May 31, 2009

Welcome Father Tiffany!

Father Eugene Tiffany, Pastor of Holy Spirit in St. Paul, MN and Director of the Office of Priestly Life and Ministry has been named as Pastor of (my parish) St. Andrew in St. Paul, MN, effective July 1st.

Father Tiffany will replace Bishop-elect Lee Piche; who will be ordained Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis on June 29th.

The announcement was made at Masses at both Holy Spirit and St. Andrew this morning.

Welcome Father Tiffany!

Pray for our priests. Pray for vocations.

Cross posted to Stella Borealis


My outfit for Pentecost. Designed by my fashion consultant, Vincenzo

I think I'll wear this and bring the sword to the Noon Mass at the Cathedral and cut some sashes. Heh. Nah. By their attire thee shall know them.

May 30, 2009

Once More Unto the Breech, Dear Friends, Once More

Here we go again...

Tomorrow is Pentecost and, around here, you know what that means. Yes, the annual trooping of the color at the Cathedral of St. Paul's Noon Mass.

For the innocent among us; There is a local group called the Rainbow Sash Alliance that makes an opportunity every Pentecost Sunday to remind us they exist and they are not going away and they want their demands that homosexual practices must be affirmed met by the Catholic Church. The same Catholic Church that they CLAIM to be a part of.

This group and their misguided supporters meet at the Cathedral with slogans and signs and loudspeakers and lame jingles. Some of them go inside and wear rainbow sashes, a outward sign of their inward confusion, and expect and demand to receive Communion.

Friends; we all know that anyone can CLAIM to be anything. We all know that, short of public expressions of disunity and sin, there is no way for any of us to be sure that people approaching to receive Communion are properly disposed to do so.

BUT, in this instance, there is a CLEAR public expression of disunity with the Church and, thus, as his predecessor before him, Archbishop Nienstedt has stated that anyone presenting themselves for Communion wearing a rainbow sash will NOT be permitted to receive. Furthermore, the faithful are discouraged from receiving Communion and then breaking off the host and handing it around to those who were denied reception-a scandel that has occurred in the past. I know people think they are being "nice" but some of us need a reminder that the Host IS the Body of Christ and carrying it around, breaking it off, and handing it around increases the likelihood of profanation by dropping it or giving it to the unworthy. THAT Host is for YOU.

The "Sashers" will, as they always do, reject any suggestions that they are being disrespectful to the House of God, they will reject their Shepherd's very well-phrased and compassionate request that they turn away from this protest. Note I said: THEIR Shepherd. If this group is, as they claim, Catholic, then we have the same beliefs and the same Shepherd. They are as required to listen to the Archbishop's counsel, with as much prayerful reflection and serious attention, as I am.

The words of Brian McNeill of Rainbow Sash Alliance say many things:

"We cannot repeat too often that we attend Mass on Pentecost to celebrate who we are, not to protest. We participate in Mass in the same way we do all the other days of the year. But on Pentecost we come out of the closet as lgbt Catholics, family and friends to remind our fellow Catholics that we too are part of God’s loving family."

"Celebrate who WE are?" I thought the Mass was to celebrate the Sacrifice of Jesus for us and for the forgiveness of our sins?

"We participate in Mass in the same way we do all the other days of the year" Really? Interesting. Are you saying every Mass is a protest for YOU? I can see that if you are receiving Communion at every Mass you attend knowing full well that you may not be properly disposed to do so.

"But on Pentecost we come out of the closet..." I get it! Like the Holy Spirit came out, right?!?

"...remind our fellow Catholics that we too are part of God's loving family" Does Mr. McNeill think that people who regularly attend Church forget that sinners ARE part of God's family? There are more sinners around than those with the sin of practicing homosexuality, but, it's all about them. On what day do the other sinners parade? Try: EVERY day. I'm in that parade. When I'm not properly disposed (NOT by MY definitions of propriety but by the rules I profess to live by) I don't demand to receive Communion. I stay in my pew and go to Confession at my earliest opportunity, receive Absolution, and resolve to amend my life.

Know this: The Sashers do not limit themselves to the Cathedral on Pentecost. Many of them attend Masses on Pentecost Sunday at "sympathetic" parishes around town and receive Communion wearing the sash. Then, they go to the Cathedral later (there's a reason the protest is at noon) and try to receive there too. All local pastors should be ready.

Nothing Says You Need To Like THEM

It is a truth universally acknowledged that there are people that you will NEVER like. No matter what, you are never going to like them. You feel lucky when shouts are not exchanged and fists are not thrown. If I can leave the room without shaking and turning red, that's a good encounter.

Your parents, if they were like mine, tell you: "Just ignore them"

CAN you just ingnore THEM? Should you?

I say: no.

Scripture says, Matthew 5:43-48; Love thy neighbor and love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you.


That does not sound like a command to ignore people you dislike. If you are praying for them, you obviously have them on your mind and you are consciously making a decision to reach out to, or for, that person in prayer.

It's not easy, is it? I'd rather have my teeth pulled with no anesthetic than pray for someone I can hardly tolerate. My old boss comes to mind. My "challenging" neighbors come to mind. There you are in the quiet of the Chapel praying for these...uh, folks.

I've done it.

I'm not saying that the very next day we were having dinner together but I have seen some thawing of the icebergs. Maybe it's not that THEY changed when I prayed for them or our relationship. Maybe it's that I changed. They may never know that I prayed for them and our relationship but I do. The Lord knows. My Angel knows.

Maybe it's enough for YOU to know that you made the effort and remembered them in prayer. If you are going to go that far, why not do what YOU can do beyond that?

May 28, 2009

128 Days Later: It Can Always Get Worse!

From ReasonTv

May 27, 2009

Father Lee Piche Named Auxiliary Bishop

My Pastor and Vicar-General, Father Lee Piche, has just been named by His Holiness as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis.

At St. Andrew, this past weekend, we just celebrated his 25th Anniversary of Ordination. Now this. Wow!

Now, he's not just my Pastor. Well, technically, he never totally was, but I feel I had "dibs" on him. Now, I HAVE to share him with all of you. *sigh*

I've served with Father on the Parish Council. He's very kind, a good listener, raises good questions, direct, honest, self-deprecating. He always wants to wait on me when I visit the Rectory and I know the Parish Secretary's have told me the same thing. He's always checking to see if he can do anything for your comfort. A good host. A model of service.

We are very lucky. We were lucky to have him even before this elevation. We are lucky to have all ANY of our priests. Period.

He tells howlingly bad jokes. He knows it. He's able to pull it off. LOL!

Happy Birthday!!!!

Happy Birthday Ray!

May 26, 2009

Crescat Award Results

The 2009 Crescat Award results are posted

Deep curtsy to Crescat for all of her work putting this together. It was fun!

Clearly, shameless wailing for votes, pretending to be dying, and not waxing carried the day this year.

Next year, I'll do all that AND refuse to wear deoderant! That'll show ya!

Terry's Band

Before he was an international blog superstar, Terry had a band. Here's part of the group. Can you identify Terry? The photo, like the album, was a project that was never finished. It was to be called "The Monastery Bell at Twilight"

May 25, 2009

Assume a Comfortable Posture

How often do you read, or hear, or say this to others during Catholic Devotions (even Mass): "assume a comfortable posture"

"Assume a comfortable posture" usually means: you don't have to kneel, stand, or genuflect where written, or where expected, if you are unable to due to physical infirmaty. I have no problem with people worshipping within their physical limitations when they exist.

However, how often have I seen the able-bodied decide that "assume a comfortable posture" means them to? There is no reason they are physically unable to kneel, stand or genuflect they've just decided it's not "comfortable".

Maybe it's because they are uncomfortable doing it because so few are doing it anyway, or they are not comfortable physically illustrating reverence or smallness before a Mystery greater than themselves in front of their fellow man.

In any case, it bothers me that like most things these days you give a little and some take a mile.

Many have moved beyond comfort in posture and extended it to other things as well.

How many dress for their own comfort at Mass? Especially in the summer? Class, style, tact and respect for the human person seem to take a vacation as the weather gets nicer. I almost long for chillier weather because that means people are going to cover "it" up because they have to. At least, that's true in Minnesota. Few seem to have any consideration for the discomfort of others as we are distracted by their boobies, chest hair, revealed boxers, thighs, flippin' flops, barely covered behinds.

Isn't Faith for many all about their own comfort? Only do and believe what feels comfortable to YOU. Feel free to pick and choose. Homilies better not be too uncomfortable or else Father will barely make it out of the Sacristy alive.

No one likes to see themselves. Maybe that's why so few go to Confession. It's not comfortable. I'm not comfortable examining myself and, then, telling my faults out loud. I'm not comfortable feeling like what I do is wrong so, therefore, I will just pretend it never happened and not say anything.

I'm not, however, comfortable with that nagging feeling I'm not supposed to be here when I present myself for Communion so I'll just try and change the teachings (in my own mind or persuading everyone else I'm right) so I can feel comfortable.

Now we can all be comfortable.

Who wants the big, bad, old days when the nuns made us all uncomfortable? They are mostly gone now and it's not like it was so we may as all make ourselves comfortable. I wonder that we are not encouraged to bring our La-Z-Boy's to Mass and sit in those. (I just conked on the head those who yelled: "Hey, great idea, Cath"!)

You/We/I are not supposed to be comfortable! If you are feeling comfortable then you are probably doing something wrong. Lived expressions of Faith are supposed to be uncomfortable. Is the Ironman comfortable? You are supposed to push your endurance in Faith as much as any triathlete.

Assume an UNCOMFORTABLE posture!

Memorial Day

In the United States, today is Memorial Day. A secular holiday, reminding us of our loved ones who have died and those who served and gave their lives defending our Nation. Many decorate graves and/or attend ceremonies honoring Veterans today.

I've come to think of today as an All Souls Day for non-Catholics. But, see, Catholics in the United States get BOTH!

If you can attend a Mass today: may be a good idea.

May 23, 2009

Post For Those Who Change Their Path

It takes courage to answer a call to the seminary or convent. It takes courage to prayerfully discern that the life is not for you. Never doubt the Lord has a plan for you no matter your state in life and you are still loved and wanted by Him.

Gentle Reader: Please pray for those in discernment.

Last Day

Today is the last day to get your votes in for The Crescat Awards and for a certain priest in Utah to cease his shameless drive for votes!

Keep in mind when voting for "Best Bat S**t Crazy" blog that Terry is not, by any approved psychiatric definition, crazy. He's just like that.

That's all.

May 22, 2009

For Hire

Perusing the job boards this morning...

Wanted: Presidential Apologist
Are you well-versed in the art of communication manipulation? Are you committed to the common good? Are you willing to do anything and say it creatively? Are you able to forgive and gloss over lies and deceit without any moral qualms? Are you passionately committed to justifying the office of the current President without mentioning his race, the historical precedent of his office, his handsomeness, his clothes, or his charm, as a reason for your love?

If you are intrigued, a quasi-governmentally funded organization with, unable to prove in court, ties to the DNC wants to talk to you!

Preferred Requirements:
Demonstrated ability to make excuses
Proven commitment to a progressive cause
Telegenic and physically-fit
Strong public speaking skills
History of convoluted and confusing writing skills
Global citizen
Righteous indignation without spitting
Discern and attack the speck in the "other sides" eye while ignoring the plank in your own
Inability and unwillingness to judge unless it suits the purpose
Complete lack of shame

Additional Considerations:
Knowledge of many subjects (preferably: world religions, world political and social movements, literature, music, canine breeds) expert in none

To apply:
* Submit a 3 x 5 color digital photo with cover letter, resume and vita (Word compatible);
* 5 minute (QuickTime compatible) clip (full body, plain blue backdrop, use a podium) of you verbally defining/explaining/defending/justifying a subject or topic of your choosing (falsified and inaccurate charts and graphics are acceptable as part of presentation, but the point is to see and hear you, not backup documents)**
* 140 word essay (Word compatible) of your thoughts and feelings on a topic of your choosing**
(**suggested topics: homosexuality, marriage, education, abortion, family, torture, imprisonment, corporate financial management, labor unions, federal budget, taxation, guns, U.S. Constitution)
* Candidates are STRONGLY encouraged as part of the application process to avoid using paper, any form of delivery that requires gas (air, ground, public transit), any hard media (DVD, flash drives et. al.) that needs to be specially recycled to a landfill in Argentina. Please be kind to your Mother (Earth), and upload materials via the web application portal.

Salary: Negotiable.
Bonus: Not reportable.
Benefits: Federal health insurance (for up to 3 loved ones of any age or self-identity), basement safe in a non-disclosed location for your retirement funds, Toyota Prius (hybrid), parking spot

Term: Regime dependent

Candidates will have to undergo and survive a ridiculously easy lip-service federal background check and public evisceration in the minority right-wing wacko media. Candidates will not be required to provide proof of U.S. citizenship or income tax payment

NO agencies.

May 21, 2009

No Easy Answers-Many Questions: The Hauser Family

Because I promised Mitchell several weeks ago to send him a post every week (and failed to do so), I FINALLY croaked out a post for Our Word and Welcome to It! It's a post inspired by the Hauser case, featuring my usually incoherent ramblings and run on sentences, about our Logan's Run court system. As of this writing, the mother and son were, supposedly, spotted in southern California Tuesday morning.

Hey, while you are visiting Our Word and Welcome to It!, keep in mind they are a nominee in The Crescat awards under Best Underappreciated Blog Voting closes soon.

May 19, 2009

To Serve

From the Baltimore Catechism:

6. Q. Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.

Recently, Angela and Mr. Sonnen waded into the deep end of the ocean without life vests and dared to raise the question of (let's call it what it is) "What is the proper role of women in the Sanctuary during Mass?"

I'm not sure I'd use words like: "wrong" and "allowed" regarding women serving in the Sanctuary during Holy Mass. Regardless of what I may personally think, it is permissable in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis, where I live, for women to be Lectors, Cantors and Altar Servers. At the end of the day, no one is asking for my permission for this to be so and in humility and with submission (words that make feminists teeth grind together) to the authority vested in the Ordinary of this province and what he has decreed based upon the permission given to him by the Holy Father, I cannot say it's not allowed or it's wrong based upon any interpretation of the law of my Archdiocese.

However, if someone were to ask my personal opinion on women serving in the Sanctuary during Holy Mass I would say, and I do say, I don't care for it. I don't fault women who want to serve in the Sanctuary during Mass, I'm just saying that if it were up to me I'd put a stop to it. There, I said it. But, it's not up to me so I'm just giving my personal opinion here.

Why? I, do, wholeheartedly, believe that the presence of women in the Sanctuary discourages men from vocations to the priesthood or diaconate. How many teenagers or young boys do you know who want to be up there with a bunch of girls (even if one of them is his sister)? If you are a parish that has hand-holding during the Pater Noster how many of the male altar servers want to hold hands with a girl and have their buddies snickering at them in the congregation? So, they don't hold hands but my guess is they still get "grief" for being up there next to her. At dances girls are secure enough in their person to dance with other girls but boys will not dance with other boys. Even boys want to be men. I wonder if we are weakening boys at a time when they need the strength to be men? I don't know for sure but it's a thought I'm kicking around.

Having an all male contingent in the Sanctuary is the beginnings of teaching men about the brotherhood and fraternity that is Holy Priesthood. If, by the grace of God, a man is ordained he's going to be living in the fraternity even if he's all alone in his Rectory. Why not start teaching boys this as soon as possible? If they are in the priesthood they are not going to be in a fraternity with women. Ever.

I think there should be instances in life where the sexes are segregated. I have no problem with all-male or all-female clubs. I went to a women only college. Curiously, this same college yelled and demanded admission when there were any male only clubs around but protested when there were any calls to open degrees on their campus to men.

I firmly believe that the women's only environment in college was good for me. It built up my confidence-which after 12 years of coeducational public school had taken a hit. Is same gender education for everybody? No. But, if it's needed than it should be allowed.

I think single gender (male) in the Sanctuary during Mass is a good thing for fostering vocations, and a confidence builder, and it should be allowed. But, again, no one is asking my opinion on this and I'm not giving it in the hope that tomorrow the Archbishop is going to mandate males only in the Sanctuary during Mass solely on the weakness of this blog post.

I know there are folks out there who retort that the only thing "left" for women to do for the Lord is clean the altar after the men are done with it. Is what is "left" so appalling? What's wrong with that? What is service? Is serving at the altar, whether in Holy Priesthood, or reading Scripture, or bringing the torches out during the Sanctus, the pinnacle of belief that all must aspire to and the standard of Christian excellence to which all are judged? Merciful God, I pray not.

My days of serving the Lord by "doing something exteriorly active" during Mass ended several years ago. I don't fault anyone who is called to do that, but it's not for me anymore.I have enough of a challenge serving Him, with attention, during Holy Mass with my interior prayer. To me the interior life is the hardest part of being a Christian. I can recite the Rosary in three languages. Great. But, the words are weak without the interior conversion to justify the recitation. I can repeat the responses during Mass in several languages. Great. But, not fantastic if I'm not living it and have no idea of the meaning of what I just said. The real meaning, not just the literal translation.

I was chatting with a gal in my Bible Study last night and she told me that her and her husband volunteer every year in her hometown rural parish to "pluck the chickens" for the annual chicken dinner. Why on earth would they lower themselves to do that arduous and messy task every year? Her response: Someone's got to do it.

That's right, someone needs to do it, even the menial tasks or they just don't get done. That is service to the Lord. Humility and stepping up to do what needs to be done-even if it offends your pride. The Little Flower joyfully cleaned in the nunnery and offered her labors to the Lord. Cleaning the altar is service to the Lord. Scrubbing the toilets in the church basement is serving the Lord. Decorating the church for important feasts is service to the Lord.

Why LIMIT service to the Lord solely to service in the Sanctuary? Like I said, the really tough service to the Lord is not the exterior actions it's the interior life. Interiorly we are all the same, for better or for worse, regardless of gender. If you insist on only serving in the Sanctuary I question what it is you really want. I know a lot of folks who deny they really want women in the priesthood; yet, they get really angry if they think they are excluded from serving in the sanctuary during Mass. If "exclusion" is your feeling, then you must know that you are excluded from priesthood just as a man is excluded from carrying children or from sisterhood. I don't see them taking to the streets in protest. It's women's work. Yes. There it is.

There is such a thing as man's work.

This post is shocking. No matter what kind of vitriol I'm about to get hit with, it's shocking that I would write this post. This is not a post I would have written 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 years ago. I've changed. I can only pray that I've grown.

May 18, 2009

A Word About Notre Dame

I'm still digesting the news and clips and recordings to form a more detailed opinion.

However, I am CONVINCED that the protests and arrests will be a turning point to energize for the better (in this life and/or the next only God knows) two movements of major importance to authentic Roman Catholics: life and the quality and integrity of our Catholic education system.

You can look back and tell your kids or your grandkids or generations of Catholics after you, I remember that day when the Magisterium Catholics mobilized AGAINST the President. Not against his office, because no one should disrespect that, but against the man and that which he stands for that is unacceptable. This is revolutionary.

It's also a day that we can look back on as a turning point in the RECLAMATION of what it means and SHOULD mean to call an institution: Catholic. This is apostleship, discipleship, apologetics, Pauline, powerful.

I've been thinking very much of the late Holy Father John Paul II (bless his memory). I dare to say that I think he'd be proud of his children and fellow Catholics because life and Catholic education were very important to him and his pontificate.

May 17, 2009

The Right Profile-Crescat's Other World

Everybody say is he alright?
[and]Everybody say what's he like?
[and]Everybody say he sure look funny....that's Montgomery Clift honey!

Happy Belated Birthday to Mr. Terrance Nelson! I can't believe I forgot that yesterday was his big day!

A song from one of my favorite albums of all time for Ter and Cyril Koob-The Crescat too since I suspect she could be a Clash fan.

Speaking of The Crescat some friends of mine snapped this photo during the All-Star Race in Concord, NC last night. Methinkith she doth protesteth too much! Hey, that's my old boyfriend!

He said go out and get me my old movie stills
Go out and get me another roll of pills
There I go again shaking, but I ain't got the chills

May 16, 2009

The Cathy Alexander


The Cathy Alexander - combine some crazy dreams with lake trout, bread with shotgun shells, cook over a campfire while sipping a martini.

Angela illin' and inspired!

May 15, 2009

Love Thy Neighbor

Belinda, I took your advice!!!!

Another Pinky and the Brain Joint!

Labels: WT-?; Fueled by Bombay Sapphire; The Greatest Commandment

Children Behave

I took some time out of all the shameless Crescat Award dramatics going on in blogdom to tool around town with a friend who arrived unexpectedly.

We drove around to Sunglass Hut and a Garden Center for bird seed and his own personal needs. He thinks the pot he has now makes him look scraggly. Unfortunately, we were unable to find anything he liked. He also had to go to a computer store because his housemate is always in need of something. No luck there either.

It was a good time! You can see the weather is fine. He told me that his housemate is always asking when he can expect the Bugatti. I'm reluctant to give it up. You can see why.

This has been a Vincenzo and Cathy Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Joint

Labels: Not Bat Shit Crazy Just: Huh?; Penjing Fan Club; I'm With the Tree

May 13, 2009


Yes, I'm still alive! I've just been incredibly busy. Many of you know I'm currently unemployed and I've been hitting the job hunt pretty hard. I'm a finalist for a position and I have other irons in the fire as well. Also, I have houseguests for much of the rest of the month (starting tomorrow) so it's been intense lately.

Prayers welcome!

May 07, 2009

On This Day in History.....

God said..."Let Cathy be born and may she love me and drink a Martini toast to my Name. Amen"

May 05, 2009

Catholic New Media Awards

Nominations are now being accepted in the Catholic New Media Awards. Voting begins on June 1. THIS CONTEST REPLACES THE CATHOLIC BLOG AWARDS OF YEARS PAST.

You can nominate here

I'm disappointed they don't have an explicit category for Tweeting or Plurking-not for myself because my Twitter feed is so lame (How LAME is it, Cathy?), Father Z's birds fell off the feeder asleep with boredom. But, there are other Catholics who have really good microblogging feeds. I think I will send the hosts a suggestion via the email on that page.

We Are A Part of the Rhythm Nation

Calm yourself Father Richtsteig, I will not now (or ever) give praise to liturgical dance!

Roman Catholicism is very much guided by a schedule, a calendar. Thoughout our history, it has been so. Easter falls on a certain designated day that scholars spent much time calculating, Christmas is on another, the Annunciation is here, the Birth of John the Baptist is here, the Ascension is..well, ok..but it gets a DATE!

Even the day is assigned Liturgical Hours: Prime, Sext, None, Vespers etc and each hour of each day has certain recited prayers.

Every day of the year has a Saint assigned to it. The daily Mass may not honor a particular Saint but just because the prayer during that days Mass does not call out all the Saints of said day, doesn't mean the Saint isn't or can't be honored on that day (or any day for that matter).

Sunday is the most important day of our week. I know the working stiffs think Friday is, but it isn't. Curiously, Sunday happens every 7 days but many still forget that the day is the Lord's and they must/should/better go to Mass!

Today, with the Mass in the Extraordinary Form and the Mass in the Ordinary Form, both given equal weight in our Church, we have two calendars. The "Traditional" calendar and the "New" calendar.

I bet there are Catholics reading this blog who can tell me what day of the week it is, but have absolutely no idea what season in the liturgical calendar the Church is in.

I know there are folks that think back in the "olden days" Catholics lives more closely followed the rhythm set by the liturgical calendar. Maybe that's true, maybe not.

You don't have to live in a cloister to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, you don't have to agonize over whether to venerate St. Bede the Venerable on the 25th of May or the 27th of May, but you should have a pattern of conformity to your life that makes some effort to make itself a life OF Christ rather than YOUR life. You would not have life if God had not made you. How about some gratitude?

On SONday (Sunday) which like I said, curiously always follows Saturday, are you giving that day to the Lord? I heard someone say once that on Sunday back in "the day" everyone stayed close to the Church all day long: first Mass, then Vespers and Benediction in the afternoon. That was probably in a time when everyone attended Mass in the Church in the neighborhood they lived in. Even so, even today, are you attending Mass on Sunday? Even if you are not fortunate enough to have a Vespers service near you are you spending the day in prayer as much as possible? How about reading Scripture? Praying the Rosary?

EVERY DAY, you should spend it with the Lord. Sunday is the bare minimum but why limit the potential of your boundless love for Christ to one day? It's SO easy in our modern era to look online and access the Breviary with the Liturgy of the Hours for the day (you can do that on breaks at work-I did), you can read the day's Bible readings online, many priests have posted their daily homilies online, you can pray the Rosary in your car, you can pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet at lunch, you can pray before meals, you can read about a Saint.

Now, some of your hearts are hard. You say "That kind of rigorous life is only attainable for people in religious communities. I can't be expected to do that. I have my own life. I have a family. That's ridiculous. You're crazy!" Is anything I listed: rigorous? Is it really?

I'm not suggesting that anyone needs to sit in a Perpetual Adoration Chapel 24/7 as the only effective way of union with Christ. If you can do that, great, but most of us can't. Attempt to do more of what you are doing. Start small and build on that. Even if you can only commit to praying the Rosary once/day that's something. That's huge. Never underestimate Our Lady. Examine your conscience daily, spend each
Friday sacrificing something as Our Lord did for us, go to Confession once/month, try attending Mass daily, go to Novena, recite a Litany each day. These are all suggestions. You don't have to do all or any of them but just DO MORE.

Being part of a community, whether religious or the community of secular Catholic Christians, IS to deny yourself and your personal preferences and submit your self to the rhythms and rules that govern the community. Even as lay Catholics we have a "rule"; it may not be the Rule of St. Benedict, but our rule as professed Catholics is to love and to serve the Lord-not your self. We need to spend as much time with God as possible. How can we know Him if we don't? Believe me: He knows us. We need to love Him with as much ardor as we can manage. Do you want Him to say to us at the end: "I'm spitting you out, you lukewarm one, I hardly knew you?!" or "Welcome home, my lamb"?

2009 Cannonball Awards

Madame The Crescat has opened the polls for the 2009 Cannonball Awards. You can vote here The links to the categories are in the right sidebar towards the top under the goofy looking award.

Because there is a multitude of underappreciated Catholic blogs out there, "Best Underappreciated Blog" category was split into two parts so be careful that you view the nominees in both splits.

Yours truly is honored to be nominated in "Best Underappreciated Blog" and "Snarkiest Catholic Blog"

There is, however, no category for "Crankiest Catholic Blog" if there was I would sweep all in a landslide victory.

Last time I checked, the Devonshire Cream and Strawberries of British Blogdom, Mulier Fortis was actually ahead of ME in "Snarkiest Catholic Blog". Huh??! WT-? Tell me, she didn't threaten to quit taking photos of Missa Cantatas at Blackfen in exchange for votes? This is outrageous and cannot be allowed!

From the looks of things, next years contest will discriminate against Father Richtsteig as well as Father Z and the Papist!

Walk for Life

A Walk for Life benefitting Life Care Center East will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon at Lake Phalen in St. Paul (Registration and the Walk begin at the Pavilion on the west side of the lake.)FFI call 651-776-2328 or or 891 White Bear Avenue, St. Paul MN 55106.

The distance around Lake Phalen is a walkable 2 miles!

You get a free t-shirt for every $100 in pledges! You do not have to pre-register, you can just show up at Phalen on Saturday. You do not even have to walk at Lake Phalen on Saturday-you can turn in your pledges and donations as part of the event at any time.

All money raised will go towards the center's operation funds so they can provide the following services FREE OF CHARGE: pregnancy tests and counseling, ultrasound services, abstinence/chastity education, baby furniture and supplies, financial assistance, referrals for adoption and social services, emotional support.

LifeCare Center East has a serious need for the following donated items: diapers (all sizes), Similac Advance formula, baby clothes thru size 2 toddler, bottles, blankets, gently used strollers, bassinets, changing tables and pace & plays. If you are able to help with any of these donated items, please call Joanne at 651-776-2328.

Cross posted to Stella Borealis blog

May 03, 2009

May Day Family Rosary Procession 2009

Today, in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, was the annual May Day Family Rosary Procession. I can hardly think of a better day. The temp was in the 70s, mostly sunny, light breeze. Beautiful day.

I put on my sensible, dorky, walking shoes (my nun shoes) and scored what was probably the last parking spot in the small Cathedral parking lot.

It was still pretty quiet on the Cathedral steps. Only a few people around. You can see a Knight of Columbus in the right hand doorway with his green lined cloak.
I walked from there down to the State Capital. Yes, down; the Capital is at a lower elevation than the Cathedral, a deliberate action of the late Archbishop John Ireland. Many had the same idea of parking on the Hill and walking to the Capital. You can see the people heading for the Capital-including an honor guard and a Knight of Columbus

The Procession started at the State Capital and wound it's way to the Cathedral of St. Paul. Those who are able to, walk the route behind Our Lady. Others, meet us inside the Cathedral. Here's another view of the route we will take back to the Cathedral. This is taken from the Cathedral steps so you get a sense of the distance.

The Faithful gathering at the Capital

A photo of Our Lady relaxing before the procession-some of the usual suspects are nearby.

As the bells at the Cathedral began to toll just before 2:00, the procession begins to line up and head out to "Hail Holy Queen Enthroned Above". The route is lined with loudspeakers. You can hear the music and Rosary inside the Cathedral and the Procession is united with the people inside the Cathedral. Our Lady is between the two trees.

This is the procession. I'm at the very back. The front is at the stop light. You can see how wide the crowd is. We recited both the Glorious and Joyful Mysteries between the Capital and the time I sat down inside.

Our Lady reaches the Cathedral steps. I was too far away to see clearly but I believe I saw the Rector of the Cathedral, the Very Reverend Joseph Johnson greeting her. Certainly, I saw Father Johnson still greeting people at the doors as the Procession worked its way inside.

The Cathedral was shy, by only a few rows of pews, from being completely full once the Procession came inside and joined those within the Cathedral. According to the Cathedral website, the Cathedral seats 3,000 people.

I did not take photos inside but many waved white handkerchiefs, white cloths and tissues at Our Lady as she entered last and approached the Altar of Our Lord.

A family crowned Our Lady and the Archbishop blessed her. The statue will be available to visit schools and parishes in the Archdiocese. For more information on the visitation program see Fatima Online or Family Rosary Procession

The Faithful sang "O Sanctissima" and the Archbishop led the recitation of the Litany of Loreto. There was a period of Adoration, then a Gospel reading by Fr. Robert Altier (Luke 1:39-56). The Archbishop gave a brief Homily. The Homily was followed by the "Prayer of the Fatima Angel" and a "Prayer for the Entrustment of the Family" The event closed with Benediction.

It was a fantastic event. It was so encouraging to see so many Catholics, of all ages and backgrounds, gathered in one place and making a public witness to the Faith.

I returned home and found that Sodak (black) and Kaylen (black and white), despite not accompanying Mommy to the Procession, had an exhausting day of their own.

May 02, 2009

Greedy for His Sake

I attended the Transitional Deaconate Ordination at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis today. I brought my camera but was prevented from using it by the note in the program that requested no flash photography during the liturgy. Those of you who've seen my camera know the kind of flash I have on it! LOL! It takes great photos but the flash can be intense. I'm old school. I still use film. I've sucessfully busted two digital cameras and my cell phone camera is horrible; so here I am with my trusty Minolta. Hey, it works!

The Basilica of St. Mary is one of the most beautiful churches anywhere. I still don't "get" why the banner committee, or whoever is in charge of that stuff, feel the need to hang swooshy banners and an artsy cross over the transept. The building IS the only art we need overhead. The modern "tongues of flame"/"Holy Spirit" print on the ambo still gives me a migraine and so do the modern "Stations of the Cross" prints under the classic Stations of the Cross. Leave the building alone. It was built as a testimony to worshipping God. It doesn't need embellishment. It is absurd and ridiculous to even attempt embellishment in a setting that is already glorious to begin with. Our ancestors knew what they were doing. Respect their judgement.

/end this rant

I entered the Basilica and there were Seminarians at every door in cassock and surplice handing out the program and helping the families of the men to be ordained find their assigned seats. Throughout the Basilica, there were priests and seminarians and religious and lay people scattered throughout in prayer before the altar, in the pews, before the various side altars and chapels. It was very heartening.

The liturgy was lovely. The music was wonderful and very solid. QM spoke truth.

I know the music and liturgy buffs want the program so here's what was what:

Organ Prelude: Suite Gothique, Op. 25 by Leon Boellmann, Priere a Notre Dame
Introit: Scio Cui Credidi
Processional: O God, Beyond All Praising by Michael Perry (alternated All with Choir only-very lovely. If this hymn is done well, I tear up. It was and I did)
Liturgy of the Word:
First Reading: Acts 8:26-40
Psalm: 96
Second Reading (in Spanish): Romans 12:4-8
Gospel Acclamation (Mode II): John 15:15
Gospel: John 15:9-17
Rite of Ordination: Calling and Presentation of the Candidates, Election of the Bishop and Consent of the People
Homily by Archbishop John Nienstedt (as is a practice of His Excellency, he opened The Lesson with song and closed with song. He alternated the lyrics in Spanish and English. I recognized but couldn't place it. Anyone know?)
Promise of the Elect, Litany of Supplication
Litany of the Saints (sung in Latin)
Laying on of Hands,Prayer of Consecration, Investiture with Stole and Dalmatic (It is very moving to see men vested for the first time), Presentation of the Book of the Gospels, Kiss of Peace-Psalm 146 (You have to be made of stone not to be touched by the line of priests and deacons coming forward to embrace men as one of their brotherhood for the first time)
Liturgy of the Eucharist (Offertory):O Maria, quant'e felice (Hymn to Our Lady of Confidence)-by the choir. (This was magnificently done.)
Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation, Great Amen were from the Deutsche Messe by Franz Schubert adapt by Richard Proulx (English)
Lord's Prayer, chanted (English), adapt. Robert Snow
Agnus Dei, sung (English), Holy Cross Mass
Communion Antiphon: Data Est Mihi
Communion Procession: Laudate Dominum (music by Jacques Berthier), Maneant in Nobis, You are Mine by Fr. Michael Joncas (What was this doing in here? Seriously. Ok, ok, I'm counting the entire liturgy as a sucess that no Haas/Haugen was in it.)
Post Communion: Golden Rose (Hymn to Our Lady of Knock) I saw this and cringed. It seemed out of place and too much of an answer to the Spanish reading (like they got that and the Irish get this and the Germans got that and the that I think of it the whole liturgy had nods to various ethnicities). They sold it. It was very well done, the lyrics are solid, and it worked. I spoke with Ray after and he agreed
Recessional: Sing With All The Saints In Glory
Organ Postlude: Symphony No. 1 in D Minor, Op 14 by Louis Vierne VI

The Archbishop, in his closing remarks that I'll paraphrase, noted that our Seminary has THE largest class of seminarians! He thanked the families for giving their sons to Holy Church. With an engaging mix of humor and seriousness that I've come to realize is also one of his hallmarks, His Excellency said: We need more! Pray for vocations! Encourage them! Speak about them! His Excellency said he wants to be greedy for His sake!

What I believe the Archbishop meant was: You can never have enough vocations. More. Please!

I know, on a regular basis, I bust everyone's chops for inappropriate attire. I was, PLEASANTLY, shocked that almost everyone in the pews was very well dressed. I can't remember the last time I saw the majority of people in the pews dressed so well at a Mass. I want to be greedy for His sake and ask for more of this. Thank you.

The Archbishop was also well vested. I know I bust his chops here too. Gotta give him respect. LOL!

It bothered me that the mass was not ad orientem but it bugs me to see priests with their back to the Tabernacle. This is an irritation I've noticed in myself in recent days.

Remember, the architecture is a testimony and a guide to the worship of God. Why is the marble baldachino back there over the original high altar and tabernacle and NOT the freestanding altar? Hmmmm...

Oh, I was expecting during Communion, that in spite of the presence of, at least, 100priests and deacons of the Archdiocese, a multitude of EMHC's were still going to make their presence known. They didn't-only priests and deacons distributed the Eucharist. Not only that, everyone processed for Communion to the front-there were no additional setups in the transept. I like this. It gives me hope that since we are going to the front anyway, it is only a few small steps to the altar rail where one day, God grant it so, we can kneel and receive during a future Ordination Mass just as our wise ancestors did in the Basilica in years past.

Remember, the building was designed as a testimony and guide to the worship of God. The altar rail is there for a reason too.

I know I'm inserting my rants and digressions about the architecture of the ages and worthy worship. Pay me no mind. It was a fantastic liturgy-my quibbles aside.

May 01, 2009

First Weekend In the Month of Mary

Around the Town:

First Saturday, and you know what that means..yes!.. Mass featuring the Chant Schola with Geometricus (Hey, update the blogs, bro!), Dan (Ditto!) and Ray at St. Anthony of Padua in Minneapolis! Mass at 8:30 a.m., Holy Hour with Confessions one hour prior to Mass. Usually, there is breakfast at Elsie's after Mass. But, this is a busy weekend for many (see below) so I'm not sure Elsie's will happen this week. But, Father Jenson is usually at Elsie's after Mass with his servers and some parishioners. Stop by his table and thank him for being open to old traditions that are new again.

Saturday, at 2:00 p.m. SEVEN men are to be ordained as transitional Deacons at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. Future Priests have the details and the names of the ordinandi. QM tells me the music will be surprising (meaning: solid) this year and she should know. Pray for our seminarians. Pray for vocations.

Sunday at 1:30 p.m. is the Annual Archdiocesan Rosary Procession. Ray has the details. Ray should know since he was, recruited into helping the Minneapolis procession this year. Geometricus will be the Cantor in Minneapolis. I can't decide whether to cross the river and join the progs on the west side (LOL!) or labor up Cathedral Hill in my heels (you know me!) and get some face time with the Archbishop! Like that'll happen..more like I'll continue to avoid him lest he ask me: "About that post criticizing my vestments...."

Remember, St. Agnes has sung Vespers and Benediction every Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

Plenty of options to deepen your life in Christ this weekend-in addition to the Sunday Mass you were already going to attend, right?!

Serious Pro-Life Development

Ray breaks it.

Brian Gibson, Executive Director of Pro-Life Action Ministries has been ordered to remain ONE BLOCK from the entrance of the Highland Park (St. Paul MN) Planned Parenthood abortuary. An exception was made for the annual Good Friday Vigil-gee, wasn't that generous?

PLAM is an organization that I heartily support and endorse and the Highland Park location is the site of many regular vigils that I've participated in.

For now, the order appears to only include Mr. Gibson personally but how long is that going to last?

A hearing for Mr. Gibson will take place on Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 1:30 p.m. at the St. Paul Courthouse at 15 W Kellogg Blvd. You'll need to check the schedule in Room 130 to know what room the hearing has been assigned.

This may be a good time to consider supporting PLAM as Mr. Gibson is probably going to need funds to combat the court action.
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