Monthly Archives: April 2023

An Old Mass and a New Christian!

My travels have once again taken me to the northern corner of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today I am here for the baptism of a little boy born last month. His parents are friends and they have asked me and my wife to be his godparents. It is an honor, but more importantly it is a duty we do not take lightly.

So this morning I set out in search of my beloved Ancient Mass in the venerable Gregorian rite that I might offer my sacrifice especially today for him.

Owing to my location, finding the TLM is no easy task. I should say, finding the Mass is easy. There are only a handful of locations allowed by the bishop. Finding the time of the Mass is another story. For some reason, the diocese has decided that Cardinal Roche has authority even to forbid local parishes from publicizing the Mass times (only for the TLM) anywhere. No bulletin, no website, no social media. I wonder if His Eminence were to tell them how to lace their shoes, if they would consent…

Through back channels, I found a Mass.

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Birmingham, AL (unrelated to post topic)

And here is how you know you have found a Latin Mass being said when you aren’t supposed to know.

When you drive past a small-ish parking lot packed with at least ten Ford Transit vans, five Ford Econoline 15 passenger vans, a slew of bumper stickers, and at least one vanity license plate that says something like “JUDICAME” or “INTROIBO” or “16KIDZ”; you’ve definitely found it.

Interestingly I think the priest was a Dominican friar and not a diocesan priest. The lack of a biretta (replaced with a hood) and the fact that he had clearly prepared the water, wine, etc. before the Mass were my giveaways. I follow along in the Missal, praying every word. I’m usually very good at pacing myself with the priest at the altar. However, this man seemed to fly through the offertory. Also of note, the good folks of this place really seem to like their dialogue Masses. I am not accustomed to reciting anything during the Mass apart from the Leonine prayers. On the plus side, their Latin is flawless. God bless us all.

And so now it is on to the Novie parish for the baptism and the welcoming to new life of my godson. Please keep little Joseph in your prayers. The Church he is about to enter is everywhere in disarray yet Our Lord Jesus Christ rules, conquers, and prevails! Pray for me also as the church building I am about to enter resembles a spaceship. Should it lift off during the sacrament, well, RIP me, right?

St Joseph, protector of the Church, pray for us!

Flying the Friendly Skies

No power ports. Phone died. United, you make me sad. But nice job with the clouds, Lord.


News has broken tonight of the untimely death in Colorado of Fr. Terrance Gordon, FSSP. Father served in several apostolates around the country. He is said to have received Last Rites from his brother, Fr. James, Gordon. Please pray for the repose of his soul.

The Twig Boy and the Man Among Men

Sometimes I struggle to come up with a topic for my daily posting.

And… sometimes a picture really can tell a thousand words.

My oldest brother died of pancreatic cancer seven years ago. He was severely wasted at the end of that terrible three month battle. The last time I spoke to him via FaceTime call just the day before his demise, he said to me, “I love you. The time has come. If I lose any more muscle mass I may come close to resembling a gun control activist.”

In all seriousness – and I do not know this Hogg character from a hole in the ground – there is something seriously amiss about the current generation of 20-something young men. I do not know if he has an aversion to heavy lifting (not just weights, I’m talking about just lifting anything from a suitcase to a backpack) or if he actually has a wasting disease. Maybe it is the latter. If that is the case I will pray for him. If he just doesn’t feel like being a man, I will also pray for him. Hey pal, God gave you that Y Chromosome for a reason. Ultimately, it was supposed to have triggered your pituitary gland to direct your gonads to release massive amounts of testosterone into your bloodstream so you could, you know, develop into a man.

So he wants to take my guns?

I’ll arm wrestle you for them!

That’s what I thought, Twiggy.


Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

OK, on to more serious news for the night. I re-read the article posted on Mark Dougherty’s blog, Non Veni Pacem, yesterday regarding St. Joseph. This may have been one of the best blog posts I have ever read. Kudos to the blog’s author, Laramie Hirsch, who did a phenomenal job outlining the case for why St. Joseph is indeed the saint for our times and why men need to increase their devotion to him. I texted with a friend from the parish tonight that I find it funny that I never had a remote devotion to St. Joseph until about a year ago and then, as if out of the blue, I felt a need to try to develop one.

And how does one develop a devotion to a great saint? Well, as I’ve learned over the years, you pray hard and then you do what you can. Case in point: if you want to do more pull-ups, then do more pull-ups. You’re never going to hit the Marine Corps PT Test goal if you cannot do one and you cannot do one if you do not try.

St. Joseph is a great saint. If you want to foster a devotion to him, pray about it. Then, turn to him. Talk to him. Ask his intercession. Ask him to guide you. Ask him to pray that you become more like him as a husband and father. Sometimes devotions to particular saints are a gift from God. Sometimes we have to ask for that gift. Always, we have to work at it. And for heaven’s sake, if your biceps resemble smore’s skewers pick up a couple of dumbbells and start curling, lad. There’s no shame except when you didn’t try.

St. Joseph, help me to be the man God has called me to be. At today’s Mass, the communion verse for St. Peter Canisius, came from the Mass “In Medio of a Doctor” and it is one of my favorites as I hope it may be said of me one day:

“The faithful and wise servant, whom his lord setteth over his family: to give them their measure of wheat in due season.”

St. Joseph, model of husbands and fathers, pray for us!

Our Lady of Good Counsel: The Flying Portrait of Heaven’s Queen

Many of you may have noted that I grew up in Newark, NJ and that my home parish all that time was the magnificent neo-Gothic Our Lady of Good Counsel parish.

Today, April 26th, is the traditional feast day of Our Lady of Good Counsel this is one of those that appears in the hand missal under “Feasts celebrated in certain places” (or something to that effect… I don’t have my missal handy as I write this). I would like to share a link to the story of this miraculous image of the Blessed Mother and entreat everyone to consider asking the Fairest of our Race to intercede for us all under this title.

Read the story of the miraculous flight of the Mother of Good Counsel here.

Although I have not seen the image with my own eyes, a priest who did once showed me a beautiful picture he snapped of it. He described the free-standing fresco as being thinner than a sheet of paper. I am captivated by this story.

Our Lady of Good Counsel, Newark, NJ

Even more so, though, I am captivated by the idea of the Seat of Wisdom offering to us her loving counsel. How often in life – especially in these last years – do we have need of her advice? How often do we have recourse to the love shared between Mother and Son as He Himself clings to her neck in absolute trust? How much more, going forward, will we need to cast ourselves before the two of Them and pray that for that counsel?

Non Veni Pacem posted a beautiful reflection today on our need for devotion to St. Joseph. I wholeheartedly concur. I have often wondered why, in the past few years, I have felt Our Lord calling me to increase in devotion to Joseph. I had never had a particular devotion to the Most Chaste Spouse but now I am drawing closer to him. It is obvious to me now that I must be totally and truly devoted to the three. If Satan wants to destroy the family, I must strive as hard as I can to imitate the Holy Family – Blessed Mother of Good Counsel, St. Joseph the strong protector to whom God became subject, and of course Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe!

Lord Jesus, Son of Mary, foster-son of Joseph, have mercy on us!

Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for us!

St. Joseph, pray for us!

Rise to God Like Incense

I am overwhelmed (in a good way) at the number of you who sent intentions for the novena. I will begin the next nine days on Saturday (April 29). Following is a link to the particular novena I have used.

Novena Prayers to St. Rita of Cascia

Impossible Goings-on

I can’t let too much time go by without a mention of my favorite saint – St. Rita of Cascia, patron saint of impossible causes.

One of these days, I’m going to re-tool this blog to include a separate menu with links to a page dedicated to Rita. Perhaps someone of a caliber of to assist in such a matter could help out. Perhaps a super nerd of sorts. We could randomly call him, I don’t know, Supernerd or something like that.

Anyway, on the Rita front, I can happily report that several of my blog friends have written lately to share that intentions have been fulfilled by God. Few things I can ever write will bring me as much joy as sharing these words. I continue to pray for all those intentions that have been sent my way and ask you to do the same for my intentions, at least one of which has recently been realized.

So, a new nine day round starts soon. Send me any intentions and they will go into the novena. It is my pleasure to do this.

St. Rita, pray for us!