Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Most Reverential Novus Ordo Mass!

By Allan Gillis

Latin Mass

A local parish recently was blessed to have garnered the residency of a priest friend of mine who says the Extrordinary Form Mass in Latin on Sundays where I sing Gregorian Chant regularly in downtown Boston. Father Fagiol (as we’ll call him) is one of those priests that just radiate the very essence of “priesthood”. Don’t get me wrong… he’s never stuffy or overly-pious or lacking in good humor – just a decent, well-spoken and knowledgeable man who personifies exactly what a priest should be. He has enough Old-World charm that he could have served with ease and grace as a European royal courtier anywhere on the continent (he is fluent in three languages besides his Latin!). He possesses a delightful joie-de-vivre while always remaining a holy priest – ever-mindful of his office, while never “lording it over” anyone. He’s simply a gift to us here – and a gift to me in my spiritual life.
So, he tells me over dinner last week that he’ll be saying the noontime Mass on Fridays and some weekdays and since my office is right here – I figured I’d stop in mid-day today and see him and grab the chance to have him hear my confession – as I plan on being on my boat tomorrow and Saturdays are usually the only time that these Novus Ordo parishes have the “sacrament of reconciliation” available to us (I can’t stand that phrase!!! – why couldn’t it just be left alone as “Confession”??? – the word “reconcile” to me – and I’m no etymologist – connotes that big ol’ meany God is half responsible for my mishap and he and I need to come to some sort of ‘tete-e-tete’ and work things out. How collegial it is now! Gee, I feel better now about this propostion – this “Confession” stuff seems so one-sided! “Reconciliation” makes me ‘feel’ better!  How dare God assume that I’m the one who breached this contract between us!  Like – where’s God’s culpability in all this?)
I digress.
I stepped into Mass today and the wonderful incense was pluming up and filling the apse… the pre-Mass exposition and benediction of the Most Holy Sacrament was reverently and lovingly prayed and responded to. What a joy during a week-day! Then, Mass began. It was strange to see Father Fagiol standing behind the altar Versus Populum. I’m so accustomed to the priest Ad Orientum – especially Father Fagiol! Now here’s an interesting fact; this is one of those old beautiful churches built before the fad started in the fifties and sixties by pot-smoking architects (and approved by bishops!) to tear down Roman Catholic churches and rebuild them to look like anti-septic airport terminals. This one is actually physically situated and was correctly-constructed in the 19th century as the compass dictates – when the people stand to pray they are facing due east. Now, the priest standing facing them (“The Father Steve Show” as I call it – brought to you by Vatican II) is standing “versus populum” (against the people in Latin), he is looking westward as the compass bears – NOT ad orientum – or… to the east – as we’re commanded to. So, Father Fagiol prays this Mass in the Ordinary Form… but to my great delight and astonishment, it was the REAL thing! I mean, I believe that the Novus Ordo is licit and valid and all that… I have just NEVER heard it prayed/celebrated so serenely and reverently. Never.

Fr. F kept the pace – the cadence of the liturgy moving perfectly, praying along solemnly and devoutly while not being ostentatious or halting – but certainly not rushing through the Mass like he had a train to catch right after the liturgy!  I was in awe. I had heard in the past what seemed like patronizing and insecure assertions that “certainly the Novus Ordo can be just as much of a spiritual uplift as the Latin Mass”. I always thought: “Kak”!
I was wrong.     I guess it depends on the priest.

Requiescant in Pace

From Father John Hunwicke’s site:

13 June 2016

Those who died in the most truly appalling events at Orlando … may they, through the all-atoning Sacrifice of our most sweet Redeemer and our suffrages, have remission of their sins: we pray this for them as we pray it for all the departed, since as Christians we believe that anyone who claims to be without sin is deceiving himself and the Truth is not in him. This, of course, goes equally for popes and for rent-boys and for you and for me.

Humanly, we may surely hope that many of those killed in a situation which prima facie may have been at least a proximate occasion of mortal sin, may, through their own ignorance, not have had that full knowledge and consent which would render their deeds and intentions as lethal subjectively as they are objectively. It is a sobering thought that it may be easier for us, who are instructed Catholics, to go to Hell than it is for the uninstructed.

And we pray for the wounded; for the families, friends, survivors, witnesses of those who died. Perhaps a particular prayer is appropriate for those who were not aware that their sons or daughters were being drawn into intrinsically disordered actions: parents for whom the horror of so dreadful a bereavement may even be  increased by that realisation.

And I think we need to be aware that the Hierarchs of the Spirit of this Age will use this fearful atrocity for their own purposes. Treating the victims of a deranged murderer as martyrs for a noble cause is likely to become a stock element in the perverted parody of the moral high ground which the Powers of Evil seek to inculcate. And it will become part of a campaign which, if it succeeds, will lead to the increasingly violent persecution of anybody who articulates the teaching of Scripture and of the Catholic Church (Catechism paragraphs 2357 and following).

Be sure to visit his site often!

To save the West

By Augustinus

As Europe, North America and South America breezily jettison the Christian foundations of their political orders the “west” such as it is, spirals into further decline. To save the West you need to look to the Church for a rennaissance …but the Church itself, as in past epochs, is in crisis. What therefore is to be done?

Renew the church and you will save the West. So how do we renew the Church? As everyone knows, everyone has an opinion about how to do that. Some want to continue down the route of Vatican II and “liberalize” the Church even further (e.g. Gary Wills and Hans Kung, Richard Rohr and the National catholic Reporter folks etc). Some want to reverse Vatican II’s “reforms” (the traditionalists).  Some want to accept Vatican II’s reforms but then stabilize the ship by interpreting Vatican II documents conservatively (Popes John Paul and Benedict and some prominent “theocons” like George Weigel and the folks at First Things etc).

I do not agree with any of these positions.

Its not about Vatican II. like every other ecumenical council down through the ages this council did some bad things and some good things. I have posted on Vatican II previously so won’t go into that issue here. There is always going to be debate about development of practices, doctrine and church. There always has been such debate and always will be. The cause of the crisis in the church today is not about Vatican II or development of doctrine (understanding the so-called “sexual revolution” including feminism, gay marriage and so forth) or development of practices (such as Latin vs Novus Ordo rite etc)….though, of course, these issues are important. My point is that these issues are NOT the source of the crisis in the Church–they are symptoms.

What then is the source of the crisis in the Church today? If we could pinpoint that source we would also gain a deeper understanding of the crisis of the West more generally. In my opinion the source of the crisis is partially found in what the 19th century Popes called “modernism”. It is a heresy much like the ancient heresy of Arius. The Arian heresy claimed whole countries, most of the eastern Church, most of Northern Europe, most political leaders. It took centuries to defeat.

While the 19th century Popes were onto something when they decried modernism they left out the most crucial task for the Church then and NOW: How do come to grips with the rise of science. Modernism is so potent a force because it claims that it is allied with science. To solve the modernist crisis the church needs to embrace science and become a leader in the scientific enterprise–just as it was in the days of the Church Father and in the middle ages.

St. Margaret of Scotland

by Allan Gillis

In todays’ traditional Catholic liturgical calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Margaret of Scotland.  Being ever-mindful of my Scottish heritage and my adherence to the traditional liturgical calendar – I share this with you dear reader:

As I think on her relics being “dispersed” during the “Scottish Reformation”…     I’d like to kick some of those impious protestant bastards right in their haggis!

Pray for us Blessed Saint Margaret of Scotland!


Papal Disdain

From Fr. Z’s site:

Sometimes a photo is worth 5000 thousands words.

You might have heard of this, but, since I have been traveling and using the interwebs less than usual in the last couple weeks, it was news to me.

A member of the Macedonian parliament brought a gift to Pope Francis from the Orthodox convent of St. George of Rajcica: a papal tiara, the triple crown symbol of the Bishop of Rome’s authority over just about everything. Women, nuns, lovingly made it by hand, embroidering it and setting it with pearls from a lake near their convent.

Such a beautiful gift! I am sure the Holy Father beamed with delight. After all, Benedict XVI did when he was presented with a small version of a tiara, even though Pope Francis is the first Pope who – as the press acknowledges – ever smiled.

Sometimes a photo is worth 5000 thousands words.* And, these days, they remain easily accessible.

His Holiness didn’t seem too happy with the tiara, which was lovingly made by women.

Remember when the Pope was in South America and he received the “crucifix” in the style of a global symbol of the violation of human rights?

Okay… a photo out of context doesn’t tell the whole story.

*Adjusted for Holy See Word Inflation.

As far as Allan Gillis is concerned, the Papal Tiara was worn by real Popes not too far back in time – when we had real Vicars of Christ on the throne in Rome…REIGNING (and not FEIGNING personal poverty to garner the world’s favor at the expense of the majesty of the Petrine Office!) – teaching fidelity to the Church’s traditions and avoiding ad hoc spurts of the mouth, which could spread confusion and scandal!

Commentary on a recent article on Clericalism

A wonderful article from CRUXNOw.COM. I enjoyed this article and felt it was a good overview of clericalism in the Church since Vatican II. I felt is was a good read, so I offer this to my brothers for consideration. It caught my attention because it touched on a few areas that have concerned me in my quest to evangelize. The first is the notion that generations of laity simply do not feel they have permission to do anything on their own. Certainly, there are times to ask our local Pastor for clarity, but some people are truly immobilized. The second is description of clericalism that ties so closely to what I see in some Parishes and the dangers of creating cliques within the laity.

It’s nice to see someone from Opus Dei submitting articles to CRUX. I suspect they are actively trying to be a balanced commentary site, now that the Boston Globe connection is gone.

It’s time to consign clericalism to the past, where it belongs


UPDATE – Today’s Opportunity for Divine Mercy!

Don’t forget! …get to Mass today!      …take advantage of this indulgence!   Today is the Festa Sanctissimi Cordis Domini Nostri Jesu Christi !!!      The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ!   [ see below ]

It is Friday and for many of us we’re anticipating the weekend – a weekend in early June…  how glorious!  No matter what turmoil is in your mind and soul – give it to God.  Avail yourself of His Peace!     …and even the physical world around you – if you look – is resplendent with new life and warmth!   My wife and I were blessed this year again with a pair of Robins nesting and raising a brood of young on our front porch!  It was such a delight to watch them build the nest (sloppily at first) then we noticed much more care.  As a week or so went by we noticed mom staying in the nest most of the time and dad was busy (and noisily) chirping and threatening anything from the UPS driver to other birds or squirrels that happened to venture within sight of the precious nest.


We then noticed a few little furry heads and wide-open yellow beaks peering over the rim of the nest.  Both parents scrambling to and fro – seemingly endlessly; providing fresh worms and bugs from our garden.  Soon the little ones were getting bigger and bigger…

Yesterday we noticed that they had fled the nest.  We know by reading a bit that NOW the work begins in earnest for Mom and Dad Robin as they teach these clumsy fledglings how to fly and fend for themselves.  I prayed for them.  They’ll be fine.  I thank God for this little blessing that our house was a safe place to bring new and delicate life into this fallen and often-cruel world.

God is good!   Life marches on   …and Grace follows.

-Allan Gillis

Plenary Indulgence Tomorrow!

by Allan Gillis

Heads up! Make plans!


The Friday that follows the Second Sunday after Pentecost is the Feast of the Sacred Heart which brings to mind all the attributes of His Divine Heart. Many Catholics prepare for this Feast by beginning a Novena to the Sacred Heart on the Feast of Corpus Christi, which is the Thursday of the week before. On the Feast of the Sacred Heart itself, we can gain a plenary indulgence by making an Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart.  On all other days, the indulgence is partial.


Most Sweet Jesus——Act of Reparation
(Iesu dulcissime——Reparationis actus)

O sweet Jesus, Whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thy altar eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries, to which Thy loving Heart is everywhere subject.

Mindful alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Thy pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation not only for our own personal offences, but also for the sins of those, who straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow Thee, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the vows of their Baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Thy law.

We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; we are determined to make amends for the manifold offences against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behaviour, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violation of Sundays and holidays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Thy Vicar on earth and Thy priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Thy Divine love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and the teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast founded.

Would, O Divine Jesus, we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Thy Divine honour, the satisfaction Thou didst once make to Thy eternal Father on the Cross and which Thou dost continue to renew daily on our altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Thy Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make reparation, as far as we can with the help of Thy grace, for all neglect of Thy great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth we will live a life of unwavering faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent others from offending Thee and to bring as many as possible to follow Thee.

O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to Thee, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where Thou with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.


FYI  dudes and dudettes:

Plenary indulgences are much more demanding than partial indulgences, for they require one to do all the following. These are “the usual conditions” for receiving a plenary indulgence:

• have the intention of gaining the indulgence

• receive the Sacrament of Penance (within several days before or after the prescribed action of the indulgence, though the same day is best, if possible)

• receive the Eucharist (within several days before or after the prescribed action of the indulgence, though the same day is best, if possible)

• pray 6 Paters (Our Fathers), 6 Aves (Hail Marys), and 6 Glorias (Glory Be’s) for the intentions of the Holy Father (within several days before or after the prescribed action of the indulgence, though the same day is best, if possible). The most recent Enchiridion [Church’s official handbook on indulgences] prescribes at least one of each, but 6 is the traditional number.

• perform the prescribed action of the indulgence. If the prescribed action of the indulgence requires a visit to a church or oratory, one must visit devoutly and recite 1 Our Father and the Creed. This doesn’t refer to any visits to a church for Confession or the Eucharist in order to fulfill the requirements listed above; it refers to such indulgences as those granted to the faithful for visiting a church on the day of its consecration, visiting their parochial church on its titular feast day, visiting the stational churches of Rome, etc.

be free from all attachment to sin, including venial sin. This last is most difficult, but if it can’t be fulfilled, a partial indulgence at least will be gained.


The Movie “Risen”

By Augustinus

Risen is a 2016 American directed by Kevin Reynolds; it was conceived from a screenplay written by Reynolds and Paul Aiello. The film stars Joesph Fiennes as a Roman Tribune who is tasked with Jesus’ crucifixion and then investigating the subsequent empty tomb. I recommend the movie as unlike most movies these days it treats Christianity respectfully and the issue of the resurrection respectfully. I know nothing about the writers or directors but the movie works as a movie. It does not just preach. It is a drama that works well as art. It elevates while most movies induce disgust, despair, horror or disdain. Most movies are thinly disguised apologetics for the modernist religion. One can predict what is going to happen in most movies because very few vary from the ideologically approved modernist script. Risen is an exception.

The movie Risen is about the resurrection of course. The resurrection is at the center of our faith. It explains why a ragtag group of despairing disciples who had just witnessed the brutal execution of their leader Jesus were suddenly turned into eloquent, heroic, courageous, inspiring apostles who changed the world. The gospels do not attempt to skirt the issue. They give us the evidence for the resurrection; they name names; they name the witnesses. They describe what these witnesses experienced. The consensus of scholars, exegetes, scientists who study scriptures, church figures, theologians and orthodox christians down through the ages is that the witnesses were not hallucinating, were not speaking metaphorically, were not out of their minds etc So we cannot dismiss the testimony of the gospels. The resurrection actually occurred.