May 27, 2006


by Salvador Dalí

Major Signs of Religious Revival in France and Quebec

By Peter J. Smith

May 26, 2006 ( - France, once called the Eldest Daughter of the Church, has begun to awaken from her deep secular slumber, and so has her daughter Québec. France and Québec have been the respective leaders in the European and North American continents in the culture of death, but there are definite signs of a promising renewal. Better yet, France may even have found its champion against what Pope Benedict has called "the dictatorship of relativism."

Nicolas Sarkozy, one of the most visible public ministers of France and favorite for the 2007 presidential election, has publicly broken with the most sacred tenet of secularism by calling for the Republic to actively and publicly support religion. In a book entitled La République, les religions, l'espérance ["The Republic, the Religions, and Hope"], Sarkozy makes a salient call to critically examine the legacy of secularism in France, and instead calls for an active secular government that funds the work of religion in France from funding church buildings to financial aid for clergy formation to church use of public property. Sarkozy says its time for France to revise the current 1905 law mandating total separation of church and state to renew a youth that he says have no ideals.

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Continue reading the article
Click HERE for it.

May 26, 2006

Vincent is going to Rome.

He is a candidate for the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Texas.

This coming Fall, Vincent will begin living at the North American College on the Janiculum Hill in Rome, and will be studying theology at the Gregorian University.

He is the oldest son of one of my first-degree cousins (of which I have more than forty just on my mother's side of the family).

Vincent blogs at

From the right: Vincent, his mother and one of her sisters.

Who defends genuine marriage?

Amending the Constitution of the U.S.A. to define marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman….

Against it:
“Clergy for Fairness”
whose membership includes leaders of
Reform Judaism (Judaism’s least traditional sector),
United Methodism,
the United Church of Christ.

For it:
“The Religious Coalition for Marriage”
whose endorsers are
Roman Catholic cardinals,
the National Association of Evangelicals,
the Southern Baptist Convention,
the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations (the most traditional Judaism).

The U.S. Senate will face the question in June.

Future of Catholic priesthood in the U.S. is firmly on the path of doctrinal orthodoxy

[I'm reposting the following links because I've read comments on my own blog and on others wondering about the future of Catholic doctrinal orthodoxy in the U.S.]

In 1998, here (in the following link) is what the New York Times observed.
Orthodox Seminarians

In 2004, the Los Angeles Times (in the following link) observed the same thing.
New Breed of Priests

Want to see how an opposite trend (clergy rejecting orthodoxy) is causing a Christian community to die off?

Here’s what the Episcopalian newspaper has uncovered about Episcopalianism.
One of the dioceses hardest hit by declining numbers in 2003 was New Hampshire, where Canon Robinson was installed as bishop, which saw the greatest decline in attendance of any state in the Northeast at six per cent.

The stagnation in growth was not confined to liberal dioceses, as several conservative dioceses halted their steady growth of prior years in the wake of evangelical secessions following the Robinson consecration. The diocese of Dallas, which grew 19 per cent between 1992 and 2002, declined by 2.7 per cent in 2003, while Central Florida, which grew 14 per cent in that same period, declined by 2 percent and saw three of its parishes secede to the Anglican Mission in America.

Canon Robinson publicly professes to be gay, and is living with a male partner.

To read the complete text of the article, click on: HERE.

May 25, 2006

American Judaism likely to become more conservative

The American Jewish Committee is expecting the entire Jewish community to move in a conservative direction.

More Jewish leaders in the future are going to come from the most traditional segment of the Jewish population, Orthodox Judaism.

Orthodox Jews, though the minority among Jews, are the most engaged.

Sixteen percent of adult Jews aged 18 through 29 are Orthodox. That is almost twice the percentage of Orthodox Jews aged 35 through 39.

The American Jewish Committee says “young Orthodox Jewish adults are likely to be a much larger group in the future, especially in the context of earlier marriages, higher percentages of young Orthodox adults being married, and higher fertility.”

Visit the American Jewish Committee's website for more details.
Click HERE for it.

St. Fratboy-Gone-Wild? Once while drunk he punched his girlfriend and got arrested for it. He later became a priest and died bravely as a martyr.

Saint David Galván Bermudes, Priest and Martyr

His memorial day in the calendar of saints is today, May 25.

Born January 29, 1881, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

Entered the Guadalajara seminary at age 14, and excelled in his studies.

Questioning his vocation, he left the seminary for three years. He worked, dated, wasted his time, and lived a dissolute lifestyle. At one point he was arrested for hitting his girlfriend while he was drunk.

He eventually began to reconsider a vocation to the priesthood. After a year's probation, he was allowed to return to the seminary.

He received priestly ordination on May 20, 1909.

He served as seminary instructor at Amatitán, Jalisco, and subsequently became Supervisor of the Amatitán seminary.

During periods when Catholics rose up to oppose the government’s violent suppression of the Church, he went into the field of fire to nurse the injured and give them the sacraments.

On one such mission to Guadalajara, he was arrested for being a priest. He comforted fellow prisoners and heard their confessions in the hours before his execution.

While standing before the firing squad, Fr. David pointed to his chest, inviting the bullets of the executioners, thus dying on January 30, 1915, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

Pope John Paul II beatified him on November 22, 1992, and canonized him on May 21, 2000.

May 24, 2006

Closer to the Latin

On June 15, 16 and 17, the U.S. bishops will meet in Los Angeles to discuss and vote on a new English translation of the people’s prayers and responses during the Mass.

The Latin name for the book of prayers (and some readings) used at Mass is Missale Romanum. In the United States that book has been called the “Sacramentary” since 1970. The Vatican wants to restore the name “Roman Missal,” since it is an English translation of the normative Missale Romanum.

In general, the new translation of the people’s responses and prayers will be slightly longer and fuller, since the Vatican requires greater faithfulness to the normative Latin text.

Whenever the priest says "The Lord be with you," the proposed new translation will have the people respond, "And with your spirit." This would be the literal rendering of the Latin original that is in its turn simply a literal translation of the same phrase that appears in the original language (Greek) of the New Testament. The current response in use is "And also with you." Early Church Fathers comment that “And with your spirit” is an acknowledgement of the apostolic ministry of the priest or bishop.

In the first form of the penitential rite, the people will confess that "I have sinned greatly ... through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault." In the current version, that part of the prayer is much shorter: "I have sinned through my own fault."

The current English version of the Gloria is missing parts of the structure of the Latin original. The new translation will correct this.

The Creed will follow the Latin by beginning "I believe" instead of "We believe."

In the Creed, the Latin refers to Christ as consubstantialem Patri. Discussion is underway as to whether to keep the present English usage, “one in being with the Father,” or to replace it with the more literal "consubstantial with the Father."

The Sanctus will start, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts." The current version says, "Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might."

The proposed new version of the people's prayer before Communion says, "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed." This is faithful to the Latin (and also to the Gospel text from which it is taken). The bishops, however, may seek to keep the shorter English variation that has been in use up to now, "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you."

Completing the new translation of the entire Roman Missal will probably take at least two more years. The final translation would need the confirmation and authorization of the Vatican.

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Catholic News Service has an article about these changes and the upcoming meeting of the U.S. bishops.
Click HERE for it.

May 23, 2006

Mother Superior designed it so we can no longer get away with slurping our spaghetti when she's not looking.

Two Pieces of My Chain

That is not a depiction of "murder-in-the-monastery". It's of a good, old-fashioned, monk-to-monk haircut.

The right-hand column or sidebar of my blog contains several links.

One Monk’s Monastery” is my own personal description of the monk’s life and of my monastery.

However, my monastery, Prince of Peace Abbey, in Oceanside, California, has an official website of its own: “The Monastery’s Own Place”. The monastery is less than an hour’s drive north of the city of San Diego. You can book a room with us to spend a few days in quiet reflection, while joining in our daily cycle of worship and prayers. You can also visit the beaches of Southern California— they’re only two miles away from the monastery.

May 22, 2006

There are two other popes on earth.


For an article on Pope Theodoros II, click on: HERE. After the page opens, look at the list on the left of the page, and click on the link, "The Patriarch." That page will open with Greek at the top, but if you scroll down you will then see the article in English.


For an article on Pope Shenouda III, click on: HERE.

Early signs of a vocation!

Listen up!

There's no excuse. Give the people a faithful translation!

". . . IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE to maintain that people have become accustomed to a certain translation for the past thirty or forty years, and therefore that it is pastorally advisable to make no changes."

2 May 2006

The Most Reverend William Skylstad
Bishop of Spokane
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Prot. n. 499/06/L

Your Excellency,

With reference to the conversation between yourself, the Vice President and General Secretary of the Conference of Bishops of which you are President, together with me and other Superiors and Officials when you kindly visited our Congregation on 27 April 2006, I wish to recall the following:
The Instruction Liturgiam authenticam is the latest document of the Holy See which guides translations from the original-language liturgical texts into the various modern languages in the Latin Church. Both this Congregation and the Bishops’ Conferences are bound to follow its directives. This Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is therefore not competent to grant the recognitio for translations that do not conform to the directives of Liturgiam authenticam. If, however, there are difficulties regarding the translation of a particular part of a text, then this Congregation is always open to dialogue in view of some mutually agreeable solution, still keeping in mind, however, that Liturgiam authenticam remains the guiding norm.
The attention of your Bishops’ Conference was also recalled to the fact that Liturgiam authenticam was issued at the directive of the Holy Father at the time, Pope John Paul II, to guide new translations as well as the revision of all translations done in the last forty years, to bring them into greater fidelity to the original-language official liturgical texts. For this reason it is not acceptable to maintain that people have become accustomed to a certain translation for the past thirty or forty years, and therefore that it is pastorally advisable to make no changes. Where there are good and strong reasons for a change, as has been determined by this Dicastery in regard to the entire translation of the Missale Romanum as well as other important texts, then the revised text should make the needed changes. The attitudes of Bishops and Priests will certainly influence the acceptance of the texts by the lay faithful as well.

Requesting Your Excellency to share these reflections with the Bishops of your Conference I assure you of the continued collaboration of this Congregation and express my religious esteem,

Devotedly yours in Christ,

+Francis Card. Arinze

Prefect, Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

May 21, 2006

My mother shot one of these nuns in the head...

...with a stone and a slingshot. I'm telling the truth.

"The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul"-- they ran the school my mother attended as a girl. Although my mother got along well with the other Sisters, she intensely disliked their superior. So, one day mom shot at Sister's "paper airplane" right outside the front door of the church. The poor Sister thought bees were attacking, and went into a panic, shrieking and waving her arms frantically while ducking and bobbing.

When the "Daughters of Charity" were still wearing the "paper airplanes", they had to carry clothespins with them wherever they went to hold the "wings" in a folded up position inside cars, buses, trains, elevators, etc. The paper airplanes required heavy liquid starching and pressing by hand.

The Sisters (whose order originated in France) eventually asked the French clothing designer Christian Dior to fashion a modern habit for them. In the group photo below, the Sister farthest to the right appears to have a habit with box pleats from the waist downward-- that would be the "original" by Dior. The dark-skinned Sister next to her seems to have no pleats. However (except for the sweaters) they all appear from the waist upwards to be wearing the same habit Dior invented for them.

Much less of a target for my mother now....