Tuesday, March 31, 2015


As Kingfishers Catch Fire

Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoor each one dwells;
Selves - goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.

I say móre: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is -
Chríst - for Christ plays  in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces.

Monday, March 30, 2015


This hymn, also by Venantius Fortunatus (530-609) is appointed to be sung at Vespers during Holy Week until the beginning of the Sacred Paschal Triduum.

Abroad the regal banners fly,
Now shines the Cross's mystery;
Upon it Life did death endure,
And yet by death did life procure.

Who, wounded with a direful spear,
Did, purposely to wash us clear
From stain of sin, pour out a flood
Of precious water mixed with blood.

That which the prophet-king of old
Hath in mysterious verse foretold,
Is now accomplished, whilst we see
God ruling nations from a tree.

O lovely and refulgent Tree,
Adorned with purple majesty;
Culled from a worthy stock to bear
Those limbs which sanctified were.

Blest Tree, whose happy branches bore
The wealth that did the world restore;
The beam that did that body weigh
Which raised up hell's expected prey.

Hail Cross, our hope; on thee we call,
Who keep this mournful festival;
Grant to the just increase of grace,
And ever sinner's crimes efface.

Blest Trinity, we praises sing
To thee, from whom all graces spring;
Celestial crowns of those bestow
Who conquer by the Cross below.

W.K. Blount (+ 1717)
and Evening Office


This hymn, authored by Venantius Fortunatus (530-609) opens every day's Office in Holy Week until the Sacred Paschal Triduum begins on Thursday evening. The Liturgy of the Hours according to the Roman Rite, as reformed by the Second Vatican Council, prescribes it, as the previous Rite did, half its verses for the Office of Readings (Matins or Vigils) and half for Morning Prayer (Lauds). It is also prescribed to be sung during Good Friday's Adoration of the Holy Cross (for which the eighth verse, Hail, true Cross/Crux fidelis serves as the refrain). It was this Pange lingua gloriosi that Saint Thomas Aquinas modeled his own hymn, with the same opening words, lauding the Holy Eucharist and sung still for the Procession that concludes the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper.

Pange lingua gloriosi

Office of Readings
Vigils / Matins

Sing, my tongue, of warfare ended
Of the Victor's laurelled crown;
Let the Cross, his trophy splendid,
Be the theme of high renown;
How a broken world was mended -
Life restored by life laid down.

God for man's rebellion grieving,
When the world his hands had made
Perished by a fruit's deceiving,
In that hour his counsel laid,
By a tree the race reprieving
Whom a tree long since betrayed.

Man's eternal health contriving
Wrought he with unfailing art -
Wisdom 'gainst the wisdom striving
Of the tempter's guileful heart;
From that source the balm deriving
Whence the foe had steeped his dart.

Therefore, when that hallowed hour
Time to its fulfillment brought,
From his Father's heavenly tower
Came he, whom the worlds had wrought,
From his Mother's secret bower,
Clothed in flesh, and welcome sought.

See a helpless Infant crying,
Whom a manger doth enfold;
See his Virgin Mother tying
Rags about him in the cold;
Bound both hand and feet, and lying
Mid the beasts, your God behold!

Morning Prayer

Now, his years of life perfected,
Our atonement's price to be,
By the doom long since elected,
Bound and nailed to set us free,
Christ, our Victim, hangs rejected
On the Cross of Calvary.

Gall he drinks; his strength subduing,
Reed and thorn and nail and spear
Plot his gentle frame's undoing;
Blood and water thence appear,
With their cleansing tide renewing
Earth and sea and starry sphere.

Hail, true Cross, of beauty rarest,
King of all the forest trees;
Leaf and flower and fruit thou barest,
Medicine for a world's disease;
Fairest wood and fairest iron -
Yet more fair, Who hung on thee!

Bend thy branches down to meet him,
Bend that stubborn heart of thine;
Let thy native force, to greet him,
All its ruggedness resign;
Gently let thy wood entreat him,
Royal sufferer, and divine.

Victim of our race, he deignèd
On thy arms to lay his head;
Thou the ark, whose refuge gainèd,
Sinful man no more may dread;
Ark, whose planks are deeply stainèd
With the Blood the Lamb has shed.

Honor, glory, might and merit
To the eternal Trinity,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Throned in heaven co-equally;
All that doth the world inherit,
Praise one God in Persons Three.

Monsignor Ronald A. Knox

Sunday, March 29, 2015


Lent is over and Holy Week begins with Palm (or Pussy Willow) Sunday, the Triumphal Entry of our Lord into Jerusalem. Thus, leading us to the Sacred Triduum, and the Feast of Feasts, Pascha, the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior. Time to pause, reflect and prepare.  We'll resume posting again after Easter.  

As most folks who participate here are Catholic Christians, and this is the most sacred time of the liturgical year, let us lay aside all of our differences, gripes and grudges. "Behold; How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity."  Let us seek forgiveness of those we have offended and forgive those who have offended us.  Let us pray for one another.

Those that I have hurt, offended or insulted, I ask your forgiveness and your prayers. 

It is right to praise you, Almighty God, for the acts of love by which you have redeemed us through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. On this day he entered the holy city of Jerusalem in triumph, and was proclaimed as King of kings by those who spread their garments and branches of palm along his way. Let these branches be for us signs of his victory, and grant that we who bear them in his name may ever hail him as our King, and follow him in the way that leads to eternal life; who lives and reigns in glory with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

Hebrew children bearing branches of olive, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out, and saying: Hosanna in the highest!

Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in! "Who is this King of Glory?" "The Lord of hosts, He is the King of Glory."

Almighty and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Troparion of Palm Sunday, Tone 4
O Christ God, when we were buried with Thee in Baptism, we became deserving of Thy Resurrection to immortal life. Wherefore, we praise Thee, crying: Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.

Kontakion of Palm Sunday, Tone 6
Upborne upon the heavenly throne, and seated upon the earthly foal, O Christ our God, receive the praises of angels and the hymns of men, exclaiming before Thee: Blessed is He that cometh to restore Adam.

2015 Palm Sunday Homily of Pope Francis

Sermon on the Entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem

Orthodox Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
Today Christ enters the path not only of His sufferings but of that dreadful loneliness which enshrouds Him during all the days of Passion week. The loneliness begins with a misunderstanding; the people expect that the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem will be the triumphant procession of a political leader, of a leader who will free his people from oppression, from slavery, from what they consider godlessness – because all paganism or idol-worship is a denial of the living God. The loneliness will develop further into the dreadful loneliness of not being understood even by His disciples. At the Last Supper when the Saviour talks to them for the last time, they will be in constant doubt as to the meaning of His words. And later when He goes into the Garden of Gethsemane before the fearful death that is facing Him, His closest disciples, Peter, John and James – whom He chose to go with Him fall asleep, depressed, tired, hopeless. The culmination of this loneliness will be Christ’s cry on the cross, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” Abandoned men, rejected by the people of Israel He encounters the extreme of forsakenness and dies without God, without men, alone, with only His love for God and His love for mankind, dying for its sake and for God’s glory.
The beginning of Christ’s Passion is today’s triumphal procession; the people expected a king, a leader – and they found the Saviour of their souls. Nothing embitters a person so much as a lost, a disappointed hope; and that explains why people who could receive Him like that, who witnessed the raising of Lazarus, who saw Christ’s miracles and heard His teaching, admired every word, who were ready to become His disciples as long as He brought victory, broke away from Him, turned their backs on Him and a few days later shouted, “Crucify Him, crucify Him.” And Christ spent all those days in loneliness, knowing what was in store for Him, abandoned by every one except the Mother of God, who stood silently by, as she had done throughout her life, participating in His tragic ascent to the Cross; she who had accepted the Annunciation, the Good Tidings, but who also accepted in silence Simeon’s prophecy that a sword would pierce her heart.
During the coming days we shall be present – not just remember, but be present – at Christ’s Passion. We shall be part of the crowd surrounding Christ and the disciples and the Mother of God; as we hear the Gospel readings, as we listen to the prayers of the Church, as one image after another of these days of the Passion passes before our eyes, let each one of us ask himself the question, “Where do I stand, who am I in this crowd? A Pharisee? A Scribe? A traitor, a coward? Who? Or do I stand among the Apostles?” But they too were overcome by fear. Peter denied Him thrice, Judas betrayed Him, John, James and Peter went to sleep just when Christ most needed human love and support; the other disciples fled; no one remained except John and the Mother of God, those who were bound to Him by the kind of love which fears nothing and is ready to share in everything.
Once more let us ask ourselves who we are and where we stand, what our position in this crowd is. Do we stand with hope or despair, or what? And if we stand with indifference, we too are part of that terrifying crowd that surrounded Christ, shuffling, listening, and then going away; as we shall go away from church. The Crucifix will be standing here on Thursday and we shall be reading the Gospel about the Cross, the Crucifixion and death – and then what will happen? The Cross will remain standing, but we shall go away for a rest, go home to have supper, to sleep, to prepare for the fatigues of the next day. And during this time Christ is on the Cross, Christ is in the tomb. How awful it is that, like the disciples in their day, we are not able to spend one night, one hour with Him. Let us think about this, and if we are incapable of doing anything, let us at least realise who we are and where we stand, and at the final hour turn to Christ with the cry, the appeal of the thief, Remember me, Lord, in Thy Kingdom. Amen.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

READING FRANCIS THROUGH BURKE: The HermanMunster of Continuity

The HermanMunster of Continuity
OK, so theology wasn't my strong suit in the Seminary. Neither was liturgy. Or scripture. Or canon law. Or phys ed. You've probably guessed all this already. I wasn't much good at bar tending either. But that didn't really matter, since I also didn't have blonde hair, blue eyes or a sports letter on my jacket from high school days, so Monsignor Money never invited me out on his yacht anyhow. Some of you may laugh at that, but I have a classmate who became a Monsignor, back in the good old pre-Francis days of clerical careers, just because he mixed a mean cocktail at the Archbishop's summer residence. Back when there was an Archbishop's summer residence. But I digress . . . Besides not being able to fix the faculty's drinks, I couldn't fix their cars either. Seriously, one of the guys in my class even dumber than I was (imagine?!) got himself ordained just because he could do that. Eventually became his bishop's secretary because he could do other things, but . . . hey, who am I to judge? Also, I couldn't play hockey or the organ (no dirty jokes, please, it's almost Holy Week). Basically, I think they kept me around because I made people laugh.

But sometimes at the wrong time. Our Archdiocese had an Auxiliary Bishop who was sad in many ways (aren't most Auxiliary Bishops sad? Having to pretend they're even dimmer than the small appliance bulb Ordinary they have to fill in for and clean up after). This one had . . . how to put it delicately . . . bowel issues. Think: Depends. Always leaving in the middle of the Liturgy. Which worked when you had those long Glorias and endless Credos for downtime. What made it even funnier, back in those days, was the motto he picked for his coat-of-arms: Semetipsum Exinanivit. And he actually did one day. During a Retreat. Saint William's Hall. Right at the altar. Right down his leg. In the middle of the Eucharistic Prayer. I shit you not (pardon the pun). (Nope, I'm not gonna translate the Latin for you. GO LOOK IT UP, as Father Z would bark at you! Philippians 2:7. It's really funny given his bowel troubles). Anyhow, he was such a cold fish, one of the professors told us the man's mother died while giving birth to him. When we expressed our shocked sympathy, the professor laughed, "Yeah, she froze to death." One time he came to the Seminary to confer Minor Orders, I was on the servers' squadron and when he sat down for whatever the part is where the Bishop sits down, I put his mitre on backwards, with those flappy things hanging right in front of his face. I never served a Pontifical Liturgy again.

So you can understand why I never followed stuff on epistlelomology or redactional reductionalism. And I always thought "form criticism" was something you did if you didn't keep "custody of the eyes." So I made up the phrase "hermanmunster" because I couldn't figure out what hermeneutic meant.

Who knew it would one day become so popular?

So I got to thinking, why emphasize the differences between Pope Francis and the future anti-Pope Pius XIII, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke? Or Truman Cardinal Capote as we like to call him here just to make you laugh.


Dapper Dudes!

But I'm the type of guy who likes to emphasize what unites us rather than what divides us (you've probably noticed that), so I was thinking, let's look at the similarities between the current Pope and the de-facto anti-Pope. I call my little spiritual exercise:


They Both Like Really Weird Hats

They Both Like Really Weird Capes

They're Both Into Kissing

They're Both Into Humility
(Being Vested By Someone Else)

In fact, if you ask me, and nobody did, I think Francis is trying to out-Ray Ray!

Now, excuse me, I have to go get the palms ready MYSELF, since You-Know-Who isn't around to prepare the palms the way he always did . . . and always so unforgettably. All glory, laud and honor indeed! *Sigh*
My favorite verse was removed from this hymn by some gloomy Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Minding Everyone Else's Divine Worship:
Be Thou, O Lord, the Rider
And we the little ass
That to the Holy City
Together we might pass.
Anyhow, here's a little sacred song to put you in the mood (for Palm Sunday, get your mind out of the gutter)! A lot has happened since it was recorded though: for one thing, the composer, Abbe Florence-Marie Faure, has been consecrated a Bishop in the Schismatic Lefevbrian Line of Schismatic Bishops at the gloved (natch!) hands of Dick Williamolocaust. And the Crystal Cathedral has been returned to its rightful owners, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, refurbished for a Gospel pittance, and placed under the jurisdiction of the second meanest Bishop in California. And they changed the words to the song. It used to go: "Strew we today green palms and blossoms gay . . . " Oh well. Enjoy just the same:

Sad Secular News
You know those other Krazy Katholic Konvert blogs are full of the "gloom-and-doom" the Last Cool Pope warned us about, so I hate to bring up bad news but . . . wow. Just wow.
Before the Schism. I hate schisms. They ruin everything.
I think we're all feeling a little fragile and vulnerable after finding out that Zayn Malik, the only Muslim member of One Erection, left the group this week to go and entertain the troops of ISIS. Like that Muslim mother said, "the kids blow up so fast these days!" It's like Archbishop Lefebvre leaving the Church. Makes the heart sad. Just changing the One Erection posters Reynaldo had put up around here, removing the Zayn action figure from the bathtub, and putting Reynaldo's One Erection lunch box away reminded me of all the sad stuff that happened when Saint Phloradora was removed from the Martyrology way back when I was a little kid.
Saint Phloradora in happier days.
Well, I  mean, she's eternally happy, right? But our pastor was happy when all those candles were raking in all that cash, not to be too crass about it. Myself, I was just a kid, and I always wondered, "If she didn't really exist, where did all our prayers to her go?" Sister said, "Oh there's one like you in every class. Somebody or other up there picked them up, alright?" Yes, Sister, I guess so.
Our pastor couldn't imagine moving that huge statue from the side altar, so he tried changing the nameplate to Saint Agnes. But Saint Phloradora had no lamb with her. Then he thought, "Saint Lucy!" But no plate of eyes. How about "Saint Agatha?!" But Phloradora had very obvious breasts. Then Vatican II came along and the side altars and statues all went anyhow. Problem solved! Here's Reynaldo's favorite video of one of One Erection's most popular songs. Enjoy this too (before Good Friday). See if you can pick out the cameo appearance by two guys from our Chancery Office! Bon Voyage, Zayn! Allah Baba Wack Ya! Or whatever it is they're always yelling. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

THROW BACK (THROW UP) THURSDAY: March 4, 2013: Pope Prediction: 10 Reasons Cardinal Burke Will Be the Next Pope

Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013

Reprinted here with original emphases and photos and with none of my usual annoyingly insightful but nonetheless smart-ass comments.

Pope Prediction: 10 Reasons Cardinal Burke Will Be the Next Pope

His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke
Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura

I’m making a very bold and controversial claim: His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke will be the next Pope. I’m going to provide you with 10 solid reasons why the cardinals will rally to him in the conclave for the required 2/3 vote majority. 
Let’s be honest. Most people are claiming (or grumbling) that Cardinal Burke will never be elected as Pope. They say he’s too heavy-handed, too ceremonial, too traditional, too political, and too serious to be papabile. If you’re one of those people who think Burke is the best cardinal for the job, but look at your toes and sigh: “It’ll never happen,” then keep reading.
The problem is that the Burke naysayers are thinking like journalists and voters. (By the way, one of my favorite daily blogs: Rorate Coeli explains why the journalists get it wrong.) 
When the doors of the conclave close, men who would usually vote one way, vote another. Under the staring eyes painted onto the ceiling of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, these cardinals know that history is being made. The Pope they elect will have a difficult vocation. The Pope they elect will change the lives of billions of people both now…and in the future.

I want to challenge you to think like a cardinal in 2013. The cardinals are worried. Most cardinals knew that Pope Benedict had considered abdication, but most of them never thought it could actually happen. Here we are 50 years after the Council, right in the middle of the Year of Faith, and then suddenly the Pope resigns. 

Globally, the Catholic Church faces accusations. Here and there in local dioceses, there are spots of financial and sexual scandal (for example, in Los Angeles). The rumors in Rome surrounding Vatileaks, the Butler, and the Bank are still circulating. Cardinal O’Brien of Scotland just stepped down. The question of secular politicians and the Church is a concern. There is growing debate about liturgy and the Extraordinary Form. The SSPX dialogue fell flat. So in the middle of this storm, Pope Benedict abdicates. I think this is all part of the divine plan (Here’s my post explain why I think the Blessed Virgin Mary asked Pope Benedict stepped down), but let’s be honest. It’s a traumatic time. Yet, whenever there is trauma, conservatism reigns.

The Cardinals will rally to a holy man who will prayerfully clean house and face down the evils, scandals, and rumors. There is only one cardinal who has vocalized a plan of attack for the political, liturgical, and canonical problems in the Church: his name is Raymond Cardinal Burke. 

Cardinal Burke is the only one who has explicitly proclaimed a way forward in these times of trouble. As in the last papal conclave, the cardinals will turn to a man who operates on sound principles. A man whose virtue is known by all. A man of the Gospel.

With that being said, here are the 10 reasons why Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke will be elected Pope.
1. Burke is an open advocate for using canon law in defense of the sacraments and God’s honor. He’s a hardliner against pro-abortion Catholic politicians. He has openly spoken out against American and Irish Catholic politicians who advocate abortion, homosexual unions, etc. As Pope, he would back cardinals who have difficult decisions to make back home.

2. Burke thinks seriously. He is theologically orthodox and can spot dissent. If you thought Ratzinger was a Rottweiler, then just look out! Burke once forced the cancellation of a Sheryl Crowe concert at a Catholic hospital…because she’s pro-abortion. He sacked a St Louis Catholic basketball coach for supporting abortion and embryonic destruction. Cardinal Burke isn’t afraid to play ball.

3. His Eminence celebrates and promotes the Latin Mass and a reverent Novus Ordo. This is huge. Cardinal Schonborn’s balloon Mass is not the way of the future of Catholicism. All the cardinals feel this. Pope Benedict moved us away from all that. Cardinal Burke will continue to carry Benedict’s liturgical torch. Cardinal Burke brings noble dignity to the Holy Sacrifice of Mass.

 4. …which leads to the SSPX. As long as Benedict XVI is alive, it will be necessary for the next Pope to bring resolution to this traditionalist soap-opera. The reconciliation of the SSPX would be the greatest possible gift to Benedict’s living legacy. To use baseball terminology, it would equate to a relief pitcher saving the game and earning a “win” for the starting pitcher who got behind in the run count.

5. Speaking of the Latin Mass, Cardinal Burke has traditional liturgical flare (for example, he wears the cappa magna without blinking an eye). With rumors and scandals floating everywhere, Catholics are desperate to see visual dignity restored to the Holy See.

For fun, here’s Blessed John Paul II in his cappa magna:

And, yes historians, Cardinal Burke even wears the old Cardinals’ galero:

If he’s elected, will he wear the papal tiara?

6. Burke will help the cardinals and bishops do what they know they need to do: discipline dissenting Catholic politicians. Burke called the US Democratic party “the party of death” and accused Barack Obama of being “anti-life and anti-family.” He’s not afraid. The cardinals need a Pope standing behind them who speaks like this.

7. Cardinal Burke speaks the minimum languages necessary for a Supreme Pontiff: English, French, Latin and Italian.

8. Cardinal Burke is the perfect age: 64. Almost everyone is convinced that the cardinals will elect a cardinal in his mid to late 60s.

9. He is the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. This is a really big deal. The years to come require expertise in canon law, not just theology. Cardinal Burke is already a Vatican insider. He already has experience at the highest canonical authority, second only to the Supreme Pontiff himself.

10. Most importantly, Cardinal Burke is extremely Marian. He has great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He continues the tradition beginning with Pope Pius IX and extending up to Bl John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. For me, Fatima is the key to everything going on in the Catholic Church. I think Cardinal Burke feels the same way. Moreover, he is close to the Friars of the Immaculate and he helped establish the shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Please also read Cardinal Burke’s piece on “Our Lady of America. 

Let me add one more – an eleventh reason: nobody suspects Cardinal Burke to be elected. That is almost always a necessary feature of a papal candidate.

So there you have it: 10 reasons (plus one) why the cardinals will rally to Cardinal Burke in the conclave. You’ll see Cardinal Burke in a white cassock before end of March…maybe even donning the old tiara!
Compliments of Photoshop

Question: Are you convinced that Cardinal Burke will be the next Pope? Please leave a comment explaining why I’m right or just plain nuts?

For those who think I’m nuts, just think about this: Last time around, everyone thought Ratzinger was way too conservative to be elected. Well…


In a stunning exclusive, before any other Catholic or secular news service had the story, the famed Traditionalist Catholic bloggers

simultaneously broke the heartwarming and uplifting news:

Pope Francis greeted 150 homeless in the Sistine Chapel Thursday, telling them "this is your house". Francis shook hands with those he met and told them: "Welcome. This is the house of all, it is your house. The doors are always open for all". The pope thanked Papal Almoner Polish-born Archbishop Konrad Krajewski for setting up the visit, which he described as a "small caress" for the guests. Francis added: "Pray for me. I need the prayers of people like you". The pontiff went on to bless the homeless, saying "May the Lord keep you, help you along life's path and let you feel the tender love of the Father". Francis then said goodbye to all the street people individually, spending another 20 minutes with his guests, according to the deputy head of the Vatican press office, Father Ciro Benedettini. The homeless had entered the Vatican via St Peter's Gate and got to the Vatican Museums by skirting the apse of St Peter's Basilica. After the meeting with the pope and the visit to the Sistine Chapel they headed off at about 18:00 to the refreshment centre inside the museums. After dining they will leave the museums by the same route they took to get in. The visit, quickly blessed by the pope when Archbishop Krajewski put it to him recently, is the latest papal effort for Rome's poor and homeless, many of whom sleep rough around the Vatican. Francis recently had special showers for the homeless installed in Bernini's famous colonnade. Before that he laid on a barber's service for street people to get their hair cut and have a wash and brush-up. So far there are no Vatican-released photos of the encounter, because the Pope requested that the official Vatican photographers not record the event out of respect for the privacy of the participants. 

All three bloggers, who have occasionally been respectively critical of Pope Francis in the past (out of a sincere love for the Church), concluded by lavishing praise on Pope Francis for again setting a wonderful example for the whole Church on how to live The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis' acclaimed Apostolic Exhortation, for which each blog has offered enthusiastic support, provided ready links, and sponsored extensive and helpful commentary








April Fools!!!!!!!!!*

*according to the traditional Ordo, feast transferred this year because of Holy Week

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Blessed Oscar Romero, Bishop and Martyr
August 15, 1917 - March 24, 1980
Episcopal Motto: Sentire Cum Ecclesia
"To Think With The Church" (Saint Ignatius Loyola)

It helps, now and then, to step back
and take the long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision. 

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of
the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Nothing we do is complete,
which is another way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us. 

No statement says all that could be said
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No programme accomplishes the church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything. 

This is what we are about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities. 

We cannot do everything
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for God's grace to enter and do the rest. 

We may never see the end result,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

Blessed Oscar Romero

Vox Populi

Vox Dei
Beatification: May 23, 2015

March 24: Oscar Arnulfo Romero and the Martyrs of El Salvador
from Holy Women, Holy Men (Episcopal Church of the United States)

Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdémez was born on August 15 , 1917 , in San Salvador. At the age of twelve, he was apprenticed to a carpenter, but was later able to attend seminary. His family’s economic circumstances forced him to withdraw to work in a gold mine. Ultimately he entered another seminary and was eventually sent to the Gregorian University in Rome to study theology. After his ordination to the priesthood, he returned to his native land, where he worked among the poor, served as an administrator for the Church, and started an Alcoholics Anonymous group in San Miguel.

When he was appointed a bishop, radicals distrusted his conservative sympathies. However, after his appointment as Archbishop of San Salvador in 1977 , a progressive Jesuit friend of his, Rutilio Grande, was assassinated, and Romero began protesting the government’s injustice to the poor and its policies of torture. He met with Pope John Paul II in 1980  and complained that the leaders of El Salvador engaged in terror and assassinations. He also pleaded with the American government to stop military aid to his country, but this request was ignored.

Romero was shot to death while celebrating Mass at a small chapel near his cathedral on March 24 , 1980 . The previous day, he preached a sermon calling on soldiers to disobey orders that violated human rights. He had said, “A bishop will die, but the Church of God which is the people will never perish.” The Roman Catholic Church declared him “a servant of God,” and he is honored as a martyr by many Christian denominations worldwide.

Almost nine months after Romero’s assassination, three Sisters and their lay associate were also killed in the course of their duties by the El Salvadoran army. Nine Jesuit priests were similarly murdered in November of 1989 . A statue of Romero stands at the door of Westminster Abbey as part of a commemoration of twentieth-century martyrs.

Almighty God, you called your servant Óscar Romero
to be a voice for the voiceless poor,
and to give his life as a seed of freedom and a sign of hope:
Grant that, inspired by his sacrifice
and the example of the martyrs of El Salvador,
we may without fear or favor
witness to your Word who abides, your Word who is Life,
even Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be praise and glory now and for ever. Amen.