Friday, August 26, 2016

The New Ben Hur Falls Short of the Original Classic


So says Monica Migliorino Miller (Crisis, August 26, 2016), and I agree.

Despite impressive special effects in the naval battle scene and the chariot race, the most important part of the original narrative, the supernatural Christian faith that gives meaning to the whole in the original novel, is denatured in the movie, flattening out the vertical dimension of repentance and rebirth into horizontal banalities about overcoming hate and restoring ruptured human relationships.

But read Dr. Miller's account for a superlative analysis.

[Hat tip to Dr. Echeverria who treated me to a 3-D screening of Ben Hur last Saturday]

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Attention Catholic teachers and home schoolers: announcing new ancient history textbook


The eminently capable Phillip Campbell, who teaches history at St. Augustine's in Ann Arbor, with its highly-regarded classical curriculim, has just published the first volume in a series of 5th-7th grade-level history textbooks (publisher: TAN Books). The First volume is entitled The Ancient World: The Story of Civilization. Available with the textbook is a Test Book, Teacher's Manual, Activity Book, Timeline, Drama CDs, and Streaming Lecture Series.

If anyone is looking for a 5th-7th grade-level ancient history text written from a faithful and richly-informed Catholic perspective, look no further. This is what you want.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Superlatively thorough analysis of Laudato Si


This [also available here] is an analysis of Laudato Si, the Pope's "environmental encyclical," by 'Boniface', the moniker by which the author of Unam Sanctam Catholicsm is known. It is the most thoroughgoing analysis of Laudato Si that I have seen with penetrating evaluations and criticisms of those parts of the work that are bound to confuse and possibly mislead the faithful, yet not without appreciation for all that is positive.

This is one of those treatments that reminded me of how simply reading an ecclesiastical document, such as an Apostolic Exhortation, Encyclical, or Vatican II document, doesn't necessarily mean one has understood it. It takes a great deal of insight and background to analyze ecclesiastical documents; and reading this analysis, I thought to myself: I didn't realize half of what was in there. Good heavens! This is illuminating.

For example, the author points out how most conservative commentators objected to Pope Francis's critiques of western-style capitalism, whereas ironically he found these parts far from problematic: "they are," he writes, "some of its strongest parts."

By contrast, the parts that the author does find problematic may surprise some, especially in terms of the detailed analysis.

I wish I had time to do a justice to this analysis of Laudato Si that even approached something comparable to that which the author does to the Holy Father's work. Alas, the tyrannical business of the beginning of a semester prevents me.

But check out the work for yourself. It's an eBook and can be purchased here or here. It's entitled: Laudato Si: The 40 Concerns of an Exhausted Layman.

Cardinal Burke: Holy Father will need to offer clarification


David Gibson, "Cardinal Burke insists he is serving Francis, not opposing him" (RNS, August 22, 2016):
“We can’t understand this document to be magisterium in the way other documents have been because Pope Francis simply has a different approach to the papacy,” the cardinal said. “In his documents he mixes his own thoughts and approaches, which are personal, with questions of doctrine.”

Burke says he knows some disagree with him, but he said that he and “many serious-minded people” in the church hierarchy are calling for Francis to issue a follow-up document.

“I trust that something will have to happen also because some very formal calls for clarification are in process and they simply will demand a response,” Burke said, “not in any kind of hostile or aggressive way, but simply for the sake of souls because people are getting confused.”
Read more >>

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tridentine Community News - Rail Car Chapels; Juventútem Michigan Leaders to Wed; TLM Mass schedule


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (August 21, 2016):
August 21, 2016 – Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Rail Car Chapels Private rail cars have long been the province of politicians and the wealthy, but did you know that some have been outfitted to serve as Catholic chapels, hosting the Tridentine Mass? The Catholic Extension Society built at least three such cars. The St. Anthony Chapel Car is an early example, dating from 1908 and made out of wood.



A later example from the Extension Society is the St. Paul Chapel Car, made out of steel. The below diagram indicates that it contained a Communion Rail, organ, and behind the altar, priests’ living quarters. Even in regions such as Europe where rail travel is still a principal mode of long-distance transportation, it’s difficult to imagine that such a conveyance would be built today. Despite the cramped surroundings, it was still possible to hold an organ-accompanied High Mass in a dignified architectural setting. What a testament to the faith of the Catholics of that era.



Juventútem Michigan Leaders to Wed

Juventútem Michigan board members Michelle Harrison and Paul Schultz will marry each other at St. Thomas the Apostle, Ann Arbor, at 2:30 PM on Sunday, September 4. Everyone is invited to attend this Mass and to pray for their happy marriage. Fr. Zach Mabee will celebrate the Solemn High Mass for the Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost. Wassim Sarweh and singers from Windsor’s St. Benedict Choir will assist the Mass with Palestrina’s Missa Papæ Marcélli.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 08/22 7:00 PM: High Mass at Our Lady of the Scapular (Immaculate Heart of Mary) – Wassim Sarweh will provide the music
  • Mon. 08/22 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Immaculate Heart of Mary)
  • Tue. 08/23 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary (St. Philip Benizi, Confessor)
  • Sat. 08/27 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (St. Joseph Calasance, Confessor)
  • Sun. 08/28 9:45 AM: Pontifical Missa Cantata at OCLMA/Academy of the Sacred Heart (Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost) – Celebrant: Bishop Donald Hanchon
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for August 21, 2016. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan


Tridentine Masses This Coming Week


Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday
  • Wed. 08/24 7:30 AM: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Bartholomew - 2nd class)
  • Wed. 08/24 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM) at St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (St. Bartholomew - 2nd class)
  • Wed. 08/24 7:00 PM: Distribution of Holy Communion with lectionary readings of the day at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Bartholomew - 2nd class)
Thursday
  • Thu. 08/25 7:30 AM: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Louis IX - 3rd class)
  • Thu. 08/25 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM) at St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (St. Louis IX - 3rd class)
  • Thu. 08/25 7:00 PM: Distribution of Holy Communion with lectionary readings of the day at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Louis IX - 3rd class)
Friday
  • Fri. 08/26 7:30 AM: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (Feria - 4th class, or St. Zephyrinus - 4th class)
  • Fri. 08/26 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM) at a href="http://www.sspxmichigan.com/#!schedule/c24jx">St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (Feria - 4th class, or St. Zephyrinus - 4th class)
  • Fri. 08/26 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat, Detroit (Feria - 4th class, or St. Zephyrinus - 4th class)
  • Fri. 08/26 7:00 PM: Distribution of Holy Communion with lectionary readings of the day at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (Feria - 4th class, or St. Zephyrinus - 4th class)
  • Fri. 08/26 7:00 PM: High Mass (periodically) at St. Joseph's Church, Detroit (Feria - 4th class, or St. Zephyrinus - 4th class)
Saturday Sunday
* NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins." These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites. Also please note that St. Joseph's SSPX Chapel in Richmond has moved to Ray Township, at 57575 Romeo Plank Rd., Ray Twp., MI 48096.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

National Catholic Register: "Satan fuels Islamist violence against Christians"

Deacon Nick Donnelly, "Satan Fuels Islamist Violence Against Christians" (National Catholic Register, August 10, 2016)
COMMENTARY: The beheading of Father Jacques Hamel was clearly intended as a deliberate desecration of the Church.


The brutal murder of 86-year-old Father Jacques Hamel by Islamic State terrorists on July 26 is an evil beyond the comprehension of all decent and moral people. The fact that Adel Kermiche and Abdelmalik Petitjean chose to attack a priest celebrating Mass and cut his throat as he knelt at the foot of the altar takes this act into the realm of demonic evil. The archbishop of Rouen told the congregation at Father Hamel’s requiem Mass that his dying words were, “Get away from me Satan.”
Read more >>

Related: Richard Ducayne, "Paris Archbishop calls God of Islam 'God of Death'" (CM World News, August 1, 2016): The French Archbishop, Andre Cardinal Vingt-Trois, has openly called the God of Islam, Allah, the "God of death" and even compared Allah to the pagan god Moloch, who demanded human sacrifice.

Putin vs. Obama: Who Occupies the High Ground?

Michael Matt, "Putin vs. Obama: Who Occupies the High Ground?" (The Remnant, August 20, 2016).


I realize this is anathema to the majority of both right- and left- wing US media. Russia is, in the public mind, the remnant of what Reagan called "the evil empire." Still, I have no idea why the U.S. is positioning its nuclear weapons increasingly closer to Russia and the Ukraine. Yes, I know about the amassing of Russian troops there. But that's hardly unprovoked. I frankly don't know what to think about Putin. I know of his nefarious KGB connections. I also know of his ostensible Christian connections and defense of public virtue. My hunch is that the chief reason he is demonized by the Western media is not because of the skeletons in his closet but because, like Trump, he is not 'owned' by the corporate interests of the international globalist financiers, like George Soros.

Friday, August 19, 2016

When Vatican gender politics has you feelin' weary, just crank up some of these tunes and pour yourself a good Cabernet

In particular, listen to this version of "Delta Dong," by Tanya Tucker with the new lyrics provided by our indefatigable Amateur Brain Surgeon in "Controversy erupts as Vatican considers accepting female to male seminarians [sic]" (Mick Jagger gathers no Mosque, August 15, 2016).

It's enough to make a tear come to your eye, ain't it ...

Michal Sean Winters's Discontent with Abp Chaput's critique of contemporary politics

By Card. R. Trueman. In First Things. Very good.

[Hat tip to JM]

Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan


Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Sunday Monday
  • Mon. 08/15 7:30 AM: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 1st class)
  • Mon. 08/15 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM) at St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 1st class)
  • Mon. 08/15 12:00 Noon: High Tridentine Mass at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 1st class)
  • Mon. 08/15 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat, Detroit (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 1st class)
  • Mon. 08/15 7:00 PM: Ad ordientem Novus Ordo Mass celebrated by Archbishop Allen Vigneron at Assumption Grotto, Detroit, followed by Eucharistic procession (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 1st class)
  • Mon. 08/15 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Joseph's Church, Detroit (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 1st class)
Tuesday
  • Tue. 08/16 7:00 AM High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Joachim, Father of the Blessed Virgin - 2nd class)
  • Tue. 08/16 8:00 AM: Low Mass (call for Confession schedule) at St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (St. Joachim, Father of the Blessed Virgin - 2nd class)
  • Tue. 08/16 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Canada (St. Joachim, Father of the Blessed Virgin - 2nd class)
  • Tue. 08/16 7:00 PM: Distribution of Holy Communion with lectionary readings of the day at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Joachim, Father of the Blessed Virgin - 2nd class)
Wednesday
  • Wed. 08/17 7:30 AM: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Hyacinth - 3rd class)
  • Wed. 08/17 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM) at St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (St. Hyacinth - 3rd class)
  • Wed. 08/17 7:00 PM: Distribution of Holy Communion with lectionary readings of the day at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. Hyacinth - 3rd class)
Thursday
  • Thu. 08/18 7:30 AM: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (Feria - 4th class, or St. Agapitus - 4th class)
  • Thu. 08/18 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM) at St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (Feria - 4th class, or St. Agapitus - 4th class)
  • Thu. 08/18 7:00 PM: Distribution of Holy Communion with lectionary readings of the day at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (Feria - 4th class, or St. Agapitus - 4th class)
Friday
  • Fri. 08/19 7:30 AM: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. John Eudes - 3rd class)
  • Fri. 08/19 8:00 AM: Low Mass (Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM) at a href="http://www.sspxmichigan.com/#!schedule/c24jx">St. Joseph's Church, Ray Township [NB: See note at bottom of this post about SSPX sites.]* (St. John Eudes - 3rd class)
  • Fri. 08/19 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat, Detroit (St. John Eudes - 3rd class)
  • Fri. 08/19 7:00 PM: Distribution of Holy Communion with lectionary readings of the day at Assumption Grotto, Detroit (St. John Eudes - 3rd class)
  • Fri. 08/19 7:00 PM: High Mass (periodically) at St. Joseph's Church, Detroit (St. John Eudes - 3rd class)
Saturday Sunday
* NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins." These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites. Also please note that St. Joseph's SSPX Chapel in Richmond has moved to Ray Township, at 57575 Romeo Plank Rd., Ray Twp., MI 48096.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Dreher: "The Problem of Uncertain Trumpets"

Rod Dreher, "The Problem of Uncertain Trumpets" (August 12, 2016):
Maybe you heard that our Catholic vice president, Joe Biden, recent recipient of the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame, presided over the wedding of two of his male staffers recently ...

Not a peep was heard from the Catholic bishops about this [UPDATE: Three peeps were heard, and three cheers for these bishops. — RD] — and this got Protestant theologian Carl Trueman to thinking. Excerpt:
... I have made it clear before that I believe Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option seems to build on the most realistic premise: that we must despair of national politics delivering anything for us and refocus on the local. This, as Dreher has pointed out again and again, will require withdrawal from certain spheres.

But I suggest that it will mean more than simple withdrawal. It will also require the drawing of certain lines and thereby the exclusion of certain people from church circles. We cannot bring clarity to the identity and testimony of the church unless we draw some pretty clear boundaries about who belongs and which beliefs and behaviors are legitimate....
As Carl says, if the most prominent Catholic elected official in the country can voluntarily preside in a secular capacity over a same-sex wedding, and not get disciplined by the Catholic hierarchy, something has gone very wrong. It’s not that the Church — Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, whatever — has to weigh in on every single issue. But come on, this is the Vice President of the United States. Carl is right: a church that will stand for anything stands for nothing.

The Protestant Trueman goes on to say:
As of this moment, the leadership of all of our churches in the U.S. leaves much to be desired. Mainline Protestant denominations sold out to the world two generations ago. Evangelicalism is full of vibrant enthusiasm but lacks any intellectual depth or consistency when it comes to social teaching. Confessional Protestants are such a small minority that we are barely noticeable. Key to the religious future of the United States is the Roman Catholic hierarchy. It alone has the status and the potential cohesion to make a difference. All of our hopes depend upon the Roman Catholic Church taking a clear and bold stand.

Yet therein lies the problem.
Read more >>

Catholic journalist & lawyer argue case for "Trumping Hillary"


Decisive issues for Catholics touched upon:
  • Deceit of Rino Republicans
  • Moral reasoning: principle of double effect vs. lesser of two evils
  • Post-Christian America
  • Slowing down civilizational collapse
  • Immigration crisis
  • Islamic terrorism
  • National security
  • Second Amendment as means of resisting nanny state & big government
  • Religious freedom
  • Education, Home schooling, Common Core, federal regulation
  • Globalism & New World Order
  • Supreme Court appointments
  • Legal positivism and legislating justices
  • Obergefell & same-sex 'marriage'
  • Abortion on demand
  • Overturning of the Johnson Amendment
Related:

Catholic millennials discuss 2016 Presidential Election (New Catholic Generation)

Daniel Amon, "Never Hillary: A Catholic Democrat's Wake-Up Call" (Fetzen Fliegan, August 8, 2016).

John Vennari: stage 4 cancer, refuses chemo, requests prayer


He reports HERE that he is in good spirits, his family is making a novena to both Our Lady of Good Success and Saint Philomena, and he asks for prayer.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Tridentine Community News - Reminder: Assumption Church (Windsor) opening; New York church bus tour report; Msgr. Browne to deliver talk on spiritual battles; TLM Mass schedule


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (August 7, 2016):
August 7, 2016 – Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost

Reminder: Assumption Church Opening

Windsor’s Assumption Church reopens for visitation next Sunday, August 14 from 2:00 – 5:00 PM, and on its titular Feast day, Monday, August 15 from 12:00 Noon – 6:00 PM. Please stop by and pray that a solution will be found to restore the church.

New York Church Bus Tour Report

Prayer Pilgrimages bus tour director Michael Semaan led another inspiring tour of historic Catholic churches, this time in and around New York City, July 25-29. This writer was privileged to participate in the tour. Usually a local Catholic priest is part of Mike’s tours, but that was not possible this time. As a result, the only Tridentine Mass that was included in this tour was at Manhattan’s Holy Innocents Church, celebrated by new pastor Fr. James Miara. Fr. Miara is a familiar face to many of our readers, having visited Detroit several times and celebrated Masses in the Extraordinary Form at St. Josaphat and Sweetest Heart of Mary.

Among the more notable stops on this tour: St. Igantius Church, the surprisingly ornate Jesuit parish in Manhattan.


The meticulously and immaculately restored St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Brooklyn, where these coves were recently painted.


Newark’s ultra-clean Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, which, like Manhattan’s St. Patrick Cathedral, has removed its freestanding altar and now offers all Masses at the High Altar. It also has Stations of the Cross, each of which is a Side Altar. On April 23 of this year, this cathedral hosted a Tridentine Mass.





Msgr. Browne to Deliver Talk on Spiritual Battles

While on the above bus tour, this writer attended a show at New York City’s Hayden Planetarium. Planetarium shows can be a powerful booster to one’s Catholic faith. The incomprehensible vastness of outer space, for this reader at least, points to the existence of an omnipotent Creator. In this particular show, it was stated that if the mapped portion of the universe – which incorporates stars that are over 13 billion light years away – corresponded to the size of the planetarium dome, the believed size of the entire universe would be as large as the planet Earth. Mind bogglingly large. Along similar lines, another subject which can be enormously faith-bolstering is the practice of Exorcisms. When one reads about spiritual warfare, the battle for souls, and demonic possession, one realizes that demons respect the Name of our Lord, the authority of validly ordained priests and canonically appointed exorcists, and the power of the Traditional Rite of Exorcism, in many ways more than we ourselves do. Next Sunday, August 14, at a reception following the 9:45 AM Tridentine Mass at the OCLMA/Academy of the Sacred Heart, Msgr. Ron Browne will deliver a fascinating talk he has given before elsewhere, “Spiritual Battles and How to be on the Good Side,” which includes a discussion of the practice of Exorcism.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 08/08 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. John Mary Vianney, Confessor)
  • Tue. 08/09 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary (Vigil of St. Lawrence)
  • Sat. 08/13: No Mass at Miles Christi [Priests on vacation]
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for August 7, 2016. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]