Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Bishop Matano Lecture – Free and Open to the Public

July 6th, 2015, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

From St. Bernard’s facebook page.

2015 Otto A. Shults Lecture

The Most Reverend Salvatore R. Matano

Bishop of Rochester

Spirituality and the Eucharist

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
7:00 PM

St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry
120 French Road
Rochester, NY 14618

Free and open to the public; registration required.

Looks like you can register here.

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What’sup, Magisterium?

July 6th, 2015, Promulgated by Diane Harris

In spite of outright avowals from a few parish priests in my past, that they are not part of the Magisterium (Teaching Authority) of the Church, I have and will continue to “beg to differ.”  How else do the Church’s teachings, especially on current matters, reach us if not through the pulpit as homily and/or in parish bulletins? If the people ordained and receiving charisms do not preach, who will?  If the teachings are not prompt and clear, what good can be achieved?

On June 26th, the Supreme Court of the U. S. (SCOTUS) gave a decision rendered by 5 sinners to countermand God’s Word, and which holds threatening ramifications for the future practice of true Christian Faith.  To its credit, the USCCB rendered an immediate statement:


Full Statement:  Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable. Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion over forty years ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage today. Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.

The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female. The protection of this meaning is a critical dimension of the “integral ecology” that Pope Francis has called us to promote. Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us, especially children. The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home.

Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. As Catholic bishops, we follow our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth.

I encourage Catholics to move forward with faith, hope, and love: faith in the unchanging truth about marriage, rooted in the immutable nature of the human person and confirmed by divine revelation; hope that these truths will once again prevail in our society, not only by their logic, but by their great beauty and manifest service to the common good; and love for all our neighbors, even those who hate us or would punish us for our faith and moral convictions.

Lastly, I call upon all people of good will to join us in proclaiming the goodness, truth, and beauty of marriage as rightly understood for millennia, and I ask all in positions of power and authority to respect the God-given freedom to seek, live by, and bear witness to the truth.

We have yet another opportunity to observe and learn  how the magisterial link works into our local parishes.  Please share what is happening in your own parish. I’ve looked at a few bulletins and found nothing. However, kudos to Fr. Stan Kacprzak, pastor of St. Benedict’s (St. Mary Canandaigua and St. Bridget’s Bloomfield), who used half of the front page bulletin text for the following:

So, how is magisterial teaching (bulletin and/or pulpit) working at your church?  Do you have avowal of Church Teaching?  Or just a bulletin filled with upcoming cake sales, golf games and fundraising bbq’s, while 5 sinners voted God out of the way? Please share!

But remember:  “Sometimes you just can’t buy avowal.”


Homosexual Activist Group Still Receiving Local Support

July 4th, 2015, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

We’ve reported on the group “Fortunate Families” several times before (here, here, and here). Given the recent SCOTUS ruling redefining the word marriage, we thought it’d be worthwhile to post the 2013 donors whose names may be very reminiscent of some familiar DoR personalities.

Michael Bausch
Sr. Kay Heverin
Robert J Kennedy
William Donnelly
James Lawlor
Daniel Meyers
Edward Palumbos
Anthony Sciolino

The full list can be found here. There may be names that we missed. We plan to post the 2014 donors when that report is published.

A quick glance at their website or facebook page is enough to affirm that this organization opposes Church teaching.

On a positive note, the group was rejected from the upcoming World Meeting of Families 2015.


RR Reno on the Church’s Intellectual Problem

July 1st, 2015, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

RR Reno’s recent column at First Things: The Weakness of Laudato Si ends with these paragraphs:

Laudato Si may well have important and influential strengths as a spiritual meditation on the perversions of our age and as a global wake-up call. Smart theologians need to apply themselves to redeem the hints and suggestions of a cogent argument. I hope that happens. But as it stands, the encyclical is a weak teaching document.

This weakness reflects a reality about today’s Catholic Church. After Vatican II, the intellectual life of the Church was profoundly affected by the Great Disruption. The old scholastic systems were superseded by a wide variety of experimental theologies. I don’t gainsay the need for and value of some of those experiments. But we can’t deny the debilitating consequences. The theological formation of church leaders became eclectic at best, incoherent at worst. This has especially been true in the area of social justice. In that domain, which came to the fore after the council, the urgent need to advocate has often overwhelmed the need for patient, disciplined reflection. We see exactly this dynamic in Laudato Si.

So if we, as Catholics, are to be honest with ourselves, we must allow that we face a difficult season, at least as far as theological cogency is concerned. The men trained in the coherent old theological systems of the ­pre-Vatican II era have passed from the scene. The Church is now led by men who came of age during the Great Disruption. This will have an effect on Church teaching, I’m afraid, and it won’t be in the direction of consistency and clarity.

Regardless of what you think of Laudato si’, I believe that Reno hits the nail on the head with the current intellectual problem of the Church. Our modern era conflates intellectual prowess with speaking/writing in a voluminous manner that is neither consistent nor clear. It conflates wisdom with degrees, certifications, and # of years spent in academia. Almost every Catholic book I pick up prior to the 60s is clearer, more concise, and more consistent than the scholarly works coming from modern Catholic intelligentsia as well as the motivangelist, nouvelle-parenting*, reinvent-your-parish fluff touted by the Catholic media. This is why my general rule of thumb is to prefer works written prior to 1965 unless it’s either a Magisterial document or written by a Saint. I’m not saying there haven’t been good books published since then, but it takes more discernment as the % that are good is less than it used to be.

* never spank your children and don’t even think about leaving your crying babies and toddlers at home when you go to mass.


Monthly Prayer Requests for Priests – July 2015

June 30th, 2015, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

It’s time to print out your July 2015 calendar. Thanks to the good folks at for providing these calendars freely available to all on the Internet.

And the Holy Father’s prayer intentions for July :

Universal: POLITICS
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.

That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.


Now legal; Still sinful

June 29th, 2015, Promulgated by Diane Harris

ScreenShot174-211x300A post earlier today by Christian got me thinking that the Same-Sex “Marriage” decision by the Supreme Court deserves a special post in which our readers can contribute.  I’ve moved Christian’s comment to this post, to acknowledge the importance of our focusing on this issue, and how we might respond.  I will write some thoughts over the next few days, but don’t want to delay giving us a place to comment now, so here it is.

Meanwhile, I am pondering whether or not the title of this post would make a good bumper sticker to park in the church parking lot.


Christian wrote:

With regard to your insertion, annonymouse (and without intending to derail the topic of Laudato si), there are other Catholics employed by the Diocese of Rochester in ordained and lay positions who have advocated for same sex marriage, and are now celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same sex marriage throughout the United States.

The Chaplain at Nazareth College posted an article on Nazareth College Catholic Community’s Facebook page commemorating the legalization of same sex marriage, entitled “How should Christians Respond to the Court’s Decision on Same Sex Marriage?” written by Fr. Daniel P. Horan on June 26th, 2015 at 3 P.M.-On All Things for America: The National Catholic Review. The article strongly endorses Same Sex Marriage backing it with excerpts from “Gaudium et Spes” and “Nostra Aetate.”

(The Chaplain previously served at a Catholic parish under an openly homosexual priest who advocated for the homosexual lifestyle and Same Sex Marriage. There was an article written about this priest and his views).

How can ordained clergy and ministerial lay persons under the tutelage of the Diocese of Rochester and Bishop Salvatore Matano, teach and promote an agenda not recognized by the Catholic Church, especially to young, impressionable people?


Your thoughts?  Personally, I am looking forward to Bp. Matano’s catching up with priests who teach counter to the magisterium.  Let’s pray.


Urgent: St. Alban Location Change – This Weekend Only

June 26th, 2015, Promulgated by Ludwig

Our friends at the Fellowship of St. Alban continue to celebrate mass with Father Jason Catania, the last Saturday of every month.

Due to a scheduling conflict, this weekend’s mass cannot be held at its usual location, and will instead be held at St. Thomas the Apostle in Irondequoit, at their usual time of 5pm.

More details about this weekend’s mass can be found at the St. Alban’s website.


Ordination day proves ‘amazing,’ ‘indescribable’

June 22nd, 2015, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

Ordination day proves ‘amazing,’ ‘indescribable’ by By Mike Latona/Catholic Courier

Father’s Day Weekend got off to a special start June 20, with three men assuming the title of Father — in a priestly sense — at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Now that many years of preparation are behind them, Fathers Michael Fowler, Matthew Jones and Carlos Sanchez all agreed that their new designation sounds and feels pretty nice.

Diocese welcomes new priests

“It’s indescribable,” Father Fowler stated shortly after the ordination Mass ended.

“Amazing,” Father Jones said. “I never had any way to predict how this would feel.”

“I feel the joy of Jesus Christ in my life,” Father Sanchez added.

Click to read to rest

Congrats to these 3 men! Continue praying for Deacon Ruiz.

Finally, happy feast day of the patrons of our diocese, Ss. John Fisher and Thomas More.


Laudato si': An Aid for Parents

June 21st, 2015, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

The world needs one more commentary on Laudato si’ about as much as it needs another Apple Watch, so I’ll just say that while I think Pope Francis speaks well on issues of faith and morals I disagree with his broad assertions regarding the institutional causes of the ailments of the modern world (and potential remedies). On a more personal/individual level he’s certainly right that the problem comes down to sin and that turning our hearts to God is the answer. No, this doesn’t make me a hypocrite or a cafeteria Catholic, but I digress. The major benefit I’m taking away from this encyclical is that it provides significant reinforcement to parents trying to teach their children not to undervalue or waste their many blessings. Anyone raising children in suburban America in the 21st century knows how difficult it is to get them to understand just how blessed they truly are. Now, in a post Laudato si’ world, if you find your 4 year old has left her bedroom light on unnecessarily you can now scold her with the authority of the Pope. Simply place the Pope’s picture in a place of prominence in your house (as it should be anyways). When you find an offender (whether they didn’t finish their veggies, didn’t use an entire paper hanky before having discarded it, or flushed the toilet unnecessarily), you simply walk them to the picture and tell them that they’ve disappointed the Holy Father. “What would Pope Francis think of what you’ve done?” I am now a better parent. And it’s always a good reminder for myself as well.


A 10-point Checklist for Reading Laudato Si

June 19th, 2015, Promulgated by Diane Harris

I have not yet read the new 192* page encyclical by Pope Francis, released yesterday. Realizing that it is going to be quite controversial, I determined to write (at least for myself) an essay of sorts viewing the context into which the encyclical is being released, clarifying my own thoughts, and trying in earnest not to read point-by-point and react ad hoc, but to form first a framework against which to read and consider the encyclical, and to consider what is written in a greater context. (*192 was the draft issue in Italian; the English final on line is about 180 pages; but, about half this amount if printed in full page format.  Encyclicals are usually printed in approximately half-page format.)

Although the ‘essay’ isn’t in good enough form to share yet (and I may not, anyway), it does lead to some points which might be considered in reading the encyclical, so I’m offering it here in case it might be useful to others. More especially, I consider it a draft (probably as an ending to the essay) to which serious input is most welcome. What is on your list of considerations in reading the encyclical? Please comment and suggest. I will be revising this list based on the collaborative input from others, and may revise it several times while it is posted.

Meanwhile, I offer a “first draft” list of considerations for a framework against which I will be reading the encyclical this coming weekend:

1. Is there a serious link between the written word and the salvation of souls? If so, how may it be summarized?
2. Is the encyclical based on truth? Has any truth, including scientific truth, been compromised for the sake of “making a point?” Is all opinion clearly differentiable from truth and fact?
3. Does one sense an abundant love flowing toward the reader, regardless of what position each person holds on the issues, regardless of what each is currently doing or not doing in this matter?  Is it unitive rather than divisive?
4. Is there a suitable mode of humility and shepherdly care to provoke appropriate responses and not to harden hearts?
5. Is there complete consistency to the governing documents and teachings of the Church, especially the Catechism, Sacred Scripture, Canon Law and similar writings of earlier Popes, not only in quotations but in total context?
6. Is the order of creation being kept in the right priority? Serving the Creator rather than the created?
7. What are the actionable points at an individual level? What actions or inactions are sins to be confessed, vs. ‘nice to do’ recommendations that, after due consideration, may be ignored?
8. Do any teachings of the encyclical detract either in resources or in priority from any higher duties of each soul? Are there costs in time, energy or resources that would otherwise be compromised by investing in actions in these matters rather than in higher spiritual priorities?
9. Does the encyclical, fully absorbed, in any way lead toward a “one world religion” of environmentalism, of neo-pantheism, or encourage substitution of action at an ecclesiastical level, in place of dealing with the urgent issues of abortion, euthanasia, anti-biblical gender culture, persecution and annihilation of Christians, especially in the Mid-East?
10. Is there any danger of syncretism in the words or method of presentation of these writings as an encyclical? Is the content clearly in the “moral” area covered by infallibility? Or not?


A Short Guide to Praying as a Family

June 17th, 2015, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

I came across this post a little while back at

[Book] Review: A Short Guide to Praying as a Family

It convinced me to purchase the book which is authored by the Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia in Nashville. I must say it was definitely worth the money. It’s a beautiful book and has plenty of good information in it. Not too long ago there was a Catholic Men’s Conference whose purpose was to fire up men for their Catholic faith. For those of us who are fathers the best thing we can do to show our love for God is to do our duty as fathers by being good, Catholic role models for our families and also by instructing them in the faith. Near the end of the review there is a link to order the book.  I highly recommend it.


Coming Down Soon from the USCCB

June 13th, 2015, Promulgated by Hopefull

I don’t sign pledges in any way, shape or form.  If I want to give, I’ll give.  If I want to do, I’ll do.  IMO, there are very few things (except, for example, marriage or religious vows) that are worth  being bound by a pledge.  Moreover, it can be argued that forcing or pressuring people to sign pledges to God, on superficial issues, only puts those souls in unnecessary danger.

The Epistle of James (5:12) states:

“But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath, but let your yes be yes and your no be no, that you may not fall under condemnation.”

If we are going to sign a vow, promise, pledge (regardless of the nomenclature) then it should be taken most seriously, not only because it is our word, but especially when it is addressed (directly or indirectly) to God.  The Old Testament (Numbers 30:2) makes clear the seriousness of such promises:

“When a man vows a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.”

A pledge to God should not be a behavioral modification tool, nor should it be a group marketing program.  And it shouldn’t treat adults as children, since they are bound as adults.

Hence, I feel some concern about what appears to be a USCCB plan to circulate a pledge that should not be treated casually (as sometimes occurs in church when clipboards of petitions to state government circulate to accumulate signatures and implied legislative clout.)  Apparently the purpose is to support an encyclical, about which the content remains unknown.

Here is the proposed pledge.  What do you think?

In reply to Ben’s question as to where I found this, it was on the USCCB website; see link in right column, just below the sniffy picture.  It seems that since I first visited there is a disclaimer on the USCCB site regarding the link.  However, since it is to a “Catholic” site, and it takes a bishop to approve the use of the word “Catholic”. a link from the USCCB seems rather authenticating.




Scholar Urges “Continuous Exposure to Beauty” for Catholic Students

June 13th, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie

From the Cardinal Newman Society

By Kimberly Scharfenberger

It is critical for Catholic schools to expose students to beauty in the classroom, in liturgy and throughout the campus, as beauty has the unique ability to open students to God’s divine love, said Dr. Margaret Hughes, assistant professor of philosophy at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, N.Y., in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Dr. Hughes, one of the presenters at the Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 conference last week in New York City, discussed the role of beauty and liturgy in a talk titled, “The Ease of Beauty: Liturgy, Evangelization, and Catechesis.” The topic of beauty was a consistent theme in this year’s Sacra Liturgia, as its connection to reverent liturgy as well as education is immutable.

A continuous exposure to beauty throughout an education allows a person to continue to develop throughout his life the habits of attentiveness to and receptivity of the good of existence, so that he is able to delight in that good,” Hughes told the Newman Society after the conference. This receptivity and delight in beauty is “the goal of any appropriate human formation, since humans are ultimately fulfilled in the joy of the Beatific Vision…

…Cardinal Raymond Burke similarly discussed the redemptive power of beauty as the center of holiness in his keynote address at the conference. “Beauty is at the heart…

Read More Here


Drum Roll, Please!

June 12th, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie

From one of our local church bulletins this weekend:

Bang the drum slowly or quickly, or in syncopation, loudly or softly!! (parish name) would like to incorporate percussion into some of our music at Mass. We have some instruments available: bongos, conga, cymbals and timpani… now we need the hands (and arms) to play them! See (so and so) after Mass, or call at … or email…

“The Mass is ended … Thanks be to God!”  BAH-DA-BOOM! –TSSH!


What Happened to Redemptionis Sacramentum Instruction?

June 11th, 2015, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Redemptionis Sacramentum is an Instruction, prepared by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments by mandate of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II in collaboration with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and was approved on March 19 2004.  It was to be observed immediately, being issued on March 25 of that same year, over Francis Cardinal Arinze’s signature as Prefect.

So what has happened to a number of the points which do not seem to be consistently implemented?  Have updates been issued which are perhaps not apparent?  Or have the intervening 11 years caused some points to be dropped or minimized?  For a few of the items below, commentary has been added in red font.  Other points look forward to comments or corrections to this post.

The Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum is subtitled: “On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist.”  

The Instruction is worth reading from time to time as a refresher, although it seems for some time not to have been top of mind.  The following are excerpts, following the original numbered paragraphs.

[3.] The norms contained in the present Instruction are to be understood as pertaining to liturgical matters in the Roman Rite, and, mutatis mutandis, in the other Rites of the Latin Church that are duly acknowledged by law.

[4.] …some places the perpetration of liturgical abuses has become almost habitual, a fact which obviously cannot be allowed and must cease.

[7.] …all should conform to the ordinances set forth by legitimate ecclesiastical authority.

[10.] the use of unapproved texts and rites necessarily leads either to the attenuation or to the disappearance of that necessary link between the lex orandi and the lex credendi.

[11.] Nor do such actions serve authentic pastoral care or proper liturgical renewal; instead, they deprive Christ’s faithful of their patrimony and their heritage. For arbitrary actions are not conducive to true renewal but  are detrimental to the right of Christ’s faithful to a liturgical celebration that is an expression of the Church’s life in accordance with her tradition and discipline. … all of which greatly confuse and sadden many of Christ’s faithful …

[13.] the supreme norm of all ecclesiastical law [is] namely concern for the salvation of souls.

[18.] Christ’s faithful have the right that ecclesiastical authority should fully and efficaciously regulate the Sacred Liturgy lest it should ever seem to be “anyone’s private property, whether of the celebrant or of the community in which the mysteries are celebrated”

[27.] Accordingly, individual Bishops and their Conferences do not have the faculty to permit experimentation with liturgical texts or the other matters that are prescribed in the liturgical books.

[29.] Priests should recognize the Bishop as truly their father and obey him reverently”.

[31.] They ought not to detract from the profound meaning of their own ministry by corrupting the liturgical celebration either through alteration or omission, or through arbitrary additions… Indeed, under the Bishop’s authority let them faithfully seek to prevent others as well from committing this type of distortion.

[38.] …when stripped of its sacrificial meaning, the mystery is understood as if its meaning and importance were simply that of a fraternal banquet.

[42.] Nor is the Eucharistic Sacrifice to be considered a “concelebration”, in the univocal sense, of the Priest along with the people who are present.  Why do some priests say, WITH the people: “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at OUR hands….?”

[46.] The lay Christian faithful called to give assistance at liturgical celebrations should be well instructed and must be those whose Christian life, morals and fidelity to the Church’s Magisterium recommend them. … No one should be selected whose designation could cause consternation for the faithful.

[48.] The bread used in the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice must be unleavened, purely of wheat,…. It follows therefore that bread made from another substance, even if it is grain, or if it is mixed with another substance different from wheat to such an extent that it would not commonly be considered wheat bread, does not constitute valid matter for confecting the Sacrifice and the Eucharistic Sacrament.  (How did this transition occur to a host having just a tiny bit of wheat for celiacs?)

[49.] By reason of the sign, it is appropriate that at least some parts of the Eucharistic Bread coming from the fraction should be distributed to at least some of the faithful in Communion.  Some priests do consume the entire (smaller) host after consecration, offering none of the fractionated parts to the people.

[51.] It is not to be tolerated that some Priests take upon themselves the right to compose their own Eucharistic Prayers  or to change the same texts approved by the Church, or to introduce others composed by private individuals.  There are some priests who seem to have their own “trademark” comments, especially in and after the Blessing at the end of Mass.  

[53.] While the Priest proclaims the Eucharistic Prayer “there should be no other prayers or singing, and the organ or other musical instruments should be silent”

[56.] The mention of the name of the Supreme Pontiff and the diocesan Bishop in the Eucharistic Prayer is not to be omitted,….For “the coming together of the eucharistic community is at the same time a joining in union with its own Bishop and with the Roman Pontiff”.   We’ve previously mentioned the inappropriate mention of Bishop Emeritus.

[59.] The reprobated practice by which Priests, Deacons or the faithful here and there alter or vary at will the texts of the Sacred Liturgy that they are charged to pronounce, must cease. For in doing thus, they render the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy unstable, and not infrequently distort the authentic meaning of the Liturgy. The recent stopping of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion from saying the name of the person who is receiving Communion has been a big improvment, and seems to be fairly well followed after so many years of abuse.

[65.] It should be borne in mind that any previous norm that may have admitted non-ordained faithful to give the homily during the eucharistic celebration is to be considered abrogated by the norm of canon 767 §1. This practice is reprobated, so that it cannot be permitted to attain the force of custom.  Great improvement here with the reduction in “pastoral administrators!”

[66.] The prohibition of the admission of laypersons to preach within the Mass applies also to seminarians, students of theological disciplines, and those who have assumed the function of those known as “pastoral assistants”; nor is there to be any exception for any other kind of layperson, or group, or community, or association.

[70.]. In order to preserve the dignity of the Sacred Liturgy, in any event, the external offerings should be brought forward in an appropriate manner. Money, therefore, just as other contributions for the poor, should be placed in an appropriate place which should be away from the eucharistic table. Except for money and occasionally a minimal symbolic portion of other gifts, it is preferable that such offerings be made outside the celebration of Mass.  Money is still placed under the altar in some churches.  Perhaps there is a security issue?

[75.] …the liturgical books sometimes prescribe or permit the celebration of Holy Mass to be joined with another rite, especially one of those pertaining to the Sacraments.  The Church does not permit such a conjoining in other cases, however, especially when it is a question of trivial matters.  Like commissioning of Parish Council members?

[79.] ….it is strictly to be considered an abuse to introduce into the celebration of Holy Mass elements that are contrary to the prescriptions of the liturgical books and taken from the rites of other religions.

[84.] …. when Holy Mass is celebrated for a large crowd – for example, in large cities – care should be taken lest out of ignorance non-Catholics or even non-Christians come forward for Holy Communion, without taking into account the Church’s Magisterium in matters pertaining to doctrine and discipline.  This is still a serious issue, especially at funerals, where some priests even make it a point to tell the attendees that everyone is welcome to receive Communion.  I am grateful to those priests who faithfully proclaim the Church’s teaching before people approach the altar at a funeral Mass.

[86.] The faithful should be led insistently to the practice whereby they approach the Sacrament of Penance outside the celebration of Mass, especially at the scheduled times, so that the Sacrament may be administered in a manner that is tranquil and truly beneficial to them, so as not to be prevented from active participation at Mass.

[87.] The First Communion of children must always be preceded by sacramental confession and absolution.

[88.] … Only when there is a necessity may extraordinary ministers assist the Priest celebrant in accordance with the norm of law. It still seems like an awful lot of “extraordinary ministers” are joining the Priest at the altar.

[89.] “So that even by means of the signs Communion may stand out more clearly as a participation in the Sacrifice being celebrated”,it is preferable that the faithful be able to receive hosts consecrated in the same Mass. This is a point which seems to have completely fallen off the radar, as time after time virtually all the hosts consumed at a Mass come from the Tabernacle, consecrated at a prior Mass!

[92.] … special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.

[93.] The Communion-plate for the Communion of the faithful should be retained, so as to avoid the danger of the sacred host or some fragment of it falling.  The appearance of the paten is a rare event in the Novus Ordo Mass.  Why is this so neglected?

[94.] It is not licit for the faithful “to take . . . by themselves . . . and, still less, to hand . . . from one to another” the sacred host or the sacred chalice.  Does this include Extraordinary Ministers communicating each other?

[102.] The chalice should not be ministered to lay members of Christ’s faithful …  where a notable part of the people continues to prefer not to approach the chalice for various reasons, so that the sign of unity would in some sense be negated.

[106.] …the pouring of the Blood of Christ after the consecration from one vessel to another is completely to be avoided, lest anything should happen that would be to the detriment of so great a mystery. Never to be used for containing the Blood of the Lord are flagons, bowls, or other vessels that are not fully in accord with the established norms.

[110.] Remembering always that in the mystery of the Eucharistic Sacrifice the work of redemption is constantly being carried out, Priests should celebrate frequently. Indeed, daily celebration is earnestly recommended, because, even if it should not be possible to have the faithful present, the celebration is an act of Christ and of the Church, and in carrying it out, Priests fulfill their principal role.”

[111.] A Priest is to be permitted to celebrate or concelebrate the Eucharist “even if he is not known to the rector of the church, provided he presents commendatory letters” (i.e., a celebret) not more than a year old from the Holy See or his Ordinary or Superior “or unless it can be prudently judged that he is not impeded from celebrating”. Let the Bishops take measures to put a stop to any contrary practice.

[112.] …Priests are always and everywhere permitted to celebrate Mass in Latin.

[117.] Sacred vessels for containing the Body and Blood of the Lord must be made in strict conformity with the norms of tradition and of the liturgical books….It is strictly required, however, that such materials be truly noble in the common estimation within a given region,  so that honour will be given to the Lord by their use, and all risk of diminishing the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species in the eyes of the faithful will be avoided. Reprobated, therefore, is any practice of using for the celebration of Mass common vessels, or others lacking in quality, or devoid of all artistic merit or which are mere containers, as also other vessels made from glass, earthenware, clay, or other materials that break easily. This norm is to be applied even as regards metals and other materials that easily rust or deteriorate.

[120.] Let Pastors take care that the linens for the sacred table, especially those which will receive the sacred species, are always kept clean and that they are washed in the traditional way. It is praiseworthy for this to be done by pouring the water from the first washing, done by hand, into the church’s sacrarium or into the ground in a suitable place. After this a second washing can be done in the usual way.  A peek under a few sinks in the diocese shows there is not really a sacrarium in use, YET sacred matter is poured down the sink.  I have been told that the sink at St. Louis does not even pretend to be a sacrarium, yet the glass (yes, glass) Communion cups are washed there.  Can anyone confirm if this has changed or not?

[126.] The abuse is reprobated whereby the sacred ministers celebrate Holy Mass or other rites without sacred vestments or with only a stole over the monastic cowl.

[127.] A special faculty is given in the liturgical books for using sacred vestments that are festive or more noble … is improperly extended to innovations by which forms and colours are adopted according to the inclination of private individuals, with disregard for traditional practice.  The rainbow coalition vestments seem to be happily disappearing.  Read the rest of this entry »


IKEA Church and “The Godfather”

June 9th, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie

National Catholic Register Story IKEA Church and “The Godfather”

by Steven D. Greydanus

…Historic Catholic culture is robust and vivid, imaginatively and culturally rich — alive with vibrant images, immense ideas, grand rituals and soaring music. It is the culture of the Summa Theologica and the Divine Comedy, Gregorian chant and Bach’s Mass in B Minor, the Sistine Chapel and the Pietà, Saint Peter’s Basilica and Notre Dame, the Interior Castle of Teresa of Avila and the Little Flower’s Story of a Soul

…In my film writing beat, it’s long been recognized that the imaginations and styles of many great filmmakers with Catholic roots, whether or not they practiced or continued in faith — John Ford, Frank Capra, Leo McCarey, Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Bresson, Federico Fellini, Roberto Rossellini, Luis Buñuel, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Brian De Palma, John Sayles, and many others — have been shaped and informed by their Catholic heritage…

…I’m not saying these are all “Catholic films,” or even that I like them all. I am saying that they are generally films that someone raised as a Dutch Calvinist or an American Baptist wouldn’t have made. Not that Dutch Calvinists can’t make great art too, but it will be different art from art shaped by historic Catholic culture.

What about those raised in spartan IKEA-style churches, with blandly soothing music and genially anemic homilies? Will they produce artists inspired to create great art?

More importantly, will their people be inspired to lead heroic, virtuous lives? And, if so, will it be because of those IKEA-style spartan spaces, or in spite of them?

Read more:


Chesterton Academy of Rochester / St. John Bosco Schools in the News

June 8th, 2015, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

Some folChesterton_Rochester_Logoks from Chesterton Academy / St. John Bosco Schools were on Talking Back with Shannon Joy today.

(audio embedded below. direct download here. podcast feed here.)

For more info on the Chesterton Academy of Rochester, see the flyer here, check out their website (, and see below the headmaster’s welcome.

An article also appeared in the Fairport-East Rochester Post:
St. John Bosco Schools expands preschool program

St. John Bosco Schools (SJBS) has announced a significant change to its early childhood education program.sjbs

Beginning in the 2015-16 academic year, parents will have an array of preschool options for their children to enroll in.

Four-year-old students have the option of three or five days of enrollment with the choice of half or full days.

Three-year-old students will have the option of two half days per week.

“At. St. John Bosco Schools, the wonder of early childhood is nurtured through stories and imaginative play,” said Headmaster Colleen Richards. Movement, art and music complement an introduction to phonics and math.

The preschool expansion takes place amidst an already remarkable year of growth at the East Rochester School. Enrollment is up by 50 percent over last year at St. John Bosco Schools which includes pre-k through eighth grade.

Click here to read the rest.

Headmaster’s Welcome

Welcome to the Chesterton Academy of Rochester. We are an independent school providing a classical education within the Catholic intellectual tradition. We are a continuation of St. John Bosco Schools, which enrolls children from PreK through 8th Grade. We are also a part of the Chesterton Schools Network, which originated with Chesterton Academy in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

There is certainly no lack of schools in Monroe County, so why did we want to start a new high school in Rochester? There are several important reasons.

Read the rest of this entry »


Saint Mary’s, Geneseo

June 6th, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie


Saint Mary’s in Geneseo, New York is a charming little church in a college town 40 minutes south of Rochester. It has changed very little over the years as far as I know. I suspect there was once a communion rail which has, sadly, disappeared. Fortunately, The Tabernacle has not been moved from its central location on the permanent altar. The floor of the church is still, delightfully, creaky wood.

The architecture of the church is Medieval Revival with Gothic and Romanesque characteristics. The front facade of the church is Romantic, arranged asymmetrically with the towers unequal in height. Brick is often the material of choice for Medieval Revival.

The sectioning of the apse and side chapels reminds me of the dome of the Cathedral of Florence and even the dome of Saint Peter’s in Rome.

The funeral Mass I participated in recently was, for the most part orthodox, if celebrated a little too informally by the priest. Unfortunately, not much was used from the rich musical tradition of the Church but the young woman who was the cantor has a beautiful voice.






Brighten Up Your Day…

June 4th, 2015, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

by having a look at the 2 men in capes here.



Pope Francis to Card. Sarah : “Continue the Good Work in the Liturgy Begun by Pope Benedict XVI”

June 4th, 2015, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

Pope Francis to Card. Sarah : “Continue the Good Work in the Liturgy Begun by Pope Benedict XVI” –

The facebook page of the Sacra Liturgia Conference, now underway in New York City, is live-blogging the conference, and has posted a message sent to it by His Eminence Robert Card. Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

“When the Holy Father, Pope Francis, asked me to accept the ministry of Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, I asked: ‘Your Holiness, how do you want me to exercise this ministry? What do you want me to do as Prefect of this Congregation?’ The Holy Father’s reply was clear. ‘I want you to continue to implement the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council,’ he said, ‘and I want you to continue the good work in the liturgy begun by Pope Benedict XVI.’ (our emphasis)”

Should I persevere in the Faith and enter into God’s presence someday, what a joy it will be to fully understand the great mysteries of God… such as the Holy Trinity… and the mind/words/actions of Pope Francis.