If You Want to Get Involved in the Fight over Atonement Parish in San Antonio – UPDATED January 24, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, Basics, different religion, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Latin Mass, Liturgy, persecution, priests, Revolution, scandals, the struggle for the Church, unbelievable BS.
……..a site has been constructed to help keep people informed. There is a meeting for concerned parishioners and others interested in maintaining orthodox catechesis and reverent liturgy in the San Antonio area this Thursday, January 26, at the Embassy Suites hotel ballroom at 7750 Briaridge, San Antonio at 7:00 pm.
The website only has basics on Fr. Phillips and the Atonement situation at present, but hopefully it will be updated to indicate how people can help. You might consider contacting the chancery of the Archdiocese of San Antonio directly at 210-734-2620 or perhaps the Vicar General or others listed on this site, like the communications director Jordan McMorrough at the same number, x1128.
Raise a ruckus. Get their attention. Don’t cuss, don’t proclaim them to be bound for hell, but do express your exasperation and scandal at this development.
Naturally, no contact info for either of San Antonio’s bishops was provided. We wouldn’t want the bishops to be bothered by puny little things like the spiritual lives of hundreds of distraught souls. They’re much too busy, and frankly too good, to deal with any little thing like that.
In the interim, the Diocese of Dallas will breathe a hefty sigh of relief that the mighty triple 16″ 50 cal guns of veneremurcernui.wordpress.com are directed on another target………….heh.
UPDATE: IMPORTANT! Commenter Richard Malcolm had this to add:
I think it’s important to note that Mr. Wilson’s letter at the SaveAtonement site is urging those interested NOT to contact the chancery, as he thinks this will be counterproductive. “Any individual action such as writing to the archbishop or demonstrating at the chancery could be counter-productive. Please use common sense.” However, he seems to favor bombarding the Congregation for Clergy.
I don’t know enough to say. I suspect he’s right – he seems to know his stuff – though the faithful of a parish have a right to express their concerns about their parish and pastor to their ordinary, even when they know it may be futile. I think non-OLA people may want to confine themselves to the Congregation, though.
Tantumblogo comments: I can understand Mr. Wilson’s point of view. You can certainly do what you feel best. I have seen both approaches. Whether being meek and silent or loud and boisterous works better depends much upon the situation. I’m on the outside here, so I’ll tend to defer to what the locals think, but I will add this little bit of opinion: letters to the Vatican will have even less impact than those sent to the chancery. Especially with this pontiff.
I know of only one priest who faced a railroad job like this that survived it. And he “survived” by being banished to the furthest reaches of the diocese, but he did not cave on authentic catechesis and reverent liturgy. He did that by being prepared well in advance with very strong canon law representation. He also had all the facts on his side and not a single complaint against him. That why I tend to default to the make a ruckus approach. It’s high risk, yes, but also high reward if the ruckus is loud enough and garners enough media attention. It could the only thing that “saves Atonement.”
Mr. Malcolm may offer a middle way: outsiders like most readers of this blog may want to demure from contacting the Archdiocese (in my experience, not many would, anyway). Let the folks in San Antonio deal with this matter for now. But do as the Spirit moves you.
Coincidence or More? Multiple Moves Against Tradition, Orthodoxy in Recent Days – Including in San Antonio January 23, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Latin Mass, Liturgy, persecution, Revolution, scandals, secularism, Society, the return, the struggle for the Church.
There is an old saying: once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times, conspiracy. Now, that might apply to three crimes in the same town, but in an institution as vast as the Church, probably far more than 3 occurrences of something are necessary to prove any kind of conspiracy. Nevertheless, it was disconcerting late last week to find all the below taking place:
The bishops of Malta, formerly a place of deep faith and devotion, decreed they were accepting Francis’ interpretation of Amoris Laetitia and implementing it, permitting those in adulterous second “unions” to receive the Blessed Sacrament, and suspending any priests who adhered to the constant belief and practice of the Faith (denying the Blessed Sacrament to public adulterers per that practice).
A priest in Colombia was suspended a divinis for having criticized the massive, unprecedented, morality-destroying aspects of Amoris Laetitia.
In the Diocese of Rockford, Ill, Bishop Malloy has arrogated to himself the right to determine if, and where, Mass may be offered either according to the ancient Rite or even facing the Lord, Ad Orientem. This kind of false assertion of power should be very familiar to Dallas area Catholics, as it is precisely the same standard imposed by former Bishop, now Cardinal, Kevin Farrell. Immediately after Summorum Pontificum was released, Bishop Farrell issued a statement declaring only he had the right to assess where the TLM was “needed,” if anywhere, and threatened harsh sanctions against any priests that disobeyed. This was a public declaration. The imposition against Ad Orientem worship was done privately, against at least one priest who started offering Mass, including Novus Ordo Latin, facing the tabernacle. That priest has now returned to offering Mass Ad Orientem since Farrell’s departure. Pray God that Bishop-Elect Edward Burns, Farrell’s replacement, will be much less draconian in his treatment of wholly legitimate methods of offering Mass.
Finally – and this has not gotten nearly as much coverage – Fr. Christopher Phillips of Atonement Parish in San Antonio, the world’s first Anglican Use parish erected in the Catholic Church under the direct intervention of Pope St. John Paul II, was sacked late Friday afternoon by San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia Siller in what amounts to a canonical coup. Phillips has a long history at Atonement, not all of it good, but offered the most traditional, reverent liturgies in the vast San Antonio Archdiocese outside the sole weekly TLM permitted at St. Pius X parish on Sundays. Atonement offered both Anglican Use and Novus Ordo Latin Masses every Sunday, and it appears a desire for greater “liturgical uniformity” may have played a significant role in Phillips’s removal:
The parish joining the Anglican Ordinariate may also have been a contributing factor.
The actual letter from Archbishop Garcia-Siller:
Now, I say that Phillips is being sacked, because I’ve never, once, in observing Church affairs closely now for 7 years or so, seen a pastor removed for “reflection” ever re-instated. If lucky, he would be transferred to a backwoods assignment, but in all likelihood, Phillips will never have a public ministry again.
Note the similarity in language used by Bishop Malloy and Garcia-Siller, and the similarity in objectives.
Finally, a bit more about Atonement: this is probably a minority opinion, but I know of a handful of families who found Phillips’ pastoral care – in their particular cases – counterproductive. These were all deeply private matters and not related to public ministry, as I understand it, but there were certainly concerns, and complaints, regarding counsel Phillips gave to various families that some felt made matters worse. There was also a possible ongoing “situation” – maybe a scandal – involving a certain deacon who retired from the parish this past year. Concerns had been expressed about this deacon for some time, again by a handful of folks, to my knowledge (bear in mind I am in Dallas but did assist at Mass and Tenebrae at Atonement several times before we went full-TLM all the time. I know some current and former Atonement parishioners but not a whole lot. It could be there were broad-based complaints of which I am unaware).
I say this to note that there may be extenuating circumstances in this case, but I doubt those really had anything to do with Phillips’ case. First of all, the reports came from a small number of people. Secondly, Phillips appears to enjoy the overwhelming support of the people of Atonement. My gut instinct says this is really about doctrinal orthodoxy being taught publicly at Atonement and probably some demands being made to conform to the corporate line that were not obeyed.
Many of the founding members of the parish were former Episcopalians who converted to Catholicism. Phillips, the parish’s first and only pastor, was ordained by then-Archbishop Patrick Flores, who died Jan. 9. [I doubt the timing is coincidental]
In a one-page letter to parishioners, Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller called the Catholic Church’s “pastoral provision” to bring Anglicans into the fold “a great blessing in our archdiocese, and a path for many of our separated (Anglican) brothers and sisters.”
But he noted that his concerns “relate to expressions in the life of the parish that indicate an identity separate from, rather than simply unique, among the parishes of the archdiocese” and that he has asked Phillips “to dedicate some time to reflect on certain specific concerns that I have shared with him.”
The letter praised the parish as one that attracts many Catholics who want “clarity of doctrine and traditional liturgical expression.”
In a separate statement, García-Siller noted “serious concerns regarding a lack of ecclesial communion with the parish and the Archdiocese of San Antonio.”
Two parishioners and one former parishioner said they interpreted the archbishop’s concern as a reference to a longtime hope by Phillips and other members of Our Lady of the Atonement to someday leave the auspices of the archdiocese and join the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.
In an unsigned email from the church office to parishioners, provided by a founding parishioner, Chuck Wilson, the parish staff seemed surprised at Phillips’ removal from the parish operations, including its school.
“We were notified today of the canonical process being instigated by the archdiocese to remove Fr. Phillips,” it said. “The archbishop stated that Fr. Phillips has done nothing wrong, but his ministry is detrimental to the faith of the people and keeps the people of the parish separate from the communal activities of the archdiocese.”
The email said Phillips has been removed from the parish grounds for 15 days. Wilson said Phillips’ personal residence is at the parish.
So I was right – this is about removing Phillips, and his enforced 15 day removal from the parish is to create a vacuum in leadership wherein the Archdiocese can act to impose its will. Not long, but probably long enough. Shades of the treatment Fr. Rodriguez received – and is receiving – in El Paso.
The statements about upholding the Anglican-use liturgy and the doctrinal orthodoxy of the parish are red herrings, in all likelihood. Otherwise, there would have been no reason to remove Phillips.
Illegitimate though it may be, Fr. Phillips has probably been presented with a choice – tow the line we are demanding you tow, or never serve in public again. The number of limitations and absurdities imposed on Phillips would likely astound readers, just as (a partial list of) those imposed on Fr. Rodriguez astounded me, and made plain to me the reality of the different religion being stood up in the name of the Holy Catholic Church. In Phillips case, however, he does have a family to consider. I tend to imagine, however, that this period of reflection is nothing of the sort, that the decision has already been made, and the only thing that can save Fr. Phillips’ role at Atonement is an ace canon lawyer. I hope he has one.
So while these events from many different regions may appear disparate and unrelated, I tend to doubt they are. This is all likely part of a broad-based pushback against the very modest “gains” made under Popes JPII and Benedict, and the re-imposition of an aggressive, heterodox “Spirit of Vatican II.”
A Very Positive Appraisal of Dallas’ New Bishop Edward Burns January 9, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, priests, Society, true leadership.
One reason I’ve been behind the curve with regard to soon-to-be Dallas Bishop Edward Burns is because I was completely offline and out of town in North Carolina when the announcement was made. I missed out on a great deal of coverage, also, because I am not on social media. So, I was very glad to receive an appraisal from a local person who happened to have some interaction with Edward Burns on the day the announcement of his appointment as Dallas’ next bishop was made, essentially the only day he has been in the Dallas Diocese so far.
This individual was very impressed. They indicated Bishop-elect Burns is very prayerful. In fact, in spite of having an extremely busy day of travel, introductions, and press conferences/media interaction, he insisted on having a Holy Hour the night of the announcement. Some folks thought, it’s too late, it’s been a long day, but Bishop-elect Burns was determined to have a Holy Hour of prayer for thanksgiving and for Grace for his upcoming role, and so he had one. The impression my contact gained of Bishop-elect Burns is that he is a prayerful man, something that even I have been well aware was not an exactly overwhelming characteristic of either of his predecessors.
Bishop-elect Burns also showed a welcome pastoral touch. Even though he met hundreds of people on the day of his introduction to the Diocese, at the end of the day he thanked many involved by name. He had involved conversations with many local Catholics, from diocesan staff to lay people who had hurried to the presser to meet him, and all came away very impressed. He seemed to be happy to make time for local Catholics, to hear their views and any concerns they might have, and did not seem to be in a hurry to get away to more pressing engagements. That’s again a bit of a change from what has been the experience of local Catholics in recent years. I know I am far from the only involved local Catholic who found Bishop Farrell a man who was essentially impossible for most laity to reach, even well-connected, involved ones who had serious business to discuss.
It’s too soon to tell where Bishop-elect Burns lands on the matter of the Liturgy and Doctrine, but my contact is very hopeful there, too. I did get further feedback from local pro-life leaders that they are very excited and expect good things from Burns. Their brief introductions apparently gave them substantial hope for even more diocesan support of local pro-life, anti-abortion efforts.
Another hopeful sign is this: a local priest who has longed for years to offer Mass Ad Orientem is again doing so. This priest had introduced Ad Orientem at Mass in 2008, intending the change to be permanent, but he was apparently forced to desist after only a few weeks. You guys are well-informed readers, you can do the math from there. I know this priest very well and dearly love him, and am so glad he is again able to offer Mass facing the tabernacle as has been the default practice in the Church for 15 or 16 centuries.
Well, praise God, it looks like Dallas will have a bishop that is, if not a hero of orthodox doctrine, at least approachable, possessed of a solid prayer life, and seems to bend at least somewhat conservative. I know there are a few indications that have given some folks pause, but for now I will remain hopefully optimistic and give our new Bishop-elect Burns the benefit of the doubt, as he rightfully deserves. Never a Pollyanna, I’ll certainly be watching his actions with interest and will call things as I see them, but until then, I’ll take these positive assessments from people I know and pray they play out into reality over the next few years.
People often tend to want to give the newcomer, especially an authority figure, the benefit of the doubt, until evidence proves out the contrary, but I think there is a reasonable expectation of hope here.
Milo Comes Out As Trad? December 16, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Tradition.
Ok it’s late and I have 1200 miles to drive tomorrow so I haven’t watched all of it, but I believe noted alt-right counter-insurgent has come out……as a TRAD. Note the comment at 1:25, where he makes a joke of the banality of the Mass in vernacular. THERE MAY BE FOUL LANGUAGE, BLUE HUMOR AND GAY INNUENDO IN THE BELOW. YOU ARE WARNED:
An Exhortation to Assist at Mass Daily December 1, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, reading, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
Not that many of the present company probably require an exhortation to do so, if the option is available, there is still a lot of good in this excerpt from The Incredible Catholic Mass by Fr. Martin von Cochem, on assisting daily at Mass if at all possible. For those who believe strongly in their souls that assisting at the Novus Ordo is at least problematic, if not spiritually dangerous or worse, this can present a problem of access, of course, as the TLM is still generally only available at most at one or two places in most dioceses, often only on Sundays, and most probably in inauspicious locations. Nevertheless, for those who have the TLM available every day or most every day, assisting at Mass should be perhaps their highest priority, something they are willing to suffer a good deal of inconvenience and even some potential lost work opportunities to do. As Fr. von Cochem notes, our God is a great and generous God, and will not long let such generosity on our part go unrewarded, both spiritually, but in most cases also materially:
In the first place, let me tell you, O Christian, that no hour of the whole day is so precious as that wherein you hear Mass and offer that Mass to the ever-blessed Trinity. It is indeed a golden hour, for all that you do in cooperation with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is changed to gold. The other hours of the day, in comparison with it, may be likened to copper. It may be alleged that work is of greater importance than hearing Mass to those who earn their bread. To this I reply that hearing Mass is more important than our work, because it contributes largely to our eternal welfare. I do not say that a man should neglect his work altogether, but that he should spare half an hour from it for the service of his God: his work will get on all the better for it, for God will bless it more abundantly. Those who absent themselves from Mass out of indifference or for the sake of some temporal advantage change the hour that might be golden into one of lead and sustain a loss incalculably greater than any earthly loss, for in that hour they might have won a hundred times more than they could earn by a whole day’s labor. Our Savior teaches us this in the memorable words of His: “What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?” (Mt xvi:26). By not going to Mass on weekdays for the sake of temporal profit we do our soul an immeasurable injury, for which no worldly wealth can compensate. Shall we, then, heedless of Our Lord’s warning, throw away eternal riches for the things of time and sense?
…….How short-sighted, then, is the man or woman who prefers to lose the treasures contained in Holy Mass rather than deprive himself of a few pennies! By going to Mass they might earn treasures wherewith to purchase Heaven, but they will renounce these if the least diminution of their wages is involved – not that I believe they would be losers in the end, for God, of His divine bounty, would so prosper their work as more than to make up for the time they took from it………
……..Yet, of a truth, in every Mass, not earthly riches, but celestial riches from Heaven are showered down on all who are present, and all who are free to possess themselves of them. But what are the riches which drop down from above? An increase of divine grace, an increase of merit and virtue, an increase of eternal glory, celestial consolations, the divine blessing in temporal affairs, the pardon of venial sins, the remission of a great part of the temporal debt due to Divine Justice, a share in the infinite merits of Christ. Grace and mercy, temporal welfare and eternal salvation – such is the heavenly dew which distills from above…….Wherefore, if on account of the slight trouble it costs us or the trifling pecuniary sacrifice it entails, we omit going to Mass on weekdays when we might do so, we are guilty of great folly…..
…….The object and end of our existence upon earth is to praise the Divine Majesty according to His great glory. This cannot be done better than by hearing Mass, for it is the most Sublime Sacrifice of praise……….We cannot bear fruit better than by hearing Mass in the state of grace, for it is the most perfect Sacrifice of satisfaction. We daily stand exposed to the danger of falling into sin, of being overtaken by misfortune; we cannot guard against these perils better than by hearing Mass, for it is the most efficacious Propitiatory Sacrifice. Death and the devil constantly dog our footsteps and lay in wait for us, desirous to snatch us away and precipitate us into hell; we cannot shield ourselves against their arrows better than by hearing Mass, for it is the surest protection against the evils that threaten us. Finally, let us not forget that in the hour of death we shall be in some need of the Savior’s assistance; there is no better means of assuring ourselves of this than by hearing Mass devoutly, for have we not heard how Christ Himself gave to one of His servants the promise that he would send for his solace and support at his last moments as many blessed spirits as he had heard Masses with devotion during his lifetime? Reflect upon these truths and resolve from henceforth to hear Mass, if possible every day.
I will not be around much through to next year. A little early next week, than that’s probably it for the year. This blog will probably change a lot next year. Most posts will, God willing, be like this one. Seven years in, I feel it’s about time for a change. I feel like in some regards I have said the same thing 50 or 100 times, so I think I’ll let others speak for the most part for a while, like this quote from Fr. von Cochem. We shall see.
Diocese of Fargo Implementing the “Dallas” Policy……? October 21, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Liturgy, secularism, self-serving, the struggle for the Church.
…….that policy being to quietly but forcefully forbid priests from offering Mass Ad Orientem? That is precisely what occurred to more than one priest of this Diocese under former Bishop Farrell. I don’t know if the message was conveyed by “edict,” phone call, letter, e-mail, or carrier pigeon, but the message was conveyed, and the effect was immediate. I observed at least one case unfold before my eyes back in Aug/Sept 2008.
Eponymous Flower is reporting the Bishop of Fargo, John Folda, has done the same, but EF has received at least one denial from someone claiming to be a diocesan official, but the denial left a lot of wriggle room and subsequent questions were not answered.
At least four priests of the Diocese of Fargo, North Dakota have been forbidden by edict [at least a letter] from saying Mass the way Catholics have been praying it since the times of the Apostles. It’s not difficult to look for the source of such a diabolical animus against the traditions of the Church and the desire to confuse the laity…….
…….It is headed by Bishop John Thomas Folda, who was ordained for the diocese of Lincoln Nebraska and consecrated bishop on 19 June, 2013. He attended St. Charles Borromeo in Philadephia, which might be the source of his problem. One wouldn’t think a protege of Bishop Flavin wouldn’t be this bad.
We’ve gone through the motions and contacted the chancery, but they have not contacted us.
Feel free to contact the diocese about their deplorable ignorance of the traditions of the Church, if you can get through their menu maze. Diocese of Fargo: Liturgy “Expert” 5201 Bishops Blvd. S., Suite AFargo, ND 58104-7605 Phone: (701) 356-7900
I thought Lincoln was filled with naught but upright and orthodox men? Note the new Bishop of Tulsa who refused to renew Fr. Ripperberger’s nascent order of traditional exorcists (approved by former Bishop Slattery) in his diocese was also from Lincoln. That’s not supposed to be broadcast anymore, but it seems very relevant right now. Is Bishop Bruskewitz’ redoubt being deconstructed? I know they still ordain a whole pile of men a year.
Excellent Video on Ad Orientem Mass September 14, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, priests, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
Folks, I think I’ve made clear over the past few years that, for myriad reasons, I have come to very firmly believe that the only optimal/truly efficacious/ideal form of the Mass is the Mass of All Ages, the Mass of St. Pius V, TLM, etc. But having said that, I do believe that distinctions can be made, that some means of offering the Novus Ordo are clearly superior to others, even if the root problems associated with the Novus Ordo will always remain.
Rome was not built in a day, however, and I did not arrive at my present exalted level of Catholic perfection in a day, either. I try to be very supportive of those who are on the same journey I traveled, but perhaps a bit less advanced on the road than I am at present. As such, I see things like regular diocesan priests embracing Ad Orientem worship in the Novus Ordo, while also perhaps learning the TLM, as a very positive and happy development. I pray they are given the Grace, strength, and opportunity to continue advancing to offering the TLM, and pray that offering the NO ad orientem becomes a valuable step in that process. Ad Orientem is, then, to me, more of a point in a process of development, than it is an end point in and of itself, even though much fruit, I think, would result even if it were.
Of course, many times, good priests who would dearly love to offer Mass Ad Orientem, and move on to the TLM, are blocked by episcopal malfeasance. Such has certainly been the case in the Diocese of Dallas, something I very fervently hope our forthcoming bishop will change.
In the below, please pray especially for Father Michael Lyons of the Diocese of Victoria, who has been learning the TLM but who is having some health problems. He is certainly a priest of very good will and disposition and I pray he may remain in active ministry for many years to come and to continue growing in his embrace of the traditional practice of the Faith.
Lots of good priests in there. Always glad to see Bishop Gracida. Ad multos annos for that very good bishop who, I believe, offers the TLM exclusively now. A bit of local color, so to speak. I am glad Fr. Lyons pointed out that priests who want to learn the great liturgical tradition of the Church more or less have to do so on their own, as it is virtually never taught in diocesan seminaries anywhere in the West.
St. John Vianney: Don’t Leave God Behind at Mass….. September 8, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Eucharist, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Liturgy, priests, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
……….but carry all that Grace home with you, and bring it into your life every day. Don’t treat Mass as something to be escaped from, bolting for the door the second it ends and hoping to find some secular, worldly topic to discuss as soon as you are outside. Or even before that. I had to assist at Novus Ordo Masses for the first time in almost 3 years this past weekend, and aye yay yay, people behave with more decorum in a movie theater. There was virtually no focus on the Lord (of course, His Eucharistic Presence was absent from the sanctuary in both parishes I attended), no silent, reflective preparation, just gab gab and the blaring tones of the over-eager 10 piece band and Ms. Music Minister making a spectacle of herself again up front. Not that I’m harshly critical or anything.
From The Sermons of the Cure’ of Ars, pp. 196-7:
On her return to her kingdom, the Queen of Sheba could never weary of relating all that she had seen in the temple of Solomon; she talked of it unceasingly, with fresh pleasure. The same thing should happen to the Christian who has assisted properly at holy Mass. When he comes back to his house, he ought to have a talk with his children and his servants and ask them what they have retained of it and what touched them the most. Alas! Dear God, what am I going to say?
How many fathers and mothers, masters and mistresses, are there who, if someone wanted to talk with them about what they had heard at Mass, would laugh at all that and say that they were tired of it, that hey knew enough about it…..Although generally speaking it seems that people still listen to the holy word of God, the moment they come out of church, they fall into all sorts of careless and frivolous ways. They get up with a sudden rush. They hurry. They jostle at the door. Often the priest has not even come down from the altar when they are already outside the door, and there they give themselves up to discussions upon all sorts of secular subjects.
Do you know what the result of this kind of thing is, my dear brethren? This is it. People derive no profit and gain no benefit from what they have heard and seen in the house of God. What graces have been lost! What means of salvation trodden underfoot! What a misfortune that is, to turn to our loss what should have helped so much to save us! You can see for yourselves how many of these services are a burden to the majority of Christians! For those few moments, they stay in the church as if it were some kind of prison. and as soon as they are out, you will hear them shouting at the door, like prisoners who have been given liberty. Are we not quite frequently obliged to close the door on the church in order not to be deafened by their continual noise? [Ahem. This is even something of a problem at the local Fraternity parish, at least on Sunday]
Dear God, are these really Christians, who ought to leave Your holy temple with minds filled only with all kinds of good thoughts and desires? Should not they be seeking to engrave those in their memory, that they may never lose them and that they may put them into practice as soon as the opportunity presents itself? Alas! The number of those who assist at the services with attention and who try to profit from them is a little like the number of the elect; how small it is!
Closely related, via the same book, is the following exhortation on properly preparing oneself for Mass:
If you desire that the worship that you give to God to be pleasing to Him and valuable for the salvation of your soul, put it properly into practice. Begin by preparing for Holy Mass as soon as your are awake, uniting yourself to all the Masses which are being said at that moment. When the bell rings to call you to the house of God, consider the fact that ti is Jesus Christ Himself calling to you. Start out immediately, so that you will have a moment to meditate upon the tremendous act at which you are about to assist. Do not say, like those people who have no religion, that you have plenty of time, that you will be there soon enough. But say, rather, with the holy prophet: “I rejoice when I am told that we are going into the House of the Lord.”
When you come out from your home, think about what you are going to do, and what you are going to ask God. Begin by clearing your mind of earthly matters so that you will be thinking of God only. Avoid all sorts of unnecessary conversations which serve no purpose than to make you hear Mass badly. When you enter the Church, recall to yourself what the holy patriarch Job said: “How awesome is this place! How holy it is! It is truly the house of God and the gateway to Heaven!”
When you get to your place, humble yourself profoundly as you think of your own unworthiness and the greatness of your God, Who, nevertheless, in spite of your sins, wishes to suffer you in His holy presence. Make an act of faith with all your heart. Ask God to give you the grace to lose none of the m any favors which He grants to those who come here with good dispositions. Open your heart so that the word of God may enter it, take root in it, and bear fruit there for eternal life. Before leaving the Church, do not fail to thank God for the graces He has just given you and go straight home, fully occupied with the thoughts of what you have seen and heard. [I don’t know if one must go “straight home,” so long as one keeps in their heart what they gained during the Mass. There is definitely something to be said for community, for brotherhood and fellowship. But I’m gratified to know that a great Saint has recommended something that fits in so well with my native predispositions…….heh]
Yes, my dear children, if we conducted ourselves in this manner we should never come away from the services of the Church without being filled with a fresh desire for Heaven and a new disgust for ourselves and the things of this earth. Our hearts and our minds would be given over altogether to God and not at all to the world. Then the house of God would truly be for us the gateway of Heaven. That is what I desire for you.
I think the key is, make Mass about God, keep the focus on Him and give Him the respect, reverence, and attention He is due. Perhaps that is to say, when it comes to Mass, the before, during, and after, keep it in the supernatural, not the natural.
My mom, in spite being 80 herself, volunteers at the Plano Community Home-East. This is a home for elderly and disabled individuals who need affordable housing.
There is a crisis among some of the elderly there, and it is most heartbreaking. There is a group of 1o or so Catholics there who have no way to assist at Mass. They have been unable to attend Mass for months or even years, in some cases. These are people on decidedly fixed incomes who both cannot afford, and in many cases no longer have the ability, to drive a car. They have asked for help from local parishes and even the dioceses to provide transportation for them to Mass, or even look into finding souls who might help, but they have received a decidedly cold response (especially from the diocese).
Also, it seems these folks never have priests (or any others) visit them to bring the Blessed Sacrament. More than the infinite Grace of the Eucharist, however, they long to assist at Mass, any Mass, and partake in the Source and Summit of our glorious Faith again.
I am praying volunteers who live in the Plano area can be found to make arrangements with these souls to provide transportation to assist at Mass. I know bringing 10 or more souls to Mass may seem a logistical problem, but if even a few could be brought to Mass each week, over a month over a few weeks all could assist at Mass. Or maybe you have a large van that could take all at once? A further suggestion might be to see if these souls have any desire to assist at the TLM again, as they did in their youth. Many Mater Dei families live in the Plano/Allen/McKinney area – perhaps some rides could be arranged that would have minimal impact on everyone’s schedules?
The good news is that all of these people are generally ambulatory, though some need a cane or a walker. There is no need for wheelchair accessible transportation.
If there are any readers who live near the Plano area who think they could help, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you belong to a local Catholic e-mail list like PARCH or whatever please consider sending out a link to this post! The Plano Community Home is located at Ave L and 18th Street, so it is about 5 minutes from St. Mark or maybe 8-9 minutes from Mission of the Sacred Heart, though I imagine the elderly would feel more comfortable at the former. The desire is most especially for SUNDAY Mass, though there may be an interest for weekday Mass at some point if arrangements could be made.
If any interested parties will get in touch with me, I’ll arrange contact with those needing help at the Plano Community Home to work out arrangements. God bless you and thank you so much for your consideration. You would be helping in a spiritual and corporal work of mercy of the highest magnitude.
UPDATE: As often happens when a large number of people are involved, especially elderly people, messages sometimes get confused. Some people at the home are now claiming a priest DOES come to offer Mass weekly, while others continue to maintain that doesn’t happen. I am trying to dig through this and find out the truth. I am waiting for clarification from site staff/management. However, it seems that even if there is a Mass offered there, some of the elderly are deeply dissatisfied with it, for what are probably the usual reasons. There may be some interest in the TLM. Stay tuned, I’ll get back with more details next week, God willing.
…….and some implications that might be drawn from this hatred with respect to the revolutionary changes made to the Liturgy 50 years ago. I won’t draw those implications out, but leave them for you to do so on your own, if so motivated.
The excerpt below also shows how the modern world works in concert with satan’s loathing to attack the Church and try to do away with the Mass as it was offered for so many centuries. Gueranger’s prophecy regarding how this will all play out is not a happy one. The world must hate the Mass. The world has invaded the Church. Thus, much of the Church, even (or especially) its hierarchy, hates the Mass as it was and indeed must be.
Pretty deep stuff, if you think about it, and one of the best little bits of Gueranger I’ve ever had the privilege to read.
From The Liturgical Year Vol 10 pp. 356-7:
…..Hell, from its deepest depths, trembles at the Mass; and raging as it does against God, and vowing vengeance against man, it holds no object so hateful as this Sacrifice. What untiring efforts has satan been making, what artful designs has he planned, in order to make this much-detested Sacrifice cease! And alas! There has been, even in the very heart of Christendom, some partial success to those efforts and designs: there has been the protestant heresy, which has destroyed thousands of our altars, especially in our own dear fatherland; [that fatherland for Gueranger was France. For us, it is the Church herself] and there is still the spirit of revolution, which is spreading as our modern times grown older, and whose avowed aim is to shut up our churches, and do away with the priests who offer sacrifice!
So it is: and therefore our world, which heretofore used to be set right again after the storms that swept its surface, now complains that the impending ruin is a universal one, and one wherein there is no strength, save in the very chastisements sent by God. It vainly busies itself with its plans of safety, and, at each turn, feels that the human legislation it would trust to is but an arm of human folly stretched out to support a decrepit age of proud weakness. The Blood of the Lamb, once the world’s power, no longer flows upon it with its former plenty. And yet the world goes on; it does so, because of that same Sacrifice, though despised, and in many lands totally suspended, is still offered in thousands [hundreds, perhaps, today?] of happy spots around the world, and on the world will go, for the time yet to come, until, in a final access of mad frenzy, it shall have put the last priest to death, and taken away from every altar here below the eternal Sacrifice.
Shades of Fatima there at the end, no? And Our Lady of Good Success and La Salette, too.
We are plainly living through those times. They may yet persist for 500 years, but we are living through them.
May God have mercy on His Church, and on us all. I thank Him for giving us prophetic voices like Dom Prosper Gueranger to steel us for these times of suffering persecution.