Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘Rosary’

Catholic Courier – Fishwrap Aspirant

December 28th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

When you think of all the opportunities to genuinely “celebrate diversity” in the Diocese of Rochester, you’d think that the Catholic Courier would be right there letting

In the eyes of the Diocese, **not** something worthy to announce in the Courier

people know about everything that would possibly fit into that area of religious activity. Well, not so.

Many of you will recall the glorious Rosary for Priestly Vocations that the Knights of Columbus sponsored at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in November. See here, here, and here for a refresher. Many of you were probably in attendance for such a beautiful and majestic occasion. After all, it’s not everyday that you have twelve altar boys, a properly vested priest, a Gregorian schola, and some of the most precious treasures of the Church’s store of sacred music. Many people and organizations publicized the event: St. Anne Church, Our Lady of Lourdes, Holy Cross, Our Lady of Victory, the Latin Mass Community, Christ the King, St. Cecilia, the Carmelite Monastery, WHIC (Catholic Radio) and the list goes on and on. Alas, one entity which did not publicize the event was the Catholic Courier. Many people wrote to us saying that they had left messages for the Courier staffers to mention the service, but not one of these was ever actually posted on their site. No fewer than six people contacted the Courier to say, “hey, a bunch of Catholic are getting together to pray the Rosary – why don’t you let even more know about it?”

Well, we got over it. “Onward and upward,” as they say. After all, they were probably really busy with more important news items.

Now comes this little gem, as advertised on the Catholic Courier: “Communal Recitation of the Rosary

And guess which parish is hosting this weekly occurrence? St. Mary’s Downtown – the same parish which laughs in the face of the Church’s doctrines and rubrics, and whose administrator’s qualifications to be a pastoral administrator are questionable, to say the least.  This is the same parish that was given a transgendered crucifix under the watch of Sr. Joan Sobala. This is the same parish that supports gay couples and their sinful lifetyles. So naturally it’s the perfect parish to plaster all over the internet, the Courier touting it as a  model Catholic institution.

St. Mary's Downtown - aka "more of the same stale liturgical philosophy we've been spoon-fed since 1970"

Where was the coverage for St. Thomas? Hundreds of people attended that service, and the ceremonial aspects of that evening were unsurpassed by any liturgical function this diocese has seen in decades. Were they passed over because they were angered when a non-Catholic invaded their sanctuary during Mass? Were they passed over because they knelt for Communion? (Oh no! God forbid!) Were they passed over because they practice their faith without politicking and dissent from Church teaching? Or perhaps they were ignored by the Courier for simply being an indication of an inconvenient truth. What is this inconvenient truth? It’s called “dynamic orthodoxy.”

After all, it would serve to castrate the already emasculated Diocesan institutions if there were an event which upheld the dignity of the celibate male priesthood.

It’s rather pathetic the depths to which the Courier will sink just to keep pushing it’s 1970’s mentality on people who are trying to move forward and embrace genuine ecclesial renewal.

Further proof that duplicity reigns supreme in this Diocese. St. John Fisher, pray for us.

“A More Vibrant Catholic Community”

November 4th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

“For many of you, this significant change will be viewed as a journey of hope taken together to build a stronger, more vibrant Catholic community in Irondequoit. For others, my decision may cause some disappointment, hurt or even anger. I pray that those who disagree with my decision will understand that it was not made lightly or without firm and compelling reasons.”

– Bishop Matthew H. Clark

Perhaps if His Excellency opened his eyes, he would see that there is already a “more vibrant Catholic community in Irondequoit.” All he has to do is reach out to them and stop scattering the flock. This photo is not evidence of a dwindling population or a dying parish. It is, however, evidence of the complete devotion of the parishioners of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha parish to the Church and Her Divine Creator.

Mysteries of the Rosary in a Hong Kong church

June 14th, 2010, Promulgated by Bernie

While in Hong Kong in May, my wife Pat, and I attended Sunday Mass at Rosary Church in Kowloon. The origins of this church go back to the time of the Boxer Uprising –1900– when British military regiments were mobilized to Hong Kong and stationed in Kowloon. A Father Spada secured property from a Canossain mission to serve the needs of the Catholic military and laity. In 1901 a church was built but was soon too small to meet local and expatriate needs. In 1903 a Portuguese Catholic made a generous donation for the building of a new church. The foundation stone of the new structure was laid in December of 1904. Rosary Church was completed in 1905. A large scale renovation took place in 1991. The parish has about 2,600 registered members.

Click on image for a sharper, larger display.

One of the noteworthy things about this church, in addition to its architectural style, are the tondo paintings over the altar depicting the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries of the Rosary. The five Luminous Mysteries were recently added below the others. (If you know of any church in the Rochester diocese that assigns such a prominent place to the Mysteries of the Rosary, please let me know.) The paintings were rather small and so the scenes depicted are not easily discernible from very far away. Nonetheless, the upfront presentation of the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary is quite appropriate, liturgically, and not just because a church might be named for the Rosary.

The Mysteries of the Rosary are in fact celebrated as feast days in the Church’s calendar –at least many of them are: the Annunciation, Nativity, Baptism of Christ, the Triduum, Resurrection, Ascension, Pentecost, Assumption, etc..

"Festival Days" represented in the squinch areas of an Orthodox church.

This reminds me of the Byzantine or Eastern Orthodox canon for the decoration of churches. The Eastern Church adopted a canon whereas the Western Church never did. In the Eastern the feasts  —Festival Days— of the Church calendar are usually represented in the naos (nave) of the building in the pendentive or squinch areas below the dome, if the church has a central dome. The Festival Days of the Church are, in addition, often depicted in a row running the width of the iconostasis screen (the wall of icons that represents the point at which heaven and earth meet), above the Deacon and Royal Doors.

"Festival Row" of an iconostasis screen.

Images of the Mysteries of the Rosary are a great way to decorate the interior of a church near the chancel area, as the entire Gospel is constantly on display. The whole year is visually presented even as the assembly celebrates just one of the feasts or just one of the days of the Liturgical year.

We understood not a word of the Chinese language used at Mass in this church but the images of the mysteries depicted over the altar helped us to actively participate when the spoken word took over as the dominant means of expression in the ceremony. Without any real conscious effort we were able to mediate on the truths of the Faith even as the rest of the congregation listened to those truths proclaimed by the reader or expounded upon by the priest. If those images helped us, who understood not a word of the language, how much more did they enrich the participation of those in attendance who did speak the language?


Book Suggestion: Orthodox Worship: A Living Continuity with the Synagogue, the Temple and the Early Church by Benjamin D. Williams and Harold B. Anstall.