Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Christmas Gift Ideas from NLM Authors

NLM authors were asked to offer Christmas gift ideas to pass along to our readers. Their suggestions have been grouped into thematic lists. The following list is obviously anything but comprehensive — and if your personal favorites happen not to be included, that’s not because we don’t think they’re worth giving or receiving. Indeed, if you’d like to supplement our list in the combox, feel free to do so!

The lists below are book-heavy. The reason is simple enough. We need to keep studying, we need to form and inform ourselves intellectually. There is a huge amount of ignorance and error in the Church today, and, obviously, no one of us is ever fully “finished” with our education. Miseducation and lack of knowledge are not static problems; like weeds in a garden, they multiply and take over if they are not uprooted and valuable plants cultivated in their place. I saw recently a quotation attributed to St. Thomas More: “One of the greatest problems of our time is that many are schooled but few are educated.” So, NLM authors not surprisingly like to recommend good books.

Devotional items

  • Icons. There are, alas, a lot of cheap and ugly icons out there, but if you take your time you can find something very beautiful — either a well-made reproduction (two excellent sources are Jordanville and St. Isaac Skete) or an original icon (see, e.g., here or here).
  • A good daily Missal. The two best for the TLM are The Roman Catholic Daily Missal and the Baronius Press Daily Missal. For the OF, one can’t beat the Midwest Theological Forum editions
  • A nice chapel veil — this could make a great gift from a fellow to a lady, a sister to a sister, etc. Here’s one very good source.
  • Hand-carved olivewood statues from the holy Land that help support the Christians of the Holy Land.  They certainly need our support, and the gifts are really lovely. One such source would be here.
  • Oplatki Christmas Wafers for Christmas Eve.
  • Mystic Monk Coffee. I don’t think this really is a devotional item (although, in Thomistic fashion, one might consider it such by extention, inasmuch as it removes impediments to devotion.) But it’s comforting to be able to support great liturgy and get great coffee at the same time. The progress the monks are making on their Gothic monastery is heartening and deserves our support.

CDs and DVDs

Books for Parents & Families

Catholic Childrens’ Books

Books on the Sacred Liturgy

  • Joseph Ratzinger, The Theology of the Liturgy — this incredibly handy volume brings together all of Ratzinger’s writings on the liturgy, including his now-classic The Spirit  of the Liturgy. (It’s unfortunate that Amazon doesn’t delete the reviews that referred to the initial printing of the book, which was marred by a manufacturer’s error. The problem was quickly solved with a new printing, but now these one-star reviews are weighing it down.)
  • Romano Guardini, Sacred Signs. (NLM review)
  • Peter Kwasniewski, Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis: Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church. (See NLM review by Dom Alcuin Reid)
  • William Mahrt, The Musical Shape of the Liturgy. This book deserves to be better known than it is. A collection of Dr. Mahrt’s wise articles from years and years of Sacred Music, it represents the pinnacle of aesthetic, musicological, and theological thinking about the organic interconnection of church music (especially Gregorian chant) and the sacred rites. For serious students of liturgy and the fine arts.

Great Resources for Sacred Music (OF)

  • Fr. Samuel Weber’s The Proper of the Mass for Sundays and Solemnities. If you are going to sing the Introit, Offertory, and/or Communion chants in English, this is the gold standard. (NLM review.) 
  • Fr. Samuel Weber’s Hymnal for the Hours. This exceptional book contains English plainchant settings of nearly all the hymns of the Liturgy of the Hours. If you sing the LOTH, it’s a must-have. Available in hardcover or paperback. (NLM review)
  • Adam Bartlett’s Lumen Christi series (NLM review of one of the books in the series)
  • Aristotle Esguerra’s Modal Responsorial Psalms.
  • The Parish Book of Chant, 2nd ed. (for both OF and EF)—this is the flagship chant publication of the Church Music Association of America and has found a home in hundreds of churches and chapels. It is an ideal compilation of authentic Latin Gregorian chant for parish use.
  • Peter Kwasniewski’s Sacred Choral Worksa collection of 91 choral pieces (motets, antiphons, acclamations, Masses) for various choral ensembles, mostly SATB. The table of contents and audio samples are found at this link. (see NLM interview)

Books for Your Parish Priest (if he doesn’t already have them)

Other Gifts for the Clergy

  • If you want to offer a good gift of vestments for your priest, visit here. Superior work at an affordable price. (Of course, we also always recommend all the companies who advertise with NLM in our sidebars. We do not accept every ad; we take ads from people whose work we know and love.)
  • Every well-dressed cleric should have a biretta; it is the correct headgear for the priest of the Roman Rite. See here for a good source.

Books for Masters of Ceremonies

Essential Reading on the Contemporary Church

  • H. J. A. Sire, Phoenix from the Ashes. Difficult to praise this book highly enough! It is a well-crafted, penetrating presentation of the crisis moments in the history of the Church, with special attention to the past 50+ years. 
  • Christopher Ferrara and Thomas Woods, The Great Façade, second edition. If you own the first edition, you’ll want to get the second—it has an additional 250 pages by Ferrara on the period from 2002 to the present (mainly, the pontificates of Benedict and Francis to date). Hot stuff, as P.G. Wodehouse would say.
  • Roberto De Mattei, The Second Vatican Council – An Unwritten Story. If you ever wanted the real scoop on what happened at the Council, including the intentions of its major players, the way the procedures were tampered with, how the documents actually got written, and so forth, this is the book. Wiltgen’s The Rhine Flows into the Tiber is a classic, of course, but De Mattei drills deeper — he’s not a journalist but a true historian, with a vast knowledge of primary sources and the careful habits of a scholar, with the benefit of hindset that Wiltgen did not enjoy.
  • Romano Amerio, Iota Unum: A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the Twentieth Century. This book is, in a way, The Great Façade, avant la lettre. Amerio casts his net wider than Ferrara and Woods by surveying the entire 20th century and documenting the (usually) gradual shift in positions on a whole host of subjects. Check out the table of contents at Amazon for a sense of the breadth of the coverage.
A blessed Advent to all NLM readers. Let us all pray for one another.

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Reliquary of St Andrew the Apostle

For the feast of St Andrew, here is a picture of a wonderful reliquary containing some of the wood of both his cross and that of his brother, St Peter. Both sets of pieces are arranged in the shape of the crosses on which the two Apostles died, Andrew’s an X, and Peter’s like that of the Lord, but upside-down.

This photograph was taken by Dom Jakobus of Herzogenburg Abbey in Austria, a house of the Order of Canons Regular of St Augustine, and is reproduced here with his kind permission. Dom Jakobus also maintains a facebook page about the Order, (under their Latin title, “Ordo Canonicorum Regularium Sancti Augustini”), with lots of information about the various orders and houses of Augustinian Canons Regular, and many interesting pictures, both modern and historical, of the canons and their liturgies.

Recent Typeface Design and Calligraphy from Daniel Mitsui

We have much work to do in the rebuilding of Catholic culture, and in this “slow evangelization” (as Stratford Caldecott called it), liturgy can be compared to the right hand, the fine arts to the left hand. I found myself thinking about this when looking at some magnificent calligraphic work by well-known Catholic artist Daniel Mitsui, and reading his superb lecture at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, “Invention and Exaltation.” (The text may be read here; a video of the lecture is available here. Highly recommended.) Daniel visited the university to open an exhibit of his artwork in the Gentile Gallery on September 14th.

Following up on my earlier post about the layouts and typography of Dom Benedict Andersen, I wanted to share with NLM readers some of Daniel Mitsui’s recent experiments with designing his own typefaces, a painstaking art form he is pursuing in order to work towards the publication of new illustrated fine press editions of late medieval books. Two of the pieces now on display in Steubenville are typographic broadsides, one of them prepared in anticipation of the Synod on the Family:

(To see these at the artist's website, go here and here.)

In toto, Daniel has designed four typefaces: Benedict, Victor, Adam, and Michaëla. The marriage and family texts above are written in Benedict; the Lord's Prayer in Victor. Here are samples of Adam and Michaëla:


Some time ago Daniel did this "Ecce quam bonum," which is a masterly example of the art of illuminating a text (we see again the Benedict font):

These are truly exquisite pieces of work, and we are all looking forward to many more from this extraordinary artist. Check out his website for a complete portfolio and items for sale.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The First Sunday of Advent 2015

Looking from afar, behold I see the power of God coming, and a cloud covering all the land: * go ye to meet him and say: * Tell us if thou art the one, * who art to rule in the people of Israel.
V. All you that are earthborn, and you sons of men: both rich and poor together, go ye out to meet him and say.
V. Give ear, O thou that rulest Israel: thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep; tell us if thou art the one.
V. Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in, who art to rule in the people of Israel.
Glory be unto the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Looking from afar, behold I see the power of God coming, and a cloud covering all the land: go ye to meet him and say: tell us if thou art the one, who art to rule in the people of Israel. (First responsory at Matins of the First Sunday of Advent)

The Prophet Isaiah, painted by Raphael in the Basilica of St Augustine in Rome in 1512. On his scroll is written in Hebrew, from chapter 26 of his book, verses 2-3, “Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Whose mind is stayed on thee, Thou wilt keep him (in perfect peace).” The dedicatory inscription in Greek above reads “To Anne, the mother of the Virgin, to the virginal Mother of God, and to Christ the Redeemer, John Goritz” (hellenized as ‘Joannes Corycios’). Goritz, a merchant from Luxembourg, commissioned both the painting, which is on one of the pillars of the basilica, and the altar to St Anne originally located beneath it. The influence of Michelangelo, who was completing the Sistine Chapel ceiling when Raphael painted this, is very strong in this work; a famous story claims that when Goritz complained to Michelangelo about the price of it, he replied, “The knee alone is worth the price!”
R. Aspiciens a longe, ecce video Dei potentiam venientem, et nebulam totam terram tegentem: * ite obviam ei, et dicite: * Nuntia nobis, si tu es ipse, * qui regnaturus es in populo Israël.
V. Quique terrigenæ, et filii hominum, simul in unum dives et pauper: ite obviam et, et dicite.
V. Qui regis Israël, intende, qui deducis velut ovem Joseph: nuntia nobis, si tu es ipse.
V. Tollite portas, principes, vestras, et elevamini portæ æternales, et introibit Rex gloriæ, qui regnaturus es in populo Israël.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
R. Aspiciens a longe, ecce video Dei potentiam venientem, et nebulam totam terram tegentem: ite obviam ei, et dicite: Nuntia nobis, si tu es ipse, qui regnaturus es in populo Israël.

Click here to listen to a beautiful recording of this magnificent text, made several years ago at St Stephen’s in Sacramento, California.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

NLM Quiz no. 17: What Is This, and Why Is It On a Church? - The Answer

Here’s something to ponder about as you slip into a turkey-induced slumber. Our last quiz was back in January, so as a reminder of the procedure: Please give your answer in the combox, along with any and all details you think pertinent to it. To keep it more interesting, please leave your answer before reading the other comments. We are always pleased to hear humorous answers as well. The photograph does show the item out of context, as I have done before, but I will say that it is part of the decoration of a church’s façade.

The Answer : Since the church of the Sagrada Família, of which this is a part, is the second most popular site in Barcelona (after the Picasso Museum...sigh...), many people got the correct answer, or at least part of it. It is indeed a decorative element of the Passion façade, a so-called “magic square;” each of the four horizontal and four vertical lines of four squares adds up to the number 33, Christ’s age at the time of His Passion, as do the two major diagonals, each corner quadrant, the central quadrant, and various other combinations.

To be perfectly honest, I rather suspected this quiz would prove to be fairly easy, but went ahead and posted it anyway, knowing that it would bring out some interesting entries in Most Wildly Incorrect Answer and Best Humorous Answer categories. In this, I was not disappointed. The Most Wildly Incorrect Answer award goes to Jackie, even though she gave the correct location. “Dice representation on the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.” Dice? There are actually soldiers playing dice over Christ’s garment elsewhere on the Passion façade, and they look as much like dice as the sculptor (this is the work of Josep Subirachs, not of Gaudí himself) could make them (which isn’t much.) Honorable Mention to Hoss Gardner for his guess that it is an old Roman Calendar - good try, but although the Roman calendar was a rather messy affair before Caesar’s reform, it wasn’t that messy!

Mornac runs away with the Best Humorous Answer, “It's a relief depicting a numeric Rubik’s cube that dissident bishops will be forced to solve in order to be released from purgatory. The numbers correspond to the number of liturgical abuses they allowed in their dioceses. The six sides of the cube represent the last six years of their episcopacy. The object is to display the exact number of abuses in each of those years simultaneously on the six faces of the cube.” Nice work!

The World's Last Night

A reflection on the Second Coming by C.S. Lewis as we enter the season of Advent.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Carmelite Chapel and Choir Renovated in Loretto, PA

The Carmelite Monastery of Saint Thérèse in Loretto, Pennsylvania, in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, recently received beautiful renovations to their public chapel and nun’s choir. Among the renovations which were carried out under the patronage of Saint Joseph were a new altar, altar rail, and tabernacle. The monastery of Discalced Carmelite Nuns was founded in 1929 by Mother Marie Joseph from Bordeaux. Mr. Charles Schwab, the great steel magnate, provided many of the resources for it’s construction. Pauline, Mr. Schwab’s mother, had a great devotion to St. Thérèse and when Mother Marie Joseph, with her sense of humor, sent one of the community’s small statues of the Saint, via taxi to the Schwab’s estate with the note “I need a new home,” Pauline was completely captivated. Her son, Charles, soon oversaw the building of the new Carmel on land offered by the Franciscan T.O.R. Fathers. The Monastery in Lisieux served as inspiration during the building of the Loretto Monastery. Loretto was founded in 1799 by the Russian Prince, (Servant of God) Father Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin (1770-1840). (This description and the accompanying photographs were sent to us by Mr Jordan Hainsey, with our thanks!)

The chapel before the renovation...
...and after. 
The nuns’ choir before renovation... 
...and after.

Denis McNamara on Church Architecture, part 7 - Sacred Images

Here is the seventh in the series of short videos by Prof. Denis McNamara, a member of the faculty of the Liturgical Institute, Mundelein; his book is Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy. As usual, it is an excellent presentation.
In this one he focuses on sacred images. He describes how sacred images are a necessary part of the environment for the worship of God because they manifest those aspects of the liturgy that are present but not ordinarily visible. They are there to remind us that the angels and saints in heaven participate with us in the heavenly liturgy. 
In this video, the stylistic features of art that he describes are those of the iconographic tradition, which portrays man fully redeemed. One point that he doesn’t address in this short presentation is how the other authentic liturgical traditions, the Gothic and the Baroque, fulfill this function. I would argue that they do exactly what the iconographic style does, but in a subtly different way. They are stylistically different and do not reveal man fully redeemed, but rather justified and at various stages on the path to heaven. By revealing the path they direct our attention, via the imagination, to the destination at the end of that path, which is our heavenly destiny. (If you are interested in a fuller discussion of this last point, I direct you to section three of my book, the Way of Beauty.) 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Our Lady of the Garden Enclosed - New Website for Dutch Shrine and Hermitage

We have included in several of our photoposts images from the shrine of Our Lady of the Garden Enclosed in the village of Warfhuizen in the Netherlands. This shrine was formerly a protestant church, but was transformed in 2001 into a Catholic shrine, which has both a public church and a hermitage; the hermit was ordained a priest this past September. A reader has just brought to my attention that the shrine now has a website, which is available in English, as well as Dutch, German and French. According to the Horarium, Mass is celebrated in both forms of the Roman Rite, with the EF as the regular Sunday Mass, and along with this the full Office, Rosary and Benediction. (I note with amusement that google translate turns the Dutch word for “Horarium” into “Circadian rhythm.”) The Virgin Mary is honored at the shrine as the Mother of Sorrows, and there is a beautiful image of Her kept to the right of the main altar. We look forward to seeing more of the liturgical life of this beautiful little outpost of the Catholic Faith! (Images from our second Assumption photopost this year.)

Nine Lessons & Carols at St John the Evangelist, Calgary, Canada

Saint John the Evangelist, Calgary, Canada, a parish of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, will celebrate its annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 20, 2015, at 7pm. The service, which consists of traditional carols, seasonal pieces of sacred choral music, and nine lessons (readings) from Holy Scripture, was first devised by Eric Milner-White shortly after his appointment as Dean of King’s College, Cambridge in 1918. The service is now a firm fixture on the English cathedral calendar, and is a cherished part of the Anglican patrimony brought into the Personal Ordinariates.

Restoring a Healthy Appetite for Beauty

A former mentor of mine, Dr. John Patrick, spent the better part of his career in the third world developing a protocol to rehabilitate starving children. Children would come to his clinic for treatment in advanced stages of starvation, with skin loose on bones and internal organs shutting down. Dr. Patrick developed a rehabilitation protocol which resulted in over 95% success, and it wasn’t complex, though it confounded the basic instincts of other doctors until that time. The principle is simple; instead of immediately stuffing these children full of nutrient rich solutions, feed them watery broth first. As the child regains appetite, add substance to the broth, but always allow the appetite to come first. When the appetite is fully engaged, then let the child eat as much as he wishes. Today Dr. John Patrick’s method is used throughout the world to save countless children’s lives.

As sacred musicians with a healthy appetite for tradition, high-quality music, and glorious liturgies, it is easy to see the situation in many parishes and fall into despair. As Dante wrote in the Inferno, canto 1, “I found myself obscured in a great forest, bewildered, and I knew [we] had lost the way.” How do we get back on track? How do we build great choirs again and bring back beauty into our liturgies?

It would be foolish to discount the support of a good pastor, the investment of a few key families and musicians, and even the beautiful buildings and legacies left by past generations. Hard work, too, has its place. Perhaps, however, we can take a lesson from Dr. Patrick’s method; the appetite does indeed matter. I do not mean to discourage you from singing complex chant or difficult sacred polyphony, however prudence may call for intermediate steps, for some education and guidance, before your parish has an appetite to take on the more musically difficult aspects of our tradition. Numerous resources are available through CMAA for all different levels of capability; we don't have to make stuff up on our own. The point is to do everything well, to follow the most authentic expression of the liturgy possible in our parishes, and meanwhile to enjoy doing it. Simplicity, elegance, confidence, and consistency are the best path forward, and engagement from the entire parish is key.

Even when a parish has achieved a high level of liturgy, musicians can burn out, relationships come unglued, and people get tired and age out. And so we must keep setting the hook, casting our nets, and setting out into the deep, using the richness of our tradition to reach into the depths of the human experience. The sacred liturgy makes present the Gospel, that good news which makes our souls new again. “I shall go in to the altar of God; to God, the joy of my youth.” Personal renewal, forgiveness, cleansing of the crud of the week, a renewed sense of purpose and Christian joy, and the real presence of Christ himself: these gifts of grace all provide a personal connection that keeps us coming back. Where there is perennial need due to the very terms of the human experience, there also is perennial appetite for God’s grace and renewal. This is a healthy appetite that we can foster and restore through beautiful liturgy and sacred music. Then the music is elevated and becomes a means to prayer, not an end in itself.

So I encourage you: keep your tools sharpened, keep teaching and encouraging, and always turn to the richest sources if you want renewal. Set high goals and achieve them together with as many people in your parish community as possible. And meanwhile, while you’re preparing the “feast,” don’t forget to pause for a few moments and eat!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Edward Pugin’s Tomb of Cardinal Wiseman

This article about the tomb of Nicholas Cardinal Wiseman, a work of Edward Pugin, was first published in the November 2015 issue of the magazine of Westminster Cathedral Oremus. The author, Mr Roderick O’Donnell, very kindly submitted it to NLM for republication; it is here reproduced by permission of Oremus, and the editor, Mr Dylan Parry, with our thanks.

Cardinal Wiseman’s tomb is one of the least known works of art in Westminster Cathedral. It was designed by the architect EW Pugin. Since 1907 it has been housed in the crypt of the cathedral, and is placed directly under the high altar.

This is a so-called ‘altar tomb’, set on a plinth and supporting a ‘table’ or mensa, with its recumbent effigy, with narrative panels round the sides. It was clearly meant to be free-standing, and its inscription and sculpture are meant to be read. It can be attributed to the sculptor was RL Boulton, a craftsman much employed by EW Pugin in the 1860s. Pugin would have provided the drawings for the figurative and the architectural sculpture, the sculptor and his workshop being the executors of Pugin’s scheme. As such the work not signed. Wiseman’s figure and other relief sculptures are worked in statuary marble. But the moulding with the inscription and the base plinth are in a red-orange marble, probably Cork Red, with black marble colonettes at the angles, perhaps a Kilkenny black. The framing of the sculpted panels, the projecting niches and the deeply-cut frieze and capitals are in alabaster. Colour contrasts were therefore intended, although the colouring of the carving, such as would have occurred in the Middle Ages, is not attempted.

Around the Mensa top of the tomb is the inscription: ‘Hic in pace Christi requiescit Nicolaus titulo S[anc]tae Pudentianae S.[acrae] R.[omanae] Ecc.[lesiae] presbyter Cardinalis Wiseman/Primus Eccles[iae] Westmonasteriensis archie[piscopus] Natus die 3 Augusti/1802 Defunctus die 15 Februarii 1865 E[pisoco]patus sui anno Vigesimo quinto omnia pro Xto in vita agens omnia per Xtum/in morte sperans cujus animae propitietur Deus’ which translated is ‘Here in the peace of Christ lies Nicholas, under the title of [the church of] St Pudentiana, Cardinal-priest of the Holy Roman Church, Wiseman/ First archbishop of Westminster. Born 3 August 1802, died 15 February 1865 in the twenty-eighth year of his episcopacy in life doing all things for Christ [and] in death hoping all things through Christ, on whose soul may God be merciful.’

The slightly over life–size recumbent figure of the archbishop is vested for Mass with a chasuble worn over a dalmatic and both over an alb ‘apparelled’ with fleurs-de-lys. The vestments are strikingly of the full Gothic form championed by Augustus Welby Pugin and already under the ban of those like Manning who wished to re-introduce the so-called Roman chasuble. He is mitred, gloved and slippered, the tip of his metropolitan cross clasped by a dragon at his feet, with angels at his pillowed head. (EW Pugin particularly complimented Boulton on his angels.) Wiseman also wears the pallium.

On the short return under a cardinal’s much tasselled hat is Wiseman’s coat of arms, with his motto as archbishop, ‘Omnia pro Christo’ (All things for Christ). The other one has a seated, mitred and coped St Nicholas of Myra, his patron, with the three boys he saved (from boiling) in a vat, with a large classical wreath behind. Both are set within quatrefoils.

Narrative panels on either side of seated saints or patrons are found on the long sides. These have a particular point to make, both about Wiseman and about the role of a metropolitan bishop and its relationship to the Holy See. A late source describes them as scenes from lives of the two saints, but the iconography should perhaps be read with a double meaning, with the life of the saint prefiguring or anticipating that of Wiseman.

Chronologically they begin with young cleric in academic dress or religious habit kneeling before a seated and ceremonially hatted cardinal, or perhaps a pope on an X-framed chair; or it might be the student Wiseman. Then, under a projecting niche is seated the Cardinal in alabaster, with the same features of the bishop or pope in the previous panel. It may be St Edmund of Canterbury, to whom Wiseman had a devotion; in 1853 he procured some of his relics from his burial place at Pontigny in France. The next quatrefoil has a kneeling and vested bishop, now evidently a portrait of Wiseman, being receiving a pallium from the pope, as Wiseman did from Pope Pius IX did on 3 October 1850.

The answering long side has the seated bishop as Metropolitan presiding over the bishops seated around, all vested in copes and mitres; or it might be Wiseman presiding at the Synod of Oscott (1852). The niched panel shows the enthroned St Thomas-à-Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, vested for Mass, grasping the sword of his martyrdom, and wearing the so called ‘Becket mitre’ from the Cathedral Treasury, now on loan to the Victoria & Albert Museum.The next quatrefoil has the death of a bishop, clearly not Becket’s death, but Wiseman’s. He lies on a bed with book of the Gospels on his knees. He is dressed with pectoral cross and chain fully looped over his shoulders, attended by his canons and by an acolyte holding his metropolitan cross. The details follow the record of his death made by Canon Morris, his secretary.

The tomb was conceived to stand inside a cathedral to be built in Wiseman’s memory. The Dublin Builder said the architect was to be Edward Pugin. £16000 was subscribed to this end at the first public meeting. However the new archbishop, Manning, had pastoral priorities quite other than cathedral-building, and he allowed the project to stall. Wiseman’s burial took place at St Mary’s Cemetery Kensal Green, where this monument was housed in what the decorous language of the day called ‘a chamber of glass.’

Edward Welby Pugin (1834-1875) was a brilliant designer in the small scale, such as altars and tombs, beginning with his father’s at Ramsgate (1853). He would have been aware of his father’s difficult relationship with Wiseman as President of Oscott College and as Vicar Apostolic in the Midlands, and then in London, where Wiseman triumphantly opened Pugin’s St George’s Cathedral Southwark in 1848. In 1852 AW Pugin died, leaving his eighteen-year old son to continue the practice. The young architect might have thought his star ascendant when in 1858 Wiseman invested him with his regalia as Knight of St Sylvester, after winning the competition to build the Junior Seminary at Ushaw. He attended the Cardinal’s soiree receptions and even entertained him at his house St Augustine’s Grange, Ramsgate in 1863. But he wrote candidly to Wiseman in 1862 to complain of lack of work in the new Westminster archdiocese, which he ascribed to ‘the unjust animosity of Dr Manning and the Bayswater clique.’ As Manning was by that time more than Wiseman’s right-hand-man, this was unfortunate. Indeed as Manning’s biographer was to put it, ‘Gothic architecture, together with the Pugins and their traditions, was exiled from the diocese of Westminster.’

Dr Roderick O’Donnell is an Architectural Historian and a member of Westminster Cathedral’s Art and Architecture Committee.

The following images were not included in the original article; they are here reproduced from Oremus’ flickr account, again, with their kind permission and our gratitude.

Card. Wiseman receiving his pallium from Bl. Pope Pius IX 
Card. Wiseman’s arms

Lumen Gentium - a new CD of music for Advent and Christmas

Lumen Gentium is a new CD by the Choir at Mater Dei FSSP Parish in Irving, Texas. The recording of music for Advent and Christmas is sung by the volunteer amateur singers of the choir, conducted by Kimberly Walters. Included in the recording is Victoria's Missa O Magnum mysterium along with some Chant Propers and motets by Guerrero, Scarlatti and Nanino among others. Their last recording was featured on NLM here. The recording is available now from CD Baby as a download or CD and there is a 1-cent shipping promotion available from Nov 30 - Dec 4.

Here is the full track listing:

1) Veni Veni Emmanuel (Traditional Chant)
2) Alma Redemptoris Mater (Palestrina)
3) Rorate Coeli (Introit: 4th Sun of Advent)
4) Creator Alme Siderum (Anonymous; 9th century)
5) Veni O Sapientia (J. Singenberger)
6) O Magnum Mysterium (Victoria)
7) Sancta et Immaculata (Guerrero)
8) Flos de Radice (Harm. by Praetorius)
9) Dominus Dixit (Introit - Christmas midnight mass)
10) - 14) Missa O Magnum Mysterium (Victoria)
15) Puer Natus est (Introit: Christmas Day mass)
16) Gaudete (traditional, anonymous)
17) Jesu Redemptor Omnium (Ravanello & 6th cent. chant)
18) Hodie Christus Natus est (Nanino)
19) Lumen ad Revelationem (Gregorian chant)
20) Omnes de Saba (Gradual of Epiphany; gregorian chant)
21) Omnes de Saba Venient (Asula)
22) Senex Puerum Portabat (Victoria)
23) Exultate Deo (Scarlatti)

St Catherine of Alexandria

Praesens dies expendatur in ejus praeconium, cujus virtus dilatatur in ore laudantium, si gestorum teneatur finis et initium.

Imminente passione Virgo haec interserit: Assequatur, Jesu bone, quod a te petierit suo quisque in agone memor mei fuerit.

In hoc caput amputatur, fluit lac pro sanguine: Angelorum sublevatur corpus multitudine, et Sinai collocatur in supremo culmine.

Gloria et honor Deo usquequaque altissimo, una Patri Filioque, inclyto Paraclito, cui laus est et potestas per aeterna sæcula. Amen. (The hymn for Lauds of the Office of St Catherine of Alexandria.)

The Martyrdom of St Catherine of Alexandria, by Guercino (Francesco Barbieri), 1653; now in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.  
Let this day be spent in proclaiming her whose virtue is enlarged by those who praise her, if the sum of her deeds be kept in mind.

With her passion imminent, the virgin adds this words: “Good Jesus, let each man who remembers me in his own suffering obtain whatever he may ask of Thee.”

At this, her head was cut off, milk floweth instead of blood; her body was taken by a multitude of Angels, and placed at the height of Sinai.

Glory and honor in everyplace to God most high, and with Him to the Son, and the glorious Paraclete, to Whom are praise and might for eternal ages. Amen.

A Call to Men in Parishes from Cardinal Burke - Join the Holy League

A friend in New Hampshire named Tom contacted me to tell me that he and another are establishing a Holy League in response to this call from Cardinal Burke.

This is intended to create a network of parish based men’s groups that meet monthly in a structured Holy Hour. The Holy League was first formed as part of the call to holiness and fortitude that occurred when Europe was under threat from Islamic forces and prior to the battle of Lepanto in 1571. The aim is to reestablish this in every Catholic parish.

The website tells us that the Holy League:
  • Provides a Holy Hour format which incorporates Eucharistic Adoration, prayer, short spiritual reflections, the availability of the Sacrament of Confession, Benediction and fraternity.
  • Encourages consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Purest Heart of Joseph.
  • Promotes the Precepts and Sacraments of the Church, especially through devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament and the praying of the Most Holy Rosary.
  • Creates a unified front, made up of members of the Church Militant, for spiritual combat.
In addition to this, Tom told me that they intend to sing Compline during this hour as well.
You can read more about it here and below see a short description of it by the Cardinal.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: