Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The State of the Society of St. Gregory the Great

To all those interested in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite in the Diocese of Baker:

For the last year and a half our website and blog have not reflected reality. 

Since the previous bishop (Apostolic Administrator) restricted our regular celebrant’s faculties to his monastery and then transferred all the other priests capable of saying the EF Mass at least 120 miles away, the Society of St. Gregory the Great has been in limbo. The current bishop has continued the same policy, so we have had no relief.

However, we have underway petitions to ecclesiastical authorities in Rome to intervene in order that we might once again sponsor at least a monthly Mass in the EF at one of the local parishes near Bend. Currently, the only parishes suitable for such celebrations are the historic St. Francis Church in downtown Bend and the Church of Our Lady of the Snows in Gilchrist, although a couple others might be made workable. We have been denied permission at both venues.

We ask your prayers that we will soon be able to sponsor such Masses again, as well as chant workshops, and workshops in the New Translation with English chants for the Propers.  These workshops, too, have been effectively curtailed by the bishop’s actions.

We will keep you abreast of our ongoing efforts to restore the Mass of the ancient rite to Central Oregon and the entire diocese, as well as our efforts to improve the quality of the liturgy in this diocese, whether the “old Mass” or the “new Mass”.

We welcome donations to our treasury in order that we might explore every avenue to providing the EF Mass for those who desire it.

You can remit donations to:

61149 S. Highway 97,
Box 169,
Bend, OR 97702.

All contributions are tax deductible and you will receive a notice at the end of the tax year for the amount you have contributed.  


Stephanie Swee
President, Society of St. Gregory the Great

Saturday, May 18, 2013

New Catholic Podcast: Vericast

Here’s another way to fortify yourself with knowledge about the faith, and receive some encouragement and inspiration to share and defend that faith: Vericast Network and Vericast Podcast. I’ll let them introduce themselves; this is from the “About Us” page of their website:

Vericast is the hardest-hitting Catholic podcast on the ‘net. The backbone of the show is Truth (Veritas in Latin), and it’s mission is to inform and empower those who desire to ”Know the truth, Live the truth, and Be the truth”.

Vericast brings you the unadulterated Truth given to us by the Holy Catholic Church; the one authoritative interpreter of sacred scripture, and the boldest, clearest, most correct moral voice in the world.

Vericast is all about boldly, bravely, and proudly communicating the truth. That includes the hard truth, the inelegant, as well as the beautiful truth. It’s the full truth! The truth comes from God. We also come from God. And so the truth is as central to our existence as the air we breathe. But the truth is hard to find these days; marred and masked by a culture lost and confused in moral relativism, and ethical objectivity. The Church, being God’s beacon of truth on earth, stands in defiance of the lies and confusion that plague our culture. Vericast gives voice to the truths of Catholicism. Without compromise.

Shows are broadcast on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. You can find a list of recordings of past shows here; click on one to watch or listen.

There is also a list of instructional videos here. The first one on the list is about “anti-Catholic myths”.  Take a look – this guy is good.

And just who is “this guy”? Actually, it’s a couple of guys, and they run the whole operation out of their own pockets; donations are always appreciated, of course!

The protagonists are Tim Haines and Wilson Orihuela. See the bio page of the website.
Tim Haines

Tim Haines, on his Google profile, says about himself:

"I served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and studied Philosophy (since High School if you consider personal reading). Studied Theology also, but more personal study than formal study. My professional background is in media development and production.”

Wilson Orihuela writes that:

"I love Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Mother the Blessed Virgin Mary with all my heart, soul and might. They are the very meaning of my existence and I'm loyal to Christ's Catholic Church till the death of me. St. Michael defend us in battle! God Bless you all."

Wilson Orihuela
There’s also a certain Cal Kane, an atheist who joins in for debate and such, I guess. I haven’t watched the show enough to be exposed to him. His Google profile says that his “work” is “Promoting positive atheism and working towards a world where theists and atheists can unite as one in a stand against the evil in this world”. Hmmm. Well, good luck with that last part. I mean, atheism is a source of evil in this world, so I’m not sure how it could be “united” with belief in God to overcome evil…

And Vericast has a blog, too.

So…there you have it. An interesting couple of fellows working hard to defend the One True Faith! It’s nice to know Michael Voris has some company out there in the world of on-line radio/TV type of stuff.

Check it out!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Art and Liturgy

This shows, in just three minutes, what the crisis in the Church is really all about, and how we can fix it!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wearing a Chapel Veil

The following was shared by blog reader Elizabeth.


I wanted to share a "mother moment" I had this morning, I truly believe, with our Blessed Mother. 

Before I entered the church at the nearby Novus Ordo parish, I came up with a compromise of sorts with my self-consciousness when wearing a veil at a NO church. All winter, I simply wore a hat at Mass. Now that it's not hat weather… uh oh.  

So I put the veil over my head and tied it back under my hair, like a bandana. Silly, eh? I figured that this would be a way to ease into wearing it, while at the same time not being quite so noticeable to others. I know… like everyone in the church is looking at me, right? :) And besides, who cares if everyone looks at you! Further silliness!

So I knelt in my spot in front of the gorgeous statue of Our Lady, right up front in the handicapped row, and asked her to please help me to not be concerned about the looks I may get from others, or what other people may or may not think about it (including the army of VII priests there). I asked Her to please help me to don my veil at every Mass – just like I used to when I was able to attend the Traditional Mass, where every woman wears one. Please, please, please. Then I said a Hail Mary and the St. Michael prayer to settle myself in for the Mass, and sat back in the pew.

There was a tap on my shoulder.

I turned around to face a rather handsome, serious-faced man who leaned forward to whisper to me, "I haven't seen a woman wearing a veil in church in decades. I just wanted to tell you how beautiful it is to see you wearing a veil. Thank you for that."

I kid you not: that's what he said. And no one can tell me that that wasn't an answer to my heartfelt prayer! It brought a tear to my eyes, and I thanked Our Lady.

Awesome moment.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Thoughts

Some thoughts on mothers, from Face Book - some funny, some thoughtful!

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Ascension: Pope St. Leo the Great

From the lessons for the office of matins for the Solemnity of the Ascension:

From the Sermons of Pope St Leo the Great.
1st on the Lord’s Ascension.

After the blessed and glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, wherein the Divine Power raised up in three days the true Temple of God Which the iniquity of the Jews had destroyed (John ii. 19), God was pleased to ordain, by His Most Sacred Will, and in His Providence for our instruction and the profit of our souls, a season of forty days which season, dearly beloved brethren, doth end on this day. During that season the bodily Presence of the Lord still lingered on earth, that the reality of the fact of His having risen again from the dead might be armed with all needful proofs.

The death of Christ had troubled the hearts of many of His disciples their thoughts were sad when they remembered His agony upon the Cross, His giving up of the Ghost, and the laying in the grave of His lifeless Body, and a sort of hesitation had begun to weigh on them. Hence the most blessed Apostles and all the disciples, who had been fearful at the finishing on the Cross, and doubtful of the trustworthiness of the rising again, were so strengthened by the clear demonstration of the fact, that, when they saw the Lord going up into the height of heaven, they sorrowed not, nay they were even filled with great joy. And, in all verity, it was a great an unspeakable cause for joy to see the Manhood, in the presence of that the multitude of believers, exalted above all creatures, even heavenly, rising above the ranks of the angelic armies and speeding Its glorious way where the most noble of the Archangels lie far behind, to rest no lower than that place where high above all principality and power, It taketh Its seat at the right hand of the Eternal Father, Sharer of His throne, and Partaker of His glory, and still of the very man's nature which the Son hath taken upon Him.

Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us also rejoice with worthy joy, for the Ascension of Christ is exaltation for us, and whither the glory of the Head of the Church is passed in, thither is the hope of the body of the Church called on to follow. Let us rejoice with exceeding great joy, and give God glad thanks. This day is not only the possession of Paradise made sure unto us, but in the Person of our Head we are actually begun to enter into the heavenly mansions above. Through the unspeakable goodness of Christ we have gained more than ever we lost by the envy of the devil. We, whom our venomous enemy thrust from our first happy home, we, being made of one body with the Son of God, have by Him been given a place at the right hand of the Father with Whom He liveth and reigneth, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pope Francis Quotes

Yesterday’s Vortex (May 6) provides us with some great quotes from our Holy  Father. Here they are:

“You cannot find Jesus outside the Church ... It is the Mother Church who gives us Jesus, who gives us the identity that is not only a seal, it is a belonging..”

“But when we start to cut down the Faith, to negotiate Faith, a little like selling it to the highest bidder, we take the path of apostasy, of disloyalty to the Lord.”

“These Christians are not united in the Church, they do not walk in God's presence, they don’t have the security of the Holy Spirit, they do not make up the Church… to quote the words of Jesus in Revelation, 'lukewarm Christians'. The indifference that is in the Church ... They walk only in the presence of common sense common sense ... that worldly prudence.”

“.. if we do not profess Jesus Christ, things go wrong. We may become a charitable NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of the Lord … When we do not profess Jesus Christ, we profess the worldliness of the devil, a demonic worldliness .. we may be bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, but not disciples of the Lord.”

Here’s the Vortex, with the script below.

The script:

When the Holy Father was elected – can you believe it was almost two months ago already – MSNBC loud mouth commentator and fake Catholic Chris Matthews said the following in part:

"Let me start tonight with the election of the new Pope. It brings with it a great hope, and not just for Catholics. It promises a progressive church and economic justice. Francis 1 is a Jesuit from Argentina. He is known for throwing off trappings and perks of power, living in a small apt, taking a bus to work. The new Pope has said things about capitalism and its failure to deliver economic justice that could drive the right wing nuts crazy.”

Pause here now for loud laughter.

Yep, that’s exactly what progressive liberal non-thinkers always want to do: portray reality in an unrealistic way. This was part of the hijacking process that the Matthews-type media tried to do immediately with the new Pope.

And totally off topic for a moment .. has anyone seen Chris Matthews taking the bus and living in a rinky-dink apartment and giving back all those expensive suits paid for by his network .. I mean if he thinks that’s so great, why doesn’t he do it? Just askin’.

But back to the point, Pope Francis is continuing to disappoint the liberal spin machine. Just recently he made a most decidedly Catholic claim:

“You cannot find Jesus outside the Church ... It is the Mother Church who gives us Jesus, who gives us the identity that is not only a seal, it is a belonging..”

What a divisive thing to say. My oh my! There goes yet another pope, being Catholic and all that. See, the liberal media has no idea what to do with a comment like, other than ignore. The media however should take their cue from liberal Catholics who could spin that so furiously, it would look like a Tasmanian devil by the time they were done with it.

But at the end of the day, the Pope means exactly what he says. The Catholic Church is the means for finding Jesus Christ and incorporating us into Him. That doesn’t sound very 1960’s era ecumenical, and it certainly doesn’t fit the sputum poured forth by the American Patriotic Church and its agenda to be the Church of Nice.

But it is what it is. A decidedly – not to mention refreshingly – NON-vague insistence on what the Catholic Church is. But those aren’t the only comments, homilies and remarks the Holy Father has made that are Catholic. In challenging Catholics to be more stalwart and rigid, yes rigid in their faith he said:

“But when we start to cut down the Faith, to negotiate Faith, a little like selling it to the highest bidder, we take the path of apostasy, of disloyalty to the Lord.”

Did you hear that seminary formation teams. BAM!

About lukewarm Catholics he said:

“These Christians are not united in the Church, they do not walk in God's presence, they don’t have the security of the Holy Spirit, they do not make up the Church… to quote the words of Jesus in Revelation, 'lukewarm Christians'. The indifference that is in the Church ... They walk only in the presence of common sense common sense ... that worldly prudence.”


And at his first Mass, he said point blank to the cardinals who has just elected him the day before:

“.. if we do not profess Jesus Christ, things go wrong. We may become a charitable NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of the Lord … When we do not profess Jesus Christ, we profess the worldliness of the devil, a demonic worldliness .. we may be bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, but not disciples of the Lord.”

Wait for it… BAM!

See…how do liberals talk about this? What can they say? Sure, they can hang on every word that the Pope says about poverty while ignoring these things, but they paint an incomplete – WILDLY incomplete – picture of him and his message. But hey, that never stopped the media liberals before.

So our modernist friends are caught in a trap of their own devising… the phrase hoist by their petard comes to mind.

Liberals in the Church – like for example Fr. Thomas Rosica, who heads up Salt and
Light TV from Canada – was all aglow with the election of Francis, saying that things in the Vatican changed instantly with his election… over night.

He would of course like to join with his secular counterparts like Chris Matthews in painting a picture of vast difference between Benedict and Francis , because of the sneaky implication that beyond style, something of substance will change as well: a little extra dash of ecumenism here , a little shared Holy Communion there.

Well, do people like Fr. Rosica and Chris Matthews REALLY think that all that much has changed now? Pope Francis talk like a pope – like the successor to St. Peter. You can easily imagine Peter saying there is no finding Jesus outside the Church – that it is impossible.

And when Pope Francis echoes those sentiments and states them plainly…well, what are poor liberals to do, other than ignore those comments and really really hope he comes out soon and says something about poverty.

It’s funny that because of his name, Benedict the 16th was nicknamed B-16…like the bomber; because when you listen to the bombs exploding everywhere these days in the
Church, they’re being dropped by Pope Francis.

God Bless the Holy Father.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

St. Athanasius: Fr. Andersen Homily

Below you will find Fr. Eric Andersen's homily for today's feast of St. Athanasius. I am pleased to say also that a Mass is being said (by a different priest) for the intentions of Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland on the feast of this wonderful saint! God bless Archbishop Sample, and may St. Athanasius help the new archbishop to have the strength and courage he will need to confront the problems of the Archdiocese of Portland!

A homily by Fr. Eric M. Andersen, Sacred Heart in Gervais, OR
May 2nd, 2013

St. Athanasius, bishop and doctor

There is a tradition that St. Athanasius “first attracted the notice of Patriarch Alexander as he was playing at baptism on the seashore with other small boys. After watching young Athanasius perform the rite, the prelate called the boys to him and by questioning satisfied himself that the baptisms were valid. He then undertook to have these boys trained for the priesthood” (Vann, ed., Lives of Saints, p. 49). Athanasius was born around 297 in Alexandria, Egypt. Alexandria was an academic center, not only because the great Library of Alexandria was there, but also because it was a center of Platonic thought and Theology. St. Jerome tells us that St. Mark the Evangelist had founded the Catechetical School of Alexandria. Famous among its students were Origen, St. Clement of Alexandria and Dionysius the Areopagite.
From this intellectual climate, Athanasius was formed theologically by the patriarch of Alexandria for whom he worked as a secretary. Because Alexandria was so intellectual, there were theologians who were very free thinking and not so concerned with orthodoxy. It was about the year 323 that Arius, “a priest of the church of Baucalis, began to teach that Jesus, through more than man, was not eternal God, that he was created in time by the Eternal Father, and could therefore be described only figuratively as the Son of God” (50). The patriarch and the other bishops condemned the writings of Arius and deposed him along with 11 priests and deacons of Alexandria. When the patriarch died, Athanasius, not yet 30 years old, succeeded him.

Meanwhile, Arius retired to Caesaria and befriended the bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia among other bishops. His heretical propositions were set to music and publicized by popular tunes which sailors would sing as they travelled here and there. In 330, the now Arian bishop Eusebius had persuaded the Emperor Constantine to write Athanasius requesting that he readmit Arius to communion. Athanasius refused. Eusebius countered by pitting the people against Athanasius and trumping up false charges. Athanasius was called into court, but he defended himself and returned to his see. But not for long. The Emperor was won over by the opposition and banished Athanasius into exile. In 337, Constantine died just after baptism by bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia. He divided the empire into three parts for his three sons. Let the intrigue begin!

His son Constantine II lifted the banishment and allowed Athanasius to return to his flock. Two years later, Constantine II died in battle. Eusebius, meanwhile, had won over the Emperor Constantius. A church council was called at Antioch, Athanasius was banished again and an Arian bishop was installed as patriarch of Alexandria. This time Athanasius went to Rome to consult with the pope. His case and his name were cleared, but he had to wait to return until after the death of the Arian bishop. He was gone for 8 years and returned triumphant. All was at relative peace under the Emperor Constans for three or four years when suddenly Constans was murdered in 350.

In the resulting chaos, his own people protected him as he lived in hiding for 6 years and composed his greatest works in writing. Constantius died in 361 and Julian the pagan Emperor allowed Athanasius to return, but only for a few months. He determined to reestablish cultic worship to the gods of Rome and he banished Athanasius as a “disturber of the peace and an enemy of the gods” (54). Julian was slain; his successor Jovian lifted the banishment; a year later, his successor Valens banished Athanasius again for four months then lifted it for political reasons.

Athanasius had spent 17 years in exile for defending orthodoxy; for defending the divinity of Jesus Christ. He returned to live out the last few years of his life in peace. He died on May 2nd, 373. His body now rests in Venice. May we have the fortitude and perseverance to defend the true faith without counting the cost. 

St. Joseph: Fr. Andersen's Homily

It's a day late, but here is Fr. Eric Andersen's homily for the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.

Fr. Eric M. Andersen
Sacred Heart-St. Louis in Gervais
May 1st, 2013

St. Joseph the Worker

“When the American Federation of Labor decided to set May 1st, 1886, as the target date for winning the eight-hour day, which it had been demanding for years, the only thing in favor of the first of May was that it was moving day, the usual date when leases and other economic agreements ran out. …The employers opposed the demand, and so a strike was called for that day. At a demonstration in Chicago a bomb was thrown – by whom was never known. The police fired into the crowd, killing and wounding several of the demonstrators. The labor leaders charged with instigating the demonstrations were tried in an atmosphere of hatred and hysteria; seven were sentenced to death and four executed. In memory of these martyrs of the labor movement, the first of May was adopted internationally as a day given over to demonstrating for shorter working hours. Only five years later did the International Labor Congress in Brussels declare it a “festival day” for the first time” (Josef Pieper, In Tune with the World, 73). 

The “posters and banners carried in the processions” proclaimed: “This is the day the people made; it is hallowed throughout the world”; “Socialism, thy kingdom come!”; “Our Pentecost, when the power of the Holy Spirit of Socialism rushes through the world, making converts” (Pieper, 75).

What started as an American Labor dispute became a Socialist festival and then when the Bolshevists took over the celebration, it was no longer a “demonstration against the existing order. The existing order (became) identical with the dictatorship of the…totalitarian labor state” (75). The Catholic philosopher Josef Pieper points out that “The first of May becomes, to put it briefly, a day that differs from all other workdays and rest days of the year in that it is celebrated by – additional, voluntary, unpaid work! In lieu of the demand for a shorter workday, which in the past had been the justification and the meaning of the day, the workers are asked to accept the very opposite, ‘the idea of a prolongation of work.’” The Bolshevist Leon Trotsky is quoted from an official document of 1920: “This holiday is one of general work.” From the same document Maxim Gorky wrote: “It is a wonderful idea to make the spring festival of the workers a holiday of voluntary work” (cf. Pieper 76). Lenin’s government decreed that it was a “‘crime not to understand’ the purpose of giving that particular form to the holiday” (cf. 76).

By 1922, “May first became more and more exclusively a day on which the Soviet Union displayed its military strength in gigantic parades. …The very same was true of the gigantic May Day celebrations of the Nazi regime” (77). “Several days prior to May first, the state propaganda machine would publish the following instructions: ‘Decorate your houses and the streets of the cities and villages with fresh greenery and with the colors of the Reich! …No train and no streetcar is to ride through Germany that is not decorated with flowers and greenery!” (78). In 1934 May 1st was renamed “National Holiday of the German People” and was “the prime occasion for striking displays of weapons of destruction, which the regime was already accumulating in preparation for total war" (Pieper, 79).

In 1937, Pope Pius XI issued an encyclical Divini Redemptoris on atheistic communism, writing: “We place the vast campaign of the Church against world Communism under the standard of Saint Joseph, her mighty Protector. He belongs to the working class…and in a life of faithful performance of everyday duties, he left an example for all those who must gain their bread by the toil of their hands” (cf. §§ 44, 45).

At that time, the Catholic Church celebrated the feast of Sts. Philip and James, apostles, on May 1st. There was a moveable Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Patron of the Universal Church celebrated on the Wednesday of the third week after Easter. In 1955, Pope Pius XII rearranged the liturgical calendar and moved this feast of St. Joseph to a set date: May 1st, in honor of St. Joseph the Worker. It is odd, therefore, that the Catholic Worker movement appears to lean more towards protest and activism than towards the sanctification of work and the imitation of St. Joseph the worker. The Dominican Fr. Marie Dominique Philippe reminds us, our Lord said, “Do not labor for the food which perishes [for the pagan does as much] but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you” (Jn 6:27). Fr. Philippe writes that St. Joseph “did not work in order to become a specialist, or to win a prize, or again for human glory. He worked for the sole reason that God asked him to; he worked in order to fulfill His will. Obedience to God, and the fact of being predominantly concerned with doing His will, gives gentleness to our work. We do not waste time, and we work without stress or fuss” (The Mystery of Joseph, 50). He relates St. Joseph’s work to the contemplative life: “Our desire for contemplation gives us an interior freedom which allows us to work in truth and with determination, thereby making a total gift of all our strength, and offering our work to God as a holocaust of love” (52).

Fr. Philippe continues: “When work is accomplished in simply the human, natural perspective, we have a specific goal in mind, which remains on the human plane, and we become attached to our work. In religious life we discover that it takes a long time for work, and for our way of working, to become purified. It is not something that is done in a day, nor even a year; it takes a lifetime, because it is the whole reality of our human person that is involved in work – including our sensibility, our emotions…, our imagination, our intelligence and our will to apply ourselves to what we do” (52).

Now we see a great difference between the work of a communist and the work of a saint. Today, May 1st, is a day that belongs to the Lord. It is not a day that the people have made. It is not a day to celebrate the achievements of man or his military strength. Neither is it a day for protest and dissent and demonstrations. It is a day to consecrate our work, and to do it well for the glory of God. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Sancte Ioseph, protector noster, ora pro nobis.