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Flightline Friday: The End of the Line for the SLUF October 17, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, foolishness, fun, General Catholic, history, non squitur, silliness, Society.

I can’t say what that means……Short Little Ugly, uh……Fella.  That’s it.  The F-8 that shrank when put in the wash.USAF_A-7K_Corsair_JPEG

Today marked the final retirement of the incredible Vought A-7 Corsair II from military service.  The Hellenic Air Force retired their last A-7H at Araxos airbase just today, Friday, October 17 2014, completing 49 years of active service.  The Greeks, like everyone who flew it, loved their SLUFs.  Derived from the GREATEST MILITARY AIRCRAFT EVER!11!, the Vought F-8 Crusader, the A-7 served with the US Navy, Air Force, and the air forces of Portugal and Greece.

Designed as a light attack aircraft replacement for the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, the A-7 was developed incredibly quickly. From contract award to entry into service was less than 3 years – utterly unheard of today, but very possible for the amazing aerospace industry this country once had.  Of course, it helped that the A-7 leveraged a whole bunch from the F-8 design, but it was a substantially new aircraft.  It was A-7E_Corsair_VA-192_1971also not cripplingly expensive.

The A-7 had much better range-payload capability than the A-4 it replaced, and when lightly loaded could even serve as a fighter.  In fact, because of their longer legs, low operating costs, and high fuel efficiency, A-7s were routinely assigned to escort Soviet bombers that frequently shadowed US carrier battle groups.

The A-7 first entered squadron service in 1965 and went into combat in 1966.  It served throughout the Vietnam war in increasing numbers.

While derived from the nearly Mach 2 Crusader, the A-7 was a subsonic bomb truck with, for its time, unprecedented accuracy, especially in the A-7D and E versions.  Developed for the Navy, the Air Force was compelled to purchase a large number of A-7s, lacking an alternative strike aircraft to buy in the late 60s.  USAF resented that greatly, and after Vietnam ended (in which the A-7D acquitted itself admirably), rapidly transferred the A-7Ds from active service to the Guard and Reserve.  In fact, the A-7D was still in production, so, unusually, the Air Force was procuring a new aircraft for the Guard, instead of the usual hand-me-downs they received.  This continued into the 1980s.  The A-7 became the prime aircraft of the Air National Guard during the mid-late 70s, and was a heck of a capable aircraft.  Pilots loved its stability, maneuverability, reliability, and bombing accuracy.  The A-7 had a very capable digital bombing system.

As the 80s wore on, more and more A-7s were replaced by F-16s and A-10s in the Air Force and F-18s in the Navy.  The F-18 may have been a way better fighter than the A-7 but it was much shorter ranged, a A-7E_VA-72_over_Saudi_Fort_1990problem that continues to afflict the F-18 to this day.  In the late 80s, the Air Force actually wanted a supersonic aircraft to replace the very slow A-10.  Yes, USAF has never been entirely comfortable with the A-10.  While a variant of the F-16 was favored by the brass, the Army balked at a short ranged light fighter in the close air support role, and Vought saw a chance to stay in the fighter business by redesigning the A-7 to take a much more powerful and modern engine, the F100, and make the SLUF supersonic like it’s F-8 parent.  But the end of the Cold War brought all those plans to an end and the A-7 left service in 1993 after a final swan song, in naval service, in the first Gulf War.

I’m out of time, so that means videos.

First a late 80s video of an ANG A-7 on a bombing run:

Navy birds, terrible soundtrack:

Better quality footage, even worse soundtrack.  You can see an A-7D operating from a roadway, which used to be done back in the Cold War in case the balloon ever went up.  There were some sort of plans to use roads as alternative bases, as it was assumed the main airbases would not last long in a WWIII environment:

Great Planes documentary on the type.  Best video I could find on the SLUF.  Has some good info on the YA-7F Mach 1.6 supersonic variant:

Finally, given the auspicious nature of today being the final flight of an A-7, two vids from the HAF with A-7s playing down low.  Lots of napalm, and super low level sea flight:

God willing, next week will be better than this last.




Friend of blog Kevin Lents publishes strong apologetics book October 14, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, catachesis, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Society, true leadership, Virtue.
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Occasional reader Kevin Lents has published a book entitled Language of Dissent: Answering Those Who Distort the Catholic Faith.  The book is an apology for many topics of the Faith where there is great misunderstanding both within and outside the Church.  I have only read an excerpt of the book, but it looks promising.  I know Kevin a little through e-mail and comments on the blog and he’s a very solid orthodox Catholic.  I think this book could be valuable to many: those with non-Catholic family, those who fight error within the Church, those who evangelize protestants and/or Orthodox with erroneous understandings of the Faith, liberals, leftists, new agers…….I think you understand.

Kevin Lents, author of The Language of Dissent, does a tremendous job in answering those who distort the Catholic faith.  In The Language of Dissent, Mr. Lents takes up issues such as:

+Jesus did not know He was God.

+There are errors and contradictions in the Bible.

+Adam and Eve are merely legends and myth.

+Jesus really did not multiply the fishes and loaves.

+The Catholic Church no longer teaches the doctrines of purgatory and Indulgences.

+We do not know if Jesus actually performed any miracles.

And many more. You can see a chapter of the book here (this is the homepage of one of my friends who helped me – Michael Lofton):


In addition, Kevin has provided a most generous “look inside” at Amazon.  You can see quite a fair overview of the book.

Like I said, it looks quite promising.  I encourage you to check it out. It might make a pretty good book for those wavering in the Faith, or who have gotten most of their catechesis (seemingly a huge majority today) from the “mainstream” media.  I know sometimes reaching those folks – the invincibly convinced of liberal error types – can be most difficult of all. Perhaps this book may help.

God bless Kevin for his efforts. Oh, and discount the “number remaining” on Amazon, there are plenty in stock.


As I’ve said many times before, efforts like this are the kind of ecumenism I can get behind.  Congratulations to Kevin on his new book.

Take action, contact Apostolic Nuncio regarding Synod October 13, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Admin, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, paganism, Sacraments, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society, SOD, the return.
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Commenter Kathleen helpfully provided the following contact information for the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Vigano:


His Excellency Archbishop Carlo Vicano
Apostolic Nuncio
3339 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20008

Email: nuntiususa AT nuntiususa DOT org
Please send copy of your email to Catholic Family News: cfnjjv AT gmail DOT com
To help us keep track of how many emails the Nunciate receives

Telephone: 202-333-7121
Fax: 202-337-4036

Now armed with the contact information, I provide one potential draft submission.  Feel free to add, delete, shoot holes, whatever you like with it:

Your Excellency:

I have been most dismayed to follow the course of the Extraordinary Synod for the Family and Married Life over the past week and throughout the preceding preparatory period.  It seems there is a concerted effort among far too many Synod participants to undermine the sacred Doctrine of the Faith through so-called pastoral solutions, solutions which will have the effect of spreading great scandal and confusion and doing untold harm to souls.  I implore both you and the Synod fathers that this madness stop. Already over the past several decades, confusion and uncertainty have surrounded public discussion of what the Church believes.  A heart-breaking number of theologians, priests, religious, and, incredibly, even bishops and cardinals, have contributed to that confusion by undermining, or even directly attacking, truths the Church has always held as inviolable. It is simply impossible to put Doctrine into conflict with pastoral applications.  That is essentially claiming God’s Mercy wars with His Justice – unheard of!

We also know that untold numbers of souls have fallen away over the past few decades.  It is my firm belief that the doctrinal confusion reigning in the Church has played a huge role in this pastoral disaster.

Please communicate my great dismay to the Synod over its reported direction.  The “Relatio” mid-Synod report seems wildly at contrast with the Faith handed down to us by the Apostles and Fathers.  It seems incredible that Casti Connubbi, Humanae Vitae, the 1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church, and so many other great testaments to our Faith can be tossed aside- in effect, if not in toto – to serve some strange conception of “pastoral” care.  But as the past several decades have already shown, whatever the purported purpose of the novel formulations proposed at the Synod may be, doctrinal confusion only results in more pastoral calamities, not fewer.  The rapidly shrinking Church in Europe and the Americas is a testament to this fact.

I beg and implore the Synod participants to uphold the timeless Doctrine of the Faith and not undermine it through paeans to modernist sensibilities!  I pray for the Truth to be upheld and not undermined or lessened in any way.  I pray that God may enlighten the hearts of all Synod participants to strengthen and improve that doctrine and especially its rigorous and thorough instruction to all souls in the Church – an instruction completely missing over the past several decades.  And I pray that all the Synod participants, and you, our Apostolic Nuncio, may always cooperate with God’s Grace and be abundantly blessed in performing constant service to the Church.

[choose one] Yours very respectfully in Christ/Ad Mariam per Iesu/In corde Iesu/Dominus vobiscum!/

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Very quick Flightline Friday – F-4 shotdown by SA-2 in Vietnam, 1967 October 10, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Admin, foolishness, silliness, non squitur, technology, history, Flightline Friday.
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I had an old fighter pilot buddy I used to know who did a tour in Vietnam in the backseat of the F-4 flying with the 37th TFW out of Phu Cat, mostly.  He, and a lot of other Vietnam pilots, would often take tape recorders up with them and tie them into their cockpit audio.  So, it recorded not only his and his front seater’s words, but also the radio loop.  Well, some pilot below did that, on a mission when he witnessed another aircraft in his flight happen to get shot down by an SA-2 SAM over North Vietnam.  It’s pretty riveting audio if you know what is going on.  That “strobe,” which was how the threat warning display reported the fact that there was a radar tracking them, is frightening to me even 50 years later and sitting in my safe chair.  Getting a strobe was nothing unusual, it happened all the time, and the correct response was to go to the “notch”, to try to break the lock of the radar.  In this case, the aircrew was unable to do so, with the result that they were shot down:

By the way, the captioning is wrong, the callsign is Dodge, not Fox.  They wouldn’t use Fox that is a term used to describe an air-to-air missile launch, as in “Fox 1″ to call a Sidewinder shot, or Fox 3 for AIM-120 AMRAAM.  Yelling Fox 1 or Fox 2 all the time would be terribly confusing and not a little bit dangerous in terms of aircraft radio callsign.

One aircrew managed to bail out, the other died.  God rest his soul.

Saint Peter Julian Eymard on charity October 10, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I don’t know about y0u, but I need all the reminders, explanations, and exhortations regarding charity that I can get!  I’m always appreciative to read such writings by Saints, and then I look at myself and say: “You stink at this!”

From Vol. 5 of the Eymard Library, The Eucharist and Christian Perfection II:

You must, therefore, practice charity always and in everything.  The opportunities are numberless.  If they do not present themselves, look for them.  When you are free to choose between two good works, the one personal, the other charitable, choose the latter, it has double merit.  But above all, I repeat it, let your charity be humble.  Proud charity is egoism or forced benevolence. [Most interesting point.  And false humility is a most dangerous thing, as well.]

Examine yourselves on these points: Are you charitable supernaturally?  Do you honor brothers by our charity?  Are you devoted to them, or your family?

How many sins we commit against charity!  In thoughts, for instance, by rash judgments.  Remember that what will harass us the most on our death bed – after sins of impurity – will be the memory of our sins against charity.  Who called you to be the judge of your brothers?  That anxiety at our death – according to Saint Vincent Ferrer – is the punishment of such sins which is meted out even in this world.  The first impulses of rash judgments are nothing; but to remain with them, to acquiesce in them, this is to murder our brother in our heart.

And then in words.  How many faults pious souls and religious have to reproach themselves with on this point!  

There are also the sins against charity in action or by omission.  Let us examine ourselves carefully on this point and let us take the means of correcting ourselves.

He who does not sin against his neighbor almost never sins against God either, because love is single, even if it has a twofold object and, as it were, a double channel.

———-End Quote———-

As a controversialist type blogger, much of the above concerns me quite a bit.  There is a fine line between correcting errors abroad for the sake of others, for confirming others in their faith through salutary example of things to avoid, or decrying ongoing scandals in our midst, and lapsing into uncharitable judgment in excoriating others.  This is something I always try to keep in mind, but I know that I fail at times when pushed to the limits of exasperation.

This is something I think most faithful/traditional bloggers, writers, and commentators struggle with.  Some obviously more than others.  I do try to be circumspect and balanced at all times, but I will be honest in admitting that balancing the practice of charity with this blogging habit is not always easy.  I know some priests who would say just stop, don’t mess with it, it’s not worth it, but I know others who feel there is great benefit in efforts like mine and simply counsel prudence in all things.  I have always tended to hear the latter better than the former – our wills are powerful things!

At any rate, I pray you find the above useful and edifying.  I, for one, very much appreciate these calls to examination of conscience I read periodically in the Saints – I just wish and pray I remembered these counsels always, especially when my hot tempered blood is up!

My paternal grandmother, God rest her soul, said her father in law, my great grandfather, was the meanest man she ever knew.  My grandfather was a hot tempered man. It runs in families, I tell you.  So, in our modern parlance, I’m absolutely blameless, right?  Heh.

But those mean men turned 400 acres of Kansas grasslands into a very profitable farming enterprise, well before there was much of any mechanization.  I have a photo of my great-grandfather driving a team of 21 horses to pull what passed for a combine in those days.

That same grandmother said Heaven is an 8×10 room, and it’s not crowded.  And yet somehow we all envision ourselves being there, don’t we?

Lord, have mercy on this sinner.  That is all I can say.

A thought that came to me last night at Mass….. October 3, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, secularism, Society, the return.
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….it may not be a very good thought, but here it is nonetheless.  Certainly, the world has always been afflicted with wars, famines, plagues, and all the evils that our fallen nature and creation can provide.  But it does seem there are some things going on that could be interpreted as warnings, and I wonder if that warning might not be one intended quite specifically for the One Church Christ founded?  At present, we are seeing persecution and vile attacks against Christians on a level not seen in a century or so, since the Turks unleashed great evil against Christians, Greek and Armenian, in the 1910s and 20s.  But worldwide, there are more martyrs now than in a very long time, and Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world by a very wide margin.  We also have this plague breaking out of Africa and possibly spreading to who knows where at this point.  And there are of course always many wars.

Again, I want to stress that I am neither predicting “end times” nor am I saying anything definitive, it’s just a thought.  I only touched on a few of the major crises, but many of them seem to have aspects that could be interpreted as bearing on the Church.  I am very concerned over this Synod, and I know that is coloring my thinking.  But I thought it might be worth mentioning and discussing.

So……that’s it.  Just another sign of how far off my rocker I have fallen?

Flightline Friday: training for Doomsday October 3, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, Flightline Friday, foolishness, fun, non squitur, silliness, Society.
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Sorry, Joanie, you’ll just have to put up with it.

I had so many potential topics for this Flightline Friday I almost couldn’t decide which one to post.  But I stumbled a whole bunch of SAC videos from the late 80s (and other times) and my choice was made for me.

So back in the good or bad old days, depending on your persepective, Strategic Air Command kept a large portion of bombers cocked on alert.  This was to provide at least some minimum retaliatory force that could launch very quickly in that worst case of nuclear warfighting scenarios – the mythical “bolt from the blue” (meaning a sudden attack with no warning).  During the 50s and 60s, SAC took this mission very, very seriously, and after the advent of ICBMs, which reduced warning time from hours to minutes, a sizable force was kept in the air 24 hours a day, 365 days a year during the 1960-68 Chrome Dome missions.  But the growing expense of the stupid and useless Kennedy clan war in Vietnam, a couple of accidents involving nuclear armed aircraft, and a creeping lassitude with regard to strategic warfare, led to the cancellation of Chrome Dome and the general decay of the alert force during the period 1968-78.  While there were still bombers armed, cocked, and on alert, response times dropped and mission readiness was not what it maybe should have been.

But when the US defense establishment began to realize, from the late 70s on, that the Soviets had gained a substantial superiority in ICBMs and were nearing parity in SLBMs, and then of course with the Reagan revitalization of national defense, such matters began to be taken more seriously again and the number of alert aircraft and training missions with fully armed B-52s, FB-111s, and B-1s increased.  Thus, many of the videos below.  This continued until the unfortunate disestablishment of SAC in 1992.

That background behind us, some terms relevant to the below.  First, historically, bombers were parked in parallel lines on a large apron at bomber bases.  But that was found to create problems with mass GAFB_Christmas_Tree_Alert_Apronlaunches, being an inefficient arrangement and the source of more than a few accidents.  It was found that a herringbone type arrangement, as shown in the photo at right. This was called the Christmas Tree. When the alert was sounded, crews would rush out of the mole hole, or Readiness Building, and either sprint to their bombers or board crew trucks to take them to those farther away.  Once the aircraft were started and began to move down the taxiway to the runway, the elephant walk would start.  This was so named because the B-47 and B-52 in particular, fully loaded with fuel and munitions, moved very ponderously and resembled elephants parading to someone with some imagination. The bombers (and, very frequently, co-assigned tanker aircraft) would launch in what was termed Minimal Interval Takeoffs, or MITO.  The goal was 15 seconds +/- 1 between each aircraft, although I did read the 509th SBW at Pease would launch at 7.5 second intervals using parallel runways. The overall goal was to have all aircraft launched within 10 minutes of the alert being sounded.

The number of alert aircraft varied, but a typical launch might see 4-6 bombers and 3-4 tankers.  Most Christmas Trees accommodated 9 aircraft.  When the bombers launched, they would veer off on widely separated headings.  This is because it was known the Soviets, in a mass missile attack, had many warheads reserved to pepper the approach and departure areas around major bomber Boeing B-52Dbases, trying to catch departing bombers, thus destroying as much of the alert force as possible.  I’ve never been able to find out just how far out from the base they might drop such warheads, but given that each SS-18 “Satan” missile had ten warheads, they could cover a pretty good area.  One big advantage of the B-1 is that it had an “alert button” the crew could hit when entering the crew hatch at the bottom of the aircraft. This would self-start all engines and most major systems within 2 minutes of being hit.  This reduced start up time by half, at least, over the B-52.  Given the Soviets strategy of shooting the bombers down with ICBM warheads, a couple of minutes could be the difference between escape, or not.

Again, all the below was oriented primarily towards the really fearful bolt from the blue strike.  Under more sensible scenarios, when tensions built over some crisis and finally resulted in a nightmarish exchange (when one flies, they all fly, there is no such thing as a limited exchange), the alert force and every other aircraft possible would be distributed, well ahead of need, to many temporary operating fields in small groups, making targeting the bomber force that much more difficult.  There were many dozens of such Emergency War Order relocation fields, some quite surprising.

One big problem with MITO launches was the fact that the B-52 and KC-135A aircraft were really underpowered, using 2nd generation jet engines.  To try to gain more thrust, they used water injection to cool the air entering the engine, increasing its density and permitting more fuel to be burned.  But doing so resulted in horrendous clouds of thick black smoke, as you will see below.  By the second or third aircraft, ships were travelling down the runway in essentially zero-zero conditions.   It took some bravery to keep plowing ahead towards V2, assuming the aircraft in front of you hadn’t broken, crashed, or anything else.

Enough with the blah blah, videos of the alert force in action:

First, to give you some overview of the procedure, this scene from the 1963 movie A Gathering of Eagles starring Rock Hudson and Rod Taylor.  Yes, it is incredible that Hollywood used to make movies that were not sneeringly dismissive and hostile towards everyone and everything related to the armed forces.  It took some bravery to film that scene with those guys right next to the runway with bombers rushing by!  If one of them had broken, it would have been curtains for Rock and Rod.  The bombers below are, I believe, B-52Gs with AGM-28 Hound Dog cruise missiles under each wing.  The bombers would actually use the Hound Dog engine to help get off the ground, and the missile could be refueled from the bomber’s fuel in flight:

The following video shows start cart action, start sequence, a bit of the elephant walk, and then a whole bunch of MITOs from 3-31-89 and 1988.  Looks like most of the wing launched at different times on 03/31/89, must have been a very busy day at Blytheville AFB, AR:

Ah, Wurtsmith AFB and the 379th Bomb Wing, I know thee well.  The great B-52G, cut to pieces in the early-mid 90s.  One of the main aircraft in the video is carrying at least 12 AGM-86B cruise missiles, and possibly another 8 internally, or 12 AGM-69 SRAMs, or free fall bombs.  But usually the G by this time carried nothing but cruise missiles.

More beautiful B-52G/KC-135A action from Wurtsmith, this one from very late 1989.  Who could have shot these videos?

So how do they do today?  Not so good.  Of course, tensions are a lot less, but in this “MITO” at Minot a few years back, the 5th BW only managed intervals of 30-60 seconds:

Alright, one more. This movie below was made by SAC back in 1958.  It’s not very realistic, or if it was for that time, sheesh have things changed.  But I know better, this was very dumbed down for a non-professional audience.  Still, some interesting footage and you can see how the dynamic radically changed with the introduction of missiles.  Too bad we never implemented a countrywide ballistic missile defense system, something eminently achievable then as is now.  Defense is inherently moral, but liberals don’t like the idea:

OK one last link.  When I first saw this back in ’01 I about had kittens but apparently this is legit.  It’s from the Natural Resources Defense Council, and there were a bunch of details in here I thought classified, but which no longer are.  Anyway, the warplan here is absolute junk but there are all kinds of very interesting bits if you are interested in understanding how a nuclear war might be fought.  I was not aware how incredibly hardened missile silos had become until I read this.  Apparently the former Peacekeeper silos now used for Minuteman IIIs are over 60,000 psi.  If you do read the paper below, check out p. 45.  A similar map for the US from an counterforce exchange looks like this:


The Russians and Soviets always had a tremendous advantage due to their enormous landmass. The paper is here.

Obama targeting conservatives by sending Ebola to Dallas? October 2, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, North Deanery, rank stupidity, secularism, sickness, Society.
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Just thought I’d start a conspiracy theory. But seriously, why on earth hasn’t travel from these West African locales, always so poverty stricken and problematic under the best of conditions, been stopped, yet?  And it seems Obama has no intention of stopping such travel?

It seems there might be another infected person in Honolulu.  But here in Dallas, over the course of about 60 hours, the number of people exposed to this deadly disease has exploded from 1, to 5, to 18, and now to over 120, including an ambulance and crew who may have come into contact with Lord knows how many others.

It actually would make a good conspiracy theory, but I fear this is simply another conspiracy of incompetence from the least prepared, least experienced, but most arrogant and self-satisfied President in US history, and the bureaucracy he has helped transform into a self-interested politicized cabal of nincompoops.

Don’t say I never give  you any reasons to pray!

On the plus side, it’s raining cats and dogs, which is desperately needed but generally disapproved of by the cats and dogs themselves.  At our house, this is the first significant rain we’ve gotten in over 2 months.  May it be the first of many.  Yesterday, Oct 1 it was 95, more than a bit above normal even for Dallas.


Prayer Request and announcement October 2, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, religious, sickness, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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Goodness me, I thought I posted this hours ago.  I’m not sure it never showed up.  It’s not there now. Seems like WordPress ate the post.

Reader skeinster has requested prayers for her daughter who is taking a trip today, 10/02/14.  Her daughter was in a severe automobile accident last year, and is still suffering from serious physical and mental health effects.  This trip may prove a challenge, so skeinster has asked for prayers.  If you would, in your charity, please continue your prayers for skeinster and her family as they continue through a difficult period of adjustment.

The announcement is that the pretty solidly orthodox if not traditional Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal are hosting a presentation/Q&A for young ladies in the area.  This is being held Wednesday October 15 at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Fort Worth.  All details below:

Weds., October 15

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ft. Worth

For girls grades 6th through college


Mass, Adoration, Pot-luck lunch, Presentation/Q&A, group break-out

Contact information on flyer —–>>>>> CFR Sisters Oct 2014

Anyone know about this book series on patristics? October 1, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, history, Interior Life, reading, Saints, Tradition, Virtue.
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Quite a while back, I found a book in a used book store that is apparently part of a very large series of books on the early Church Fathers. It contains translations of most all their writings into English.  The series is called Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers – Christian Church, and it encompasses a whole series totalling dozens of books.  I started digging into the first book I had, which contains all of Saint Athanasius’ writings which have come down to us, along with many from Pope Saint Gregory the Great.  That, alone, is one volume.  Amazon has other volumes.  Apparently, this series was reprinted maybe 30-40 years ago, after having originally been published by a Catholic publisher back in the late 19th century.  The author was apparently a renowned Catholic patristics scholar by the name of Eerdman.

I learned from a comment that the library composes 38 volumes in total.  So, these are just the kinds of books I’m interested in, despite their tremendous length, for it is in the early Fathers that we can best answer the errors of today.  All the errors of today, or virtually all of them, were argued against and shown to be false in the first 5 centuries or so of the Church.  That they keep coming back is just another testimony to man’s weakness and satan’s constant efforts to derail us from the Truth.

Having said that, even in the late 19th century, and especially among academics, modernism was already becoming quite widespread.  I don’t know if that could have crept into this series, at all, and I am certainly not well versed enough on the early texts to be able to tell if some subtle changes have been made, or twists in translation to advance some error. I doubt that is the case, but I really do not know for certain.

I know I have a varied and well-read group of readers.  If anyone is aware of this series, could they please leave a comment giving me their impressions on the books.  Comments especially appreciated from those with a strong background in the early Fathers!  I don’t know if that applies to Boniface, Noah, Eliot, or anyone else.

Here are some selected volumes available on Amazon.  Again, comments from anyone with a familiarity with this series would be most appreciated.


Here’s one that is really attractive to me: Chrysostom!

More Chrysostom!

I’m not trying to give a complete run down of the series, just enough examples so people will know what I’m talking about.  Apparently, the series is divided into three parts: anti-Nicene Father, Nicene, and post-Nicene.

I greatly appreciate any help you can provide!  These books are not real cheap (nor are they outlandishly high), but before I consider them further, I’d like to know more.

Another avenue would be if anyone knew anything about the publisher (Wm Eerdmanns) or the authors (Philip Schaff, DD, others).

Thank you very much!


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