Total Pageviews

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Feast of St. John the Apostle


Today is the Feast Day of St. John the Apostle and I am blogging this from my brother, John's (no relation to the Saint) house in Columbus, Ohio. St. John died at Ephesus, where a church was erected over his tomb. The church was later converted into a Mohammedan mosque.

Many believe John is responsible for the Book of the Apocalypse which is ironic considering what happened to his church.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 25, 2006

Pope Benedict's Christmas Homily

You can read the homily here. Do yourself... and your soul... a favor.


Posted by Picasa

The angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Another painting by Domenico Ghirlandaio.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Visitation

Posted by Picasa

Mary visits Elizabeth, as painted by Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494).

Today's Gospel according to Luke...

"Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It's a Sing-A-Long!

Sing along, everyone!

    Rudolphus rubrinasus
    Johnny Marks / Arr. Philip Brunelle

    Rudolphus rubrinasus fulgentissimo naso,
    vidisti et si eum dicas quoque candere.
    Omnes tarandi ceteri ridebant vocantes nomina;
    non sinebant Rudolphum interessa ludentes.
    olim crassa nocte Christi, Nicolaus it dictum:
    “Rudolphe, naso tam claro, agesne traham meam?”
    Qui tum tarandis amor conclamantibus eum,
    “Rudolphe, rubrinase descendes historia!”

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Your standing around a bonfire, and the smoke starts blowing right at you. So you move to the other side of the fire, but the smoke follows you! You move again...same thing!

Apparently, this kind of thing even happens to the Pope.
Posted by Picasa

I Am SO Proud of Myself!

I am thrilled to be named Time Magazine's Person of the Year! I deserved it!

Not really... but it does give me the chance to link to a listing of the SEVEN DEADLY SINS, one of which is PRIDE.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 18, 2006

Vatican Soccer Team?

Cardinal Bertone says the Vatican may start a soccer (football) team. We could call them the Sebastians...

I have an idea. Instead of building a new stadium and creating a soccer team, why don't they just buy the St. Louis Cardinals?

I guess Jeff Suppan already thought of this.

Trouble at St. John the Baptist's

 Posted by Picasa

No Help Here...

 Posted by Picasa

The Answer!

 Posted by Picasa

And the winner is..

Congratulations to Bailey Flamm for correctly answering the quiz question with "thurible". The Cardinals and I agree...."YOU THE MAN!!!" Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sunday, December 17 Class Plan

The readings this week emphasize rejoicing. How come? Why is the Advent candle (and maybe even Father Federico's chasuble) pink? Could it have something to do with Guadete Sunday? Here's a hint...yes, it does!

Does the Lenten season have an equivalent "joyful" Sunday?

We start most classes with a Hail Mary. We'll jump ahead to next Sunday's Gospel reading and find out where the words of the prayer came from.

The saint of the week is St. Peter Canisius, Doctor of the Church. And since there's no PSR next week we'll find out when the Feast of St. Steven is, on which day Good King Wenceslaus looked out.

And lastly - a reminder of the importance of attending mass on Holy Days of Obligation! Another hint...there are TWO coming up very soon!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Quiz Question for December 17

You've all been to a Mass where the priest uses incense during the service. If you've never been an altar boy, you wouldn't know that inside the container is a piece of buring charcoal upon which incense is placed to make scented smoke.


Here's a hint. When I was an altar boy, I would occasionally carry this thing until the priest was ready to use it. An altar, server... who does so is called a thurifer. Posted by Picasa

Claude Monet

Here's impressionist painter Claude Monet's take on the entrance to Rouen Cathedral. He painted a series of pictures of the entrance at various times of day. This one is called, "La Cathedrale Rouen, le portail et la tour Saint-Romain, plein soliel, harmonie bleue et or." Or " Rouen Cathedral, the west portal and St. Romain tower, full sunlight, haromony in blue and gold". Posted by Picasa

Rouen Cathedral

This is the magnificent entrance to the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Rouen. Richard the Lionheart is buried here...well at least his HEART is buried here. The rest of him is scattered around France. For instance, his bowels are buried in Limousin at the foot of the tower from which the crossbow was fired that killed him. The town of Rouen (located in northern France) is where St. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. From 1876-1880, the cathedral was the talest building in the world. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This photo is "La Villa de la Guadalupe" in Mexico City. From the left: the new Basillica of Our lady of Guadalupe, the old basillica, a Capuchin church, and a bell tower. Today, thousands of pilgrims, many crawling on their knees for miles, will visit this site. St. Juan Diego's tilpa is here (behind bulletproof glass - someone tried to blow it up in 1921). Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 11, 2006

Assumption Cathedral

This beautiful cathedral is located in Vladimir, Russia. I was lucky enough to visit it in 1994. It was built in 1158-60A.D. That's right, almost 850 years ago. It is NOT a Roman Catholic church, it's Russian Orthodox. The history of Catholicism in Russia is in dispute - some say Russia was a Catholic country until the 12th Century; others claim it has always been Orthodox (that is, followers of the Greek schism).

I don't know enough about it, but this is a beautiful church and it IS named for Our Lady. Posted by Picasa

Class Discussion, December 10

We started with a discussion of the day's readings. We then talked about the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the holy day of obligation which was Friday the 8th. We looked back at feast days from the previous week: Sts. Nicholas, Ambrose, and Juan Diego. Of course, St. Juan Diego led us to discuss Our Lady of Guadalupe who we honor on Tuesday, December 12th. Our discussion of the Immacualte Conception led to a discussion not only of Original Sin, but briefly touched on the philosophers Thomas Hobbs and John Locke. Are we naturally inclined to want to sin?

I also brought up the recent news that the sarcophogus of St. Paul has been restored after being buried when Emperor Theodoseus rebuilt the Church of St. Peter in the year 390 A.D. Theodosius was a friend and benefactor of St. Ambrose! The general consensus of the class is to take a peak inside... Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 08, 2006

Rockefeller Center, NYC

 Posted by Picasa

St. Patrick's Cathedral

In the heart of Manhattan, St. Patrick's in not only beautiful but also historic. It's construction was begun in 1858 but because of the Civil War, the doors didn't open until 1879. It is the oldest decorated gothic-style cathedral in North America.

There are 8 deceased archbishops of New York City buried here, 6 of whom were Cardinals. Three of them - Terence Cooke, Fulton Sheen, and Pierre Toussaint - are candidates for sainthood.

I probably visited St. Patrick's once a year (at least) for most of my childhood, mainly because it's a few hundred feet from Rockefeller Center, which has the big Christmas Tree (see above photo) and Radio City Music Hall. Radio City has an annual Christmas show which to this day includes a living nativity - with real camels walking across the stage!Posted by Picasa

St. Patrick's Interior

You can't see them, but there are galeri hanging from the ceiling! Posted by Picasa

The QUIZ (a hint)

You can get the answer if you read the first reading for December 10th's mass. Just click on the link to the right that says "Daily Readings and Psalms" and click on the day you want.

Our Cathedral, St. Peter's

Not to be confused with the other St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome, this St. Peter's in located in Bellville (that's the name of our diocese). Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I have made several posts about liturgical lids, so here's another. Pope Benedict is wearing " a tall folding cap, consisting of two similar parts (the front and back) rising to a peak and sewn together at the sides. Two short lappets always hang down from the back."


"In the Roman Catholic church, the right to wear the this is confined by Canon law to the Pope, cardinals, bishops and abbots.

Three types of of this kind of hat are worn by Roman Catholic clergy for different occasions:

  • The simplex ('simple', referring to the materials used) is made of undecorated white linen or silk and is worn most notably at funerals and on Good Friday. It is also worn by concelebrant bishops at a Mass. Cardinals in the presence of the Pope wear one of white linen damask.
  • The pretiosa ('precious') is decorated with precious stones and gold and worn on Sundays and feast days. This type is rarely decorated with precious stones today, and the designs have become more varied and original.
  • The auriphrygiata is of plain gold cloth or white silk with gold or silver embroidered bands."
This information is from
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Hanging Galero

Go here to see Cardinal Glennon's suspended galero !

More Hats!

Yes, that is in fact a hat. It's called a galero (plural: galeri), which used to be awarded to new Cardinals in consistory by the Pope. The first ones were awarded byPope Innocent IV in 1245. The practice was discontinued in 1969, but some Cardinals continue to obtain galeri privately. Why?

When a Cardinal dies, his galero is suspended above his tomb and left there until it turns to dust - a reminder of how earthly glory is temporary.

There are a few cathedrals in the United States where you can see a galero hung from the ceiling over the tomb of a Cardinal, or galeri over the tombs of several. The nearest one is the Cathedral Basillica of Saint Louis. One of the Cardinals entombed there is John J. Glennon who was Archbishop of the the St. Louis diocese from 1903 until he died in 1946. He "received the red hat" on February 22, 1946. On the way home, he took a detour to his native Ireland - and died.

Other cathedrals to see suspended galeri include St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, and the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, DC. Posted by Picasa

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

A reminder to my students - Friday is a HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION!

It's the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Learn about it here.

Watch Out For the Guy in White!

How did Pope Benedict get through the metal detector wearing that crucifix? And do you think they made him take off his shoes? Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 03, 2006

December 3 - Today's Class

After discussing today's Mass readings we'll talk about St. Ambose, whose Feast Day is December 7th. His story allows us to discuss the Arian heresy of the time (Ambrose lived from 340-397). We'll define heresy as best we can, and we'll talk about the Doctors of the Church (of which St. Ambrose was one).

Of course, since today begins Advent we'll begin a more in-depth discussion of the season (time permitting).