Friday, December 9, 2016

Liturgical Ministry

After years of artistic penury in the liturgy, we are today witnessing a true renaissance.  Hat tip to Fr. Z, the deacon!   

Antique Gold Vestment Detail

Church of St. Agnes (St. Paul, USA). 

Antique Black Vestment Detail

Church of St. Agnes (St. Paul, USA). 

Antique Vestment Detail

Church of St. Agnes (St. Paul, USA). 

Antique Rose Colored Vestment Fabric

Three Words to Remember: "And Never Abrogated"

Orthodoxy and the Age of Relativism

Rome Quotes

"Tonight in Norcia, the Festa of the Ri Faoni... when bonfires are lit throughout town to guide the angels carrying the Holy House from Nazareth to Italy.  It's hard to imagine a more thoroughly Italian, and Catholic celebration."

-Christopher Wells 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

FYI: Traditional Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Fatima, Lourdes and Santiago

Deadline for registration: Dec. 30.

Catholic Culture: The Catholic Pilgrim

Meet Evan Michael Mary.  A convert to the Faith from California.  A tribute to grace at work. 

He earned his BA degree at Thomas Aquinas College, his MA from the University of Dallas and his Licentiate in philosophy from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.  He is currently completing his doctoral studies in Rome.

I have never in all my travels met a pilgrim like Evan.  His journeys and adventures make him an unparalleled pilgrim.  A bit like a wandering wayfarer from the Middle Ages, playing his mandolin, he can be seen walking from one place to the next, in general silence.  Sometimes reading authors such as Livy or Aristotle.

Evan is the Catholic D.H. Lawrence sharing interesting tidbits of knowledge about Roman, Greek and Etruscan history and mythology.  His formation at Thomas Aquinas College was crucial to making him the person he is today.  For those who do not know, T.A.C. is the Athens of classical Catholic education, the acropolis of learning, located in the mountains west of Los Angeles.      

Evan once brought me to where Rome was born, at Lake Nemi and even to where Cicero is buried, at Formia.  At Arpino he brought me to see the head of Thomas Aquinas.  At Roccasecca we walked amid the ruins of the castle where Aquinas was born, and prayed in the room where he died at Fossanova Abbey.  We walked the ruins of Via Appia Antica.

Other adventures brought me at his invitation to stay at the Byzantine Abbey of Grottaferrata where we ate figs from the trees.  We climbed to the top of Rocca di Papa.  It was Evan who showed me Norcia before it was destroyed by earthquake.  Once we walked the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican, behind the scenes.

One day, hiking along the sea shore, he led me to see the ruins of a fascinating ancient Roman fish-farm, still visible in the sea at Santa Marinella.  Last October at dusk we swam in the dark in the "Mare Nostrum."  Another time he took me to the top of a building to explain the summer constellations - at TAC he studied some astronomy.  We even met together the daughter of the man who invented the radio, Princess Marconi.   

Evan lives on a very meager diet, he is frugal and carries his Byzantine prayer cord wrapped around his wrist.  He wears the brown scapular.  Many nights Evan has slept under the stars and he can tell you about the August "tears of St. Lawrence" meteor shower. 

Worshiping in Eastern and Western rites, his prayer is versatile.  He has prayed and sung liturgical chants in Latin and Greek.  I will forever be grateful for the summer he saved me when I had no place to live in Rome, and his Italian girlfriend was gracious enough to allow me to stay at a Catholic house, the famed Casa Mamre.  Another time he tutored me in philosophy to help me pass a class I had failed.      

A loyal friend to all, Evan has done countless walking pilgrimages.  Some near, some far.  The Holy Land, Greece, Mt. Athos, Ireland, the Chartres Pilgrimage, the Camino of St. James, the Camino of St. Benedict.  He has lived and worked at Byzantine and Latin Rite monasteries, his appearance is forever changing like a chameleon until he has a shave and a haircut.  You can forever recognize him by the scent of Tuscan cigars, made famous in Clint Eastwood Westerns. 

This veritable pilgrim also taught me an interesting bit about pilgrimage and miracles.  Sometimes people go on pilgrimages looking for miracles.  Often, what they find is great consolation.  This is the miracle.  Consolation.  This gift is peace of heart.

Evan currently resides by the sea outside Rome where the Etruscans lived.  It has been five years since he has been back home.  Some day he will make a fine professor of philosophy, teaching Aristotle and Aquinas to the next generation of thinker.  May God continue to guide this pilgrim soul. And may he be led to teach where Providence calls him, on either side of the ocean.       

First Vespers of Laetare Sunday in England

The Brisbane Oratory in Formation (Australia)

Rome Quotes

"Be it mine to practice and defend the Catholic, the Apostolic, the Roman Faith against the enemies of religion."

-Daily Prayer of the Order of Malta

High Mass At Westminster Cathedral in London (1950)

Traditional Solemn High Mass in 1944 (USA)

Organ in Church

Preserving and Fostering the Rites of the Church

Make and Sell Advent Candes at Your Parish

Lots of moms are too busy and too tired at the end of the day to put together the annual Advent wreath.  It is understandable.

A nice lady at our church made these beeswax candles, wrapped then nicely and sold them in the vestibule of church just before Advent.

A brilliant idea and it made things easy for many, saving an extra trip to Michaels - the art supplies and crafts store - for candles.  A seemingly easy task, that many never get to. 

New Choir Area in St. Peter's Basilica

I am not a big fan.  They were fine hundreds of years without this.  Oh, well. 

Restoration of Church of the Ascension in Minneapolis

Photo from Conrad Schmitt Studios

This is where Monsignor Richard Schuler grew up and celebrated his first Solemn Mass in 1945, on this very same altar. 

The altar has some highlights of beautiful Mexican onyx.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Constantinian St. Peter's Basilica in Rome

Church of St. Agnes

Saint Paul, Minnesota (USA).  

During a golden age, many of us received our liturgical formation here.

Forever grateful. 

Where to Purchase a Nice Antique Manger Scene

Thrift stores.

Value Village, Savers, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, etc.  Lots of old Christmas stuff.  Take a look early on in late November or early December.  Some real treasures at rock bottom prices.

Yours truly picked up this little gem at a thrift store called Bibles for Missions.  

Where to Purchase Used Hand Missals

Yours truly picked these up recently at thrift stores.

Since my youth I have frequented these stores in search of antique church items.

St. Vincent de Paul stores sometimes have them, and even Salvation Army stores.  They are often on the free shelf where the "religious" books go.  

Vatican II Peritus Condemns 1960s "Ugly Sacred Art" Phenomena

The Church and Modernistic Art, a book printed in the 1960s by the Wanderer Printing Company, is a fine read.

The author is Monsignor Rudolph G. Bandas, Ph.D, S.T.D., a distinguished peritus (expert) at Vatican Council II.    

According to Msgr. Bandas, our age is witnessing a peculiar outbreak of ugliness in the domain of sacred art.

This ugliness has invaded not only churches, but is also found in Christmas cards, laymen's missals and even in the priests' altar missals.

In this type of sacred art, Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints are represented in sometimes grotesque, even repulsive forms with cretinous faces, and pictured as though they were suffering from elephantiasis, starvation or a deforming arthritis.

This modernistic art seems to concentrate especially on images of Christ.  Contrary to the teaching of the liturgy that Christ "reigned triumphantly" from the cross, and that his glorified body reigns from heaven forever.

The new art often represents Christ, Mary and the saints in an attitude of despair or confusion or even stupidity.  It completely distorts the human figure, ignoring the nobility and divine stature of Christ and all things holy.

In his book, Msgr. Bandas confronts this bogus new art with the age-long and unchanging legislation of the Church.  He was inspired by Celso Cardinal Constantini, who frequently characterized the modernistic productions as "pictorial horrors" and even "visual blasphemies."

Msgr. Bandas delves into the pronouncements of the Church on sacred art as found in the decrees of Ecumenical Councils, of Sacred Congregations and of the Sovereign Pontiffs.

The book includes 75 photographs, illustrating true sacred art vs. ugly sacred art.  

Does Your Cathedral or Parish Offer Vespers on Sunday?

What Vatican II Really Says About the Liturgy of the Hours in Latin

Church Renovation Before and After: From Red Fern Fine Art Studio

Nice job, guys!

Gregorian Chant

Christmas Pen & Ink Drawing

Catholics: Where to Purchase Your Christmas Cards

Buy them here, and support pro-life:

Traditional Mass Pilrimage to Fatima, Lourdes and Santiago: Join Us!

This is a bargain trip.

Daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to travel through three countries with a traditional Mass chaplain.

I will accompany the group as tour director.  

Bring your family and solidify the faith of your adult children or grandkids!

My Grandparents in 1943

Please pray for the repose of their souls.

Robert and Gloria Western.

They had a large family of twelve children and made many sacrifices to send their kids to Catholic schools.  

Vatican II on Teaching Catholics to Say and Sing the Mass in Latin

Best Baptism Booklet in Latin-English

I wish every pastor could buy these and hand them out before every Baptism.

And give a little catechesis in the vestibule of the church before the Baptism, to explain, from the Catechism of the Council of Trent, what exactly it is which is about to take place.

This wonderful little booklet is printed by the Angelus Press:

Pastors, do not miss this teaching opportunity!  

Bavarian Catholics in Rome: Bayern

Pope Benedict would be proud to see these pilgrims from his homeland. 

St. Peter's Square

Family Shrine from the Netherlands

Circa 1930s with original light bulb that still works! 

A family shrine which we inherited.

Holy Mass in the New World in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite