Friday, March 30, 2012

Diocese of Baker Chrism Mass

Last night the Chrism Mass for the Diocese of Baker was celebrated at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral (due to the long distances priests are required to travel in our diocese, the Chrism Mass is held the week before Holy Thursday). It was supposed to have been extra special, as our Bishop-Elect, Fr. Liam Cary, was to be there to preach. Unfortunately, but understandably, he had to change his plans due to his full schedule, and he was not in attendance at all.

I know from personal experience that many people are involved in the planning of the Chrism Mass, and they all work hard and with sincere desire to provide a good liturgy. They also provide a meal for the priests, help with finding them lodging, etc. And of course, distributing the oils is quite an undertaking, as the oils have to be carefully poured into containers for transport. The Chrism Mass is no small effort for this little community!

Here are some photos:

The procession was just beginning here, and the Knights of Columbus were taking their stations.

The procession continues and the priests take their places. 

Attendance seemed adequate; I estimated about 125 people, but I'm not really all that good at that sort of estimation. I counted 29 priests in attendance. (That's about the limit of my patience for counting actual bodies!)

Everyone is seated...

Here's the procession to the ambo for the reading of the Gospel. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

St. Bridget of Kildare Church in Nyssa

Here are some photos of the interior of St. Bridget of Kildare Church in Nyssa, Oregon. 

Please keep the pastor of St. Bridget's, Fr. Daniel Ochiabuto, in your prayers; he has been hospitalized with malaria.

The church has a sort of high altar reminiscent of what was probably there originally. The shallow reconstructed step would make ad orientem celebration of the Mass a little difficult, I believe, but at least there is an attempt at a high altar!

The candlesticks are a nice touch:

There is, as we generally see these days, a free-standing altar in front of the "high altar", and this is where Mass is celebrated.

Removing the free-standing altar, reconstructing the step, and putting a full-length antependium on the high altar would make this a wonderful sanctuary for the Traditional Latin Mass - or for the novus ordo celebrated ad orientem. 

Here's a close-up of the base of the candlestick:

There are several statues; however, in a small church like St. Bridget, it's difficult to find the room to make a reasonable and aesthetic grouping. 

There are two interesting kneelers for those who wish to receive Holy Communion in the kneeling position. This shot also gives a view of the tile on the floor - another nice touch.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hearing the Word of God: St. Francis de Sales

The source of the following excerpt is: The Sermons of St. Francis de Sales for Lent. This is from the sermon for Passion Sunday; I’ve excerpted only a small portion of it here.


He who is of God hears the words of God. 
Therefore you hear them not, 
because you are not of God. – John 8:47

A word is accepted or rejected for three reasons: because of the person who speaks it, because of the word that is spoken, because of those who hear it. For this word to be honored and accepted, the one who is speaking it must be a good man, a virtuous man, one worthy of being believed. Otherwise, rather than being accepted, it will be rejected, despised. Further, what is said must be good and true. Finally, those who hear it must be good, prepared to receive it; if not, it will be neither accepted, honored, nor kept.

This is what Our Lord teaches us in the Gospel Holy Church offers us today, in which He reproaches the scribes and Pharisees for not receiving His words—for which they are to blame. [Jn. 8:46-59]. He says: Why do you not believe the truth I teach? Their nonbelief thoroughly astonished Him. It is as though He meant to say: “You really have no excuse, for which one of you can convict Me of sin? Why then do you not believe Me, since what I am telling you is truth itself? I cannot err. Therefore your disbelief must stem from your own wickedness and sinfulness. Certainly neither I nor the word I teach is to blame.”

Thus, it is necessary that the one proclaiming God’s word be irreproachable, and his life congruent with his teaching. If this is not the case, the word will be neither honored nor accepted. For this reason God forbids sinners to announce His word [Ps. 49 (50):16-17]. He seems to say: “Miserable one, how dare you teach My doctrine with your lips and dishonor it with your life? How can you possibly expect it to be accepted from a mouth so full of infectious sin? I will not permit such a one to proclaim My will.” Thus He has forbidden sinners to announce His sacred word, fearing it will be rejected by those who hear it.

Be careful here. It is not all sinners who are forbidden to preach, but only notorious ones. Otherwise, who could announce God’s word, since we are all sinners? Whoever says the contrary is guilty of grievous untruth. [1 Jn. 1:8]. Even the Apostles were sinners. Those who allege never to have sinned are guilty of a very great delusion indeed. The contrary is actually clear at the very moment they allege it. St. Augustine teaches this explicitly when he writes that the daily petition in the Lord’s Prayer, “forgive us our trespasses” [Matt. 6:12], is not only a word of humility but also one of truth because, due to our frail humanity, we commit offences at every turn.

All are sinners, but not all are to be silent and refrain from teaching God’s word, but only those who live a life wholly contrary to this divine word. Yet even if this word is preached to us by evildoers, we ought not reject it, but accept it, doing as the bees do who gather honey from almost all the flowers of the fields. Even though some of these flowers are harmful and poisonous, they skillfully draw out honey, a celestial dew untainted by poison.

As confirmation of what I say, I will gladly relate a beautiful example found in the life of the great St. Ephrem. He was indeed a great man, not only because he was a deacon to two illustrious Doctors of the Church, but because he too was a great Doctor, having written very beautiful teachings which truly delight those who read them. This great saint was reared very carefully and nourished from his earliest years on the eremitical life. After many years in the desert, he was inspired by God one day to go to Edessa, his native city. He had always left his heart open and receptive to the Divine Majesty, eager to receive the precious dew of heavenly inspiration, and he had always faithfully accepted them in obedience. Thus he readily embraced this one too.

He went promptly to the city. As he drew near, he was convinced that God must have something important to teach him in calling him from his hermitage. Falling on his knees, he prayed most fervently for the grace to meet someone in the city who would serve as his director and lead him to God’s will. Full of confidence that the Lord would hear him, he got up. When he reached Edessa he came upon a prostitute. Disturbed, he said to himself: “My God, I asked You to let me meet someone who would teach me what Your good pleasure wants of me. Instead, I meet this unfortunate woman.” Eyeing her disdainfully, he noticed that she too was looking at him attentively. Enraged at her boldness, he demanded: “Why, miserable woman, do you look at me so?” She responded very cleverly and learnedly: “I have the right to look at you, but you have no right to look at me. You know that woman was drawn from the side of man. [Gen. 2:21-23]. Therefore, I am only looking at the place of my origin. But man was created from the earth [Gen. 2:7], so why are you not continually looking down at the earth, since that is the place from which you were drawn?”

This great saint truly valued the teaching of the wretched woman, received it humbly, and even warmly acknowledged his gratitude to her. From that moment on, he so valued that lesson that not only did he always keep his bodily eyes lowered to the ground, but even more so his interior and spiritual eyes, which he kept riveted on his nothingness, his vileness and his abjection. In this way he made continual progress in the virtue of most holy humility all the rest of his life.

This story teaches us how we should honor and esteem God’s word and good teachings even if they are presented by persons of ill repute. After all, the Lord desired that a prophet should be instructed by an ass [Num. 22:28-30], and that wicked Pilate should announce the great truth that our divine Master is Jesus [Matt. 1:21]—that is, Savior—a title which he even placed above the Cross, insisting: Such is the case, it is I who have said so. [Jn. 19:22]. Caiphas, the most miserable among men, pronounced this word of truth: It is expedient to have one man die for the salvation of the people. [Jn. 11:49-50; 18:14].

This makes it clear that although we must never esteem nor approve the evil lives of wicked and sinful people, yet we ought never to despise God’s word that they may offer us. Rather, we must profit from it as did St. Ephrem. A great Doctor has taught that we ought not care whether the person who shows us the way of virtue is good or had. All that is important is that it be indeed the true way. If so, we ought to follow it and walk in it faithfully. What does it matter whether they give us balm in an earthenware vessel or in a precious vase? It is enough that it cures our wounds.

Other Lenten meditations on this blog:

A Homily by Bishop-Elect Fr. Cary

Today is Passion Sunday in the "old" calendar, for the extraordinary form of the Mass.

Here's a 2010 homily by Fr. Liam Cary, Bishop-Elect of the Diocese of Baker. He was delivering this homily at the Novus Ordo Mass on "Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion", but his remarks are focused on the Lord's Passion, so it seems quite appropriate for this Sunday.

Part I:

Part II:

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fridays and Fish

Fr. Ryan Erlenbush of The New Theological Movement has an interesting post on why we abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent – and, in fact, why we shouldn’t ever eat meat on Fridays.

So… don’t we eat meat on Fridays? Fr. Erlenbush maintains:

It’s not because meat tastes better than fish. It’s not because meat is (or ever was) a delicacy. It’s not because the apostles were fishermen. It’s not even because Christ offered his flesh upon the Cross on a Friday (at least, that isn’t the first reason).

Why, then? Well, read the entire article to find out!

And here’s Fr. Erlenbush's conclusion:

Why we shouldn’t ever eat meat on Fridays

Canon Law states that abstinence from meat is to be observed (by the faithful who are fourteen and up) on all Fridays throughout the year, unless the Episcopal Conference substitutes some other food [cf. Can. 1251, 1252].

In the United States, and in many parts of the world, the bishops have allowed the faithful to make some other sacrifice on Fridays outside of Lent (rather than having to give up meat, they may abstain from some other food). Still, the practice of abstaining from meat on Fridays is maintained throughout the season of Lent.

The Church requires by law that, “Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.” [Can. 1252]

Now, when was the last time you heard a priest or parent explain the true meaning of abstinence from meat? Why aren’t people being taught the tradition of the Church?

While it is certainly true that it would not be fitting to speak to a child of zinc’s impact on libido, would it be too much to say that not eating meat helps a person to be “more at peace”?

In any case, a Christian who knows the real reason behind Lenten abstinence would never claim that a large plate of fish at a Friday fish-fry is contrary to the spirit of the law. [No matter how much fish you eat, you’re not going to get enough zinc to cause an increase in lust.]

And a bishop, or Episcopal Conference, who understands the true meaning of abstinence would never allow Christians (on Fridays outside of Lent) to substitute the traditional practice by giving up some food other than meat, dairy, or eggs.

Go here for the full meal deal…so to speak.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Prayer for Our New Bishop

Fr. Z posted this prayer the other day, and asked that it be prayed for him now and then, or for another priest…any priest!

May I suggest that, here in the Diocese of Baker, we pray it for our Bishop-Elect Fr. Liam Cary?


Saint Joseph,
I present to you this day
Father N., priest of Jesus Christ,
and beg you to be to him
advocate and defender,
counselor and friend.
Open your heart to him
as you opened your home 

to the Virgin Mother in her hour of need.
Protect his holy priesthood
as you protected the life of the Infant Christ
threatened by cruel Herod.
In darkness bring him light;
in weakness, strength, and in fear 

the peace that passes understanding.
For the sake of the tender love 

that bound you to the Virgin Mary 
and the Infant Christ,
be for him, Saint Joseph, 

a constant intercessor and a shield 
against every danger of body, mind, and soul
so that, in spite of his weaknesses and sins,
his priesthood may bring glory to Christ
and serve to increase the beauty of holiness
in his bride the Church.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sanctus Bells: History

A few weeks ago we featured a post about incense. Using the same resource, we’ll take a look at sanctus bells.

Here’s the site that provides this information: Smells and Bells.  Matthew D. Herrera, who runs the site, introduces his project:

I have prepared a pair of short booklets which explore the history and current use of incense and sanctus bells as powerful devotional aids in the Catholic Church.  I have also included a copy of Sacred Signs, a wonderful little work by the late Msgr. Romano Guardini, that should be of great interest to anyone with a love for Catholic liturgy. 

The booklets are packed with good information on these topics, and are available to anyone who wants to download and print them:

If you have a desire to (re)introduce incense and sanctus bells into your parish, I would suggest printing and forwarding copies of my booklets to your pastor or parish administrator.  Perhaps even your bishop might enjoy copies for his library.  Please send the booklet with a short cover letter similar to the one I have included.  While I retain the copyright to both monographs I hereby give permission for their downloading and dissemination so long as they are not altered in any way or sold.  Please free to contact me with any questions or comments.  Thanks for visiting and Godspeed in your efforts. 

Visit the site to view the booklets, the letter he mentions, and his contact information.
Here is an excerpt from the booklet on Sanctus Bells: History and Use in the Catholic Church.

Most Catholic Christians (at least the more mature ones) are familiar with sanctus bells. Many wonder about them. Some long to hear their joyful sounds. Still others erroneously believe their use during the Mass is now either no longer needed or prohibited altogether by the Church…

Sanctus bells have been rung as part of the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Church for over 800 years. Most sanctus bells used today are small handheld bells or assemblies of three to five bells that may be rung during Mass as directed in…the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM)…

The use of sanctus bells during the Mass seems from two distinct origins. First, ringing the bells creates a joyful noise to the Lord. Second, the bells were rung in times past to signal those not able to attend Mass that something supernatural was taking place.


The use of bells in the Church dates back to the fifth century when St. Paulinus, the Bishop of Nola, introduced them as a means to summon monks to worship. In the seventh century Pope Sabinianus approved the use of bells to call the faithful to the Mass. The Venerable Bede, an English saint of the eighth century, is credited with the introduction of bell ringing at requiem Masses. By the ninth century the use of bells had spread to even the small parish churches of the western Roman Empire.

It wasn’t until the thirteenth century that outdoor tower bells (at first they typically chose the largest bell in the belfry, later the smallest bell in the belfry) began to be run as sanctus bells during the Mass. From a historical standpoint it is interesting to note that tower bells are still used even today as sanctus bells at the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican and a great many other historic churches and cathedrals. A close look at many of these older structures will often reveal a series of sighting holes (and sometimes mirrors) that were once used by bell-ringers to monitor the celebration of the Mass from bell-lofts.

These tower bells were rung at the consecration and presentation of the Eucharist for at least two reasons. First and foremost, the sanctus bells were rung during the Mass to create a joyful noise (often in conjunction with select musical instruments such as the lyre) to the Lord as described in Psalm 98:4:

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises!

This practice of ringing bells to create a joyful noise for the Lord during the Mass is based to some degree on the use of tintinnabula (Latin for tiny bells) or crotal bells that were a part of ancient Judaic worship.

Ringing the bells also gave notice to those unable to attend the Mass (the sick, slaves, outside guards, etc.) that something divine and miraculous was taking place inside of the church building. The voice of the bell would allow people to stop what they were doing to offer an act of adoration to God. Additionally, the bells provided the ancillary benefit of focusing (or re-focusing) the attention of the faithful inside the church to the miracle that was taking place atop the altar of sacrifice.

With the passage of time there was less of a need to ring the outdoor tower bells as more people were able (or allowed) to attend Mass. Handheld bells, sanctuary-based chimes and sacring rings or “Gloria wheels” (commonly used in Spain and during the Mission Period in Alta California) eventually replaced the large towers bells. The smaller bells were easier and more convenient to use and they were more than capable of creating joyful noises for the Lord. The use of the smaller sanctus bells also continued to help focus the faithful’s attention on the miracle taking place on the altar. Finally, the use of even the smaller bells upheld the already long held tradition of ringing sanctus bells during the Mass.

Nearly 350 years after the introduction of the sanctus bells to the liturgy, the Council of Trent (1545-1563) formally mandated their use during the celebration of the Mass. Thus the use of the bells became a requirement of the official rubrics of the Mass for the first time.
The ringing of sanctus bells is still required during the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (the Latin Tridentine Mass) even today. Conversely the ringing of sanctus bells was made optional during the celebration of the Ordinary From of the Mass which was introduced by Pope Paul VI in 1969.

You can read the more at the link noted above. More sections will be reproduced here at a later date.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chrism Mass with Bishop-Elect Fr. Liam Cary

The Chrism Mass of the Diocese of Baker will be held at 7pm on Thursday, March 29, at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral in Baker City – with an extra added attraction this year.

Fr. Julian Cassar announced at Masses last weekend that Bishop William S. Skylstad will preside at the Mass, and that Bishop-Elect Fr. Liam Cary will be preaching.

The on-line St. Francis de Sales parish bulletin has this announcement:

Chrism Mass – please make every effort to attend the annual Chrism Mass which is held only in the Cathedral, where all the priests gather with Bishop Skylstad for the blessing of the oils which will be used for the administration of sacraments around our Diocese. This year’s Chrism Mass will be held on Thursday March 29, at 7 PM. Bishop-elect Liam Cary will be here and will be preaching… A light reception will be held afterwards, where you can meet the priests, some of whom you may know from other parishes or churches you may have attended in the past.

On the Diocese of Baker website, you can find complete information about a companion event - the annual women’s Chrism Mass retreat:

Fr. Robert Greiner, Chaplain for Mother Mary's Daughterand
Dr. Lynne Bissonnette-Pitre, MD, PhD,
Doctor of Psychiatry, Portland, OR


Click here for more details.

Feast of St. Joseph

Fr. Ryan Erlenbush, who has been commenting on St. Louis de Montefort’s method of consecration of oneself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, addresses devotion to St. Joseph today on The New Theological Movement blog. Please be sure to read the entire article!

St. Joseph sometimes seems to be a rather neglected saint (I wrote about him here); even St. Louis de Montefort failed to include much about the Spouse in his writings on Mary. Fr. Erlenbush notes:

De Montfort did compose a prayer to St. Joseph to be used in his fifth method of praying the Rosary (from the “Secret of the Rosary”). The prayer is said with the sorrowful mysteries and is modeled on the Hail Mary:

“Hail Joseph the just, Wisdom is with you; blessed are you among all men and blessed is Jesus, the fruit of Mary, your faithful spouse. Holy Joseph, worthy foster-father of Jesus Christ, pray for us sinners and obtain divine Wisdom for us from God, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

Beyond this little prayer, there is no significant mention of St. Joseph in any of St. Louis-Marie’s Marian works.

Perhaps one reason why St. Louis-Marie wrote so little about St. Joseph was that the Church herself had not yet awakened to devotion to this holy Patron. Though the first church building dedicated to his honor was consecrated in 1129, and not excluding his presence in visions given to numerous saints (including St. Bridget of Sweden), St. Joseph was not inserted into the Litany of the Saints until 1726.

We do not say that there was no devotion to St. Joseph; after all, St. Thomas Aquinas and numerous other Dominican saints were quite zealous in promoting his devotion. Further, we recall that St. Teresa of Jesus dedicated the reformed Order of Carmelites to St. Joseph as their special Patron. Still, it is noteworthy that it was not until the nineteenth century that devotion to St. Joseph had spread throughout the Church and among the laity.

In my previous post about St. Joseph, I noted that Leo XIII had instituted a prayer to St. Joseph that was to be said after the recitation of the Rosary all through the month of October. This year, I prayed that prayer faithfully all through that month, but since it seems like a prayer the Church needs now, and not just in October, I continue to pray it daily:

To you, O Blessed Joseph, we come in our trials, and having asked the help of your most holy spouse, we confidently ask your patronage also. Through that sacred bond of charity which united you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the fatherly love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you to look graciously upon the beloved inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by his blood, and to aid us in our necessities with your power and strength.

O most provident guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ. Most beloved father, dispel the evil of falsehood and sin. Our most mighty protector, graciously assist us from heaven in our struggle with the powers of darkness.  And just as you once saved the Child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God's Holy Church from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity. Shield each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your help, we may be able to live a virtuous life, to die a holy death, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.

These are tough times for the Church. Tougher times seem likely to follow. This may be a very good time to increase our prayers to St. Joseph, Terror of Demons and Protector of Holy Church.

St. Joseph, Terror of Demons

Sunday, March 18, 2012

God's Providence: St. Francis de Sales

The source of the following excerpt is: The Sermons of St. Francis de Sales for Lent. This is from the sermon for the fourth Sunday of Lent; I’ve excerpted only a small portion of it here.


“Jesus then took the loaves of bread, and having given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated there; in the same way he gave them some fish, as much as they wanted.”

—John 6:11

The narrative which Holy Church presents to us in today’s Gospel [Jn. 6:1-15] is a picture in which are portrayed a thousand beautiful subjects helpful to us in admiring and praising the Divine Majesty. But above all else, this picture presents to us the admirable Providence, both general and particular, which God has for humanity, and especially for those who love Him and who live according to His will in Christianity.

The children of Israel had no manna until they had run out of the flour from Egypt…God would sooner work miracles than leave without assistance, either spiritual or temporal, those who trust entirely in His Divine Providence. Yet He wants us, for our part, to do all that lies in our power. That is, He wants us to use the ordinary means to attain perfection. If these should fail, He will never fail to assist us. As long as we have our rules, our constitutions and persons who tell us what we ought to do, let us not expect God to work miracles to guide us to perfection, for He will not do it.

Put Abraham with his family [cf. Gen. 12:1] and Elias among the prophets. The Lord will perform no prodigy to nourish them. Why not? Because He wishes Abraham to reap his grain, to have it threshed and ground and finally made into bread for his support. He has cows, he must be fed by their milk; or else, if he wishes, he may kill his fat calves and make a banquet for the angels. [Gen. 18:7-8]. But, on the contrary, place Elias near the torrent of Carith or in the desert of Bersabee [3 Kgs. (I Kgs.) 17:3-6; 19:3-8], and you will see that there God supports him – in one place by the instrumentality of angels, and in the other by that of a raven, which brought him bread and meat every day for his sustenance.

Therefore, when human aid fails us, all is not wanting, for God takes over and takes care of us by His special Providence. This poor multitude who follow Our Lord today were assisted by Him only after they were all near faint with hunger. He felt an extreme pity for them because, in their love of Him, they had so forgotten themselves that none had brought provisions, except the little Martial who had five barley loaves and two fish. It is as if the Savior, full of love for the hearts of these good people (who numbered about five thousand), said to Himself: “You have no care whatever for yourselves, but I Myself will take care of you.” Therefore, He called St. Philip to Him and asked him: “These poor people will faint on the way if we do not assist them with some food, but where could we find sufficient to sustain them?” He did not ask this through ignorance, but to test him.

We must not think that God tests us in order to lead us to evil, for that simply cannot be. [Jas. 1:13]. He tests His most beloved servants so that they might prove their fidelity and love for Him, and that they might accomplish great and shining works, as He did with Abraham when He commanded him to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac. [Gen. 22:1-2]. In the same way, He sometimes tests His servants in their confidence in Divine Providence, permitting them to be so languid, so dry and so full of aridity in all their spiritual exercises that they do not know where to turn for relief from the interior weariness which overwhelms them.
Our Lord tested St. Philip in order to humble him – and with good reason, after Philip had given an answer so full of human prudence. It is a remarkable thing: God so loves humility that He sometimes tests us, not to make us do evil but to teach us by our own experience what we really are, permitting us to say or do some foolish thing, giving us reason to humble ourselves…

We must indeed keep ourselves humble because of our imperfections, but this humility must be the foundation of a great generosity, for the one without the other degenerates into imperfection. Humility without generosity is only a deception and a cowardice of heart which makes us think that we are good for nothing and that others should never think of using us in anything great. On the other hand, generosity without humility is only presumption. We may indeed say: “It is true I have no virtue, still less the necessary gifts to be used in such a charge”; but after that humble acknowledgment we must so put our confidence in God as to believe that He will not fail to give them to us when it is necessary that we have them, and when He wants to make use of us, provided only that we forget ourselves and be occupied in faithfully praising His Divine Majesty and helping our neighbor to do the same, so as to increase His glory as much as lies in our power.

Notwithstanding the fact that St. Philip and St. Andrew declared that the five barley loaves and two fish were nothing for so many, Our Lord ordered them to be brought to Him, and He commanded His Apostles to make the people sit down. They all did so very simply, and in this they were certainly admirable, for they sat down to table without seeing anything on it, and there was nothing to suggest that anything could be given to them. Then Jesus took the loaves of bread, blessed them, broke them and ordered the Apostles to distribute them. When this was done, there was still some left, even though all had had enough to satisfy their need.

The question has been raised, among others, as to whether all ate of the five loaves or whether Our Lord, by His almighty power, made new ones which were distributed to the people. In speaking of another similar miracle – not the same miracle, since the number of loaves is seven, and St. John clearly relates that there were only five in the miracle of today’s Gospel – St. Mark says expressly that all ate of the seven loaves and two fish. [Mk. 8:6-7, 20].

There is another question whose answer will help us here. At the Resurrection, how can it be that each one will rise again in his same body, since some will have been eaten by worms, others by wild beast or by birds, others will have been burned and their ashes scattered to the winds. How then can it be that at the same time the angel shall call each one to come to judgment; all, I say, in an instant, without any delay, to rise again clothed in their own flesh? [1 Cor. 15:52]. By the almighty power of God, I, in this same body which I now possess, will rise again. He will reproduce it; for as it was not difficult for Him to produce it such as it is, it will not be any more difficult to produce it again.

Thus Our Lord made all the five thousand men eat of the same five loaves and two fish, reproducing them as often as was necessary, that each one might have a portion according to his need. All ate then of five loaves and two fish miraculously multiplied – all but St. Martial [the boy who brought the loaves and fishes] who, not participating in this miracle, ate his own bread all alone and not that of the Savior, because he had brought his own provision. For as long as we have our own bread, God does not work prodigies to sustain us.

We say that we do not know whether the will to please Him that we now have will remain with us during our whole life. Alas! It is true, for there is nothing so weak and changeable as we are. But nevertheless, let us not be troubled. Let us, rather, frequently lay this good will before Our Lord; let us place it in His hands and He will renew it as often it is necessary that we may have enough for our whole mortal life. After this life there will be no cause for fear, nor for so many apprehensions, for with the help of God, we shall be in a safe place. There we shall never cease glorifying this Divine Majesty whom we have so dearly loved and followed according to our power, through the deserts of this miserable world to the highest summit of the mountain of perfection, to which we shall all attain by His grace, for the honor and glory of Our Lord, who is our Divine Master. Amen.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Prayers of Humility

Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despondency, lust of power, and idle talk.
But grant rather the spirit of chastity,
humility, patience, and love to thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother,
for blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen

Litany of Humility

O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
 deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled…
From the desire of being honored…
From the desire of being praised...
From the desire of being preferred to others…
From the desire of being consulted…
From the desire of being approved…
From the fear of being humiliated…
From the fear of being despised…
From the fear of suffering rebukes…
From the fear of being calumniated…
From the fear of being forgotten…
From the fear of being ridiculed…
From the fear of being wronged…
From the fear of being suspected…

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Jesus grant me the grace to desire it.
That in the opinion of the world,
others may increase, 
and I may decrease…
That others may be chosen and I set aside…
That others may be praised and I unnoticed…
That others may be preferred to me

 in everything…
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I become as holy as I should…

Little Girl Gets some Help From Divine Providence
Abandonment Prayer

I adore you, God the Father, who created me;
I adore you, God the Son, who redeemed me;
I adore you, O Holy Spirit, 
            who have so often sanctified me,
            and are still sanctifying me.
I consecrate to you my whole day 
            for the pure love of you,
            and for your greater glory.
I do not know what is to happen to me today,
            whether troublesome things 
            or pleasant ones,
            or whether I shall be happy or sad,
            in consolation or in grief.
It will all be as you please.
I abandon myself to your providence,
            and I submit to all your wishes.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Latin Lesson VI

This week the lesson will cover the three most common ordinary chants of the Mass – the Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei. Even in the Novus Ordo these chants can be sung in Latin and are being done that way in many parishes. With the new translation, the English is a much more faithful rendering of the original language.  There are several simplified chants available for both Latin and English versions.

The Kyrie, of course, is not Latin, but Greek. However, the pronunciation rules given earlier apply to this prayer as well. The following texts will be supplied without phonetic markings this time to test how much readers can do on their own. If anyone is really uncertain of how to pronounce any of the words, he can refer to the first two lessons and check against the rules given there.

Kyrie eleison. 
Christe, eleison.
Kyrie eleison.
[Each line is said three times in an EF Mass;
twice in the ordinary form.]

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,
Dominus Deus sabaoth.
Pleni sunt coeli et terra; Gloria tua.
Hosanna in excelsis.
Benedictus qui venit in nomine domini;
hosanna in excelsis.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.
 (remember how “gn” sounds in Latin)

Next time: The Credo in Latin and English.

Here are some resources for anyone who would like to pursue church Latin further.  All books are available at

Scanlon, Cora and Charles, Latin Grammar for the Reading of the Missal and Breviary, TAN Books, Charlotte, N.C.

Collins, John F., A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, The Catholic University of America Press.
Stelten, Leo,  Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Latin, Hendrickson Publishers. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fr. Liam Cary Ordination Update

Rumors abound about the episcopal ordination of Bishop-Elect Fr. Liam Stephen Cary! 

However, I do have this information circulating in an email from Peggy at the Diocese of Baker Chancery office:

The date of Vespers is May 17th at 7:00 PM at St. Francis Church on 27th Street. 

The Ordination is May 18th at 2:00 PM followed by an open reception at St. Francis Church on 27th Street. 

We will have a banquet for bishops, priests, Diocesan Staff, family and a few invited guests at 6:00 Pm. I am not sure of the location for this. I am having difficulty finding places for these events because that weekend is a Pole Peddle Paddle weekend here in Bend which brings in thousands of people. Motel space is at a premium. I have reserved space at the following three motels. If you want to reserve a room, when you call say you are part of the Diocese of Baker group and your rate will be $70.00 per night. We can accommodate 15 I believe at the Retreat Center at Powell Butte. These will be the usual $50.00 per night and are on a first come first serve basis. Call Patti if you want to reserve one of these spaces.

The Motels I have reservations at are:

Sleep Inn
600 NE Bellevue D

Comfort Inn & Suites
62065 SE 27th Street
Bend, OR 97701

I am working on securing more rooms but for now these are the best choices
We are hoping most of you can stay over the night of the 18th as we are planning an early brunch goodbye for Bishop Skylstad that morning at the retreat center. More about that later.

Bishop Cary has asked Father Paul Thomas from Mt. Angel to be MC. He is coming over Monday to get things going. His first of many trips I am sure.

So…there you have it!