‘Bout That Election

I normally drive one town over, deeper into the Driftless Area, for Sunday Mass. Recently, though, I attended Sunday Mass at the parish church in the town where I live. The parish priest addressed the upcoming election in his homily. He made the following points:

1.) We should pray for both candidates. They are both morally corrupt. We shouldn’t judge souls, but their moral corruption is apparent from their actions.

2.) We learn about these actions from the news. Not all of the news we hear is true.

3.) We need to consider the platforms of the respective parties. One party is solidly in favor of abortion and euthanasia. Without the right to life, there are no other rights. Continue reading

Patronal Feast Day of St. Raphael

Happy feast day (in the Old  Calendar) to St. Raphael the Archangel! He is the patron saint of the Diocese of Madison and a patron saint of mine. Here is a photo I took in one of the side-chapels of the Basilica of Sant’ Andrea della Valle in Rome (http://romanchurches.wikia.com/wiki/Sant%27Andrea_della_Valle). The painting depicts St. Raphael revealing himself to the elder Tobias (on the left) and the younger Tobias (on the right).

I found the placement of this painting providential, as Sant’ Andrea della Valle is my favorite church in Rome. I also have a devotion to St. Andrew, the patron saint of the church in the town where I now live. St. Raphael and St. Andrew, pray for us!

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St. Norbert in the Driftless

As a New Liturgical Movement article reminds me, yesterday (June 6) was the feast day of St. Norbert of Xanten. St. Norbert is the patron saint of St. Norbert Parish in Roxbury, WI. The parish was founded by Fr. Adalbert Inama, a 19th-century missionary priest who is regarded as the Apostle of the Four Lakes Region.* Fr. Inama belonged to the Premonstratensian Order, also known as the Norbertines because they were founded by St. Norbert. So a Norbertine priest named the parish after the founder of his order. To add to the name game, Fr. Inama shared his Christian name with St. Adalbert, the first Archbishop of Magdeburg, a see that St. Norbert later held.

In addition to being one of the best-preserved historic churches in the Driftless Area, St. Norbert’s is also a hub for the Traditional Latin Mass, which is offered there on weekdays and on Sundays (click the parish link above for the schedule). The parish is served by the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest, which was founded in Spain (here’s the website of their founder). I think the missionary heritage at St. Norbert’s is heartening. St. Norbert held the see of St. Adalbert, the Apostle of the Slavs. His spiritual son Fr. Adalbert Inama came from Austria to serve the German-speaking Catholics of the Driftless Area. Now a Spanish order has taken the baton. Continue reading

Westward, ho!

Among the many traditionalist shibboleths is the supremacy of worship ad orientem, “toward the east.” For those of you, who don’t know, that means the priest faces away from the people when he offers Mass.

“What?! No! It means that the priest and people both face eastward, which is the traditional posture of Christian prayer going back to the Apostolic era. Christ is our ‘east,’ the rising sun of justice. The idea that the priest is ‘facing away from the people’ is a modern misunderstanding! Don’t you know that in the Roman basilicas the priest faces the people so he can face east, due to the alignment of the churches? And in the early centuries, the congregation faced east, *away* from priest, at certain times during the Mass?”

Why, thank you for that trad smackdown. I’m sure it was very cathartic for you . . . Ennnnyyy-hooo, let me get back to my point about why ad orientem worship in practice means that the priest has his back to the people. Continue reading

Defende nos in proelio . . .

My Mother’s Day post will need to wait — this being an obscurantist blog, our focus is on yet *another* suppressed feast in early May. Today’s is the Feast of the Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel. Here’s what Fr. Prosper Gueranger has to say about the feast and its origin.

The title of this post comes from the famous Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. As it happens, May 8 (at least in some countries) marks Victory in Europe Day — the day the last Axis forces in Europe surrendered to the Allies. So today was the day, 71 years ago, when St. Michael delivered on this invocation.

Now, history is messy, and so is Catholic traditionalism. During and since the war, some Catholics have objected to the Western Allies’ connivance in the Soviet conquest of Eastern Europe. While I think this is less the case now, there used to be a strain of World War II revisionism among certain traditionalists (think of the +Williamson affair, which was less anomalous than one might wish). Continue reading

Ascension Thursday

Tonight (May 5) I attended the Pontifical Mass that Bishop Morlino offered at St. Mary of Pine Bluff. In his homily, Bishop Morlino said that Mass is not just a commemoration of the Passion, but also the Ascension of Our Lord — Christ’s “Great Entrance” into Heaven. I’d add: there’s a link from Maundy Thursday (the institution of the Eucharist) to Ascension Thursday (Our Lord’s bodily entrance into the Heavenly sanctuary).

The Epistle at Mass on Ascension Thursday is taken from the Acts of the Apostles. One of the passages (Acts 1:10-11) reads:

“And while they were beholding him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments. Who also said: ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, as you have seen him going into heaven.”

Where have we seen these two men (i.e. angels) before? At the Resurrection: Continue reading