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Providence Heights College of Sister Formation, 1961


https://youtu.be/qVk8x-giWeQ  [Part 2 of 2]
Includes audio. Introduction to Providence Heights, founded in 1961 in Issaquah, Washington. The campus served as both the College of Sister Formation for the Sisters of Providence and other women religious, and was also the novitiate and provincialate for the Sisters of Providence, Sacred Heart Province. Narrated by Mother Judith (Teresa Lang), provincial superior of Sacred Heart Province. Film features Mother Judith and Sr. Genevieve Gorman, College dean, explaining the development of the College from the Everett Curriculum; the College buildings and grounds, the chapel and art collection. ©Providence Archives, Seattle, Washington

March 27, 2019   No Comments

Openness: Thirty US Diocesan Bishops Have Approved SSPX Marriages

Until now the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) has contacted about 45 of the 200 US dioceses seeking permission to celebrate weddings.

According to CatholicHerald.co.uk (March 21) roughly thirty dioceses have created policies for the SSPX weddings.

A SSPX spokesman said, that “several” US bishops have visited SSPX priories, chapels, schools and even attended priest retreats and meetings.

According to the spokesman, the bishops were “impressed” by the fidelity and youth of the traditional faithful and priests.

March 26, 2019   No Comments

11 Questions with Fr. Pagliarani – First English Interview

Please copy and paste the following link to watch the video of the First English Interview with Father Pagliarani:


March 24, 2019   No Comments


Image result for photos of traditional latin masses during lent

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

The Introit of this day’s Mass, which begins with the word Oculi, is the prayer of a soul imploring deliverance from the snares of the devil:

INTROIT My eyes are ever towards the Lord: for he shall pluck my feet out of the snare: look thou upon me, and have mercy on me, for I am alone and poor. To thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in thee, O my God, I put my trust: let me not be ashamed. (Fs. XXIV.) Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT We beseech Thee, Almighty God, regard the desires of the humble, and stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to be our defence. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, etc.

EPISTLE (Ephes. V. 1-9.) Brethren, be ye followers of God, as most dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God, for an odor of sweetness. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints; nor obscenity, nor foolish talking, nor scurrility, which is to no purpose; but rather giving of thanks: for know ye this, and understand, that no fornicator, nor unclean, nor covetous person, which is a serving of idols, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. Be ye not therefore partakers with them. For you were heretofore darkness; but now light in the Lord. Walk, then, as children of the light: for the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth.

EXPLANATION The apostle requires us to imitate God, as good children imitate their father in well-doing and in well-wishing; besides he declares that all covetousness, fornication, all disgraceful talk and equivocal jokes should be banished from Christian meetings, even that such things should not be so much as mentioned among us; because these vices unfailingly deprive us of heaven. He admonishes us not to let ourselves be deceived by the seducing words of those who seek to make these vices appear small, nothing more than pardonable human weaknesses; those who speak thus are the children of darkness and of the devil, they bring down the wrath of God upon themselves, and all who assent to their words. A Christian, a child of light, that is, of faith, should regard as a sin that which faith and conscience tell him is such, and must live according to their precepts and not by false judgment of the wicked. Should any one seek to lead you away, ask yourself, my Christian soul, whether you would dare appear with such a deed before the judgment-seat of God. Listen to the voice of your conscience, and let it decide, whether that which you are expected to do is good or bad, lawful or unlawful.

ASPIRATION Place Thy fear, O God, before my mouth, that I may utter no vain, careless, much less improper and scandalous words, which may be the occasion of sin to my neighbor. Strengthen me, that I may not be deceived by flattering words, and become faithless to Thee.

GOSPEL (Luke XI. 14.-28.) At that time, Jesus was casting out a devil, and the same was dumb. And when he had cast out the devil, the dumb spoke, and the multitudes were in admiration at it. But some of them said: He casteth out devils by Beelzebub the prince of devils. And others tempting, asked of him a sign from heaven. But he seeing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall. And if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because you say, that through Beelzebub I cast out devils. Now if I cast out devils by Beelzebub, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I by the finger of God cast out devils, doubtless the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his court, those things which he possesseth are in peace; but if a stronger than he come upon him, and overcome him, he will take away all his armor wherein he trusted, and will distribute his spoils. He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water, seeking rest; and not finding, he saith, I will return into my house whence I came out: and when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then he goeth, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and entering in they dwell there. And the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck. But he said: Yea rather blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.

Can a man be really possessed of a devil?

It is the doctrine of the Catholic Church that the evil spirit most perniciously influences man in a twofold manner: by enticing his soul to sin, and then influencing his body which he often entirely or partially possesses, manifesting himself by madness, convulsions, insanity, etc. Many texts of Scripture, and the writings of the Fathers speak of this possession. St. Cyprian writes: “We can expel the swarms of impure spirits, who for the ruin of the soul, enter into the bodies of men, and we can compel them to acknowledge their presence, by the force of powerful words.” Possession takes place by the permission of God either for trial or as a punishment for sin committed, (I. Cor. V. 5.) and the Church from her Head, Jesus, who expelled so many devils, has received the power of casting them out as He did. (Mark XVI. 17.; Acts V. 16., VIII. 6. 7., XVI. 18. &c.) She however warns her ministers, the priests, who by their ordination have received the power to expel the evil spirits, to distinguish carefully between possession and natural sickness, that they may not be deceived, (Rit. ROM. §. 3. §. 5-10.) and the faithful should guard against looking upon every unusual, unhealthy appearance as an influence of Satan, and should give no ear to impostors, but in order not to be deceived, should turn to an experienced physician or to their pastor.

What is understood by a dumb devil?

The literal meaning of this is the evil enemy, who some times so torments those whom he possesses that they lose the power of speech; in a spiritual sense, we may understand it to mean the shame which the devil takes away from the sinner, when he commits the sin, but gives back again, as false shame, before confession, so that the sinner conceals the sin, and thereby falls deeper.

How does Christ still cast out dumb devils?

By His grace with which He inwardly enlightens the sinner, so that he becomes keenly aware that the sins which he has concealed in confession, will one day be known to the whole world, and thus encourages him to overcome his false shame. – “Be not ashamed to confess to one man,” says St. Augustine, “that which you were not ashamed to do with one, perhaps, with many.” Consider these words of the same saint: “Sincere confession subdues vice, conquers the evil one, shuts the door of hell, and opens the gates of paradise.”

How did Christ prove, that He did not cast out devils by Beelzebub?

By showing that the kingdom of Satan could not stand, if one evil spirit were cast out by another; that they thus reproached their own sons who also cast out devils, and had not been accused of doing so by power from Beelzebub; by His own life and works which were in direct opposition to the devil, and by which the devil’s works were destroyed. – There is no better defence against calumny than an innocent life, and those who are slandered, find no better consolation than the thought of Christ who, notwithstanding His sanctity and His miracles, was not secure against calumniation.

What is meant by the finger of God?

The power of God, by which Christ expelled the evil spirits, proved himself God, and the promised Redeemer.

Who is the strong man armed?

The evil one is so called, because he still retains the power and intellect of the angels, and, practiced by long experience, seeks in different ways to injure man if God permits.

How is the devil armed?

With the evil desires of men, with the perishable riches, honors, and pleasures of this world, with which he entices us to evil, deceives us, and casts us into eternal fire.

Who is the stronger one who took away the devil’s armor?

Christ the Lord who came into this world that He might destroy the works and the kingdom of the devil, to expel the prince of darkness, (John XII. 31.) and to redeem us. from his power. “The devil,” says St. Anthony, “is like a dragon caught by the Lord with the fishing-hook of the cross, tied with a halter like a beast of burden, chained like a fugitive slave, and his lips pierced through with a ring, so that he may not devour any of the faithful. Now he sighs, like a miserable sparrow, caught by Christ and turned to derision, and thrown under the feet of the Christians. He who flattered himself that he would possess the whole orbit of the earth, behold, he has to yield!”

Why does Christ say: He who is not with me, is against me?

These words were intended in the first place for the Pharisees who did not acknowledge Christ as the Messiah, would not fight with Him against Satan’s power, but rather held the people back from reaching unity of faith and love of Christ. Like the Pharisees, all heretical teachers who, by their false doctrines, draw the faithful from communion with Christ and His Church, are similar to the devil, the father of heresy and lies. May all those, therefore, who think they can serve Christ and the world at the same time, consider that between truth and falsehood, between Christ and the world, there is no middle path; that Christ requires decision, either with Him, or against Him , either eternal happiness with Him, or without Him, everlasting misery.

Who are understood by the dry places through which the evil spirit wanders and finds no rest?

“The dry places without water,” says St. Gregory, “are the hearts of the just, who by the force of penance have drained the dampness of carnal desires.” In such places the evil -one indeed finds no rest, because there his malice finds no sympathy, and his wicked will no satisfaction.

Why does the evil spirit say: I will return into my house?

Because he is only contented there where he is welcomed and received: those who have purified their heart by confession, and driven Satan from it, but labor not to amend, again lose the grace of the Sacraments by sin, and thus void of virtue and grace, offer a beautiful and pleasant dwelling to the devil.

Why is it said: The last state becomes worse than the first?

Because a relapse generally draws more sins with it, and so it is said: the devil will return with seven other spirits more wicked than himself, by which may be understood the seven deadly sins, because after a relapse into sin conversion to God becomes more difficult, as a repeated return of the same sickness makes it harder to regain health; because by repetition sin easily becomes a habit and renders conversion almost impossible; because repeated relapses are followed by blindness of intellect, hardness of heart, and in the end eternal damnation.

Why did the woman lift up her voice?

This was by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost to shame the Pharisees who, blinded by pride, neither professed nor acknowledged the divinity of Christ, whilst this humble woman not only confessed Jesus as God, but praised her who carried Him, whom heaven and earth cannot contain. Consider the great dignity of the Blessed Virgin, Mother of the Son of God, and hear her praises from the holy Fathers. St. Cyril thus salutes her: “Praise to thee, Blessed Mother of God: for thou art virginity itself, the sceptre of the true faith!” and St. Chrysostom: “Hail, O Mother, the throne, the glory, the heaven of the Church!” St. Ephrem: “Hail, only hope of the Fathers, herald of the apostles, glory of the martyrs, joy of the saints, and crown of the virgins, because of thy vast glory, and inaccessible light!”

Why did Christ call those happy who hear the word of God and keep it?

Because, as has been already said, it is not enough for salvation to hear the word of God, but it must also be practiced. Because Mary, the tender Mother of Jesus, did this most perfectly, Christ terms her more happy in it, than in having conceived, borne, and nursed Him.

SUPPLICATION O Lord Jesus! true Light of the world, enlighten the eyes of my soul, that I may never be induced by the evil one to conceal a sin, through false shame, in the confessional, that on the day of general judgment my sibs may not be published to the whole world. Strengthen me, O Jesus, that I may resist the arms of the devil by a penitent life, and especially by scorning the fear of man and worldly considerations, and guard against lapsing into sin, that I may not be lost, but through Thy merits maybe delivered from, all dangers and obtain heaven.

March 23, 2019   No Comments

Can We Love Tradition Too Much?

From One Peter Five Blog, by Dr.

The indefatigable blogger Fr. Dwight Longenecker is at it again. In a new article from March 15, 2019, entitled “Tradition is the Democracy of the Dead,” he writes to assure us that he is a lover of tradition — but not excessively.

He rightly says one should be or become Catholic for the sake of its 2,000-year-old tradition — or, more accurately, its 4,000-year-old tradition, since the law, prophecies, and worship of Israel are fulfilled in the Church. But he also says that, since tradition is not static or unchangeable, we need to be willing to change with the times, according to the judgment calls emanating from Rome, and not make an “idol” of the past.

Well, one can certainly live free of fear that today’s Rome is in danger of making an idol of the past. One might rather fear its making an idol of the present or of the future.

This all too easy reduction of one’s opponents to idolaters, which is one of the characteristic rhetorical moves used by Pope Francis and other progressives who are impatient of analysis and argument and wish to get on with modern pastoring, reminds me of what I like to call “A Corollary of Godwin’s Law”: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison of a defender of Catholic tradition to a Pharisee approaches 1.” Perhaps we could expand this to say “a Pharisee or an idolater.” This slight adjustment makes it more interreligious too — surely an important consideration in this age of joint statements from popes and imams.

Moreover, this brings the corollary more into harmony with “Bergoglio’s Hypothesis.” That is surely a welcome step in building the new paradigm. In my formulation, this hypothesis reads:

If there is a discrepancy between Catholic doctrine and European liberalism, then the former needs further “development” until it harmonizes with the latter. If Catholics resist modernity or modern ecclesiastical reforms, they are guilty of nostalgic insecurity, temperamental rigidity, pharisaical neo-Pelagianism, and lack of fraternal charity. [i]

In his article, Fr. Longenecker makes the classic move of the Anglican Newman: wanting to be in the sweet spot of the via media. Unlike the revolutionaries, I love tradition; unlike the traditionalists, I don’t idolize tradition as an unchanging thing.

The first problem here is the caricature. Traditionalists fully recognize that liturgy develops over time. However, as with the development of doctrine, they see the development as tending, in broad lines, toward greater amplitude and perfection. So just as we don’t decide to cancel out at some point the Nicene Creed for the sake of going back to the more ancient and pristine Apostles’ Creed, in like manner, we don’t cancel out the medieval and Baroque developments of the liturgy in our search for a more ancient and pristine Christian worship. Pius XII warned against “antiquarianism,” but that became one of the two battle cries of the liturgical reformers — that and their aggiornamentalism, by which everything had to be adjusted and proportioned to the mentality of Modern Man (whoever he is).

The second and bigger problem is that the Catholic Newman came to reject the via media approach when he realized that, on some questions, the right answer was found in the “extreme” position, not in the middle position. For example, at the time of the Arian crisis, there were (to simplify things) the Arians, the Semi-Arians, and the Nicaeans. In all the political battles and regional councils, the Semi-Arians were able to position themselves as the reasonable middle between the extremists who denied the divinity of the Son and the other extremists who conflated the Son and the Father by identifying them both as God. In this, needless to say, they showed that they did not grasp, or did not wish to grasp, the position of St. Athanasius and other orthodox fathers, who, though a beleaguered minority, nevertheless held the truth and ultimately prevailed [ii].

So too in our present situation. The traditionalists maintain that there is nothing “traditional” about the Novus Ordo and the rest of the papally imposed liturgical rites from the ’60s and ’70s. Even when the reformers claimed to be “recovering” elements lost in antiquity, the way they went about it was distinctively modern: they took what chimed in with their fancy and filtered out difficult bits that could have been disturbing or distressing to modern audiences. And these men say outright in their articles and books that this is what they are doing; no conspiracy theories need apply. Moreover, they freely amputated and suppressed many extremely ancient features of the liturgy, such as the Pentecost octave and season, Septuagesima, the Ember Days, and the lectionary on which St. Gregory the Great preached in the late sixth century (how’s that for ancient?), replacing them with innovative and hybridized material fashioned by scholarly brains. Constructivism on this magnitude and with this method is unprecedented in the Church’s history. It is impossible to see what could be “traditional” about this approach or the results.

Thus, when Fr. Longenecker says: “I do what I can to pray the tradition, live the tradition, and worship in the tradition,” it is a perfect study in the art of equivocation. To “pray the tradition” and “worship in the tradition” is to pray and worship in union with all the centuries of Catholicism as they are glued together in the one Roman liturgical tradition that was ours until 1969, not to hit the ecclesial reset button as the conciliar enthusiasts did. One may admire conservatives’ efforts to bring traditional elements in through the back door — when the local bishop’s not looking too attentively, and the neighborhood climate is favorable — but one should have the candor to admit that this is a desperate and somewhat pathetic attempt to put old Humpty-Dumpty back together again. Fortunately, the real McCoy is still there, waiting to be rediscovered, and until a man has rediscovered it, he cannot quite say he has “done what he can.”

It is telling when Fr. Longenecker implies that the only things unchangeable in the Church are her dogmas and proceeds to identify the essence of the Mass as the miracle of transubstantiation. Neoscholastic reductionism [iii] has been a problem for some time, but it is galling to see it in the context of an article that is supposed to be about Catholic tradition. Traditional liturgies are categorized into their ritual families and subfamilies (Latin or Byzantine, Slavic or Greek, Roman or Ambrosian or Mozarabic, etc.) based not on whether transubstantiation occurs, which is something they all have in common, but on exactly what their content is. Imagine saying to a Byzantine Catholic: “You know, at the end of the day, your Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and our Novus Ordo are pretty much the same, because they both do the one essential, immutable thing: convert the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.”

I’m afraid what we are seeing is the result of speaking about such grave matters without the requisite knowledge of details. It is all too easy to say “the Roman rite remains intact” when the only thing one is looking at is an outline of the order of Mass from 30,000 feet in the sky. But the devil’s in the details — and the angels, too, whose role was greatly reduced in the Novus Ordo. Liturgical rites exist not as outlines or abstractions, but as concrete codifications of text, music, rubric, ceremonial, and cast of supporting artefacts. The more one drills into what the classic Roman rite actually is — its ancient ad orientem stance, its particular calendar and lectionary, its more than a thousand orations, its set of Prefaces, its monolithic Roman Canon, the early medieval offertory rite, and so forth — the more one can see how abruptly and comprehensively the Novus Ordo severs itself from that venerable rite. They are, in truth, two different liturgies that share some common elements, somewhat as the Eiffel Tower might be said to share in the verticality of the Gothic cathedral.

It is thus more than ironic when Fr. Longenecker cites G.K. Chesterton’s famous words — “Tradition means giving a vote to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead” — when the postconciliar liturgical reform was, of all Church reforms in history, the most autocratic imaginable in its contempt for the collective voice of our ancestors, and democratic only in the sense that it proceeded by way of the voting of “experts” on a panoply of committees that sliced up the parts of liturgy into study groups, like teams of computer programmers testing new operating system modules [iv].

In the finest, most lyrical passage of his article, Fr. Longenecker compares Catholic tradition to a giant old mansion with extensive gardens:

I sometimes think that being a Catholic is like living in a grand old house like the one in Brideshead Revisited. It is an ornate, ancient and venerable structure, full of corridors of memories and alleyways of tradition. The walls are lined with the banners from ancient battles and the ancestors of grand reputation. The attic is full of curious and precious antiques and the kitchens and cellars are full of fine wine, casks of provisions and bundles of equipment for battle and for housework. The gardens are lush and expansive — some formal and fruitful, some still wild and untamed. The modernist would demolish such a house and send the contents to auction. But a Catholic should decide to live there, dust and shine the antiques, clean the carpets, polish the silver, restore the paintings, sharpen the halberds and shine the armor … and then he should draw back the drapes to open the windows and let in the fresh air and the morning light.

The last phrase, a deliberate echo of John XXIII’s famous remark about how the Church needs to open her windows and let in the air from the world (how’s that workin’ out for ya, postconciliar Church?), could be refurbished as a reminder that without the Holy Spirit, without the grace of God, we cannot produce good fruits, regardless of how handsome the tree may be. Fr. Longenecker would be the first to agree, I’m sure, that this interior necessity by no means suggests there is something wrong with the old house and its contents, which the First Cause of all things — the architect and first interior decorator, so to speak — intended to put there by His Providence.

It is ironic, again, that our author should choose just this metaphor of the old house and its rambling grounds, since it has always been the traditionalists’ favorite comparison when they wish to describe the result of twenty centuries of gradual development in the liturgy, gently tended by gardeners and janitors. There is no question whatsoever that Archbishop Bugnini and his fellow experts had no patience for this old mansion. They wanted to raze it to the ground and build rational modern flats in its place. In his own words, Bugnini sought to “rejuvenate the liturgy, ‘ridding’ it of the superstructures that weighed it down over the centuries.” This is why the new missal is so “rationally” ordered, using simple blueprints over and over again instead of the wonderfully unpredictable variety in the old missal [v].

Archbishop Bugnini was not the only liturgist who thought in terms of architectural images of demolition and reconstruction. Consider this passage from Demain la liturgie (1976) by Fr. Joseph Gelineau, S.J., who played a prominent role on the Consilium:

If the formulae change, the rite is changed. If a single element is changed, the signification of the whole is modified. Let those who like myself have known and sung a Latin-Gregorian High Mass remember it if they can. Let them compare it with the Mass that we now have. Not only the words, the melodies, and some of the gestures are different. To tell the truth, it is a different liturgy of the Mass [c’est une autre liturgie de la messe]. This needs to be said without ambiguity: the Roman Rite as we knew it no longer exists [le rite romaine tel que nous l’avons connu n’existe plus]. It has been destroyed. [Il est détruit.] Some walls of the former edifice have fallen while others have changed their appearance, to the extent that it appears today either as a ruin or the partial substructure of a different building.

Could Fr. Longenecker’s mention of Brideshead Revisited be a subtle hint to the cognoscenti that he does not, in fact, see eye-to-eye with the liturgical reform? It is well known that the author of this splendid novel, Evelyn Waugh (1903–1966), was fiercely opposed to the dismantling of the Catholic liturgy, conducting a regular correspondence with Cardinal Heenan to see if anything could be done to halt the madness that was beginning to bleed the churches of their congregations, and publishing anguished articles on the subject in periodicals (readers will find all of this in the book A Bitter Trial: Evelyn Waugh and John Cardinal Heenan on the Liturgical Changes). Though he was spared the ultimate indignity of witnessing the Novus Ordo, as he died more than 3½ years before it was rolled off the assembly line, Waugh was utterly horrified by the changes that had been made to the liturgy, which at that point were not insignifcant, but had certainly not become the great tsunami of 1969.

Among Catholics who care deeply about the sacred liturgy (and why should they not, when Vatican II calls the “Eucharistic sacrifice” the “font and apex of the entire Christian life”?), one finds several camps: those who believe that the changes after the Council went too far; those who believe that the changes were not comprehensive and radical enough; those who think that whatever happened happened, and we might as well make the best of it we can today; and those who think that approaching the liturgy with the mentality of progress and relevancy is the wrong way to let it be itself and do what it alone can do and, moreover, a path doomed to self-parody and implosion the more one goes down it.

The traditionalist takes the last view. It is based, first of all, on real and repeated experiences of the beauty and riches of the classic Roman rite, against which the impoverished text and ceremonial of the new rite stand out glaringly. There can be no substitute for familiarity. No one who is not intimately familiar with the old Roman rite is in a position to make any global commentary about how it compares with its intended replacement. It is time for those who make out their fellow Catholics attached to the usus antiquior to be actual or potential idolaters to step down from their high horses and walk a few miles in the same shoes, out of charity if for no other reason. Get to know the old rite — not just the Mass, but all the sacramental rites and blessings. See its qualities firsthand, and not from a distance.

Such people might be surprised at how different the view is from the ground. They might, indeed, come to see that the danger of idolatry — in the form of an unquestioned, perhaps even unrecognized, adulation of aggiornamento — is more real for those who endorse the Consilium’s modern construction. It was, after all, the attitudes and antics of liturgical progressives that Joseph Ratzinger compared to the episode of the golden calf.

Unbeknownst to himself, Fr. Longenecker is ready to become a traditionalist if he merely discovers the applicability of his words to the entire liturgical reform:

One of the disastrous results of the Second Vatican Council is that liturgists, clergy, and religious who were so zealous to make the faith contemporary and relevant, felt that they could best do this not by valuing and re-invigorating the traditions of the Church, but by demolishing them in revolutionary zeal.

Amen. Now just use your editing pen to excise some of the other misleading bits of the sermon.


[i] This hypothesis is based on a more fundamental assumption that I call “Maritain’s Axiom”: “Given the leavening of Greek philosophy, Roman law, Hebrew prophecy, and the Christian Gospel, Europe will develop the finest conscience, most ample respect for human rights, and most consistent rule of law that the world has ever known.” This axiom is true descriptively, in the context of Catholic civilization. It fails prescriptively, in the sense that the outcome is not guaranteed simply from the availability of the ingredients. Yet it is assumed as the basis of, e.g., Pope Francis’s stance on the death penalty.

[ii] I’ve written elsewhere about “the use and abuse of the via media.

[iii] This phenomenon is defined and critiqued in two articles: “The Long Shadow of Neoscholastic Reductionism” and “Against Reducing the Mass to a Sacramental Delivery System.”

[iv] This comparison, incidentally, was made by Fr. Thomas Reese in an article called “Reforming Catholic liturgy should be like updating software,” in which he compared the old liturgy to DOS and the reform to Windows — with the 1965 interim missal being 1.0, the 1969 missal 2.0, etc.

[v] See here for several examples.

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Peter Kwasniewski

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, Thomistic theologian, liturgical scholar, and choral composer, is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College and The Catholic University of America. He has taught at the International Theological Institute in Austria, the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Austria Program, and Wyoming Catholic College, which he helped establish in 2006. He writes regularly for Catholic blogs and has published seven books, the most recent being Tradition and Sanity (Angelico, 2018). For more information, visit www.peterkwasniewski.com.

March 23, 2019   No Comments

The Role of Sacred Music in Catholic Education

From the New Liturgical Movement, by Jennifer Donelson

Our latest episode of Square Notes: The Sacred Music Podcast is an interview with NLM’s own Charles Cole about his work with the Schola Cantorum of the London Oratory School and the rôle of sacred music in Catholic education.

Episode 3 – The Role of Sacred Music in Catholic Education – with Charles Cole

We take an inside look at a British choir school, and discuss the role of sacred music in an authentically Catholic education. You’ve already heard just a bit of his work as a listener to this podcast; he’s the director of the Schola Cantorum of the London Oratory School singing the opening track for our show.

Charles Cole began his musical training as a chorister at Westminster Cathedral. He went on to win a major music scholarship to Ampleforth and organ scholarships at Exeter College of Oxford and Westminster Cathedral. He is Assistant Director of Music at Brompton Oratory where he directs the London Oratory Junior Choir which, in addition to its liturgical duties, provides the Children’s Chorus for the Royal Ballet’s productions at Covent Garden. In addition, he is Director of the Schola Cantorum of the London Oratory School, a choir of boys aged 8-18 which sings the Saturday evening mass at Brompton Oratory, as well as concerts, tour and recordings. He is a regular member of the faculty for the Church Music Association of America’s annual Colloquiums, specializing in Gregorian Chant and Choral Direction. He regularly gives choral workshops for choirs in Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem. In recent years he has given organ recitals in St Petersburg, at Notre Dame, Paris (as part of the 850th anniversary year celebrations), at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City and at St Saviour’s Church, Jerusalem.

Charles Cole’s Website

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London Oratory Schola Website

London Oratory Schola Facebook

London Oratory Schola’s CD, Sacred Treasures of England

London Oratory Website

March 21, 2019   No Comments

New Resource: Online Commentaries on the Mass Propers and Readings of the Usus Antiquior

From the New Liturgical Movement, by Dr.

Back in January 2014, I published an article at NLM entitled “Where Have All the Good Preachers Gone?” In it I noted the general dissatisfaction with shallow and rambling homilies and sermons, and pointed out that the Catholic Tradition is rich with models of excellent preaching. The article recommended three things: first, preaching about Scripture from Scripture, or at least leavening any subject preached on with copious citations of the Word of God; second, leaning heavily on the great exponents of Scripture and the theological masters: the Fathers and Doctors of the Church (not modern exegetes; at least not principally); third, integrating the doctrine, if not the words, of classic magisterial documents such as reliable papal encyclicals.

A subsequent article from January 2018, “Preaching from the Propers of the Mass — An Example from Ireland” noted that many great preachers in the old days, and many of the best resources from the healthy phase of the Liturgical Movement, took inspiration from the propers of the Mass: the antiphons, the orations, the lections, the prefaces, and so forth. A few still do (such as Dom Mark Kirby, many of whose homilies can be heard here), but the vast majority, as far as I can tell, simply ignore the texts of the liturgy, which are in fact among the richest texts, doctrinally and spiritually, to preach on.

Surely part of the reason for this neglect is that it is not always easy to find the time or acquire the library necessary to prepare such homilies. That is why I am extremely excited to announce a new web resource that places many classic commentaries on the usus antiquior Sunday and Holy Day Masses at preachers’ (and laity’s) fingertips: Sermonry.

For now, the website features commentaries from the Catena Aurea by St. Thomas, a work that itself draws upon over 80 Church Fathers (the majority of them Greek); the Haydock Bible; and Denzinger. Designer and programmer Patrick Hawkins intends to add more commentaries as time goes on, including Guéranger. Here is a description that Mr. Hawkins kindly sent to me:

Sermonry takes the propers of the Mass and puts traditional commentaries right next to them, in a way that’s easy to navigate and a pleasure to read. I think the site will be useful for two groups of Catholics: clergy and laity.
My hope is that clergy will find this a useful resource when preparing homilies for Traditional Latin Masses for years to come. A priest to whom I showed an early version of the site worried that if every priest was using this resource, they’d all come up with the same homilies. But that’s unlikely. One priest might preach on the Introit; another, on the Gradual. A priest might preach on three different passages from a single Gospel over three consecutive years. These commentaries will support and enhance what a priest is already trying to do in the pulpit.
For the laity, these commentaries can supplement and reinforce what they are receiving every Sunday from the liturgy. For myself I’ve noticed, especially with the Haydock, explanations of particular phrases and customs of the day make it easier to visualize what’s going on in a particular passage, aiding meditation. And having it all right there in one place, I’m not switching back and forth between 2 or 3 books, which helps with focus.
Sermonry has a beta label on because it’s not yet complete. Adding commentaries is a time-consuming process. But what’s there is already useful, today. A priest relying on this for homily prep should find commentaries for Sundays and major feasts added a month in advance.

Anyone wanting progress updates can sign up on the email list here.

Questions? Address them to hello@sermonry.com.
On Facebook: https://facebook.com/sermonry
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/@sermonry

This strikes me as a brilliant use of technology in service of tradition. I hope many clergy and laity will take advantage of it. Thank you, Mr. Hawkins, for launching this project. We wish you great success with its development.

March 21, 2019   No Comments


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

The Introit of this day’s Mass, which begins with the word Reminiscere, from which this Sunday derives its name, is the prayer of a soul begging God’s assistance, that she may sin no more:

INTROIT Remember, O Lord, Thy compassions and Thy mercies, which are from the beginning, lest at any time our enemies rule over us: deliver us O God of Israel, from all our tribulations. To Thee O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed. (Ps. XXIV.) Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT O God, who seest us to be destitute of strength, keep us both inwardly and outwardly; that we may be defended in the body from all adversities, and cleansed in our mind from all evil thoughts. Through our Lord, etc.

EPISTLE (I Thess. IV. 1-7.) Brethren, we pray and beseech you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received of us, how you ought to walk, and to please God, so also you would walk, that you may abound the more. For you know what precepts I have given to you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that you should abstain from fornication; that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; not in the passion of lust, like the Gentiles that know not God: and that no man over-reach nor circumvent his brother in business; because the Lord is the avenger of all these things, as we have told you before, and have testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto sanctification; in Christ Jesus our Lord.

EXPLANATION From these words we see, that the great Teacher of Nations as carefully showed the Christian congregations the sanctity of their calling, as he labored to lead them from the blindness and abominations of heathenism.

ASPIRATION Grant, O God, that I may live an honest, chaste and holy life in accordance with my vocation, and go not after earthly and carnal pleasures, as the heathens who know Thee not.

GOSPEL (Matt. XVII. 1-9.) At that time, Jesus took Peter, and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: and he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun, and his garments became white as snow. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then Peter answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here; if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them, and lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face, and were very much afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said to them: Arise, and fear not. And they lifting up their eyes, saw no one, but only Jesus. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: Tell the vision to no man: till the Son of Man be risen from the dead.

Why was Christ transfigured in the presence of His apostles on Mount Thabor?

To permit them to see the glorious majesty of His divinity; to guard them from doubts when they should afterwards see Him die on Mount Calvary; to encourage the disciples and all the faithful to be patient in all crosses and afflictions, for the bodies of the just at the resurrection will be made like the glorified body of Christ. (Phil. III. 21.)

Why did Moses and Elias appear there?

That they might testify, that Jesus was really the Saviour announced by the law and the prophets, and that the law and the prophets received fulfillment in Him. The former was represented by Moses, the latter by Elias.

Why, did Peter wish to build three tabernacles there?

The delightful sweetness of the apparition in which Jesus made him participator so enraptured him, that he knew not what he said, not considering that glory can be attained only through sufferings, the crown through fight, joy through crosses and afflictions.

ASPIRATION Draw us, O Jesus, to Thee, that by the contemplation of the sacred joys awaiting us, we, by Thy grace, may not be defeated in the spiritual contest, but conquer through Thy grace and carry off the unfading crown of victory.

March 16, 2019   No Comments

Quadragesima Sunday: “INVOCABIT,” First Sunday in Lent

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Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s
The Church’s Year, (This book is available from Angelus Press)

This Sunday is called Invocabit, because the Introit of the Mass begins with this word, which is taken from the ninetieth psalm, wherein we are urged to confidence in God, who willingly hears the prayer of the penitent:

INTROIT He shall call upon me, and I will hear him; I will deliver him, and glorify him; I will fill him with length of days. (Ps. XC. 15-16.) He that dwelleth in the aid of the Most high shall abide under the protection of the God of heaven. (Ps. XC. 1.) Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT O God who dost purify Thy Church by the yearly fast of Lent; grant to Thy household that what we strive to obtain from Thee by abstinence, by good works we may secure. Through our Lord, etc.

EPISTLE (II. Cor. VI. 1-10) Brethren, we exhort you that you receive not the grace of God in vain. For he saith: In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in the day of salvation have I helped thee. Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now, is the day of salvation. Giving no offence to any man, that our ministry be not blamed: but in all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God; in much patience, in tribulations, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in prisons, in seditions, in labors, in watchings, in fastings, in chastity, in knowledge, in long-suffering, in sweetness, in the Holy Ghost, in charity unfeigned, in the word of truth, in the power of God, by the armor of justice on the right hand, and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report, and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastised, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as needy, yet enriching many; as having nothing, and possessing all things.

EXPLANATION The Church very appropriately reads on this day this epistle of St. Paul, in which he exhorts the Christians to make use of the time of grace. A special time of grace is Lent, in which everything invites to conversion and penance, a time, therefore, in which God is ready to make rich bestowal of His graces. St. Anselm says, those do not use the grace who do not cooperate. Let us, therefore, follow St. Paul’s exhortation, and earnestly practise those virtues he places before us, and especially those of temperance, patience, chastity, liberality, love of God and of our neighbor. Let us arm ourselves with the arms of justice at the right and the left, that is, let us strive to be humble in prosperity and in adversity, confident of God’s help. Let us never be led from the path of virtue, by mockery, contempt, nor by persecution, torments, or death.

ASPIRATION Grant, O Jesus, that we may always faithfully cooperate with Thy graces, and employ well the time Thou hast again given for our salvation.

GOSPEL (Matt. IV. 1-11.) At that time, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards he was hungry. And the tempter coming, said to him: If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. Who answered and said: It is written: Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. Then the devil took him up into the holy city, and set him upon the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him: If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down; for it is written: He hath given his angels charge over thee, and in their hands shall they bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said to him: It is written again: Thou shaft not tempt the Lord thy ‘God. Again the devil took him up into a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and said to him: All these will I give thee, if, falling down, thou wilt adore me. Then Jesus said to him: Begone, Satan, for it is written, The Lord thy God shaft thou adore, and him only shaft thou serve. Then the devil left him; and behold, angels came, and ministered to him.


I. Christ went into the desert by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost to prepare by fasting and prayer, for His mission, and to endure the temptations of Satan, that, as St. Paul says, He might be one tempted in all things such as we are, without sin, and so become for us a High-priest who knew how to have compassion on our infirmities, (Heb. IV. 15.) and to show us by His own example, how we should, armed with the word of God, as with a sword, overcome the tempter. (Eph. VI. 17.) – Let us, therefore, courageously follow Christ to the combat against all temptations, with His assistance it will not be hard to conquer them. He has certainly taught us to overcome the hardest ones: the lust of the eyes, of the flesh, and the pride of life, and if we overcome these, it will be easy to conquer the rest.

II. If Christ, the only Son of God, permitted Himself to be tempted by Satan, even to be taken up on a high mountain, and to the pinnacle of the temple, it should not appear strange to us, that we are assailed by many temptations, or that we should find in the lives of so many saints that the evil spirit tormented them by various images of terror and vexation. This we find in the history of the pious Job, where we also find at the same time, that the evil spirit cannot harm a hair of our head without God’s permission.

III. From the coming of the angels to minister to Christ, after He had conquered Satan, we see that all who bravely resist temptations, will enjoy the assistance and consolations of the heavenly spirits.


To be tempted by the devil. , (Matt. IV. I.)

What is a temptation?

A temptation is either a trial for instruction and exercise in virtue, or a deception and incitement to sin. In the first sense, God tempts man; in the second, he is tempted by the devil, the world or bad people, and the flesh, by evil thoughts, feelings, words, or work.

By what are we principally tempted?

By our own evil concupiscence and inclination to sin which adhere to us through original sin, (Fam. I. 14.) on account of which it is said, that the flesh lusteth against the spirit. (Gal. V. 17.)

Does the devil also tempt us?

He does, and is therefore called, in this day’s gospel, the tempter. St. Peter teaches us this, having himself experienced it: Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring-lion, goeth about, seeking whom he may devour. (I Peter V. 8.) Not all temptations are to be ascribed to the devil, however, they often come from our own corrupt nature, our own incautiousness, or looseness of our senses, by which we expose ourselves to the danger of falling into sin.

How does the devil tempt us to sin?

In a twofold manner: He incites the concupiscence of man to those sins to which he sees him inclined, and then seeks to blind and confuse his imagination, so that he neither reflects, nor properly sees the temporal injury, disgrace, and derision, nor the shamefulness of sin and its eternal punishment. Thus the devil seduced Eve, our first mother, and thus he tempted Christ, with whom he could not, of course, succeed, for He was incapable of sin. He tempts bad people to persecute us, or to try us by their wicked vanities, as he did by the friends of Job.

Can the devil force us to evil?

He cannot; “for as a chained dog,” says St. Augustine, “can bite none but those who go near him, so the devil cannot harm with his temptations those who do not consent to them. Like the dog he can bark at you, but cannot bite you against your will.” Not by force but by persuasion Satan strives to injure, he does not force our consent, but entreats it. Seek, therefore, to subdue your passions and your senses, especially your eyes, and you will either remain free from all temptations, or easily overcome them.

Does God also tempt us?

God does indeed tempt us, but not to sin, as St. James expressly teaches. (Fam. I. 13.) God either Himself proves us by sufferings and adversities, or He permits the temptations of the devil or evil-minded people to give us opportunity to practise the virtues of love, patience, obedience, etc. Thus He said to the Jews through Moses: The Lord your God trieth you, that it may appear whether you love him with all your heart, and with all your soul, or no. (Deut. XIII. 3.)

Does God permit us to be tempted by man also?

He does, and for the same reasons. Thus He permitted the chaste Joseph to be tempted by Putiphar’s wife; (Gen.XXXIX. 7.) Job by his wife and his friends. (Job II. 9.) But He never permits us to be tempted beyond our strength, but gives us always sufficient grace to overcome and even to derive benefit from the temptation. (I Cor. X. 13.)

Are temptations pernicious and bad?

No; they are useful and necessary, rather. “Hard is the fight,” St. Bernard writes, “but meritorious, for although it is accompanied by suffering, it is followed by the crown;”

(Apoc. III. 12.) and Origen says. (Libr. Num.) “As meat becomes corrupt without salt, so does the soul without temptations.” Temptations, then, are only injurious when consent is given, and we suffer ourselves to be overcome by them.

When do we consent to temptations?

When we knowingly and willingly decide to do the evil to which we are tempted; as long as we resist we commit no sin.

What are the best means of overcoming temptations?

Humility; for thus answered St. Anthony, when he saw the whole earth covered with snares, and was asked “Who will escape?” “The humble;” he who knows his own frailty, distrusts himself, and relies only on God who resists the proud and gives His grace to the humble; (Dam. IV. 6.) the fervent invocation of the Mother of God, of our holy guardian angels and patron saints; the pronouncing of the holy name of Jesus, making the sign of the cross, sprinkling holy water; the remembrance of the presence of God who knows our most secret thoughts, and before whom we are indeed ashamed to think or do that which would cause us shame in the presence of an honorable person; frequent meditation on death, hell, and eternal joys; fleeing from all those persons by whom, and places in which we are generally tempted; fervent prayers, especially ejaculations, as:

“Lord, save me, lest I perish! Lord, hasten to help me!” finally, the sincere acknowledgment of our temptations at the tribunal of penance, which is a remedy especially recommended by pious spiritual teachers.

PRAYER O Lord Jesus! who spent forty days in the desert without food or drink, and didst permit Thy self to be tempted by the evil spirit, give me, I beseech Thee by that holy fast, the grace to combat, during this holy season of Lent, under Thy protection, against intemperance, and to resist the suggestions of Satan that I may win the crown of eternal life. Amen.

March 9, 2019   No Comments

Ash Wednesday – Emendemus in Melius

Sung at the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday.

R. Emendémus in melius, quae ignoranter peccávimus: ne súbito praeoccupáti die mortis, quaerámus spatium poenitentiae, et inveníre non possímus: * Attende, Dómine, et miserére, quia peccávimus tibi. V. Adjuva nos, Deus salutáris noster, et propter honórem nóminis tui, Dómine, líbera nos. Attende, Dómine. Gloria Patri. Attende, Dómine.

The responsory in the polyphonic setting of William Byrd.





March 6, 2019   No Comments