Saturday, May 31, 2008


The CTNGreg mailing list cited a couple of new-to-me blogs which are well-worth passing along. Both of them focus on promoting vocations to traditional religious congregations.

This one takes "tradvocations" in general as its focus and title. This one is not only particular to the Fraternity of St Peter, but to fostering vocations in Scotland and Ireland. And no, I am not the owner of that site, no matter what that confluence of interests might lead you to believe.

Even if you're too old and too married (like your servant) to be pursuing a consecrated religious vocation, there are some lovely pictures and enheartening texts in both these sites.

Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote, The droghte of March hath perced to the roote. . . . Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages

And this fellow has got the longing in a big way. He's walking from Worcester Cathedral to Santiago de Compostela. He's hoping to make it be 25 July in time for the feast of St James.

This blog is really a delightful find. (Thanks very much for the tip, Eloise.) I started at the top, you know, the way you do on a blog. But better is to go to the beginning. I would suggest, then, starting at the first post at the bottom of this page and working your way up and forward. Which is what I'm trying to do, although I haven't finished yet.

I wonder if he brought any bagpipes as Chaucer's Miller did?

Another of those sentences that explain so much

I've been sort of idly wondering about the reaction to the Scott McClellan book. One would expect the cries of "Treason!" from the Bush camp. That's what I'd be hollering were I a Bushite. But what gives with these other folks whom you would think would be welcoming him on board? Not keeping me awake nights, you understand, but it did seem a bit odd.

Then this in this morning's Wall Street Journal from the redoubtable Miss Noonan:

Those in the mainstream media who want to see the president unmasked, who want to see the administration revealed as something dark, do not want to be caught cheering on the unmasker.

The left, while embracing the book's central assertions, will paint him as a weasel who belatedly 'fessed up. They're big on omertà on the left. It's part of how they survive.

The left and the code of the mafia. What a fascinating insight.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Weekend of Piping and Then Some

I wasn't listening to these fellas. I wasn't playing with them either. That's the old Cork Volunteers Pipe Band. The picture was taken in 1918. If they were alive now, they'd be dead. (You can click on the picture to enlarge it.)

Instead, as you may have noticed below we spent the weekend at the United Scottish Society's Highland Games. After two or three years in Pomona, the USS brought the the fair back to its old home at the fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. It was a beautiful, cool weekend in the '70s with the sound of the pipes all day, solos in the a.m. and bands in the p.m. There was even a grade I contest this year, L.A.Scots PB vs Triumph Street PB from British Columbia. (They split; L.A. Scots won the Saturday comp and Triumph St the Sunday.) Wonderful music both days.

I didn't compete this year. My playing was for a funeral on Sunday morning. On Memorial Day I played for a little ceremony the City of Rosemead put on. A very interesting service that last was. Rosemead apparently has a strong Vietnamese community. And if that little ceremony was anything to go by, they have a great deal more gratitude for the sacrifices of American soldiers and seamen than those of us with a longer family history in this country.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

I'll be playing at a little service in the city of Rosemead today. In memoriam for men like this.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Where We'll Be All Weekend

You can click on it and make it large enough to read.

More here.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Trinity Sunday

St Augustine says that the doctrine of the Trinity leads more people into heresy than any other of the Church's doctrines. So today, we'll just wish everyone a very happy feast of the Most Holy Trinity and settle for uploading the picture above.

St Simon Stock Again

Well, Fr McCaffrey's White Friars does indeed have some good things to say about St Simon Stock. But it doesn't lend itself to excerpting for the blog format. Instead, here's a traditional look at St Simon taken from Fr Butler's Lives of the Saints and lifted from EWTN's ever-useful website. (You can find it here.)

He was descended of a good family in Kent. From his infancy he turned all his thoughts and affections to attain to the most perfect love of God, and studied to devote all his moments to this glorious pursuit. In this earnest desire, in the twelfth year of his age, he retired into a wilderness, and chose for his dwelling a great hollow oak tree; whence the surname of Stock wee given him. While he here mortified his flesh with fasting and other severities, he nourished his soul with spiritual dainties in continual prayer. His drink was only water; and he never touched any other food but herbs, roots and wild apples. While he led this course of life, he was invited by a divine revelation to embrace the rule of certain religious men who were coming from Palestine into England. Albert, the holy patriarch of Jerusalem, having given a written rule to the Carmelite friars about the year 1205, some brothers of this order were soon after brought over from mount Carmel by John lord Vescy and Richard lord Gray of Codnor, when they returned from the Holy Land. These noblemen some time after settled them, the latter in the wood of Aylesford, near Rochester in Kent, the former in the forest of Holme, near Alnewick in Northumberland; which houses continued the two most famous convents of this order in England till their dissolution in the thirty-third year of the reign of Henry VIII. But we are assured by Bale, who before his apostacy was himself a friar of the English province of this order,1 and by Lambert2 and Weaver3 in their accurate descriptions of the Antiquities of Kent, that the first or most ancient convent of these friars in England was that at Newenden in Kent, which was founded for them by Sir Thomas Archer or Fitz-Archer, whose family flourished for many centuries upon that manor. The first arrival of these friars in England is placed in the annals of the order, quoted by F. Cosmas de Villiers,4 in 1212. Simon, who had then lived a recluse twenty years, imitating the Macariuses and Arseniuses in the most heroic practices of penance and contemplation, was much affected with the devotion of these servants of God to the blessed Virgin, their edifying deportment, and their eremitical austere institute, and joined their holy company before the end of the year 1212. After his admission he was sent to Oxford to finish his studies; and having run through his academical course he returned to his convent, where so bright was the example of his piety, that the virtue of the rest seemed to suffer an eclipse by the extraordinary lustre of his sanctity. Such was his reputation, that in 1215 Brocard, prior of mount Carmel, and general of the order, appointed him vicar-general, with full power over all the western provinces. Many clamors being raised against this institute, St. Simon repaired to Rome in 1226, and obtained from pope Honorius III. a confirmation of the rule given to this order by Albertus; and another from Gregory IX. in 1229. Some years after, St. Simon paid a visit to his brethren on mount Carmel, and remained six years in Palestine, where, in 1237, he assisted at the general chapter of the order held by Alanus the fifth general. In this assembly it was decreed, that the greatest part of the brethren should pass into Europe, their settlements in the east being continually disturbed by the persecutions, oppressions, or threats of the Saracens. In 1240 many were sent to England, and in 1244, Alanus himself, with St. Simon, having nominated Hilarion his vicar on mount Carmel, and in Palestine, followed them thither, there being already five monasteries of the order erected in this island.

In a general chapter held at Aylesford in 1245, Alanus resigning his dignity, St. Simon was chosen the sixth general, and in the same year procured a new confirmation of the rule by pope Innocent IV., who at the saint's request received this order under the special protection of the Holy See, in 1251. St. Simon established houses in most parts of Europe; but this institute flourished nowhere with so great splendor and edification as in England, and continued so to do for several ages, as the annals of the order take notice. St. Simon, soon after he was promoted to the dignity of general, instituted the confraternity of the Scapular, to unite the devout clients of the Blessed Virgin in certain regular exercises of religion and piety. Several Carmelite writers assure us that he was admonished by the Mother of God in a vision, with which he was favored on the 16th of July, to establish this devotion." This confraternity has been approved, and favored with many privileges by several popes.5 The rules prescribe, without any obligation or precept, that the members wear a little scapular, at least secretly, as the symbol of the order, and that they recite every day the office of our Lady, or the office of the church; or, if they cannot read, seven times the Pater, Ave, and Gloria Patri, in lieu of the seven canonical hours; and lastly, that they abstain from flesh-meat on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays; or if this cannot be done, that they double for each of these days the seven Paters, &c. St. Simon cured several sick persons by giving them the scapular; the reputation of which miracles moved Edward I., king of England, St. Louis of France, and many others, to enrol their names in this confraternity.

St. Simon governed the order with great sanctity and prudence during twenty years, and propagated it exceedingly from England over all Europe being himself famous for his eminent virtue, and a great gift of miracles and prophecy. He wrote several hymns and decrees for his order, and several other useful things for its service, says Leland. At length, in the hundredth year of his age, having a call to France, he sailed to Bordeaux, where God put an end to his labors some months after his arrival, in 1265, on the 16th of July. He was buried in the cathedral of that city, and was honored among the saints soon after his death. Pope Nicholas III. granted an office to be celebrated in his honor at Bordeaux on the 16th of May, which Paul V. extended to the whole order. See his authentic life, written soon after his death, also Stevens's Monast. Angelic. t. 2, pp. 159, 160; Leland, de Script. Brit. t. 2, c. 277, p. 294; Papebroke, t. 3, Maij, p. 653; Newcourt's Repertorium, (on the Carmelite friars,) vol. 1, p. 566; Weaver, p. 139; Fuller, b. 6, p. 271; Dugdale's Warwickshire, p. 186, ed. 1730; F. Cosmas de Villiers a S. Philippo, Bibl. Carmel. t. 2, p. 750.


1 Bale, Cent. xii. 20

2 P.139.

3 P.139.

4 Bibliotheca Carmelitana, ed. Anno 1752, t. 2, p. 750.

5 See the bulls of Pius V., Clement VIII., Paul V., Clement X., &c.

(Taken from Vol. V of "The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints" by the Rev. Alban Butler, the 1864 edition published by D. & J. Sadlier, & Company)

I'm going to assume that an 1864 edition is well out of copyright.

Friday, May 16, 2008

St Simon Stock

Today is the feast of St Simon Stock in the Carmelite calendar. St Simon was an Englishman from Kent - he appears in some lists as Simon Anglus, or Simon the Englishman - but he doesn't seem to appear in any proper English calendars. There is a fair bit of controversy about him these days. Some of the modern folks who profess to know about these things say that he never existed. At least one other source claims he was two different people conflated into one. He is still in the calendar, though, and he has his own propers for the office. If I have some time later on, (I have to do a funeral shortly) I'll put up some of Fr McCaffrey's praise of St Simon. Fr McCaffrey, as I'm sure regular visitors to The Inn will have guessed, defends the old stories of St Simon.

In the meantime, his collect in the new rite:

Father, you called St Simon Stock to serve you in the brotherhood of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Through his prayers help us like him to live in your presence and to work for man's salvation. Through our Lord. Amen.

The old collect in the Carmelite liturgy of the Holy Sepulchre:

Deus, qui, precibus et meritis beati Simonis Confessoris tui, Carmeli montis Ordinem, per manus Genitricis Filii tui Domini nostri Iesu Christi, singulari privilegio decorasti: concede; ut, ipso interveniente, ad gloriam, quam diligentibus te præparasti, pervenire valeamus. Per eumdem Dominum. Amen.

O God, who by the merits and prayers of thy blessed confessor Simon didst so singularly honour the Order of Mount Carmel at the hands of the Mother of thy Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, grant that through his intercession we may attain to the glory thou has prepared for those who love thee: through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

The old collect in the Discalced Carmelite liturgy:

Plebs tibi, Domine, Virginique Matri dicata, beati Simonis, quem ei Rectorem et Patrem dedisti, solemnitate lætetur: et sicut per eum tantæ protectionis signum obtinuit; ita prædistinationis æternæ munera consequatur. Per Dominum. Amen.

May thy people dedicated to Thee and the Virgin and Mother, O Lord, always rejoice in the solemnity of Blessed Simon, whom Thou didst give to them as ruler and father; and as through him they received such a sign of protection, so they may enjoy the gift of eternal predistination. Through our Lord. Amen.

(That last translation is my own. Feel free to object, correct, or modify.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

"The Vatican Tries a Little Web II.0"

That's how the New York Times headlined their story on the Vatican's new website in Latin and I couldn't improve on it.

The Times's story can be found here.

The actual Vatican website in Latin is here. It isn't a patch on the full multi-lingual website. But it's a good beginning. One thing it does have that I haven't seen anywhere else on the web is a copy of Blessed Pope John XXIII's encyclical on the necessity and promotion of Latin, Veterum Sapientiæ. You can find that here.

Now, if only I didn't need a dictionary open on my desk and a grammar within easy reach this would be the perfect resource.

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

While looking for something completely different yesterday, I discovered that not only is there a Robert Benchley Society but there is also a Dorothy Parker Society. Which led me to poking about on the net to find out who else from the Algonquin Round Table (a.k.a. "The Vicious Circle") had a society. Well, it doesn't look like any of them do. Not even James Thurber.

After we had lunch we went on one of our exciting outings: an hour or two in a book store. A chain, to be sure -- it's all that's left -- but a book store nonetheless and I looked for whatever I could find by some of the Algonquin habitues. Unbelievable. Almost nothing. All they had was one copy of the new edition of the Portable Dorothy Parker. No Benchley. No S.J. Perelman. No Alexander Woollcott. No James Thurber. No Ring Lardner. No George S. Kaufman.

Glory fades and fame is fleeting.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Pope and President:: "Mutual Admiration and Respect"?

Another view.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A Nice Cuppa Latria

"Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? I am glad I was not born before tea."
-The Rt Rev Canon Sydney Smith

The Inn would heartily agree. The kettle never grows entirely cold in this household.

But apparently you can overdo the tea "thing". Videlicet, Miss Kamariah Ali.

[A tip of the caubeen to the New Oxford Review.]

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Thinking of Helping with the Fuel Crisis? Don't.

If you're in California, better check with the state gummint first.

David Eck didn't
. He took it upon himself to convert his vehicles so that they would be fueled by "used fryer grease from a local chowder house."

Well, you see the problem don't you. Now the state wants all sorts of fines and back taxes from Mr Eck:

He didn't get a diesel fuel suppliers license.

He didn't report quarterly how many gallons of grease he burns.

He didn't pay a tax on each gallon.

He didn't pay an 18¢ road tax for each gallon he used.

And he didn't get a license to carry away kitchen grease from the California Meat and Poultry Inspection Branch.

Ah, the land of the semi-free and the home of the frustrated.

The Horrors of Disagreement

The latest spectacle is an Ivy League professor threatening to sue her students because, she claims, . . . that some of her students were so unreceptive of "French narrative theory" that it amounted to a hostile working environment.

Oh, the humanity.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Ascension Thursday Comes on a Sunday This Year

Or maybe not. For feast days, as in real estate, the word is "location, location, location". Here in the Archdiocese of Hollywood, Ascension Thursday does indeed come on a Sunday. Unless you went to Mass in the traditional rite, in which case today is the Sunday after Ascension Day. Elsewhere. . .The Inn knoweth not. Consult your local Ordo.

And speaking of the traditional rite, we have another change locally. The indult Mass - which probably shouldn't be called the indult Mass any more; but what to call it? - for the first Sunday of the month is no longer at 11:30 a.m. at the Little Sisters of the Poor chapel in San Pedro. It is now in the beautiful little chapel of the Claretian Fathers at Dominguez Seminary Retirement Home, 18127 S. Alameda St., Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220. And it's now at 10:00 a.m.

So we have:

1st Sunday - Dominguez Seminary 10:00 a.m.
2d Sunday - Sta Teresita Chapel 10:00 a.m.
3d Sunday - local parish extraordinary use Masses only
4th (& 5th) Sundays - St John Vianney Chapel 9:00 a.m.

Participation in the traditional liturgy is not for the absent-minded. Our people have to engage in full, active, conscious participation just to get to the right place at the right time.