Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Joy of Assisi – Part 5

Two thousand years ago, the Romans excavated the side of a large hill in what is now, Umbria. They built a temple to Minerva halfway up the side of the mountain that gleamed in the sunlight and could be seen from across the entire valley.  As time passed, the temple became the center of a small town and eventually was incorporated into the community and transformed into a church.


Thousands of years after the temple stood alone on the side of the hill, it remains the center of Assisi. As I sat on the worn, marble steps and put my hand on a marble column, I thought of St Francis playing here as a young boy. There was a time when he played on these ancient steps with no knowledge of the path that God had set in front of him. Now, I was blessed to share that space and realize how little I know of the future. I asked St Francis to join me as I prayed for God’s blessing.

The Joy of Assisi – Part 4

It is in the midst of simplicity that the pilgrim finds joy and peace. Just a few steps from our residence, I found the water fountain that would refill my bottle each day. The water was good and welcome in the high heat.








Just on the other side of the fountain was the narrow walkway that connected Via San Paulo to Via San Francisco and halfway down the walkway stood a simple stone church with a small bell tower that has graced this spot for over a thousand years. In the photo, below, you see the point where the walkway seems to end and there you see a small section of roof peaking out from behind a tall tree. That is the Church of St Stephen.


I rested in the little chapel on the several occasions when I had to climb this hill in the hot sun and I wondered how many pilgrims came before me and marveled at the raw rock walls and tiny Romanesque windows. I imagined how many others stopped to rest at this halfway point over the past millennium. This was clearly the oldest church in Assisi and certainly the most humble. St Francis would have liked it and probably there visited many times.


I was blessed to attend Mass there and visit several times, but the time I remember the most was when I came in to rest and sat alone in the chapel as visitors passed by the doors in search of more famous places. For a thousand years this wonderful church shared it’s space with countless tired pilgrims, but for a few special minutes, it shared it’s space with me.

Christ or Chaos?

By Allan Gillis

It seems that it has fallen to me to bring the content of others to this site. I don’t necessarily mind finding gold that others have mined and bringing it to you, our dear readers. It is still gold.

I really respect Michael Matt and his Remnant TV/News organization.  Here is a salient bit of pleading on behalf of those who urge us all to think in terms of “Christ or Chaos” for the future as we watch our culture burning out of control.  I guess I’ll have to start a folder here titled “I couldn’t have said it better myself”!

Have the courage to watch this…  and be intellectually honest enough with yourself as a Roman Catholic to ask yourself: “Do I hear anything that I can really disagree with?”


I Couldn’t Have Said it Better Myself!

St Paul

By Allan Gillis

In the U.S., a 2014 Pew poll found that 57 percent of Catholics support gay marriage, including 75 percent of Catholics age 18 to 29 and even 45 percent of regular churchgoers. (In the same survey, 70 percent of Catholics said homosexuality should be accepted, including 60 percent of weekly churchgoers.) In April, a poll by the Public Religion Research Institute found support for gay marriage among U.S. Catholics at 60 percent.
So, what’s up with my fellow American Catholics? This is the kind of statistical information on modern Catholicism that turns my guts.  I just want to throttle those who find themselves moved to defend the absolute degeneracy, corruption and depravity that has hobbled and stained our beloved Holy Mother Church.  The post Vatican II generations have been starved of liturgy AND catechesis!!! The statistics above confirm this!!!  Again I say; “lex orandi – lex credendi”!

I found a piece on the wonderful blog Rorate Caeli that I wish I had written. I couldn’t have said it better myself! I check this blog out regularly and I am regularly treated to some very well-written (even if translated into English) discourse that sometimes delights and sometimes infuriates me.   Here’s a taste:

“They were anticipating a new Church, and so they set about changing the Mass. They wanted a Church with new dogmas and new morality, so they had to tinker with the Catholic Mass and make it into a skeleton of itself. And a skeleton Mass corresponds to a skeletal Church, made up of skeletal dogma and morality.

We said this last month: the new liturgy presumed to skip two thousand years of Christian history, in the illusion of reconnecting to a mythical beginning of Christianity. The men of the post-council reform said that it was necessary to simplify [the Mass], so that the noble essence of the Catholic Rite would emerge. They believed effectively negative, all the Church’s work of centuries and centuries to make the Catholic Rite increasingly more limpid and edifying . They continued to eliminate and eliminate, retaining negative all that had been added [over the centuries] and a skeleton Mass was what emerged.

A Mass of empty things and the unsaid – empty things and the unsaid were then filled up by the fantasy of the celebrant and the faithful. And the fantasies have become as numerous as the churches in the world because it is obvious one cannot live off a skeleton: men fatten-up the skeleton, but the flesh and the blood are not of God, but usually that of the dictatorship of the mentality in vogue. So, according to the seasons, we have had socialist Masses, poetic masses, happy-clappy masses, wordy masses, catechesis Masses, healing Masses, Charismatic Masses, missionary Masses, quick Masses and so on and so forth. In short – you can construct the Mass so that it matches you and your Christianity. A Mass so impoverished no longer gave nourishment, and so it became necessary to turn to the various ideologies in vogue to fatten it up. By eliminating much that was due to God, the Mass had to be filled by the things of men, so that it could still be considered of some use: a tragedy [which amounts to] the loss of the Catholic heart, that is to say, the redeeming work of Christ Crucified.

And the tragedy has been propagated right through the entire Catholic organism: the new skeletal Mass, filled of empty things, has become so ambiguous so as to produce a skeletal Christianity, skeletal dogma and morality: the result: ambiguous Catholicism.”

Whoa!  baby!   …and he’s just getting started!

I will also say this; I believe that there were (and are) men in high places in The Church that intended exactly this state of affairs we as Catholics find ourselves in today. I also agree with Radicati Nella Fede…  the newsletter of the Catholic community of Vocogno, Diocese of Novara, Italy (from where this piece emanates – tho’ originally offered in Italian but translated for us by Francesca Romana) .  There, they warn us that the future Pope to actually turn things around will most likely face martyrdom.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us!

please read the rest over there:

Summertime Slow-Down


By Allan Gillis

My goodness! It’s been almost two weeks since any of the three of us have posted here! See why the Italians pretty much take off the month of August?  Our thoughts are on other things… longer days, the parlor/dining room gets extended out to the deck or the backyard. We move a bit slower. There are a myriad of pleasure-distractions like the pool, the beach, the boat, the garden and of course the yard/lawn work!

Oh but how I do remember this past winter!  I felt so caught in those snowy-white jaws – gripped and contorted in the steely icicle-teeth – the bitter, biting, freezing, frantic panting of a ferocious, relentless pit-bull of a winter. As such, I shall savor this summer…  thanking God for the rich vibrancy of life around me…  in the blue-green waters under the boat, in the skies and the trees above me and the bird-bath in my wife’s colorful garden – even with the angry red ants that attacked my BBQ prep table!

One great thing to report is that my little 5 year old grand-daughter asked to join me at Mass!  She loved it and joined me again!  She says she wants to continue accompanying me.  It is an answer to prayer!  She is the smartest little girl and so very observant of “the little things” – and we Catholics have all kinds of “little things” like the Holy Water at the portals, The Sign of The Cross, genuflecting, ect.  All these things prompt questions and require thoughtful responses – with a care to provide appropriate and “kid-simple” answers, while NOT diluting THE TRUTH.  I must always remind myself to trust that The Holy Spirit is at work here too…   helping me – as I serve Him in guiding a little soul.

Only 32 more days ’til Labor Day.  Savor your summertime my friend!  The older we get the faster the time seems to go!