Sunday, April 20, 2014

68. Liturgy and Youth (Wherein SSWW Rants)

As a young person in the Church I get a lot of attention. I'm sure a lot of you can relate. Whether it's the priest or the people around you in the pews, if you attend Mass regularly there's a chance that they've taken notice, and have started to move in. There's one question that they're dying to ask you...

Older people and priests always ask people my age what we want in the Liturgy and what will bring more youth to Church. They always seem so anxious to hear our answers. They anticipate answers such as, "Something fun!" or, "Something entertaining!" 

But when we give them our answers, they turn away. "You want what? Reverent Liturgies and more traditionalism?" or, "You must be nuts. That's not what you want." Then they turn us away and go looking for us elsewhere. They bring out the rock "Masses," maybe Sisters in mini-skirts (I have seen this), and liturgical dancers *shudder*. You name it, they have tried it. And then they get frustrated when none of us show up. It's no wonder non-traditional street-clothes-wearing orders are all dying out and being forced to close while traditional orders with full habits are being forced to build more convents to house all their vocations. It's no wonder you hardly ever hear babies or children during "up-beat" Novus Ordo Masses but you hear them all the time at solemn Novus Ordo Masses and Tridentine Masses. It's no wonder you can't get youth to come to your church. We don't want fake, fluffy, shallow liturgy and entertainment.  In fact, we don't want entertainment at all. If we did, we'd go to the movies or do something of that nature. We want to worship. We want to give glory to the One to Whom it is due! We want to be captured in a moment that reminds us that we are small, insignificant, and that we are children of a Great God Who is bigger than anything we can imagine. It's when we get caught up in that feeling of awe and wonder that we are drawn in.

(An oldie but a goodie)

Just needed to rant a little...

Have a blessed day! Happy Easter!


Saturday, April 19, 2014

67. Abraham and Isaac: Types of God the Father and Jesus

I have read and heard the story of Abraham and Issac many times. I have told it many times. But just this evening at the Easter Vigil (NO) did I notice how many similarities there are between Isaac and Jesus Our Lord. Perhaps you haven't noticed them all. I will outline a few.

GENESIS 22:1-18

After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love [And behold a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:17 DRA)], and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you." So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey [Jesus on Palm Sunday rode into Jerusalem on a donkey], and took two of his young men [like the two thieves crucified alongside Jesus]  with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away.  Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back [Jesus and His disciples worshiped the day before, as it was the Pasch] to you." Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, "Father!" [reminds me of Jesus calling out, "My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39 DRA)] And he said, "Here I am, my son." He said, "The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" Abraham said, "God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together [Like Jesus and Simon of Cyrene]When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood [just as Jesus was laid on the altar of the wood of the cross to be nailed thereto]. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me." And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son [God sacrificed His Son to appease the wrath that was due to us]So Abraham called that place "The LORD will provide"; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided." The angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven,and said, "By myself I have sworn, says the LORD: Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son,I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring [side note- the offspring that is being referred to does not necessarily mean biological offspring. As we hear in Eucharistic Prayer One, "As You were pleased to accept the gift of your servant Abel the Just, the sacrifice of Abraham our father in Faith..."] shall possess the gate of their enemies,and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves [redemption from their sins], because you have obeyed my voice."

So. How awesome was that!?
I feel like my mind and ears were opened to hear that today. It was truly amazing to realize the similarities! I even found some more just now as I was organizing that!

Laudetur Iesus Christus
In Saecula Saeculorum




Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven
exult, let Angel ministers of God exult,
let the trumpet of salvation
sound aloud our mighty Kings triumph,
Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her,
ablaze with light from her eternal King,
let all corners of the earth be glad,
knowing an end to gloom and darkness.
Rejoice, let Mother Church also rejoice,
arrayed with the lightening of his glory,
let this holy building shake with joy,
filled with the mighty voices of the peoples.

Let the mighty trumpet sound! Let the angels rejoice! Our Lord is TRULY RISEN!

Now I have to remind myself to say the Regina Caeli instead of the Angelus...
In case you would like a REFRESHER.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

65. Finally

I can't believe it took so long for someone to issue an official denial of "Maria Divine Mercy."

Official statement of the Diocese of Dublin:

For a concise article about some of the major heretical "messages," click HERE. For some examples of the contents of her "messages," click HERE.

But for now, let us laugh, chuckle, and shake our heads at the alleged "messages." Some of them are quite amusing. And memes are fun too.

4/14/2010: “I will never forsake those who keep coming back to me. As sinners this will tend to happen.”

4/30/2012:“Many of you will not come to Me at this time. But this is okay.”

6/9/2012: “You will be caught in an intricate web of deceit from which you will be unable to entangle.”

[Her grammar, spelling, and grasp of the English language is, well, lacking.]

9/1/2012: “This is why many poor souls try to find religions which provide that missing link.”


11/21/2010: ‘All paths lead to God, the creator of mankind.’  

All paths? Freemasonry (which will get you EXCOMMUNICATED), Atheism, and witchcraft included? I don't, like, think so.

4/14/2011: ‘Many Christians ignore one of the most fundamental promises I made during My crucifixtion [sic] where I would be present in bread and wine and leave a permanent mark to help nourish souls.’

Basic catechesis would have MDM aware that Jesus isn't present in the bread and wine. They BECOME Jesus' Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. If this really is Jesus speaking (which we now officially know it is not), don't you think He would know about Transubstantiation?
And Jesus knows how to spell...

9/13/2011: ‘Never allow yourselves to accept any truth other than that contained in the Holy Bible.’

A rejection of both the Magisterium and Tradition.
Again, simple catechesis. The CCC says, 

95 "It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way, under 
the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls."

12/2/2012: “Division is the opposite to unity.”

1/27/2013: “Terrible errors will be made by My Sacred Servants when they will follow the wrong fork in the road to My Kingdom.”

The wrong fork in the road? HAHA

All in all, I'm glad that this finally was officially condemned. It's been too long.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

63. Felix Dies Tibi Sit


Today is Pope Emeritus Benedict's 87th birthday!

Take the time and say a couple of EXTRA prayers for Papa Emeritus (because we should be praying for him daily anyway). I'm sure he'll appreciate it! 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

62. Habemus Episcopum!!


Today I was able to witness to Apostolic Succession.

I was in attendance for the ordination and installation of the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Albany. What an amazingly inspiring event!

I will post some photos below with captions, and then will give my views about the new Bishop as well as the ceremony as a whole.

(Bishops processing into the Cathedral)

(Cardinal Dolan makes a jubilant entrance)

(The Apostolic Nuncio reads the Apostolic Letter and Mandate)

(Presentation and Promise of the Bishop-Elect)

(Imposition of Hands by all present Bishops)

(Even Eastern ones!)

(The Book of the Gospels is held over the Bishop-Elect)


(Hugging fellow Bishops)

(Blessing of the Congregation following Communion)

My Impression of the Ceremony:

I am totally blown away by the beauty of this Rite. This was absolutely amazing! I'll give you some highlights and low-lights, and my hopes for the Diocese as we get our new Bishop...


  • The choir was AMAZING, and the musical selections I thought were very nice and appropriate. They threw in some Latin (Veni Creator Spiritus and the Agnus Dei), and there was no carnival music. That was a plus.
  • There were a LOT of priests and Bishops who showed up. I was very impressed! Bishops from other dioceses came (from Passaic, Brooklyn [Scharfenberger's home diocese], Stamford, Rochester, Hartford, Syracuse, Portland, Rockville Centre, Providence, Buffalo, Ogdensburg, Manchester, Springfield, and Scranton Dioceses). It was so moving to see the huge procession of deacons, priests, and Bishops.
  • There weren't any clowns, liturgical dancers, or "womenpriests." Deo gratias.
  • I love Cardinal Dolan, and his happy, joyful presence really made a great impact on the Ceremony
  • +Bp Scharfenberger has a great attitude, is humble, and has a very nice presence about him.


  • I was a bit surprised by our new Bishop's manner during the Eucharistic Prayer. Perhaps he was just so overjoyed that he couldn't hold it in. But I also am very accustomed to the Extraordinary Form, and the way my Spiritual Director says the Novus Ordo (Extremely Reverently)... So anything less seems irreverent to me... Just my view.
  • For some reason, a bunch of Protestants were invited... Protestant female ministers in rainbow stoles and ministers in weird collars were there and were in procession. I guess it's for ecumenical reasons. It's kind of nice that they came to support +Bp. Scharfenberger, but still.... 
  • ... That's it.

My views on the new Bishop thus far:

For a Bio of the new Bishop, click HERE. (I also might have updated his WIKIPEDIA page... hehe)

I think he's great! He's exactly what this Diocese needs. Not too crazy orthodox (that would scare people right out of Catholicism, especially in this Diocese...) and not liberal either. A good balance to start changing things around.

He's been open to the celebration of the Extraordinary Form (He used to allow his parish in Brooklyn to be used for the EF), and he "liked" the FaceBook page for the Extraordinary Form in the Albany Diocese. GOOD SIGNS that he will act favorably for the promotion of the EF in our Diocese!

Also, he has approved  (within a matter of 5 minutes) my pastor/SD's request to begin Perpetual Adoration!

Let's talk credentials. +Bp. Scharfenberger has an advanced graduate degree (summa cum laude!) in Canon Law. This Diocese (with its liturgical dancers and priests attempting to consecrate pizzas) could use a bit of Canon Law... Also, he was a member of the Diocesan Review Board (in Brooklyn) for Sexual Abuse of Minors. This, too, is useful in this Diocese, as it has struggled with this unfortunate crisis in the last couple of decades. Hopefully he will handle it better than it has been handled in the past...

Also, apparently he's a tenor opera singer... (See the full video at bottom, 1:41:00...)

Thanks for reading! Please pray a rosary for our new Bishop, that he may openly follow God's call and help to REFORM this Diocese (God knows that we need it)!

God bless you all!!




To watch the full Ordination and Installation of +Bp. Scharfenberger, click HERE.

You don't have to watch all 2 1/2 hours of it. I encourage you to just watch between 11:40 (When Dolan enters and doesn't realize his mic is on) until just after 12:25 where he makes a HILARIOUS comment about the woman in the rainbow stole. You don't wanna miss this one.

And for a few better quality photos, check out the ones posted on the page for the EF in Albany.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

61. A Historic Event! (A Very Happy SSWW Reports)

So, this evening (the evening of 4/3/14) a major historical event took place at my parish, and I am SO excited to share it with you!!

The Extraordinary Form of the Mass (Traditional Latin Mass, Old Form, whatever you want to call it) was celebrated in my parish for the first time in about 40 years!!

(It's kind of a big deal)

Now this I am excited about. ECSTATIC over!! This, is a dream come true for me!

Since my first experience with the TLM, I have been praying for it to spread to other parts of my diocese. My diocese is extremely large (10,419 sq. miles, 131 parishes, and approximately 330,000 Catholics), and there are currently only 3 parishes where the TLM is celebrated AT ALL, only one of which has it regularly (noon Mass on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. That's it). One has a monthly Saturday Mass (usually First Saturdays) and another just started having a weekly Sunday Mass. (Also, only 3 or 4 priests in our whole diocese know how to say the Latin Mass.) I currently drive an hour and a half to get to Latin Mass on Sundays (from the NO that I attend at 9am... I church-hop on a regular basis. NBD [to put it in perspective, in total I do an average of 4 hours of driving each Sunday... PHEW!]), and the milage on my car and the frequent gas-gauge-on-E show it. It's not easy commuting so far to see the old Liturgy, and I wish it was available closer.  

[And no, it's not really okay for me to go without a TLM. I've learned that if I don't make it to a Latin Mass in 2 weeks, I go crazy and through withdrawals. Proven fact ;) ]

For the past few months, I, as well as a few others, have been trying to convince my priest (and Spiritual Director; you know, the one I talk about a lot) to learn the EF and to try it out. Since some of his parishioners don't like his already-Traditional style, he has been very VERY worried about taking such a leap. This evening, though, was awesome!

We had a wonderful, young, traditional, HOLY priest (from my TLM parish) drive 2 hours to celebrate Mass for us in the Extraordinary Form. He brought with him 3 servers, an MC, and members of the choir, as well as some laity to help lead the congregation. The MC gave a fantastic presentation before the Mass about the Liturgy and its history, as well as some aspects of Vatican II. Following the presentation, the congregation (of which we counted 70. There probably were more as many came in late) headed upstairs into the church to prepare for the Mass. And then it began.

Back up about two hours. I walked into the church at about 4:30 pm. My heart leaped. THE ALTAR!

Father's regal altar with its stunning Benedictine arrangement was turned around, fit for AD ORIENTEM! My heart was so happy to see this, that I had prayed and begged for for so long! Granted it was only to be for this evening, but WOW it was amazing. 

Then it hit me. The Extraordinary Form is to be celebrated in MY parish! MY parish! I was brought nearly to tears to think this! 

I was thrilled to be able to be present, and to see everything from a bird's-eye view, as I would be singing in the choir loft. 

Like I said, over 70 people were in attendance. Mass began and we chanted the entrance hymn, then the introit, etc. As I expected, people didn't know when to sit or kneel, so many ended up standing for a while until someone cued them to kneel (LOL! I even told some to not sit first pew because they wouldn't know when to kneel, etc. I guess they didn't trust me...  HAHA ). Overall, the community did a great job staying (fairly) focused from what I could see, and they figured out communion pretty well, so kudos for that. And HUGE kudos to my priest for learning the prayer for distributing Communion in Latin in like, 5 minutes. I'm Über impressed with him!


Reactions? Mixed, as I expected. One person said that once was enough for him (and that's fine; I'm just really glad that they showed up and were receptive to the idea. It doesn't have to be love-at-first-sight like it was for me), while others were hoping to see it again. 

If anything, at least it sparked an interest in people (getting them to come to Church on a Thursday is a feat in and of itself!), and showed my priest that in fact, there are a number of people who would attend if he were to learn and celebrate the EF. 


Please pray for my priest (Fr. T) to be guided by the Holy Spirit, and for him to learn and celebrate the EF if it is truly God's Will.

Thank you all so much for reading and for your prayers. Please also send prayers that God may bless the priest, servers, choir members, MC, and laity that made the 2-hour trek up North to do this. May God reward them.


~ (a very happy) SSWW