Friday, May 30, 2014

67. Home!

I arrived back home from California this morning (at 5am)!

It was a FANTASTIC retreat, and I really felt God moving there! I truly was able to be at peace, calm my mind, and focus on God and His Will. And surprisingly (or not surprisingly) enough, while there all I could think about while in prayer was being back "home" with the Slaves.

I feel so called to enter with the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart. Since my first (unofficial, happen to show up to Mass there) visit in February, I've had a longing for the place. And especially since my first official visit nearly three months ago, I've been calling it "home" and feeling as if my heart belongs there. It's a hard thing to describe, this feeling of belonging somewhere. But it's wonderful!

Sr. Maria Corazon OCD surprised me while I was with the Carmelites. Someone asked her the common question, "how do you know if you're called to a particular community?" Her answer right away was, "It feels like home."

That, along with other confirmations and strong feelings and prayers this week are fueling my continued discernment with the Slaves. I, God-willing, will be helping with their summer camps this year, and perhaps I will even apply. It's all up to God and what He wills to be the way that I bring Him Glory. 

Ascension dilemma:
I was in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles this week. My flights back home took place from noon Thursday until past midnight on Friday (about 12 hours of travel). In the Archdiocese, the Feast of the Ascension is moved to Sunday. In my diocese, it was celebrated on Thursday. So I missed going to a Mass for the Ascension... Catholic problems...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

66. Traveling...

I'm on my way to California to visit the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of LA. Please pray that I get there safely, and that God's Will be done!

I packed for reading material my binder of random Encyclicals and Vatican documents. The librarian at school was not so happy that I used a ton of their paper to print all of these out...

My binder includes Benedict XVI's Summorum Pontificum, as well as St. John Paul II's Ecclesia De Eucharistia, among others. That should keep me busy for a while...

I will try to update at some point this week. I won't be home until the wee hours of the morning next Friday. 



Finally boarded the plane. Late boarding because of rain showers... 

Off I go! 

And it seems like the seat next to me will remain empty this flight. Little blessings like that... 


Arrived at my first layover. Noticed during the safety talk on the plane that the lady with the flotation cushion looks similar to Miriam from the Prince of Egypt... Maybe it's just me. 

Also, they have a fancy new policy that lets you keep your electronic devices on the whole time, including take off and landing (although they still need to be on Airplane Mode)... I still haven't figured out how simply having them on makes any difference anyway... Hm. 

Boarding my 2nd flight now... Until then. 

 First time trying this in-flight wifi. Not too bad! 

I usually don't buy frivolous things like this, but I've read 2 and a half documents, I'm sick of reading, and my flight is 4 1/2 hours long... MUST. HAVE. INTERNET. 

 Arrived safely, and I'm now waiting to board my third and final flight of the day. Man am I tired!! 

My phone is dying :( 
Speed charging it as I wait for them to call my boarding zone... 

Forgot I had this with me... Might read it on this flight.. 


I've arrived safely! I'm spending a couple of days with a family and then heading off to the convent. For now, going to catch up on some sleep! 

Friday May 23

I'm in LA right now. We went to noon Mass at the Cathedral (a full post stemming from my experience coming soon) and then went to China Town for lunch. Delish! I like authentic Chinese food, not the nasty knock-off take out. 

Saturday, May 24

Currently stuck in traffic on the freeway. Heading to the clinic to visit the Carmelites! Please pray for me! I will keep  updating every so often. 

Monday, May 26 

Yesterday was lovely! We took a trip to the beach with many of the Sisters and those in formation. It was nice just to meet a couple of Sisters. I actually met one who is originally from a town that is an hour from mine! It was so neat to connect with her and talk about our area! 

I'm enjoying my stay more now that I'm with the Sisters. I still don't feel called to this order, but I'm picking up bits of their spirituality and life as I go, and it's helping me to see where I really am called. I'm feeling even more drawn to the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart, which I have visited twice (kind of 3 times, but only twice officially) and am absolutely in love with. Please continue to pray for me this week as I discern God's Will. 
(The service is really poor here [part of me thinks God did that on purpose], so I will try to update tomorrow or another day.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

65. My recent projects

I have about 0 artistic talent.

But given that many orders (including the one that I am seriously considering) have apostolates such as painting, stitching, and sewing, I figured I should at least attempt to cultivate some artistic trade or hobby. 

In case you weren't aware, I love mantillas. I can spend hours just looking online at mantillas. I love the history and purpose of them. I love wearing them. So I figured the most interesting and practical art to learn would be sewing. I don't own a machine any longer; it got left behind when I moved out of my parents' house a little over a year ago. Thus, I had to do any sewing that I did by hand.

Perhaps you don't understand the gravity of the task that I was about to undertake. While spending a weekend with the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate (another fantastic order!), I attempted to sew my new blue scapular of the Immaculate Conception to my brown scapular. Needless to say, it was a major project for me, as someone who can't even sew a button back on a shirt... I got the job done though, and my scapular is still (somehow) together after 5 months...

So during 40 Days For Life, I thought it'd be nice to do as St. Faustina once did, and offer up every stitch. So I parked myself in the house that we used as our "home base" next door to the local Planned Parenthood. I found a quiet room upstairs with a table and chairs, and pulled out some lace and trim that I had purchased from the local fabric store. I managed to cut the lace (into a decent shape) and sew the trim on it by hand. The whole process took about 4 hours. Although the mantilla looks horrendous and I probably would never wear it, I was very proud of my accomplishment. About a month ago (or maybe 2... I've lost track of time lately) I attempted again. This time it came out slightly better, and definitely more wearable. I was getting better at stitching. My third mantilla (shown below) makes me really proud (which might not be good because I really should work on my humility...)! It looks great! It's very simple. I've worn it a number of times and have gotten some nice compliments on it by people who didn't know that I made it!

It's a lot longer than it appears in this photo. 
It reaches almost all the way down my back.

My most recent one is this scarf-style mantilla. The lace is a light ivory; the bottom trim is a golden color, and the top trim is the same light ivory color. Again, very simple.

The bottom (gold) edge is curved to be longer in the middle and skinnier on either side.

If you have any ideas for mantilla styles to make (My next one is a small elliptical shape, maybe white, maybe black... Will post pictures once it's finished), please share them in the comments below! If you have any tips or tricks I'd love to hear them too!

Thanks for reading! God bless!



UPDATE: (6/13/14)

Maybe a week or two ago, I finished this short semi-circle mantilla. It's blue with a white crochet trim. I love it!!

64. Male Servers and the Priesthood.

As I'm sure you've discovered, I'm a big fan and avid reader of Fr. Z's blog. While I was away visiting the Slaves, he re-posted a poll that he had published a while ago, along with a study from the USCCB on demographics and facts about this year's ordinands. I encourage you to vote in the poll and to read over at least the first 3 pages of the study. VERY interesting...

"Ordinands of the Class of 2014 have been active in parish ministries, with eight in ten (80 percent) indicating they served as an altar server..."

Why is that?

The office of altar server is an extension of the priesthood. They aid the priest in the Sacrifice of the Mass and they learn about the Mass through their participation as servers. They also learn about the priesthood while serving. 

When one grows up serving at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (even better if it's in the Extraordinary Form, or at least a very reverent Ordinary Form!), they become closer to God through it and through their sacrifice. 

Although I do hold the opinion that female servers should not be used, that's beside the point right now. This isn't about whether or not females should serve, but that more males should serve because it prepares them for the priesthood and encourages them to consider a religious vocation. 

Let's just say, if we have all-girl altar servers, we won't have any male servers (or if we have female servers, that's a spot that a male could've had). And I guarantee you, none of those girls will go on to be ordained. Give the training to the men, that they may be called to a vocation of Holy Orders.

Stumbled upon this today..


This is a GREAT video! Note the servers' attitudes 
towards the Holy Sacrifice and towards the Priesthood!

"It has opened a little door to me to consider becoming a priest because just by watching the priest do what they do and learn from them..." - cutest kid ever.

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to share and comment below!!



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

63. Please Pray

As always, I am urging you to pray for our priests. But now more than ever.

Tomorrow at 4pm EST* is my priest's hearing. Immediately after Easter, accusations of inappropriate contact with a minor came in to the Diocese. He is being accused of "endangering the welfare of a child." 

I am certain that he is innocent. Fr. Taylor is a very holy priest, a convert to the Faith, and a regular celebrant of the Extraordinary  Form. He's one of the 3 priests in my whole diocese to know and actively celebrate the EF. 

PLEASE keep Fr. Taylor in your prayers today leading up to (and through) his hearing tomorrow at 4. Please pray that God's Truth shines through, and that those who will be judging him will be honest and sincere, without prejudice or undue judgement. 

Thank you in advance for your prayers. Please share this post and ask others to pray for him. A number of us have been doing a novena to the Sacred Heart and St. Maximus, one of his favorite saints. 

God bless you all! 




*The Times Union posted an article this morning, stating that the hearing has been postponed to next month. PLEASE continue to pray anyway!

I don't like the tone that they used, but here's the article.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

62. I've Had it with EMHCs

I've had it. Simply stated, I'm done putting up with them. 

I'm sick of them dropping or spilling Jesus and not picking Him up. 

I'm sick of them walking around with the Ciborium like it's a plate of BBQ, and not like it contains GOD.

I'm sick of them not purifying their hands properly after distributing Communion.

Actually, I'm sick of them TOUCHING JESUS.

I'm sick of them not being catechized about what, or rather, WHO, It is they're distributing.

I'm sick of them being overly happy and cheerful, giving Jesus to people by name (Oh, hi Jim! Good to see ya! ... The Body of Christ.).

I'm sick of the army of EMHCs that swarms the altar at Chrism Mass when there is a whole SECTION of the Church full of Ordinaries.

I'm sick of the army of EMHCs that swarms the altar even when there's only one priest.

I'm sick of their demeanor. 

I'm sick of how many there are and how frequently they're used and how infrequently they seem to give a care that they're touching and cheerfully spilling everywhere the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

*stamps feet* I'm sick of them!!!

(The reason I decided to let it rip today:)
There's this one EMHC who also is an altar server at the church that I (unfortunately) go to for Tuesday and Thursday noon Mass. I go there twice each week and I have NEVER ever seen him genuflect. EVER. I've never seen him bow to the altar or show any form of acknowledgement or respect to Jesus whatsoever. He walks around like he owns the place, and goes right up to the Tabernacle and opens it up like a kitchen cupboard and pulls out the ciborium with Jesus in it, and walks around with Him in his hand like it's just another plate! 

Talk about poorly catechized! 

I can hear you now... 

"Aw, SSWW, don't be so harsh on them! They're just people who want to be active in the celebration of the Church and want to help the priest! Give them a break! They just want to love the Lord and share the Eucharistic meal with their friends and family!" 

I used to be an Extraordinary Minister!

Let that sink in.


If you haven't noticed (all you long-time readers), my spirituality and knowledge of the Faith and Liturgy have gradually evolved. When I returned to the Faith, I had all of 0 knowledge about anything, and my understanding of a lot of things was clouded. BUT the one thing I knew with certainty was that Jesus was truly present in the Eucharist! What a gift it was, looking back, to have at least known that! For Canon 897 says that the Eucharist is the SUMMIT and SOURCE of our faith! I might not have understood the whole Liturgy thing, but I at least had the Real Presence down pat! ... Get that. LOL

Anywho, I wanted to serve the Lord! I wanted to be close to Him, and I thought that someone such as myself, who is knowledgeable about the fact that Jesus is in the Eucharist, should be handling Him rather than others who weren't so convicted. So I, at the tender age of 17, was "instituted" as an Extraordinary Minister at the church (The "training" for which took all of 3 minutes...)! I loved "serving" Jesus in that way; I thought I was helping Him! (I was also under the impression that my title was a "Eucharistic Minister." Oy vey.)
Can we just address something? I was 17. They let a 17 year old distribute Communion with hardly any training! Granted, I was a 17 year old who went to 7:30am daily Mass. BUT still! The vast majority of 17 year olds DON'T UNDERSTAND the Real Presence! And they let me do this with no problem! Father didn't talk to be about it; he didn't check to see if I was even halfway sane. I just asked someone about it and they "trained" me, and I was put on the schedule.

Shortly after I began receiving Jesus on the tongue, I started to have a few issues with the whole thing. If I receive Him on the tongue in order to avoid touching Him, but yet still touch Him when I distribute, aren't I defeating the point? I would try to position myself just right in the "line" so that I would get the Chalice rather than the ciborium. That way, I wouldn't have to touch Him. But still, I was always afraid that I would get the contents of the Chalice on my hands from wiping the Chalice, so I was still anxious about it. 

Finally, I decided that I had had enough. I stopped going to that parish altogether (following an encounter with the priest about my new posture to receive - kneeling!), and began attending a FAR more reverent Novus Ordo (This was months before I discovered the TLM) where EMHCs are only used to distribute the contents of the Chalice... When my spiritual director (my pastor) asked me if I would be interested in being an Extraordinary Minister, I declined the offer in a heartbeat.

 I truly believe that, as a woman, I have NO place near the altar or in the sanctuary. I also firmly believe that as a lay person in general, I have NO place distributing Our Lord or aiding the overall disrespect of the Eucharist that I'm seeing. 
Share this post if automatically your brain told you the sentence said "I have Novus Ordo place near..." #CatholicProblems

"Aiding the disresepct of the Eucharist? Whaddaya mean?!" 

You mean to tell me that seeing lay people handle the Eucharist doesn't send the message that it's nothing special?! Please. If it WAS the Body and Blood and Soul and Divinity of GOD, only the ordained priest would handle It. And with fear and reverence even then! Here these EMHCs (lay people) are, acting like it's no biggie. 

You tell 'em, Arinze!

Bring out the big-guns...

Redemptionis Sacramentum 151 states, "Only out of true necessity [maybe World Youth Day would count. But unless your parish has 2,000,000 people at daily Mass, I don't think this counts.] is there to be recourse to the assistance of extraordinary ministers in the celebration of the Liturgy. Such recourse is not intended for the sake of a fuller participation of the laity but rather, by its very nature, is supplementary and provisional. Furthermore, when recourse is had out of necessity to the functions of extraordinary ministers, special urgent prayers of intercession should be multiplied that the Lord may soon send a Priest for the service of the community and raise up an abundance of vocations to sacred Orders [When do you ever hear someone say, "Right now we have a need for EMHCs. Let us pray fervently that we get more priests"? I've never heard that.]." 

Let me draw your attention to a quote from now SAINT John Paul II:

"Full participation certainly means that every member of the community has a part to play in the liturgy [AKA praying][but it] does not mean that everyone does everything, since this would lead to a clericalizing of the laity and a laicizing of the clergy; and this was not what the Council had in mind." (Ad limina discourse) 

"Although it is appropriate that he [the priest] should be assisted in the effective preparation of the liturgical celebrations by various members of Christ’s faithful [perhaps he's referring to sacristans and acolytes]he nevertheless must not cede to them in any way those things that are proper to his own office." (Redemptionis Sacramentum 32)

Fr. Z: "A priest’s hands are consecrated to handle sacred things, and the most sacred of all is the Most Holy Eucharist... I think that we should not blur the roles of priests and lay people."

"...and there is a very large number of communicants [AKA, not the 20 people at Daily Mass. There's no need for 3 or 4 EMHCs at daily Mass.], the priest may call upon extraordinary ministers to assist him... These ministers should not approach the altar before the priest has received Communion... " (GIRM 162) I've seen EMHCs receive the Eucharist before the Priest Celebrant has even said the "Behold the Lamb of God..." 

What's a halfway charitable way to give an EMHC what-for? Anyone have any suggestions?
... Yes I'll be sitting down to talk with the pastor soon. Or maybe I'll just forward him this post :P

What does EMHC stand for?
Every Minion Has a Chalice
Every Minion Handles Christ.
... Don't tell anyone I said that.

Want to see where I got some of these quotes from?
Redemptionis Sacramentum

St. JPII's quote
This is also a nice article.

Have a great day, God bless, and DON'T be an EMHC!



I had to include this quote that I found today. Sorry it's late:

“. . . out of reverence towards this Sacrament, nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest's hands, for touching this Sacrament. Hence, it is not lawful for anyone else to touch it except from necessity, for instance, if it were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency” (Summa Theologiae, III, 82, 3).

Sunday, May 4, 2014

70. Regina Caeli

Just in case you forgot...


We now say the Regina Caeli instead of the Angelus!

V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.
V. Has risen, as he said, alleluia.
R. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of
Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the
intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of
everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

V. Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia.
R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.
V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.
R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
Oremus. Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi,
mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus; ut per eius Genetricem
Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum
Dominum nostrum. Amen.

(Normally for recitation at 6a,12n,and 6p, but can be said any time. I encourage you to learn it in both languages!)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

69. Save the Liturgy...

Save the WORLD!

The past 2 weeks have been chaotic, to say the least.

Last week my pastor was on pilgrimage to Italy and Poland for the Canonization of JPII and JXXIII. We had a priest who would be filling in the weekend Masses (The wonderful Fr. Taylor who came to say Latin Mass for us that one time!), and all seemed like it would go well! I asked my pastor's permission to organize another TLM for Divine Mercy Sunday, and he consented and I spent 2 days organizing the event and inviting people from all over the area. I worked tirelessly until everything came tumbling down. All you need to know is that prayers for Fr. Taylor are IMPERATIVE right now, and that he wasn't able to make it due to extenuating circumstances. PLEASE keep him in prayer.

Anyway, I'll let the following letter (to my Bishop) tell the rest of the story.

Liturgically squeamish may wish to exit now...

(I'm sorry for the weird format. It's the only way I could embed it... If you'd like to read it in another format, please click HERE.)

that is, if it lets you...

So, yeah. That's the hell that I went through last week. *sigh*

Just thought I'd share my letter with you all and give you a chance to give me your input. :) The letter has been read and approved by my pastor (as it says within the letter), and I plan on mailing it this week.

Please, if you witness liturgical abuse, REPORT IT!

On a happier note, THIS is coming out this week! Pre-order NOW!


Yesterday evening, around 5pm, the Administrative Advocate for Priests of our Diocese, Fr. Berberian. I missed the call, so I called him back this morning to make sure that he didn't have any questions or need any further clarification regarding my letter. He said that he didn't; that my letter was clear. He told me that +Bp. Scharfenberger would either call me, or talk with Fr. Berberian and then address it with Fr. Broderick.

I'm very glad that he 1) read my 3-page letter, and 2) took the time to call me and discuss it (albeit very briefly) with me. I pray that the Bishop takes this seriously and does something about liturgical abuse as a whole in this Diocese.