Oct 6, 2007

Catholic Traditional Latin Mass

The old Latin Mass will be offered by a priest of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest on Sunday, October 21, at 12:30 pm on the campus of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS. Fr. Steven Beseau is director of the St. Lawrence Catholic Center and has invited the Missa Cantata to be sung in the chapel by Fr. Denis Buchholz of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Fr. Buchholz is the current rector of the old Latin Mass community at Old St. Patrick Oratory in Kansas City.

The University of Kansas was the site of many traditional Catholic vocations to the priesthood and conversions to the true Faith while Dr.'s Senior, Quinn, and Nelick taught their Pearson Integrated Humanities Program in the 1970's. In fact, there would be no Clear Creek Monastery in Oklahoma without the conversions and priests engendered by the Pearson Program. The current Bishop of Salina, KS also attended the program, as did certain priests of the Kansas City, MO, Kansas City, KS, and Wichita dioceses. In addition, more than a few alumni of the Pearson Program became priests and monks in old traditional Catholic monasteries and convents in France.

I heard Dr. John Senior give an address at a Catholics United for the Faith meeting at a parish in south Kansas City during the mid-1970's. The thin professor who had himself been a convert to the Catholic faith, and appeared to me to walk a difficult spiritual path few mortals take. He was well known for his support of the old Latin Mass, and so it is appropriate that Kansas University is the location of one of the first archdiocesan Masses offered in the 1984 Latin rite under Summorum Pontificum.

I remember hearing that the three professors were very good at embedding a desire to search for, and find and love truth, in their students. Once I watched Dr. Senior and Dr. Quinn (or perhaps it was Dr. Nelick?) argue vigorously in a large auditorium. I'm not sure of the subject but it was undoubtedly about a position relating to the foundation of Western Civilization that was also debated by ancient peoples.

In the debate I heard, Dr. Senior took the affirmative position and Dr. Quinn took the negative position. All the possible views of the subject seemed to be explored. The 45-min exploration easily demonstrated to listeners the errors of particular points and the truths of others. Consequently, even though Catholicism was never advertised, the students eventually wondered about the personal beliefs of the genial, yet stalwart professors. When students asked questions, answers were given, and I remember hearing the program was responsible for keeping a convert class conducted by old Fr. Moriarity full with at least 40 students each semester.

Things went along fairly well in the first couple of years, but then some parents, rather powerful, realized that more than a few of their children were embracing the Catholic faith. Years later, one of the priests who came from the Pearson Program came back to Kansas City to say Mass at a local parish. He had been estranged from his Jewish family for many, many years, and his sister had agreed to meet him after the morning Mass. I won't forget the woman who came up to me as I was leaving the church and asked, "I'm looking for my brother. He's DRESSED LIKE A CATHOLIC PRIEST."

The University, betraying its liberality, caused the program to die in about 1979. A key element of the betrayal was to deny the Pearson Program access to the names and addresses of entering freshmen. But other roadblocks were also successfully used by the University. Yet so much had been accomplished in the very short eight years of the Program that a book would be required to describe it all. May the Church eventually acknowledge the sanctity, love, and courage exhibited by Dr. John Senior during the worst time of the Devil's Playground in the Church of the 1970's.

Oct 3, 2007

Piero Marini's Departure; Guido Marini's Ascendence

"Monsignor Guido Marini will replace Archbishop Piero Marini as the pope’s Master of Ceremonies, meaning the official in charge of how the pope celebrates the Mass and the other rites of the church"
reports John L. Allen, Jr. of NCR Cafe. Yes, I loathe the newspaper, but not Allen. Check out Allen's full article which does an excellent job of explaining why the Pope's Masses in different parts of the world have been full of outrageous behaviors. You won't be too surprised once you find out the the departing Archbishop Piero Marini used to be the
"personal secretary to Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, head of the special Vatican commission that oversaw liturgical reform."

Madonna's Conversion

For quite a while, I've prayed that the singer, Madonna, would have a conversion and return to the Catholic church. It would seem to be a great conversion story. However as the years have passed, I've come to realize that if she did convert, no one would believe her. Especially because her notoriety is based on shocking change after change to engender additional publicity.

Madonna's mother died of breast cancer when she five years old, leaving six children. Did Madonna grieve? I'm sure she did, but her personality is such that I would bet that very quickly she became angry--ANGRY at God for taking her mother. Children can make promises at a very young age. Did Madonna tell God that she would be His adversary because of her Mother? I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised, considering the life Madonna has led.

Madonna's anger might have resembled that of a nice young man of about 17 years, Justin, who told me recently his favorite Grandpa had died about three months ago. Justin said he had stopped going to church because God took his Grandpa. Fortunately, an older man has talked to Justin about God's providence and wisdom, even in death. Justin said he has let go of his anger and returned to worshiping God.

So, what if my prayers are not answered and Madonna dies while still angry with God (if she actually is angry). I believe God gave his grace (perhaps a little because of my prayers), to another public person who would have a much more profound religious conversion, John C. Wright. I've mentioned this well-known author before because he is well-read and knowledgeably combats the relativism, hedonism, and atheism of today's world in posts that are interspersed with writing about science fiction. Frankly, Wright is a much better catch for God than would be Madonna. If you haven't visited Wright's daily journal (blog), please check it out. He isn't all there, yet, but seems to be following much the same path as C.S. Lewis once did.

BTW, I'll still continue praying for Madonna's conversion, even if an actual change of life cannot be believed as being genuine by anyone.

Alas, Rich Curmudgeon!

Been gone for a while, and I see Curmudgeon is back, including his story of winning the lottery and building a dream town of traditional Catholicism in North Dakota. I'm not sure an enclave is the answer because it is a clear target for enemies to come, as Curmudgeon points out.

If safety no longer exists for a political or religious group, it might be best to become invisible or hidden. Witness the Japanese Catholics who secretly maintained their faith for a couple of hundred years. Should things ever get really bad in the U.S., most people believe hiding is the answer--in isolated places such as the desert or the mountains or the far north. Personally, I think it might be smarter to become the poor janitor or car washer in the worst part of town and learn street smarts to protect yourself and your family.

I once visited a black Catholic friend who lived in one of the worst neighborhoods in the city--highest crime rate, weedy lots, and houses seemingly ready to be torn down. She had iron bars on her apparently run down house, but when I entered, what a surprise! Her house was clean and tastefully furnished--beautiful! When she saw my obvious shock at her home's interior, she said that it was wise for her house to look like the others on her block. She protected herself and her family by appearing poor and downtrodden.