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Saturday, December 16th at 6a;30 a.m.,



Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church

235 East State Street

Doylestown, Pa. 18901

​Fr. Harold McKale

​Parish Vicar​
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Rectory
235 E. State St.
Doylestown 18901-4770




December 11, 2017   No Comments


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Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s
The Church’s Year

On this day the Church not only makes mention in the office of the priest, but also in the Mass, of the two different Advents of Christ, that by His first gracious advent may be gladdened, and by His last terrible coming at the day of judgment we may be impressed with salutary fear. With this intention she cries out at the Introit:

INTROIT People of Sion, behold the Lord shall come to save the nations; and the Lord shall make the glory of his voice to be heard in the joy of your heart (Is. 30:30). Give ear, O thou that rulest Israel: thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep (Ps. 79). Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the ways of Thine only-begotten Son: that through His advent we may be worthy to serve Thee with purified minds; who livest and reignest with God the Father, in union with the Holy Ghost, God for ever and ever. Amen.

EPISTLE (Rom. 15:4‑13). Brethren, what things soever were written, were written for our learning, that through patience and the comfort of the scriptures, we might have hope. Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of one mind one towards another, according to Jesus Christ: that with one mind, and with one mouth, you may glorify God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive one another, as Christ also hath received you unto the honor of God. For I say that Christ Jesus was minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers. But that the Gentiles are to glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: Therefore will I confess to thee, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and will sing to thy name. And again he saith: Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. And again: Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles, and magnify him, all ye people. And again, Isaias saith: There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise up to rule the Gentiles, in him the Gentiles shall hope. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, and in the power of the Holy Ghost.

What does St. Paul teach in this epistle?

The Jews and Gentiles who had been converted to the Christian faith were disputing among themselves at Rome, in regard to abstinence and the use of certain kinds of food, reproaching each other severely; the Jews boasted that the Savior, according to promise, was born of their nation, thus claiming Him from the Gentiles, who, in their turn, reproached the Jews for their ingratitude in having crucified Him. To restore harmony St. Paul shows that each had reason, the Jews and Gentiles alike, to praise God, to whose grace and goodness they owed all; that each had in Him a Redeemer in whom they could hope for salvation; and he warns them not to deprive themselves of that hope by contentions. By these words the Apostle also teaches that we too, have great reason to praise God, and to thank Him for calling us, whose forefathers were heathens, to the Christian faith, and to guard against losing our salvation by pride, envy, impurity, etc.

Why should we read the Scriptures?

That we may know what we are to believe, and do in order to be saved, as all Scripture inspired by God is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice (11 Tim. 3:16); that we may learn from what Christ has done for us, and the saints for Christ, to be patient in our sufferings, and to be consoled and encouraged by their example. To derive this benefit from the Scriptures, the Catholic must read them by the light of that Spirit through whose assistance they came into existence, who lives and remains for ever with the Church: that is, the light of the Holy Ghost must be sought, that their meaning may be

read according to the sense of the Church and not be explained according to the reader’s judgment. For he who reads the holy Scriptures by the light of his own private judgment, must, as experience shows, of necessity diverge from the right path, become entangled in manifold doubts, and at last, lose the faith entirely. For this reason the Catholic Church has very properly limited the reading of the Bible, not as has been falsely asserted, unconditionally forbidden it, but she allows the reading of those editions only, which are accompanied by notes and explanations that the unity of faith may not be disturbed, and that among Catholics there may not be the terrible bewilderment of the human intellect which has taken place among the different heretical sects who have even declared murder, bigamy and impurity to be permissible on the authority of the Bible. We are to consider also, that Christ never commanded the Bible to be written or read, and that not the readers but the hearers and the followers of the word of God by which is meant those who hear the word of God in sermons, and keep it, will be saved!

Further instruction in regard to the doctrine of faith on this subject will be found in the “Instruction for Easter Tuesday.”

Why is God called a God of patience, of consolation, and of hope?

He is called a God of patience because He awaits our repentance, of consolation, because He gives us grace to be patient in crosses and afflictions, and so consoles us inwardly, that we become not faint‑hearted; of hope, because He gives us the virtue of hope, and because He desires to be Himself the reward we are to expect after this life.

ASPIRATION O God of patience, of consolation and of hope, fill Our hearts with peace and joy, and grant that we may become perfect in all good, and by faith, hope and charity, attain the promised salvation.

GOSPEL (Mt. 11:2‑10). At that time, when John had heard in prison the works of Christ, sending two of his disciples, he said to him: Art thou he that art to come, or do we look for another? And Jesus making answer, said to them: Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the gospel preached to them: and blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in me. And when they went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, What went you out into the desert to see? a reed shaken with the wind? But what went you out to see? a man clothed in soft garments? Behold, they that are clothed in soft garments are in the houses of kings. But what went you out to see? a prophet? yea I tell you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my Angel before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.

Why was John in prison?

He was in prison, and lost his life, because he had rebuked king Herod for his adulterous marriage with his brother’s wife (Mt. 14:310). Truth, as the proverb says, is certainly a very beautiful mother, but she usually bears a very ugly daughter: Hatred. St. John experienced that speaking the truth very often arouses hatred and enmity against the speaker. Let us learn from him to speak the truth always, when duty requires it, even if it brings upon us the greatest misfortunes, for, if with St. John we patiently bear persecution, with St. John we shall become martyrs for truth.

Why did St. John send his disciples to Christ?

That they should learn from Christ, who had become illustrious by His teachings and miracles, that He was really the promised Messiah, the Savior of the world, whom they should follow.

Why did Christ say to the disciples of St. John: “Go and say to John, the blind see, the lame walk, etc.”?

That they should, by His miracles, judge Him to be the Messiah because the prophets had predicted that He would work such miracles (Is. 35:5‑6). “Christ,” says St. Cyril, “proved that He was the Messiah by the grandeur as well as by the number of His miracles.”

Why does Christ add: “And blessed is he who shall not be scandalized in me”?

Christ used these words in reference to those who would be scandalized by His poverty, humility and ignominious death on the cross, and who for these reasons would doubt and despise Him, and cast Him away; though “man,” as St. Gregory says, “owes all the more love to the Lord, his God, the more humiliations He has borne for him.”

What was our Lord’s object in the questions He asked concerning St. John?

His object was to remove from St. John all suspicion of failing in faith in Him; and to praise the perseverance with which, although imprisoned and threatened with death, he continued to fill his office of preacher, thus constituting him an example to all preachers, confessors and superiors, that they may never be deterred by human respect, or fear of man, or other temporal considerations, from courageously fulfilling their duties. Our Lord commended also rigorous penance, exhibited by St. John’s coarse garments and simple food, that we may learn, from his example, penance and mortification.

Why does Christ say that John was “more than a prophet”?

Because St. John was foretold by the prophet Malachias as was no other prophet; because of all the prophets he was the only one who with his own eyes saw Christ and could point Him out, and was the one to baptize Him: and because like an angel, a messenger of God, he announced the coming of the Savior, and prepared the way for the Lord.

How did St. John prepare the way for the Savior?

By his sermons on penance, and by his own penitential life He endeavored to move the hearts of the Jews, that by amending their lives, they might prepare to receive the grace of the Messiah, for God will not come with His grace into our hearts if we do not prepare His way by true repentance.

ASPIRATION O Lord Jesus, by the praise Thou didst accord to Thy forerunner St. John, for his firmness and austerities, inflame our hearts with love to imitate his steadfastness and penance, that we may never do anything to please man which may be displeasing to Thee; grant us also Thy grace that we too, like St. John, may have those who are confided to our care, instructed in the Christian doctrine.


“The God of patience and of comfort, the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Rom. 15:5,13).

What gives us the greatest consolation in adversities?

The strong and fervent belief that each and every thing that happens to us, comes to us for our own good from God, and that whatever evil befalls us, is by the will or permission of God. Good things and evil, life and death, poverty and riches, are from God (Ecclus. 11:14). If we have received good things at the hand of God (Job 2:10), saith the pious job in his affliction, “why should we not receive evil?”

We should be fully convinced that without the permission of God not a single hair of our head shall perish (Lk. 21:18), much less can any other evil be done to us by man or devil (Job 1); we should have a steadfast confidence that if we ask Him, God can and will assist us in our sufferings, if it be for our salvation. Can a woman forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? And if she should forget, yet will not I forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee in my hands (Is. 49:15‑16); we should hope for abundant reward in the future life, which we will merit by patience in our sufferings, for that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory (II Cor. 4:17); we should remember that all complaints and murmurs against the dispensation of God are useless, and lead only to harm and shame; Who hath resisted Him, and hath had peace? (Job 9:4) we should have a vivid remembrance of our sins, for which we have long since deserved the eternal punishments of hell – hence the well-known saying of St. Augustine: O Lord, here cut, here burn, but spare me in eternity. No other way leads to the kingdom of heaven than the way of the cross, which Christ Himself, His sorrowing mother, and all the saints had to tread. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into His glory? (Lk. 24:26) Through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God (Acts 14:21). And we should not forget that sorrows and adversities are signs of God’s love, and manifest proofs of being His chosen ones. Whom the Lord loveth He chastiseth, and He scourgeth every son whom He receiveth (Heb. 12:6. compare 7-11).

PRAYER IN SORROW O almighty, kind and merciful God! who hast said: “Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (Ps. 49:15), behold relying upon Thy word, I take refuge in Thee in my trouble. Give honor to Thy name, therefore, and deliver me, if it be pleasing to Thee and beneficial for me, that all may know, Thou art our only help. Amen.

December 9, 2017   No Comments

Traditional Latin Mass in Philadelphia: Upcoming Events

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Holy Day of Obligation

Friday, December 8, 2017

Solemn Mass, 7:00 p.m., Cathedral Basilica of SS Peter & Paul

Celebrant: Fr. Dennis Carbonaro, Director of Spiritual Formation, St Charles Borromeo Seminary;

Deacon: Fr. Gerald Carey, Pastor, Our Lady of the Assumption, Strafford;

  Subdeacon: Fr. Kenneth Brabazon, Parochial Vicar, Cathedral Basilica of SS Peter & Paul

Advent Rorate Caeli Mass
Candlelit Mass in the Extraordinary Form
Saturday, December 9th, 6:00 a.m.
Our Lady of Lourdes Church
63rd & Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia

December 5, 2017   No Comments


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Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s
The Church’s Year

Originally published in German in 1880.
Re-published in 1999 by Sarto House, PO Box 270611, Kansas City, MO 64127-0611, USA
Web-edition with permission of Sarto House.


Explanation of the Epistles and Gospels for Sundays and Holy Days, to which are added instructions on Catholic Faith and Morals.


My dear Catholic, before you commence to read these instructions:
I. Place yourself in the presence of God.
II. Humble yourself before Him, sincerely imploring His forgiveness.
III. Pray that you may be enlightened, that you may love Him.
Recommend yourself to the Blessed Virgin and to the saints.

Then, step by step, read the instructions carefully. After each point reflect upon the truth you have just read, asking yourself:

What must I believe? That which I have just read. Then make an act of faith, saying: “O Lord! I will believe this truth, help my faith, increase my faith!”

What must l now do? I must correct the faults opposed to this truth.

What have I done heretofore? Unhappily, O God, I have acted in contradiction to this truth; how differently, O Jesus, from Thee and from Thy saints!

What shall l now do? Here make a firm resolution to put these truths into immediate practice, to contend against and overcome the faults opposed to them, and to acquire new virtue.

Then finish the reading with acts of faith, hope, charity, and contrition; repeat the same each time you read in this or in any book of devotion, and you will soon perceive that great benefit for your soul is derived from such exercises.


What is understood by the Church Year?

By the Church Year is understood the succession of those holy days and seasons, reoccurring with each succeeding year, which the Church has appointed to be celebrated, that the faithful may be reminded of the divine graces and mysteries, may praise God, and occupy themselves, at such times, with pious, devotional exercises in His honor, and for their own sanctification.

When does the Church Year begin, and when terminate?

It begins with the First Sunday of Advent and concludes with the last Sunday after Pentecost.

How is the Church Year divided?

Into Sundays, weekdays, festivals, holy days, and fast days.

What is Sunday?

Sunday is the first day of the week, sanctified in an especial manner by God Himself; therefore, it should be devoted exclusively to His service. The Apostles called it the “Lord’s Day.”

Why should Sunday be devoted exclusively to God?

Because it is but proper that man, who is created for the service of God only, should reserve at least one out of the seven days of the week for that service, and for the salvation of his own soul; again, in the beginning, God ordered that on the seventh day or Saturday, on which He rested after finishing the work of creation (Ex. 20:11), man should also rest (Ex. 20:8‑10), abstain from all worldly employment, and attend only to the worship of God. This was the Sabbath, or day of rest, of the Jews which they were required to keep holy (Lev. 23:3).

But the Catholic Church, authorized 6y Christ, inspired by the Holy Ghost, and directed by the Apostles, has made Sunday, the first day of the week, the day of rest for Christians. The holy martyr Justin (+ 167 A.D.) makes mention of this fact. Sunday was designated as the day of rest for the Christians partly to distinguish them from the Jews, as well as for the following reasons: On this day God commenced the creation of the world, so too on this day He crowned the glorious work of our Redemption by Christ’s Resurrection; on this day, as Bellarmine says, Christ was born, was circumcised, and was baptized; and on this day the Holy Ghost descended upon the Apostles.

Why is this day called Sunday?

Because on this day, as St. Ambrose says, Christ, the sun of justice, having driven away the darkness of hell, shone forth, as the rising sun, in the glory of the Resurrection (Mal. 4:2).

How should the Catholic keep Sunday holy, and how does he profane it?

Sunday is kept holy by abstaining from all servile work performed for wages or gain, or not commanded by necessity; by passing the day in works of piety; in hearing Mass devoutly, listening to the word of God in church and spending the day at home in a quiet manner pleasing to God. If justly prevented from being present at church on Sundays and holy days of obligation, we should unite, in spirit, with the priest and the faithful assembled there, and pray fervently; during the rest of the day we should read books of devotion, and endeavor to perform some work of charity. Sunday is profaned by being spent either in idleness, or in unnecessary servile work, or in that which is still worse, debauchery, gambling, dancing, and other sinful actions. It would be better, that is, less sinful, as St. Augustine says, to till the field on such days, than to spend them in frivolous, dangerous, and sinful pleasures. But it is not forbidden, after having properly attended divine service, to participate on Sundays and holy days in honorable, decorous entertainment of the mind and heart.

What ought a Catholic to think of dances and fairs on Sundays and holy days of obligation?

The amusement of dancing on such days cannot possibly be pleasing to God. Dancing in general is an occasion of sin. The council of Baltimore protests against round dances especially, because they are highly indecent. Buying and selling without great necessity, as also holding fairs on Sundays and holy days are likewise sinful. God never ordained His days of rest for the gratification of avarice. What rewards are offered for keeping Sunday sacred, and what punishment is incurred by its desecration?

The Old Law promised blessings, spiritual and temporal to those who kept holy the Sabbath day (Lev. 26), and threatened all evils and misfortunes to those who desecrated it. Thus, to show how much He condemned its profanation, God caused a man to be stoned to death for gathering wood upon that day (Num. 15:32). The Catholic Church from her very beginning, and in several councils (Council. Elv. A.D. 313, Paris 829) has enjoined the keeping holy of Sundays and holy days, and experience proves in our days especially, that, as the consequence of the constantly increasing profanation of Sundays and holy days, immorality and poverty are growing greater; a manifest sign that God never blesses those who refuse to devote a few days of the year to His honor and service.

PRAYER FOR ALL SUNDAYS O God, who hast appointed Sunday, that we should serve Thee and participate in Thy grace, grant that always on this day our faith may be renewed, and our hearts incited to the praise and adoration of Thy Majesty; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.

What are festivals?

Festivals are days set apart by the Catholic Church, to celebrate with due solemnity the mysteries of religion, or the memory of the saints. Hence they are of two kinds, the festivals of our Lord, and the festivals of the saints.

Has the Church the right to institute festivals and fast days?

To deny her such right would be to place her below the Jewish Synagogue, which in acknowledgment of benefits received, established many festivals, such as the Feast of Lots (Esther 9:26); the festival in honor of Judith’s victory over Holofernes (Jud. 16:31); the feast of the Dedication of the Temple (II Mac. 4:56), which our Lord Himself celebrated with them (Jn. 10:22). Should not the Catholic Church, therefore, celebrate with equal solemnity the far greater blessings she has received from God? God Himself, through Moses, commanded the Jews to celebrate and, as it were, to immortalize by the Pasch their redemption from Egyptian captivity; the reception of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, by the festival of Pentecost; their forty years journey through the desert, and their living in tents, by the feast of the Tabernacles. How unjustly then would the Church conduct herself, if she would not commemorate, as the Old Law did, by the institution of certain festivals in honor of God and His saints, those graces of which He has made her partaker, through Christ and His saints, since our Lord gave to the Apostles and to the bishops, their successors, the power to bind and to loose, that is, to make ordinances and, as circumstances may require, changes for the salvation of the people (Mt. 18:18)! These festivals are instituted to assist the faithful in working out their salvation. And from this very right of the Church to institute festivals, follows her right to change or abolish them at her discretion, whenever her object of directing them to the honor of God is no longer reached, and the faithful in this case would be as much bound to obey her, as when she established them, for: Who hears not the Church, says Christ, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican (Mt. 18:17).

How are holy days and festivals to be observed?

They are to be observed like Sunday. Besides we should endeavor to understand well the mysteries and blessings of God and the lives and labors of the saints on whose account the festivals have been instituted. This we can do by hearing Mass and attending catechetical instruction, or by reading devotional books at home, in order to induce ourselves to love and praise God and to imitate the saints, which is the object the Church has in view in instituting festivals. But, unfortunately, as this object of the Church is responded to by few, and as, on the contrary, the holy days are spent very differently from what the Church in­tended, she has done well in abolishing certain festivals, or transferring them to Sunday, that they may be at least better regarded, and no of­fence offered to God by their profanation.

What are fast days?

Fast days are those days on which the Church commands us to mortify the body by abstaining from flesh‑meat, or by taking but one full meal in the day. Those days on which besides abstinence from meat, but one full meal is allowed, are called Fast Days of Obligation; those days on which it is only required to abstain from flesh‑meat, are called Days of Abstinence.

Can the Church institute fast days?

She can, because the Church of Christ, as mother of the faithful, has the power to make all useful and necessary regulations for the salvation of their souls. In doing so she only follows the example of our Lord, her Head, for He fasted, and of the Apostles, who, even in their day, ordered the Christians to abstain from blood and things strangled (Acts. 15:29), in order not to prevent the conversion of the Jews, who, on account of the Old Law, abhorred the blood and meat of strangled animals. This prohibition was removed when this danger no longer existed. “Fasting is no new invention, as many imagine,” writes the Father of the Church, Basil the Great, “it is a precious treasure, which our forefathers preserved long before our days, and have handed down to us.”

Why has the Church instituted fast days, and for what purpose?

The Catholic Church, from the very beginning, has looked upon external fasting only as a means of penance. Her object in instituting fast days, therefore, was and is that by fasting the faithful should mortify their flesh and their evil desires, seek to pacify God, render satisfaction for their sins, practice obedience to the Church, their mother, and by practicing these virtues become more zealous and fervent in the service of God. Innumerable texts of Scripture, as well as experience prove that fasting aids to this end. The Fathers of the Church praise very highly the usefulness of fasting, and our Lord predicted that the Church, His spouse, would fast, when He, her Bridegroom, should be taken from her (Mt. 9:15).

What are we to think of those heretics and Catholics who contemn the command of the Church?

Those Catholics who contemn this command, contemn their mother, the Church, and Christ her founder, her head, who fasted; they give scandal to the faithful children of the Church, and do them­selves great harm, because they become slaves of the flesh, subjecting their souls to the evil desires of the body and thus fall into many sins. They prove moreover, that they have departed from the spirit of the early Christians who fasted with great strictness; that they are too cowardly to overcome themselves, and offer God the sacrifice of obedience to His Church. The heretics have the Bible against them, if they assert that the command of the Church to fast is useless and unnecessary (Acts 13:2-3): that Bible which they so often quote, as well as all Christian antiquity, experience and reason. One of the Fathers of the Church, St. Basil, writes: “Honor ever the ancient practice of fasting, for it is as old as the creation of man. We must fast if we would return to paradise from which gluttony expelled us.” Every rational, reflecting person must acknowledge, as experience teaches, that bodily health, and unimpaired mind are best preserved and improved by temperance and abstinence, especially from flesh‑meat. It was by continual fasting that many of the fathers of the desert preserved vigorous health, often living beyond the usual limit of man’s age, sometimes for more than a century, even in tropical countries, where a lifetime is generally shorter than in colder climates. St. Paul, the first hermit, lived one hundred and thirteen years; St. Anthony one hundred and five; St. Arsenius one hundred and twenty; St. John, the silent, one hundred and four; St. Theodesius, abbot, one hundred and five. The Catholic Church here proves herself a good mother to us, for in this command she regards not only the spiritual, but also the corporal welfare of her children. The words of our Lord: “Not that which goeth into the mouth, defileth a man: but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man” (Mr. 15:11), was meant for the Pharisees who judged certain kinds of food prohibited by law, or that had been touched by unclean hands, to be unclean. Had He intended it to be understood in the sense the contemners of fasting assert, He would have declared intoxication by drinking, or even the taking of poison, to be permitted; certainly, food being the gift of God and therefore good, does not make man a sinner, but disobedience to the command and gluttony make him such.

Which are the most important fast days, and days of abstinence? (Traditional Rules)

All the weekdays of Lent; the Fridays in Advent; the Ember days for the four seasons of the year; and the Vigils of All-Saints, Christmas, Whitsunday, and the Assumption. If the Feast, however, occurs on Monday, the vigil is kept on the Saturday before; as Sunday is never a fast day.’

The days of abstinence are, all Fridays in the year, excepting Christmas day when it falls on Friday; and all fast days of obligation, excepting those on which the use of flesh-meat is expressly allowed by the proper authorities. Soldiers and sailors in the service of the United States of America, however, are exempted from the rule of abstinence throughout the year; Ash Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday in Holy Week, the Vigils of the Assumption and Christmas excepted.

A day of abstinence is that on which it is not allowed to eat flesh-meat.

What are the Ember days and why are they instituted?

The Ember days are the first Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of each of the four seasons of the year, set apart as fast days by the Catholic Church. According to the testimony of Pope Leo, they originated in the time of the Apostles, who were inspired by the Holy Ghost to dedicate each season of the year to God by a few days of penance, or, as it were, to pay three days interest, every three months, on the graces received from God. The Church has also commanded us to fast at the beginning of each of the four seasons of the year, because it is at this time that she ordains the priests and other servants of the Church, which even the Apostles did with much prayer and fasting. Thus she desires that during the Ember days Christians should fervently ask of God by prayer, by fasting and other good works, worthy pastors and servants, on whom depends the welfare of the whole Christian flock; she desires that in the spring Ember days we should ask God’s blessing for the fertility of the earth; in summer for the preservation of the fruits of the field, in autumn when the harvest is ripe, and in winter when it is sheltered, that we should offer to God by fasting and prayer a sacrifice of thanks, petitioning Him to assist us, that we may not use His gifts for our soul’s detriment, but that we refer all praise to Him, the fountain of all good, and assist our neighbor according to our means.

What are vigils?

They are the eves of certain festivals, which the Church has ordered to be observed as fast days. The early Christians prepared themselves by fasting, praying and watching, as signified by the Latin word “Vigili,” for the coming festival. Thus to this day in the Vigil Mass the priest does not say: “Ite Missa est” – Go ye, Mass is over,” but, “Benedicamus Domino”; “Let us praise the Lord,” because in olden times when Mass was celebrated at night, the Christians were exhorted to continue praising God in Church until the dawn of the festival. This nightwatch the Church has now abolished, partly on account of the declining zeal of the Christians, and partly on account of the fear of its being abused; the fast, however, has been retained to honor God and His saints, to obtain their intercession, and to mortify the flesh according to their example. “By fasting on the eves of festivals,” says St. Bernard, “We learn that we can enter heaven only through many sufferings.”

Why does the Church forbid the use of flesh-meat on Fridays and Saturdays?

“The Church,” says Pope Innocent, “forbids the use of flesh-meat on Fridays because our Lord died on that day, and on Saturdays because on that day He rested in the sepulchre, and also that we may be better prepared by this abstinence for Sunday.” In many dioceses the use of flesh-meat is allowed on Saturdays, and the permission is so marked in the calendar, and every year announced to the people; for this dispensation the faithful should perform another good work and fast the more conscientiously on Fridays.

Who is bound to fast, and who not?

All Christians over seven years of age, unless for some reason excused, are required under pain of mortal sin, to abstain from flesh‑meat on all days of fasting and abstinence; all those who are over twenty‑one years of age are allowed to take but one full meal a day. A severe illness or a dispensation obtained for valid reasons, excuses from abstinence on Fridays: those are dispensed from fasting on one meal, who cannot fulfil the command without great inconvenience, such as: those recovering from sickness, pregnant and nursing women, old and infirm people, those who are engaged in hard labor, undertaking severe journeys, and the poor who have no full meals; also, those who are prevented by the fast from some better work, incumbent upon their office, or dictated by Christian charity. These persons mentioned are excused from fasting, in so far that they are permitted to eat, whenever they need food, but must still abstain from the use of flesh-meat unless dispensed from the command of abstinence. They should, however, be sincerely grieved to be unable to unite with the whole Church in such meritorious work, and should endeavor to make amends by prayer, alms and other good deeds.

Who are those who sin against fasting?

First, those who deliberately and without sufficient cause do not abstain from the use of flesh-meat; secondly, those who without any of the excuses mentioned, take more than one full meal a day; thirdly, those who eat between the time of meals; fourthly, those who indulge in long, extravagant and sumptuous dinners, and excessive drinking, all of which are opposed to the spirit of penance and mortification. Lastly, when on a fast day meat and fish are used at the same meal.

Is it not allowed to eat anything in the evening, on fast days?

The early Christians were so rigorous in their penance that they contented themselves with one temperate meal on fast days, and that was generally of bread and water, taken only in the evening; but as, in the course of time, the penitential zeal declined, the Church like an indulgent mother permitted, besides the full meal at noon, a small quantity of food to be taken in the evening, about as much as would make the fourth part of a regular meal, or not to appear scrupulous, as much as would not cause too great an aggravation, or exhaust the strength necessary for the next day’s labor; but “to wish to feel no aggravation in fasting, is to wish not to fast at all.”

With what intention should we fast?

First, with the intention of doing penance and punishing the body for the sins which we have committed by yielding to its evil desires; secondly, to satisfy God and to unite ourselves with our Lord in his forty days fast; thirdly, to obtain strength to lead a chaste, pure life; fourthly, to give to the poor that which is saved by fasting.

NOTE. Whatever is necessary to be understood further in regard to this subject, will be found in the instructions on the forty days fast.


What is the meaning of Advent, and what do we understand by the term?

The word Advent signifies coming, and by it is understood the visible coming of the Son of God into this world, at two different times.

It was when the Son of God, conceived of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the immaculate Virgin Mary, was born, according to the flesh, in the fullness of time, and sanctified the world by His coming, for which the patriarchs and prophets had so longed (Gen. 49:10; Is. G4:1; Lk. 10:24).

Since Christ had not yet come, how could the Just of the Old Law be saved?

Immediately after their sin, God revealed to our first parents that His only-begotten Son would become man and redeem the world (Gen. 3:15). In the hope of this Redeemer and through His merits, all in the old covenant who participated in His merits by innocence or by penance, and who died in the grace of God, were saved, although they were excluded from heaven until the Ascension of Christ.

When will the second coming of Christ take place?

At the end of the world when Christ will come, with great power and majesty, to judge both the living and the dead.

What is Advent, and why has the Church instituted it?

Advent is that solemn time, immediately preceding Christmas, instituted by the Church in order that we should, in the first place, meditate on the Incarnation of Christ, the love, patience and humility which He has shown us, and prove our gratitude to Him, because He came from the bosom of His heavenly Father into this valley of tears, to redeem us; secondly, that we may prepare ourselves by sincere repentance, fasting, prayer, alms-deeds, and other works pleasing to God, for the coming of Christ and His birth in our hearts, and thus participate in the graces which He has obtained for us; finally, that He may be merciful to us, when He shall come again as judge of the world. “Watch ye, for ye know not at what hour your Lord will come” (Mt. 5:42). “Wherefore be you also ready; because at what hour you know not, the Son of man will come” (Mt. 24:44).

How was Advent formerly observed?

Very differently from now. It then commenced with the Feast of St. Martin, and was observed by the faithful like the Forty Days’ Fast, with strict penance and devotional exercises, as even now most of the religious communities do to the present day. The Church has forbidden all turbulent amusements, weddings, dancing and concerts, during Advent. Pope Sylverius ordered that those who seldom receive Holy Communion should, at least, do so on every Sunday in Advent.

How should this solemn time be spent by Christians?

They should recall, during these four weeks, the four thousand years in which the just under the Old Law expected and desired the promised Redeemer, think of those days of darkness in which nearly all nations were blinded by saran and drawn into the most horrible crimes, then consider their own sins and evil deeds and purify their souls from them by a worthy reception of the Sacraments, so that our Lord may come with His grace to dwell in their hearts and be merciful to them in life and in death. Further, to awaken in the faithful the feelings of repentance so necessary for the reception of the Savior in their hearts, the Church orders that besides the observance of certain fast days, the altar shall be draped in violet, that Mass shall be celebrated in violet vestments, that the organ shall be silent and no Gloria sung. Unjust to themselves, disobedient to the Church and ungrateful, indeed, to God are those Christians who spend this solemn time of grace in sinful amusements without performing any good works, with no longing for Christ’s Advent into their hearts.

What are Rorate High Masses, and why are they celebrated?

They are the solemn high Masses celebrated in some countries in commemoration of the tidings brought to the Blessed Virgin by the Archangel Gabriel, announcing to her that she was to become the Mother of God; they derive their name from the words of the Introit in the Votive Mass, Rorate coeli desuper. They are celebrated very early in the morning because the Blessed Virgin preceded our Lord, as the aurora precedes the rising sun.
PRAYER IN ADVENT O God, who by Thy gracious Advent hast brought joy into this world, grant us, we beseech Thee, Thy grace to prepare ourselves by sincere penance for its celebration and for the Last Judgment. Amen.


The first Sunday in Advent is the first day of the Church Year, and the beginning of the holy season of Advent. The Church commences on this day to contemplate the coming of the Redeemer, and with the

prophets to long for Him; during the entire season of Advent she unites her prayers with their sighs, in order to awaken in her children also the desire for the grace of the Redeemer; above all to move them to true penance for their sins, because these are the greatest obstacles in the path of that gracious Advent; therefore she prays at the Introit of the day’s Mass:

INTROIT To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed: neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded. Show me, O Lord, Thy ways, and teach me Thy paths (Ps. 24). Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT Raise up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy power, and come; that by Thy protection we may deserve to be rescued from the threatening dangers of our sins, and to be saved by Thy deliverance. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE (Rom. 13:11‑14). Brethren, knowing the time, that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep: for now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is past, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and strife; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.

What does St. Paul teach us in this epistle?

After fully explaining the duties of a Christian life to the Romans who were converted mainly by St. Peter, he exhorts them to hesitate no longer to fulfil these duties, and he seeks to move their hearts by this time of grace, presented them by the Christian dispensation, and by the shortness of the time of grace.

What is here meant by sleep?

The stupidity and blindness of the soul that, forgetting her God, is sunk in a lukewarm, effeminate, slothful and lustful life, which, when it is gone, leaves nothing more than a dream.

Why does St. Paul say, “salvation is nearer”?

He wishes to impress upon the Romans that they now have far greater hope of salvation than when they first became Christians, and that they should secure it by a pious life, because death, and the moment on which depended their salvation, or eternal reward, was drawing near. “What is our life,” says St. Chrysostom, “other than a course, a dangerous course to death, through death to immortality?”

What is the signification of day and night?

The night signifies the time before Christ, a night of darkness, of infidelity and of injustice; the day represents the present time, in which by the gospel Christ enlightens the whole world with the teachings of the true faith.

What are “the works of darkness”?

All sins, and especially those which are committed in the dark, to shun the eye of God and man.

What is the “armor of light”?

That faith, virtue and grace, the spiritual armor, with which we battle against our three enemies, the world, the flesh, and the devil, and in which armor we should walk honestly before all men. A Christian who in baptism has renounced the devil and all his pomps, must not live in vice, but must put on Christ Jesus, that is, must by the imitation of Christ’s virtues adorn his soul, as it were, with a beautiful garment. This text (verse 13) moved St. Augustine to fly from all works of uncleanness in which he had been involved, and to lead a pure life which he had before thought difficult.

ASPIRATION Grant, O Lord, that we may rise by penance from the sleep of our sins, may walk in the light of Thy grace by the performance of good works, may put on Thee and adorn our souls with the imitation of Thy virtues. Amen.

GOSPEL (Lk. 21:25‑33). At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars: and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves, men withering away for fear and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of heaven shall be moved; and then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud with great power and majesty. But when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand. And he spoke to them a similitude: See the fig tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh. So you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand. Amen I say to you, this generation shall not pass away till all things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Why does the Church cause the gospel of the Last Judgment to be read on this day?

To move us to penance, and to induce us to prepare our souls for the coming of Christ, by placing the Last Judgment before our minds. Should not the thought of this terrible judgment, when all good and all evil will be revealed, and accordingly be rewarded or punished in the presence of the whole world‑should not this thought strengthen us in virtue!

What signs will precede the Last Judgment?

The sun will be obscured, the stars will lose their light and disappear in the firmament (Is. 13:10), lightning and flames will surround the earth, and wither up every thing; the powers of heaven will be moved, the elements brought to confusion; the roaring of the sea with the howling of the winds and the beating of the storms will fill man with terror and dread. Such evil and distress will come upon the world, that man will wither away for fear, not knowing whither to turn. Then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, the holy cross, the terror of the sinners who have scorned it, the consolation of the just who have loved it (Mt. 24:30).

Why will all this come to pass?

Because as the people love the creatures of God so inordinately, more than the Creator, and use them only to His dishonor, He will destroy them in this terrible manner, arming all creatures for vengeance against His enemies (Wis. 5:8‑24, and showing by the manner of their destruction the evils which will fall upon all sinners. The darkness of the sun will indicate the darkness of hell; the blood-red moon, the anger and wrath of God; the disappearance and falling of the stars, will represent the fall of sinners into the abyss of hell and their disappearance from earth; and the madness of the elements, will exhibit the rage of the beasts of hell. Sinners will then vainly, and too late, repent that they have attached their hearts to things which will end so horribly, and that only increase their torments.

Why does Christ nevertheless command: “Lift up your heads, for your redemption is at hand”?

These words are spoken to the just who as long as they live on earth are like prisoners and exiles, but who at the Last Judgment will be taken body and soul into their long desired fatherland, the kingdom of heaven: into the freedom of the children of God. These will have reason to raise their heads, now bowed in mourning, and to rejoice.

How will the Last Judgment commence?

By the command of God the angels will sound the trumpets, summoning all men from the four parts of the earth to come to judgment (I Thess. 4:15). Then the bodies of the dead will unite with their souls, and be brought to the valley of Josaphat, and there placed, the just on the right, the wicked on the left (Mt. 25:33). Then the devils as well as the angels will appear; Christ Himself will be seen coming in a cloud, in such power and majesty that the sinners will be filled with terror. They will not dare to look at Him, and will cry to the mountains to fall upon them, and to the hills to cover them (Lk. 23:30).

How will the judgment be held?

The book of conscience, upon which all men are to be judged, and which closed with this life, will be opened. All good and evil thoughts, words, deeds and motives, even the most secret, known only to God, will then be as plainly revealed to the whole world as if they were written on each one’s forehead; by these each one will be judged, and be eternally rewarded, or eternally punished.

O God! If we must then give an account of every idle word (Mt. 12:36), how can we stand in the face of so many sinful words and actions!

Why will God hold a universal public Judgment?

Although immediately after death, a special private judgment of each soul takes place, God has ordained a public and universal judgment for the following reasons: First, that it may be clearly shown to all how just has been His private judgment, and also that the body which has been the instrument of sin or of virtue may share in the soul’s punishment or reward; secondly, that the justice which they could by no means obtain in this life, may be rendered before the whole world to the oppressed poor, and to persecuted innocence, and that the wicked who have abused the righteous, and yet have been considered honest and good, may be put to shame before all; thirdly, that the graces and means of salvation bestowed upon each, may be made known; fourthly, that the blessed providence of God which often permitted the righteous to suffer evil while the wicked prospered, may be vindicated, and it be shown on that day that His acts are acts of the greatest wisdom; fifthly, that the wicked may learn the goodness of God, not for their comfort or benefit, but for their greater sorrow, that they may see how He rewards even the slightest work performed for His love and honor; finally, that Christ may be exalted before the wicked on earth as before the good in heaven, and that the truth of His words may solemnly be made manifest.
ASPIRATION Just art Thou O God, and just are Thy judgments. Ah, penetrate my soul with holy fear of them, that I may be kept always in awe, and avoid sin. Would that I could say with the penitent St. Jerome: “Whether I eat or drink, or whatever I do, I seem to hear the awful sound of the trumpet in my ears: `Arise ye dead, and come to judgment.”‘

December 1, 2017   No Comments

First Friday & First Saturday, Traditional Latin Mass Community: Mass Schedule for December 2017

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The Traditional Latin Mass will be offered on:

Friday, December 1st and Saturday, December 2nd at:

Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(215) 884-4022

Please join us at this beautiful historic church.  Mass will be offered in the Main Sanctuary.  Please note the time change for Saturday.

First Friday, December 1st:
Priest: Rev. Harold B. McKale (Parish Vicar, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church);
Location:  Church of the Immaculate Conception
Time: 7:00 p.m., preceded by Confessions at 6:30 p.m.

This Traditional Latin Mass will be the Mass of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, offered in Reparation to The Sacred Heart of Jesus.  (White Vestments)

First Saturday, December 2nd:
Priest: Rev. Harold B. McKale (Parish Vicar, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church)
Location:   Church of the Immaculate Conception
Time: 9:00 a.m., preceded by Confessions at 8:30 a.m.
This Traditional Latin Mass  will be the the Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with a Commemoration of St. Bibiana, offered in Reparation to The Immaculate Heart of Mary.  (White Vestments)


November 30, 2017   No Comments

Catholics and non-Catholics Receive Communion Together in “Ecumenical Mass” Promoted by Turin Archdiocese

We are posting this article insofar as it appears that it could be analogous to the words of Our Lord in this Sunday’s Gospel: ‘When you see the abomination of desolation…standing in the holy place.”

ecumenical mass

The group “Spezzare il pane” (“Breaking the Bread”) in the archdiocese of Turin, Italy, has officially started with the celebration of “ecumenical masses” where Holy Communion is distributed to Catholics and non-Catholics.

The group is headed by Catholic priest Father Fredo Oliviero, an apologist for illegal immigration, who has the support of his archbishop, Monsignor Cesare Nosiglia. The practice of the group to distribute Holy Communion to non-Catholics, is openly promoted in the newspaper of the Turin Archdiocese “La Voce e il Tempo”.

Among the members of the group are “Catholics”, Anglicans, Baptists, Waldensians and Lutherans. They gather once a month in one of their churches, where they celebrate a “Eucharist” according to the respective denomination, distributing “Communion” to everybody.

It is now customary that once a month, the group meets in a Catholic, Lutheran, Waldensian, or Baptist church to share the “Eucharist”, partaking in worship or Mass – officiated according to the liturgy of the host church.  According Fr. Fredo, the ecumenical ceremony replaces “in the foreground the identity of Christians with respect to belonging to a specific Church.”  He likewise said that the practice is spreading in other cities in Italy as well.

The Catholic Church teaches that non-Catholics may not receive Communion because they do not share our belief in the doctrine of Eucharistic transubstantiation. According to transubstantiation, the bread and wine are actually transformed into the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, with only the appearances of bread and wine remaining.

These developments, indeed, seem to be a corroboration of the various reputable prophecies in recent times that predict the rise of a false church in the end times, just prior to the return of Jesus Christ. This false church, according to prophecy,  will promote a false “ecumenical mass” that will deny the real presence of Jesus.  These prophecies are likewise supported by the testimony of the late Gabriel Amorth, former chief exorcist of Rome, who said that Padre Pio told him that the third secret of Fatima refers to a false church that will rise in the end times.

Not Required to Have a “Single Thought” on the Eucharist

In an article written by Breaking Bread Founder Fr. Fredo Olivero last May in Turin Archdiocese’s official newspaper and website, he said that attendees to the “Ecumenical Mass” are not required to have a “single thought” on the Eucharist: “It is not required, in order to live together this event, to adhere to a ‘single thought’ on the Eucharist, but rather to respect everyone for the thought of each.”

He also likewise cast doubt on the Doctrine of Transubstantiation of the Catholic Church, saying: “Neither Jesus nor Paul explained the ‘how’ of this presence [in the Eucharist], why then should we do it?”

Eucharistic “interpretations” not part of the Gospel?

Aside from support from his bishop, Fr. Fredo likewise claims that Pope Francis supports this concept of an “Ecumenical Mass”.  In the same article in the Turin Archdiocesan newspaper, Fr. Fredo recalls the visit of Pope Francis on June 22, 2015 to Turin Italy.  Pope Francis then became the first pope in history to visit a Waldensian evangelical church, and in that trip, asked Waldensian Christians for forgiveness for their past “persecution” from the Catholic Church.

Fr. Fredo recalls that on the occasion of that papal visit, Pope Francis did not refute or deny the point of view raised by the moderator, Eugenio Bernardini, who pointed out that the various “interpretations” on the Eucharist were not part of the Gospel.  Fr. Fredo quotes Bernardini, who then said in the presence of the Pope and Waldensian ministers and Christians:

Among the things we have in common are the words that Jesus gave on the occasion of the last supper, “I  am the bread… and the wine.”  The interpretations of those words are different between the churches and within each of them. But what unites the Christians gathered around the table of Jesus are the bread and wine that He offers us and His words, not our interpretations that are not part of the Gospel.

He said that unlike previous pontiffs who had “solved the question [on the Eucharistic presence] precisely”, Pope Francis admitted that could not solve the Eucharistic question precisely himself, because he was moving the Church from an authoritarian decision-making model, to a more “synodal” model.

Pope Francis Says to Lutheran Woman to “Go Forward” and Receive Communion

Fr. Fredo likewise recalled the answer given by Pope Francis to a question posed to him by a Lutheran lady during his visit to a Lutheran church in Rome on November 15, 2015. During the question-and-answer session after a joint prayer service with Lutherans, Anke de Bernardinis told Pope Francis that she was married to a Catholic and that she and her husband share many “joys and sorrows” in life, but not Communion at church. “What can we do on this point to finally attain Communion?” she asked.

The Pope responded by saying to the Lutheran woman to “talk to the Lord and then go forward”, suggesting that she could receive Communion in the Catholic Church:

To your question, I can only respond with a question: What can I do with my husband, so that the Lord’s Supper accompanies me on my path? It is a problem that everyone has to answer, but a pastor-friend once told me: “We believe that the Lord is present there, he is present. You all believe that the Lord is present. And so what’s the difference?”—“Eh, there are explanations, interpretations.” Life is bigger than explanations and interpretations.

Always refer back to baptism. “One faith, one baptism, one Lord.” This is what Paul tells us, and from there take the consequences.

I would never dare to give permission for this, because it’s not my jurisdiction. “One baptism, one Lord, one faith.” Talk to the Lord and then go forward. I don’t dare to say anything more.

by Paul Simeon, Veritas

November 25, 2017   No Comments

Last Sunday After Pentecost

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Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s
The Church’s Year

The Introit of the Mass is the same as that said on the twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost.

COLLECT: Quicken, we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, the wills of Thy faithful: that they, more earnestly seeking after the fruit of divine grace, may more abundantly receive the healing gifts of Thy mercy. Thro’.

EPISTLE: (Col. I. 9—14.) Brethren, We cease not to pray for you, and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of the will of God, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding: that you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God: strengthened with all might according to the; power of his glory, in all patience and long-suffering with joy, giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, in whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins.

EXPLANATION: In this epistle St. Paul teaches us to pray for our neighbor, and to thank God especially for the light of the true, only saving faith. Let us endeavor to imitate St. Paul in his love and zeal for the salvation of souls, then we shall also one day partake of his glorious reward in heaven.

GOSPEL: (Matt. XXIV. 15—35.) At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: When you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth, let him understand: then they that are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains: and he that is on the house-top, let him not come down to take anything out of his house: and he that is in the field, let him not go back to take his coat. And woe to them that are with child, and that give suck, in those days. But pray that your flight be not in the winter, or on the Sabbath. For there shall be then great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be: and unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved: but for the sake of the elect, those days shall be shortened. Then, if any man shall say to you: Lo, here is Christ, or there: do not believe him: for there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Behold, I have told it to you before hand: if therefore they shall say to you: Behold, he is in the desert, go ye not out; Behold, he is in the closets, believe it not. For as lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth even into the west, so shall also the coming- of the Son of man be. Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered together. And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be moved: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty: and he shall send his an­gels with a trumpet and a great voice, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the farthest parts of the heavens to the utmost bounds of them. And from the fig-tree learn a parable: when the branch thereof is now tender, and the leaves come forth, you know that summer is nigh. So you also, when you shall see all these things, know ye that it is nigh, even at the doors. Amen I say to you, that this generation shall not pass till all these things be done. Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass.

EXPLANATION: When you shall see the abomination of desolation. The abomination of desolation of which Daniel (IX. 27.) and Christ here speak, is the desecration of the temple and the city of Jerusalem by the rebellious Jews by perpetrating the most abominable vices, injustices and robberies, &c., but principally by the pagan Romans by putting up their idols. This destruction which was accomplished in the most fearful manner about forty years after the death of Christ, was foretold by Him according to the testimony of St. Luke. (XXI. 20.) At the same time He speaks of the end of the world and of His coming to judgment, of which the desolation of Jerusalem was a figure.

Pray that your flight be not in the winter or on the Sabbath. Because, as St. Jerome says, the severe cold which reigns in the deserts and mountains would pre­vent the people from going thither to seek security, and because it was forbidden by the law for the Jews to travel on the Sabbath.

There shall rise false Christs and false prophets. According to the testimony of the Jewish historian Josephus, who was an eyewitness of the destruction of Jerusalem, Eleazar, John, Simon, &c., were such false prophets who under the pretence of helping the Jews, brought them into still greater misfortunes; before the end of the world it will be Antichrist with his followers, whom St. Paul calls the man of sin and the son of perdition, (II Thess. II. 3.) on account of his diabolical malice and cruelty. He will rise up, sit in the temple, proclaim himself God, and kill all who will not recognize him as such. His splendor, his promises and his false miracles will be such that even the holy and just will be in danger of being seduced, but for their sake God will shorten these days of persecution.

Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered together. That is, where the wicked are, who have aimed at spiritual corruption, there punishment will overtake and destroy them.

This generation shall not pass till all these things be done. By these words Christ defines the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, and says that many of His hearers would live to see it, which also happened. But when the end of the world will come, He says, not even the angels in heaven know. (Matt. XXIV. 36.) Let us endeavor to be always ready by leading a holy life, for the coming of the divine Judge, and meditate often on the words of our di­vine Lord: Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass.

(See the account of the Destruction of Jerusalem on the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost.)

PRAYER: Remove from us, O Lord, all that is calculated to rob us of Thy love. Break the bonds with which we are tied to the world, that we may not be lost with it. Give us the wings of eagles that we may soar above all worldly things by the contemplation of Thy sufferings, life and death, that we may hasten towards Thee now, and gather about Thee, that we may not become a prey to the rapacious enemy on the day of judgment. Amen.

Amen, I say to you. (Matt. XXIV. 34.)

The Son of God here, and elsewhere in the gospel, con­firms His word by an oath, as it were, for swearing is nothing else than to call upon God, His divine veracity, His justice, or upon His creatures in the name of God, as witness of the truth of our words. — Is swearing, then, lawful, and when? — It is lawful when justice or necessity or an important advantage requires it, and the cause is true and equitable. (Jer. IV. 2.) Those sin grievously, there­fore, who swear to that which is false and unjust, because they call upon God as witness of falsehood and injustice, by which His eternal truthfulness and justice is desecrated; those sin who swear in a truthful cause without necessity and sufficient reason, because it is disrespectful to call upon God as witness for every trivial thing. In like manner, those sin grievously and constantly who are so accustomed to swearing as to break out into oaths, without knowing or considering whether the thing is true or false, whether they will keep their promise or not, or even if they will be able to keep it; such expose themselves to the danger of swearing falsely. “There is no one,” says St. Chrysostom, “who swears often, who does not sometimes swear falsely, just as he who speaks much, sometimes says unbecoming and false things.” Therefore Christ tells those who seek perfection, not to swear at all, (Matt. V. 34.) that they might not fall into the habit of swearing and from that into perjury. He who has the habit of swearing should, therefore, take the greatest pains to eradicate it; to accomplish which it will be very useful to reflect that if we have to render an account for every idle word we speak, (Matt. XII. 36.) how much more strictly will we be judged for unnecessary false oaths! God’s curse accompanies him who commits perjury, in all his ways, as proved by daily experience. He who commits perjury in court, robs himself of the merits of Christ’s death and will be consumed in the fire of hell, which is represented by the crucifix and burning tapers, in presence of which the oath (in some places) is taken. If you have had the misfortune to be guilty of perjury, at once be truly sorry, weep for this terrible sin which you have committed, frankly confess it, repair the injury you may have caused by it, and chastise yourself for it by rigorous penance.

November 24, 2017   No Comments

Cathedral Basilica Adds Solemn Novus Ordo With Latin Propers and Ordinary

Offical Announcement From:

Traditional Latin Mass in Philadelphia


Solemn Mass with Latin Propers and Ordinary (Novus Ordo), on the first Sunday of the month, at 11:00 a.m.,at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from September through June, with the Cathedral Choir.


November 21, 2017   No Comments

Twenty-fourth Sunday After Pentecost

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Fr. Leonard Goffine
The Church’s Year

[For the Introit of this day see the Introit in the Mass of the fifth Sunday after Epiphany]

On this Sunday mention is made of the practice of Christian virtues, and of God’s sufferance of the wicked upon earth, that by them the just may be exercised in patience.

COLLECT Keep, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy household by Thy continual mercy; that as it leans only upon the hope of Thy heavenly grace, so it may ever be defended by Thy protection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

EPISTLE (Col. III. 12-17.) Brethren, put ye on, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another; even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so you also. But above all these things, have charity, which is the bond of perfection: and let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another, in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God. All whatsoever you do in word or in work, all things, do ye in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Why does St. Paul call charity the bond of perfection?

Because charity comprises in itself and links all the virtues in which perfection consists. For whoever truly loves God and his neighbor, is also good, merciful, humble, modest, patiently bears the weakness of his neighbor, willingly forgives offences, in a word, practices all virtues for the sake of charity.

When does the peace of God rejoice in our hearts?

When we have learned to conquer our evil inclinations, passions, and desires, and have placed order and quiet in our hearts instead. This peace then, like a queen, keeps all the wishes of the soul in harmony, and causes us to enjoy constant peace with our neighbor, and thus serve Christ in concord, as the members of one body serve the head. The best means of preserving this peace are earnest attention to the word of God, mutual imparting of pious exhortations and admonitions, and by singing hymns, psalms, and spiritual canticles.

Why should we do all in the name of Jesus?

Because only then can our works have real worth in the sight of God, and be pleasing to Him, when they are performed for love of Jesus, in His honor, in accordance with His spirit and will. Therefore the apostle admonishes us to do all things, eat, drink, sleep, work &c. in the name of Jesus, and so honor God, the Heavenly Father, and show our gratitude to Him. Oh, how grieved will they be on their death-bed who have neglected to offer God their daily work by a good intention, then they will see, when too late, how deficient they are in meritorious deeds. On the contrary they will rejoice whose consciences testify, that in all their actions they had in view only the will and the honor of God! Would that this might be taken to heart especially by those who have to earn their bread with difficulty and in distress, that they might always unite their hardships and trials with the sufferings and merits of Jesus, offering them to the Heavenly Father, and thus imitating Christ who had no other motive than the will and the glory of His Heavenly Father.

ASPIRATION O God of love, of patience, and of mercy, turn our hearts to the sincere love of our neighbor, and grant, that whatever we do in thoughts, words and actions, we may do in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and through Him render thanks to Thee.


“Admonish one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing in grade in your hearts to God.” (Col. III. 16.)

The custom of singing in the Church-choir* has its foundation as far back as the Old Testament, when by the arrangement of David, Solomon, and Ezechias, the psalms and other sacred canticles were sung by the priests and Levites. This custom the Catholic Church has retained, according to the precepts of the apostles, (I. Cor. XIV. 26; Eph. V. 19.) and the example of Jesus who, after they had eaten the Pasch, intoned a hymn of praise with His apostles, Matt XXVI. 30) that Christians on earth, like the angels and saints in heaven, (Apoc. V. 8. 9., XIV. 3.) who unceasingly sing His praises, might at certain hours of the day, at least, give praise and thanks to God. In the earliest ages of the Church, the Christians sang hymns of praise and thanksgiving during the holy Sacrifice and other devotional services, often continuing them throughout the whole night; in which case the choir-singers probably were bound to keep the singing in proper order and agreement. In the course of time this custom of all the faithful present singing together ceased in many churches, and became confined to the choir, which was accompanied later by instruments in accordance with the words of David who calls to the praise of the Lord with trumpets, with timbrels, with pleasant psaltery and harps. (Ps, CL. 3, 4., LXXX. 3. 4.) In many churches, where the faithful still sing in concert, if done with pure hearts and true devotion, it is as St. Basil says, “a heavenly occupation, a spiritual burnt offering; it enlightens the spirit, raises it towards heaven, leads man to communion with God, makes the soul rejoice, ends idle talk, puts away laughter, reminds us of the judgment, reconciles enemies. Where the singing of songs resounds’ from the contrite heart there God with the angels is present.”

*The choir is usually a gallery in the Church in which the singers are stationed; the place where the clergy sing or recite their office, is also called the choir.

GOSPEL (Matt. XIII. 24-30,) At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to the multitudes: The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seed in his field. But while men were asleep, his enemy came, and oversowed cockle among the wheat, and went his way. And when the blade was sprung up, and had brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle. And the servants of the good man of the house coming, said to him: Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? whence, then, hath it cockle? And he said to them: An enemy bath done this. And the servants said to him: Wilt thou that we go and gather it up? And he said: No, lest perhaps, gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it. Suffer both to grow until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers: Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn, but the wheat gather ye into my barn.

What is understood by the kingdom of heaven ?

The Church of God, or the collection of all orthodox Christians on earth, destined for heaven.

What is meant by the good seed, and by the cockle?

The good seed, as Christ Himself says, (Matt. XIII. 38.) signifies the children of the kingdom,
that is, the true Christians, the living members of the Church, who being converted by the word of God sown into their hearts become children of God, and bring forth the fruit of good works. The cockle means the children of iniquity, of the devil, that is, those who do evil; also every wrong, false doctrine which leads men to evil.

Who sows the good seed, and by the cockle?

The good seed is sown by Jesus, the Son of Man not only directly, but through His apostles, and the priests, their successors; the evil seed is sown by the devil, or by wicked men whom he uses as his tools.

Who are the men who were asleep?

Those superiors in the Church; those bishops and pastors who take no care of their flock, and do not warn them against seduction, when the devil comes and by wicked men sows the cockle of erroneous doctrine and of crime; and those men who are careless and neglect to hear the word of God and the sacrifice of the Mass, who neglect to pray, and do not receive the Sacraments. In the souls of such the devil sows the seeds of bad thoughts, evil imaginations and desires, from which spring, later, the cockle of pride, impurity, anger, envy, avarice, etc.

Why does not God allow the cockle, that is, the wicked people, to be rooted out and destroyed?

Because of His patience and long suffering towards the sinner to whom He gives time for repentance, and because of His love for the just from whom He would not, by weeding out the unjust, take away the occasion of practicing virtue and gathering up merits for themselves; for because of the unjust, the just have numerous opportunities to exercise patience, humility, etc.

When is the time of the harvest?

The day of the last judgment when the reapers, that is, the angels, will go out and separate the wicked from the just, and throw the wicked into the fiery furnace; while the just will be taken into everlasting joy. (Matt. XIII. 29.)

PRAYER O faithful Jesus, Thou great lover of our souls, who hast sown the good seed of Thy Divine Word in our hearts, grant that it may be productive, and bear in us fruit for eternal life; protect us from our evil enemy, that he may not sow his erroneous and false doctrine in our hearts, and corrupt the good; preserve us from the sleep of sin, and sloth that we may remain always vigilant and armed against the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, overcome them manfully, and die a happy death. Amen.


Whence then hath it cockle? (Matt. XIII. 27.)

Whence comes the inclination to evil in man?

It is the sad consequence of original sin, that is, of that sin which our first parents, by their disobedience, committed in paradise, and which we as their descendants have inherited. This inclination to evil remains even in those who have been baptized, although original sin with its guilt and eternal punishment is taken away in baptism, but it is no sin so long as man does not voluntarily yield. (Cat. Rom. Part. II. 2. .43.)
Why, the sin being removed, does the inclination remain?

To humble us that we may know our frailty and misery, and have recourse to God, our best and most powerful Father, as did St. Paul, when he was much annoyed by the devil of the flesh; (II. Cor. XII. 7. 8.) that the glory of God and the power of Christ should be manifested in us, which except for our weakness could not be; that we might have occasion to fight and to conquer. A soldier cannot battle without opposition, nor win victory and the crown without a contest. Nor can we win the heavenly crown, if no occasion is given us, by temptations, for fight and for victory. “That which tries the combatant,” says St. Bernard, “crowns the conqueror.” Finally, the inclination remains, that we may learn to endure, in all meekness, the faults and infirmities of others and to watch ourselves, lest we fall into the same temptations.

November 17, 2017   No Comments

A Tale of Two Collects, [“One can see this particular pair as emblematic of a shift from one understanding of Christianity to another.”]: Different Worldviews in Old and New Prayers

By Dr.

Every year, as we come to the feast of St. Albert the Great on November 15, I am struck again by the enormous difference in theology between the traditional Collect for his feast (as found in MR 1962) and the rewritten Collect published in the Missal of Paul VI. One can see this particular pair as emblematic of a shift from one understanding of Christianity to another.

The old collect, translated literally, reads thus:

O God, who didst make blessed Albert, Thy bishop and Doctor, great by his bringing human wisdom into captivity to divine faith: grant us, we beseech Thee, so to adhere to the footsteps of his magisterium, that we may enjoy perfect light in heaven.[1]

The new collect, as given in the current edition of the modern Roman Rite, reads:

O God, who made the Bishop Saint Albert great by his joining of human wisdom to divine faith, grant, we pray, that we may so adhere to the truths he taught, that through progress in learning, we may come to a deeper knowledge and love of you.[2]

In the former prayer, God makes Albert great because he brought human wisdom into captivity to divine faith (in humana sapientia divinae fidei subjicienda). The prayer echoes St. Paul writing to the Corinthians about the destruction of worldly wisdom: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to God unto the pulling down of fortifications, destroying counsels, and every height that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:4–5). It is also reminiscent of the verse from the Psalms: “Thou didst ascend the high mount, leading captives in thy train, and receiving gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell there” (Psa 67:19 [68:18]).

The perspective is not that human wisdom is bad, but that it is likely to be rebellious if not subordinated to divine faith, and that it will “come into its own” when the pride with which it is pursued is crushed and the knowledge is made, to so speak, obedient unto death, as was Christ in His humanity. There has to be a certain mortification and re-alignment of human wisdom if it is to be in harmony with the ineffable mysteries of God and a tool of sanctification. This is why the collect concludes on a note of ascension, with the enjoyment of perfect light in heaven: that is where the very font of truth and all wisdom is perfectly found, and it must be the measure of all we do in this earthly pilgrimage. We ask to be guided by Albert’s teaching because “our conversation is in heaven” (Phil 3:20). We cannot seek earthly knowledge for its own sake: “If you be risen with Christ, seek the things that are above” (Col 3:1). In this collect, the notes of asceticism and mysticism are strongly sounded.

In the latter prayer, however, all of these elements have been deliberately muted. Here, God is said to have made Albert great because he joined human wisdom to divine faith (componenda). The two are placed parallel to each other, as if two links in a chain, or two peas in a pod, or two doughty comrades in arms. No hierarchy, no dependency, no subordination is expressed; no mistrust of wayward human thought, no necessity of bringing the worldly into subjection to the heavenly, no implicit asceticism. Here, reason is not governed by faith and destined to a goal beyond itself, but the two are like Church and State according to modern liberalism.

Not surprisingly, what we are said to gain through adhering to the truths he taught is not the ascetical-mystical ascent to heavenly light which casts all earthly knowledge into the right (finite) perspective, but “a deeper knowledge and love of you”—the kind of inspiring sentiment one will find on the higher-priced Hallmark cards. Shifting the focus away from Albertus Magnus as a great philosopher and theologian of the conquest of knowledge for celestial beatitude, the prayer turns platitudinous by invoking “love” in the pairing “knowledge and love.” No one would doubt that a canonized saint lived a life of heroic charity; but that is generic and beside the point when commemorating this particular saint. What he exemplifies in the Mystical Body is exactly what the old prayer conveyed and the new one nearly contradicts.

To underline the this-worldliness of the paradigm at play, we note that the means suggested to us for arriving at this deeper knowledge and love is none other than — you guessed it! — “progress in learning” (scientiarum progressus). Homage is thus paid to the modern ideal par excellence, that of Progress, which we might interpret as evolution, the leitmotif of all modern thought. Might this be the progress by which we modern Christians have learned to set aside the sixth commandment, which we now understand to be more than ordinary people can reasonably bear? Or the progress by which we have become so superior to our bloodthirsty ancestors that we must give an utterly novel interpretation to the fifth commandment?

The contrast between the two collects is extremely telling. It tells of a deliberate shift from a hierarchical worldview rooted in faith and aspiring to the beatific vision, to a humanistic worldview of scientific progress through diverse “sources” of knowledge that is meant, in an unspecified way, to deepen our knowledge and love of God.

As Lauren Pristas and others have shown, this shift in attitude towards or evaluation of worldly realities is programmatically present in the heavily-redacted Collects of the Missal of Paul VI when compared with their predecessors in the Missal of the usus antiquior. The number of examples is vast; in order to limit myself, I have chosen to look at a one-month (!) period of the liturgical year, namely, September 18 to October 19. The biblical, patristic, and medieval Christian assessment of terrena or earthly things as we find it in the old collect of St. Albert appears again and again.

For the traditional feast of St. Joseph of Cupertino on September 18 — suppressed in the Novus Ordo calendar — the Church prays, with a lovely reference to the saint’s famous levitations:

O God, who hast ordained that Thine only-begotten Son when lifted up from the earth should draw all things to Himself: mercifully grant through the merits and example of Thy seraphic Confessor Joseph, that we may be lifted up above all earthly desires and be found worthy to come unto Him: Who liveth and reigneth…

Or, for St. Francis of Assisi on October 4:

O God, who, through the merits of blessed Francis, didst give increase to Thy Church by enriching her with new offspring: grant us that following his example we may despise earthly goods and ever be glad to partake of Thy heavenly gifts.[3]

(Here, for comparison’s sake, is how the new Collect for Francis reads: “O God, by whose gift Saint Francis was conformed to Christ in poverty and humility, grant that, by walking in Francis’ footsteps, we may follow your Son, and, through joyful charity, come to be united with you.”)

Or, for the commemoration on October 9 of the martyrs SS. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius — likewise suppressed on the new calendar:

O God, who this day didst strengthen blessed Denis Thy martyr and Bishop with fortitude in suffering, and didst associate Rusticus and Eleutherius with him in preaching Thy glory to the heathen: grant, we beseech Thee, that following their example we may for love of Thee despise worldly success and may not fear worldly misfortune [pro amore tuo prospera mundi despicere, et nulla ejus adversa formidare].

On October 10, the feast of St. Francis Borgia, also suppressed in the Novus Ordo, the traditional liturgy prays:

O Lord Jesus Christ, who art the model of true humility and its reward: we beseech Thee, that as blessed Francis took Thee as model in contemning worldly honors and Thou hast glorified him, so Thou wouldst associate us with him both in the contempt and in the glory: Who livest and reignest…

On October 16, the feast of St. Hedwig — a saint who miraculously stayed on the modern calendar — we find this potent Collect in the usus antiquior:

O God, who didst teach blessed Hedwig to renounce the pomps of this world, that, with her whole heart, she might follow the humble way of Thy cross: grant that, through her merits and example, we may learn to trample under foot the perishable delights of this world, and by cleaving to Thy cross, surmount all obstacles: Who livest and reignest…

(The new missal’s collect for St. Hedwig is thin gruel: “Grant, we pray, almighty God, that the revered intercession of Saint Hedwig may bring us heavenly aid, just as her wonderful life is an example of humility for all.”)

The special postcommunion for St. Margaret Mary Alacoque’s feast in the usus antiquior (October 17) includes the petition: “make us renounce the proud vanities of the world.” Nothing like this is found in the new Missal. (In fact, the word “vanity” or “vanities” never appears in the current altar missal.)

The old collect for St. Luke (October 18) focuses on mortification:

Let holy Luke, Thine Evangelist, we beseech Thee, O Lord, intercede for us, who for the glory of Thy name ever bore in his body the mortification of the Cross.

The new collect, although more customized to St. Luke,[3] drops all reference to asceticism, in keeping with the prevailing bias Pristas and others have documented.

Lastly, on October 19, in celebrating the triumph of St. Peter of Alcantara (also removed from the new calendar), the Church in her traditional liturgy prays:

O God, who didst vouchsafe to ennoble blessed Peter, Thy Confessor, by gifts of marvellous penance and highest contemplation: grant, we beseech Thee, that by his merits pleading for us, we may so mortify the flesh as the more easily to take hold of the things of heaven.

All of the above, mind you, are Collects from a one-month period, namely, September 18 to October 19. Do we detect a pattern? Yes, without a doubt. The dogmatic and disciplinary freight of the lex orandi is unmistakable. The liturgy is asking the Lord for a specific attitude of contemptus mundi, which St. Albert all the more impressively illustrates precisely because he is a scholar, author, scientist, naturalist, and man of affairs who has nevertheless held firm to the primacy of the kingdom of heaven. Century after century, collect after collect, the liturgy lucidly expressed and tirelessly inculcated this lofty vision of man’s vocation, the finality of the celestial fatherland, and the relativity of earthly affairs — until the 1960s, when Progress built a home for itself in a Church that had once anathematized the statement: “The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism, and modern civilization.”[4]

“How’s that dangerous liaison with Progress been working out for you?,” asks Historical Consciousness.

St. Albert the Great — great because you subordinated the human to the divine, the temporal to the eternal, the natural to the supernatural, the secular to the sacred, the earthly to the heavenly — pray for us, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


[1] Deus, qui beatum Albertum Pontificem tuum atque Doctorem, in humana sapientia divinae fidei subjicienda magnum effecisti: da nobis, quaesumus, ita ejus magisterii inhaerere vestigiis, ut luce perfecta fruamur in coelis.
[2] Deus, qui beátum Albértum epíscopum in humána sapiéntia cum divína fide componénda magnum effecísti, da nobis, quǽsumus, ita eius magistérii inhærére doctrínis, ut per scientiárum progréssus ad profundiórem tui cognitiónem et amórem perveniámus.
[3] Lord God, who chose Saint Luke to reveal by his preaching and writings the mystery of your love for the poor, grant that those who already glory in your name may persevere as one heart and one soul and that all nations may merit to see your salvation.
[4] Pope Pius IX, Syllabus of Errors, n. 80, promulgated with the encyclical Quanta Cura on December 8, 1864.

Photos courtesy of Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

November 14, 2017   No Comments