Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

When to worry about the bathrooms, diversity and community.

February 7th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

I have not been called, yet; not from the rebuilding committee at Saint Pius Tenth Church. I expect a call anytime now requesting my guidance on making the new church building truly Catholic.

(chirp, chirp… )

I will be ready, however. Here is the list I have been preparing (for any new Catholic church in the planning stage, not just Pius Tenth).

1. Make it look like a Catholic church both inside and out. The Romanesque style is my preference and the most recognizable as Catholic. The Baroque, too, fully espouses Catholic theology, as well as the Byzantine but with an eastern twist. Modernism, however, has proved a failure. Please avoid it.

Use stone, brick, wood and stained glass. Hide the steel. (Concrete, only if you must.)

Please tell the world through the architectural style you choose that the building is a church: not a store, bank, Target, suburban house, town center, concert hall, or a dairy farm. May the new building announce that something really, really important and serious happens there. A church building is sacred space in which we offer sacrifice in worship of the Holy Trinity led in that worship by the Second Person of that Trinity, Jesus Christ. We have malls, senior citizen centers, youth centers, theaters and town halls to do other things; places meant to cater to us and our personal and community needs.

Please, not like this.

Please, not like this.

2. Use the traditional basilica ground plan: Latin or Greek Cross. It has worked for 1,700 years. Emphasize the linear, not the circular. We are traveling to heaven, not wandering around in circles. Our focus is on God and we want to rush toward Him without sociological, political, or faddish distractions.

Latin Cross Plan

Latin Cross Plan

The governing concept here is that salvation history has a definite beginning and a definite end. It is a whole lot different from the thinking of far eastern religions that delight in endless and limitless oceans of “being”. So, stress linear movement to the altar and not so much a gathering “around” the altar.


3. Speaking of beginnings and endings: Place the main entrance at the opposite end from the altar and make that entrance glorious. It is, after all, meant to mark movement from secular into sacred space. Symbolically, those doors represent the gates of heaven. Surround the doors with images of the saints and angels. Christ enthroned, the vision of Ezekiel or Last Judgment scene would be most appropriate over the doors. The doors themselves must be heavy wood or bronze and display Biblical scenes –perhaps the Annunciation, the angel on one door and Mary on the other. I prefer heavy doors on churches; doors that insist on being taken seriously. Please, no see-through glass doors. This isn’t K Mart.

arkansa door

Bronze doors with images of the Twelve Apostles.

The concept here is mystery: Catholicism exudes mystery and the doors should convey that experience.

Additional entrances should be treated in the same way except, perhaps, in scale. Marian and saint themes might be best at those entrances. (A “Marian” door and a “Saint Pius Tenth” door would be nice.)

4. Yes, the baptismal font should be right inside the main doors. I prefer the combination pool and pedestal style. Whatever it is, include imagery of the Baptism of Christ as part of it. At least that. There are plenty of other figurative baptismal imagery from our Catholic past that could be used.

5. At the far end opposite the main doors and font should be the altar, freestanding and covered by a beautiful ciborium (if the building is Classical, Romanesque or Byzantine) or a baldachin (if the architecture is Classical or Baroque).

The altar itself should be stone or at least one with marble facing and sculpted on all four sides, perhaps with the Last Supper on the front and scenes of Old Testament prefiguring of the Eucharist –Melchizedek, Sacrifice of Abraham, multiplication of the loaves and fish– on the sides.

The altar should be raised on a platform, 3 steps high. Some kind of railing or boundary should enclose the chancel marking off the space of the chancel as special.

6. For the love of God, visually center the Tabernacle in the church. It’s the Catholic thing to do. I prefer that the Tabernacle look like a temple or an ark. Images of angels all around the space, please.

7. Lavish the inside and outside of the building with images of saints and Biblical scenes carefully programmed to reinforce Christian teaching and that convey a sense of hierarchy of theology as one moves from the doors to the altar. Include rich patterns, especially in and near the chancel that suggest a king’s chamber or a paradise.

8. Please, original works of art only –created by liturgical artists with training in traditional Catholic styles! No insect-like figures. The best figurative styles to use as a guide can be found in our rich Catholic tradition: Gothic, Baroque, Byzantine, and even Art Nouveau. Avoid Realism. Figures should express a sense of being redeemed, transformed by grace, transfigured. They are in heaven and should appear noticeably ‘better’ than they would on earth.

Art Nouveau Style

Art Nouveau Style

9. After all that –and only after all that– you can concentrate on bathrooms, building community, and respecting diversity. Anyway, those are things of concern like coffee hours, movie nights, social justice committees, Rosary Society, Knights of Columbus, youth organizations, choir. You should have all those things already.

Can’t wait for my invite! Excited!

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A real Catholic church -maybe?

February 5th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

With trepidation I began reading Annette Jiménez’s Catholic Courier article on the rebuilding of Saint Pius Tenth Church. The older building, you will recall, was destroyed by a fire January 2015. As I began reading I feared that the diocese may soon have yet another “worship space” designed according to the heresy of Arianism.

Since Vatican II, church buildings have increasingly underplayed the transcendent and emphasized the merely horizontal, earthly “community”. For many years now we have been hearing about the human Jesus (our brother) and practically nothing about the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

Sure enough there were quotes and paraphrases in the article from the rebuilding committee concerning “nurturing community” and “diversity” and concern for “future generations”. And, there was nothing said about the church building as a temple for the holy sacrifice of the Mass, a place where heaven and earth meet. Nothing about the church building as an earthly foretaste of heaven. Nothing about beauty, nothing about art.

At least there was something about “strengthening Catholic identity”. That caught my attention, and encouraged me. And, there was this from committee chairman Brian Porter: “From the altar out is really how it starts”. Encouraging.

I became very encouraged when I went back and reflected on the professionals working on the project; most notably, wonderful liturgical designer Rolf Rohn and Monsignor James Moroney, the rector of St. John Seminary in Boston and consultant to Rohn Associates. Monsignor Moroney, we read in the article, was recommended by Bishop Matano, a bishop who understands the importance of Catholic orthodoxy. This is great news! We may see a wonderfully new and truly Catholic Saint Pius Tenth church rise up on Chili Avenue.

Are we finally free of the likes of Sovik and Vosko? Are we going to be building Catholic churches again? Let us pray!

Check out the Rohn & Associates Design website and see why I think its involvement bodes well for the rebuilding.



Consecration of Msgr. Lopes as Bishop

February 2nd, 2016, Promulgated by Ludwig

The following was sent along to us from our friends at the Fellowship of St. Alban:

As a reminder, our new Bishop, Steven Lopes will be consecrated [tonight] in Houston. The event will be shown live on EWTN, beginning at 8:00 EST, so we encourage you to tune in for the big day.

Fr. Catania is there in person, as well as many of our friends around the country and world.

More details about the consecration are on our website … including ways to watch it via Internet if you don’t have EWTN, and who the Consecrators are.

It is a great day for us!

Please join us in praying for Christ’s blessings on the Ordinariate, Bishop-Elect Lopes, and for The Fellowship of St. Alban.


St John Bosco Schools / Chesterton Academy: Open House Thursday 7PM

February 2nd, 2016, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

From St. John Bosco Schools and the Chesterton Academy of Rochester:

On Thursday evening we will be holding an Open House for all SJBS and CAR families as well as guests who are interested in our schools.

Doors will open at 6:45. The program will begin at 7:00 in the gym and lights out at 8:30.

501 Garfield Street
East Rochester, NY 14445

Thank you for your support in making this event joyful and welcoming. We hope to see you on Thursday!


Read the rest of this entry »


Blessing of Throats at Thomas the Apostle

February 1st, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie
Father Dennis Bonsignore, Chaplain of the Latin Mass Community, blesses throats at the January 31 Latin Mass in Saint Thomas the Apostle Church in Irondequoit.

Father Dennis Bonsignore, Chaplain of the Latin Mass Community, blesses throats at the January 31 Latin Mass in Saint Thomas the Apostle Church in Irondequoit. A brief video of the blessing at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church can be viewed HERE.

Saint Blaise Blessing of Throats took place at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church in Irondequoit at both the Ordinary and Extraordinary (Traditional Latin Mass) forms of the Mass. Father Dennis Bonsignore, Chaplain of the Latin Mass Community, devoted part of his sermon to explaining the long-standing tradition of the blessing of throats and its origin in the hagiography of Saint Blaise.

A short video of the life of Saint Blaise can be viewed HERE.








Monthly Prayer Requests for Priests – February 2016

January 31st, 2016, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

It’s time to print out your February 2016 calendar. Thanks to the good folks at for providing these calendars freely available to all on the Internet.

Also, here are the Holy Father’s prayer intentions for February:

Universal: Care for Creation
That we may take good care of creation–a gift freely given–cultivating and protecting it for future generations.

Evangelization: Asia
That opportunities may increase for dialogue and encounter between the Christian faith and the peoples of Asia.


Do you ever wish……….?

January 29th, 2016, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Do you ever wish you could go back in time, say to 40 years ago, knowing what you know now about abortion and how it (and contraception) destroyed our world’s moral culture?  Do you ever think if you had “only known then what you know now” that you’d have been more actively engaged in preventing abortion’s spread like the black plague against life itself?  Do you ever wonder if we had all done our very best then to stop the evil of abortion that there would be people alive today whose souls would one day thank us?  I have thought all these things and more.

In this Year of Mercy there is much to bring to mind, and much for which to ask for forgiveness.  But it is also a wonderful time to ask for the mercy of still being able to make a difference this side of the grave.  There is an evil crouching on our door step, testing us once again, offering still another chance to speak for God, as prophet in the priest-prophet-king roles of our Baptism; as prophet against the profit of the secular culture. That evil is euthanasia.  This is the time to be educated against such evil, and better prepared than we have sometimes been when other evil has struck. Euthanasia is unique among sins because it is difficult to imagine how we seek forgiveness this side of the grave for personally choosing euthanasia. If we abet the loss of a soul by encouraging or supporting its euthanasia, the gravity of that sin weighs upon us as well.

The tremendous threat of euthanasia is the subject of a conference being held on February 20th in Rochester, NY.  This is a very special opportunity to open our eyes and to pray for this angel of death to pass us by.  Please do attend; the voice from the pews is essential in this battle.Euthanasia Conference

The rest of this post notes how the last two major immoral impacts have much in common with how the euthanasia issue is now developing. For years I have read the Gospel of Mark and how Christ responded to the Apostles’ question of recognizing the end times, without ever noticing something startling in Mark 13: 12-13:  “And brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.”  What was startling to me was the realization that this passage seems to be not only about the evils the Apostles were to suffer and how they were to conduct themselves, but about what we call “the end times” as well.  For father giving up his child to death clearly provokes the thought of abortion.  (Not only mothers, but this highlights the key role of the father even if through silence in giving up his child to the mother’s decision for abortion.) It is perhaps a bit less clear but nevertheless interesting that brother giving up brother to death implies not only the physical death of diseases and lifestyle, but also spiritual death through sin, exhibited in the same-sex union. And the last of the three mentioned by Jesus, the children having parents put to death, can be seen in heirs recently being given the leeway in some countries to commit their parents to euthanasia.  In this post I have simply used the word euthanasia in its traditional sense (Merriam-Webster) “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.” I have not attempted to define or use the nuances of physician-assisted suicide, conscious or not, capable or not, voluntary or not, but simply grouped all together as ‘euthanasia’ by intention to include all of the denizens of the slippery slope.

The spread of these evils has some commonality, and some lessons that should make us much more desirous of being prepared for such an onslaught against souls, and to consider what we might do as followers of Christ.  Some commonalities of social evil are hijacking of language (lies), spreading (metastasis) of sin, fear, rapidity of devolution, and of course fomenting hatred and rejection of God.

Hijacking of Language: Lies are a Hallmark of Evil

The battle is again underway for life, and this time it is over euthanasia.  For a few years now, the battle has been spreading like an epidemic. Already there are 9 countries (excluding the US) and 5 states in the U.S. which have legalized euthanasia, even in some countries of parents by their heirs, and of children by their parents.  Once again, that which is immoral claims a battle flag of sloganeering, masqueraded as if for a good purpose.  We have two clear examples as to how evil hijacks good words as its slogan, and a warning to us about the language of the emergent third: Read the rest of this entry »


Disappointing the Progressives

January 28th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

From the National Catholic Register (by writer Glenn Stanton)

Pope Francis has once again put a substantial dent in the hopes of “progressives” that the Church will finally… MORE

Read more HERE

The Meaning(s) of Holy Thursday Feet Washing

January 26th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie
From the National Catholic Register
Liturgical Change Is Afoot in the Catholic Church

Master of the Housebook (fl. between 1475 and 1500) Link back to Creator infobox templateThe work of art depicted in this image and the reproduction thereof are in the public domain worldwide. The reproduction is part of a collection of reproductions compiled by The Yorck Project. The compilation copyright is held by Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH and licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Artist: Master of the Housebook, from a “Passionsaltar”. (fl. between 1475 and 1500) *

Pope Francis has approved the practice of permitting women to have their feet washed, alongside of men, in the Holy Thursday mandatum liturgical ceremony. Francis himself has…

Read more HERE


*The work of art depicted in this image and the reproduction there of are in the public domain worldwide. The reproduction is part of a collection of reproductions compiled by The Yorck Project. The compilation copyright is held by Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH and licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.


March for Life 2016

January 25th, 2016, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Many of you may already have seen LifeSiteNews’ picture of the Snow Altar on the Pennsylvania Tpk., but if  only a few more get to see it who otherwise might not have, it is worth running!  Link is snow mass  The priest is Father Patrick Behm (plus other con-celebrants.)  I heard him on EWTN this morning.  He made a point of saying that he’d called his bishop and cleared it with him.  “Father Pat” also said this happened at mile marker 132.9 so, just for the sake of curiosity, I looked up Psalm 132; verse 9 and here is what it says:

“Let Thy priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Thy saints shout for joy!



















Josep Obiols, An “Other Modern” Artist

January 24th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

From the New Liturgical Movement website and Matthew Alderman

pintures-josep-obiols-redim-w500-h500From time to time, the New Liturgical Movement covers the work of artists and architects from recent history, whose work, while “modern,” nonetheless took a different and more traditional path than that of the “modernism” of Le Corbusier or Picasso, a path which we call “the Other Modern.”

Read more about one such artist HERE


Basic Christian Iconography: The Cross (Part 3)

January 23rd, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

Previously: Part 1, Part 2

The Undisguised, Unambiguous or Plain Cross

Two events that took place toward the middle of the 4th century may have created an atmosphere in which the unambiguous cross and even the crucifixion could become the preeminent symbol(s) of Christianity. The first event was the discovery, in Jerusalem, of the actual cross upon which Jesus was crucified and, second, the banning of crucifixion as a form of capital punishment.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher (and location of Golgotha.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher (and location of Golgotha).

In 326 the bishop of Jerusalem had the site of Calvary (Golgotha) excavated in preparation for the construction of a large church over the place of Christ’s crucifixion. Helena, the mother of Constantine, traveled to Jerusalem in 327 and devoted her efforts and prayers to finding –at the excavation site– the actual cross of Christ’s sacrifice. The sign that Pilate had placed on the cross “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” was found but unattached to any post or beam. How the rest of the cross came to be identified is the subject of speculation. At any rate, the “true” cross had been found. Soon that cross became the foremost object of veneration in Jerusalem. Small fragments (relics) of the cross spread across the Christian world.

Some scholars are of the opinion that by the 4th century execution by crucifixion was already falling out of favor across the known world.  Some argue that Constantine banned crucifixion –he probably did– out of respect for the way Christ died. Others claim that crucifixion was eventually banned as a simple trend towards more humane behavior and that piety had nothing to do with it. Whatever the cause, crucifixion gradually fell from public consciousness after a generation or so.

The eclipse of crucifixion as a form of capital punishment and the development of Golgotha as a site of pilgrimage –as well as the subsequent dispersal of fragments of the true cross across the Christian world– led to a change of attitude regarding the avoidance of the image of the plain cross in Christian art.

Apse Mosaic in Santa Pudenziana, Rome, ca. 400

Apse Mosaic in Santa Pudenziana, Rome, ca. 400

In 420 a large gold, gem encrusted cross (crux gemmata) was erected on the rock of Golgotha. That cross may have been one of the very first appearances of the unambiguous Christian cross. The Golgotha cross no longer exits but an image of it appears in the apse mosaic at the church of Santa Pudenziana, in Rome. In the mosaic, the rock of Golgotha has steps cut into it and the cross is depicted as made of gold and precious gemstones, an image that corresponds to the written accounts of early Christian pilgrims who visited the site.


Bobbio flask (ampullae) 6th c. By an unknown handicraft worker [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Picture Source.

Solidus (Coin) of Tiberius II, A.D. 57882. Byzantine, minted in Constantinople. Gold; 4.44 g. The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Mrs. Emily Crane Chadbourne, 1940.15.

Solidus (Coin) of Tiberius II, A.D. 572-582. Byzantine, minted in Constantinople. Gold. The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Mrs. Emily Crane Chadbourne, 1940.15. Picture Source.

Many of the earliest depictions of the cross are on small flasks (ampullae) for holy oil that were pilgrim’s souvenirs from the Holy Land. These ampullae crosses may be depictions of the gem cross.

222 03-unknown-artist-st-apollinarius-apse-basilica-di-santapollinare-in-classe-ravenna-italy-6th-century_edited-1

Apse Mosaic. Basilica di Sant’Apollinare in Classe. Ravenna (Province of Ravenna. Emilia-Romagna Region) ITALY. Picture Source.



Enthroned Gem Cross.


Santi Cosma e Damiano chancel mosaic, 6th c. Picture Source.

Depictions in the art of the period sometimes indicate the use of the cross as a stand-in for Christ himself. This can best be seen in the 6th century apse mosaic in the church of Sant’ Appollinare of Classe, Italy. The mosaic depicts the transfiguration of the Jesus: Moses and Elijah flank a disk containing an image of a gold, jeweled cross with a small medallion of the bust of Christ at the crossing. It’s the same type of cross as the one shown in the Santa Pudenziana mosaic. A star-filled sky surrounds the cross. Peter, James and John are represented by lambs in a paradise-like garden. Finally, the Hand of God hovers over the scene. The cross in this program represents Jesus and not the crucifixion. The cross in the Santa Pudenziana, however, is meant to identify the cityscape as that of Jerusalem and so it represents the site of the crucifixion.

The Crucifix or Crucifixion Crosses
2 diagram2 AN00186312_001_l

Drawing of an intaglio in the British Museum. Picture Source .

A very small intaglio found in Romania may be one of the earliest representations of the crucifixion of Jesus. It is dated to the 3rd or 4th century. If it is from the 200s then we really have a very early representation of not just the cross but of a crucifix (or a possible narrative of the crucifixion). However, the inscription is J(esus) Ch(rist)] S(on) [of G(od)] S(aviour) and the 12 apostles are shown, 6 to each side of the cross. Saint John was the only apostle at the crucifixion; the others had fled in fear just after Jesus was taken prisoner. They were not standing at the foot of the cross. The presence of all the apostles suggest that perhaps the image has a dogmatic or symbolic meaning that is in addition to the Gospel narrative. In addition Christ’s body is not actually attached to the wooden cross and his arms are posed in the orans position of prayer.

RomStaSabinaDoorCrucifix 222_edited-1

Crucifixion Panel from the wooden doors of Santa Sabina church in Rome. Picture Source.

Another one of the early appearances of the crucifixion in Christian art is from a set of wooden church doors from the early 5th century (422-433). The doors consist of panels showing scenes from both Testaments. The panel thought to represent the crucifixion occupies the very upper left corner of the left door. The scene is somewhat ambiguous. Three standing nude male figures in loin cloths are arranged next to each other horizontally, as we imagine the crucifixion might have looked like. The center figure is larger suggesting the figure of Jesus. The other two are thought to be the “good” and “bad” thieves. But, all three figures are in the orans position of prayer. They do not seem to be suffering crucifixion –the arms are not pulled straight from the tug of body weight as they would be from crucifixion. Adding to the ambiguity is the absence of any vertical posts or horizontal beams that would form crosses. Rather, three pitched roofs or pediments are supported by vertical posts, located between the figures, suggesting architecture. A window can be seen in the left pediment. If we compare this image with the much smaller intaglio we just looked at we can see that the figures are in the same orans pose but the intaglio is much more descriptive; we can see the cross. Why did the door carver leave out the crosses? On the other hand, why did the intaglio artist include the 12 apostles? It would seem that these first appearances of the crucifix or crucifixion scenes suggest a period of searching for the proper reason for depicting the crucifixion. Should it be depicted in order to identify/symbolize Jesus or to relate the Gospel narrative.

passion scenes 222 B

Carved Ivory Casket (box). ca. 420-30

A carving on an ivory casket (small box) may be even earlier (420-430). This is obviously a narrative crucifixion and not just a more descriptive symbol. True to the Gospel narrative Mary and Saint John as well as Longinus, the Roman soldier, are included in the scene. Adjacent to the scene on the left is a depiction of Judas hanging himself. Other scenes from the passion occupy other sides of the casket. This casket obviously narrates a story.

What is interesting in the casket carving, however, is something that can be seen in many of the early depictions of the crucifixion; Jesus does not appear to be dead or even suffering. The common explanation is that the savior’s divinity was being suggested by a figure that does not appear to be suffering. It’s a difficult problem for an artist to show: humanity and divinity united –but still separate– in one person. Artists solved the problem by depicting a crucified human figure with an emotion suggestive of divine peace.

The crucified Christ with the presence of Mary, John, and Longinus became the basic icon of narrative crucifixion scenes.

We have gone a bit beyond the evolution of the cross as the symbol of Christianity; we have gone from the Gospel narrative to a visual symbol (the plain cross) and then to pictorial narrative (crucifix/crucifixion scene).


From Vatican Radio: Pope’s Homily 1-18-16

January 20th, 2016, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Full text of homily (translation) is here:

Comments of possible interest:

“(Vatican Radio) Christians who say “it’s always been done that way,” and stop there have hearts closed to the surprises of the Holy Spirit. They are idolaters and rebels will never arrive at the fullness of the truth.”

“Christians who obstinately maintain ‘it’s always been done this way,’ this is the path, this is the street—they sin: the sin of divination. It’s as if they went about by guessing: ‘What has been said and what doesn’t change is what’s important; what I hear—from myself and my closed heart—more than the Word of the Lord.’ Obstinacy is also the sin of idolatry: the Christian who is obstinate sins! The sin of idolatry. ‘And what is the way, Father?’ Open the heart to the Holy Spirit, discern what is the will of God.”

“This is the message the Church gives us today. This is what Jesus says so forcefully: ‘New wine in new wineskins.’ Habits must be renewed in the newness of the Spirit, in the surprises of God. May the Lord grant us the grace of an open heart, of a heart open to the voice of the Spirit, which knows how to discern what should not change, because it is fundamental, from what should change in order to be able to receive the newness of the Spirit.







Divine Comedy for the Year of Mercy w/ DOR’s Department of Evangelization and Catechesis

January 18th, 2016, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

I guess I’m a little late in posting this, but for those who missed this and want to catch up check out

Welcome! During this Year of Mercy (December 8, 2015-November 20, 2016) Pope Francis has asked us to use Dante’s Divine Comedy as a “spiritual guide.” Knowing how intimidating this project sounds, the Department of Evangelization and Catechesis of the Diocese of Rochester has put together a reading plan along with a group of theologians, literary scholars, and other lovers of Dante’s work to help us all mine the riches from one whom Pope Benedict XV called “the most eloquent singer of the Christian idea.”

read more here


Interesting Critique: “A Tale of Two Churches”

January 18th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

From The Catholic World Report

by Aurora C. Griffin

The final scene of Disney’s masterpiece Fantasia shows a group of monks processing through the forest at dawn, with Schubert’s “Ave Maria” playing softly in the background. As they walk and pray with their candles, the trees before them begin to join together at the tops, forming what are unmistakably… 

More here.

See a video of the interior of La Sagrada Familia HERE. Don’t let the introductory music turn you off. Stay with it.

See a short video of the interior of the Seville Cathedral HERE.


Video Clip of Epiphany Mass at Saint Alban

January 15th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

Below is a link to a one minute video clip of the Mass of Epiphany celebrated at the Fellowship of Saint Alban. It was –perhaps– the only Mass of Epiphany actually celebrated on January 6th in this area, the traditional date of Epiphany. The church building is the original Church of the Good Shepherd in Henrietta, in which the Fellowship celebrates Mass each week.

The Saint Alban community has a website with lots of information about the group. Visit it for Mass times and other details. There is a Mass tomorrow, January 16, at 6pm.

Clip of the Mass for Epiphany –Fr. Jason Catania, celebrant.

Website of the Fellowship of Saint Alban


Summer Chant and Polyphony Institute at Eastman School of Music

January 8th, 2016, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

Summer Chant and Polyphony Institute at Eastman School of Music –

Prof. Michael Alan Anderson* of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester will offer a summer course called “Singing Gregorian Chant and Renaissance Polyphony” from July 25-29 of this year.

read the rest here

*no relation to yours truly.


Keeping Christ in Christmas: Displays of Domestic Crèche Scenes

January 7th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie
Crèche display at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester, New York.

Crèche display at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester, New York.

For eleven years Sacred Heart Cathedral has displayed crèches from around the world. I believe crèches from a collection at the University of Dayton are often featured. This year’s display is running until this Sunday and is worth a last minute trip to view.

One of the display cases at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

One of the display cases at the Saint Jerome exhibit.

A display of crèches was also offered this year at Saint Jerome Church in East Rochester but I think that one has come down.

Many years ago there was a show of crèches that were family favorites of parishioners at Saint Anne Church in Rochester. An inexpensive book was produced showing each crèche with an accompanying family story about the use of its crèche. Participating parishioners sacrificed the use of their crèches that year in order to share them with other parishioners and those visiting to see the display; a nice way to keep Christ in Christmas!

shc2015 2b

Each case in the exhibits at both Sacred Heart Cathedral and at St. Jerome’s display multiple crèches.

Local collector, John Larish, has been the motivating force behind all of these displays. If you wish to contact him, send me an email ( and I will put you in touch with him.


Should we hold hands during the “Our Father”?

January 7th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

From the Aleteia website:

During the Mass, we have two important moments: the Consecration and Communion. There – during the Mass – is where we find our unity; that is where we join ourselves to Christ and in Christ, through the common priesthood of the faithful. Holding hands is…

Read more HERE


Picture of the Year 2015

January 5th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

From the New Liturgical Movement website

Click on this link to view image – Picture of the Year