I try to keep Sunday postings inclined towards the spiritual as much as possible. These guys may look like a mid-90s Seattle garage band but wait until you hear what they can do with Palestrina’s Adoramus Te, Christe (We adore Thee, O Christ)

I thought they might be a Catholic schola/choir but, from what I can tell the Farther Along Octet hails from Goshen College – an institution in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. I wish they’d convert…

Here they are performing Palestrina’s Sanctus:


HT: Jeff Tucker at the New Liturgical Movement


Forty-seven years ago, when JFK was running for the presidency, bigots and brigands warned that a Catholic president would be nothing more than the Pope’s mouthpiece and that the Executive power of the United States government would by fully vested in the Roman Curia.

Nearly a half century later, I’m here to put your minds at ease. The Pope won’t be sitting in that little round office in DC any time soon because the Vatican can’t handle regular website updates – let alone effectively pull the strings of a puppet government in Washington.

During the course of some research on the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (The commission that deals with the Latin Mass/Sacraments, etc) I was trolling the Vatican website [English vers.] and noticed this little blurb:

The commission has a president, Cardinal Angelo Felici, a secretary, Msgr. Camille Perl, and several assistants. A group of “permanent experts” composed of representatives of the dicasteries concerned offer their advice and expertise.

Actually, Cardinal Felici hasn’t headed the commission in more than SEVEN years and, come to think of it, he’s been dead since last June.

So if a Catlik’ wins the Oval Office next November and your fundamentalist neighbor starts spreading dark conspiracy theories about the insidious power of the Jesuits and the Pope, assure him that he has NOTHING to fear.

Bishop Donald Pelotte, 62, insists that his massive head and bodily injuries are the results of a fall but doctors and the police think His Excellency was worked over:

[The bishop’s assistant, Timoteo] Lujan told police he went to check on Pelotte after the bishop didn’t report for work, missed an appointment and didn’t answer his telephone. Lujan let himself into the locked home and saw blood on the tile floor below a carpeted stairway.

“I was very alarmed,” Lujan recalled. “I didn’t know what to expect.”

The police report says Lujan found Pelotte in his bedroom upstairs. The report says the bishop was “heavily bruised across the face, along the chest area, both arms, the knuckles, the legs and the feet.”

Lujan expressed concern that someone may have assaulted the bishop, but Pelotte told him he had fallen down the stairs.

Here’s the police report — which reveals yet another mystery: How can someone who writes at a 4th grade level become a Phoenix cop? — you can decide for yourself.

So what was it? Did he fall? Was he pushed? Jilted lover? Home invasion? Satan? Well, we’ll probably never know because the police are no longer investigating because of the bishop’s absolute insistence that the injuries were caused by a fall.

But the diocese is giving itself an out should the speculation continue:

The Rev. James Walker [Dy-no-MITE!!], vicar general, urged caution in speculating about what occurred. He said he believes Pelotte will tell as much as he can remember about the incident after he is fully recovered.


If you’re ever elected Pope you’ll assume crushing responsibilities long after most men of your age have retired to the sun – so it’s important to get in some serious R&R whenever you can.

Lucky for you, Benedict XVI can serve as a sterling example on how to chill out pontifically.


Like the rest of us, you’re still a little stiff when you arrive. Can’t quite shake out of that work mode:


But then you start to unwind. Playing a little Mozart on the upright in the cottage sure helps (Notice that he ditched the cape):


Then, you know, maybe a bratwürst and a few cold beers on the patio:


Gotta take in some scenery (You can lose the skullcap for a couple hours if you want):


Be sure to mingle with the locals. You always want to leave a good impression:


The bad news is that you’ll still have to do a little work. You are the Pope after all:


But then, after a few days, you can just go completely native. Break out the shades, put on the sunblock, ditch the red satin shoes and hit the trails (NB: bring your Rosary):


(The Ecclesiastical Blues Brothers. "We're on a mission from God")

But, alas, just as you’re starting to get into serious relaxation mode the vacation comes to an end and it’s time to put on your suit and head back to the office:


You would think that if God were to look favorably on any group of people, pilgrims who travel hundreds of miles to pray at a Marian shrine would be high on the list of prospects.

Well, maybe not.

As I sipped my 3rd cup of coffee this morning, I came upon this pic at the BBC news website:


The twisted pile of debris was once a bus that carried Polish pilgrims to France to pray at the shrine of Our Lady of La Sallette.  At least 26 were killed and others remain missing (It’s assumed that they were thrown from the bus)

I’m guessing that – at least among the friends and family of these poor folks – the ranks of Atheism have swelled substantially.

And so’s the guy with the cell phone cam…

Ok, so you’re a new Altar Boy and your young priest is about about to offer his first Solemn High Mass. His grueling years of seminary philosophy and theology are behind him. He can read Aquinas in Latin. He’s endured a four hour Ordination ceremony and even though he’s only 28 years old, his old Little League coach calls him Father.

You are in awe!

You’ve practiced this ritual- your role – for months. Your family is in the church. They’re all so proud of you – dreaming of the day when they come to your first Solemn Mass.
It’s zero hour. The Knights of Columbus get into position:


Your family, friends, and all the parishioners are gathered inside the church:


You line up for the procession, feverishly running the Latin responses through your brain. Can’t make a mistake. Can’t drop the ball.

But there’s one bit of business that you have to take care of before the two and a half hour Mass gets underway. It’s hot. People are nervous, distracted; nobody’s watching you…

So little Timmy, you go for the Gold!


And no one’s the wiser…

In my comments to James in a previous post I said that blogging was easier when I had a gimmick.  I was a conservative who hated Bush and opposed the Iraq war.  If not unique, I was certainly a rarity.

Nowadays, everyone hates Bush and the majority of Americans want us out of Iraq yesterday.

I’ve lost my niche…


  • When I started blogging in 2003, George Bush was at the height of his popularity and the nation was gripped by war fever. As noted above, I was a Reagan Republican who hated Bush and viscerally opposed the Iraq war. In 2007, a majority of Americans want Bush impeached and even greater numbers want American troops out of Iraq. (BTW, I’ve long since left the GOP)
  • In 2003, I was a member of the ever cursed, star-crossed, misbegotten band of brothers known as Red Sox fans.  We were in our 85th year of misery.  In 2007, the Red Sox have a World Championship under their belts and they (currently) have the best record in Major League Baseball.  (With a double digit lead over the MFY in the AL East)
  • In the 1990s I developed a fascination with the Traditional Latin Mass.  I would travel innumerable miles to assist at a High Mass in the old rite.  (At the time, they were as rare as the proverbial hens’ teeth) By the time I started blogging in 2003 my fascination was intermittent but I’d still make the long journey whenever the Spirit moved me.  Now, in 2007, Pope Benedict has thrown wide the gates and by virtue of his recent Motu Proprio “Summorum Pontificum” [.pdf], the Traditional Latin Mass may, by right and not by exception, be offered freely.

I have no purpose. I have no niche…

What the hell am I going to complain about?

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