Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Deacon Ordination Mass is being live-streamed – May 28 @10AM

May 27th, 2016, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

From the “DOR – Office for Cultural Diversity” facebook page:

The deacon ordination Mass May 28 at 10 a.m. will be live-streamed from Sacred Heart Cathedral via the Diocese of Rochester’s youtube channel:

I believe this link takes you right to the live stream.

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What sort of Mass did the Vatican II Fathers envision?

May 25th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie



Liturgical conservatives and progressives argue endlessly about this. Their argument will never be resolved, both because Sacrosanctum Concilium was and the subsequent magisterium has been self-contradictory, but also because neither side in the debate is willing to be honest about the historical facts. I am sorry to be harsh, but having read the output of both sides of the debate over a number of years, it is time it was said…

Read the full text HERE


Bp. Matano denounces physician-assisted suicide

May 21st, 2016, Promulgated by Diane Harris

LifeSiteNews reports in its May 20th Email Newsletter: “Yet another bishop speaks as all bishops must at this time of dreadful attacks on sacred human life. Rochester Bishop Salvatore Matano is clear, precise and unambiguous about what must be a top priority for all Christians at this time.”  Read story here.


The Clarity of Cardinal Sarah’s Words

May 20th, 2016, Promulgated by Diane Harris

I am personally convinced that the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Clarity, and not of ambiguity or confusion.  When we try to pick and choose words to fit any other agenda,  we are not serving “Truth.”  It is almost a warning sign, a flashing light of caution, a resounding ‘uh-oh’ that warns us we are about to cross the line, and to support those who perpetrate a false or feel-good agenda.  Admiration for the clarity of his writing has drawn me over and over again to Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s (Pope Benedict XVI’s) works, and now I am delighted to find such clarity and lack of fear in “God or Nothing” by Robert Cardinal Sarah.

A month ago I posted an invitation on Cleansing Fire to participate in reading and reviewing Cardinal Sarah’s book; here again is the same invitation to contribute. Meanwhile, I will begin to post some of the quotes which I’ve high-lighted in my copy, hoping to whet your appetite.  See the prior post for the early years; the following comments begin on page 46 (Chapter 2)  and continue through Chapters 3 and part of 4.  More to come as I plan to read slowly, savoring the texture.

On Faithfulness to Sacred Scripture:  

  • “It is important for us to show … respect and fidelity to the Word of God, so as not to manipulate it to fit historical, political, or ideological circumstances, for the purpose of pleasing men and acquiring a reputation as a scholar or avant-garde theologian….”
  • “The true servant of the Bible, the true theologian, is the one who exemplifies each day, by his life and by his actions, the words of the Psalmist: ‘Oh, how I love your law.  It is my meditation all the day….'”  [I think this is a particularly important excerpt, as we are lately subjected to all kinds of writings implying that those who support the traditional teachings of the Church, particularly about divorced/remarried not receiving the Eucharist, are seen as Pharisees or Doctors of the Law!]
  • Writing of the years he spent studying Sacred Scripture: “… those years are necessary in order to let the Word of God penetrate us like a two-edged sword.  It takes time for our stony hearts to receive the Word of God … which is also the wisdom of God, truly … more penetrating when it is received with faith and love.” … “Yes, this Word goes much farther than a two-edged sword, because there is no power or force that can deal such considerable blows, and the human mind cannot conceive of a point so subtle and so penetrating.  All human wisdom, all the subtlety of natural knowledge, falls short of its keenness.”
  • “One must humbly acknowledge that a whole lifetime is necessary to study the Word of God and to acquire the wisdom that leads to love.”


  • “I sometimes have the sense that seminarians and priests are not doing enough to nourish their interior life by founding it on the Word of God, the example of the saints, on a life of prayer and contemplation, all rooted in God alone. There is a form of impoverishment or aridity that comes right from the interior of the Lord’s  ministers.”
  • “The priest who neglects his Mass can no longer see how much God loves us, to the point of giving us his life.”
  • “Today how can anyone deny the fact that some men of the Church are in a state of moral ruin?”
  • “The crises in the Church, as serious as they may be, always have their origins in a crisis of the priesthood.”
  • “… pastors must speak in a way that their sheep can understand.”
  • “…there are many who consider their own opinion to be the real doctrine!”
  • “One of the major difficulties at present is found in ambiguities or personal statements about important doctrinal points, which can lead to erroneous and dangerous opinions …. These bad habits disorient many of the faithful …. Confusion about the right direction to take is the worst malady of our era.”
  • “Western societies are organized and live as though God did not exist. Christians themselves, on many occasions, have settled down to a silent apostasy.”
  • “I wonder sometimes whether even we clerics are really living in the presence of God…. Can we speak about the ‘Treason of the Intellectuals?'” They devote only a little time to him during the day because they are swamped in what I would call the ‘heresy of activism.'”
  • “God did not ask us to create personal projects but to transmit the faith.”
  • “We need … pastors passionately committed to the evangelization of the world, and not social workers or politicians.”
  • “… priests who choose to follow or to propagate political ideas are necessarily on the wrong path, since they make sacred something that is not supposed to be.”

Liturgical Reform

  • “If we do not turn our attention radically toward God, our faith becomes lukewarm, distracted, and uncertain.”
  • “Priestly celibacy has been guarded by the Church for centuries as a brilliant jewel and retains its value undiminished even in our time ….”
  • “As an African, I certainly inherited our joyful fear of everything sacred…. In the Old Testament the Hebrews always approached God with fear and veneration.  Ultimately, I sought to imitate them.  The best way to do this is through the liturgy.”
  • Regarding the pain of seeing “botched” implementation of “liturgical reform” post Vatican II, the Cardinal writes: “We were angry, incredulous at this hasty decision [destruction of the replica of the Bernini baldachin and the main altar in the diocese of Conakry in Guinea, where one day he would become bishop.] ….”I can attest to the fact that the botched preparation for the liturgical reform had devastating effects on the Catholic population, particularly on the simpler people, who scarcely understood the swiftness of these changes or even the reason for them.”
  • “No doubt it is regrettable that some priests allowed themselves to be so carried away by personal ideologies. They claimed to be democratizing the liturgy, and the people were the first victims of their actions.”
  • “The liturgy is not a political object that we can make more egalitarian according to social demands.  How could such a strange movement produce in the life of the Church anything but great confusion among the people?”
  • “We have seen all sorts of ‘creative’ liturgical planners who sought to find tricks to make the liturgy attractive, more communicative, by involving more and more people, but all the while forgetting that the liturgy is made for God.  If you make God the Great Absent One, then all sorts of downward spirals are possible, from the most trivial to the most contemptible.”
  • “If we make the liturgy for ourselves, it moves away from the divine; it becomes a ridiculous, vulgar, boring theatrical game.”
  • “Joseph Ratzinger saw at the root of the crisis of faith a defective understanding of the idea of Church.”
  • “If man claims to adapt the liturgy to his era, to transform it to suit the circumstances, divine worship dies….the crisis of the Church can never be separated from a crisis of God.”
  • “We must not fall into the trap that tries to reduce the liturgy to a simple place of fraternal conviviality…. The Mass is not a place where men meet in a trivial spirit of festivity…. man would like to confine the sacred to the realm of the profane.”
  • “God is horrified by forms of ritualism in which man satisfies himself.”
  • “The Catholic Church should reflect and take action in response to scandalous liturgical phenomena. Other people of faith … are shocked to see the debasement of some celebrations.” [In his relatively new prefecture responsibilities, Cardinal Sarah should be able to do much for true liturgical reform.]


  • Cardinal Sarah quotes Pope Pius XII’s first encyclical Summi Pontificatus (Oct 20, 1939) that as Pope his “first duty [is] to bear witness to the truth…. When God is hated, every basis of morality is undermined.” 
  • “The recognition of great accomplishments, when they exist, has never implied the renunciation of the truth.”
  •  Cardinal Sarah (who was named to be the youngest bishop then in the world, by Pope Paul VI) writes regarding the author of Humanae Vitae: “… the pope never intended to get involved in a debate that was distorted by libertarian thinking. Paul VI published his document; then he remained silent, bearing with all the difficulties in prayer.  Until his death on August 6, 1978, he never wrote another encyclical.”
  • “If we are seeking the truth, Benedict XVI is an exceptional guide. If we prefer lies, silence, and omissions, Benedict  becomes an unacceptable problem ….”
  • “…I think it is necessary to acquire the ability to come to terms with oneself as ‘intolerant,’ in other words, to have the courage to tell someone else that what he does is bad or wrong.”


  • “…because of the diversity of opinions on some serious questions and the loss of values and the disorientation caused by relativism, we would commit a grave sin against the unity of the Body of Christ and of the doctrine of the Church by giving episcopal conferences any authority or decision-making ability concerning doctrinal, disciplinary, or moral questions.”
  • “On November 2, 1954, Pius XII called for policies whereby Church ‘government is made more uniform, the wonder of the faithful is avoided, for often they do not understand why in one diocese a certain policy is followed, while in another, which is perhaps adjacent, a different or even a quite contrary policy is followed.'” [One can’t help but think of certain recent Synod discussions as illustrative of these concerns.]


And, perhaps for these times, we might close for the moment by recognizing that the words Cardinal Sarah wrote about his life as a Bishop under a totalitarian dictatorship may have some teaching for us today: “In dealing with mad and dangerous dictators, words can sometimes prove counterproductive.”  [But never prayer.]  Next installment: poverty, gender issues, and Africa.


The Lover Sings

May 13th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

By Peter Kwasniewski

Excerpt from his book “Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis”

As Augustine said, ‘only the lover can sing.’ We sing words that we are in love with, or rather, words that remind us of the one we are in love with. Whenever the Epistle or the Gospel is chanted at a Tridentine (Latin) Mass, it makes my heart race; it is a love-song, a song of the human heart caught up in romance with the eternal Word. In the new liturgy, by contrast,  the Bible is nearly always merely read out. There is no love affair; it is a sedate meeting where a certain amount of business has to be gone through.

Remember this? Father (then Deacon) Van Lieshout (Livonia) chants the Gospel.


Commission on Women Deacons: 12 Things to Know

May 13th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

From the National Catholic Register

By Jimmy Akin

Pope Francis has agreed to create a commission to study the possibility of women deacons.

Here are 12 things to know…

Read More Here


Divine Mercy Colors at the Carmel

May 10th, 2016, Promulgated by Diane Harris

There is a magnificent, large wooden crucifix hanging in the Sanctuary of the Carmelite Monastery in Pittsford, NY.  There has been something very special about that crucifix (not that every crucifix isn’t special in its own right.)  When the nuns had to move away, they were unable to take the crucifix with them.  When they miraculously returned to the Carmel (yes, miraculously!) they were able to recover not only the monastery, but also the crucifix. Father Joe Lanzalaco (who passed away last July, RIP) used to come back out to the Sanctuary after Mass and pray his thanksgiving before the crucifix, stretching up to touch the Holy Feet).

At a certain time of year (now, and maybe again in the fall?) there is an unusual phenomenon which I was able to see on Monday this week.  I send out what has come to be a weekly meditation of sorts, on all different subjects, and yesterday I sent pictures of that phenomenon at the Sanctuary Crucifix.  (If you want to be on the email list, just let me know.)

The Phenomenon

Archive 2nd Q 2016 017 cropOn a sunny day, light passes through a high stained glass window on the east side of the Sanctuary, falling on the Corpus on the Cross. When the sun is at just the proper elevation, the colors of the stained glass pass from the viewer’s left to right across the Crucifix. For just a very few minutes the red hue is at Christ’s right hand, and the white (a little bluish) falls to His left hand. (The viewer’s left and right, respectively.) The entire event takes place over just a few minutes, and it is beautiful, reminiscent of and consistent with the falling of rays in the Divine Mercy picture.   It is now occurring around 8:30 AM — soon after the 7:30 Mass is over.) One of the people to whom I sent this reflection last night was Bernie Dick, whom we all know does beautiful photographic work on the sacred architecture, construction, furnishings and artifacts. Bernie visited the monastery this morning and his work brings alive the movement of color. He also took pictures of the large Divine Mercy picture above the center aisle near the entrance.
Link to see more
Click here to see Bernie Dick’s documentation:
As you can see from the Bernie’s link, there is also (as the light through the stained glass plays on the wall from left to right) a disappearance of the blue and white colors on the left when the light reaches the Corpus.  I wondered how that happened and today I saw the reason.  As the sun moves from the eastern sky to the southeast, the structure of the monastery first ‘cuts off’ the left-most color, and eventually all is in the shadow of the building.  Mystery solved. But new ‘mysteries’ are happening every day!

Oh, the Irony ….

May 7th, 2016, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Backgrounder:  For those who don’t know, the Extraordinary Form (EF) Mass (Traditional Latin Mass) has basically the same readings each year; the Ordinary Form (OF) Mass (Novus Ordo) is on a 3-year cycle.  Therefore, except for some Solemnities and Feasts, different texts are often read on the same weekend, in comparing the EF and the OF readings.  Sometimes even the name of the Sunday is different; e.g. the Sunday after Easter is named Second Sunday of Easter (or Sunday of Divine Mercy) in the OF liturgies while the EF title is “Low Sunday.” April 10 this year was the “Third Sunday of Easter” in the OF, while it was the “Second Sunday after Easter” in the EF.  (Counting of the Sundays begins ON Easter for the OF and begins after Easter in the EF.  This backgrounder isn’t absolutely essential for understanding the irony I wish to point out below, but I hope it creates some value for those who express some of the same confusion I had a few years ago, and whom I may have further confused as I tried to explain!)

For the sake of continuity:  Since I rarely have the opportunity to attend EF Masses during the week (and I try to attend the Latin Mass on Sundays) I usually spend some time on the readings for Sunday OF Masses, so I have a sense of continuity during the week, for novus ordo Masses as well as for the Office.  I noticed, and will just make the personal observation, without a scientific review and counting of verses, that the Epistle and Gospel texts heard at Mass in the EF (Traditional Latin Mass) contain mostly continuous text, without deleting verses.  However, the Readings at Mass in the OF (Novus Ordo) frequently skip verses.  Those excisions (mostly in the OF) are of course noted by verse numbers missing and, if one wants to do so, it is an easy work to consult the NAB text (on line at the USCCB) and find out what has been omitted.  Perhaps it is for the sake of shorter readings?  Perhaps it is done to concentrate on only one subject or one aspect of a subject?  Perhaps there is some other reason which doesn’t come quickly to mind (like reading about fornicators when there are many children at Mass)?

This Weekend: Tomorrow, May 8th, has three different sets of readings.  The EF will be “The Sunday after the Ascension”, as it has been for centuries. But for the OF, it will depend in which diocese you find yourself on that day.  Most dioceses in the U.S. have transferred Ascension Thursday to Sunday.  I am personally delighted that none of Bishop Clark, Bishop Cunningham when he was Apostolic Administrator, or Bishop Matano made that change.  [Sunday Edit: In discussions today with several friends, they commented that whether or not to move Ascension Thursday to Sunday is a “regional decision.”  I know I’ve heard previously that it is diocese by diocese.  If you have information on this, please comment!]  We still celebrate Ascension Thursday on THURSDAY, and have 9 full days for the Novena to the Holy Spirit, tracking those same nine days in the Book of Acts!  In a recent bible study I was asked WHY a diocese (or why so many dioceses) would do such a thing.  I didn’t have a good reason except to compare it to legalizing marijuana — before legalization it is a crime to use, afterward not so.  Before moving the Solemnity it was a serious sin to miss Mass on that day (and on other Holy Days of Obligation.)  After moving it, one gets a two-fer by going to Mass on Sunday, with no sin by skipping Mass on Thursday. Sorry, it is a poor analogy, I guess, but that is what I said. (As an aside, it appears that bulletins are being printed with the wrong readings, perhaps because the template is following the common practice of transplanting Thursday to Sunday?) If tomorrow is not being celebrated as The Ascension, it will be the readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, which has the reading from Revelation mentioned below.

So — the irony!  The second reading tomorrow in the OF is from Revelation 22: 12-14, 16-17, and 20.  Immediately I was curious why in such a relatively short reading, three verses would be dropped.  Ironically, here are verses 18 and 19, deliberately dropped from the reading:

22:18  I warn everyone who hears the prophetic words in this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book,

22:19  and if anyone takes away from the words in this prophetic book, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city described in this book.

Oh, my …  I am finding it very difficult to explain that excision … but I certainly think it is an ironic choice.

And verse 15 that is also omitted?  Here it is:

22: 15   Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the unchaste, the murderers, the idol-worshipers, and all who love and practice deceit.  The RSV translates 22:15 as:  “Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and every one who loves and practices falsehood.” The word in Greek is ‘pornos’.  and its definition is:  

  1. a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire
  2. a male prostitute
  3. a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator

So, what is the sensitivity to using verse 15?  Is it to “unchaste” or its wider definitions? or is it about not opening the can of worms about dogs going or not going to heaven on a tranquil Sunday morning?  I’m sure some translator for the Lectionary has made an argument for dropping all 3 verses. I don’t know what it is, but I probably wouldn’t like the argument anyway.



Liturgical Entropy

May 4th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

From the New Liturgical Movement


…liturgical tradition: it is God’s gift to us, it comes before us and goes beyond us, but we must work hard to preserve it and to be worthy of it. What we absolutely must not do is think that it would be better to create an alternative “tradition” and attempt to…

Read more HERE


A Moral Challenge

May 4th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

From LifeSite

by Philip Lawler

May 3, 2016 (CatholicCulture) — In 2009, when the University of Notre Dame invited President Barack Obama to deliver a commencement address, dozens of American bishops lodged loud public protests. Yet this year, as Notre Dame prepares to confer an even greater honor on Vice President Joe Biden (together with former House Speaker John Boehner), the silence from the hierarchy is deafening.

Back in 2009, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston said that Notre Dame’s invitation to President Obama was “very disappointing,”, while then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan termed it a…

Read more HERE


Catholic Courier 2016 Readership Survey – An Invitation from Bishop Salvatore R. Matano

May 2nd, 2016, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

Courier to conduct readership survey By Annette Jiménez/Catholic Courier

The Catholic Courier is conducting a survey this month in an effort to better serve the needs of its readers. And in appreciation for their time, survey participants also will be offered an opportunity to enter a drawing for one of four iPad Mini tablets.

The survey is being mailed the first week of May to 5,000 subscriber households that were randomly selected to represent different age groups and geographic regions in the 12-county Diocese of Rochester.

the survey also is being made available online in an effort to more broadly gather perspectives on the Courier’s work. Anyone who wants to participate may complete the survey and enter the drawing at

Also, if you know any of these men be sure to thank these priests for their many years of service. But wait, there’s more!


Amoris Laetitia: a Need for Clarification in Order to Avoid a General Confusion

May 2nd, 2016, Promulgated by Bishop Athanasius Schneider

You can use and spread this my official text to whom you want. The exclusive rights of this text I reserve however with me. Yet I do not make any restrictions in spreading the text. I myself will spread the text, because it should be a pastoral help for many souls in distress in our days. God bless you. Yours in Jesus and Mary, + Athanasius Schneider

The paradox of the contradictory interpretations of “Amoris laetitia”

The recently published Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris laetitia” (AL), which contains a plethora of spiritual and pastoral riches with regard to life within marriage and the Christian family in our times, has unfortunately, within a very short time, led to very contradictory interpretations even among the episcopate.

There are bishops and priests who publicly and openly declare that AL represents a very clear opening-up to communion for the divorced and remarried, without requiring them to practice continence. In their opinion, it is this aspect of sacramental practice, which, according to them, is now to undergo a significant change that gives AL its truly revolutionary character. Interpreting AL with reference to irregular couples, a president of a Bishops’ Conference has stated, in a text published on the website of the same Bishops’ Conference: “This is a disposition of mercy, an openness of heart and of spirit that needs no law, awaits no guideline, nor bides on prompting. It can and should happen immediately”.

This opinion was further confirmed by the recent declarations of Father Antonio Spadaro S.J., after the Synod of Bishops in 2015, that the Synod had established the “foundations” for the access of divorced and remarried couples to communion by “opening a door” that had still been closed during the previous Synod in 2014. Now, as Father Spadaro alleges in his commentary on AL, his prediction has been confirmed. There are rumours that Father Spadaro was a member of the editorial group behind AL.

The way to abusive interpretations appears to have been paved by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn himself, who said, during the official presentation of AL in Rome, with regard to irregular unions, that: “My great joy as a result of this document resides in the fact that it coherently overcomes that artificial, superficial, clear division between ‘regular’ and ‘irregular’”. Such a statement suggests that there is no clear difference between a valid, sacramental marriage and an irregular union, between venial and mortal sin.

On the other hand, there are bishops who claim that AL ought to be read in the light of the perennial magisterium of the Church and that AL does not permit access to communion for divorced and remarried couples, not even in exceptional cases. This statement is fundamentally correct and desirable. In fact, the content of every Magisterial text must, as a rule, be in its content consistent with the former teachings of the Magisterium of the Church, without any break.

It is no secret, however, that divorced and remarried couples are admitted to Holy Communion in a number of churches, without their being required to practice continence. It must be admitted that certain statements in AL could be used to justify an abusive practice that has already been going on for some time in various places and circumstances in the life of the Church.

Read the rest of this entry »


Monthly Prayer Requests for Priests – May 2016

April 30th, 2016, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

It’s time to print out your May 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 May:

Universal: Respect for Women
That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.

Evangelization: Holy Rosary
That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.


God or Nothing

April 22nd, 2016, Promulgated by Diane Harris

God or Nothing coverThe title is a statement, not a question.  Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, knows exactly the choice and is able to lead us deeply in faith.  The endorsements on the back cover could hardly be more credible or more promising: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Raymond Cardinal Burke, Walter Cardinal Brandmüller, Most Reverend Carlo Maria Viganò (retiring Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S.) et al.

My copy arrived this morning and I am delighted to have the opportunity to read, absorb and share.  The only thing better would be to explore the thoughts and conclusions with others who are also interested.  So, if you want to participate in some on-line discussion here on Cleansing Fire about thoughts and reactions on reading “God or Nothing”, make a comment or send me an email on the staff contact link.  To give others a chance to order the book and to begin reading, I am thinking of beginning on or right after Pentecost, and asking the Holy Spirit for enlightenment in our reading.  What do you think?


Happy Birthday, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

April 16th, 2016, Promulgated by Diane Harris

ScreenShot217When I received an email

from a friend

noting that today is

Pope Emeritus

Benedict’s 89th birthday,

I just knew I

had to share the pictures with

Cleansing Fire readers.

May God bless him and protect him.









Saint Mary’s Church, Dansville, NY

April 13th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

Dansville, New York, has a beautiful church that has avoided ruin through “Spirit of Vatican II” activism.

web 01bae5e57efea590ab7f6be82aaf955e110c7f55a5_edited-1Saint Mary’s in Dansville is a mix of styles. I would call it Romanesque but it has a Renaissance/Baroque main entrance, Gothic Revival coins at the corners and a prominent pediment, and touches of Byzantine in a domed cupola and stone/brick banding toward the top of the tower.

web 01f23438a9bcb34ca34acc4936d10c22ceb3a99c10_edited-1The church is in the style of an early Christian basilica and includes an open timbered ceiling, characteristic of the earliest of Christian churches. There is a large nave and two side aisles but no side chapels. The apse houses a gorgeous classical Renaissance altar designed to appear to have a baldachin or ciborium. The tabernacle was never moved after the Second Vatican Council and so is in the center of the cancel, on the altar. The vaulted ceiling is  coffered with rosettes.

web 01838db5cec38f398551299d4e31824c7b5993da07_edited-1

Appropriately, the back and side walls of the apse are painted in a rich, gold pattern reminiscence of a king’s throne room.

The draped opening between the columns of the altar cries out for a painting but we are offered an aesthetically underwhelming (to me) suspended sculpture of the risen Lord. I’m wondering if a painting was once there or was at least planned for that space.

web 01d6a58bd89dcbcc95e6b8ac98d69b2c006c25f0c6_edited-2Unfortunately, banners have been hung on some of the sides of the piers (square columns). They are at least well designed but, alas, they are banners and I dislike banners. In this case I think they distract from the Stations of the Cross. The piers were designed to be unadorned except for the Stations. Thankfully, the colors of the banners harmonize with the architecture and they are in good proportion to the sides of the piers.

web 01db2453d20195dda066a1a05767c9c2c69bb836ab_edited-1The Stations of the Cross are outstanding in Saint Mary’s. Renaissance in style, each has a touch of Byzantine in the gold mosaic-like skies.


Yet another style appears to us in the spandrels between the piers (those triangular spaces over the piers). A heavenly host of angels rendered in the Art Nouveau style look down on us and announce that we are in sacred space –the throne room of the King, the temple of the Lord. (Yes, yes, I know, in the New Covenant the people are the Temple.)

web three windows

Like nearly everything else in this church, the stained glass windows are beautiful. Rich in detail and outstanding in rendering they each invite study and reflection.

web 01e00df7767c17fa51f22ea19b6ea8e78071a45f0b_edited-1 Look at the wonderful elaboration of the main entrance. Something important happens here. This isn’t just any building.

web 01652da5e99a1be49329647c8f06c73ee7c9fa8f79_edited-1

More Information about Saint Mary’s


Countdown to Tsunami or to a False Alarm?

April 7th, 2016, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Postponed at least 3x, co-opted by the death and funeral of the iconic and revered EWTN foundress, and now with announced participants of shaky theology and shakier intentions, eyes turn to Rome in less than a day for the presentation of conclusions and results from the Extraordinary Synod. Where do you stand in your expectations between tsunami and false alarm? How quiet the wires have fallen on clear church teaching (Cardinal Brandmuller and Cardinal Sarah being significant exceptions).  How risky can it be to teach church doctrine on the eve of a Synod report?

Cardinal Brandmuller’s clarity

‘Deviation’ only word to describe gender theory and homosexual ‘marriage’: Cardinal Sarah

Africans will not accept Western push for gay ‘marriage’: cardinal

Pope picks leading progressive to present family exhortation April 8


So- strengthen the brethren:

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.”  2 Timothy 4:1-5

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel–not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ. For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Galatians 6-12.


Monthly Prayer Requests for Priests – April 2016

March 31st, 2016, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

It’s time to print out your April 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 April:

Universal: Small Farmers
That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.

Evangelization: African Christians
That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.


The Drones Have Arrived!

March 31st, 2016, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

Drones in Catholic Churches!!! This is a pretty awesome story. I hope they can find a way to share the footage – St. Michael’s and St. Stan’s are 2 of the most beautiful churches around.

Drone technology aids local parishes By Annette Jiménez/Catholic Courier

ROCHESTER — Watching a drone glide through the skies is still not an everyday occurrence, but seeing one flying through a church is even more rare.

On March 11, Chris Dominicos guided a drone down the center aisle of St. Michael Church, a worship site of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish. Equipped with a camera, the drone captured video and photographs of the church’s ornate stained-glass windows. The windows were designed in the late 1800s and are worth millions of dollars, according to Father Mickey McGrath, the parish’s copastor.

A four-story hydraulic lift operated by Mike McBride was being used to supplement the drone’s photographs of the windows’ details, which have not been seen close up since the church was built in 1890, McBride and Father McGrath said.



Eternal Rest Grant unto Mother Angelica, O Lord…

March 27th, 2016, Promulgated by Diane Harris