Sunday, October 22, 2017

Truth Decay


Yet another angst-ridden message from our underground correspondent, Guy Noir - Private Eye, this time arriving by bicycle courier in a large envelope. The hand-written message, with splotches of ink, made me wonder if Guy had used a quill pen to compose the missive. In the envelope I also found a pack of four Havana cigars. Nice.

Guy's message referenced a piece by Sandro Magister entitled "World's End Update ..." (Settimo Cielo, October 20, 2017), which I tracked down on the internet. Then followed his brief comments:
It's getting old. This new universalism has by now been so often suggested and homaged by so many recent popes that one could honestly argue it's part of the postconciliar development of doctrine. I no longer know what to say. Ralph Martin's "Who Will Be Saved?" offered a complete, Catholic, and biblical response to it. Trouble being, though, as Bishop Barron pointed out in his online debate over Martin's corrective, the conservatives' ballyhoooed Benedict XVI himself seems to support some sort of universalism in his encyclical on hope. We can laud tradition all we want, but at some point have to admit that postconciliarism is often an apology for, versus a friend of, Tradition. When the Four Last Things are shined up with new porcelain theological caps after receiving a Balthasarian root canal, Developmentalism is becoming the new orthodoxy, no matter how hard the forced smile from places like First Things. We are all Mormons now.
So it goes ...

How the Catholic Faith went underground for centuries in Japan and was preserved by the lay faithful


Sandro Magister, "The 'Hidden Christians' of Japan ..." (Settimo Cielo, October 17, 2017):
Pope Francis has repeatedly expressed his admiration for the “hidden Christians” of Japan, who miraculously reappeared with their faith intact in the second half of the nineteenth century, after two and a half centuries of centuries of ferocious annihilation of Christianity in that country.

But few know the real story of this miracle on the brink of the incredible. It was reconstructed on Thursday, October 12 in a fascinating conference in the aula magna of the Pontifical Gregorian University, by the Japanese Jesuit Shinzo Kawamura, professor of Church history at Sophia University in Tokyo and an author of the most up-to-date studies on the issue.

The complete text of his conference, given at the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Holy See, is reproduced on this other page of Settimo Cielo:

>> Pope Pius IX and Japan. The History of an Oriental Miracle

An extensive extract from this is published below. From reading this - which is a must - it can be gathered that what allowed the intact transmission of the Catholic faith, from generation to generation, among those Christians devoid of priests and entirely cut off from the world was essentially an oral tradition made up of a few decisive truths concerning the sacraments and in the first place confession, according to what was taught by the Council of Trent.

It is “Tridentine” Catholicism, therefore, that nourished the miracle of those “hidden Christians.” With its doctrine of sin and of sacramental forgiveness, anticipated in them by repeated acts of perfect contrition, in the absence of a confessor but also in the prophetic vision that one day he would finally arrive.

These were acts of contrition that followed, at times, the sin of apostasy, which involved publicly trampling on the “Fumie,” the image of Jesus, as they were forced to do by their persecutors in order to prove that they abjured the Christian faith, on pain of death....

"HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" IN JAPAN. THE HISTORY OF AN ORIENTAL MIRACLE
by Shinzo Kawamura, S.J.

On January 8, 1867, His Holiness Pope Pius IX dispatched a special message to Fr. Bernard Petitjean of the Paris Foreign Mission Society, who at the time was involved in missionary work in the city of Nagasaki. The purpose of His Holiness was to personally bless an event, which he exuberantly described as a “Miracle of the Orient.”

What he referred to as a “Miracle of the Orient,” was the fact that three years before this message was dispatched, that is, on March 17, 1865, an incident had occurred within one of Japan’s oldest churches, namely the “Oura Tenshudo" of Nagasaki, which is also known as the Basilica of the Twenty-Six Holy Martyrs of Japan.

A group of approximately 15 people, descendants of the Hidden Christians of Nagasaki Urakami, visited the Oura Tenshudo that had just been built, and engaged in a dialogue with Fr. Petitjean.

They spoke to Fr. Petitjean saying: “We are of the same faith as you. Where can we find the image of Saint Mary?”.

No sooner had these Hidden Christians ascertained the fact that Catholic priests had entered Japan, more and more of them began to come out of hiding, and their numbers in course of time exceeded ten thousand.

After having duly confirmed the fact that the faith of these priests was the same as that which had been adhered to by their ancestors 400 years ago, these Hidden Christians returned to the Catholic Church.

Three keywords

These Hidden Christians had endured about 250 years of persecution, due to the prohibitions imposed upon them by the Tokugawa government. Even so, they faithfully continued to preserve their faith, and when they eventually felt that the time was appropriate to do so, they rejoined the Catholic Church. This was indeed a miracle, but my question is, what was it that made this miracle possible?

I now wish to present three keywords that I consider most vital, with regard to the possibility of this Oriental Miracle....
Kawamura goes on to discuss in detail the "three keywords" to understanding the survival of the underground faith in Japan. Essentially, they come down to (1) lay communities that had been organized for the governance of the Catholic faithful in diverse territorial regions of the country since the time of St. Francis Xavier's mission in Japan; (2) the prophecy of a martyred catechist that after seven generations, black ships would arrive and Catholic "confessors" with the authority to forgive sins would return to Japan; and (3) hope of forgiveness in the absence of sacramental Confession through the Tridentine provision that "reconciliation between the individual and God can be attained by true contrition."

In these far-from-ideal conditions, how these Japanese "hidden Christians" were able to preserve and sustain their faith at all is indeed an "Oriental Miracle."

[Hat tip to JM]

"Entschuldigen Sie While I Barf"


Frank J. Sheed, "Entschuldigen Sie While I Barf" (October 32, 2018):
In Rome, Pope Francis is in the news again for his implicit endorsements of Universalism. Nothing new here, really, but it is a depressing reminder of what I will call The German Captivity of the Church. And I am not talking about Luther. For decades now modernist theology has captivated the theologians and leaders of both mainline Protestantism and, apparently, Catholicism. You see the same pattern in Evangelicalism, too, where the theology of Karl Barth has been the pet affection of those raised in but chaffing under the Old Time Religion. Somehow it also brings to mind then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s eulogizing of Hans von Balthasar as “the most cultured man in Europe.”

Years ago I picked up Richard Brookheiser’s rather reactionary -- and also rather right -- book called The Way of the WASP. It was there for the first time I read the suggestion that Karl Barth actually had a mistress. When I investigated, I read reams of internet defense that explained the relationship was a professional one, of something to that strange-sounding effect. OK, fine. Much like belleletrist Hans von Balthasar and his box-faced muse Adrienne Von Spear, I thought. Or Karl Rahner with his semi-to-sexual mistress. Or whatever... These avant garde theologians, always equivocal, often neutered, and apparently incapable of getting along by themselves... OR so I thought. It turns out the first, gut instinct was correct. 2 + 2 = 4. And while it’s sometimes “Both/And,” a la the new fashion in the Vatican, it’s much more often “Either/Or” or “Heaven or Hell.” Read for yourself...
Read more >>

Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan


Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Sunday


Monday


Tuesday


Wednesday


Thursday


Friday


Saturday


* NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins," and subsequently extended this privilege beyond the Year of Mercy. These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites.

Tridentine Community New - Restoration Campaign at St. Joseph Oratory; Sanctuary Restoration at Our Lady of the Scapular; EWTN Televises Pittsburgh Cathedral Tridentine Mass; 2018 Liturgical Calendars & Ordo; TLMs this coming week


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (October 22, 2017):
October 22, 2017 – Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost

Restoration Campaign at St. Joseph Oratory

Local newspaper and television reports have drawn attention to this week’s announcement of a $2.5 million restoration campaign for Detroit’s St. Joseph Oratory. The steeple is in need of repair and reshingling, plus there are additional overdue building maintenance matters to be addressed. This writer has been observing St. Joseph since 1983, and this is the highest-profile fundraising effort the church has ever undertaken – a good thing, as historic churches need to reach out beyond their own parishioner base to raise this level of funding.

Sanctuary Restoration at Our Lady of the Scapular

Speaking of church restorations, a milestone has been achieved at Wyandotte’s Our Lady of the Scapular Church. Previously this column had reported that the old 1970s-style freestanding altar had been replaced with a refurbished former Side Altar from a closed church, and the ugly and awkward carpeted platform on which the altar stood in the sanctuary had been removed.

In recent weeks the new freestanding altar has had wheels installed so that it is easily moveable, and the stone floor has been refurbished and holes filled in. The before and after photos tell the story:



The next two items on the to-do list are the acquisition of a High Pulpit to resemble the one that was originally in the church, and the reinstallation of the center part of the Communion Rail.

EWTN Televises Pittsburgh Cathedral Tridentine Mass

We had previously reported that EWTN had broadcast a Pontifical Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form from Philadelphia’s Ss. Peter & Paul Cathedral Basilica on September 14. Much to our surprise and delight, this past Sunday, October 15, EWTN without much fanfare televised another Tridentine Mass, this time from Pittsburgh’s St. Paul Cathedral. The occasion was the Pittsburgh St. John XXIII Latin Mass Parish holding a special Mass at that Cathedral. Both broadcasts were part of EWTN’s Cathedrals Across America series.


Further evidence of the mainstreaming of the Traditional Latin Mass: While this event just a few years ago would have been the talk of the blogosphere, this time it only received wide mention one or two days before the broadcast. A recording of the Mass may be viewed on-line at: https://www.facebook.com/ewtnonline/videos/10155186477572582/

2018 Liturgical Calendars & Ordos

Once again this year we will be ordering 2018 Extraordinary Form Calendars from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

For the more liturgically curious among you, we will also be ordering 2018 Ordos. An Ordo is a book-form calendar which celebrants use as a guide for which liturgical options to use on each day of the year.

Both the Calendars and Ordos may be ordered using forms available at the Oakland County Latin Mass Association at the Academy of the Sacred Heart Chapel in Bloomfield Hills; St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches in Windsor; and Old St. Mary’s Church in Detroit. The price is $13.00 U.S. or $17.00 Canadian for either publication, and prepayment is requested.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 10/23 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop & Confessor)
  • Tue. 10/24 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (St. Raphael the Archangel)
  • Sat. 10/28 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (Ss. Simon & Jude, Apostles)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for October 22, 2017. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Friday, October 20, 2017

Bibles

From one of my readers, worth reading:
VERY interesting ...

A Jew in the court of King James...
"...more than any other English translation of Scripture, the KJV is driven by an 'idea of majesty' whose 'qualities are those of grace, stateliness, scale, [and] power.'"
Also, Leland Ryken's "What Makes the King James Version Great?" (Reformation 21, January 2011) ...

"Schuyler Canterbury KJV" (Lectio, January 10, 2017).

Meanwhile there is also this ... Alex Blechle, "A Millennial's thoughts on Bible Translation" (Catholic Bibles, September 12, 2017).

The comments are interesting.
[Hat tip to JM]

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fr. Perrone: without an intense, devout life, Catholics will not survive the age

Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" (Assumption Grotto News, October 15, 2017):
The saintly priest, learned theologian, and catechist extraordinaire, Fr. John A. Hardon, was fond of saying that without an intense, devout life Catholics will not survive the age. I admit that at the time I thought this a ruse to shock his audience into taking their faith seriously. The longer I live in this age, however, the more I become convinced that this priest got it right. In recent decades we've seen great numbers of Catholics cease to practice their faith while others have exited the Church for small community non-denominational churches or trendy mega-churches that offer swingin' and swayin' worship services with an appealing "prosperity" message. I've heard many a sorrow-laden complaint from Catholics who have lost family members or relatives to such groups. It seems that no family has been wholly exempt from the defection. I did a little checking among my own family and close relatives to see how things stacked up in this regard. In a fast count from a pool of 52 family members and close relatives on my mother's side only (my siblings and their children, uncles, aunts, and first cousins), there were only 20 out of 52 still practicing the Catholic faith in which they were reared and living in a Christian manner.

These facts may make us wonder about many things. First, of the necessity of faith in Christ and of keeping His commandments. Without whole-hearted acceptance of all that Christ has revealed by His Church and without a state of grace, one cannot hope to be saved. Then, about the Church. It is by definition one, founded by our Lord: "Upon this rock I will build My Church" with Peter as its rock foundation (Mt 16:18). It is this Church which holds the true doctrine of Christ since it alone is "the pillar and bulwark of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15). Christ's apostles and their line of successors were handlers-on (transmitters) of 'tradition,' that is, of their authority, powers, the truth and the practices they received from Christ. Efforts to deviate from that apostolic inheritance were made from the earliest days of the Church. Thus were the faithful flock warned of those who would deceive and mislead the flock, false teachers and false prophets (Mt 24:24; 2 Tim 4:3-4), those "even of your own number" who would "draw away the disciples after them" (Acts 20:30). On account of the ever present danger of being misled and of departing from truth, Saint Paul admonished succeeding generations of the Church to "guard the truth that has been entrusted to you" (2 Tim 1:14) and to "hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth of by [written] letter" (2 Thes 2:15).

The Catholic Church is the only Church which has existed uninterruptedly from apostolic times, unbroken in historical continuity. This is an indisputable fact. You will find the Catholic Church in every year since the first day of the Christian era. While the church as Christ's body has matured and organically grown in acquiring a greater clarity in its beliefs (the creed), in a more developed way of celebrating the Christian "mysteries" (the liturgy and the sacraments), and in a worldwide institutional expansion, yet she has remained true to her divine charter, being essentially as she has always been from the beginning and as she is destined to remain until the Lord returns.

The claim is made, of course, that the Catholic Church at some point erred and went astray from what Christ had intended from the beginning. [But] with the publication and now easy availability of the Fathers of the Church (and especially of the Apostolic Fathers -- those who immediately succeeded the apostles) and other early Church writings, it is clear for anyone who would care to investigate the matter that the early Church is the same Catholic Church we know today in all essential aspects. From these documents we learn many things: how Mass was said and the sacraments celebrated; the deeper theological understanding of the faith revealed in time by the Holy Spirit (who "will teach you all things, and bring to remembrance all that I have said to you" (Jn 14:26) and which was formulated in the ancient creedal statements; how holy orders were transmitted from bishop to bishop, and from bishop to priest; etc. Only the Catholic Church did all these things from the beginning of the Christian era and only she continues to do them faithfully.

The problem of defection from the true Church and from its faith plagued the Church from its earliest days. Already in the Book of Revelation we find mention of a sect known as the Nicolaitans (e.g. 2:6). St. Paul wrote against the beliefs of the Gnostics. Aberrant sects claiming to be some manner or other of 'church' apart from the unique historical body of the Catholic Church are fraudulent. There can't be a 'spontaneous generation' of a new Christian body claiming to be in any sense authentic. There must be, and is, but 'one body, one Spirit, one hope, one faith, one baptism, one God' (cf. Eph 4:4-5).

Of course, in our families there are those who are simply non-practitioners, those who still regard themselves as Catholics but who can't be bothered going to Sunday Mass or to Confession. Our Lord warned that the way to salvation was a narrow one, that few would find it (Mt 7:14), and that when He would return to earth there might be but a few who would have kept the faith (cf. Lk 18:8).

there are many diverse reasons why people cease to practice the Catholic faith or who leave holy Church for something other. The lure of sensuality and worldliness -- always a powerful force -- is not to be discounted. There's also the scandalous lives of bad Catholics which are discouraging; the incredible permissive things we now hear coming from Rome, from certain bishops, "theologians," and priests; the fallout from the clergy scandals of recent times; the enormous ignorance of Catholics about their faith and their history; the irreverent way priests and laity deport themselves at Mass such as to belie the doctrines of the Real Presence and the sacrificial nature of the Mass; the great number of divorces with remarriages of Catholics outside the Church; the Church's condemnation of all forms of artificial birth control; the circulation of the pernicious teaching that "one religion is as good as another" (indifferentism). Take all these things together and ... voilà! ... you have all that's needed for a great exodus from the true Church.

Christ is not indifferent about truth, about fidelity to the practice of the faith, or about His Church. The only Church which has perdured through the centuries since the time of its founding is the one, true Church of Christ: the Catholic Church, a truth "which nobody can deny, which nobody can deny."

Fr. Perrone

P.S. Today, Sunday, marks the fourth anniversary of my Mother's death. Mom and Dad were devout believers both. How profoundly grateful I am for the faith my parents passed on to me! I pray for them and I pray to them for the return of our family members who have strayed from the one truth Catholic Church.

David French: on consentual sex

The carrier pigeon didn't even land. It just dropped its little wad of a message like pigeon poop. But there it was at my feet. Guy Noir - Private Eye, again. My underground correspondent from God knows where: somewhere 'stealthy.'

"For some reason, David French — like Peggy Noonan and Elizabeth Scalia — often annoys. But here he is right on," he wrote, in what looked like quill point squiggly ink lines.

The link he included led to this: David French, "A morality based only on consent results in sexual oppression" (National Review, October 15, 2017). Amen to that.

Extra Tridentine Community News Notes - Chant Workshop at Old St. Mary's on October 28; Summórum Pontíficum Conference Report; London Oratory Tridentine Vespers on BBC


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (from bulletin insert for October 1, 2017):
Chant Workshop at Old St. Mary’s on October 28

Wassim Sarweh will be offering another Chant Workshop on Saturday, October 28 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at Detroit’s Old St. Mary’s Church. Intended for those interested in learning more about Gregorian Chant, no particular musical background is required. Subjects to be covered:
  • A brief history and origin of chant
  • Understanding free melody & rhythms
  • Vocal techniques developing the chant sound
  • Notation and Neumes
  • Western Church Modes, scales and feel
  • Old Roman Chant
  • Chant in the Liturgy
  • Instrumental accompanying of chant
The workshop will include a Tridentine High Mass at 2:00 PM at which participants will be able to put their newly acquired skills to practice. [The public is invited to attend this Mass; you do not need to be a participant in the workshop.] Lunch will be provided. For more information and registration details, contact Wassim at: wassimsarweh@gmail.com.

Summórum Pontíficum Conference Report

The tenth anniversary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summórum Pontíficum was marked with a conference in Rome on September 14-17, at which this writer was present. Over 400 faithful crowded into the amphitheater classroom at the Angélicum in Rome, where talks were given by Pontifical Commission Ecclésia Dei Secretary Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, and others. Cardinal Raymond Burke was in attendance, along with FSSP co-founder Fr. Josef Bisig, FSSP Superior General Fr. John Berg, and ICRSP founder Msgr. Gilles Wach.


Many of the talks noted the global surge in the number of Traditional Latin Mass sites post-Summórum, along with the appeal of the liturgy to the young. Vespers were celebrated by Prefect of the Papal Household and Personal Secretary to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Archbishop Georg Gänswein. A procession through the streets of Rome and Mass at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica capped the event. With such strong international attendance – North Americans were in the minority – and support from such high-ranking clergy, the conference was yet another example of the ascendance of the Traditional Mass into the mainstream life of the Church.

London Oratory Tridentine Vespers on BBC


On Wednesday, September 20, BBC Radio 3 conducted a live broadcast of Tridentine Vespers for Ember Wednesday from the London Oratory. This was a rare opportunity to see the professional adult choir of the Oratory perform in a visible location, necessitated to accommodate the microphones; normally the choir is hidden from view in the loft.

As this column has many times mentioned, Vespers at the Oratory is one of the most impressive and ethereal liturgical and musical experiences in the world. Visitors to London can attend Solemn Vespers at the Oratory every Sunday at 3:30 PM, but you don’t have to travel to hear it: The BBC has posted a recording of the September 20 broadcast, available on-line until October 19, at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b094t14k

While the whole hour-long recording is amazing – the choir basically sings non-stop for the whole hour, flawlessly – if you have limited time, listen to one of the Psalms, beginning at 11:51.
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for October 1, 2017. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Tridentine Community News - All Souls Day Mass Schedule: A New Option for Catholic Estate Planning: The Catholic Foundation of Michigan; Extraordinary Form Confirmations in Jackson; Flint Anniversary mass & Dinner; Tridentine Masses This Coming Week


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (October 15, 2017):
October 15, 2017 - Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

All Souls Day Mass Schedule

Every year, All Souls Day is an important and popular opportunity to pray for the Souls in Purgatory. Options this year to observe the Feast with the Traditional Mass are many:


On Thursday, November 2, the annual “Three Masses of All Souls Day” will be held once again at St. Alphonsus Church in Windsor. At 6:00 PM, two Low Masses will be offered simultaneously on the two Side Altars of the church [pictured above], using the Propers of the Second and Third Masses of All Souls Day. At 7:00 PM a Solemn High Mass with Deacon and Subdeacon will be celebrated at the High Altar, using the Propers of the First Mass of All Souls. Solemn Absolution at the Catafalque will be held at the end of Mass.

St. Joseph Oratory will offer Low Masses at 8:00 AM and 8:40 AM and a Solemn High Mass at 7:00 PM.

St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Ann Arbor will offer a Missa Cantata at 7:00 PM.

A New Option for Catholic Estate Planning: The Catholic Foundation of Michigan

There is a growing need for Catholics to have a mechanism to help them donate a portion of their estates to specific Catholic institutions or causes. In the past, many Catholics simply made bequests to their parishes, but as traditionally-minded Catholics become more familiar with the way the Church works, concerns arise as to whether donations will be used in ways that the donor intends.

A step in the right direction has been taken with the recent establishment of The Catholic Foundation of Michigan. This organization seeks to assist both donors and recipient charities, by setting up foundations – a specific type of U.S. non-profit entity – that benefit certain institutions. Those foundations can be controlled by the donor to direct donations to charity(s) of their choice, or by the recipient charity as a way of coordinating donations from others.

The Catholic Foundation of Michigan has a mission of benefitting Catholic parishes and institutions within the Archdiocese of Detroit. It is not clear whether they will be interested in helping the faithful support any institutions outside of the geographic boundaries of the Archdiocese.

Ideally, traditionally-minded Catholics could choose from a broad spectrum of charities or causes. Examples of concepts rather than specific institutions that might have appeal:
  • Helping local Latin Mass communities
  • Architectural restoration of historic churches that offer the Latin Mass
  • Support of choirs that serve Tridentine Mass communities
  • Providing supplies for start-up Latin Mass sites
  • Support for international organizations that assist Tridentine Mass ventures, such as the Church Music Association of America (trains singers and organists) or Sacra Liturgía (conference organizer)
  • Support for seminaries that offer training on the Tridentine Mass
  • Helping specific diocesan clergy organizations, monasteries, convents, or religious orders that embrace traditional liturgy
It would be best if an overseeing organization akin to the Kresge Foundation, with leaders knowledgeable about and sympathetic to the interests of Traditional Catholics, could disburse donations from one’s estate to worthy and suitable recipients, but such an organization does not yet exist. For now, you and your legal counsel must target donations to the parishes, Latin Mass communities, or other Catholic organizations you prefer. You could certainly inquire whether The Catholic Foundation of Michigan could play a role in your plans, with the caveat that its leaders do not seem to have any connection to or knowledge of local or global traditional Catholic enterprises.

For more information, visit: www.catholicfoundationmichigan.org

Extraordinary Form Confirmations in Jackson

Yet another local Confirmation opportunity: Bishop Earl Boyea will celebrate Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form for the Tridentine Community at St. Mary Star of the Sea in Jackson, Michigan on Sunday, December 3 at 12:15 PM.

Flint Anniversary Mass & Dinner

The 28th Anniversary of the Tridentine Mass in Flint will be celebrated with a Missa Cantata on Sunday, October 29 at 3:00 PM at St. Matthew Church, followed by a potluck dinner in the adjacent fieldhouse.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 10/16 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Hedwig, Widow)
  • Tue. 10/17 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin)
  • Sat. 10/21 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (Saturday of Our Lady)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for October 15, 2017. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan


Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Sunday


Monday


Tuesday


Wednesday


Thursday


Friday


Saturday


* NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins," and subsequently extended this privilege beyond the Year of Mercy. These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites.

Austin Ruse: "James Martin SJ Thinks You're a Nazi"


Austin Ruse: "James Martin SJ Thinks You're a Nazi" (Crisis Magazine, September 29, 2017): "... Martin became incensed when Catholic Vote said he had been 'beaten' in a debate. He said it was a call for violence against him. Yet, now he is saying his critics are no better than Nazis, and his friend McElroy compares them to cancer. One wonders how far McElroy, Martin, Scalia, Faggioli, and Ivereigh want to go in getting rid of those they do not like."

A convert reflects on Mysterium Fidei and the state of the Church


Edited by Frank J. Sheed, "Prayer for Paul VI" (October 13, 2017):
Pope Paul VI’s 1965 encyclical on the Eucharist, “Mysterium Fidei,” was the first place I saw anyone say that the body and blood, soul and complete divinity of Christ was actually present in the consecrated species. Having been raised in Remi de Roo’s Victoria in the 1970s, I had naturally never heard anything at all about the Eucharist. The understanding that Catholics believed what they believe about it came as a bit of a shock...

... The encyclical, the very first I ever read, was also a marker for me of a personal turning point. It was the first time I had ever seen Catholic eucharistic doctrine clearly and – most importantly – unapologetically stated. It came right out and said something so astounding, something so completely unlikely, that I had to admit that it left very few logical possibilities. Like C.S. Lewis’s assessment of the claims by Christ of His own divinity, this pope was either mad, bad or telling the plain truth. Read more >>

"Farewell to the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family"

Mark Latkovic, "Farewell to the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family" (CWR, October 6, 2017). Wow.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Tridentine Community News - Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form No Longer a Rare Occurrence; Local TLM schedule


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (October 9, 2017):
October 8, 2017 – Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form No Longer a Rare Occurrence


Last Sunday, October 1, Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Donald Hanchon celebrated a Pontifical Low Mass for the Oakland County Latin Mass Association at the Academy of the Sacred Heart Chapel in Bloomfield Hills. After Mass His Excellency celebrated Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form. [Photos by Cecilia Lakin]


On Sunday, October 22, Archbishop Allen Vigneron will celebrate Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form at St. Joseph Oratory, as His Excellency has done previously once at St. Josaphat and twice at St. Edward on the Lake in Lakeport. Within a few months, a date will be announced for Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form at the St. Benedict Tridentine Community in Windsor.

There was a time, not so many years ago, when Tridentine Confirmations, globally as well as locally, were truly exceptional events. The rare instance of EF Confirmations would warrant notice on one of the major blogs such as New Liturgical Movement. One sign of progress in liturgical affairs is how…normal…Extraordinary Form Confirmations have become.

Postures for Low Mass vs. High Mass

Many of our readers only rarely attend a Low Mass, as we are blessed to have High Masses as the norm on Sundays at most Tridentine Mass sites around metro Detroit and Windsor. After last Sunday’s Pontifical Low Mass at the OCLMA/Academy, two readers asked for information on the differences in the postures of the faithful called for in Low Masses versus High Masses. Please note that the Red Missals provide guidance on posture in the right margin of the right side [English] pages. For example, on page 39 at the Pater Noster, it says “Stand – High Mass”. Missa Cantata and Solemn High (Sung Masses)

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Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 10/09 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. John Leonardi, Confessor)
  • Tue. 10/10 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (St. Francis Borgia, Confessor)
  • Wed. 10/11 7:00 PM: High Mass at Our Lady of the Scapular (Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
  • Sat. 10/14 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (St. Callistus I, Pope & Martyr)
  • [Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for October 9, 2017. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

    Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan


    Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

    Sunday


    Monday


    Tuesday


    Wednesday


    Thursday


    Friday


    Saturday


    * NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins," and subsequently extended this privilege beyond the Year of Mercy. These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites.

    Friday, October 06, 2017

    Ed Peters: "On arguments that may be, and sometimes must be, made"

    Edward Peters, "On arguments that may be, and sometimes must be, made" (In Light of the Law, October 5, 2017):
    I have taken no position on the Correctio Filialis. I know and respect some of its signatories as I do some of its critics but, as the document itself seems to fall within the boundaries of Canon 212, I say, ‘Have at it folks and may the better arguments prevail’. That said, some recent arguments against the Correctio are, in my view, subtly deficient and, time permitting, I will reply to them.

    But even before that, I wish to reply to an attitude I perceive emerging against the Correctio, one that attempts to dissuade Correctio supporters from their position by alleging a disastrous—but supposedly logical—consequence of their being right, something along these lines: If Amoris laetita and/or Pope Francis and/or his Vatican allies are really as bad as the authors of the Correctio seem to believe, then all petitions, Dubia, and corrections will do no good. Prayer and fasting would be more advisable.

    Hmmm.

    Setting aside that several of these scenarios are not asserted in the Correctio and that the evidence concerning some others is not yet in, underlying this doomsday-like retort of the Correctio is, I think, a certain despair about the importance of argument itself in this matter. At the very least, such a bleak conclusion disregards the duty of certain Catholics precisely to engage in such debates.

    Canon 212 § 3 has been invoked by those supporting the Correctio to point out that the Church herself recognizes the right of certain persons “to manifest to sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful”, namely, those persons who possess “knowledge, competence, and prestige” in regard to the matter under discussion. Indeed. But Canon 212 § 3 says something more.

    Canon 212 § 3 states in regard to persons with special knowledge, competence, and prestige in regard to ecclesiastical matters, that they “have the right and even at times the duty” to express their views on matters impacting the well-being of the Church (my emphasis). The duty. Not just the right.

    Thus to the extent that some qualified signatories and/or supporters of the Correctio have realized a duty (expressed in law) to address these matters, they are not simply acting under the protection of law (as are those exercising a right), they are acting in accord with its directives (as do those under an obligation). Now, to be sure, Canon 212 is not self-interpreting and several prudential considerations must be considered when applying it. But in its very terms is the expression of a duty incumbent upon certain Catholics who are qualified by their education, experience, and Church positions to make serious arguments on matters impacting the Church. And I see no exception in the law for those whose positions might imply the existence of other problems for the Church or for those who arguments seem unlikely to be acted upon.

    Cdl. Caffarra said “only a blind man could deny there’s great confusion, uncertainty, and insecurity in the Church.” Much of that confusion turns, obviously, on the meaning of technical terms and on the content of intellectual assertions. Those blessed with advanced training in such technical terms and intellectual assertions may be, and at times should be, at the forefront of these debates.

    And, yes, all participants in these debates should be engaged in extra prayer and fasting.

    Sunday, October 01, 2017

    Fr. Perrone on God's greatest weapon - one of very humble means

    Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" (Assumption Grotto News, October 1, 2017):
    October is the Month of the Holy Rosary.

    Have you ever noticed that ever since the Incarnation, God has scaled down His ways? Unlike the days of old Israel when God manifested Himself in grandiose manner and by impressive miracles, since the time of Christ He's generally preferred to work more subtly -- though the cures and signs our Lord performed did amaze people in order to lead them to belief. But the thundering God of the Old Testament did seem to give way to a more gentle countenance in the New Testament. Our Lord presented Himself as one meek and humble of heart. He lived in poverty and showed favor to the underclass, the sick, and to foreigners. His law was the twofold commandment of charity, indicating an interiority not fully known in the laws of the old religion. The most notable instance of Christ's modest self-presentation in the New Testament era was the Holy Eucharist by which He would abide among men in the meanest form of ordinary-looking bread and wine. A certain reserve has thus been characteristic of the Christian religion, despite notable exceptions which have proved the fallibility of many of its adherents. The accent on humility, charity, chastity, kindness and many other related virtues is characteristically Christian and finds its source in the life of Christ Himself and His teaching. But it is also dominant in the person and influential moral presence of the Virgin Mary in the Church. If in the presence of a lady base tendencies are readily restrained and good manners showed, that most Blessed Lady's presence in the Church inspires a vast culture of goodness, virtue, and loveliness to flourish in the lives of men and in the literature, art and architecture of the Church.

    The means by which Holy Mary has made Her far-reaching and blest impact upon the church is, like Christ's, modest and unassuming. I'm thinking here in particular about Her rosary, that simplest and most popular prayer which has been the prayer of preference of Christian people in the western part of the Church for many, many centuries, with devotees among clergy, religious, and laity. The illiterate pray it equally well as the learned. Human reason can't adequately account for the universal appeal of the rosary. Its power fascinates and attracts Catholics (and many non-Catholics as well) to it. The rosary has proved to be a mighty spiritual force that converts sinners, obtains miraculous favors, and steadies the moral lives of its devotees. This prayer specifically has been repeatedly requested by the Mother of God Herself as an effective remedy for sin, war, and infidelity. It has calmed turbulent souls, inspired genuine devotion, restrained evil, and obtained particular graces and favors which, one may assume, would not otherwise have been obtained. The efforts that were put forth after the revolutionary "reforms" that followed the Second Vatican Council to discourage Marian devotion generally and the rosary particularly were largely unsuccessful. The rosary has persisted in the devotional life of many Catholics and for some time it has been their enduring lifeline to the Church when impiety and scandal have beset her in modern times. The rosary is a steadying counter force to the ecclesiastical turbulence that has done so much harm to the spiritual sensitivities of people.

    This month will be the windup the centenary celebrations of the Fatima apparitions. October 13, 1917 was the time when the spectacular miracle of the sun took place in Portugal, just as Our Lady had predicted that a sign would be forthcoming. The sun appeared to the onlookers to be spinning out of control and heading towards the earth in a destructive descent. Initial wonder gave way to a panicking fear which served to reawaken faith in the witnesses. Thus God at times has reverted to His Old Testament methods of imposing display to reanimate the spiritual life when the more gentle persuasive admonitions are ineffective. Perhaps the recent natural disasters, the threat of international war, and the civil unrest of our times may have a similar effect to bring us to our moral senses. The rosary was offered as a way to avoid the harsh measures of divine governance. In its modest way, the rosary offers an easier way to awaken us from our slothfulness and to cultivate the interior life of grace and holiness. This is that New Testament kind of power by which God makes saints.

    Take up the daily rosary and join with your fellow parishioners in saying it after holy Mass.

    Fr. Perrone

    Tridentine Community News - hant Workshop at Old St. Mary’s on October 28; Summórum Pontíficum Conference Report; London Oratory Tridentine Vespers on BBC; Special Mass for the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Local TLM schedule for this coming week


    "I will go in unto the Altar of God
    To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

    Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (October 1, 2017):
    October 1, 2017 – External Solemnity of Our Lady of the Rosary

    Chant Workshop at Old St. Mary’s on October 28

    Wassim Sarweh will be offering another Chant Workshop on Saturday, October 28 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at Detroit’s Old St. Mary’s Church. Intended for those interested in learning more about Gregorian Chant, no particular musical background is required. Subjects to be covered:

    - A brief history and origin of chant
    - Understanding free melody & rhythms
    - Vocal techniques developing the chant sound
    - Notation and Neumes
    - Western Church Modes, scales and feel
    - Old Roman Chant
    - Chant in the Liturgy
    - Instrumental accompanying of chant

    The workshop will include a Tridentine High Mass at 2:00 PM at which participants will be able to put their newly acquired skills to practice. [The public is invited to attend this Mass; you do not need to be a participant in the workshop.] Lunch will be provided. For more information and registration details, contact Wassim at: wassimsarweh@gmail.com

    Summórum Pontíficum Conference Report

    The tenth anniversary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summórum Pontíficum was marked with a conference in Rome on September 14-17, at which this writer was present. Over 400 faithful crowded into the amphitheater classroom at the Angélicum in Rome, where talks were given by Pontifical Commission Ecclésia Dei Secretary Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, and others. Cardinal Raymond Burke was in attendance, along with FSSP co-founder Fr. Josef Bisig, FSSP Superior General Fr. John Berg, and ICRSP founder Msgr. Gilles Wach.


    Many of the talks noted the global surge in the number of Traditional Latin Mass sites post-Summórum, along with the appeal of the liturgy to the young. Vespers were celebrated by Prefect of the Papal Household and Personal Secretary to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Archbishop Georg Gänswein. A procession through the streets of Rome and Mass at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica capped the event. With such strong international attendance – North Americans were in the minority – and support from such high-ranking clergy, the conference was yet another example of the ascendance of the Traditional Mass into the mainstream life of the Church.

    London Oratory Tridentine Vespers on BBC


    On Wednesday, September 20, BBC Radio 3 conducted a live broadcast of Tridentine Vespers for Ember Wednesday from the London Oratory. This was a rare opportunity to see the professional adult choir of the Oratory perform in a visible location, necessitated to accommodate the microphones; normally the choir is hidden from view in the loft.

    As this column has many times mentioned, Vespers at the Oratory is one of the most impressive and ethereal liturgical and musical experiences in the world. Visitors to London can attend Solemn Vespers at the Oratory every Sunday at 3:30 PM, but you don’t have to travel to hear it: The BBC has posted a recording of the September 20 broadcast, available on-line until October 19, at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b094t14k

    While the whole hour-long recording is amazing – the choir basically sings non-stop for the whole hour, flawlessly – if you have limited time, listen to one of the Psalms, beginning at 11:51.

    Special Mass for the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

    Our Lady of the Scapular Parish in Wyandotte, Michigan will hold a special High Mass for the Feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Wednesday, October 11 at 7:00 PM. Archdiocese of Detroit Director of Music Joe Balistreri will lead the music.

    Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
    • Mon. 10/02 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Holy Guardian Angels)
    • Tue. 10/03 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Virgin)
    • Fri. 10/06 7:00 PM: High Mass at Old St. Mary’s (St. Bruno, Confessor) – Devotions to the Sacred Heart prayed before Mass. Reception in the parish hall after Mass.
    • Sat. 10/07 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (Our Lady of the Rosary)
    [Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for October 1, 2017. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

    Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan


    Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

    Sunday


    Monday


    Tuesday


    Wednesday


    Thursday


    Friday


    Saturday


    * NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins," and subsequently extended this privilege beyond the Year of Mercy. These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites.

    Monday, September 25, 2017

    Freaking out Darwin

    Tom Wolfe, "Freaking out Darwin" (World, September 9, 2017):
    In The Kingdom of Speech—a runner-up for WORLD’s 2016 Book of the Year in the Science, Math, and Worldviews category—Tom Wolfe has fun with Darwinism and then linguistic theory. Wolfe sees Charles Darwin as an ambitious but fearful upper-class Brit beaten to the punch on natural selection by the lowly Alfred Russel Wallace, and evolution as a fable for atheists, about as reliable as the Apache belief that the universe began with a ball of dirt from which a scorpion pulled strands that became earth, sun, moon, and stars. (Wolfe calls that “the original version of the current solemnly accepted—i.e., ‘scientific’—big bang theory, which with a straight face tells us how something, i.e., the whole world, was created out of nothing.”) In the excerpt below, courtesy of Little, Brown and Company, Wolfe recounts how Wallace undermined his and Darwin’s “child.” —Marvin Olasky
    Read more >>

    The comment by Guy Noir - Private Eye: "Tom Wolfe, eviscerated by reviewers but caring less! If I have to pray for the souls of vocal and opinionated non-believers, I'll choose his, even while celebrated Jesuits may cringe!" Amen, brother!

    Lifesite petition supporting the "filial correction" of Pope Francis for allowing the propagation of confusion and heterodoxy

    In July of 2016, an international group of 45 scholars, academics and pastors petitioned Pope Francis for clarification on his Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. Later that year, four cardinals published their now well-known five questions, or "dubia" (Latin for "doubts") concerning Amoris Laetitia, after receiving no response from Pope Francis. In July of 2017, 62 scholars, pastors and others, sent Pope Francis a "filial correction" (or Correctio) accusing him of "propagating heresy" by equivocal passages in Amoris Laetitia and by "other words, deeds and ommissions." Again, after a month of waiting in vain for a response from Pope Francis, the authors of the Correctio have published their document.

    The the document is over 25 pages long, some of it in untranslated Latin, and can be found online at various sites. Clear summaries can be found here and here.

    Now I see that LifeSite has launched a PETITION where others can add their names to the signatories. I also see that, despite the Correctio's framer's original intention to voluntarily exclude bishops and cardinals, that Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, has sent in his name to be added to the original list of signatories. Others will probably follow suit.

    Just one comment. The whole idea of sending a "correction" to the Pope sounds radical. Some have called it 'epochal.' Yet it may be important to bear in mind that the document does not accuse Pope Francis of formal heresy. Rather, it argues that the Pope has allowed heterodox opinions to proliferate by his silence when asked for clarification (as by the four cardinals last year), by his prolix and confusing declarations in interview, and his appointment to positions of influence within the Church men who publicly dissent from Catholic teaching on the sacraments. It is, in short, a filial cri de cœur directed to the Holy Father asking for him to raise the torch of truth and illumine the darkness amid the sea of benighted confusion in which so many feel as if they are drowning.

    Please pray for His Holiness, Pope Francis, for the whole Church, and for all affected by the confusion abroad.

    Sunday, September 24, 2017

    A Pastor's Catechesis on Confession

    While some of the material in the following article is specific to a local parish, it offers a rare opportunity to "listen in" on the counsel of a good Catholic pastor concerning the Sacrament of Confession -- which readers may find edifying whether they are Catholic or Protestant. My Protestant readers may wish to remember that one of their favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, went to confession weekly and defended the practice, although he never left the Anglican Church where confession is not a Sacrament. It may be worth asking what Professor Lewis may have missed by never becoming a Catholic, especially since so many converts, I included, find the Sacrament of Confession one of the most beautiful things this side of heaven, save, perhaps, for the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

    Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" (Assumption Grotto News, September 24, 2017):
    A pastor's page on the topic of Confession has been long overdue. In the main, this ought to be a corrective for some but also a refresher for everyone in some of the basics which may, over time, have gotten a little fuzzy in the mind. To conserve space, I will utilize an outline format ('bullet points').
    1. At this parish Sunday Confessions are a concession for those who live at a good distance from the parish. You should show your appreciation for this by coming to the church early, that is, well ahead of Mass time. You should not be standing in line while trying to hear Mass; you should be in place before Mass begins. When I am in the confessional and the moment the flow of incoming penitents ceases, I leave the confessional and do not wait around for latecomers.

    2. The confession of sin should be to the point, that is, the sin should be immediately identified with specifics only in what concerns essential information on the sin or its circumstances that may affect the gravity of the sin; mentioning the number of times a sin has been committed applies, strictly speaking, only to mortal sins. Unnecessary narration of this kind ought to be avoided: "When I got together with my friends at a birthday party recently we began to talk after dinner about our work environments and the people who work with us. I had the feeling that, sooner of later, we'd get into some negative talk about these people (they're goo people, really) and, sure enough, we did." (Note that the plural "we" is evasive.) What should have been said: "I committed a sin of distraction."

    3. In the above, notice that the corrected statement is self-accusing. Confession must be that precisely and not something of this kind: "I know I need to work on closing my mouth when the subject of other people comes around." That is not material for absolution and therefore a priest cannot absolve it. Similarly 'conditional accusation' is not valid matter for absolution, e.g. "If I have committed any sins of impure thought, I am sorry."

    4. Confessing sins should be straightforward, not hiding or misleading the priest in anything that is mortal sin. Otherwise the confession is invalid.

    5. Sorrow for sins must be sincere and be directed towards God who is the One offended. What we call "guilty feelings" or self-regret are not sufficient for contrition. One must also be sorry for the sins that have been committed and not be selectively sorry for this or that one. Contrition must be heartfelt, but need not be emotional. This sorrow necessarily must include the intention never to do that sinful thing again. If the sin has involved other people, one must sincerely quit or avoid as much as possible that person's company or friendship, or "relationship." If that (the firm purpose of amendment) is lacking, the confession is invalid, no sins are forgiven by it, and another sin is incurred for the insincerity.

    6. The Act of Contrition prayer has various forms that suffice, but not all of them are equally good. The "traditional" acts of contrition include these points: that the sorrow for the sins is directed towards God who was offended by them; that the penitent has hatred for the sins committed; that the motivation for being sorry is best when the contrition is perfect, that is, when its only intention is to make up to God our of love for Him rather than to be sorry merely to avoid God's punishments for the sins.

    7. The "penance" the priest assigns the penitent to perform is a measure of compensation to God for the evils done to Him. Penances may not necessarily be enough reparation for sins but the priest's assigned prayers (or other deeds) are obligatory. One may not do some other penance, even a harder, more strict one, than what the priest has assigned. In addition to the penance the priest assigns, however, more good works can (and usually should) be done. The penance should also be done soon after one has been absolved so that one will not forget to do it or forget what it was. Even if one lapses into mortal sin before the penance has been fulfilled, performance of the penance is still obligatory (though in that case the compensation-value of the penance is lost).

    8. Those without mortal sins should not come to a Grotto Sunday confession every Sunday as this is a burden to other needy parishioners. One should recall that an act of contrition cancels venial sins (though the sorrow there must be directed towards all the sins that were committed, even though one need not advert to them all specifically).

    9. Those who do not confess for a year's time but who have held onto mortal sins in that time commit another mortal sin for neglecting the good of their souls.

    10. Someone who has a mortal sin on his conscience may not receive Holy Communion after making a private act of contrition, eve an act of perfect contrition. Confession of mortal sin is necessary before receiving Holy Communion.

    11. If one has committed no sins since the last confession, in order to be absolved the penitent must confess some specific sin already forgiven in a past confession for which is now sorry again.
    Lastly, confession for some can be an ordeal of fear or embarrassment. This is not necessarily all bad since that very discomfort can be an added weight to diminish some of the punishment due to the sins confessed. In confession one should be humble, sorry to God, concise in confessing sin, and firmly resolved not to relapse into sin. -- End of catechesis for today.

    Fr. Perrone

    P.S. Classes for adults intending to convert to the Catholic faith witll be held Tuesday evenings beginning October 3 at the rectory from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Please call the rectory to reserve a place.