Sunday, May 31, 2009


Four men ordained yesterday to the sacred priesthood for this little diocese in the back of beyond - sunshine and a full Co-Cathedral. All fine men, properly formed in their Seminaries, they will serve the Church well in Vermont - the 'Year for Priests' will bring great blessings after so many tough years for faithful priests. I hope their parishioners will love and support them

Where are they now? (part One)

Many have been wondering where Archbishop Piero Marini, the former Papal MC went after his time in liturgical rehab. Sadly, there was a relapse, something about liturgical dance and bongo drums. I gather he is now doing a six month sentence. He can just be seen in this picture, at the 'Blessed Pius IX High Security Rest Home.'

Papal Blessing!

What a blessing to have a musician Pope! Sitting down after the third Pentecost Mass of the weekend, what a joy to turn on EWTN and see the Papal Mass for Pentecost. The parts of the Mass were from Haydn's 'Harmoniemesse,' with full orchestra and the choir from Cologne Cathedral. As the Pope said in his beautiful homily, this Mass was written for the glory of God by Haydn, and how appropriate to hear it, not in a concert hall, but in its proper setting. Unfortunately, it once again throws into relief the poor quality of the Sistine Chapel choir - Susan Boyle and the local karaoke group from her Pub would be an improvement.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Blog Recovers from Near-Death Experience

My three readers will have noticed a little quietness recently on the Owl's blog. Among other things, Confirmation, First Communion, end of the year for religious education and other things all conspired together. Add to that trying to prepare homilies, and my column for 'The Vermont Catholic Tribune' and the 'Saint Austin Review' - needless to say, the blog has been on the back-burner. I have also had the joy of having my Mother and Godmother staying with me for the last two weeks. I am sure you are all getting out your hankies as you begin to weep for me in my busyness. However, that is not my body in the hearse (although I would rather like a horse-drawn hearse when the Lord should call me - note to the Chancellor of the Diocese). The blog did seem to be close to its eternal demise; the priest was even called in to administer Extreme Unction and, miraculously, it seems to be returning to life. A number of people have asked me if I would post my homilies on this blog: I usually only use notes, and find it it a little odd to "write' a homily which, in essence, is a uniquely 'spoken' text, but, after this weekend's several requests, I might try and do it tomorrow - Happy Memorial Day to US readers! (Happy May Bank Holiday to UK readers!)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Noah's Ark found in Vermont

It's been raining for days..........

Monday, May 4, 2009

Swine Flu Over

The Flu has been mild - Mexico declares the crisis over: (the 'first wave' of an epidemic normally takes at least six to eight weeks) While we can all hope for the best, a couple of historical facts, all taken from John Barry's 'The Great Influenza.'

"As it passed from person to person it adapted to its new host, became increasingly efficient in its ability to infect and changed from the virus that caused a generally mild first wave of disease in the Spring of 1918 to the lethal and explosive killer of the second wave in the Fall." (p.370)

"When the virus floats in the air (it is an airborne pathogen) it can infect someone else for anywhere from an hour to a day after it is exhaled (the lower the humidity the longer the virus survives)" (p.256)

"All influenza viruses mutate constantly" (p.92)

In the 1918 pandemic "influenza killed more people in a year than the Black Death of the Middle Ages killed in a century; it killed more people in twenty-four weeks than AIDS has killed in twenty-four years." (p.5)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tips For the Great Influenza

1. Along with frequent hand washing - frequent Confession.

2. Making peace with enemies/those who have a grievance against us.

3. Daily Rosary.

4. Prayers for good death to St. Joseph.

5. "Keep death daily before you" - Rule of St. Benedict.

6. Joy and Peace.

7. If possible, daily Mass.