Monday, February 28, 2011


We're halfway through the final semester. Other than meaning that comps are only two or so months away, it also means that time is coming due for my thesis to be done. I just turned in my first draft of the third and final chapter. A couple revisions, and then comes the final polishing before it's done. Spring break is next week, and none too soon. I am looking forward to getting back home for a few days. Hope to do a little fishing while I'm home, among other things. Here's something to whet the appetite:

Autumn Fishing from Steve Omischl on Vimeo.

fly fishing trout HD / l'hiver en 2nd sur le No Kill du Salat from COX on Vimeo.

Monday, February 14, 2011

St. Valentine...

Celebrated Mass this morning. It was a ferial day with a commemoration of St. Valentine, Martyr (in the Ordinary Form today is the feast of St.s Cyril and Methodius):

Sunday, February 13, 2011

CUA Southside...

The southside of the campus has always been a bit "ghetto," all things being equal. It has been remarkably so this year since the abandonment of Spellman and Spalding Halls (former residence halls for undergrads), just around the corner from where I live. Since last semester the buildings have been sitting vacant, and the place has gotten decidedly more Beirut-like: kind of like a scene from some post-apocalyptic movie. I hate to say it, but I almost miss the smelly little undergrads. Things used to be so lively in our neighborhood here. Well, walking to Mass at the Shrine this morning I took a glance up to see that the wrecking ball has finally begun its work on Spellman. I imagine that it won't be too long before it's gone.

Spellman Hall:

I guess that having been here for three years qualifies me to get nostalgic about the place. They used to call this neighborhood "The Little Vatican" because of all the religious houses nearby campus that housed the many priests and sisters who did their studies at the university. You can still see an array of religious habits walking around, but it's nothing like it was back in the day. I came across some historic photos from years gone by and thought I'd post them here. As you can see, parts of campus are really quite nice:

A religious procession across campus:

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception:

Caldwell Hall, Home of the School of Canon Law:

The Statue of the "Sedes Sapientiae" Just Outside Caldwell Hall:

McMahon Hall:

Looking Past McMahon Hall to the Shrine:

The Library:

CUA Football, 1936 Orange Bowl Champs (Believe it or not...):

Some of Our Distinguished Faculty Members:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Missa in tempore belli...

Mass in the time of war...

Civil War:

World War I:

World War II:

Modern Day:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pontifical Solemn High Mass at the Shrine...

It has been announced that there will be another Pontifical Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the Basilica across the street on 9 April 2011. See the announcement HERE. Archbishop DiNoia will be this year's celebrant and homilist.

A New Motu Proprio?

Rumors have been spreading, and have now been seemingly confirmed, that there will be a new motu proprio coming out from Pope Benedict reorganizing some of the competencies of the Roman Dicasteries (namely, the Rota and the CDW), transferring competence for "non consummatum" marriage dissolutions from the CDW to the Rota. What is of greatest interest here is the second aim of the motu proprio: the creation of a new section of the CDW to deal specifically with the implementation of "a new liturgical movement" that will be charged with implementing the reforms of Vatican II with greater fidelity. News of it (in Italian) can be found in an article printed HERE. According to the article, the document has already been reviewed by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and is subject for promulgation in the very near future.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ok, this is funny...

New Blog on the Liturgy...

Came across a new blog that will interest those of you out there in regards to the Extraordinary Form, the "Reform of the Reform," etc. It's in Italian, and you might protest: "mi dispiace, non parlano la lingua italiana!" Check it out, you'll get the jist... Click HERE.

Maybe it's a bit worldly, but let me just say: I aspire to have a library like this someday...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Straub's Brewery and the "Eternal Tap..."

Ok, so last weekend we left earlier than planned so that we could make a stop on our way to Punxsutawney. A professor of ours is known for his great stories about the funny events and places of the great state of Pennsylvania. What's amazing is that not only are these stories incredibly hilarious, they are relevant to what we are talking about in class too. Just last week a great story was told about the town of St. Marys, PA and Straub's Brewery which is located there. The brewery actually has what they call an "eternal tap." That's right, 365 days a year, anytime of the day or night, you can stroll over to Straub's brewery and pour yourself a cold one off of the "Eternal Tap." For free! This isn't a "most of the time" tap. Not an "occasional, when we feel like it" tap. No, no, no. This is the "Eternal Tap." That's right, they'll be pouring cold ones off this baby until the second coming! What a great idea... The other part of the story? You'll just have to listen:

Reporting Live from Gobbler's Knob...

It's a "bucket list" item for sure. Everyone, before they die, should take time to visit the "weather capital of the world:" Punxsutawney, PA around Groundhog Day, which is exactly what I did this past weekend. A classmate of mine (Fr. Martin) and I took time off from paper writing, piled into "Sacerdos 1," and drove the four hours to West-central PA; first to visit St. Marys, PA and the "Eternal Tap" at Straub's Brewery (more on that part of the weekend later...), and then to meet up with a former classmate (Fr. Chris) in Punxsutawney. The pastor at the local parish was kind enough to let us be his guest for the weekend.

While it is true that the movie was filmed not in Punxsutawney, but in some town in Illinois, it still captures perfectly the quirky little Pennsylvania town that is home to the most famous groundhog weatherman in the world: Punxsutawney Phil. We had tickets to all the big events, including the very exclusive "Groundhog Breakfast" at the Punxsutawney Elks Club, which meant up-close encounters with the famous marmot himself. We were able to visit "Gobbler's Knob" just outside of town, where the famous prediction actually occurs. We met the "Groundhog Inner Circle" (a.k.a. "The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club" - many of whom are Catholics...) who were most generous (they dropped off a whole load of groundhog memorabilia to us at the rectory one night). It was hard not to get a little too worked up over the whole experience. I mean, who doesn't love an ill-tempered groundhog that is reluctantly pulled out of a stump once a year to make a prediction about the weather?

In the accompanying video (which is sure to go viral on Youtube...), you can detect the uncontrollable giddiness that comes with simply being in a place such as Punxsutawney, where life revolves around an animal with supposed mythologic powers. Enjoy! And by the way: Happy Groundhog Day!