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A corporal work of mercy.
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Wednesday 26 December 2012

Father Stephen Auad, the Pastor of the Maronites

Church of Christ the King
In the southwest corner of Toronto are the old Village of Long Branch and the Parish of Christ the King. Toronto, originally known as York, is essentially a city of towns and villages amalgamated over the years into one city. Long Branch was a Village in its own right until it was amalgamated into Etobicoke, which means in the language of the Mississauga, the native people at the time, "Where the Alders grow" and it was to this little village that was to come the Pastor of the Maronites, Father Stephen Auad.

My father was born in Toronto in 1919 and my mother came here from New Brunswick; their parents were all immigrants from Mount Lebanon which at the time was part of "Greater Syria,” from whence Father Auad also came. A year after my father was born in 1919 and only a few short blocks from the tenement on York Street where the Toronto Stock Exchange now stands, a Maronite Qurbono, literally Sacrifice, or Mass was celebrated at St. Michael's Cathedral by the Rt. Rev. Shakralla Khoury, Maronite Eparch of Tyre and delegate from Mount Lebanon to the Paris Peace Conference after The Great War. The Qurbono was in Thanksgiving to God for the "virtual independence of Lebanon” not totally realised for nearly another thirty years and after another great war because of the mischief of King Faisal. Remarkably, this was reported on September 6, 1920 in the old Toronto World; and that the "Pastor of the Maronites in Toronto" assisted at the Mass. It is possible that this first Maronite Mass in the Cathedral in Toronto had a little child present there with his parents. That little baby, one-year old Norman, my father, in the arms of his mother Farida and his father Wadea, are the grandparents of your writer who remains, canonically at least, a Maronite.

Yet, despite Father Auad being termed in the secular press, the "Pastor of the Maronites" there was no Maronite Church in Toronto until 1980. While every other "ethnic parish" was created, there was to be not one for the Lebanese -- and it was a different Rite! Italians, Germans, Poles -- all were given their own churches. The Lebanese, bearing blood of Phoenicians, Greeks, Canannites, even Hebrews were a different lot than most immigrant communities. They have gone all over the world as did their merchant Phoenician ancestors; to South America, Australia, even the Caribbean islands and they assimilated wherever they went unlike the Italians with whom Father Auad would soon come to have some conflict.

While studying in Rome, Father Auad was able to celebrate in both the Latin and Maronite Rites and he would have known some Italian. Catholic Toronto was Irish and these first Catholics in Toronto sufferred many indignities in the Ulster of North America and the church here was hardly prepared for the waves of immigrants, particularly the Italians. The old parish of St. Patrick's, built in 1867 the year of Canada's Confederation, had a new church built behind it on McCaul Street and the former became Our Lady of Mount Carmel and was assigned to the Italians with Father Auad as their pastor. It still stands today serving Chinese Roman Catholics.

Professor John Zucchi of McGill University who specialises in immigration history wrote in 1983 that "in the late 1920's the Parish Committee of Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish filed a complaint in Italian with the archbishop regarding their pastor, Father Stephen Auad." You see, the Italians were villagers and more accustomed to active involvement of the laity in the parish, even then. The Irish were different; they had to escape persecution to forests and cliffs to find a rock to hear Mass. Their history was different of course being persecuted on their own soil so it was a different situation and they never questioned the priest or made demands. The Italians were bolder and had their own customs and devotions. Father Auad had clearly adopted the Irish culture and this conflicted with the Italians under his care. Professor Zucchi continued that the "committee was highly critical of Auad; he was too busy to hear confession; it was difficult to find him in the rectory or in the church; he rarely visited school children; his masses were too short, etc." It is interesting that even then, parish committees and special interests rallied to speak against their duly appointed pastor, but better days would come for Father Auad.

It wasn't only the local Italians that criticised the poor beleaguered priest; even American Evangelical Pentecostals noticed. It was August 5, 1933 at Springfield in the State of Missouri and the Pentecostal Evangel displayed its bigotry and ignorance in its story, "Paganized Christianity.” Our Pentecostal brethren wrote, “The  following item  taken  from  the Toronto  press  will  show  how  it  is  possible for Christianity to catch the diseases of  the  old pagan religions:  "What  has become  an annual  public religious  function in Toronto will take  place tomorrow, when Rev.  Father  Stephen Auad, pastor of  Mount  Carmel Church,  St. Patrick Street,  will bless  motor  cars and  other conveyances  after  the  11  o'clock  Mass. The vehicles will thus be placed under the patronage of St. Christopher,' patron saint of travelers." They went on to add, "The time is coming when Christianity will be purged of all alien additions. Matt.13:41.” What they don't know is legendary.

Our Lady of Mount Lebanon
It was now 1938 and Father Stephen Auad approached Archbishop James Charles McGuigan, later to be English-speaking Canada's first Cardinal, about building a shrine to St. Anthony of Padua in the old summer resort village of Long Branch now becoming an industrial centre. Finances being what they were at the time, just after the Great Depression and with Canada entering the Second World War, the Archbishop declined the request. Disappointed in the Archbishop's decision Father Auad went home and there he brooded about the situation obviously not happy and still fighting with the Italians until his housekeeper, one Mrs. Maggie Jobin, encouraged him to go back and ask again, but this time, more firmly. So, he did and did so to the point of pounding on the desk of the future Cardinal. Astonished at the boldness, the good Archbishop  is reported to have laughed until tears flowed down his cheeks and then said, "If you feel so strongly about the church, go ahead, but keep it your responsibility" and on August 4, 1938, Father Auad was appointed the parish priest of the Village of Long Branch, and directed to build a church.

There were two other villages between Long Branch and Toronto, all now amalgamated. The Town of New Toronto and the parish of St. Teresa established in 1924 where Vox was baptised in the presence of his Freemason godfather; of course, none of us knew it until he died and he left me his Shriner Fezz, which I've since gotten rid of. The other was the Town of Mimico, which means, “the place of pigeons” and St. Leo the Great Parish, established a few years earlier. Many children of those first Lebanese settled in Mimico and a few in New Toronto after the war and they became active in these two parishes, but particularly at St. Leo's. When that little baby Norman, most likely present for that Qurbono 25 years earlier grew up, he married his only love, Martha, a nurse from St. Michael’s Hospital at the new St. Patrick's on McCaul, next to Father Auad's original parish.  A year later in 1945 and with a young baby of their own, they bought a house with a rear yard boundary being that of the Parish of Christ the King in Long Branch. 

St. John Maron
A few years ago, I was attending Mass one summer evening in that little stone church built by Father Auad. I was impressed with the new painting and noticed how brilliant the small stained-glass windows looked against the newly painted walls designed to highlight them, not hide them in a sea of whitewash. I was looking at what seemed to be St. Anthony of the Desert and found it odd to be there. It was the first time I had seen a window to this Desert Father and to find it in Long Branch was something extraordinary. It was then that I recalled the plaque to that parish's founder in the portal of the church - yes, Father Stephen Auad and with that name he must have been Lebanese! Coming back from Holy Communion and walking past another window, I was astounded at what I had seen or perhaps more because I had never noticed them before. In addition to St. Anthony of the Desert there was St. Maroun, the great mystic, monk and missionary to the people of Mount Lebanon and Syria who died in 410 A.D.  The next window was Mar Youhana Maroun or as we would say in English, St. John Maron who died in 707 A.D., the first Patriarch of the Maronite Church. Then a little further along, there she was, Our Lady of Mt. Lebanon whom the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East declared in 1908 to be "Queen of Lebanon." Knowing that the people of Long Branch would not know these Saints, each one has a little banner with their name under their image and quotes from scripture about "Libanus." As mentioned, there were many Lebanese that settled in these parts but not one of them spoke of Father Auad that I can ever recall from my childhood and none of them attended Christ the King Parish. They were a different generation. They had just married and in their twenties were having babies; they worked, had businesses, bought houses and worshiped at the place they knew, their local parish. They didn't know that only a few short blocks away from their homes was a little bit of their cultural and family history. Here was a little parish, built by a priest who came from the same lands as their parents, who may have known them or blessed them as little children and here were the windows to the greatest of Lebanon’s Holy One’s and the Mother of our Redeemer whose birth we celebrate.

Saint Maroun
Father Auad had a great personal devotion to St. Anthony of Padua and wanted this new parish at Long Branch to be named the Shrine of St. Anthony. Given that there was already a large church on Bloor Street dedicated to this much-loved Saint, the Archbishop did not agree. It was named Christ the King and a small grotto was built to house an Altar, yet, “Shrine of St. Anthony” remains today engraved in the terrazzo flooring just below the plaque in memory of Father Auad. The first Mass offered there was celebrated by Father Auad on September 17, 1939 and on Sunday, May 26, 1940, the church was blessed by Archbishop McGuigan.

Surely now the young Lebanese of this community would seek out their old friend, Father Auad from the streets of McCaul, Queen, Bond, York, Simcoe, D'Arcy, and so on but alas, it was not to be; for at Midnight Mass on December 25, 1944, Father Stephan Auad suffered a stroke while preaching the homily. The next day, December 26, 1944, sixty-eighty years ago today and on that very same Feast of St. Stephen, his name-saint, Father Stephen Auad went on to his eternal reward and a little bit of Lebanese history in Long Branch lay hidden.

On this anniversary of his death, may this little Christmas story serve as a tribute to this early and long forgotten priest of the first hundred years of the Church in Toronto. May Father Stephen Auad be rejoicing on this day with St. Stephen in the presence of the LORD whom he loved and served. Thank you Father Auad for what you did so long-ago for those early Catholic villagers in Long Branch and for the windows serving as a memorial to our Maronite heritage.

Father Stephen Auad, 1884 -1944
 Requiescat in pace

Monday 24 December 2012

A blessed Christmas to you

I want to take a moment and wish all my visitors and readers here a very blessed and happy Christmas filled with the life, light and love of our Redeemer, Jesus, the Christ. There will be no posts tomorrow with so much singing to do tonight and preparation of a dinner for a dozen or so but let me leave you with this little poem by Venerable Robert Southwell, S.J., hanged at Tyburn Tree.

FROM St. Peter's Complaint, 1595

By Ven. Robert Southwell, S.J.

As I in hoary winter's night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow ;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear ;
Who, scorchëd with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed.
Alas, quoth he, but newly born in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I !
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns ;
The fuel justice layeth on, and mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men's defilëd souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood.
With this he vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I callëd unto mind that it was Christmas day.

Music player...

Given that it is now after 5:00PM on Christmas Island and First Vespers of Christmas has begun Vox will take a few minutes from what is going to be a very busy day to change the music player and the "liturgically correct" colours of the blog.

May you have a blessed day filled with the love, light and life of our Divine Redeemer.

God bless you and Merry Christmas.




Saturday 22 December 2012

Una Voce Toronto's work recognised by leading blog!

One of the world's leading blogs on Catholic faith, catechetics, liturgy and culture, Rorate Caeli, the actual Introit of both Forms of the Roman Rite for this Fourth Sunday of Advent, has recognised the work of the Toronto Traditional Mass Society-UNA VOCE TORONTO!

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Another Rorate

On the last Sunday of Advent, the first word of the Introit or Entrance Antiphon in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms is "Rorate." Many of you are already familiar with the Advent Prose, Rorate Caeli from Mass (if it even sung) or from the new music player in the background. The prose is four verses and is not the same as the Introit, though they both take up the text in Latin, "Drop down ye heavens from above and let the sky rain down the Just One" 

The Introit, all the Propers for that matter, can be sung in their intended Gregorian melismatic chant or for those without the resources or ability, they can be sung in psalm-tone or even recto-tono. These propers can also be sung in polyphony. In fact, William Byrd wrote the entire Missa Puer Natus, the Third Mass of Christmas to polyphony; could you imagine that with his Mass for Five Voices sung on Christmas morning?

As mentioned in my "This is the Record of John" post below, I had the distinct opportunity of singing under a talented director, organist and teacher, Mr. Peter Bishop of the Toronto Oratory. When I say teacher, it is because I would not be doing the liturgical work which I am doing today without his boldness to "take a chance" on a neophyte those many year ago (25), his patience with me and the confidence he showed in me by eventually asking me to chant the incipits and psalms of the propers, of course, it might have been because I outlasted all the other men at the time too. Eventually, he taught me enough so that I could even sing a motet with one on a part; not too bad for someone who did not have the opportunity to study music at university, but because of what I learnt from Mr.  Bishop, I was even able to sing with the Victoria Scholars, Toronto's male choral ensemble and one of the best in Canada. I am grateful to Peter for showing me how to use the talents given to me by God and the skills learnt under him to serve the sacred liturgy. 

Thanks to YouTube, you can hear the work of Peter and the choir with 25 uploads. In keeping with our Advent observance, here then, (you'll want to turn the music player off above) is Rorate Caeli by Francisco Guerrero sung by the Toronto Oratory Choir under the direction of Mr. Peter Bishop.

Christmas in Kinkora

For those of you who were not able to make it at 5:30 A.M. on December 15 for the Rorate Mass, then why not consider all that Rorate leads to and join us for Holy Mass on Christmas in Kinkora. If you are in the Diocese of London or the Diocese of Hamilton or the west and northwest part of the Archdiocese of Toronto and looking for a Midnight Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite then why not consider the short drive to Kinkora which is 20 kilometres northwest of Stratford?

There will be a Vigil Service of Lessons and Carols at 11:00 during which the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available followed by a Sung Mass "Dominus Dixit ad me" at 12:00 Midnight. On Christmas Day at 12:00 noon is the Third Mass of Christmas, Missa Puer Natus est Nobis, and on the Feast of St. Stephen at 9:00 A.M. there will also be a Sung Mass.

St. Patrick’s Kinkora


A reading from the Book of Isaiah

1 "Comfort, yes, comfort My people!" says your God. 2 "Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned;  For she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins."  3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness:  "Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  4 Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; 5 The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken." 


A Reading from the Book of Luke

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" 29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 


A Reading from the Book of Micah

2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting."


A Reading from the Book of St. Matthew

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.  20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is, "God with us."


A Reading from the Book of John

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.




ADESTE FIDELIS – (O Come All Ye Faithful)
Introit – Dominus dixit  
Gradual – Tecum Principium
Alleluia – Dominus Dixit
Offertory – Letentur caeli
Gaudete! Organ/Choir
Communion – In splendoribus
Quem Pastores – Organ/Choir        
Hodie, Christus natus est
Alma Redemptoris Mater – Solemn Tone


Puer natus in Bethlehem – Gregorian prelude
JOY TO THE WORLD – Hymn prelude
Salve Virgo Singularis – Marian Anthem
Laetabundus -- The Christmas Sequence     
Introit – Puer natus est nobis
Gradual – Viderunt omnes
Alleluia – Dies sanctificatus
Offertory – Tui sunt caeli
Gaudete! – Organ/Choir
Communion – Viderunt omnes
Quem Pastores - Organ/Choir  
Hodie, Christus natus est
Alma Redemptoris Mater  Solemn Tone


Puer natus in Bethlehem – Gregorian prelude
JOY TO THE WORLD                                                                                 
Introit   Sederunt principes
Gradual –  Sederunt principes 
Alleluia –  Video coelos apertos
Offertory –  Elegerunt Apostoli Stephanum Levitam 
Corde Natus ex Parentis
Communion – Viderunt omnes
Ecce Nomen Domini

Sunday 16 December 2012

The Rorate Mass at St. Patrick's Kinkora

From the blog of the Toronto Tradtional Mass Society - UNA VOCE TORONTO; more information is available at their Facebook page.

The word "Rorate" has its place in the Advent liturgy of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church in both Forms of the Roman Rite. It is the Advent Prose - as highlighted in this video; it is also the first word of the Introit or Entrance Antiphon for the Mass on the Fourth Sunday of Advent (in the Ordinary Form - Novus Ordo as well) and it is the first word from the same Introit used in the Votive Mass for Our Lady in Advent and it appears frequently in the Divine Office or Liturgy of the Hours.

When there is no feast on the day, the Votive Mass can be celebrated. In the new rite, the Ordinary Form, the lectionary specifies the Readings consistent with the Temporal Cycle, but in the old rite or Extraordinary Form, the Sanctoral Cycle specifies the readings for that feast or Votive Mass. As the Mass often can reasonably take its name from the first word or words of the Introit -- Missa Quasimodo, Missa Suscepimus, Missa Puer Natus Est -- this Mass is known as the "Rorate Mass."

While it is not a rubrical requirement, there is a tradition from Bohemia and Poland and Bavaria that the Mass be celebrated in the pre-dawn hours by candlight ending just as the light from the East shines softy from below the horizon and the windows are softy revealed. From darkness into light - the darkness without Christ to being in His light.

The Blessed Mother is the bearer of that light. It grew in her womb for nine months. It was God, the very God come to earth as a baby, taking the flesh and blood of this pure and immaculate young girl of probably 15 in the little town of Nazareth. This woman was the one who would crush the serpent. She is the new "ark of the covenant" that carries within it the law of God as in the Ten Commandments, the power of God as in the Rod of Aaron and the Bread of Life which came down from Heaven, just as the manna in the desert. When this baby was  born he was laid in a manger. Why?; because from the manger the creatures were fed. We are fed the Bread of Life and that He was laid by this new mother in a manger is of no coincidence. This mother is Our Mother, this woman is the Woman. She is the truly the Mother of God, the God who came to earth as a baby to save us. As Father Nicholson said in his homily, "the virginal work of the bee, manufacturing wax and producing honey is a prophet of nature, pointing to the Work of the Immaculata. She gave us more honey, She gave us the BREAD of Life and "it sweet to taste". She gave us more then wax, she gave us LIGHT"

This is the truth of the faith and this is why we offer Sacrifice to God in the Holy Mass and why we honour His most perfect creature, the one who bore Himself.

In the little hamlet of Kinkora in the Diocese of London in Ontario and 160km from Toronto a Rorate Mass was celebrated. In the cold and dark of a December morning they came. From Toronto, Kitchener, Cambridge, London, Walkerton, Waterloo and from places in between. At 5:30 A.M, they gathered to pray and to honour the truth of God and His Mother. Some rose three hours earlier, children in tow to a drive to a beautiful church in the middle of farming country including half of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Traditional Mass Society-UNA VOCE TORONTO who are honoured to have assisted this priest of this parish, Father Paul Nicholson, with the organisation and promotion of this Mass. Three years ago, seven people attended and we gathered for breakfast around the generous table of the Kinkorites Sharon and Patrick. This year there were more than ten times that number and all gathered in the local school gymnasium for a community breakfast. The TTMS-UNA VOCE TORONTO has in its mandate, the assistance to the suffragan dicoceses of the Toronto Metropolitian See with the development and support of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Drop down ye heavens from above, and let the clouds rain down the Just One.

Friday 14 December 2012

The suffering of little children

A reading from the Book of Wisdom 3:1-10 

[1] But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them. [2] In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure was taken for misery: [3] And their going away from us, for utter destruction: but they are in peace. [4] And though in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality. [5] Afflicted in few things, in many they shall be well rewarded: because God hath tried them, and found them worthy of himself.

[6] As gold in the furnace he hath proved them, and as a victim of a holocaust he hath received them, and in time there shall be respect had to them. [7] The just shall shine, and shall run to and fro like sparks among the reeds. [8] They shall judge nations, and rule over people, and their Lord shall reign for ever. [9] They that trust in him, shall understand the truth: and they that are faithful in love shall rest in him: for grace and peace is to his elect. [10] But the wicked shall be punished according to their own devices: who have neglected the just, and have revolted from the Lord.

May our gracious and loving God, who wills that all live in peace grant eternal rest to the little children and those at their school and may He comfort their families and bring them peace.
Eternal rest grant unto them O LORD and let light perpetual shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.


Sunday 9 December 2012

The Record of John

One of my favourite "verse-anthems" from my days singing at the Toronto Oratory is The Record of John by Orlando Gibbons. Gibbons was born in Oxford in 1583 and was one of the last great polyphonic English composers amongst the likes of Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, Robert Parsons, John Tavernal, Robert Sheppard and others. The verse-anthem was an English creation of short scriptural passages for the emerging protestant services after the "revolution" and rebellion of Henry VIII and his successors. It uses a soloist and choir in a verse (soloist) anthem (choir) format and there is usually an accompaniment of viols or organ. Of course, that does not take away from the beauty of the music and its appropriate use today. Gibbons would have written for the Holy Mass had it not been illegal by his time at the pain of death.

The original score is for a counter-tenor soloist, five-voice choir and two viols, a little beyond the scope of most church choirs in the Catholic Church of today. In the Usus Antiquior, this anthem could be used as a processional perhaps, but of course, not in a Sung or Solemn Mass and given that it is not connected with the liturgical action of the Offertory or Communion, it cannot be used in a Read Mass with Music. However, the reformed liturgy, the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite does give this flexibility. It could be used on the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist or in the Ordinary Form on the Second or Third Sundays of Advent. The challenge of the counter-tenor or alto soloist, the viols, the five voices caused me to spend some time arranging Gibbons' great work in a simpler and more accessible format. Being a Bass myself, I moved the solo line to the Bass. Now, I'm not sure what Gibbons would think of this, but it always made more sense to me anyway. I created an organ underlay using all of Gibbons original notes and a violin solo and formulated the choral anthem into two and sometimes three voices, this was done for a small choir I had formed at my local parish at the time. In a casual email conversation with the Editor at CanticaNova Publications the subject had come up and he asked me to send it to him. Imagine then my surprise, when he wrote me to advise that they wished to publish it.

I won't give up my day job, but every June it's fun to get that envelope in the mail.

Now for your enjoyment, here is Gibbons original, though you will need to stop or lower the player above.

A blessed Advent to you.

Saturday 8 December 2012

What a spin and a network gone wrong

What "mistakes" is he referring to?

Could it be EWTN?

Didn't he go on bended knee to ask for the blessing of its saintly founder? Is it really a competition? Because if it is then someone needs to bulk up a little.  

"The “secret” according to Fr. Rosica, was the effort to avoid the mistakes made by other Catholic television networks that is, addressing a mainly elderly public, getting involved in “cultural wars” that create deep divisions within the Catholic world, between conservatives and progressivists. This happens in North America more than it does in Europe.
“On our network, we have decided as far as possible to avoid bias, particularly at a time of crisis in the Church and a world such as ours. The temptation is to become so fundamentalist and rigid with regard to doctrine and life, that one ends up closing themselves in a castle and no one listens to them a part from those inside it. On the other hand, there is also the temptation to conform to worldly values to such an extent that Church doctrine and the truth in the Gospel become diluted, distorted and flavourless.”

There are fewer than 1000 subscribers and Bell has dropped it, which I am not happy about as they've also dropped EWTN.

Oh, and by the way; what was all that stuff about Mr. Gregory Baum?

Toronto Catholic Register touted theologian Mihevc attends award to abortion advocate

Back on July 3, I posted the article at the bottom of this page. There were some tragic shootings in Toronto and the usual suspects called for a gun ban because then the criminals will obey it. It seems that the Catholic Register considered Councillor Joe Mihevc to be a "theologian" as if that somehow gave the whole need for a gun ban some kind of canonical church-sanctioned authority...you know the magisterial  teaching of theologians.

Imagine then my surprise when reading this article in LifeSiteNews about the City of Toronto award to an abortion-activist, communist, lesbian that one of the proponents of the award was the same theologian and Toronto Councillor, Joe Mihevc.

Is it too much to ask the Catholic Register to do a little bit more research on the character and belief system of those which it holds up as "theologians."

Jim O'Leary is the Editor of the Catholic Register: jjoleary@catholicregister.org

Does Catholic Register Associate Editor possess a hand-gun?
A few weeks ago in Toronto there was another tragic shooting on Yonge Street, this time at the Eaton Centre. A few years ago and a few blocks north on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas in Canada); a beautiful young girl of 15, out with her family for some post-Christmas shopping was brutally gunned-down in a drive-by shooting. That girl, Jane Creba, died on the spot bleeding to death on the sidewalk. I work with Jane’s mother and she has never been the same, how could she be? Christmas has taken on a whole different meaning for V, more of a Good Friday, I should think. The gang-bangers that murdered Jane are not doing enough time and V’s sentence goes on forever.

City Councillor, Joe Mihevc a so-called, “theologian” and a Professor of Ethics at the University of Toronto, a socialist and a card-carrying member of the NDP. For my foreign readers, the NDP is the New Democrat Party and they are hard left socialists and one must be a firm believer in the murder of babies in the wombs of their mothers to be a Member; Mihevc is no exception.

Now, the Catholic Register and its effervescent Michael Swan seem to think that guns and bullets are a real problem in Toronto. Well, they are. So the police should arrest the gang-bangers, right? Wrong. The issue is guns, whether or not the criminals will obey a gun-ban is irrelevant; besides, hand-guns are already effectively banned.

Now I ask you; why is a Catholic paper creating a news story to prop up a so-called “theologian” and another councillor who is an anti-Catholic covertly by his views and policies?

The lead article online is titled “Toronto gun ban has theological backing” and I imagine it will be the cover story in the print edition, set to appear in a few days.

Theological backing? From Joe Mihevc; who cares what Mihevc thinks?

A “theologian?” So what! Where are his credentials as a Catholic “Theologian?” Has he sworn to uphold Catholic teaching? Has he obeyed the mandatum? Does Mihevc subscribe to Ex corde ecclesiae? But he’s a “theologian” according to Swan and his leftist position on a political question is being propt up in the CR.

Now, the real question.

Why is Michael Swan in possession of a Glock?

Calls for a gun ban in Toronto fit well with Church teaching, says Councillor Joe Mihevc.

It seems to me that Michael and the CR need to have a visit from Chief (a good day to fire) Blair. After all it clearly states in the online paper “Photo by Michael Swan” and if I’m not mistaken, that is Queen and Bay Streets in the background.

Who could forget Swan’s “At one with the Earth” from Friday, June 6, 2008. Of course, the CR has wisely eliminated the story and photo, possibly after Vox took them t0 task over it; however thanks to the Internet we’ve still got this lovely quote from Swan; “Fr. Jim Profit offers the sacrifice of the Mass as a sacrament which connects us to God’s creation at the Jesuit farm in Guelph, Ont……..On the cold first day of June three dozen people — couples with their children, old friends, students working internships on the Jesuit farm — gathered in Guelph for a Sunday Mass that wandered all over 250 hectares of the Jesuit’s organic farm, woodlots, streams, hermitages and gardens.”

So, it was a Cow-pie, hay-bale wandering liturgy?

Where does Swan get this stuff “a sacrament which connects us to God’s creation?” Is this man a heretic or simply ignorant?

Well, if anything this picture proves that old joke about going to a Mass said by a Jesuit where everything changes but the bread and wine! And make no mistake folks, this was not only an illicit but it was an invalid Mass. This Jesuit, now suffering from cancer, did not do what the Church intended.

Well we’ll always have the evidence of Father Jim Profit, S.J. and his liturgical shenanigans thanks to Mr. Swan and of course, the Internet.

Photo by Michael Swan

Thursday 6 December 2012

Pope shows that LifeSiteNews has been right all along!

For years now, LifeSiteNews.com has been taking on the Canadian Bishops' arm of Development of Peace for its support for abortion agencies in third-world countries and a radical social-justice agenda at the expense of Catholic truth.

The Holy Father has recently issued his motu proprio De Caritate Ministrada. He knows full well what Development and Peace has been up to and its U.S. counterpart, the Campaign for Human Development and others around the world. 

God bless and keep Pope Benedict XVI; a Shepherd who guards his flock from those wolves in sheeps' clothing who would devour them.

The Church’s deepest nature is expressed in her three-fold responsibility: of proclaiming the word of God (kerygma-martyria), celebrating the sacraments (leitourgia) and exercising the ministry of charity (diakonia). These duties presuppose each other and are inseparable” (Deus Caritas Est, 25).
The service of charity is also a constitutive element of the Church’s mission and an indispensable expression of her very being (cf. ibid.); all the faithful have the right and duty to devote themselves personally to living the new commandment that Christ left us (cf. Jn 15:12), and to offering our contemporaries not only material assistance, but also refreshment and care for their souls (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 28). The Church is also called as a whole to the exercise of the diakonia of charity, whether in the small communities of particular Churches or on the level of the universal Church. This requires organization “if it is to be an ordered service to the community” (cf. ibid., 20), an organization which entails a variety of institutional expressions.
With regard to this diakonia of charity, in my Encyclical Deus Caritas Est I pointed out that “in conformity with the episcopal structure of the Church, the Bishops, as successors of the Apostles, are charged with primary responsibility for carrying out in the particular Churches” the service of charity (No. 32); at the same time, however, I noted that “the Code of Canon Law, in the canons on the ministry of the Bishop, does not expressly mention charity as a specific sector of episcopal activity” (ibid.). Although “the Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops explored more specifically the duty of charity as a responsibility incumbent upon the whole Church and upon each Bishop in his Diocese” (ibid.), there was still a need to fill the aforementioned lacuna and to give adequate expression in canonical legislation to both the essential nature of the service of charity in the Church and its constitutive relationship with the episcopal ministry, while outlining the legal aspects of this ecclesial service, especially when carried out in an organized way and with the explicit support of the Bishops.
In view of this, with the present Motu Proprio I intend to provide an organic legislative framework for the better overall ordering of the various organized ecclesial forms of the service of charity, which are closely related to the diaconal nature of the Church and the episcopal ministry.
It is important, however, to keep in mind that “practical activity will always be insufficient, unless it visibly expresses a love for man, a love nourished by an encounter with Christ” (ibid., 34). In carrying out their charitable activity, therefore, the various Catholic organizations should not limit themselves merely to collecting and distributing funds, but should show special concern for individuals in need and exercise a valuable educational function within the Christian community, helping people to appreciate the importance of sharing, respect and love in the spirit of the Gospel of Christ. The Church’s charitable activity at all levels must avoid the risk of becoming just another form of organized social assistance (cf. ibid., 31).
The organized charitable initiatives promoted by the faithful in various places differ widely one from the other, and call for appropriate management. In a particular way, the work of Caritas has expanded at the parish, diocesan, national and international levels. Caritas is an institution promoted by the ecclesiastical Hierarchy which has rightly earned the esteem and trust of the faithful and of many other people around the world for its generous and consistent witness of faith and its concrete ability to respond to the needs of the poor. In addition to this broad initiative, officially supported by the Church’s authority, many other initiatives have arisen in different places from the free enterprise of the faithful, who themselves wish to help in various ways to offer a concrete witness of charity towards those in need. While differing in their origin and juridical status, both are expressions of sensitivity and a desire to respond to the same pressing need.
The Church as an institution is not extraneous to those organized initiatives which represent a free expression of the concern of the baptized for individuals and peoples in need. The Church’s Pastors should always welcome these initiatives as a sign of the sharing of all the faithful in the mission of the Church; they should respect the specific characteristics and administrative autonomy which these initiatives enjoy, in accordance with their nature, as a manifestation of the freedom of the baptized.
Alongside these, the Church’s authority has, on its own initiative, promoted specific agencies which provide institutionally for allocating donations made by the faithful, following suitable legal and administrative methods which allow for a more effective response to concrete needs.
Nevertheless, to the extent that such activities are promoted by the Hierarchy itself, or are explicitly supported by the authority of the Church’s Pastors, there is a need to ensure that they are managed in conformity with the demands of the Church’s teaching and the intentions of the faithful, and that they likewise respect the legitimate norms laid down by civil authorities. In view of these requirements, it became necessary to establish in the Church’s law certain essential norms inspired by the general criteria of canonical discipline, which would make explicit in this sector of activity the legal responsibilities assumed by the various subjects involved, specifying in particular the position of authority and coordination belonging to the diocesan Bishop. At the same time, the norms in question need to be broad enough to embrace the significant diversity of the institutions of Catholic inspiration which are engaged as such in this sector, whether those originating from the Hierarchy or those born of the direct initiative of the faithful, received and encouraged by the local Pastors. While it was necessary to lay down norms in this regard, there was also a need to consider the requirements of justice and the responsibility of Bishops before the faithful, with respect for the legitimate autonomy of each institution.
Dispositive Part
Consequently, upon the proposal of the Cardinal President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, and after consultation with the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, I establish and decree the following:
Art. 1. - § 1. The faithful have the right to join in associations and to establish agencies to carry out specific charitable services, especially on behalf of the poor and suffering. To the extent that these are linked to the charitable service of the Church’s Pastors and/or intend to use for this purpose contributions made by the faithful, they must submit their own Statutes for the approval of the competent ecclesiastical authority and comply with the following norms.
§ 2. Similarly, it is also the right of the faithful to establish foundations to fund concrete charitable initiatives, in accordance with the norms of canons 1303 of the Code of Canon Law (CIC) and 1047 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO). If foundations of this type correspond to the characteristics set forth in § 1, they will also observe, congrua congruis referendo, the provisions of the present law.
§ 3. In addition to observing the canonical legislation, the collective charitable initiatives to which this Motu Proprio refers are required to follow Catholic principles in their activity and they may not accept commitments which could in any way affect the observance of those principles.
§ 4. Agencies and foundations for charitable purposes promoted by Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life are required to comply with these norms, and they must follow the prescriptions of canons 312 § 2 CIC and 575 § 2 CCEO.
Art. 2. - § 1. The Statutes of each charitable agency referred to in the preceding article must also contain, in addition to its institutional offices and structures of governance in accordance with canon 95 § 1 CIC, the guiding principles and objectives of the initiative, the management of funds, the profile of its workers, as well as the reports and information which must be presented to the competent ecclesiastical authority.
§ 2. A charitable agency may use the name “Catholic” only with the written consent of the competent authority, as laid down by canon 300 CIC.
§ 3. Agencies promoted by the faithful for charitable purposes can have an Ecclesiastical Assistant appointed in accordance with the Statutes, according to the norm of canons 324 § 2 and 317 CIC.
§ 4. At the same time, the ecclesiastical authority must bear in mind its duty to regulate the exercise of the rights of the faithful in accordance with canons 223 § 2 CIC and 26 § 2 CCEO, and thus to avoid the proliferation of charitable initiatives to the detriment of their activity and effectiveness with regard to their stated goals.
Art. 3. - § 1. With regard to the preceding articles, it is understood that the competent authority at the respective levels is that indicated by canons 312 CIC and 575 CCEO.
§ 2. For agencies not approved at the national level, even though they operate in different Dioceses, the competent authority is understood to be the diocesan Bishop of the place where the agency has its principal office. In any event, the agency has the duty to inform the Bishops of other Dioceses where it operates and to respect the guidelines for the activities of the various charitable agencies present in those Dioceses.
Art. 4. § 1. The diocesan Bishop (cf. canon 134 § 3 CIC and canon 987 CCEO) exercises his proper pastoral solicitude for the service of charity in the particular Church entrusted to him as its Pastor, guide and the one primarily responsible for that service.
§ 2. The diocesan Bishop encourages and supports the initiatives and works of service to neighbour in his particular Church, and encourages in the faithful the spirit of practical charity as an expression of the Christian life and sharing in the mission of the Church, as indicated in canons 215 and 222 CIC and 25 and 18 CCEO.
§ 3. It is the responsibility of the diocesan Bishop to ensure that in the activities and management of these agencies the norms of the Church’s universal and particular law are respected, as well as the intentions of the faithful who made donations or bequests for these specific purposes (cf. canons 1300 CIC and 1044 CCEO).
Art. 5. - The diocesan Bishop is to ensure that the Church enjoys the right to carry out charitable activities, and he is to take care that the faithful and the institutions under his supervision comply with the legitimate civil legislation in this area.
Art. 6. – It is the responsibility of the diocesan Bishop, as indicated by canons 394 § 1 CIC and 203 § 1 CCEO, to coordinate within his territory the different works of charitable service, both those promoted by the Hierarchy itself and those arising from initiatives of the faithful, without prejudice to their proper autonomy in accordance with their respective Statutes. In particular, he is to take care that their activities keep alive the spirit of the Gospel.
Art. 7. - § 1. The agencies referred to in Article 1 § 1 are required to select their personnel from among persons who share, or at least respect, the Catholic identity of these works.
§ 2. To ensure an evangelical witness in the service of charity, the diocesan Bishop is to take care that those who work in the Church’s charitable apostolate, along with due professional competence, give an example of Christian life and witness to a formation of heart which testifies to a faith working through charity. To this end, he is also to provide for their theological and pastoral formation, through specific curricula agreed upon by the officers of various agencies and through suitable aids to the spiritual life.
Art. 8. – Wherever necessary, due to the number and variety of initiatives, the diocesan Bishop is to establish in the Church entrusted to his care an Office to direct and coordinate the service of charity in his name.
Art. 9. - § 1. The Bishop is to encourage in every parish of his territory the creation of a local Caritas service or a similar body, which will also promote in the whole community educational activities aimed at fostering a spirit of sharing and authentic charity. When appropriate, this service is to be established jointly by various parishes in the same territory.
§ 2. It is the responsibility of the Bishop and the respective parish priest to ensure that together with Caritas, other charitable initiatives can coexist and develop within the parish under the general coordination of the parish priest, taking into account, however, the prescriptions of Article 2 § 4 above.
§ 3. It is the duty of the diocesan Bishop and the respective parish priests to see that in this area the faithful are not led into error or misunderstanding; hence they are to prevent publicity being given through parish or diocesan structures to initiatives which, while presenting themselves as charitable, propose choices or methods at odds with the Church’s teaching.
Art. 10. - § 1. It is the responsibility of the Bishop to supervise the ecclesiastical goods of the charitable agencies subject to his authority.
§ 2. It is the duty of the diocesan Bishop to ensure that the proceeds of collections made in accordance with canons 1265 and 1266 CIC and canons 1014 and 1015 CCEO are used for their stated purposes [cf. canons 1267 CIC, 1016 CCEO].
§ 3. In particular, the diocesan Bishop is to ensure that charitable agencies dependent upon him do not receive financial support from groups or institutions that pursue ends contrary to Church’s teaching. Similarly, lest scandal be given to the faithful, the diocesan Bishop is to ensure that these charitable agencies do not accept contributions for initiatives whose ends, or the means used to pursue them, are not in conformity with the Church’s teaching.
§ 4. In a particular way, the Bishop is to see that the management of initiatives dependent on him offers a testimony of Christian simplicity of life. To this end, he will ensure that salaries and operational expenses, while respecting the demands of justice and a necessary level of professionalism, are in due proportion to analogous expenses of his diocesan Curia.
§ 5. To permit the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Article 3 § 1 to exercise its duty of supervision, the agencies mentioned in Article 1 § 1, are required to submit to the competent Ordinary an annual financial report in a way which he himself will indicate.
Art. 11. – The diocesan Bishop is obliged, if necessary, to make known to the faithful the fact that the activity of a particular charitable agency is no longer being carried out in conformity with the Church’s teaching, and then to prohibit that agency from using the name “Catholic” and to take the necessary measures should personal responsibilities emerge.
Art. 12. - § 1. The diocesan Bishop is to encourage the national and international activity of the charitable agencies under his care, especially cooperation with poorer ecclesiastical circumscriptions by analogy with the prescriptions of canons 1274 § 3 CIC and 1021 § 3 CCEO.
§ 2. Pastoral concern for charitable works, depending on circumstances of time and place, can be carried out jointly by various neighbouring Bishops with regard to a number of Churches, in accordance with the norm of law. When such joint activity is international in character, the competent Dicastery of the Holy See is to be consulted in advance. For charitable initiatives on the national level, it is fitting that the Bishop consult the respective office of the Bishops’ Conference.
Art. 13. – The local ecclesiastical authority retains the full right to give permission for initiatives undertaken by Catholic agencies in areas of his jurisdiction, with due respect for canonical norms and the specific identity of the individual agencies. It is also the duty of the Bishop to ensure that the activities carried out in his Diocese are conducted in conformity with ecclesiastical discipline, either prohibiting them or adopting any measures needed in cases where that discipline is not respected.
Art. 14. – Where appropriate, the Bishop is to promote charitable initiatives in cooperation with other Churches or Ecclesial Communities, respecting the proper identity of each.
Art. 15. - § 1. The Pontifical Council Cor Unum has the task of promoting the application of this legislation and ensuring that it is applied at all levels, without prejudice to the competence of the Pontifical Council for the Laity with regard to associations of the faithful as provided for in Article 133 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, the competence of the Secretariat of State’s Section for Relations with States, and the general competences of other Dicasteries and Institutes of the Roman Curia. In particular, the Pontifical Council Cor Unum is to take care that the charitable service of Catholic institutions at the international level is always to be carried out in communion with the various local Churches.
§ 2. The Pontifical Council Cor Unum is also competent for the canonical establishment of charitable agencies at the international level; it thus takes on the responsibilities of discipline and promotion entailed by law.
I order that everything I have laid down in this Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio be fully observed, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, even if worthy of particular mention, and I decree that it be promulgated by publication in the daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano and enter into force on 10 December 2012.
Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 11 November, in the year 2012, the eighth of my Pontificate.

© Copyright 2012 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Friday 30 November 2012

Put the last year in the trash bin along with Celebrate in Song!

For those of you in liturgical work in the Ordinary Form in many parts of Canada where for the last year you've been saddled with Mass A, Mass B or Mass C in Celibate in Song under pain of disobedience of the High Priests of Liturgy at the CCCB and the perceived,  conflict of interest of two of the composers of the trite banality passed off as sacred music and a Gloria that is not the Roman Missal Gloria, there is great news.