Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Cistercians and the Foot-washing Issue of Holy Thursday

An article at the New Liturgical Movement blog, posted last Monday (March 23), gives some interesting historical background on how the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday has been handled by the Cistercians. Read the full article here.

The author, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, lays out his premise in the following two paragraphs. Be sure to read the article to see how the issue is resolved by the Cistercians.

First, we must recognize that Our Lord's washing of the feet has a double aspect to it, which, it seems to me, accounts for some of the confusion we have managed to introduce by not thinking through how these two aspects are related. One aspect is the washing of the apostles’ feet at their ordination and the first Mass. Here, the accent is definitely placed on the apostolic college as the kernel of the new ministerial priesthood of the new covenant. The other aspect, of course, is the washing of the feet as a symbol of serving one’s fellow man in general, even as Christ came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Thus we have something of a paradox here: a symbolic action of universal application is nevertheless being given at a very particular event in salvation history with a very special group of men—not just any human beings, not just any male individuals, but the first priests and bishops of the Church. The Virgin Mary was holier than all of them put together, she offered her Son most perfectly the next day at the foot of the Cross, and she guided the nascent Church in profound ways we will understand only in heaven. And yet she was not called upon to offer the Eucharistic sacrifice nor to govern local churches, as the Apostles and their successors did; nor was she among the men whose feet were washed at the Last Supper. This tension in the mandatum between the universal charity symbolism and the particular apostolic/priestly symbolism makes it necessary to choose ONE or the OTHER as the prime symbol. Yet there is an assymetrical relationship between these. If you mix in the women, you are opting for the universal charity message and excluding the ordination message; whereas if you simply have men, as the rubrics specify, you are opting for a reenactment of what Christ did that evening at the first Mass, but you are notexcluding the charity symbolism. After all, the very heart of the sacrifice of Christ was His burning charity for God and man, and this is the love the apostles, as His priests, are to carry into the world. In any case, the way the ceremony is done should not, as it were, garble the message so that one ends up severing the universal message from its original sacramental context.

Read the full article here.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sanctuary Renovation at St. Eugene's in Santa Rosa

St. Eugene’s, the Cathedral parish in the Diocese of Santa Rosa, is raising funds for a renovation of the sanctuary of the cathedral there. The bishop of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, of course, is our own previous bishop, Bishop Robert F. Vasa. 

A “go-fund-me” page has been set up for the fundraising. Go here for more information and/or to make a donation.

Apparently, a high altar, baldachino, and altar rail have been purchased from a church that was scheduled for demolition in Philadelphia, PA. The pieces have been bought and await installation. They are perfect for offering the Traditional Latin Mass - which is offered each Sunday at St. Eugene’s in addition to Mass in the Ordinary Form.

Here are a couple of photos from the “Go Fund Me” site:

The Rector of St. Eugene's parish with the high altar
that has been purchased and is ready for installation.

The altar awaits re-assembly!

This seems like a project worthy of support by those who wish to see an increase of awe and reverence in the Mass, inspired in part by the beauty of the sanctuary where the liturgy is celebrated.  The fund-raising site has these concluding paragraphs:

Would you like to be a part of this ongoing effort to recover this “mystical element” within the liturgy and architecture? The Church has been returning to such venerable practices as the use of Latin, chant and incense during the Holy Mass. Establishing a sense of awe through such tangible means has also helped to restore a sense of the sacred within our church.

We want to give our best to God. We want to uplift the minds and hearts of those who worship here; for this is where heaven touches earth. Please help us make this a reality!  Thank you and may the Lord bless you for your prayers and generosity. 

Visit for more photos and information.

Friday, March 20, 2015

"A House Divided": Homily by Archbishop Sample

This is the homily delivered by Arbchbishop Alexander Sample at the recent Gregorian Chant Conference which took place at the Brigittine Monastery near Amity, Oregon. Thanks to photographer Marc Salvatore, who also provides this link for photos of the same event.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Prayer to St. Joseph

Leo XIII instituted a prayer to St. Joseph that was to be said after the recitation of the Rosary all through the month of October. Truly, it seems like a prayer the Church needs now, and not just in October.

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.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Photos of Pontifical High Mass

Click here for photos by Marc Salvatore, taken of the Pontifical High Mass celebrated by Archbishop Sample at the Gregorian chant conference given by the Schola Cantus Angelorum on March 5-7. The Mass took place at the Brigittine Priory of Our Lady of Consolation in Amity, OR.

The photos are copyrighted and so are not reproduced here. Visit the site linked above to see a slide show, and to purchase photos if you wish. Marc does a great job!

Here are a few photos of the Brigittine Monastery taken a few years ago:

Sunday, March 8, 2015

March is the Month of St. Joseph: Fr. Andersen

Bulletin Letter from Sunday, March 1, 2015
by Fr. Eric Andersen, Parochial Vicar
Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Bandon, OR

March 19th is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The entire month of March belongs to him.  Devotion to St. Joseph is as old as the Church itself, being that he is mentioned in the gospels.  The most recent phase in the development of devotion to him began in the 19th century, culminated at the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960s, and continues.
To begin with this most recent phase, Popes Pius VIII (1829-1830) and Gregory XVI (1831-1846) “both endowed with indulgences the pious meditation of (a devotion called) the Seven Sorrows and Joys of St. Joseph. Pius IX increased those indulgences considerably soon after the beginning of his pontificate (Feb 1, 1847). On June 11, 1855, he enriched with great spiritual favors the daily devotion to St. Joseph during the month of March, and on April 27, 1865, he issued a decree that had for its aim, or effect, to make the month of March, as it were, the counterpart of the month of May, inasmuch as the month of March was to be dedicated to St. Joseph as the month of May is especially dedicated to the Blessed Virgin” (Mueller.  The Fatherhood of St. Joseph p. 6). Pius IX also gave approval for the forming of the Confraternity of the Cord of St. Joseph in 1860.  This cord is blessed and worn by married men as a sign of fidelity to the Church’s teaching on marital chastity.

In 1869, the Bishops who attended the First Vatican Council presented a petition to the Council to “solemnly declare St. Joseph the first patron and protector, after the Blessed Virgin, of the whole Church, and…accord to him, next to the Mother of God, the highest liturgical veneration”(7).  In 1870, Pope Pius IX responded by solemnly declaring St. Joseph to be the Patron of the Universal Church and in 1871 he increased liturgical veneration in several ways. 

His successor, Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) wrote an encyclical on St. Joseph.  Pope Pius X (1903-1914) approved the Litany of St. Joseph and inserted it into liturgical books for public and private use.  Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922) had a Preface for Masses of St. Joseph composed and inserted into the Roman Missal.  Pope Pius XI (1922-1939) inserted prayers to St. Joseph, patron of the dying in to the Rite of Extreme Unction and the liturgical prayers for the dying.  In 1955, Pope Pius XII (1939-1958) instituted the feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1st to elevate the dignity of work for the common man, in opposition to Atheistic Communism.  Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) added St. Joseph to the Roman Canon of the Mass and to the liturgical prayers of the Divine Praises during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  Pope John Paul II (1978-2005) wrote an Apostolic Exhortation entitled Redemptoris Custos about the person and mission of St. Joseph in the life of Christ and the Church.  Pope Benedict XVI (2005-2013) approved the insertion of the name of St. Joseph into Eucharist Prayers II, III, and IV in the Roman Missal and this act was completed and promulgated by Pope Francis (2013-present). 

During this month of March–the month of St. Joseph–please consider making a month-long novena to St. Joseph.  Alternately, every Wednesday throughout the year is a good day to pray to him.  I will also make available booklets with the “Seven Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph” devotion available. 

Memorare of St. Joseph

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, Ever Virgin, my loving protector Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked your aid without obtaining relief.  Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you.  Despise not my petitions, Foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Cardinal Burke Interview with Rorate Caeli

We are reposting this post from Rorate Caeli in its entirety with their permission. (To see comments made on their post, visit Rorate Caeli blog.) Rorate Caeli often has very good information and commentary on important issues related to our Catholic life and identity.


Follow @RorateCaeli on Twitter

Last week, Rorate Caeli interviewed Raymond Cardinal Burke via telephone on numerous topics. Nothing was off the table for this interview and His Eminence was incredibly generous with his time. He showed himself to be brilliant and yet filled with humility. And his care and concern for traditional Catholics must be acknowledged and appreciated.

In this wide-ranging interview, His Eminence talked about issues ripped from the news such as: Vatican officials threatening to sue bloggers; more priests coming under his authority; the dismantling of the Franciscans of the Immaculate; how traditional Catholics can save their souls in this modern world -- and get their children the sacraments in the traditional rite in the face of dissenting bishops; priestly celibacy; daily confusion from Pope Francis; and much, much more. 

All may reprint/repost this interview -- but you must credit Rorate Caeli. 


Rorate Caeli: Your Eminence, thank you very much for agreeing to this interview. As the most-read international blog for traditional Catholics, we believe this will give much hope to our readership, and to traditional-minded Catholics everywhere. For our first question: The traditional world, recently, has been stunned by the news that two officials of the Vatican have threatened to sue traditional-minded Catholic bloggers and reporters. Do you agree with this approach, and do you think we should expect to see more of this in the future?

Card. Burke: Unless the blogger has committed a calumny on someone's good name unjustly, I certainly don't think that that's the way we as Catholics should deal with these matters. I think contact should be made. I presume that the Catholic blogger is in good faith, and if there's someone in the hierarchy who is upset with him, the way to deal with it would be first to approach the person directly and try to resolve the matter in that way. Our Lord in the Gospel and St. Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians instruct us not to take our disputes to the civil forum, that we should be able, as Catholics, to resolve these matters among ourselves. (cf. Mt. 18:15; 1 Cor. 6:1-6)


Rorate Caeli: After eight years under Pope Benedict XVI, clergy, laymen, even the media became accustomed to clarity. With so much confusion stemming from the daily statements of Pope Francis, confusion from the Synod, et cetera, is it best to focus more on the local and parish level and on the Church's tradition, rather than looking for specific guidance from Rome on issues of the day?

Card. Burke: Yes, I think that, in fact, Pope Francis himself has given that indication. For instance in his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, he says that he doesn't consider it to be a magisterial teaching. (n. 16) With someone like Pope Benedict XVI, we had a master teacher who was giving us extended catechesis on various subjects. I now say to people that, if they are experiencing some confusion from the method of teaching of Pope Francis, the important thing is to turn to the catechism and to what the Church has always taught, and to teach that, to foster it at the parish level, beginning first with the family. We can't lose our energy being frustrated over something that we think we should be receiving and we're not. Instead, we know for sure what the Church has always taught, and we need to rely on that and concentrate our attention on that.


Rorate Caeli: Speaking of that teaching and what we're hearing, you've made news lately by saying you will resist any teaching that's heterodox on marriage, and that Catholics should fight back, which gets to a whole other question we were asking about. What should be the response of faithful Catholics if there is a change in the discipline in regards to Holy Communion for divorced and remarried adulterers?

Card. Burke: I was answering a hypothetical question. Some people have tried to interpret it as an attack on Pope Francis, which it wasn't at all. It was a hypothetical question posed to me, and I simply said, "No authority can command us to act against the truth, and, at the same time, when the truth is under any kind of threat, we have to fight for it." That's what I meant when I said that. When the hypothetical question was put to me, "What if this agenda is pushed?" I said, "Well, I simply have to resist it. That's my duty."

Rorate Caeli: How can a faithful Catholic fight back? Is it in his home? Is it on a blog?

Card Burke:  I think you have to keep teaching, in your home and in your own personal life, to hold to the truth of the faith as you know it, and also to speak up about it and to make known to the Holy Father your deep concern, that in fact you cannot accept a change in the Church's discipline which would amount to a change in her teaching on the indissolubility of marriage. Here I think it's very important to address a false dichotomy that's been drawn by some who say, "Oh no, we're just changing disciplines. We're not touching the Church's doctrine." But if you change the Church's discipline with regard to access to Holy Communion by those who are living in adultery, then surely you are changing the Church's doctrine on adultery. You're saying that, in some circumstances, adultery is permissible and even good, if people can live in adultery and still receive the sacraments. That is a very serious matter, and Catholics have to insist that the Church's discipline not be changed in some way which would, in fact, weaken our teaching on one of the most fundamental truths, the truth about marriage and the family.


Rorate Caeli: Getting to something that's right in Your Eminence’s wheelhouse, how do we fulfill the promise and the mandate of Summorum Pontificum at this particular time in the Church, and what role does Canon Law play in making the traditional Latin Mass available in every parish?

Card. Burke: The law stands as it was given by Pope Benedict XVI, and it has not been changed. The document for its implementation was issued by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. All of that holds. All of that urges that when there is a desire for the traditional Mass among a group of the faithful, it is to be provided for them.

Rorate Caeli: Sticking to Summorum, for families whose children have never been exposed to the Novus Ordo, yet their local ordinary will not fulfill the mandates of Summorum by granting them traditional Confirmation, should those families take their children to a neighboring diocese or a personal parish like the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, FSSP, in order to have them confirmed in the traditional rite?

Card. Burke: They certainly have the right to receive the sacraments in the traditional rite, in the Extraordinary Form. If they can't receive it in their own diocese, then certainly they could ask their parish priest to give them a note that the child is ready to be confirmed, and then have them confirmed in another place where it is permitted.


Rorate Caeli: You probably know, we have been covering the disheartening and frightening accounts of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate being dismantled over the last year. Does Your Eminence think that the commissioner, Father Volpi, has been fair? And what does Your Eminence think of Father Volpi's court mediation statement regarding the founder’s family?

Card. Burke: I really don't have the kind of direct information on which to make a judgment about the matter. I have to say that, just from an outsider's view, Father Volpi has taken some very strong actions very quickly. Seemingly, I read the story too, he had to admit that the accusation which he made against Father Stefano Manelli, the founder of the Friars of the Immaculate, and his family members, of somehow misusing the temporal goods of the Friars of the Immaculate, was not true. That's certainly a very serious matter. Many friars are leaving, and it would seem that there should be some way of dealing with the whole situation in which the order itself wouldn't collapse, because they were strong, they had a lot of vocations, and they have a great number of apostolates. That's the part that's worrisome to me.

Rorate Caeli: There are reports, and frankly we get personal reports of this, of FFI priests saying they're “fleeing,” they're “in hiding,” using those words from the current FFI under Fr. Volpi. There's also reports of bishops taking in FFI priests seeking refuge in their dioceses. Would Your Eminence encourage those other bishops to do the same?

Card. Burke: If there's a priest who desires to leave his religious community, and this a good priest, and there isn't anything contrary to the bishop accepting him, I think a good bishop would certainly accept such a priest and try to help him to become a priest in his diocese. There's a process; it takes time. The priest who is wanting to leave his religious community has to have a welcoming bishop. When a bishop is able to welcome such a priest, I think the bishop should be happy to do that, because it assists a good priest to be able to continue to exercise his priestly ministry.


Rorate Caeli: What, in Your Eminence's opinion, are good priests supposed to do who are being suppressed by their bishops? We know of many, though we're not going to name them publicly. Some have no mission whatsoever now, and they're living on donations and help from family and friends. Some find it necessary to join independent groups. What is Your Eminence's advice to those priests who simply want to live, preach and say Mass as all priests did before the Council?

Card. Burke: I would simply urge them to seek a bishop who is receptive to such priests and would try to help them, if he can, or if he can't help them directly himself, to help them find another bishop who would permit them to lead a good priestly life. That's all that one can do. Obviously, also, there is recourse to the Congregation for the Clergy. If the priest feels that he's simply being treated unjustly, then he could ask the Congregation for the Clergy to intervene.

Rorate Caeli:  There are reports that in an attempt to fix the problem we just discussed, an Apostolic Administration for traditional priests and religious may be in the works, in order to solve many of these issues facing them, in terms of living out their vocations strictly according to Summorum Pontificum. Can Your Eminence comment on where in the process that may be -- the future of an Apostolic Administration?

Card. Burke: Such a thing is possible. I'm not aware that anything is in process in that regard. Maybe it is, I just haven't heard about it. Certainly that is a possibility and would be a way of assisting these priests and the faithful who are attached to them to remain in communion with the Church.


Rorate Caeli: Now, Your Eminence may have a bias on this question, but would the Sovereign Military Order of Malta theoretically be able to function as an Apostolic Administration, giving faculties for traditional priests and religious?

Card. Burke: Well, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, has incardinated priests. But it did so as a sovereign military order, not as an Apostolic Administration. The Order has a Prelate, appointed by the Holy Father, who participates in the governance of the Order. He is clearly the lawful superior of any priests incardinated in the Order. Right now, we're studying the whole situation because we have requests from additional priests who wish to be incardinated in the Order. But certainly it has happened in the past, and there's no reason why it couldn't continue to happen, not in virtue of the establishment of an Apostolic Administration, but in virtue of the nature of the Order.


Rorate Caeli: We were already planning on asking this question months ago when we first started crafting these interview questions, and then the Pope was reported to have said just yesterday the issue of married priests is "on his agenda." Is priestly celibacy for western priests under serious threat with this pontificate?

Card. Burke: That would be a very serious matter because it has to do with the example of Christ Himself, and the Church has always treasured in her priests the following of Christ's example, also in His celibacy. I've heard this reported, but I haven't been able to verify it, but that would be, obviously, a very serious matter. The matter was taken up already by a world synod of bishops in the late '60s, and at that synod there was a very solid reaffirmation of the Church's teaching on clerical celibacy. I don't refer to it just as a discipline because it has to do with what from the earliest centuries the Church understood as being most fitting for her priests. It's something more than a discipline, and therefore I would think it's very difficult to conceive that there would be a change on this.


Rorate Caeli: What words of encouragement can Your Eminence give to traditional Catholics who are struggling to save their souls and the souls of their children in this modern world, and without, it sometimes seems, any help from Rome?

Card. Burke: I frequently say to those who are writing to me and are expressing such discouragement, or are asking for direction in what seems to be a very troubled situation, that when, in times like this, there seems to be some confusion in the governance of the Church, then we have, more than ever, to steep ourselves in the Church's constant teaching and to hand that on to our children and to strengthen the understanding of that teaching in our local parishes and our families. And our Lord has assured us -- He didn't tell us that there wouldn't be attacks on the Church, even from within, but He has assured us that the gates of Hell will never prevail over the Church. In other words, Satan, with his deceptions, will never finally prevail in the Church. We have to have that confidence about us and go about it with great joy and great determination, in teaching the faith, or in giving witness with apologetics to souls who don't understand the faith or who have not yet become members of the Church. We know that the gates of Hell will not prevail, but in the meantime, our way is the Way of the Cross. And when we have to suffer for the sake of what we believe, what we know to be true, we can embrace that suffering with the knowledge of the final outcome: that is, that Christ is the Victor. He is the one that ultimately overcomes all the forces of evil in the world and restores us and our world to the Father. That is the way in which I try to encourage faithful Catholics. I think it's important, too, that devout traditional Catholics get to know one another and support one another, to bear one another's burdens, as the Scripture says. We ought to be prepared to do that and be sensitive to families that might be suffering some particular difficulty in this regard, and try to be as close to one another as possible.


Rorate Caeli: Thank you. We only have a few questions left. There are some very loose reports, but from credible sources, of Francis considering calling a Third Vatican Council. Has Your Eminence heard anything about this at all?

Card. Burke:    No, not at all.


Rorate Caeli: Episcopal appointments in the United States were, on average, conservative-leaning under Benedict XVI. That was not the case everywhere. From this arises what is a clear gap with the priests and actual churchgoing faithful of the new generation that are widely conservative, attached to the true catechism, to Catholic moral law, to a reverent Sacred Liturgy. Is Your Eminence in favor of a new orientation in the naming of bishops in the United States and elsewhere? Is the current method for the selection of bishops a good one, in your view?

Card. Burke: I think it is. It involves the consultation not only of other bishops and priests in the diocese, but also the lay faithful. And there is always the possibility for individual members of the laity or groups of lay faithful to make known their concerns to the Congregation for Bishops or the Nuncio. I think that the most important thing is to let the Apostolic Nuncio know, when there's an appointment of a bishop being considered for a diocese, that there are very many faithful Catholics who  have particular needs and to express those needs.


Rorate Caeli: What's Your Eminence's main focus on work these days?

Card. Burke: My main focus is on the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, helping the Grand Master with the governance of the Order, especially in the spiritual dimension. The Order has a twofold purpose: the defense of the faith, and the care of the poor. The two things honestly go very much together. I'm helping him with questions about the structure of the Order itself in order to fulfill more effectively those two purposes, but also to deal with questions that inevitably come up in any Catholic organization with regard to doctrine and with regard to morals. That's my main focus. I am also spending time studying and writing on important questions in the Church today.


Rorate Caeli: Do you see traditional Catholics taking more of a leading role, in the future, in the restoration of the Church?

Card. Burke: I think so. I find more and more very strong Catholic families who are devoted to the traditional Mass, and I think that those families will have more and more influence in the time to come. If those families influence other families, then obviously there's a momentum that grows.

Rorate Caeli: Is there anything else that we haven't touched upon that Your Eminence would like to add?

Card. Burke: Just to encourage everyone to be devoted to the Sacred Liturgy, which is the highest expression of our Catholic faith, the highest expression of our life in God, and to be very devoted to the study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and to the teaching of the faith in our homes and in our local communities. The Church has suffered terribly from decades of poor catechesis, such that the faithful, children and young people, even adults, don't know their faith, and we need to address that because the two things go together. When we know our faith well, then we have a strong desire to worship in accordance with our faith, and at the same time our worship makes us desire more to know our faith. And then, obviously, all of that gets expressed in action by the charity of our lives, especially on behalf of those who are in most need.

Rorate Caeli: That leads to one last question. Your Eminence has mentioned the family in the home many times. Was John Paul II prophetic when he spoke about the Domestic Church?

Card. Burke: Oh, yes. He said that the Church comes to us by way of the family, and that's true. Christ Himself comes by way of the family. He was prophetic in the sense that he pronounced again what the Church has understood from the very beginning. That term, Domestic Church, is very ancient, and it was repeated at the Second Vatican Council. It's a very ancient terminology for the family. In that he was prophetic, in the sense that he set forth what God Himself teaches us about the family.

Rorate Caeli: That's all we have for Your Eminence. Thank you very much for your time today and for your incredible service to Holy Mother Church.