Friday, September 30, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Young Women Called to Consecrated Life

 This years World Youth Day has come and gone however, the memories and inspiration for those who have experienced it in person or through media will last a lifetime. In the past, WYD has been known to foster many vocations from young attendees. In Spain this year the Holy Father spoke to young women about the importance of religious life saying, “The Church needs your youthful fidelity, rooted and built up in Christ.”

 Archbishop J. Michael Miller’s Message in ‘Praying for Vocations’ 2011, states, “A sure sign of the spiritual health of a local Church is its willingness to cultivate vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life” affirming our Holy Fathers message.

 Two young women from the Vancouver diocese have already heard this call to consecrated life and a brief overview of their orders will be introduced over the next couple posts. The orders they are called to are each different and unique, having its own charism and serving a specific purpose within the Church.

  The Statue of Liberty, Broadway and Times Square are just a few of the world famous attractions that come to mind when one visits New York City. For Renee Schmitz traveling to the Empire State on August 31 will be about “experiencing Christ’s love through community life and to live by His providence.”

 Renee was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta and earned her Nursing Degree from the University of Alberta, after which she was fortunate to secure employment at Lion’s Gate Hospital in North Vancouver. While living on the North Shore, Renee became an active member of St.Edmund’s Parish.

 Thanks in part to an advertisement in the BC Catholic newspaper Renee became involved with National Campus Life Network from 2008 -2010. During her time she was introduced to the “Sisters of Life” order and began to discern more deeply about a vocation with the help of Carmelite Fr. Ranjan De’sa of St. Edmund’s Parish. Through prayer, in September 2010 Renee became an Aspirant of the 3rd Order of Carmelites.

God continued to move Renee in a special way when she became the Director of Canadian Nurses for Life from the summer 2009-2011. Being a nurse for the last 5 years affected Renee where she was able to see first hand the need for her to continue to work in the Pro-Life Cause.

 Her decision to answer the call to her vocation did not happen over night but rather, through 10 years of prayer and understanding the importance of the Dignity of the Human Person. Renee chose the Sisters of Life because of their dedication to preserve the sanctity of every human life.

  The ‘Sisters of Life’ Order was established 20 years ago by John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of New York, who saw a great need for a more visible presence for those who will help protect life. The Formation House is located in the Bronx, which will be where Renee will spend her postulancy. It will be a year specific to the contemplative life; prayer and studies. Postulants may have 1 phone call and 1 planned visit a month and two trips home a year for week duration each. The Sisters all take the vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and a fourth vow to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life.

 When asked if she will miss being a Registered Nurse, Renee stated that although “it is difficult to put down my stethoscope my #1 vocation is love, God calls me to Love. And God will continue to use my gifts that He has given me to share with others in a special way. Unfortunately in today’s society we identify others and ourselves by our careers”.

 When asked what advice she would give to other young women who might be discerning a call to the life Renee answered: “I would like to tell them to continue to open their hearts to Christ’s abundant love and graces through prayer, the Sacraments, Mass and Spiritual Direction. These are the essentials to discern God’s will in our lives and to tell women what our Blessed Pope John Paul II often called us to do, to not be afraid.”

Monday, July 4, 2011

Vestments of the Traditional Latin Right

This is a repeat guest post but I felt it was worthy considering the new short film we are working on. Vestments: Traditional & Modern , it should be released in Novemeber.

With the blue, purple and red wool they made the magnificent garments which the priests were to w ear they served in the Holy Place. They made the priestly
 garments for Aaron, as the Lord commanded Moses.’
-Exodus 39:1, The Good News Bible

  Sacred art was historically used in the Catholic Church as an avenue to educate and speak the gospels to the illiterate, to providing a connection, a relationship with God.  God is incapable of creating anything other than his own perfection. Through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the radiance and integrity of artists such as Fra Angelico (The Annunciation, 1430-2)[ii], Michelangelo (Creation of Adam, Sistine ceiling, 1475-83)[iii] and Giotto (Adoration of the Magi, ca. 1305)[iv] were able to demonstrate the truth of God through contemplative silence in their works. Engaging sacred art can also be evident in not only conventional icons, but further in church structure (St. Peter’s Basilica)[v] Gregorian chant and even the vestments the ordained wear during Mass. What will be discussed herein, will be the origin, order and significance of the Roman ‘fiddle-back’ vestments, and how the very nature of the smallest detail in the fabric itself can draw the most unsuspecting parishioner into a deeper intuitive understanding of the Mass.
Prior to the fourth century A.D., Christians had been persecuted for their beliefs and practiced their religion underground in secrecy. With the conversion of Constantine, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. As Christians, we strive to imitate Christ who is our divine model and attempt therefore, to shape our soul’s behavior after this example. The origins of vestments developed inherently from the everyday clothing of the Romans during the 4th century. During this time period,’ a clergy’s attire did not differ from that of the ordinary faithful’[vi]. Recognizing the need of a separation from the common person, priests began wearing their ‘best’ outfits known as a paenula: a top garment worn by the Romans. These garments adopted the term as ‘sacred vestments’ or vests sacrata’[vii] as former Pope Stephen called [it] as early as the third century. When fashion progressed and the old Roman dress was no longer used in daily life, priests identifying the necessity, continued to wear paenula, but now with richer, colored fabric. The quality of the vestments improved in texture a craftsmanship using only the finest linen and even pure gold. Color rubrics and definitions were introduced in the 1500’s.  White can symbolizes purity, innocence, rejoicing and light. White is employed during ‘certain periods throughout Christmas and Easter seasons. Also worn on feasts of our Lord, feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary, non-Martyred saints, conversion of Paul, Saints John the Apostle and Saint John the Baptist among others. Worn during certain ceremonies such as weddings, baptisms and the burial of children.’[viii] White can be additionally worn during the consecration of churches, altars and bishops. Alternately, the white vestment could be on occasion replaced by gold. Red is symbolic of blood – the Passion and fire. It is representative of the Holy Spirit during the week of Pentecost. Green, the color of nature and signifying hope of eternal peace. The color is used from January 14th to Septuagesa Sunday. Follow the first Sunday after Pentecost is Sunday after Advent. Symbolizing sorrow and piece, violet is worn during Lent and Advent, certain Passion Masses and the blessing of ashes. Gold symbolizes majesty and pleasure and can replace red, green or white. Rose colored vestments are only worn twice per year. One occasion is Gaudete Sunday and indicates joy and is sometimes worn to symbolize respite or augmenut’[ix]. Finally, black is significant in mourning and death, and is worn on Good Friday, All Souls day and Masses for the faithfully departed.
As an important figure at the Council of Trent, traditionalist Saint Charles Borromeo (Cardinal-Archbishop of Milan 1560-1584) fought to ‘preserve traditions and not allow fashion, false doctrine or laxity to push Tradition to one side. As Archbishop of Milan he wrote and legislated in minute detail about the Sacred Liturgy and everything associated with it.’[x] He laid out directives on vestments after finding that those garments that had been passed down for centuries, was being discarded and replaced with progressive fashion.
Now my head bowed and I have my Rosary beads in hand. My knees are beginning to ache; I have been kneeling for some time. I recite my last ‘Hail Mary’ in the decade and I hear the pitch of the bell ringing in my ears. It’s time to stand and sing. The choir dominates filling the church with song, ‘People, Look East, the time is near, of the crowning of the year….’[xi] The altar servers with their hands neatly folded, slowly glide in unison as they lead the procession to the alter in the their black cassocks and plain white linen surplices. As the Master of Ceremonies escorts Father down the aisle behind the alter servers, he gingerly holds the edge of the cope revealing the silken underside. The rich intensity of the color of the cope, the detail and intricacy of each garment that lies underneath; this is the Roman fiddle-back vestment.
 Before Mass, Father prepares himself, both mentally and physically. Belonging to the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP), by traditional rite he wears a black cassock in his daily wear. At the beginning of his vesting he washes his hands, reciting a prayer. This occurs not only for hygienic purpose, but this has profound symbolism. It signifies passage from the temporal ‘to the sacred, from the world of sin to the pure sanctuary of the Most High. The washing of the hands is in some manner equivalent to removing the sandals before the burning bush.’[xii] The prayer hints at this spiritual dimension:
Da, Domine, virtutem manibus meis ad abstergendum omnem maculam ut sine pollutione mentis et corporis valeam tibi servire.
'Give virtue to my hands, O Lord, that being cleansed from all stain I might serve you with purity of mind and body.'
Then whilst putting on the amice, which he first puts on his head, and then over his shoulders:
Impone, Domine, capiti meo galeam salutis, ad expugnandos diabolicos incursus.
'Place upon me, O Lord, the helmet of salvation, that I may overcome the assaults of the devil.' The amice is an oblong white linen cloth. Historically once worn on the head, then around the neck in a scarf-like fashion, and finally across the shoulders. Originally worn as a head covering and held the symbolism of a helmet of salvation, it serves more now a protectant of the vestments from the body with strings extending and thus tied around the waist.
Dealba me, Domine, et munda cor meum; ut, in sanguine Agni dealbatus, gaudiis perfruare sempiternis.
'Purify me, Lord, and cleanse my heart so that, washed in the Blood of the Lamb, I may enjoy eternal bliss.' The alb is a long white garment worn that may be plain linen, or have minor decorative embroidery on the base or around the cuff. This is the white garment of purity and redemption.
Praecinge me, Domine, cingulo puritatis, et exstingue in lumbis meis humorem libidinis; ut maneat in me virtus continentia et castitatis.
'Gird me, O Lord, with the girdle of purity, and extinguish in me all evil desires, that the virtue of chastity may abide in me.'
Over the alb and around the waist is cincture. The cincture is a cord woven to appear rope like made of wool or other material that is used as a belt. ‘The cincture may be of different colors according to the liturgical season. In the symbolism of the liturgical vestments the cincture represents the virtue of self-mastery, which St. Paul also counts among the fruits of the Spirit. The corresponding prayer, taking its cue from the first Letter of Peter.’[xiii]
Merear, Domine, portare manipulum fletus et doloris; ut cum exsultatione recipiam mercedem laboris.
'Grant, O Lord, that I may so bear the maniple of weeping and sorrow, that I may receive the reward for my labors with rejoicing.'
The Manipole is a narrow strip of colored silk adorned with a fringe on each end. It is hung over the left forearm and secured by an elastic loop. The Manipole is represented as a symbol of the toils of the priesthood.
Redde mihi, Domine, stolam immortalitatis, quam perdidi in praevaricatione primi parentis: et, quamvis indignus accedo ad tuum sacrum mysterium, merear tamen gaudium sempiternum.
'Restore unto me, O Lord, the stole of immortality, which was lost through the guilt of our first parents: and, although I am unworthy to approach. Your sacred Mysteries, nevertheless grant unto me eternal joy.'
The stole is of utmost significance and represents the state of ordained office. The stole is a much longer fringed strip of colored silk that is worn around the neck. It is crossed over the breast and tucked into the cincture. This is a symbol of immortality, comparible to that of baptism.
Domine, qui dixisti: Iugum meam suave est et onus meum leve: fac, ut istud portare sic valeam, quod consequar tuam gratiam. Amen.
'O Lord, Who said: My yoke is easy and My burden light: grant that I may bear it well and follow after You with thanksgiving. Amen.'
‘Finally, the chasuble meaning ‘little house’ is put on, the vestment proper to him who celebrates the Holy Mass.’[xiv] A large outer vestment of colored silk that is slipped over the head and rests at the knees both front and back. The vestment is adorned with a cross, perhaps Roman or even Gothic which will be represented on the back of the vestment reaching forward. This is symbolic of the sweet yolk of Christ. Often there will be accompanying the set of vestments a matching chalice veil and Burse, a square stiff pocket for which the Corporal will be in. The Roman ‘fiddle-back’ style (fiddle-back referring to the front of the chasuble that seems to look like the back of a violin) differs from the shorter – ampled French cut and Gothic bell shaped cut.
The biretta, the black peaked hat with, or with a pom-pom that was used to protect the head. The four peaks represent the four fingers used to grasp the hat off of the head.
Finally, the cope, very much like the chasuble, was previously part of daily fashion. It was a lightweight overcoat. The cope used as a vestment is one of grand splendor and made of rich material and can be with, or without a hood. Copes may have fringes and braided edges and ornamental clasps may be used. Magnificent scenes may be depicted on the back of the cope: vivid colors of Mary and Jesus sitting with a chalice of wine and the bread of life on the table. The intensity of a 100-year-old gold cope, gold not only in color, but of substance as well. The interior of flaming red.

-Renee Long 2010

Thank you to Fr. Erik Deprey FSSP

[vi] ‘Vestments and Church Furniture’, Robert Lesage, Hawthorne Books, 1960.
[vii] ‘Vestments and Vesture’ Roulin, 1931.
[xi] Entrance Hymn.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pope John Paul II prayer card

Our parish had these cards with a wonderful prayer on the back.

O Blessed Trinity,we thank you for having graced the church with Pope John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your fatherly care,the glory of the cross of Christ,and the splendour of the Holy Ghost, to shine through him.

Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary,he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd,and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you.

Grant us, by his intercession,and according to your will,the graces we implore,hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints.Amen.

Beatification Ceremony
May 1, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Document on Summorum Pontificum

After months of rumors Friday is the day we will find out what the document actually says.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Papal Medallions

My oldest boy had his birthday earlier this week and received these medallions. Has anyone seen them before?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Guadalupe: A Living Image

A friend of mine recently went on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, thinking about his trip brought back memories of my own pilgrimage to the holy site. Whenever I go on a pilgrimage I find I am always eager to learn more once I have left  the shrine.

My theology professor gave me this dvd to watch,which is based on the apparition of The Virgin Mary appearing to Juan Diego in December 1531 in Mexico. Our Blessed Mother tells the peasant to wrap his tilma ( cloak)  with Castilian roses that had miraculously bloomed at the rocks by his feet. Juan Diego goes to his Bishop and when he meets the bishop and opens his cloak an incredible scene is revealed. It is the image of The Holy Virgin impressed upon it.

This documentary runs a little less than an hour and explains in detail the scientific analysis of the 13 figures that have been found in The Holy Mother's eyes. Another detail I was unaware of is that the stars on Mary's cloak are positioned exactly as the night sky would have them on the day of the miracle on De. 12 1531.

Scientists and artists cannot explain the painting technique and how the cloth has managed to stay uncorrupted for five centuries.

The dvd gives a short synopsis of the story and provides an interesting tool for anyone looking to learn more about Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Catholic Home Schooling Event

My latest article published in the BC Catholic newspaper

Catholic Home Schooling Event

Will home schooling form children into socially inept individuals who will be unable to deal with their peers? Rather, the opposite; Julia Fogassy of Seattle, Washington can affirm to this.
As a home educator for twenty-five years and mother of nine, Mrs. Fogassy offered an overflowing fountain of knowledge about the positive effects home schooling can have on one’s children. Acting as the marquee speaker at the Catholic Home Schooling event on February 19th at Holy Family Parish in Vancouver, Mrs. Fogassy described with charity and humor both the challenges and rewards of her endeavors; instilling that nothing has to be complicated. She offered her audience advice and innovative methods in teaching, as well as tactics that she herself had found success in. One such recommendation regarded teaching a foundation, a pre-step, for young children to print the alphabet ‘…use corn meal to cover a baking sheet and have the child trace each letter. Remember, never use sugar for obvious reasons.”
 As a founding member of the Northwest Catholic Family Educator Conference, Julia Fogassy’s continued dedication of bringing families the best education materials available led her to design a complete reading, writing and phonics program titled “Sound Beginnings” which is available through  “Our Father’s House”.
There is a misconception that homeschooling equals four walls, isolation and piles of books. There are now several home school groups, often available through one’s local community, travel on field trips together, and gather regularly for resource exchange and interaction with other children. Traditional Learning Academy (TLA) is a private school in Coquitlam that offers families options such as these. Administrator of TLA Allan Garneau explained the differences between classic homeschooling, where the parent can choose any program they want to teach (except for treason) and distributed learning, where children follow a designed program from home. Allan stated that “ Studies have shown that they (home schooled children) not only do socialize well, they can connect with adults as well as peers” The designated learning program is becoming increasingly popular for students with special needs because of the lack of funds within public and diocesan schools. The children get the one on one time that is so important during their early formative years.

 As Catholic parents we are the originators of the homeschooling movement The Church’s Magisterium has always taught, “Parents are the principle and first educators of their children.” CCC#1653

Garneau finished with “ It turns children onto learning and equips them with skills in independent study.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Catholic Home Schooling Event

Attended a Catholic home schooling event at Holy Family Parish in Vancouver BC.

Julia Fogassy has been a home educator for 25 years and as a mother of nine children ranging in ages 15 to 38 she has a lot of experience.

This was a great opportunity to meet and discuss with other homeschooling parents the benefits of educating your children at home.

The administrator of Traditional Learning Academy, Alan Garneau was there as well and gave a presentation describing the differences between homeschooling and distributed learning.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Altar Consecration Photos

Lamentabili sane

One of the greatest treasures of the Church is the 19 centuries of teaching that is available to us. You don't have to dig to deep to realize why there is so much confusion these days.

Among the sixty-five errors of the modernists condemned by Pope St. Pius X (Lamentabili sane) July 3, 1907:

The organic institution of the Church is not immutable. Like human society, Christian society is subject to perpetual evolution.
“54. Dogmas, Sacraments, and hierarchy, both their notion and reality, are only interpretations and evolutions of the Christian intelligence which have increased and perfected by an external series of additions the little germ latent in the Gospel.

“58. Truth is no more immutable than man himself, since it evolved with him, in him, and through him.

“59. Christ did not teach a determined body of doctrine applicable to all times and all men, but rather inaugurated a religious movement adapted or to be adapted to different times and places.

“64. Scientific progress demands that the concepts of Christian doctrine concerning God, creation, revelation, the Person of the Incarnate Word, and Redemption be readjusted.”

By holding any of these five propositions, one is automatically excluded from the Catholic Church.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

"On Loving God"

1st step, love ourselves for our own sake ( food &rest :needs not wants)

2nd step, Love God for our own sake ( forgives our sins, gives us heaven)

3rd step, Love for who He is – as well as for our own sake ( know the teachings of Church—rational love , carnal love

4th step, Love ourselves only for God’s sake , our self love is selfless , we honor His son.


Parish Priest "Slams" Parishioner from Pulpit

Fr.Daniel Geddes FSSP, Assistant Superior General. Click on link below to hear full sermon.