Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘Orthodoxy at Work’

Vigil Mass for Easter V

May 2nd, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie

Vigil Mass for the 5th week of Easter was celebrated by the Fellowship of St. Alban at the Henrietta Catholic Church of the Good Shepherd. Father Jason Catania was the guest celebrant and Jacob Kasak was the guest organist. The intention for the Mass was the repose of the soul of Helen Scott, a member of the Fellowship (Roman Catholic Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter.)


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Fellowship of Saint Alban Tenebrae Service

April 2nd, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie

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Click here to view Tenebrae film clips

Here is a link to some clips of last night’s Tenebrae service at the Fellowship of Saint Alban.

(The quality is not great as I took the wrong camera to the service. My apologies.)

An Icon of the Coptic New Martyrs of Libya

February 28th, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie

From the New Liturgical Movement website


Coptic Martyrs“I am sure that all of our readers are aware of the recent massacre in Libya of a group of Egyptian Copts, who were killed for their faith by Islamic terrorists. The Patriarch of Alexandria, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, has officially recognized them as martyrs, and ordered that their commemoration be inserted into the Synaxarium; their feast will be… ”   (Read More Here)

Click on the image to see the entire icon. The writer of the icon is Tony Rezk.

The Fellowship of St. Alban Mass with Guest Celebrant this Saturday

February 23rd, 2015, Promulgated by Ludwig

The Fellowship of St. Alban – our local group of Catholics under the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter – will be celebrating mass this Saturday at 5pm at Good Shephered in Henrietta.

From the Fellowship’s website:

Vigil for the second Sunday in Lent
Good Shepherd church
Mass in the Ordinariate Use, Fr. Catania guest celebrant
Followed by Adult Ed talk by Fr. Catania, title TBA

We are doubly blessed to have Fr. Jason Catania spend the day with us, as well as having our visiting choir sing the mass setting as well as a Motet.

Following mass, there will be refreshments and an “adult education talk” from Fr. Catania.

Since the retirement of their former pastor, John Cornelius, the Fellowship has not had the opportunity to celebrate mass in the Ordinariate Use.

All are welcome to attend.

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

Site Dedicated to Memory of St. Philip Neri Fire

February 20th, 2015, Promulgated by Dr. K

This is Ben re-posting on the anniversary of the St. Philip Neri fire.

Most Rochesterians are probably familiar with the heroic story relating to the fire that destroyed the old St. Philip Neri church on Clifford Avenue. For those unfamiliar, a priest and nun sacrificed their lives in order to save the Blessed Sacrament from destruction by a fire that was consuming their church. A special website has been created to keep alive the memory of these two servants of Christ.

The website can be accessed here:

Below is a video collage:

Churches That Look Like Churches

February 18th, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie

Link to Duncan G. Stroik Gallery of Church Architecture Projects

15869201408_d79e97218c_oClick on the above link to view the several church projects designed by architect Duncan G. Stroik. He is, in my humble opinion, one of the very best architects of Catholic churches today. If you have been following my series on “Church Architecture Styles” you will have no trouble identifying Stroik’s interest in certain styles from our Catholic tradition.

Duncan Stroik is also the author of  –again, in my humble opinion– the excellent  “The Church Building as a Sacred Place – Beauty, Transcendence, and the Eternal”

71S00sMbJDL“This retrospective and forward-looking collection of 23 essays by Duncan Stroik shows the development and consistency of his architectural vision over the last eighteen years. The essays cover church modernism and modernity, renaissance and renewal, principles of church design, and a critique of modern iconoclasm. The appendices feature: a list of canonical documents pertaining to church architecture, a useful chart showing the comparative size of well known churches and comparative sizes of baldacchinos in Rome. Packed with informative essays and over 170 photographs, this collection will help priests, bishops, liturgical consultants, lay commissions and parishioners understand the Church s architectural tradition. Duncan Stroik’s architectural practice and career have helped lead the evolution of the international classical movement, and over the past decade his work has been instrumental in the new renaissance of sacred architecture. He is an internationally noted classical designer and heavily involved in promoting the new renaissance in Catholic architecture. He combines a passion for an architecture of durability, beauty, and function, with an intimate knowledge of Catholic liturgy.” –From the book jacket.


Candlemas in East Bloomfield

February 9th, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie

collage_edited-1Here is a link to a video of portions of the Candlemas celebrated in Saint Bridget Church of Saint Benedict Parish, in East Bloomfield, the evening of February 2. The blessing of the candles was followed by a Mass in Extraordinary Form (Traditional Latin Mass). The Mass setting was William Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices. (See related post here.)

Follow this link to the video.

Building Real Churches Again

January 21st, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie

We may have left the period of building churches that look like “non-churches”. The craziness may be over. Le’s hope so.

Here is a link to a post about the dedication of a new Catholic Church in South Carolina. Those who have been following my series on Church Architecture Styles will recognize the Early Christian basilica style of the interior and the atrium outside. The facade is Italian Renaissance. The advancing three dimensional nature of the facade and concave scroll buttresses joining the top level of the facade to the wider lower level suggest the Baroque style (which I have not yet covered in the series on styles).

There are several photos and artist renderings you can see by following the link.

From the New Liturgical Movement website:

01 Aerial Perspective - Final smallest

See more photos here.

St. John Chrysostom Church Restores Beauty In Los Angeles

December 17th, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie

From the “Regina” blog


The church remained a humble, yet beautiful space until a series of “renovations” climaxed in 1995. In the last two years, however, the parishioners of St John’s have entrusted the sensitive restoration and decoration of the church to Enzo Selvaggi of Heritage Liturgical.

In this interview, Enzo discusses this enormously successful project.

Read more here.

An Apostle, Not a Doubter

December 1st, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie

The Inaugural Masses of the Latin Mass Community at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church

Here are a few video clips from last Sunday’s (English and Latin) Masses at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church of the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Irondequoit, New York. You have no doubt read of the amazing move of the Traditional Latin Mass Community into its new home at Saint Thomas the Apostle. The church has been effectively closed for four years. An English Novus Ordo Mass will also be celebrated each Sunday at 9 A.M. in addition to the Latin Extraordinary Form Mass at 11:15. The move was made last Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent.

Brief Video Clips: (Click on the Links)

Father Bonsignore’s Homily During the Novus Ordo English Mass at 9 A.M.

Entrance Procession at the Novus Ordo (English) Mass

Offertory Incensing at the Latin Extraordinary Form Mass at 11:15 A.M.

Preface, Sanctus, Agnus Dei of the Latin Mass

Consecration and Elevation at the Latin Mass

Holy, Holy, Holy – Lord I am not worthy – Final Blessing and Dismissal of Novus Ordo English Mass


Farewell Father John Cornelius

November 16th, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie

Father Cornelius of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter celebrated his last Mass with the Fellowship of Saint Alban today, November 16. Father is retiring and with his wife and family moving to Texas.

Born and bred in Bolivar, New York, Fr. Cornelius went to Allegany College, SUNY at Fredonia, then into the U.S. Navy. After receiving his Masters of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Seminary at Northwestern University, he served as an Episcopal priest for 20 some years in Florida, New York State, Rhode Island and Texas. Following his reception into the Catholic Church with his wife Sharyl, he was subsequently ordained deacon and priest in 2012 and 2013. He has been serving as a Catholic priest in the Southern Tier of New York state, as well as for the Ordinariate. The Fellowship of St. Alban was blessed to have him as its priest. He and Sharyl have three adult daughters.

Father Cornelius has been with the Fellowship since its inception in 2011.

The Fellowship is awaiting the appointment of a new pastor.

The website for the Fellowship

(Click on photos to see larger images)

Father Cornelius with acolytes John (left) and Chris at the farewell Mass at the Ordinariate.

Father Cornelius with altar severs Jon (left) and Chris at the farewell Mass at the Ordinariate.

Farewell Mass

Farewell Mass

Farewell to Father John Cornelius

Farewell to Father John Cornelius


“All Souls Day” Event In Geneseo Cemetery

October 20th, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie

Now here is a great way to observe All Souls Day this year. Our Mexican friends will recognize it as a version of the Day of the Dead celebrations (see here). It’s an idea that perhaps other Catholic cemeteries/parishes might plan for in the future. Saint Mary’s Cemetery is on Facebook. The cemetery is at 27 Crossett Road, Geneseo, NY.

(You will have to click on the pictures to see readable versions)

Two versions of the flyer.

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Sung Mass Tomorrow (and every Sunday)

September 20th, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie


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st.alban-stainedglassSunday, September 21

Sung Roman Catholic Mass at 12:30 pm

3302 East Henrietta Road, Henrietta
(The older Good Shepherd church building fronting on East Henrietta Road).

Music for the day:

September 21: Pentecost XV (Jacob Fuhrman, organist)

Processional: 279 “Praise to the Lord, the almighty” (Lobe den Herren)

Offertory: 479 “Love divine, all loves excelling” (Hyfrydol)

Recessional: 385 “Glorious things of thee are spoken” (Austria)

Bishop Matano celebrates Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle

July 4th, 2014, Promulgated by Mike

July 3rd is the feast day of St. Thomas the Apostle and so yesterday evening Bishop Salvatore Matano celebrated Mass at the saint’s namesake church in Irondequoit. Father Paul English, C.S.B., concelebrated with His Excellency and Deacon Ed Knauf assisted. In choir were Fathers Morgan Rice, C.S.B., Warren Schmidt, C.S.B., and Joseph Trovato, C.S.B. Father Daniel White served as Master of Ceremonies.


I did not hear an attendance figure, but the church appeared to be at least two-thirds full.

Following is a slide show of about 70 images taken at the Mass.



Truth, Goodness and BEAUTY

June 27th, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie

Restoring Sacred Architecture to a Higher Plane: Architect William Heyer works to draw faith communities heavenward.

By Trent Beattie, From the National Catholic Register

William Heyer:

… I also like to challenge seminarians and priests on the understanding of beauty. Every Sunday, we get to hear sermons about truth and goodness, two obvious and essential perfections of God. But a third perfection of creatures that points to the infinite perfection of God, according to No. 41 of the Catechism — beauty — is often forgotten in this triad. Truth, goodness and beauty reinforce each other and are inseparable, as God in the Holy Trinity is inseparable, so when beauty is missing, truth and goodness are incomplete.

Cardinal Ratzinger wrote about these things in The Spirit of the Liturgy (one of the books we use in class): “The Logos [Christ] himself is the great artist, in whom all works of art — the beauty of the universe — have their origin.” If Jesus himself is the great artist and the source of all art, we really need to step back and reconsider beauty in the hope of grafting it into our lives, just as we try to do with goodness and truth. Beauty can no longer be left to the side. The Church must again elevate her and honor her. …

… That’s the key question with any church: “Am I brought into the presence of God in such a way that I am inspired to converse with him?” The triad of truth, goodness and beauty in the church building and liturgy should ultimately draw the faithful into more profound communion with the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. …

… Historically, the life of a town used to be organized around the monastery, church, cathedral and so on, but now the church is often seen as one among many important types of buildings. Catholics need to understand and profess again that sacred architecture is not just a matter of utility or artistic preference, but of the revelation of our faith in built form, a symbol of Christ, his Church and our ultimate home in heaven.

Read more: National Catholic Register

The Eternal Liturgy vs. Contemporary Worship

April 15th, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie

Here is a very informative and clearly written description of the biblical basis of the Divine Liturgy of the Eastern Church. I think it also applies to the Latin Rite, as well, especially the traditional Latin Mass.  The comparison, however, is by far with contemporary Protestant and non-denominational worship.

Orthodox Worship vs. Contemporary Also OT eternal pattern

photo: from the Preachers Institute

by Robert Arakaki

 Within the past few decades, a new form of worship has become widely popular among Christians.  Where before people would sing hymns accompanied by an organ, then listen to a sermon, in this new worship there are praise bands that use rock band instruments, short, catchy praise songs, sophisticated Power Point presentations, and the pastor giving uplifting practical teachings about having a fulfilling life as a Christian.  This new kind of worship is so popular that people come to these services by the thousands.  They go because the services are fun, exciting, easy to understand, and easy to relate to.  Yet this new style of worship is light years away from the more traditional and liturgical Orthodox style of worship.  How does an Orthodox Christian respond to this new worship?  Is it acceptable or is it contrary to Orthodoxy?  How should an Orthodox Christian respond to an invitation to attend these contemporary Christian services?


According to the Pattern

First we need to ask: Is there a guiding principle for right worship?  St. Stephen, the first martyr, gave a sermon about the history of the Jewish nation.  In this sermon he notes that Old Testament worship was “according to... READ MORE

Eulogies? Get rid of them.

February 24th, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie

Archbishop decrees an end to eulogies at Ottawa-area Catholic funerals

Kelly Egan, Tristin Hopper | February 20, 2014 | Last Updated: Feb 20 8:54 PM ET

What has been true in Ottawa has been, in my experience, true right here in the Rochester Diocese. Eulogies have been given at every funeral Mass I have attended (and that includes Masses I served, after I retired -a couple of month). I think pastors were pretty much pressured into them by the public. Lacking a firm diocesan stance, the clergy acceded to the wishes of families. Some, I suspect, were only too willing -in our diocese- to accommodate eulogies.

Aside and apart from the fact that the eulogies I witnessed as a server (and still witness from the pews) varied from poor to horrible, they canonized the deceased contrary to what I understand to be the theology of the funeral Mass.

Arguing that a Catholic funeral is no place to offer “high praise” to the deceased, the Archdiocese of Ottawa has decreed an end to the longstanding practice of allowing eulogies at Ottawa-area Catholic funerals.

“Contrary to popular belief,” reads a February church decree, “eulogies or words of remembrance are not an official part of Catholic funeral rites.

“In the Christian funeral, we gather not to praise the deceased, but to pray for them.”

Eulogies are indeed a non-Catholic invention, and while many dioceses stay faithful to the no-eulogy rule, Ottawa’s Catholics have apparently lapsed in recent years.

“Technically the books that guide us don’t allow them, but they had…

Read more HERE.


New Mass Time at Saint Alban

February 22nd, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie

st.alban-stainedglassThe Roman Catholic Fellowship of Saint Alban has announced that it will celebrate Mass at 12:30 p.m. on Sundays beginning Sunday, March 2. The Fellowship has been meeting at 3 p.m. on Sundays and will do so one last time this Sunday, February 21.

The Fellowship is part of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter.

Saint Alban’s has recently celebrated two beautiful choral Masses (see here and here).

Good Shepherd ChurchThe Fellowship celebrates Mass in the original Church of the Good Shepherd, 3302 E Henrietta Rd, Henrietta, NY 14467.

Fellowship’s website here.

Four voices will sing Septuagesima Sunday Mass this weekend

February 15th, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie



Healey Willan

The Fellowship of Saint Alban will celebrate Holy Mass this Sunday using Missa brevis No. 2 in F minor, by Healey Willan, sung by 4 voices (3:00 P.M., Church of the Good Shepherd, 3318 East Henrietta Road). The Fellowship Mass is celebrated Ad Orientem. (Click HERE to see a video clip of last month’s choral Mass at the Fellowship.)

Good Shepherd church, Henrietta

Church of the Good Shepherd

The order of service will be:

Asperges: anonymous polyphonic setting, c. 1450

Processional:  “We sing the praise of him who died” (Breslau)

Sequence: “The great creator of the worlds” (Tallis’s Ordinal)

Offertory: “O love, how deep, how broad, how high” (Deus tuorum militum)

Communion motet: “O sacred feast” (Healey Willan)

Recessional: “O Jesus, I have promised” (Llanfyllin)

Organ voluntary: Final, from Symphony No. 1 (Louis Vierne)

Simply I learned about Wisdom

February 14th, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie

Doctors of the Church Illuminate Aquinas Institute’s Chapel

Aquinas Institute opened in 1925 and included a chapel1 with stained glass windows depicting six Doctors of the Church chosen by Bishop McQuaid, the first bishop of Rochester, New York. The windows were cleaned and restored in the 1990s.

AIMG_6920(Click on Pictures for larger and sharper images)


I had the opportunity to tour my old Alma Mater a couple of months ago and to revisit the chapel that I remember from Masses the marching band celebrated there before heading off to a competition.2 I certainly remembered those windows: a huge translucent, heavenly wall depicting four Doctors of the Church (two other Doctors are represented in the opposite windows). Appropriately representing Holy Wisdom and Sanctity are (north window) Saint Thomas Aquinas (naturally), Saint Bernard of Clairvaux,3 Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Ambrose, and (south window) Saint Dominic and Saint Augustine. Reportedly, these were Bishop McQuaid’s favorite Doctors of the Church.


Doctors of the Church are chosen for their eminent learning and high degree of sanctity. The Antiphon for the Canticle of Zechariah for the Common of Doctors of the Church in the Divine Office says this:

Those who are learned will be as radiant as the sky in all its beauty; those who instruct the people in goodness will shine like the stars for all eternity.

What fitting attributes to hold up before Catholic students: Holy Wisdom and Sanctity. You won’t find those attributes stressed in the public schools. And what a fitting medium to represent those attributes: illuminating, colorful glass. If I was a teacher at Aquinas, I would be pointing out those windows to my students at every opportunity.









Thank you to Theodore Mancini, Principal at Aquinas, for allowing me to photograph the windows and for reminding me that while taking my pictures I would be in the real presence of Christ in the Reserved Sacrament, and to act accordingly. Now, there’s an educator you can trust your Catholic kids to!


1 The chapel is named the Martin J. Calihan (’45) Chapel

2 I’m very proud to say that I was the president of the band in 1963. We were the first Aquinas Band to win the New York State Championship. Subsequent AQ Bands went on to earn much bigger contests.

3 Two Doctors represented in the Chapel windows are my patron saints: Bernard and Augustine.

The windows were created by Franz Mayer & Co. (Mayer & Co. of Munich) a famous German stained glass design and manufacturing company, based in Munich, Germany, that has been active throughout most of the world for over 150 years. The firm was very popular during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and was the principal provider of stained glass to the large Roman Catholic churches that were constructed throughout the world during that period. Franz Mayer and Co. were stained glass artists to the Holy See and, consequently, popular with Roman Catholic clients. (Gerry Convery. “Poetry in Stone: Sacred Heart Church.” (Omagh: Drumragh RC Parish, 1999), p.120.)