Friday, November 25, 2011

On the Eve of the Implementation of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal...

Like all others, I suppose, I approach this weekend - the implementation of the newest translation of the Roman Missal - with some trepidation. But as I told my congregation last week at the two parishes, we'll probably look back at ourselves in six months and wonder what all the fuss was about. We're as prepared as we likely can be, and there will no doubt be some stumbling along the way ("and with your spirit, and with your spirit, and with your spirit..."), but I am of the mind that this will be only minimally disruptive. I will be able to return to celebrating Mass with my eyes closed before too long. And in the end we will be better for this, if for no other reason than it will force us to be more attentive and appreciative of the words we speak to God.

I heard someone (a priest friend) say a few months ago that this whole process had gotten him to pay closer attention to the words he was currently using in celebrating the Mass; how the language of many of the orations seemed to be directing God to do this or that for us; that the translation we have been using for so long now is in the indicative voice, rather than the more pleading tone of the subjunctive voice. I have to say that it got me noticing the same thing. As one who has had the privilege of celebrating in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (the "Latin Mass," aka "Tridentine Mass") for many years now, I have to say that the difference is striking. The voice of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form is almost always in the subjunctive. A common phrase in all the orations is "quaesumus Domine" ("we humbly entreat you, O Lord"). I must confess that I think it a good thing that we are making a return to this type of language in the Ordinary Form. Not because it lowers our status (I don't think it does), but rather because it elevates God's. The inconvenience involved for me to learn some new words seems to pale in comparison to the benefit gained in speaking in a more humble way to God.

Tomorrow morning I will celebrate for the last time using the text of the Mass which has become so familiar to me in my ten years as a priest. I can literally do it with my eyes closed. As is so often the case, there is a certain sadness in parting with comfortable familiarity. I do think, however, that what we are receiving is an improvement. Therefore, I look forward to this weekend!

As an aside, the new translation has brought to birth a whole new corpus of liturgical music that evokes the rich musical tradition of the Church. Informed by - and in keeping with - the conciliar documents such as Sacrosanctum Concilium, they give pride of place to Gregorian chant, all while fostering full, active, and conscious participation of the faithful in the Mass (hardly anything bugs me more in the Ordinary Form than the use of Mass settings - both new and ancient - that the people can't sing and have the air of being mere "performance"). I've been following with great interest blogs such as that have been chronicalling these new developments, and I include a link below to some particularly well done (in my humble estimation) settings of the Gloria. Check them out:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Young Fogeys: The storm on the horizon and my grief about it

Young Fogeys: The storm on the horizon and my grief about it: No, I'm not talking about weather.  For two times in the last four days, I've been contacted to anoint someone who is dying.  Certainly, thi...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Been a While...

Ok, it's been quite a while since I put anything on here (in case anyone actually looks at this blog anymore...). Hard to believe that it has been four months since I began my new assignment as a pastor of two parishes and judge in the tribunal. It feels like my time as a canon law student at CUA was a long time ago. Things have been very busy just getting the lay of the land, trying to learn new names and faces (I'm horrible with the names...), figuring out which keys are for which doors, etc, etc. All the usual challenges of starting a new assignment. Things seem to be going well in spite of me, however. The people here are wonderful.

It hasn't been "all work and no play" however. I have been on the golf course a few times trying to rediscover my game (with mixed results), and have been doing some fishing. On that topic, my latest adventure is pictured below: a fly fishing pontoon. Came across a GREAT deal on this little bad boy (hereafter named "Sacerdos II") and it has been a lot of fun. Instead of being restricted to where I can only walk in and wade fish, this little boat means I can hop in and float large stretches of otherwise unreachable water, anchoring off wherever I see fish rising. A golfing buddy of mine, who has also been bitten hard by the fly fishing bug, has one of his own. We recently loaded them up and drove down South on I-65 where we floated the upper stretch of the Cumberland River in Southern Kentucky. Another buddy of mine, recognizing the sheer genius in this move of mine, has purchased his own pontoon and plans on joining in on future trips. Did I mention the boat has a rack for a cooler too?

What I'm attempting not to do:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

God Bless America...

Good News For Vocations...

People often comment to me how sad it is that our seminaries are empty and there are no young men entering the priesthood these days. It strikes me that this is by and large everyone's assumption of what the state of affairs is for vocations these days. Many are surprised when I tell them that things are changing in this area. No doubt, gone are the days when we ordain a dozen at a time to the priesthood, and it's true that we here in Louisville could be doing even better than we are, but the tide is beginning to turn. Here's a good example compliments of a friend of mine (Fr. John) who is from St. Paul, MN.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Another Film on Religious Life...

Akin to "Into Great Silence" (a film journal of life in a Carthusian monastery), a somewhat similar movie is being released chronicling life as a Carmelite Nun.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pics from Rome, a year+ late...

Received some pictures from my canon law class's trip to Rome in the spring of last year to visit various of the Roman Dicasteries. Here's a sampling:

With Cardinal Burke at the Apostolic Signatura:

The Roman Rota:

Sunday Mass at St. Peter's. I was asked to participate in the prayers of the faithful for the Mass:

Friday, July 8, 2011


Some random shots from what's been going on for the last couple of weeks...

Visit to South Holston Lake for a couple days fishing before I began new assignment:

Welcome to the Parish:

My new office at the Tribunal:

Trip to Evansville for Bishop Thompson's Consecration & Installation:

New Bishop...

Last week I was privileged to attend the consecration and installation of a priest of the archdiocese as bishop of Evansville, IN: Bishop Charles Thompson. He is a fine priest, and will be an excellent bishop. Came across this video of the Mass:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Down to the final week...

I've come to the final week before my pastoral assignment begins at St. Francis Xavier and All Saints parishes. My classes at the university these past three years were a great experience, and now I'm looking forward to putting my degree to work at the tribunal and getting back into the parish. Last week was our annual presbyteral assembly for the priests of the archdiocese at St. Meinrad, and the week before the guys and I went on a little fishing trip down to East Tennessee. The weather was HOT, so standing in an ice-cold river fishing for trout was perfect. All told, about a dozen fish were caught. Here's a few pics:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Busy Week...

I have completed the move back home. For good. This past week has been busy with moving my things, celebrating the Solemn Mass at St. Martin's for my tenth anniversary, hosting my friend Fr. John from Minnesota, and reacquainting myself with my home city. It is slowly sinking in that I am back for good.

The Mass last Thursday for the anniversary was quite memorable. Many friends and family members were there, the Mass was very well done, the music (also very well done) added to it's beauty, and it was great to spend time at the reception afterwards with all my guests. I will remember it fondly for a long time to come. A great way to mark ten years!

Here's some pics:

A group of my soon-to-be parishioners at the reception after Mass:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Graduation Weekend...

Wrapping things up here in Washington. Graduation was yesterday, the family has been here for the past few days, and I am trying to pack my things for the drive back home on Tuesday (it's amazing how much junk one can accumulate in three years...). Here's a few shots of the weekend activities:

Saturday, May 7, 2011

JCL: Mission Accomplished...

Many thanks to everyone for your prayers and encouragement. I took my comprehensive exam yesterday morning, and have now completed my studies. Believe it or not, the letters "JCL" now belong after my name. I pray that I will be able to use it for the good of the Church. As for the human side of things, the sense of relief is only beginning to set in. Comps and the thesis are two things that have loomed large over me for the past three years - sometimes seeming like insurmountable hurdles. Now it's time to reflect back on how wonderful the past three years have been, to enjoy this last week in Washington with my classmates before graduation on May 14, and get ready for the flurry of activities when I return home to Louisville.

The now-published thesis:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Comprehensive Exam...

Put in a good word for me, would you? 8:30am on Friday I will be taking my comprehensive exam. Three professors and me in a classroom for one hour and everything is fair game. Yikes...

St. Raymond of Penafort, Ora Pro Nobis.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Blessed John Paul II

For those interested in reviewing the legislation governing the process leading to canonization - Divinus perfectionis Magister - it may be found in the back of your 1983 Code or HERE.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Check out this video from the tornado that hit northern Alabama a couple days ago. This guy is very lucky...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Episcopal Motto...

With the announcement this morning that another of our priests from Louisville is being made a bishop, the talk at the house here this evening turned episcopal. Specifically, what would be some of the great (ok, the not-so-great) episcopal mottos that could be chosen? (For those of you who are unaware, a bishop usually chooses a favorite quote from scripture - usually from one of the psalms or gospels - to serve as a motto; a kind of theme for their episcopate)

Knowing the sense of humor of most of us here at the house - and apologizing in advance for it - here's what we came up with as a proposed list of great (i.e., not so great!) episcopal mottos:

"Do Whatever He Tells You"
"Behold Your King"
"This Is My Beloved Son, In Whom I Am Well Pleased"
"Surely There Will Be A Stench"
"Jesus Wept"

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Weekend in Beantown...

It was a "bucket list" item: to attend a game at Fenway. Check that one off the list. This past weekend I took the chance to hop on an Amtrak train and head up to Boston with some good friends here at the house: Br. Jim and Fr. John. Br. Jim is a Capuchin who was assigned in Boston before returning to the university to obtain his doctorate in canon law. He has connections... in particular, a source for Red Sox tickets and a place to stay in Boston. Br. Jim knows EVERYBODY up there, including Cardinal O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston, who we had dinner with on Saturday night. Oh yeah, and the Sam Adams brewery is a block and a half away. This was a great weekend.

Skyline of New York:

A Random Train Shot:

On the Train w/ Br. Jim:


Chowder Vendor ("Chowda Venda") in the Stands:

Old Seats of Fenway:

The Guys Before the Game (Fr. Charles, Br. Jim, Fr. John):

Yawkey Way Outside the Park:

Sam Adams Brewery Tour: