Posts

Showing posts from March, 2011

1912 : HEROIC CATHOLIC PRIESTS - R.M.S. TITANIC :: FITTING OUT IS COMPLETE

Image
Three Catholic Priests and a Seminarian are making their way toward the places where they would board the "unsinkable" R.M.S. TITANIC in the coming days.Incredibly, the great ship was only completed to-day.On the 10th of April she will commence boarding passengers.In the interim she must take on fuel ( 5,892 Tons of coal), crew and do sea trials. Then she must take on huge quantities of crockery, glassware, cutlery, food and drink and get the crew organised and settled into those routines which make for efficient action and perfect service.

The fitting out of TITANIC has involved fitting 29 Boilers, the massive engines and turbines, 200 miles of electric cable , 20 lifeboats (including four with collapsible canvas sides).Over 3,000,000 rivets have been used in her construction.

REVEALING THE CENTRALITY OF LOVE - ST.JOHN

Image
Recurringly in his Gospel and his other writings, St.John leaves of his narrative, for a major reflection on the meaning of the Life of Christ, and the significance of aspects of it

In his Gospel , ( 3:16) he opens up the subject of God's Love:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not condemned; he who does not believe in Him is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light,because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light,and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wro…

DAMAGE OF THE WASTED YEARS AND A PROBLEM OF CONSCIENCE

Image
The approach of the 75th birthday of a Bishop,when he is obliged to tender his resignation to the Holy Father,  brings into focus the record of that Bishop in his sacred office.

Sometimes that record has not been one that one would wish to praise, but rather condemn - one can think of several cases in the United States over the years and even quite recently , where this has been the case. Of course when the situation is in one's own Diocese, the issue is surrounded with greater difficulty and considerations of giving scandal loom larger.Yet, at the same time , when the whole apparatus of a Diocese is geared up to boost the image of the retiree, and the composite picture becomes wholly false, other considerations arise. Is a great deception to be tolerated ?

On the other hand, surely the Church in the particular Diocese has the right to mark the approaching retirement of its Bishop. It is unthinkable that it should attack or revile the man ordained and installed to be at the Head …

HEAVEN KEPT SILENT - WAITING FOR THE MAIDEN'S REPLY

Image
God's great gift of Free Will  to mankind has caused many an unusual situation in its operation. Many, but never one like this !

Great lover of mankind that He is, He had a plan to bring about the Redemption of Man and, to set this plan in train He had sent the Archangel Gabriel on this day, to the Virgin Mary a young maiden of Nazareth. But unlike most Divine plans this plan depended for its operation on the prior consent of the young maiden.

One can imagine the unfamiliarity of the circumstance. God, who knows even what is yet to happen, knew that Mary would accept, but left the decision to her - the Angels did not know and we might imagine , in our limited terms,their keen interest in the matter.

The Blessed Virgin had been uniquely prepared for her sacred role, she had been in the "mind"of God from all Eternity, and so when the time came for her to be conceived , she was accorded Immaculate Conception. That is to say, from the very first moment of her existence she…

THE LITTLE GIANT SUBVERTS THE DEFORMATION

Image
"I verily think no man can be said to have done more good of all those who laboured in the English vineyard. He was the immediate occasion of saving the lives of many hundreds of persons, both ecclesiastical and secular." (Father John Gerard S.J. 1564 - 1637)
Nicholas Gooden Owen is understood to have been born in Oxford around 1550 into a devout Catholic family, suffering under the Penal Laws directed against Catholics.He trained as a carpenter and for thirty years witnessed to his great Faith by going about the country building "Priest Holes" - these were secret hiding places within English homes where Priests could hide secure from the King's Commissioners enforcing the Penal Laws.

Calling himself "Little John"- for he is said to have been abnormally short - close to a dwarf perhaps - he travelled around the country plying his Priest Hole making trade. He asked for no payment other than his accommodation and sustenance, and sufficient food to get …

BATTLE IS JOINED TO PROMOTE CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES

Image
Serving with the Angels

The action of the Bishops of New South Wales in urging the faithful to vote against the Greens in the State Election on 26th March, 2011 is refreshing and commendable, the action of the Bishop of Broken Bay David Walker, in refusing to co-sign is indefensible and reprehensible given the Greens advocacy of Abortion, Same sex “Marriage”, Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Euthanasia, compounded by a policy which would reduce Government funding to many Catholic Schools.

Too often in Australia Bishops have kept silent whilst the winds of radical “Green” politics rose and rose in fury. Very late it seems, they have realised that these people are not so much concerned with matters environmental which are “warm and fuzzy “as they are fundamentally anti-human and anti-Christian.


The technique of subverting a popular movement as a path to power is one that the Marxists in their Communist days had honed to a fine sharp edge. Too often unionists found their legitimate gr…

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ARK OF THE COVENANT?

Image
Whatever happened to the Ark of the Covenant?

The Ark of the Covenant was sacred to the people of Israel long before the Temple at Jerusalem was built. The Ark itself was built according to Divine instruction, including the detail of its design.

It contained the two tablets of stone God gave to Moses inscribed with the Ten Commandments, the staff of Aaron which had flowered indicating that he should be High Priest and a portion of the Manna with which God had fed the people of Israel whilst they wandered in the desert.

God had decreed that the Ark should be built thus:

A rectangular box

Approx.1.2 Metres by 0.7 Metres by .0.7 Metres.

Made of Acacia wood, it was gilded inside and out.

On each side were two golden rings through which were placed the poles used to carry the Ark in solemn procession

Atop the Ark, was a solid Gold plate . This provided the base for two golden statues of seraphim. Their wings extended over their heads, and where their wings met, God would appear to His p…

STRANGE DAZE INDEED - "CALL ME BRIAN"

Image
Strange “Daze” Indeed!


Now, we know that Rockhampton has been through a lot of late, what with the terrible floods and all, but does that excuse anything and everything?

We have been accustomed to many odd things in the Diocese of Rockhampton, from Episcopal liturgical abuse on down. But the current Lent 2011 booklet of the Diocese “BEING EUCHARIST TO EACH OTHER” just about takes the cake! (We won’t bother about the photograph on the cover of an American family holding hands whilst “giving thanks” before a Thanksgiving Meal – huge turkey, candied vegetables and all.). No, let’s concentrate on the genuine local content, or is it?

Bishop “Call me Brian” Heenan writes in the introduction: “We are invited to reflect on how we are eucharist to one another. What does this way of life call us to do? It calls us to gather together with others, listen to God’s word and share in the Eucharist, and to be to others what Jesus is for us, “To Be Eucharist To Each Other”.

What is happening here? We…

THE TRIUMPH OF THE CRUCIFIX

Image
The tide of, radical secularism riding the wave of "rights language"has at last, thanks be to God, received a severe check. And, of all places, in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. In November, 2009 the Court had found in favour of a militant secularist who petitioned the Court to ban Crucifixes from all Italian schools alleging that they infringed the rights of children and teachers of non-Christian or no Faith. Now on Appeal, the Court has reversed theearlier decision by a 15 -2 majority.

There had been very widespread and significant protests throughout Italy because of the earlier decision. The new decision will greatly strengthen those defending the Crucifix in  other cases.

GUARDIAN OF THE SAVIOUR CHILD

Image
Though thou hast recourse to many saints as thine intercessors,go especially to St. Joseph, for he has great power with God. - St. Theresa of Jesus : Maxims (16th Cent.)

NSW CATHOLIC BISHOPS MINUS ONE : "DON'T VOTE FOR THE GREENS

Image
Led by His Eminence Cardinal George Pell and Bishop Anthony Fisher O.P.the Bishops of the Province of New South Wales have urged their people not to vote for the Greens in the 26th March State Election.

This unusual collective demonstration of what is being called in American cases "Episcopal Spine" is a direct response to the Greens policies advocating aggressively : same sex marriage, abortion, homosexual behaviour,embryonic stem cell research and euthanasia. In addition they are pushing for changes to Government assistance to private ( including Catholic) schools which will severely adversely affect Catholic schools.

The holdout Bishop is Bishop David Walker of Broken Bay - Shame on him when his tree hugging principles seem to trump his concern for Catholic Doctrine on fundamental issues - Shame!

The election is universally tipped to see the resounding demise of the present Labor Government and many would assume that a lot of the Labor voters might not bring themselves t…

HAIL GLORIOUS ST. PATRICK ! - BELOVED OF AUSTRALIAN CATHOLICS

Image
Australia is a great beneficiary of the work of the spiritual sons of Saint Patrick, the heroic Catholic Priests and people of Ireland. It is the greatest Heritage anyone could have - the Catholic Faith given to us by Christ Our Lord.

Here from the "Breastplate of Saint Patrick"is my preferred translation of the well known prayer of Saint Patrick :


Rising I thank You, mighty and strong One


King of Creation, giver of rest.

Firmly confessing threeness of Persons

Oneness of Godhead, Trinity blest.



This day God gives me strength of high heaven

Sun and moon shining, flame in my hearth

Flashing of lightning, wind in its swiftness

Deeps of the ocean, firmness of earth.



This day God sends me Strength as my guardian

Might to uphold me, Wisdom as guide.

Your eyes are watchful, Your ears are listening

Your lips are speaking, Friend at my side.



God’s way is my way, God’s shield is round me

God’s host defends me, saving from ill.

Angels of heaven drive from me always

All that would harm…

TROOBLE AT MONASTERY! DURHAM IN 1433

Image
In 1083, on the site of an informal Celtic "monastery",  Bishop William of Durham founded a formal Monastery, gathering into it the "23 monks from the small Celtic "monasteries"at relatively new communities at Jarrow and Wearmouth. These had been re-founded on the sites of ancient Monasteries - at Jarrow the Venerable Bede had lived three hundred years earlier. Bede had written the life of St. Cuthbert who was buried here at Durham and, as late as 1050 Aelfred, a Priest of Durham, had removed st. Bede's remains to Durham also.

Bishop William determined that he would himself be Abbott of the new Monastery . He delegated the day to day running of the Monastery to the Prior.The first Prior's name was Aldwin. The Monastery was to follow the Rule of Saint Benedict.But because of the Bishop/Abbot's necessary preoccupation with Diocesan affairs and the governance by the Prior, instead of being known as Durham Abbey it became known as Durham Priory.

The s…

HEROIC CATHOLIC PRIESTS- SAVED FOR WAR : Part I

Image

At this time of year, my mind is always arrested by the approach of the count-down to the loss of R.M.S. TITANIC on 14th April, 1912 - the ship it was claimed "even God could not sink!"

Her story is forever linked with the lives of four Heroic Catholic Priests and the deaths of three of them. The "one that got away" was not a Priest at the time - God had other things in mind for him.But the discipline of Religious Obedience was to save his life and preserve him for heroic ministry in the midst of the horrors of World War I in Europe. And, as it happens, he took the last photos of TITANIC before she plunged to her icy grave.

We shall return to the interesting details in Part II.

ACROSS THE WORLD - DARE I ASK MY READERS TO "FOLLOW ME"?

Thank you to our growing number of readers and most of you are regular readers I see.

Your locations are certainly diverse and surprising in some cases (at least to me here at the end of the Earth!):

United Kingdom (GB)
United States (US)
New Zealand (NZ)
Australia (AU)
Canada (CA)
Italy (IT)
Philippines (PH)
Germany (DE)
Netherlands (NL)
France (FR)
Indonesia (ID)
Poland (PL)
Mexico (MX)
Denmark (DK)
India (IN)
Croatia (HR)
Spain (ES)
Taiwan (TW)
Malaysia (MY)
Slovakia (SK)
Ireland (IE)
Hungary (HU)
Japan (JP)
Vietnam (VN)
Czech Republic (CZ)
Ukraine (UA)

Estonia (EE)
Norway (NO) 

Russian Federation (RU)
Romania (RO)
Belgium (BE)
Lithuania (LT)
Sweden (SE)
Switzerland (CH)
Greece (GR) 

Asia/Pacific Region (AP)
United Arab Emirates (AE)
Thailand (TH) 

South Africa (ZA)
Malta (MT) 

Pakistan (PK)
Korea, Republic of (KR)
Botswana (BW)
Brazil (BR)
Chile (CL)
Finland (FI) 

Iceland (IS) 
Fiji (FJ)
Slovenia (SI)
China (CN)
Israel (IL)
Cyprus (CY)
Turk…

BOLDLY BACK FOM THE EDGE OF THE ABYSS

Image
The high-jacking of the public perception of what the Second Vatican Council taught was accomplished by a small coterie of mostly North European prelates with the all too willing collaboration of the mainstream media, and the fundamentally subversive operations of the later Archbishop Annibale Bugnini.

The following extract from the writings of Father Hubert Jedin (1900-1980) shows how subtly such operators have worked in the past.Father Jedin was perhaps the most respected and accomplished Church historian of his time. Reflection on it, shows just how much we owe to the workings of the Holy Spirit in bringing to St.Peter's Chair Pope John Paul the Great. We see how, despite the gravity of the situation and the obstruction of those who sought not the hermeneutic of continuity, but of rupture, he began boldly to lead the Church back from the edge of the abyss of schism. In this historic struggle, his constant co-worker of the Truth was none other than Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, no…

MEANWHILE 1,000 Kms NORTH : ORDINARY ON TAPE

Image
WITH US ON TAPE

Brisbane’s soon to retire (July, 2011) Archbishop John Bathersby is not seen as often in his Cathedral as most Archbishops are seen in their Cathedrals. But this practice is taken to weird lengths on the occasion of the delivery of most of his Pastoral Letters.

This was again the case on Sunday 6th March when the Archbishop’s Lenten Pastoral Letter – after a suitable Guitar lead-in and an announcer’s introduction, came once again over the Cathedral’s PA system read by His Grace. The effect is quite odd .The Ambo is empty, the Cathedra is vacant (perilously located under the impressive organ Pipes and casing which dominate the Sanctuary). Only the disembodied voice wafts through the Cathedral, leaving the congregation no related focus for their attention. Another Guitar passage and it is all over – almost as if it had never been.

There is a better way, but one would have to be there!

Pastoral Letters have not been the greatest strength of Queensland Bishops.There was…

RARE COMBINATION OF GENIAL GOOD HUMOUR AND POWERFUL CORRECTION OF ERROR

Image
He is a no nonsense sort of Prelate - I have heard him say :"All I do, is do what the Catholic Church does, and teach what the Catholic Church teaches, and let the chips fall where they may." He is of course Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney.

Last Sunday, in typical good form and with even more of his genial good humour than usual, he delivered this powerful Homily, which is a classic - starting with gentle humour and steadily winding up with forceful teaching, before delivering a knockout blow at some post- Conciliar nonsense.:

"9th Sunday in Ordinary Time


St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney

Deut 11:18, 26-28, 32; Mt 7:21-27

By + Cardinal George Pell

Archbishop of Sydney

6 March 2011

This year it seems that the Feast of Easter is celebrated as late in the year as is possible. We know that the date of Easter is still controverted with Western and Eastern Churches celebrating on different days.

Our situation is not as bad as it was in 387 when St. Augustine observ…

LOS ANGELES' CARDINAL MAHONY DEPARTS

Image
 We pray that Archbishop Gomez will have great success in his appointment for the glory of God and the spiritual good of his people.

CARDINAL GEORGE PELL : HITS THE NAIL ON THE HEAD IN PREACHING AND IN PRACTICE

Image
In his Homily the Sunday before last Cardinal George Pell got to speaking about commitment in the context of the dearth of vocations in the recent past and the growth of young unmarried couples living together, read what His Eminence said:

"It is fascinating to ponder whether the increasing level of prosperity in Australia over the last fifty years is connected with the decline in the number of seminarians and young religious and with the increasing number of young people who live together and are reluctant to commit to each other permanently and exclusively in the institution of marriage. Is our example, our easier life style (at least physically) encouraging a materialism and selfishness, which make it harder for young people to make commitments which involve explicit sacrifices? We have something to ponder and pray about here."

As so often, and in his characteristically laconic style, he hits the nail on the head.

Happily, in more recent years, and under His Eminence'…

JESUS AND JUDAS

Image
" You call Me Master and Lord; and you say well, for so I am. "(John 13:13)

On that night  of the Last Supper, having so clearly set out His Divine Authority, Jesus showed forth His astounding Humility by proceeding to wash the feet of the disciples in that scene we know so well especially for its presentation of Saint Peter's characteristic demonstration of extreme volatility, But Jesus was about to demonstrate His astounding Mercy even more thoroughly though less obviously and over a number of hours.

In every scene of Sacred Scripture, Jesus is shown as truly the Master of every situation,He knows everything,"past, present and to come", and, as Sacred Scripture says of God : "omnia quaecumque voluit fecit "that is," whatever He wishes, He does".

Jesus has freely willed to accept Death on the Cross as the means to achieve our Salvation . But His Mercy is infinite and He will not allow Judas to commit the hideous crime of betraying the Son …

"" HE HAD NOT BECOME AN ANGEL, HE HAD BECOME MAN..."

Image
For the moment, Satan had been worsted, but perhaps he had learnt all he had cared to know. Whoever this Jesus was it was clear thatHe was a Power with whom he would have to reckon.He left Him, but in no confusion; he left Him,but, as the Evangelist carefully tells us, only "for a time". He had other weapons at his disposal and he would use them, even till the last night when would come

                        " Your hour
And the power of darkness."  Luke xxii: 53

Meanwhile, Jesus Himself was at peace. He could ask His Father, and His Father would give Him legions of angels to help Him in His work; but that would not be His way. He had not become an angel, He had become Man; and man should be His helper.Still, because of His humiliation,HHe should not be deserted; He Who had submitted to this buffeting of the spirit of evil, should be visited by the spirits of good. As at the beginning in Bethlehem, as at the end in the Garden, so now in His first desolation,

    …

WHY OUR LORD WEPT

Image
Father Nicola Avancini S.J. wrote "The Life and Teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ",  a selection of meditations on certain passages from the Gospels, intended for use by Religious. Father Avancini ( 1612 - 1686) entered the Jesuits in Austria at age 15yrs - he became Rector of several colleges in Austria and died at 74 yrs as assistant for the German Provinces of the Order in Rome.The insights contained in his meditations are always interesting - often compelling:

!. "Seeing the City, He wept over it."( Luke XIX:41)
Why tears amid such a tumult of applause??Our Lord saw Jerusalem, and in it the whole world.He saw the sins of all, including our own. He saw that His Passion would cause the fall of many souls through their own malice. God could save all indiscriminately, but He wishes us to co-operate with His grace. We shall perish if we do not do so.Have we not given Him occasion to weep over us?We acknowledge His love for us, but this is insufficient unless we co-…