Friday, May 22, 2015

Veterum Sapientia: A Latin Conference in DC, Aug. 2-8

This August, Catholic Univ. of America and the International Institute for Culture will host a conference called Veterum Sapientia, a week-long Latin program for Catholic priests, seminarians, and those men and women belonging to religious orders. This program seeks to respond to the call of Saint John XXIII’s Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia to revitalize the Latin language in the Catholic Church. This full-immersion (Latine tantum) program offers intensive instruction in the language to intermediate and advanced students of Latin.

Veterum Sapientia offers a unique, guided exploration of the most important categories of writing that make up the Church’s Latin patrimony, with exercises ordered toward helping participants grow in their understanding of the mechanics of the language and internalize new vocabulary through active use. Classes and related activities (e.g. meals, games, walks) will be conducted in Latin and in a combination of Latin and English, as appropriate to participants’ level of experience. Plenary class sessions and some small-group work will be devoted to reading and discussion of texts representing the major genera of Latin writing in the life of the Church: scriptural Latin, patristic Latin, liturgical Latin, scholastic Latin, ecclesiastical (curial) Latin, and Gregorian chant (hymns). In other small-group sessions, participants will be guided through active exercises in speaking and in simple writing, based on material from these representative texts. Participants will work with instructors every day, experiencing a series of plenary and small-group class sessions for a minimum total of six hours of instruction daily. Common lunches, dinners, and evening recreational activities will also be provided, offering opportunities for informal conversations in Latin. All class sessions, common meals and recreation activities will be conducted on the Catholic University of America and Theological College campuses.

Further information, including such details as tuition and lodging, can be found at the conference wesbite: https://veterumsapientia.com/.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Pontifical High Mass of St Philip at the London Oratory

Bishop John Sherrington celebrated Pontifical High Mass for St Philip's Day at the London Oratory earlier today. The Mass was celebrated in anticipation for the boys of St Philip's School who will be on holiday next week. The Deacon was the School Chaplain, Fr Dominic Jacob and the Sub-deacon was Fr Rupert McHardy, a former pupil of the school. The St Philip's Schola sang plainchant, Croce, Elgar, Jacob and Sewell's Pangamus Nerio, accompanied by organ, trumpets and timpani. After Mass, Bishop Sherrington blessed the school with the relic of St Philip and gave every boy a prayer card of St Philip.

The Solemnity of St Philip is on Tuesday 26 May and there will be a High Mass at the London Oratory at 6.30pm. The preacher will be Fr Ian Ker, and the Oratory Choir will sing Haydn's Heiligmesse with orchestra (see poster at the foot of this post for details).




The Acta Synodalia of Vatican II (1st Session) - Now Available for Download

In my previous post, I briefly hinted at an exciting project to do with the Acta Synodalia Sacrosancti Concilii Oecumenici Vaticani II, the exhaustive, 26 volume set of books that detail all the speeches, debates and written submissions of the Council Fathers at Vatican II. If one wants to, for example, find out what an individual bishop had to say about a particular document or paragraph, get an idea of the general tenor of the discussions at the Council, or trace the development of the conciliar documents through all the draft schemas and changes made, these are the books to turn to. 
So I am very happy to announce that the Latin text of the Acta Synodalia for the first session of Vatican II (11th Oct - 8th Dec 1962) is now accessible to anyone who has access to a computer - click on each title below to access them!
1st Session, Part 1:
Introductory material
Summary of General Congregations I-XXXVI
Public Session I (11th Oct 1962)
General Congregations I-IX (13th-29th Oct 1962)
1st Session, Part 2: 
General Congregations X-XVIII (30th Oct - 13th Nov 1962)
1st Session, Part 3: 
General Congregations XIX-XXX (14th-29th Nov 1962)
1st Session, Part 4: 
General Congregations XXX-XXVI (1st-7th Dec 1962)
Conclusion of the 1st Session (8th Dec 1962)
Appendix (consisting of three schemas not carried forward)
Please be aware that the Acta are almost all in Latin, so if your language skills are a little rusty you may need to brush up before reading, or keep a grammar and dictionary close to hand.
The first session of the Council is particularly important for an increased understanding of the liturgical reforms that happened afterwards, as most of the discussion and debate regarding what would become Sacrosanctum Concilium happened during this session. How did what happened to the liturgy after the Council match up with the hopes and expectations of the Fathers? Well, now everyone - not just those fortunate enough to have access to a stellar library - can start to really dig into the Acta and find out!
PDFs of the Acta for the remaining three sessions of the Council will be released as I finish scanning each of them. Since there are 22 more volumes - six for the 2nd session, eight for the 3rd session, seven for the 4th session, and an index volume - this may take a little while, but my goal is for this project to be finished by the 50th anniversary of the close of Vatican II.

Beauty in Evangelization & Sacra Liturgia Registration Deadline Extended

From Trent Beattie at the National Catholic Register comes this story about the upcoming Sacra Liturgia conference in New York.


NEW YORK — Two cardinals, one archbishop and three bishops, along with numerous priests and lay scholars, will participate in the upcoming Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 conference. From June 1 to 4, speakers and attendees at the New York City event will attempt to build on 2013’s inaugural Sacra Liturgia conference in Italy and last year’s installment in France.

The conference, which is not meant to be merely academic, will feature liturgies (in both the ordinary and extraordinary form) and working lunches, in addition to a number of lectures. The liturgical celebrations, which include a Corpus Christi procession on the final day, will take place at the Church of St. Catherine of Siena on the Upper East Side.

The lectures, to be held at Hunter College’s Kaye Playhouse, will be given by liturgical scholars such as Father Thomas Kocik, Dom Alcuin Reid and Peter Kwasniewski, and will encompass a broad range of topics. Liturgical preaching, the role of beauty in the liturgy and the nature of liturgical music are among the concepts to be discussed.

Jennifer Donelson, who is heading up the conference, hopes to produce scholarship that helps the Church at large think clearly and critically about issues that have a real impact on the everyday lives of Catholics. Donelson, who is the director of sacred music at St. Joseph Seminary in Dunwoodie, N.Y., said, “The goal of the conference is to enhance the Church’s ability to proclaim the Gospel in the modern world.”

Donelson believes that while more Catholics are becoming aware of the role of beauty in evangelization, it is still assumed that a knowledge of the Catholic faith and a good intention of bringing souls to Christ is sufficient in the discernment of what is appropriate for the liturgy. However, she emphasized that strong training in the actual technique of art is also necessary.

Donelson’s own talk, entitled “Addressing the Triumph of Bad Taste: Church Patronage of Art, Architecture and Music,” will include examples of good and bad Church patronage of artists in order to demonstrate underlying principles that help to produce truly sacred art.

“We really must know the principles and language of good music, painting, sculpture and architecture to make decisions that will truly benefit the Church’s mission,” Donelson said. It is for this reason that she wants to present both precision and applicability to an overall concept, which will “help busy pastors cultivate strong working relationships with artists who can lend their expertise in creating artistic works with real beauty, in order to draw souls to Christ.”

Sound Scholarship

Father Christopher Smith, one of the priest-scholars scheduled to speak at the conference, is deeply concerned about bringing souls to Christ and sees the liturgy as central to this goal: Far from being an optional or create-it-as-you-go endeavor, Father Smith believes the liturgy should be of such quality as to transform the lives of Catholics.

However, Father Smith, the pastor of Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Taylors, S.C., has often found the liturgy to distort the very identity of the Church: “Our identity as Catholics has been profoundly affected by liturgical changes. There is confusion about who we really are, which is not conducive to sharing our faith with others.”

Father Smith will offer solutions to liturgical confusion in his talk, “Liturgical Formation and Catholic Identity.” He wants to bring about an authentic renewal in the public worship of the Church through accurate historical and theological analysis: “If the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life, then every Catholic needs to know as much as possible about the rich history and theology of the liturgy.”

This celebration of liturgical accuracy is why Father Smith expects great things from the conference: “I think gathering people from all over the country (and world) who are passionate about restoring sacredness to the liturgy is very worthwhile. It will be a powerful time of prayer and study, with some of the brightest liturgical commentators around.”

Michael Foley, professor of patristics at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, also believes that in order to have genuine renewal in the liturgy and in the overall life of the Church, there needs to be “a solid scholarly component that involves careful historical and theological research.” He explained, “This is not to say that liturgical quality is simply a matter of scholarship, but it is true that bad scholarship has harmed the liturgy, so we’re trying to reverse some of that.”

Read the rest here.

If you haven't been able to register yet, you're in luck! The registration deadline has been extended to May 27th. Register here

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Votive Mass of Our Lady and First Vespers of Pentecost in Philadelphia, This Saturday

This coming Saturday, May 23rd, the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Philadelphia will host the Students’ Schola from the Church of St Mary in Norwalk, Connecticut, for the singing of a Votive Mass of Our Lady (OF), with Gregorian chant, and music by Tallis and Palestrina. The monastery is located at 1400 66th Avenue in Philadelphia, (click here for directions); the Mass begins at noon. Here is the complete musical program, from St Mary’s website.

Introit : Salve sancta Parens (plainsong)
Kyrie : Cum jubilo (plainsong)
Gloria : Mass for Four Voices (Tallis)
Alleluia : Virga Jesse floruit (plainsong)
Offertory : Beata es, Virgo Maria (plainsong)
Motet at the Offertory : Sicut cervus (Palestrina)
Sanctus & Benedictus : Mass for Four Voices (Tallis)
Agnus Dei : Mass for Four Voices (Tallis)
Communion : Diffusa est gratia (plainsong)
Motet at the Communion : Sitivit anima (the second part of Palestrina’s Sicut cervus)
Marian antiphon : Regina cæli, solemn tone (plainsong)

On that afternoon, starting at 4 p.m., the Schola will sing First Vespers of Pentecost (EF) in plainchant for the Traditional Latin Mass Community of Philadelphia, at the church of the Holy Trinity, located at 615 Spruce St (corner of Spruce and 6th), also in Philadelphia. The doors will open at 3:15 p.m.; the Vespers will last about 40 minutes. (Free on-street parking is available on the north side of Spruce St. from 5th St. to 7th St. and on the east side of South Sixth St. from Washington Square South to Pine St. from 3:00 pm until 5:30 pm. Automobiles must display a parking permit on their dashboards to avoid being ticketed; permits are available at the church.)

Liturgy, Sacred Music & The Cardinal

The following article was written by Rev. Scott Haynes, SJC on the late Cardinal George’s liturgical and musical legacy. It originally appeared on the St John Cantius website and I am delighted to be able to post it here:

CARDINAL GEORGE loved the Church’s liturgy and its music. As a choirboy at St. Pascal Parish in Chicago, he excelled as a boy soprano. Decades later, when he celebrated the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination he showed how he still had this great love for sacred music, as he selected all the music for that Mass, which included chant, the Renaissance polyphony of Palestrina, and other choral masterworks.

From the time I entered the Canons Regular in 2003, Cardinal George had always expressed interest and support in all the musical endeavors going on at St. John Cantius. He was excited when he learned about our Casavant organ project, the restoration of ‘Tina Mae.’ He made special accommodations in his schedule to be present to bless the organ on the Feast of St. John Cantius, October 20th, 2013, on what was a very busy day for him.

On numerous occasions over the years, His Eminence discussed with me the musical intricacies of Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony, and organ music. When he made a canonical visitation a few years ago, he met personally with each priest of the community.

Cardinal George spoke to me about the importance of my role in the parish and in our community as it relates to the restoration of the sacred through music. He urged me to integrate music ministry in my priestly ministry and to use my musical training to help foster the “restoration of the sacred” through liturgical music. Indeed, in my eight years of priestly service, I have seen how God’s grace inspires souls and brings them back to a life of faith. Oftentimes the finger of God touches the heart through the ear and brings it back to life through that indescribable and sweet gift of music.

When Cardinal George made his annual visitation to the Canons, he always joined us for the singing of Vespers. Many times, he took me aside during these visitations to underline the importance of singing the Divine Office. He encouraged all the Canons to foster this important art of praying through the singing of the Davidic Psalter and to be faithful to this integral part of our life as Canons Regular.

During the Year of Faith (2013), I composed a Mass setting entitled Missa Porta Fidei. When our choir was invited to go to Rome for a choral festival celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Vatican’s Choir (Capella Giulia) during the “Year of Faith,” Cardinal George sent both Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI a recording of Missa Porta Fidei.

When Pope Benedict XVI issued Summorum Pontificum in 2007, Father Phillips and I discussed what the Canons might be able to do to assist the Holy Father and the Church in restoring wide use of the 1962 Missale Romanum. Father Phillips suggested I meet Cardinal George to discuss this. I told him about our ideas and not only did he enthusiastically grant his permission to start SanctaMissa.org, our tutorial website, but he offered us the use of the facilities of Stritch Retreat House and Mundelein Seminary campus for our workshops.

In in his letter published in the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Directory, His Eminence said: “In order to better serve Catholics who wish to worship according to the ‘Forma extraordinaria’, ample and ongoing catechesis in the form of the Mass must be available. This can only be achieved if, first of all, priests and seminarians are prepared to serve this need. I have therefore asked the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, whose charism is the ‘Restoration of the Sacred,’ to provide training for priests and seminarians in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite according to the liturgical books of 1962, and by offering catechesis to the faithful in this form of the sacred liturgy.”

His Eminence gave tremendous support and encouragement in this work done for the glory of God and the good of souls. In response, the Canons have been able to train over 2,000 priests to celebrate the liturgy in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite.

The Canons have been given a special legacy by Cardinal George “to restore the sacred” through the liturgy, because it is the liturgy that helps bring our faith to its fulfillment. The sacred rituals, the splendid ceremonies, the riches of Sacred Scripture, the inspiring prayers, and the sacred rites are all important means which the Church uses to strengthen our faith and to accompany us through our earthly pilgrimage.

The liturgy is “the primary carrier of the tradition that unites us to Christ” (Interview of Cardinal George, 10-28-14), and the beauty of the liturgy is indispensable in our ministry of helping Catholics restore in their lives the perfect image of God.

Rev. Scott Haynes, SJC

Online Latin Courses Beginning this June

This announcement comes from a reader:

The Academy of Classical Languages is pleased to offer two Latin courses beginning this June, each at a different level:

An introductory course for beginners: “Latin Level 1,” meeting Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30-9:30pm CST, June 8 - July 1. We use the Natural Method of learning language with Hans Orberg’s Lingua Latina books. Level 2 is scheduled to continue during the month of July, same days and times.

A more advanced course: “Readings in Classical Latin,” Wednesdays and Fridays, 1:15 - 2:15pm CST, June 10 - July 3. We use Hans Orberg’s second book, Roma Aeterna, which introduces the reader to come of the classics of antiquity. Other readings (liturgical, biblical) may be included, depending on interest among the participants. Texts are read and commented on in Latin, with a minimum of the vernacular used in class. If demand is sufficient, further sessions are scheduled.

The instructor for both classes is John Pepino, PhD.

Details, testimonials, etc. available here

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Marriage: God's Design for Life and Love

From St Anthony Communications comes a new DVD entitled Marriage: God’s Design for Life and Love. Produced in association with The British Province of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, it includes interviews with Cardinal Burke, Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury, Fr Marcus Holden and Fr Andrew Pinsent. As with other DVDs from St Anthony Communications, it is very beautifully produced and articulates Catholic teaching in the area of Marriage and Natural Law unambiguously and with great clarity, making this a valuable resource for parishes and schools alike.

Cardinal Burke:

“There is no question that we are living in very difficult and challenging times, but we can’t permit ourselves to be discouraged because we know that Christ is always at work in the lives of those who have entered marriage with sincerity.”


Bishop Mark Davies:

“Christ himself raised marriage to become a sacrament so that marriage, the living out of married life, becomes a means and a way to holiness for the couple and indeed for their children.

And the Church now has a responsibility to give the clarity of her teaching, her vision of life and love, of marriage and the family, not only in words, but also in the witness of our lives, for the sake of the future of civilization, for the sake of the future generations who are still to come.”

You can find more information at the Saint Anthony Communications website.

Cardinal Burke to Visit Oxford Next Week (May 26 and 27)

His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Order of Malta, will visit Oxford next week, on the 26th and 27th May. During his two day visit, His Eminence will:
- celebrate Solemn Mass in the Ordinary Form and preach at the Oxford Oratory for the patronal feast of St Philip, at 6 p.m. next Tuesday evening, May 26th.
- celebrate Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form at Ss Gregory and Augustine parish church at 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning, May 27th.
- attend Solemn Vespers in the Extraordinary Form for the Octave of Pentecost, and celebrate Benediction for the Order of Malta, with music provided by the Ordinariate’s Newman Consort, also at the Oxford Oratory, at 4 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon; and finally
- deliever a lecture on the intellectual legacy of the reign of Benedict XVI to the Oxford University Newman Society at 6 p.m. on Wednesday evening.

He will also be visiting some of the Order’s activities in Oxford with the poor and the marginalised, which are carried out under the auspices of the Companions of the Order of Malta, a group of students and academic staff from the University.

Card. George’s Galero Suspended from Rafters of Chicago Cathedral

Click here to see a brief report from WGN in Chicago, which shows a galero belonging to the late Francis Cardinal George being lifted to the rafters of the Cathedral of the Holy Name in Chicago. The galero was received as a gift, but not used by His Eminence. It is an old custom, which has fortunately not entirely disappeared, that at the month-mind Mass for a deceased cardinal, his galero be suspended from the roof of the cathedral; there are a few in the cathedral of Boston, for example. If anyone would like to share photos of galeros in their local cathedral, please send to me at my email address noted next to my picture, with the name and location of the church.

Pentecost TLM at St. Paul's, Cambridge

Monday, May 18, 2015

Ember Saturday in DC

The Ember Saturday in the Octave of Pentecost will be marked by a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite at the church of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian in Washington, D.C. The parish, which is under the title of the Holy Spirit, will host the Mass on Saturday 30 May 2015 at 9.00 a.m. The music will be taken from the Gregorian Propers and Ordinary. More details are available here.


Prophets of Truth in a Decadent Age

We are so accustomed to hearing praise heaped upon the liturgical reform that we can too quickly forget the many clear-sighted men and women — and not just Ratzinger, even if he came to be the most famous — who spoke out against the Church’s marginalization and destruction of her own heritage at the very moment it was happening. What follows is but a beginning, a sampling; readers should feel free to add their favorite quotations in the comments below.

Monsignor Celada wrote in Lo Specchio of July 29, 1969:
I regret having voted in favor of the Council constitution in whose name (but in what a manner!) this heretical pseudo-reform has been carried out, a triumph of arrogance and ignorance. If it were possible, I would take back my vote, and attest before a magistrate that my assent had been obtained through trickery.[1]
Archbishop Dwyer (1908-1976)
Perhaps my favorite prophet from the Church’s hierarchy is Archbishop R. J. Dwyer, who very early on spoke with a Jeremiah-like fierceness. For example, in the newspaper Catholic Twin Circle, he wrote on July 9, 1971:
The great mistake of the Council Fathers was to allow the implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy to fall into the hands of men who were either unscrupulous or incompetent. This is the so-called “Liturgical Establishment,” a Sacred Cow which acts more like a White Elephant as it tramples the shards of a shattered liturgy with ponderous abandon.
Again, in the issue of October 26, 1973:
Who dreamed on that day [when we voted for Sacrosanctum Concilium] that within a few years, far less than a decade, the Latin past of the Church would be all but expunged . . . ? The thought would have horrified us, but it seemed so far beyond the realm of the possible as to be ridiculous.
Council Father Ignatius Doggett, an Australian-born Friar Minor and bishop emeritus of Aitape, New Guinea, opined in 1996 that the conciliar debate on the liturgy was
horrible, if we judge the debate on the liturgy as we have it today. Very few bishops would be proud to say they had a hand in it. Communion in the hand was never mentioned in the debate, neither was the word table (mensa) to take the place of altar, the place of sacrifice… In my opinion the debate on the liturgy has been hijacked. The Council was to reform, not to change completely.[2]
Bishop Paschang (1895-1999)
Bishop John L. Paschang, the veteran emeritus of Grand Island, Nebraska, observed:
In my opinion the innovations were a mistake. We should have retained the substance of the former Mass. “By their fruits you shall know them.” Church attendance has declined. Few people … go to the sacrament of Reconciliation. People are losing their faith. Almost 50 percent of the faithful no longer believe in the Real Presence, etc. etc.[3]
The Divine Word Missionary and emeritus of the Indian diocese of Indore, Bishop Frans Simons, noted, in a similar vein:
Progressives expected a great deal for the effect and attractiveness of the Church from the use of the vernacular and the simplification and what they considered the adaptation of the liturgy. Nothing of the kind has happened. Since the introduction of these features, within 30 years, church attendance dropped to 10-20% of what it was before in several western countries.[4]
John Senior (1923-1999)
Some of the sharpest observations outside the hierarchy came from John Senior, the great teacher and founder of the Integrated Humanities Program at Kansas University, who saw the 1970s without rose-colored glasses and criticized, without sentimentality, the ecclesiastical anti-culture: “Anyone can see the Church is steering straight into the looming ice of unbelief.”[5]
Once embarked safe and sound on the boat of the Church, I was desolated to see it go straight towards the shipwreck from which I had just escaped. A worldly Church and a world without the Church were on the edges of the abyss.
There is little comfort in the visible Church now. The liturgy, set upon by thieves, is lying in the ditch; contemplatives are mouthing political slogans in the streets; nuns have lost their habits along with their virtues, virgins their virginity, confessors their consciences, theologians their minds.
A well instructed man can shut his eyes and ears at a Novus Ordo mass and teach himself from memory that this action is the selfsame sacrifice at Calvary offered under the unbloody appearances of bread and wine, but it is not possible for ordinary people and especially children who have no memory of such things to keep the faith in the face of an assault on the senses, emotions and intelligence.
Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966)
And, of course, there are the famous letters of Evelyn Waugh and John Cardinal Heenan, collected by Dom Alcuin Reid under the title A Bitter Trial, and well worth reading for their mordant commentary on the unraveling of the liturgy during the 1960s, a time when it still retained some kind of organic connection with the past. Waugh was spared the trial of seeing the new Missal—a shock that might have killed him if he had still been alive.

I have often said that the countless Catholics who either fell away from the faith due to the liturgical reform or who drifted into schism are the “unremembered dead,” the nameless casualties of a triumphal march of progress that did not care about its victims, who were deemed (if we may borrow Benedict XVI’s words in another context) a necessary if unfortunate sacrifice to the Moloch of the Future.[6] These people deserve our sympathetic remembrance and prayers, and our hard work today to reverse something of the damage that traumatized and alienated them. In particular, we should be assiduous in collecting and publishing whatever prophetic judgments and critical recollections survive from that conciliar generation, so that the whitewashing official propaganda can be challenged every step of the way.

Fittingly, let us give the final word to Jeremiah:
     And they healed the breach of the daughter of my people disgracefully, saying: Peace, peace: and there was no peace.
     They were confounded, because they committed abomination: yea, rather they were not confounded with confusion, and they knew not how to blush: wherefore they shall fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall fall down, saith the Lord.
     Thus saith the Lord: Stand ye on the ways, and see and ask for the old paths which is the good way, and walk ye in it: and you shall find refreshment for your souls. And they said: we will not walk.
     And I appointed watchmen over you, saying: Hearken ye to the sound of the trumpet. And they said: We will not hearken.
     Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what great things I will do to them.
     Hear, O earth: Behold I will bring evils upon this people, the fruits of their own thoughts: because they have not heard my words, and they have cast away my law. (Jer 6:14-19)

NOTES
[1] I am grateful to Hannah Graves for this and the two subsequent quotations.
[2] From Alcuin Reid, “The Fathers of Vatican II and the Revised Mass: Results of a Survey,” Antiphon 10 (2006): 170–90, at 175. 
[3] Ibid., 183. 
[4] Ibid., 185. 
[5] This and the following quotations drawn from Dom Francis Bethel, O.S.B., “A Dark Night: John Senior and the Society of Pius X,” available here.
[6] In the original context, Pope Benedict XVI was writing about Marxism's demand for social revolution: "What we have here, though, is really an inhuman philosophy. People of the present are sacrificed to the moloch of the future—a future whose effective realization is at best doubtful. One does not make the world more human by refusing to act humanely here and now" (Deus Caritas Est, 31b).

“Singing through the Liturgical Year” VII: Marian hymns and polyphony

The Church’s hymns are a priceless source of catechesis and spiritual edification. If you live in or near New York City, you may want to take part in “Singing through the Liturgical Year,” a series to learn about sacred music and to sing (even if you don’t think you have a good singing voice). Father Peter Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D., guides participants through the various liturgical seasons by presenting some of the most popular hymns and polyphony, in Latin and English, analyzing their theological content and seeking to apply those insights to a life in Christ attuned to the Church’s feasts and fasts. Each session culminates in singing the selected hymns.

The seventh session of this series concerns Marian hymns and polyphony. It will take place this Thursday, May 21st, at 7:00 pm, at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, Parish House, 263 Mulberry Street, Manhattan. This is a free event.
‟Qui cantat bene, bis orat” (He who sings well, prays twice) — St Augustine

Saturday, May 16, 2015

St Vitus’ Cathedral in Prague

For the feast of St John Nepomucene, which I wrote about last year, here are some photographs of the cathedral of St Vitus in Prague, in which he is buried.

The chapel of St Sigismund, one of the Patron Saints of the city of Prague, designed by František Kanka in 1720

An altarpiece depicting the Visitation at the very back of the church. Prague was one of the very first places to celebrate the feast of the Visitation, at the behest of Archbishop Jan Jenstein in the 1390s.  
In many medieval cathedrals, the noble families who had paid for the building of various parts of a church would have their donation commemorated by the addition of their crest to some part of it.
The tomb of St John in the right side of the ambulatory.
The balcony of the royal oratory, where the King of Bohemia would stay while attend services.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Becoming a Better Confessor - A Conference for Priests Offered by the Thomistic Institute

From July 7-9, the Thomistic Institute (an apostolate of the Dominicans’ Eastern province) will be holding its fourth annual Conference for Priests at Baltimore’s historic Basilica of the Assumption. The conference is titled “Becoming a Better Confessor: Using the Virtues and Vices in the Confessional”; Mass, Lauds and Vespers will be celebrated each day, and there will be opportunities for private Masses celebrated by priest attendees. Further information is available at the conference website, www.thomisticinstitute.org/priest, and in the flyer below.


Pictures from Ascension Mass in Charlotte, North Carolina

Our thanks to Mr John Cosmas for sharing with us his photographs of this Mass celebrated for the feast of the Ascension at St Ann’s Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. The very large complete photoset can be viewed by clicking here. The Mass was accompanied by the Carolina Catholic Chorale singing the Missa Octo Vocum for double choir by Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612). The celebrant, Fr Jason Christian, the deacon, Fr Jason Barone, and subdeacon, Fr Patrick Winslow, are all diocesan priests of Chralotte; the homily was delivered by Fr Timothy Reid, the pastor of St Ann’s. Our congratulations to all of those who participated in this ceremony, clergy, servers, choir and musicians, for their efforts to preserve the Church’s musical patrimony, and pass it on to those even younger than themselves; hope for the future!






 

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