Tuesday, January 01, 2008

El Salvador, restaurado

Glorious pictures of a restored Church.

Good Friday 2007 in Villach, Austria

This their Lenten hanging.

Fair or unfair Mass

The Carnival Church carried on doing what came naturally to them for the Harvest Thanksgiving Mass, later in the year.

Complete with mini-stealth priestess.

Work sought. I want to work, I need work.

My house shall be called a house of prayer


but you have turned it into a bookstore.

Where Mass was once read, now only readers and coffee drinkers.

Cardinal George Crowns Infant King


Series of photos.

A never-ending source of wonder that the King of Heaven and earth should be born in a stable

Midnight Mass December 25, 2007

In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

And she brought forth her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger.
(St. Luke, chap. 2)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, My dear Brothers of Our Lady of the Annunciation,

It is a never-ending source of wonder that the King of Heaven and earth should be born in a stable on the outskirts of an obscure village, of a little town in Palestine. More surprising still is the fact that this humble origin of the Messiah, by virtue of its very poverty, should--age after age--bring such joy to the world.

Why is it that people who are rather poor—not in misery, but simply wanting in many material things—are generally happier than those more fortunate in earthly possessions? Not that there is any absolute rule here: many are the wealthy, especially the good and generous Christians among them, who live most happy lives; many are the poor, on the other hand, who are perfectly miserable.
Nevertheless, it is a fact that, more often than not, the poor have a keener sense of celebration and simple gladness than the wealthy. What explains this tendency? What was the secret of the Poverello, Saint Francis of Assisi? Why did a whole age run after him, as it were, not only the simplest of folk, but kings and queens, princes and princesses, to the furthest reaches of Europe?

This is an excellent meditation for Midnight Mass.

The roots of such a meditation plunge us into the depths of eternity, into God’s infinite love and wisdom: behind the manger scene we all associate with Christmas, there is the eternal birth of the Son of God, engendered from all eternity, “before the daystar” as the Psalm has it. Before the birth of Jesus on earth, in the fullness of time, there is the eternal birth of the Second
Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, a mystery more vast than any ocean, and which we shall never fathom or formulate with our paltry human words. The fruits of such a meditation are in the way we live the mystery of Christmas in our own time.

In his recent Encyclical Letter, Spe Salvi, on Christian Hope, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI provides a very penetrating analysis of what gives joy to the lives of the poor. He contrasts our life in Christ, that possessed by even the poorest among us, with that of the pagans before the coming of the Messiah. He writes:

Notwithstanding their gods, they were “without God” and consequently found themselves in a dark world, facing a dark future. In nihil ab nihilo quam cito recidimus (How quickly we fall back from nothing to nothing): so says an epitaph of that period. Saint Paul says to the Thessalonians: you must not “grieve as others do who have no hope” (1 Th 4:13). … We see as a distinguishing mark of Christians the fact that they have a future: it is not that they know the details of what awaits them, but they know in general terms that their life will not end in emptiness. Only when the future is certain as a positive reality does it become possible to live the present as well. So now we can say: Christianity was not only “good news”—the communication of a hitherto unknown content. In our language we would say: the Christian message was not only “informative” but “performative”. That means: the Gospel is not merely a communication of things that can be known—it is one that makes things happen and is life-changing. The dark door of time, of the future, has been thrown open.

This Christian hope belongs, of course, to the rich as well as to the poor; however, whereas the wealthy man has many resources on earth to cushion him from the blows of life, the poor man really has nothing but his hope. This would seem to be a source of sorrow rather than of joy, but the annals of the human story prove just the contrary. It is precisely when a man is stripped of all material help and solace that he realizes that, being rich with the grace of God, he really has everything. St. John of the Cross puts these words in the mouth of the soul enflamed with Divine love, a soul totally poor in earthly possessions:

Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine, and mine the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God Himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me.

Through the centuries, monks and nuns of the various monastic orders have contributed greatly to this culture of glad poverty and of joyful hope around the cradle of Bethlehem. The Holy Father describes this monastic contribution to hope and joy in another passage of his encyclical, evoking the example of St. Bernard of Clairvaux:

Monks, he says, perform a task for the whole Church and hence also for the world. St. Bernard uses many images to illustrate the responsibility that monks have towards the entire body of the Church, and indeed towards humanity; he applies to them the words of an ancient author: “The human race lives thanks to a few; were it not for them, the world would perish ...”.

Contemplatives—contemplantes—must become agricultural labourers—laborantes—he says. The nobility of work, which Christianity inherited from Judaism, had already been expressed in the monastic rules of St Augustine and St Benedict. St Bernard takes up this idea again. The young noblemen who flocked to his monasteries had to engage in manual labour. In fact St Bernard explicitly states that not even the monastery can restore Paradise, but he maintains that, as a place of practical and spiritual “tilling the soil”, it must prepare the new Paradise. A wild plot of forest land is rendered fertile—and in the process, the trees of pride are felled, whatever weeds may be growing inside souls are pulled up, and the ground is thereby prepared so that bread for body and soul can flourish. Are we not perhaps seeing once again, in the light of current history, that no positive world order can prosper where souls are overgrown?

Although we will soon be moving out of this little cowboy Bethlehem, this barn-chapel we have inhabited for eight years now, in order to take up residence in the more spacious house Our Lady and Saint Joseph have built for us on the hill, we must never lose the spirit of the glad poverty that has nourished us so well until now. Surely we have only begun to render fertile the wild plot of forest Divine Providence has entrusted to us; surely we have only begun to fell the trees of our own pride and to pull up the weeds growing inside our souls. May the Infant Jesus smile upon our labors and communicate to us His poverty and His joy. Amen.

God loves red, yellow, black and white! All of them!

was the motto of this Carnival Mass which took place in Austria on March 1st 2007. Just a warning to all that it will soon be Carnival time again and yet another year will go by with our children being formed with the idea that Church is all about play and not being taught the great doctrines of the Catholic Faith. In the worse cases, they will not be able to tell the difference between magic and Catholicism.

Our children deserve better!

Jesuits plan for life


Big thank you!


I discovered today that if you put "Catholic Church" into Google, Cathcon comes out at result 24, one ahead of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. This is a major league result by any standard. Thank you to everybody who has visited, commented, informed of stories or been generally supportive, not least with donations.

What's the problem?

"At least 500 Catholics have petitioned the Archdiocese of Milan for the restoration of the traditional Latin liturgy, reports noted Vatican-watcher Andrew Tornielli of the Italian daily Il Giornale.

In Milan, the most populous Catholic diocese in Europe, has its own distinctive liturgical tradition, the Ambrosian rite, which was preserved after Vatican II by order of Pope Paul VI, a former Archbishop of Milan.

After Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) issued his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum in July 2007, broadening access to the traditional Latin Mass, archdiocesan authorities announced that the papal document did not apply to Milan, because Summorum Pontificum applies specifically to the Roman rite, not to the Ambrosian rite. That proclamation from Milan, made public in September, reportedly caused consternation at the Ecclesia Dei commission, the Vatican body responsible for implementation of the motu proprio.

Msgr. Luigi Manganini, the archpriest of Milan's cathedral and a powerful force in the archdiocese, had announced that the motu proprio would not take effect even in those Milan parishes that have always practiced the Roman rite, because there has been no group requesting the traditional liturgy. Now Il Giornale reports that an internet site has collected the signatures of 500 people making that request."

Pictures at an exhibition 2007

400 years ago, Jesuit Gillibrands said Mass on the altars of the Church of St Michael in Louvain.

This is what has become of the altars. Mass is still said every week in the Church, but, of course, on a table. More soon on the scandalous use of Churches in Belgium for the display of such "art".

Feast of the Circuncision of Our Lord


The Venerators of the White Disc


The spirituality of the Church of Our Lady's Nativity in the middle of Germany.

It all fits- their communion vessels

Their ambo- could be knocked together in an hour by a half-decent carpenter.

Their servers.

Could be worse- they could be skull worshippers.

Vatican champion of reform

finds hope in liturgy:

"From my point of view, therefore, the motu proprio does not change the need to keep moving forward with renewal of the liturgy."

Desperately seeking a near perfect liturgy. But Marini and his kind are responsible for the massive defects in the ordinary form of the Mass.

So Happy New Year Archbishop Marini, and may God keep you as far away as a possible from Papal liturgies.

Catholic Church Restoration  

"This site is devoted to the restoration of many needful things   that have been forgotten but not lost. We are currently engaged in a project to restore the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes to its original purpose and appearance by restoring the Immemorial Rite of the Latin Mass in Minneapolis and encouraging those currently engaged in a two year long project to restore rather than renovate (modernize) the structure."