does when confronted with a similar situation.

(P. S. Be careful not to confuse the papal pallium with an overlay stole.)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Recurrent nightmare

While I have been out of school for 14 years now (I did ten years of post high school education), this time of year always brings back memories of the beginning of the school year.
One memory that jumps to the forefront is the anxiety of starting a new year. Often this was manifested with a dream/nightmare that I had forgotten that school had started and missed the first day/month/ and even once year of school. This still happens on occasion. (It is a great relief to wake up and realize that it isn't true because, heh, I graduated!)
The funny thing is that during my junior year of high school, it actually happened. I forgot to set my alarm and because mom had already left for work, I slept in until 11:00 a. m.. You can't imagine the panic I felt as I woke up and looked at my clock. I think I set a land speed record getting to school that day.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Blogging from behind the Spud Curtain

I am in Boise for a funeral. I will be back (loaded with Utah State Lottery tickets) Wednesday evening.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Pet Peeve: Frisbee Hosts

Perhaps they have made an appearance at your parish or maybe you have encounter them while on vacation. Maybe you thought to yourself, "Why is Father trying to consecrate a Frisbee?" Well, it isn't a Frisbee, it is a Frisbee Host. A Frisbee Host is an extra large host designed to be broken in many parts.

Let me make something perfectly clear. Unlike the Overlay Stole, the Frisbee Host (assuming that it is made of wheat flour and water) is perfectly licit according to the rubrics of the Ordinary Rite. They are used because of the suggestion (note that it is suggested not required) in the GIRM that,

The meaning of the sign demands that the material for the Eucharistic celebration truly have the appearance of food. It is therefore expedient that the eucharistic bread, even though unleavened and baked in the traditional shape, be made in such a way that the priest at Mass with a congregation is able in practice to break it into parts for distribution to at least some of the faithful. Small hosts are, however, in no way ruled out when the number of those receiving Holy Communion or other pastoral needs require it. The action of the fraction or breaking of bread, which gave its name to the Eucharist in apostolic times, will bring out more clearly the force and importance of the sign of unity of all in the one bread, and of the sign of charity by the fact that the one bread is distributed among the brothers and sisters.

Also, I suspect that their is a desire that everyone be able to SEE the principal host. However, like many suggestions in regards to the liturgy, they just don't work in the real world. For example, that all the hosts for a given Mass be consecrated at that Mass. Trust me, this is a can of worms even to try.

"OK Father, then why don't you like it?" First, I think the sign value concern can be adequately addressed by having the host and wine brought up together in the Offertory procession. Secondly, not everything has to be extremely visible. With a real elevation of the Host, the Body may be more than adequately seen. Third, the products of the Frisbee Hosts when broken are very small and/or have sharp edges and points. They are not at all friendly for Communion on the Tongue. Fourth and most importantly, in spite of what their manufactures claim they leave a ton of particles and these particles tend to shoot everywhere. (I suspect this is not a concern for those who push their use.) Traditional communion breads are far more friendly towards Communion on the Tongue (which is the preferred and universal practice of the Latin Rite) and better preserve reverence for the Sacred Species.

(Liturgical Pet Peeves yet to be addressed: Homemade Altar Breads and Junior Klansman Suits.)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins (uncut version)

And here is the uncut version.

Leonard Nimoy's Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

Last week, I presented Bill Shatner's take on Rocket Man. Well I ran across something worse. Spock singing the Ballad of Baggins. I think this could even make Jeffrey Smith long for Charlie the Unicorn.

Caption Contest Results

Here are the results for the caption contest. The winner is Al, aka Bill the Cat, for "SHHHHHHHHH!!!! Be veewy vewy quite, I'm hunting 'HARE'etics!" Every time I read it, I hear it in Fudd voice and can't stop laughing. Al, a Mass will be said for your intention (as long as it has nothing to do with Jeane Kirkpatrick. :) ) Close seconds are: The Caveman for,"Yippie-ki-yay, meus frater" ; Dim Bulb for, "Excuse me, ma'am. Did a whiny Swiss theologian just run by here?" and "I can shoot a copy of McBrien's CATHOLICISM out of the hand of a seminarian at fifty paces" and "When the albino monks fail, they call me."; and Viscount Sir Regular Paul for, "I am their shepherd. They are my flock. Back off." A Mass for the collective intentions of all who participated will also be offered. (Hmmm, I am starting to feel like Dumbledore at the end of the year feast.) A special award to Vincenzo for the the cool picture. He gets a special Mass for his intention. And finally Mass will be offered for Digi's dad because a) she came up with the idea and b) he served our country.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Yet more proof overlay stoles are bad, mmmkay?

Via Argent, a picture of the latest Poncho Ladies (tm) /aka Water Witches/ aka Invalidly Ordained Heretics with Delusions of Grandeur. Notice what they are wearing on top of the ponchos? Nuff said.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Finally a way to deal with skateboarders, in church cellphone users, and liturgical abuses.

Click here to read all about it!

(Zuccetto spin to my sacristan Carl.)

Caption Contest

At the suggestion of The Digital Hairshirt, I am having a caption contest for this picture. You have through August 31st to enter your suggestion. I am the sole judge and first (and only) prize is a Mass offered for your intention.

Use of cassocks by priests in the United States

In relation to a couple of previous posts, an anonymous person claimed that it is not permitted to wear cassocks outdoors. This is a false view. Here is the decree for the USCCB promulgating particular law for clerical dress in the US.

Decree of Promulgation
On November 18, 1998, the Latin Rite de iure members of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops approved complementary legislation for canon 284 of the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Rite dioceses of the United States. The action was granted recognitio by the Congregation for Bishops in accord with article 82 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus and issued by Decree of the Congregation for Bishops signed by His Eminence Lucas Cardinal Moreira Neves, Prefect, and His Excellency Most Reverend Franciscus Monterisi, Secretary, and dated September 29, 1999.

The National Conference of Catholic Bishops, in accord with the prescriptions of canon 284, hereby decrees that without prejudice to the provisions of canon 288, clerics are to dress in conformity with their sacred calling.
In liturgical rites, clerics shall wear the vesture prescribed in the proper liturgical books. Outside liturgical functions, a black suit and Roman collar are the usual attire for priests. The use of the cassock is at the discretion of the cleric.
In the case of religious clerics, the determinations of their proper institutes or societies are to be observed with regard to wearing the religious habit.
As President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, I hereby decree that the effective date of this decree for all the Latin Rite dioceses in the United States will be December 1, 1999.
Given at the offices of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC, on November 1, 1999.
Reverend Joseph A. FiorenzaBishop Of Galveston-Houston
President, NCCB
Reverend Monsignor Dennis M. Schnurr
General Secretary

Friday, August 24, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

1861 Springfield

My Springfield Model 1861 repilca arrived today. Yes, it is a working replica. What am I going to do with it? Shoot it, what else. Anyway, here is a picture of me with it. And a picture of Thomas (the official Orthometer gunboy) and Peter with it.

Pet Peeve: Overlay Stoles

I stole this picture from Gerald over at the Closed Cafeteria. (It is used in a post with the Batshit Crazy worthy title of Der Hippiebunker.) Notice that the celebrant is wearing his stole on top of the chasuble. This is one of my pet peeves and I have intended to write about it for a while.

This is a liturgical abuse that has unfortunately become all too common. The rubrics are quite clear that the stole is to be worn under the chasuble, not on top. The excuses I've heard for this are a) it was designed to be worn like this or b) this way the people can see the beautiful (?) stole. Neither of these hold water. Don't buy or make stoles that are to be worn in an inappropriate fashion. The purpose of the stole is not visibility for the people. Admittedly, this is a relatively minor abuse, but it does foster the attitude that the liturgy is a plaything for people's whims. And so, "Bad Hippie! Wear your stole under the chasuble!"

(Pet peeves coming soon: Frisbee Hosts and Homemade Hosts.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rocket Man!

Bill Shatner doing a spoken word version of "Rocket Man" at a 1970s SciFi film awards ceremony. I have heard his version of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", but this is even worse. Consider it the Plan Nine from Outer Space of lounge acts and the inspiration for his great adds for Priceline.Com.

(Zuccetto spin to The Caveman.)

One word, no explanations

(Tagged by the evil Angela. All bipeds consider yourself tagged.)

1. Yourself: tired.
2. Your spouse: none.
3. Your hair: brown.
4. Your mother: CATHOLIC!
5. Your father: MARINE!
6. Your favorite item: chalice.
7. Your dream last night: next...
8. Your favorite drink: OJ
9. Your dream car: Abrams
10. The room you are in: office
11. Your ex: none.
12. Your fear: Hell.
13. What you want to be in 10 years: monsignor :)
14. Who you hung out with last night: bulldogs.
15. What you're not: patient
16. Muffins: poppyseed.
17: One of your wish list items: cannon.
18: Time: fast
19. The last thing you did: ate.
20. What you are wearing: sloppy
21. Your favorite weather: cool
22. Your favorite book: Bible
23. The last thing you ate: apple
24. Your life: exists.
25. Your mood: tired
26. Your best friend: Jesus
27. What you're thinking about right now: boat
28. Your car: silver
29. What you are doing at the moment: posting
30. Your summer: busy
31. Your relationship status: none
32. What is on your TV: EWTN
33. What is the weather like: not
34. When was the last time you laughed: yesterday

B. O. H. I. C. A.

Pronounced Bow-hee-kah. (Bend Over Here It Comes Again.) Which is exactly what I thought when I read this Dark Horizon post on Bill Maher's latest project.

Maher's "Religious" Christens Easter
By Garth Franklin

Monday August 20th 2007 7:58am

Comedian Bill Maher revealed to Larry King that his new documentary may be called "Religulous" (a combination of religion and ridiculous) and is aiming for a release next Easter. Directed by Larry Charles (Borat), it follows Bill Maher’s take on the current state of world religion and travels to some extreme locations around the world for interviews including Jerusalem, Vatican City and Salt Lake City. Maher says that they were given amazing access to a lot of locations which have never been filmed before including the Wailing Wall, the dome of the rock, and even inside the Vatican. Lionsgate will distribute. A clip of Maher talking about the project is up on Youtube.

Hmm, how sensitive of him to mock us on Easter. (Maher is a notoroius anti-Catholic with a long track record.) I wonder what curial dork let him film inside the Vatican?

Prayer request

Please keep my friend Pete Simon of Boise, Idaho in your prayers. He had a serious stroke this last weekend.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Great Wedding

This past Saturday, I had the privilege of concelebrating the nuptial Mass of my friends Jan and Monica Sikorski. Jan and Monica graduated from Notre Dame this spring and will be working for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend as chastity educators while Jan is pursuing a graduate degree in Theology.
It was a very beautiful and reverent Mass at the Cathedral of the Madeline. The principal celebrant is a member of the Law School faculty at Notre Dame and has the honor of being only the second orthodox Franciscan (OFM) I have ever met. The music was all good. (Dang it! I should have saved the program so I could post exactly what was played--suffice it to say, no Gory & Graze.) At this Mass, the bride's youngest brother Peter (Monica is one of seven) made his First Holy Communion. Oh, and the best man is a seminarian studying at the North American College.
The reception was fun also--first time I have ever heard the Notre Dame Fight Song sung at a wedding reception. Among the attendees were Matt and Emily of the Holy Whapping Shrine. The Catholic conversation was great and the food good; even if the beer was overpriced. (Well, it is Utah.)
Future brides and grooms take note. This is how you should be dressed at your wedding. The bride wore a nice, modest white dress. The groom wore a black tux. (No Madonna/Lounge Lizard wannabees here!)
Update: The bride's mother tells me that the dress was obtained from Beautifully Modest.

Want to help the mining families?

If you would like to help the families impacted by the Crandall Canyon Mine cave-ins, your best bet would be to send donations to the local Catholic parish. (A friend of mine is the pastor and will make sure that the donations are used appropriately.)

Send checks/money orders to:

Notre Dame de Lourdes Parish
160 North Carbon Ave.
Price, Utah 84501

(Specify that the donation is to help the mining families.)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bishop Wester's stament on the latest tragedy at the Crandall Canyon Mine

On behalf of the Catholics of Utah, I wish to express our condolences to the families of the rescue workers who died as a result of the second collapse at the Crandall Canyon Mine, as well as our prayers for the swift recovery of the rescue workers and Mining Safety and Health Administration officials who were injured.
Our prayers are with all of those affected; the original six trapped miners and their families; the families of the victims of the most recent collapse; rescue workers who put their lives at risk for the sake of their brothers; and the entire mining community who are suffering through this terrible series of events.
If any good can come from these tragedies, it is our hope it will be a heightened awareness and appreciation of those who risk their lives daily in dangerous occupations for the benefit of all, and a renewal of our resolve to support increased safety in the places in which they work.

+ The Most Reverend John C. Wester
Bishop of Salt Lake City