Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘Orthodoxy at Work’

New Mural at Saint Jerome’s in East Rochester

June 7th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

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Click on photos to see larger images.

Saint Jerome’s in East Rochester (Father Bill Leone, pastor) recently installed a commissioned mural on the inside typanum over the main door and it is a beauty! It is everything you could want in a Catholic image for a church: orthodox, professionally executed, beautiful. 
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The theme or story is the Ascension of the Lord. I probably don’t need to tell you that because the work, unlike so much of modern Catholic church art, is orthodox and unambiguous. It is also free of the political or social commentary we often find in so much contemporary church art.

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We are struck by its beauty, not by its strangeness.

The artist, Rick Muto is a well known professional artist in Rochester and, if I’m not mistaken a parishioner at Saint Jerome’s. I also believe that this is his first religiously themed work.

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Here is his website: Rick Muto Decorative and Fine Art website

Rick Muto is also on Facebook: Rick Muto Decorative and Fine Arts Professional Services

What are we to think of the darkened figure in the lower right corner? Use the comment box to offer your interpretation.

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Scroll down on the artist’s Facebook page timeline and you will see a photo of him in his studio working on the Ascension mural.


‘How to Put God Back at the Center of the Liturgy’

June 4th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

From the National Catholic Register


The French magazine Famille Chretienne published an online interview with Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea on May 23. The following is a Register-commissioned translation from the original French.

Interviewer: Several weeks ago, you discussed a desire to see “The Sacrament of Sacraments put back in the central place,” that is, the Eucharist. What is your reasoning?

Cardinal Sarah: I wish to engage a serious consideration on this question, with the goal of placing…

Read more HERE

Group Photo from Deacon Ordination

June 3rd, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

Here is an obligatory Catholic “on-the-front-steps” group photo from last Saturday’s deacon ordination day.

Let’s have you all chime-in to identify everyone in the photo, other than Bishop Matano. I know some of the people but not all. Most especially, identify the four newly-ordained deacons.

Click on the photo to see a larger version.

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Stations of the Cross at Church of the Good Shepherd

March 11th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

Traditional Stations of the Cross was prayed at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Henrietta, tonight, led by Father Peter Adu Boahen Nkansah.


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Very brief video clip HERE

Blessed Sacrament Front and Center

March 4th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

From the National Catholic Register

Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison Wisconsin discusses diocesan deadline for suitable tabernacle placement.

Read more here.

Quality Restoration Work at Saint Jerome’s

February 10th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie
In progress restoration painting work by Liza Barzac

In progress restorative painting work by Liza Barzac

Something like 28 years ago, Liza Barzac and her husband saw a man whitewashing over the pastel colored Stations of the Cross in Saint Jerome’s Church in East Rochester, New York. They thought he was putting a primer coat of paint on the Stations to prepare them for restoration. Then, the gentleman applied a second coat of white –and left them that way. The pastel colored stations were going to be white from then on, until a month or so ago.

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White washed station to be tinted during restoration work by Liza Barzac.

Liza Barzac is now restoring the stations to their pastel coloring. She was asked to do so by Father William Leone, the current pastor at Saint Jerome’s. Liza, has been painting since her retirement. She is a member of the Penfield Art Club and has had her paintings exhibited through that group. She also has been fixing broken statues and figurines for people. When she does those jobs she always has to repaint the arms or legs or whatever to blend the colors of the new with the old. She was doing the same kind of work in Saint Jerome’s basement, fixing up statues and such, when she restored a statue of Saint Joseph that was in a closet. Father Leone noticed how Liza had restored the statue of Saint Joseph and asked her to do the same kind of painting in restoring the stations in the church. And that is what she is doing.

Jesus meets His mother on the way to Gogotha. This station is also in the process of being tinted.

Jesus meets His mother on the way to Gogotha. This station is also in the process of being tinted.

They are not finished, yet, but we can see the approach she is taking in restoring the pastel colors to the white stations.

The Stations are not the only things being restored at Saint Jerome’s. The church has very fine stained glass windows in the nave that were restored by Godfrey Müller Studios which fabricates and restores fine stained glass (585-482-0251, 115 East Main Street, Suite 442, Box 17, Rochester, NY 14609).

The stained glass windows in the nave pair New Testament scenes with those in the Old Testament that prefigure them. Here we see, on the left the New Testament multiplication of the loaves and fish and Bread of Life discourse paired with the Old Testament story of the Manna in the desert.

The stained glass windows in the nave pair New Testament scenes with those in the Old Testament that prefigure them. Here we see, on the left the New Testament multiplication of the loaves and fish to feed the hungry following Jesus paired with the Old Testament story of the miraculous daily manna from heaven that fed the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness.

Here are more pictures of the nave windows.

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When I arrived to take photographs of the stations and windows I bumped into Jeffrey Müller who had just finished installing a new “Pieta” window in the narthex of the ground floor.

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It was the last of new windows he has recently been creating as part of the restoration of the front section of the church: the narthex on the ground floor and the narthex on the first floor where the entrance to the church is. Click on the following pictures to view full images.

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This window is in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.

This window is in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.

A mural is presently being executed of the “Transfiguration” that will be installed in the ceiling of the narthex to the church. I will return to photograph that work when it is installed.

This is all orthodox, quality work; a real gem in East Rochester and in the Rochester diocese.

Saint Jerome’s has adoration, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every Tuesday. I believe there is benediction in the evening on Tuesdays but you probably should call the parish office to check on that.

Saint Jerome’s parish website is HERE.

“Thank you!” to Glenna Steven for alerting me to the restoration work at Saint Jerome’s.

When to worry about the bathrooms, diversity and community.

February 7th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

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

(chirp, chirp… )

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

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

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

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

Please, not like this.

Please, not like this.

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

Latin Cross Plan

Latin Cross Plan

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


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

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Bronze doors with images of the Twelve Apostles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Art Nouveau Style

Art Nouveau Style

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

Can’t wait for my invite! Excited!

Consecration of Msgr. Lopes as Bishop

February 2nd, 2016, Promulgated by Ludwig

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

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

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

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

It is a great day for us!

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

Blessing of Throats at Thomas the Apostle

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

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

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

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







Disappointing the Progressives

January 28th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

From the National Catholic Register (by writer Glenn Stanton)

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

Read more HERE

High Mass for Feast of Epiphany

January 4th, 2016, Promulgated by Ludwig

More exciting news from our friends at the Fellowship of St. Alban:

We’ve been happy to welcome Fr. Jason Catania to Rochester as our regular priest. Please make him feel welcome as he gets to know Rochester as a resident.

This week, we will celebrate High Mass with music for the feast of Epiphany. The mass will be held on the day, Wednesday, January 6, at 6pm at Good Shepherd in Henrietta. I believe that we are the only ones around observing the feast on Wednesday, so it is a good chance to invite friends to keep the feast with us.

Details of the order of service are given on our website

All are encouraged to join the Fellowship for this beautiful mass, and to give Father Catania a warm welcome.

The usual reminder: the Fellowship of St. Alban is the local group of Catholics belonging to the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, and is in full communion with Rome.

All Catholics are always able to attend an Ordinariate mass. It does satisfy a Catholic’s Sunday obligation.

Keeping Christ in Christmas

December 16th, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie

Three Knights of Columbus Councils in the Rochester area have implemented “Keeping Christ in Christmas” activities this year. There are no doubt more than three but these are the three I have noticed so far.

(Saint) Pope Pius XII Council of the Knights of Columbus secured prime real estate in Irondequoit for a nativity display. Facing the center of the busy intersection of Titus Avenue and Culver Road is a good sized glassed-in display containing a nativity scene composed of figurines.


01d60838883051add80f53e74c10715484cbf5362bSaint Damien of Molokai Council 11411 implemented an original project this year for keeping Christ in Christmas. Christmas cards from people at several different parishes and from students at the Seton School in Brighton were collected, bundled, and mailed to each of the seminarians from the Rochester diocese. The cards were to be delivered to the seminarians at their respective seminaries or parish assignments before they went home for Christmas break. David Fiorito, owner of Genesee Bakery on Mt. Hope Avenue and a member of Council 11411, spearheaded that effort.

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Announcement in Our Lady of Lourdes + Saint Anne Cluster Bulletin

Folks going and coming along a 5-6 mile stretch of  East Henrietta Road (Rt. 15A)  see “Keep Christ in Christmas” billboard-like signs on the three properties of Saint Marianne Cope Parish: The Church of the Good Shepherd, Guardian Angels Church and Saint Joseph Church. The signs are set-up every Advent and Christmas season by Our Lady of the Genesee Knights of Columbus Council.

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The Church of the Good Shepherd, Henrietta

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Guardian Angels Church on East Henrietta Road

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St. Joseph Church at the head of the “Y” intersection in Rush.

Exciting Developments at The Fellowship of St. Alban

December 14th, 2015, Promulgated by Ludwig

An old saying is that good things come in threes. The Fellowship of St. Alban, a member of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, has had a trinity of good news. As a reminder, the Ordinariate is comprised of groups of Catholics in full communion with Rome that are devoted to the liturgical practice of the Ordinariate’s use of the Roman Rite, the “Anglican Use”, worshiping in traditional English liturgical and musical expressions of the Catholic faith. It is essentially a non-territorial diocese created by Pope Benedict XVI, and further expanded in scope by Pope Francis.

In short order, they have had:
1) the announcement of a new bishop-to-be, Msgr. Steven Lopes, a Vatican official of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith closely associated with the development of the Ordinariate projects, who will be consecrated in February. Bishop-elect Lopes, at age 40, will be the youngest bishop in the United States.
2) The publication of a brand new missal that was introduced to Ordinariate parishes this Advent. This missal – promulgated with a preface by Cardinal Sarah of the Congregation of Divine Worship by the authority of Pope Francis – brings together many aspects of English Catholic Patrimony, and includes elements of pre-reformation Sarum, the Prayerbooks, and the Extraordinary Form in English to make this Use of the Roman Rite.
3) The announcement this past Sunday, from Fr. Jason Catania, that he will be their regular priest, starting in the new year. Fr. Catania has been visiting the St. Alban fellowship on a monthly basis this past year, and has also celebrated mass at St. Thomas the Apostle.

Fr. Catania’s announcement is given here

Rochester’s own Peter Jesserer Smith has written three extraordinary articles about these developments in the National Catholic Register.

Peter’s first article is about Bishop-elect Lopes selection by Pope Francis.

Peter’s second article is about the roll out of the new missal, and what makes it special – don’t miss it!

His third article is actually an interview with Bishop-elect Lopes:

These articles quote Rochester locals as well as Fr. Catania on the significance and meaning of these news items.

We will continue to give updates about the St. Alban fellowship as it continues to grow as a witness to authentic orthodox and faithful Catholicism in the best of the English spiritual tradition, right here in the Rochester area.

Gaudete Sunday @ Saint Thomas the Apostle Latin Mass Community

December 14th, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie

Follow the link to a brief video of clips from Sunday’s Latin Mass in Irondequoit, New York (Diocese of Rochester).

When you get to the link, select the video in the bottom right corner of the page.

Below is a clip showing the Cope and Chasuble worn at the Latin Mass Community Gaudete Sunday Mass at Saint Thomas the Apostle (Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Irondequoit, New York).

Read This Book

December 1st, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie



Click on pictures to see larger images.

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Facing God: 10 Advantages of Ad Orientem

November 19th, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie

From Saint Peter’s List

Fr. Mark Kirby offers an excellent reflection on ad orientem. On his blog, Vultus Christi, Father Kirby reflects on five years of saying the Holy Mass ad orientem. He states, “after five years of offering Holy Mass ad orientem, I can say that I never want to have to return to the versus populum position.”

Read more here

Divine Worship: Missal Announcement

September 5th, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie

From Thine Own Service

Posted by in Ordinariate

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“Our Lady of Walsingham” banner at the Fellowship of St. Alban, Henrietta, NY (Church of the Good Shepherd).

“Following several years of work, it is a joy to learn today that Divine Worship: The Missal is to be published in time for Advent this year. This missal represents the definitive expression of the Anglican liturgical patrimony within… “

Read More Here…

Every English Mass Should Be Like the Anglican Ordinariate’s

August 27th, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie

From Heroic Virtue Creations Blog

OurLadyOfWalsinghamChurchWe traveled to Houston this weekend and went to Holy Mass at Our Lady of Walsingham, a church in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.I was delighted when Pope Emeritus Benedict established the Anglican Ordinariate years ago, but I had never gone to one of its churches. Until Sunday.

The parish is beautiful. It is like an acre of England has been cut out and dropped in Houston. The church itself looks like a classic Anglican (originally Catholic!) church.

The language of the liturgy is English, but the phrasing and words used are elegant, dignified, and…

Read More Here…

Mass at the Fellowship of Saint Alban in Henrietta, NY.

Mass at the Fellowship of Saint Alban in Henrietta, NY.

The Fellowship of Saint Alban will celebrate Mass in the Anglican tradition (Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter) this coming Saturday (5:00 pm) at The Church of the Good Shepherd, 3318 E Henrietta Rd, Henrietta, NY 14467 (the old church that faces onto East Henrietta Road). It’s a real Roman Catholic Mass and you can receive communion. Light refreshments and social following Mass.

Fellowship website here:

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.

This Saturday: Willan Mass for Trinity at St. Alban

May 29th, 2015, Promulgated by Ludwig
Healey Willan: English by birth; Canadian by adoption; Irish by extraction; Scotch by absorption.

Healey Willan: English by birth; Canadian by adoption; Irish by extraction; Scotch by absorption.

The St. Alban Ordinariate fellowship has announced a mass tomorrow in their Ordinariate Use of the Roman Rite. Fr. Jason Catania is the guest celebrant, and the ordinary of the mass will be Healey Willan’s Missa Brevis No. 7 in G minor.

By way of reminder, the Ordinariate Use is in full communion with Rome and fulfills a Catholic’s Sunday obligation.

Until they are assigned a permanent priest, the Fellowship of St. Alban will celebrate mass at Good Shepherd the last Saturday of each month at 5pm with Fr. Jason Catania. (Next several masses are June 27, July 25, August 29, September 26, October 31.)

Vigil for Trinity Sunday: Saturday, May 30, 5pm.
Good Shepherd church (the older church near the front of the property).
3302 E Henrietta Rd, Henrietta, NY 14467
Henrietta, NY