When the Men’s Group for your territorial parish openly advertises the following motto in the bulletin, you have a parish with a serious evangelization problem:

Intended to be social only – no philanthropic, religious, fraternal goals or objectives – simply an opportunity to meet other men in the parish.

For today’s feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, Fr. Dwight Longenecker posts about a “theology of church architecture.” This bit got my attention:

Part of this pattern is the fact that the floor plan is linear–not round. Linear indicates a Christian theology of life. We are on a journey from A to Z from Alpha to Omega, from Baptism to Heaven. Round worship spaces are pagan and reflect a pagan belief in endless cycles of being etc etc.

In the 80s and 90s, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati couldn’t build saucer- or fan-shaped churches fast enough.

And disgraced former bishop Matthew Clark of Rochester did his best to “round-out” the cathedral by placing his butcher’s-block altar in the middle of the church.

Plummeting membership numbers have obviated both tendencies.

Read the rest of Fr. Longenecker’s post here.

“If you perform just one truly generous act for someone else your salvation is assured.”
— weekend celebrant at St. Mary of Hyde Park

It’s always great when you have a full-stop teaching moment during the homily at your territorial parish.

From the top …







There’s a priest downtown who makes a habit out of extravagantly extending his hands at Mass. So high does he reach them that you fear he might spin into a pirouette. Fr. Edward McNamara, the house liturgist for Zenit, takes up the question of what’s appropriate.

Here’s a snippet:

The extraordinary form is much more specific. As one popular ceremonies book describes the gesture at the collect: “While [the priest] says ‘oremus’ he extends the hands and joins them again, and he bows his head to the missal. Then he reads the collect, holding the hands uplifted — but not exceeding the height or width of the shoulders — and extended, the fingers held close together and bowing towards the missal should the name of the saint in whose honor the Mass is celebrated occur. When he says ‘Per Dominum nostrum’ etc., he joins his hands.”

While a priest celebrating the ordinary form may not be strictly bound to these exact norms, I would say that they do provide a good rule of thumb as to what the Church understands when it asks priests to pray with hands extended. These rules were not invented by some obscure 16th-century curial official but are rather the codification of an already existing custom that had developed over several centuries.

A priest could follow the above rule. However, since the post-conciliar liturgy deliberately left out a strict specification of the gesture, it is also legitimate to extend the hands a little further if he considers it appropriate. For example, some modern vestments tend to require a somewhat more ample gesture than the traditional Roman chasuble. The above rule, however, does caution against exaggerated gestures that tend to draw attention toward the celebrant himself and not the prayer he is reciting.

Cincinnati’s Bellarmine Chapel, a local shrine on the campus of Xavier University dedicated to pelvic dissent, fanciful exegesis, 70’s-style liturgical abuses, and, foremost, denying the salvific action of Christ on the cross, posts last Sunday’s musings from Ken Overberg, S.J., wherein he undermines Christ’s teachings on divorce — just in time for the Synod on the Family.

Here’s the money ‘graf:

Finally, the gospel presents Jesus’ teaching on divorce, as modified by the evangelist. Mark adapts to the Gentile world Jesus’ conviction, adding the part about a woman divorcing her husband. Jesus would not have said that, because Jewish women could not divorce Jewish men. In our context today, we are keenly aware of the seriousness of divorce. We search for ways to be faithful to Jesus’ vision and to be compassionate and wise in our own real world. Indeed, beginning today in Rome is the Synod on the Family that will address these very issues.

He goes on to take note of Respect Life Sunday by sneering at the pro-life movement.

Early in his episcopate, Cincinnati archbishop Dennis Schnurr confronted Xavier University president Michael Graham, S.J., about the many troubling things taking place on campus, even going so far as to issue an ultimatum. It’s fairly obvious at this point who won that standoff.

The good folks at the Catholic Education Resource Center post a 2013 video about Rome’s St. Paul Outside the Walls, one of the four Patriarchal/Major Basilicas, with commentary from Church historian Elizabeth Lev.  One of the highlights of my 2014 trip to Rome with my oldest son, Benedict, was visiting these basilicas.  If memory serves, we hit St. Paul’s late in the day Sunday for Mass and confession.  I remember Ben wanting to take advantage of an indulgence.  We’ll visit them again next fall (’16) when we take the whole family.


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