Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Author Archive

For St. Joseph’s Day: “Limbo” by Sr. Mary Ada

March 18th, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull
The Descent into Limbo @ Harvard Art Museum

        The Descent into Limbo @ Harvard Art Museum

LIMBO by Sister Mary Ada

The ancient greyness shifted
Suddenly and thinned
Like mist upon the moors
Before a wind.

An old, old prophet lifted
A shining face and said :
“He will be coming soon.
The Son of God is dead;
He died this afternoon.”

A murmurous excitement stirred all souls.
They wondered if they dreamed —
Save one old man who seemed
Not even to have heard.

And Moses standing,
Hushed them all to ask
If any had a welcome song prepared.
If not, would David take the task?

And if they cared
Could not the three young children sing
The Benedicite, the canticle of praise
They made when God kept them from perishing
In the fiery blaze?

A breath of spring surprised them,
Stilling Moses’ words.
No one could speak, remembering
The first fresh flowers,
The little singing birds.

Still others thought of fields new ploughed
Or apple trees 

All blossom – boughed.
Or some, the way a dried bed fills
With water
Laughing down green hills.

The fisherfolk dreamed of the foam
On bright blue seas.
The one old man who had not stirred
Remembered home.

And there He was
Splendid as the morning sun and fair
As only God is fair.
And they, confused with joy,
Knelt to adore
Seeing that He wore
Five crimson stars
He never had before.

No canticle at all was sung.
None toned a psalm, or raised a greeting song.
A silent man alone
Of all that throng
Found tongue —-
Not any other.

Close to His heart
When the embrace was done,
Old Joseph said,
“How is Your Mother,
How is Your Mother, Son?”


“Accompanying Sinners into Hell” by Alan Keyes

February 28th, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull



Rest of the story:



Voice from Grave: Pope St. JP II on Humane Vitae

January 31st, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull

Apparently this address has just been translated into English and is reprinted on the LifeSiteNews link tonight.

Faithful Cardinal

January 9th, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull


More on Vestments

December 16th, 2017, Promulgated by Hopefull


Rosary Border Crusade December 12th, and …

December 2nd, 2017, Promulgated by Hopefull

Inspired by the million Poles who turned out to pray the Rosary in defense of their borders last October, a grass-roots effort has risen to do something similar in the US on December 12th, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Information can be found here.

The following two pictures are from the event in Poland. The story of that event can be found here.



Another Scheduled Local Appearance by Our Lady of Guadalupe




Advent Retreat with Latin Mass

November 22nd, 2017, Promulgated by Hopefull


Advent Retreat with Latin Mass



Please don’t touch my tongue — comments?

July 4th, 2017, Promulgated by Hopefull

I think it is time to post on something relevant to the Year of the Eucharist, and to encourage comments on a subject for which almost every communicant seems to have an opinion, and nobody is saying anything. First, let’s say what this is not — it is not about changing any church policy.  It’s not about any particular church or priest. It’s more about awareness and care, and ultimately even more reverent reception of the Eucharist.

To recap current practice, and risk oversimplifying:

1) the Novus Ordo (OF) permits receiving the sacred host in the hand or on the tongue, and allows the celebrant to offer the Precious Blood to the congregation, or not.  Most (but not all) parishes long ago ripped out their altar rails, making kneeling or rising again from the floor of the church, unaided, difficult for some of us. Therefore, Novus Ordo communicants principally receive communion by standing in line.

2) the Latin Mass (EF), while not widely available in most dioceses, in my limited experience, only makes the sacred host available on the tongue, kneeling, at an altar rail or kneeler where available.

What I want to dialogue about here is tongue-touching. It’s bad enough from a priest, but from the lay Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion in the Novus Ordo, positively yucky — IMO. It must be yucky to them too! (It was for me, when I was a “Eucharistic Minister” as the title was in those days.) Of course it does not change WHO we are receiving, nor the awesome gift of the Eucharist, but it is a distraction at a moment when we most want to be recollected, thankful, intimate with the Lord. (And even thinking “Please, don’t touch my tongue” is, itself, a distraction.) For the most part, I think tongue-touching is unnecessary, could be avoided with a bit more awareness.

Pope Benedict’s Preference:

During Pope Benedict’s last visit to the US he gave Communion on the tongue and only to recipients kneeling. See excerpt below and picture from the Vatican Website:

That fact alone makes receiving on the tongue worth considering, even for diehard “in the hand” communicants.

Three observations:

  1. When the smaller hosts began to be used, I wondered if it were a plot to force us all to receive in the hand. The incidence of tongue-touching increased, it seemed, with use of the smaller host, understandably so. I don’t really see any good reason for the smaller hosts, except perhaps for First Communicants?
  2. It appears to me that the OF moving Communion line introduced more risk of dropping the Eucharist, even when someone is receiving in the hand. And bowing, saying “Amen” before the host is received, then quickly getting out of the way for the next person is, in itself, a distraction. I actually think the priest walking down the line at the altar rail is quicker, without rushing the communicant, but I’m not sure there is less tongue-touching, as the priest may have a more obscured view, a greater distance from his eye to the communicant’s tongue, than in the communion line. (BTW — I was instructed in growing up with the Latin Mass NOT to rise until the person beside me had already received for two reasons: 1) to avoid stumbling, falling into the priest or onto the Eucharist, but 2) also to avoid distracting the person receiving. Sometimes, with kneelers, it isn’t possible to delay.)
  3. In the last few years, I’ve noticed (again, in my limited experience) that there are two ways of placing the host on the tongue. The most common way is that the priest’s index finger is below the tongue, and his thumb above. Virtually all the tongue touching experiences I’ve had were in this configuration, underneath and out of the priest’s view. But the other configuration is with the thumb (just the tip of the thumb) on the bottom and the index finger on top. Although I’ve had no tongue-touching in this configuration, perhaps it isn’t common enough for any valid statistics? I’ve also noticed this configuration allows the priest to press gently on the host if there seems to be a danger of its falling.

So what do you think? And does it vary by whether we are in flu season or not? Or if your health is already compromised? Do you ever choose from whom to receive Communion based on your past track record with a particular priest or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion? Is it a distraction at Communion waiting for a wet finger jolt? Why does this seem to be too sensitive to talk about?


“Oh where have they laid my Lord?”

         On July 22, Feast of St. Mary Magdalene,         

the following clipping was added here:



Bishop Matano giving Communion during March for Life 2018 with ‘thumb down’ position.

Finally — Dubia moves forward!

June 20th, 2017, Promulgated by Hopefull

Dubia moves sadly, but relentlessly forward.

Prayers needed!

June 12th, 2017, Promulgated by Hopefull

I was shocked by this article. All my experience with African Priests has been so positive; this article boggles my mind. When in doubt — PRAY!


SSPX Prelature getting closer?

March 21st, 2017, Promulgated by Hopefull


I kid you not ….

February 1st, 2017, Promulgated by Hopefull


Blessed Christmas!

December 26th, 2016, Promulgated by Hopefull
Rembrandt's "Adoration of the Shepherds"

    Rembrandt’s “Adoration of the Shepherds”




















Wishing everyone a Joyous Christmastide!





St. Peregrine Relic for Cancer Healing Intercession

November 21st, 2016, Promulgated by Hopefull

screenshot375Relic of St. Peregrine* the “Cancer Saint” is coming to St. Ann’s Church in Hornell, NY December 12 – 14, 2016 at 7 PM, as part of the parish’s 3 day mission. The 3 day parish mission is called, “God’s Healing Mercy during Advent” featuring talks by Fr. Chris Krymski, National Director of St. Peregrine Ministries in Chicago. Fr. Chris will talk on God’s healing mercy in conjunction to Saint Peregrine the healing Saint for those with cancer and serious illness. Fr. Chris will also bless everyone present each night with the relic of St. Peregrine.

*Saint Peregrine is the patron of sick people, cancer patients, and AIDS patients. He was initially a fiery anti-Catholic until he struck Saint Philip Benizi who offered him the other cheek in return. Saint Peregrine had a conversion from the experience. He had a vision of Christ which resulted in the cancer in his foot being healed. Saint Peregrine is an incorruptible saint. St. Peregrine’s feast day is May 1st.

Alan Keyes for Women’s Care Center

October 22nd, 2016, Promulgated by Hopefull

Support the Women’s Care Center:

If you have been following the developments from the (California) Ninth Circuit Court’s decision to require non-abortion care centers to refer for abortion, you know that there is a significant move to require such care centers to violate their own ethical standards, and a real threat to women’s care.  The very viable service is in great danger.


Please come hear Alan Keyes on October 27th, and support the Women’s Care Center of Rochester: 



Pro-Life Event

September 7th, 2016, Promulgated by Hopefull


Well said! May it also be well done!

June 26th, 2016, Promulgated by Hopefull

Today’s NCRegister on line had an article which I have not come to expect in the Register, but I was delighted to see it:

The article is a book review entitled: “US Churches Revive Respect for Rituals” by Joseph Pronechen:

Here are a few highlight sentences to whet the appetite:  

“In his recent book Signs of the Holy One: Liturgy, Ritual and expression of the Sacred (Ignatius), Father Uwe Michael Lang says that the post-Vatican II tendency is primarily to focus on the revision of the texts with “insufficient regard for the complexity of the ritual.”

“…Father Lang points out that changes, especially abrupt ones, can signal that observing them “was not so important after all.” As evidence, he points to how many churches moved their tabernacles from a “central position at the high altar of the church to a peripheral place in the sanctuary or even to a side chapel” — or even out of sight. “The message was conveyed that it had become less important for the worship and life of the people.”

“Unfortunately, often in the post-conciliar period, beautiful churches — magnificent edifices built with nickels and dimes of the poor and enhanced with beautiful colors — were “done over in white, and sometimes there was more design in a McDonald’s restaurant than in these after renovation,” Father Philipps said.”

Read more:


Coming Home: Statue of St. Boniface

June 4th, 2016, Promulgated by Hopefull

David Andreatta provides an interesting look into one statue from one church in the Diocese of Rochester.  Wonder where the rest of our statues etc. have gone?

Divine Mercy Novena Begins

March 25th, 2016, Promulgated by Hopefull

Who am I to judge? again?

February 18th, 2016, Promulgated by Hopefull

What are we to think? How are we to explain to non-Catholic friends? As if we didn’t have enough hostility in the Presidential Campaign, now there seems to be more gasoline on the fire, which even could be called interference by a head of state in the elections of another sovereign nation.  Here’s a link:;_ylt=A0LEV1qRNcZW8FkA2opXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTExZzQ0YmY1BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDVUlDMV8xBHNlYwNzYw–