The End of an Era

By Fr LW Gonzales On February 28th, 2011

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Archbishop Jose Gomez, center, and Cardinal Roger Mahony process past fellow bishops at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Sunday. Photo: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / February 27, 2011

Church Bulletin Humor

By Fr LW Gonzales On February 24th, 2011

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Saint Charles Borromeo Parish Bulletin Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Repentance

By Fr LW Gonzales On February 24th, 2011

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“I wish to renounce the alleged ordination”

San Diego woman severs ties with Roman Catholic Women Priests

“I beg all of you to forgive me”

Priest who concelebrated Mass with Presbyterian minister has faculties suspended, writes apology letter to parish

Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, Apostle

By Fr LW Gonzales On February 22nd, 2011

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This feast brings to mind the mission of teacher and pastor conferred by Christ on Peter, and continued in an unbroken line down to the present Pope. We celebrate the unity of the Church, founded upon the Apostle, and renew our assent to the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, extended both to truths which are solemnly defined ex cathedra, and to all the acts of the ordinary Magisterium.

The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Rome has been celebrated from the early days of the Christian era on 18 January, in commemoration of the day when Saint Peter held his first service in Rome. The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch, commemorating his foundation of the See of Antioch, has also been long celebrated at Rome, on 22 February. At each place a chair (cathedra) was venerated which the Apostle had used while presiding at Mass.

For Many are Called, but Few are Chosen

By Fr LW Gonzales On February 20th, 2011

Septuagesima Sunday is the name for the ninth Sunday before Easter, the third before Ash Wednesday. The term is sometimes applied also to the period that begins on this day and ends on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. This period is also known as the pre-Lenten season or Shrovetide. The other two Sundays in this period of the liturgical year are called Sexagesima and Quinquagesima.

Septuagesima comes from the Latin word for “seventieth” with Sexagesima and Quinquagesima equalling “sixtieth” and “fiftieth” respectively. They are patterned after the Latin word for the season of Lent, Quadragesima, which means “fortieth”, as Lent is forty days long excluding Sundays. Because every Sunday recalls the resurrection of Christ, they are considered “little Easters” and not treated as days of penance. Quinquagesima Sunday is indeed the fiftieth day before Easter (counting inclusively), but the numbers indicated by the names “Sexagesima” and “Septuagesima” do not correspond to the interval between these Sundays and Easter.

In the pre-1970 Roman Catholic liturgy, the Alleluia ceases to be said during the liturgy.[1] At first Vespers of Septuagesima Sunday, two alleluias are added to the closing verse of Benedicamus Domino and its response, Deo gratias, as during the Easter Octave, and, starting at Compline, it is no longer used until Easter. Likewise, violet vestments are worn, except on feasts, from Septuagesima Sunday until Holy Thursday. As during Advent and Lent, the Gloria and Te Deum are no longer said on Sundays. The readings at Matins for this week are the first few chapters of Genesis, telling of the creation of the world, of Adam and Eve, the fall of man and resulting expulsion from the Garden of Eden, and the story of Cain and Abel. In the following weeks before and during Lent, the readings continue to Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses. The Gospel reading for Septuagesima week is the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16).

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At that time, Jesus spoke to his disciples this parable: The kingdom of heaven is like to a householder, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard. And having agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour, he saw others standing in the market place idle, and he said to them: Go you also into my vineyard, and I will give you what shall be just. And they went their way. And again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did in like manner. But about the eleventh hour, he went out, and found others standing; and he saith to them: Why stand you here all the day idle? They say to him: Because no man hath hired us. He saith to them: Go you also into my vineyard. And when evening was come, the Lord of the vineyard saith to his steward: Call the laborers, and pay them their hire, beginning from the last even to the first. When therefore they were come that came about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny, But when the first also came, they thought that they should receive more; and they also received every man a penny. And receiving it, they murmured against the master of the house, saying: These last have worked but one hour, and thou hart made them equal to us that have borne the burden of the day and the heats. But he answering said to one of them: Friend, I do thee no wrong; didst thou not agree with me for a penny? Take what is thine, and go thy way; I will also give to this last even as to thee. Or, is it not lawful for me to do what I will? Is thy eye evil, because I am good? So shall the last be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen.

Archconfraternity of the Three Hail Marys

By Fr LW Gonzales On February 19th, 2011

In the morning:

In honor of God the Father and the privilege of power granted to the Mother of God.
Hail Mary…
In honor of God the Son and the privilege of wisdom granted to the Mother of God.
Hail Mary…
In honor of God the Holy Ghost and the privilege of love granted to the Mother of God.
Hail Mary…

O my Mother, preserve me from mortal sin during this day.

In the evening:

In honor of God the Father and the privilege of power granted to the Mother of God.
Hail Mary…
In honor of God the Son and the privilege of wisdom granted to the Mother of God.
Hail Mary…
In honor of God the Holy Ghost and the privilege of love granted to the Mother of God.
Hail Mary…

O my Mother, preserve me from mortal sin during this night.

Excellent Commentary on New Missal Translation

By Fr LW Gonzales On February 15th, 2011

The attacks on the new English Missal are the last expiring gasp of the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’

The battle is virtually over – and the good guys won

By William Oddie on Monday, 14 February 2011

I didn’t intend, until I saw this week’s print edition of the paper (and incidentally, if you don’t take the paper, either online or in print, you should; this homepage gives no more than a taste of what you could have: it’s worth the price of the paper for the columnists alone – do it in two minutes by clicking on to the little square in the right-hand column) to say any more for a week or two about the new translation of the Mass, which we will all be using in church from September. I have made my views clear enough. I think that the new translation is wholly successful, and that if we had been using it from day one, thousands of people repelled by the banality of the ICEL translation now being superseded would still be regular worshippers rather than lapsed Catholics. I really believe it’s as important as that.

I return to the subject, however, inspired by this week’s splash headline: “Battle begins over new Roman Missal.” Now, I have written enough splash headlines myself to know that their purpose is not (mainly, at least) to convey accurate information, but to capture the attention of potential readers. This one certainly attracted mine: but of course, what one has then to do is to read the story to find out what’s actually going on.

The point is that there has already been a huge battle over this (which the good guys won), a battle which began when Pope John Paul published Liturgiam Authenticam, a document which made it clear that Mass translations in future should be faithful to the Latin text (not theologically and devotionally emasculated like the English translation currently in use) and then appointed a commission called Vox Clara, under the chairmanship of Cardinal the great and good George Pell, to make sure that this happened. A new chairman and secretary of ICEL (the International Committee on English in the Liturgy) were also appointed, and all seemed set fair.

But there had been an almighty struggle, the extent of which became clear when the retiring chairman of ICEL, Bishop Maurice Taylor of Galloway, made an astonishing attack on the new dispensation, in which he complained bitterly that “the members of ICEL’s episcopal board have, in effect, been judged to be irresponsible in the liturgical texts that they have approved over the years. The bishops of the English-speaking conferences, voting by large majorities to approve the vernacular liturgical texts prepared by ICEL, have been similarly judged. And the labours of all those faithful and dedicated priests, religious, and lay people who over the years devoted many hours of their lives to the work of ICEL have been called into question.”

Well, of course, he was dead right. The bishops who approved these awful texts had indeed, thank God, at long last been judged and found wanting. And so had the labours of all those “faithful” (but not to the texts they were translating) priests, religious and lay people who over the years had indeed (sniff, sniff) devoted many hours of their lives to undermining the real meaning of the Novus Ordo, leading many to suppose wrongly that the Church had now as good as protestantised the Mass. (Whatever else you say, the English Mass we have is by the skin of its teeth a valid Catholic rite: it just doesn’t, sometimes, seem much like it.)

The fact is that the “battle” now beginning over the introduction of the new translation is little more, by comparison with the warfare of the past few years, than a final skirmish, virtually over before it has started. It is, quite openly, the last gasp of those whose watchword has been “The Spirit of Vatican II” (“Spirit”, in quotes, rather than reality), the final faltering assault of the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture. But these people have already lost. If you doubt that, have a look at the comments below last week’s online story headlined: “Irish priests claim new Mass translation is ‘elitist and sexist’.” In the end there were 124 comments on this story, all except a handful from outraged lay people hotly rejecting the complaints of these Leftist and anti-Roman priests. One of them was from me. My comment simply was: “The instant, massive and almost unanimous hostility these elitist dissidents – who ludicrously complain about the elitism of the new translation – have aroused (see below), from the people in the pews who have suffered at their hands for 30 years, says it all. What a massive own goal their ‘urgent plea’ has turned out to be.” Another of those who responded simply but eloquently asked: “Why can’t these priests do what Rome wants, we did not have these problems in the past… it’s getting like they used to say about the Anglicans and probably still do, a Pope in every pulpit.” Well, indeed; but the good news is that the tide has now turned: these dissident priests are ageing and on the way out. If we keep our nerve, we are virtually there: we shall overcome.

Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.

By Fr LW Gonzales On February 14th, 2011

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St Valentine Martyr

By Fr LW Gonzales On February 14th, 2011

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Number of Priests Growing

By Fr LW Gonzales On February 11th, 2011

Number of priests growing worldwide, Vatican reports By Alan Holdren

Vatican City, Feb 11, 2011 / 05:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- There are more than 5,000 more Catholic priests globally in 2009 than there were in 1999, according to official Church statistics.

The Vatican’s L’Osservatore Romano newspaper anticipated the news from the soon-to-be released 2009 almanac prepared by the Vatican’s Central Office of Church Statistics.

The statistics reveal that there were 410,593 priests in the world in 2009 compared to 405,009 in 1999. The number of diocesan priests among these increased by over 10,000 while the number of those belonging to religious orders fell by nearly 5,000.

In North America, as well as Europe and Oceania, the numbers decreased for both diocesan and religious priests. Africa and Asia, however, brought up the overall figures with a more than 30 percent increase on both continents.

Europe still has nearly half of the world’s priests, but the “old continent” is gradually losing weight on the world stage.

More seminarians studying for the priesthood from Africa and Asia and fewer from Europe. But, there is also the issue of the number of deaths of priests in the different areas.

In Europe, the average age of priests is higher than in Africa and Asia. The number of European priests is falling as new ordinations do not surpass the numbers of those who die.

But in Asia and Africa the number of deaths was only one-third of the total new ordinations.

North and South America’s numbers combined show a positive trend over the decade since 1999, according to L’Osservatore Romano. In Oceania, the death-to-ordination ratio was equal.

The Vatican’s publishing house prints the volume of Church statistics annually. It includes names and biographies of major Catholic figures and offers a variety statistics on all those who work in apostolates and evangelization efforts the world over.

It also offer shorter term statistics. They report, for example, that between 2008 and 2009 the number of priests in the world increased by 809. According the Vatican newspaper, this is the highest jump since 1999 and a reason “to look to the future with renewed hope.”

St Peter Novena Begins February 13

By Fr LW Gonzales On February 11th, 2011

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O Holy Apostle, because thou art the Rock upon which Almighty God has built His church; obtain for me I pray thee, lively faith, firm hope and burning love; complete detachment from myself, contempt of the world, patience in adversity, humility in prosperity, recollection in prayer, purity of heart, a right intention in all my works, diligence in fulfilling the duties of my state of life, constancy in my resolutions, resignation to the will of God and perseverance in the grace of God even unto death;  that so, by means of thy intercession and thy glorious merits, I may be worthy to appear before the chief and eternal Shepherd of souls,  Jesus Christ, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost lives and reigns for ever. Amen.

Get Thee to the Confessional!

By Fr LW Gonzales On February 10th, 2011

Pope to Restructure Congregation for Divine Worship

By Fr LW Gonzales On February 9th, 2011

Pope to restructure curial office to promote ‘reform of the reform’?

Pope Benedict XVI plans to alter the jurisdiction of the Congregation for Divine Worship, placing its focus squarely on the effort to promote reverence and a sense of the sacred in the liturgy, according to Italian media reports.

The Pope will soon issue a motu proprio redefining the task of the Congregation for Divine Worship, reports Andrea Tornielli of Il Giornale. The report by Tornielli—who has correctly predicted a number of recent developments inside the Vatican—has been echoed by other Vatican-watchers.

The Congregation—technically known as the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments—will be relieved of responsibility for canonical questions about the administration of the sacraments. Those questions, under the terms of the motu proprio, will now be handled by the Roman Rota. The change would allow the Congregation for Divine Worship to devote its work entirely to the promotion of liturgical reform—a task that has always been a top priority for Benedict XVI.

The restructuring of the Congregation would further the Pope’s cherished goal of restoring reverence to the Roman liturgy. Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, has revealed that the Pope wants to encourage “a new, clear, and vigorous liturgical movement throughout the entire Church.” According to Tornielli’s report, the motu proprio has already been drafted and reviewed by canonical experts, and could be made public soon.

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, has confirmed that the Pope has been considering a motu proprio that would place juridical questions about the sacraments under the jurisdiction of the Roman Rota. He did not comment on the prospects for other changes in the work of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

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Simple Things

By Fr LW Gonzales On February 8th, 2011

God does not want you to do great things, but to do simple things with great love.

Congrats Packs!

By Fr LW Gonzales On February 6th, 2011

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