Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Conversion Story

I love conversion stories. This one is particularly moving and well-written. The St Mary's in Greenville he describes is the church of my baptism.

Matthew XXV: 41-42

Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels.

For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink.

Holy Father Receives Extreme Unction

Oremus pro pontifice nostro Ioanne Paulo,

Dominus conservet eum et vivificet eum et beatum faciat eum in terra et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum ejus.

The story can be found here.

Theresa Marie Schindler (Schiavo)

God rest her soul. God help the country.

"Divorce and murder are desperate remedies; but it is quite in the spirit of the age that they should be treated as universal remedies."
-G. K. Chesterton, The Illustrated London News, 19 OCT 1929

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Speaking of Scotland. . .

Nothing at all to do with the Scottish Church this time. Eloise, a friend of this blog, sent along a reference to this delightful site dedicated to the late Sir Harry Lauder. There are some recordings of his wonderful old music hall performances and another page of lyrics. Not a pipe tune among 'em, but well-worth a listen.

Scottish Church Tries to Reverse Severe Shortage of Scandals and Lawsuits

That's my explanation, anyway. The Most Eminent Lord Cardinal O'Brien phrases it differently.

The Hapless Bench

. . .strikes again. Or perhaps, again doesn't strike, to put a slightly more accurate turn on it. The "Catholic Church Conservation" blog finds a deafening silence from the American hierarchy on Terri Schiavo. The preliminary finding can be found here. Details to follow.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Easter Monday

This used to be something of a national holiday in the Republic of Ireland, being the anniversary of the beginning of the "Easter Rising" in 1916. I've searched what I could of the Irish media, at least that portion that doesn't charge, and once again, there seems to be no mention of it at all. Or at least no commemoration that the Irish media can bestir itself to mention. Sad to say, it seems that the Irish media loves Ireland and Irish tradition much the same way the American media loves America and her tradition.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Terri was allowed her Easter Communion. . .

. . .and probably her viaticum. The late story can be found here.

The cite is from Blogs for Terri.

Easter Sunday -- Dominica Resurrectionis

To begin your Easter High Mass, the Vidi Aquam replaces the Asperges. (This monastic schola is again singing from St Benedict's Abbey.) And probably the most memorable chant from today's liturgy, the Victimæ Paschali Laudes.

V. Christ is Risen! Alleluia!
R. He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

Saturday, March 26, 2005


Why the wheels fall off so many of our 'nation-building' exercizes:

As I pointed out in my review of "Hotel Rwanda," when George W. Bush says "democracy" he actually means, in effect, "Anglo-Saxonism:" in other words, rule of law, checks and balances, independent judiciary, a settled distribution of property, free speech, an open economy, habeas corpus, graciousness in defeat, the urge to compromise, gentlemanly treatment of women, etc.

But what people in oppressed countries hear when he says "democracy" is "majority rule," which is not the same thing.

Also from Steve Sailer's blog. You can find it here. It is one of the great delights of life when so much historical cause-and-effect can be summarized so neatly.

Why has it come to this?

A post on Steve Sailer's blog gives the proximate cause for the tragic end to Terri's case that seems imminent: the Schindler's were out-lawyered from day 1. Read it here.

Money, it seems, is the mother's milk not just of politics. It nourishes litigation, too.

Is it "L.A." or "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles sobre el Rio de Portiuncula"? Or something else?

The name of the game is historical accuracy. Everyone agrees on that.

What historians cannot agree on is the name given to Los Angeles when its Spanish founders formed it Sept. 4, 1781.

Some of the choices given in this morning's paper:

Some contend it was El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles.

Others assert it was El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reyna de los Angeles.

Or perhaps it was El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles de la Porciuncula. Or El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reyna de los Angeles del Rio Porciuncula. Or maybe El Pueblo de la Reina de los Angeles Sobre el Rio de Porciuncula. Or Pueblo del Rio de Nuestra Señora la Reyna de los Angeles de Porciuncula.

How about plain old Ciudad de los Angeles?

A good article, but it never addresses the key question facing us this springtime in 2005: Is Arte Moreno now stuck with the El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles sobre el Rio de Portiuncula Angels of Anaheim?

Arte, you didn't know when you were well off.

Sabbato Sancto

Today is Holy Saturday, the last day of the Sacred Triduum. St Michael's Premonstratensian Abbey provides some chants for this day.

From the Easter Vigil, the canticles after the readings:

Cantemus Domino

Vinea facta est dilecto

Attende Cælum

Sicut Cervus

From St Benedict's Abbey in Brazil,

The Exultet

The vigil "preface" after the exultet, in three parts:

Beginning at "per omnia sæcula sæculorum"

Continuing at "Vere Dignum"

Continuing at "In hujus"

The final section, beginning at "Oramus ergo".

And finally a little verse that arrived in the mail the other day via a Catholic mail list. Someone commented to me that the theology was a little shaky. That may very well be. I don't see it myself but I am no theologian. And I rather liked it so you'll find herewith. If it turns out to be heretical, the bell, book and candle can be directed to my address.


The ancient greyness shifted
Suddenly and thinned
Like mist upon the moors
Before a wind.
An old, old prophet lifted
A shining face and said:
"He will be coming soon.
The Son of God is dead;
He died this afternoon."

A murmurous excitement stirred all souls.
they wondered if they dreamed-
Save one old man who seemed
Not even to have heard.

And Moses standing,
Hushed them all to ask
If any had a welcome song prepared.
If not, would David take the task?
And if they cared
Could not the tree young children sing
The Benedicite, the canticle of praise
They made when God kept them from perishing
In the fiery blaze?

A breath of spring surprised them,
Stilling Moses' words.
No one could speak, remembering
The first fresh flowers,
The little singing birds.
Still others thought of fields new ploughed

Or apple trees
All blossom-boughed.
Or some, the way a dried bed fills
With water
Laughing down green hills.
The fisherfolk dreamed of the foam
On bright blue seas.
The one old man who had not stirred
Remembered home.

And there He was
Splendid as the morning sun and fair
As only God is fair.
And they, confused with joy,
Knelt to adore
Seeing that He wore
Five crimson stars
He never had before.

No canticle at all was sung.
None toned a psalm, or raising a greeting song,
A silent man alone
Of all that throng
Found tongue-
Not any other.
Close to His heart
When embrace was done,
Old Joseph said,
"How is your Mother,
How is your Mother, Son?"

-Sister Mary Ada
The Reign Of Mary -Vol. XXV, No 76

Friday, March 25, 2005

Good Friday

The Improperia chant from today's Mass of the Presanctified can be downloaded from St Benedict's Abbey in Brazil. Due to the huge size of the file it is in four parts:

(1) Popule Meus,
(2) Quia eduxi te,
(3) Ego propter te flagellavi Ægyptum, and
(4) Ego te potavi.

It took a good deal of time to download even with my fairly fast connection; there is just slightly less than 20 minutes of music all tolled. But if you have never heard the Improperia, it is worth the wait: "My people, O my people. What have I done to you? Or wherein have I offended you that you should prepare a cross for your saviour? Answer me."

Bloody Federal Courts III

A federal judge on Friday refused to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, yet another setback for the parents of the brain-damaged woman in their battle against her husband to keep her alive.

For a second time, U.S. District Judge James Whittemore ruled against the parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, who had asked him to grant their emergency request to restore her feeding tube while he considers a lawsuit they filed.

From "Blogs for Terri" quoting the lates AP report.

Vatican Radio is more refined than The Inn. No "bloody federal courts" there. Instead it quotes L'Osservatore Romano in referring to the American judiciary as "executioners" of the innocent. One of the aims of Terri's family was to publicize Terri's plight. They seem to have trusted in the natural sympathies of the American public, assuming that people would rise up as a whole demanding justice and life for their daughter. Well it is certainly well-known now. And so many have indeed come to her aid.

But as cynical as I can be, it never occured to me how completely and thoroughly steeped in the culture of death the "major American media" really are. I cited the ghastly L. A. Times piece a couple of days ago which promoted starvation and dehydration as a wonderful way to die. For our cultural masters, anything seems to be acceptable, absolutely anything, if it results in death.

It's even more depressing to listen to the international media. There is no safe haven out there. All of the major outlets seem to have had stories on Terri. The ones I've listened to have been from Radio Australia, Radio Canada International, BBC, and several others that I can't recall off hand. But almost all of them have taken their cue from the American media: Terri is in a deep coma; she is in a persistent vegetative state; she is brain dead; her parents and George Bush are cruel to prevent her dying peacefully; the troglodytic American Right once again resists reason and science.

From what I've heard, the only two outlets expressing even slightly different points of view have been Vatican Radio and Radio Austria International. And Vatican Radio has been pointedly different; referring to the American judiciary as "executioners" is a point of view you won't find in the Times's editorial pages. Radio Austria, however, interviewed the head of the Austrian government board in charge of patient health care, the agency that would review a case like Terri's. (I didn't catch the official name of the bureau.) He said that in Austria Terri would be fed and cared for until natural death. He said that from all he had read she was clearly not dying and had a fairly good chance of recovery.

Unfortunately, the principles he used to arrive on the side of life in this case were all wrong. It wasn't her humanity that assured she would continue to be given food and water but her chances of recovery. It was good to hear someone in authority assert again that Terri could indeed recover. But depressing to find that Austria is no safer than anywhere else in the western world for the chronically sick and disabled.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Congratulations. . .

. . .are in order: the Scheske family has another member. Details here.

I suppose it had to happen. But words fail anyway.

Someone reached this blog last night or this morning via "Yahoo" search for "feeding tube humor".

Libera nos, Domine.

The Good News is. . .

. . .Bishop Brom of San Diego has refused a Catholic funeral to a San Diego pornographer and owner of homosexualist night clubs.

The bad news is he's now issued an apology. And he's going to preside at a special Mass for the guy. Seems there was this protest. Preach the Gospel in season and out of season. . .unless there's a protest.

The San Diego Union has more details here, including comments from those who were not quite so pleased with the episcopal waffle:

Some conservatives expressed grave disappointment at the bishop's about-face. Ernie Grimm, who edits the monthly Catholic newspaper San Diego News Notes, said he felt "betrayed."

"He had showed a lot of courage in making his original decision and encouraged a lot of us lay Catholics who had been looking for stronger leadership from our bishops," Grimm said. "He caved in the face of opposition."

James Hartline, a Christian conservative activist from Hillcrest, said he alerted the bishop to McCusker's gay business interests.

Hartline said he spoke with Brom at least four times about the McCusker case, including a meeting yesterday that lasted an hour. At no time did the bishop indicate he would reverse his position, Hartline said last night.

"He emphatically stated to me he would not budge one bit," Hartline said. "It's very, very strange. He was preparing a document that was going to include the fact that he was not going to reverse course at all

One wonders what the "leverage" was that caused him to change his mind.

The final comment in the article is from a " a professor of religious studies at San Diego State University" with which, to my great surprise, I actually agree, at least in part:

Rebecca Moore, a professor of religious studies at San Diego State University, said Brom acted with grace and compassion in owning up to what she and many others said was a mistake.

"A funeral does not make a statement about the morality of the deceased, but rather it makes a statement about the mercy of God," Moore said. "Bishop Brom had second thoughts about his original decision and had the guts to publicly change his mind. That takes courage."

This bit is good: "A funeral does not make a statement about the morality of the deceased, but rather it makes a statement about the mercy of God." Absolutely right. A funeral Mass is not a proclamation of sanctity. (Or it shouldn't be, anyway. Pass the word to your parish "liturgist".) It is a plea for mercy for all of us sinners. But there are distinctions that need to be made.

There is a difference between a private Mass (in the sense of an unpublicized Mass with restricted attendance) and a public Mass. Public perceptions should be taken into account. A public Mass for a public sinner gives great scandal. This is especially true in the Pauline rite of Mass, and even more especially in the liturgical options which are usually chosen. These tend never to mention purgatory or hell or any sort of judgement but go to great lengths to proclaim the deceased's current state of beatitude.

On the other hand the traditional Roman Rite was filled with pleas for mercy and assumed that the deceased, like the rest of us, was a sinner and in need of mercy:

"Lord Jesus Christ, king of glory, deliver the souls of all the faithful departed from the pains of hell and from the bottomless pit. Save them from the lion's jaws; let them not be engulfed in hell nor swallowed up in darkness." - from the Offertorium of the traditional Roman Rite.

And yet when the traditional Rite was the norm in the liturgical west, there was still great concern over giving scandal. Every time some mafia don met his end there was great debate about whether he should be given a Catholic funeral. Sometimes he got one; sometimes he didn't. But when he did, it never turned into a celebration of his mafianess.

In my occasionally humble opinion, Bishop Brom was quite right under current circumstances to prohibit the sort of jamboree that the "gay community" appears to have wanted and was utterly wrong in his "apology".

In fact, I am perilously close to giving in to incipient paranoia and wondering if this whole thing wasn't a set up from the beginning to embarass the Catholic church.

Next month's San Diego News Notes should be interesting, being less circumscribed by the canons of political correctness than the San Diego Union.

This Citation Deserves Its Own Post

From Fiat Mihi this morning, a beautiful essay by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on Terri's ordeal.

And don't miss the links in Hilary's introduction. There's a lot there; I haven't finished reading them myself. But what I've read is all too familiar. Today's agencies don't have German names. But otherwise. . . .

Bloody Federal Courts II

ATLANTA — By a 2-1 vote, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals early today denied an emergency request to reinsert Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, setting up an appeal to the nation's highest court.

From the L.A. Times. Read the rest here.

And also this morning from the Los Angeles edition of the Voelkischer Beobachter is this little item. Apparently starving to death can be fun. That's probably why the Nazis used it on St Maximilian Kolbe. They were such a fun group.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

L'Osservatore Romano on Terri's Case

In a front-page editorial, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano criticized a U.S. federal judge's refusal to order the reinsertion of Schiavo's feeding tube.

"She has no possibility of being 'restored' to a 'normal' life. Therefore Terri Schiavo must die," the editorial began. "This is ... the absurd and terrifying reason" for the judge's decision, it added.

More on the L'Osservatore Romano editorial here.

The latest on Terri's case here.

The Mass in English

The Tablet reports that English-speaking Catholics may be another step closer to hearing the new order of Mass in English.

Vox Clara clears way for new text. The Vatican-sponsored Vox Clara Committee, the ad-hoc group of 12 English-speaking bishops charged with ensuring a more literal translation of Latin liturgical texts, has noted “impressive improvements” in the most recent texts submitted by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL).

I once heard Fr George Rutler interviewed on EWTN with a few other priests who were priest-converts from one branch or other of Anglicanism. The conversation found its way to Vatican II and the changes in the liturgy. The moderator commented to Fr Rutler that, of course, he didn't have to accustom himself to saying Mass in English. "No", said Fr Rutler. "I always said Mass in Engish; I had to get used to Mass in the vernacular, though."

Yes, indeed. Point taken, Father. Those of us who came to the Faith early went directly from Latin to the vernaclar without ever passing through English. Maybe that lacuna is on the way to a remedy.

The rest of the article is here.

Jeffrey Mirus comments wisely on the translation wars here.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Bloody Federal Courts

This latest from the federal district court in Florida: No decision.

The federal judge said to the lawyer for Terri's parents, in effect, go write me a brief on the constitutionality of this latest Act of Congress while your client's daughter is dying of thirst. Mind you, it better be a good one or I'll turn you down. And it had better be quick or she'll be dead.

WEWN Plays Hide-&-Go-Seek

Listening to EWTN's shortwave outlet WEWN is not for the complacent. Even though its 6 month frequency listing says the schedule is good until 27 March, it has changed twice in the last month. As you may have noticed their old evening frequency 5825 is now broadcasting static. The current schedule is up at the link but according to the headline, only for the next week.

The Good Friday Night Fights

There's no time like Holy Week for a good punch-up.

Jerusalem, Mar. 21 ( - Public officials in Jerusalem are bracing for Eastertide conflicts between Orthodox and Catholic clerics at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, according to the London Daily Telegraph .

Local officials have reportedly called in Catholic and Orthodox leaders for discussions in recent days, hoping to ward off a repetition of an ugly fight that occurred last September, when Orthodox monks charged and battered first Franciscan friars, then local police at the basilica. The Telegraph reports that a videotape of that incident shows the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Irineos instructing monks "to close the door of the Franciscan chapel by force."

The entire sad article is here.

[And first noticed on The York Forum.]

In the Year of the Blessed Eucharist. . .

There was a fire at the Cathedral in Madison, Wisconsin. You can read the story here. But the highlight is in the final two paragraphs:

[Bishop Robert] Morlino said he will not tire of telling the story as he travels the country about how Madison firefighters went into an unstable and burned-out St. Raphael to rescue the Blessed Sacrament, or the wafers consecrated as the body of Christ.

"They went in there and had to cut their way through, and brought it out with great reverence," he said.

First espied here on Serge's feisty and never-boring Conservative Blog for Peace.

The Federal Court Solution

Those of you who have followed this little corner of cyberspace for a while know that I have tried to keep things relatively "light", in spite of many (equally relatively) serious topics. You probably didn't come here to dwell on the judicial murder of a sick woman in Florida. You may be owed an apology. All I can say is that I find the story fascinating -- in the same sense that the prey is "fascinated" by the cobra about to strike. "Fascinating" in the fear and terror sense. Fear and terror for the woman and for what remains of western civilisation.

Congratulations to the Congress for doing something useful. One can only pray that the trust now placed in the federal courts in justified. At this writing Terri has had no nourishment, not even a drop of water to moisten her lips, for four days.

I suggest again, the prayer to Bishop Sheen noted below.

Mark Sullivan has some fine comments on Terri's case at Irish Elk. There are several; today's are under the March 21 heading. But read on; there are more throughout this past week.

Cyprus: The Greeks, The Turks, and. . .The Maronites

This morning's paper discussed an aspect of the Cypriot situation that I had never heard of:

"They thought of us as Greeks because we are Christians,", said Paul Kumi, the 67-year-old village priest. "Sadly, the Greeks have never fully trusted us either, because they are Orthodox and we are Catholics."

The full article is here. [This is the L.A. Times; if you wait until next week to read the full article, you'll have to pay.]

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Prayer for Terri Schiavo

....from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal:

Eternal Father, You alone grant us every blessing in Heaven and on earth, through the redemptive mission of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and by the working of the Holy Spirit. If it be according to Your Will, glorify Your servant, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, by granting the favor I now request through his powerful intercession. Lord, grant that Terri Shiavo's life be spared and grant her a healing that the world may know the value of every life.

Swiped - indeed, copied and pasted - directly from the Summa Mammas.

Palm Sunday - the Second Sunday in Passiontide

Holy Week begins today with the liturgical commemoration of Our Lord's triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The Catholic Encyclopædia gives an extensive account of this day's history and meaning. There is more than a page devoted just to the various names this day goes under:

. . . The Greeks celebrate the day with great solemnity; they call it kyriake or heorte ton baion or heorte baiophoros or also Lazarus Sunday, because on the day before they have the feast of the resuscitation of Lazarus. The emperors used to distribute branches of palm and small presents among their nobles and domestics. The Latin liturgical books call it Dominica in Palmis, Dominica or Dies Palmarum. From the cry of the people during the procession the day has received the name Dominica Hosanna or simply Hosanna (Ozanna). Because every great feast was in some way a remembrance of the resurrection of Christ and was in consequence called Pascha, we find the names Pascha floridum, in French Pâques fleuries, in Spanish Pascua florida, and it was from this day of 1512 that our State of Florida received its name. . .

The rest is here.

Hosanna filio David: the opening chant for the Blessing of Palms

Pueri Hebræorum portanges ramos olivarum: the first of the antiphons chanted during the distribution of palms.

Gloria, laus, et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe Redemptor: the hymn to Christ the King which concludes the procession.

Today's Station Church:

St John Lateran, the cathedral church of the Roman diocese, and "omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater, et caput".

Saturday, March 19, 2005

A Ray of Light?

"House, Senate reach compromise on Terri
Deal will 'restore nutrition and hydration to Miss Schiavo'"

So reports World Net Daily a couple of hours ago. The article says the bill will enable Terri's case to be transferred from tender mercies of Judge Greer to the federal courts. When one looks for help on the side of life the words "federal court" do not usually spring to mind these days. But perhaps this time . . .

Recommended on the Touchstone Blog, "Mere Comments"

The first is Peggy Noonan's article in WSJ's "Opinion Journal". It's subheaded "If Terri Schiavo is killed, Repubicans will pay a price."

Here’s both a political and a public-relations reality: The Republican
Party controls the Senate, the House and the White House. The Republicans
are in charge. They have the power. If they can’t save this woman’s
life, they will face a reckoning from a sizable portion of their own base.
And they will of course deserve it.

This should concentrate
their minds.

So should this: America is watching. As
the deadline for removal of Mrs Schiavo’s feeding tube approaches, the story has
broken through as never before in the media.

There is a passionate,
highly motivated and sincere group of voters and activists who care deeply about
whether Terri Schiavo is allowed to live. Their reasoning, ultimately, is
this: Be on the side of life.

A miserable reason for saving this woman. But if that's what it takes to pry the country-club Republicans out of their comfy chairs, so be it.

More here.

And then The New Pantagruel assumes, probably accurately, that the allegedly pro-life Repubican party members who currently hold office will do nothing and suggests that "(t)he Christian community and all people of good conscience, rather than accepting the State’s actions with the small consolation that “everything that could be done was done,” should acknowledge the true horizon of morally acceptable responses, and should actively encourage and support all such responses when taken by those with immediate responsibility for Terri’s care and wellbeing."

Consurgens Ioseph accepit Puerum et matrem eius nocte, et secessit in Ægyptum, et erat ibi usque ad obitum Herodis recalls the morning office of today's feast of St Joseph. But Herod has more resources at his disposal these days and where is the Egypt in which the refugees would be safe?

If you did it to a mad dog in Florida. . . .

The 2004 Florida Statutes


828.13 Confinement of animals without sufficient food, water, or
exercise; abandonment of animals.--

(1) As used in this section:
(a) "Abandon" means to
forsake an animal entirely or to neglect or refuse to provide or perform the
legal obligations for care and support of an animal by its owner.
"Owner" includes any owner, custodian, or other person in charge of an animal.

(2) Whoever:
(a) Impounds or confines any animal in any
place and fails to supply the animal during such confinement with a sufficient
quantity of good and wholesome food and water,

(b) Keeps any animals
in any enclosure without wholesome exercise and change of air, or
Abandons to die any animal that is maimed, sick, infirm, or diseased,
guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
775.082 or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both imprisonment and a

Do Fluffy and Rex have more rights in Florida than people?

Friday, March 18, 2005

Received this evening from a Carmelite List:

According to RN Cheryl Ford of, Attorney
Barbara Weller, attorney for David Gibbs firm, which represents the
Schiavos, told Terri that they were going to remove her feeding tube,
Terri began to cry and tried to say "I want to live." Weller said she
had a difficult time calming Terri down.
But Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, later claimed it
was a "calm and peaceful" procedure. He said Michael was with Terri after
removal of the tube. He said there was a prayer service. He said
Communion was administered to her before the tube was removed, by a
hospice priest "pursuant to an order by Judge Greer."

If you can receive Communion, you can eat and swallow?

Terri's parents were asked to leave her room, Ford said. Michael
Schiavo was not present when the feeding tube was removed, just a
representative of Michael, said Felos. But he later said there there are
no restrictions on her parents being with her.
She has now begun to die, which will take 1 to 2 weeks.

Note: There was no need to pull her tube. They could have capped
her feeding tube off and prevented the pain she experienced from
having the tune pulled from her abdomen.

The Florida Supreme Court denied a petition today from Congress. The
Schidlers filed two federal appeals court motions against Greer.

MARCH 18, 2005
3:00 PM






allowed to be given.
WASHINGTON- Gail Quinn, Executive Director of the Secretariat for Pro-Life
Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops made the
following statement today on the recent Congressional action on Terri
Schiavo, a Florida woman at the heart of a controversy over withholding
nutrition and hydration from people with cognitive disabilities:

"We commend the U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R.
1332 on March 16, 2005 and the U.S. Senate for passing S. 653
the following day."

"We strongly support legislation to provide Terri Schiavo
access to the federal court so she can present her case in
federal court," Quinn said.


ADDENDUM: Another on-line source for some of this information can be found here.

On the Eve of St Joseph's Day. . . .

This from EWTN's News Bulletin page:


Clearwater, Florida, Mar. 18 ( - A Florida judge on Friday reinstated his order that a feeding tube for disabled woman Terri Schiavo be removed less than an hour after that order was suspended . The decisions came after Congress subpoenaed Schiavo, her husband Michael Schiavo, her parents Bob & Mary Schindler, and two of her doctors. By 3:20 pm Terri's tube had been removed by doctors at the hospice where she now lives, and she was expected to starve to death within a week or two.

Although it was unlikely Terri would have been able to attend any congressional hearings, the subpoenas make it a federal offense to tamper with a person who is the recipient of such an order. As a congressional witness, Terri is the beneficiary of many legal protections that would include preventing the removal of her feeding tube. Whether legal action will be taken against those who removed her tube or ordered it done is unknown as this time. "This inquiry should give hope to Terri, her parents and friends, and the millions of people throughout the world who are praying for her safety," House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Government Reform committee chairman Tom Davis said in a joint statement when the subpoenas were announced. "This fight is not over."

Judge George Greer, who has been overseeing Terri's case, reinstated his order to remove Terri's feeding tube less than an hour after the order was lifted. She had been scheduled to have the tube removed at 1 pm on Friday on instruction from her husband. Greer said Congress had overstepped its bounds, that it is federal interference in a state matter, legislative overstepping of the separation of powers, and that the case has long been decided in his court.

The matter will likely be decided in the federal courts, and perhaps in the US Supreme Court. But until that time, Terri is without any nutrition and is slowly starving to death.

The congressional subpoenas followed failures in Washington and in Florida to pass laws to protect Terri from removal of the feeding tube. The Florida Senate had opposed a bill that would have prevented feeding tubes from being removed from people unless they had left clear instructions and left for an Easter recess without taking up the bill.

In the US Senate, opposition by some Democrats put a halt to efforts to pass the Incapacitated Persons Protection Act, which had earlier pass the House. Congressional Republican leaders vowed to continue to press for passage of the bill. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay also said he hoped Judge Greer would modify his court orders to allow the recipients of the subpoenas, including Terri, to attend Capitol Hill hearings on March 28, so the world could see that Terri is indeed alive.

"She's not barely alive, she's not being kept alive. She is alive," DeLay said.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Beannachtaí na fheile Phádraig a dhuibh

I have a bit of time this morning to put something up here in honour of the patron saint of Ireland, the Isle of Man, Nigeria, and the co-patron of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. And then it's on to a busy afternoon and evening. Mark sent this essay along the other day; it explains why. Hardly have time to take a breath.

The CE still provides the best life of St Patrick on the web. St Secundinus (and this site) provide a Vita in the form of a hymn.

Here is the traditional collect in the Roman Rite for St Patrick:

Deus qui ad prædicandam gentibus gloriam tuam beatum Patritium Confessorem atque Pontificem mittere dignatus es: ejus meritis et intercessione concede; ut, quæ nobis agenda præcipis, te miserante adimplere possimus. Per Dominum. Amen.

O God Who wast pleased to send the blessed Patrick, Thy confessor and bishop, to preach Thy glory to the heathen, grant, through his merits and intercesion, that by Thy mercy we may be enabled to accomplish the tasks Thou settest us: through or Lord. Amen.

In the Pauline Rite it is this:

Deus, qui ad prædicandam Hiberniæ populis gloriam tuam beatum Patricium episcopum providisti, eius meritis et intercessione concede, ut, qui christiano nomine gloriantur, tua mirabilia hominibus iugiter annuntient. Per Dominum. Amen.

O God, Who didst send forth blessed Patrick the bishop to preach Thy glory to the people of Ireland, grant by his merits and intercession, that they who glory in the name of Christian may alway proclaim Thy wonders to mankind. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Church of Ireland's Book of Common Prayer provides this:

O Almighty God, who in thy providence didst choose thy servant Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people, that he might bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of thee; Grant us so to walk in that light, that we may come at last to the light of everlasting life; through the merits of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen

And finally an old prayer to St Patrick from the Irish:

A Phádraig atá i bParthas Mhic Dé gan locht,
A bheir sláinte is do ghrásta
don té a bhíos bocht,
Tháinig mé i do láthairse agus mé lag gan lúth,
Faigh áras dom i bParthas, an áit a bhfeicfidh mé thú.

Patrick, who are in the Paradise of the sinless Son of God,
who give health and your good favour
to anyone who is poor,
I have come into your presence, weak and without vigour,
find me a home in Paradise, the place where I will see you.

The celebrations:

The Big One in New York City has a website here. Dublin's is here. And here is a page of links for parades and celebrations throughout the country -- and a few elsewhere. (The only one I'm aware of in the Los Angeles area is the Hermosa Beach parade and you missed it; it was last Saturday.)

Off now to give the pipes a workout.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Ides of March

. . .are apparently upon us. You may want to keep your sgian dubh at home, though. Emperors have more security these days then they did in days of yore.

In the Times this morning

Nobody needed me this morning so I had an extra pot of tea and a nice long read of the morning papers. The L.A. Times had its own obituary of Alice Thomas Ellis. (The link is here.) This was one of The Times's periodic surprizes: it appears to be one of those occasions on which The Times and I agree on who was important enough to merit a lengthy, and indeed favourable, obit. There's even a flattering picture.

A few pages further along, we learn that Eloise is going to be homeless. Now, I've never set foot in The Plaza and I'm not personally acquainted with Eloise, although I worked with a woman who claimed the Eloise books as a mainstay of her childhood. But it seems to be a sort of genetic characteristic of the cranky traditionalist to feel a sentimental loss when practically anything that's been around for almost 100 years loses out to the modern world. And so I do.

And isn't The Plaza supposed to be the prototype of Hugh Pentecost's Beaumont Hotel managed by the brilliant Pierre Chambrun? I do believe so. They're not the best novels that ever hit the remainder shelves, not even the best mysteries, but there's nothing like the elegant ambience Pentecost creates in The Beaumont. Even when a killer stalks the halls.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Over the Airwaves

If you happen to have a shortwave set, there is a fascinating programme on the English language service of the Voice of Russia. The second half hour on Saturday evenings here (that's Sunday morning GMT) beamed to western North America is called "The Christian Message". It consists of lives of saints, spiritual reading, seasonal talks, and so forth from the Russian Orthodox tradition. It's astonishing enough just to hear a "Christian message" from the former Soviet mouthpiece, the quondam "Radio Moscow". But these programmes - at least the ones I've heard - really have some solid content. During the past month or so there has been a programme devoted to the writings of St John of Kronstadt and an inspiring two part reading of a life of an Orthodox priest ordained just after the revolution, his time in a soviet prison, his unaccountable release, a rehabilitation under Stalin, and another run-in with the authorities under Khrushchyov. So far, it has been a very profitable half hour. At least on this side of the continent, it's been on 15595khz.

Friday the 13th Comes on a Sunday This Month

There are 3 hours and 40 minutes left of it at this writing, but so far, so good.

Alice Thomas Ellis, RIP

I learned last night while checking in at Fiat Mihi of the death of Alice Thomas Ellis. Hilary gave a citation to her obituary in the Daily Telegraph. You can find it here. And I was very sorry indeed to see it. I'd grown very fond of Mrs Ellis through the course of Serpent on the Rock. Here are the last two paragraphs of that book:

I have been told that I should end on a hopeful note but am finding it difficult in the present climate of foolishness, of ungrounded optimism, of error and artificial bonhomie, of worldwide mayhem and chaos, and no one to lead us, for those who would do so in truth and fidelitiy to God are ignored or derided. I keep thinking of the tale of the rabbi, alone at night in the synagogue: he sees God sitting in a corner, his head in his hands. ‘My Lord,’ says the rabbi, ‘what are you doing here, your head in your hands?’ ‘I’m weary, Rabbi,’ says the Lord, ‘weary unto death.’ If I were God I’d feel like that, but fortunately I’m not. The gates of Hell shall not prevail. That promise was the only hope I could see until I remembered the moment in the Creed at which we kneel, at the words et homo factus est and realize that God so loved us that He lived on earth and died for us. This reminder of the absolute reality of self-sacrificial love, of total goodness, is all we can hold on to in a climate dedicated to the pretence of fellowship and loving-kindness, to schmaltz, self-conceit and heresy.

Much of my acquaintance will be glad to see the last of this book, for I have thought of little else for a long time, and even when it’s finished I shall go on thinking about what I have found and wondering about what has been lost. Somebody once said to his friend, ‘Can’t you talk about anything else but God?’ And the friend responded, ‘What else is there?’

Passion Sunday

In the traditional Roman Rite this is Passion Sunday, the first Sunday in Passiontide. The somber mood of the liturgy increases. From this Sunday forward through Maundy Thursday the Gloria is omitted from the Intrioitus of the Mass. You can hear the proper chant for the Introitus here. (The recording starts out almost inaudibly until whoever was doing the recording adjusts it to a listenable level.) The Introitus chant is the same in the Pauline Rite although the likelihood of hearing it in a new rite Mass is almost nil.

The texts of the complete propers for this Sunday can be found as a Word file here and here. As a pdf file it can be found here and here. (Both pages are needed for each.)

One more for the left-hand column

And if this one were any newer it would be a prediction. But it looks like a good 'un.

From the initial post:
it's dedicated to G.K. Chesterton and his "friends." We construe "friends" broadly to mean his acquaintances during his life and the writers he influenced. The list is potentially huge, but here are a few: Belloc, Baring, Lewis, Tolkien, Dawson, Barfield, Knox, Muggeridge. And what the heck: Wells, Shaw, Wilde.

Come frequently for doses of quotes, ancedotes, and commentary. We welcome and encourage comments!

It can be found here.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

New in the Left-Hand Column

"The Pope Blog" was recommended to me during the week. I had not seen this one before but it looks to be a very useful addition to the web. It's only unfortunate that it should be the Holy Father's health that makes it such a timely addition to the blogroll.

Eric Scheske's "The Wednesday Eudemon" has been around for over a year but is new-to-me. The Chestertonian view of life there is very congenial and well-worth a visit.

There is also a new section on the Eastern Church which I had been planning for a while. I waited too long on a few sites which now seem to have vanished. Of the rest, most are links to local churches that I have attended and the eparchies they belong to. But the last two links in that section, recommended to me a very long time ago, are two of the best. The first is a great aid to prayer in the Eastern tradition and the second more for research and information.

And then there is this one: "Chant Links" This one contains links to pretty much all the information there is on the web about Gregorian Chant.

And finally Video meliora, proboque; deteriora sequor. This is neither new to blogdom nor new to me. It's not even supposed to be new to the blogroll. But in putting up The Wednesday Eudemon I noticed that the coding for "Video, etc." was wrong. Instead of a "=" I had a "-" in the HTML. So you've never seen "Video, etc." in the left-hand column even though it should have been there lo' these many months. Blast. (Though, of course, you don't really need a citation from The Inn to visit Mr O'Rama. You do that already. But still. It's the principal of the thing.)

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Liskeard, Cornwall: The Lost Shrine of Our Ladye of the Park

This one could come under the heading of "Found While Looking for Something Else" if I hadn't just used it for something else.

Ladye Park in Liskeard, Cornwall was a well-known shrine to Our Lady in the middle ages but like Walsingham and the other great shrines of England, it was ravaged by Henry VIII at the beginning of the English reformation.

There are several short histories of Ladye Park on the web each adding a bit more information. None seems to include photographs, though. This site from the Marian collection at Dayton University gives the Celtic origin of the shrine. This site gives a bit more about the modern revival of the site and is worth quoting at least in part:

The story of the revival of the Ladye Park cult is remarkable. It began with an apparition of the Blessed Virgin witnessed by Dr Peggy Pollard who was the great granddaughter of William Gladstone, the nineteenth-century Prime Minister. Dr Pollard, who died in 1996, was a brilliant but eccentric academic, a Cornish Bard, a skilled linguist, artist and musician. In her own words which were carefully recorded at the time, she described how in November 1955 in her home in Truro, she suddenly noticed ‘a woman sitting in an armchair. She was dressed in a variety of shades of blue, full flowing, draperies and she wore a tiara-shaped crown with projecting rays that appeared to be jewelled with dull opaque stones like pearls and opals. She had dark hair … she spoke in Russian … "I want to come back to Liskeard".' Dr Pollard was sceptical by nature and replied; ‘If you are who you seem to be, I need some sort of proof. So I ask you to stay there long enough for me to make a sketch of you, then tomorrow, I'll start painting a picture based on that sketch. I'll submit it to the Paris Salon and if it is hung, which is most unlikely, I will accept that you are genuine and try to do something about your request.’ Dr Pollard did a quick sketch on an envelope and the woman disappeared.

The painting, ‘La Vierge à la Porcelaine’ was completed and duly accepted for an exhibition in the Paris Salon! Dr Pollard then began her research at the Cornish record office and found that a shrine in honour of the Blessed Virgin had existed on a site in Liskeard called 'Ladye Park'. Records from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries proved that the pilgrimage spot was situated in a clearing between two woods: ‘one with deer and the other without’. A series of extraordinary events (outlined by Claire Riche in ‘The Lost Shrine of Liskeard’) led to the restoration of the shrine and at the turn of the new century an annual pilgrimage to Ladye Park was established, organized by the Cornish branch of the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Some of the "official" information from the local parish church's website can be found here, including Dr Pollard's hymn to Our Lady of the Park (sung to the traditional tune of Daily, Daily Sing to Mary):

Ladye Mary, Blessed Mother,
Whom we hail as full of grace,
Whom our Cornish fathers honoured,
In this green and peaceful place,
Pilgrims from the stony moorlands,
Through the rain and wind and dark
Loving Mary, praising Mary,
Lady Mary of the Park.

Poor men tramping, rich men riding,
All Our Lady came to greet:
Wife and widow, youth and maiden,
Gathered at the virgin's feet.
Of God's justice she is mirror,
Of his covenant the ark,
Blessed Mary, Holy Mary,
Lady Mary of the Park

Grazing deer deep in the forest
Heard the pilgrims" joyful song,
And the birds among the branches
Sang in chorus with the throng:
Wren and robin, thrush and blackbird:
And the heavenward-soaring lark
Sang to Mary, Blessed Mary
Lady Mary of the Park.

Now returning, we will praise thee,
For the peril is long past.
Come again O Blessed Mother
And reclaim thy shrine at last.
To the promised Land in safety
God has brought his sacred Ark,
And we praise thee, Blessed Mary,
Lady Mary of the Park

And there's a lovely little map in pdf format of many of the old shrines of England and Wales here. (And one in Scotland.)

Found While Looking for Something Else

I ran across the site for St Austin's Press this afternoon. I knew of its existence but never bothered to go there as I had it confused with another site under the auspices of rather exteme sedevacantists. This one is unrelated and quite different. There are some outstanding offerings here: Christopher Dawson's "Spirit of the Oxford Movement", "The Catholicism of Shakespeare’s Plays" by Peter Milward SJ, Selected Poems of Roy Campbell, several volumes of Chesterton and Belloc, and loads more.

Booklust is upon me. You may want to give the credit cards to some trust-worthy person before visiting.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Gregorian Chant in . . . Arkansas

And why not? My friend Kirk Kramer has an article in the Northwest Arkansas Times on just that subject. You may have seen it posted elsewhere in the last few days. If not, you can find it here.

And by the way, at one point the text says "At the Last Supper, Christ and his apostles prayed in Hebrew, a language as dead in first-century Palestine as Hebrew is today."

Kirk assures us it's supposed to say "At the Last Supper, Christ and His Apostles prayed in Hebrew, a language as dead in first-century Palestine as LATIN is today."

I taught him all he knows about poorf raeding.

Blessed John Larke

Blessed John Larke was martyred on this day in 1544 at Tyburn. He was at one time Sir Thomas More’s parish priest. He was rector of St Ethelburga’s, Bishopsgate, from 1504 until 1542, just two years before his death. He also had the benefice of the Chelsea parish where St Thomas served his daily Mass.

“Priest and server held each other in deep desteem, and their friendship strengthened them for the coming sacrifice. More was martyred in 1535, but it was not till years later that Larke was tried, with Bl German Gardiner, a layman, and Bl John Ireland, a priest, for refusing to take the oath of supremacy. Fortified by More’s example, Larke stood firm in the hour of trial, and suffered at Tyburn, on 7 March 1544.” [-Bowden]

Bl John was the only diocesan parish priest to suffer martyrdom during the reign of Henry VIII.

The illustration shown is that of his parish of nearly 40 years, St Ethelburga’s. It was damaged in an IRA terrorist bombing in 1993 and has been rebuilt to resemble the original as closely as possible. At one time it was probably the largest building in Bishopsgate; now it is probably the smallest.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

A Game?

Something like that. I don't see how you could lose at it, though, so "game" may not be precisely the right description. In any event, T.S. O'Rama and the SummaMammas have participated and while reading their entries a few occurred to me. So herewith, "the first five movie quotes you can think of. They must be from different movies":

1. "Impetuous! Homeric!" -The Quiet Man

2. "Never apologize, Mister. It's a sign a' weakness." -She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

3. "If anything goes wrong -- your fault, my fault, nobody's fault -- I'm gonna blow your head . . clean. . .off. Do you understand me?" -Big Jake

4. "Can you use a typewriter?"
"No, thanks. I have one at home." -The Philadelphia Story.

5. "I was reading a book the other day. . ." -Dinner at Eight (O.K., not much of a quote. But it's spoken by Jean Harlow and the double-take and look of astonishment it produces on the face of Marie Dressler is worth sitting through the whole movie for.)

Vita Brevis. . .

. . .is back. Nice to see you again, Gregg.

Iwo Jima -- 60 Years On

"We were told there was a big hill there, but that was all we were told."

The battle lasted through February and March of 1945, long after the inspiring flag raising on Mt Suribachi. There's in interview in today's paper with a veteran of Iwo Jima. You can find it here.

Lætare Sunday

Today is Lætare Sunday. If your parish has them at all, this will be your last time to see rose-coloured vestments until next December and Gaudete Sunday.

Strictly speaking, [says the Catholic Encyclopædia,] the Thursday before Laetare Sunday is the middle day of Lent, and it was at one time observed as such, but afterwards the special signs of joy permitted on this day, intended to encourage the faithful in their course through the season of penance, were transferred to the Sunday following. They consist of (like those of Gaudete Sunday in Advent) in the use of flowers on the altar, and of the organ at Mass and Vespers; rose-coloured vestments also allowed instead of purple, and the deacon and subdeacon wear dalmatics, instead of folded chasubles as on the other Sundays of Lent.

In Ireland, and perhaps also in the U.K., it is Mothering Sunday, as my wife, who has just called her mother, reminds me. The C.E. adds this to their piece on Lætare Sunday in explanation:

Other names applied to it were Refreshment Sunday, or the Sunday of the Five Loaves, from a miracle recorded in the Gospel; Mid-Lent, mi-carême, or mediana; and Mothering Sunday, in allusion to the Epistle, which indicates our right to be called the sons of God as the source of all our joy, and also because formerly the faithful used to make their offerings in the cathedral or mother-church on this day. This latter name is still kept up in some remote parts of England, though the reason for it has ceased to exist.

The picture above is of today's station church, S Croce in Gerusalemme.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Piping in Unexpected Places

Finishing up last week's Wanderer, I noticed an ad on the penultimate page for Christendom College and there illustrating it, without a word of explanation, was a photo of a piper. (No, not the picture shown above illustrating this post. That poor ole fella in the advanced stages of decrepitude is obviously far too antique to be matriculating among the fresh faces of Christendom.) I checked the Christendom website for the original of the advertisement, but no. No picture and no explanation of what the said piper might be doing there with an Irish badge in his highland bonnet. Other, that is, than bringing enlightenment, culture, and the pure music of heaven to the Catholic scholars of Virginia.

Without other explanation, I suppose we'll just have to assume it's a case of good taste blossoming in the publicity department of Christendom College.

"What did one do before tea was invented? I thank God I was not born before tea."-The Rev. Sidney Smith

Trader Joe's is marketing a new house-brand of tea in the run-up to St Patrick's Day:
"Trader Joe's Irish Breakfast Tea". "A traditional Irish Tea - Strong and Dark" it says on the box. As it's packaged the way Barry's and Bewley's usually are, in that paper-board sort of box, I gave it a shot.

It's actually fairly typical American tea. It's dark, as the label says, but not particularly strong. There's not much aroma and the flavour is quite mild. It seems designed for Americans who don't use milk.

If you like American tea, i.e., Liptons, this might be a good buy. It's not appreciably different and it's a couple dollars cheaper. But if you're really looking for Irish tea this isn't it. It you're not near an import store and need to rely on the local grocery, try Red Rose or Tetley's British Blend. It still won't be Irish, but it will be better than the Trader Joe's entry.

The Venerable Nicholas Horner

A layman gets a mention in the martyrology today. The Venerable Nicholas Horner worked as a tailor and was martyred during the reign of Elizabeth I. Bowden's Mementoes of the Martyrs gives his story this way:

"A native of Yorkshire, a tailor by trade and a zelaous Catholic, he did all he could to bring others to the faith.

"Having come up to London to be treated for a disease in his leg, he was committed to Newgate for harbouring priests. There the heavy fetter on his leg and the deprivation of all medical aid made an amputation necessary. During the operation he sat on a form, unbound, a priest (John Hewett, who was afterwards himself a martyr) holding his head, and he was comforted by such a vivid apprehension of Christ bearing His cross that he uttered no sound but a prayer.

Set free by the efforts of his friends, he worked at his trade at lodgings in Smithfield. Again cast into Bridewell for harbouring priests, he was strung up by the writs till he nearly died. At length, condemned solely for making a jerkin for a priest, he was hanged in front of his lodging in Smithfield on 4 March 1590. After his sentence, whilst he was at prayer, he saw, above his shadow on the wall, a half-circle of radiant light. Assured of the reality of the sign, “O Lord, Thy will be mine,” he exclaimed, and died with every sign of joy."

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Crossing the Tiber

The BBC World Service reported this morning that the RC Bishop of Aberdeen is to give priestly ordination tomorrow to a married man, a former priest of the Scottish Episcopal Church. This is apparently a first for the Church in Scotland. The print version of the report can be found here. There is no mention of the Pastoral Provision or the Anglican Use so I presume that Fr Bell will be ordained as a priest of the diocese and celebrating the current "normative rite", the Novus Ordo. It would certainly be even more newsworthy to learn differently.

St John the Baptist Church, Lound, Suffolk

This wonderful rood loft was designed by Sir Ninian Comper at the turn last century. It was one of John Betjman's favourite churches. No particular reason for this post, except perhaps to help obliterate the memory of the prior post.

More on St John's church here.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Eatcher heart out, America

Here in the Archdiocese of Hollywood we've got liturgies you can only dream about. This one's from our World Famous Religious Education Congress. And as you can see, we get quite a religious education in this neck of the woods with our All-Singing, All-Talking, All-Dancing Liturgies. According to one fellow resident of this Archdiocese, the photo above seems to be a shot of yet another wardrobe malfunction.

If you're sure it wouldn't inspire the sin of envy, you can go to the Congress' website and see the pictures, the Flash collage, the virtual reality 360 degree panorama, and, oh, so much more.

Click here and bring on the dancing girls.