Monthly Archives: February 2023

Bludgeoned by Tack Hammers

The funny thing about tack hammers, as any casual woodworker can attest, is that they still hurt when flung at a fellow even though as tools they’re only really useful at driving small tacks.

April 3 is coming indeed. For some it is coming early.

The Remnant ran a piece today – “Persecution Accelerating in Dioceses…” – which backs up what I have been hearing. Do check that article out.

One by one, dioceses on these shores are “suppressing” the venerable and august Mass of the Ages. Bishops complicit by their lack of vertebrae are capitulating to this evil. We all know that the Missal of Pius V cannot be abrogated. So instead they scurry to implement some rescript of a document that has no weight because you-know-who said they have to. In diocese after diocese, the Latin Mass is being driven out of parish churches. I have mentioned that priests at chancery levels have literally said to me that the gameplan on their part is simply to wait for him to die and try to ride out the storm. In the meantime, screw the rest of us I guess.

Yesterday I mentioned Albany. Ah Albany… After 40 years of Howie Hubbard, I’m surprised there is anyone left in that part of New York State who even knows what the Catholic faith is. And yet, surprisingly there are many faithful Catholics living there. Many of them attend the TLM. Over the weekend, it seems that Howie’s successor decided he needed to get the TLM out of parochial buildings. I suggested an alternative in the form of a local SSPX chapel. It is likely out-of-the-way for many but it is an option.

Today, one of my dearest friends who happens to live in that part of the country texted to tell me that there are two more options. The first is that the Carmelite Rite Mass continues to be offered at a nearby Carmel. Someone please help me out with an address. I searched but came up empty. The second is that the TLM may be offered at the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, NY as it is not a parish. That’s great unless it’s winter. The shrine church itself is cavernous (it seats 6000) but has no heat. But they didn’t think that would stop us, did they? Bundle up kids. It’s time for Mass!

How about my home state? The Trenton diocese this past Sunday moved the TLM to the basement. Just following orders from Rome, apparently… A friend emailed me that he and some friends attended Mass there as a sign of solidarity. I think that’s a remarkable idea and I hope it was appreciated.

Look, they’re hitting at us from every angle and it’s happening fast. The Remnant article even hinted that “a diocese in Texas” will soon have its TLM’s reduced or curtailed. Given that Texas has 15 diocese in two provinces I might dodge this bullet. Nah, they’ll throw a tack hammer at us too.

Read that article. So often we hear of complaints with no solutions. The author, Brian Mershon, offers what I believe are possibly the only solutions for many of us at this juncture – SSPX and organizing with like-minded Catholics.

A tack hammer hurts, friends, but it isn’t likely to kill. Pray your rosaries.

St. Peter Damian, pray for us!

Albany TLM

Came across this headline on Canon212 this afternoon:

“Albany Freakbishop Ed Crushes the Ancient Mass for His Blessed Francis“

The tweeter poignantly says, “April 3 came early for our community.”

Brings a tear to my eye for sure; but it also strengthens my resolve.

I have family and friends in the Capital Region of New York. I’ve visited many times. From my experience – and some may hate me for this but I really don’t care – I offer the following option.

Chapel of the North American Martyrs, 100 Boulevard, Hudson Falls (Glens Falls), NY

It might be out of the way but it’s the Mass. I’ve attended there myself. Very welcoming crowd and very valid Sacrifice.

Help each other out, friends. It’s come to this.

St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!

This Book is Long

Another not-so-lazy Sunday around our house. I have been plodding through my copy of Windswept House. On the one hand I’m happy to say that, despite all the other goings-on around here, I’ve managed to reach almost 400 pages into this novel On the other, that means I still have about 250 to go. I may be up all night, folks.

Again, if you haven’t read this yet, pick up a copy and find a few days of free time. In the meantime, here’s a passage I read this evening that might help you understand why so many have glanced at Martin’s story and immediately grasped (especially as we going further into this nightmarish situation in the Church) exactly what we’re up against.

“Perhaps you’re too young to know this matter in the round” – the Cardinal smiled – “but at my age, I have come to realize that Council gave us a new ecclesiology. A new beginning. A new constitutional structure for the Church. One in which the power of Christ as head of the Church is suitably and harmoniously exercised by all its bishops, including the venerable Bishop of Rome. And you, Father Gladstone – even you, by your collaboration with this office – are helping mightily to enforce that new structure.”

p. 374

I am more and more convinced – as if I wasn’t thoroughly convinced already – that the plots and machinations detailed by Fr. Malachi Martin in this book are being carried out today in haste. I believe he thought this would all happen to John Paul II; but he (JPII) somehow hung on to a natural death. I will say no more. Read the book. Thank me later.

In Other News, Water Is Wet

A new report from an organization calling itself Vocation Ministry can be found on Aletia here. The headline is interesting. “New Report Examines the State of Priestly Vocations in the US”. Here’s the long and short of the article.

Young men don’t want to be priests.

There’s a shock for you.

The article goes on to offer potential reasons why the numbers are down at every level. And by the way, these numbers are nothing new. There has been a vocation shortage ever since the early 1970’s. Wonder what happened then…

Here are some of the proffered reasons why our lads aren’t eager to give themselves over to God. First and perhaps most laughable is the notion that dioceses have put too much of a focus on sacramental initiation (presumably their wretched lay-run RCIA “programs”) to the exclusion of focusing on vocations “awareness”. FYI, I hate that term “awareness”. In any event, this assumes that one cannot walk and chew gum at the same time. You focus on bringing in adults to the Church that literally zaps your resources to have a couple of priests staff a vocations office? I’m not buying it.

Another reason offered is that young men do not have priests in their lives. We’re getting warmer but… Even those who attend Mass with their families every Sunday aren’t inching toward the seminary. But while we’re on it, we could look into the mixed-sex sanctuary and see if there isn’t a connection there as to why young men really aren’t drawn to the altar. I’m totally being facetious. Of course that’s a reason.

He knew how to attract vocations… and he wasn’t even trying.

The report also goes on to suggest that materialism is a problem. Again, duh. But why is no one preaching against this? Oh that’s right. Because the focus over the past 50 years has been to “dialogue” with the world and never to make anyone feel bad. And so we here nothing on sin and conversion, nary a word on growth in personal holiness, and forget those really hard teachings… Boy, we don’t want anyone to walk away upset with us.

I have my own thoughts on this. Would you like to hear it? Here it goes…

No young man wants to be a priest in a gay Church with a hippie Mass.

Too blunt? I was on the inside, and that was 25 years ago. Believe me, it’s only gotten worse.

St. John Vianney, pray for us!


Tonight I ventured to church. I had missed the parish Stations of the Cross due to a scheduling conflict but by the grace of God I was still able to slip into the church to pray the Way of the Cross. As I silently made my way around the church praying for the little booklet of Liguori’s Stations, I was deeply moved by Our Lord’s Passion. I pray that you and I be blessed with such similar grace to enter into His agony and in particular to meditate on the relationship between Our Lord and His Mother.

If you are not in the habit of praying the Stations, might I suggest you give it a go? Even if your parish does not offer this devotion or you cannot make it when they do, make the effort to pray them even at home and especially with your families.

May God bless you this Lent!

Only 37 more days to go!

St. Veronica, pray for us!

Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe

A very thoughtful reader sent me a note today about my last post. In that post I stated that I did not want to disclose my Lenten disciplines for fear of becoming proud or sounding judgmental. Reader S. reminds me of an old phrase. We ought to “Keep it secret, keep it safe.” I would add to that, “Keep it simple”, as far as Lent is concerned.

This reader agreed with me that there are some who have a right to know what our plans are. As I mentioned, it would be grossly unfair to my wife and children (not to mention bizarre and out of character) were I to suddenly adopt a completely different way of life and not bring them up to speed. I also use this as an opportunity to teach my children how to pray, fast, and give alms, following the example I lay forth.

I add the bit about keeping it simple because I have found (and many excellent sermons and the writings of the Fathers confirm) that trying to be heroic (aka: going overboard) is a recipe for failure. There is a balance to be struck. Don’t try not to be heroic because saints are made of heroic virtue and we should always be striving to become saints. Also, men in particular desire to outdo each other to show how manly we are. It’s kind of a thing. But don’t forget also a most important thing – your state in life. A husband or wife with care of small children, a police officer, a construction worker, any other member of the Village People – we all have obligations attached to those states in life. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Fasting should hurt. Fasting should be difficult. I would say, whatever you’re thinking, go for it and then dial that back based on your obligations. Similarly, I as a dad – though I may desire to do this – cannot devote as much time to pray as the Carmelite nuns do because it would interfere specifically with the raising of my children. So thank God the Carmelites pray for me. But I will definitely sacrifice any and all personal time during Lent to dramatically increase me prayer time.

Today, for instance, after listening to a talk about how men, through the offering of their prayers, sufferings, and good works merit grace for their wives and children; I asked Our Lord to give me more good works to offer. He did not neglect me. No details needed. He simply gave me opportunities to be charitable. He also gave me several moments during the day where I found myself in the vicinity of my parish church. Mercifully, the church is open all day. He gave me several times simply to come in and be with Him and to pray to Him in His presence. That was much needed and much more appreciated. I was able to tell Him my plans for Lent and wait for Him to laugh at me. He didn’t laugh, at least not that I could hear. But I did spend those moments lapping up the “intimacy with the Divine” of which Malachi Martin spoke in one interview and for which, he said, Catholics have always been distinguished. I could speak with my Lord in His presence about anything and everything and know that He hears me. I pray He continues to give me such opportunities as I make my way to Easter.

Speaking of Martin, it’s back to Windswept House. I’m making headway.

Only 38 more days…

St. Brendan, pray for us!

Lent, Blessed Lent!

I have avoided sharing my particular Lenten “disciplines” for a number of reasons. I have a feeling in my gut that the second I start posting about what I am doing, giving up, adding in, etc., I will become victim to the sin of pride or the sin or judging others rashly or unjustly, or any number of sins. There are a few close family and friends with whom I have shared the plan. This is inevitable. For instance, I wouldn’t attempt to make any major change to my daily life without at least informing my wife and our children. And in that regard, it is my responsibility to teach all of them and to form them in the faith – including in the practice of the faith.

Suffice it to say that this Lent is a little different than in the past. For all of the evil afforded by the internet, there are some very good things too. I have seen such incredible writing and heard such beautiful sermons and talks on what a traditional Lenten observance looks like that it has inspired me this year to do more than I ever have. I won’t link to them here because there are truly many of them. I’m guessing we’re all visiting the same handful of sites every day anyway. But I know I am not alone in this as many of my friends and relatives (especially the men) have all mentioned similar things to me about fasting in particular. I believe this is a grace of God that we all appear to be converging on the same things around this time of year.

All that being said, I got a text this afternoon from a friend that said:

“Musings of a Trad Dad without a blog… Our Blessed Lord took upon Himself all the sins of the world… and my fat ass wants to curl up in a ball in the corner and whimper because I haven’t eaten for 24 hours. I suck. That’s all.”

After I laughed and asked his permission to use that text, he followed up with:

“I have to get to heaven because I am such a wuss, I won’t be able to deal with hell.”

So you see, the Lord goes out of His way to help us stay humble. Speaking of humility, Fr. Ripperger, in one of his talks, suggests that for a Lenten practice we ask our guardian angels to “interiorly humiliate us”. Thank you, Father, and NO. I want to live. My angel could do some serious damage with the things about me he could flash into my mind.

Only 39 more days to go.

St. John the Baptist, pray for us!