Saturday, January 12, 2008

Archbishop Burke Is A Mensch!

Raise him to Cardinal!



The New England Patriots, after delivering a perfect regular season, setting a new record, by going 16-0, tonight begin the playoffs. Their opponents, the Jacksonville Jaguars are by no means despicable.

They say that, on any given Sunday, or in this case, Saturday night, any NFL franchise, no matter how bad the odds against them, can beat any other. I think it is less so the case than it is in baseball, where the longer season means that even the 1927 New York Yankees, as great as they were, did not lose some games to dreadful teams. But it remains a truism.

And Jacksonville is certainly capable of upsetting the Patriots tonight.

But we hope that they do not, and that the 2007/2008 Patriots' progress through the NFL remains unblemished, right through the Super Bowl. I think 19-0 is something this Patriots team is capable of, and would like to see it.

GO PATS!!!!!!!


Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

When the First Mass was offered
Thou wert present, Mother of God!
Thou wert standing close to Jesus
When His Blood bedecked the sod.
As we kneel on Calvary's summit,
At the Mass hour day by day
Queen of Earth and Queen of Heaven,
Come and teach us how to pray.

Brian O'Higgins


Friday, January 11, 2008

Start Thinking About Lent

Septuagesima Sunday is a week from this coming Sunday. The Alleluia is put aside in traditional mode communities from Saturday the 19th of January until Easter.

Now,in these weeks of "pre-Lent" it is a good time to start thinking about what sort of preparation you want to make this Lent. Think about what you want to sacrifice and give up. Think about what prayers you want to say, what readings you want to daily undertake, what movies to watch, and how or whether to veil the sacred images in the house for Lent (or at least Passiontide). Think about almsgiving, and how it is most effectively done.


Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

Lord Jesus Christ, eternal and merciful God,
Creator and Redeemer of all, listen to my prayer.

For the love Thou doth bear to those who ask forgiveness,
look on me with mercy, as once Thou didst look on Mary Magdalene,
and on Peter who denied Thee.

Look on me, Lord Jesus Christ, as Thou didst looked at the thief on his cross
and on every sinner whom Thou hast ever forgiven.

Look on me, merciful Lord, as Thou didst look on Thy Mother, Mary,
standing in sorrow beneath Thy Cross.

Let me feel in my heart her compassion for Thee,
and let my eyes weep for Thy sorrows, caused by my sinful life.
Call me back from the darkness to my Father's house, give me a new heart
and a place at Thy side in the banquet Thou hast prepared for me. Amen.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

McCain Wins In New Hamprshire

He now has the "Big Mo." At least until the next time he runs up against Huckabee.

Is he acceptable on abortion? The Cafeteria Is Closed finds some rays of hope, which you don't have with Guiliani. What about other important social issues, like embryonic stem cells, cloning, gay marriage, quotas (aka "affirmative action"), English as the National Language, immigration issues, and border security?

I know he is solid on the war against Moslem Terrorism, and its Iraq Campaign. He is not on the "bugout team", as Mitt seems to be.

Economics? That may be a serious failing. Any candidate who has not absorbed over the last 30 years the best of the supply-side and monetarist theory and practice is not likely to find favor with me. Tax cuts, serious domestic spending cuts, and solid money, maybe even some Jack Kempish gold-bugism, less regulation of every segment of the economy, opening up all domestic sources of oil supply and refining/production, and generally favoring the private sector over government at every turn. I don't recall McCain being very solid on economics. We shall see.

To be honest, I had written McCain off. And therefore have not really considered him a viable option.

Among the GOP candidates, I know Guiliani would bring nothing good at all for social conservatives, or tax cutters. I know from experience that Mitt can't be trusted to stand up for anything: all style, no substance. I know Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, and Tom Tancredo combined don't have the political voltage of a particularly dim refrigerator bulb, and that Paul is a libertarian nut job, whose supporters are primarily concerned with getting pot legalized, which I do not favor.

Senator Fred Thompson still seems to me the candidate who best represents the Reagan legacy in substance. And therefore, despite his 1% performance in New Hampshire, I still favor him over the others. But he has to step up and really define his candidacy in conservative terms that will command the assent and support of right-thinking Americans. And if he doesn't do so soon, it will be too late, and I will have to move on to Door Number 3 in my presidential aspirant pool.

Some years, I am forced to migrate a bit in my presidential selections. Other years, I get to stand firm from the beginning with one candidate. In 1976, 1989, and 1984, I was 100% behind Ronald Reagan. But in 1988, I initially backed Jack Kemp, and had to shift when Vice President Bush beat him and the others. I stuck with Bush the Elder through the rest of 1988 and 1992. In 1996, I backed Phil Gramm at first, then shifted very reluctantly to Bob Dull (a little more enthusiastically when he picked Kemp as his Veep choice).

In 2000, I became convinced that Governor Bush was the rightward-most viable candidate, and stuck with him. I was not disappointed, and supported him enthusiastically in 2004. Though I feel he has not built on good first-term performance in his second term, I think history will treat him kindly enough, and that his present pariah-state will not last. Catholics, and pro-lifers in particular ought to be very grateful to him.

This year I started with Senator Brownback, and have shifted to Senator Thompson. And if Thompson does not get his campaign off life support, then it looks like Huckabee or McCain.


Beatifications On Track

The Martins, parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, and Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman are among the outstanding Catholics likely to be beatified in the near future.


January Thaw

December around here was about as cold and snowy as it gets. We had about 27 inches of snow, and flirted with record low temperatures right up until Christmas. Now, nature is easing up on us a bit. Temperatures yesterday hit a wonderful 66 degrees. And today, it may get to about 61, though with showers. A January thaw, and none too soon.

But the worst of the winter is almost upon us. Historically, the period January 10th-February 20th brings the worst winter cold and snow. After that, things tend to moderate.

So, beginning tomorrow, be can expect winter to get its oppressive act together, and oppress us big time. But it is only 40 days. Funny how the natural divisions of the seasons, into rough 40 day periods, coincides with the Church's 40 days of Lent.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Extraordinary Form Of the Mass In New England

The publication of Summorum Pontificum by the Holy Father has touched off a small frenzy of new parishes offering the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite Mass across the globe, here in the US, and right here in New England. The Boston area has been the least active, but that might soon change.

Here is a listing by state of parishes and other locations in full and complete communion with Rome where the Extraordinary Form is offered:


Holy Trinity, Boston

Note: Moved in April 2007 To Mary Immaculate of Lourdes in Newton, but the parish, which might still close, has been given permission to hold weekly Extraordinary Form Masses starting early in 2008. The Mass might well be a fairly early morning Mass, before the 10am German/English Novus Ordo Mass.

140 Shawmut Ave.

St. Columbkille, Brighton

321 Market Street Mass times: First Fri: 7:00 PM.

Web page : "http://www.brightoncatholic.com"
Remarks: Started September 14, 2007

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Holyoke

Mass times: Sun:1 2:00 PM.

435 Maple St.
01040 Pho.: (413) 532-4282
E-mail: ndps@mediaone.net
Web page : "http://www.latinmass.org/holyoke.html"

St. Anthony of Padua, New Bedford

1359 Acushnet Ave. Mass times: Sat:1 8:00 AM.

Pho.: (508) 993-1691
Fax.: (508) 999-4775
Web page : "http://www.saintanthonynewbedford.com"
Remarks: Starting October 6, 2007

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes, Newton Upper Falls

270 Elliott St. Mass times: Sun: 12:00 PM.

Contact(s): Fr. Higgins
Pho.: (617) 244-0558
Fax.: (617) 965-4815
E-mail: miol@parishmail.com
Web page : "http://maryimmaculatenewton.org"
Remarks: Started April 2007

Our Lady of Grace, South Chatham

Rt.137 Mass times: Sun: 1:00 PM.
2659 Source(s): E, G, K, N, Q, S

Contact(s): Fr. Neilson
Pho.: (508) 945-0677

Convent Chapel of St. Ann's House, St. Benedict Center, Still River
Mass times: Sun: 7:30 AM., 9:00 AM.
Center, 254 Mon: 8:30 AM.
Still River Rd. Tue: 8:30 AM.
01467 Wed: 8:30 AM.
Thu: 8:30 AM.
Fri: 8:30 AM.
Sat:2 6:30 AM., 8:30 AM.

Pho.: (978) 456-8017
Fax.: (878) 456-8508
Web page : "http://www.saintbenedict.com"
Community: Saint Benedict Center

Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel, St. Benedict Center, Still River
Mass times: Sun: 7:30 AM., 9:15 AM.
Mon: 8:30 AM.
282 Still River Tue: 8:30 AM.
Rd. Wed: 8:30 AM.
01467 Thu: 8:30 AM.
Fri: 8:30 AM.
Sat: 8:30 AM.

Pho.: (978) 456-8296
Fax.: (978) 456-9052

Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish, Turners Falls

84 K Street Mass times: Tue:call

Contact(s): Fr. John Lessard Thidodeau
Pho.: (413) 863-4748
Web page : "http://www.robotechlan/ourladyofsz"
Remarks: Starting October 2007


Sts. Cyril And Methodius Church, Bridgeport

79 Church St. Mass times: Sun: 10:15 AM.
Contact(s): Msgr. Joseph Pekar
Pho.: (203) 333-7003

St. Bridget of Kildare Church, Moodus

* Two Possible Mass times: Sun: 12:00 PM.
Addresses (North
Moodus Rd Or 75
Moodus-Lessville Contact(s): Fr. Gregoire J Fluet
Rd.) Pho.: (860) 873-8623
06469 E-mail: GFleut1943@aol.com
Web page : "http://www.mooduslatinmass.org"
Remarks: * Check Their Web Site Or Call To
Confirm Location

Church of St. Mary, New Britain
544 Main Street
06051 Mass times: Sun: 4:00 PM.

Pho.: (860) 229-4894
Web page : "http://www.saintmarynb.org"

Sacred Heart, New Haven

74 Liberty St. Mass times: Sun: 2:00 PM.
Contact(s): FR. Robert Newman SC
Pho.: (203) 562-7592
Web page : "http://www.saint-gregory.org"
Community: Saint Gregory Society

St. Mary's Catholic Church, Norwalk

669 West Ave. Mass times: Sun: 9:00 AM.

Web page : "http://www.stmarynorwalk.net/"
Remarks: Starting Unknown

Sacred Heart, Stamford

37 Schuyler Ave. Mass times: Sun:1 2:30 PM.

Contact(s): FR. Sherman Gray, Fr. John
Pho.: (203) 324-9544

St. Mary's Parish, Stamford Note: Cancelled (?) I understood that a retired priest would continue the Mass here, after Father Cipolla was transferred to Norwalk, where he is the associate of Father Markey

566 Elm St.
Immaculate Conception Church, Waterbury

74 West Main Mass times: Sun: 6:00 PM.
Pho.: (203) 574-0017
Web page : "http://www.theimmaculate.com"
Remarks: Starting December 2, 2007

New Hampshire

St. Margaret Mary, Keene
33 Arch Street
Mass times: Sun:3 3:00 PM.

Contact(s): Fr.. Daniel Lamothe
Pho.: (603) 352-1311
Fax.: (603) 358-5250
E-mail: stbernardparish@hotmail.com
Remarks: Starting December 16, 2007

Sacred Heart, Laconia

291 Union Avenue Mass times: Sun:1 3:00 PM.
Contact(s): Fr. Adrien R. Longshamps
Pho.: (603) 524-9609
Fax.: (603) 524-5620
E-mail: sacredheartlaconia@verison.net
Remarks: Starting November 4, 2007

St. Patrick Church, Nashua
29 Spring Street
03060 Mass times: Sun:2 2:00 PM.,4 2:00 PM.

Contact(s): Fr. Martin Kelly
Pho.: (603) 882-2262
Fax.: (603) 577-9817
Remarks: Starting in October 2007
Immaculate Conception Church, Portsmouth

98 Summer Street Mass times: Sun:1 11:00 AM.
Contact(s): FR. Michael Kerper
Pho.: (603) 436-4555
Fax.: (603) 433-4401
E-mail: pastor@corpuschristinh.org
Web page : "http://www.corpuschritinh.org"
Remarks: Start December 2, 2007


St. Patrick Church, Newcastle
32 Pond Road, Box
508 Mass times: Sun:2 12:30 PM.
Contact(s): Fr. Stephen Mulkern
Pho.: (207) 563-3240
Web page : "http://stpatricksnewcastle.org/"

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (in The Chapel), Portland
Mass times: Sun: 12:00 PM.

307 Congress St
04101 Contact(s):
Rev. James L Nadeau STL
Pho.: (207) 773-7746
Fax.: (207) 879-5547
E-mail: rector@portlandcathedral.org
Web page : "http://portlandcathedral.org/index"

Rhode Island

St. Leo the Great, Pawtucket
699 Central Ave.
02861 Mass times: Sun:3 5:00 PM.

Contact(s): Rev. Kevin R. Fisette
Remarks: Starting October 21, 2007

Holy Name of Jesus Church, Providence

99 Camp St. Mass times: Sun: 11:00 AM.
02906 Sat: 8:00 AM.

Contact(s): FR. Joseph D. Santos, Jr.
Pho.: (401) 272-4515
Fax.: (401) 272-4616
E-mail: theholyname@cox.net
Web page : "http://members.cox.net/holynamechurch"
Community: Church of the Holy Name Of Jesus


Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Bradfort

113 Upper Plain Mass times: Sat: 4:00 PM.

Contact(s): Fr. Philip LaMothe
Pho.: (802) 222-5268
Fax.: (802) 222-5268
Web page : "http://www.vermontparishes.org/par"
Remarks: Starting October 6,2007


The 2008 New Hampshire Primary

Today is the "first in the nation" primary election in New Hampshire, a state that borders Massachusetts to the north, once a bastion of conservative Republicans (lately not so much) fleeing liberal Massachusetts.

I would urge New Hampshire voters reading this blog to vote for former US Senator Fred Thompson in the Republican primary. He is the only true Reaganite in the race. It is important to keep the nomination away from, and to sink as soon as possible, the campaigns of Republicans-In-Name-Only Rudy Guiliani, John McCain, and Mitt Romney. Whether we win or lose the White House this year, keeping control of the party apparatus, and the platform, in conservative hands is of the first importance.

Also, don't waste votes on second and third tier candidates like Ron Paul, the libertarian nut job, or Duncan Hunter, or Rep. Tancredo. Thompson and Huckabee are the only viable conservative candidates. Conservatives must unite behind the rightward-most viable candidate, and that is Senator Thompson.


Monday, January 07, 2008

Superb Filk

How the Puritans Stole Cristmas, over at Pro Ecclesia!


Plough Monday

It is now the usual time to end Christmas festivity.

The Monday after Epiphany was known as Plough Monday, a symbolic return to work day. But the return to agricultural work in early January was almost entirely symbolic. In most villages, there was a plough enshrined in the parish church, a symbolic representation of the agriculatural work of the village. And the plough was illuminated year round by a Plough Light, or Plough Candle. The candle(s) was/were paid for by the members of a Plough Guild. Keep in mind how very important agricultural work was to the community in pre-industrial England. Farming was central to all life, and having a symbol of the work of the community in the parish church was to them as easy a connection as a fishing net in a Gloucester church to us today.

On Plough Monday, the local farmers dressed up in outlandish clothing, brought the parish church plough out, and dragged it from door to door, begging alms (to pay for the Plough Light, plus some entertainment for the Guild members). They played music, and performed short plays in exchange for the contribution. Failure to contribute meant that the village plough would be used to plough up the soil in front of a cottager's door (I assume they made exceptions for the very poor and struggling).

Yep, trick or treat! The Plough Monday ritual is just like Souling, Trick-or-Treat, Guy Fawkes' Day's "A Penny For the Guy," Thanksgiving's "Something For the Feast" in New York, Colonial Boston's Fantastics at Christmas, Wassailing, Carolling, Mumming, John Canoe among Negroes on Southern Plantations, and the Wren Boys ritual in Ireland. It is a New Year's luck visit. Strange how the basic ritual, a disguised door-to-door visit featuring an exchange of good will or performance for contributions, takes different forms and moves around the calendar at the end of the old year/beginning of the new year, isn't it?

Christmas Oratorio

By W.H. Auden

Well, so that is that.
Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes --
Some have got broken -- and carrying them up to the attic.
The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
And the children got ready for school. There are enough
Left-overs to do, warmed-up, for the rest of the week --
Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,
Stayed up so late, attempted -- quite unsuccessfully --
To love all of our relatives, and in general
Grossly overestimated our powers. Once again
As in previous years we have seen
The actual Vision and failed
To do more than entertain it as an agreeable
Possibility, once again we have sent Him away,
Begging though, to remain His disobedient servant,
The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.
The Christmas Feast is already a fading memory,
And already the mind begins to be vaguely aware
Of an unpleasant whiff of apprehension at the thought
Of Lent and Good Friday which cannot, after all, now
Be very far off. But, for the time being, here we all are,
Back in the moderate Aristotelian city
Of darning and the Eight-Fifteen, where Euclid's geometry
And Newton's mechanics would account for our experience,
And the kitchen table exists because I scrub it.
It seems to have shrunk during the holidays. The streets
Are much narrower than we remembered; we had forgotten
The office was as depressing as this. To those who have seen
The Child, however dimly, however incredulously,
The Time Being is, in a sense, the most trying time of all.
For the innocent children who whispered so excitedly
Outside the locked door where they knew the presents to be
Grew up when it opened. Now, recollecting that moment
We can repress the joy, but the guilt remains conscious;
Remembering the stable where for once in our lives
Everything became a You and nothing was an It.
And craving the sensation but ignoring the cause,
We look round for something, no matter what, to inhibit
Our self-reflection, and the obvious thing for that purpose
Would be some great suffering. So, once we have met the Son,
We are tempted ever after to pray to the Father;
"Lead us into temptation and evil for our sake."
They will come, all right, don't worry; probably in a form
That we do not expect, and certainly with a force
More dreadful than we can imagine. In the meantime
There are bills to be paid, machines to keep in repair,
Irregular verbs to learn, the Time Being to redeem
From insignificance. The happy morning is over,
The night of agony still to come; the time is noon:
When the Spirit must practice his scales of rejoicing
Without even a hostile audience, and the Soul endure
A silence that is neither for nor against her faith
That God's Will will be done,
That, in spite of her prayers,
God will cheat no one,
Not even the world of its triumph.

Hue and Cry After Christmas
But is old, old, good old Christmas gone?
Nothing but the hair of his good, gray old head and beard left?
Well, I will have that, seeing I cannot have more of him.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Epiphany Of the Lord

A posting from January, 2006.


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