Sunday, January 31, 2010

How about this for a close call...

Continuing the airplane-themed post from a couple days ago, check out this video of a 747 landing on the island of St. Martin. Whoa!

Here's one of a low fly-by:


Saturday, January 30, 2010

St. Martin's Choir...

Here's a snippit of some of the excellent music provided by the choir of St. Martin's over this past Christmas. This is the choir that sings for the Extraordinary Form Mass at 12:30 on Sunday afternoons. Enjoy!

Groundhog Day...

February 2nd - "Groundhog Day" - is just around the corner. With all the Pennsylvania guys who live here at the house, the excitement is palpable. Let me just tell you that one of them (Fr. Chris) has a pretty amazing collection of groundhog memorabilia (t-shirts, posters, figurines, the whole deal...). So I couldn't resist to post the following picture. Is Australia trying to edge-in on Punxsutawney's claim-to-fame?

Proving again that the truth is stranger than fiction, the people over at "PETA" want to put a stop to Punxsutawney Phil and his weather prognostication. They say that it is inhumane to subject him to the lights and cheers of the crowd each year. They demand that he be immediately released into the woods, rather than live in the lap of luxury where his every need is provided for. They propose that a robotic groundhog be substituted! To this assertion, one of the officials in Punxsutawney made a great counter: "he [Phil] is being treated better than most kids in Pennsylvania!" Read the story HERE.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Way too cool...

This was passed along by a good friend of The Ultramontanist: "goatcheese Chuck." While it has nothing to do with our usual topics here, it is just way too cool not to post. Check it out:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Smells Like...

I'm not sure what to think about this one. Strange? Yes. Quirky? Most Definitely. My thanks to a priest-friend back home (Fr. John) who alerted us to this new product on the market:

It seems that not only can you have the "Ultramontanist" philosophy of Pius IX, but now you can even possess, um, exude even, the same aroma as the great pontiff... Wow! Smells like... salvation?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Vocation Story...

"Props" to my fellow canon law student who brought this story to our attention. It's about one of the top prospects of the Oakland A's who is retiring from a promising baseball career to pursue the priesthood. Grant Desme, a .304 hitting outfielder, was the Oakland A's second-round draft pick in the 2007 draft. He was also the MVP of this past Fall's Arizona League. On the fast-track up through the minors, he has decided that something other than the Major Leagues lie ahead. Read the story HERE.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Interesting Interview: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas...

Below are two videos of a 60 Minutes piece on Clarence Thomas that aired some time ago. I find his story particularly compelling. I am just beginning his book "My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir."

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Pope Benedict Blesses the Lambs on Feast of St. Agnes...

The traditional blessing of the lambs, whose wool will be used to make the "pallia" that are given to metropolitan archbishops, took place yesterday at the Vatican:

Beautiful Story about Consecrated Religious...

A beautiful story told by the sister of a woman who entered consecrated religious life as a cloistered Passionist. Read it HERE.

Annual Pro-Life Mass at the Shrine...

The annual Mass for Life took place last night at the National Shrine across the street from me. As always, it was a moving event of public witness. I still think that it gets bigger every year. I timed the procession alone at around 45 mins. It was estimated that there were over 400 seminarians, 250-300 priests, something like 40-50 bishops, as well as 7 cardinals. This in addition to a crowd of somewhere around 8,000, which included a healthy number of consecrated religious and novices/postulants (a category that, with seminarians, has seen the largest increase in recent years).

It's not only a powerful pro-life witness, it is also somewhat of a reunion. I had the opportunity to chat with several former parishioners of mine who had made the trip from back home, which was very nice. Was able to catch-up with several priest friends as well. This year was also a first for me as I accompanied our Archbishop Kurtz to a Mass at the Franciscan Monastery earlier in the afternoon for leaders of pro-life and social justice ministries across the country. This Mass was begun last year as a way of bringing the various leaders of pro-life and social justice organizations together to foster their common goal of promoting the dignity of all life. Judging by the size and enthusiasm of the crowd there, I would say that it has been a success.

This morning there are various Masses being held around the city, the largest being the Mass for youth at the Verizon Center. This Mass has grown so much over the years that they now require tickets (free of course) to help manage the size of the crowd. It was reported that this year the tickets were gone in 45 minutes (we're talking thousands of tickets here!). This afternoon will be the march itself, which annually draws in excess of 150,000 (by far the largest crowd for a similar event in DC in any given every year). Let's hope the weather holds out for them (so far it's not as bad as the weathermen predicted - freezing rain and snow...).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Fishing Video...

Came across a video of some fly fishing out West. It's a ten-minute clip about a guy who makes his own bamboo fly-rods. A bit too nostalgic about the bamboo thing for my tastes, but hey, it's a beautifully made video from a beautiful area. Gotta love the golden color of the aspens in the fall time! Check it out:

Living the Dream from Samuel Ebersole on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Link...

Getting back into the new semester means doing some research for potential thesis/paper topics. I just came across a good resource, which I have added to the links column on the bottom right-hand side of the page. It is an index of one of the resources I have found the most handy in the past year and a half of canon law studies: the CLSA advisory opinions. This index was compiled by a professor of canon law, Dr. Edward Peters (known for his English translation of the 1917 Code of Canon Law which was published a few years ago now). The link is below, as well as HERE.

St. Martin of Tours - Louisville Webcam...

It has been there for years, but I have come to appreciate it since I have been away from home studying: the webcam at my home parish of St. Martin's in Louisville. Full audio and video, available HERE. As for the music, my preference is for the Novus Ordo Mass on Sundays at 11:00 AM (Eastern Time), or the "Extraordinary Form" Mass at 12:30 PM (Eastern Time). Enjoy...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Some Baseball...

You'll recall that this past summer my sister and I attended the "Vintage Base Ball World Series" at the West Baden Springs Hotel in Southern Indiana, played according to the rules of the 19th century:

I kept thinking that I had seen one of the late-night shows do a spoof of these things a few years ago. Well, I came across it today. Enjoy:

Sports Videos, News, Blogs

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Video of Papal Coronation...

Wow, the NLM had a link to a video of the coronation Mass of Bl. John XXIII. Notice the use of the "sedia gestatoria" - the chair upon which the pope is bourne in procession into the basilica. Much talk has recently been passed about the possible return of this practice since the recent attack on the Holy Father at the Christmas Mass at St. Peter's. Check it out:

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Belated Happy Feast Day...

A belated happy feast day of St. Raymond of Peñafort: the patron saint of canon lawyers. In the upheaval of funerals and driving back to DC, I forgot to post my annual appeal to St. Raymond for assistance in my studies. St. Raymond: ora pro nobis!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Back in DC...

Made the drive back to DC today. Nice drive, except for the stretch between Morgantown and Cumberland. If there's ever bad weather, this is the stretch that is sure to have it. "Sacerdos 1" handled it without a problem, though. Bring on the new semester!

Friday, January 8, 2010


What is it about this time of year, right after the holidays? It seems that there are always more deaths than usual. I suppose it is a testament to the will to live, since so many people focus on getting through the holidays that once they are over they start going. We lost two in our family this week, both great aunts of mine. The last two sisters of eleven siblings (my maternal grandfather being one of that eleven). Today was the funeral of my Aunt Dolores, tomorrow of my other aunt: Sr. Vera, OSU. Sr. Vera was an Ursuline sister, professed 68 years. I preached at the funeral Mass today; I will celebrate and preach tomorrow. They had a nice photograph of Sr. Vera from her profession day (1941) over at the motherhouse where visitation took place this afternoon:

My homily:

What an honor it is for me to be here this morning to celebrate the funeral Mass of someone who has been such a big part of my family. Sr. Vera was a beloved aunt to many of us here, a model of faith put into practice. As a family member who was called to a religious vocation, I count it a blessing that she was able to have been involved in a special way at my Ordination Mass eight and a half years ago, and that I was able to celebrate a special Mass for her 60th anniversary of profession not long after. On behalf of all of my family I want to offer our gratitude to the sisters - all of you here - who were such a big part of Sr. Vera’s life for these many years, and to thank as well Fr. Merkt, who is joining me in celebrating this funeral Mass.

Sr. Vera was a part of two families: the Gardner family, and the family of the Ursuline Sisters. Each of these families was an important part of her life, and ultimately it had been God who placed her in them both. Just yesterday we celebrated the funeral for her beloved younger sister Dolores, who went to her reward just a few days before Sr. Vera.

Now I just preached Aunt Dolores’ funeral Mass yesterday, and I know that all my family here is anxious to see if they recognize this homily…! Well, as I reflected on this, the thought occurred to me that indeed, Aunt Dolores and Sr. Vera were similar in many ways. They both, it strikes me, shared a similarly strong faith. While Aunt Dolores heard God’s call in the form of married life, and found His hand guiding her in raising her children and devotedly caring for her husband, Sr. Vera heard God’s voice calling her to religious consecration with the Ursulines. However different their vocations in life may have been, I think that perhaps we could all recognize the identical goodness that was in both of these two sisters' hearts. In many ways they were inseparable in life; they proved to be inseparable as well in death. May they both be joined with our Lord today!

Many of you know that I am currently assigned to the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC where I am studying Canon Law. Well in Book II of the Code of Canon Law, there is a special section that treats the consecrated religious life, which Sr. Vera had lived for these past 68 years. The very first canon of that section is what is called a “theological canon.” Like many of the various sections of the Code, it lays out for us the theological ideal of the particular part of the Church’s life that that section deals with. In this canon - canon 573 - we find a description of consecrated life in the Church. It reads:

"The life consecrated through the profession of the evangelical counsels is a stable form of living by which the faithful, following Christ more closely under the action of the Holy Spirit, are totally dedicated to God who is loved most of all, so that, having been dedicated by a new and special title to His honor, to the building up of the Church, and to the salvation of the world, they strive for the perfection of charity in the service of the kingdom of God and, having been made an outstanding sign in the Church, foretell the heavenly glory."

Prompted by the Holy Spirit, the life of one who is consecrated to God through religious profession is meant to be a special sign and symbol of the life of heaven. Such a person is “totally dedicated to God, who is loved most of all,” the canon states.

For me, there are no better words to sum-up what Sr. Vera has meant to me and my family. In the way in which she has led her life - uniquely dedicated to God - she has put this ideal into practice. She has been for us a steady reminder of God’s presence throughout all of our lives. In all of the ministries she exercised: as a school teacher here in Louisville, Evansville, Pittsburg, Mississippi, and South Carolina. In her ministry as an advocate for foster children and children of the imprisoned. In all of these various ministries and assignments, she showed forth to us an undivided dedication to God, whose presence she recognized in the ones she served. She indeed “strove for the perfection of charity in the service of the kingdom of God.”

In the piety of an earlier time we used to hear it said often that a religious sister was a “bride of Christ.” While this particular metaphor may have its limitations, it does serve as a reminder of the closeness of the relationship that one who is a professed religious is called to have with God. The motto of the Ursulines: “Soli Deo Gloria,” is also a good summation of this. To “glorify God alone,” through every act of one’s life, was the shaping force to Sr. Vera. It is also the aim of the beatific vision, which - we all pray - she now contemplates.

So today, as we gather to commend her soul to God - the just yet merciful judge of us all - we place firmly in our hearts the model of faith that Sr. Vera showed to us. She was a powerful image of faith which shaped our entire family. We pray that we might continue to benefit from her memory.

Dear God, you gave us a powerful witness of your love in the life of this woman. Forgive the sins she committed through human weakness and gather her to yourself. Help us who remain to continue to be inspired by her life, and now that she is gone from us, to comfort one another with the assurance of our faith. May you alone be glorified - “soli Deo gloria!”

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Although it's awful cold outside right now (about 20 degrees), that hasn't kept me from thinking about fishing... I came across an interesting story from one of my favorite tv shows Kentucky Afield concerning the trout stocking program here in Kentucky:

The more I read, the more I discover that Kentucky is a decent place to fly-fish for trout. The Cumberland River down near Burkesville is a pretty well-known tailwater that has good trout fishing due to the stocking efforts of the Wolf Creek Fish Hatchery. Check out their website, along with a couple web-cams they have. I'm glad that once I finish my studies in Washington in a year and a half, when I'll have to leave behind my favorite fishing places up there, there will be new places to discover back here at home.

Speaking of, check out this video from Kentucky Afield of some trout that were being caught out of the Cumberland River (too bad they weren't using flies...):