Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The garden of the 'Dowry of Mary' buds to new life: Four Master Gardeners assist its native sons and daughters.

The next post will bear the above title, or something similar. It will probably appear on Friday. Tomorrow at 6.30pm, we have our first Mass this year in Saint Romain church, (the last one having been on July 1 last year) and preparations will keep me busy for most of the day. For the last week I've had to sweep the whole church floor everyday, of a most unpleasant descent of dead flies from above the nave. There are no cracks in the ceiling that I can see, but somehow six shovels full have so far found ingress. There were even some in the holy water stoup this morning. I think they've probably been over-wintering in the virginia creeper which covers a lot of the outside of the church. Nevertheless I can't remember such a problem happening before. God bless. A vendredi. J

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal

h/t to Father Tim at the Hermeneutic of Continuity

More reason to encourage belief in Fr Corapi's innocence?

Santa Cruz Media Inc. is a secular corporation and although it appears to take a Christian stance, is not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way. It is the owner of all Fr John Corapi's intellectual property. Bobbi Ruffatto, its Vice President of Operations, has issued a statement on Father's recent suspension at the blog Scroll to appropriate post, at the moment showing second on the page.
[FULL TEXT] Statement of Santa Cruz Media Inc. Relative to Fr. Corapi's suspension

This is worth reading, particularly because of the following details:

".......there is no evidence that Fr. Corapi did anything wrong, only the unsubstantiated rant of a former employee, who after losing her job with this office, physically assaulted me and another employee and promised to 'destroy' Fr. Corapi."

One hopes the assault was reported to the police at the time. For Ruffatto to report it now, after the accusations, might be seen as unhelpful because of his corporation's vested interest in proving Father's innocence.

Friday, March 25, 2011

'Sufficient unto the day .......'

I've spent the evening reading up on the case of Father John Corapi, hopefully preparatory to a post tomorrow afternoon. My present view is that the evil one is definitely at work here, wanting as he always does, to destroy the holy priesthood. No priests, no Eucharist. I am now going to bed, and will be praying for Father John during the waking hours of the night. The fact remains that his case presents two starkly opposed possibilities. One, that Father Corapi has been guilty of the most appallling hypocrisy, and that he is a total sham; or two, that he is a victim of some mad female's search for revenge in the form of monetary, yet totally undeserved recompense. I have the senstaion that it is most likely a case of
'Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned' (Congreve).

All my experience (I'm 67) leads me to favour the latter explanation.

Hans Leo Hassler: Missa super dixit Maria (Agnus Dei)

Hans Leo Hassler: Missa super dixit Maria (Benedictus)

Hans Leo Hassler: Missa super dixit Maria (Sanctus)

Hans Leo Hassler: Missa super dixit Maria (Credo)

Hans Leo Hassler: Missa super dixit Maria (Gloria)

I intend to post all the movements of this Mass in celebration of today's Solemnity and epect to reach the Agnus Dei by mid-evening.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hans Leo Hassler: Missa super dixit Maria (Kyrie)

Eve of the Annunciation:

Kyrie of a favourite Mass, based in its turn upon a favourite motet by the same composer, Hans Leo Hassler. Lovely to sing, but deceptively simple and consequently easy to foul up, as demonstrated by some of the YouTube offerings.

Monday March 21: the 2011 generation of swallows arrived in Saint Romain, about a fortnight earlier that last year. It was the 105th anniversary of my father's birth. God rest and bless him for being such a wondeful parent. Sadly, he did not live to see the publication of my first three books, sadly for me that is, because I believe that since he died, he has always known about them.

Today I finished the proposal for my fourth book. Having done my very best, I will be glad to get it in the post to London, and forget about it until the (probable) rejection slip arrives. When and if it does, I will 'start over'.

'Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what's a heaven for?' (Browning - Andrea del Sarto)

Meanwhile, my dear friend Mulier Fortis has fulminated against BST. Her felines are going to be tremendously confused. What a time to introduce a cat flap into innocent and reasonable feline lives. On top of everything else there will be a Census going on. Anyway, we will do the same artificial time-juggling stunt here in France this coming weekend, so as to keep an hour ahead of the Brits you understand. At least it's one thing on which the European Community is agreed.

More tomorrow as promised, D.V

Have a happy and holy Feast day.

In Christo pro Papa,


Monday, March 21, 2011

Next post coming Friday 25 March, D.V.

In which I hope to offer appropriate music and reflections on some interim concerns, Father Corapi for instance, Lord help him.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Essential preoccupations

It's been an undeniably frightful week. I am sure my readers don't need a list of major news headlines and stories to be reminded of this and that like me, they will have intensified their Lenten observance as a result.

As is frequently the case, the Psalmody of the Divine Office has been strikingly apposite. Here are a couple of examples. On Wednesday at the Office of Readings we had:

From Psalm 17, with the sub-heading "A great earthquake took place at that time (Rev 11:13)

"The waves of death rose about me;

the torrents of destruction assailed me;

the snares of the grave entangled me;

the traps of death confronted me.

In my anguish I called to the Lord;

I cried to my God for help.

From his temple he heard my voice;

my cry came to his ears.

Then the earth reeled and rocked;

the mountains were shaken to their base:"

And today from the same Hour
Sub-headed "The Lord is a Saviour in time of Persecution"

From Psalm 34 (They united in making plans to arrest Jesus by treachery and have him put to death (Mt 26: 3,4)

"Now that I am in trouble they gather,

they gather and mock me.

They take me by surprise and strike me

and tear me to pieces.

They provoke me with mockery on mockery

and gnash their teeth."

Japan struggles with the results of natural disaster, and Christians throughout the world face increasingly violent persecution, whilst goverments in the West seem to be blind to the precious commodity they are squandering. Praying the Office, one could not fail to think of these things, and not only on the literal level. We are living through the collapse of western Christendom, immersed in a culture of death. As the earth of Japan literally reeled and rocked, so spiritually, the Christian world reels and rocks. Our beloved earth is no longer physically secure, partially as a result of human bad stewardship; our Christian world is desperately vulnerable in the onset of a most fierce spiritual battle.

As always the Breviary reminds us that the Psalms prefigure Christ's own suffering. He endured persecution before us, and He warned us that we will also suffer it if we choose to follow Him. But we hold to the one difference between His suffering and ours. He endured if not only before us, but FOR us and our eternal salvation.

The psalmody of this morning's Office of Readings ends with some closing verses from Psalm 34

"I will thank you in the great assembly,

Amid the throng I will praise you.

Let there be joy for those who love my cause.

Let them say without end

'Great is the Lord who delights

in the peace of his servant.'

Then my tongue shall speak of your justice,

all day long of your praise."

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Apparently the Kyrie and Agnus Dei of this Mass (Victoria's Missa Quarti Toni) were sung today at Buckfast Abbey, attended by members of the S.W. Ordinariate group. This is the only version I could find on YouTube, and the sopranos are too loud with # tendency. Trust the Buckfast rendition was superior! I've posted here in celebration of the occasion and especially for two very dear friends who are members of S.W.O. and were present. Sorry to hear you are both rather unwell and hope this makes you feel a little better. btw Fr Ian is doing a great job with the South West Ordinariate blog (see sidebar here)

God bless you all and welcome to the boarding quay for the Barque of Saint Peter!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Invocabit Me

(Roman Gradual page 71, Ps. 90 vs 15,16 & 1)
After a fairly lengthy search, all things taken into consideration, this is the best version I could find. I will go to Mass tomorrow morning with the chant ringing in my heart and soul.
It's a pity the account is not in a liturgical setting, even though the concert was given in a church. One appreciates the applause being cut short at the end.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week - Book Trailer

St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association; a Holy Year for Nuns

St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association (hereinafter SCCHA) is a beautiful site, based in the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. According to the Breviary, St. Conleth is patron of that See. SCCHA's main raison d'etre is to promote the Usus Antiquior but it also provides an ongoing photo gallery of Irish cultural/religious history (arguably the same thing). This latter aspect is extremely important and beautifully presented. I for one find it comforting, particularly at a time when Ireland, like Britain, appears to be turning its back on its ancient Faith, in favour of secularism, relativism, liberalism, and all the other 'isms' which are proving to be so destructive of a healthy society. Anyone with Irish connections will love the site.

English Catholics, particularly those in the north, have reason to be eternally grateful to Irish priests and religious sisters. Their influence, particularly at parish level, was vast. As an example, my own parish (of long ago) was founded and run by a community of around 10 members of the Congregation of the Mission, with strong support from a community of Daughters of Charity of at least twice that number. Those were the days! Now, Ireland has enough to do in the battle to save her own heritage. I know from my native Irish mother-in-law, who lives in Dublin, that the situation there is dire. I heartily recommend SCCHA and exhort you to pay a visit and spike its stats'.

Saint Conleth
He was born C450 in Ireland. Later he became a skilled worker in gold and silver and a manuscript illuminator. He lived as a hermit, but tradition has it that Saint Brigid persuaded him to leave the eremitical life. They ran a double monastery together and St. Conleth became the first Bishop of Kildare C490. It is handed down to us that in 519, he was attacked by wolves in the forests of Leinster. Dying from his injuries he was buried nearby. His relics were translated Kildare cathedral in 799 and were taken to Connell in 835 to protect them from Danish invaders. (If any of these details are incorrect, I hope 'Convenor' will correct me.)

A Holy Year for Nuns
SCCHA is the first place where I have seen this suggestion. I do not know the size of its readership, but although my own is not huge, I want to do everything I can to promote the idea I do know that my own blogs are read by a handful of the more inflential member of the blogosphere. Perhaps Pastor in Valle could help here and ensure that the idea reaches a wider audience. SCCHA encourages us 'to ask Ecclesiastical authorities to dedicate a special year to give thanks to God for nuns and to pray for Nuns and for more nuns'. It seems the natural thing to do after the Year for Priests. It would also sweep from the board any unpleasantness which may result from the Visitation of American Female Religious orders, bringing the positive power of prayer to bear on the outcome of that thorny situation, not to mention the effect upon vocations.

During Lent I will write to Archbishop Joseph William Tobin, C.SS.R.,the Secretary of the appropriate Congregation in Rome. I feel a letter is wise in the first place, and will send copy to the Pro-Prefect Archbishop Braz de Aviz, and also to Sister Enrica Rosanna, F.M.A., Under-Secretary, at the same address.

Address and email details

Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
Piazza Pio XII, 3
00193 Rome

To email Archbishop Tobin,

Saints Conleth and Brigid, pray for us, and especially for our Holy Father, that he 'may not flee for fear of the wolves'.

How appropriate that it is the Memorial of St. Louise de Marillac today, foundress under the direction of St Vincent de Paul, of the Daughters of Charity. May she too assist us.

Monday, March 7, 2011

News of Adoratio 2011

Continued domestic upheavals have put me behind with my stated blog intentions. Originally I said my first post in Lent would be about the possibility of A Year for Nuns which had been suggested on the blog of 'St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Assocition' I was led to the blog by Fr Tim's 'Hermeneutic of Continuity. I put a note of thanks in his combox but think he may have missed it, being away at the 'Faith' Conference at Ampleforth at the time. Anyway, a repeated h/t to Father for his alert to what I feel is and excellent idea. A post on this subject will, after all, be my first one in Lent. (Link to St. Conleth's may take a little time, but it does work.)

Zenit has two items of interest entitled 'Before all Else, The Eucharist' Part 1 here, and Part 2 here. The items contain an interview with Father Florian Racine ( appropriate name), background information, and a clear statement that the Eucharist and Its Adoration are the source of all effective Evangelisation. Father Racine is one of the French founders and organisers of the Adoratio 2011 conference, that will take place in Rome this summer (June 20-23) Don't forget that our own dear Dom Mark Kirby will be one of the speakers, not to mention Msgr Marini and several high-ranking 'Benedictine' prelates, including Cardinals Ranjith, Burke and Piacenza. Veritably, an occasion not to be missed!

A full list of speakers can be found at the Adoratio site. Link in the sidebar here.

Next post on Thursday D.V.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Benedict XVI visits seminarians of Rome

H/t to Catholic Herald
Could not resist this.
Something beautiful and encouraging for the Sunday before Lent.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Next post on Monday. Apologies for unavoidable delay

I intend that the next post will cover the idea of 'A Holy Year for Nuns' As far as I know it was launched by St. Conleth's Catholic Heritaage Association. So far, it seems that only Fr Finigan and myself have mentioned it. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Katherine Jenkins Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer

I hope and pray that you all had a happy and holy St. David's