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Gaudete Sunday: Third Sunday of Advent

By Fr. Leonard Goffine
The Church’s Year

On this Sunday again, the Church calls on us to rejoice in the Advent of the Redeemer, and at the Introit sings:

INTROIT Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: for the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous; but in every thing by prayer let your requests be made known to God (Phil. 4). Lord, thou hast blessed thy land; thou bast turned away the captivity of Jacob (Ps. 84). Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT Incline Thine ear, O Lord, we beseech Thee, unto our prayers: and enlighten the darkness of our mind by the grace of thy visitation. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE (Phil. 4:4-7). Brethren, rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous; but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What is meant by “rejoicing in the Lord”?

By “rejoicing in the Lord” is meant rejoicing in the grace of the true faith we have received, in the hope of obtaining eternal happiness; rejoicing in the protection of the most High under which we stand; and in the persecution for justice’s sake in which Christ Himself exhorts us to rejoice, and in which the Apostle Paul gloried (II Cor. 7:4).

What else does St. Paul teach in this epistle?

He exhorts us to give all a good example by a modest and edifying life, to which we should be directed by the remembrance of God’s presence and His coming to judgment (Chrysostom. 33, in Joann.); he warns us against solicitude about temporal affairs, advising us to cast our care on God, who will never abandon us in our needs, if we entreat Him with confidence and humility.

In what does “the Peace of God” consist?

It consists in a good conscience (Ambrose), in which St. Paul gloried and rejoiced beyond measure (II Cor. 1:12). This peace of the soul sustained all the martyrs, and consoled many others who suffered for justice’s sake. Thus St. Tibertius said to the tyrant: “We count all pain as naught, for our conscience is at peace.” There cannot be imagined a greater joy than that which proceeds from the peace of a good conscience. It must be experienced to be understood.

ASPIRATION The peace of God, that surpasseth all understanding, preserve our hearts in Christ Jesus. Amen.


“Is any one troubled, let him pray” (Jas. 5:13).

There is no greater or more powerful comfort in sorrow than in humble and confiding prayer, to complain to God of our wants and cares, as did the sorrowful Anna, mother of the prophet Samuel, (I Kings 10) and the chaste Susanna when she was falsely accused of adultery and sentenced to death (Dan. 13:35). So the pious King Ezechias complained in prayer of the severe oppression with which he was threatened by Senacherib (IV Kings 19:14). So also King Josaphat made his trouble known to God only, saying: But as we know not what to do, we can only turn our eyes on Thee (11 Para. 20:12). They all received aid and comfort from God. Are you sad and in trouble? Lift up your soul with David and say: To Thee I have lifted up my eyes, who dwellest in heaven. Behold as the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters, as the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress: so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until He shall have mercy on us (Ps. 122:1-3). Give joy to the soul of Thy servant, for to Thee, O Lord, I have lifted up my soul (Ps. 85:4).

GOSPEL (Jn. 1:19-28). At that time the Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and Levites to John, to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and did not deny; and he confessed: I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he said: I am not. Art thou the prophet? And he answered, No. They said therefore unto him, Who art thou, that we may give an answer to them that sent us? what sayst thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaias. And they that were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said to him: Why then dost thou baptize, if thou be not Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet? John answered them, saying: I baptize with water: but there hath stood one in the midst of you, whom you know not: the same is he that shall come after me, who is preferred before me, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose. These things were done in Bethania beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Why did the Jews send messengers to St. John to ask him who he was?

Partly because of their curiosity, when they saw St. John leading such a pure, angelic and penitential life; partly, as St. Chrysostom says, out of envy, because St. John preached with such spiritual force, baptized and exhorted the people to penance, that the inhabitants of Jerusalem came to him in great numbers; partly, and principally, they were impelled by the providence of God to demand publicly of St. John, if he were the Messiah, and thus be directed to Christ that they might be compelled to acknowledge Him as the Messiah, or have no excuse for rejecting Him.

Why did the Jews ask St. John, if he were not Elias or the prophet?

The Jews falsely believed that the Redeemer was to come into this world but once, then with great glory, and that Elias or one of the old prophets would come before Him, to prepare His way, as Malachias (4:5) had prophesied of St. John; so when St. John said of himself that he was not the Messiah, they asked him, if he were not then Elias or one of the prophets. But Elias, who was taken alive from this world in a fiery chariot, will not reappear until just before the second coming of Christ.

Why did St. John say, he was not Elias or the Prophet?

Because he was not Elias, and, in reality, not a prophet in the Jewish sense of the word, but more than a prophet, because he announced that Christ had come, and pointed Him out.

Why does St. John call himself “the voice of one crying in the wilderness”?

Because in his humility, he desired to acknowledge that he was only an instrument through which the Redeemer announced to the abandoned and hopeless Jews the consolation of the Messiah, exhorting them to bear worthy fruits of penance.

How do we bear worthy fruits of penance?

We bear fruits of penance, when after our conversion, we serve God and justice with the same zeal with which we previously served the devil and iniquity; when we love God as fervently as we once loved the flesh-that is, the desires of the flesh-and the pleasures of the world; when we give our members to justice as we once gave them to malice and impurity (Rom. 6:19), when the mouth that formerly uttered improprieties, when the ears that listened to detraction or evil speech, when the eyes that looked curiously upon improper objects, now rejoice in the utterance of words pleasing to God, to hear and to see things dear to Him; when the appetite that was given to the luxury of eating and drinking, now abstains; when the hands give back what they have stolen; in a word, when we put off the old man, who was corrupted, and put on the new man, who is created in justice and holiness of truth (Eph. 4:22-24).

What was the baptism administered by St. John, and what were its effects?

The baptism administered by John was only a baptism of penance for forgiveness of sins (Lk. 3:3). The ignorant Jews not considering the greatness of their transgressions, St. John came exhorting them to acknowledge their sins, and do penance for them; that being converted, and truly contrite, they might seek their Redeemer, and thus obtain remission of their offences. We must then conclude, that St. John’s baptism was only a ceremony or initiation, by which the Jews enrolled themselves as his disciples to do penance, as a preparation for the remission of sin by means of the second baptism, viz., of Jesus Christ.

What else can be learned from this gospel?

We learn from it to be always sincere, especially at the tribunal of penance, and to practice the necessary virtue of humility, by which, in reply to the questions of the Jews, St. John confessed the truth openly and without reserve, as shown by the words: The latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose, as the lowest of Christ’s servants, giving us an example of humility and sincerity, which should induce us always to speak the truth, and not only not to seek honor, but to give to God all the honor shown us by man. Have you not far more reason than John, who was such a great saint, to esteem yourself but little, and to humble yourself before God and man? “My son,” says Tobias (4:14), “never suffer pride to reign in thy mind, or in thy words: for from it all perdition took its beginning.”

ASPIRATION O Lord, banish from my heart all envy, jealousy and pride. Grant me instead, to know myself and Thee, that by the knowledge of my nothingness, misery and vices, I may always remain unworthy in my own eyes, and that by the contemplation of Thy infinite perfections, I may seek to prize Thee above all, to love and to glorify Thee, and practice charity towards my neighbor. Amen.

December 14, 2018   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, 2018   No Comments

Advent Calendar: Friday in the First Week

/ Dec 07, 2018 07:00 am / Posted by Angelus Press /

December 7th

“The Son of Man is come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will render to everyone according to his conduct” – (Mt. 16:27)

If we wish for justice from God no one will be saved. Thus we immediately ask for mercy for ourselves and for others. “Thou hast absolved Mary Magdalene, and heard the prayer of the good thief, give hope also to me. My prayers are not worthy. But Thou who art good, I beg Thee, do not allow me to burn in eternal fire.” – Sequence Dies Irae from the Requiem Mass.

We cannot ask for forgiveness unless we forgive freely all those who have harmed us. God became man, was born in squalor and died on the cross. . .for us. But nothing was more glorious because He, the Infinite Godhead, did it out of love. I know my trials today will seem less important when compared with what He did and does do for me everyday.

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December 7, 2018   No Comments

Advent Calendar: Thursday of the First Week – The Boys in the Brine

“The heavens are the works of Thy hands. They shall perish, [my God,] but Thou remainest: and all of them shall grow old like a garment. And as a vesture Thou shalt change them, and they shall be changed.” – (Ps. 101: 26-27)

The Boys in the Brine – A St. Nicholas Story

Most people know about the tradition of St. Nicholas bringing gifts to the people of his village, but have you ever heard the story of “The Boys in the Brine?”

Once upon a time…there was an evil butcher who hated children. Three young boys who came in from a long day of playing in the fields asked the butcher for food and shelter. The butcher invited them inside and cruelly murdered them by chopping them into pieces and throwing them into a pickling barrel of brine…where they remained for 7 long years.

St. Nicholas, upon passing through the town came into the butcher’s cottage and asked for a meal. After offering the esteemed bishop certain of his choicest cuts of meat, St. Nicholas responded that he wanted what was inside the barrel which had been pickling for 7 years. The butcher, realizing that St. Nicholas knew his crime, attempted to flee away but St. Nicholas convinced him to stay and repent of his sin.

St. Nicholas, upon placing three fingers on the barrel and praying to God, the three boys rose out of the brine unharmed and were returned to their families.

Good bishop St. Nicholas, pray for the youth!

– by Jane Carver

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December 6, 2018   No Comments

Advent Calendar: Tuesday of the First Week – The Advent Wreath

“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.” – Gospel for Sunday (Lk. 21: 16-27)

My Advent wreath this year is rather humble, but that does not diminish the beautiful symbolism of this tradition. As a child, I watched in wonder over the weeks as the candles diminished one after the other – the candle from the first Sunday being shorter than all the rest! (which frustrated my desire for symmetry!) A frequent question of mine was, “When can we light the ‘pink’ candle?”

In my family, we only lit the candles of our advent wreath during the rosary. However, when I visited in Germany during Advent, instead of having candles of varying colors, all four candles were red and, from my observation, large and wide rather than tapered. This allowed for the candles to last much longer – and be lit during every meal, snack and coffee break with friends! This way we kept the spirit of Adventszeit throughout the day – and replaced red candles as necessary!

I hope that as these gentle lights increase one by one and bring more light to our home, that more and more light is brought into our souls as we await the coming of the light of the world.

– by Jane Carver

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December 4, 2018   No Comments

Advent Calendar: Monday in the First Week of Advent

Advent Calendar: Monday in the First Week of Advent

/ Dec 03, 2018 05:30 pm / Posted by Angelus Press /

December 3rd

So it begins. The first Monday of Advent.

“There shall be signs in the sun and the moon and the stars; and upon the earth the distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves; men wither away from fear and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world” Gospel for Sunday ( Luke. 21:25)

Yesterday, for Sunday’s Gospel, Christ spoke to His apostles of His own coming and gave the analogy of the fig tree saying, “when they now shoot forth their fruit you know that summer is nigh” (Luke. 21:25) He was showing them that, if they had been observing the signs they would know that this time had been foretold, and that He was the Messiah. The message for us, as Catholics, is as strong for us today as it was when it was first told by Christ to the apostles but heightened when compared the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah today. Today is one of the days that the Jews celebrate the restoration of the temple after the Maccabean uprising.

The Jews celebrate its restoration because the temple was the closest that they ever came to God. It was in that very temple that the prophecies of the Messiah’s coming were sung for centuries and yet, when He came how many failed to recognize Him? How many still do not see the fulfillment of the scriptures 2000 years later? Today should serve as a humbling reminder to us Catholics. Would we have recognized Christ? Are we preparing now to welcome Him when He arrives on Christmas?

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December 4, 2018   No Comments

3 Upcoming TLM’s

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Sung Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite for Advent

Holy Martyrs Catholic Church
120 Allison Road
Oreland, Pennsylvania
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
7:00 p.m.

Ferial Mass for the First Sunday of Advent


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Sung Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite
for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia
December 12, 2018, 7:00 p.m.


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Rorate Mass
Saturday, December 15,  6:30 a.m.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Doylestown

December 4, 2018   No Comments

‘Preach the faith, but preach it fully’

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‘Preach the faith, but preach it fully’: an interview with Bishop Fellay

The former SSPX leader on youth ministry, his encounters with Pope Francis and why the Old Mass is enjoying a revival

With his high forehead, cleft chin and old-world manners, Bishop Bernard Fellay has a definite aura. At Angelus Press’s annual Conference on Catholic Tradition in October, I watched as laymen, priests and Religious approached him, hoping to kiss his ring. He offered his hand with neither condescension nor embarrassment (both of which are more usual with bishops today).

But he isn’t aloof, either, which is another common episcopal vice. I saw him offer his hand to a one-year-old; Fellay and the child’s mother looked surprised when the child, too, kissed his ring. He walked away, and she offered her own hand, but the baby wouldn’t kiss it. Every now and then, Bishop Fellay would glide back over and offer his hand; each time, the child kissed his ring the prelate gave the mother an amused and approving grin.

It was exactly three decades ago that Bishop Fellay was consecrated at Écône as a bishop by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, a leader of the Second Vatican Council’s conservative faction and the founder of the ultra-traditional Society of St Pius X (SSPX). From 1994 until this past July, Bishop Fellay served as the SSPX’s superior general.

I sat down with the bishop the day before Pope Francis canonised Pope Paul VI, who promulgated the post-Vatican II reforms which Lefebvre and his followers so strenuously opposed. “He was called ‘our Janus’ by John XXIII, and that’s what we see,” Bishop Fellay says of Paul. “We see good points, and we also see bad points.”

He doesn’t believe that the Vatican’s intention was to honour Paul VI himself. Rather, “the impression we have is that there is a need to canonise Vatican II. They canonise the pope who made the Council, because this Council is so different from the others. They can’t have it under the seal of infallibility by itself and so they try to find a way to secure it by these side actions.”

But despite his “canonising the council”, Bishop Fellay takes a kindly view of the Holy Father. He quotes Francis as saying to him: “Some people in the Church aren’t happy when I do good to you. I tell them, ‘Listen, I do good to Protestants. I do good to Anglicans. Why shouldn’t I do good to these Catholics?’ He read twice the biography of Archbishop Lefebvre, and after that he said to one of our priests, ‘You know, they have treated them badly’.”

Anyway, Bishop Fellay believes that Lefebvre’s work will continue to bear much fruit. “What he gave us is the treasure of the Church,” he says. Can he imagine Lefebvre being canonised, too? “I think one time it will come,” he replies. But “it’s useless to try to push that. We say, ‘God’s hour’, and you cannot play before.”

In any event, Lefebvre’s influence throughout the Church is already evident. Without him, the Old Mass would almost certainly have fallen into disuse. Today, diocesan priests who celebrate the Latin Mass can be found in every major city in America and Europe. Their parishes are full of big, young families. But does this not threaten the SSPX, whose raison d’être is to keep the old rites alive? Bishop Fellay doesn’t think so. “Fundamentally, we have the same spirit,” he assures me. “The attachment to the Mass of centuries is a guarantee of community – and, more than that, of being the Church. So, I rejoice every time a Tridentine Mass is celebrated anywhere in the world.”

But why exactly are young Catholics drawn to the old Mass? “At the risk of sounding a bit funny, it’s obvious why,” he says. “This Mass is the concentration of the Catholic spirit, of Catholic religion. This Mass is not just liturgy, because it is genuine liturgy. You’re nourished from beginning to end. It is the Catholic spirit in action. You are drawn into the adoration toward God. The first duty of man toward God is to worship Him, to adore him. And there you are! Now there, too, you’re put in your place: begging forgiveness for your weakness, your sins, and for His help. And, so, you have the whole of the Catholic faith.”

Still, he fears for those who aren’t nurtured by tradition. “There is a problem with the youth,” he says. “Why is it that the teaching Church is facing such an ignorance among their own children about the faith? That’s a major problem. If you want the youth to be motivated, they first must be convinced. They must be taught.

“Preach the faith, but preach it fully, integral – not half-ways,” he urges his fellow priests. “There’s too much of this trying to please this world. We’re not there for that. We’re there to communicate to man God’s word, God’s law, God’s commandments, God’s love. This will be efficient if these words are accompanied by the corresponding example. And then the ideal, the Christian ideal, will come by itself. Vocation – that is, God’s call – it’s there. God is not mute.”

December 3, 2018   No Comments

The Priest in Cassock is a Living Sermon, from Liturgy Guy Blog

by Brian Williams


For the past three years the good people of St. Joseph, Missouri have been treated to an unusual sight in this day and age: a priest in cassock walking their city streets. As recently reported by Our Sunday Visitor:

Walk the streets of St. Joseph, Missouri, and you may have a memorable encounter with a tall young priest wearing a black cassock and Saturno clergy hat, a rosary in one hand and large crucifix in the other. The priest is Father Lawrence Carney, ordained for the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, who for the past three years has devoted much of his time to street evangelism: strolling down inner city streets, praying the Rosary and sharing the Gospel with those who approach him.

Father Carney says that the idea of donning the cassock and making himself a visible witness to the Gospel came to him while walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain several years back. Along the “Way”  Fr. Carney opted to wear his cassock. He estimates that he spoke with over 1,000 fellow travelers during his 32 day pilgrimage.

The attraction of people to a priest in a cassock, both for Catholics as well as non-Catholics, is explained by Fr. Carney this way:

“There’s something mysterious about the cassock; it acts like a magnet, drawing people to you…It is a sacramental that has a special blessing that the suit does not have.”

One friend of Fr. Carney’s who has seen his evangelizing first hand described it as follows:

“It was beautiful and amazing. Young and old, rich and poor, and men and women would come up to him and immediately start talking to him about their problems. Teenage girls and young women were crying to him about things going on in their lives. It was like they thought he was God walking the earth.”

For those in the Church already blessed with a personal, experiential, knowledge of the truth and beauty of tradition, the efficacy of Fr. Carney’s efforts is not surprising. Catholicism attracts. A priest in a cassock attracts.

It should also come as no surprise that Fr. Carney’s continued formation and sanctification has come through an embracing of tradition.

Currently “on loan” to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Fr. Carney serves as chaplain to the traditional order of nuns, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. If that name sounds familiar, it should. In recent years the sisters have released their beautiful recordings Advent at Ephesus and Lent at Ephesus; both have been bestsellers.

He visits the community daily to celebrate Mass according to the extraordinary form (yes, the Latin Mass!), hears their confessions, and offers spiritual guidance.

Writing over thirty years ago from an aggressively secular, post-Christian, France the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre noted the visible witness given to the Catholic faithful by the priest in cassock:

“The great boast of the new Church is dialogue. But how can this begin if we hide from the eyes of our prospective dialogue partners? In Communist countries the first act of the dictators is to forbid the cassock; this is part of a program to stamp out religion. And we must believe the reverse to be true too. The priest who declares his identity by his exterior appearance is a living sermon. The absence of recognizable priests in a large city is a serious step backward in the preaching of the Gospel…”

While many bishops and brother priests today view the cassock, the biretta, or the Saturno as being rigid, nostalgic, or prideful, nothing could be further from the truth. The faithful are drawn to this visual expression of the sacramental priesthood. When we see priests in cassocks, we see our faith. We see a Catholicism, bold and unafraid to share the Gospel truth.

Let us support, through our prayer and words of encouragement, those priests who wear the cassock. May God send us more of these faithful priests!

December 3, 2018   No Comments

10 Great Quotes on the Holy Mass, from Liturgy Guy Blog

by Brian Williams

Extraordinary Form Mass

Fr. Stefano Manelli of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI) has received a great deal of attention in recent months. The co-founder and former Minister General of the FFI has seen the order placed under direct control of an assigned commissioner for the Vatican following allegations of internal dissension, as well as a “crypto-lefebvrian and definitely traditionalist drift in the community” (Rorate-Caeli, December 11, 2013).

At this time the future of the order, as well as that of its aging founder, is uncertain.

What is certain, however, is that Fr. Stefano Manelli wrote a beautiful treatise on the Eucharist just over forty years ago entitled “Jesus Our Eucharistic Love” (Academy of the Immaculate, 1996). Within this modern spiritual classic Fr. Manelli quotes extensively from many great saints of Holy Mother Church.

The following ten quotes taken from “Jesus Our Eucharistic Love” serve to remind us that there is nothing more important we can ever do in this life than to hear the Holy Mass.

“The celebration of Holy Mass has the same value as the Death of Jesus on the Cross.”
-St. Thomas Aquinas

“Man should tremble, the world should quake, all Heaven should be deeply moved when the Son of God appears on the altar in the hands of the priest.”
-St. Francis of Assisi

“It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do so without the Holy Mass.”
-St. Pio of Pietrelcina

“No human tongue can enumerate the favors that trace back to the Sacrifice of the Mass. The sinner is reconciled with God; the just man becomes more upright; sins are wiped away; vices are uprooted; virtue and merit increases; and the devil’s schemes are frustrated.”
-St. Lawrence Justinian

“O you deluded people, what are you doing? Why do you not hasten to the churches to hear as many Masses as you can? Why do you not imitate the angels, who, when a Holy Mass is celebrated, come down in myriads from Paradise and take their stations about our altars in adoration to intercede for us?”
-St. Leonard of Port Maurice

“Know, O Christian, that the Mass is the holiest act of religion. You cannot do anything to glorify God more, nor profit your soul more, than by devoutly assisting at it, and assisting as often as possible.”
-St. Peter Julian Eymard

“One merits more by devoutly assisting at a Holy Mass than by distributing all of his goods to the poor and traveling all over the world on pilgrimage.”
-St. Bernard

The last three quotes are all from the Curé d’Ars, St. John Marie Vianney.

“Martyrdom is nothing in comparison with the Mass, because martyrdom is the sacrifice of man to God, whereas the Mass is the Sacrifice of God for man!”

“If we knew the value of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, how much greater effort we would put forth in order to assist at it!”

“How happy is that guardian angel who accompanies a soul to Holy Mass!”

December 2, 2018   No Comments