If you, like me, saw that title and immediately had flashbacks of Charlotte Rae shrieking at Mindy Cohn and Lisa Welchel, then you either grew up in the 1980’s or have a demented obsession with bad sitcoms. I can still hear my late brother Sean. He was a character. In his best alcoholic days, he was one of the most charming and funniest sonofaguns you’d ever meet. He used to take old theme songs and rewrite them in the most ribald and inappropriate of ways. The Facts of Life was one of his best. I’m sorry. I cannot reprint the lyrics here. This is a family-friendly blog.
I was in the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania earlier today. That’s why I had the song stuck in my head. Well, actually, it was a thought about that state that prompted the song which then got stuck in my head. Let me explain.
One of my sisters and I just had a conversation. I promise, I’m not simply starting random thoughts and moving on. She asked me what I thought would happen in November. She was referring to the upcoming mid-term elections. I told her what I’ve been saying for a while. I do not believe there will actually be an election held this November. Call me crazy. Many have. But, I just have a feeling that old crazy Joe and his puppeteers will find a reason to suspend the congressional elections. I could be wrong. The point is, it doesn’t matter if I am or not. Remember the whole “uni-party” thing? Even if the GOP wins a majority, it doesn’t matter. These are the people who convinced us to vote for Romney and McCain.
Another of our sisters lives in Pennsylvania. She has friends who have insisted, for example, that “I simply have to vote for Dr. Oz. I cannot vote for the evil Fetterman.” Don’t get me wrong. Fetterman is perfectly evil. And with the aphasia from the stroke, believe me, Oz looks like he could be a shoe-in. But to say that one must vote for Oz because he’s better than the evil of Fetterman is ludicrous. Oz is just as bad. He tweeted that he fully supports sodomite “marriage” enshrined in law. So I can have a lunatic who wants to release all the felons and also thinks babies should be murdered in the womb or I can have a lunatic who thinks that dudes who like to play with each other’s genitals and call it “love” should be able to make a complete mockery of the sacrament of matrimony. God destroyed Sodom for the same reasons. So no, you may not vote for Oz.
Which brings me back to the facts of life. If both of your options are morally repugnant, you can’t support either one. But we’ve known this for some time. One side got away with fooling us into thinking we could and indeed should support their “less evil” positions for a long time. But I’m done with that. I suspect if you’re reading this, you might be as well.
Last week I had the amazing opportunity to visit the Fairfield (PA) Carmel for a daily mass. It was nothing short of heaven on earth. I am used to visiting a Carmel closer to home and expected to see the customary cloister grill along the back or side wall of the sanctuary. However, at Fairfield the nuns are using a temporary space in a barn while their new home is constructed. As such, the cloister sits above the chapel and a large square in the ceiling is the wrought iron grate. Hearing their beautiful voices wafting down over the Holy Sacrifice as they chanted gave me a glimpse of what the angels must sound like as they perceive Our Lord in the Sacrifice. I will return (perhaps tomorrow)
Today my son and I joined up with the final leg of the Pilgrimage for Restoration. We met other Sunday-only pilgrims at the visitor center parking lot at the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, NY, where we were bussed out to the meeting point. Not only did I run into many friends – this trad world is indeed a small world – I had a wonderful encounter with a woman on the shuttle. She’s from Philadelphia. I told her I was married there. She knows people who went to my wife’s Alma Mater. I mentioned my recent trip to the Carmel. She knows the caretaker.
Then I brought up the fact that a “friend” of mine who happens to run the St. Luke’s Gallery (and absolutely click that link) had mentioned the same caretaker to me last week. Here’s that story…
The curator of St. Luke’s Gallery had reached out to yours truly a while ago about a post I had written. Although we have not met in person we struck up a friendship via email. Last week I asked him about the Mass times at the Carmel. He responded, “The nuns don’t observe daylight savings time so the mass is an hour later than what you’d heard.” And that, my friends, is the most alpha nun statement of all time.
“We simply don’t do daylight savings time.”
But within minutes, my new friend had whipped out her phone and dialed my other new friend at the Gallery. She handed me the phone and said, “It’s him. Say hi!” And so I sheepishly said, “Hello? It’s Harvey. Happy Sunday!” And we shared a good laugh. I love this guy’s work, by the way, if I hadn’t mentioned that. All of this by way of mentioning a few things.
1) Trad-land is a wonderful place filled with amazing and faithful (and lively) people. 600 of us gathered to walk across the Catskill Mountains to pray for restoration. The solemn high Mass at the conclusion was stunning.
2) The Fairfield Carmel needs your financial help to build their new home. Click this link to buy a hoodie and help them out. I hear it’s only on until the 27th of September.
3) Carmelite nuns are boss.
4) Do not ever be discouraged. If you had seen what I saw this afternoon… Looking out over the Mohawk Valley, I saw brigade after brigade of families – dads and sons, moms and older siblings pushing strollers, even more senior members of our tribe – joyfully walking, praying, singing. Even if we are only a remnant, what a remnant! And…
5) If one more person today had asked me, “So, you’re from Texas? Do you go to Taylor Marshall’s parish?!” I was about tor reply, “Perhaps… or perhaps he goes to my parish.”
Now go click those links and help out some fellow trads.
Yesterday I attended Holy Mass in one of the “new locations” offered by the Arlington, VA Diocese for the celebration of the TLM. I have to admit that I was impressed by the redesign of the space. Formerly a school gymnasium (and not on the property of a Catholic parish), this space was, in the span of a few weeks, turned from a utilitarian hall into a somewhat proper looking “church”. It is obvious that some money had been spent installing a new wood floor. Additionally, a sanctuary was constructed with an honest-to-goodness altar rail. At the head of the space was a lovely altar constructed against a custom-made backdrop. The hall itself was arranged with a mix of oaken pews and chairs.
As I suspected, the new gym/church was filled to capacity – I guess somewhere between 150-200 people at each of 2 Sunday Masses. There was a choir in the back of the hall. In many ways this place resembled a Latin Mass community from 15 years ago – from the time when Summorum Pontificum had unleashed the ancient rite and people were eager to build beautiful churches for Our Lord. The only problem is that this community was here because they were forced out of an actual beautiful church. They were sent to this place by the bishop who, just following orders, began an implementation of Traditiones Custodes. That document states that celebrations of the TLM may not take place in parish church buildings because if you love the Mass of the Ages, you must be punished brought to your senses and “return to the Novus Ordo”. A subsequent letter from Rome states that pastors of such parishes may not even advertise the Mass times in bulletins.
OK, all of this is known to the kind of folks who would be reading this blog. So why do I bring it up?
We know that the so-called “Pope of Mercy” is anything but merciful to faithful Catholics wishing to worship in the manner of their faithful ancestors. If you’ve been reading this site, you know that I (along with not a small number of my fellow Catholics) believe that this Bergoglio isn’t even a legitimate pope. I will say it again. We have had anti-popes in the history of the Church – somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 of them. This is not a new nor is it a shocking concept. And we knew for some time that certain bishops, under pressure from Rome to quash the TLM, have drawn up plans to put TC into practice. We even know that the target date to completely shut it down is sometime in 2023-24.
What I did NOT expect was the letter that was handed to me as I left this place. In addition to the parish bulletin (which does not list the Mass times for this “chapel”), I was handed a separate sheet of paper. I’m going to paraphrase the letter here to avoid getting anyone in trouble.
Are you joking? Seriously, Father? There are several false premises at work here. We could start with the premise that anything found in the evil document Traditiones Custodes is binding on anyone. We could continue with the premise that shunting the people of your parish into a gym ten miles away is a “positive effort”. Finally, as a lawyer friend remarked to me, “[The virtue of] Religion is inherently political because it has serious political implications.”
Again, I feel for these priests. I really do. I am sure they never anticipated being in this position. God send Thine Holy Ghost upon these men, Thy priests, to guide them in all they do.
But do you not realize that taking that added step of requesting people not share pictures sends a very definite message? It comes across as cowering in fear. If there really is nothing wrong with the situation, if this really is a positive effort, why try to shut down the flow of information? “We’re being shut down. Let’s take our punishment and die off quickly and quietly. Don’t even talk about what’s being done. Just. Go. Away.” I expect it to be followed with a “Thank you sir, may I have another!” Is that what Fr. intended in his message? Perhaps not and I will give him the benefit of the doubt. I believe he thinks he is doing what must be done. But it is certainly not a good look and it bodes very poorly for this and other similar Latin Mass communities.
My point in sharing this is to point out, if it wasn’t already obvious, that the screws are tightening. We know what they’re doing and what their goal is and if it wasn’t already apparent, it should be by now. When they tell you we cannot even attract attention to the Mass that was celebrated for 1900 years but the videos of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament being blown to the ground in the wind abound on social media, there is a problem. When they tell you not to take a picture and share it, it is only a short while before they tell you not to write about it and then they’ll say we can’t discuss it among ourselves because “someone might hear…”
For the record, I took a picture of this gym/church yesterday shortly before I was handed that letter. I won’t post it – not because I think it is imprudent but because it is out of focus. No matter though as identical pictures are online already and a quick internet search will lead you to at least one.
And to those who say that Bergoglio is Bergoglio and we can’t do anything to stop him; perhaps you are right. But I’ll be damned if he gets away with it without someone calling him out on it every day he remains on this earth. And that goes for the men who comply with his plans of destruction.
I attended Mass today for this Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost under a very strange set of circumstances.
I cannot wait, no indeed, I actually need to tell you all about it.
But I’m going to wait until tomorrow to post the story because it’s one of those that requires me to write it and then sit on it a while to make sure I’m not only saying exactly what I want to say but also that I’m not saying anything in anger or rash judgment.
Let’s just say the Argentine destroyer is destroying more than meets the eye. And I will leave it there for now.
Folks, I got off all that social media nonsense a while ago. Sorry but I'm not on Twitbook, Facepalm, YouHu, WingWang or any of the others. Maybe an event will happen to make me change my mind like Peter and Paul coming down with flaming swords and commanding it be so. Until then, read the blog and if you feel a comment is in order or you feel like sharing a tip or suggestion for a topic, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harvey is a funny, witty and interesting read. Want to know what's going on in the world of Harvey? Then make a point to subscribe to his blog! You just never know when those pesky Weebles will show up. Hmmm, speaking of Weebles - haven't heard from them in a while (wink). Seriously, you just never know what to expect and whatever you find, it never disappoints! -- Debbi Robertson @ Photos and Facets