Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Author Archive

CF on American Papist Tweet

November 18th, 2010, Promulgated by Nate

Yesterday, well known Catholic blogger Thomas Peters (aka American Papist) tweeted about the possibility of having a “Cesar Chavez Parish”. He said it is “More proof the Diocese of Rochester needs a cleansing fire – “Cesar Chavez” suggested for consolidated parish’s patron”. His source was none other than Cleansing Fire.

Way to go for all the real writers of CF for continuing to get the news out there!

A Different Type of Vocation Problem

October 20th, 2010, Promulgated by Nate
Recently I went to a talk given by some of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.  They are community of Sisters best known for appearing on Oprah. Two of the nuns and once novice recently came to my college to talk about their community and to encourage vocations. They are an absolutely fantastic bunch. The sisters were smart (one was just the valedictorian from Harvard:, happy, and most of all holy. They were an absolutely great group of witnesses.
The Dominicans Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are also experiencing a rather unique problem here in America, they are running out of space. They were founded in 1997 and already have over 100 sisters. The average age is just 26 years of age. They recently welcomed over 25 new postulants and have now run out of room in their Motherhouse in Ann Arbor, MI. They are continually welcoming in classes of over 20 postulants and they are already out of space.
Another community, The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville, TN are also expanding. They recently welcomed 27 new postulants.
So what is their secret? Why are they expanding while so many others are collapsing? One student here asked that question and the response from one of the sisters was clear: Devotion to Mary, Eucharistic Adoration, and Orthodoxy.

Harvard Valedictorian Joins Convent

August 26th, 2010, Promulgated by Nate

Remember those Dominican Sisters who were on Oprah?

Well they have some very exciting news to announce, the valedictorian of Harvard University is joining their convent. The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Michigan are welcoming Mary Anne Marks, Harvard Valedictorian, to their ranks.

Mary Anne is quite a remarkable woman. She graduated with degrees in Classics and English, and gave her Valedictory address in Latin:

The National Review interviewed her recently, and I would recommend all to read it.

Orthodoxy Breeds Vocations

August 20th, 2010, Promulgated by Nate

The Dominican Province of St. Joseph, the province covering Northeastern United States, is welcoming in 21 new novices this year. It is the province’s largest incoming class of novices since 1966. This is pretty impressive considering the fact that the Province of St. Joseph in 1966 covered the entire East Coast (The 11 southern states formed their own province in 1980). The average entering class of novices from 1993 to 2002 was only about 5, while the average from 2003 to 2009 was about 9.

So this begs the question, why this huge jump in vocations over the past several years for the Dominicans? According to the province’s outgoing Vocations Director, in an interview with Catholic News Service, the answer is orthodoxy:

Despite efforts in other Catholic orders since the council to alter their own traditions and teachings with the aim of appealing to a younger, wider audience, for the Province of St. Joseph, “there was not a whole lot of toying or monkeying with the liturgy,” Father Garrot said, adding that he thinks some other orders have actually hurt their recruitment efforts by straying from their tradition.

“All I can hope is that we’re riding the crest of what will happen for everyone else in due time as they reclaim their tradition and settle,” he said.

So how soon until Rochester decides to “reclaim their tradition and settle”?

Causes of Liturgical Abuse (For Beginners…namely me)

July 11th, 2010, Promulgated by Nate

It seems to me that the problems and abuses that have occurred in the Diocese of Rochester, and indeed the Church abroad, have resulted from a misguided, but altogether honest, misunderstanding of what the liturgy is. All abuses in doctrine, teachings, and traditions stem from abuses in the liturgy. The liturgy is the central aspect of the Church, and abuses in the liturgy inevitably result in abuses in all aspects of Church life. An understanding of what the Church and liturgy are and proclaim must first be understood if we want to truly effect change in the Diocese of Rochester.

So what is the central point of the liturgy? It is first and foremost to honor and revere God. All other aspects, such as community, inspiration, teaching, etc are secondary. God is the center of the liturgy, and the center of the Church. It must be made clear that all other aspects are secondary.

This has largely been lost in this “Spirit of Vatican II” age. Abuse stems from the belief that the Council opened up the Church to the laity, made it more interactive, more inclusive. While this is not debated, what should be debated is how this belief has led to the people being the central aspect of the liturgy, which is a profoundly dangerous and heretical ideal.

A belief that the people make up the central aspect of the liturgy leads to a community that honors and reveres nothing. What is the central celebration of such a liturgy? It is inevitability a community that merely celebrates itself, which means it celebrates nothing. It looks inwards for inspiration, looks to people for greater truth and understanding, which is again dangerous and heretical.

G.K. Chesterton points out what makes true Christianity different from every other religion, is it that it looks outwards, looks to something beyond what is natural, to that which is greater. This belief needs to be rekindled. We need to be reminded to again look outwardly, to begin to encourage others to do the same. This outlook will lead to people honoring and revering God.