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Feast of St. Joseph TODAY March 19, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Good St. Joseph, Grace, Interior Life, Lent, Novenas, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Well, I’m late, but I would be most remiss if I did not pay at least some homage to the Saint who has been so incredibly generous in his aid to me, St. Joseph.  If my recovery from active addiction was miraculous, and I certainly believe it was, and even more, if my conversion to a (I pray) strong practice of the Faith was even more miraculous, then I owe all that to St. Joseph.  Yes, there were many other Saints called upon then and now, but I have always looked to St. Joseph as my prime intercessor and model in the Faith.  I fall very short of his high example, unfortunately, but he has been so instrumental not just in an ongoing process of conversion but also in (again, I pray) vastly improving my struggle to be a decent husband and father.stjosephicon-1 (1)  I know I have turned to St. Joseph repeatedly in prayer in times of need, and I can say without equivocation that those prayers have all been answered.  I have received far too much aid from this Saint to even begin to tell the full truth of the matter.  St. Joseph was truly instrumental in overcoming another addiction I had had for decades, even after I was blessed to quit opioids.

I’m a bit ashamed that I failed to give a notice a week and a half ago for the St. Joseph Novena. I realized the oversight 3 or 4 days ago, but then it felt too late to give notice.  But since there is also a practice in the Church of not only praying Novenas anticipatory to a Saint’s Feast, but also beginning on the feast day, I present some Novena material below.  I will certainly be praying!

Saint Joseph, you are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. I have special confidence in you. You are powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me, to your intercession. By the love you have for Jesus and Mary, do not abandon me during life, and assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the immaculate Virgin, Foster-father of Jesus Christ, obtain for me a pure, humble, and charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the Divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore: (Mention your request). Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I am confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Prayer: Let us Pray! In Your ineffable providence You were pleased to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Your Most Holy Mother. Grant, we beg You, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our protector. You who live and reign forever and ever. AMEN

You can also add 3 Ave’s or a Pater Noster, Ave, and Gloria at the conclusion of the Novena, each day.

Another option:

Saint Joseph, you are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. I have special confidence in you. You are powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me, to your intercession. By the love you have for Jesus and Mary, do not abandon me during life, and assist me at the hour of my death. Glorious Saint Joseph, be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.  Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I am confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.  Through Christ, our Lord.  AMEN. (MENTION YOUR INTENTIONS)

EWTN, as is typical, has a very long Novena here.


Exterior mortification avails not without interior conversion March 13, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Lent, Liturgical Year, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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A handy Lenten reminder from Dom Prosper Gueranger.  BTW, we passed the halfway point of Lent yesterday, Thursday in the 3rd week of Lent, from whence this reading comes:

There is not a single duty in which the Church does not instruct Her children.  If, on the one hand, She insists on their fulfilling certain exterior practices of penance, She, on the other hand, warns them against the false principle of supposing that exterior observances, however carefully complied with, can supply the want of interior virtues [shades of Jewish obsession with exterior points of law, without interior conversion] God refuses to accept the homages of the spirit and the heart, if man, through pride or sensuality, refuse that other service which is equally due to his Creator, namely, his bodily service; but to make one’s religion consist of nothing but material works, is little better than mockery; for God bids us serve Him in spirit and in truth (St. John IV:24). The Jews prided themselves on having the temple of Jerusalem, which was the dwelling place of God’s glory; but this privilege, which exalted them above other nations, was not infrequently turned against themselves, inasmuch as many of them were satisfied with a mere empty respect for the holy place; they never thought of that higher and better duty, of showing themselves grateful to their divine Benefactor, by observing His Law.  Those Christians would be guilty of a like hypocrisy, who, though most scrupulously exact in the exterior duty of fasting and abstinence, were to take no pains to amend their lives, and to follow the rules of justice, charity, and humility.  They would deserve that our Lord should say of them what he said of Israel: “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me” (Is XXIX:13). 

This Christian pharisaism is very rare nowadays. [Is it?] What we have to fear is a disregard for the exterior practices of religion.  Those of the faithful who are diligent in the fulfillment of the laws of the Church, are not, generally speaking, behindhand in the practice of other virtues. [Bear in mind, Gueranger wrote this 150 years ago.  Still, I think he is generally correct even today, that those few Catholics who do strive to observe the Church’s exterior practice of the Faith, at least make fairly good attempts at interior practice, as well.  But we must always strive to do better in this regard.]  Still, this false conscience is sometimes to be met with, and is a scandal which does much spiritual injury.  Let us, therefore, observe the whole law.  Let us offer to God a spiritual service, which consists in the heart’s obedience to all His Commandments; and to this let us join the homage of our bodies, by practicing those things which the Church has prescribed.  The body is intended to be an aid to the soul, and is destined to share in her eternal happiness; it is but just taht it should share in the service of God.

———–End Quote———-

That is one of the knocks on traditional Catholics, is it not, that many may observe all these exterior practices of Mass attendance, observing fasts and periods of self-denial, etc., but that they are hard-hearted and lacking in charity.  And that is probably true to some degree, although I would suggest back that I don’t think non-traditionals are by and large any better, and in often foregoing those exterior practices do not make up for that deficiency with a richer, deeper interior life.  Of course, I’m speaking in broad brush strokes and individuals vary tremendously, but I think the criticism is really more a misdirection than anything else, playing everyone’s favorite game of finding the pious soul to be a hypocrite on one level or another.

Anyway, I thought the above another good, timely exegesis from Gueranger during this season of Lent.  Maybe I find it so good, because I see places in my own spiritual life where I do not accord with the ideal.

I assume you know……it’s Ember Week! February 25, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Lent, Liturgical Year, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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Sorry I didn’t give a reminder yesterday.  I had actually forgotten, thankfully, Dom Prosper Gueranger reminded me.

Just a quick reminder – Ember Days are special days of fasting and abstinence.  Wednesday and Saturday are days of fast and partial abstinence, Friday is a day of partial fast and total abstinence. By partial abstinence, you can have one full meal with meat and two snacks/small meals that don’t equal a full meal without.  So, I guess I’ll have to forego my usual foray to The Big Texan for a nice 64 oz sirloin for lunch with leftovers for dinner.  Oh, the pain, the pain of it all!

I pray we all take full advantage of the great Grace penitential seasons like Ember Week provide!  Such a shame they have been excised from virtually all non-traditional corners of the Church.

Much more info on Lenten Embertide if you are interested at Fisheaters.



Local priest leads public Rosary walk throughout Lent February 24, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, Dallas Diocese, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Lent, Our Lady, priests, Tradition, Virtue.
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Fr. Jason Cargo, pastor of Immaculate Conception parish in Corsicana, TX, has been leading a Rosary walk throughout the city of Corsicana since Lent began.  He has led it come rain or shine, and has attracted growing crowds.  The walks start in different locations every day, so please check his Facebook page if you’d like to join.  These walks are taking place on public streets and are a tremendous form of witness to our glorious Faith.  I have known Fr. Cargo since he was a freshly ordained priest serving at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Plano and he is, as they say, one of the good ones.  While Fr. Cargo is not overtly traditional in the sense most readers would understand the term, he is really a very good young priest who gives much hope for the future.

We also have to understand the limitations under which priests in this diocese operate, and the great pressures on them.

Again, since the walks have different start points, if you want to join, please check Fr. Cargo’s Facebook page for a given day’s location.  If we have time, we hope to join one of these walks.  I think this is a really great idea, incorporating key elements of Lenten practice (prayer, penance) while also making the timeless practice of our Faith more public, which is itself another spiritual work of mercy.  The plan is to expose most all of Corsicana to this witness to the Faith over the course of Lent.

God bless Fr. Cargo, and I pray his example may encourage other priests in the Diocese of Dallas to make similar efforts!





“Catholic Carbon Fast” is an offensive panoply of worldly, left-wing concerns February 20, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Lent, sadness, scandals, secularism, silliness, Society, the return.
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Commenter “H-Town” (poor soul, living there) posted a link to the “Catholic Carbon Fast,” a really problematic effort by the “Catholic Climate Movement” (which involves various arms of the USCCB) to get Catholics to perform acts of “carbon self-denial” all during Lent.  So you can mix in your two favored religions, leftism and Catholicism, all in the same liturgical season!

I say it is silly – and really offensive to 2000 years of Catholic piety – because of the political agitation that is promoted as being an acceptable form of penance for Lent.  All in the same direction, of course, towards the much hoped-for secular utopia.  A few selected suggestions from the carbon-fast calendar:

  • Buy local!  Eat with ingredients only from “your area” (is Kansas in “my area,” since I own a farm there?)
  • Use a smaller plate, you will have leftovers to eat later
  • Is your Catholic parish’s “catering services” using styrofoam?  Burn, heretic!
  • Commit to fasting and praying to assuage the burning rage of holy Gaia for the climate at least once a month.
  • Keep your car tuned up!  What is this, 1978?!  Most cars never need a tuneup until well past 100,00 miles anymore, anyways.
  • Car pool!
  • Don’t use styrofoam, you heretic!
  • Don’t buy a lawnmower or ladder, borrow your neighbor’s.  Oh, they’ll loooove you for that!

Geez louise, this is just ridiculous.  Look, some of these items are fine and sensible and if you feel moved to buy local for whatever reason, or eat “free range” chickens (hey, guess what, they are still in a very small pen, just a slightly larger one!) or whatever, that’s not necessarily objectionable.

But this kind of worldly, materialist emphasis is really inappropriate for Lent, which should be primarily about improving our spiritual sides.  Certainly there can be corporal aspects to Lent, but they should not be primarily corporal.  They also should not be so overtly political, or from such a one-sided political perspective, nor should they have such an overwhelmingly worldly focus.  I was actually surprised I did not see on the calendar “picket outside a nuclear power plant” or “lay your body down on the tracks in front of a coal train.”

What is most objectionable is the stated purpose behind the “fast,” which they don’t tell you till the end:

This Lent Fast for Climate Justice urges Catholics to unite on climate change and it also calls for decisive action for a fair, ambitious and legally binding global agreement in the COP 21 summit at Paris to keep the global temperature increase below 1.5 degree Celsius, relative to pre-industrial levels.

This is ludicrous on several fronts.  First, there is presently very little evidence the world is warming at all, even with CO2 emissions continuing to increase. Secondly, the world has been both far warmer, and far colder, than it is at present.  This includes relatively recent history like the Medieval warm period and the “little ice age” of 1600-1850.  Thirdly, we cannot remotely trust the data from land-based thermometers, the data is being altered and cooked to an incredible, shocking degree in order to produce the desired result.  In fact, even with this massive manipulation of the data, they still show only a trivial, within the margin of error “increase,” and satellite data, which cannot be so easily manipulated, shows no increase at all.  So this is all based on a left-wing moral panic and is a false chimera.  Fourthly, while leftists in developed countries wring their hands and pretend savage cuts in our standard of living and economic output are absolutely required to forestall disaster, they would allow China and India (and Russia) to continue to emit massive plumes of CO2, orders of magnitude greater than emissions from the developed West already.  So we would incur a massive cost, a huge reduction in our standard of living, and only have a trivial impact on CO2 emissions, so long as China and India remain largely exempt from the rules.

But we all know, this is not about “saving the planet,” its about taking control over the levers of production.  It’s about watermelons, communists/leftists who have adopted environmental scaremongering as their preferred vehicle to obtain power. It’s about the manipulation of science for political ends, something that’s gone on for so long I openly wonder why we listen much to what scientists have to say.  And it’s also about materialist penetration even into the Catholic Church, the institutions of which, we sadly know, are eager to jump onto whatever left-wing secular bandwagon happens to come along.

But it’s not about Lent, in the traditional sense, nor is it about drawing closer to God, necessarily. It could be conducted in such a manner, but if one just followed the prescriptions of the calendar straight up, it would be very possible to conduct the entire “climate fast” without any reference to God.  Which fact shouldn’t surprise us, since those who drew this thing up probably have a very disordered and worldly conception of God, anyway, to the extent they even believe in Him.

And I’ll repeat for the 400th time, things like this are a major reason why I refuse to support the USCCB or even Catholic Charities in any way (Catholic Charities is tied in with this and many other problematic “movements” within the Church bureaucracy).  They are offensive to Catholic sensibilities.

Excellent worksheet for Lenten sacrifices available to you February 19, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Lent, mortification, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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I know I’m a day or two late in posting this, and I’m sure the good readers of this blog already have well-established plans of prayer, penance, and almsgiving during this most penitential season of the year, but in case you need some help, or want to consider doing a bit more here at the beginning of Lent, please review the attached worksheet from the St. Vincent Ferrer Foundation.

We should really have three points of emphasis during Lent: voluntary amendment of life, works of penance, and acts of charity.  Charity could be corporal charity, but it could also be spiritual charity – praying another 5 decades of the Rosary, praying the Chaplet of the Holy Face daily (as Cardinal Burke requested), reading the Bible daily, spending more time with family, etc.   Works of penance could be so arranged to amount to a voluntary amendment of life over the course of Lent, such as giving up a bad habit.

I hope you find the worksheet helpful.  Even though I had already determined what I planned to do this Lent before seeing it, it was good to have a reminder that the acts I have planned do fulfill all the elements of Lenten sacrifice.  The worksheet is here—–>>>>Lent-is-Coming

Saint Anthony Marie Claret on feminine modesty February 12, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Lent, religious, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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I don’t know how many readers are familiar with the life of Saint Anthony Marie Claret, or have read his biography, but he was one mighty Saint.  A Spaniard, he truly had that Apostolic fire we so desperately need nowadays.  Such a great leader and restorer of the Faith was he, after he had StAnthonyMaryClaretbrought the diocese of Santiago de Cuba back from the abyss of laxitude and error, those lost in sin tried to have him murdered.  The murderer almost succeeded – the Saint’s face was badly gashed – but that did not deter Saint Anthony from continuing his mission.  He later served in a very difficult position as confessor to the Queen of Spain, at a time when Spain was terribly divided between the French revolutionary leftist faction, and the faithful traditional Catholic faction – the same conflict that has afflicted Spain from 1806 to the present day.

His native Spanish blood, the egregious abuses he had seen at the hands of the liberals, his strength of Faith, and the trial of bitter conflict all contributed to a man who saw the truths of the Faith as clearly, and as starkly, as any.  I give this description as a bit of preamble to the Saint’s exhortation in favor of feminine modesty below, because it’s a pretty strong statement.  But I think that strength and clarity is needed in our own time even more than it was in Claret’s day (via Fr. Peter Carota):

“Now observe, my daughter, the contrast between the luxurious dress of many women and raiment and adornments of Jesus… Tell me: what relation do their fine shoes bear to the spikes in Jesus’ feet? The rings on their hands to the nails which perforated His? The fashionable coiffure to the crown of thorns? The painted face to That covered with bruises? Shoulders exposed by the low-cut gown to His, all striped with Blood? Ah, but there is a marked likeness between these worldly women and the Jews who, incited by the devil, scourged Our Lord! At the hour of such a woman’s death I think Jesus will be heard asking: ‘Cujus est imago haec et circumscripto—Of whom is she the image?’ And the reply will be: ‘Demonii—of the devil.’ Then He will say: ‘Let her who has followed the devil’s fashions be handed over to him; and to God, those who have imitated the modesty of Jesus and Mary”

The problem with our age, unique in the history of Christendom, is that people have forgotten about God, yes, but they’ve especially forgotten about their particular judgment. Or they think “judgment” is just high-fiving Saint Peter as they sashay through the Pearly Gates.

The devil loves that.

098_StAntonioMarieClaretIn our egalitarian time, I should probably add that the same criticisms could be directed at men, as well.  I was looking at some pictures of fashions from the late 1500s earlier today, and male fashions were in some respects even more over the top in luxury and pomp than were women’s.  That’s generally not too often the case today, but there are $10,000 Saville Row suits, silk shirts, and all that for men, too.

Another factor to keep in mind is the historically unprecedented comfort in which virtually all of us are ensconced today.  Even the relatively poor among us have practically instantaneous access to levels of comfort even the wealthiest of the past could not even dream of.  Chilled air?  Who ever heard of such a thing?  Magical beams that bring the entire world of knowledge (and debauchery) to our fingertips?  1452

And we are of course in the midst of Sexagesima week.  Lent starts in earnest next week.  This is a time for all of us to start making our plans for prayer, PENANCE, and almsgiving for this most penitential season of the year. Hopefully most have already begun some acts of penance.

Remember, penance does not have to mean strictly taking away things we like. It can also mean doing more things that aren’t our favorite, or that we actively dislike. Maybe you find meditation difficult – you could try to do more during Lent.  Or  you could eat a lot of the things you dislike, and less of those  you do. You could take up more exercise.  You get the drift.

The key thing to remember is that Lent is a time of great Grace.  It is our yearly tithe of penance to the Lord.  It’s also a time when we are able, through God’s immense love, to actually unite our own slight sufferings to those of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Take advantage of it.


Just what is Septuagesima, anyways? February 4, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Lent, Liturgical Year, priests, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Many readers not familiar with the traditional liturgical calendar may wonder what this “Septuagesima” I mention from time to time is.  The video below discusses the nature of Septuagesima in some details, as well as giving some understanding of the purpose it serves.

In brief, Septuagesima is a period of moderate penance to get one ready for the heavy duty penance of Lent.  It is a period of preparation.  Since Lent is the major penitential season of the liturgical year, it makes sense to get ready for it by starting some of the penitential practices in advance. I, for one, have found Septuagesima very helpful; in years past, I would often feel that Ash Wednesday snuck up on me, and I did not have a program of prayer, penance, and alms giving worked out in advance.  Septuagesima is a period to do just that – to start ramping up the prayer, the penance, and thinking about what kinds of alms one might be able to give this Lent.

The sermon also discusses Lent and the performance of penance generally. Penance is so efficacious of Grace and is vital to the practice of virtue!  We can scarcely advance in virtue without learning to master our appetites and develop a strong spirit of self-denial.

The priest also makes the very important point that just because the practice of penance has been de-emphasized greatly in the past several decades, that does not mean it is not important.  Our Blessed Lord said penance was necessary for salvation.  Even if high leaders in the Church seem to minimize penance or treat it as some dated medieval neo-Pelagian practice, that doesn’t mean we are absolved of our duty to practice it.  Woe to them that say so, but let us not be fooled.

To me, Septuagesima reveals the great wisdom of the Church’s liturgical calendar.  I love the wisdom of having a sort of “warm-up period” for Lent.  Lent should be a period of great devotion for us, as we fast in union with Our Lord’s own fast of 40 days in the desert, in preparation for the great Feast of His glorious Resurrection.  It is a shame it was deleted from the liturgical calendar in the – ahem – reforms of the 1960s.

Anyway, I hope you find this video edifying!  I did when I heard it the first time back, and picked up more listening to it again.

If it’s Lent, that means there has to be another goofy women’s retreat in Collin County – corrected February 2, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Lent, sadness, secularism, self-serving, silliness.
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Correction – I had misidentified Dr. Rick Gaillardetz below as Fr. Rick Gaillardetz.  Correction made.

Many readers may not be aware why I started this silly but vaguely charming little blog  years ago.  It was in reaction to the scandal I and many others felt about a rather radical new age-touting female religious called Joyce Rupp hosting a women’s retreat in the local area.  I researched her writings and speeches and found she adhered veered quite dangerously towards new age beliefs.  I am speaking with a broad brush, but that was the crux of the matter. That same Lent, there was also a talk given by Dr. Rick Gaillardetz, who really and truly holds what I considerheretical views condemned by the Magisterium, and who constantly posits dangerous beliefs about things like Church Authority, amongst other things. He is a favorite of the LCWR.

Mind you, this was after such darlings of the progressive camp like Fr. Richard Rohr and Thomas Keating had given similar talks in the Diocese in previous Lents.  It is almost as if there is some diabolical urge being acted on, in bringing in these highly controversial and heavily criticized speakers during the most penitential season of the year.  It was almost as if there was a semi-conscious effort to derail any tendencies towards a rightly ordered interior life. I really have trouble explaining this phenomenon apart from that kind of urge.

Since I began my rather loud complaints, however, things seemed to improve, at least a bit (although, in reality, I think Vicki Middleton’s radio show had much more to do with it, God rest her soul).  They improved in that the speakers invited in to give these retreats, which are really put on at the behest of a handful of female staff members at parishes in Plano, were less noteworthy and had much less of a paper-trail.  They were not so easily identifiable as having problematic beliefs. But I really doubt the substance of the talks (finding the “God” within, new age channeling, reiki, etc) have substantially changed in the interim.  If you look at their presentations sideways, squint real hard, and use your imagination,  you can almost interpret most of what they say in an orthodox sense.  The problem, however, is that these materials are just as often a gateway out of the Church and into full-blown new age practice as they are any kind of guide to a richer interior life.  If not more so.  They all share one fundamental characteristic:  a focus on me, wonderful, wonderful me.

I guess one way to put it succinctly: most all of these speakers would not be out of place at all (in age, appearance, outlook, and religious disposition) at an LCWR conference.  Does that help?

So, long story short, Seton parish in Plano (where all the trouble began all those years ago) is hosting another Lenten retreat by another septuagenarian spouting psychobabble, Elaine Sullivan.  Or, rather than listen to me, figure out for yourself what she’ll be presenting:

  • Facilitates Courage to Lead, Courage to Teach and Courage in the Workplace retreats and workshops
  • Wellness as a Spiritual Practice: Integrating Mind, Body, Spirit
  • Pathways to Health and Wellness
  • The Transformational Dynamics of Understanding, Owning and Changing Your Story [This, from the flyer, is the focus of the retreat. Well……..I was born the son of a sharecropper, on the hardscrabble plains of Mississippi.  We lived in a shotgun shack, my mama running a sort of bordello for cats out of one side and my father, a hard working corporate tax attorney/sharecropper occupied the other.  I was actually raised by my Mongolian half-brother, who trained me to be a shepherd.  But I didn’t like that, so I became a blogger, instead. I always went around with an onion tied to my belt, which was the style at the time……. Is that changed enough?]
  • Understanding the Power of Story and Metaphor
  • Women- Giving Voice to the Richness of Their Experience [Because we all know in our culture today women are just totally ignored and marginalized]
  • Change and Transition: Challenge for Personal and Professional Growth
  • Leading From Within
  • Restoring the Heart-Renewing the Spirit- Personally and Professionally
  • Leading and Living With Integrity
  • Gifts of the Imagination: Discovering and Expressing Our Creative Self
  • Transformation of the Individual and the Organization (blending Peter Block/Parker Palmer)

Zzzzzzz……….snore……….uh!  What?  Oh, sorry…….

This woman does not seem as overtly given over to new age or other problematic practices as some in the past, but as I said, it does seem her material focuses quite a bit on the self, and not in the traditional Catholic sense, but in the modern, American sense.  Is that really what Catholics need in our incredibly self-pleasing and self-obsessed culture today, a Lenten retreat that encourages them to focus even more on self?

Believe it or not, there are still quite a few very orthodox lay people and religious who could be called on to lead a retreat.  It’s not that this Sullivan is the only option.  It’s not that a psychiatric or new age approach is the only option. It’s just the option that interests those that organize the retreats.  I’ve steered at least a few women away from these things over the past few years, but I really pray they just go away, because I don’t think they’re terribly helpful.  In fact, I fear they are destructive of a rightly ordered interior life, to one degree or another.

Boring segue into local matters concluded.


REMINDER: All day procession from Dallas to Plano April 18, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Lent, Liturgical Year, manhood, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I blogged on Monday about the all-day procession taking place from Dallas to Plano.  The details are at that post if you want to join at the last minute.

But I mentioned how the priest leading that procession is one of those  younger priests that fills one with hope for the future.  While not traditional per se, he has many leanings in that direction.

Well, here he is today as the procession got started just a short while ago, rocking the cassock and biretta:


God bless you Fr. Marco Rangel, this is an inspired idea.  And thanks so much to J Schwartz for his help, as well.

Yes, external signs such as cassock and biretta may not be as critical as what resides in the heart, but they are key  aspects of Catholic witness. I am so gratified to see young priests who understand the need for priests to give that witness constantly, and who are proud to wear the visible signs of their awesome vocation in public.

It is interesting that these two have been assigned to a parish that has long had a reputation as among the most liberal in the Diocese.  I pray they have a hand in changing that.


Like I said, wonderful witness. I have had an on-again, off-again desire to just stand outside these whorehouses with a placard and pray on Friday or Saturday nights. I should have liked to have joined this procession.  We’re so tied up with wonderful things at our parish, but this is wonderful, too.

God bless you guys, this is beautiful.