Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Catholic Culture: Catholic Knights (and Ladies) of Columbus, Malta, Holy Sepulchre

Orchestral Mass

Mozart's Requiem really only makes sense (as Mozart intended), being heard in the original context of the Mass setting which it was written for.  If you have never been to an orchestral Mass, then hear the Twin Cities Catholic Chorale and be amazed:

Enthralled by the Luminous Figure of the Nazarene

St Francis Garden Statues

Always a nice addition in the family garden.  

We had one in ours as kids. 

A great teaching moment for kids and adults alike.

Timidity and Cowardice

The Light and the Bushel Basket

Image from Catholic Memes. 

Catholic Culture: Supporting Widows

This sweet young Catholic bride just gave birth to her new daughter.

She recently lost her husband.

Please be generous with her:

Vatican Stamps

Monday, April 28, 2014

Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church: Sainted Pontiffs of the Holy Roman Church


This is what the fanon looks like.

This one was worn by Pope St. John XXIII. 

Now a second-class relic.  

The fanon is a vestment worn by popes at Solemn High Mass  since the 8th century. 

It is silk, gold-and-white-striped, and circular.  It goes over the head, is buttoned at the top in the front, and is a bit like a mozzetta. 

Firt-Class Relic of St. John Paul II: Containing a Drop of His Blood

Ex Sanguine S. Ioannis Pauli II Papae. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Requiem Aeternam: Prayer Request for My Grandfather

Robert Donald Western
1919 - 2014

Many thanks to all for the prayers.

He passed away on Divine Mercy Sunday.  

Fathers, kindly offer Holy Mass for the repose of his soul.  

Prayers of mercy at the grave:

"Let us pray.  Grant, O Lord, this mercy to Thy servant departed that he, who in his desires did Thy will, may not receive the punishment of his misdeeds; and that as the true faith hath joined him to the company of the faithful here below, so may Thy mercy unite him to the society of Thy holy angels in heaven.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen." 

Collect from the Requiem Mass:

"O God, to Whom it belongs ever to have mercy and to spare, we humbly beseech Thee for the soul of Thy servant, Robert, whom Thou hast called out of this world today, that Thou deliver it not into the hands of the enemy, nor forget it forever, but command it to be received by all the angels and taken to paradise, its true country, that inasmuch as it hoped and believed in Thee, it may not endure the pains of hell, but may take possession of eternal joys.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen."

Gradual from the Requiem Mass:

"Eternal rest give to them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them.  The just shall be in everlasting remembrance; he shall not be in fear of evil tidings."

Tract from the Requiem Mass:

"Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed from every bond of sin.  And by the help of Thy grace may they be enabled to escape the judgement of condemnation, and enjoy the happiness of light eternal."

Robert Donald Western: RIP (AD 1919 - 2014)

Today my grandfather passed away.

It was a happy death.  Many thanks to all for the prayers.

A 1930s pilot.  A WWII hero.  Father of 12 children.  He was a frugal and humble man.  A survivor of the Great Depression, and his heart was beating during two world wars.  He marveled that man had put a man on the moon.  He was a prince among men.

He believed in driving the speed limit.  He was a prudent and honest man who took pride in having what he described as "common sense,"  a virtue which he would explain is not something that all people have.  

He traveled to Rome to see two popes.  He often flew.  That was his joy.  To be in the air.  He had been a flight instructor.  Each year for many years he flew to Florida and California.  Earlier this year, while on holiday on the Gulf of Mexico, he fell and broke his hip.

I remember when Pope Benedict walked by him in the Sala Nervi of the Vatican.  Grandpa reached out to the Pope.  Inches from him.  I had never seen him so happy.  

He loved the school Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and often spoke of them.  He was without a father and the good sisters took him under their wing at Cathedral School.  He graduated from a Christian Brothers military high school, Cretin, class of '38.  He paid his own way with a paper route in his boyhood neighborhood of Cathedral Hill. 

He saw Cardinal Pacelli when the Cardinal Secretary of State came to St. Paul and celebrated Low Mass in the Cathedral in October of 1936.  That morning the Cathedral was packed with high school students.  

He was raised under the shadow of the dome, of the Cathedral of St. Paul.  He worked in a corner drug store.  Working for the druggist, he once even told me he knew where the neighborhood spot was where clandestine abortions were being done.  He was involved briefly in Boy Scouts.  He had an older sister who married and lived at 1280 Hewitt.  With the advent of Pearl Harbor, Grandpa joined the Navy and was sent to Florida, where he met and married my grandmother.   

He loved the North Star State, Minnesota.  For him, it was home.  And he enjoyed his lake cabin, which he proudly purchased in 1958.  My first time in an airplane, he flew us up in a tiny plane he rented and flew us high above that cabin, on Sand Lake, in Wisconsin, next to the cabin of Fr. Raymond Lucker.   

On his Facebook page last July this is what he wrote: "3,000,000 Catholic Youth praying together in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil at the World Youth Meeting. Wow.  It's surely fun to see a million Catholic young people praying together in Rio, they are our future. Thanks, Lord."

He was always generous.  I remember the trips to Red Lobster, or the time he picked me up and took me to the annual air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  Or the time we were together on 9-11, in a suburb of San Diego, California. 

He was a master at small talk.  A champion of toast masters.  A star volunteer like I have never seen.  He believed in giving back to the community.  A gentleman from the old school.     

This is what he wrote in 2012 in memory of his First Holy Communion: "It's so far back, I believe it was 1925. It was a memorable event at the Cathedral and the good Sisters of St.Joseph, God Bless them handled it beautifully, fasting and all. We learned reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. I have a life-time debt. They were probably the most important part of my life. I had hoped for the same for my kids but that wasn't in the cards."

This was his last e-mail to me earlier this year, dated Feb. 8: "Thank you, John, for the kind words. I have been a happy Catholic most of my life, and have such protection from God and also have been fortunate to have so manly beautiful friends.  I am still indebted to the Sisters of St. Joseph for my grade school faith formation. There was none at home but the good sisters did it.  Love you all, Grandpa Bob."

The last time we spoke, last January, I chided him in regard to his gift of longevity.  With a wry smile he squinted and replied: "I am not in charge."

He was a star volunteer.  Into this very year he carried the Blessed Sacrament to the sick at United Hospital weekly.  He would say, "Howdy, what's the good word?"    

Reverend and dear Fathers, please kindly offer a Funeral Mass for the repose of his soul.

From the words of Christ in John 11: "I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he be dead, shall live; and everyone that liveth and believeth in me shall not die forever."  

We pray at the foot of the bier:

"May the Angels lead thee into paradise; may the Martyrs receive thee at thy coming and take thee to Jerusalem, the holy city.  May the choirs of the Angels receive thee and mayest thou, with the once poor Lazarus, have rest everlasting."

Go with God and His angels!  The Master is here and He calleth thee.  

Peace, Hope, Faith, Charity


Rome Weather

No rain today, Sunday!

In Celebration

By the great Marco Foppoli. 

Giants of Men

The Legend Hath Returned

Sancti Proclamantur AD MMXIV

Image from Click Vaticano. 

John, Pray for Us!

Image from Vesti Papali. 

Aka The Good Tickets

The ticket you want at a papal Mass in St. Peter's Square. 

Thanks, Summer!

Rome Exhibit Displays Shirt Worn by John Paul II on Day He was Shot

Vatican Booklet for Canonization

See here for pdf document:

Thanks, Summer!  Thanks, John!


Benedict XVI's Return!

Chapel Veils

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Rome Quotes

"Divine Mercy Sunday, also known as Dominica in Albis, also known as Low Sunday, also known as the Octave of Easter or the Octave Day of Easter, also known as Quasimodo Sunday or Quasimodogeniti, also known as St. Thomas Sunday, also known as the Second Sunday of Easter, also known as the First Sunday after Easter (technically), also known as the Sunday With Too Many Names."

-Matthew Alderman

Live Feed Video from the Vatican

Saint John Paul II

I don't usually share this photo with people. 

I think only my mother and grandparents have seen it.   

My eyes still fill with tears.  

This is yours truly with Pope St. John Paul II in the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican on the morning of January 5, 1999. 

Overcome with emotion, I was in tears. 

Words cannot express.

He was the greatest man of the twentieth century.  Everything had been taken from him, except his Faith.  He lost his mother, father, siblings, nation, freedom.     

If you want to understand him, make a visit to the Wawel, located in the center of Europe, atop a hill with a gentle slope in Krakow, Poland.  Then know something of Polish history and philology and glory.

He practiced mental prayer.  It would do us all good to read the lives of the saints and to practice mental prayer. 

He said to me: "Where are you from?  Happy New Year!" 

It was the greatest moment of my life.   

A powerful intercessor.  

I was the last to exit the private chapel after Holy Mass.  We had been in the front row.  As I walked around him to leave, I paused in the aisle and looked back.  Standing in the chapel, for however brief a moment, it was just him and me.  The most impressionable moment of my life.  He was making his thanksgiving after Mass, kneeling on the prie-dieu.  Nobody else in the chapel but us.  I looked up at the tabernacle to Christ.  From my vision was Christ, the Vicar of Christ, and myself.  I felt extremely humbled and still do to this very day.   

It was his presence and words at WYD 1993 in Denver that lit the match for me.  He was there and he cared.  He confirmed us in the Faith.  O, Blessed Peter the Roman!  A golden nimbus will now grace is head: corona aurea super caput eius!    

Photo credit: Arturo Mari.    


Chaplet of Divine Mercy with Litany - given to us by Christ Himself.  
(ad usum privatum)

Misericors Iesu, in te confido! (crucem coronae rosarii deosculans)

Per signum (†) Sanctae Crucis, de inimicis (†) nostris, libera nos (†), Deus noster. In nómine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

Spiritus Sanctus invocatur:

Antiphona. Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium, et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.

V. Emitte Spiritum tuum et creabuntur.
R. Et renovabis faciem terrae.

Oremus. Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de eius semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.

Actus contritionis: Deus meus, ex imo corde Te offendisse me paenitet. Omnia peccata mea detestor quia amissionem caeIi et paenas inferi abhorror; sed maxime quia Te, Deum meum, offendunt, Qui totus bonus es et amore meo totus dignus. Auxilio gratiae tuae ut peccata mea confitear, paenitentiam agam et vitam meam emendem firmiter statuo. Amen.

[O mi Deus, credo, adoro, spero et diligo, Te ueniam impetro pro ómnibus illis qui non credunt nec adorant nec sperant nec diligunt (ter).

Sanctissima Trinitas, Pater, Fili et Spiritus Sancte, ex imo corde Te adoro. Tibi offero Praetiosissimum Corpus, Sanguinem, Animam atque Diuinitatem Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, Qui in omnibus tabernaculis totius telluris adest, in reparationem pro omnibus iniuriis, sacrilegiis et indifferentiis quibus Ipse offenditur. Per infinita merita Sacratissimi eius Cordis perque dolores Immaculati Mariae Cordis miserorum conuersionem peccatorum Tibi postulo.] *

Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae. Et in Iesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad inferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem et vitam aeternam. Amen.

Ad singula grana in quibus Pater noster dicitur:

Pater aeterne, offero tibi Corpus et Sanguinem, animam et divinitatem dilectissimi Filii Tui, Domini nostri, Iesu Christi, in propitiatione pro peccatis nostris et totius mundi.

Ad singula grana in quibus Ave Maria dicitur:

Pro dolorosa Eius passione, miserere nobis et totius mundi.

In conclusione, ter dicitur:

Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Immortalis, miserere nobis et totius mundi.

Ad Beatam Mariam Virginem, Matrem Misericordiae:

Salve Regina.


Kyrie, eleison.
Christe, eleison.
Kyrie, eleison.
Christe, audi nos.
Christe, exaudi nos.
Pater de coelis, Deus, miserere nobis.
Fili, Redemptor mundi, Deus, miserere nobis.
Spiritus Sancte, Deus, miserere nobis.

Misericordia Dei, e sinu Patris scaturiens, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, summa divinitatis proprietas, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, incomprehensibile mysterium, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, a mysterio Trinitatis emanans, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, quam nulla mens nec angelica nec humana scrutare potest, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, de qua omne vita et felicitas provenit, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, coelis sublimior, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, magnificorum mirabilium fons, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, totum universum complectens, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, quae mundo descendis in Verbi incarnati personam, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, quae de aperto vulnere Cordis Iesu profluisti, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, pro nobis et imprimis pro peccatoribus in Corde Iesu interclusa, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, in Eucharistiae institutione imperscrutabilis, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, quae Sanctam Ecclesiam condidisti, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, quae sacramentum Baptismi instituisti, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, quae per Iesum Christum iustificas nos, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, quae in hac vita tota comitas nobiscum, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, quae nos amplecteris in hora mortis praecipue, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, quae nobis vitam aeternam tribuis, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, quae in omni momento existentiae nostrae consectaris, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, quae peccatores obstinatos convertis, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, quae ab igne inferi nos protegis, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, angelis prodigium, sanctis imcomprhensibilis, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, quae in omnibus mysteriis ades, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, quae ab omni miseria nos sublevas, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, fons omnis nostrae laetitiae, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, quae ex nihilo in existentiam nos vocasti, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, quae omnia opera in tuis manibus complecteris, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, quae omnes existentes et futuros absolvis, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, in qua omnes immergimur, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, amabilis cordium fatiscentium levamen, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, desertorum sola spes, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, in qua corda requiescunt et pacem inveniunt formidantes, in te confido!
Misericordia Dei, spem inspirans contra omnem spem, in te confido!

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, parce nobis, Domine.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, exuadi nos, Domine.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.

V. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.
R. In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.

Oremus. Aeterne Deus, cuius misericórdiæ non est númerus, et compassionis infinítus est thesáurus:  respice in nos benignus et tuam misericordiam in nobis multiplica ut in varietatibus non deficiamus et spem non demittamus, sed tuae voluntati, quae dilectio est et misericordia, summe fiducialiter subiiciamur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.

Ad mentem Romani Pontificis: Pater, Ave et Credo.

Sancta Faustina Kowalska, ora pro nobis.

Et fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen.

(†) Ipsius pietas et misericordia nos adiuvet qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivit et regnat in saceula saeculorum. Amen.

* Haec preces quas Fatimae angelus revelavit, etsi partes non sint propiae huius exercitii, laudabiliter dicerentur.   

Thanks, Rodolfo!


Image from Facebook - Click Vaticano. 


Thanks, Tom, for the postcard!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Prayer Request for My Grandfather: Robert

Here he is, in 1926, on the day of his First Holy Communion.

Standing on the steps of the Cathedral of St. Paul, located on St. Anthony Hill in St. Paul, Minnesota.

He was a student at Cathedral School, a local kid from the neighborhood, who grew up on Selby Ave.

He was an altar server for Archbishop Austin Dowling, second Archbishop of the Diocese of St. Paul.  

While at Cretin High School he became a pilot.  Served in the Navy during WWII.  Lived in Florida.

Went on to marry a Wisconsin girl and had 12 children.

His hobbies include volunteering, flying, chit chat, and tennis.  

Please keep vigil for him in prayer.  He is nearing the end of his earthly journey.

A fine man.  An eyewitness to history.  Twice he came to visit me in Rome.  We had a splendid time.   

Modern Conversion Story

A sometimes typical conversion story from these post-modern times.

From sex, drugs, and rock and the Holy conversion through grace.

Thanks, Carl!

Catholic Voices: Training Our Youth for the Public Square

A very worthy initiative.

Now is the time.

See here:

Finally, It's Here: Isaac Jogues Hymnal Project / Missal, Lectionary, Gradual

Monday, April 21, 2014

Visit the Holy Land with Us

Pastors, be in touch with us for tours.

Good to start planning 2015 tours early.

Sunday, April 20, 2014



And happy 88th birthday to Elizabeth Alexandra II Dei Gratia Regina. 

Thanks, Rodolfo!

William Byrd - Easter Mass - Victimae Paschali

Easter Sunday in Chicago at Our Lady of Sorrows (Now a Basilica)

Christ the King

Spanish statue seen in North Vancouver, Canada. 


Be in the habit of praying for the Roman Pontiffs.  Living and deceased.  They need prayers more than anyone.  And always pray for the grace to forgive them.  We must always support Peter. 

Happy 91st Birthday to Mother Angelica

Our American saint. 

Today, Easter Sunday, is her birthday.

Христос Воскрес!

O Filii et Filiae!

A Blessed Easter to All

Surrexit Christus spes mea et precedet suos in Galilea.

Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! Христóсъ воскрéсе! Surrexit Christus!

Merci to the greatest schola in Paris:

Catholic Easter Egg Hunt

Happy Easter from Baby von Sonnen.

"Frohe Ostern!" in German. 

The traditional Easter dress with bonnet is from our dear nurse friend in Toronto who often visits Rome, Estela.  We pray in gratitude for her life and vocation, and for her wonderful Swiss husband.  Thank you, Estela!    

 Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vere!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

RU-4LIFE? National March for Life 2014 Promo

Choir Neck Ruff

Always nice to see in the British Empire. 

You can order here for your servers:

Good Friday Tenebrae

Tenebrae Factae Sunt.

Holy Week for me will always be the good old days at Saint Agnes, located in the city named for the Apostle to the Gentiles.

Praying inside a glorious North American temple, amid the Classic Vitruvian canon of Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orders.  A church that was constructed in 1912 on a Baroque scale monumentally hithero unknown in the regions of the upper banks of the mighty Mississippi River.   With all the entablature and traditional motifs such as regular marble stripes and rectangular pattering with rising volutes and even a dome in the horizontal axis. 

Lots of fine memories there from my youth.  It was a great way to grow up, attending Tenebrae in choir to learn the chants of the Church.  And H.H.H., our deacon, always timed our Tenebrae each year, and it was almost always to the minute the same.   

There were many colorful personalities.  The great Fr. Z would arrive from Rome.  I miss the old holy cards he often had printed every Triduum.  They added a lot to the solemnity of the week.  The cards always made nice book markers in a Liber Usualis.  Was always kind of fun to look for cards from previous years kept away in the pages of old Libers on the sacristy shelf.  I always looked for the old Liber of Mons. Bandas to carry and hold and pray from during Tenebrae.  Mons. Bandas was one of the tallest trees in the forest before, during, and after the 1960s.  He evinced eminent priestly qualities one rarely encountered during the turbulent conciliar period and its immediate aftermath.  A prophet, really.    

Fortunate is the youth who gets to grow up being involved in a parish that is fortissimo (very loud) in the  Faith.  

Prayers for all readers and followers of this blog.

One word best describes the Passion of Our Blessed Lord: "mercy."

This word best describes God.  And what we are going to need when we pass from this world.   

Remember to speak often of the mercy of God. 

Fridays in Lent Fish Burgers

At Rome McDonalds or any McDonalds. 

Pollock fish. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Catholic Culture: Easter Bonnet

Mum sometimes said in her youth Catholic ladies would save up and buy themselves a nice new hat for Easter.  Then came the hippies.  It's a nice tradition.  Spring is here! 

The Perfect Souvenir from Italy: Terra Cotta

Baked earth. 

You can buy this stuff in Assisi, Florence, Piazza Navona in Rome, etc. 

Great gifts. 

Indoor or outdoor use. 

They last forever. 

Help to Restore the Room Where St. Francis of Assisi Stayed in Rome

In Trastevere, you can see his cell. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Your Catholic Pilgrimage Company

Priests, be in touch with us to lead pilgrimages.

Be a part of this ministry of bringing pilgrimage to people. 

Christian Martyrs

The Ignatian family mourns the loss of Jesuit Father Frans van der Lugt, murdered in Syria. 

You can find news & blog coverage about his ministry and death at: