Open to me the portals of repentence, O Christ our God.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pope Benedict-UberPapst

Sometime early in the year, the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" plans to issue a document clarifying questions that have arisen regarding the pope's 2007 document relaxing restrictions on use of the Tridentine Mass. Sources said the pope personally is interested in removing ambiguities, and will sign off on the new document.

Thanks to Mr. Ed Snyder for this news.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Story of Michael

The Story of Michael


What follows is a copy of a letter that was written by a young Marine to his mother while he was hospitalized after being wounded on a Korean battlefield in 1950. The letter came into the hands of a Navy Chaplin, who read the letter before 5,000 Marines at a San Diego Naval Base in 1951.

The Navy Chaplin had talked to the boy, to the boy’s mother and to the Sergeant in change of the patrol. This Navy Chaplin, Father Walter Muldy, would always assure anyone who asked that this is a true story.

This letter had been read once a year in the 1960’s over a Midwestern radio station at Christmas time. We present the letter and let it stand on its own merits.

Dear Mom,

I wouldn’t dare write this letter to anyone but you because no one else would believe it. Maybe even you will find it hard but I have got to tell somebody.

First off, I am in a hospital. Now don’t worry, you hear me don’t worry. I was wounded but I am okay you understand. Okay. The doctor says that I will be up and around in a month.

But that it is not what I want to tell you.

Remember when I joined the Marines last year; remember when I left, how you told me to say a prayer to St. Michael every day. You really didn’t have to tell me that. Ever since I can remember you always told me to pray to St. Michael the Archangel. You even named me after him. Well I always have.

When I got to Korea, I prayed even harder.

Remember the prayer that you taught me?

Michael, Michael of the morning fresh corp of Heaven adorning, you know the rest of it. Well I said it everyday. Sometimes when I was marching or sometimes resting. But always before I went to sleep. I even got some of the other fellas to say it.

Well, one day I was with an advance detail way up over the front lines. We were scouting for the Commies. I was plodding along in the bitter cold, my breath was like cigar smoke.

I thought I knew every guy in the patrol, when along side me comes another Marine I’d never met before. He was bigger than any other Marine I’d ever seen. He must have been 6’4” and built in proportion. It gave me a feeling of security to have such a body near.

Anyway, there we were trudging along. The rest of the patrol spread out. Just to start a conversation I said, “Cold, ain’t it.” And then I laughed. Here I was with a good chance of getting killed any minute and I am talking about the weather.

My companion seemed to understand. I heard him laugh softly.

I looked at him, “I have never seen you before, I thought I knew every man in the outfit.”

“I just joined at the last minute”, he replied. “The name is Michael.”

“Is that so,” I said surprised. “That is my name too.”

“I know,” he said, then went on, “Michael, Michael of the morning…”

I was too amazed to say anything for a minute. How did he know my name, and a prayer that you had taught me? Then I smiled to myself, every guy in the outfit knew about me. Hadn’t I taught the prayer to anybody who would listen? Why now and then, they even referred to me as St. Michael.

Neither of us spoke for a time and then he broke the silence. “We are going to have some trouble up ahead.”

He must have been in fine physical shape or he was breathing so lightly I couldn’t see his breath. Mine poured out in great clouds. There was no smile on his face now. Trouble ahead, I thought to myself, well with the Commies all around us, that is no great revelation.

Snow began to fall in great thick globs. In a brief moment the whole countryside was blotted out. And I was marching in a white fog of wet sticky particles. My companion disappeared.

"Michael," I shouted in sudden alarm.

I felt his hand on my arm, his voice was rich and strong, "This will stop shortly."

His prophecy proved to be correct. In a few minutes the snow stopped as abruptly as it had begun. The sun was a hard shining disc.

I looked back for the rest of the patrol, there was no one in sight. We lost them in that heavy fall of snow. I looked ahead as we came over a little rise.

Mom, my heart stopped. There were seven of them. Seven Commies in their padded pants and jackets and their funny hats. Only there wasn't anything funny about them now. Seven rifles were aimed at us.

"Down Michael," I screamed and hit the frozen earth.

I heard those rifles fire almost as one. I heard the bullets. There was Michael still standing.

Mom, those guys couldn't have missed, not at that range. I expected to see him literally blown to bits.

But there he stood, making no effort to fire himself. He was paralyzed with fear. It happens sometimes, Mom, even to the bravest. He was like a bird fascinated by a snake.

At least, that was what I thought then. I jumped up to pull him down and that was when I got mine. I felt a sudden flame in my chest. I often wondered what it felt like to be hit, now I know.

I remember feeling strong arms about me, arms that laid me ever so gently on a pillow of snow. I opened my eyes, for one last look. I was dying. Maybe I was even dead, I remember thinking well, this is not so bad.

Maybe I was looking into the sun. Maybe I was in shock. But it seemed I saw Michael standing erect again only this time his face was shining with a terrible splendor.

As I say, maybe it was the sun in my eyes, but he seemed to change as I watched him. He grew bigger, his arms stretched out wide, maybe it was the snow falling again, but there was a brightness around him like the wings of an Angel. In his hand was a sword. A sword that flashed with a million lights.

Well, that is the last thing I remember until the rest of the fellas came up and found me. I do not know how much time had passed. Now and then I had but a moment's rest from the pain and fever. I remember telling them of the enemy just ahead.

"Where is Michael," I asked.

I saw them look at one another. "Where's who?" asked one. "Michael, Michael that big Marine I was walking with just before the snow squall hit us."

"Kid," said the sergeant, "You weren't walking with anyone. I had my eyes on you the whole time. You were getting too far out. I was just going to call you in when you disappeared in the snow."

He looked at me, curiously. "How did you do it kid?"

"How'd I do what?" I asked half angry despite my wound. "This marine named Michael and I were just . . ."

"Son, " said the sergeant kindly, "I picked this outfit myself and there just ain't another Michael in it. You are the only Mike in it."

He paused for a minute, "Just how did you do it kid? We heard shots. There hasn't been a shot fired from your rifle. And there isn't a bit of lead in them seven bodies over the hill there."

I didn't say anything, what could I say. I could only look open-mouthed with amazement. It was then the sergeant spoke again, "Kid," he said gently, "everyone of those seven Commies was killed by a sword stroke."

That is all I can tell you Mom. As I say, it may have been the sun in my eyes, it may have been the cold or the pain. But that is what happened.

Love, Michael

October 1998 issue of The Catholic Family news.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sober Statement for Priests-St. Norbert of Xanten

“O Priest, who are you?
You are not yourself because you are God.
You are not of yourself because you are the servant and minister of Christ. You are not your own because you are the spouse of the Church.
You are not yourself because you are the mediator between God and man. You are not from yourself because you are nothing.
What then are you?
Nothing and everything.
O Priest! Take care lest what was said to Christ on the cross be said to you:
‘He saved others, himself he cannot save!’”

-St. Norbert, Founder of the Canons Regular of Premontre


Monday, December 17, 2007

FI News - Liturgical Changes at Griswold, Deo Gratias

The last few months, at the North American Mother House for the Franciscans of the Immaculate in Griswold, CT have been marked with great excitement, ever since the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross when the extra ordinary form of the Mass (Traditional Latin Mass or TLM) was celebrated with great solemnity by Fr. Peter Fehlner, who, following the Mass in the sacristy turned to the Acolytes and commented joyfully “that is the Mass that St. Peter celebrated”. The following day Fr. Angelo Geiger celebrated a beautiful low Mass and the momentum and zeal for the TLM has been growing rapidly ever since.

With the visitation of our Most Reverend Father Founder and Minister General, Fr. Stefano Manelli, came the news that he desired the novices to be proficient in serving the TLM as soon as possible. Of course, this news was received with great enthusiasm on the part of the novices who were given a few days a week to learn the detailed rubrics of serving it. Currently, the Griswold friary offers the TLM periodically, but with ever increasing frequency especially on Wednesdays for the 5:30 St. Joseph Mass, and for the evening Masses on feast days in honor of Our Lady. Diligently, the friars are preparing to celebrate a Missa Cantata (a Sung High Mass without Deacon and Sub-Deacon) with great solemnity for Christmas Eve Mass. To ensure that the Mass is offered with the greatest dignity and reverence as it has been passed down to us by Holy Mother Church, a careful study and preparation has been undertaken to learn the detailed but beautiful rubrics for the varying degrees of solemnity for which the Mass can be offered. Thankfully, we have had wonderful resources at our disposal and owe special thanks to the Society of St. John Cantius through their web site Sancta Missa, as well as receiving hands-on guidance from The Saint Gregory Society in New Haven, CT which is dedicated to preserving the TLM and has been doing so for over 20 years.

All this excitement about the liturgy has spilled over to the ordinary form of the Mass (Novus Ordo) inspiring our Father Guardian, Fr. Ignatius to announce that all Masses at the friary will be celebrated Ad Orientem (when the priest faces east, with the people, toward Our Lord in the tabernacle). There has also been an increasing number of Novus Ordo Masses offered in Latin, including our Sunday liturgy. Currently, the friars are working towards developing a schola choir to sing the Gregorian Mass parts for the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Mass. Also we are implementing the long planned switch to Latin for our community prayers at the Griswold friary, such as meal prayers, visitation to the Blessed Sacrament, and a daily Rosary.

For all this excitement we sincerely say Deo Gracias, Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, and

Praised be Jesus and Mary, now and forever

Ave Maria!


Miracle Of Prayer In Boston?

From Peter Cooper, Holy Trinity Church:

This morning Fr. Connolly announced (to the throngs in attendance at the 10o'clock Mass) that after his consultations with His Eminence, he (Fr. Connolly)has decided that the Tridentine Latin Mass will again be celebrated weekly at Holy Trinity. He mentioned that it remains for us to work out a schedule ofclergy to enable us to have the priests necessary to ensure proper coverage.There also will be careful consideration as to the time the Mass will be celebrated. The possibility of having the Latin Mass take place before theNovus Ordo one is under active consideration.
Peter CooperHoly Trinity Business Manager



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

For Advent Reflection: Saint Alphonsus Liguori's Maxims To Attain Perfection

Found @

For Advent Reflection: Saint Alphonsus Liguori's Maxims To Attain Perfection
1. To desire ardently to increase in the love of Jesus Christ.

2. Often to make acts of love towards Jesus Christ. Immediately on waking, and before going to sleep, to make an act of love, seeking always to unite your own will to the will of Jesus Christ.

3. Often to meditate on his Passion.

4. Always to ask Jesus Christ for his love.

5. To communicate often, and many times in the day to make spiritual Communions.

6. Often to visit the Most Holy Sacrament.

7. Every morning to receive from the hands of Jesus Christ himself your own cross.

8. To desire Paradise and death, in order to be able to love Jesus Christ perfectly and for all eternity.

9. Often to speak of the love of Jesus Christ.

10. To accept contradictions for the sake of Jesus Christ.

11. To rejoice in the happiness of God.

12. To do that which is most pleasing to Jesus Christ, and not to refuse him anything that is agreeable to him.

13. To desire and to endeavor that all should love Jesus Christ.

14. To pray always for sinners and for the souls in purgatory.

15. To drive from your heart every affection that does not belong to Jesus Christ.

16. Always to have recourse to the most holy Mary, that she may obtain for us the love of Jesus Christ.

17. To honor Mary in order to please Jesus Christ.

18. To seek to please Jesus Christ in all your actions,

19. To offer yourself to Jesus Christ to suffer any pain for his love.

20 To be always determined to die rather than commit a willful venial sin.

21. To suffer crosses patiently, saying, "Thus it pleases Jesus Christ."

22. To renounce your own pleasures for the love of Jesus Christ.

23. To pray as much as possible.

24. To practice all the mortifications that obedience permits.

25. To do all your spiritual exercises as if it were for the last time.

26. To persevere in good works in the time of aridity.

27. Not to do nor yet to leave undone anything through human respect.

28. Not to complain in sickness.

29. To love solitude, to be able to converse alone with Jesus Christ.

30. To drive away melancholy [i.e. gloom].

31. Often to recommend yourself to those persons who love Jesus Christ.

2. In temptation, to have recourse to Jesus crucified, and to Mary in her sorrows.

33. To trust entirely in the Passion of Jesus Christ.

34. After committing a fault, not to be discouraged, but to repent and resolve to amend.

5. To do good to those who do evil.

36. To speak well of all, and to excuse the intention when you cannot defend the action.

37. To help your neighbor as much as you can.

38. Neither to say nor to do anything that might vex him. And if you have been wanting in charity, to ask his pardon and speak kindly to him.

39. Always to speak with mildness and in a low tone.

40. To offer to Jesus Christ all the contempt and persecution that you meet with.

41. To look upon [religious] Superiors as the representatives of Jesus Christ.

42. To obey without answering and without repugnance, and not to seek your own satisfaction in anything.

43. To like the lowest employment.

44. To like the poorest things.

45. Not to speak either good or evil of yourself.

46. To humble yourself even towards inferiors.

47. Not to excuse yourself when you are reproved.

48. Not to defend yourself when found fault with.

49. To be silent when you are disquieted [i.e. upset].

50. Always to renew your determination of becoming a saint, saying, "My Jesus, I desire to be all Yours, and You must be all mine.

"From St. Alphonsus de Liguori, The Incarnation Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ, Rev Eugene Grimm Trans., Redemptorist Fathers, Brooklyn, Publishers (1927) pp. 437-439


Video - Standing Fast - Fr Angelo Geiger: Our Lady and the Mass


Saturday, December 8, 2007

St. Padre Pio, Ecumenism the "RITE" Way

Padre Pio Credited With Parish's Conversion
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2007 - 01:08 PMBy Nieves San MartínPESCEANA, Romania, NOV. 28, 2007 (

- The 71-year-old mother of a former Orthodox priest says she was cured of lung cancer through the intercession of Padre Pio. After the apparent miracle, the priest explained, he and his mother, and members of his parish, have become Catholics.Lucrecia Tudor was born into the Romanian Orthodox Church and her son, Victor, followed a vocation to the priesthood. In 2002, he was working in Pesceana, close to Valcea, in south central Romania. Another son, Mariano, dedicated himself to painting, especially iconography, and lives and works in Rome.The story of the family, and the church they are building dedicated to Saint Pio de Pietrelcina, was related to ZENIT by Italian journalist, Renzo Allegri.Lucrecia was diagnosed with a tumor in her left lung more than five years ago. Romanian doctors told her surgery was impossible and she had few months to live. Lucrecia and Father Victor turned to Mariano for help, hoping that a doctor in Rome could be found to give a better prognosis.Mariano contacted a well-known surgeon, who invited the young painter to bring his mother to Rome, where he would try to save her.After reviewing the reports from his Romanian colleagues, the doctor examined Lucrecia with more detail, only to arrive at the same conclusion: An operation was useless. He could only offer medications to ease the sharp pain, which, he predicted would increase in the terminal phase.Mariano kept his mother with himself in Rome so as to be near the doctor for checkups.

He was working on a mosaic in a church and, as his mother does not speak Italian, he kept her close by. While he was working, his mother walked through the church, contemplating the paintings and statues.In one corner, there was a large statue of Padre Pio. Lucrecia liked the statue and asked Mariano who it depicted. Mariano related briefly the story of the saint. In the coming days, he saw his mother spending all her time seated before the image, with which she chatted as if it were alive.Two weeks later, Mariano took his mother to the hospital for her checkup. The doctor said the tumor had disappeared.Lucrecia had asked Padre Pio to help her, even though she was Orthodox, and, she said, the saint had granted her request."The great cure of my mother, accomplished through Padre Pio in favor of an Orthodox woman, impressed me much," Father Victor said. "I began to read the life of the Italian saint. I told my parishioners what had happened. They all knew my mother and everyone knew we had gone to Italy in order to try a surgical intervention, and that she had returned home cured, without any doctor having operated."In my parish, they began to know and love Padre Pio. We read everything we found about him. His holiness won us over. Meanwhile, in my parish other sick people also received extraordinary graces from Padre Pio.

Among my people, there spread a great enthusiasm and, little by little, we decided to become Catholics, in order to be closer to Padre."The step from the Orthodox to the Catholic Church required a slow process. And there were difficulties of every kind, Allegri explained in relating the story. But the parishioners continued in the process and even decided to build a church to dedicate it to Padre Pio."The funds are the result of the savings of this poor people, and of the help of some German Catholics who heard our story," Father Victor said. "And my parishioners are those who are bringing forward the work, working for free, naturally. [.] After a few days, we celebrated solemnly the placing of the first stone. And it was a big party, because the Metropolitan Archbishop of Fagaras and Alba Julia of the Romanians, meaning, the highest authority of the Greek Catholic Church in Romania, came to celebrate [.] To conclude this ceremony, the metropolitan wished to meet my mother, cured through a miracle of Padre Pio, and posed with her for a photo."