Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hear Ye!


* * *
 Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Saint Eusebius, Bishop of Vercelli and Martyr

On this 3rd Monday of Advent we honor Saint Eusebius, Bishop of Vercelli, and given the title Martyr, not for having shed his blood, but for the great sufferings he had to endure for the a Divinity of Jesus, and this in the fourth century when the Catholic faith was violently attacked by the Arian heresy.

According to Dom Prosper Guéranger's The Liturgical Year:
"St. Eusebius' place is Advent; and divine Providence has thus chosen him as one of the patrons of the faithful during this mystic season. His powerful prayers will help us to come devoutly to Bethlehem, and see in the Child, that is lying there, the Eternal Word of God."
And, St. Eusebius was one of four bishops:
"...of whom it may be said that the defence of the  dogma of the Consubstantiality of the Son of God was what they lived for, and that to say anathema to them was to say anathema to Christ Himself; all four most powerful in word and work, lights of the Churches of the world, objects of people's love, and dauntless witnesses of Jesus."
What struck me most in reading Dom Guéranger's meditation on St. Eusebius was a prayer for this holy bishop's intercession, particularly for our bishops:
"Obtain for the bishops of our holy mother the Church such vigilance, that no false doctrines may surprise them, and such courage that no persecution may make them yield. May they be faithful imitators of the divine Pastor, who gives His life for His sheep; and may they ever feed the flock entrusted to them in the unity and charity of Jesus Christ."
Certainly a saint for our times. We must pray for our Holy Father Pope Francis, and for our cardinals and bishops.

God bless you!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

St. Mary's Academy & College

Celebrating 35 years of Catholic Education, St. Mary's Academy and College, schools of the Society of St. Pius X in St. Mary's, Kansas, provides a very beautiful video which gives a glimpse of what they are all about. Catholic Education as it is supposed to be:

UPDATE: Hmmm, I am unable to see the video on my iPad, so in case it is not working on your mobile device, here is a direct link to the video on YouTube. You can also view it at the St. Mary's Academy and College link above.

God bless you!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy New Year!

Grab the noisemakers! Break out the pots and pans! Let's watch the ball drop in Times Square! Happy New Y..... Wait. Not so fast....

The fridge is burgeoning with Thanksgiving leftovers, the biggest pre-Christmas shopping day of the year is in full swing, and I'm posting a "Happy New Year" to my readers?!

Well...... Yes!

This week our family is invited to a New Years Eve party scheduled for Saturday evening. But with December 31st still some 4-5 weeks away we will be welcoming another New Year, indeed, a more significant New Year than that which the world over will acknowledge as the calendar switches from 2013 to 2014.

Saturday, November 30, 2013, is New Years Eve for the Church! Last Sunday we celebrated the Last Sunday after Pentecost, and this Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent, "New Years Day"--liturgically speaking--for the Church. With that in mind, dear friends of ours are opening their home for a liturgical New Years Eve party.

We are definitely in for the celebration!

It likely won't be the raucous time the December 31 parties tend toward, and I don't anticipate any noisemakers at midnight; in fact, most of us will likely be back home with our kids in bed and asleep by then. But we will have a wonderful time as we consider and anticipate the Church New Year, beginning with our families gathering together for the Rosary, followed by, what else, lots of good eats! Pots of chili, hot dogs, drinks and snacks; good times spent with good friends.

And so, leaving those pots and pans in the cupboard for another few weeks we'll set our sights on Advent, and the coming of the Christ-Child, the beginning of the 2014 liturgical year.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!

.... and Happy New Year!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Archbishop Lefebvre - Movie Review

The Archbishop Lefevbre - A Bishop for the Church  movie which has been seen in venues throughout the country and around the world was shown yesterday in Portland, Oregon. Some members of my family were able to see it, and my brother Rory was kind enough to offer the following review:

I think we had a little over a hundred folks at our venue, almost half the parish.

It was good. The enthusiasm with which the DVDs were purchased shows that it was a success. Those with some background in the biographies and Mgr. Lefebvre's books need to remember that the purpose wasn't to replace the books, but to make Abp. Lefebvre come alive a little bit to a new generation of Traditionalists either entering adulthood, or having recently come to Tradition without a living memory of the situation twenty years ago and more.

I am always critical of dubbing. Thankfully they never dubbed Abp. Lefebvre. It just seems like you miss a lot when somebody is talking over the person. Yes, you get the correct translation, but you
miss other ways we communicate audibly that seem important as well. There was one short spot where Cardinal Ottaviani seemed animated and I really wanted the "overvoice" to quiet down. 

Anyway, that is really my only complaint. The theater was accommodating and really terrific. They greeted us immediately as we by-passed the ticket booth and showed us to the event, making a nice sign with the name of our church on it so that parishioners would see where to go. It was pretty neat to see above the door for our screen, "Archbishop Lefebvre" in lights.

If there were any guests in the audience I missed them. It all happened so quickly that we really didn't have opportunity to promote the event. Everyone seemed very satisfied and I have to include myself. The time went by quickly.

Its hard to say what our Novus Ordo friends and relatives will think. The subject matter is very close to our hearts and so to see a movie in a theater about it is pretty energizing. It seems like at bare minimum, a fair viewing would dispel some misconceptions about stubbornness. There are pictures and video of his time in Africa which demonstrate how the Archbishop allowed African culture to inform the native worship within a Traditional framework. It seemed quite progressive to me, in a way of which it seems no one could disapprove. I think the film shows that Mgr. Lefebvre was clearly unwilling to bend an article of faith. But his firm courage was gentle and thoughtful without the angry zeal that is the occasional scourge of Tradionalists.

There are more scheduled screenings of this film. Check the list of planned screenings here for upcoming dates and locations. The movie will also be available for all on DVD on December 1--just in time for Christmas!--and may be pre-ordered now at Angelus Press.

God bless you!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Question of High School

Pete over at the Et Cum Spiritu Tuo blog yesterday linked to an article by Dennis Prager of the National Review Online, who writes about young people who stray away from their father's values when they enter the liberal environment of so many colleges and universities. It is an interesting article, and I wholeheartedly agree with Pete when he says in his post that "we must prepare our children for this hostile world."

I believe the problem begins long before the child gets to the hostile-to-conservative-Catholic-values environment of college/university. IMHO, a properly formed Catholic young adult would not be so easily swayed away from his father's values. But there is the rub: in our day there is next to no proper traditional Catholic formation in the early years for our children.

We are considering high school options for our boys, but the options are so few! Where is the high school that will help to form strong, Catholic young men?!

The principal of the grade school they now attend recently sent home a quarter-end letter to parents reiterating the values upheld and instilled in the students at our little Catholic academy, at the root of which is saving each child's soul. Yes, this. Where is the high school whose goals are so clearly focused?

In looking at high school programs I was perusing a well-known Catholic home school high school curriculum. In their magazine they had an article about "Why...?" (...choose their HS program). Except for a brief statement about their curriculum being Catholic, the answers were mostly academic: Our graduates score high on the SAT! Our graduates are accepted at all the major universities! Our graduates achieve "success" out in the real world! Really? Is that all? Yes I want academic excellence, and of course I want to see achievement and success in our sons' pursuits beyond high school. But where is it said that the graduates will have been nurtured and formed solidly in their Catholic faith? Obviously such homeschool curriculum programs by their very nature cannot provide the hands-on opportunity to ensure such formation. And I realize, too, that no program or school can guarantee an individual will not go astray from his formation, but my goodness, let it be a stated goal, a purpose for their existence alongside the academics! How many vocations are coming out of the school/program? Shouldn't this be a measurable statistic for most Catholic institutions?! I think it would have been in some decades past.

Well, our boys weren't born in decades past, but I still want that solid Catholic formation for them! I don't want to bring my sons back to the basement homeschool classroom for their high school years where I would have the nearly-entire responsibility to form them in this way. If I must (if there is no alternative) then I will do it, and to the best of my ability. But it is not, in my opinion, the ideal. No, ideally our sons would be taught, trained and formed by priests in cassocks who have never ceased in their mission to pass on the Catholic Faith as it has always been to the next generation of young Catholics. Priests just like those who are caring for, teaching and forming the children at our grade school academy, Queen of the Holy Rosary, where academics are given their place within the Catholic faith but do not supersede it.

Certainly the institutions I describe and desire seem few, but they do exist. One such school is Notre Dame de LaSalette Boys Academy. Yes, it is a distance from home. Yes, it would mean boarding at the school. Yes, that would be most difficult in many ways. But as a dear lady I know who, with her husband, has sent several of her boys to LaSalette Academy says, "Sometimes you have to send them away in order to keep them." Indeed. She has it on experience that when her boys enter higher education they have not "left (their) father's values" because of the solid Catholic formation that preceded it. Deo Gratias!

As any Catholic parent, I do not want my boys to be among the statistics from which Mr. Prager draws his article. Even in this hostile-to-Catholic-faith world we live in, there are a few oases of solid formation out there for our children. Of course this would involve great sacrifice, but with an eternal perspective, the value is clear.

O God,come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me! .... as we discern Our Lord's direction.

God bless you!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

In Your Charity....

I would like to ask prayers for the repose of the soul of Mrs. Catherine Nienaber who just this morning was tragically killed in an automobile accident. She and her 7-year old son were on their way home from morning Mass at the SSPX USA-District Headquarters in Platte City, MO, when her minivan was struck head-on by a semi-truck that had crossed over into her lane. Her son was hospitalized with serious injuries, but has been stabilized.

Mrs. Nienaber was a traditional Catholic wife and mother of nine children. Among her children (ages 25 years down to 3 years) are SSPX seminarians and students in Society schools around the world. She was a daily Mass communicant; her son who was with her had just served Holy Mass.

Please, dear readers, in your charity, offer prayers for this dear woman's soul and for her grieving husband, children and loved ones left behind.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,
And let perpetual light shine upon her.
May her soul and all the souls
Of the faithful departed,
Through the mercy of God,
Rest in peace.

May God bless you abundantly.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Archbishop Lefebvre: A Documentary

The life story of this son of the Church who was an African Missionary in Gabon, Archbishop of Dakar, Apostolic Delegate for all French speaking Africa, Superior General of the Holy Ghost Fathers,  Member of the Preparatory Council for Vatican II, Founder of the Society of Saint Pius X. How did he come to find himself in the center of a storm which is still buffeting the Church to this day?  
This documentary retraces the life of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.  The film will be screened at RONNIES 20 in St. Louis on Sunday, October 27 at 1pm. For tickets, call 314-436-4544.

Screening dates and venues in other cities are listed here.
View the trailer here.

God bless you!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ember Days

With September come the Michaelmas Ember Days, the seasonal days of penance which were once obligatory, but are no longer so, in the Roman Catholic Church.

As Father so clearly stated in his homily last Sunday, keeping the fast and abstinence is not obligatory. Failing to keep the fast and abstinence is no sin. But! Should we keep the fast and abstinence? Absolutely! (unless there is a very good--i.e., health, etc.--reason not to.) 

Sacred Scripture gives us some pretty good incentives to deny ourselves once in a while:

In Luke chapter 13 Our Lord says twice, "No, I say to you: but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish."
Matthew 17:17-20: And Jesus rebuked him, and the devil went out of him, and the child was cured from that hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus secretly, and said: Why could not we cast him out? Jesus said to them: Because of your unbelief. For, amen I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain: Remove from hence hither, and it shall remove: and nothing shall be impossible to you. But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting.

Specifically, the Ember Days this week are today, Friday and Saturday. Wednesday and Saturday are days of fast and partial abstinence, Friday is fast and (complete) abstinence.

For further reading, Fish Eaters website gives some good information on the Ember Days, as well as guidelines for fasting and abstinence.

God bless you!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Apple Pickin' and Cannin'

The calendar says summer is quickly coming to an end! I welcome it as Fall is probably my favorite time of the year, with its sunny but crisp days, harvest time, and the smells that emanate from the kitchen this time of year.

Last Saturday we (my husband, myself, the boys and my mom) did a very fall-ish thing: we decided to pick some apples! So, we made a little trek over to Eckert's Farm in Illinois to do just that. We had never been there before, but now I'm quite sure this will turn out to be the first of many such trips.

It was a lovely Saturday in September, with temps in the 70s and perfect for doing just about anything outside. Eckert's is a beautiful, big farm with acres upon acres of fruit trees, pumpkin patches and I'm sure much more. There were a lot of people there, but everything runs so smoothly that we never felt like we were in a crowd.

When we got there we walked right by the Kettle Popcorn poppers (with promises to stop there on our way out) and other exhibits and proceeded to the wagons where they constantly loaded and unloaded apple-pickers. I in my scooter and the rest on foot, we boarded a John Deere farm tractor-pulled wagon. The folks at Eckert's are well-prepared for those with disabilities, and I simply drove my scooter up the removable ramps into the wagon. Piece o' cake. I love it when I almost blend into the crowd because of well-planned accessibility!

The tractor took us through the apple orchards to where the latest picking was being done. That day we could pick Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp and Jonathan apples, all at the fantastic price of $0.89/lb. Pick as much as you like, eat as many as you can, and catch a wagon back when you're ready to go back. Bags in hand, we set out.

The trees were smaller than I expected, but laden heavily with gorgeous apples.  I remember as a girl apple-picking on our farm meant climbing the trees or using a ladder to reach the fruit. Not so at Eckert's. The apples are easily picked in abundance without any climbing. It only took a half-hour or so for us to fill 7 bags. When we got in from the orchards our apples weighed in at 80 pounds!

After looking around a bit at their large store and picking up some canning supplies (and a big bag of freshly popped Kettle Korn!) we headed back home.

And so, with 80 pounds of apples, my mom and I had our work cut out for us. As I type this we are finishing up the last canner load of beautiful beige/pink applesauce. Two days of washing, quartering, boiling, straining, and hot water-bath processing yielded 23 quarts of applesauce and a large basket of shiny red apples to munch on.On tasting the applesauce we decided the Honey Crisp (red) apples resulted in a more flavorful--and pretty--applesauce than the Golden Delicious apples did, though it is good too. But next year we'll stick with the one variety.

I love doing things like this with my mom. We are a perfect team in the kitchen and we both enjoy immensely the satisfaction that comes with hearing the lids ping as they seal, and gazing at the canned jars on the counter of the clean kitchen. And, the house smells of apples, and fall.

Did we save money on our applesauce? Probably not this year. The apples were a great price, but I had to buy some canning supplies and jars. The fun we have doing it, though, the applesauce that is far tastier than the store-shelf variety, and the satisfaction gained from making your own, is worth the expense. And next year we'll have most of the supplies on hand already.

I can see us going back to Eckert's every year at apple-picking time. It's a great family outing that yields some tasty results. Just the right way to welcome Fall!

God bless you!

Friday, July 12, 2013


I have a beautiful flower garden this summer, thanks to my mom who spent several days in May weeding, planting and watering. She planted petunia plants in front with a row of my all-time favorite summer flower, the zinnia, by seed behind them.

Now in mid-July they are at the peak of their beauty, the zinnias standing tall, some at nearly four feet, in bright pinks, reds, yellows, oranges and purples. I'm still waiting for the candy-cane stripe to 
bloom as was pictured on one of my seed packets.

I post a lot of pictures of them on Facebook because Mom is now back home in Washington state and I want her to enjoy them as much as she can from so great a distance. While many friends "like" them, I'm sure by now some just pass over the photos, but one dear friend did not. She looked, and she responded with the following tribute to the flower I love so much. Thank you, Long Skirts, for lending your poetry to my posy!

The Zinnias
By Long Skirts

Zinnias grow
In dirty earth.

Crumbly, wormy
Soil of worth.

Not only zinnias,
Apple trees
And dirt dams up
Our open seas.

Earth's dirt keeps
Us firmly anchored
When even wars
Her surface cankered

But joyful souls
Who trust stay meek
From earth's dirt see...
The zinnias peak!

A couple of times a day I go out to look at my garden, sometimes just sitting out there and taking in the beauty of God's ornamentation. As the flowers reach for the warm, golden sun, there is constant activity all around them, mud-dobbers making practical use of of the irrigated dirt below, butterflies and bumblebees savoring the nectar above. The huge bumblebees are my favorite to watch as they travel lightly from bloom to bloom, their 'landing gear' fairly dangling from their graceful but busy bodies.

It seems like every season is my favorite as it arrives in its unique habit. But for today I'll take summer and its warm breeze and oft-too-hot temperatures, its flickering lightening bug and noisy cicada, and not least of all, its lovely, stately zinnia adorning my flower garden.

God bless you!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Life on the Farm

I didn't know how good I had it. I was born a dairy-farmer's daughter and lived that life until college days took me away. In all those years I never truly appreciated what I had, and to be honest, I didn't appreciate it very much more in the many single pre-marriage years I lived.  It's only been more recently that I have thought about it.

My boys are now almost-12 and 13. We live in a nice house in a nice subdivision with nice neighbors. We are very comfortable and for that I am grateful. But I can't help but wish at times that my boys had what I had growing up.

Our dairy farm was in the beautiful, west (and wet!) side of the state of Washington, and boasted 265 acres. It was a family farm, the kind which was not unusual to see in the '60s and '70s when I was growing up. Indeed there were several other family farms in the area whose fence rows we shared as their property butted up to ours. In our most productive years we milked 90-100 cows three times a day/night on our farm. Though the term wasn't yet coined, it was certainly a 24/7/365 operation. Every year we raised corn to fill two large silos and we filled our hay barn with the grass hay we harvested each summer for feed for the herd.

Besides the milking and crops there were the calves and heifers to care for, the breeding of the cows, the ever-present veterinarian needs, and countless other tasks that were part and parcel for running the farm. This my dad did daily along with his partner-brother and sister. But where there is a farm, and kids, there are certainly chores for those kids!

Over the years my three older brothers and I, along with our two cousins, had to help out on the farm. Driving cows from the pasture, feeding them, milking them, working in the hay, plowing fields, cleaning the milking parlor, these were some of the chores we had to do, or help do as we grew up. Of course I didn't do the heavier jobs like my brothers did, like bucking bales of hay, but I did a lot of yelling "Come boss!!", calling and driving in the cows to be milked, and early morning and afternoon weekend milkings were normal routine for all of us kids to help with.

I didn't enjoy those chores at the time. As a teenager I remember envying my school friends who lived in a subdivision and whose dads worked a "normal" 9-5. Sleeping in on Saturdays, never a worry about the weather, what a life! Not so on the farm: We need more rain for the corn! Oh no, too much rain has ruined the hay! A snowstorm and loss of power meant cows slipping on icy concrete and difficulty milking--my friends knew nothing of such concerns. And boy how lucky I thought they were.

But for all the work, and there was plenty of it, now I look back and remember those things that I experienced that were second nature to a farm kid, so many things that my boys will never know.

I always enjoyed watching cows birthing their calves, or the slaughtering (yes, slaughtering) of cows. If it was going to happen after school Dad would call up to the house and let me know. One time he called to let me know there was going to be a C-section on a cow! I rode my bike down to the barn lickety-split and  got to watch it from start to finish!

And there were the non-chore times with my brothers and cousins. Hide and seek in the hay, picking the best green apples from our Gravenstein apple trees, fishing down at the creek (pronounced "crick"!) that ran through our property, shooting BB guns, riding motorcycles. And we lived to tell about it all! Riding in the scoop of the tractor, Dad putting the scoop up as high as it would go (scared me to death!), riding in the corn wagon down the huge hill of our corn field as Dad chopped corn and blew it into the old wooden wagon. The smell of the whole area when Dad freshly fertilized the corn field with manure and the groans of the kids on the bus as we rounded our street for my bus-stop, "Eeeewww!!"

It was a good, healthy upbringing! And how I wish my boys could run in those fields, wear big farm boots so they could slop through the cow barns and not be grossed-out by a little cow poop, climb apple trees, build hay forts, choose their favorite from a dozen farm cats, bring home a prize rainbow trout for dinner, and shoot the most pop cans off the fence posts, all without leaving our property.

Life is so different today, with our small-ish backyard, the constant lure of another screen, and the concern that would stand in the way of letting the boys ride very far from the house alone on their bikes. I want my boys to be boys, and they are. But it takes more thought and creativity today to keep them occupied whether at chore-time or play-time, and it's a challenge, especially during the hot summer.

We can't go back to the farm, it's been gone for many years now. But I can reminisce about my childhood days, share those stories with my boys and hopefully impart to them an appreciation for what life was back then, even without screens at our fingertips. I can't help but picture them there; I think they'd have fit in real well.

God bless you!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Regina Cœli

To be said in lieu of The Angelus throughout Eastertide:

Queen of Heaven rejoice, alleluia: For He whom thou didat merit to bear, alleluia, Has risen as He said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia.

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.

R. Because the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray: O God, Who by the resurrection of Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, has vouchsafed to make glad the whole world, grant, we beseech Thee, that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may attain the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord. 

R. Amen.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Litany of Humility

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930),
Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius X

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Record--12.6" of Snow!

Hoping we'll see a bright red cardinal come to feed--I've heard them in the trees. I know they're there!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Let Us Pray for Our Holy Father Pope Francis

Prayer for the Sovereign Pontiff
V. Oremus pro Pontifice nostro N.
R. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius. (Ps 40:3)

Pater Noster, Ave Maria

Deus, omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum N., quem pastorem Ecclesiæ tuæ præesse voluisti, propitius respice: da ei, quæsumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus præest, proficere: ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Amen.
V. Let us pray for N, our Pope.
R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. (Ps 40:3)

Our Father, Hail Mary

O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant N, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Habemus Papam!

We have a Pope!

Deo Gratias

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Conclave Blog Links

"Conclave Bloggers" are no doubt in abundance as the media has swarmed to Rome to cover the papal election, but I thought I'd leave a couple of links here to blogs that I am following.

John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News, is in Rome updating at least daily on his Conclave Blog. Besides the news directly coming from the Cardinals, Mr. Vennari offers interesting video journaling of his time in Rome, pertinent articles written by himself or his colleagues, with a little humor thrown in too.

Another interesting site is The Remnant Online where that newspaper's editor, Mr. Michael Matt, also reports from Rome.

Finally, besides excellent articles, Rorate Cæli offers a most useful calendar with dates and times the actual voting will take place.

Here is the live feed of the ChimneyCam:

Most importantly though, as Father reminded the faithful last night at our chapel's votive Mass for the Election of a Pope, pray and do penance--as though in our own Conclave, the world shut out for a time--in these vital hours and days ahead.

From the traditional Collect in the votive Mass for the Election of a Pope:

O Lord, with suppliant humility, we entreat Thee, that in Thy boundless mercy Thou wouldst grant the most Holy Roman Church a pontiff, who by his zeal for us, may be pleasing to Thee, and by his good government may be ever honored by Thy people for the glory of Thy name. Through Our Lord Jesus Thy Son Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

V. Most Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

R. Pray for us who have recourse to thee!

St. Pius V, pray for us.

St. Pius X, pray for us.

Kyrie Eleison!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Laetare Sunday: Rejoice!

Laetare Sunday marked the mid-point of the Church's season of Lent. Vestments turned from penitential purple to joyous rose and the liturgy was filled with the theme of rejoicing. It was as though we the penitents were given a cool drink of water on our journey through the desert. Rejoice! Keep going! As Father admonished the faithful in his homily, if you have made a fruitful Lent thus far, rejoice and persevere, for you are ever closer to Easter! And if your Lent has not been as fruitful as you would hope, rejoice! You still have time and opportunity to set things right with penitential practices.

Even God's creation seems to be crying, rejoice! It is that time of year that the sun peeks out occasionally, giving a hint of the brightness and warmth of spring soon to come. But even when the clouds, the chill temperatures, the sometimes-still slushy showers would tell us we are yet mid-winter, the birds from their nests seem to shun purple and don rose as they are heard singing their own solemn Laetare hymn.

Certainly we must give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His mercy endureth forever... even amidst the long days of Lent!

In the spirit of the day St. Mary's Assumption held their Annual Laetare Dinner Theater last night, their 13th such event benefitting Queen of the Holy Rosary Academy. Mrs. Hilary Flanery directed the Queen's Players in "The Curious Savage", a comedy in two acts. And it was a wonderful evening.

Miss Jane Binsfeld was a delight in the lead role as Ethel Savage, the blue-haired matriarch and wealthy widow whose two grown children (played most convincingly by Mr. Steve Crouse and Miss Christine George) love her only for the money they hope to get from her. Mrs. Savage, though she is anything but crazy, is sent by her children to The Cloisters, a home for the mentally imbalanced, while the younger Savages hope to take possession of her fortune once she is institutionalized. The Cloisters introduces us to several endearing, if a tad out-of-touch, characters who collectively foil the money-seekers' plans, all the while keeping the audience in stitches with their individual (and oft-hilarious) foibles.  We were even surprised with an impromptu cameo role by Fr. Frank Kurtz whose own comic relief delighted the crowd while challenging the cast to remain in character.

Bravo, Queen's Players and Mrs. Flanery, and bravo too, to all those behind-the-scenes who worked tirelessly these past few months to bring us another wonderful production.

A delicious dinner, a superbly-acted play, and mingling and visiting among good friends old and new made for a most enjoyable way to spend our Laetare Sunday, and we look forward to many more annual Dinner Theaters to come.

And so, though the song birds will undoubtedly keep on singing their joyful songs, alas, it is still Lent. But we awake this morning, hopefully refueled to renew/continue/persevere in our promises and acts of penance as we consider and endure Our Lord's journey to His Cross.

As it was so aptly put in the Play program:

In a dear rout of loneliness
How life again sang sweet
When fasting arms knew banqueting
And avid eyes could feast;
And the long Lent of love was eased
For one Laetare Day.
But afterwards came Lent again:
Again the fasting way.

God bless you with a holy and fruitful Lent.... Easter draweth nigh!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

No School!!!

I love to watch our boys experience something exciting that I experienced as a kid, something that is just, well, rite of passage stuff. I can see them respond exactly as I, or their Dad, or nearly every other kid did, and it is such a delightful thing to see, and to remember back when it was my own experience.

One such instance: No School due to snow!!

Is there anything,  ANYthing, more exciting to a kid than getting the news that school is cancelled for the day? I dare say there is not, and this evening our boys got to feel that excitement, for the very first time. Yes, indeed, in anticipation of the coming winter storm that is to arrive tomorrow, their principal has called school off for the day, following the lead of the local school district.

The boys are ecstatic! Not only do they get the day off, but they get to stay up a bit later tonight since they won't have to get up early. And at 11 and 13, this is just the first time for them. As most readers will know, prior to this school year we only homeschooled our boys, so when it snowed there was no checking for school closures. I, their teacher, would sometimes shorten their day, or even give them the day off to play in the snow, but that still didn't compare to a school cancellation where they don't have to get up, put on a uniform and GO out to school.

We are so happy with our boys' school, Queen of the Holy Rosary Academy, on so many levels. That topic is an entire blog post, and I need to write it one of these days. But just today, as we all wait in gleeful anticipation of the winter weather that would close our school, and especially as former homeschoolers, I am thankful that I can watch our boys enjoying another rite of passage that they wouldn't have known were we still homeschooling, one that their mom and dad so well remember enjoying too:

NO SCHOOL, due to snow!

(I might just have to make a few--it is Lent, of course--cookies tomorrow....)

God bless you!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Archbishop for Portland, OR

Good news this morning for Catholics in my hometown, Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Alexander K. Sample Metropolitan Archbishop of Portland, Oregon. According to the Badger Catholic blog, Archbishop Sample is "very much in the mold of Cardinal Burke."

Prayers for Archbishop-Designate Sample and the Portland Archdiocese!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Mother's Vocation

"My dear," said her husband, the cob, one afternoon, "do you never find your duties onerous or irksome? Do you never tire of sitting in one place and in one position, covering the eggs, with no diversions, no pleasures, no escapades, or capers? Do you never suffer from boredom?"
"No," replied his wife. "Not really."
"Isn't it uncomfortable to sit on eggs?"
"Yes, it is," replied the wife. "But I can put up with a certain amount of discomfort for the sake of bringing young swans into the world." 

~ E.B White, The Trumpet of the Swan

Date Change: Apb. Lefevbre Documentary

Due to post production technical issues, it has become necessary to delay the release of the Archbishop Lefebvre documentary.  Look for a new release date in late March or early April.  

Updates will be posted here as soon as information is released.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sunday, February 24 at 1:00pm

The life story of this son of the Church who was an African Missionary in Gabon, Archbishop of Dakar, Apostolic Delegate for all French speaking Africa, Superior General of the Holy Ghost Fathers,  Member of the Preparatory Council for Vatican II, Founder of the Society of Saint Pius X. How did he come to find himself in the center of a storm which is still buffeting the Church to this day?  
This documentary retraces the life of Archbishop Marcel Levebvre.  The film will be screened at RONNIES 20 in St. Louis on Sunday February 24 at 1pm and in Kansas City the previous day, Saturday, February 23 at 3pm at CINEMARK Palace on the Plaza.