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Showing posts from April, 2011

OUT OF TURMOIL - A NEW POPE - TRIED BY FIRE

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It had been a long and trying path to the See of St. Peter, for the little boy from a small provincial Polish town. In fact it had been so improbable and dramatic that one would hesitate to invent its like as fiction.

His father was a retired military officer become civil servant a devout man - whose wife had died when their son Karol was not yet 10 yrs old. The gentlemanly father saw his son become the finest student in the town of Wadowice - an ancient town : the Parish had been established in 1325 . Not only that, but he was a keen athlete and an enthusiastic and talented actor.

Later Karol moves to Krakow with his pensioner Father and enrolls at the famed Jagiellonian University. But before long the Nazis had invaded Poland and occupied it. The ailing Wojtyla Snr. and Karol endeavoured to escape with streams of refugees to the East. But 120 miles from Krakow they learn that the Russian Red Army has invaded Poland too from the East and they are forced to turn back and endure Nazi …

"THIS SLAV" HE ONCE CALLED HIMSELF - THE "MAN FROM A FAR COUNTRY"

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As I write, the secular world, and especially the Mass Media are in a frenzy over the much anticipated (and it seems unduly anticipated in key aspects) wedding of the British Prince William and Catherine Middleton. But the hearts and minds of the Catholic World are focussed on an event of more lasting significance to take place in Rome on 1st May, 2011. It is of course, the Beatification of our  beloved  Pontiff of happy memory, the Venerable Pope John Paul II.

There are a few ceorls and ultra proprietists who claim it is too soon after the late Pontiff's death to be Beatifying him, that it defies tradition. They don't know their Catholic Faith well enough. For in ancient times Saints were not so much declared by Popes as by the acclamation of the faithful in the streets - much as we saw the popular demonstrations crying out "Santo Subito"-"A Saint Soon!" at commemorations of the Pontiff's death.Only in later times did the Church institute the current …

EASTER AND ANZAC DAY SACRIFICIAL DEATH

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EASTER AND ANZAC - ETERNAL AND TEMPORAL TRANSFORMATION
EASTER and ANZAC Days occurring on successive days this year crowded the imagination. There is no equivalence in the importance of the two, obviously. But we are only human, and the power of the Sacred Liturgy is so great , that our minds are left swimming with impressions and images and memories of the Sacred Triduum,of the institution of the Blessed Eucharist and the Sacred Priesthood, ofInnocence Himself tortured and punished and killed, of Nature itself groaning at the Sacrilege, sky darkened, Earth trembling, the dead arising and appearing to many, the Temple veil torn from top to bottom(which man could not do) , God entombed and then the wonder and mystery of the Resurrection and the transformed Glorious Body of Christ. All of this our minds are absorbing.
Then, all at once the very next day the powerful electronic Media are reminding us of our great national day of Remembrance of our War Dead – ANZAC DAY. Dawn Services are…

EASTER VIGIL MASS - BRISBANE : THE RISEN CHRIST AND THE HOLY SPIRIT TRIUMPH

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Once again in recent days, St.Stephen's Cathedral Brisbane was "Standing Room Only"as the congregation crowded out through the doors and every available seat was occupied as well as the side walls!
The Choir and music was, almost without exception, superb. There was an exception the Agnus Dei written by the Anglican Boughen for his Movie and Broadway inspired "Mass of St.Stephen"" now Copyrighted to "Morton Music"(Dr.Ralph Morton being the non-Catholic Choir Master). This "Ägnus Dei "is pseudo Ivor Novello and saccharine sweet, having no place in Catholic Liturgy.
The singing of the "Exultet"by Father Ken Howell, Dean of the Cathedral was as usual a sheer delight truly uplifting and setting the scene with that beautiful text and chant for the whole liturgy of the evening. Sadly the Liturgy of the Word which followed, was seriously marred by readers varying from laughable primary school or even pre-school teacher readings of G…

GOOD FRIDAY - BRISBANE : STATIONS AND CELEBRATION OF THE LORD'S PASSION

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STATIONS OF THE CROSS

At 10.00am the Cathedral was comfortably full for the Stations of the Cross - a very devout and properly sober action inspiring deep prayer. The only discordant note , a female reader who did not have any idea of reading intelligently, mercifully she was also not inclined to read dramatically.

CELEBRATION OF THE LORD'S PASSION

At 3.00pm the Cathedral was Standing room only with overflow at the doors

The celebration of this liturgy was strictly "Say the Black and do the Red". What a relief! The music was brilliant thanks to the Cathedral Schola.The only jarring note came from two of the Readers who are both obviously theatrically trained. The first reading by the male was delivered with chiselled diction and heroic theatricality , then exit stage left and it was over - the reading overwhelmed by the performance. Later, in the parts reading of the Passion, the wife in the pair delivered her customary theatrical reading - but she seems to be a primary…

HOLY THURSDAY - BRISBANE : MAUNDY MADNESS

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How difficult is it to "Say the Black and Do the Red?". To judge by last night's performance of the Maundy liturgy or ritual washing of the feet- it must be beyond the Cathedral authorities completely!The particular cause of the problems is a daffy idea that Our Lord's injunction to the Apostles to the effect that if He, their Lord and Master had washed their feet, they should wash each others', should be copied in the liturgical co-operation of all manner of layfolk in movable numbers!

Firstly, the Liturgy is not the proper place for private indulgence in the latest conceived "neat idea". Secondly it is the property of the Catholic Church and is to be used according to the rites and proper usages of the Catholic Church. Thirdly it commemorates the Lord's washing of His Apostles' feet, and the liturgy excludes for that very reason, women being involved in the process. Fourthly the liturgy makes NO provision for those whose feet have been washed…

HOLY THURSDAY: ROME - THE HOLY FATHER SPEAKS

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From the Holy Father's Homily at the Holy Thursday Liturgy:




“….Jesus desires us, he awaits us. But what about ourselves? Do we really desire him? Are we anxious to meet him? Do we desire to encounter him, to become one with him, to receive the gifts he offers us in the Holy Eucharist? Or are we indifferent, distracted, busy about other things? From Jesus’ banquet parables we realize that he knows all about empty places at table, invitations refused, lack of interest in him and his closeness….

….Jesus also knew about guests who come to the banquet without being robed in the wedding garment – they come not to rejoice in his presence but merely out of habit, since their hearts are elsewhere. In one of his homilies Saint Gregory the Great asks: Who are these people who enter without the wedding garment? What is this garment and how does one acquire it? He replies that those who are invited and enter do in some way have faith. It is faith which opens the door to them. But they lack the …

COURT OF THE GENTILES & ASSISI ENCORE - WHAT'S HAPPENING?

Serving With the Angels Ultra" Traditionalists" such as the Lefebvrists really have it in for Pope Benedict XVI. Of course he is fundamentally unacceptable because he is not Pope Saint Pius X or even the Venerable Pope Pius XII! But, far from apologizing for these identity flaws, he continues to behave outrageously – even going so far as to announce that he will Beatify the Venerable Pope John Paul II on 1st of May!!
 He has compounded these faults by arranging the “Courtyard of the Gentiles” gathering in Paris to institute a dialogue with non- believers  several weeks back. And... And, he is planning another Meeting with all other religions along the lines of that arranged in the time of John Paul II, and again at Assisi. At this stage of the list of horrors your keen Lefebvrist will usually begin to foam at the mouth or faint clean away!
So, that is the rabid extremist, but even closer to the centre of balance and sanity there are those a tad concerned about the “Courtyard…

ARCHBISHOP BATHERSBY - 3 MONTHS AND TWO WEEKS FROM RETIREMENT

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PASSION SUNDAY or PALM SUNDAY as it had been known for so long came to remind us to-day, of Our Lord's deliberate steps toward the Sacrifice of Calvary, This day brought Archbishop of Brisbane John A. Bathersby into his Cathedral to concelebrate the 10.00 am Mass. The concelebrating Priests were Monsignor Anthony Randazzo and Father Paul Chandler O.Carm , respectively the Rector and Spiritual Director of Holy Spirit Provincial Seminary.

The Gospel of course, included the cry of Our Lord from the Cross: "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani" which is "My God, My God why have you forsaken me?" This was of course a quotation  from the Psalms (22) Recognised by the Jews as being prophetic of the Messiah. By using it, Jesus was clearly even at the last, asserting His Messianic status.

However we heard none of that in the Homily of his Grace. Rather, we were told that abandoned by His disciples, by His Apostles and even by His Father, "Jesus must have even begun to doub…

1912 : HEROIC CATHOLIC PRIESTS - R.M.S. TITANIC "..bergs, growlers and field ice.."

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They did not know the day or the hour :: our three Heroic Catholic Priests did not know that on Sunday the
14th April, 1912 they had celebrated their last Holy Masses.


WARNINGS
At 9.00 a.m. the CARONIA, headed in the opposite direction informed TITANIC of "bergs, growlers and field ice"ahead. And at 20 minutes to 12.00 the NOORDAM advises "much ice"in the same position. At 18 Minutes to 2.00 pm the BALTIC signals icebergs and field ice 250 miles ahead. Three minutes later the German AMERIKA reports passing 2 large icebergs.At 7.30pm the CALIFORNIAN reports 3 large icebergs sighted - this message is NOT posted in TITANIC or passed to Captain Smith.At 9.30 pm MESABA reports heavy pack ice and large icebergs encountered.
ON WATCH
At 10.00pm the Watches are relieved First Officer Mr. Murdoch relieves Second Officer Mr, Lightoller on the Bridge. And  Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee take up their duty as Forward Lookouts instructed to watch for small ice and growlers.They…

1912 : HEROIC CATHOLIC PRIESTS - R.M.S. TITANIC EVENTS MOVE SWIFTLY

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At 6.30 pm that same day, Wednesday, after an uneventful crossing of the Channel, TITANIC lay off  CHERBOURG, FRANCE. Two tenders built to serve her and named Traffic and Nomadic, ferried out to her passengers , luggage and mail. At 8.10 p.m. she is underway again and headed for Queenstown ( now Cobh) in Ireland.

On Thursday 11th April, at 11.30 am just before Lunch TITANIC arrives in all her splendour off Queenstown, once again she cannot dock because of her draught, but anchors in the roadstead about 2 miles from the shore and the tenders Ireland and America bring out her passengers , luggage and mail. One tender takes away at least one passenger, our Jesuit Seminarian, Mr Francis Browne. He must have been devastated, for he had been offered by a wealthy American couple, a free passage to the United States . But a telegraphic request to his Provincial gained the following terse reply "GET OFF THAT SHIP". God was at work, saving the future Father Francis Browne Military Cr…

HEROIC CATHOLIC PRIESTS - R.M.S.TITANIC "WELCOME ABOARD!"

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Ninety -nine years ago to-day, R.M.S. TITANIC commenced taking on her full crew in Southampton.All officers ( except Captain Smith) had spent the night aboard. From 5.18 a.m. a continuing stream of crew members came aboard. At 6.00a.m. Thomas Andrews the Ship's Designer came aboard and Captain  Smith boarded at 7.00 a.m.

Passengers then commenced boarding including our three Heroic Catholic Priests and our holidaying Seminarian ( see our Post 15 th March,2011 "Saved for War"). The process of receiving all passengers had to be accomplished in a few short hours, for TITANIC was due to sail for Cherbourg , France to collect more passengers.She would leave at 12.00 Noon. All of the passengers had to be checked in, shown their cabin allocation and any hold luggage struck below."There was not a moment to lose"as an earlier sailor used to say.


 Father Thomas Byles (Second Class Ticket 244310 cost 13 Pounds) was an Englishman and a convert received into the Church in 1…

ANOTHER ECUMENICAL PROBLEM SOLVED

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The Holy Father has announced the resignation of Bishop William Malone of Maitland-Newcastle Diocese and the appointment of Father William Wright Parish Priest of Liverpool in his stead.

Bishop Malone 's ecumenical adventures with the local Anglican Bishop verged on the truly weird and at the outer edge were suppressed by the Holy See as soon as announced and before they could come into effect. Bishop Malone's actions were an embarrassment to any well-informed Catholic, yet he had his "isn't he nice "supporters too, not to mention salaried nuns pushing the same un Catholic line as the Bishop.

Father William Wright has had his share of tough assignments including Parish Priest of Moree with all its Aboriginal problems for several years and Parish Priest of Sutherland South of Sydney which had its own particular problems in the past.

It will no doubt take some time to get the Diocese back on track after cleaning out the stables.

A SUNDAY MASS - A VERY AUSTRALIAN CONGREGATION

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The 10.00 a.m. Mass at St.Stephen's Cathedral Brisbane is always a solemn occasion, supported by the singing of the Cathedral Choir. Yesterday, Laetare Sunday or Rose Sunday was no exception.

The Mass was celebrated by Rev. Father Paul Chandler O.Carm. who is the Spiritual Director of Holy Spirit Seminary.and Lecturer in Church History. His celebration of Holy Mass was exemplary in devotion, love of the Liturgy and comportment. It was his misfortune to supply on Rose Sunday which caused him to wear the vestments acquired last year - they are not a success. The colour is a light salmony pink, and not the proper liturgical Rose and the cut (in the Gothic style)is ludicrously full. When the Dean first wore them last year, people found difficulty in suppressing mirth and sought to avoid eye contact. Small wonder the Dean was not about this time.Father Chandler's homily was excellent dealing with the miracle of the blind man cured by Jesus,  carefully and thoroughly going beyond t…

1912 : HEROIC CATHOLIC PRIESTS - R.M.S. TITANIC : ARRIVES SOUTHAMPTON JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT

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Thursday 4th April, 1912 after travelling the 570 miles ( 917 Km) from Belfast to Southampton, in the early minutes of the morning, R.M.S. TITANIC comes alongside Berth 44 at the WHITE STAR DOCK. Southampton is ideally situated for ease of travel from London by the Passengers. Both they and the balance of the crew will come aboard on the following Wednesday 10th April,1912.
Our Heroic Priests, ignorant of the great challenge ahead of them are travelling toward embarkation, no doubt full of detailed arrangements to be finalised  and hearts full of prayer for the success of their separate missions. Our young Irish Seminarian, with a keen interest in photography must be marvelling at the opportunities which will present themselves to his lens on this glamorous  maiden voyage which will take him on his short journey to Queenstown ( Cobh now).

1912 : HEROIC CATHOLIC PRIESTS - R.M.S. TITANIC :SEA TRIALS- 1 DAY ONLY

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On this day, 2nd April, 1912, our three Heroic Catholic Priests and 1 Seminarian were making their way to their embarkation points for the travel on the "unsinkable"R.M.S. TITANIC's maiden voyage. An Englishman to officiate at his brother's wedding in New York, a German Benedictine to take up a teaching role in the United States and a (then Russian) Lithuanian to escape political persecution and a young orphaned Irishman to enjoy his Guardian 's ( a Bishop uncle) generosity . All of these holy men save one, God was moving into place for ministry to vast number in the appalling calamity soon to be revealed. The young man was being saved for a later greater ongoing calamity.

Amazingly, for such a huge vessel and the status of technology in 1912, TITANIC spent less than a full day in Sea Trials, she exercised her great engines at reasonable speed, turns to Port and Starboard , stopping, turning a full circle under the supervision of Captain E.J.Smith and his office…