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Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Pope's New Pastoral Staff

This article s courtesy of Whispers in the Loggia, on of my favorite blogs, written by Rocco Palmo.

While everyone's hopefully enjoying the long Thanksgiving weekend, the Pope is about to make his first turn with an early Christmas present.

For tomorrow night's first Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent -- the start of the new liturgical year -- B16 will debut a new pastorale ("pastoral staff") made especially for him, replacing the ferula of Bl Pius IX, which the pontiff has used since Palm Sunday 2008.

First announced in today's L'Osservatore Romano, the New Liturgical Movement breaks the story in English:
As Msgr. Guido Marini, the Papal Master of Ceremonies, tells tomorrow's edition of the [Vatican daily]: "Similar in shape to the ferula of Pius IX so far in use this can be considered to all intents and purposes the pastoral staff of Benedict XVI."...

[T]he new staff is donated to the Pontiff by the Circolo San Pietro, a Roman association founded in 1869 in support of the papacy. It is slightly smaller and lighter than the ferula of Bl. Pius IX.

On the front side of the new ferula is depicted in the centre the Lamb of God, and on the four points of the cross, the symbols of the four Evangelists. The arms of the cross are decorated in a net-like pattern which evokes the fisherman whose successor Pope Benedict is. On the backside there is in the centre the Chi-Rho, the monogram of Christ, and on the four points of the cross, four Fathers of Occident and Orient, Augustine and Ambrose, Athanasius and John Chrysostom, the same who also carry Bernini's cathedra. On the top of the shaft is the coat of arms of Pope Benedict XVI.
Likewise earlier today, the UK's Catholic Herald announced that, as expected -- but not, until now, confirmed -- Benedict will break with his pontificate's well-established custom to personally beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman on his visit to Britain next fall.

The papal vespers to kick off the "New Year" will run at 5pm Rome time, 11am Eastern, tomorrow, with EWTN running the livestream.

PHOTO: L'Osservatore Romano

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving has arrived. What a wonderful holiday! Today we pause to consider what we are truly thankful for. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is too often overshadowed by the approach of Christmas. Greed rears its ugly head as we overstuff ourselves on good food and look forward to Black Friday where we can resume the pursuit of worldly goods with great gusto. Now don’t misunderstand, these are not bad things in themselves, but as with all things they must be kept in moderation. We should not lose today in the anticipation of the tomorrow which may not come. Let us take some time today and reflect on the blessings that we receive. Out of an entire year, is 10 or 15 minutes really too much to ask to turn off the TV, Radio, Cell Phone, Ipod, Computer, etc. to reflect on the blessings and thank God from whom all blessings flow?

I am thankful for so many blessings in my life that they are almost innumerable. Today I am mindful of those men and women who are away from their families to keep me safe. We should remember our men and women serving in the military as well as the public servants, police and firefighters; healthcare workers in hospitals, nursing centers, etc.; and all the other people who take the time today to serve others. I am thankful for my family and friends who support me and pray for me as I pursue my vocation to the priesthood. I am thankful for the priests and religious who have dedicated their lives to God for the betterment of humanity. I am thankful for the opportunities which are afforded to me and my fellow Americans. And to each of you who read this, thank you for your support.

Take the time today to reflect on your blessings and thank God for them. Take the time to pray for those who bless your life and make it more enjoyable. So often we forget to say thank you. Don’t let today be just a start of the holiday season, make today a true day of Thanks-giving.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Historic Moment

Just a few moments ago, the USCCB, in an historic event, FINALLY passed ALL of the translation adaptations for all parts of the REVISED MISSAL of the ordinary form of the Mass. For those who have been following, this is indeed an opportunity for much rejoicing. Let us give thanks to God for the wonderful work of many people who have worked so diligently and faithfully for the good of the Church.

A Loss

I have determined that Missouri has two seasons. Wet and humid. That’s it, nothing else. It is not unusual to receive 1-2 inches overnight. The news reports flooded roadways the way most cities report traffic jams. Not that the humidity has decreased, but at least now you can see it as it falls from the sky. The good news is that I think I am about ready to be honored with my first pair of water wings and webbed feet. I think Jesus spent some time in Missouri in His youth which is why he went to the desert for 40 days. He was just trying to dry out.

We had our first loss as a class this past weekend. One of our classmates discerned that he was not called to the priesthood and withdrew from the seminary. This was a very difficult decision for him I am sure. He said that he has been pondering this question for the last 11 months and felt he was making the right decision. This was a difficult time for all of us. Since we live, eat, study and pray together a significant bond occurs within a class. The loss is difficult but necessary from time to time. I am however, glad that men feel that they can come to the seminary to discern their call and are free to leave if the priesthood is not right for them. I hope and pray that all catholic young men understand this and feel free to enter the seminary to explore this call without the fear of undo expectations. All people need to understand that true discernment can only take place fully in the seminary. Leaving the seminary is not something to be looked at as bad, but rather an acknowledgement of true discipleship. Following God’s will is not always easy, but it is always necessary. We keep our brother in our prayers as he makes this transition to his new life outside these walls. May God continue to send workers to His harvest.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran’s Day. Please remember to take the time to thank the veterans you know and pray for all veterans. Remember also their families who also have sacrificed. Military widows should be the top priority as their sacrifice is the greatest. Were it not for these sacrifices, we would not enjoy the freedoms we have today.

Veterans Day is a day to remember the individual soldiers who fought in our wars. It doesn’t matter whether they wanted to be there or not, whether people agree with the reason for the war or not. They were there, they were fighting for our country, and they should be remembered for it.

By honoring these men and women, we honor not only their valiance, but also the values for which they fought. They sacrificed to uphold the values upon which our country was founded and which we hold on high. They fought to guarantee us our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Time and again, they have fought forces that threatened our society and way of life.

Without their efforts, we would have lost our freedom. The freedoms we have in our country are unparalleled in most other nations, and we should be proud of them and therefore proud of those who put their lives on the line to protect those freedoms for us.

Today provides not only a chance to thank the veterans and their families but also a time of reflection and thanksgiving for what we have. How many of our freedoms do we take for granted? How often do we actually pause and give thanks to God for living in a country that allows freedom of religion, speech, assembly, etc.?

Today, take the time. Reflect and thank all those who provide us our freedom. Thank the veterans and spend time on your knees thanking God.

To all my Brothers and Sisters in Arms: THANK YOU!

“Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (Jn 15:13)

Monday, November 2, 2009

All Souls Day

Here are some thoughts and guidance for All Souls Day and this month of November.

"With Faber most theological writers maintain, that of all the works of mercy and charity the most exalted, pure and charitable is to aid the Suffering Souls in Purgatory."-from "Charity for the Suffering Souls" by Rev. John A. Nageleisen, p. 235, TAN ed.

"The dead are aided by alms, by the prayers of the Church, and by the Sacrifice of the Mass."-St. Augustine

"Whosover prays for the Suffering Souls with the intention of helping them, imposes on them the obligation of gratitude and assistance."-Pope Adrian IV

(current regulations in force by Pope Benedict XVI)

I. On All Soul's Day (Nov. 2) a plenary indulgence, applicable only to the Poor Souls, is granted to those who visit any parish church or public oratory and there recite on Our Father and one Credo.

II. On all the days from November 1 through November 8 inclusive, a plenary indulgence, applicable only to the Poor Souls, is granted to those who visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the departed.


1. Only one plenary indulgence can be gained per day.

2. It is necessary to be in the state of grace, at least by the completion of the work.

3. Freedom from attachment to sin, even venial sin, is necessary; otherwise the indulgence is only partial. (By this is meant attachment to a particular sin, not sin in general.)

4. Holy Communion must be received each time the indulgence is sought.

5. Prayers must be recited for the intentions of the Holy Father on each day the indulgence is sought. (No particular prayers are prescribed. One Our Father and one Hail Mary suffice, or other suitable prayers.)

6. A sacramental confession must be made within a week of completion of the prescribed work. (One confession made during the week, made with the intention of gaining al the indulgences, suffices.)

(Indulgence and Conditions statements courtesy of October FSSP newsletter)