Friday, August 31, 2007

A Lost Art (and Faith)

"I was looking at an old missal in the library yesterday. You know they always gilt the name of God? I think if they gilt any word now it will be Gold."

From the Return of Don Quizote by GK Chesterton

Thursday, August 30, 2007

On the Pontifical: Behind the Scenes

Some lovely 'behind the scenes' photographs from Saturday's Pontifical can be viewed here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mass for Juventutem in Tasmaina

From the TasTrads:
"There will be a special Mass to promote Tasmania's Juventutem pilgrims to World Youth Day on November 18 at 6pm at Mount Saint Canice. Juventutem's patron, His Excellency Governor Cox, will be attending; and Father Glen Tattersall from FSSP in Melbourne will be the celebrant. This is an event not to be missed, so put it in your diaries and invite all your family and friends!"
This is incredibly exciting news! Deo gratias!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

In Loco Sancto

His Grace, Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne


Post Pontifical Lunch

In the gardens next to the Exhibition building - on the way to visit a chocolate exhibition!

With Jude! It's a fun picture.

With Dane - the newly confirmed.


Two Stories

A venerable parish priest amused himself by giving Latin lessons to a small child. When a friend asked him one day what he was doing, the old priest replied that he was giving Latin lessons and therefore saving society. When his friend showed surprise, the priest said: "Don't be amazed, I am contributing to the salvation of society by preparing this disciple of mine so that some day he may become a priest. It is not enough to establish associations, give lectures, found syndicates ... The Church cannot do without priests. Let us then educate good priests and everything else will be added unto us."

In the magnificent Benedictine church in Ottobeuren there is a picture in which Christ is seated at a table with various reformers as if He were celebrating the Last Supper. Each of His companions has a sign in his hand. Zwingli: "This means My body." Calvin: "This is the virtue of My body." Luther: "This contains My body." Jesus, with an expression of gentle grief, but full of love, looks at the bread in His hand and says: "This IS My body."

Deo gratias

Just a quick thanks to the Lord for a splendid day. Spring seems to be here, and it is beautiful. The Pontifical was glorious, the Cathedral was packed, and afterwards, joyful convivium was had. Happiness is the Catholic Church. Pictures and reports will come along soon. Dominus regnavit, decorem indutus est. Indutus est Dominus fortitudinem, et praecinxit se. It was so good.

Deo gratias.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Reminder:

Solemn Pontifical Mass at the Throne
Celebrated by His Grace, Archbishop Denis Hart

Saturday, 25th August 2007
10:30am St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne

In thanksgiving for Summorum Pontificum. Includes Confirmations. Refreshments follow.

Please pray for all involved; our Archbishop, Fathers, visiting clergy, Confirmandi, Choir, Musicians, Servers, and the lay faithful. May the face of Christ shine resplendent!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Review of Jesus of Nazareth

Still needs editing, I think.

I doubt that it would surprise anyone with a brief familiarity with the works of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to discover that the very best summary of his most recent book on Our Lord is contained in another of his works. Indeed, the essence of Jesus of Nazareth can be found in the first paragraph of his first Encyclical as Pope. Benedict XVI writes:

"Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice, or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction." (Deus Caritas Est #1).

Within the pages of Jesus of Nazareth, the Holy Father beautifully crafts the argument that any dichotomy between the Jesus of history, and the Christ of faith is in disaccord with reason, for what this Jesus proclaims, he is presently. He is a real man located concretely in human history. As the Council Fathers stated in Gaudium et Spes, "He worked with human hands, He thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart." (para #22). The Christian is in pursuit of a person, and his pilgrim hymn is from the Psalter: My heart hath said to thee: My face hath sought thee: thy face, O Lord, will I still seek. Turn not away thy face from me (Psalm 26:8-9). To see the face of Jesus of Nazareth is to see the face of the Lord, and in that vision, the Christian rests his heart happily.

And yet, so many hearts are troubled. The modern man is not satisfied with merely knowing someone. He is tempted to qualify a person by his function. So his question to Jesus of Nazareth is not simply, “Who are you?” but “What can you do for me? How much are you worth?” The Holy Father demonstrates that the Lord is the fulfilment of the hopes of every man in superabundance, if he would only make a “u-turn” against the drift of the via mundi (p 98).

The Lord had promised Israel a great prophet through the lips of Moses. A man in his likeness would be raised up whom the people would heed (Deut 18:15). Greater than Moses, the Lord would know him face to face (Deut 34:10). St John knew Jesus face to face. His countenance shone with a mysterious intercommunion of glory, that glory of the Father, and which He, closest to the Father’s heart, really and fully possessed, and communicated to His friends (Jn 1:14,16,18). The Holy Father draws the logical conclusion of such a bewildering encounter from the reflections of a present day Jewish rabbi pursuing to speak to Jesus, face to face; the rabbi questions the little band, “I ask you again – is your master, God?” (p 110).

Jesus of Nazareth is sent by the Father to draw His friends into that blessed communion of life and love that is His. He teaches them to pray so that their gaze may remain steadfast upon the Lord and that their wills not falter. He forms them, and instructs them with authority. The Sermon on the Mount is not a political program for constructing a city-state or instigating radical social reform. The criminal Barabbas typifies the strains for freedom through worldly prosperity. Instead, Jesus of Nazareth declares the New Torah, which is written in His very person. The Kingdom of God is a person. It is the Lordship of Jesus of Nazareth, and it demands discipleship. It is more than imitation; it means to be caught up in a Life (pp 73-74). The Sermon on the Mount is the litany of the Apostle (cf 2 Cor). It “brings what is pure and noble to the fore and gives a proper ordering to our lives.” (p 98).

Our Jewish friend turns from the Mount with eyes downcast, “I now realise, only God can demand of me what Jesus is asking.” (p 115).

The Successor of St Peter has composed something remarkable in response to pickled relativism. Jesus of Nazareth confidently answers the questions of modern man with a purity of academic enquiry. The Holy Father has shared the fruits of his contemplation, and perhaps inadvertently, provided a valuable companion to works presently issuing from the Holy See. This volume concentrated upon events from Our Lord’s Baptism to His Transfiguration. These events are telling signposts for an introduction to the Prophet whom men would heed, and know face to face. We await the concluding volume with great enthusiasm.

Finally, let us heed the words of the Holy Father, lest we fall into the snare of a vague spirituality and forget the essence of the Christian life:

“[Our Lord] has brought God, and now we know His face, now we can call upon Him. Now we know the path that we human beings have to take in this world…It is only because of our hardness of heart that we think this is too little…The earthly kingdoms that Satan was able to put before the Lord at that time have all passed away…But the glory of Christ, the humble, self-sacrificing glory of His love, has not passed away, nor will it ever do so.” (p 44).

Tu es Christus, Filius Dei vivi.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Meanwhile, in Caesarea...

No, seriously. Jersey, Channel Islands, in Latin, is Caesarea. How useful.

La Cathédrale has been restored. Two points to notice, here: La Cathédrale is not, in fact, a cathedral; it hasn't technically been restored. However, it has been un-wreckovated. Apparently the original wreckovation was performed in 1981 whilst the parish priest was in hospital - he came home to find the church whitewashed. A certain priest and myself were plotting the restoration a while back and, after much fundraising and temporary closure of the church (the boilicans were generous enough to lend us one of theirs nearby for the duration) we now have a building that looks like a church. It's amazing how un-church-like you can make a neo-gothic building look.

Anyway, because I can't figure out how to add photos, please click here to see them.

I am suffering from the after-effects of 'I the Lord of Sea and Sky', but thankful nonetheless for a packed church and increasing numbers of young people witnessing to Christ. The island is hoping to send 50 to the next WYD.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Rachel Claire - Deo gratias

Rachel Claire Zollo was born on the 14th August 2007, the Vigil of Our Lady's Assumption. Truly this little child is under the special patronage of the Christ the King and our Blessed Mother, Regina Caeli. Very joyful news, indeed. Deo gratias. Please pray for the Zollo family. The Lord is faithful to His promises.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Advertisement for Solemn Pontifical Mass at the Throne: Melbourne 25/8/07

Saturday, 25th August 2007.
10:30am St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne.

You are enthusiastically encouraged to circulate this information as widely as possible and to attend on the day!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

O quam magnam

Today Fr. John Walshe celebrated his Silver Jubilee Mass at St. Patrick's, Mentone. In choir was His Lordship, Bishop Peter Elliott, four priests of the Fraternity and dozens of his brother priests. The homilist Fr. William Fitzgerald O.Praem, a canon regular of Premontre, delivered a most wonderful sermon on the dignity of the priesthood, which touched upon deficiencies in the formation of priests in the years following the Second Vatican Council, before acknowledging Fr. Walshe's own example of a priest in imitation of Christ's own life of sacrifice and service.

Speaking of 'imitation', my immediate thought after this evening were the words of Ven. Thomas a Kempis:

O quam magnam et honorabile est officium sacerdotam: quibus datum est Dominum majestatis verbis sacris consecrare, labiis benedicere, manibus tenere, ore prorio sumere, et ceteris ministrare. (De Imitatione Christi, Liber IV, Caput XI)

[Translation: O how great and honourable is the office of priests, to whom it is given to consecrate with sacred words the Lord of majesty, to bless Him with their lips, to hold Him with their hands, to receive Him with their own mouths, and to administer Him to others.]

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Assumpta est Maria in Caelum

Gaudent Angeli, laudantes benedicunt Dominum!

A most blessed Feast to all. A Holy Day in Australia, Deo gratias.

Solemn Mass this evening at St Aloysius' 7:30pm. I hope you all have the chance to listen to some Palestrina over the course of the day.

(Substantial post later)

Friday, August 10, 2007

From the Institution of the Guild:

A very beautiful Mass, sung by the Schola Spiritus Sancti. The Guild of St Lawrence is instituted!

Happy Feast!

Adhaesit anima mea post te, quia caro mea igne cremata est pro te, Deus meus. Igne me examinasti, et non est inventa in me iniquitas.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Sacerdotes Magni

Michael, Dane, John Paul, and Omar, with the good Rev Fr Tom Keegan, PP Holy Name church, Toowoomba. Photo taken during the ACCC Conference after the Archbishop Chaput lecture.

Dane with Bishop Christopher Prowse, after his Lordship celebrated Pontifical Mass at St Aloysius' on Good Shepherd Sunday, 2007.
These images should have appeared here a good while ago, so I do apologise.

Better than the Archdiocese of Hobart on this wonderful Feast

Point one: I really love my father. Please say a prayer for him. He very providentially elucidated an important theological truth, and I am quite moved. Deo gratias. In flesh and blood, I have a great dad.

Point two: I was able to sit at the table in the common room in the presence of Bishop Costelloe! And speak to a very venerable Dominican brother. It was certainly an occasion for the clapping of hands.

Point three: The Lord is very tolerant of me and my grizzliness. Even at those most frustrating, unlovable moments, He delights in sweets and gestures of Kindness. Even though He knows that they will 'wear off' on this side, and decline again into much pouting. The Fall: A constant bout of toddler tantrum-ism.

Happy Feast! Et audientes discipuli, ceciderunt in faciem suam et timuerunt valde. Et accessit Iesus, et tetigit eos dixitque eis: Surgite, et nolite timere.

Church Conduct

  1. When entering the church take holy water as a reminder to cleanse your mind of all thoughts.
  2. When in doubt as to the correct procedure during the liturgy, follow the altar servers.
  3. Strict silence should be observed at all times within the church, do not talk even in the vestibule. This does not preclude you from consuming food and beverages after Mass.
  4. Do not throw confetti in the church grounds, it is like dumping rubbish in your neighbour's garden, but in this case it is God's garden.
  5. Respect for God's house forbids the customary signs of affection and congratulation to be indulged in as the bride and bridegroom are walking out of the church.
  6. While waiting for a wedding, the faithful should engage in talk with God and not with one another.
  7. Do not leave your place in the church until the priest has left the sanctuary.
  8. Do not walk up the aisle while the priest is speaking from the pulpit. Should you need to clarify any point or make an objection, wait until the Mass has finished.
  9. Do not stand if there are seats available.
  10. Do not make others crawl over you. This may be impossible where the pews are rather close but if possible raise the kneeler first and stand up.
  11. Do not read anything but a prayerbook or missal in the church. Religious papers should not be read in the church.
  12. Do not put wet umbrellas or coats on the seats that others will have to use as a later Mass.
  13. Do not let children scrath the polished seats or stand on them.
  14. Do not rattle your rosary beads unnecessarily.
  15. Do not pray alone, keep together with the rest of the congregation.
  16. After receiving Holy Communion close your mouth slowly, do not snap it shut.
  17. Always kneel for whole time during which Holy Communion is being distributed. Sit only if you are unwell.
  18. Leave the admiration of ladies' hats, furs and frocks until you have left the church.
  19. Do not turn around in church. An exception might be to see when the bishop is entering the church.
  20. Await your turn to enter the confession. Do not jump other people's claims. Likewise do not wait directly outside the confessional door.
  21. Do not talk in the church while waiting for baptisms. Come punctually at the appointed time.
  22. Men remove their hats before they enter the church, women should never enter unless their heads are covered.
  23. Do not park you motor car in front of the church driveway. This is particularly important if the priest needs to leave in a hurry.

Taken from A Visit to a Catholic Church by Fr. P. Ryan

If you would like to offer additional advice on church etiquette please avoid references to liturgical abuses and keep it clean.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Establishment of Guild for Classical Servers and Victoria Requiem

From the bulletin:

Guild of St Laurence for Altar Servers: this new Guild for Altar Servers will be established this Friday night at Solemn Mass for St Laurence. As Deacon, Martyr, and secondary patron of Rome (after Sts Peter & Paul), St Laurence is the ideal patron for a guild dedicated to the service of the Altar in the classical Roman use. Already, interest has been expressed from servers in Brisbane, and we hope that servers will join from throughout Australia. All servers in our Melbourne apostolate are invited to attend, and to be part of the foundation of the Guild.

Solemn Requiem (Month’s mind) for the repose of the soul of Germaine Alexandrowicz – Saturday at 2.30pm. A member of the community has arranged this for her recently deceased friend. The choir will sing the magnificent Victoria Requiem on the occasion. All welcome. Refreshments follow.

So too thought the first Archbishop of Melbourne

Tasmania, Tasmania...

You break my heart.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Benedict XVI's Liturgical Armistice: 'Summorum Pontificum'

Father's article appears as the lead story in this month's AD2000.