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    I am pleased to announce that during July Fr. Alan Joseph Adami, O.P. will celebrate sung Masses according to the traditional Dominican Rite at St. Paul's Chapel, Valley Road, Birkirkara, Malta. These Masses will occur at 7:00 p.m., on July 1 and 15; August 19; and September 2, 9, and 16.

    This announcement is decorated with images Fr. Adami's First Mass (also in the Dominican Rite) this last April at the Maltese Latin Chaplaincy.

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    On Wednesday of the CMAA’s annual Sacred Music Colloquium, a Mass in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite was celebrated in Spanish. The proper of the Mass was chanted with melodies adapted from the Roman Gradual into Spanish by Janet Gorbitz; Spanish composers (Vila, Capillas, Morales, de Santa Maria) were featured in polyphonic works and organ compositions, and Mass XVI was sung as the ordinary, along with the chants of the USCCB’s newly published Misal Romano. Pictured below are the celebrant of the Mass, Fr. Robin Kwan, SJC, and conductors from colloquium faculty Wilko Brouwers and Scott Turkington, as well as a student in the chant conducting class, Zaccheus Locke.

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    On Thursday, June 28th, a solemn requiem for the deceased members of the Church Music Association of America was celebrated in the Madonna della Strada Chapel on the campus of Loyola University in Chicago. The celebrant for the Mass was the CMAA’s chaplain, Fr. Robert Pasley, assisted by Deacon Edward Schaefer, and Fr James Richardson as subdeacon.
    Every year when this Mass is celebrated as part of the colloquium, the silence is striking, especially when paired with the profoundly moving music of so many composers who have written for these texts. The silence was augmented this year by the almost exclusive use of Gregorian chant, with only a few polyphonic motets and, as is customary, no organ accompaniment. (Photos by Charles Cole.)

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    At that time: Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep. Amen, amen I say to thee, when thou wast younger, thou didst gird thyself, and didst walk where thou wouldst. But when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and lead thee whither thou wouldst not. And this he said, signifying by what death he should glorify God. (John 21, 15-19, the Gospel of the Vigil of Ss Peter and Paul)

    The Crucifixion of St Peter, depicted in the Papal Chapel known as the Sancta Sanctorum at the Lateran Basilica in Rome, ca. 1280.
    At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men. For they will deliver you up in councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues. And you shall be brought before governors, and before kings for my sake, for a testimony to them and to the Gentiles: But when they shall deliver you up, take no thought how or what to speak: for it shall be given you in that hour what to speak. For it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you. Simple: That is, harmless, plain, sincere, and without guile. The brother also shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the son: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and shall put them to death. And you shall be hated by all men for my name' s sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved. (Matthew 10, 16-22, the Gospel of the Commemoration of St Paul.)

    The Beheading of St Paul, also from the Sancta Sanctorum. 

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    I am pleased to announce that during July, Fr. Alan Joseph Adami, O.P. will celebrate sung Masses according to the traditional Dominican Rite at St Paul’s Chapel, Valley Road, Birkirkara, Malta. These Masses will occur at 7:00 p.m., on July 1 and 15; August 19; and September 2, 9, and 16.

    This announcement is decorated with images Fr. Adami’s First Mass (also in the Dominican Rite) this last April at the Maltese Latin Chaplaincy.

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    On Thursday, we published the first part of a series of photos taken by Nicola at a show currently going on in Turin, showcasing artworks and objects that have recently been restored in one way or another. The first part was mostly liturgical objects; here we turn to paintings and a sculptures. It turns out that there are enough of these to make a third post, so we’ll do that early next week; in this post we will focus on medieval and early Renaissance art, and the next will move to the later Renaissance and Baroque. We start with something very special indeed, an icon of the Crucifixion from the church of St Dominic (San Domenico Maggiore) in Naples. One of the most famous episodes in the life of St Thomas Aquinas took place while he was praying before this image, asking whether what he had written on the mysteries of the Christian faith correctly. Christ spoke to him and said, “You have spoken well of me, Thomas. What is your reward to be?”, to which the Saint answered, “Nothing but Yourself, Lord!”

    Icon of the Crucifixion - San Domenico Maggiore, Naples, ca. 1250 (artist unknown)
    Master of Castelsardo - Retable of the church of St Peter, Tuili, Sardinia, ca. 1500
    Christ with St Peter and Martin, archbishop of Ravenna; fresco from the Ravenna Archeological Museum. The figure on the right, “lord Martin, the archbishop” has a square halo, which indicates that he was alive at the time the painting was made, dating it to 810-18.
    Crucifix by the Master of St Peter in Villore, 1175-1200; from the diocesen museum of Pienza in Tuscany.
    Painted Crucifix from the church of St Simeon the Prophet in Frosinone, Lazio, 1200-33.
    Crucifix by the Master of St Pantalon, from the church of St Pantalon in Venice, 1321-30.
    Crucifix by Goro di Gregorio, from the church of Ss Peter and Paul in Roccalbenga, Tuscany, 1325-50
    Crucifix by George, archpriest of Sant’Anza, from the church of St Silvester in L’Aquila, Abruzzi, ca. 1498
    Crucifix by Giovanni di Biasuccio, from the church of St Margaret in L’Aquila, Abruzzi, end of the 15th century.
    Christ in Majesty between Angels, from the National Museum of the Abruzzi; end of the 12th century.
    The Sterbini Diptych, dated after 1317, by an anonymous master named for it; from the National Museum of the Palazzo Venezia in Rome.
    Paolo Veneziano, Choir of Angels, ca. 1345; from the National Museum of the Palazzo Venezia in Rome.
    Zanino di Pietro, also known as Giovanni di Francia - Madonna and Child, 1429; from the National Museum of the Palazzo Venezia in Rome.
    Madonna of Protection, by the Master of Staffolo (Province of Ancona in the Marches), ca. 1450
    Second part of the same work, with Ss John the Baptist and Sebastian.
    Taddeo di Bartolo - the Belvedere Madonna, from the Servite church of St Mary in Siena; ca. 1405
    Madonna Enthoned, with the Man of Sorrows, the Crucifixion, Patron Saints and donor; from the parish church of St Martin in Carbonara Scrivia, Piedmont, 1498.

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    Greetings to our readers,

    I have been working on a bibliography of the printed editions of Dominican liturgical books for some time and have now made it available online. It is very long and would overburden NLM’s daily presentation of posts, so I have made it available on Dominican Liturgy, my own blog.

    If you notice anything missing or any errors, do let me know in the comment box over at Dominican Liturgy, rather than here. I hope that some of our readers find this useful.

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    In honor of the feast traditionally celebrated on this day, the Commemoration of St Paul, here are some photos of the cathedral of Mdina, Malta, which is dedicated to the Apostle of the Gentiles. The site is traditionally said to have been the place where the governor of the island, now honored as St Publius, had his palace, and where he hosted St Paul when the latter was shipwrecked on the island, as recounted at the end of the Acts of the Apostles. An earlier church built in the 12th century was severely damaged by a massive earthquake in 1693, and was therefore torn down, and the cathedral entirely rebuilt by a local architect, Lorenzo Gafà, between 1696-1705.

    The entire floor of the nave is taken up with beautiful tomb slabs of inlaid marble, predominantly of the bishops and cathedral canons; an example is shown further down. (The entire floor of the co-cathedral of St John the Baptist in Valletta is similarly decorated, but the tombs are those of various Knights of Malta.)

    The frescoes within the dome have been redone several times, most recently in 1927.
    Apsidal fresco of the shipwreck of St Paul.
    The chapel of the Blessed Sacrament also preserved an icon of the Virgin Mary from the 13th century.
    The chapel of the Cross, where Masses for the Dead were said, has painted wooden Crucifix and statue of the Virgin Mary and St John from the early 17th-century by Fra Innocenzo da Petraglia.
    These wooden doors of the early 16th century, which now lead into the sacristy, were rescued from the previous church.

    The altar of the left transept, dedicated to the Annunciation.
    A statue of St Publius. As recounted in Acts 28, 7-10, “in these places were possessions of the chief man of the island (Malta), named Publius, who receiving us, for three days entertained us courteously. And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever, and of a bloody flux. To whom Paul entered in; and when he had prayed, and laid his hands on him, he healed him. Which being done, all that had diseases in the island, came and were healed: who also honoured us with many honours, and when we were to set sail, they laded us with such things as were necessary.” Maltese tradition holds that St Paul made Publius the first bishop of the island, and that he was martyred ca. 125.
    An inscription recording the tradition that the site of the church is the place where St Publius received St Paul, the destruction of the older church, and its rebuilding and dedication in 1702.
    An example of one of the inlaid marble tombs, this one of a dean of the cathedral chapter. Many canons in Malta have the privilege of wearing the miter, as indicated by the one seen here at the lower right.
    A preaching pulpit, and a monument to  Carmelo Scicluna, who was bishop of Malta from 1875-88.

    This baptismal font was made in 1495, and also rescued from the ruins of the previous church.
    An inscription recording a grant of indulgences made by Pope Pius VI in 1775. In the middle, there was originally a spelling mistake, EFFUNDERINT instead of EFFUDERINT, which was corrected as well as one can on marble. (The N is still visible under the correction.)
    This relief over one of the gates of Mdina (seen as one leaves the historical center) shows St Paul shaking the snake off his hand into the fire, as recounted in Acts 28, 2-5. St Mark is shown in the left, and on the right, St Agatha, who according to local tradition, took refuge for a brief time on the island of Malta during the persecutions, later returning to her native Sicily.

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    Today at St. Mary's Oratory in Wausau, Canon Heitor Matheus of the Institute of Christ the King preached the following sermon for the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. NLM is grateful to him for sharing the text. Today's feast is a marvelous example of how the liturgy expands over the centuries to ponder more deeply and enter more fully into the mysteries of God. First, from ancient times, there was Maundy Thursday; then in the Middle Ages, Corpus Christi; then when the love of men had grown cold under Jansenism, the Sacred Heart; and finally, in the revolutionary Europe of the mid-19th century, the Precious Blood. Each of these feasts draws out a further dimension of the inexhaustible love of the Redeemer whose victory is greater than the forces of darkness arrayed against Him. Each feast makes present to us the reality and power of the particular mystery commemorated.

    Sermon for the Feast of the Most Precious Blood
    Canon Heitor Matheus
    July 1, 2018
    On the night before His most sorrowful Passion, Our Lord gathered His apostles around Him. On that night, the last night of His mortal life, Our Lord Jesus Christ, as a father, called His children in order to make known His “Last Will.” Every word, every gesture here is full of importance.

    So He took bread into His holy and venerable hands, and raised His eyes towards heaven, unto God, His Almighty Father, and giving thanks, He blessed it, broke it and gave it to His disciples saying: “Take and eat, you all, of this, for this is my body.”

    In like manner He took the chalice into His holy and venerable hands, He blessed it, and gave it to His disciples saying: “Take and drink, you all, of this, for this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal testament, which shall be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins.”

    Through these words, through these gestures, Our Lord gave His own Body and Blood to His apostles. In His poverty, Jesus Christ did not have anything to give but Himself. And that’s what He left for His children: the treasure of His Real Presence in the most Holy Eucharist.

    And it was the will of Our Lord that all of His children, from all places and all times, would be able to partake of this precious gift. And for this reason, He gave an order to His apostles:

    Do this in commemoration of Me.

    By these words, Our Lord gave His apostles the power to do what He Himself had done: to change the bread and the wine into His own Body and Blood. By these words, the apostles were ordained Priests of the New Law, in order to offer the Sacrifice of the New Law. “Do this in commemoration of Me,” which means, offer this Sacrifice of my Body and Blood for the glory of God and for the salvation of souls.

    So, priests are the executors of the “Last Will” of Jesus Christ. And His last will was that His apostles, and their successors, would do what He Himself did on that blessed night… that the Church would carry on this mystery, until the end of time.

    This Feast we celebrate today gives us the opportunity to reflect on the fact that the Blood that Our Lord shed on the Cross for our Salvation is really present on the Altar. After the Consecration, the Chalice doesn’t have wine anymore, but Blood. The Precious Blood of the Lamb of God, which was sacrificed for us.

    It is not a fable, or a pious imagination, like the Protestants would say. It is not a figure, but it is the reality. If you wish, you can go and ask Our Lord Himself: Lord, what is inside that Chalice? And He will say, as He said on that blessed night: It is my Blood.

    So how could someone dare to doubt the word of God?

    So many miracles during the centuries have attested the Real Presence of Our Lord in the most Holy Eucharist! What an infinite treasure Our Lord left to His Church: His own Body and Blood really present among us!

    From the very beginning, the Holy Church received this precious treasure with reverence and love. And she surrounded the sacred words of the Consecration with many prayers and ceremonies: everything to render glory to the Real Presence of Our Lord.

    This monument of piety that we call the Liturgy is the most valuable patrimony of the Church. Saint Paul says that Christ showed His love for the Church by dying for her. And we could say, without any hesitation, that the Church shows her love for Christ through the Liturgy, because the Liturgy is the great chant of love that the Church sings to God.

    And we know that it was not a work of one day, of one year, but of many centuries. Beginning with Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and the holy apostles, passing through many saints and popes, the Liturgy of the Roman Church was always growing organically, until it found its completion in the codification made by Pope Pius V after the Council of Trent. The “Tridentine Mass,” as we call it, always was and will always be the authentic expression of the Faith of the Catholic Church. That is how, for almost two thousand years, the Church has accomplished, day by day, the “Last Will” of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to “do this in commemoration of Me.”

    It is not so surprising that the enemy would try to attack the Liturgy of the Church, that he would push for a reform, in order to deform this most beautiful Chant. Because the devil knows very well that the Liturgy is linked to the Faith. When you touch the Liturgy, you touch the Faith. When you change the way people pray, you change the way they believe. And when you change the way people believe, you change the way they behave. As Cardinal Burke said: “The abuses in the Liturgy are strictly correlated with lack of faith and moral corruption.” These are the consequences of bad liturgy.

    And the way to discern a good liturgy from a bad one is the manner the Blessed Sacrament is treated. If the Body of Our Lord is treated like a mere wafer, and if the Chalice of His Blood is treated like a glass of wine, we can clearly see how this way of doing things will deform the faith of the people, who will be inclined not to believe anymore in the Real Presence of Our Lord. And this deformed faith will lead to a deformed life.

    Perhaps this is the key to understand all the crisis we have been going through in the Church and in the world: a lack of care toward the Liturgy. How has the Liturgy been celebrated? How have people been treating the most holy Eucharist? If the angels could cry, they would, seeing what we see in so many churches nowadays.

    What we need to understand is that if we believe it is the Lord, we must treat Him accordingly, with all respect and love. So we can see how important it is that the Liturgy of the Church should be well celebrated, for the glorification of God and the salvation of souls. If the downfall of a person, of a family, or a society comes from the lack of care and respect towards the things of God, the restoration of all things will only happen when we learn how to give God the adoration He deserves—when we learn how to honor, with due respect, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

    So my brethren, let us adore the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament; and in a spirit of reparation for so many abuses, let us say many times during the day the prayer that the Angel of Portugal taught the three children at Fatima: My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love Thee, and I ask pardon for all those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love Thee.

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    Receiving letters from thoughtful NLM readers is one of the most rewarding parts of being a contributor to this blog, and although I do not always have the time or the wherewithal to respond adequately, I am grateful for all well-intentioned reactions, both positive and negative. I would say the same thing about the comments posted here on the blog, which lately have been surprisingly numerous, detailed, and intense. This is all to the good, as far as I’m concerned.

    Not long ago, I received a remarkable letter concerning two articles I had published in close proximity. It is from a college-age Catholic who wanted to explain how her own experience resonated with my observations about the appeal of the traditional liturgy to young people. The letter has such a winsome freshness that it seemed only fitting to share it with NLM readers (of course, having previously secured the author’s permission).

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    Dear Dr. Kwasniewski,

    Thank you for your recent New Liturgical Movement article titled “Divergent Political Models in the Two ‘Forms’ of the Roman Rite.” Each one of your points resonated with me very much. I am a twenty-five year-old woman who discovered the Traditional Latin Mass only a year and a half ago, but prior to that I attended the Novus Ordo Mass, prayed my Rosary daily, and benefited from weekly Eucharistic adoration. As a cradle Catholic, my upbringing took place in a fairly “mainstream” American parish. I donned my white altar-girl alb to serve Holy Mass, served as a lector, and played St. Louis Jesuit tunes on my clarinet in the sacro-pop choir. I think this upbringing in the “normal” Catholic world puts me in a good position to comment on the points made in your article. For what it’s worth, I would like to tell you I agree with everything in it.

    Your following statement is, for me, a lived reality: “The Novus Ordo can be fruitful for those who already have a fervent and well-ordered interior life, built up by other means.” Those other means in my life were the catechesis I received as a homeschooled child brought up in a large family with two revert parents who, although not acquainted with the traditional Catholic sphere, had an innate respect for dogma and unwatered-down truth. You mention in the essay that the faithful will bring other things to the Novus Ordo Mass. I certainly did. I brought explanations of Church dogma that I heard on Catholic radio, I brought lives of the saints that I read in the many books my parents supplied, and I brought my own imagination that I developed in reading fiction and poetry to beautify a liturgy that I began to find increasingly bare. By these means, I never forsook my faith, but I must say the banal liturgy began to feel like a veritable ball and chain on my interior life. So perhaps the only nuance I would add to your thesis is that the N.O. does suffice for those who are able to supplement their faith life from other sources, but as they grow in their faith, they will most likely become increasingly discontent with the N.O. liturgy.

    This brings me to your insightful statement: “The people who attend [the N.O. Mass] are assumed to know how to pray, how to ‘participate actively’ (as if this is at all evident!), and how to be holy. They come to display and demonstrate what is already within them.” I could not agree more. All the years I attended the N.O., I didn’t realize the enormous effort I was making to foster an awareness of the profundity of the Sacred Mysteries. I fostered this awareness by prodding my interior senses to recognize the beauty of the Holy Mass, the sacrificial splendor of Calvary re-presented, the absolution of my sins, the priest as the figure of Christ, the participation of the angels and saints, the awesome wonder of adoring the consecrated host, and the time-bending transcendence of the Holy Mass. The liturgy, which by working on the external senses ought to enliven and assist the interior senses, offered me no help at all in contemplating these mysteries and often even offended me.

    In the fall of 2016, I attended my first Traditional Latin Mass. My life has never been the same since. Although there were many things in the traditional liturgy I didn’t understand on an intellectual level, it had an amazingly natural feel to it. Given my understanding of the Eucharist, it was natural that there should be solemnity, reverence, and grandeur. It was natural there should be profound silence, wonder, awe, and radiance. This liturgy not only corresponded with the understanding I brought in my interior, it surpassed it, nourished it, and fed it. My cradle liturgy, the N.O. with its casual minimalism, contradicted my knowledge of the reverence due to our Lord in a jarring banality that could only ever feel foreign even after thousands of Masses I attended in the course of my life.

    At the T.L.M., I was astonished by how easy it was to pray. I just watched the breathtaking reverence and listened to that indescribably full silence. When I acquired a hand missal, I encountered yet a new layer of prayer. The psalms and scripture became living organisms like flowers growing in a spiritual ecosystem, my Eucharistic devotion skyrocketed after suffering stagnation so many years, my love of the Sacred Priesthood, my reverence for priests, and my deep gratitude for them reached heights I had never imagined possible. These men who stood before God, facing God on my behalf filled me with wonder.

    This quantum leap in my spiritual life should not be surprising to you because you should see that I was simply feeling the liberating effects of attending a liturgy that “is not leaning on you to supply it with force or relevance.” It does not require me to be a responsible citizen in a rigid governmental framework, but rather allows me to be a daughter in the court of my King and my Father. It truly is a liturgy that is, as you say, “inherently full and ready to act upon you.”

    I must also tell you how much I enjoyed reading the related essay, “Traditional Liturgy Attracts Vocations, Nourishes Contemplative Life, and Sustains the Priesthood.” Again, I could not agree more with your observations, and the experience in my life seems to confirm your hypothesis. Since my family’s discovery of the Traditional Liturgy, I have seen two of my sisters join religious communities that pray the old Divine Office and assist at the Traditional Mass daily. They could not be happier. My two brothers who had discerned for several years in a diocesan seminary both decided to leave the seminary at large financial cost to themselves in order to join seminaries and orders in which they could offer the T.L.M. regularly. These stories describe nothing other than the seduction you so aptly point out in the article. While my experience with this holy seduction has not been as visibly dramatic as that of my siblings, the radical growth and change for the better it has occasioned in my interior life has been more wonderful than I will ever be able to describe.

    Finally, I agree most especially with your point stating the N.O. liturgy is all too often a source of embarrassment. This statement of yours summed it up: “The reformed liturgy in its Genevan simplicity has never won any awards for seductiveness. It can barely be looked at head on before people feel embarrassed about its nakedness and try to clothe it with every accoutrement they can find or invent.” Even from my childhood I had a sense that there was a grievous disconnect between what the liturgy expressed and what I believed. I would wonder about what my non-Catholic friends would think if they came to Mass, and I always had a sneaky suspicion that the children standing in the sanctuary leading the faithful in the sign language of Our God is an Awesome God would surely belie our assertion that the God of the universe dwelt in the Tabernacle. I feared that if a non-Catholic came to church some Sunday this is all he would see, and I began to feel an uncomfortable feeling that the liturgy was at odds with my evangelical efforts.

    Unfortunately, this fear was confirmed in my college years when I did bring some friends to Mass. One of them sat back as if he were at a rather silly elementary school variety show and the other man, a Jew, said, “Well, it wasn’t that different from any other Christian church I’ve been to. Do you know where I could go to a Latin Mass?” Nowadays when I bring non-Catholics to church, I no longer need to wince and figure out how I’ll explain away the multitude of conversion-killing banalities so typical in the N.O. liturgy. I bring my non-Catholic friends to the T.L.M. and watch it provoke in them the wonder, awe, and questions that are the first steps of conversion.

    In Christ,
    An increasingly common sight
    *          *          *
    What Gregory DiPippo has so often reported on — that “Tradition is for the Young” — is captured very well in this reader’s epistle. And those of us who work in the mission territory of university education can verify that this reaction happens over and over and over again, wherever the powerful witness of age-old forms of worship is allowed to operate freely.

    Why, then, is this revival of traditional piety, devotion, and liturgy so fiercely opposed by so many in the Church? The best succinct explanation I have ever seen is that offered by Joseph Shaw in a recent post at LMS Chairman. I strongly recommend reading what he has to say there.

    Meanwhile, may the Holy Spirit continue to raise up young people who, free of the prejudices of the post-Council, can embrace Catholicism in its good and beautiful historical embodiment, the culture of beauty and the sacred cultus that once made the Faith feared, loved, and lived.

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    Form should follow function! This is the mantra of the modern architect that is responsible at least in part, many would say, for the ugliness of our postwar inner cities.

    Some critics who have a more traditional view of things would argue that this cry reflects a philosophical error - utilitarianism. This is problematic because if we only consider the utility of a building, that is, what it will be used for, it doesn’t allow for the creation of beauty. We should add more to the building than simply those things that allow it fulfill its function, they say; otherwise, we end up with cold sterility.

    I think I would say something different: form should follow function, but the function of anything we make must take the whole person into account, if it is to serve man fully. Man is body and soul, and unless his spiritual dimension is acknowledged, we have a diminished sense of the utility of the building.

    No matter how mundane or apparently unspiritual in its character, there is no human activity worth doing, and no human artifact worth making, that cannot be considered in the light of our ultimate end. The appearance of a building will have an impact on us spiritually. Either it is taking us to God or away from Him. I would say furthermore that the material and the spiritual are not in opposition. When we see a building that is truly beautiful, or an action that is graceful, we are picking up on signs of optimal design and efficient action by any measure. This being the case, even the materialists should be interested in traditional beauty, for it is a signpost that their material goals are also being served optimally.

    But beauty is more than simply an indication of utility, it also plays an integral part in utility; for when we see beauty, we delight in it and desire all the more what it points to, the source of all beauty, God.

    The problem with the modernists is not their emphasis on utility, but rather that they have a diminished sense of what utility is, because of their flawed anthropology. This results in a reduced utility of a building, even by their limited measure... and ugliness. Their motto should not be “form follows function”, but rather “form follows dysfunction”! And the ugliness of their buildings is all the evidence we need, incidentally, that there is no order outside God’s order, only disorder.

    The problem with their more traditionally-minded critics is that they have conceded the ground to the cultural Marxists by allowing them to define what utility is. The modernists see beauty as an unnecessary add-on; their critics as a luxurious add-on. I say neither is right. Beauty is both necessary to and integrated with purpose. But it is not a distinct ingredient that can be added like an egg to a cake. When everything is in place, it is an emergent property that is made present by virtue of the relationships of the whole to that purpose, and of the parts to each other.

    The perfect design for any particular building is an ideal, unlikely ever to be seen before the day we behold the buildings of downtown New Jerusalem! However, if we at least try to look to heaven for inspiration, we are more likely to create something beautiful than we are by contemplating nothing higher than our own navels.

    Architects of the past knew this. This is why even a Victorian workhouse, could be created with enough care for it to be preserved as a listed building nearly 200 years later. This is in Southwell,  Nottinghamshire in England, and was built in 1829.

    Or almshouses built in 1850 in Woburn, Bedfordshire, England, can now be sought-after residences of professionals (photo: Viki Male).

    Contrast these with the modern, form-follows-dysfunction version of affordable housing. The focus on material requirements and neglect of the spiritual needs of the person unsettles the spirit, and consequently sets man against man, undermining community. As a result, people don’t want to live there and within a few years of being built many are being torn down.

    I’m not going to say that architectural design is the only cause of the problems of our inner cities, but I would say it contributes to them significantly. For those who want to know more about what specifically an architect can do to design buildings with proportions that acknowledge the spiritual dimension of man, there is an introduction to the principles in this article, here. Also, my book The Way of Beauty goes into the subject in a lot more detail.

    So dominant is this modernist outlook (and all other forms of ugliness that arise from it) that we have the absurd situation that even churches are designed in such a way that their stylistic features don’t take into account fully the fact that man is spiritual as well as material. If ever there was a building that should be designed with elevating beauty in mind it is a church...surely! The saddest aspect of the last hundred years of architectural history is that so many believers, to judge from the ugly designs of churches we see in recent times, allowed cultural Marxism, rooted in its narrow-minded materialism, to set the style for our places of worship along with other kinds of buildings. It wasn’t that they lost the battle; they were so woefully misguided that they enthusiastically encouraged this. There was no battle. All involved might pay lip service to spiritual needs, but the designs they commission say the opposite, undermining the very purpose of a church - to house the worship of God.
    Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
    The Gothic mason understood perfectly that beauty is the visible sign of a building that is fulfilling the maxim that form follows function. That is why even structural elements such as the flying buttresses were built with harmonious proportion; there is no such thing as superfluous ornamentation in their buildings. There is ornamentation, of course, but it is there to help it fulfill its function and is, therefore, both necessary to its utility.

    Here is a Gothic drawing by Villard de Honnecourt, a mason from 13th century France.

    And here are the flying buttresses of the Chapter House of Lincoln Cathedral, in England, built in the 13th century.

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    And speaking of beautiful things, here is the final part of Nicola’s photos from the on-going show at the Regia di Venaria in Turin, Italy, showcasing artworks and objects that have recently been restored in one way or another. Last week we had first a collection of liturgical objects, followed by medieval and Renaissance paintings; today we finish off with mostly Baroque paintings. Many thanks to Nicola for sharing these with us!

    Titian - The Penitent St Jerome, 1556-61
    Raffaello de Rossi, Polyptych of the Meeting of Christ with Veronia; 1525, from the church of Ss Nazarius and Celsus in Borgomaro, Liguria
    Pietro da Cortona - Daniel in the Lions’ Den; 1663 ca., from the Gallery of the Academy in Florence.
    Jacopo Bellini - Madonna and Child, ca. 1450; from the Academy of Fine Arts, Lovere
    Camillo Procaccini - The Penitent St Jerome, 1590-95; from the Archiepiscopal Sanctuary of St Raphael in Milan.
    Marco Basaiti - The Risen Christ, 150-05; from the Ambrosian Library in Milan
    Vincenzo Foppa - Crucifixion, 1450 or 1456
    Vincenzo Foppa - St Jerome in Prayer, 1485-90
    Giuseppe Antonio Tosi, called “Il Cuzzio” - The Madonna of the Immaculate Conception with Ss Joseph and Sebastian, and a Guardian Angel; first quarter of the 17th century, from the parish church of the Assumption in Crevacuore, Piedmont.
    Donato Creti - St Frances of Rome Presents the Christ Child to Her Confessor; 1731, from the archives of the archbishopric of Lucca.
    Giuseppe Maria Crespi - The Assumption of the Virgin; 1730-32, from the archives of the archbishopric of Lucca.
    Pietro Antonio Ferro - Madonna and Child with Ss Francis and Eligius; 1621, from the church of St Francis in Tolve, Basilicata.
    Giovanni Domenico Ferretti - The Death of St Joseph; 1742, from the church of St Paul in Florence, known as “San Paolino”
    Nicolò de’ Barbari - Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery, ca. 1504
    Unknown Hispano-Flemish Master - Triptych of the Assumption, from Penna in Tervina in Umbria, end of the 15th or beginning of the 16th century.
    Angiolillo Arcuccio - Triptych, ca. 1465-70, from the Basilica of St Dominic (San Domenico Maggiore) in Naples.
    Gian Giacomo da Lodi - Fragments of fresco with stories from the life of St Augustine, from the deconsecrated church of St Mark in Vercelli, ca. 1470-75, now in the Museo Borgogna in Vercelli.

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    Bloomsbury Publishing has a special offer available on some useful and interesting books from Sacra Liturgia, including the most recently published proceedings of the Sacra Liturgia Conference, and the updated Ceremonies of the Roman Rite. To get 35% off of these volumes, enter the code LITURGY35 at the checkout on This offer is valid globally, and includes print and eBooks; it expires on September 30th. The volumes are:

    –  The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described, by Adrian Fortescue and J.B. O’Connell, updated by Dom Alcuin Reid
    –  The T&T Clark Companion to Liturgy
    –  Liturgy in the Twenty-First Century (Proceedings of the Sacra Liturgia Conference held in New York City in 2015)
    –  Authentic Liturgical Renewal in Contemporary Perspective (Proceedings of the Sacra Liturgia Conference held in London in 2016)

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  • 07/04/18--09:00: Important News from the FSSP
  • Yesterday, the Fraternity of St Peter began its 2018 General Chapter, which is being held this year at their American seminary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Denton, Nebraska. On the agenda are the elections of various leadership positions, mostly importantly, that of a new Superior General, since Fr John Berg, the American priest who has led them for the last twelve years, has now completed the second of the two six-year terms allowed by their constitutions. And of course, plans will be discussed for the growth of their established apostolates, with an eye to the gradual establishment of new ones. We encourage our readers to click over to this page of their website, where they can find the Latin and English text of prayers to the Holy Spirit which the FSSP has requested for the good success of the Chapter.

    Fr Berg ends his term on as Superior General on a high note, with news of two new apostolates given to the Fraternity, on opposite ends of the United States. His Excellency Thomas Tobin, bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, has welcomed them to the church of St Mary, one of the oldest parishes in his episcopal city; the church is located at 538 Broadway, close to a highway which makes it easily accessible for most of south-eastern New England. The Fraternity will arrive at the church on August 1st; we will post further information about the Mass schedule as soon as we have it.

    As reported on Corpus Christi Watershed, and the website Angelus News, His Excellency José Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, has established a personal parish dedicated to the traditional Mass at the church of St Vitus, located at 607 4th St in San Fernando, and placed it under the pastoral care of the Fraternity. It was offically opened on June 25th; click here for the schedule of services.

    Palm Sunday at St Victor, the church which has hosted the FSSP in Los Angeles hitherto; from our first Palm Sunday photopost this year.
    Our deepest thanks to Archbishop Gomez and Bishop Tobin for their pastoral sollicitude on behalf of the faithful attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, and our congratulations and best wishes to the Fraternity - ad multos annos!

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    On Friday, June 29, Mass was celebrated in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite in Latin for the feast of Ss Peter and Paul in the Madonna della Strada Chapel at Loyola University. The celebrant was Fr Donald Morgan, who was assisted by Deacon Edward Schaefer. The Mass setting was Victoria’s Missa Quarti Toni, and the Colloquium choirs also sang the full chant propers and motets by Palestrina and Richafort. Pictured is Dr. Horst Buchholz, director of one of the polyphonic choirs.

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    My little reprint enterprise, Os Justi Press (I do not have a website yet, but one is in progress)has brought out four new titles, reprints of older books either not available at all, or available only in ugly or overpriced editions. Links to may be found below, but the titles will be at the Amazon affiliates in the UK, Germany, etc.

    A brief description of the books follows.

    Matthias Scheeben, Nature and Grace. Trans. Cyril Vollert. xxiv + 361 pp. Originally published 1954. $18.95.
    The exposition will be as profound and comprehensive as I can make it; nature and grace must furnish the basis for a reasonable chart of life and growth. My cherished aim is to bring out the supernatural character of the Christian economy of salvation in its full sublimity, beauty, and riches. The main task of our time, it seems to me, consists in propoupding and emphasizing the supernatural quality of Christianity, for the benefit of both science and life. Theoretical as well as practical naturalism and rationalism, which seek to throttle and destroy all that is specifically Christian, must be resolutely and energetically repudiated.
    Thus writes the great 19th-century theologian Matthias Scheeben, a vibrant, original, and poetic author who re-opened the enchanting world of St. Thomas to new generations of Catholics in a period marred by the desiccated rationalism of the Enlightenment period in its last rays before the darkness of modernism. In the new Thomism that has emerged in recent decades as the superficial sloganeering of the postconciliar Church evaporates, Scheeben makes for essential reading.

    John Farrow. Pageant of the Popes.420pp. Originally published 1942. $18.85.

    This history of the popes documents both the highs and lows of the Church. From St. Peter to early in the reign of Pius XII, this book provides historical, theological, and personal accounts of this rare group of mortals who have reigned as Vicars of Christ. Without inflationary praise or discrediting zeal, Farrow manages to convey something of the sweep and drama of papal history, bestowing praise where praise is due, while not shirking from unsavory periods. A fine book for our current times, when there is so much ignorance of the nature and limits of the papacy.

    F. Brittain. Latin in the Church: The History of Its Pronunciation. 98 pp. Last edition 1954. $9.95.

    A fascinating, obscure, and slightly eccentric book about the many different ways in which Latin has been pronounced and spelled over the centuries as it traveled from its ancient seat to far-flung regions of Europe and beyond. The author makes the case that we should not be too fussy or insistent on a "correct" way of pronouncing the language, given that every context has its own justification, and that even scholars are not always sure about their own theories. An entertaining read for Latin lovers.

    Thomas Walsh. The Catholic Anthology: The World's Great Catholic Poetry. 602 pp. Last edition 1932. $25.95.
    The Catholic Anthology is intended primarily as a selection of Catholic poems written by Catholics and bearing the impress of Catholic dogma, tradition, and life; so that the editor has purposely chosen the completely Catholic utterances of his poets in preference, sometimes, to their pieces of general aesthetical charm.
    The purpose thus avowed by the editor is carried through in this massy volume with singular thoroughness. I do not know quite how many poems are packed into its pages (it is a vast number), but I can testify to countless hours spent paging through this book over the years, discovering quite a few gems—one of which was the first poem I ever set to music, "I See His Blood Upon the Rose" by Joseph Mary Plunkett:
    I see his blood upon the rose
    And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
    His body gleams amid eternal snows,
    His tears fall from the skies.
    I see his face in every flower;
    The thunder and the singing of the birds
    Are but his voice—and carven by his power
    Rocks are his written words.
    All pathways by his feet are worn,
    His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
    His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
    His cross is every tree.
    I have lost the music, but not my affection for this and many other poems in Walsh's collection. It would make an excellent homeschool resource for literature and poetry memorization. The book also features detailed author and title indices, a biographical glossary of poets, and a wrap-around cover with stained glass images of the four evangelists.

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    We are very happy to share with our readers the following photos of a first Mass in Slovakia, ordination in England done for the Ordinariate, and two Masses in New York, one of which was celebrated by a new priest. It is the season for ordinations and first Masses, and we will be happy to receive more such photos if any of our readers care to send them in.

    On Sunday, June 24th, the feast of St John the Baptist, Fr. Ľubomír Urbančok, a newly ordained priest of the Archdiocese of Trnava in Slovakia, offered his first Mass at the pilgrimage shrine of St Anthony in Báč, close to the capital of Bratislava. This was the first solemn Mass by a new priest at the shrine since the post-Conciliar reforms. The image over the altar became famous in the beginning of the 18th century after a badly injured man was miraculously healed in front of it, and even more so after the Madonna was seen to cry bloody tears in 1715. The shrine is well-known in Slovakia also because it was the place of imprisonment of many bishops during the communist persecution, some of whom are now venerated by the Church, such as the Bl. Bishop Vasil Hopko.

    On Saturday June 30th, eight men were ordained priest for service in the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham at the Oratory of St Philip Neri in Birmingham, England, the home of the shrine and Rrelics of Bl. John Henry Newman, the Ordinariate’s patron. The Archbishop of Birmingham, Bernard Longley, carried Newman’s crozier as he celebrated the Mass according to Divine Worship: The Missal, the rite given to the Ordinariates across the world by Pope Francis, drawing on the riches of the British Catholic heritage. The packed church heard the Newman Consort (an Ordinariate choir from Oxford) enhance the celebration with music from the great English tradition - Taverner, Byrd, Tallis and Pearsall. The new priests made their promise of obedience to Msgr. Keith Newton, their Ordinary, who assisted Archbishop Longley in the Mass. Two of the new priests were the first to complete their formation entirely within the Ordinariate, studying at Blackfriars’ Oxford and St Mary’s College Oscott. With the six former Anglican ministers ordained alongside them they bring the number of Ordinariate priests in Britain to exactly 100.

    On the feast of Ss Peter and Paul, recently ordained Fr Leo Camurati, OP, celebrated a solemn Mass at the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, and gave the traditional first blessing to the faithful at the end.

    Two days later, Mass was offered in the traditional rite at the church of the Most Precious Blood in Little Italy for the Patronal feast day, with the Missa Quatuor Vocum (“Madrid Mass”) by Domenico Scarlatti. The Mass was offered in honor of St Joseph, witness to the first shedding of the Precious Blood at Our Lord’s Circumcision, with the intention that through his intercession, the princes of the Church may steadfastly and publicly witness to the true nature of marriage; it was also offered for the eternal repose of Mons. Ignacio Barreiro, who dedicated many years of his life to the pro-life movement, working for Human Life International. (Photographs courtesy of NY Scugnizzo.)

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  • 07/06/18--02:15: The Legend of Simon Magus
  • Until the year 1881 *, July 5th was celebrated on the general celendar of the Roman Rite as a day within the very ancient octave of Ss Peter and Paul. The breviary lessons for the second nocturn are taken from a sermon of St Maximus of Turin, a Church Father of the late 4th and early 5th, of whom very little is known. This sermon recounts a famous legend concerning the death of the Apostles as follows.
    The Fall of Simon Magus, by Benozzo Gozzoli, 1461-62
    “On this day, then, the blessed Apostles shed their blood; but let us look to the cause for which they suffered, namely, that among other miracles, they also by their prayers brought down the famous magician Simon in a headlong fall from the empty air. For when this Simon said that he was Christ, and claimed that as the Son he could could ascend to the Father by flying, and, having been lifted up by his magical arts, had at once begun to fly; then Peter knelt down and prayed the Lord, and by his holy prayer, overcome the magician’s flight. For his prayer ascended to the Lord before the flight did, and his just petition came there before (Simon’s) wicked presumption did; Peter, being set upon the earth, obtained what he asked for before Simon could come to the heavens whither he was headed. Then did Peter set him down like a prisoner from the lofty heights, and dashing him down with a steep fall onto a stone, broke his legs; and this, as a reproach of what he had done, so that he who had just tried to fly could suddenly no longer walk, and he that had taken on wings lost the use of his feet.” (Sermo 72 de natali Ss Apostolorum Petri et Pauli)

    Church Fathers even earlier than St Maximus, such as St Justin Martyr and Arnobius, knew of the tradition that Simon Magus, who sought to buy the power of the Holy Spirit from St Peter (Acts 8), was in Rome at the same time as the Eternal City’s founding Apostles. The apocryphal Acts of St Peter tell the story that Simon sought to win the Emperor Nero to his teachings, which he would prove to be true by flying off a tower built in the Forum specifically for this purpose. As he was lifted up into the air by the agency of demons, Peter and Paul knelt on the street and prayed to God, whereon Simon was dropped, and soon after died of his injuries.

    In the unintentionally hilarious 1954 historical epic The Silver Chalice, Simon Magus is played by the great Jack Palance, wearing what is perhaps the very worst super-hero costume ever made. (Palance, by the way, was born Volodymyr Palahniuk, to a Ukrainian Greek-Catholic father and Polish mother, in Pennsylvania mining country. This movie saw the debut of another world-famous actor, Paul Newman, whose performance earned him a Golden Globe nomination; despite this, Newman himself once called it “the worst motion picture produced during the 1950s.”)
    The legend goes on to say that the enraged Nero arrested Peter and Paul and threw them into the Mamertine prison before their execution. There they converted the two wardens, Processus and Martinian, in whose acts it is told that St Peter caused a well to spring up from the ground so that he could baptize them. The site has been venerated as the place of the Apostles’ imprisonment for many centuries, and pilgrims can still visit it to this day; a plaque near the door lists the famous Roman prisoners, such as King Jugurtha of Numidia, who were killed there, the Saints who suffered and died within its walls, and the later Saints who have come to venerate the site.

    On the opposite end of the Via Sacra, the principal street of the Roman Forum, Pope St Paul I (757-67) built an oratory dedicated to Peter and Paul, nicknamed ‘ubi cecidit magus – where the magician fell.’ This oratory contained as its principal relic the stone upon which St Peter knelt to pray for the defeat of Simon Magus and the vindication of the Christian faith. It was later demolished, but the stone itself is preserved in the nearby church of Santa Maria Nuova.

    Photo by JP Sonnen. The Italian inscription above says “On these rocks St Peter set his knees when the demons carried Simon Magus through the air.”
    * In October of 1880, Pope Leo XIII added the feast of Ss Cyril and Methodius to the general calendar, and assigned their feast to July 5th. The day within the octave of the Apostles was chosen to express the hope for the reunion of the Orthodox Slavs, originally evangelized by Cyril and Methodius, with the See of Peter; this is also stated in the proper hymns of their Office, which were composed by the Pope himself. Their feast was celebrated on this day from 1881 to 1899. At the end of 1899, the feast of St Anthony Maria Zaccaria, founder of the Clerks Regular of St Paul (also known as the Barnabites, from the titular Saint of their mother church in Milan) was extended to the universal calendar, and placed on July 5th, the day of his death in 1539; Ss Cyril and Methodius were then moved to the 7th. In the post-Conciliar calendar, they were moved again, to the day of Methodius’ death, February 14th.

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    The final Mass of the CMAA 2018 Colloquium was celebrated on the Commemoration of St Paul the Apostle in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite. The Mass was celebrated by Fr Donald Morgan, assisted by Deacon Edward Schaefer and Fr Robert Pasley, Chaplain of the CMAA, as Subdeacon. Dr William Mahrt, the Chairman of the CMAA, is pictured conducting a chant choir. The final picture shows some of the Colloquium participants on the last day, who had just sung the Missa Æterna Christi Munera of Palestrina, the chant propers of the day, and two motets—Nos autem gloriari by Palestrina, and a wonderful new setting of the O Sacrum Convivium text by one of the conductors of the week, Wilko Brouwers.

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    On Sunday, July 29, Blessed Sacrament Parish in Madison, Wisconsin will host Fr James Dominic Rooney, OP; starting at 2pm, he will speak for about 30 minutes on Summorum Pontificum and reasons for having the Mass in the older rite, the uniquenesses of the Dominican Rite, and some practical tips for how to participate in the older rite of the Mass, and then take questions for about 15 minutes. He will then celebrate a Sung Mass in the Dominican Rite at 3 pm, which will be followed by a reception. The church is located at 2121 Rowley Avenue.

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