Monday, February 29, 2016

Stigmatization of St. Francis coloring page colored

I colored this page from the Liturgical Calendar Coloring Book for the Candlemas festival, but I'd had this image of it, with the lighting, in my head for years.

In the coloring book, this is designated as the St. Francis page, but I call it the Stigmatization of Francis now as a way of making an announcement:

I plan to prepare and make available an Extraordinary Form / Traditional Calendar version of the Liturgical Calendar Coloring Book. That is to say, one following the Roman Calendar that was used between the Councils of Trent and Vatican II and is still used in the Extraordinary Form observance. (It's also the one I grew up with when we did "Saint of the Day" while homeschooling, because all the best books of saints are old.) You see, in that calendar, St. Francis gets another day for his stigmatization, so I will use this page for that and draw a new page for the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi.

As a matter of fact, I have a great interest in the liturgy as observed before the Council of Trent; there was yet another different calendar then. If I had all the time in the world...

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Festival Report and a plea to the bishops

This is terribly late, but the Candlemas festival on the occasion of the ordination of Bishop Steven Lopes at Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston (yes, it is now a cathedral!) went nicely.

photo by Anna MacArthur

There turned out to be no selling of art, but my sister Anna and I had a nice display. There are some pieces there that I haven't posted here yet; they will be coming along in the next few days.

The festival emphasized the Anglican Patrimony by the heritage of the British Isles with things like:

Morris dancing
and bagpiping.

And above all a goodhumored emphasis on Texan heritage, with barbeque, an old-time Country music band, and:

About-to-be Bishop Lopes and Father Charles Hough on horses.
Cardinal Müller on a horse. Photo from Our Lady of Walsingham website.

We had fun and the ordination Mass was amazing. However, we got very sick, I believe with the flu. This delayed our return to Minnesota for a couple days, and also delayed my reporting of this here. Anna has more photos if you'd like to see. There are also great photos of both the festival and ordination at the Walsingham website.

Looking at these, I'm more than a little homesick. Not just for Texas, and for the fact that it's Spring there, but also, the church.

Our own true parish here is the Church of St. Bede the Venerable, which is of the Ordinariate. It is the main thing anchoring us here, the main reason not to move to another state. However, it is very small as of yet (We had most probably the best showing at the ordination--over eighty percent of all our regular members!) and only has Mass twice a month, and is over one hundred miles away from where we live.

A church not too far away has a monthly Extraordinary Form Traditional Latin Mass, and that is a joy. But there are still some Sundays left over.

The local diocesan parish has a pastor who seems to be quite a good priest. He has a very strong Eucharistic devotion and frequently emphasizes the Real Presence in his preaching. However, due to the priest shortage which is due to the vocations crisis which is due to, principle among other causes, Catholic worship being made unattractive to men and Catholic families not having enough children, he is the pastor of three parishes, which are far apart. When he's away, Crosier Fathers fill in. They are almost all filled with the "Spirit of Vatican II," which the current papacy seems to have reawakened in full force.

A few years ago, I was glad to see that while the liturgy at a typical Novus Ordo parish was highly unpleasant and irreverent, I was hearing less outright heresy than ten years earlier. That is relapsing now. Indifferentism and the contradiction of "Mercy" without repentance are the order of the day. And I think it's clear who is greatly to blame for this.

And now, Pope Francis, with his ratification of contraception to prevent the conception of a child who might have the possibility of microcephaly, has clearly denied Catholic teaching. It was not ex cathedra, true, but it was public and will likely lead millions of souls astray, even unto their damnation.

Something has to happen. The bishops have to do something. I'm not entirely clear on what a pope who denies Church teaching means, but it must stop. I pray that Cardinal Müller, Bishop Lopes, the bishop of our local diocese, and all the clergy may stand fast and defend the Church in this turbulent time. God have mercy on us.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Aitkin Age column: a reply to Mr. Strand

My latest column for the Aitkin Independent Age is a response to this column by David Strand. To be perfectly honest, since I had to typeset Mr. Strand's column in the first place, I could only justify doing so to my conscience if I was going to try to refute it, since he promotes immoral sexual behavior therein.

In his column, David Strand speaks of infant mortality, high STD rates in American youth and other problems. He blames these problems, or rather, the fact that his preferred solutions are not adopted, on ‘science phobia’ which he blames on superstition exemplified in belief in the devil.

I agree with Mr. Strand that these are serious problems. I do not agree on his solutions and I certainly do not agree with his smearing of all who dare to disagree with him as superstitious and afraid of science. Neither do I agree that traditional Christianity, to which millions of Americans adhere and of which belief in the devil is a part, is the same thing as superstition and science phobia.

The concern for pre-natal health is admirable, if a bit ironic, given Mr. Strand’s support for government funding of Planned Parenthood as argued in his November column. The bill to defund Planned Parenthood would have redirected the funds to community health centers which provide pre-natal care, which Planned Parenthood does not; it only provides pregnancy testing, contraception and abortions; the last of which couldn’t be more opposed to pre-natal health.
As space is limited, I will focus on his proposed solution to high rates of sexually-transmitted disease among youth. Mr. Strand argues the solution to widespread STDs is ‘comprehensive’ sex education, which means sex education that doesn’t promote abstinence, but condom and contraceptive use.
Read the rest here.

I have to express gratitude to my editor, Mr. Adam Hoogenakker, for allowing me more columns than I was scheduled to be allotted so I could make this reply, and also to him and other Age staff for accommodating me when I have objections of conscience that prevent me from typesetting certain material. Such freedom of opinion is becoming rarer in the workplace and especially in news media. (And this my be the subject of my next column...)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Aitkin Age column: A Warren William film binge part 1

My latest column for the Aitkin Independent Age is about that town's most famous native, the "King of Pre-Code" movie star, Warren William.
Everyone hereabouts should know about Warren William, the ’20s-’40s movie star from Aitkin. If you don’t, just ask about him at the Aitkin County Historical Society’s Depot Museum; they have lots of good material, which can also be seen yearly at their cabin at the County Fair.

Warren William was born Warren Krech in Aitkin in 1894. His father actually owned the Aitkin Age. He fought in World War I, married, and went to Broadway and then Hollywood. He starred in movies alongside Bette Davis, Claudette Colbert and others. He died in 1948. Now he’s known as the “King of Pre-Code,” meaning the height of his career was before the enforcement in 1934 of the Motion Picture Production Code, which restricted the content of films tremendously and one might say oppressively – it went so far as to say no crime could be shown as going unpunished and no clergyman could ever be the target of a joke. Many of William’s best roles being before this code, it fits that he often played immoral yet dashing scoundrels.

My family has sought out Warren William movies for a while now and I recently binged on his work available on Netflix DVD. Allow me to share some mini-reviews that I hope will encourage you to watch some of these yourself.
Read the rest here.