Monday, June 25, 2007

Lucky 13

Today is the thirteenth anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. Here are a couple of photos. They show my fellow ordinands and myself with our ordaining prelate, Bishop William Weigand now of Sacramento, and our retired bishop of happy memory, Joseph Lennox Federal. I am celebrating two Novus Ordo Masses in Latin ad orientem. (I am the one with glasses and the mustache.)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Oh no!

Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
dead (6x)
death (3x)
punch (2x)
dangerous (1x)

Zuccetto Spin to: Ironic Catholic

This strike anyone else as more than a bit odd

This hit the news a couple of days ago:

California Jesuit Priest, Long-Time Friend, Missing in Oregon
The pair was traveling together in a 2005 Toyota Corolla 4-door sedan, maroon in color, bearing California license plates 5MKN560.
Police in Oregon are seeking information on the whereabouts of 52-year-old David Schwartz and 61-year-old Cheryl Gibbs. Photo: Portland Police
(PORTLAND, Ore. ) - On June 19th, Detectives from the Portland Police Bureau Missing Persons Unit received information from law enforcement in California seeking information on the whereabouts of 52-year-old David Schwartz and 61-year-old Cheryl Gibbs.
Both are long time friends last seen traveling together in Portland on Thursday, June 7th.
David Schwartz is a Jesuit Priest who resides in Orange County, California and Cheryl Gibbs is a longtime governmental employee who resides in Alameda County, California. The two are described as long-time friends of over 20 years.
Through investigation, Portland Police detectives have confirmed the pair was last seen at a local hotel on June 7th.
They never arrived to any of their subsequent scheduled lodging reservations, did not arrive home as planned and have not been seen or heard from since. Family and friends report neither has a history of being out of contact or failing to show up to their respective jobs.
Their whereabouts are currently unknown and investigators have no evidence they left the Portland area. There is no evidence of foul play. Schwartz is described as a white male, 52 years old, 5’9", 145 pounds, balding on top with short brown hair and blue eyes. He may be wearing glasses.
Gibbs is described as a white female, 61 years old, 5’8", 200 pounds, with short, reddish-brown hair and green eyes. She wears wire-rimmed glasses.
They were traveling together in a 2005 Toyota Corolla 4-door sedan, maroon in color, bearing California license plates 5MKN560. The vehicle is currently missing.
Anyone with information is asked to call 9-1-1 or contact the Portland Police Missing Persons Detective Mike Weinstein, Portland Police Bureau, Missing Persons Unit at (503) 823-0446.

What is a priest doing travelling alone with a woman who is not his close relative? Even if nothing sinful is going on, it is not horribly prudent. In any case, pray that they are found alive and well.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday. I am going to pretend I am a good son and take her to the movies.

Liturgical training poster

Based on the preceding, this should be kept in mind.
(Update: In answer to several questions: no this photo was not photo-shopped. The original can be found here.)

For those who are missing The Sopranos

Thanks to Matt Abbott, pictures of 'liturgical dancers' at this Franciscan Jubilee Mass have been making the web-rounds. One has wonder about what kind of idiot would approve, encourage, or tolerate this in the Sacred Liturgy. I wonder where they got their inspiration for this; Tony's club on The Sopranos? Maybe we should call it the 'Bada Bing! Mass'.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Napoleon Bonamite

Weird Al -- Weasel Stomping Day

New parish baby

Miss Abigail Grace saying her prayers.

And now for some DIFFERENT stained glass

A local stained glass artist, Jenkyn Powell, does very nice work. (He did the four evangelist window over the door to our new church and will be doing four large stained glass windows of the saints.) But, I found out, he also did some windows for the home of the famed SF/Fantasy director Ray Harryhausen which show scenes for some of his movies. Check them out here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A very important principle of church architecture:

Never use the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant as your design inspiration. (Photo of the most expensive church in the US--WTH?--via Cafeteria Gerald.)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Stained glass bleg

As part of the process of decorating our new church, we are looking at acquiring a series of windows representing the Seven Sacrament. Does anyone have a reference for traditional symbols of the Sacraments?

Coronation Anniversary

On this day in 1888, Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, was crowned King of Prussia and Emperor of Germany.

Fun blogging trick

Got this from Ad Dominum:

Grab the book that is closest to you.
Open it to page 161.
Find the fifth full sentence.
Post the text of the sentence.
Don't search around for the coolest or most impressive book you have: use the one that really is closest to you.

Whew, glad I had shelved the trash books. It turned out to be The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton:

"Look at him now; he looks like an angelic office boy."

"Batshit Crazy" award for best post title

goes to Christus Vincit for the post Turds versus Tobin.

Screaming Monkey

I received a couple of these for my birthday; one for the office and one for the rectory. They are great fun. You can shoot them at people at hey scream. Also, if a telemarketer calls, bang em against the phone and they scream. Get yours here.

Motu mania!

The famous Fr. Z has a couple of post pointing at the immanent arrival of the Motu Proprio on the Traditional Rite. If his intelligence is correct, it may be out before the papal summer camp at Castle Gandolfo.

I am almost sad to see it arrive. No, I still think it will be a very good thing for the Church. However, it will spell an end to much fun and speculation in the Roman Blogosphere. There could have been some great parodies. Think about Mr. Motu, a Japanese detective searching for the Motu in the bowels of the translation office. Or how about Baron Motu, nemesis of Marvel's Dr. Strange and secret force behind old-ICEL, using occult powers to distort the translation. Or imagine Monty Python doing a sketch in which the Spanish Inquisition Cardinals play there own version of Marco Polo with the Motu. "Motu!" "Proprio!" Alas, it looks as though it is not meant to be.

Sci-Fi Geekdom and Catholicism

Check out the new addition to the Orthometric Blogroll The Sci Fi Catholic. I have always been a Sci-Fi geek. You just gotta love the stuff. I am constantly amazed, however, by how common this is among serious Catholics. One might think that the strong anti-religious and anti-Christian strain in a lot of Sci-Fi and Fantasy would mitigate against this. (In younger days, I was very put off by the strong Neo-Pagan element in Sci-Fi fandom and fanish organizations like the SCA.) Anyway, check out this interesting site. He has some very good posts on the "Is Harry Potter a tool of Satan?" topic. Also, the blogger is now a fellow Utard. (I am trying to figure out what parish he goes to from the hints in his posts.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bunny Hard!

Click here to watch. (Warning! Like the original, this parody has bad language.)
Preview: the bunnies are taking on Napoleon Dynamite next!

Thanks for the prayers!

To all you all who prayed from my mother, many thanks! She came through the surgery well and there was no cancer. Praise be Our Lord Jesus Christ!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Prayer request

With her permission, I am asking you to include my mother, Kristen, in your prayers. On this upcoming Tuesday, she will be undergoing surgery for something that could be fairly serious. Also, due to her MS, any surgery is more difficult than normal. Thanks in advance. (BTW, in my Mother's Day post list of the rotten things I put her through, I forgot to mention that I broke her nose when I was an infant. Threw my head back and BANG!)

"So Father, what do you think about the Motu?"

Unless you have been living under a rock or in a small town in rural Utah for the last couple of years, you have heard that the Holy Father is planning on issuing a document liberalizing, to an unknowing extent, the ability of Latin Rite priests to celebrate the Classical Roman Rite, commonly known as the Tridentine Mass, without seeking permission from the local ordinary (usually the diocesan bishop). Reaction has varied from breathless anticipation to pure horror. There has also been a healthy dose of skepticism as to when or if it would ever be issued. The Famous Father Z (no relation to Teddy) assures us that it is at the translators now and should be issued soon (in the non-eschatological sense).

I have been asked by several parishioners what I think about this. (Considering that I occasionally celebrate the Novus Ordo in Latin, it shouldn't have been hard to guess my opinion.) I have answered that I think it is a very good thing. Then I explain what I mean because odds are several of them think this mean I want to jump in a time machine and return to the magically pre-1965 golden age. Well, there was no such thing and even if there was, we could not go back even if we wanted to.

It was a colossal mistake to effectively suppress the Classic Rite in 1970. Not only did it feed the fires of those who reject II Vatican, but it also deprived the faithful of their legitimate liturgical heritage. This heritage is founded in tradition that had been guided and protected over centuries by the Church. Is it the most perfect expression of Christian worship? No, if this were the case, then why would need other rites within the Church? We also would not have needed the periodic reforms that have occurred throughout Church history. But it is the heritage of the Latin West and chucking it out wholesale was imprudent to say the least.

Good arguments can be made the the Consilium went far beyond the reforms mandated by the last Council. But, no legitimate argument can be made that Paul VI lacked the authority to implement the Novus Ordo. (Prudence is an entirely different issue. I would have kept the Ad Orientem, a singular Canon (the Roman of course), and detailed rubrics at least. But, as we said in the military, those decisions were made above my pay grade.) We cannot, and should not, pretend that the Novus Ordo does not exist. Nor can we wave a magic want and restore a magical liturgical Never-Never-land. What can be done is to restore the opportunity to celebrate the Classical Rite in the generous manner envisioned by John Paul II in Ecclesia Dei, but most often frustrated at the local level.

I think this will restore a general attitude of worship and reverence within the Latin Rite; the vision of the liturgy as a thing of God, not a plaything for us to 'express ourselves'. Exposure to the Classical Rite may lead to a helpful correction of the defects in the practice of the Novus Ordo. (I believe that this is what Pope Benedict hopes for.) I hope that I live to see the day when more of the Mass is celebrated in the universal language of the Rite and said ad orientem. (Newsflash BTW: the Mass was never said with the priest's back to the people. He was facing the same direction as they were. He was leading them in prayer addressed to God. Facing the congregation leads to the unfortunate psychological message that the prayers are addressed to them.) Eventually, this may lead to a return to the organic development of the liturgy rather than the artificial, academically derived ex machina approach of the Consilium.

What will be the response of the clergy? I can't think of many in my own diocese who will be interested in or able to celebrate the Classical Rite. What will be the response of the laity? I don't know, but I expect that it will be less than some hope for and more than some expect. I hope they will at least have the opportunity to experience it at its best.

In short, I for one welcome the Motu and expect it to have a positive effect on the Church. However, no one should think of it as a panacea.

(Excuse my while I put on my asbestos cassock before the flaming starts.)

Who would be surprised?

(Via Called By Name)
/>You scored as Roman Catholic, You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic


Neo orthodox


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan




Classical Liberal






Reformed Evangelical


Modern Liberal


What's your theological worldview?
created with

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Dare to be stupid!

New addition to the Orthometric Blogroll Ad Dominum has a post about some bat-shit-crazy Southern Baptists who thought it was a good idea for their church to host racist karaoke with three white guys in black face 'singing' along with prerecorded hymns sung by black singers. These folks are either a) racist jerks b) stupid beyond belief, in either case they deserve some type of creative punishment that ought not to be mentioned in public.

Sometimes stupidity is awe-inspiring. When I was in elementary school back in the polyester days of the 70s, our school had a Black History Month program. This was back when Utah was even more Caucasian than it is now. The second grade teacher thought it would a good idea and appropriate for her students to sing minstrel songs in black face. My teacher was struck dumb by the dumbness of it all. I still remember her talk to our class about why this was wrong.

Required blogger reading (good for others too)

Jeffrey Smith, would be slayer of the unicorn, over at Roving Medievalist has a thoughtful and helpfully blunt post on the state of the Catholic Blogosphere. (Heck, you have to read any post entitled "Bat Shit Crazy!") While the main thrust of Roving Medievalist is posting beautiful photos of things medieval (without the usual romanticized nonsense usually attached to the Middle Ages), when Jeffrey make a comment, it is always worth reading and taking seriously even if you do not agree with it. In this post he takes to task what could be called the traditionalist fringe of St. Blog. There is a complete analysis of this faction. He concludes with this, "We also have something else. We have the soft-spoken ordinary Catholics who tend to be drowned out by the cacophony produced by a hundred two-bit, tin-horn, little anti-popes all in full bellow about why they're right. As far as I'm concerned, we should all cut the crap and join them. Maybe the Catholic blogosphere might start being more help than hindrance, then. Maybe we should all just stop trying to have our own way and just be Catholics." Great point, especially because we all need to fight the tendency, if only in our own minds, to remake the Church in our own image.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The moral from today's first Mass reading

Don't let birds poop in your eyes. (No, I am not kidding. See Tobit 2:9-14 )

Junk Science is, well, junk science.

The Roving Medievalist, in addition to his attempt at pulling a Tony Soprano on Charlie, also mentions a Rocco Palma report that Vatican attempts to lessen its infamous carbon footprint. He hopes that, "this sort of thing might lessen the half-assed, Limbaughesque buffoonery we tend to hear in the American Catholic blogosphere, but I doubt it. Some of these people would never even consider the opinion of any Pope as equal to that of Fox News." I doubt it too. Not because I embrace the dual Papal/Fox Magisterium of some of my brothers in the GOP, but because I have yet to be persuaded that Human Caused Global Warming is a fact. Certainly, there are some dopes out there who will reject anything not in line with their conservative ideology, but many of us recognize the current Global Warming hysteria as another attempt by the left to advance their ideology through suspect science. The harm of this will be the people who say, "see even the Vatican believes in Global Warming." The problem is that the Church has no special competency when it comes to science and bad science can do a lot of harm. Want an example? Look at all the lives that were and are being lost to malaria due to the DDT hysteria of the 60s and 70s.

Reports of his death are premature

The Roving Medievalist, having put a hit out on one of this blog's unofficial mascots, Charlie the Unicorn, and his two tormentors, has reported their demise and head delivery at the hands of one Bill the Cat. Fortunately for Charlie, the heads are actually left over from Bill's "My Little Pony Massacre" of 1987. While the whereabouts of Blue and Pink are unknown, Charlie is now in the Internet Witness Protection program.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

More weirdness comes to Utah (as if we needed it)

You may have read about it before. U2charist has come to Utah. "The special event, part of a worldwide movement, would combine the music and lyrical messages of the Irish rock band with church liturgy - all in an effort to raise awareness about and meet the needs of the world's poorest." (In normal language, an Episcopal 'eucharist' with Bono music and DANCING! Yippee! Just what the Episcopalians need; more 'relevance'.) I am just waiting for some numb-skull to have a U2Mass.

(Read the Salt Lake Tribune article.)

Gay Agitprop Weekend in Utah

This weekend, the mainstream media subjected the Beehive State to a steady stream of gushing reports on Utah Pride Fest, a three day festival celebrating a lifestyle based in sexual perversity. No, I am not talking about those folks who struggle, sometimes heroically, with same sex attraction disorder. Rather this is celebrating and promoting the lifestyle of those who have given in to this disorder and made it the be all, end all, and center of their existence. (I had to chaperone one of these when I worked for the Salt Lake Parks Department in the 80s.) This is part of an ongoing effort to desensitize the public to deviance. Of course, all the media reports have been (and will be positive). There will be no mention of leather queens or chickenhawking. Oh well, at least we don't have the Rainbow Sash types.

Yesterday was birthday #42

Yup, June 2, 1965, a date which will live in infamy. I was born at 10:56 pm in Cedar City, Utah. Here are some other things that have happened on June 2nd in history (courtesy of Wikipedia).

455 - The Vandals enter Rome, and plunder the city for two weeks.
575 - Benedict I becomes Pope.
657 - St. Eugene I becomes Pope.
1098 - Crusader forces breach the city walls of Antioch.
1774 - Intolerable Acts: The Quartering Act, requiring American colonists to let British soldiers into their homes, is reenacted.
1793 - Jean-Paul Marat recites the names of 29 people to the French National Convention. Almost all of these are guillotined, followed by 17,000 more over the course of the next year during the Reign of Terror.
1800 - First smallpox vaccination in North America, at Trinity, Newfoundland.
1835 - P. T. Barnum and his circus begins their first tour of the United States.
1855 - The Portland Rum Riot occurs in Portland, Maine.
1886 - U.S. President Grover Cleveland marries Frances Folsom in the White House, becoming the only president to wed in the executive mansion.
1896 - Guglielmo Marconi receives a patent for his newest invention: the radio.
1924 - U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signs Indian Citizenship Act into law, granting citizenship to all Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the United States.
1953 - Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, the first to be televised.
1965 - Vietnam War: The first contingent of Australian combat troops arrives in South Vietnam. 1966 - Surveyor program: Surveyor 1 lands in Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon, becoming the first US spacecraft to soft land on another world.
1967 - The Beatles release their landmark Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album in the USA, a day after it is released in the UK.
1979 - Pope John Paul II visits his native Poland, becoming the first Pope to visit a Communist country.
1990 - Lower Ohio Valley Tornado Outbreak spawns 88 confirmed tornados in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, killing 9. Petersburg, Indiana was the hardest-hit town in the outbreak, with 6 deaths.
1995 - United States Air Force Captain Scott O'Grady's F-16 is shot down over Bosnia while patrolling the NATO no-fly zone.
1998 - The CIH computer virus is discovered in Taiwan.
2003 - Europe launches its first voyage to another planet, Mars. The European Space Agency's Mars Express probe launches from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan.


926 - Murakami, Emperor of Japan (d. 967)
1535 - Pope Leo XI (d. 1605)
1731 - Martha Washington, First American first lady (d. 1802)
1740 - Marquis de Sade, French author (d. 1814)
1743 - Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, Sicilian Occultist (d. 1795)
1773 - John Randolph, U.S. Senator from Virginia (d. 1833)
1835 - Pope Pius X (d. 1914)
1840 - Thomas Hardy, English writer (d. 1928)
1904 - Johnny Weissmuller, American swimmer and actor (d. 1984)
1930 - Pete Conrad, American astronaut (d. 1999)
1936 - Sally Kellerman, American actress
1937 - Jimmy Jones (singer), American singer and songwriter
1940 - King Constantine II of Greece
1941 - Stacy Keach, American actor
1943 - Charles Haid, American actor
1948 - Jerry Mathers, American actor
1955 - Dana Carvey, American actor and comedian
1960 - Kyle Petty, American race car driver
1972 - Wayne Brady, American actor and comedian

829 - Saint Nicephorus, Patriarch of Constantinople (b. 758)
910 - Richilde of Provence, Queen of Western Francia
1418 - Katherine of Lancaster, wife of Henry III of Castile
1567 - Shane O'Neill, Irish chieftain
1581 - James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, regent of Scotland
1941 - Lou Gehrig, American baseball player (b. 1903)
1979 - Jim Hutton, American actor (b. 1934)
1990 - Jack Gilford, American actor (b. 1908)
1990 - Rex Harrison, English actor (b. 1908)
1992 - Phillip Dunne, American film director (b. 1908)
2001 - Imogene Coca, American actress (b. 1908)
2006 - Vince Welnick, musician, keyboardist (The Grateful Dead) (b. 1951)