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Why aren’t we Saints? Very little reverence, very little humility April 14, 2014

Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, manhood, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Why aren’t all of us who have received the stupendous Grace of First Communion, Confirmation, and so many other receptions of the Blessed Sacrament all incredible Saints?  One drop of the Precious Blood was of such infinite worth it is capable of converting and saving the entire universe. So why are there so few saints?

Sin is the answer.  We all know that one unconfessed mortal sin will damn us (yes barring perfect contrition).  But even much smaller sins block the work of God’s Grace in our souls.

The priest in the video below outlines the root causes for the failure of so many of us to be saintly.  The two principle failures are lack of humility (the virtue contrary to the essential sin of pride, the root of all sin), and lack of reverence, which is humility in action in a context of receiving supernatural Grace.

Our Blessed Mother is the holiest Person who ever lived because She was the most humble person who ever lived.

But what is humility?  When someone has the virtue of humility it means he has the habit of performing acts of humility – humility inclines us out of reverence for God to abase ourselves, and to keep ourselves in the place that is due to us.  Pride is the opposite of humility.

What follows is some very deep catechesis from Blessed Dom Marmion, whose writings I hope to start reading soon.

Please say 3 Hail Mary’s for the priest in the video.

 

It is not enough to be present at Mass…… April 11, 2014

Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Four Last Things, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgy, mortification, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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…..we must make a definite offering of it to God.  Some excerpts from Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Fr. Martin von Cochem:

It is not enough to be present at Mass in order to share in the fruits of the Mass: we must make a definite offering of It to God in union with the officiating priest. The Mass is a Sacrifice, and it appertains to the nature of a sacrifice that it should be offered to the Deity.  Therefore those persons who fail to do this, either with their lips or in their bbe14e06c0280238d2f86133387f54e0heart, do not derive half [I'm not sure how you quantify it, but hopefully the point is made] of the benefit from the Mass that others do, although they fulfill the precept of the Church, whilst piously reciting other prayers that have nothing of the character of an offering……….

………We read in the life of St. Mary Magdalene dei Pazzi that she was supernaturally taught that the oblation of Christ’s Blood was most efficacious in turning away the divine anger, provoked by the transgressions of mankind. In fact, God complained to her of the little done by man to appease His wrath, and exhorted her to do her utmost with this aim. She therefore was accustomed many times – no less than fifty times a day – to offer the Sacred Blood of Christ for the living and the dead. And repeatedly it was granted her to see souls whom she had been instrumental in converting, or of releasing from Purgatory, by this oblation of the Precious Blood.

m_massShe used to also say that it was much to be feared that the impenitence of sinners is to be attributed to our apathy.  For if we were more zealous in offering the Blood of Christ to God on their behalf, He would doubtless, moved by our prayers, have preserved them from eternal reprobation; and she admonished all Christians constantly to make this oblation of Our Lord’s Passion and His Precious Blood for the erring and the sinful.  Let us remember this, for it places within our reach an easy means of appeasing the wrath of God, of converting sinners, relieving the suffering souls, expiating our own wrong-doing.  At no time, as we have already said, can this oblation of the Precious Blood be made so opportunely, so effectually,a s during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is then offered not only by word, but in deed, for the Sacred Blood is truly and actually there in the Chalice and is offered up by the priest not only in his own name, but in that of the whole Church, and more specially of those who are present.

———-End Quote———

More souls are released from Purgatory during Mass than at any other time!  So please remember them in your Mass intentions!

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Fr. von Cochem – more extrinsic Grace available in TLM than NO April 10, 2014

Posted by tantamergo in Basics, catachesis, error, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgical Year, sadness, Tradition, Virtue.
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What’s that you say?  How on earth could a priest dead nearly 350 years have spoken about the Novus Ordo?  Oh, he spake.  He spake indeed (from Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, pp. 284-5):

The Victim is the same in all Masses, none other than Jesus Christ Himself, and in this regard all Masses are equally good, equally precious.  With regard to the sacrificial act, the offering of the Victim, the more lightdevoutly the priest says the Mass, the more acceptable to God is the Sacrifice he offers, and the more abundant are the graces is brings down from above, both upon the priest who celebrates the Mass and the individual for whom he offers it. 

We find a confirmation of this in the writings of St. Bonaventure, who says: “All Masses are equally good, as far as Christ is concerned; but as far as the priest is concerned, one may be better than another. Therefore it is more profitable to hear the Mass of a good priest than of an indifferent one.” Cardinal Bona also corroborates this opinion: “The more holy and pleasing to God,” he says, “a priest is the more acceptable are his prayers and oblations; and the greater his devotion the greater the benefit derived form his Mass. For just as other good works performed by a pious man gain merit in proportion to the zeal and devotion wherewith they are performed, so Holy Mass is more or less profitable both to the priest who says it and to the persons for whom it is said according as it is celebrated with more or less fervor.” This is the reason why in the Mass the priest frequently beseeches God graciously to accept his oblation, and to vouchsafe that it may be conducive to his own salvation and that of the people.

———-End Quote———-

When the Mass was revolutionized in the 1960s, numerous actions which constitute sacramentals were removed. I believe the number of signs of the Cross the priest makes was reduced from something like 33 to 3. Invocations of the Most Holy Name and the Trinity plummeted likewise.  Genuflections, bowings, many prayers with indulgences attached……all were greatly reduced.  All of these actions are sources of Grace.  Then there is the entire matter of the priest having his back turned towards His Lord in the Tabernacle, and no longer visibly leading the people in prayer and supplication before God, but the community has turned inward on itself.

Intrinsically – because if properly offered it contains the Real Presence and the only Sacrifice acceptable to God – the Novus Ordo is the equal of the TLM, at least notionally.  But extrinsically, there is a massive difference, and that is what Fr. von Cochem observes above, though he frames his discussion in terms of a Mass well-offered by a holy priest, versus a more lackadaisical Mass offered by a less holy priest.  The TLM simply has more because it retains all those actions which are sources of Grace not just for the priest, but for all those in attendance and indeed for the entire Church and world.

I should note, of course, the same applies to varying types of Novus Ordo Masses.  A very reverent Novus Ordo offers more Grace to equally participating souls than does a very irreverent and abusive one. And it is quite possible to offer the NO in a way that brings it much closer to the TLM.

None of this is to say that souls who assist at the TLM are “better” than those who assist at Novus Ordos.  It’s not to say that the NO is not efficacious of Grace or anything like that.  But it is to say that, all other things equal, the TLM offers more Grace, more benefit to souls, than does the Novus Ordo.  And that is no small thing.

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A sermon every blogger (and commenter) should listen to… April 10, 2014

Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, error, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, priests, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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…and pray about and consider deeply.

Being a blogger, offering hot opinions about any number of matters, but especially those internal to the Church, is a dangerous game.  It is frighteningly easy to fall into calumny and detraction.  For those that don’t know, calumny is making up false, derogatory things about a person and spreading that around to others, while detraction is revealing true things about a person that others really don’t have a right or need to know.  It’s about harming the good reputation of others.

Now, regarding both blogging and commenting on blogs, there are all manner of caveats. Is the matter public? Is the person (or group) putting themselves out there in a very public way?  Are the criticisms more general, or specific to a given individual (hint: stay general)?  Are there caveats in the language, using words like “most” or “many” instead of all.  And of course prudence and personal sentiment enter in quite a bit, as well.

Anyways, it’s probably better if I stop rationalizing and just lay the sermon on you.  Many thanks to VideoSancto for getting this one up, as soon as I heard it, I knew I had to post it.  Hopefully, that means I’m capable of some self-criticism and trying to prevent major departures into detraction (and I pray I never calumniate).

The seven ways of committing detraction:

Directly:
1. Calumny
2. Exaggeration
3. Revealing hidden faults
4. Attributing malice to a good deed

Indirectly:
5. Denying a good that one does
6. Remaining silent when others detract [probably guilty here, at times]
7. Minimizing the good another does [does Planned Barrenhood do any good?  How about sodom-lobbies?]

Please say three Hail Mary’s for the priest!

I should probably start to warn you now, I will not be posting most of next week.  Maybe some on Monday, then after that, the nada, nada, nada of St. John of the Cross until after Easter.

10 steps to making a good confession April 9, 2014

Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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From the always good Fr. Peter Carota, ten steps to making a good traditional Catholic confession. And for those who think a good confession is a good confession (that’s what I was thinking at first), I think some of the steps below might clarify the distinction.

I know I probably have many readers who check out Fr. Carota’s blog regularly, but I also have many who don’t. If this post is repetition for you, maybe God wants you to see it again!  And if not, there is much to meditate on here. P35 Making a good confession is of critical importance.  Many people do not know how to do so.  If you follow these steps honestly and painstakingly, you can be assured of being in the State of Grace (or returning there) and being right with God.

1) Examination of Conscience.  Before planning on going to confession, it is of utmost importance to find a Traditional  Examination of Conscience.  Then, take time and quietly and prayerfully go over the examination of Conscience.  Write down all the sins you have committed.  Take this with you.  Here is a good examination of conscience: communityofhopeinc.org

2) Sincere Contrition.  We need to work on truly being contrite for having sinned against God.  That means we see that we were guilty of breaking God’s loving laws.  We take full responsibility for having disobeyed God.  We need to be very careful to not let any excuses cover over our sins. 

3) Deep Sorrow.  Once we are contrite and have taken responsibility for having sinned, we also need to work on a true and deep sorrow for having done the sin.  This means meditating on the pains we caused for Jesus and the harm we have done to ourselves and to others when we sinned.  The monks use to have a cry room.  It was not confession_littlefor babies who cried.

4) Firm Resolution to Sin No More.  So, we are contrite, we are sorry, but now we need to do something about these easily worked up feelings.  It is one thing to say I am sorry to someone after I have been caught or feel guilty.  But it takes much more effort to stop doing what I have done against them.  This is something that has to be diligently worked on. 

5) Concrete Plans to Avoid the Occasion of Sin.  If the internet is causing you to sin, you need to be willing to give up using the internet.  If a person is tempting you to sin, (a few examples: to have sex, use drugs, drinking or gambling), that person has to be avoided.  Many so called friends or family members are really instruments of the devil to get us to sin.  Jesus says it is better to pluck out an eye, cut off a hand, or a foot rather than to be thrown into hell for all eternity.  What ever it is that is causing you to sin, get rid of it (or the friendship).confessional[1]

6) Love for God and Fear of God’s Judgement.  We should want to make a good confession because we love God.  When we work on a loving friendship with God, we want to love Him, not hurt Him.  So in our prayer life, working on true love of God, can really help us to please Him rather than to shun His loving life that is sustaining our souls.  But if you can not stop sinning out of love, at least do it for fear of God’s judgement and damnation. 

7) Do not Withhold Sins.  A confession is not valid when we purposely withhold a sin because we are afraid to confess it.  If, on the other hand, you forget to confess it by accident, your confession is still valid.  Get every serious sin out.  Start with the most embarrassing sins first.

9) Confess Sins of Omission As Well.  Many times we think that a sin is breaking one of God’s laws.  But there are many sins of omission.  This means not doing what we should have done. [Yes, and these sins of omission can be some of the most common around.  Do you educate yourself and your children in the Faith?  Do you abide by all the Church's laws regarding fasting, assisting at Mass, etc?  We all fall short in charity for neighbor, but was there some egregious failure that constitutes a grave sin?]  

———–End Quote———–

Go to Fr.  Carota’s site to see the last three steps.

I want to expand a bit on number 7.  I have read in the writings of various Saints certain miraculous revelations that demonstrated to those Saints (Liguori, certainly, I want to say Bonaventure as well) that a good number of souls, even very pious ones who assisted at Mass very frequently, received regular confession, and in general tried to practice the interior life, still fell into hell because they had some secret sin they were too ashamed of to confess.

Do not let that happen to you!  The priests have heard it all.  They won’t feel differently about you, or freak out and cast you out of the confessional.  They most likely won’t even know who you are, or if by some chance they do, penanceremember what it is you confessed.  So don’t be embarrassed. If there is some sin that has been weighing on you for a long time, that you just haven’t been able to bring yourself to confess, just get it out!  You will feel immensely better.

If you’re really, really embarrassed, and just can’t reveal it to your main confessor and/or priest you greatly esteem, consider going to a different parish for this confession. I don’t normally recommend this, but if there is some matter that you just have not been able to reveal to your confessor, I think it appropriate to recommend going somewhere you are not known. I have done that a couple times when discussing my very sordid past, early on after my conversion.

And make sure to note how many bad confessions you’ve made when you do finally confess this sin!  If it’s been hanging there for two years and you’ve been to confession 50 times in that period, you need to tell the priest this, too.  Because making a deliberately bad confession is a grave sin.

While you’re at Fr. Carota’s site, you might want to check out this post, too: God’s Laws Do Not Depend on Popular Votes of Approval or Disapproval.

Checklist for Sanctity: It is doable! April 9, 2014

Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I get some comments offline that people really like these VideoSancto videos of sermons, but I rarely get comments online one way or the other.  So, I pray you are finding them helpful!  Nevertheless, I enjoy them and get a lot of benefit from them, so they’ll be going up either way.

The video below starts out with a great story about St. John Vianney, and the great reliquary he kept in his parish’s cemetery (that’s something I’d love to see more of: Catholic parishes having cemeteries again!).  The “reliquary” was just the graves of his parishioners, whom the great Saint had so prayed and suffered over.  But he did raise up many Saints!  And that is the point of it all, or used to be.

Anyway, the video is about 20 minutes but very worth your time.

The priest then goes through actual questionnaires used by the Vatican for approval of the process of beatification and canonization.  If your life corresponds to these items, you are definitely doing very well.  If not, you can quickly identify areas for improvement. I think the priest also charitably adds that knowing this should greatly improve our confidence levels regarding salvation.

“Christian perfection is something to which we can all aspire.”  I heartily agree!  If I can (try to) be a faithful Catholic, goodness, anyone can!

Great stuff, very useful, I think.

Dominus vobiscum!

You shall seek Me and shall not find Me April 9, 2014

Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Bible, catachesis, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgical Year, Tradition, Virtue.
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I have been so behind on posts, because of an overwhelming amount of great material to post of late, that I didn’t get to this one until today.  The excerpt below is from Dom Prosper Gueranger’s The Liturgical Year, Vol. 6, from Monday in Passion Week.  It is a stinging condemnation of indifferent approaches to Judaism, where many in the Church have of late opined that the Jews have their own “path” to salvation, or that the Old Covenant remains intact (which directly contradicts Scripture).  Mind you, Gueranger was writing when the modernist heresy was in its infancy, so he is likely not writing against the error that was to become so prevalent in the 20th century – he is simply relating the constant belief of the Church.

Begin quote:

The enemies of Jesus sought to stone Him to death, as we were told in yesterday’s Gospel; today they are bent on making Him a prisoner, and send soldiers to seize Him.  This time Jesus does not hide Himself; but how awful are the words He speaks: “I go to Him that sent Me: you shall seek Me, and shall not find Me!” (Jn VII:34). The sinner, then, who has long abused the Grace of God, may have his ingratitude and contempt punished in this just, but terrific way – that he shall not be able to find the Jesus he has despised: he shall seek, and shall not find. [Pope Francis recently gave an "interview" to some Belgian youth.  He told them that all who "seek the truth" will eventually find Christ.  This statement seems difficult to reconcile with the Scripture explored here, and great swaths of the Tradition. We are not guaranteed salvation. We cannot pursue all manner of error and then expect, miraculously, to be saved. Such salvation may not be impossible, but the Tradition would say it's a most dangerous path and most unlikely to result in a happy end] Antiochus, when humbled under the hand of God, prayed, yet obtained not mercy! After the death and resurrection of Jesus, whilst the Church was casting her roots in the world, the Jews, who had crucified the Just One, were seeking the Messias in each of the many impostors, who were then rising up in Judea, and fomenting rebellions, which led to the destruction of Jerusalem. [Indeed, they were.  And as temple Judaism rapidly decayed after the Resurrection, after the sacrifices had stopped, all manner of perversion were associated with these uprisings. During the final uprising that led to the sacking of Jerusalem by Titus in AD 70, the "Zealouts" were freakish transvestites who wore women's makeup and clothes and loved to suddenly stab innocent bystanders.  Once one rejects the One True Faith, there is no limit to the  bad that is possible, and terrible decline into sin and decay generally rapidly follows]  Surrounded on all sides by the Roman legions, with their temple and palaces a prey to flames, they sent up their cries to Heaven, and besought the God of their fathers to send, as He had promised, the Deliverer!

It never occurred to them that this Deliverer had shown Himself to their fathers, to many even of themselves; that they had put Him to death, and that the Apostles had already carried His Name to the ends of the earth.  They went on looking for Him, even to the very day when the God-killing city fell, burying beneath its ruins them that the sword had spared. Had they been asked what it was they wre awaiting, they would ahve replied that they were expecting their Messiah!  He had come, and gone.  You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me! Let those, too, think of these terrible words of Jesus, who intend to neglect the graces offered to them during this Easter.  Let us pray, let us make intercession for them, lest they fall into that awful threat, of a repentance that seeks mercy when it is too late to fight aught save an inexorable justice.

But what consoling thoughts are suggested by the concluding words of our Gospel!  Faithful souls, and you that have repented, listen to what your Jesus says, for it is to you that He speaks: “If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink” (Jn VII:37). Remember the prayer of the Samaritan woman: Give me, O Lord, to drink of this water! (Jn IV:15). This water is Divine Grace; come, and drink your fill at the fountains of your Savior, as the prophet Isaiah bids you (Is XII:3).  This water gives purity to the souls that are defiled, strength to them that are weak, and love to them that have no fervor. Nay, our Savior assures us that he who believes in Him shall himself become as a fountain of living water, for the Holy Ghost will come upon him, and he shall pour out upon others of the fullness that he himself has received. Jesus has made Himself everything to the world He has come to save: Light to guide us, Bread to nourish us, a Vine to gladden our hearts with its fruit, and lastly, a Fountain of living water to quench our thirst.

———–End Quote———-

Two things: the first, already mentioned, the enormous difficulty of modern “ecumenical” approaches to Judaism, which pretend, for the first time in the entire history of the Church, that Judaism is somehow equivalent to faithful Catholic Christianity, or very nearly so.

Secondly, this point is not made explicitly above, but it is key: we do not know how many times God will forgive us.  Two great Doctors, Aquinas and Liguori, both strongly warn the faithful that they are tempting God by repeatedly falling into mortal sin.  They may have been able to repent and confess many times, but there may come a time when that Grace of repentance is no longer present, when God has reached his limit for how many times He will forgive a given soul.  The more we sin, the closer we come to that time when we may no longer be able to find that repentance within us.

In addition, sin so corrupts the soul and darkens the intellect that the more we sin gravely, the more ingrained the habit becomes and the more difficult to overcome. Our soul is wounded each time by sin, and although we may be washed anew in Confession, lingering effects remain.  It is so critical, therefore, to avoid sin to the utmost of our ability to cooperate with Grace, and to pray like mad that we may overcome any habits of sin we have.

“New” home school resource: Queen of Heaven Academy April 8, 2014

Posted by tantamergo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Queen of Heaven Academy is a new name for an online home schooling/Catholic education curriculum that has been around since 1995.  Formerly known as Regina Coeli Academy, Queen of Heaven Academy (QHA) offers an online curriculum that is faithful to the intellectual, moral, and spiritual traditions of the Church.  QHA maintains a proven classical curriculum and has very strong faculty.  It offers numerous online courses from the elementary to the senior high level (grades 4-12), as well as parent-led courses and others by e-mail correspondence.  The curriculum is rich and varied, but contains all the minimum prerequisites for college acceptance.

Many people have an interest in homeschooling, but some may feel overwhelmed by the task. Others may simply not have the time, or have part-time jobs or other activities that make the task of homeschooling daunting.  Queen of Heaven Academy, through its online courses and mail-in coursework, eliminates most of that burden and provides families with a teacher-led homeschool resource.

You can search the course catalog here.  Many classes are taught online by teachers with years of Catholic education experience.  You can attend a webinar that shows the classroom experience.  Textbooks for all courses are listed here (being updated).

If you’re wondering if this QHA’s courses are very expensive, they are not.  In fact, they are a fraction of what one might pay for a Catholic or other private school (let alone what we pay in property taxes here in Texas for the public schools).  Elementary and middle school courses are very reasonable, while high school courses are a bit more.  There is a substantial discount available for family enrollment of multiple children.

I have met the Pierce’s, the couple that has run Regina Coeli Academy/Fisher More Academy/Queen of Heaven Academy, and I can say they are a very committed, affable, well-informed and of course educated couple.  They have a passion for Catholic education that is readily apparent, and they care greatly about improving the state of Catholic education.  I can say that there are many, many Catholic families that will attest to how strong QHA’s courses are and how well the Pierce’s administer the academies they have run.

Summer and Fall semester enrollment are open now!  If you have an interest in online homeschool courses for your children, or a more formal and guided approach to the homeschooling your family is already engaged in, I think you would be well advised to check out Queen of Heaven Academy.

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St. Vincent Ferrer was one incredible Saint! April 7, 2014

Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Four Last Things, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Please check out the sermon below, I think you will be impressed. I so wanted to put this up over the weekend, on the Saint’s feast day, but I just did not have time.

A great sermon below telling about the life and astounding miracles of St. Vincent Ferrer. It also discusses how St. Vincent’s preaching and conversion of vast numbers of people in 15th century Europe may have averted a great calamity, even the Apocalypse.  Parallels to our times are frightening to contemplate.

I knew St. Vincent was a great Saint, but I was not aware of much of this.  Simply incredible, how great.

As a nice bonus, JMJHF Productions, which always puts together such great videos, has a really great one on the FSSP’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Lincoln, NE:

You can support both Fr. Michael Rodriguez and JMJHF productions by giving to the St. Vincent Ferrer (hey, what a coincidence!) foundation. All details below:

St. Vincent Ferrer Foundation of Texas
5628 Rosa Ave.
El Paso, TX  79905
Phone # (915) 500-3025
Website: http://svfonline.org/about-the-founda…
Email: stvincentferreroftexas@gmail.com
Please indicate donations are for support of the JMJ HF videos.
The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Non-profit Corporation. You will receive a receipt for your donation. Thank you!

I have decided I’m going to direct the money I’ve saved through some Lenten sacrifices this way, for the support of Fr. Rodriguez.

Fisher-More College closing May 5 April 7, 2014

Posted by tantamergo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, sadness, scandals, self-serving, Tradition.
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That’s the latest story I’ve heard from some folks very well placed to know. I do not believe the official announcement has been made, yet, but the financial problems at Fisher-More College have developed to the point – as many insiders thought they would – that the college will be forced to close its campus on May 5.

From what I understand, the hope is to keep the college open as an online-only college but Fisher-More does not have accreditation for such.  In addition, the accrediting agency has previously only granted accreditation to online programs that develop from a real, physical college.  It is unknown whether accreditation can be obtained for an online-only school.

There has been so much confusion and outright disinformation put out regarding this situation.  I can say straight up that if Fisher-More College does shut its doors in a month, it will have absolutely nothing to do with Bishop Olson’s decision to deny permission for the College to offer the TLM, which I love and cherish as much as anyone.  This is an entirely prudential and financial matter.  A decision was made by the college’s president, Michael King, some time ago to hope against hope that funding could be found to support a facility well beyond the college’s current or historical financial means.  No matter how good a deal was given on this facility, it was always way, way beyond what the college could afford, long-term, barring a literal miracle in terms of a massive and sustained increase of donations into 7 figures.

As an example, some well off Catholic could take a liking to my family, and offer to mark down their $10 million mansion and lakeside property in the country to $4 million.  What an incredible deal that would be!  They could even offer to delay payment on the property for a year.  But the fact would remain that, barring winning the lottery or something like that (which, I don’t even play, as it is state-run gambling), that “incredible deal” would still result in our bankruptcy, and in short order, because it would be immensely beyond our ability to afford.

No matter how sweet the deal was, it would be profoundly imprudent for our family to enter into such an arrangement.  One does not enter financial arrangements based on hopes of miracles.  Many parents, faculty, administrators, former board members, etc., of both Fisher More College and Fisher More Academy felt the property FMC acquired last year was equally imprudent and would result in financial disaster. It appears those prognostications – made painfully, sadly – will be born out very soon.  There are numerous details, of course, but I think it best not to go into them.  The point is, FMC as a physical place of learning will close within a month.

It’s a very sad thing.  Ecclesiasticus comes to mind.  FMC was always a very small college, but it was faithful and for many years provided a top-notch Catholic liberal arts education.  Whether it continues as an online place of learning or not, something significant will have been lost with this closing.  The most tragic aspect is that this end was completely avoidable, at least until this imprudent arrangement was entered into.

So, given that this closing was seen by so many as inevitable, Bishop Olson’s action only blocked the Mass to a dwindling number of denizens of a dying Catholic college for a period of three months. There were no priests to offer the TLM there, anyway, so the number of Masses he really caused to be cancelled or denied could be zero.  As for “denying the Mass to an entire college” line, we’re talking about a handful (maybe 8 or 10 souls) who relied on FMC for their primary TLM and couldn’t reach any easily available options elsewhere.

In closing, beware utopian visions.  They almost always result in unhappy endings.

I will have comments open but if discussion deteriorates I may close them.

 

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