St. Gregory’s Academy

I toured St. Gregory’s Academy once, back in 2002, and spent some time with one of the teachers and his family. And last year, I had the opportunity to interview one of the students for an hour or more about his experience. I wish I had received such a formation as a young man. St. Gregory’s deserves our support.

HT to Recovering Our Catholic Patrimony.


Lorraine Allard: England’s “Gianna Molla”

In contrast to the depressing post below, today we have this beautiful yet heart-wrenching story from England. It seems to me that we may have a case here of something beyond ordinary virtue – a case of what the Church calls “heroic virtue”, the kind of virtue also displayed by Saint Gianna Molla.

Just look at that photo: there is serenity and joy in those eyes, the peace of a pure conscience. May God grant Mrs. Allard eternal rest in the arms of her Savior, bless her newborn child, and console her dear family.

(Note to readers: This entry has been edited due to ambiguities in the article and discussion in the comment boxes.)

Shameless savagery

I must live an incredibly sheltered life. I just read this article linked over at HJW’s Orwell’s Picnic and could hardly believe my eyes. The article was published in the online version of the Boston Globe back in August of ’07 – received, no doubt, by most Bostonians as nothing more than a description of a “medical procedure”. I realize this kind horror has been “legal” for a long time now, but what caught me totally off guard is how brazen and shameless it has become – shameless enough to have the gruesome details broadcast far and wide without fear of an overwhelming and negative public reaction. Yes, Hilary, they are savages, and we are a nation of savages if we remain unrepentant and unmoved to put a stop to this human butchery. Not even the meticulous use of euphemisms – “fetus”, “procedure”, “provider” – can disguise the brutal inhumanity of abortion in this article:

“In response to the Supreme Court decision upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, many abortion providers in Boston and around the country have adopted a defensive tactic. To avoid any chance of partially delivering a live fetus, they are injecting fetuses with lethal drugs before procedures.”

“The banned method involves partially delivering a live fetus, then intentionally causing its death. Even before it was banned, the procedure was exceedingly rare, accounting for a fraction of 1 percent of all abortions. Instead, doctors typically cause the fetus’s death surgically while it is still inside the womb and then remove it. But now, if the fetus is not dead as it begins to emerge, a provider may be accused of violating the law. So the lethal injections beforehand, carefully documented, are aimed at precluding an accusation and prosecution.”

“The injections are generally done in abortions after 18 or 20 weeks gestation. (Massachusetts bans virtually all abortions at and beyond the 24th week, except to protect the life or health of the mother.) Medical staff inject either the heart drug digoxin or potassium chloride, a potentially poisonous salt also used in state executions. San Francisco’s Darney and colleagues have studied both chemicals, long used in late-term abortions that involve simply inducing labor. Darney said his group concluded that digoxin was safe but offered no advantages in the actual abortion procedures, despite some clinical experience suggesting it made them easier. They found no safety record for potassium chloride, but a few case reports suggested that it could be dangerous if accidentally injected into the woman instead of the fetus.”

“They decided that whether to have an injection should be up to the patient; some are comforted by the idea that the fetus has died before it is removed.”

“Women’s Health Services, for example, decided against the injections because it does not perform the banned procedure and the risk of an accusation seemed low. But in another common response to the ban, the clinic has changed its counseling and informed consent procedure for later abortions, to spell out more clearly to patients that the fetus is dead before it is removed from the uterus.”

God have mercy.

How to implement Summorum Pontificum

Bishop Dewayne of Venice, Florida, requires daily mass in the Extraordinary Form at Ave Maria University:

“Due to the demand for the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, both from Catholics residents in Ave Maria Town as well as from students, faculty, and staff at Ave Maria University, and in accordance with ‘Summorum Pontificum’, it is fitting that a Sunday Mass be celebrated on campus in the Extraordinary Form. In keeping with the same manifest desire, it would seem opportune that the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite be celebrated on a daily basis at the University, and at a convenient time. Further, it is noted that, in accordance with ‘Summorum Pontificum’, unscheduled Masses can also be celebrated by priests on campus, in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.”


Morning and evening prayer – A Night Litany


( + ) In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

O God, our Father, graciously hear us.

We plead before Thee the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for all tonight who stand in most need of Thy merciful love and protection.

On souls beset by temptation,
Have mercy.
On those who are in deadly sin,
Have mercy.
On those who are given up to worldliness, and forgetful of Thee,
Have mercy.
On those who at this moment are in danger of losing Thee forever,
Have mercy.

V. By Thine agony,
R. Save them, Jesus.

V. Those who are tempting others,
R. Convert to Thy love.

On those carrying on wicked trades, and profiting by sin,
Have mercy.
On those indulging in sinful amusements,
Have mercy.
On all frequenting haunts of sin,
Have mercy.
On all who are imperiling their souls by luxury and self-indulgence,
Have mercy.

V. By Thy scourging,
R. Save them, Jesus.

On all who are out tonight; the homeless, the weary, the starving, the suicide, the intemperate,
Have mercy.
On those who are out for sin,
Have mercy.

V. To those who are out to rescue others,
R. Grant help and protection.

V. For those who work at night; the police, railwaymen, firemen; those employed in hazardous occupations; those engaged on the stage; soldiers, sailors, chauffeurs, aviators; watchmen on duty; editors and journalists,
R. Let Thy Presence be with them; by Thy night watching, save them, Jesus.

V. For the sick and suffering, and all who are enduring any agony of body or mind,
R. Grant them comfort, peace, and consolation.

V. For all undergoing medical operations,
R. Strengthen them, Jesus, and help them in body and soul.

V. For the sleepless and the lonely,
R. Be near them.

V. For those in anxiety, nervous or mental distress,
R. Calm them.

V. For the insane,
R. Keep them in Thy power.

V. For night nurses,
R. Give faithfulness and sympathy.

V. For priests and doctors called out this night,
R. Encourage and reward them.

V. By Thy crown of thorns,
R. Deliver them, Jesus.

V. For those who this night must suffer bereavement,
R. Visit and sustain them.

V. For those for whom this will be their last night on earth,
R. Deepen their contrition and receive their souls.

On those dying alone without priest or sacrament,
Have mercy.
On those dying rejecting the ministry of Thy Holy Church,
Have mercy.
On those dying unconscious,
Have mercy.
On those dying blind to their sin,
Have mercy.
On those who are afraid to die,
Have mercy.

V. For dying priests, religious, and all communicants,
R. Have mercy upon them and receive them to Thyself, Jesus.

V. For all the faithful departed,
R. Grant them light and peace.

V. For ourselves in our last hour,
R. Grant the pardon of our sins, negligences, and ignorances.

V. By Thy holy death,
R. Deliver us, Jesus.

On behalf of those who have said no prayers today, let us say:



On behalf of those who blaspheme and neglect the Blessed Sacrament, let us say:

Blessed ( + ), praised, worshipped and adored be Jesus Christ on His throne of glory in heaven, and in the most holy Sacrament of the Altar!

( + ) In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Morning and evening prayer – A Morning Litany


( + ) In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Come Holy Ghost, and fill the hearts of Thy faithful people, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.



Holy Father, who watchest over Thy children by night and by day,
Have mercy and save me.
Blessed Jesus, our Food and our Stay,
Have mercy and save me.
Sweet Spirit, Light and Guide of our souls,
Have mercy and save me.
Glorious Holy Trinity, Abyss of Love,
Have mercy and save me.

Holy, Blessed and Glorious Trinity
I adore Thee.
In Thy perfect beauty,
I adore Thee.
In Thy boundless Power,
I adore Thee.
With the Holy Mother,
I adore Thee.
With the Holy Angels,
I adore Thee.
With the Blessed Saints,
I adore Thee.
In union with every Mass that is offered today,
I adore Thee.

Praise and thanksgiving for protection during this past night,
I offer to Thee.
Praise and thanksgiving for all Thy mercies and blessings,
I offer to Thee.
My daily work,
I offer to Thee.
All my thoughts,
I offer to Thee.
All my words,
I offer to Thee.
All my deeds,
I offer to Thee.
My joys and my consolations,
I offer to Thee.
My sorrows and my troubles,
I offer to Thee.
My difficulties, my doubts and anxieties,
I offer to Thee.

On all near and dear to me,
Send Thy blessing, O Lord.
On our country and its rulers,
Send Thy blessing, O Lord.
On the Holy Catholic Church,
Send Thy blessing, O Lord.
On the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth,
Send Thy blessing, O Lord.
On all bishops, particularly the bishop of our diocese,
Send Thy blessing, O Lord.
On our parish and our priests,
Send Thy blessing, O Lord.
On all priests in their ministrations,
Send Thy blessing, O Lord.
On all religious in their life of prayer,
Send Thy blessing, O Lord.
On all missionaries throughout the world,
Send Thy blessing, O Lord.
On all travelers by land, by sea, or by air,
Send Thy blessing, O Lord.
On all those serving in the armed forces of our nation,
Send Thy blessing, O Lord.
On all Christians married today,
Send Thy blessing, O Lord.
On all Christian homes,
Send Thy blessing, O Lord.
On all going out to work,
Send Thy blessing, O Lord.
On all children at home or at school,
Send Thy blessing, O Lord.
On all children born today,
Send Thy blessing, O Lord.

V. To all who die today,
R. Give true contrition and receive their souls.

V. To the faithful departed,
R. Grant light and peace.

V. In my daily temptations,
R. Good Lord, deliver me.

V. When I forget Thee,
R. Recall me to Thyself.

V. In any danger of soul or body,
R. Preserve and defend me.

May the Blessed Mother help me with motherly love.

May my holy Guardian Angel watch over me and pray when I forget to pray.

May my soul this day be made more fit for the Day which has no end.

( + ) In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Morning and evening prayer – Form Six (evening)


( + ) In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

O my God, at the end of this day I thank Thee most heartily for all the graces I have received from Thee.

I am sorry that I have not made a better use of them. I am sorry for all the sins I have committed against Thee. Forgive me, O my God.

Graciously protect me this night. Hide me, O Jesus, in the sacred wound of Thy side, that I may rest and sleep there.

Blessed Virgin Mary, my dear heavenly mother, take me under thy protection.

St. Joseph, my dear Guardian Angel, and all ye saints of God, pray for me.

Sweet Jesus, have pity on all poor sinners and save them from hell. Have mercy on the suffering souls in purgatory.




In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ crucified, I lay me down to rest! Bless me, O Lord, defend and govern me, and, after this short and miserable pilgrimage, bring me to everlasting happiness. Amen

( + ) In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Morning and evening prayer – Form Six (morning)


( + ) In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I will commence this day.

I thank Thee heartily, O good God, that Thou hast preserved me during the night.

O God, keep me also this day in your care and protection.

I offer to Thee my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings of the present day in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

My heavenly mother Mary, watch over me this day.

My dear Guardian Angel, take care of me.

St. Joseph and all ye saints of God, pray for me.




( + ) In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The restoration has a long way to go

It seems that the TLM in Chico may have reached a temporary plateau. It is celebrated in a prominent place, and there has been quite a lot of publicity. Hundreds of local Catholics have now attended this Mass, but for some reason most have not returned. I think the reality is that most Catholics around here – many of them good and devout and not at all hostile to the TLM – are satisfied with the Novus Ordo, which may be all they have ever known, and simply have no desire to change. For many, this probably has more to do with cultural inertia and attachment to the familiar rather than an explicit commitment to the “reforms” of the new liturgy.

Nevertheless, there are many others who are committed to the Novus Ordo because they believe it signifies a repudiation of perceived defects in our Catholic heritage. Their influence should not be underestimated. Amy Welborn Dubruiel has a post today asking readers to comment on a beautiful photograph of the elevation at a traditional Solemn High Mass. There are an encouraging number of positive comments, as I have come to expect given the unusual quality of her readership. However, we should note what the detractors are saying, because they represent the kind of modernist thinking that remains entrenched in the Church and is not going away anytime soon. Here’s a synopsis:


“I am not totally revolted by the picture, but I do find myself bothered by two aspects

(please don’t flame me!)

1) The fact that it is all men. I am not a believer in women’s ordination in the Catholic Church, but the fact that women may not play any role at all in this ritual bothers me, and I don’t understand it.

2) I do honestly have a hard time connecting this to the early Christian experience. I’m not an antiquarian, but can’t quite figure out how this fits with the apostolic experience. In a way, the Eastern CAtholic and Orthodox liturgies don’t bother me in this way because they seem well, more Eastern. I know that doesn’t make sense, but the medieval formality makes me feel like things are closing in instead of opening up.”


“In this image, I see only the altar and the clergy (except for the altar servers). I don’t see the people. You rarely do when you see these images. I understand the role of the Priest, but this is the Mass of all the people, of whom he is a part …

Another thing is that, to me, it seems too complicated. There are too many little particulars that are focused on too heavily. I see how people could see this as more reverent, but still, I can’t help but think that simpler is better. When Jesus walked among us, He was pretty folksy – He was one of the folks, and His life was pretty simple.”


“I AM put off by all males in the sanctuary. I sometimes wonder why a ten year old boy has more of a ‘right place’ there than me – after thirty years of church ministry and a theology degree. Not that I act as a server. But I am a communion minister and lector.

I’ve gone to Extraordinary form masses twice in the last 40 years. My reaction was “Well, that was a fun trip back to being eight!” I have my old missal. My parents were conscientious about keeping me on the right page back then and helping me to learn the responses as I got older. So, I certainly didn’t grow up ignorant of the mass before 1965-70.

But, I feel alienated by being more passive at worship than one is in the Novus Ordo. No matter how beautiful the music. But I can get beautiful music ‘from the church’s treasury’ where I worship now.”


“Looking at the picture, I find myself unable to breathe – and it’s not the incense which I have always preferred. Words that come to mind are ‘stuffy,’ ‘elitist,’ ‘closed,’ ‘far-removed,’ ‘confining,’ ‘inaccessible,’ ‘holier-than-thou,’ ‘extreme,’ ‘antiquated,’ ‘inacessible’ [there it is again – the predominant adjective that supercedes the others].

I have been to a more than a few of these liturgies at the invitation of friends who love and yearn for this rite, and in every case, I left with a sense of ‘thank goodness that is no longer the universal rite of the Latin Church.’ Especially when the readings (1st, 2nd & Gospel) were in Latin and the Eucharistic prayers inaudible and mumbled, competing with a not-so-good schola attempting polyphony off key during an interminble Sanctus. The whole thing was rather gnostic – only a certain few possessed the language or sensibility to appreciate the beauty of the rite.”


“My immediate gut reaction? Lovely, reverent, focused, but… the Lord is out of reach – there are too many people standing in the way between me and Him.”


“Jesus shared Himself with all mankind forever in the simplicity of a meal. During His public life He often shared a meal in all kinds of settings. Augustine said it well when he pointed out to his listeners, “You become what you eat.” Too many of us even all these years after Vatican II are confused about the role of the presider and the words of institution. At Mass we no longer have an Alter Christus celebrating for us all to witness. All the assembled witnesses offer the Mass together. Read the words. The first person singular is not used.

Being human, we tend to resist the wonder, beauty and power of this simple universal sacrifice. We indulge in nostalgia,for a rite which flowed from a partial understanding of the Eucharistic sacrifice, first offered in the Synagogs and then in the home of the Believers in The Way ( our earliest name).

It is personally difficult for me to watch the shoddy tactics used by clergy to preserve absolute hierarchical control. Jesus did and said so much to avoid titles and worldly honor. We have a very long way to go to earn respect as His true followers. We can begin by getting rid of all the purple and gold. Have simple masses for believers who know what and why there is a ritual and presided over by one of the Believers. It will be coming soon to a church near you.”

The Candidates

According to the Fox News Candidate Matchmaker, the presidential candidates’ views match my own in the following order:

Duncan Hunter – 38%

Mike Huckabee – 33%

Fred Thompson – 33%

Ron Paul – 28%

John McCain – 25%

Mitt Romney – 23%

Hilary Clinton – 20%

John Edwards – 18%

Barak Obama – 18%

Rudy Giuliani – 15%

That sounds about right, Duncan Hunter being both the most conservative and the only Californian in the race. I’m not sure why Fred Thompson ranks so high. I checked “no opinion” on quite a few questions because I disagreed with the assumption behind the question. Ron Paul is not, frankly, a good match for my vote on any principle but one: subsidiarity. The question is whether a return to subsidiarity is a pipe-dream, and if we’re stuck with federalism/globalism, how to make the best of it …