October 28, 2006

BEST ROMAN MOMENT: Gregorian Chant with the Benedictine Monks

Gregorian chant

Every Sunday evening at 7.15, as the bells toll, Benedictine monks file into the church of Sant’Anselmo on the Aventine Hill to sing vespers. The music, dating back to the early centuries of the church and of the city, is exquisite. It is a moment of pure Roman theatre. As they file out again in silence at the end, the congregation filters away into the Roman evening, where the distant dome of St Peter’s can be seen against a darkening sky.
You'll find that paragraph on the third page of an article on the the best things about the city of Rome.

Sant'Anselmo is the church of the international headquarters of the Abbot Primate of the Order of Saint Benedict. It's where I went to school in Rome.

The best of Rome
Click HERE for it.

Icons and other liturgical items from Mount Sinai will be at the Getty Center from 14 November to 4 March

Click HERE for it.

Man who battled 17 years against the Cross in San Diego has died

Click HERE for it.

we must correct the idea that Catholicism is merely "a collection of prohibitions"

Pope Benedict XVI spoke today to the bishops of Ireland.

"So often the Church’s counter-cultural witness is misunderstood as something backward and negative in today’s society. That is why it is important to emphasize the Good News, the life-giving and life-enhancing message of the Gospel"

Click HERE for it.

Today in 1958 the patriarch of Venice, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, was elected Pope, and took the name John XXIII

On 3 September 2000, Pope John Paul II proclaimed him "Blessed John XXIII."

The Vatican has his biography online.
Click HERE for it.

Catholic schools should get back to being Catholic

Click HERE for it.

Pope John Paul II will fight against Saint Benedict

Click HERE for it.

Open House at religious houses

The Washington Post online has a feature called "Open House".

Each month features photographic (with audio) visit to a house of worship in the Washington area.

The present edition features:
the experience of children at a Russian Orthodox church,
a Hindu festival,
a ceremony of Krishna devotees,
Ebenezer New Testament Church,
Tridentine Mass.
Click HERE for it.

October 27, 2006

Scientology rejects psychiatry

A family obeys Scientology to reject medication for the mentally ill son. He goes on to kill his mother by stabbing her seventy-seven times.
Click HERE for it.

October 26, 2006

The sunlight is orange-- firefighters have died.

Near Palm Springs early today, someone deliberately set a fire that has gone wild.

Now four firefighters have died protecting a house.

The smoke has gone high into the atmosphere, causing the present orange daylight, even on the coast in San Diego, about a hundred miles from the fire.

Read more.
Click HERE for it.

Future of Anglicanism: three choices

From "An Address for Convocation," Nashotah House seminary
25th October A.D. 2006
by Robert William Duncan
Anglican Bishop of Pittsburgh
Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network

"The first choice is for Truth over accommodation. For everyone in this hall we are continuing to deal with choosing Jesus first: Jesus above culture, Jesus above comfort, Jesus above property, Jesus above family and friends, Jesus above any other security, Jesus above a wayward North American Church. We are here to confirm our choice for Truth above accommodation. This is the evangelical choice."

"The second choice is for Accountability over autonomy. There are lots of fragments in this hall: fragments of congregations, fragments of dioceses, fragments of denomination. Freedom, like Truth, is a passion that all of us share. But the vast danger here is that we will get stuck in our freedom Forty years of Anglican splits and splinters tells the story only too well. Autonomy is every bit as much a danger as accommodation. We are here to make a choice for Accountability over autonomy. This is the catholic choice."

"The third choice is for the Mission over sullen inaction. Is your congregation a church-planting congregation? Is your congregation partnered with a Global South diocese? Is your congregation functioning in local needs-based evangelism? Are you personally engaged in a Matthew 25 ministry? Have you personally led anyone else to saving faith in Jesus Christ? Have you challenged those around you to "Choose This Day?" Are you trapped in "ain't it awful?" or "what can we possibly do?" or the escape of self-absorption? We are Holy Spirit people: people who have been gifted, "charismed." We are here to elect Mission over sullen inaction. This is the charismatic choice."

His complete text is online.
Click HERE for it.

Medical studies, college baseball, theater, soap opera, and finally serving as a priest and physician in the Order of St. Camillus.

Father Scott Binet, O.S.C., says:
celebrating Mass is his "greatest joy." He is proud to wear his clerical garb and large, red cross around his neck that identifies as him a Camillian priest.

But it isn't being a priest or doctor that he most identifies with.

"My primary identity since I am a religious is that I am a member of the Order of St. Camillus. I exercise being a Camillian by being a priest and a doctor. I can serve those who are sick spiritually as a priest. I can serve the sick physically as a physician. ... I am always a priest and I am always a doctor.
[From an online article in “Arkansas Catholic.”]
- - - -

Monk on a tangent.

As a member of a religious order and as a priest, I will make one observation: although the red cross pendant may be part of the habit of Fr. Scott's religious order, the Order of St. Camillus, it should be worn underneath his alb (which is itself worn under the chasuble).

Even a bishop is required to keep his pectoral cross under the chasuble, but on top of the alb. You may see bishops at times with their pectoral crosses displayed on top of the chasuble at Mass. That is a contradiction of what is actually spelled out by Church guidelines.

Another contradiction of actual Church directives: wearing the stole on top of the chasuble instead of under it.

The order in which priestly vestments are to be put on over the alb.
1. Stole (and, for a bishop, the pectoral cross)
2. Chasuble

Several years ago, I substituted for a priest at Sunday Mass. The sacristan had been a sacristan at several parishes for a total of thirty years, but he told me I was the first priest he had ever seen wearing the stole under the chasuble.

When I arrived at my parish two and a half years ago, the altar servers were wearing crosses on a cord around the neck on top of their albs. I pointed out at one of our liturgy meetings that only a bishop wears a cross as part of his liturgical vesture. So we ended the practice of having the servers wear crosses.

Okay-- enough from me!

Go read the article about Fr. Scott Binet, O.S.C.
Click HERE for it.

Here He Is!

Dunstan is a French blogger who was admitted to candidacy for the priesthood last Saturday. A candidate is a man who is formally beginning theological studies under the sponsorship of a bishop who intends to have him prepare for priestly ordination.

The photograph shows Dunstan with three other candidates, Frédéric, Jacques and François-Xavier.

Dunstan's particular diocese is Evry-Corbeil-Essonne, where the bishop is Most Rev. Michel Marie Jacques Dubost, C.I.M.

The candidacy ceremony took place in the chapel of the Saint Sulpice d'Issy-les-Moulineaux seminary. Most Rev. Christian Philippe Pierre Robert Nourrichard, the bishop of Evreux, presided.

Dunstan speaks English. You can wish him well at his blog.
Click HERE for it.

Tolkien's "The Hobbit" coming as a two-movie prequel?

Click HERE for it.

October 25, 2006

If cell phones are a male contraceptive, would it be sinful to use them?

Click HERE for it.

For his son, for his wife, and for him.

Dear Blogviewers,

I have received a request this morning.


My 19 year-old son has been suffering from some baffling symptoms for the past two weeks. Even after a week's hospitalization, the doctors still could not pinpoint his malady. Late last night one of his doctors called with the results of his lymph biopsy and told us W. has a non-hodgkins lymphoma. We don't meet with an oncologist until tomorrow, but just the prospect of the suffering that W. will have to endure for his treatment is painful for the wifey and I.

We already know more than average folk about suffering. J. (the aforementioned wifey) was diagnosed with MS in 1993 and is severely debilitated by it. She has had a great amount of damage done to her cognitive abilities, and this type of thing is extremely difficult for her to handle.

Anyway, I'm bugging every priest I know to request prayer for W. and J.


- B.

Blogviewers, please join me in offering the opening prayer from the Mass for the Sick.

you Son accepted our sufferings
to teach us the virtue of patience in human illness.
Hear the prayers we offer for our sick brothers and sisters.
May all who suffer pain, illness or disease
realize that they are chosen to be saints,
and know that they are joined to Christ
in his suffering for the salvation of the world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Fraternally yours in Christ and his Church,

Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B.

Life after Mother Teresa

Her religious order thrives in its mission to the poorest.

"When Mother Teresa died, skeptics asked how the congregation she founded would be able to carry on the austere legacy she had handed on to her nuns."

The journalist who wrote an article in the current issue of the National Catholic Register doesn't seem to be aware of something that every religious order has: a constitution. Such a document spells out the details of daily life. The journalist writes almost as if the way of life of the Missionaries of Charity was determined by the personal preferences of Mother Teresa only while she was alive.

No. While Blessed Teresa's preferences and inspirations may have been the creative determining factor for the way of life of her religious order, that way of life was then reviewed by Blessed Teresa, other members of her religious order, and the Vatican. Final decisions for the way of life were then codified in the written constitution of the Missionaries of Charity religious order. Any changes can only be made by discussion and consultation at various levels within the order and the Church.

By the way, the Missionaries of Charity do not only serve the poor. They also worship and pray together and alone several times a day. The amount of prayer they offer up totals to over two hours a day.

Read the article online.
Click HERE for it.

October 24, 2006

Are believers delusional?

Benedictine Bhangra


My guess is that this is a talent show competition at some university run by Benedictines.

It's almost seven minutes long. Somewhat repetitious. However, there are some surprises along the way.

But what is Bhangra?

I found the following on wikipedia.
Bhangra is a fusion of music, singing and the beat of the dhol drum, a single stringed instrument called the iktar (ektara), the tumbi and an instrument reminiscent of an enlarged pair of tongs called chimta. The accompanying songs are small couplets written in the Punjabi language called bolis.
Today the word bhangra is more associated with the style of dance pop music derived from the above mentioned musical accompaniment. The dhol's smaller cousin, the dholaki, is sometimes used instead of or in addition to the dhol. Additional percussion, including tabla, is frequently used in bhangra.
Bhangra has always been popular amongst Punjabi people all over the world, but it has enjoyed a resurgence over the last ten years or so. Its raw traditional sound is often supplemented with contemporary musical styles.

Crafted by hand in a French artisan shop

Inlaid rosewood

Inlaid ebony wood

In several sizes.

The nuns of the Carmelite monastery in Colorado Springs earn some of their daily bread by selling these and other fine crucifixes, other items, and their handmade rosaries.

They have an online store.
Click HERE for it.

The BBC admits "it is not impartial or neutral" but has "a cultural liberal bias" -- "a marked bias against Christianity."

Click HERE for it.

Cambodian Buddhist monk burns himself to death as a sacrifice to Buddha.

Yin Keo, the 20-year-old monk, sat down at a mountaintop pagoda, poured five liters of gasoline on himself, and set himself on fire.

Other monks and nuns at the pagoda said Yin Keo had been in the monastery for three months, and repeatedly said he would die as a sacrifice.
Click HERE for it.

Where are the believers?

"Time" magazine's website offers an interactive map allowing you to see the relative densities of religious populations in the counties of the U.S.A. [I found out about this on www.cosmos-liturgy-sex.com.]

The map has four different labeled buttons to click on:
All Religions,
Mainline Protestants,
Evangelical Protestants,
Roman Catholics.
Click HERE for it.

October 23, 2006

Jesus is a Puerto Rican in South Florida...

. . . who says there is no longer a devil and no such thing as sin.

I saw it on www.fanatholic.com

October 22, 2006

One of the monasteries of Mount Athos is in rebellion against the world leader of the Greek Orthodox Church

Click HERE for it.

Souls are sick over there AND right here.

Bob Farrell alerted me.
"Our enemies in the Muslim world are our enemies precisely because they are sick men from sick societies who wish to spread their disease to the rest of the world. But in our own world, approximately half of the population suffers from a soul pathology that prevents them from making judgments on, or even perceiving, the soul pathology of our external enemies."

Go read it.
Click HERE for it.

A seminary for Fishers of Men ... and Hunters of Deer

Click HERE for it.

Drafted by the Mets, but working now for a Cardinal

Read the article.
Click HERE for it.

October 22: National Day of Vatican City State

Click on the images to see larger versions.

The National Day of Vatican City State?
Click HERE for it.