Thursday, December 30, 2010

St. RIchard's Youth Choir at the Vatican, Address of the Holy Father

Our own dear MrsC from Plurk is currently in Rome with her youth choir. They are participating in the Pueri Cantores international congress, and had attended the papal audience. Here is the text of Pope Benedict's address to the attendees:


VATICAN CITY, 30 DEC 2010 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received participants in an international congress of the International Federation of "Pueri Cantores", currently being held in Rome.

The Pope addressed the group in English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Polish and Ukrainian. "As you use your talents and your faith to sing God's praises, you give voice to the natural desire of every human being to glorify Him, with songs of love", he said. "Yet beautiful music is able to express something of the mystery of God's love for us and ours for Him, as we are reminded by the theme chosen for your Congress: 'Deus Caritas Est'".

"Always remember that your singing is a service. Firstly, it is a service to God, a way of giving Him the praise that is due. It is also a service to your fellow worshippers, helping them to raise their hearts and minds to the Lord in prayer. And it is a service to the whole Church, offering a foretaste of the heavenly liturgy that is the goal of all true worship, when the choirs of angels and saints unite in one unending song of love and praise".

AC/ VIS 20101230 (210)

Published by VISarchive 02 - Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas with Leo the cat

Thank you to amethystmenace on plurk for sharing this video! My Leo aspires to be another Simon...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ero Cras and the O Antiphons

[note: We incorporate this in our annual SFO Christmas program. (Jjoy)]

What are the "O Antiphons"?

The “O Antiphons” refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceding the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. They cover the special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas, Dec. 17-23, with Dec. 24 being Christmas Eve and Vespers for that evening being for the Christmas Vigil.

The exact origin of the “O Antiphons” is not known. Boethius (c. 480-524) made a slight reference to them, thereby suggesting their presence at that time. At the Benedictine abbey of Fleury (now Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire), these antiphons were recited by the abbot and other abbey leaders in descending rank, and then a gift was given to each member of the community. By the eighth century, they are in use in the liturgical celebrations in Rome. The usage of the “O Antiphons” was so prevalent in monasteries that the phrases, “Keep your O” and “The Great O Antiphons” were common parlance. One may thereby conclude that in some fashion the “O Antiphons” have been part of our liturgical tradition since the very early Church.

The importance of “O Antiphons” is twofold: Each one highlights a title for the Messiah: O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Rising Sun), O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations), and O Emmanuel. Also, each one refers to the prophecy of Isaiah of the coming of the Messiah. Let’s now look at each antiphon with just a sample of Isaiah’s related prophecies :

O Sapientia: “O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.” Isaiah had prophesied, “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.” (11:2-3), and “Wonderful is His counsel and great is His wisdom.” (28:29).

O Adonai: “O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.” Isaiah had prophesied, “But He shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.” (11:4-5); and “Indeed the Lord will be there with us, majestic; yes the Lord our judge, the Lord our lawgiver, the Lord our king, he it is who will save us.” (33:22).

O Radix Jesse: “O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.” Isaiah had prophesied, “But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.” (11:1), and A On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.” (11:10). Remember also that Jesse was the father of King David, and Micah had prophesied that the Messiah would be of the house and lineage of David and be born in David’s city, Bethlehem (Micah 5:1).

O Clavis David: “O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of Heaven: Come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom.” Isaiah had prophesied, AI will place the Key of the House of David on His shoulder; when he opens, no one will shut, when he shuts, no one will open.” (22:22), and “His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, from David’s throne, and over His kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever.” (9:6).

O Oriens: “O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.” Isaiah had prophesied, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shown.” (9:1).

O Rex Gentium: “O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.” Isaiah had prophesied, “For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” (9:5), and “He shall judge between the nations, and impose terms on many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.” (2:4) .

O Emmanuel: “O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God.” Isaiah had prophesied, “The Lord himself will give you this sign: the Virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.”

(7:14). Remember “Emmanuel” means “God is with us.”

According to Professor Robert Greenberg of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Benedictine monks arranged these antiphons with a definite purpose. If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one - Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia - the Latin words ero cras are formed, meaning, “Tomorrow, I will come.” Therefore, the Lord Jesus, whose coming we have prepared for in Advent and whom we have addressed in these seven Messianic titles, now speaks to us, “Tomorrow, I will come.” So the “O Antiphons” not only bring intensity to our Advent preparation, but bring it to a joyful conclusion.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!

St. Nicholas has been busy, what with today being his feast day and all, but he still had time to pass by our house and leave a candy garland for our door wreath! Thank you St. Nicholas! :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 30 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI's general prayer intention for December is: "That our personal experience of suffering may be an occasion for better understanding the situation of unease and pain which is the lot of many people who are alone, sick or aged, and stir us all to give them generous help".

His mission intention is: "That the peoples of the earth may open their doors to Christ and to His Gospel of peace, brotherhood and justice".


Sunday, November 21, 2010

'Random Act of Culture' at Macy's

Thanks to Adoring Angel on Plurk for posting this awesome event! We need more of these! Halleluiah!  :) and happy Feast of Christ the King!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

What Does Mike Think?: Octaconta-dad!

What Does Mike Think?: Octaconta-dad!: "Think you have a big family? Here's an amazing story about a Vietnamese man who saves babies from abortion by adopting them. He has devoted ..."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

No Basis for a Marriage...

OK, I admit it; I'm a theology geek. Even before deciding to pursue a degree, I had assembled a fairly large library of theological reading materials. In fact, that was one reason I decided to work on the degree, since I hardly needed to buy any books for the courses.  I realize that most of the folks in the pews aren't as interested in the subject: so be it. It does make it a challenge for those who want more, though.

When I was little, probably about 4, there was a family that lived next door to us, who had a son just a couple of years older than me. According to my mom, one afternoon I came in from playing with him (through the fence) and announced that I had decided to marry Billy because he quit throwing rocks at me. Mom: “Just because Billy doesn’t throw rocks at you any more, that is no basis for a marriage!” Mom was right, of course. :P (fortunately, the family moved away a few years later, so her fears were assuaged.)

Should we be satisfied with the very least in our relationship with God and with His Church? I am certainly glad to be living in the 21st century with its modern conveniences, but are we really that much more enlightened than the great saints who lived in the Middle Ages? No, the Church does not dwell on Hell, but she also doesn’t deny its existence. We are coming upon the time in the liturgical calendar when we should meditate on the Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell. I am eternally grateful for Divine Mercy; at the same time, Jesus told Sr. Faustina that those who do not enter through the gate of His Mercy will have to go through the gate of His justice. (I vote for mercy ;) )

I pray for the day when the average Sunday homily will be something to really hash over theologically (yes, I’m weird), or at least not diss one of the greatest periods in the history of the Church.  In the meantime, I’ve been advised, “well, at least it's not Fr. ‘X’.” ('squishy' associate formerly stationed at our parish)  While that is true, and I am grateful, I hope that is not setting the standard for the future. It would be like marrying Billy…..

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mantilla giveaway at The Careless Catholic

Kelly at The Careless Catholic is having a giveaway featuring one of my mantillas! (I suppose this qualifies as a shameless plug ;)  ) Be sure to head over there and post for your chance to be the winner!

Thank you, Kelly, for the testimonial and promotion!

Friday, October 1, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 30 SEP 2010 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for October is: "That Catholic universities may more and more be places where, in the light of the Gospel, it is possible to experience the harmonious unity existing between faith and reason".

His mission intention is: "That World Mission Day may afford an occasion for understanding that the task of proclaiming Christ is an absolutely necessary service to which the Church is called for the benefit of humanity".


Monday, September 13, 2010

EF Mass today!

I had the opportunity to attend another Extraordinary Form Mass today. My mom & I drove the 30+ miles for 9 A.M. Mass at St. Anthony of Padua parish.  The atmosphere is one of quiet prayer. The readings were for the 16th Sunday after Pentecost, and Father Edwin preached on the reading from Ephesians. He really made St. Paul come alive, someone I could relate to as a real person!  I have put in a category in the sidebar called 'spiritual reflections' and have put links there to the sites for Father's homilies and catechetical lessons. They are well worth listening to, and I invite and encourage everyone to check them out! Today's homily should be posted there by Tuesday.

Carleigh from the Octave Sphere pointed out the lighting effect. I can hardly believe that I didn't notice it right off. (and no, it isn't photoshopped) It looks like the rays are coming from the figure of Christ crucified! The other figures, on either side of the altar at floor level, are Our Lady, Mary Magdalene, and John the beloved disciple. This really emphasizes visually the fact that the Mass is the re-presentation of Calvary.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mother Teresa stamp to be released Sept. 7

A big thank-you to CatholicVote for the petition to have a postage stamp in honor of Mother Teresa! Mother Teresa stamp to be released Sept. 7

 There will also be a special Mass at the National Basilica Shrine in DC on Sunday 9/5 at 2 pm and stamp ceremony to follow.
  Be sure to express your appreciation by purchasing this special stamp!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Tetragrammaton, or why we no longer pronounce YHWH at Mass

We had one of the revised text YHWH hymns at Mass this morning. The hymnal referenced the change in the directives from the Vatican on why the change was made. Here are the links to a couple of relevant articles for anyone interested. (yes, I know the changes were made two years ago, but due to hymnbooks having been printed way ahead of time, we are only experiencing the changes now.)

the first announcement courtesy of Zenit

another later post from the Communio blog

Fortunately, the change only affects a few hymns, and they are not often used at my parish. But, in case anyone asks, you are now armed and dangerous.....I mean informed and ready to defend Church teaching! :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Latin immersion Cenaculum - Optime!!

Salvete, omnes!

     Through a benefactor, I was able to attend one day of the week-long Latin immersion Cenaculum, held at our local retreat center a couple of weeks ago. It was a great privilege, and I got to meet many people from all over the world who get together annually to experience Living Latin. That’s right; all communication for the whole week is in Latin!

   My spoken Latin is woefully inadequate, so I spent most of the day listening to the various talks and presentations. However, I was able to participate at a higher level during the morning, midday, evening & night prayers, Benediction, and of course the Holy Mass. This was my first experience of the current, or Novus Ordo, Mass being completely in Latin, including the homily! Celebrating the Mass ad orientem, with the priest and people all facing God together, felt very natural.

    The day’s talks varied from a presentation on St. Charbel, to a discourse on the Christological controversies of the early Church, complete with some Greek words thrown in for good measure, to a presentation for children on the Calendar. Finally, there was an evening slide show on the Holy Land. Remember, all these were presented in the Latin language! I understood about ¾ of the presentations. By the evening slide show, the presenter’s heavy French accent made it a little harder to understand her descriptions of her travels, but the slides made up for my fried brain cells by that time.

     Next year, the Cenaculum will be held in Mobile, AL. I highly recommend the Cenaculum to anyone interested in Latin. It isn’t quite as dead a language as it is made out to be!

Familiae Sancti Hieronymi may be found here:


Saturday, July 31, 2010

crochet day!

Yesterday was crochet day at my house! I greatly enjoyed working on these projects for a friend. I tried to enlarge the first picture, but it was very fuzzy, so I suppose you'll have to try zooming in on it for a closer look...  :)
crocheted flowers
a pair of pumpkins


a pink chihuahua!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Red Socks!

I finished a pair of red socks today for a friend/former coworker of my mom's. The yarn is from the Deborah Norville collection, called Serenity Garden Yarn. It is 100% Oralon microfiber in Hibiscus. I used the Upsidedowners (Toe-Ups) pattern from Patons Classics Happy Feet. Self-striping yarn is fun to work with; one never knows exactly how the striping will come out!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

John Paul II rose update

What a difference a few days make! This pure white bloom opened on my rosebush today, just in time for the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Deo gratias!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Congratulations LPMI graduates

 I didn't get a group picture of all 24 graduates, but here is my friend Mark (c) with Br. Miguel (l) and Fr. Ed (r). Congratulations to Mark and all the 2010 graduates of the Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

St. Peter's Basilica floorplan

Is it just me, or does anyone else see the shape of a  monstrance in the layout of St. Peter's Basilica?

Perhaps I've watched too many Corpus Christi processions today...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

John Paul II rose

I received a lovely surprise on Thursday afternoon. A dear friend sent me a John Paul II rosebush!

I have wanted one ever since it came out several years ago. Today was planting day...which also entailed weeding, mulching, etc. It already has several buds; hopefully, in a few days we shall see some glorious papal white roses (which is about as close proximity to the Vatican rose garden as I ever expect to be).

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,--
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
(from God's Garden by Dorothy Frances Gurney)

Friday, June 4, 2010


Know anyone named Sacred Chrism? No? How about Myron?

As part of this week's course assignment (Fundamentals of Catholic Doctrine), I have been reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 2: The Seven Sacraments of the Church. Article 1297 gives an excerpt from the Syriac liturgy of Antioch, specifically the epiclesis for the consecration of the sacred chrism or myron:

Father...send your Holy Spirit on us and on this oil which is before us and consecrate it, so that it may be for all who are anointed and marked with it holy myron, priestly myron, royal myron, anointing with gladness, clothing with light, a cloak of salvation, a spiritual gift, the sanctification of souls and bodies, imperishable happiness, the indelible seal, a buckler of faith, and a fearsome helmet against all the works of the adversary.

So the next time you encounter someone named Myron, remember what an awesome name he has...but it probably wouldn't be a good idea to call him Chris for short. ;)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Welcome to my New Blog!

At choir practice last night, I was asked, by a guest tenor, the meaning of one of the hymns, Ave Verum Corpus, which we were practicing for the transferred feast of Corpus Christi this Sunday. It really hit home how impoverished we have become by the ignorance of our Latin language patrimony, and how just the translation of this one hymn could be used for catechesis.

Ave verum corpus, natum de Maria Virgine,
vere passum, immolatum in cruce pro homine,
cuius latus perforatum fluxit aqua et sanguine:
esto nobis praegustatum in mortis examine.
O Iesu dulcis, O Iesu pie, O Iesu, fili Mariae.
Miserere mei. Amen.

Hail, true Body, born of the Virgin Mary,
truly suffering, sacrificed on the cross for mankind,
whose pierced side flowed with water & blood:
May it be for us a foretaste (of the Heavenly banquet)
in the trial of death.
O dear Jesus, O merciful Jesus, O Jesus, son of Mary,
have mercy on me. Amen.

Just think, in the 14th century this composition, possibly by Pope Innocent VI, was sung at the elevation of the Host during Consecration, and at Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. In the same way that the faith was proclaimed in stained glass, so the hymns portrayed the True Faith.

To the phrase lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi could also be added: lex cantandi.

Whatever the language, let us always make a joyful noise unto the Lord that is truly worthy of Him!