Sunday, December 31, 2006

Gloria in Excelsis Deo

The heavens rained down - a Savior.

Making preparation for Matins and Midnight Mass that followed

Father chanting a lesson during Matins

After Matins and some carols, the blessing of the Crib

Christus natus est - beautiful vestments, too

The church was lovely and full

Processing out

Mantillas, scarves, and santa hats! I hope the young lady was pleasantly surprised!

It was a glorious Christmas, as Christmastide continues to be. I really don't know what to say other than that which is expressed perfectly in the Missal and the Office - and the best bits are 'hidden' in the Office.

Today is the last day of the Calendar year - and an incredible year it has been. I don't really think that there is much that one can say. I could certainly make a huge list of blessings received for the world to see, but it merely reinforces where one should fall - face, or at least the knees. What can one do but assist in the Holy Sacrifice, recite a Te Deum, and beg the Good God for His pardon, peace, protection, and an increase of grace? Ab homine iniquo et doloso erue me. That, and if I am to die in the coming year, that the Lord cast me not away from His face.

The Church is in waiting for a document. However, it is quite a thing when Mass simply is the Classical Liturgy. It is no exception, nor anything 'special'. It just is. Like waves quietly washing in and out at the beach. It is the most sublime and perfectly ordered thing in the universe.

Benedictus es, Domine, in firmamento caeli: et laudabilis, et gloriosus, et superexaltatus in saecula.

With prayerful good wishes to all TP

Monday, December 25, 2006

Puer natus est in Bethlehem, Alleluia!

Which I will change if I mistook the grammar.

Wow. Cue the last Gospel. Go on. You know it, don't you?


Right. Now that's done, a brief reflection on today.

Wow! Just wow! Think about it. Today, the Second Person of the Most Holy and Blessed Trinity was born in a stable in an obscure village in the Middle East. So that we could go and nail Him to a Cross because we're a little bit stupid. Or perhaps 'obstinate' is a better word. This obscure village happens to have the name 'Bethlehem'. We'll come back to that later.

Let's just pause for a moment to remember that we're talking about God Himself. As regards the Son: There was not a time when He was not. Eat your heart out, Arian heretics! This isn't just a man, adopted by God and chosen to fulfil a task. This isn't some demiurge, something created but greater than us. And this isn't a God who is remote. Because lying here in the manger is God Himself. Feeling the cold of winter. Feeling hunger. Feeling the coarse straw around him. Bound in linen cloths.

Pause again, and consider where He lies. Firstly, remember that even now, His mother places Him on the wood of the manger as she will on the wood of the Cross. He is placed in a manger, an animals' feeding trough, in Bethlehem, the House of Bread. Here, in this stable.

Here, in this House of Bread, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Here, One Who cannot suffer, suffering.
From His mother, He takes our weakness,
knows the price of our sin in a new way.
God made Man.
Nine months safe, hidden from the world,
yet already taking flesh in the one who was obedient
As He will be obedient.
Christus factus est pro nobis obediens.
The poor, the outcast, come to adore Him.
They come to lay their lives at the service of their true king.
Yet the rich, the powerful of strange and alien lands,
They too will come to bend the knee.
To bend the knee before this child,
Who lies before us
In this house of bread.
Christ made obedient.
God made Man.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Reminder of the Christmas Programme for the Classical Roman Rite in Melbourne

The Christmas Program for the Classical Roman Rite in Melbourne is as follows:

-9.00pm Christmas Eve –Matins (St Aloysius’ Caulfield)
-Solemn Midnight Mass at St Aloysius’, preceded by Christmas Carols (from 11.30pm) and blessing of the crib
-8.30am Christmas Day - Solemn Dawn Mass (Burke Hall, Kew)
-11.00am Christmas Day - Solemn Day Mass (St Aloysius’ Caulfield)

Father Michael McCaffrey and Stephen Smith are visiting us at this time which is an added blessing. St Aloysius' is accessible via the 3, 16, or 64 trams (Hawthorn and Balaclava Rds) or by the Frankston/Cranbourne/Pakenham train line (Malvern Station), or the Sandringham line (Windsor station, then take the 64 tram or Balaclava station and take the 3 or 16 down Balaclava Rd).

May Our Lord fill us with great joy and much awe at His unfathomable munificence. Non nobis, Domine, non nobis.

Since it is now gone First Vespers - Happy Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord! Now, after all the wait, it really is Christmas! Once in Royal David's City is no longer forbidden music!

A Christmas Message from Juventutem Australia

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Zalig Kerstmis

Zalig Kerstmis en een Gezegend 2007!

May the glory of the first Christmas remain in your heart throughout the New Year!

Gesegnete Weihnachten und Gottes segen fuer das Neu Jahr!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fox News Channel (USA) picking up on the signs of the liturgical times?

From the CTNGreg mailing list via The New Liturgical Movement:
"This weekend, either Saturday or Sunday, during the Fox Report (7:00 pm - 8:00 pm US Eastern Time), there will be a short feature on the Traditional Latin Mass, focusing, we hope, on its growth and appeal. The interviews will feature Monsignor Michael Schmitz, Vicar General of the Institute of Christ the King, and Michael Dunnigan, Chairman of Una Voce America, as well as some of the faithful who attend Mass at our (i.e., the Institute's) apostolate in Chicago, the Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Mass clips will be from our Mass this Gaudete Sunday.

"(For the "necessary balance"*, Prof. Richard McBrien of Notre Dame University/Indiana was also interviewed). Also, let's pray that this piece make many souls aware of the richness of Catholic Tradition."
*For those outside the USA, Fox News' slogan is "Fair and Balanced".

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

O Oriens

Please say a quick prayer for me as I visit Sydney for a few days. I hope this time I will have the opportunity to enter St Mary's crypt and give reverence to Archbishop Polding and a few other of my favourite people.

Today is the feast of St Thomas, Jude's birthday, and about my favourite of the Great O's:

O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae et sol justitiae: veni et illumina sedentes in tenebris et umbra mortis.

And because we only use the rose twice a year, the vestments are famous at the NLM, and Bishop Prowse is sweet, here is a picture of him glancing on the newly confirmed on Laetare:

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Traditionalists of the World Unite!


If you wish to join the thousands who want to lend their support to the Socci Manifesto write to:

Subject: Appello di Antonio Socci

Text:“Esprimiamo il nostro plauso per la decisione di Benedetto XVI di cancellare la proibizione dell’antica messa in latino secondo il messale di san Pio V, grande patrimonio della nostra cultura da salvare e riscoprire”. [English: "We express our praise for the decision of Benedict XVI to cancel the prohibition of the ancient Mass in Latin according to the Missal of Saint Pius V, a great legacy of our culture, which must be saved and rediscovered."]

Sign: Name, Profession (optional), City (optional) and Country of Residence

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Rose Vestments

Granted that this picture is from Laetare this year - the same rose vestments were worn today. No pink! The parish Mass was still in the penitential violet, and though numbers were up, nobody really sang. It's quite saddening.

The Catholic Action generation lost their children. Now the grandchildren of those whom Father Trese speaks so fondly of in Vessel of Clay are unable to understand half the humour in his book - like shrugging off a jabbed toe going up the altar step with an 'oh well - Introibo ad Altare Dei!' It's all so stupid and frustrating.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Today's work in progress and the AP Missal

Fratres: Gaudete in Domino semper, iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus prope est.

Today I wish to work on a reflection on the above - it is now Sunday morning, and I don't have time enough to post. I'm weak, so I hope it gets done as I have had some humbling thoughts.

On the Angelus Press Missal: I am having a good time discovering some humourous misprints. Last week, we had two 'Offertory' verses. Today there is a mistake in the Latin 'O Sapientia' antiphon. Of course, I mean this with humour. I love my missal! I do admire the St Andrew's commentaries, though - perhaps something lacking in the Angelus Press edition.

Good Fruit

Our dear friend and fellow pilgrim, Charles Mwongera, has this day been ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in Kenya. Sacerdos in aeternum - exaltemus in Domino! Let us pray for our new priest.

It is clear - the worldwide Juventutem initiative continues to swell with wonderful fruit. From the small English speaking set alone, we have a new priest, a seminarian, two young ladies in convents, servers, choir directors, members of numerous choirs, academics, and strong Catholic leaders who profess Our Lord and our Holy Faith with great fidelity, drawing their strength from the Altar of God.

PS Rose vestments, Vespers, first Great O and first Communions - I can't wait 'til tomorrow! Deo gratias!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

For God owes nothing to the creature

"Let our esteem for the divine service to which we have pledged ourselves be increased, as this supreme homage to the Divine Majesty is less common in our days, on account of the violent and sacrilegious suppression of so many monasteries and convents whose walls once resounded with the holy praises. Often give thanks to God that He has chosen you to promote and transmit to posterity the traditions of public prayer, and ask Him with the Prophet that the voices of those who celebrate His holy name be heard and multiplied."

Dom Prosper Guéranger 'Religious and Monastic Life Explained' pp 11-12 (1908)

Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bendigo, Australia - Feast of Christ the King, 29th October 2006.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Advent Letter from Rev Fr Armand de Malleray

Fœderatio Internationalis Juventutem

On December 3, 2006.
Hora est jam nos de somno surgere. Nunc enim propior est nostra salus, quam cum credidimus – It is now the hour for us to rise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed” (1st Sunday in Advent, Epistle).

Dear Friends from Juventutem,

On this First Sunday of Advent, the holy liturgy draws the expectations of our hearts towards the Nativity of our Blessed Lord. The crib in Bethlehem is to be the centre of the world for the three coming weeks and later on, until the Epiphany. Alas, we know too well how few among our contemporaries will think of Christmas for the good reasons though. The huge majority will either ignore it altogether, or will use it only to make money and consume. As loving children of Holy Mother Church, we want to prepare our hearts for the coming of the God Child.

If we spend time with God in prayer, if we learn about Him improving our Catholic knowledge, if we let ourselves be sanctified by Him through the sacraments of Penance and of the Eucharist, He will certainly make us bear fruit. With paternal condescendence, He will associate us to His work of redemption, that we may bear witness among our fellow students, among our relatives and friends, to Him Who is Truth and Charity.

In my last message (quoted below) on August 30, 2006, I was describing for you the three circles of spiritual commitment which Juventutem presents to every youth as a concrete path towards holiness. Are we all perfectly holy by now? Well, I personally wouldn’t mind some little extra time. What about you? Have you been able to experience the spiritual security found in regular Confession? Have you found how more fruitful our Holy Communions are when received with a purified heart – whether we feel something or not? Have you discovered the deep inner peace granted by the Lord when meeting with Him, truly, really and substantially present in the monstrance, during adoration of the Blessed Sacrament?

Obviously, spiritual progress is difficult to evaluate. To some extent, we may wish to keep God’s delicate favours under the shade of pious discretion and of respectful trust and loving abandonment to his grace. That does not mean we should be ungrateful or lazy. It is good therefore that we check the fidelity of our personal commitment, according to which one of the three circles we have chosen.

We would also wish to verify the good influence of our Catholic behaviour upon those among whom we live, or theirs upon us. Have we engaged into fruitful conversations on Catholic doctrine? Have we learnt to better value the Traditional Roman liturgy by reading good material on the Internet or in books? Have we attended spiritual and doctrinal conferences and encouraged others to come along with us? Have we started to liaise with other youths in order to have such conferences organised, as well as monthly adoration? Have we envisaged our customary bonds of friendship as a precious opportunity for circulating God’s grace through and around us?

Well, a lot of homework in perspective! Homework? Yes, when we remember that our true Home is the Merciful Heart of Jesus. In It we have our spiritual dwelling on this earth. Through that radiant Gateway we will proceed when entering everlasting happiness, after we die in a state of grace.

Dear Friends, that is what I wish for each one of us. It is what I pray for every morning at Mass when uttering at the foot of the altar: “Introibo and altare Dei, ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam”. Let us support each other in our daily prayer - even if we haven’t yet had the opportunity of meeting face to face, scattered on every continent as we are – let us already meet heart to heart in the Lord.

Concrete steps: Thank you in advance for kindly emailing me ( the following information:
1. Is your FIJ circle of spiritual commitment the: Supporters’, Friends’ or Cooperators’ (check details below)?
2. You are in contact locally with ...... youths who have shown interest for Juventutem.
3. The following clergy or consecrated persons have expressed to you their interest for
4. Since the foundation of the FIJ on May 24, 2006, you have participated in the following event(s) organised in the name or with mention of Juventutem (e.g. rosary, adoration, excursion, conference, blog):............................
5. As member of Juventutem you are planning the following event(s):.....................

I am looking forward to reading your emailed answer. If you don’t receive an answer from me within a few days, it should mean that your email did not reach me. You can also write to the following address: “Rev. Fr. Armand de Malleray, FSSP, Ecclesiastical Assistant FIJ, Chemin du Schoenberg 8, CH-1700, Fribourg, Switzerland”.

I assure you of my prayer for a blessed time of Advent and I already wish you and your families and friends a very merry Christmas:

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear!

Fr. Armand de Malleray, FSSP
Ecclesiastical Assistant FIJ

P.S. FIJ Treasurer Cosimo Damiano Marti has printed out some beautiful Juventutem Christmas cards. If you wish to receive some copies, please ask him for details at:

Advent Carols and Christmas Program

The Choir process in - shame I can't post audio. Dr Rowland was also in attendance!


The congregation.

In the Layde Chapel at the Alma Redemptoris Mater

The Recessional.

A very splendid evening with the choir in fine voice. As I had posted previously, the program was fantastic. The wonderful thing about it was that this extra-liturgical activity provided a gentle introduction into the whole culture of worship according to the Classical Roman Rite for those to whom it is entirely new. Thus, we were very blessed with many visitors, including youth, young families, and some from the parish, who all left very impressed. Deo gratias. Many more musical favourites - and in proper liturgical season!

The Christmas Program for the Classical Roman Rite in Melbourne is as follows:

-9.00pm Christmas Eve –Matins (St Aloysius’ Caulfield)
Solemn Midnight Mass at St Aloysius’, preceded by Christmas Carols (from 11.30pm) and blessing of the crib
8.30am Christmas Day - Solemn Dawn Mass (Burke Hall, Kew)
11.00am Christmas Day - Solemn Day Mass (St Aloysius’ Caulfield)

The festivities for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord offer a wonderful opportunity to discover the glories of the Classical Roman Liturgy for the first time.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sanctificavit tabernaculum suum Altissimus

A blessed feast to all!

7:30pm Solemn Mass, procession to the Layde Altar, and commendation of the community to the Blessed Mother under the title of her Immaculate Conception.

Tota Pulchra es, Maria!

"In the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin."

Ineffabilis Deus, Pius IX (translation courtesy of New Advent).

What is key to our understanding of this mystery is that it is not the peripheral teaching which it first appears to be, but strikes at the very heart of the Church's teaching on the Incarnation.

The Church teaches four things about Mary: That she is Mother of God (Theotokos, the 'God-bearer'); that she is ever-virgin; that she is immaculate; and that she was assumed into heaven. This teaching has never changed, despite the recent 'pinning down on paper' of the latter two. I do not wish to discuss this here and since most readers of this blog are probably fairly informed Catholics, I doubt that it is necessary. The key point that I wish to make is that Mary is immaculately conceived, ever-virginal and assumed precisely because she is the Theotokos.

We are all aware of how incomprehensible God's love for us is. And yet, God loves Mary as He would love a mother. Pause and think about that for a short moment. The Son loves the Father infinitely, and this love is at least partly made known to us in the total obedience of the incarnate Word Jesus Christ to the Father's will. And yet, Christ shows this same obedience to His mother. Only twice does she ask something of Him; when she does ask, He responds positively.

How could God, loving infinitely and finding sin infinitely... offensive... create for Himself a mother who is less than perfect? How could He let her be subject to decay? Intimately bound up with her son - after all, she is the only person to have a literal biological relationship with God! - how can Mary fail to share in all the victories of Christ, when she is expected to share His sufferings? It is only right and fitting, in accordance with the infinite justice of God, that her reward should be the greatest in Heaven who suffered most on earth. Mary shares in the tri-fold victory of Christ over sin, death and the devil. She is martyred with Him on the Cross and as such has the first entitlement to a share in His resurrection. Complete. How can she survive that except through the abundant grace of God?

I used to wonder if it were possible that Mary should have sinned earlier in her life, to be cleansed at the time, or in advance, of her fiat. But how would this be consonant with a God Who always does what is best? Prevention is better than cure and, thus, He chose to preserve her immaculately rather than to let her fall and be restored. It was necessary not in the strict sense, but because to do otherwise would not be consonant with His nature. God would not have freely chosen the other way. It wouldn't make sense.

Nevertheless, Mary is redeemed in the same way as us: Through the Incarnation, the Passion and the Resurrection. Or rather, by; as a result of; because of. Had she freely chosen to say 'No', what would have happened? But her will was perfectly in accord with the will of God. I'm just glad she didn't know what she was letting herself in for!

Anyway, I wanted to take a little time out to encourage us all to spend a little time over the next day in order to ponder this great mystery, which touches on that greatest mystery of all: The love of God as shown to us in the Incarnation itself. Revelation in the person of Jesus Christ, which is absolutely necessary since God is absolute.

O Maria, sine labe concepta, ora pro nobis qui ad te confugimus.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

God help us all

Stem cell cloning ban overturned

AUSTRALIAN scientists will be able to create cloned human embryos after federal Parliament voted to overturn a ban on the research in a rare conscience vote.

Liberal Senator Kay Patterson's private member's Bill will allow researchers to clone embryos using donor eggs and cells without sperm and extract their stem cells for medical research.

The House of Representatives also voted down an amendment that had threatened to scuttle the legislation.

The change would have prevented stem cells being extracted from the eggs of aborted late term female foetuses, but this procedure will remain acceptable under the Bill.

A demonic attack on the Incarnation - thanks to the cooperation of a poor depraved woman (Patterson) - thus finally consumated (9:30pm) on the (liturgical) Vigil of the Immaculate Conception. Tis the season. All this after returning from a wonderful Catholic Doctrine instruction on Man, Creation, and the Fall. Parce nobis Domine.

Lift up your heads.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Event on Thursday (London UK)

This is a direct cut-and-paste job from an e-mail sent to me, but I'm sure noone will mind:

Next Thursday the Society of St. Catherine of Siena is sponsoring a presentation by the author Martin Mosebach of his book 'Heresy of Formlessness', followed by a reception with drinks. The book, recently published in English, is translated from the German publication – Häresie der Formlosigkeit. Die römische Liturgie und ihr Feind'. English copies will be available for purchase courtesy of Family Publications, who can also be reached at

The event will be preceded by Solemn First Vespers of the Immaculate Conception in the Church of the Oratory at 5:30pm.

The presentation is supported by Family Publications Oxford (Distributors for Ignatius press in the United Kingdom)

Martin Mosebach, who will be present on the 7th of December, is a well-known and award-winning German novelist and essayist, has published novels, stories, and collections of poems; he has also written scripts for several films, opera libretti, theatre, and radio plays. He is a regular contributor to the major German newspapers and magazines, including the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Die Zeit. He has even written for the New York Times. Most recently, Mosebach has been awarded the Großer Literaturpreis der Bayerischen Akademie der Schönen Künste. ‘Heresy of Formlessness’ is a collection of essays on the liturgy and its recent reform, not from the perspective of a theologian, but from the perspective of a literary writer. The book helped to bring the debate on the Catholic liturgy into a wider public in Germany. A French translation was published last year, with a preface by the noted German philosopher Robert Spaemann.
(with thanks for the above paragraph to Fr. Rupert McHardy of the London Oratory)
No tickets are required for the evening – anyone is welcome, please spread the word.

Rev'd. Dr. Laurence Paul Hemming
Secretary to the Trustees
Society of St. Catherine of Siena

Message from Abbé de Malleray, FSSP

I expect most of those who post on here will have received the e-mail from M. l'Abbé. Please do respond (this goes for myself too...).

Hopefully there will be some collaboration between England & Wales and Ireland in the relatively near future.


Monday, December 04, 2006

FSSP First Year Wigratzbad Seminarians

The gentleman in the brown scarf looks kind of familiar! :) Please pray for them, and for all seminarians. Photo from

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Happy New Year!

Quick greetings for the liturgical new year. The last few days have been such a foretaste of heaven, it's rather sad that they have had to pass. Thank you Lord for another Advent. Once this 'slumpiness' goes away, then I will write something about it all. Now I must render to Caeser.

Deo gratias.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Happy Feast!

Today is the feast of St Edmund Campion, who I have adopted as a favourite patron. I am trying to search for his supplement online, but I can't seem to find it? It isn't in my Angelus Press Missal - and a search brings one right back here!

Justorum animae in manu Dei sunt, et non tanget illos tormentum malitiae: visi sunt oculis insipientium mori: illi autem sunt in pace, Alleluia. (Fitting for the Saint and his companions)

Monsignor Schmitz is still here, I think he leaves tomorrow. It's quite something to listen to someone's impressive online conferences, and then to be in their midst the next morning while adoring the Lord! Deo gratias.

Today is also a First Friday - Mass, Compline, all night Exposition. I am reading 'The Sacred Heart: Source of Christian Affectivity' by Dietrich von Hildebrand, which I highly recommend. Friday night not as the world 'Friday nights'.

Tomorrow there is a GK Chesterton conference and dinner organised by the Caroline Chisholm library. Speakers are gathered from about the country with the focus being the evangelisation of imagination and culture through the Chestertonian spirit. I am looking forward to it very much.

Sunday - Advent Carols!

I must now go! Remembering you all before the Lord.