Monday, August 27, 2007

Yet more proof overlay stoles are bad, mmmkay?


Via Argent, a picture of the latest Poncho Ladies (tm) /aka Water Witches/ aka Invalidly Ordained Heretics with Delusions of Grandeur. Notice what they are wearing on top of the ponchos? Nuff said.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Finally a way to deal with skateboarders, in church cellphone users, and liturgical abuses.


Click here to read all about it!

(Zuccetto spin to my sacristan Carl.)

Caption Contest

At the suggestion of The Digital Hairshirt, I am having a caption contest for this picture. You have through August 31st to enter your suggestion. I am the sole judge and first (and only) prize is a Mass offered for your intention.

Use of cassocks by priests in the United States

In relation to a couple of previous posts, an anonymous person claimed that it is not permitted to wear cassocks outdoors. This is a false view. Here is the decree for the USCCB promulgating particular law for clerical dress in the US.

Decree of Promulgation
On November 18, 1998, the Latin Rite de iure members of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops approved complementary legislation for canon 284 of the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Rite dioceses of the United States. The action was granted recognitio by the Congregation for Bishops in accord with article 82 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus and issued by Decree of the Congregation for Bishops signed by His Eminence Lucas Cardinal Moreira Neves, Prefect, and His Excellency Most Reverend Franciscus Monterisi, Secretary, and dated September 29, 1999.

The National Conference of Catholic Bishops, in accord with the prescriptions of canon 284, hereby decrees that without prejudice to the provisions of canon 288, clerics are to dress in conformity with their sacred calling.
In liturgical rites, clerics shall wear the vesture prescribed in the proper liturgical books. Outside liturgical functions, a black suit and Roman collar are the usual attire for priests. The use of the cassock is at the discretion of the cleric.
In the case of religious clerics, the determinations of their proper institutes or societies are to be observed with regard to wearing the religious habit.
As President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, I hereby decree that the effective date of this decree for all the Latin Rite dioceses in the United States will be December 1, 1999.
Given at the offices of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC, on November 1, 1999.
Reverend Joseph A. FiorenzaBishop Of Galveston-Houston
President, NCCB
Reverend Monsignor Dennis M. Schnurr
General Secretary

Friday, August 24, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

1861 Springfield


My Springfield Model 1861 repilca arrived today. Yes, it is a working replica. What am I going to do with it? Shoot it, what else. Anyway, here is a picture of me with it. And a picture of Thomas (the official Orthometer gunboy) and Peter with it.

Pet Peeve: Overlay Stoles

I stole this picture from Gerald over at the Closed Cafeteria. (It is used in a post with the Batshit Crazy worthy title of Der Hippiebunker.) Notice that the celebrant is wearing his stole on top of the chasuble. This is one of my pet peeves and I have intended to write about it for a while.

This is a liturgical abuse that has unfortunately become all too common. The rubrics are quite clear that the stole is to be worn under the chasuble, not on top. The excuses I've heard for this are a) it was designed to be worn like this or b) this way the people can see the beautiful (?) stole. Neither of these hold water. Don't buy or make stoles that are to be worn in an inappropriate fashion. The purpose of the stole is not visibility for the people. Admittedly, this is a relatively minor abuse, but it does foster the attitude that the liturgy is a plaything for people's whims. And so, "Bad Hippie! Wear your stole under the chasuble!"

(Pet peeves coming soon: Frisbee Hosts and Homemade Hosts.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rocket Man!

Bill Shatner doing a spoken word version of "Rocket Man" at a 1970s SciFi film awards ceremony. I have heard his version of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", but this is even worse. Consider it the Plan Nine from Outer Space of lounge acts and the inspiration for his great adds for Priceline.Com.

(Zuccetto spin to The Caveman.)

One word, no explanations

(Tagged by the evil Angela. All bipeds consider yourself tagged.)

1. Yourself: tired.
2. Your spouse: none.
3. Your hair: brown.
4. Your mother: CATHOLIC!
5. Your father: MARINE!
6. Your favorite item: chalice.
7. Your dream last night: next...
8. Your favorite drink: OJ
9. Your dream car: Abrams
10. The room you are in: office
11. Your ex: none.
12. Your fear: Hell.
13. What you want to be in 10 years: monsignor :)
14. Who you hung out with last night: bulldogs.
15. What you're not: patient
16. Muffins: poppyseed.
17: One of your wish list items: cannon.
18: Time: fast
19. The last thing you did: ate.
20. What you are wearing: sloppy
21. Your favorite weather: cool
22. Your favorite book: Bible
23. The last thing you ate: apple
24. Your life: exists.
25. Your mood: tired
26. Your best friend: Jesus
27. What you're thinking about right now: boat
28. Your car: silver
29. What you are doing at the moment: posting
30. Your summer: busy
31. Your relationship status: none
32. What is on your TV: EWTN
33. What is the weather like: not
34. When was the last time you laughed: yesterday

B. O. H. I. C. A.

Pronounced Bow-hee-kah. (Bend Over Here It Comes Again.) Which is exactly what I thought when I read this Dark Horizon post on Bill Maher's latest project.

Maher's "Religious" Christens Easter
By Garth Franklin

Monday August 20th 2007 7:58am

Comedian Bill Maher revealed to Larry King that his new documentary may be called "Religulous" (a combination of religion and ridiculous) and is aiming for a release next Easter. Directed by Larry Charles (Borat), it follows Bill Maher’s take on the current state of world religion and travels to some extreme locations around the world for interviews including Jerusalem, Vatican City and Salt Lake City. Maher says that they were given amazing access to a lot of locations which have never been filmed before including the Wailing Wall, the dome of the rock, and even inside the Vatican. Lionsgate will distribute. A clip of Maher talking about the project is up on Youtube.

Hmm, how sensitive of him to mock us on Easter. (Maher is a notoroius anti-Catholic with a long track record.) I wonder what curial dork let him film inside the Vatican?

Prayer request

Please keep my friend Pete Simon of Boise, Idaho in your prayers. He had a serious stroke this last weekend.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Great Wedding


This past Saturday, I had the privilege of concelebrating the nuptial Mass of my friends Jan and Monica Sikorski. Jan and Monica graduated from Notre Dame this spring and will be working for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend as chastity educators while Jan is pursuing a graduate degree in Theology.
It was a very beautiful and reverent Mass at the Cathedral of the Madeline. The principal celebrant is a member of the Law School faculty at Notre Dame and has the honor of being only the second orthodox Franciscan (OFM) I have ever met. The music was all good. (Dang it! I should have saved the program so I could post exactly what was played--suffice it to say, no Gory & Graze.) At this Mass, the bride's youngest brother Peter (Monica is one of seven) made his First Holy Communion. Oh, and the best man is a seminarian studying at the North American College.
The reception was fun also--first time I have ever heard the Notre Dame Fight Song sung at a wedding reception. Among the attendees were Matt and Emily of the Holy Whapping Shrine. The Catholic conversation was great and the food good; even if the beer was overpriced. (Well, it is Utah.)
Future brides and grooms take note. This is how you should be dressed at your wedding. The bride wore a nice, modest white dress. The groom wore a black tux. (No Madonna/Lounge Lizard wannabees here!)
Update: The bride's mother tells me that the dress was obtained from Beautifully Modest.

Want to help the mining families?

If you would like to help the families impacted by the Crandall Canyon Mine cave-ins, your best bet would be to send donations to the local Catholic parish. (A friend of mine is the pastor and will make sure that the donations are used appropriately.)

Send checks/money orders to:

Notre Dame de Lourdes Parish
160 North Carbon Ave.
Price, Utah 84501

(Specify that the donation is to help the mining families.)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bishop Wester's stament on the latest tragedy at the Crandall Canyon Mine

On behalf of the Catholics of Utah, I wish to express our condolences to the families of the rescue workers who died as a result of the second collapse at the Crandall Canyon Mine, as well as our prayers for the swift recovery of the rescue workers and Mining Safety and Health Administration officials who were injured.
Our prayers are with all of those affected; the original six trapped miners and their families; the families of the victims of the most recent collapse; rescue workers who put their lives at risk for the sake of their brothers; and the entire mining community who are suffering through this terrible series of events.
If any good can come from these tragedies, it is our hope it will be a heightened awareness and appreciation of those who risk their lives daily in dangerous occupations for the benefit of all, and a renewal of our resolve to support increased safety in the places in which they work.

+ The Most Reverend John C. Wester
Bishop of Salt Lake City

"Batshit Crazy" award for best post title

Goes to the originator of the term "Batshit Crazy" (in a blog posting), the irrepressible Crescat, for her post "Ecumenism Sucks".

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The men who died with my dad


Yesterday, I received an email from a marine who served with my dad in Vietnam. He was in the same unit, but in a different Forward Observer team. This is the first time I have been contacted by one of dad's comrades. It is good to know that someone still thinks about him.


Anyway, through him, I found a link to the 12th Marines Regimental Artillery Memorial Wall site. Through it I was finally able to find out the names of the two men from dad's team that died with him. (The fourth team member survived--praise God!) I have been saying Mass for these men every year since I have been ordained, but never knew their names. They are Lance Corporal Harry C. Smith of York, PA and Corporal Robert Collins of Eugene, OR. God bless you men!

Bishop Weigand and his live liver transplant donor


The Salt Lake Tribune had a neat article today on the former Bishop of Salt Lake City, now Bishop of Sacramento, and the fellow who donated part of his liver to for a transplant. (The Most Rev. William K. Weigand baptized, confirmed, gave first Holy Commuion, and ordained me to both the diaconate and the priesthood.) Here is a picture of him with his dog. I still have trouble picturing his excellency as a dog owner.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Goodies from Amazon


My latest order from Amazon.com just came. It includes:
1) Flash Gordon The wonderfully tacky 1980 theatrical movie. 'Saviour of the Universe Edition" no less. Messianic pretensions aside, this is a great movie. Max von Sydow as Ming. Topol fiddling on the roof as Dr. Zarkov. Brian Blessed as King Vultan. Add to this a soundtrack by Queen. Tongue in cheek fun!
2) 300 Yes, I know it is bad history, but it is a great movie.
3) And a book: Where's My Jetpack? A Guide to the Amazing Science Fiction Future That Never Arrived.

Three reasons to admire my new bishop


A bit presumptuous of me, I know. But, while respecting one's bishop is always required, admiration isn't a given.


1) He met and said Mass for the Crossroads pro-life walkers when they came through Utah. (Public support for the Pro-life cause beyond minimal lip-service--a good thing.)


2) Every priest in my diocese was sent a copy of Pope Benedict's Jesus of Nazareth. (I have received books from the Ordinary before, but this is the first one I was excited to get.)


3) One of my parishioners encountered His Excellency hearing confessions at the Cathedral. (Not too busy to hear confessions!)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Please pray for the trapped miners

Dear Readers,

Most of you have no doubt heard about the coal miners trapped in a mine collapse in Central Utah. Huntington is not far from Helper where I served as pastor for seven years. Mining is dangerous work that benefits us all. Please keep these men and their families in your prayers.

Here is a statement from my bishop:

On behalf of the Catholics of Utah, I wish to express our prayerful support for the miners, their families and colleagues during this most difficult time.

Tomorrow afternoon at 5:15 p.m. I will celebrate Mass in the Cathedral of the Madeleine for the miners and their families, as well as for all those who are working so hard and courageously on their behalf. We also pray for the people of Huntington who are so deeply affected by the collapse of the Crandall Canyon Mine.

May the patron of our Huntington Mission, the Archangel Raphael, bring healing and strength to all involved.

+Bishop John C. Wester
Bishop of Salt Lake City

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Batshit Crazy Award for best post title goes to...

Crossed the Tiber for "St. John Vianney- Another Saint That Doesn't Stink!"

A visit from Barney


On First Fridays, a group of homeschooling families comes to morning Mass at my parish. After Mass, I hear their Confessions and after that the parents chat and the kids play. (I look forward to this every month.)
Yesterday, towards the end of Mass, the 'Sings-at-Mass Toddler' (aka The Drama Queen, daughter of Mary's Muse) decided to sing "I love you. You love me." as a Post-communion meditation. I didn't know whether to laugh or get sick. On the one hand, it was exceedingly cute and funny. On the other hand, Barney ranks 9.5 on the Elmo scale of loathing. I settle with telling her mom that I was going to have to exorcise the spirit of Barney from the tyke.

Feast of St. John Marie Vianney


A blessed feast day to all. St. John Marie has a special place at my parish as a relic of his is in the church's altar. (The picture is of his incorrupt remains in Ars.)

This explains a lot about the state of catechesis in the last 40 odd years.

Carl J. Pfeifer, 78; Helped Update Catechism Education
By
Matt SchudelWashington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 4, 2007

Carl J. Pfeifer, 78, who resigned from the Catholic priesthood to marry his co-author, with whom he wrote a series of influential textbooks on Catholic education, died of Alzheimer's disease July 12 at Stonehill Care Center in Dubuque, Iowa. He lived in Arlington County until last year.
In 1968, Dr. Pfeifer was a Jesuit priest working at Catholic University when he and a Franciscan nun published the first of a series of textbooks for elementary students on Catholic education and catechism. The series, called "Life, Love, Joy," represented a dramatic change in the way Catholic schoolchildren learned about their faith.
Over the next 30 years, Dr. Pfeifer and Janaan Manternach revised their textbooks, wrote widely and traveled across the world to lead seminars on Catholic education. Their books and other classroom materials, published most recently under the title "This Is Our Faith," were used in Catholic schools in all 50 states. They replaced the old Baltimore catechism, a system of learning by rote, with a dynamic storytelling approach drawing on examples from everyday life.
"What Carl and I did, which was seen as a real change, was we introduced life experience to catechetical education," Manternach said yesterday. "If we're going to find God, we're going to find God in life."
After collaborating for 10 years, Manternach and Dr. Pfeifer felt a growing attraction that went beyond their shared work and faith. In their 40s, they went through the formal process of resigning from their religious orders. He had been a member of the Jesuits for 29 years; she had been a nun for 27.
Only then did they go on their first date. They had never so much as held hands before.
"We absolutely were in love with each other, there's no question, before that first date," Manternach said.
They were married Nov. 20, 1976, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown. Four priests officiated at the ceremony, and the 300 guests gave them a standing ovation, but their decision to marry was not warmly received by all.
One priest wrote a letter branding their actions "evil." Manternach's sister refused to attend the wedding, and a nun who had been a close friend said Manternach was now "dead" to her.
"Before that, I had a community," Manternach said yesterday. "Now, I had a community of one."
With little money and uncertain job prospects, the newly married couple settled in Arlington and returned to their mission of Catholic education. When the archbishop of Baltimore invited Dr. Pfeifer to speak at conference on Catholic liturgy, they knew they had found official acceptance.
Dr. Pfeifer and Manternach revised their "Life, Love, Joy" series, wrote for magazines and published books for teachers. They taught courses on Catholic education and doctrine to seminarians and, from 1967 to 1992, appeared as panelists on the weekly "Bauman Bible Telecasts," a nationally televised college religion course based in Washington.

They answered questions from religion teachers in a monthly newsletter from 1987 to 1998 and collected their columns in a book, "How to Be a Better Catechist." In 1987, they published "People to Remember," a book about inspirational Catholic figures, and they often spoke to groups of teachers, priests and parents.
From 1970 to 1979, Dr. Pfeifer wrote a weekly syndicated column, "Know Your Faith," for the National Catholic News Service. For several years, he wrote a second column, "Photomeditations," linking religious themes with photographs he had taken. He also wrote the "Core Beliefs" and "Did You Know?" columns for FaithWorks magazine from 1998 to 2002.
He "enjoyed audiences," Manternach said. "He liked to address the spirits of people, and their spirits often responded."
Carl Jacob Pfeifer was born June 22, 1929, in St. Louis and lived above his family's bakery, which was across the street from a Catholic church.
He graduated from St. Louis University and received a master's degree in philosophy from the university in 1954. He taught Latin and Greek at his alma mater's Jesuit high school for several years and continued his studies at Georgetown University, Laval University in Quebec City, Austria's Innsbruck University and St. Mary's College in Kansas before becoming an ordained priest in 1961. He received a doctorate in ministry from St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore in 1985.
While teaching a course on the Psalms at Catholic University in the early 1960s, Dr. Pfeifer met Manternach, who had taught in Iowa and Chicago for 11 years. One day after class, she remarked that his classroom style was all wrong.
"Over the weekend, he changed his way of teaching the Psalms," she recalled. "He brought into play poetry; he added music; he brought in photographs he had taken. He used humanizing elements in his class."
Invited to work on a new model of religious training, they became assistant directors of the National Center for the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine at Catholic University and began their lifelong collaboration.
"It was an unexpected path," said Manternach, of Arlington, who survives her husband, along with one of his brothers. "Carl expected to be a professor at St. Louis University and go up the ladder from there. His career path was geared toward being a theology and Scripture professor."
To commemorate the textbook series that brought them together and formed their life's work, Dr. Pfeifer and Manternach had their wedding rings engraved with three words: "Life, Love, Joy."


(Zuccetto Spin to Dom Vincente.)

Of course, we pray for the repose of his soul. However, we also pray for those who did not learn their faith because of his and others' catechetical experimentation.

(As an aside, it is my opinion that anyone laicized or absolved from solemn or perpetual vows ought not to work for the Church in any capacity. Feel free to flame if you must.)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Hmmm, time to get out a telephone pole, a rope, and a cord of wood.


What's worse than a clown? A MIME! What is worse than 'lay preaching'? A MIME PREACHING! Heck, someone finally found something more appalling than liturgical dance. The culture of entertainment as worship hits a new low. (I have heard about this nonsense before: a brother priest (who has since left the priesthood) describing with breathless admiration how the priest uncle of another priest mimed one of his homilies. I used up all my minimal self-control to neither hurl nor laugh uncontrollably.) See the whole nauseating spectacle over at Catholic Church Conservation. (Zuccetto spin to Jesterius Magnus.)