Monday, December 27, 2010

Pilgrimage To The Holy Land.

Yes, it is still on, but we went with a different travel agency and it is now during mid-March. Shoot me an email if you want more information.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Survived...

the hellish journey through ice, sleet, snow, and blizzard back from Oregon. I have only one question: are there no snowplows at all in Idaho?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christ, King Of The Universe.

I have emerged from my Zombie-apocalypse bunker and am disappointed to find out that it has not occurred--yet! Just you wait. I will be ready for it.

Seriously, since I have a visiting priest in the parish, I have taken the opportunity to drive up to the People's Republic of Oregon to visit my old stomping grounds at Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary. I hadn't seen the place since the new administration/classroom building and the bell-tower on the Abbey Church were built. They and the new landscaping are both impressive. Even more impressive is the full enrollment at the seminary and the gentlemen who are visiting the Abbey to investigate monastic life. (The weather is, of course, wet. I feel my vestigial gills return and am developing the Innsmouth look.)

The strangest think about Oregon is not being able to pump your own gas. It is a safety issue they say. I know that I feel safer having a minimum wage pro pump my gas.

The best thing about a visit to Mt. Angel is praying with the monk. (I sometimes wish that I had a monastic vocation, but I don't. I can't picture being father laundry master for the rest of my life.) There was a beautiful Mass today in the Abbey Church as we celebrated Christ the King.

Please remember that Christ is our King and we are His subject. His power and authority are His. They do not come from us. We do not have to consent to it and we don't elect him. Before Him ever power and authority must bow and submit. All power, honor, and glory is His! Amen.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Something I Thought I Would Never See...

but I am glad I did: Cheech Marin as priest. (With guns no less.)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

While You Are At It...

CNS reports on a summit between bishops and Catholic media professionals. In it, USCCB communications committee chairman, Los Angeles auxiliary bishop, and bishop president of Pax Christi in the USA, Gambino Zavala says the following,

"As I talked with brother bishops in preparation for this presentation, there was consistent agreement that one aspect that is most alarming to us about media is when it becomes un-Christian and hurtful to individuals," he said. "We are particularly concerned about blogs that engage in attacks and hurtful judgmental language. We are very troubled by blogs and other elements of media that assume the role of magisterium and judge others in the church."

Very interesting. While we should be loving and charitable when possible, we should value the truth of Revelation more than people's feelings. What is even more interesting is that this comes after decades of silence on the part of the bishops concerning the behavior of the professional Catholic media. Where was the concern over the NCR, US Catholic et al distorting and undermining the Faith, while viciously attacking anyone they considered to be 'pre-conciliar'? Not only was there a lack of concern, but rather positive support of dissenting media. How many dioceses have advertised for jobs in the NCR? I wonder what is operative is something similar to what happens in the secular media; that the professionals see their monopoly crumbling and their ideological agenda crumbling. Yes, the bishops (and the rest of us) should be concerned about the new media and Christian behavior. But, it is all rings a little hollow when the lack of action on the old media is considered.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Freedom Of Navigation Exercise.

Being a child of the 80s, I remember well the periodic confrontations between the US Navy and Libya in the Gulf of Sidra. The US has a policy of challenging limits placed on navigation which are excessive and not in accord with international law. Goofball Muammar Gaddafi had claimed the Gulf of Sidra as territorial waters, the US challenged that claim, and Libya lost several aircraft and ships over the decade.

Why am I talking about this? Because this is how I view certain liturgical actions. Not long ago, one of my deacons asked why we don't distribute Holy Communion under both species at our 6:00 p. m. Mass even when one of the deacons is present. I told him that it was to make clear that Holy Communion under one species is perfectly valid. (Last year during the Swine Flu scare, many of my parishioners opined that they felt they hadn't received all of Jesus if they only received the Host: catechetical failure!) Let's be clear on this, a requirement for the laity to receive under both species is the heresy of Utraquism.

Other liturgical practices, not required but laudable, can also come under Freedom of Navigation. Use of the Confiteor, wearing a cassock, biretta, zucchetto, maniple, using the Roman Canon,using black vestments, and celebrating the Extraordinary Form of the Mass all come to mind. It is important that these optional things that drive the liturgical establishment be done in order to demonstrate that they can be done. (I could argue from other points that they should be done.) A right which is not exercised is a right soon lost.

Monday, July 26, 2010

By The Company They Keep.

The Curt Jester has posted an especially good fisk and analysis of an article on a (former) Roman Catholic Woman(non)Priest in Oregon. (Read it especially for the truth about a 1976 Pontifical Biblical Commission report on women's ordination that the chicks-with-pyx habitually misrepresent.)

Anyway, it contains a link to the Water Witches' website. I looked through there western region sub-site to see if there was an local activity (there isn't--yet) and if I knew any of the Poncho Gals in Oregon (I don't, which surprises me considering some of the lay women who took classes at the sem). But I did spy an interesting name on their list--Rod Stephens. For those who don't know, Ram Rod (the origin of his unfortunate nick-name will quickly become apparent) is a laicized and excommunicated priest formerly of the Diocese of Orange. While he was the head of the office of liturgy, he was more well-known for cohabitating with his homosexual partner while still an active priest. (They even sent out joint holiday cards.) While he may be one of the girls, it is interesting that he is considered a Woman(non)Priest. Their is a note on the list that explains, "RCWP has accepted a few male priests to their membership who work closely with their ministries."

What is important to note is that the Poncho Gals don't just dissent from the Church teaching in one area. Their heresy has metastasized, as is usual road of dissent.

How to Survive an Alien Attack

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Parish Coolness.

My parish is the coolest! Paul Simon, Donna Reed, and James Brown are parishioners. (OK, not the famous ones, but parishioners none the less.) Our First Communion teacher is a cousin of Frank Caliendo. One of my secretaries is a descendant of Robert E. Lee. And I just found out that our new DRE is descended from one of the mob at Carthage Jail and also the blacksmith that made the first Bowie knife. (This is not to mention that the pastor is a cousin of Fae Wray, Ezra Taft Benson, and John Wilkes Booth and descended from St. Mathilda.)

Parish Talk.

For those of you in the Utah area, Dr. Regis Martin, Professor of Theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, will be speaking on the Church at St. James the Just Parish in Ogden, Utah on Saturday, July 24 at 7:00 p. m..

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sr. Mary Joseph, R. I. P.

Please pray for the soul of Sr. Mary Joseph Wipperman, OCD of the Carmel of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Holladay, Utah. Sister was the extern and a convert from Mormonism. She passed away last night.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Isn't That The Point Of Tradition?

California Catholic Daily is reporting that the Diocese of Orange is going ahead with plans for a new cathedral. And from the comments, it will more like the Los Angeles armadillo or the Oakland cooling tower than the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadeloupe or the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Houston. This is not surprising that the architect is the same one that was used in Oakland. Great another ugly, modern church. No, I am not certain, but I would bet money on it. The ethos of modern architecture is opposed to an orthodox theology of church architecture.

Three specific things occur to me about this. First, given that the bishop will likely be retiring soon, wouldn't it be better to allow his successor to guide the whole project? Second, the diocese states that they don't want to 'copy the past'. In one sense, this could be good. After all, it likely wouldn't be a good idea to replica St. Peter's in Santa Anna. However, the meaning seems more like, "We don't want past architectural principles to inform and guide our current effort." This doesn't seem to be very Catholic to me. It speaks more of an ethos of rupture and discontinuity than one of continuity and tradition. Third, the primary concerns in design seem to be environmentalism, ethnic sensitivity, and ecumenism. While none of these are bad per se, I would think that authentic Catholic worship and iconography would be more important.


Before I get to the meat of this post, let me explain why I haven't been posting much. At first there was the end of the school year stuff. Then there was getting ready for and going on my trip to Annapolis. Then catching up from the trip. Add to this getting ill a couple of times. On top of all of this, most of the stuff I was pondering (no Pinky, not taking over the world) were things that I cannot publicly discuss. (Nothing bad, just confidential things.) Anyway, as Sam said to Rosie, I am back.

The other day at coffee following morning Mass, the topic of theatricality during Mass, especially during homilies, came up. To be quite honest (as a long time readers could no doubt guess), everything else being equal I don't like it. Worship isn't about entertainment or expressing ourselves. It isn't about us. It is about God, what He has, is, and will do for us. It is about the Gospel. I guess this is my fundamental objection to using mime, theater, or artsy-fartsy stuff at church especially during Mass. It becomes a performance. Look at me, look at us, and not behold your God. This is the fundamental flaw of modern liturgical praxis, it encourages showmanship: a personal connection with the people. There should be a personal connection but not between the celebrant, homilies, musicians, etc... and the people. But between Christ and the people. This is why more and more I am convinced that ad orietem isn't just a nice idea, but essential. The Lord must be allowed to work in the liturgy without us getting in the way.

And get in the way we do. During our coffee talk, many examples of theatrically were brought up. The funny thing was that while people could remember the cute gimmick, no one could remember what, if any, point was trying to be conveyed. My personal opinion is that most of the time the gimmick becomes and end in itself. A story is told in the homily because the homilist thinks he is supposed to tell a story. I know a priest that tells a joke during every homily, no matter whether or not it has any bearing on the topic. Ultimately, I think stuff like this betrays a desire for personal acclaim. This doesn't mean that this and other tricks can't be used occasionally and very effectively (with the exception of mimes, clowns, and puppets, giant or otherwise, that have absolutely no place in the liturgy: period.) But before they are used, those using them should be absolutely certain that they convey and don't obstruct the message. Think of Bishop Sheen or Father Corapi. Every story conveys the message and even if it is a personal story it isn't about them, it is about the Gospel.

So ultimately, my advice is get over yourself and get into Jesus.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Friday, July 02, 2010

I'm Just Saying....

I Do Not Like The Cone Of Shame.

Pilgrimage Reminder.

Just a reminder that I am leading a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in February 2011. While it is associated with the Equestrian Order, it is not limited to member and it is open to people from outside of Utah. (You know you want to come!) The particulars may be found be clicking here.

Things I Have Learned.

The first one became evident during the first six months in our new church: never put a lavatory next to a confessional. There is something wrong with hearing a flush while giving absolution.

As for number two, expiration dates on sunblock should actually be taken seriously. Previously I discovered that if sunblock freezes, the active ingredient separates. (This leads to a tiger stripe effect.) But while sailing last week, I found out that the active ingredient can become passive over time.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

A Blessed Feast of S. Boniface.

Time to destroy some pagan idols! Which brings me to a couple of points:

1) Should we celebrate this feast by chopping down a tree?

2) Is S. Boniface the patron of loggers?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me!

Yup, today is the big 4-5. I am at home chillin' with the Overlords in gloriously dry and cool Utah.

BTW, I went with the Henry Repeating Arms Big Boy in .45 Colt.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Off To The Center Of Bureaucratic Evil!

Yes, I am headed back to our nation's capital. (Pray I don't moon the chief executive. I really don't want to end up on the nightly news.) The principal reason for the trip is to attend the Naval Academy Graduation and Commissioning Week. (A young man from my parish is among the graduates. Jake is going to be flying copters for the USMC!) I am not sure who the speaker is except that it isn't the POTUS as he spoke there last year. (I am hoping for Biden, so I can see him put his foot in his mouth. Something like, "Midshipmen, this is a big f***ing deal!")

Anyhow, my social secretary, the Crescat, is arranging a blognic. As soon as I have details, I will post them. I will also attempt to celebrate (con-celebrate if I must) Mass at the National Shrine next Sunday.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Blessed Saint Erik's Day.

Yes, today is the feast of Saint Erik of Sweden, King and Martyr. (No, I am not making this up.) The picture is of his relics which are in the Lutheran occupied cathedral in Uppsala. Oh to liberate them!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Why Do Things Pop Into Your Mind?

Even though I haven't seen it since it went off the air in '75, the theme from "Honk Kong Phooey" keeps rolling through my brain.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Vote Like You're From Chicago.

Go to the Crescat and vote for Orthometer frequently, repeatedly, and illegally. That is all.

Oriental Spam.

I wish Blogger would add an option blocking posting in oriental characters. I am getting tired of deleting the spam.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Happy Kick-A-Commie Day!

What? Did you expect me to celebrate a Socialist holiday?

Who Do You Serve?

What is follow a vocation, particularly a clerical or religious vocation, all about? Often times it will be answered as serving people, all people or only God's people. Wrong. As laudable as serving people may be, that is philanthropy not the Christian vocations. The Christian, particularly the cleric or religious, serves God first and foremost. "Love God above all things." Then because God loves all people, pleasant or not, like ourselves or not, we then love and serve those God loves. I believe a lack of primary focus on God is responsible for much of the trouble the Church, her members, and her institutions find themselves in. God must be our intense, primary focus so that His grace can flow to us and through us into the world.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wanted: Media Van Helsing.

Some things in the media just won't die. They keep coming back and back like Jason Voorhees. Case in point, "Sex in the City", an horrid series that is now back for a second turn on the big screen. The only thing that is reasonable to conclude is that it, and its reality show cousins "American Idol" and "Dancing with the Stars" are some kind of media undead. This calls for extreme measures. Calling Dr. Van Helsing.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Portraying The Lord In Art.

While serving an internship year as a deacon, I ran across an item in the paper about ethnically appropriate Jesus dolls. There was Asian Jesus, White Jesus, Black Jesus, and Hispanic Jesus. I almost choked on my oatmeal. I read the article to the pastor who just shock his head and added, "How about Jewish Jesus?" They didn't have one of those.

One of the greatest temptations of our age, and I suspect of all ages, is to tailor Jesus and the Faith to fit our preconceptions; Cafeteria Jesus as it were. This spills over into the depictions of Our Lord in art. Around the year 2000, the Distorter had a contest for a Jesus for the New Millenium. The winner would best have titled Ambiguous Jesus; ambiguous both in race and sex. The so-called Christian Identity movement picks up on the Nazi non-sense that Jesus was part of an Aryan colony around Galilee that resisted the evil Jews. They liked the blonde haired blue eyed Jesus of many of last century's holy cards. Then there is the Black Jesus behind the altar of St. Sabina in Chicago. The list could go on and on. The fundamental reality of Jesus is that He was truly man and His human nature was genetically Jewish. And this is how he should be depicted in art. Mind you, this leaves a lot of room for variation. However, I doubt He looked Swedish, Sub-Saharan African, or Chinese.

While we are on the topic, let's remember that Jesus was an historic person. 'Modern Dress' (or as I like to call them Leisure Suit) Jesus' are not at all appropriate. Don't get me started with the portrayals of Our Lord in "Godspell" or "Superstar". Jesus is God in human flesh. He is not a figure for entertainment, social critique, or even satire, which is my favorite form of humor. (The "South Park" portrayal makes me especially nervous.) Our Lord should always be treated with the utmost respect and reverence and in a manner as close to the Gospel accounts, informed by good history, as possible.

What did Jesus look like? No one really knows, though, being a believer in the Shroud of Turin, I suspect that He looked like that. Moreover, traditional Byzantine iconography depicts Him in a very similar fashion.

Learn More About One Of Earth Day's Founders.

Ira Einhorn.

Happy Earth Day!

I am celebrating by cutting down a tree, using Styrofoam cups, flushing twice, idling my car, taking multiple long showers, and feeding beans to the Overlords.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pilgrimage To The Holyland.

Want to come with me to visit the Holyland? I will be leading a pilgrimage there on February 7-18 of 2011. For a link to the pilgrimage flyer, click here. This promises to be very good. The travel agency and guide have done many pilgrimages for the Western USA Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and I have had nothing but rave reviews of them.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Best Werewolf Movie Ever!

Allow me to recommend the following; British Soldiers battling werewolves. It has a great plot, cast, and effects. Yes, it has gore, but not gore for gore's sake. It will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Wheel Of Penance!

No, I am not talking about either a medieval torture device or the new game-show on EWTN. It is a figment of my imagination that pops up every now and again when I am hearing Confessions. Sometimes, I am at a loss as to what penance to give a penitent. Often I fall back on the usual one decade of the Rosary or a Divine Mercy Chaplet. But wouldn't it be more interesting if there was a roulette wheel that people could spin for their penance? I can just see it now. "One more click please. One more click and I get one Hail Mary. Dang it! Detail the priest's car again!"

While we are one the subject of penance, let me point out that the penance is supposed to be a just one. Often one hears that Father So and So gives easy penances or Father Erik is a mean S. O. B.. But really the penance should be proportionate to the gravity of the sins and appropriate to their nature. Theft is east--make restitution in a way that won't reveal your identity. For swearing, the Divine Praises are good. One that I give out a lot for failure to forgive is praying for the object of your grudge. And yes, mortal sins get a heavier penance. The point is that the priest is (or ought) not trying to be mean or nice, but simply just. Also, please remember that if you honestly don't think you can do the penance, you have the right to ask for another one.

Scratch A Liberal And A Fascist Bleeds.

Free discourse is only allowed if it agrees with them.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pfisking Pfleger

The guys a Creative Minority Report always get the good stuff. They point out another blog that points out an 'apology' by the infamous Pfleger of Chicago for his dissent from the Church's teaching on the (non) ordination of women in a homily last weekend. Not really an apology, as you can see,

On Sunday, April 11, while preaching a sermon on the power of fear, I was referring to the fear that paralyzed the apostles, locking them in a room, leaving only John and the women at the foot of the cross. I stated that is why I believe women ought to be able to be ordained, as well as priests ought to be able to get married.

While this is my personal opinion, I do respect and follow the Catholic Church teachings and I am sorry I failed to do this.

If this isn't, "obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same," then what is? This can hardly be characterized as respecting or following the teachings of the faith. An apology is not what is called for here. A recantation of heresy is required.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What's Truth Got To Do With It?

The more I am involved with the Press, the less I am inclined to believe that they give a rat's posterior about the truth or accuracy. Their personal agenda, yes. Their circulation, yes. The truth, no.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Journalistic Self-Image/Self-Righteous Twit.

Two of these cartoons are Nazi propaganda and two are from The Salt Lake Tribune. Not much difference is there? Except that perhaps the Nazis were more honest in their agenda and hatred for the Church. The Nazis also didn't hide their agenda behind a facade of journalistic fairness and search for the truth. The Tribune cartoonist, Pat Bagley, is a self-righteous little liberal twit. He wasn't always this way. He used to be fair and even-handed in his satire, but over the last decade he has turned into a far left ideologue. Pope Benedict is just his latest target. And the injustice is glaring. NO ONE has done more to rid the Church of clerical abusers, but you can't tell a liberal that. They simply don't care. They aren't shining the light of truth, but rather spreading lies to attack one of the few forces in the West standing for traditional values. (I almost wish I had taken the opportunity to slap Bagley silly a few months ago when I was stuck in traffic beside him.)

(P. S. The Nazis had better artists.)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Happy Birthday To The Twinkie.

Facebook Digi informs us that the Twinkie turned 80 years old. So, happy birthday to 'Los Submarinos'!

Where are ya, you spongy, yellow, delicious bastards!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Somethings Shouldn't Be Celebrated.

I pray that you had a prayerful and blessed Holy Thursday; that the Sacred Mysteries were celebrated reverently according to the mind and law of Holy Mother Church; that the rubrics of the Mandatum were followed exactly. And, most especially, that no one had to endure what I experienced during my year of diaconal servitude; washing hands instead of washing feet. Particularly this year, we don't not need to celebrate or imitate the actions of Pontius Pilate.

Can't Top This.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Same Old Things.

I hear a lot of Confessions. Not that I am complaining (at least most of the time). And it really heats up during Lent and Holy Week. I hear 3 to 5 hours a day during Holy Week. I want to ensure that there is no excuse for not going to Confession before Easter. (It also has the added benefit of annoying the liturgists. This is always a plus.)

One thing that I hear over and over again is people apologizing for confessing the same type of sin over and over again. First of all, let me assure you that we priest don't grade you on originality. We really don't want you to come up with new and original sins or combination to keep us entertained. Anyways, after 15 years I think it would be difficult to come up with something I haven't heard. Off the top of my head, I think the only things I am missing on my checklist are cannibalism and kidnapping.

Second, it is important to realize that most people do confess the same type of sin over and over again. It is not because they are not, with God's grace, working on conversion. It is because our characters are fairly fixed and rarely change. And the devil attacks us precisely where we are weakest. Is it any wonder that that is where we sin.

So don't give up! Keep working with God's help on strengthening those weak areas and don't worry about boring the priest.

Great Overview On The Media's Attack On The Pope.

Jimmy Akin has a great, comprehensive, and fair overview of the Wisconsin abuse case the NYTimes is milking to attack the Holy Father. Read it here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Congressional Candidate Baby Stephanie pointed out a site that includes this (too bad the posters are all sold out.)