Monday, June 30, 2008


Yesterday I took leave of the two parishes I have had the pastoral care of for the last year. The good people of St. Louis were most kind - speaking at the end of Mass and making a presentation. The previous week, at Nativity and St. Louis, I had apologized for any of my failings as a pastor - interestingly enough, no-one who has acted outside the bounds of Christian charity saw fit to make a similar apology.

Sad - yet hopeful!

While it is undoubtedly a loss to the US Hierarchy to lose one of its most outstanding Bishops, the rather ignorant glee of the left-wing heretics is somewhat presumptuous; they forget that Archbishop Burke is now guaranteed to be 'Cardinal' Burke - he will have immense influence in Rome on future appointments to the US hierarchy - and on future policy - perhaps we will all be laughing in the near future!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Last Post

Forgive the pun! All my stuff is being transported to Stowe tomorrow, including this electronic quill pen, so this is the 'lowering of the flag' for a while. After the last Mass this weekend for the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, I fly home for my true annual visit (the last was a special quickie!). While at home, I will take my Mother to Rome for a couple of days to celebrate her special birthday, I will also be celebrating Mass for my Aunt's Golden Jubilee as a Sister of the Assumption - Maria Assumpta on July 5th for anyone who is interested. Returning to the Colonies around July 17th to begin my new assignment - will post when I get home to the Mother Country.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Feast of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More

Even though their Feast gets knocked out by the Sunday, the Gospel was perfectly fitting for this Feast of the great English martyrs. They both "declared themeselves for Christ," refused the easy option and gave their lives for Christ and His holy Church. Some of you will remember last Summer I was lucky enough to handle the staff of St. John Fisher and the drinking cup of St. Thomas More at East Hendred. Today I baptized a young man of thirteen, and encouraged him to get to know these two Patrons of his baptismal day. I had received his Mother and younger sister at the Easter Vigil and he had now requested baptism - what a blessing!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Lame Duck(Owl) Gives Final Quack

Taking a break from trying to fill boxes before my last week, which is already filling up with two funerals so far, meetings, and moving everything on Thursday, I found this quote from Mauriac's 'Holy Thursday' -

"People say that there is a scarcity of priests (this was written in 1931!). In truth, what an adorable mystery is is that there still are any priests. They no longer have any human advantage. Celibacy, solitude, hatred very often, derision and, above all, the indifference of a world in which there seems to be no longer room for them - such is the portion they have chosen. They have no apparent power; their task sometimes seems to be centered about material things, identifying them, in the eyes of the masses, with the staffs of town halls and of funeral parlors. A pagan athmosphere prevails all around them. The people would laugh at their virtue if they believed in it, but they do not. They are spied upon. A thousand voices accuse those who fall. As for the others, the greater number, no one is surprised to see them toiling without any sort of recognition, without appreciable salary, bending over the bodies of the dying or ambling about the parish schoolyards."

Chapter Five of 'Holy Thursday,' by Francois Mauriac.

I will not continue the quotation about the life of the country priest, in case anyone is offended - but it's worth a look! While a somewhat gloomy piece (it gets better!), it struck me that 1930's France and 21st Century Vermont are not that far away. As I say goodbye next weekend I am profoundly grateful for all the kindness that has been shown to me by so many people in the parish. Since I announced my departure, people have said some very kind things. It has been a very exhausting year - mentally, physically and spiritually. There was a tremendous amount to do and, as I said, I received a great deal of help and support. Not unusually in "AmChurch," the parish was, and is, a microcosm of all the problems that fellow parish priests will recognize around the country - sometimes, it can seem almost too much to deal with, but, as Mauriac goes on to say, the Lord is with us. I have written before about the profound crisis I believe the Church is experiencing - some, I know think I am either a)nuts, b) nuts or c) deluded and nuts (please text your options to 1 800 NUTS). It gives me comfort to be reminded by the Holy Father about the extreme crisis that followed the Council of Nicea - and to follow his lead in the "reform of the reform."

I will finish with a beautiful quotation from Cardinal John Henry Newman which has always helped me either when, through my own pride, I have wanted to go my own way or, when depressed in the heat of the battle, wondered whether it was worth it:

"Trust the Church of God implicitly, even when your natural judgment would take a different course from Hers and would induce you to question Her prudence or correctness. Recollect what a hard task She has, your Mother; how She is sure to be criticized and spoken against, whatever She does; recollect how much She needs your loyal and tender devotion; remember too, how long is the experience gained in 1800 years; and what a right She has to claim your assent to principles which have had so extended and triumphant a trial. Thank Her, your Mother, that She has kept the faith safe for so many generations and do your part in helping Her to transmit it to generations after you."

Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Moving Insanity

With two weeks to go, a combination of procrastination, inertia and packing phobia is now producing temporary(we hope!) insanity! Urgent novenas, penance, pilgrimages, Midnight Office please!

Leading by Example

From the Papal Mass this morning - very interesting - Communion, kneeling and on the tongue - no legislation yet - but the direction is clear.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Major USCCB Decision

In a stunning move, to help Bishop Donald Trautman's favourite mythical Catholic couple, "John and Mary Catholic," the USCCB Liturgy Committee has decided that, from now on, Bishop Trautman will be known as Bishop Donald Fishperson - in the interest of species/gender equality. Bishop Trautman felt that "John and Mary Catholic" would have difficulty with the archaic concept of a Trautman - a fishperson is much more user-friendly........and they think the age of clericalism is in the traditionalist world?!

Friday, June 13, 2008


Only lovers of a certain genre of film will enjoy this one - there are some of you out there - "rath -er," as Terry Thomas would say.

Crossing the Tiber?

Speculation is mounting that President George W. Bush will follow his brother Jeb, the former Governor of Florida, into the Catholic Church. Unlike another recent world leader who famously 'Poped,' he will not have to renounce constant public (being the operative word) support for abortion, stem-cell research, "gay" marriage and anti-Catholic legislation..........oh, I forgot..... the other world leader didn't renounce any of those things. Yes - before any pinkos become any more pink of face or politics, or pompously pontificate in the comment section, or endlessly alliterate (that's my job!) he may, indeed, in humility, acknowledge the constant opposition of both Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict to the war in Iraq - we shall see!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Crooner releases new 'Greatest Hits' Album

Archbishop Marini

Classic '70's Soft-Rock crooner Archbishop Piero 'Kenny G' Marini has just announced a sweet deal with Time-Life records:You may have seen their late-night commercials for the Soft-Rock hits of the '70's - Kenny Marini will be releasing a compilation disc of his greatest hits from his time as Papal MC. Included in the album will be timeless classics like: 'Papal Audience Shuffle,' the cover version of the Pointer Sisters number (includes a rare backing track from the Singing Nun), 'Hey, Forget the Rubrics,' the Doobie Brother's classic, and the all-time favourite on the dance floor, 'Fiddleback Showdown' (with guest vocals by the surviving members of the St. Louis Jesuits). As followers of Kenny's recent career may recall, he recently completed a period in Summorum Pontificium rehab after his demotion as Papal MC. Sadly, it has been reported in the 'National Enquirer' that he fell off the wagon, when he was seen celebrating the liturgy in clown attire at a gathering of 'Voice of the Faithful;' the other elderly attendees helped a tired and emotional Kenny Marini into a waiting taxi and told the driver "take him to Los Angeles - the address is the Taj Mahoney."

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

"Peace in our time"

President Obama returns from his successful visit with the Iranian President.