Wednesday, April 16, 2014

St. Pio - Diocese of Scranton

What a beautiful reminder of our behavior, at Mass and abroad. Read and pray on these words as we move closer to the Passion of our Lord. 

Comportment at Holy Mass and Afterwards

A Letter from St. Padre Pio to Annita Rodote
Pietrelcina, July 25, 1915

Beloved daughter of Jesus,
May Jesus and our Mother always smile on your soul, obtaining for it, from Her most holy Son, all the heavenly charisms!

I am writing to you for two reasons: to answer some more questions from your last letter, and to wish you a very happy names-day in the most sweet Jesus, full of all the most special heavenly graces. Oh! If Jesus granted my prayers for you or, better still, if only my prayers were worthy of being granted by Jesus! However, I increase them a hundredfold for your consolation and salvation, begging Jesus to grant them, not for me but through the heart of his paternal goodness and infinite mercy. 
In order to avoid irreverence and imperfections in the house of God, in church - which the divine Master calls the house of prayer - I exhort you in the Lord to practice the following. 

Enter the church in silence and with great respect, considering yourself unworthy to appear before the Lord's Majesty. Amongst other pious considerations, remember that our soul is the temple of God and, as such, we must keep it pure and spotless before God and his angels. Let us blush for having given access to the devil and his snares many times (with his enticements to the world, his pomp, his calling to the flesh) by not being able to keep our hearts pure and our bodies chaste; for having allowed our enemies to insinuate themselves into our hearts, thus desecrating the temple of God which we became through holy Baptism. 

Then take holy water and make the sign of the cross carefully and slowly. 

As soon as you are before God in the Blessed Sacrament, devoutly genuflect. Once you have found your place, kneel down and render the tribute of your presence and devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Confide all your needs to him along with those of others. Speak to him with filial abandonment, give free rein to your heart and give him complete freedom to work in you as he thinks best. 

When assisting at Holy Mass and the sacred functions, be very composed when standing up, kneeling down, and sitting, and carry out every religious act with the greatest devotion. Be modest in your glances; don't turn your head here and there to see who enters and leaves. Don't laugh, out of reverence for this holy place and also out of respect for those who are near you. Try not to speak to anybody, except when charity or strict necessity requests this. 

If you pray with others, say the words of the prayer distinctly, observe the pauses well and never hurry. 
In short, behave in such a way that all present are edified by it and, through you, are urged to glorify and love the heavenly Father. 

On leaving the church, you should be recollected and calm. Firstly take your leave of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament; ask his forgiveness for the shortcomings committed in his divine presence and do not leave him without asking for and having received his paternal blessing. 

Once you are outside the church, be as every follower of the Nazarene should be. Above all, be extremely modest in everything, as this is the virtue which, more than any other, reveals the affections of the heart. Nothing represents an object more faithfully or clearly than a mirror. In the same way, nothing more widely represents the good or bad qualities of a soul than the greater or lesser regulation of the exterior, as when one appears more or less modest. You must be modest in speech, modest in laughter, modest in your bearing, modest in walking.

All this must be practiced, not out of vanity in order to display one's self, nor out of hypocrisy in order to appear to be good to the eyes of others, but rather, for the internal virtue of modesty, which regulates the external workings of the body. 

Therefore, be humble of heart, circumspect in words, prudent in your resolutions. Always be sparing in your speech, assiduous in good reading, attentive in your work, modest in your conversation. Don't be disgusting to anybody but be benevolent towards all and respectful towards your elders. May any sinister glance be far from you, may no daring word escape your lips, may you never carry out any immodest or somewhat free action; never a rather free action or a petulant tone of voice.

In short let your whole exterior be a vivid image of the composure of your soul.

Always keep the modesty of the divine Master before your eyes, as an example; this Master who, according to the words of the Apostle to the Corinthians, placing the modesty of Jesus Christ on an equal footing with meekness, which was his one particular virtue and almost his characteristic: "Now I Paul myself beseech you, by the mildness and modesty of Christ" [Douay-Rheims, 2 Cor. 10:1], and according to such a perfect model reform all your external operations, which should be faithful reflections revealing the affections of your interior. 

Never forget this divine model, Annita. Try to see a certain lovable majesty in his presence, a certain pleasant authority in his manner of speaking, a certain pleasant dignity in walking, in contemplating, speaking, conversing; a certain sweet serenity of face. Imagine that extremely composed and sweet expression with which he drew the crowds, making them leave cities and castles, leading them to the mountains, the forests, to the solitude and deserted beaches of the sea, totally forgetting food, drink and their domestic duties. 

Thus let us try to imitate, as far as we possibly can, such modest and dignified actions. And let us do our utmost to be, as far as possible, similar to him on this earth, in order that we might be more perfect and more similar to him for the whole of eternity in the heavenly Jerusalem. 

I end here as I am unable to continue, recommending that you never forget me before Jesus, especially during these days of extreme affliction for me. I expect the same charity from the excellent Francesca to whom you will have the kindness to give, in my name, assurances of my extreme interest in seeing her grow always more in divine love. I hope she will do me the charity of making a novena of Communions for my intentions. 

Don't worry if you are unable to answer my letter for the moment. I know everything so don't worry. I take my leave of you in the holy kiss of the Lord. I am always your servant. 

Fra Pio, Capuchin

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Altavilla - more revelations - Diocese of Scranton

Well, two weeks ago you'll remember police arrested Rev. Philip Altavilla, front man at the flagship church of the Diocese, Saint Peter's Cathedral. Reportedly he was arrested for fondling a 13 year old girls feet and giving her alcohol in the late 90's. Apparently, he told police that he suffers from a "foot fetish".

Well, now we learn the good reverend has other interests as well. 

He likes to watch women be strangled, chloroformed, and raped. That means he likes to watch women be harmed. Beaten and raped. And in his fantasies he probably sees himself in place of the man in the videos. 

And this is how he receives sexual satisfaction.

But, just on the internets, of course.

At least we hope thats the case. 

However, I'm not going to throw Altavilla under the bus. I won't be inviting him over to have dinner with my wife and children either, but I'm not going to throw him under the bus.

I hope that the catholics of this diocese are well-formed to know enough about their faith that they are to pray for this priest with his demons and perversions. But I doubt it.

Are you well-formed Diocese of Scranton catholics? 

Is our Bishop, Joe Bambera, who admitted to assisting the Diocese in covering up sexual abuse by priests in court proceedings while he was still a Monsignor a true Shepherd of his flock? Or is he more concerned with keeping up appearances and paying lip-service? 

My bet is the latter.

He needs to publicly answer for his sins.

He needs to march into that cathedral of his that he entrusted to a pervert, take up his cross that is our diocese, and beg our and Gods forgiveness for his part in this. For his covering up sexual abuse. Not have his PR person issue a press release. 

Talk to us, directly. 

Come on Bishop. Address your flock one-on-one. Without a script. Accuse yourself of your sins, tell us how sorry you are for enabling fellow priests to hurt our children, and then resign.

Yeah. Resign.

You don't deserve that crozier. You don't deserve to sit up there in your cathedral smiling down on your flock that you willingly fed to the wolves. 

What a better time of year to do it than to coincide with the memorial of Christ taking up his cross for the souls of his children?

Do you have the fortitude to do whats right for the souls of your spiritual children? 

No you don't.

But you have plenty of lawyers, I'll wager. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Rev. Phillip Altavilla - Diocese of Scranton

Rev. Philip Altavilla shows his childhood bunny during a homily.

Well, at least it isn't a little boy for a change. However, unlike our Bishop, who only sees the opportunity to show how "caring" he is towards the victim in an attempt to ensure that no one sues the diocese and takes his house, I am calling on the faithful to also pray for the priest involved, who has fallen to one of Satan's attacks.

However, who has not?

Right Bishop B?

Scranton police arrested a priest Thursday for plying (notice here the priest is "plying" her with alcohol. whatever does that mean? How does one ply?) a 13-year-old girl with alcohol and touching her feet and thighs inappropriately after a midnight Christmas mass in 1998. 
Officers charged the Rev. Philip Altavilla, 48, who was a pastor at St. Patrick's Parish in Scranton at the time of the alleged crime, with indecent assault, criminal attempt to indecent assault and corruption of minors.
The victim, who was a member of the St. Patrick's Parish, told police that the Rev. Altavilla gave (now he merely "gave" her alcohol) her alcohol in the rectory after the midnight service, then offered to drive her home at about 3 a.m. Once in the car, he pulled her legs on his lap and began touching her feet and moving his hands up her legs until the victim attempted to escape, according to the criminal complaint. The priest then apologized and drove the girl home. (Thank God he was able to restrain himself and it ended there.)

The woman met with police Wednesday to report the assault. (Nearly 16 years later) One day later, she called the priest while police listened. He admitted to providing alcohol and to touching her, saying it was "inappropriate" and sexual to him, according to the complaint.
The Citizens' Voice does not name victims of sexual assault.
 Upon being notified of the charges, the diocese removed the Rev. Altavilla from his assignment and his faculties to exercise priestly ministry were suspended, according to a statement released by Diocese of Scranton Chancellor Teresa Osborne. The statement indicated the diocese was cooperating with police in their investigation.
 "I am both angry and demoralized to think that, yet again, a priest has been involved in such inappropriate, immoral and illegal behavior," Bishop Joseph C. Bambera said in the statement. "It is particularly distressing that the pastor of our Cathedral Parish, who is known to countless numbers of the faithful and has served in so many positions of trust and responsibility in the Diocese of Scranton has betrayed that trust in such a manner."
 The Rev. Altavilla was arraigned Thursday and released on $75,000 unsecured bail. It was unclear late Thursday how long the priest has been with the Diocese of Scranton.

As a side note, above is an example of the Citizen's Voice/Times actually reporting the news versus the lazy 'ole Times Leader who apparently can only manage to reprint the diocesan statement. And here that is, by the way:

On April 3, 2014, the Diocese of Scranton was notified of the arrest of the Reverend Philip Altavilla, a priest of the Diocese of Scranton and pastor of the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter, who was charged with corruption of a minor and indecent assault.  Upon being notified of these charges, the cleric was removed from his assignment and his faculties to exercise priestly ministry were suspended.  The Diocese immediately began its cooperation with law enforcement and asks that anyone who may have information about or may have been abused by this cleric contact the Scranton Police Department Detective Bureau at (570) 348-4139.
In response to this crime, the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L. Bishop of Scranton, expressed his remorse and personal sorrow for the victim and all affected by the situation.  In acknowledging his concern for the Cathedral community as well as the faithful and clergy of the Diocese of Scranton, the Bishop said, “I am both angry and demoralized to think that, yet again, a priest has been involved in such inappropriate, immoral and illegal behavior.  It is particularly distressing that the pastor of our Cathedral Parish, who is known to countless numbers of the faithful and has served in so many positions of trust and responsibility in the Diocese of Scranton has betrayed that trust in such a manner.”  The Bishop requests that the faithful of the Diocese join him in praying for this victim and all who are impacted by sexual abuse.
Teresa Osborne
So, let's look at this carefully. A priest is accused and by his supposed acknowledgement he did in fact give a 13 year old girl alcohol, rubbed her feet and legs inappropriately.

16 years ago.

He didn't rape her.

He didn't kill her.

He gave her alcohol, rubbed her feet and legs.

Then he stopped when she resisted and took her home.

At 3 in the morning. Where were mom and dad? No one wondered where this kid was and why she was coming home at 3am?

Why nearly 16 years later is this now 29 year old woman coming forward to report something as innocuous as this?

Am I the only one who thinks something is up?

I am calling on investigators to be sure to investigate Rev. Altavilla. Make sure he hasn't done anything like this before or since. Make certain that his behavior did not become worse, and that he has not actually harmed youngsters in any way.

Be sure to watch this carefully to see how it plays out. In the meantime, be sure to pray for both victims, the victim of Satan's attempt to pull down a priest, and the victim of that lust.

Here is a nice, traditional prayer for you. By the image above we can see that he is clearly not a traditional priest, but say it for Rev. Altavilla. Say it for ALL priests that they remain true and to ward off the attacks of the evil one on them. Say it that the Rev sees this and amends his life and ministry should he be allowed to do so. Pray he finds tradition in his heart and allows it to flourish.

But just say it.

O Jesus, Eternal Priest, keep Thy priests within the shelter of Thy Sacred Heart, where none may touch them. 
Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch Thy Sacred Body. 
Keep unsullied their lips, daily purpled with Thy Precious Blood. 
Keep pure and unworldly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood. 
Let Thy Holy Love surround them from the world's contagion. 
Bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may the souls to whom they minister 
be their joy and consolation here and their everlasting crown hereafter. 

Mary, Queen of the Clergy, pray for us: obtain for us numerous and holy priests. Amen. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Orientation in the liturgy - Diocese of Scranton

If you've been around this blog for any length of time, you know that I am of the opinion that Mass said versus populum makes the baby Jesus cry.

That being said, one of my goals is to see Mass said ad orientem as the norm once again. Here is the beginning of a fantastic 5 part series by Father Scott Newman, pastor of St Mary's in Greenville on ad orientem worship. 

You're welcome!

Dear Friends in Christ,

From Christian antiquity, priests and people have celebrated the Holy Eucharist by facing together towards the LORD. This simple and obvious theological precept has been somewhat obscured in the last generation by the novel practice of the priest standing across the altar from the people during the Eucharistic Prayer, a custom almost never before found in the sacred liturgy except for rare instances of architectural necessity, and in the last few years, theologians and pastors have begun to review this novelty in light of the best scholarship and the experience of the past 40 years.

Before he became Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger was one of the most thoughtful and respected critics of the unintended consequences which flow from the priest and people facing each other across the altar during the Eucharistic Prayer. Ratzinger argued that this arrangement, in addition to being a radical novelty in Christian practice, has the effect of creating a circle of congregation and celebrant closed in upon itself rather than allowing the congregation and celebrant to be a pilgrim people together turned towards the LORD. And this closed circle, in turn, too easily renders the Eucharist more of a horizontal celebration of the congregation gathered than a vertical offering of the sacrifice of Christ to the Father. This flattening of divine worship into a self-referential celebration is, in part, what leads many Catholics to experience Mass as much less than the source and summit of the Church’s life, and the remedy for this malady is to open the closed circle and experience the power of turning together towards the LORD.

This can be done primarily in two ways: 1) return to the ancient and universal practice of the priest standing with the people on one side of the altar as they together face liturgical East, the place from which the glory of the LORD shines upon us, or 2) even when the priest and people remain separated on opposite sides of the altar, place a cross at the center of the altar to allow both celebrant and congregation to face the LORD. Pope Benedict, through his writing and by his example, is encouraging priests everywhere to work towards these goals to enrich the experience of divine worship and free us from the danger of solipsism which is contained in self-referential ways of praying.

This is why you see today in the sanctuary a new crucifix standing at the center of the altar. In the weeks ahead, as we grow accustomed to this gentle modification of the way we pray together, I will review with you the meaning and practical consequences of the priest and people turning together towards the LORD. For those of you who would like to read about these matters in some depth, I recommend two books. The Spirit of the Liturgy by Joseph Ratzinger and Turning Towards the Lord by Uwe Michael Lang are both excellent places to learn about the nature and purpose of divine worship and the ways in which the Church’s ritual must reflect the reality of the sacred in liturgical prayer.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Is your parish a desert? Diocese of Scranton

And by desert, I mean has some goofy liturgist or "innovative" priest removed the holy water from the stoups at your church during this Lenten season?

If so, print this letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship and be sure it gets into their hands. 

    March 14, 2000

    Dear Father:

    This Congregation for Divine Worship has received your letter sent by fax in which you ask whether it is in accord with liturgical law to remove the Holy Water from the fonts for the duration of the season of Lent.

    This Dicastery is able to respond that the removing of Holy Water from the fonts during the season of Lent is not permitted, in particular, for two reasons:

    1. The liturgical legislation in force does not foresee this innovation, which in addition to being praeter legem is contrary to a balanced understanding of the season of Lent, which though truly being a season of penance, is also a season rich in the symbolism of water and baptism, constantly evoked in liturgical texts.

    2. The encouragement of the Church that the faithful avail themselves frequently of the [sic] of her sacraments and sacramentals is to be understood to apply also to the season of Lent. The "fast" and "abstinence" which the faithful embrace in this season does not extend to abstaining from the sacraments or sacramentals of the Church. The practice of the Church has been to empty the Holy Water fonts on the days of the Sacred Triduum in preparation of the blessing of the water at the Easter Vigil, and it corresponds to those days on which the Eucharist is not celebrated (i.e., Good Friday and Holy Saturday).

    Hoping that this resolves the question and with every good wish and kind regard, I am,

    Sincerely yours in Christ,
    Mons. Mario Marini 

So what have we learned, gentle readers? 

The practice is not permitted.

As Catholics we are called to catechise, sometimes, we are called to gently correct. And sometimes those we must catechise and correct are clergy that have forgotten, or who choose to ignore the proper way to do things. 

Be active and deny innovation what it needs to succeed - inactivity by the faithful.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Remember the Poor Souls - Diocese of Scranton

Yes, I'm still here. Much more active on my Facebook page than I am here. I encourage you to visit me there where you can get the latest in real news that matters to Catholics as well as interact with me.

Todays post is here to remind Catholics that All Souls Day is fast approaching. Those of my readers with a Novus Ordo attachment undoubtedly have not heard this mentioned in your parishes yet, unless you're having a piggie dinner or something on that day.

The Catholic custom is that when we die, our loved ones pray for our souls. And continue to pray for our souls until they die.

Because we need their prayers.

We are not dead when we die, but alive in Christ, and our loved ones help us with their prayers after we die.

We should pray for our dearly departed everyday, but the octave of All Souls is put aside by Holy Mother Church to pray for them and to gain indulgences for ourselves.


Six General rules for obtaining a plenary indulgence:

1. State of grace at when performing the indulgenced act.
2. Complete detachment from sin, even venial sin.
3. Confession (20 days before or after the indulgenced act)
4. Communion (20 days before or after the indulgenced act)
5. Prayers for the Supreme Pontiff (20 days before or after the indulgenced act)
6. Indulgenced act: a special good work with special conditions of place and time.

Indulgenced acts to be performed for obtaining a plenary indulgence:
*From November 1 to 8: visit of a cemetery with mental prayer for the poor souls.
*On November 2: visit of a church or an oratory with one Our Father and one Creed being recited.

A partial indulgence can be obtained any time by visiting a cemetery and praying for the Poor Souls. The following prayer is especially recommended:

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace. Amen.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


Starting on October 24th, and continuing until November 2nd,  you may say this novena once a day:

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of thy servants and handmaids departed, the remission of all their sins; that through pious supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

USCCB and your guns - diocese of scranton

Apparently the Bishops of America do not believe you should have guns either.

Because ya know, owning a firearm is as terrible as sucking a baby out of your womb with a vacuum. Apparently.

And who is this Sister Mary Liberated speaking for the USCCB? Have they even had a vote on this? Has it come up over afternoon tea?

And anyway, the teaching authority of the USCCB doesn't even exist. According to the Magisterium. We'll get to that next time. For now, have a giggle, enjoy the good sister's assault on "assault weapons". You'll notice she is only credited as "Mary Ann Walsh" in the Post article. Here's her HuffPo bio:

Sister Mary Ann Walsh is director of media relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. She is a member of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Northeast Community. She is an award-winning writer and has been published in several periodicals including The Washington Post, USA Today, America, and Editor & Publisher and is editor of three books: Pope John Paul II: A Light for the WorldFrom John Paul II to Benedict XVI: An Inside Look at the End of an Era, the Beginning of a New One and the Future of the Church, and Benedict XVI: Essays and Reflections on His Papacy.

Catholic bishops: It’s pro-life to ban assault weaponsBy Mary Ann Walsh, Published: April 3
Some things seem naturally abhorrent – forceps to crush a cranium in an abortion, a needle to deliver a sentence intravenously on death row, and an assault weapon in the hands of the man on the street. Each instrument may have a purpose some time, somewhere, but as used above, each reflects brutality in our society.
The Catholic Church opposes use of all three instruments to take a life. The church’s pro-life stand against abortion is undisputed. So is its pro-life stand in opposition to the death penalty. It can only be justified if there is no other way to keep a deadly criminal from hurting more people. And in the most recent – and all too common – threat to human life, the church opposes the growing preponderance of lethal weapons on the streets. It stands as another important pro-life position.   Read more

Pedophilia, the new norm - diocese of scranton

In regard to this matter of gays and marriage I have often asked the question:

If we make homosexual behavior normal as has slowly been happening for the last 45 years, and if the government redefines marriage, where does it end?

I have often said some day pedophiles will be declared normal. Just another sexual orientation that we need to recognize and celebrate.

That day is here.

California Congresswoman, Rep. Jackie Speier CA (D), wants to federalize a state law to prohibit counseling to change a person’s sexual orientation. That doesn’t sound that extreme, but pedophilia is a sexual orientation according to this bill as well.
Under the bill’s language, a mental health counselor could be sanctioned if there was an attempt to get a pedophile or gay individual to change his behavior or speak negatively about their behavior as it relates to sexuality. 
The bill calls on states to prohibit efforts to change a minor’s sexual orientation, even if the minor requests it, saying that doing so is “dangerous and harmful.” 
The text of the legislation doesn’t specifically ban “gay” conversion therapy. Instead, it prohibits attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation. 
“Sexual orientation change efforts’ means any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation,” the bill says. 
Republicans attempted to add an amendment specifying that, “pedophilia is not covered as an orientation.” However, the Democrats defeated the amendment. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) stated that all alternative sexual lifestyles should be protected under the law, and accordingly decided that pedophilia is a sexual orientation that should be equally as embraced as homosexuality.  Read the rest here

The chastisements must be close.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Wuss of Scranton - diocese of Scranton

Instead of the Bishop of Scranton. I like it.

So little Bobby Casey supports the current administrations stand on same sex marriage, clearly showing his disregard of church teaching.

What does the Wuss of Scranton do?

Bar Casey from receiving Holy Communion?

Nah. Too high church.

Demand Casey follow church teaching on this subject?

Nah. Going against church teaching is the norm. Move along people, nothing to see here.

So what exactly does Wuss Bambera do?


Here is the milquetoast response to Bobby Casey support of same sex marriage:

"Posted on: 04-1-2013 Posted in: News
On April 1, 2013, Pennsylvania’s senior United States Senator, Robert Casey issued a statement supporting marriage equality for same-sex couples and asserting his belief that the Defense of Marriage Act should be repealed. In so doing, Senator Casey has unfortunately and disappointingly set aside the Catholic belief and teaching that the sacrament of marriage, rooted in the natural law, is a faithful, exclusive, lifelong, loving union of a man and a woman open to the transmission of human life. The dual purpose of marriage: the unity and love of a man and a woman, and procreation has been rooted in human history long before any religion, nation or law was established. Senator Casey’s position is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church.

While the Church has been and continues to be clear in its long standing teaching on marriage, its defense of marriage should not be interpreted as an attack on individuals with same sex attractions. The Church likewise has proclaimed since its beginnings that every person has an inherent dignity. Like all human beings, our lesbian or gay sisters and brothers are beloved children of God. As a result, the Catholic Church affirms that they “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in this regard should be avoided” [Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 2358]. Clearly, the Church asserts that the fundamental human rights of all persons must be defended, and encourages the elimination of any form of injustice, oppression, or violence against all people, regardless of sexual orientation."

So what's the penalty for someone who sets aside catholic belief in this diocese?

There is none.

Bambera should be ashamed.

I know I am.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Maundy Thursday - Diocese of Scranton

This day, Maundy Thursday (also "Holy Thursday" or "Shire Thursday") commemorates Christ's Last Supper and the initiation of the Eucharist. Its name of "Maundy" comes from the Latin word mandatum, meaning "command." This stems from Christ's words in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give unto you." It is the first of the three days known as the "Triduum," and after the Vigil tonight, and until the Vigil of Easter, a more profoundly somber attitude prevails (most especially during the hours between Noon and 3:00 PM on Good Friday). Raucous amusements should be set aside...

The Last Supper took place in "the upper room" of the house believed to have been owned by John Mark and his mother, Mary (Acts 12:12). This room, also the site of the Pentecost, is known as the "Coenaculum" or the "Cenacle" and is referred to as "Holy and glorious Sion, mother of all churches" in St. James' Liturgy. At the site of this place -- our first Christian church -- a basilica was built in the 4th century. It was destroyed by Muslims and later re-built by the Crusaders. Underneath the place is the tomb of David.

After the Supper, He went outside the Old City of Jerusalem, crossed the Kidron Valley, and came to the Garden of Gethsemani, a place whose name means "Olive Press," and where olives still grow today. There He suffered in three ineffable ways: He knew exactly what would befall Him physically and mentally -- every stroke, every thorn in the crown He would wear, every labored breath He would try to take while hanging on the Cross, the pain in each glance at His mother; He knew that He was taking on all the sins of the world -- all the sins that had ever been or ever will be committed; and, finally, He knew that, for some people, this Sacrifice would not be fruitful because they would reject Him. Here He was let down by His Apostles when they fell asleep instead of keeping watch, here is where He was further betrayed by Judas with a kiss, and where He was siezed by "a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief Priests and the ancients of the people" and taken before Caiphas, the high priest, where he was accused of blasphemy, beaten, spat upon, and prepared to be taken to Pontius Pilate tomorrow morning.

As for today's liturgies, in the morning, the local Bishop will offer a special Chrism Mass (notmn this diocese, however) during which blesses the oils used in Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Unction, and the consecration of Altars and churches.

At the evening Mass, after the bells ring during the Gloria, they are rung no more until the Easter Vigil (a wooden clapper called a "crotalus" is used insead). Parents explain this to their children by saying that the all the bells fly to Rome after the Gloria of the Mass on Maundy Thursday to visit the Popes. Children are told that the bells sleep on the roof of St. Peter's Basilica, and, bringing Easter eggs with them, start their flight home at the Gloria at the Easter Vigil, when when they peal wildly.

Then comes the Washing of the Feet after the homily, a rite performed by Christ upon His disciples to prepare them for the priesthood and the marriage banquet they will offer, and which is rooted in the Old Testament practice of foot-washing in preparation for the marital embrace (II Kings 11:8-11, Canticles 5:3) and in the ritual ablutions performed by the High Priest of the Old Covenant (contrast Leviticus 16:23-24 with John 13:3-5). The priest girds himself with a cloth and washes the feet of 12 men he's chosen to represent the Apostles for the ceremony.

The rest of the Mass after the Washing of the Feet has a special form, unlike all other Masses. After the Mass, the priest takes off his chasuble and vests in a white cope. He returns to the Altar, incenses the Sacred Hosts in the ciborium, and, preceded by the Crucifer and torchbearers, carries the Ciborium to the "Altar of Repose," also called the "Holy Sepulchre," where it will remain "entombed" until the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday.

Then there follows the Stripping of the Altars, during which everything is removed as Antiphons and Psalms are recited. All the glorious symbols of Christ's Presence are removed to give us the sense of His entering most fully into His Passion. Christ enters the Garden of Gethsemani; His arrest is imminent. Fortescue's "Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described" tells us: "From now till Saturday no lamps in the church are lit. No bells are rung. Holy Water should be removed from all stoups and thrown into the sacrarium. A small quantity is kept for blessing the fire on Holy Saturday or for a sick call." The joyful signs of His Presence won't return until Easter begins with the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday evening.

And, of course, tomorrow's Matins and Lauds may be read as part of the "tenebrae service".

Thursday, March 21, 2013

All About Him - diocese of Scranton

I have taken my own advice this past week and prayed. And discerned.

So now I have to speak up.

The Pope is not just the Pope.

He is the Bishop of Rome.

Now everyone pretty much thinks of St. Peter's Basilica when they think of the Pope. Well, as Bishop of Rome he also has St. John Lateran as his diocesan cathedral.

But in his eagerness to be humble, Pope Francis has not yet taken possession of St. John Lateran.

Holy Thursday Mass, which celebrates the institution of the holy priesthood and the Eucharist has for hundreds of years been celebrated by the Bishop of Rome at St. John Lateran.

Not this year.

This year the new Holy Father has decided to take a road trip down to the local prison.


Pope Francis will celebrate Holy Mass in a youth prison outside of Rome.

Ok, fine.

We get it. You're channeling St Francis of Assisi.


Get over it because you are the Pope now, not the bishop of Buenos Aires. You have duties and responsibilities. Remember all those people who stood outside in the crappy weather when you were elected?

Remember how you spoke as the Bishop of Rome to your flock?

Yes, it is an act of mercy to visit those in prison.

But couldn't you visit the prison earlier in the day? Wednesday, perhaps? Said Mass for them some other time?

The bigger picture is that every time he rides the bus or doesn't wear the Mozzetta, or wears black shoes or moves Holy Thursday Mass to a prison, he makes it all about him. "Oh look! Our Pope is sooooo humble and nice!"

If he really wanted to show them some mercy, he should have arranged for the prisoners to come to St. John Lateran and get them out of the prison for a few hours to assist at Holy Mass.

But, what are ya gonna do? Hopefully someone at the Vatican will tell him what he's supposed to be doing. We'll see.

Watch and pray my friends as the Pope Francis show continues!

Latest update: Pope Francis also got rid of the Papal Throne, and is making the humble Papal apartments in the Vatican smaller. On top of that, lets not forget they had to order brand new vestments for his installation. He didn't like any of the ones the Vatican had laying around. Not too thrifty, eh? More money that could have been saved for the poor.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pray and Discern - Diocese of Scranton

Yes, we have a Pope.

Yes, he is from the "Americas".

Yes, his name is Francis.

Other than that, I am praying, watching, and praying some more.

That's what you all should be doing as well.

I'll be back, something of this magnitude requires quiet and reflection. And prayer.

There's a lot of questions. A lot of accusations. A lot of joy. A lot of sadness.

Discernment is required.

Don't listen to CNN on this. Don't listen to CBS.

Pray and listen to what God says to you.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Obamalley - The Diocese of Scranton

If you're my friend on Facebook,, you've seen my ongoing comments regarding the conclave today and our first look at the black smoke, and some of my criticism of the American "cardinals" Dolan and O'Malley.

Here's a story I had to go to Canada for about Obama's connection to O'Malley. Shame on the American media for not reporting this.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Conclave 3-12-13 - Diocese of Scranton

Well, they have set the start date for the conclave that will elect Raymond Cardinal Burke the next Supreme Pontiff. (I hope and pray!) 

(Vatican Radio) The eighth General Congregation of the College of Cardinals meeting in the Vatican Synod Hall Friday has decided that the Conclave for the election of the Pope will begin on Tuesday, 12 March 2013.A “pro eligendo Romano Pontifice” Mass will be celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica in the morning. Then Tuesday afternoon the 115 Cardinal Electors will gather in the Pauline Chapel for a moment of collection and prayer and from there they will process in order of precedence through the Sala Regia to the Sistine Chapel invoking the Holy Spirit.There they will take their seats, again observing the order of precedence, to elect the 265thSuccessor to St Peter. Once they have taken their seats they will hear the second meditation established by the Apostolic Constitution governing the papal transitions. It will be given by the Maltese Augustinian, Cardinal Prospero Grech. Following the mediation, the 115 cardinals will swear an oath to observe the rules of Conclave which include to maintain fidelity to the election of the Pope, to maintain secrecy, never to support or favor interference. The Cardinal Dean Angelo Sodano, reads aloud the formula of the oath, the Cardinal electors respond: I do so promise, pledge and swear. After all the Cardinals have taken the oath, the Master of the Papal Ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini orders all individuals other than the Cardinal Electors and conclave participants to leave the Sistine Chapel. He stands at the great wooden doors and pronounces the phrase: "Extra omnes!" He then closes the door. According to the Apostolic Constitution, on the afternoon of the first day, one ballot may be held. If a ballot takes place on the afternoon of the first day and no-one is elected, four ballots are held on each successive day, two in the morning and two in the afternoon. If no result is obtained after three vote days of balloting, the process is suspended for a maximum of one day for prayer, meditation and reflection. A two thirds majority is required for the election of a Pope.Of the 115 Cardinal Electors, more than half are European with the largest single nationality represented by the 28 Italian Cardinal Electors. In a geographical breakdown: 60 come from Europe, 19 from Latin America, 14 from North America, 11 from Africa, 10 from Asia and 1 from Oceania. The average age of the Cardinal Electors is 71 while 67 of the Cardinals who will enter in the Conclave Tuesday were appointed by Pope emeritus, Benedict XVI. There were eight Conclaves in the 20th century, only three of which lasted longer than three days. The longest Conclave in the last two hundred years was 1830-1831. It lasted 50 days for a total of 83 ballots resulting in the election of Gregory XVI, the last religious elected to the papacy. The shortest Conclave in the 20th century took place in 1939. Eugenio Pacelli was elected Pius XII after just three ballots