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Wednesday 31 March 2010



Let us remember over this Sacred Triduum which we enter into tomorrow that the Evil One is at this very moment using his great but limited power to attempt to tear asunder the Church of Christ Catholic and the Vicar of Christ.

Satan and his minions want the Church and the Pope destroyed because they are the only moral force left in the world, notwithstanding the grievous sins of many of its lay and clerical and episcopal members.

May all of us have a prayerful and holy and blessed Triduum with the bright light of Pascal Sunday on a few days away.

Vox Cantoris

Tuesday 30 March 2010

Chrism Mass--Archbishop Thomas Collins

Today at St. Michael's Cathedral Archbishop Thomas Collins in a profound homily on the Catholic Priesthood during the Mass of Chrism addressed the issue of priestly fidelity and the heinous crimes committed by certain priests and the neglect by some bishops. He also gave a firm call for all Catholics to give thanks to God for Pope Benedict XVI during this time. He spoke about the necessary "purification" in the Church and no less than three times referred to the evil one and invoked the Prayer of St. Michael the Archangel.

Here are some excerpts and the complete text and Mp3's are linked below to the Archdiocese of Toronto website.

”Each baptized disciple is anointed with Chrism as he or she receives the gift of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation. The Christian is consecrated to be a faithful witness to Christ, to proclaim the Gospel through words and deeds, and most profoundly through a life of Christian integrity lived amid the temptations to infidelity that come from the world, the flesh, and the devil. Every Christian, consecrated with Chrism, must daily engage in the spiritual combat against all three sources of temptation, and is strengthened and filled with joy through the power of the Lord, who is always near. When we Christians look around at the evil in the world, and look within at our own weaknesses, there is no cause for dismay, for fundamentally, the strife is over, the battle won, but until we finally finish the journey of life we must always confront the manifold temptations of fallen humanity.

Recognizing that, it has occurred to met that we should pray more frequently the ancient prayer, rooted in Sacred Scripture that invokes the patron saint of our Archdiocese: "Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in this day of battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humble pray, and do you, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast down into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander through the world, seeking the ruin of souls." A little realism is healthy in a disciple.”…

"Each of us here present can think of the faithful priests who were used by God to inspire us with the call to the priesthood. Their example of lifelong joyful priestly service speaks more than words can do of the significance of being consecrated as a priest. After Mass we will gather to celebrate the priestly service of those ordained 25, 50, and 60 years. This day we give thanks to God for their fidelity. In May, we will celebrate the ordination of five more new priests, whom we welcome into the presbyterate of this Archdiocese."...

We learn about the real meaning of the priesthood at ordinations, when we experience the beginning of the joy of the consecration to the priestly mission, at anniversaries, when we celebrate milestones of priestly service, and finally at the funeral of a priest, when we gather to give thanks to God for a life of faithful service.

People expect that one who is consecrated with the holy oil of Chrism, will act in an exemplary manner, and never betray the trust which people know they should be able to place in a Catholic priest. At his ordination we pray: Bless this chosen man, and set him apart for his sacred duties. And yet to our shame some have used the awesome gift of the holy priesthood for base personal gratification, betraying the innocent and devastating their lives. When that happens, our first concern must be for those innocent young people who have been abused, to help them overcome their suffering, and to resolve to take whatever steps are needed to be as sure as is possible that this does not happen again. We have all had to learn through failures and mistakes and that is especially true of bishops, who have sometimes failed in their responsibility to act effectively.

For this diocese, anyone who looks at our website can see the policies that are in place to help us to act rightly, but we must never be satisfied.

We cannot escape the horror of this by pointing out that almost all priests serve faithfully, though that fact is a grace that gives joy to the Catholic people, whose love and prayerful support sustains us all. But even one priest gone wrong causes immense harm, and throughout the world priests have done unspeakable evil.

We should be grateful for the attention which the media devotes to the sins of Catholic clergy, even if constant repetition may give the false impression that Catholic clergy are particularly sinful. That attention is a profound tribute to the priesthood which we celebrate at this Mass of the Chrism. People instinctively expect holiness in a Catholic priest, and are especially appalled when he does evil.

As we look to the continuing painful purification of the Church, we all need in a particular way to give thanks to God for the leadership of Joseph Ratzinger, as Cardinal and Pope, who has acted decisively, fairly, consistently, and courageously to purify the priesthood and to make the Church a safe place for everyone. Anyone with any knowledge of this terrible reality realizes that Pope Benedict has led the way in confronting this evil."...Very Reverend Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto

A friend recently attended the "Come and See Weekend" at St. Augustine's Seminary in his discernment of the call to the Priesthood (Pray for JS). He told me that the Archbishop attended and the matter of certain behaviours homosexuality and an attraction to children was addressed with firmness and clarity and Christian truth. Toronto is fortunate that beginning with Cardinal Carter's sweep of the Seminary back in the late 1970's things have been run as a pretty tight ship. I know myself that at the very hint of an offense, the policy linked above is implemented and there is no sweeping it under the rug. Cardinals Carter and Ambrozic deserve much thanks in this regard for defending the priesthood. Archbishop Collins is no fool and by his own words today and by witness has proved he will not allow any backsliding.

That being said, the Church as a whole must continue to address the issue; it is not just a matter of someone with homosexual inclinations being admitted to the Priesthood and have them practice celibacy. Celibacy is a given. You cannot put anyone with any homosexual tendencies, into the priesthood period. It is simply unfair to them to put them into an occasion where they will be constantly around those whom they, in a weakened moment may desire. Lust is powerful be it heterosexual or homosexual and in fact, with the latter may even by stronger. It will represent a constant danger to someone in the future. Not all men with homosexual desires act out on them with post-pubescent boys (these are the greatest amount of victims, the predators or pederasts; paedophiles act out on pre-pubescent boys or girls with no pubic hair, however, the fact remains that the overwhelming majority of victims were boys over the age of 11 preyed upon by men with deep-seated homosexual desires for young boys. Fact.

These priests and bishops and cardinals must be found out and they must be put out of the Church.

The irony, is that the vile media will label the Church "homophobic" yet condemns the Church for the actions done by priests who are active homosexuals not seeing the hypocrisy in their distorted reporting. The truth is that the dissenting Catholics, the media and the homosexualist lobby, the globalists, environmentalists, communists and Freemasons don't really care about the children at all; if they did, they would ask why the Church has permitted so many homosexualists to infiltrate to seek out their victims and to destroy the Church and the peoples' faith from within. This was Stalin's plan. This was Satan's plan. This is the truth.

Archbishop Collins is to be commended for his words and his recognition of the "painful purification." Yes, it has begun. Let us rejoice!

You may read all of it

Listen here on Mp3 to the complete Homily:

Listen here on Mp3 to his statement on the Priesthood and Pope Benedict XVI.

And this:

Setting the record straight in the case of abusive Milwaukee priest Father Lawrence Murphy

Then-presiding judge for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee gives first-person account of church trial


For CatholicAnchor.org

To provide context to this article, I was the Judicial Vicar for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee from 1995-2003. During those years, I presided over four canonical criminal cases, one of which involved Father Lawrence Murphy. Two of the four men died during the process. God alone will judge these men.

To put some parameters on the following remarks, I am writing this article with the express knowledge and consent of Archbishop Roger Schwietz, OMI, the Archbishop of Anchorage, where I currently serve. Archbishop Schwietz is also the publisher of the Catholic Anchor newspaper.

I will limit my comments, because of judicial oaths I have taken as a canon lawyer and as an ecclesiastical judge. However, since my name and comments in the matter of the Father Murphy case have been liberally and often inaccurately quoted in the New York Times and in more than 100 other newspapers and on-line periodicals, I feel a freedom to tell part of the story of Father Murphy’s trial from ground zero.

As I have found that the reporting on this issue has been inaccurate and poor in terms of the facts, I am also writing out of a sense of duty to the truth.

The fact that I presided over this trial and have never once been contacted by any news organization for comment speaks for itself.

My intent in the following paragraphs is to accomplish the following:

To tell the back-story of what actually happened in the Father Murphy case on the local level;

To outline the sloppy and inaccurate reporting on the Father Murphy case by the New York Times and other media outlets;

To assert that Pope Benedict XVI has done more than any other pope or bishop in history to rid the Catholic Church of the scourge of child sexual abuse and provide for those who have been injured;

To set the record straight with regards to the efforts made by the church to heal the wounds caused by clergy sexual misconduct. The Catholic Church is probably the safest place for children at this point in history.

Before proceeding, it is important to point out the scourge that child sexual abuse has been — not only for the church but for society as well. Few actions can distort a child’s life more than sexual abuse. It is a form of emotional and spiritual homicide and it starts a trajectory toward a skewed sense of sexuality. When committed by a person in authority, it creates a distrust of almost anyone, anywhere.

As a volunteer prison chaplain in Alaska, I have found a corollary between those who have been incarcerated for child sexual abuse and the priests who have committed such grievous actions. They tend to be very smart and manipulative. They tend to be well liked and charming. They tend to have one aim in life — to satisfy their hunger. Most are highly narcissistic and do not see the harm that they have caused. They view the children they have abused not as people but as objects. They rarely show remorse and moreover, sometimes portray themselves as the victims. They are, in short, dangerous people and should never be trusted again. Most will recommit their crimes if given a chance.

As for the numerous reports about the case of Father Murphy, the back-story has not been reported as of yet.

In 1996, I was introduced to the story of Father Murphy, formerly the principal of St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee. It had been common knowledge for decades that during Father Murphy’s tenure at the school (1950-1974) there had been a scandal at St. John’s involving him and some deaf children. The details, however, were sketchy at best.

Courageous advocacy on behalf of the victims (and often their wives), led the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to revisit the matter in 1996. In internal discussions of the curia for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, it became obvious that we needed to take strong and swift action with regard to the wrongs of several decades ago. With the consent of then-Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland, we began an investigation into the allegations of child sexual abuse as well as the violation of the crime of solicitation within the confessional by Father Murphy.

We proceeded to start a trial against Father Murphy. I was the presiding judge in this matter and informed Father Murphy that criminal charges were going to be levied against him with regard to child sexual abuse and solicitation in the confessional.

In my interactions with Father Murphy, I got the impression I was dealing with a man who simply did not get it. He was defensive and threatening.

Between 1996 and August, 1998, I interviewed, with the help of a qualified interpreter, about a dozen victims of Father Murphy. These were gut-wrenching interviews. In one instance the victim had become a perpetrator himself and had served time in prison for his crimes. I realized that this disease is virulent and was easily transmitted to others. I heard stories of distorted lives, sexualities diminished or expunged. These were the darkest days of my own priesthood, having been ordained less than 10 years at the time. Grace-filled spiritual direction has been a Godsend.

I also met with a community board of deaf Catholics. They insisted that Father Murphy should be removed from the priesthood and highly important to them was their request that he be buried not as a priest but as a layperson. I indicated that a judge, I could not guarantee the first request and could only make a recommendation to the latter request.

In the summer of 1998, I ordered Father Murphy to be present at a deposition at the chancery in Milwaukee. I received, soon after, a letter from his doctor that he was in frail health and could travel not more than 20 miles (Boulder Junction to Milwaukee would be about 276 miles). A week later, Father Murphy died of natural causes in a location about 100 miles from his home

With regard to the inaccurate reporting on behalf of the New York Times, the Associated Press, and those that utilized these resources, first of all, I was never contacted by any of these news agencies but they felt free to quote me. Almost all of my quotes are from a document that can be found online with the correspondence between the Holy See and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. In an October 31, 1997 handwritten document, I am quoted as saying ‘odds are that this situation may very well be the most horrendous, number wise, and especially because these are physically challenged , vulnerable people. “ Also quoted is this: “Children were approached within the confessional where the question of circumcision began the solicitation.”

The problem with these statements attributed to me is that they were handwritten. The documents were not written by me and do not resemble my handwriting. The syntax is similar to what I might have said but I have no idea who wrote these statements, yet I am credited as stating them. As a college freshman at the Marquette University School of Journalism, we were told to check, recheck, and triple check our quotes if necessary. I was never contacted by anyone on this document, written by an unknown source to me. Discerning truth takes time and it is apparent that the New York Times, the Associated Press and others did not take the time to get the facts correct.

Additionally, in the documentation in a letter from Archbishop Weakland to then-secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone on August 19, 1998, Archbishop Weakland stated that he had instructed me to abate the proceedings against Father Murphy. Father Murphy, however, died two days later and the fact is that on the day that Father Murphy died, he was still the defendant in a church criminal trial. No one seems to be aware of this. Had I been asked to abate this trial, I most certainly would have insisted that an appeal be made to the supreme court of the church, or Pope John Paul II if necessary. That process would have taken months if not longer.

Second, with regard to the role of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), in this matter, I have no reason to believe that he was involved at all. Placing this matter at his doorstep is a huge leap of logic and information.

Third, the competency to hear cases of sexual abuse of minors shifted from the Roman Rota to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith headed by Cardinal Ratzinger in 2001. Until that time, most appeal cases went to the Rota and it was our experience that cases could languish for years in this court. When the competency was changed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in my observation as well as many of my canonical colleagues, sexual abuse cases were handled expeditiously, fairly, and with due regard to the rights of all the parties involved. I have no doubt that this was the work of then Cardinal Ratzinger.

Fourth, Pope Benedict has repeatedly apologized for the shame of the sexual abuse of children in various venues and to a worldwide audience. This has never happened before. He has met with victims. He has reigned in entire conferences of bishops on this matter, the Catholic Bishops of Ireland being the most recent. He has been most reactive and proactive of any international church official in history with regard to the scourge of clergy sexual abuse of minors. Instead of blaming him for inaction on these matters, he has truly been a strong and effective leader on these issues.

Finally, over the last 25 years, vigorous action has taken place within the church to avoid harm to children. Potential seminarians receive extensive sexual-psychological evaluation prior to admission. Virtually all seminaries concentrate their efforts on the safe environment for children. There have been very few cases of recent sexual abuse of children by clergy during the last decade or more.

Catholic dioceses all across the country have taken extraordinary steps to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults. As one example, which is by no means unique, is in the Archdiocese of Anchorage, where I currently work. Here, virtually every public bathroom in parishes has a sign asking if a person has been abuse by anyone in the church. A phone number is given to report the abuse and almost all church workers in the archdiocese are required to take yearly formation sessions in safe environment classes. I am not sure what more the church can do.

To conclude, the events during the 1960’s and 1970’s of the sexual abuse of minors and solicitation in the confessional by Father Lawrence Murphy are unmitigated and gruesome crimes. On behalf of the church, I am deeply sorry and ashamed for the wrongs that have been done by my brother priests but realize my sorrow is probably of little importance 40 years after the fact. The only thing that we can do at this time is to learn the truth, beg for forgiveness, and do whatever is humanly possible to heal the wounds. The rest, I am grateful, is in God’s hands.

Father Thomas T. Brundage, JCL

Editor’s note: Father Brundage can be contacted at brundaget@archmil.org or by phone at (907) 745-3229 X 11.

Monday 29 March 2010

Judas rebuked

Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany,
where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served,
while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil
made from genuine aromatic nard
and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair;
the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples,
and the one who would betray him, said,
“Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages
and given to the poor?”
He said this not because he cared about the poor
but because he was a thief and held the money bag
and used to steal the contributions.
So Jesus said, “Leave her alone.
Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came,
not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus,
whom he had raised from the dead.
And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too,
because many of the Jews were turning away
and believing in Jesus because of him.

Thursday 25 March 2010

Ave, gratia plena

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the Child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Catholic Apostasy in the United States & Canada

Did you know that there are 136 Catholics in the United States House of Representatives sitting with the majority Democratic Party?

Did you know 125 of these--94% voted to provide federal funds to pay for the murder of children in the wombs of their mothers?

Congratulation to the Catholic Bishops of the United States for your splendid leadership and catechises of the Church for the last 50 years.

And before any of us Canadians become smug, our Canadian Bishops fell hard in 1968 at Winnipeg and we have paid the price ever since. Canada is in a mess and has funded the murder of babies in their mothers' wombs since 1968!

How do you think the LORD will deal with them and us for allowing this putrid travesty?

"All the evil in the world is due to luke-warm Catholics"--Pope Pius V

It is time friends for a Catholic revolution!




And this from Archbishop Charles Chaput, of Denver on the support of this monstrous legislation by the so-called "Catholic" Health Network and similar dissenting religious sisters and nuns:

“The actions of the Catholic Health Association (CHA) in providing a deliberate public counter-message to the bishops were both surprising and profoundly disappointing; and also genuinely damaging. In the crucial final days of debate on health-care legislation, CHA lobbyists worked directly against the efforts of the American bishops in their approach to members of Congress. The bad law we now likely face, we owe in part to the efforts of the Catholic Health Association and similar ‘Catholic’ organizations.”

Monday 22 March 2010

Justfying my quote--Part III

As Schola Master and Choir Director for the former Toronto Apostolate of the FSSP, I have been quoted in The current edition of The Catholic Register. A friend from Rome has written asking that I justify and clarify me comments:

“The Extraordinary Form is the fullest form of Catholic worship to God,” wrote David Domet, 53. “It is how the Mass was celebrated in Rome for over 1,500 years: it was only codified… at (the 16th-century Council of) Trent to promote uniformity in the rite. The roots of this (liturgy) are (in) the Temple in Jerusalem… The said or sung propers, the psalms of the Mass, connect us with the roots of our faith… When I sing the Gregorian chant and chant the psalms, it is the closest thing we know to the manner in which our Lord Himself would have heard and sung the psalms.”
Part the Third: Gregorian chant and the chanting of the psalms is the closest thing we know to the manner in which Our LORD Himself would have heard and sung the psalms in the Temple.

It is unknown by most people that in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite or Novus Ordo liturgy, Gregorian chant is the prescribed liturgical music for the Mass. The proof is in two places. First,
"The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as proper to the Roman liturgy; therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services" (Vatican Council II Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, No.116); second, the issuance of the 1974 The Graduale Romanum for the Novus Ordo and new calendar; essentially a smaller version of the Liber Usualis, which is ordered for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and last published in 1961. In this Graduale as in the Liber are the five Gregorian Proper for the Mass even if it is said in English. They are in Gregorian chant melismas and are the Introit, Graduale, Alleluia or Tract, Offertory and Communion and the appropriate Sequences and other Psalms and the Ordinary the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus.

Clearly, the Church intends Gregorian chant to be sung in both forms of the Roman Rite and the Second Vatican Council and all popes since have reaffirmed this.

But why and where did this music come from?

If we read the Psalms, we often see in Holy David's own words..."To the choirmaster... ." Clearly, we know from this and Jewish liturgical history as well that the Psalms were meant to be sung. they were songs of praise or repentance or of prayer and supplication and they were chanted to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. When as an infant, Mary of Nazareth was offered to God in the Temple by Anna and Joachim, they would have heard the psalms being sung. When Our Blessed Mother returned to present her own child with Joseph her husband and as she heard the words of Simeon and the Prophetess Hannah, the daughter of Phanuel, they would have heard singing. When at twelve, Jesus was teaching in the Temple, the psalms were sung. And when he was at the Temple in the last week of His life before the Crucifixion and Resurrection, he heard and sang the psalms Himself as He would have done at the synagogue in Capernaum.

But what did this singing sound like?
Those Jews which accepted Jesus as Messiah practiced their Judaic faith with the LORD's Prayer and Supper and this developed before the end of the first century to the Divine Liturgy. These early Christians sang and what they sang were the psalms they knew from the Temple. It is recorded that a vision was held by St. Ignatius of Antioch of Angels singing to the Holy Trinity in alternating hymns or antiphons from the Greek for opposite voices. St. Ambrose of Milan later formalised this method of singing and developed the first four authentic tones. The chants for the Mass was codified or organised by Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century, he died in 604. Originally, the texts were chanted by memory, literally passed on orally. By the tenth century a system of writing down the chants and the music was developed and standards and uniformity became more commonplace, though to be sure, different styles were present with the different rites--Ambrosian chant for example.

It was Guido of Arezzo in 930 who developed St. Ambrose's work into a seven-note scale which eventually grew to eight. This scale of Do Re Mi, etc. named from the first letters of of the words to a hymn to St. John the Baptist, Ut Queant Laxis and where the notes fell on the system of lines and neumes developed by Arezzo. This is where our whole western music originates.
The only accidental (black key) was the B flat assuming it is sung in its written pitch of a C clef which we would now call, C Major. For a more theoretical understanding, one may visit Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum.

In the east the Byzantine chant is the equivalent. Using more accidentals, sharps and flats; more in-between notes and it has a distinctly different sound and both Gregorian chant and Byzantine chant share similar characteristics in that they are both made up of eight tones which are derived from the first four. Old Roman Chant which pre-dates Gregorian which became more suited to western ears is closer to Byzantine. If one listens today to the sounds of Byzantine or Old Roman Chant from which our Gregorian Chant derives one can hear the same sounds as that sung in the Orthodox Jewish liturgy.

Let me quote here from Father Joseph Fessio, S.J. from The Mass of Vatican II online at Ignatius Insight:
"Now, just a little footnote on the Gregorian Chant. In reflecting on these things about Church music, I began to think about the Psalms a few years back. And a very obvious idea suddenly struck me. Why it didn't come earlier I don't know, but the fact is that the Psalms are songs. Every one of the 150 Psalms is meant to be sung; and was sung by the Jews. When this thought came to me, I immediately called a friend, a rabbi in San Francisco who runs the Hebrew School, and I asked, "Do you sing the Psalms at your synagogue?" "Well, no, we recite them," he said. "Do you know what they sounded like when they were sung in the Old Testament times and the time of Jesus and the Apostles?" I asked. He said, "No, but why don't you call this company in Upstate New York. They publish Hebrew music, and they may know." So, I called the company and they said, "We don't know; call 1-800-JUDAISM." So I did. And I got an information center for Jewish traditions, and they didn't know either. But they said, "You call this music teacher in Manhattan. He will know." So, I called this wonderful rabbi in Manhattan and we had a long conversation. At the end, I said, "I want to bring some focus to this, can you give me any idea what it sounded like when Jesus and his Apostles sang the Psalms?" He said, "Of course, Father. It sounded like Gregorian Chant. You got it from us."

After speaking to Professor William Mahrt, Professor of Music at Stanford University, Father Fessio questioned Professor Mart on the information he received from the Manhattan Rabbi. Professor Mahrt confirmed that "Yes. The Psalm tones have their roots in ancient Jewish hymnody and psalmody." Father Fessio concluded that "if you sing the Psalms at Mass with the Gregorian tones, you are as close as you can get to praying with Jesus and Mary. They sang the Psalms in tones that have come down to us today in Gregorian Chant."

To say that our LORD sang Gregorian Chant would be silly. To say that Gregorian Chant is the closest thing we know to what He heard and sang in the Temple is obvious.


An Analysis of Sacrosanctam Concilium; Joseph Jaskierny, Kendrick School of Theology

Gregorian Chant: Back to Basics in the Roman Rite by John C. Piunno The American Organist Magazine June 2005 (Canticanova.com)

The Real Catholic Songbook by Jeffrey Tucker: Catholicity

Thursday 18 March 2010

Justfying my quote--Part II

As Schola Master and Choir Director for the former Toronto Apostolate of the FSSP, I have been quoted in The current edition of The Catholic Register. A friend from Rome has written asking that I justify and clarify me comments:

“The Extraordinary Form is the fullest form of Catholic worship to God,” wrote David Domet, 53. “It is how the Mass was celebrated in Rome for over 1,500 years: it was only codified… at (the 16th-century Council of) Trent to promote uniformity in the rite. The roots of this (liturgy) are (in) the Temple in Jerusalem… The said or sung propers, the psalms of the Mass, connect us with the roots of our faith… When I sing the Gregorian chant and chant the psalms, it is the closest thing we know to the manner in which our Lord Himself would have heard and sung the psalms.”
Part the Second: The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is how the Mass was celebrated at Rome for over 1,500 years, it was only codified at the Council of Trent

How many scholars have already addressed this question and yet I find myself needing to defend my statement. Father Adrian Fortescue, Monsignor Klaus Gamber, Dom Guéranger, Reverend Dr. Alcuin Reid, Father Jonathan Robinson, layman Michael Davies all experts in the questions of liturgy. Who am I to even think of writing an essay on these matters when such great work exists from these?

But I made a statement and I shall justify it myself and then refer you to writers much more knowledgeable and scholarly than I could ever hope to be.

As discussed in Part the First, the Mass grew out of the Temple worship in Jerusalem. Following the issuance of the motu proprio SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM many opposed to the spread of the usus antiquior and most, if not all in the media, referred to the "Latin Mass" (which is incorrect because the Ordinary Form is always able to be celebrated in Latin) as dating from the Council of Trent in 1570. If this is true, then what existed prior to Trent?

As discussed in Part the First, the Mass as we have it today is from apostolic times; though clearly the liturgy developed. The Roman Canon of the Mass (the First Eucharistic Prayer in the Ordinary Form) dates from the time of Pope St. Gregory the Great d.604 and remains unchanged from the Te igitur to the Amen.

The fact is, it is not true that the so-called Tridentine Mass was written at Trent. It was codified or made the standard at the Council of Trent for the Latin Rite--the western Church except for a few minor exceptions.

It was in 1440, 130 years before Trent that Johannes Gutenburg
invented the printing press. Up to that time, the Holy Bible and the liturgical books of the Church were compiled by hand; laboured on for years by monks through the monasteries of Europe. There value in today's terms would be in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. In many cases, a monk may have made additions or deletions to certain liturgical books some by accident, some by intent but not necessarily maliciously. There were different religious orders that had their own specific liturgies. In England the Mass was celebrated as it was at Salisbury Cathedral and was known as the Sarum Rite. In northern Italy, primarily around Milan, their is still to this day the Milanese or Ambrosian Rite and in southern Spain the Mozarabic Rite from the Christian Arabs there at the time of the Moors. Other rites and modifications existed throughout Europe. How long did a papal order take to get from Rome to Scandinavia or Ireland to say nothing of the New World?

One of the decrees arising from the Council of Trent was the imposition of the Mass as it was celebrated at Rome and in fact, the Curia Mass itself; hence the Roman Missal. The Tropes at the Kyrie (to return in the penitential rite in the Ordinary Form) were eliminated as were the multiplicity of Sequence options reduced to five (now three in the OF) and inconsistently used across Europe. Incorporated was the preparatory prayer said by the Priest and his Server on their way to the Altar to the beginning for all, the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar. Other small changes occurred and this order was to be said by all priests in the Latin Rite. Mass was celebrate differently almost everywhere. Unless the Rite existed for over 200 years, as in the case of the Ambrosian and Mozarabic, the Carmelite and Domincan Rites and probably the Sarum Rite had England not gone into heresy and schism by Henry VIII all had to conform to this ancient Mass as it was celebrate in Rome since at least the time of Pope St. Gregory the Great. While the Roman Mass as we have it today dates from this time, the Canon of the Mass dates at least from the fourth century and is referred to by St. Ambrose of Milan substantially the same as that of the Roman Canon or First Eucharistic Prayer in the Ordinary Form and the only Canon in the Extraordinary Form.
The promulgation of a consistent and unified liturgy in what became the Roman Missal was necessary for missionary work, church unity and to rise to the challenge of the protestants. Discipline, education, consistency and holiness were necessary and the printing press together with the creation of seminaries helped bring this about.

Those who have taken the position that the Mass was composed at Trent usually tend to be Protestant or Evangelical Christians. It is something expected from Jack Chick that the Mass is nothing more than a renaissance Roman creation. Those who embraced the so-called "spirit of Vatican II" took up this same position, that the Mass dated from Trent. Why would these reformers betray the truth and scholarly evidence to unite themselves to a position taken by enemies of the Church for centuries? For Catholics to take such a position is simple ignorance at best and a betrayal at worst.

Read the Documents of the Second Vatican Council. Read the writings of those quoted above or the link on the Canon to the Catholic Encyclopaedia.

You don't need to take my word for it.

Part III:d

Tuesday 16 March 2010

Justifying my quote--Part I

As Schola Master and Choir Director for the former Toronto Apostolate of the FSSP, I have been quoted in The current edition of The Catholic Register. A friend from Rome has written asking that I justify and clarify me comments:

“The Extraordinary Form is the fullest form of Catholic worship to God,” wrote David Domet, 53. “It is how the Mass was celebrated in Rome for over 1,500 years: it was only codified… at (the 16th-century Council of) Trent to promote uniformity in the rite. The roots of this (liturgy) are (in) the Temple in Jerusalem… The said or sung propers, the psalms of the Mass, connect us with the roots of our faith… When I sing the Gregorian chant and chant the psalms, it is the closest thing we know to the manner in which our Lord Himself would have heard and sung the psalms.”
Part the First: The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is the fullest form of Catholic worship to God.
Polemic arguments tend to arise when one expresses the opinion that the Holy Mass as celebrated in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is a fuller and more complete expression of Catholic worship for the greater glory of God and the edification of His people. If indeed this is true, then it would logically follow that the current or more modern liturgical books are somehow deficient in their expression of the fullness of the worship due to God and needed by us. How then can this be argued without descending into a polemical debate clearly out of keeping with the desires of Pope Benedict XVI in his Motu Proprio SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM?

In paragraph 1323, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” As Catholics, we believe that the Consecration of the species through the words of the priest is the re-presentation of the blood atonement of the LORD at Calvary offered once to the Father and brought forward in time and space for us to be present there and Him, here. This is the same in the Extraordinary or Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite and in all of the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church and in the schismatic Orthodox and some other Old Catholic Masses and even a few Anglican Masses said by former Catholic priests or those ordained by the referred to Old Catholic bishops. The Eucharist is confected and therefore the Mass is “validated” by the form, matter and substance. However, the consecration can occur even if done outside of the Holy Mass. Since it is the words of the priest combined with the proper matter the Eucharist can be confected by a priest sitting in shorts at a coffee table outside of the Mass or on a hay-bale wearing blue jeans. The words of consecration make it valid and the sacrifice offered up to the Father; but it is the service of prayer and praise before and after in our Divine Worship that is for the greater glory of God and our edification and it is the lack thereof that may render it illicit, sacrilegious and even sinful. Unless it were Cardinal Nguyễn Văn Thuận in his jail cell putting a drop of wine in his hand and consecrating the Blood of Christ offered up to the Father then such a careless attempt at Mass would be truly, objectively sinful to the LORD. What we do for God cannot equal what He does for us. But whatever we do for Him, we must do all we can with the talents and energy He gives us to reach perfection in our leitourgia—our public duty to Him. This is why the great cathedrals were built over decades and centuries; why Palestrina wrote his four-hundred Masses and motets and why Michaelangelo laboured so expressively in the Sistine Chapel and why when Jedd Clampet put on a suit and tie he referred to it as his "Sunday goin a meetin' " clothes; these simply must be our best!

If it is true that the words of the priest at the Consecration confect the Eucharist then what is the point of the remainder of the Mass? Perhaps as some liturgists and antiquarians suggest, we should return to a practice of early Christians. Therefore, let us go to a Synagogue to sing the Psalms and then go to a private home, have a meal and then at the end of the meal have the Eucharist whilst we recline on cushions on the floor? Perhaps we should just recline spread around any gathering hall imitating the Last Supper of the LORD. This is a debate that raged throughout the professional liturgists over the last forty to fifty years; but their time is ending. Their work has been proven to be dross and they left no progeny to carry it on. We are now at a point of transition as the biological realities take hold.

After the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem and as Christianity was spreading, still in the first century, liturgy was developing. No longer did these Christians worship in the synagogue but in their own homes or where possible within separate structures—churches, as have been found recently in parts of what is now, Jordan. In Rome of course, the Christians worshipped in the catacombs. St. Justin Martyr in his First Apology wrote: “On the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons.” St. Justin was describing the Mass. Therefore, we know that whatever was being done to celebrate the Eucharist in first century Jerusalem and its surroundings, developed organically by the time of the Saint’s death in 161AD. The Early Church Fathers took the Temple worship as passed on to them by the Apostolic Fathers a Liturgy of the Word and enjoined to it what we now call the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The word Mass comes from ite missa est the dismissal, literally meaning “go, you are sent.” Perhaps the Eastern Rite Catholics and Orthodox express it more clearly where it is called, The Divine Liturgy or Divine Worship.

The Mass as we have it today is from apostolic times which has developed organically as theology developed. Transubstantiation was believed from the very beginning but it was only defined in the time of St. Thomas Aquinas. Surely one would not suggest that we should do away with his teachings or Thomism itself.

To disprove the protestant or evangelical Christian and anti-Catholic claim that the Mass came much later or the opinion of some liturgists in the latter half of the 20th century that true worship should be bare and stripped down as that described above is to ignore the truth as expressed by three ancient rites of the Catholic Church. When the Crusaders came through Mount Lebanon in the 10th century they were surprised to find the Divine Liturgy. While different from what they knew in Europe they recognised the Mass in the Maronite Rite, which is my own background. These Maronite monks knew of “Peter” and after were always united with Rome even though there had been no contact for centuries. Two other rites trace their history back to St. Thomas the Apostle. The Chaldeans (also the Persian Rite) in what is now northern Iraq on the Plains of Ninevah are the oldest indigenous Catholics in the world still on their land (though that is clearly becoming tenuous) and the Nasrani in India, descendants of the ancient Jewish diasporas evangelised in 52AD by this same apostle. Different from those Latin Rite Catholics in Goa and other parts of India, from whom did these learn their liturgy—their public duty if not from the Apostle himself? Yet the liturgy of these "St. Thomas Christians" in what is known as the Syro-Malabar and the Syro-Malankar Rites both bear greater resemblance to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite than the Ordinary. Can anyone deny that the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite in its manner of celebration in many places bears more resemblance to that of the heretical Lutherans or Cranmer’s Elizabethan Prayer Book than of our eastern Christians and our Catholic and Jewish roots?

I mention Jewish roots because that is the root of the Mass and in its Extraordinary Form, the Temple Worship is more clearly present and fulfilled in the Holy Eucharist. I have spoken recently with a Hebrew Catholic who believes that in the Ordinary Form the Catholic Mass has hidden its Jewishness and this is more clearly expressed in the Extraordinary. Since it was this worship that grew organically from the ancient Temple who are we to replace it? Don’t take my word for it, consider what Pope Benedict XVI in The Spirit of the Liturgy wrote: “We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it—as in a manufacturing process—with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product.”
The Mass is more than the Eucharistic consecration. It is a prayer of thanksgiving—a eucharistia and praise to the Triune God. The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite makes this abundantly clear throughout with the oft repeating of the “Glory be…” and the various prayers addressed specifically to the Holy Trinity. Beginning with the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar (added by Pope Pius V at the Council of Trent but formerly said by the Priest on his way to the Altar) the Bishop or Abbot or Priest and his assisting Ministers and by extension the people present all profess their joy at being present at the Holy of Holies but also their unworthiness. These prayers at the beginning of what we know call the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite establish to us that what we are about to do is something outside of ourselves. It establishes through our words and actions, internally and externally that we are about to do something that is out of the regular.

Throughout the EF, particularly in its sung or solemn form, this is made clear. The depth of the prayers, the invocation of the Trinity, frequent invocation of the Blessed Virgin, the Communion of Saints and the Angels, specifically the Archangel Michael, (such as at the incensing), all invoke great spiritual power. The silent Canon promoting prayer and contemplation and mystery, the elimination of the personality of the priest through the posture, the frequent genuflections to the Real Presence, the reception of Holy Communion in a solemn and dignified manner whilst kneeling, on the tongue and by the consecrated hands of the priest; all of this increases the depth of the peoples prayer and thus, their faith so that they can truly at the end of the Mass, be sent. Within are also the psalms or scripture verses contained in all five Propers which are not optional and cannot be substituted by devotional hymns. They are sung or in the case of a Missa Lecta they are read aloud, but they must be said. The great psalm at the opening prayers at the Foot of the Altar and at the Lavabo together with the Prologue of St. John at the end consistently and continually reinforce the Lex orendi, lex credendi of Catholic life and praxis.

While the above is true, the historical application of liturgical understanding by people was not always apparent and catechises was not always properly provided. But let us not debate that for 1,900 years most people were simply illiterate--yet they seemed to understand more than we. The oft sited remarks of little old ladies with doilies praying their rosary during Mass was why no less than Pope St. Pius X exhorted the people to “pray the Mass.” Now at the dawn of a new century a Pope desired a greater interior attitude amongst the commonfolk. People were no longer illiterate, education was no longer the domain of the wealth or those entering clerical life. The common folk could read, could be fully catechised, the hand missal was available with the people’s tongue written side-by-side with the Latin.

The liturgical movement grew in the 20th century to foster, not change in the liturgy but change in how we approached the liturgy. This is clear in Pope Pius X’s motu proprio Tra le sollecitudini and those documents issued by Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei and De musica sacra et sacra liturgia. These documents exhorted bishops, priests and the faithful to change how we approach and participate in the Mass. It was Pope St. Pius X who coined the phrase “actuoso participationem.” Badly translated as active, actuoso has a deeper meaning to include full, actual or true, it has come to be interpreted as outward activity—externals, if you will, and on the part that we all must by doing something outwardly and forgot what it meant inwardly.

The lack of implementation of the true liturgical movement allowed a false liturgical movement, what became the “spirit of Vatican II” to prevail. That “spirit” invaded Dominicans in North America and Europe whose influence was felt worldwide. Those in the Concilium who put before the Holy Father for promulgation a new liturgy that was something less than what existed before were the greatest purveyors of the false spirit. I have previously made the argument that the post Vatican II liturgical reforms, except for the new Lectionary, were complete by 1965. The Missa Normative of 1970 simply went beyond anything articulated in Sacrosanctam Concilium. However, let me make it clear, this is not an argument that the modern liturgy is invalid; it simply and objectively is less than what it was and must be drawn closer to its historic root. Let me also make it clear that while I attempt to attend Mass as frequently as possible during the week, it is most often in its newer Ordinary Form. What is described above existed for over 1500 years grew organically from the first century. It was and remains the highest form of Catholic worship to God. Therefore, it would follow that removing that from it which made it so makes its replacement somewhat lower in its worship. It does not make it invalid, nor does it discredit, but it simply must follow that if you remove prayers and penances, psalms and the pleading assistance of Saints and Angels then you have lowered its degree of worship. If you turn a ritual that is focused totally on God to one that is more focused on ourselves as is often the case, you cannot help but lower its meaning and its efficaciousness.

This is not to say that all people who attended the former before or now are holier or that those people who do not are less than so. This is not the Pharisee versus the Tax Collector. But, externals are important. The lex orendi, lex credendi, the manner of how our prayer of prayer becomes or influences how we believe is a fact of our sensual nature. If coming in to Mass I am struck with a deep sense of adoration and prayer and worship then I too can be lead to that same sense of deep contemplation and mystery with the meta-physical and the Triune God. If we offer to God and to the people less than that because of our laziness then what are we truly able to gain from it?

Setting aside the currently used banality of the ICEL translation, even the Latin original of the Second Eucharistic Prayer neglects to even mention sacrifice. Before the Holy Mass is a banquet it is a sacrifice. We eat the Eucharist, truly it is a meal, but before that it is an offering—a sacrifice which is made most clear in the Roman Canon or First Eucharistic Prayer. The Mass is first and foremost the re-presentation to the Atonement of Christ the Lamb, sacrificed for us and pre-figured by Abraham (the father) and Isaac carrying the sticks for the sacrifice as Christ carried His Cross. The heavenly Father then provided a substitute sacrifice for Isaac again prefiguring Christ crucified. The blood of the lambs on the doorposts and lintels in Egypt prefigured the sacrifice of Christ at Calvary. The blood of the lambs—pesach, covered the people and saved them from death—just as the blood atonement of Jesus on Calvary covered the sins of the people. All of these sacrifices, those which pre-figured Christ and the one, true and everlasting one of Jesus are made clear in the usus antiquior consistently everywhere. This sacrificial dimension is less clear in the more modern liturgical expression of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. It is there and it can be made clear but it takes more attention on the part of the Priest and Levitical Ministers—liturgists, lectors, cantors. If one sings the Gregorian Propers in English but more particularly in the Latin from the 1972 Graduale Romanum (for the Novus Ordo), one uses the I confess as the Penitential Rite, the Roman Canon or First Eucharistic Prayer and as well if the priest and people face the same direction for the Liturgy of the Eucharist together with the use of incense then the lines are not as blurred. One can also conclude that the number of options and the substitution of the Propers with hymns many of which are not theologically sound combined with the invasion of secular forms of music, contributes profoundly to this deficiency.

To justify the statement that the “The Extraordinary Form is the fullest form of Catholic worship to God,” must be carefully addressed so as not to alienate. The rancour over “which Mass is better” must be avoided. It follows though that if one takes the position that one Form is higher than another then one who prefers another Form could take a position that the former is an elitist or dismissive of other forms of Catholic worship or indeed is becoming pharisaical. But this is not the case. In the EF, we are familiar with the terms High Mass and Low Mass to describe the difference between a Missa Solemnis or Missa Cantata and Missa Lecta. Therefore, we have always acknowledged that there is something “higher.”

Make no mistake. The Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is the normal manner of worship in the Catholic Church. It is edifying and can be celebrated with great beauty and solemnity. This has been proven in Minneapolis at St. Agnes, in Chicago at St. John Cantius in Toronto at The Oratory and in little churches and big cathedrals throughout the world. However, it contains within its basic structure rubrical deficiencies, casualness, variety and a false interpretation that has lead to abuses and as Pope Benedict XVI has himself called, "deformities." Going forward, we simply cannot continue with the same practice undertaken since 1970 or the shenanigans and experimentation with the 1965 Missal. Nor is this to say that there were no abuses prior to the reforms. Any priest that celebrated the Mass in 18 minutes or slurring the words was unfaithful to the liturgy, the need for Mass on the hood of an army jeep, notwithstanding. The fact that Mass is now said in the vernacular and facing the people has exposed Father Experimenter for what he is.

In conclusion, the Holy Father has said that the two Missals, that of 1962 and that of 1970/2002 (which we hope to see by 2012) are two Forms of the one Latin Rite. Legally speaking, both are equal, there is no difference. Objectively speaking, that is simply not possible and the future of the Ordinary is one where it will be shaped by the Extraordinary to bring it fully to the intent of the Fathers of the Council—The Reform of the Reform.

Part II


The Ottaviani Intervention

The Day the Mass Changed Part 1 & 2--Adoremus Society

The Case for the Latin Mass--Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand

A Short History of the Roman Mass--Michael Davies

Monday 15 March 2010

Anglican Catholic Ordinariate Requested for Canada

The Anglican Catholic Church of Canada has asked for an Ordinariate in the Catholic Church. You can read the complete letter here:

"We have all read and studied with care the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus with the Complementary Norms and the accompanying Commentary. And now, in response to your invitation to contact your Dicastery to begin the process you lay out, we respectfully ask that the Apostolic Constitution be implemented in Canada; that we may establish an interim Governing Council of three priests (or bishops); and that this Council be given the task and authority to propose to His Holiness a terna for appointment of the initial Ordinary."

Thursday 11 March 2010

The long Lent

This long Lent continues.

On a global Catholic level, the depravity of homosexualist infiltration into the spotless Bride of Christ continues. The media in Europe and America and Canada is rejoicing. Father Gabriel Amorth has explained it all quite well. Satan is in the Vatican and there are "cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon." The enemies of the Church are real and the worst ones are inside Her. Those who agree with Father Amorth or believe that Bella Dodd actually did what she said she did (and no less than Dr. Dietrich von Hilderbrand believed this to be true) are often ridiculed or called conspiracy theorists. Folks, the Catholic Church is under fierce attack by the world and the media and their master, Satan; because She is the Bride of Christ. It is all true friends. Everything. All of it. The Real Presence of the LORD in the Holy Eucharist, Mary, The Vicar of Christ, The Communion of Saints, the Four Last Things, the Antichrist. It is all true and that is why they hate Her and seek to destroy Her and us along with Her!

Friends, put on the "helmet of salvation...the armour of God...gird your loins...run the course and finish the race; keep the faith" Do you think that there is a better way? Not Ganesh, nor is it Buddha nor Mohomat. It is not Hitchens, nor Freemasonry, nor Luther, nor Zwingli not Calvin either; they are lies and from the Prince of Darkness and remember the psalmist admonition to "Put not your trust in princes."

This is going to get worse and you must be ready.

Go to Confession.

Go to Holy Communion.

Go to Mass. Often. More than Sunday.

If you did not go last Sunday then go to Confession for it and whatever else you need to confess on Saturday and repent and fix yourself. Go then to Mass on Sunday and receive Him and do not bring "condemnation upon yourself."

If you do not, then you will not see the truth. The battle is heating up. The battle to destroy our Mother, the Church and to take you straight to Hell.

They hate the Church, they despoiled Her liturgy and they put up roadblocks in every way from stifling Pope Benedict XVI in his work from the Holy Spirit to restore Her and the liturgy both Ordinary to bring it "Just as the hermeneutic of continuity is revealing itself to be ever more important for an adequate understanding of the texts of Vatican Council II" and in the Extraordinary for those who desire it and to provide the example and benchmark to strive for.

On a personal level, amongst many of my friends and the people who have worked so hard over the last 17 months in the Schola Tridentina, and to serve at the Altar of God and who assisted in the pews, this is a long Lent of penance. The departure stings still. The liturgical setback is profound for the spiritual life of the all and I speak here of the choir too, myself included as Cantor and Schola Master, particularly with the Holy Days to come. The departure feels like a betrayal and an abandonment. It matters not the reason or the circumstance. The fact is that whatever the reasons the decision was made or came about to be made, for what was provided or promised or not provided; for vacancies elsewhere or a desire to give up the fight for something more immediate and deemed more important and for a place deemed more worthy; in all of this, for whatever reason, the impact of these decisions by those in authority on the little people seems hardly considered. Had it been considered, there would have been a different outcome. The spiritual needs of the little people were never considered. Just as "the heavens proclaim the greatness of the LORD" so do their actions show what their words cannot. The sense of betrayal and abandonment is real and profound.

Here is something to ponder.

A 73 year old woman using a cane travelled over two hours each way by TTC to attend the only Mass on Wednesday in the whole Archdiocese of Toronto in the manner she preferred to worship; that is four hours on transit for the liturgy she prefers as is her right.

Does this matter to you; to anyone?

The people are hurting yet they are also hoping.

They are waiting and they are longing.

This is their long Lent.

This is our long Lent.

This is my long Lent.

We are in Gethsemane and soon we will be on Calvary.

We know there will come the resurrection.

We hope it will be soon because we have not put our trust in princes, we have put them in the LORD!