The epic journey of the first European colonists to the Southwest
The first two Thanksgivings in the present day United States were actually Catholic. More...
Everybody have a good Thanksgiving holiday, and My God bless your family!
Traditional Latin Mass filmed on Easter Sunday in 1941 at Our Lady of Sorrows church in Chicago. The film presents the ceremonies of the Missa Solemnis or Solemn High Mass in full detail with narration by then-Mgr. Fulton J. Sheen. Celebrated by Rev. J. R. Keane of the Order of Servites (hence the white habits and cowls), the ceremonies are accompanied by a full polyphonic choir, orchestra, and fifty Gregorian Chanters.
The attention to detail in the ceremonies is impressive. Notice, for example, how the servers and ministers always take great care to move in order. Notice too that the servers are all almost identical in height. The Ordinary of the Mass, composed by Rev. Edwin V. Hoover, while pleasant in places, is very much a reflection of its time. The Proper on the other hand is timeless and sung admirably by a healthy throng of Seminarians from Mundelein, Illinois.
Unfortunately due to size restrictions at Youtube around 20 mins have been cut from the original, however, I hope to upload a full version somewhere soon. In addition to the cuts I have added new captions and edited the opening credits which had deteriorated in the original. Other than this the film remains largely unchanged. Apologies for the error in the captions for the two parts of the Mass (software). The first part is of couse the Mass of the Catechumens, the second is the Mass of the Faithful.
I present this just as the Church has promulgated changes to the Mass as it will be beginning on Sunday 27 November 2011. I have not heard sung a High Mass since I was very small, yet still remember the responses in latin after all these years.
Today is the Feast of Fr Miguel Pro
Blessed Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, S.J. a Mexican Roman Catholic Jesuit priest, executed during the persecution of the Catholic Church under the presidency of Plutarco Elías Calles after trumped up charges of involvement in an assassination attempt against former President Álvaro Obregón.
At the time of the killing of Pro, Mexico was under rule of the fiercely anti-clerical and anti-Catholic President Plutarco Elías Calles who had begun what writer Graham Greene called the "fiercest persecution of religion anywhere since the reign of Elizabeth."
One of his companions, Fr. Pulido, said that he "had never seen such an exquisite wit, never coarse, always sparkling." He was noted for his charity and ability to talk about spiritual subjects without being boring. Fr. Pulido remarked that there were two Pros: the playful Pro and the prayerful Pro. He was known for the long periods he spent in the chapel.
Long-time President of Mexico Porfirio Díaz was ousted in 1911 after staging a rigged reelection, and a struggle for power — the Mexican Revolution — began.
Pro studied in Mexico until 1914 when a massive wave of governmental anti-Catholicism forced the novitiate to dissolve and the Jesuits to flee to Los Gatos, California, in the United States. He then went to study in Granada, Spain (1915–19), and then taught in Nicaragua from 1919 to 1922.
Back in Mexico, a new constitution for the country had been signed. Five articles of the 1917 Constitution of Mexico were particularly aimed at suppression of the Catholic Church. Article 3 mandated secular education in schools, prohibiting the Church from participating in primary and secondary education. Article 5 outlawed monastic religious orders. Article 24 forbade public worship outside of church buildings, while Article 27 restricted religious organizations' rights to own property. Finally, Article 130 took away basic civil rights of members of the clergy: priests and religious were prevented from wearing their habits, were denied the right to vote, and were not permitted to comment on public affairs in the press. Most of the anti-clerical provisions of the constitution were removed in 1998.
Because of Pro's background with the miners in Mexico and his natural ability to get along with workers, he was sent to Enghien, Belgium, to do a special study of Catholic labor movements. There, his health continued to deteriorate. He was ordained on schedule in Belgium on August 31, 1925. He wrote at that time, "How can I explain to you the sweet grace of the Holy Spirit, which invades my poor miner's soul with such heavenly joys? I could not keep back tears on the day of my ordination, above all at the moment when I pronounced, together with the bishop, the words of the consecration. After the ceremony the new priests gave their first blessing to their parents. I went to my room, laid out all the photographs of my family on the table, and then blessed them from the bottom of my heart."
His first assignment as a priest was to work with the miners of Charleroi, Belgium. Despite the socialist and communist tendencies of the workers, he was able to win them over and preach the Gospel to them.
Three months after ordination, he was forced to undergo several operations because of his ulcers. He remained cheerful and courageous, explaining that the source of his strength was his prayer.
In summer 1926, Father Pro's Jesuit superiors sent him back to Mexico, in the hopes that a change of climate would help him. On the way, he took a trip to Lourdes, where he celebrated Mass and visited the grotto.
Father Pro arrived at Veracruz on July 8, 1926. Plutarco Elías Calles was now president of Mexico. Unlike his predecessors, he vigorously enforced the anti-Catholic provisions of the 1917 constitution, implementing the so-called "Calles Law", which provided specific penalties for priests who criticized the government (five years imprisonment) or wore clerical garb in certain situations outside their churches (500 pesos). This law went into effect on July 31, 1926.
By this time, some states, such as Tabasco under the notorious anti-Catholic Tomás Garrido Canabal, had closed all the Churches and cleared the entire state of openly serving priests, killing many of them, forcing a few to marry and leaving a few to serve covertly at risk of their lives. On his return Fr. Pro served a Church which was forced to go “underground.” He celebrated the Eucharist clandestinely and ministered the other sacraments to small groups of Catholics.
We owe our details of Pro's ministry in the underground church to his many letters, signed with the nickname Cocol. In October 1926, a warrant for his arrest was issued. He was arrested, released from prison the next day, but kept under surveillance.
An assassination attempt by bombing against Álvaro Obregón (which only wounded the ex-president) in November 1927 provided the state with a pretext to capture Pro and his brothers Humberto and Roberto. A young engineer who was involved and confessed his part in the assassination testified the Pro brothers were not involved. Miguel and his brothers were taken to the Detective Inspector's Office in Mexico City.
On November 13, 1927, President Calles gave orders to have Pro executed under the pretext of the assassination, but in reality for defying the virtual outlawing of Catholicism. Calles had the execution meticulously photographed, and the newspapers throughout the country carried them on the front page the following day. Presumably, Calles thought that the sight of the pictures would frighten the Cristero rebels who were fighting against his troops, particularly in the state of Jalisco. However, they had the opposite effect.
Fr. Pro and his brothers were visited by Generals Roberto Cruz and Palomera Lopez around 11 p.m. on November 22, 1927. The next day, as Fr. Pro walked from his cell to the courtyard and the firing squad, he blessed the soldiers, knelt and briefly prayed quietly. Declining a blindfold, he faced his executioners with a crucifix in one hand and a rosary in the other and held his arms out in imitation of the crucified Christ and shouted out, "May God have mercy on you! May God bless you! Lord, Thou knowest that I am innocent! With all my heart I forgive my enemies!" Before the firing squad were ordered to shoot, Pro raised his arms in imitation of Christ and shouted the defiant cry of the Cristeros, "Viva Cristo Rey!" -"Long live Christ the King!". When the initial shots of the firing squad failed to kill him, a soldier shot him point blank.
The Cristeros became more animated and fought with renewed enthusiasm, many of them carrying the newspaper photo of Pro before the firing squad.
Fifty-two years after Pro's execution, the Pope visited Mexico, was welcomed by the President, and celebrated open-air Masses before thousands of people (an act which would have been a crime during Pro's life and was still technically illegal at the time, though unenforced). At his beatification on September 25, 1988, Pope John Paul II honored Fr. Pro with these words:
Neither suffering nor serious illness, neither the exhausting ministerial activity, frequently carried out in difficult and dangerous circumstances, could stifle the radiating and contagious joy which he brought to his life for Christ and which nothing could take away. Indeed, the deepest root of self-sacrificing surrender for the lowly was his passionate love for Jesus Christ and his ardent desire to be conformed to him, even unto death.
"Viva Cristo Rey!"
San Francisco Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregation officially called Ebenezer although, as you can see by the link, it has begun to refer to itself as herchurch.
Why does herchurch exist? According to the web site:
The Christian-Lutheran Feminist/Womanist/Mujerista Movements exist to celebrate the feminine persona of God/dess and dimensions of the sacred as expressed in faith, worship, learning, mutual care, and acts of justice. more...
His grace the Hambishop of the Church of the Holy Hamburger, Saint McDonalds Parish.
The year of St Cecilia's birth is unknown, but it is believed she died about 177 A.D. Cecilia was a member of a rich and distinguished Roman family, who gave her in marriage to a young nobleman named Valerian, despite her desire to remain a virgin. On their wedding night St Cecilia was successful in persuading the new groom to respect her vow of virginity and later converted him to the Faith when he was favored with a vision of Cecilia’s guardian angel.
Valerian and his brother, Tiburtius, who was also converted by St Cecilia, were later called upon by the early Christian persecutors to renounce their religion. When both heroically refused, they were beheaded and buried along the Appian Way.
Cecilia was arrested for having buried their bodies and for this crime was given the choice of sacrificing to the heathen gods or being put to death. St Cecilia steadfastly affirmed her faith and chose to die rather than renounce it.
Because of her nobility and youth, her captors decided to execute St Cecilia in secrecy to avoid the expected criticism of the people. She was subsequently confined to the vapor bath of her home to die of suffocation. St Cecilia remained a whole day and night in that stifling environment, yet remained unharmed.
An experienced executioner was then sent to behead St Cecilia, but due to a loss of courage at having to kill such a young and beautiful woman, he failed to sever her head with the three blows required by law. He ultimately fled, leaving the Saint on the pavement of her bath, alive and fully conscious, with her head half severed.
St Cecilia was lying on her right side, her hands crossed in prayer before her. She turned her face to the floor and remained praying in that position for three days and nights. The position of her fingers, three extended on her right hand and one on the left, were her final silent profession of faith in the Holy Trinity.
The early Christians clothed the body of the martyr in rich robes of silk and gold and placed it in a cypress coffin in the same position in which she had expired. At her feet were placed the linen cloths and veils which were used to collect her blood.
She was laid to rest in the Catacomb of St. Callistus by the future Pope Urban, who had baptized her husband and brother-in-law.
In the year 822, during the time of the restoration of the church dedicated to her memory, Pope Pascal I wished to transfer the remains of the Saint to a place of honor in her cathedral but could not locate her grave. The Saint appeared to him in a remarkable vision while he was at prayer and told him of the location of her body. The relic was found in exactly the place indicated.
The Pope then had the body, along with the bones of her husband, her brother-in-law, and the martyr Maximum, placed below the altar of the church.
Seven hundred seventy-seven years later, one of the most documented exhumations of any saint’s body occurred in 1599, when Cardinal Sfondrato ordered the restoration of some parts of the basilica. On October 20th of that year, during the course of work being done under and near the high altar, two white marble sarcophagi were discovered, which corresponded with the description left by Pascal I of the caskets containing the relics of the holy martyrs.
The Cardinal had the sarcophagi opened in the presence of witnesses of unquestionable integrity. After the marble covering was removed, the original cypress casket was found in a good state of preservation. The Cardinal, with understandable emotion, raised the lid, exposing to view the treasure which had been confided to the grave by Popes Urban and Pascal.
The mortal remains were found in the same position in which the Saint had died almost fifteen hundred years before. Through a silk veil which modestly covered the body could be seen the gold embroidered dress of the Saint, the mortal wound in the neck, and the blood-stained clothes.
Pope Clement VIII was informed at once of the discovery but was unable to visit the tomb immediately because of the severe attack of the gout, but sent instead Cardinal Baronius, who together with Antonio Bosio, the explorer of subterranean Rome, left us priceless descriptive documents relating to the events of this exhumation.
Peering through the ancient veil which covered the body, they noted that Cecilia was of small stature and that her head was turned downward, but due to a “holy reverence,” no further examination was made. Bosio recorded his opinion that the Saint was found in the same position in which she had expired.
A sculptor of unusual talents, Stefano Maderno, who it appears was engaged in performing his trade during the restoration of the Basilica, executed a statue of the Saint, which is reputed to be one of the most celebrated and best known Italian works of art and is believed to represent the Saint in the exact posture of her body. This statue is found immediately in front of the high altar in a niche of black marble, which was designed by Maderno to give the appearance of an open sarcophagus. Doing so, Maderno introduced a new altar design which was frequently imitated.
The Basilica of St. Cecilia is believed to have been built on the site of St. Cecilia’s family mansion. The second chapel, on the right aisle, is called the Caldarium and is the room where St. Cecilia was condemned to death. Here are found the remains of an ancient Roman bathroom; the conduits are preserved which formerly contained the water which was heated in the lower room. The marble slab on the altar is the one on which Cecilia is believed to have survived the first martyrdom by suffocation and very well may be the slab which marked the place of her death.
More on St Cecilia from Catholic Fire.
Roman Catholic Saints.
Meaning of the name
The name "Caecilia" was shared by all women of the Roman gens known as the Caecilii, whose name may be related to the root of 'caecus', blind. Legends and hagiographies, mistaking it for a personal name, suggest fanciful etymologies. Among those cited by Chaucer in The Second Nun's Tale are: lily of heaven; the way for the blind; contemplation of heaven and the active life; as if lacking in blindness; a heaven for people to gaze upon.
Patroness of musicians
Cecilia's musical fame rests on a passing notice in her legend that she was beheaded and at the same time praised God, singing to Him, as she lay dying a martyr's death. She is frequently depicted playing an organ or other musical instrument. Musical societies and conservatories frequently have been named for St. Cecilia. Her feast day became an occasion for musical concerts and festivals that occasioned well-known poems by John Dryden and Alexander Pope, and music by Henry Purcell (Ode to St. Cecilia), George Frideric Handel (Ode for St. Cecilia's Day, Alexander's Feast) and Benjamin Britten (Hymn to St. Cecilia), as well as Herbert Howells with text from a poem by W. H. Auden. Gerald Finzi's "For Saint Cecilia", Op. 30, was set to verses written by Edmund Blunden
Prayer to St Cecilia
O glorious saint, who chose to die instead of denying your King, we pray you please to help us as His fair praise we sing. We lift our hearts in joyous song to honor Him this way. And while we sing, remembering, to sing is to doubly pray.
At once in our hearts and in our tongues we offer double prayer sent heavenward on winged notes to praise God dwelling there. While in our hearts and tongues we try with song to praise God twice, we ask dear saint, to help us be united close to Christ! Amen.
While stationed in Califoria we attended St Cecilia in Tustin. It is from that Parish that my daughter Genevieve was Baptised and relieved of Original Sin.