Friday, February 29, 2008

Feminist Baptism Words Invalid says Rome; Jesus' Words Must Be Said!

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clarified that two formulae for baptism that remove the masculine names for God are invalid and undermine faith in the Trinity.

The congregation's statement, made public today, responded to two questions concerning the validity of baptism conferred without referring to God the Father and Son.

The first question is: "Is a baptism valid if conferred with the words 'I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier,' or 'I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer'?"

The second question is: "Must people baptized with those formulae be baptized 'in forma absoluta'?"

The responses are: "To the first question, negative; to the second question, affirmative."

Benedict XVI, during a recent audience with Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, approved these responses, which were adopted at the ordinary session of the congregation. The Pope ordered their publication.

The text of the responses bears the signatures of Cardinal Levada and of Archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary of the dicastery.

An attached note, signed by Monsignor Antonio Miralles, professor of dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Holy Cross University, explained that the responses "concern the validity of baptism conferred with two English-language formulae within the ambit of the Catholic Church. [...] Clearly, the question does not concern English but the formula itself, which could also be expressed in another language."

"Baptism conferred in the name of the Father, the Son and the ! Holy Spirit," the note continued, "obeys Jesus' command as it appears at the end of the Gospel of St. Matthew. [...] The baptismal formula must be an adequate expression of Trinitarian faith, approximate formulae are unacceptable."

"Variations to the baptismal formula -- using non-biblical designations of the Divine Persons -- as considered in this reply, arise from so-called feminist theology," being an attempt "to avoid using the words Father and Son which are held to be chauvinistic, substituting them with other names," the note clarified. "Such variants, however, undermine faith in the Trinity."

In a commentary on the responses, Cardinal Urbano Navarrete, former rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, clarified: "The response of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith constitutes an authentic doctrinal declaration, which has wide-ranging canonical and pastoral effects. Indeed, the reply impl! icitly affirms that people who have been baptized, or who will in the future be baptized, with the formulae in question have, in reality, not been baptized.

"Hence, they must them be treated for all canonical and pastoral purposes with the same juridical criteria as people whom the Code of Canon Law places in the general category of 'non-baptized.'"

This implies that if they have received other sacraments, they are invalid as well and should be re-administered.

Those who were baptized using those or similar words must be re-baptized, and receive also the sacraments of Confirmation, Matrimony or Holy Orders if they have also been received.

If you know of a parish where this practice was followed, please contact your Bishop. This is a very serious issue. The case that caused the CDF to make this decision arose in Australia.

Chaldean Archbishop Kidnapped in Iraq; Three Aides Killed

ROME (CNS) -- Kidnappers abducted Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul, Iraq, and killed the three people who were traveling with him. Chaldean Bishop Rabban al Qas of Arbil told the Rome-based missionary news service AsiaNews that Mosul's archbishop was kidnapped late Feb. 29 after he finished leading the Way of the Cross.

Archbishop Rahho had just left the Church of the Holy Spirit in Mosul and was in his car with three other men when the kidnappers attacked. "The bishop is in the hands of terrorists," Bishop Qas told AsiaNews.

"But we don't know what physical condition (the archbishop is in); the three men who were with him in the car, including his driver, were killed," he explained. "It's a terrible time for our church; pray for us," he said.

The kidnappers have reportedly communicated their demands, which were not made public.

The incident comes less than a year after a Chaldean Catholic priest and three subdeacons were gunned down outside the same Mosul church.

Father Ragheed Aziz Ganni and subdeacons Basman Yousef Daoud, Wadid Hanna and Ghasan Bida Wid were killed June 3 while leaving the Church of the Holy Spirit after having celebrated Sunday Mass.

Father Ganni, the three subdeacons, and the wife of one of the subdeacons were driving away from the church when their car was blocked by a group of armed militants, according to AsiaNews.

The armed men forced the woman out of the car. Once the woman was away from the vehicle the armed men opened fire on Father Ganni and the three subdeacons. Subdeacon is an ordination rank lower than deacon in most Eastern Catholic churches.

The militants then placed explosives around the car to prevent anyone from retrieving the four bodies. Later that night, authorities finally managed to defuse the explosives and retrieve the bodies.
Catholic News Service

Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's OK to eat lots of meat on Tuesdays in Lent!





Fairy Tale or Evil Reality?

The modern secular world claims Satan is a myth, but yet, the Vatican must revitalize Exorcist training programs, to keep up with the overwhelming demand for Exorcisms.

If the Catholic Church still believes in the devil why do so few Catholics believe in him? Is the occult and black mass real and serious? What are the dangers for individuals or societies that do not believe in Satan or in evil? In order to answer this and much more the AOTM has called on

  • Speaker: Father Robert Altier Tuesday, March 11th
  • Basement of St. Augustine Church in South St. Paul.
  • 6:30 pm Social (beverages and appetizers)
  • Dinner at 7:00 PM
  • Total cost for the evening $12 at the door

Come argue against our speaker or defend his position if you agree during the Q&A, which starts immediately following dessert. You are all encouraged to enjoy the good humor, food and fellowship. We enjoy the company of men from all different creeds and ages. Priests and seminarians get in for free but are not shown any partiality in debate. Fathers may bring their underage sons as long as they accompany them.

  • St. Augustine Catholic Church
  • 5th Ave. N. & 3rd St. N .
  • South St. Paul





OR JOSH TESKE AT 612-227-5674

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

UST to Honor Five on St Thomas Day, March 1

The University of St. Thomas community will gather Saturday, March 1, to celebrate its annual St. Thomas Day and to honor recipients of its Humanitarian, Distinguished Alumnus, Professor of the Year, Tommie and Monsignor James Lavin awards.

St. Thomas Day events begin with a 5:30 p.m. Mass in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas. The Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Harry Flynn, chair of the university's Board of Trustees. It was 90 years ago – on the March 7 St. Thomas Day of 1918 – that the first Mass was celebrated in that chapel. This year, Flynn will consecrate a new altar that was installed as part of the chapel's recent renovation.

A 7 p.m. dinner and awards program will follow in Murray-Herrick Campus Center. More than 500 members of the St. Thomas community are expected to attend.

St. Thomas Day begins a weeklong series of events for the university’s annual Heritage Week. More information about the week is available on the Web at:

The five St. Thomas Day awards will be presented to:

Distinguished Alumnus – This year's award is being given to explorer and educator Daniel Buettner, a St. Paul resident who graduated cum laude from St. Thomas in 1983.

Buettner's major, Spanish, came in handy three years later when he rode a bicycle 15,500 miles from the top of Alaska to the bottom of South America. It was the first of three Guinness world records he set on bicycles. On Sovietrek in 1990 he biked around the world, and a year later he rode 12,000 miles on a trans-Africa expedition.

Dan Buettner

The development of the World Wide Web helped him link his passions for education and exploration. In 1995 he founded Earthtreks Inc., which over the years has allowed more than a million people, including students in 30,000 classrooms, to follow his adventures in a series of nine interactive Quests. His adventures – described by the Washington Post as "the most successful experiment in interactive education to date" – revisited the Maya collapse, followed Marco Polo's footsteps and investigated the fall of the Anasazi in North America.

More recently, Buettner founded Blue Zones, a project that studies the world's best practices in health and longevity and passes along that information to the public through the Internet, lectures and articles like the 2005 cover story Buettner wrote for National Geographic on "The Secrets for Living Longer."

Over the past decade Buettner had delivered more than 500 keynote speeches, appeared on many television programs, and has been profiled in dozens of publications. Minnesota Monthly magazine included him in a story on "10 Minnesotans Who are Changing the World."

His Sovietrek won a Minnesota Book Award, his Africatrek won Scientific American's "Young Reader Award" and his PBS Africatrek documentary won an Emmy. The National Association of Campus Activities Directors inducted him into its Hall of Fame for his 200 college appearances.

Established in 1971, the Distinguished Alumnus award is presented for leadership and service to the university, to the community and in the person’s field of endeavor.

Humanitarian of the Year – Paul Langenfeld, who holds a 1989 bachelor's degree in theology and a 1992 master of divinity, will receive the 2008 Humanitarian of the Year Award.

Langenfeld, of St. Paul, works as a personal-care attendant for those who are disabled. He founded the Langenfeld Foundation in 2006 to create opportunities in the areas of fishing, hunting, nature, sports and music for women and men with mental, physical and developmental disabilities.

Paul Langenfeld

His Hastings-based foundation, named for his parents Tony and Elizabeth, grew out of an experience several years ago when he took two of his disabled clients hunting.

"I want to show the world what people with disabilities can do," he said in a recent "On the Road With Jason Davis" television interview. "We want to take the world's thinking about disabilities and stand it on its head."

The "On the Road' segment followed two men with disabilities who went on a donated Safari hunt in South Africa.

Last summer, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources partnered with the Langenfeld Foundation to conduct the state's first hunting and firearm safety classes for young adults with special needs. The foundation also helps arrange outings to nonhunting sporting and cultural events.

From 1993 to 2002, Langenfeld lived in a religious community of brothers and served as a youth pastor, pastoral minister and hospital chaplain in Indiana, Oregon and Minnesota.

Established 40 years ago, the Humanitarian of the Year Award is presented by the university’s Alumni Association.

Professor of the Year – Sister Katarina Schuth, who holds the Endowed Chair for the Social Scientific Study of Religion at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas, is this year's Professor of the Year. The 47-year-old award recognizes excellence in teaching, scholarship and inspiration to students.

Sister Katarina Schuth

Recognized internationally as a leading expert on seminaries, Schuth came to St. Thomas in 1991 and currently chairs the university's Faculty Senate.

Schuth, since 1960 a member of the Sisters of St. Francis, Rochester, teaches and does research in the fields of theological education and the relationship between the church and American culture. She holds five degrees: a bachelor's in history from the College of St. Teresa; a master's in theological studies and license in sacred theology from Weston Jesuit School of Theology; and a master's and doctorate in cultural geography from Syracuse University. Her doctoral research took her to India where she studied literacy in rural villages.

She is the author of many articles and five books: Cooperative Ventures in Theological Education (co-author, 1989); Reason for Hope: The Futures of Roman Catholic Theologates (1989); Seminaries, Theologates, and the Future of Church Ministry: An Analysis of Trends and Transitions (1999); Educating Leaders for Ministry (co-author, 2005); and most recently, Priestly Ministry in Multiple Parishes (2006). Her most recent book deals with the shortage of priests in the United States. The Lilly Endowment has supported her research and writing over the past 20 years.

When she received an honorary doctorate from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, the seminary's chancellor, Archbishop Francis Schulte, said that "not only Notre Dame Seminary, but the entire seminary community throughout the United States, is indebted to you for the valuable research and service you have provided for so many years. Your writings have brought enlightenment and renewal to priestly formation."

Schuth has received three other honorary degrees, including one in 2004 from Boston College, as well has many other awards for her research and writing.

Schuth lives in St. Paul, not far from St. Thomas, but grew up on a dairy farm on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, just above Wabasha. She was the middle child and only girl in a family with six boys.

In a book about the faith of many Catholics, Yes I Am Catholic: How Faith Plays a Role in My Life, Schuth talked about growing up on the farm and how her family taught her about faith and prayer, "a source of strength in her daily life."

"She believes it is especially valuable in her relationships with students," the book said. "She tries to get to know each one personally. 'When I learn about some of their family situations and about their goals and aspirations in life, I have a more positive and more complete view of them and recognize the struggles many of them are having.'"

Schuth has always taught at both the graduate and undergraduate levels since coming to St. Thomas 17 years ago. One of her goals, she said, "is to open students' minds and hearts to the universe we share, be accepting of others, understand the religious backgrounds of others, and to appreciate that we are all children of God."

Schuth serves on many national committees and boards, and in recent years has been a member of more than 10 boards of theological schools. A friend of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, she was a 1996 charter member and continues to serve on his Catholic Common Ground Initiative. That project promotes seven "principles of dialogue" that foster respect, charity and civility, especially on topics related to the church.

Her work with that project was cited at St. Thomas' fall 2006 convocation by Father Dennis Dease, president. "I remember a column that James Shannon, president of St. Thomas from 1956 to 1966, wrote in The Aquin," Dease said in his annual address to the university's faculty. "He told his all-male student readers in the language of that day that even in the heat of debate there is one thing a gentleman never does: to question either his opponents' motives or his intelligence.

"This is counsel that would serve well today's polarized U.S. Catholic community. I appreciate the work of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who founded the Catholic Common Ground Movement. I applaud our own sister Katarina Schuth for her personal investment of time and energy in that movement as one of its founding board members."

Schuth spoke about the Common Ground Movement when she delivered the St. Thomas fall commencement address just a few days before Christmas in 2002. She concluded her address: " I invite you to be among those who renew the face of the earth one step at a time. In this season of hope that is celebrated in so many different traditions, may you be a reconciling messenger of peace to all you meet."

Monsignor James Lavin Award – Michael Thyken, who holds a 1983 bachelor's degree in business administration and quantitative methods-computer science, will receive this year's Lavin award. Established in 1994, the award annually honors a volunteer for service to the St. Thomas Alumni Association.

Michael Thyken

Thyken served as the association's president from 2004 to 2006 and has been involved in a host of alumni activities since his graduation. In addition to serving as the alumni representative on the university's Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2007, Thyken has been involved with class reunions, First Friday lunches, community clean-up days, the President's Council, William Finn Heritage Society, theater events and hockey alumni events.

Thyken, who also holds an M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota, is president of Corporate Information Technology, Merrill Corp.

Tommie Award – Dejen Tesfagiorgis was selected the 2008 Tommie Award winner by a vote of students, staff and faculty. The award has been given annually since 1931 to a senior who exemplifies the ideals of the university. The award recognizes scholarship, leadership and campus involvement.

Tesfagiorgis, of Madison, Wis., was selected from a field of 29 preliminary candidates and three finalists. He holds a 3.67 grade-point average and is double-majoring in music and business administration, with a concentration in entrepreneurship.

Dejen Tesfagiorgis

Principal saxophonist in the Symphonic Wind and Jazz Ensembles, he has served as vice president of the Band Club, as a peer tutor in the Music Department, and vice president of the Music and Entertainment Industry Student Association. He also has been a resident adviser in Ireland Hall and is in the Delta Epsilon Sigma National Honors Society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

The Tommie Award is sponsored by university’s Division of Student Affairs.

The Aquin student newspaper on Feb. 22 carried a front-page story of Tesfagiorgis here. The Aquin said Tesfagiorgis "has an amazing work ethic, dedication to family, friends and colleagues, and general love for St. Thomas," according to Doug Orzolek, the music professor and band director who nominated Tesfagiorgis for the award.

UST Bulletin Today

Shrine O' the Day: Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, La Crosse

Who Says They Don't
Build 'em Like They Used To?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Holy Father on "Young Persons of the Third Millenium"

From Whispers in the Loggia, an excerpted Q&A session with Pope Benedict and his Roman priests:

As recently noted, B16 held his latest Q&A session -- this time with the priests of Rome -- on Mardi Gras... and the Vatican's finally rolled out an official English translation of the full session.

One snip -- from a young priest on engaging the young... and the Ratzi Response:

Fr Graziano Bonfitto: Holy Father, I come from San Marco in Lamis, a village in the Province of Foggia. I am a Religious of Don Orione and have been a priest for a year and a half. I am currently parochial vicar in Ognisanti.... My priestly apostolate takes place among young people in particular. It is precisely on their behalf that I wish to thank you today.

My holy Founder, St Luigi Orione, said that young people are the sunshine or the storm of the future. I believe that at this moment in history young people are as much the sunshine as the storm, and not of tomorrow but of today, of this moment. Today, we young people feel a more pressing need than ever for certainties. We long for sincerity, freedom, justice and peace. We want beside us people who walk with us, who listen to us, just like Jesus with the disciples of Emmaus. Youth long for people who can point out the way to freedom, responsibility, love and truth. In other words, today's young people have an unquenchable thirst for Christ. It is the thirst of joyful witnesses who have encountered Jesus and have staked their whole life on him. Young people want a Church that is ever alert, ever closer to their needs. They want her to be present in the decisions of life, even if they feel a lingering sense of detachment from the Church herself....

Holy Father, - may I call you "father"? - how difficult it is to live in God, with God and for God. Young people feel threatened on many sides.... So what should be done? How should one act? Is it effectively worthwhile continuing to stake one's life on Christ? Are life, the family, love, joy, justice, respect for the opinions of others, freedom, prayer and charity still values we should defend? Is the blessed life based on the Beatitudes a life suited to human beings, to the young person of the third millennium?... Thank you.

Pope Benedict XVI: Thank you for this beautiful witness of a young priest who works with young people, who accompanies them, as you said, and helps them walk with Christ, with Jesus.

What can be said? We all know how difficult it is for a young person today to live as a Christian. The cultural and media context offers very different paths than the one that leads to Christ. It even seems to make it impossible to see Christ as the centre of life and to live life as Jesus showed us. However, it also seems to me that many are becoming more and more aware of the inadequacy of all that is offered, of this way of life that in the end leaves one empty.

In this regard I think that the readings of today's liturgy, that of Deuteronomy (30: 15-20) and the Gospel passage from Luke (9: 22-25), correspond substantially with what we must say to young people and over and over again to ourselves. As you said, sincerity is fundamental. Young people must feel that we are not saying words we ourselves have not lived, but that we speak because we have found and seek to find anew every day the truth, as a truth for my own life. Only if we have set out in this direction, if we ourselves seek to interiorize this life and to make our lives resemble that of the Lord can our words be credible and have a visible and convincing logic.

I repeat: today this is the great fundamental rule, not only for Lent but for the whole of Christian life: choose life. You have before you death and life: choose life.
And I think that the answer is natural. There are only a few who in their innermost selves harbour a desire for destruction, for death, for desiring to no longer live because everything has gone wrong for them. Unfortunately, however, this phenomenon is growing. With all the contradictions and false promises, life in the end appears contradictory, no longer as a gift but a condemnation, so there are some who choose death rather than life. But usually, the human being responds: Yes, I choose life.

Yet the question as to how to find life, what to choose, how to choose life remains. And we know what is usually offered: to visit a discothèque, to take as much as possible, to see freedom as doing everything one likes, everything that springs to mind at any given moment. We know instead - and can prove it - that this road is a road of falsehood, for in the end it does not lead to finding life but indeed to the abyss of nothingness. Choose life. The same reading says: God is your life, you have chosen life and have made your choice: God. This seems to me to be fundamental. Only in this way is our horizon sufficiently broad and only in this way are we at the source of life, which is stronger than death, stronger than all death threats. Thus, the fundamental choice is the one pointed out here: choose God. It is essential to understand that those who travel on the road without God find themselves ultimately in darkness, even if there can be moments where they seem to have found life.

Then, a further step is how to find God, how to choose God. Here we come to the Gospel: God is not an unknown Person, a hypothesis perhaps of the very beginning of the cosmos. God is flesh and blood. He is one of us. We know him by his Face, by his Name. He is Jesus Christ who speaks to us in the Gospel. He is both man and God. And being God, he chose man to enable us to choose God. Thus, we must enter into the knowledge of Jesus and then friendship with him in order to walk with him.

I think that this is the fundamental point of our pastoral care for young people, for everyone but especially for the young: to draw attention to the choice of God who is life, to the fact that God exists - and he exists very concretely - and also to teach friendship with Jesus Christ.

There is also a third step. This friendship with Jesus is not a friendship with an unreal person, with someone who belongs to the past or who is distant from human beings, seated at God's right hand. Jesus is present in his Body, which is still a body of flesh and blood: he is the Church, the communion of the Church. We must build and make more accessible communities that reflect, that are the mirror of the great community of the vital Church. She is a whole complex of things: the vital experience of the community with all its human weaknesses but nonetheless real, with a clear path and a solid sacramental life where we can touch even what may seem so remote to us: the Lord's presence. In this way we can also learn the commandments - to return to Deuteronomy, my starting point. For the reading says: choosing God means choosing according to his words, living according to the Word. For a moment this appears almost positivistic: they are imperatives. But the first thing is the gift, it is his friendship. Then we can understand that the road signs are explanations of the reality of our friendship.

This, we can say, is a general vision in which contact with Sacred Scripture and the Church's daily life originates. It is then translated step by step into real encounters with young people: to guide them to dialogue with Jesus in prayer, in reading Sacred Scripture - especially in groups but also on their own - and in sacramental life. All these steps serve to make these experiences present in professional life, even if the context is often marked by the total absence of God and the apparent impossibility of seeing him present. However, it is precisely then, through our lives and our experience of God, that we must also seek to make Christ's presence enter this world far-removed from God.

There is a thirst for God. A short time ago I received the ad limina visit from some Bishops from a country where more than 50 percent of the people declare themselves to be atheists or agnostics. But they said to me: in fact, all are thirsting for God. This hidden thirst exists. Therefore, let us begin first with the young people available. Let us form communities in which the Church is reflected, let us learn friendship with Jesus. In this way, full of this joy and this experience, we can still make God present today in this world of ours.

Friday, February 22, 2008

NCRegister Unveils Welcome Pope 2008 Page. Bookmark it!

In Anticipation of the Pope's April Visit to the U.S,

but not to Minnesota, the National Catholic Register

Unveils their new Pope Benny 2008 Home Page.

It can be found Here!
Bookmark it!

February 22, 2008

Catholic University to Close an Additional Day

Catholic University of America's The Tower reports that the University will not only be closed Thursday, April 17 for the Pope's visit, but also Wednesday, April 16 at the request of the U.S. Secret Service. President O'Connell notified the university of the change in a letter on Tuesday.

The university also announced that it is holding an essay contest for students in order to compete for a chance of admittance to the Pope's CUA speech. The first-place winner will be one among ten people who get to personally greet the Pope prior to the speech.

O'Connell said that a viewing area will be set up with a jumbotron on the Law School lawn for students to watch the Mass at Nationals Park. 4,000 tickets will be distributed among University students, faculty, and staff for the viewing area. O'Connell said that he hopes that the University community might be able to sing "Happy Birthday" to the Pope. He celebrates his birthday on April 16.

Cardinal Egan on Pope's Visit

New York 1 has remarks from Cardinal Edward Egan regarding the Pope's April visit. Among the quotes, the article states that the pope's trip was prompted by an invitation from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. The article says that the pope is expected to discuss among other things, the war in Iraq.

"And if that's the Holy Father's intention, which I suspect it is, to speak in favor of peace, then I would have to say it is worth the trip," said Cardinal Egan.

The article also states that the visit to the World Trade Center site on the morning of April 20 was made by request of the Holy Father.

The Pope and the U.S.

The Tidings has a nice story previewing the pope's trip. In it, commentators such as Fr. Joseph Fessio talk about how Pope Benedict has his finger on the pulse of Catholicism in the country. Among the interesting tidbits in the story is the fact that Cardinal Ratzinger has visited the U.S. at least five times. According to the article:

"In February 1984 he traveled to Dallas, where he gave two talks, including one to bishops of the Americas, and in January 1988 he traveled to New York City for a public lecture.

He visited Washington in January 1990 to give a talk at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. In February 1991, he spoke at a bishops' workshop in Dallas, where he delivered an address on "Conscience and Truth."

He went to San Francisco in February 1999 for a meeting of Vatican doctrinal congregation officials and doctrinal officials from bishops' conferences of North America and Oceania. He also gave an address at St. Patrick's Seminary and visited his publishers at Ignatius Press."

Young Catholics Look Forward to Pope's Visit

In the months leading up to WYD in Cologne, many media were reporting that attendance wouldn't be as high because Pope John Paul II wouldn't be there. In reality, Pope Benedict XVI drew even larger crowds than WYD in Toronto. The Washington Times gets it right in this story about the eagerness and excitement among the young for the Pope's American visit.

"These are young people who really do have great questions: How shall I live? What's the meaning of life? What's the purpose of life? ... I think they see in the pope answers to those questions because the pope reflects the voice of Christ," Archbishop Wuerl said.

The News from Nationals Park

Heather Westrom, director of ballpark enterprises with Nationals Park in Washington, DC provided me with some information on preparations for the papal Mass to be held there. Several reports have inaccurately stated that the Mass will be the first non-baseball event held in the new stadium. Westrom told me otherwise. The stadium is scheduled to be completed March 28th, but is being used for other private events prior to the papal Mass.

Westrom told me that the usual cost for renting the stadium is $50,000, but she could not elaborate on what kind of deal might have been reached with the archdiocese. The seating capacity of the stadium is 41,222, but since the altar will be located center field, that will allow for additional seating capacity on the field.

Tom Stehle told me that orchestra members already have their seat assignments.

"Something like this is 85% different than preparing for a ball game," said Westrom. Asked about extraordinary preparations, Westrom cited the placement of a stage in center field, the building of media platforms (one behind home plate), creatively coming up with additional space for the hundreds of satellite broadcast trucks that will be on-site, and because the pope is a visiting head-of-state, the Secret Service will be installing metal detectors at every park entrance. The stadium will open at 5:30 a.m. and remain open until 2 p.m. Mass is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and conclude around noon.

DC's "Music Man"

Yesterday, I spoke with Tom Stehle, the pastoral associate for liturgy and music at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Potomac, MD. Stehle is serving as the director of music for the Papal Mass in Washington, DC. Stehle's been involved in selecting the music and assembling the choirs for the Mass.

"My advice was sought back in November, and it's continued to be sought," Stehle said of his role. "Even though the visit wasn't official until January 13 or 14th, it's consumed all of my spare time since November 17. It hasn't stopped since. I don't think I've had a day when I haven't been working on this."

The Alleluia is from the ninth century chant, "O Filii et Filiae," with a vibrant brass accompaniment. The Gloria will be from the old Mass of the Angels, without accompaniment except for handbells.

He told me that there will be four choirs: a 250-voice auditioned choir, a 75-voice intercultural choir, a 85-voice Gospel choir, and a 175-voice children's choir, plus an orchestra, organ, piano, and hand bells. He said that the choirs will sing some songs together, and alternate for different numbers. He said that many of the hymns will be familiar. The opening hymn is to the tune of "All Creatures of Our God and King," but the text speaks of the Holy Spirit, since the Mass is a votive Mass of the Holy Spirit. The closing song will be the tune of "Alleluia, Sing to Jesus," but again the text will be about the Holy Spirit and being Christ's presence in the world.

Photo of Monsignor Marini at WDTPRS?

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf has a photo on his blog of Monsignor Marini and some New York priests and seminarians.

February 21, 2008

Pope Desires a Reform of Outdoor Masses

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf has a fascinating look at comments made by Pope Benedict to clergy in Rome. The essence of his comments appear to be that the pope desires some reform of the way outdoor Masses, such as those that will be held in the U.S. and Australia this year, are handled. At issue is the idea of hundreds of priests concelebrating and distributing the Eucharist. The pope doesn't want to do away with outdoor Masses entirely, but desires to "preserve the dignity that is always necessary for the Eucharist." To that end, Monsignor Guido Marini, the papal Master of Ceremonies, is in the U.S. visiting the sites to study how they might be used in keeping with Pope Benedict's liturgical desires.

Expectations for the Pope's Catholic University Visit

The majority of the pope's events while he's here in the U.S. are private. Among those is his April 17 meeting with Catholic college and university presidents, and diocesan education officials at Catholic University of America. Catholic Online carried a Catholic News Service story on this talk. Thomas Peters of the AmericanPapist blog told me that they'll be clearing the campus of students, aside from outside the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, where the pope will be speaking.

I recently spoke with Catholic University president Fr. David O'Connell about the event at Catholic University. He told me that the Pryzbyla Center can accommodate about 800 people. They are expecting about 550. In December, Fr. O'Connell sent out invites to all Catholic university and college presidents, as well as invitations for one representative from each diocese that has some responsibility for Catholic education at the primary and secondary level. Depending upon the diocese that could be secretariats, vicars, or superintendents. Fr. O'Connell said that they heard back from all dioceses but about 20. In addition, as a host, Catholic University has invited its board of trustees, deans, and some students to attend. They also expect approximately 50 media.

Some have wondered what the pope might talk about at Catholic University. Fr. O'Connell had some thoughts about this.

"When the pope travels, the place that hosts him is frequently asked to suggest bullet points for the Holy Father so that they can be incorporated into his speech," explained Fr. O'Connell. With the help of Archbishop Donald Wuerl, Fr. O'Connell created several pages of ideas which were sent through the Papal Nuncio to brief the Holy Father on the situation locally. Among the ideas on that list, were: "the concern about moral relativism and its adverse impact on our society and culture, and the importance of Catholic colleges and universities providing for students the tools necessary to confront moral relativism," said Fr. O'Connell. He also stressed the, "need for Catholic campuses to be strong not only in Catholic teaching and doctrine, but also the development of faith through vibrant Catholic ministry, and coherent residence and student life."

Among those in attendance will be Thomas Dillon, president of Thomas Aquinas College.

"I expect that the Pope will be conciliatory yet instructive, lauding Catholic higher education in this country for its historical achievement but reminding its leaders of the importance of the Catholic university's ordination, finally to the truth of Christ," Dillon told me. "I would not be surprised if he took up again some of the themes in his Regensburg address and in his undelivered but published address to La Sapienza Universita di Roma: for example, the birth of the university from within the Church; the nature and mission of the Catholic university; the futility of relativism and skepticism; the complementarity of faith and reason (and the importance of each) in our search for wisdom."

Papal Visit's Poignant Moment?

According to The Journal News, Mark Ackermann, executive director of the New York Archdiocese's Office of the Papal Visit, believes that Pope Benedict's morning stop at Ground Zero, on the morning of April 20, promises to be the most poignant part of the papal visit.

"The Holy Father will actually go down and touch bedrock, spend a period of private prayer, bless the area and then visit with 24 individuals, some of whom lost loved ones in the attacks on our country," Ackermann said. Ackermann was hand-picked by Cardinal Edward Egan to lead the 50-person Papal Visit Task Force.


  • Pope Benedict XVI is coming to America and Australia. The National Catholic Register wants to make sure you don’t miss out.
    Tim Drake, our Senior Writer, will provide you with up-to-the-minute reports on news and preparations, and will blog directly from papal events, right here. To reach the author email: tdrake(at) Stay tuned for announcements of new special features. The site is still under construction.

Sydney - 2007

  • World Youth Day Days in the Diocese Volunteers
    Photos taken during a September, 2007 Media visit to Sydney, Wollongong, and Cairns, Australia in preparation for World Youth Day 2008.

  • Minneapolis American Idle Finalist
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Great News: Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

The Commentary to the Douay-Rheims translation of the Bible by Father George L. Haydock, generally found at a price of $100 or more apparently has been recently placed on the Internet with the following cautionary statement:

WEBSITE STATUS: Raw transcription completed and posted online, December 2007. First proofreading of all chapters is now in progress. Please report any suspected transcription errors via email to: Thank you.

I just glanced at the notes on John, Chapter 6, The Bread of Life discourse; There are 36 extremely detailed notes on that chapter alone.

The Haydock Bible Commentaries are found at

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Rats, here's another thing from Fr. Tim Finigan in the UK to get upset about

The GIRM must be the most violated law in the universe. Fr. Tim Finigan, a pal of Fr. Z, serving well in the UK, brings to our attention another liturgical abuse:

Just sing a little "Amen"

Jeffrey Tucker has an excellent post entitled "Ditch the Great Amen". I must confess that this has been a subliminal annoyance to which I have not paid all that much attention. He quotes Gavin at Musica Sacra who says:

Nothing in the GIRM, rubrics, or tradition (that I know of) requires the congregation to sing "Amen" more than once at any point in the Mass. Yet today every Catholic pewsitter knows that the IMPORTANT part of the Mass ISN'T the words "This is My Body" but when you have four chords and sing "A-A-MEN, A-A-MEN, A-A-A-MENNNN" and then repeat it. I've even heard catechists say that THAT is the point where the bread becomes the Body. Oh, and the scores for these "Great Amens" always have FFF as the closing dynamic. This HORRIBLY imbalances the Mass!

So when your priest sings "Through him, with him, in him" to the simple tone, just respond on the same note he used as the reciting tone: "Amen." If he uses the solemn tone (with the slurs on some syllables), respond according to the pitch he ends on "A-me-" and then move up a whole tone "-en." It's all so simple, no one can object to it if it's done routinely, and it makes SUCH a difference in how the Mass is perceived by the congregation.
Sorry to be corny, but I just have to say "Amen" to that. It is true - the "Great Amen" is not de fide definita, it's prominence in many modern sung Masses is entirely due to the particular views of some liturgists. It is perfectly OK to ditch it and just sing a little "Amen".

Archbishop Harry Flynn: Women's Retreat titled "Pray With Heart", Holy Spirit, St Paul, February 23

A Women’s Retreat titled, “Pray With Heart” will be presented February 23 by Archbishop Harry Flynn at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 515 South Albert in St. Paul from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.

The event includes Mass at 8:30 am followed by a talk by the Archbishop on “Getting To Know The Heart Of Our Mother.” The 10:30 am talk will be on “The Heart and Soul of Prayer: Rediscover Fasting” and at 11:00 Quiet Reflection/Confessions, followed by “Walking The Stations With Mary.”

The event concludes at noon. The cost is $10 per person. For information call: 651-291-4488.

No tasty salad-less menu to be provided.

Jeff Cavins and Father Richard Hogan: "Teaching the Objective Benefit of Marriage" for Teens and Adults, April 8

Totus Tuus is sponsoring a conference on April 8 for teens and adults with Keynote speaker Jeff Cavins lecturing on “Getting Out Of The Boat.” Father Richard Hogan who will speak on, “Restoring The Dream” and also, “Teaching The Objective Benefit Of Marriage.” The event is being held at St. John The Baptist Catholic Church in New Brighton, Mn. For information or to register, call: 651-748-1744.

Rosalind Moss to Speak at All Saints in Lakeville on April 5

Rosalind Moss will be speaking on April 5 for “Women’s Day” at All Saints Parish in Lakeville. The event is open to the public. Information will be added as it is received.

"Sister" Rosalind, an apologist for Catholic Answers in San Diego and a program host with EWTN radio and TV, a Jewish convert to Catholicism for ten years or so, just announced a week ago that she is starting a new community of sisters in the Archdiocese of St. Louis with the permission of Archbishop Raymond L. Burke. The new group will be called the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel's Hope.

This is so new that they have no web page yet, nor a design for their habit. But perhaps they will be unveiled (or veiled, perhaps) by April 5.

Maybe it's not too late for Adoro to change her plans. KCMO is not that far from St Louis!

22nd Annual Marian Congress, Guardian Angels, Oakdale, March 1

The day-long 22nd Annual Marian Congress hosted by the World Apostolate of Fatima will be held at Guardian Angels Catholic Church, 8260-4th Street North in Oakdale, Mn.

Father Donald DeGrood who will be talking on “The Immaculate Heart of Mary as Model of Our Interior Life.” emphasizing spiritual qualities in the life of Mary and offer ways to allow these same spiritual qualities to flourish in our interior lives, particularly through the devotions she requested at Fatima and through consecration to Her Immaculate Heart.

The pre-registration fee prior to February 23rd is $25 or $30 at the door. The fee includes lunch and an information packet. Checks can be made to: Marian Congress-Marian Deilke, 8445 Goodview Avenue South in Cottage Grove, Mn 55016.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lay Catholics Launch The Chesterton Academy

Last November, a 32- year- old attorney with the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps at Fort Drum in New York packed up his wife Annie and their five children and their belongings and headed west to St. Paul to take on a daunting new challenge: founding headmaster of The Chesterton Academy, a private, independent high school inspired by the thought of G. K. Chesterton.

" This is ridiculous," said the new headmaster's five- year- old daughter in true Chestertonian fashion.

The new headmaster is John DeJak, a graduate of Loyola University Chicago, where he was a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship, and a 2004 graduate of the Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor. He was an easy pick for the school's founding board of Catholic parents, led by Dale Ahlquist, president of the American Chesterton Society and an internationally recognized authority on Chesterton's life and work.

DeJak has taught Latin, theology, Church history and ecclesiology at Catholic high schools in Chicago and Cleveland, worked as a legal intern for the St. Thomas More Society, and is an active pro-lifer, fully committed to The Chesterton Academy's goal of building a "culture of life."

And he is a passionate devotee of Chesterton and Chesterton's mentor, Hilaire Belloc.

Also leading the effort for the new school is Thomas Bengtson, publisher of the North- Western Financial Review and a member of the board of the Couple to Couple League and publisher of its Family Foundations magazine.

The founders of the school are in the process of settling on a permanent location for the school in the southwest Minneapolis area, and a closing date is forthcoming, DeJak told The Wanderer in a recent telephone interview. [There was some talk last Summer at the annual Chesterton Gathering at UST that if this effort is successful, the possibility of other Chesterton Academies opening in other cities is possible. One wonders with the current state of the real estate market and the national economy if they will be able to pull this off. The scene was much brighter last Summer.]

"This is a wonderful effort by parents here in the Twin Cities," DeJak said.

"As parents are the primary educators of their children, this new academy is truly an effort that comes from the heart of the Church's teachings and what better model than G. K. Chesterton in terms of intellectual giant and culture warrior.

" Chesterton is someone who appreciated everything. He took an interest in everything and he was excited about everything and through that love of learning and the world he came to a profound love of God; through God's creation, he also came to understood how all truth is connected to The Truth, who is Jesus Christ.

" What we seek to do at the Chesterton Academy," he continued, "is to provide an integrated education and to teach our students that there is a whole truth of things, and in knowing that we are happy." The project to establish the academy, he said, began some two years ago when a group of parents started discussing secondary schools and saw the need for a high school that not only taught the faith, but taught all subjects through the lens of the faith, and how they are all interconnected.

"From my experience as a theology teacher in various Catholic schools," DeJak said, "there are too often elements in place that have the effect of undermining the faith, and this new endeavor is a chance to build up the faith and introduce it in a holistic way to our students.

"Parents in the Twin Cities are looking for a school that will be academically rigorous and will offer spiritual formation through daily Mass, frequent Confession, and an emphasis on articulating great ideas through the arts."

The board is currently recruiting students by word of mouth, giving presentations at parishes in the area, and visiting with interested families. "We're especially reaching out to the various home- schooling groups, which is quite a large enterprise out here," he added.

Strong Academics

The academic program at The Chesterton Academy is a solid, traditional, liberal arts program that, over four years, will educate students in the story of civilization, as well as provide them a solid foundation in math, music, art, science, and literature.

Freshman year will cover ancient history, from the Egyptian through the Greek and Roman civilizations. Students will learn the background against which the Old Testament was written and how classical philosophy, with attention to Plato and Aristotle, developed. Sophomore year will cover early Church history through the High Middle Ages, which, said DeJak, is probably one of the most important periods in world history and yet most neglected in other schools.

Junior year will cover the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, and show students how the renaissance in art and literature was accompanied by the rise of the Church Militant.

Senior year will cover the Modern "Revolutionary" Era: the American and French Revolutions, the In dustrial Revolution, the Communist Revolution, and the Sexual Revolution (which led to the acceptance of contraception and abortion). The Catholic Church lost its temporal power but developed its religious and moral authority on a universal scale.

The study of literature will be tied closely to the study of history and the rest of the humanities.

During freshman year, students will be introduced to the classic epics of Homer and Virgil. As sophomores, they will be exposed to early English classics such as The Canterbury Tales, as well as modern literary renderings of medieval history. During the junior year, students will get healthy servings of Shakespeare. As seniors, they will read American literature, Dickens, Dostoyevski, and Hugo. And Chesterton.

Also in their senior year, students will be introduced to modern economic thought by reading Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations, Karl Marx's Das Kapital, Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum, Hilaire Belloc's
The Servile State,
G.K. Chesterton's The Outline of Sanity, and Joseph Pearce's Small Is Still Beautiful.

Art education will also be a major component of the academy's curriculum over four years. As the founders of The Chesterton Academy explain: "A complete education must include the development of the child's creative nature and must provide him with the tools and the technique with which to express his ideas, his feelings, and his love. It must also include the analytical skills with which to judge a work of art and therefore must provide the continuous exposure to great art. Most importantly, the mechanical skills and the aesthetic aptitude must be put into the proper context of eternal Truth. A good artist is a complete thinker and vice- versa. Chesterton says that in order to be a good artist, one must be a good philosopher: 'A man cannot have the energy to produce good art without having the energy to wish to pass beyond it. A small artist is content with art; a great artist is content with nothing except everything'."

There will also be an equal emphasis on music. Over four years, students will learn music fundamentals (theory, performance, ear training, music analysis and appreciation) but also music history, where they will see music in the context of the times and philosophy of the period in which it was created, with special attention to the role of music throughout Church history and specifically its role in the Catholic Mass.

In science studies, freshmen will study astronomy and geology; sophomores biology; juniors chemistry; and seniors physics.

Thanks to a donor in Chicago, DeJak told The Wanderer, the new academy's library is off to a good start.

The academy is also forming a lay board of advisers, and has already attracted three big names in Catholic circles: Notre Dame law professor emeritus Dr. Charles E. Rice, Chicago's pro-life activist Joe Scheidler, and Minnesota pro-life activist Mary Ann Kuharski.

For more information about The Chesterton Academy, Wanderer readers can contact Dr. DeJak by telephone: 952-831-3096; or by email:, visit the academy's web

Tip O' the Hat to Georgette and Some Have Hats!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Do I Hear More Latin: St Charles in Bayport and St Joseph in West St Paul?


The Inimitable Father John Zuhlsdorf, "Father Z", somewhere on travels in Merrie Olde England, I believe, caught the fact that the StarTribune in Minneapolis has an article on Father John Paul Echert, Pastor of St Augustine's and Holy Trinity in South St Paul who had been celebrating the Indult Latin Mass on Sundays and some other occasions and who now celebrates it seven days a week under the authority of the Pope's recent Summorum Pontificum decree giving priests the right to say the Extraordinary Form of the 1962 Latin Mass of Pope John XXII.

The Saturday "Faith and Values" edition of the Strib has only an article on Zen meditation at a retreat center down Iowa way. Father Echert's article will be in Sunday's editiion.

Father Echert, Commander in Chief of the Argument of the Month Club, a Men Only Group, that dines and argues on the second Tuesday of most months of the year at St Augustine's (and who is also a Lieutenant Colonel chaplain in the Air Force Reserves), is also training other priests from the archdiocese in the celebrating of the Mass in Latin. The Strib article below, with Father Z's incisive comments, mentions that Father Randall Kasel of St Charles' in Bayport and Father John Gallas of St Joseph's in West St Paul will soon be doing that in their own parishes.

The communities of Corcoran, Rogers, Waverly and St Michael in West Hennepin and Wright Counties are also in the process of setting up a regular Latin Mass schedule.

Emphasis and Comments by Father Z!

As he prepared to celebrate the traditional Latin mass at Holy Trinity church in South St. Paul, the Rev. John Echert predicted that it would last 35 minutes. Not "about" 35 minutes; 35 minutes. And it did. Exactly. [Yah, that is about right. That is just about what I get, except when there is, like today, an Ember Day.]

He wasn’t just guessing. Every genuflection, every wave of incense, every ringing of the signal bells is spelled out in intricate detail in the instructions for the mass. Except for a half-stifled sneeze (Echert was trying to ward off a cold), the parishioners knew that the mass that day was going to be exactly the same as every other day’s, down to the smallest detail.

"The people who come to this mass like that it is so fixed," he said. "They like the ritual, the stability and the predictability. There are no surprises." [In other words it is liturgy.]

Echert, whose parish also includes St. Augustine church, is waging virtually a one-man campaign in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to revive [Well.. not sure about that. But I will say it here openly: I’ll help any time. Just call.] what many Roman Catholics had considered nearly a lost rite: the Tridentine, or the traditional Latin mass.

When Pope Benedict issued a decree in July clearing a way for a revival of the mass, which had not been practiced regularly for 40 years, many church insiders predicted that it would appeal only to nostalgic senior citizens. But Echert has seen evidence to the contrary.

"I have more crying babies at the Tridentine mass than the English one," he said. [Of course! They are having children!]

Indeed, among the worshippers on a recent Friday was Ann Swanson, 28, [Born after the reforms began.] who was there with her children. "I’ve noticed a lot of people my age here," she said, going on to explain that the mass "appeals to me because it is so centered on God. Some elements of the modern mass distract from that, but this is entirely focused on the Eucharist, which is the center of our faith."

A few pews away from her sat Henry Jandrich, 30.[Born after the reforms began.] "This mass celebrates more reverently than many other liturgies I’ve attended," he said. "It’s a transcendent liturgy that brings me closer to prayer."

Echert, 50, has been fascinated with the mass since he was a youngster. "That mass is the reason I became a priest," he said. "I was inspired by its beauty and intricacy."

In addition to leading a daily Latin mass, which alternates between his two churches, he has become the archdiocese’s tutor on it, working with a half dozen priests and seminarians who want to learn it. "I guess, by default, we sort of became the mother church for the Tridentine mass," he said. Two priests, the Rev. Randall Kasel of St. Charles in Bayport and the Rev. John Gallas of St. Joseph’s in West St. Paul, are about ready to "solo."

Ancient language, modern times

The term Tridentine comes from the Latin tridentinus, a reference to the 1570 Council of Trent, which convinced Pope Pius V to make the mass mandatory throughout the church. It fell out of favor in the 1970s following the Vatican II directive allowing mass in the local languages.

A splinter group that refused to make the change, the Society of St. Pius V, split from the Vatican and has several churches in Minnesota. They are not considered Roman Catholic, although there have been tentative discussions about them rejoining. The major stumbling block is the Vatican’s insistence that they also offer rites in English, which they refuse to do.

There also are Roman Catholic churches that offer Latin translations of the contemporary mass, but that’s not the Tridentine mass.

There is a contemplative aspect to the mass.

"It’s very quiet, Echert said. "And it’s very ritualistic. For instance, I genuflect more. A lot more, like 30 times compared with three" in a contemporary mass.

Even though it’s shorter than many other masses, it can be mentally exhausting for the priest because it requires an intense focus.

"It’s very detailed," he said. "Everything is very specific and demanding. Every step has to be done exactly the same way every time. There is very little in the way of options."

When the pope issued the decree about the Latin mass, church insiders predicted that, at most, it would generate only a ripple of interest among rank-and-file Catholics. And, so far at least, that has turned out to be the case.

"There’s a whole generation of people who are used to the English mass," said Dennis McGrath, director of communications for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. "I doubt that a lot of them have ever even heard a Latin mass. Yes, the language [of the Tridentine mass] is beautiful, but most people don’t want to go to a mass in a language they’ve never heard before." [Why is it that nearly every "director of communications"... who makes a statement… for nearly every diocese in the world seems to shun or diminish as much as they can something which is quite obviously a growing movement?]

And they might not be hearing a lot about it now. The initiative for the Latin mass must start with the parishioners, who have to petition the priest to offer the Latin mass. This has created something of a Catch-22: Priests can’t offer the mass until their congregations hear it, decide that they like it and then ask for it. But that means they would have to ask for it before they’ve heard it. [Actually, there is a lot of debate about that. I think we have to remember that priests have rights too. Furthermore, the Motu Proprio does not fix a minimum number of people who can must make a request. This will be clarified in the Pope’s upcoming document for sure.]

"The pope set it up to be a grass-roots movement led by the faithful," Echert said.

In 1984 the Vatican opened the door to periodic celebrations of the mass. Echert was teaching at the University of St. Thomas at the time, but when he made the transition to parish priest six years ago, he volunteered to revive the mass. Having majored in Latin in college, it seemed like a natural fit.

"When I was in college, I used to ask myself, ‘What am I going to do with a degree in Latin?’" he said with a laugh.

A lost cause?

Monsignor Kevin Irwin, dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., said that Echert might be swimming upstream in his attempt to build widespread support for the Latin mass.

"For those who are fundamentally disposed toward the Tridentine mass, the pope’s decree is very encouraging," Irwin said. "But for the 99.9 percent of the rest of us, I don’t see wholesale changes." [Then get outta the way of the train that will be coming through!]

While Echert isn’t predicting that the Latin mass will replace the contemporary one, he is confident that it will find its fans. [Fans? What is this? "Fans" make them sound like, say, hapless Cubs fans.]

"It’s only been a few months [since the pope’s edict]. Give it time," he said. "I think that a year from now, there will be half a dozen parishes in the archdiocese offering it. Two years from now, there will be twice that many."

The Vatican established the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter specifically to train priests in the Latin mass. [Nooo… that is not why the Fraternity was established.] The North American school is in Nebraska, but so far its crash courses haven’t generated widespread interest among Twin Cities priests. [That is because they have an alternative.] Echert has had better luck with a more measured approach that stretches the training over several months.

"We watch a lot of videotapes" of the mass, he said. "And we do a lot of practicing."

Echert sees interest in the Tridentine mass as more than just nostalgia. After several years of growth in more-relaxed worship styles, he thinks that the pendulum is starting to swing back toward so-called "high" church with more emphasis on rituals, decorum and formality.

There’s a sense of propriety among those at the mass, he said, starting with the way people dress. "I’ve never seen any cut-offs. And many of the women wear veils, although that’s not a requirement," Echert said.

The way mass has been celebrated over the past 40 years doesn’t fully resonate with the worshippers who are drawn to the Tridentine mass.

"I think the mass is filling a void that people feel."

All in all a good article. I am all for Fr. Echert in his efforts. If he ever needs a hand, all he has to do is wave my direction and I will come.


What Does The Prayer Really Say - Father Z