December 2012

Earlier this month say the passing of jurist and scholar Robert Bork, who converted to the Faith fairly late in life. Like many other intellectual coverts, he “thought” his way into the Church, and he claimed one of his main foods for that was Msgr. Ronald Knox’s 1926 classic The Belief of Catholics. EWTN reproduces the book in its entirety on its website, and in the second chapter, “The Shop Window,” Msgr. Knox writes of the allure of mystery:

But there is something else underlying the pomp of our ceremonial which makes, I think, a more powerful impression, though one far more difficult to analyse. I mean the sense of mystery. The effect of long distances, of tapers flickering in the heart of an altar far away, of slow silences interrupted by sudden bursts of sound, of voices coming from unseen quarters, of doors opening unexpectedly, of figures moving to and fro over a business unintelligible to the spectator, of long chants in a language which he does not hear, or does not understand, of tingling bells, and incense-smoke caught in the shifting lights of a high-windowed building–the effect, I say, of all this upon the visitor who has no opportunity and no wish to “follow the service” is to breed an atmosphere of solemn mystery which works, not upon his senses, but upon his imagination. In this respect, Catholic ceremonial does not lend itself so readily to imitation. The intrusion of English, or any other intelligible tongue, breaks the spell of mystery with its too familiar cadences. And yet you will meet with elements of all this in some of the old cathedrals; you will meet it in King’s Chapel, at Cambridge, if you stand outside the screen and listen to the chanting on the farther side of it. Conversely, in a small and ill-built Catholic church you will miss the illusion.

For those of you attuned to the activities of Cincinnati’s Xavier University and its Bellarmine Chapel, outgoing pastor Richard Bollman, S.J., announces that his successor is Fr. Dan Hartnett, S.J., most recently “on loan” to the Archdiocese of Chicago. A quick Google search reveals that his stock-in-trade is social justice and community organizing. Which means you should expect, among other things, Ken Overberg’s regnocentric, historico-critical, partisan twaddle to continue unabated.

Finally a “seamless garment” rational that makes sense

What a great idea, a Catholic Community” within the secular world, this is an idea that is “seamless”, a true shelter in the storm for youth far from home and needing an anchor, a base, guardrails if you will. Now if the Priests leading the Newman Centers are orthodox, katy bar the doors

Work begins on dorms for Catholic students at two secular universities

  • The planned Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Student Residence at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla., is shown in an artist rendering. The Newman Student Housing Fund is providing the financial assistance needed for the new dormitory, which will house 140 students starting in the fall. (CNS illustration/courtesy Newman Student Housing Fund, LLC)

“We were going to build the Newman Center, but to add the housing — made possible through the Newman Student Housing Fund — it became the seamless garment approach for these young people,” the bishop told CNS. “It’s giving them the opportunity to develop the whole person, not only intellectual, but spiritual development as well. They’re in an environment to support their faith, that protects and nourishes their faith all along.”

With completion expected in August, the building will house 287 students. A 300-seat chapel and a Newman Center also will be built once the students move in.”


I find Bill the bomber Ayers a disgrace to humanity, but that is not the reason for this post, my gripe is why is he pictured with a “priest” please tell me this is not a “Catholic” priest. Anyone know who this is, the legacy of Card Bernardin  is still biting us in the you know what


After gathering at  the family schloss, we opened our gifts Christmas eve, we  proceeded to 10:30 Mass and welcomed the birth of our Savior. Starting with a wonderful choir performance, alas in the sanctuary with piano, but beautiful none the less, Mass reverently said, and greetings exchanged after mass. then to bed and milking at 5:30 am. Now on to Mother in laws home for brunch and gifting.

She is having a very hard time with the death of her husband, hopefully we can lift her spirits some today. You know after death is a poor time to have regrets about how you treated your spouse, and the idea of keeping his ashes in her bedroom bothers me, seems to me it delays closure and recovery. The doctors call it broken heart syndrome, she is not taking care of herself and is worrying her children. Family life ain’t it grand????

Then back home to milk at 5:00, dairy farming, helps keep you grounded

Merry Christmas


The German Egyptian and Family

In this morning’s Cincinnati Enquirer, a local physician joyously shares her reversion to the Faith three years ago and urges other fallen-away Catholics to accept Archbishop Schnurr’s invitation to “come home” this Christmas:

I grew up in the post-Vatican II church. Ask any 30- to 50-year-old and they’ll tell you that our religious education, while focused very much on Jesus’ gospel of love, was lacking in explanation of the Church’s teachings. Without such understanding, we were easy prey for the emerging ideas of secular humanism.

So, in college, I became what many call a “Cafeteria Catholic,” or one who picks and chooses which Church teachings she would like to follow. I went to Mass when it was convenient and to confession once in 15 years.

I was successful in college, went to medical school, got married to a Catholic man and began a career as a physician. But my soul became a rotting corpse as I abandoned my faith. I eventually became overwhelmed by anxiety, depression and utter meanness. My marriage and family were crumbling.

And then, three years ago, in the middle of one of the worst nights of work I’d ever had, God sent me an elderly man with dementia to wake me up and start me on my journey home.

My journey, exactly three years ago this Advent, started with the sacrament of reconciliation (confession). What many see as an outdated and unnecessary Catholic practice is exactly what opened the door of my heart and mind to understanding the joy and beauty of my faith.

It was at once both frightening and completely liberating.

I have learned much in three years. In a time when everything changes daily, I am comforted by the fact that my Catholic Church has the courage to stand firm in its beliefs, not succumbing to pressures to conform to societal norms. I know what happened to me when I succumbed – I crumbled. There are many who are waiting eagerly for that to happen to the Church.

When things change as fast as they do in our world, it causes insecurity, anxiety, despair. You never know where you stand. Just look around at our kids and you see it. What I now understand is that, with the laws of the Church, which are based on scripture and designed to protect the dignity given to every human person by God, I always know where I stand.

Stability – how we desperately need it! And for Catholics, the one place to get it is Mass. If indeed the Mass is a “museum piece” as Mr. Sauerbrey states, then it is one of immeasurable value. The sacraments are great treasures in that museum. But just like a museum, if you don’t go, you never discover what is in it.

The column, by Dr. Elissa Whittenburg, was prompted by a shameful letter written late last month by Mr. Bob Sauerbrey. A man who goes by that name is a former teacher at LaSalle high school (they’ve created a scholarship in his honor) and in 2006 was presented with the “Xavier University Theology Alumni Award.”

The Catholics Come Home commercials began to air on local TV earlier this month. Has anyone seen them? overheard people talk about them? observed some of their fruits in your parishes? I don’t watch a lot of local TV and so have missed them.

In between tonight’s rib roast and tomorrow’s Turkey Milanese, I’m hoping to read with the kids. First up will be Fiona French’s Bethlehem, a beautifully illustrated setting for Luke’s infancy narrative that’s become a Christmas Eve tradition. Next will likely be article 3 of the creed in the St. Pius X Catechism, an overlooked gem praised by Pope Benedict and still used by Italian Catholic families. Here’s the text:

The Third Article of the Creed

1 Q. What is taught in the Third Article: Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary?
A. The Third Article of the Creed teaches that by the operation of the Holy Ghost the Son of God took a body and soul like ours, in the chaste womb of the Virgin Mary, and that He was born of that Virgin.

2 Q. Did the Father and the Son also take part in forming the body and creating the soul of Jesus Christ?
A. Yes, the whole Three divine Persons co-operated in forming the body and in creating the soul of Jesus Christ.

3 Q. Why then is it simply said: He was conceived by the Holy Ghost?
A. It is simply said: He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, because the Incarnation of the Son of God is a work of goodness and love, and the works of goodness and love are attributed to the Holy Ghost.

4 Q. In becoming man did the Son of God cease to be God?
A. No, the Son of God became man without ceasing to be God.

5 Q. Jesus Christ, then, is God and man at the same time?
A. Yes, the incarnate Son of God, that is, Jesus Christ, is both God and man, perfect God and perfect man.

6 Q. Are there, then, two natures in Jesus Christ?
A. Yes, in Jesus Christ, who is both God and man, there are two natures, the divine and the human.

7 Q. In Jesus Christ are there also two Persons, the divine and the human?
A. No, in the Son of God made man there is only one Person, namely, the divine.

8 Q. How many wills are there in Jesus Christ?
A. In Jesus Christ there are two wills, the one divine, the other human.

9 Q. Did Jesus Christ possess free will?
A. Yes, Jesus Christ possessed free will, but He could not do evil, since to be able to do evil is a defect, and not a perfection, of liberty.

10 Q. Are the Son of God and the Son of Mary one and the same Person?
A. Yes, the Son of God and the Son of Mary are one and the same Person, that is, Jesus Christ, true God and true man.

11 Q. Is the Blessed Virgin the Mother of God?
A. Yes, the Blessed Virgin is the Mother of God, because she is the Mother of Jesus Christ, who is true God.

12 Q. How did Mary become the Mother of Jesus Christ?
A. Mary became the Mother of Jesus Christ solely through the operation and power of the Holy Ghost.

13 Q. Is it of faith that Mary was always a Virgin?
A. Yes, it is of faith that the most holy Mary was always a Virgin, and she is called the Virgin of virgins.

Merry Christmas to all.

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