Saturday, April 29


(HT: don Jim)

Fr. Tucker: Dissident??

(An incident ironcially juxtaposed with this post about the dangers of reading (Scriptural) texts outside their interpretative hermenuetic..)

Shrine Eye for the Catholic Guy*

Surely you all remember, with that same foundness which I do myself share, the famous Fatima Tie about which I blogged not a few days ago. 100% polyester!

Behold, the papal shirt to end all papal shirts.

This shirt is great for manifold reasons. First, it is far superior to those "Catholic" shirts which include no personal images; for, as we know, the Christian experience is fundamentally a personal experience, a communio personarum which is of course, as our late, great Pontiff taught so well, enabled by the embodied experience common to us all. What is more, the shirt echos effectively Catholic ecclesiastical and devotional culture by evoking that "repetition" (not that "vain" repetition against which Scriptures do warn us) so dear to all good Christians--and unto aesthetically pleasing ends. Call to mind, if you would, the amusing semantic course by which a religious figure who serves as an icon of the body Catholic is expressed by means of a "pop icon"--restoring to this modern notion of icon, perhaps, the original religious significance of the term. Indeed, because this shirt reprises a rather prevelant theme of "popular culture," it can truly be said to "meet people where they are."

Stick with me, readers, and you'll be dressing fine.

*Is that officially passe yet?

Thursday, April 27

Emitte Lucem Tuam

I just recieved this email, offering me a free big-screen TV:

"Subject: YourNew 42' PlasmaTV Is Ready"

At first glance, I was really interested: I thought it said "42nd Psalm."
A Reminder

There's been some MSM hoopla about whether the Vatican will revise "it's teaching" on using condoms, in committed relationships, to prevent AIDS. This alone begs two corrections, first that such statement would be months away, and second such a statement would be a clarification--not a correction--of teaching: "it is disordered to use condoms to obstruct the goods of marriage" would not change; the question of whether the use of condoms unto another end would be opened (akin to how it is wrong to use surgical proceedures to kill a fetus, but if a proceedure is necessary to save a life, and the fetus dies accidentally, etc.).

But a bigger reminder is necessary. I would like to credit this reminder to my 6th grade teacher, who put the matter very simply: the AIDS virus is smaller than the natural spaces between the fibers of latex rubber.

Here's the reminder: condoms don't do a good job of preventing AIDS.

The Bishop Speaks

Pastoral response to 'A Closing Statement on Academic Freedom and Catholic Character' by Father John Jenkins, CSC from Bishop John D'Arcy

Wednesday, April 26

Heh heh*

*Does anyone actually laugh like that? Wouldn't you be put off if someone actually did?


Best Sandcastle Ever

Monday, April 24

Dear Readers,

I've gotten a prayer request of great urgency from a good friend of mine, who asks that you pray for the recovery of a friend of hers named Julie. These next few weeks will be crucial for her. Please keep her and her family in your prayers.
Baylor and Notre Dame, Catholics and Baptists

This article asks what Baylor might learn from Notre Dame, if it seeks to become an intellectually-prestigous confessional school. In light of recent conflicts, I wish that the praise of Notre Dame's religious identity from Baylor's college president rang a bit more indisputable. Nonetheless, an interesting analysis.

The article includes the abstacts of papers which three thoroughly-Baptist professors who were invited to give at the Vatican. One abstract reads,

“Free-church Protestants stand at grave risk of bondage to the spirit of the modern age. Christians of the sort described herein, and Baptists such as I am, seem to face a limited range of options. Amidst the changing cultural conditions precipitated by modernity and now postmodernity, we may:
(a) allow our practice of faith -- untethered to a rich tradition and without the resources of a functional magisterium -- to die the death of continued accommodation to culture;
(b) convert to Roman Catholicism; or
(c) begin a journey toward Rome that, without giving rise to full communion, nonetheless involves a critical engagement with Roman Catholicism as a touchstone of vital tradition and teaching authority about Christian faith and practice.”

Some choices.

Criticized for promoting this "middle way" (option C), one of the professors responded, “The unexamined Baptist life is not worth living; the unexamined Catholic life is not worth living.” That is a quote I rather like. Anyone who has met the enthusiasm or the Christocentricism of converts from evangelism knows that the Catholic Church continues to benefit from cross-fertilization with evangelicalism--if not in the realm of ideas, at least in devotion to Christian living.

What might conservative protestants glean from the Catholic tradition as a whole? Another of the three professors in question hopes that Baptists might reclaim "ancient Christian traditions, such as Advent and Lent, and an emphasis on interpreting Scripture in the context of community." (Though, I wonder, what remains of sola fide and sola scriptura after penance and communal scriptural hermeneutics are introduced?)

The abstract reflects Mark Shea's oft-stated thesis that evangelicalism cannot sustain itself as it now exists for more than a few decades. (Hat tip for finding this article to Mark, himself a convert from protestant evangelicalism.)

Don't take this article as an indication that Chick-tract Baptists are a thing of the past. Baylor's thoughts of emulating Notre Dame have caused a lot of consternation. Some of their students attended a conference at Notre Dame in the Fall. This occasioned some strife. Apparently some peopel made some threats and slashed some tires. One visitor to ND reported that "Notre Dame isn't really Christian--I saw those seminarians carrying six-packs." It was pointed out, however, that this can't be true: the seminary has beer on tap.

Update: I do want to be clear that the exact connection of the individuals behind these incidents with Baylor is unclear, if any such official connection did in fact even exist.
That Beloved Compendium

Date Time
Event Details
Apr 24, 2006 01:19:00 PM
Apr 24, 2006 07:33:00 AM
Arrival Scan
Apr 23, 2006 11:40:00 AM
In transit
Apr 22, 2006 ---
Carrier notified to pick up package

VIVAMUS, meum Compendium, et cognoscamus,
rumoresque senum magistrorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis!
Soles occidere et redire possunt:
nobis cum semel occidit breuis lux,
nox est perpetua una dormienda.
Da mi quaesita mille, deinde centum,
dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.
dein, cum milia multa cognovimus,
studebimus illa, ut sciamus,
et ut quis ignarus cognoscere possit,
cum tantum sciat esse quasitorum.
"But, but, I want to do it again!"

Next Year's Eucharistic Procession:
Divine Mercy Sunday
April 15, 2007

It looks like the Procession will be the annual way of celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday at Notre Dame. Two such grace-filled moments, rolled into one!

And this one--definitely the most wonderful of the bunch, courtesy of Shrine friend Lucy's camera. Our Lady looks down as her Son moves in splendor across the campus of Notre Dame.

Scenes from the Procession

While not the best of the lot (I seem to have gotten an inordinate number of photos of everyone's backs), I did manage to get some snaps of today's Procession, and hopefully they should whet your appetite for the ones Emily is in the process of getting her hands on, including more shots with the Dome in the background.

The procession moves out from the stational altar near Fr. Sorin's monument.

On South Quad, near the Art Department building.

Testing the thurible.

This should give you an idea of the turn-out.

The final station, on the front porch of the Administration Building, in the shadow of the Golden Dome, with benediction given by the Most Rev. Daniel Jenky, CSC, Bishop of Peoria and fan of Our Lady's University.

The Lit Choir sings Panis Angelicus, then we sing Tantum Ergo, say the Divine Praises, and it's time for a celebratory picnic on the quad!
And back to thesis... (Click here for larger image). Here's what one of my drawings looks like when the color starts getting put on. The color scheme of the interior is derived in part from Melk Abbey, the spectacular monastic church of Wies in Bavaria, and Munich's gorgeously claustrophobic Asamkirche, whose purples and reds and golds struck me as appropriately kingly and luminous for the seminary's title. (The desired colors always come out a bit lighter in watercolor, or otherwise you risk losing the transparency of the medium, so in reality there'd probably be less pink here than you see.) This is my first experiment with extensive marbling on an interior, as my last project, Our Lady, Queen of the English Martyrs, had predominantly plain dressed stone. If you look carefully, you can even see the Mass Cards on the altar.

The front facade of the chapel (larger image here), which would serve as the entrance for the public attending masses on Sundays and high feast days, here halfway finished. Christ is shown seated in judgment above with the instruments of the Passion bourne by angels, with St. Michael over the central door and the Virgin of the Apocalypse topping the Jesse Tree fountain at the center of the lower stair landing. This ties the apocalyptic theme of the church facade and the heavenly iconography of the interior to the Salvation History sequence of the stairs leading up to the complex.

Peter Kreeft and Alan Alda -- Separated at Birth?

I also have my suspicions about Bob Newhart and Paul VI. Notice how you never see them in the same place?

Sorry. Dumb joke. On a more serious note, I discovered a book by the eminent Dr. Kreeft (who I had the privelege of meeting briefly this weekend at his very fine lecture at the RTL conference, which managed to make references to everything from the Declaration of Independence, to Star Trek, Tolkien and Dosdoyevsky) which I was previously unaware of, the 2002 Three Approaches to Abortion: A Thoughtful and Compassionate Guide to Today's Most Controversial Issue, dealing with three different pro-abortion fallacies and how to refute them. As with all things Kreeft, it looks to be good.

Sunday, April 23


I know what I'll be doing today...

Saturday, April 22


We are not amused

A German reader of the Shrine has informed me that the sacrilegious cartoon show Popetown, featuring an "infantile pope" and "perverted" Vatican clerics (to quote some of the news coverage), has unfortunately surfaced again, this time on MTV Germany. He writes:
Today I write to you to inform you about plans of MTV Germany to broadcast the anti-Catholic cartoon series "Popetown." I fear the German Catholic Church is too weak and German Catholics have too little influence in German society to end this plans with their own protests.

So I thougt maybe American Catholics may be not amused either about this plan of MTV Germany, which belongs to MTV International. In my opinion this could be a chance to stop MTV in doing this, if not only some Germans protest, but if Americans protest to MTV International. They might re-think their decision if their image is too much damaged.
For more news on the subject, click here, and here.

To give you an idea of what we're dealing with here, you might have a look at the (to put it mildly, blasphemous) poster they've prepared for the show. The German reads, "Laugh Instead of Hanging Around," and shows a hideously grinning image of Our Suffering Lord watching TV. Utterly disgusting. (The original version does not have the text in red.)
The continuing saga of my senior thesis. (Click on image for larger view.) Here's a view of the hypothetical seminary from the valley, with the main chapel rising high above the adjacent academic quadrangle. The influence of Melk Abbey is most evident in this view.

Friday, April 21


Dear little Cordelia....

"Charles...Modern art is all bosh, isn't it?"
"Great bosh."
"Oh, I'm so glad."

Peter Kreeft! Janet Smith! And More Fr. Coughlin!

For those of you on campus or nearby, you might be interested to know that a whole flock of Catholic celebs will be speaking at Notre Dame Right to Life's annual Collegiate Conference this Saturday! It's so good that even I plan on getting away from my drafting desk in the Architecture School for a little while. (This is quite complicated, as it involves filing through the manacles around my leg...just a joke, don't call HRS or anything). Anyway, let the schedule speak for itself:

8:15am-8:45am Registration Lafortune Ballroom
8:45am-9:00am Opening Remarks
9:00am - 10:00am Fr. James Heyd
Priest Associate, Priest for Life
Topic: Observe, Judge, Act
10:15am - 11:15am Fr. John Coughlin, OFM
Professor at Notre Dame Law School
Topic: Some Canonical and Legal Aspects with Regard to Abortion
11:30am - 12:30pm Lunch
12:45pm - 1:45pm Janet Smith
Chair of Life Issues at Sacred Heart Major Seminary
Topic: Designer Genes—Problems with Reproductive Technology
2:00pm - 3:00pm Daniel McInerny PhD Associate Director, ND Center for Ethics and Culture and Amy McInerny J.D., founder Women's Injury Network Topic: Traditional and Modern Notions of Freedom and Their Impact on Families Today
3:15pm - 4:15pm Dr. Peter Kreeft
Professor of Philosophy at Boston College.
Topic: [It's not listed, but come on folks, it's Peter Kreeft, I'd listen to him even if the subject was "Our Friend the Phone Book." But it won't be, of course, don't worry.]
5:00pm - 6:00pm Mass
6:15pm - 7:00pm Dinner North Dining Hall Gold Room
7:00pm - 8:00pm Discussion Session
8:00pm - 8:30pm Closing Remarks

For all the info your heart could desire, and how to register (there'll be food!), go to

Oh, and let's not forget the Eucharistic Procession Sunday, either!

Thursday, April 20


A response to Father Jenkins

by Fr. John Coughlin, OFM of the Law School
"Apart from the decision about whether or not to sponsor a particular play on campus, I share Bishop John D'Arcy's 'deep sadness' about the Closing Statement. In my view, the statement espouses a conception of the Catholic University based upon a divorce between reason and faith. This divorce will hardly settle the matter about the relation between academic freedom and the Catholic identity of Notre Dame. Moreover, Jenkins' raising of the issue may have unwittingly polarized the University community and damaged Catholicism at Notre Dame. ...

For those of us who are committed Catholics, and Jenkins no doubt belongs to this group, we should be doing all in our power to create a culture that fosters the Catholic truth about the gift of human sexuality and its proper place in the order of creation. My opinion is that there is, to quote the late Pope John Paul II, a "new Spring" of Catholic life blossoming at Notre Dame. I base my opinion on my grace-filled experience here with our wonderful Catholic students. It is also the case that some of our students are nominally Catholic as a result of inadequate catechetical formation through no fault of their own. Evangelization is needed to invite them into the "new Spring" of Catholic life. I agree with Jenkins that plays such as the Vagina Monologues stand in opposition to Catholic life and culture. For this reason, I doubt that his Closing Statement will nourish the "new Spring."...

"Jenkins may be correct that I am in a distinct minority of faculty members who feel this way. Although none of us are indispensable, I think that the "minority" is a sine quo non to the health of this great Catholic university. The Closing Statement notwithstanding, there seems to me to be a splendid opportunity to foster Catholic intellectual life and culture at Notre Dame. Some features of the wider American culture are gravely ill and badly need the medicine of Catholic truth. I continue to believe that Notre Dame can be a big part of the cure and not the problem."
(Full article)

Procession: Redux

Wednesday, April 19


Professor Cavadini has accused the ND administration of slipping towards Gnosticism.

I'm inclined to agree, but read the article for yourself.
(Via The Truth Will Set You Free)

Also, don't forget that letters to the administration on this matter are extremely important.

Tuesday, April 18


Life is going to be pretty wild for me the next couple of weeks, and posting will be scarce. By way of an explanation, I offer this first drawing from my in-progress thesis project, a hypothetical seminary for a Tridentine order based in the Midwest. The good Fathers are not in the market for a seminary right now (so don't go starting rumors!) but they've been ever so helpful in advising me in my theoretical design process. This particular design is an underlay drawing for a watercolor which will show the dome and high altar of the seminary's chapel. Precedents included Austrian and northern Italian baroque, and the local beaux-arts architecture of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Monday, April 17


This image of Pius II is a little congratulatory joke in honor of a far-away friend who has received a great honor and duty today. I won't say anything else, but I think he'll catch the reference.

Blah Blah Blah Ginger

I've been more than a little amused with the minor contretemps that has surfaced over papal preacher Fr. Cantalamessa's "slamming" of The Da Vinci Code in his traditional Good Friday homily, not to mention the apparently shocking denunciation of genetic engineering-cum-tampering, the decline of family life, and other general badness in the Papal Via Crucis meditations.

Neither of these things particularly surprise me. What were they expecting us to say? That the Pope wants to have Dan Brown over to dinner at the Vatican? (Say what you will about heretic Hans Küng, but at least he's a witty dinner companion.) That we luuuuv the idea of transhumanizing ourselves into a biological freak show? That we should just write off the family as an institution? Of course not. The Pope and the preacher were just simply re-stating the age-old line of the Church.

It's funny, really; the media has taken a fairly brief aside in Padre Cantalamessa's homily and blown it up into a Savonarolan diatribe that suggests the Congregation of the Index's armored support column was going to roll into Barnes and Noble any minute now. What the good friar said was,
In a stream of novels, films and plays, writers manipulate the figure of Christ under cover of imaginary new discoveries. This is becoming a fashion, a literary genre.
No Dan Brown, no mention of titles or ISBN numbers. And while certainly Danny Boy is implicated by this comment (and I certainly don't mind a condemnation of the book), it covers a whole stream of other concerns that plague the modern world, from the Gospel of Judas kerfuffle to The Last Temptation of Christ. This, and the reactions to the "attacks" and "slams" in Benedict's quiet, thoughtful meditations read at his late-night Good Friday Via Crucis, remind me more than a little of the Far Side cartoon of the dog who only heard her name mentioned when the humans talked--"blah blah blah Ginger." I wonder what the rest of the homily was about?

I guess the media finds it hard to compute. Doesn't he like Prada, iPods and cats? Didn't this guy just write all about L-U-V and stuff? They forget, I suppose, that the flip side of "God is love," is "The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son," and when you say one, you say the other, and Benedict's all about both.

The Many Faces of Benedict XVI

You know, I sort of like having a pope, who like those old Byzantine images of the Pantocrator, who looks intimidating to the sinner...

...and lovable to the saint.

As one of us here at the Shrine once put it, "He looks like the nicest guy you'd never want to get on the wrong side of."

Sunday, April 16


Easter Vigil....

... At Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Chicago. I'm sure Emily will post soon enough with details from the Basilica, but here's some news from the parish where I sing (also in my choir is Sr. Anne of the nunblog - check out her new book on Eucharistic Adoration for children!):
"Lumen Christi" processional for timpani, brass, and choir (William Ferris)
Exsultet for three voices
"Genesis I" reading with choral accompaniment by William Ferris
Psalm 104 "Lord, send out your Spirit" by William Ferris
Psalm 16 "Keep me safe, O God, you are my hope" by William Ferris
Exodus 15 Canticle "Let us sing to the Lord: He has covered himself with glory" by William Ferris
Ezekiel reading choral accompaniment by William Ferris
Psalm 42 "Like a deer that longs for running streams" by William Ferris
"First Gloria of Easter" for cantor, choir, congregation, brass, timpani, and organ by William Ferris (this is one of those pieces that needs to be experienced in the liturgy to be appreciated - the effect of the servers ringing the bells and coming out to light the candles as we began the Latin "Gloria in Excelsis Deo" choral fanfare to start the piece was quite amazing)
Gospel Acclamation and Verses for Cantor and Choir by William Ferris
Sprinkling Rite: "Springs of water" by Jerome Coller, OSB
Offertory Anthem: "The Day of Resurrection" by Thomas Matthews
Sanctus/Memorial Acclamation/Amen from "Community Mass" by Richard Proulx
Agnus Dei "Paschalis" by William Ferris
Communion: Sweet Sacrament (Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All), arr. William Ferris
Organ Meditiation: Priere a Notre-Dame by Leon Boellmann
Recessional Postlude: "Music for the Royal Fireworks" by G.F. Handel for brass and organ

A note on William Ferris, for the interested: the reason we do so much music by Ferris is that he was director of music at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel for many years until his sudden death doing what he loved (conducting a rehearsal) in May 2000. Ferris was a prolific composer of Psalm settings and other service music for the liturgy, incorporating very well the tradition of the Church along with other twentieth-century influesnce, such as his teacher, Leo Sowerby. Our music program is blessed to have his work as a kind of "house repertoire," much as Notre Dame is to have works by Calvin Bower and others. For the inquiring director, however, much of it has become available through World Library Publications, thanks in part to his student and current OLMC choir director, Paul French, who continues in Ferris' tradition of running a top-notch music program at OLMC as well as composing reverent and beautiful service music and other liturgical music.

Saturday, April 15


My blogging is, in a sense, selfish, insofar as I blog to relax.

Recently, I've found the atmosphere draining. We have an otherwise wonderful readership of 1,000+ people, but with finals I don't have the will or the patience to deal with having 1,000 people not to offend, or 1,000 people fact-checking posts written in the space of a few minutes here or a few minutes there. That is not relaxing.

One may suggest that if this is such a burden, don't blog. So, I'm taking a break. In a sense, Christ ought be my joy and relaxation, anyway. I'll be back, probably at the end of school.


"Behold, the Holy Teapot of Antioch..."

"I baptize you in the Name of the Brewer, and of the Brewed, and of the Brew. Amen."

Friday, April 14


I Heart Benedict

Read Cardinal Ratzinger's Milestones should you get the chance. Short, but it gives some of the personal background for B16 which we all had of JPG.
Professor David Solomon of Notre Dame in the Wall Street Journal

Wednesday, April 12



To those who are interested in the Catholic character of Notre Dame (especially, but not only students, parents, faculty, and alumni), please write to the following people (listed below, in order of importance) and tell them what you think of Fr. Jenkins' recent decision. Please be respectful, but also firm. (i.e., Read through the statement carefully before writing.) This was intended as a compromise decision, and it is important that Fr. Jenkins know that it will not be viewed as such.
(All of Fr. Jenkins's statements on this topic can be found here.)

Fr. Tyson is Fr. Jenkins's provincial superior, and he is well-known for banning the Monologues at the University of Portland when he was president there. It is also important to write the development office, especially regarding cancelled donations, parents and students no longer interested in Notre Dame, etc., because, let's face it, if you want to hit a university hard, hit them in the wallet.

Also if everyone would kindly pass on this information to others who would be interested in writing, we would appreciate it greatly.

There's your marching orders for the day, folks, now back to your regularly scheduled Holy Week, already in progress.

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
President, University of Notre Dame
400 Main Building
P.O. Box 755
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C.

Provincial Superior, Congregation of Holy Cross, Indiana Province
54515 State Rd 933 N
P.O. Box 1064
Notre Dame, IN 46556
David.T.Tyson.4 (at)

Department of Development
University of Notre Dame
1100 Grace Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5612
Develop.1 (at)

UPDATE (Taken from Mike Roesch): Please remember that the bad part about this decision is not that the VM will continue to be allowed, but rather that the academic departments are now virtually autonomous since they appear to have essentially bullied the President into this course of action. Nothing Fr. Jenkins said in his first address matches up with what his closing address stated.
From the Catholic Encyclopedia

motu proprio. The name given to certain papal rescripts on account of the clause motu proprio (of his own accord) used in the document. The words signify that the provisions of the rescript were decided on by the pope personally, that is, not on the advice of the cardinals or others, but for reasons which he himself deemed sufficient...

The phrase motu proprio is frequently employed in papal documents. One characteristic result of its use is that a rescript containing it is valid and produces its effect even in cases where fraud would ordinarily have vitiated the document, for the words signify that the pope in granting the favour does not rely on the reasons alleged. When the clause is used in dispensations, the latter are given a broad interpretation.

A favour granted motu proprio is valid even when counter to ecclesiastical law, or the decisions of the pope himself.

Consequently, canonists call the clause the "mother of repose": "sicut papaver gignit somnum et quietem, ita et hæc clausula habenti eam."

Tuesday, April 11

ND Priest-Professor Responds

Fr. Bill Miscamble, CSC, writes an Open Letter on the VM Decision

Sunday, April 9


What did you sing today?

Holy Week here at Notre Dame is one of the most incredible series of liturgies I've encountered. As such, I thought I'd share the experience, as best I could, in writing. (NB: There will be several choir-nerd type details, so those of you who are not so inclined, feel free to skip over them.)

The procession began from the architecture building, with much incense and banners, and came out of the front doors onto the steps, to the chant Hosanna Filio David. The picture of the doors bursting open and the cloud of incense rolling out into the sunlight before the Crucifix and banners was truly stunning (at least from my front-row spot). Palms were blessed and the Gospel of Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem was read, and then the procession toward the Basilica of the Sacred Heart began.

All of the hymns ("To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King" "At the Name of Jesus" and "Crown Him with Many Crowns") were first intoned on the carillon, and the choir lined the procession path in an attempt to keep the hymns together. They fell apart slightly, due to the electronic delay of the cantor on the speaker system, but the transition from outside to in was fairly smooth. The final hymn of the procession, as the priests entered, was "All Glory, Laud, and Honor," sung with a descant on the chorus (as best we could while climbing the loft steps and getting into place).

The Gospel Acclamation and verse were written by Calvin Bower, an emeritus of our Music Department here. The verse, "Christ became obedient for us, even unto death, even death on a cross; therefore God raised Him on high, and gave him a name above all other names," was a choral setting, with a very effective use of dissonance in the treble voices on the first phrase, and the men joining for a soaring crescendo on the second.

The Mass setting was the David Hurd's "New Plainchant Mass," which I like very much in theory, though it can sound a tad clunky when you have to get organ and congregation involved.
The offertory was O Crux Ave, Spes Unica, by Christobal Morales, the text of which is the sixth verse of the Vexilla Regis. This piece is especially appropriate at Notre Dame, since the motto of the Congregation of the Holy Cross is "Spes Unica."

O crux ave spes unica
hoc passionis tempore
auge piis justitiam
reisque dona veniam.

O cross, our only hope
in this time of suffering,
grant justice to the faithful
and mercy to those awaiting judgment.

Communion music was Lucian Deiss's "Keep in Mind that Jesus Christ has Died for Us," and the finale from the Bach St. Matthew Passion, "Wir Setzen Uns," the beautiful text of which translates as follows:

"We lay ourselves with weeping prostrate
And cry to thee within the tomb:
Rest thou gently, gently rest!
Rest, O ye exhausted members!
This your tomb and this tombstone
Shall for ev'ry anguished conscience
Be a pillow of soft comfort
And the spirit's place of rest.
Most content, slumber here, the eyes in rest."

For the closing hymn, we sang "O Sacred Head" in four parts. The usual organ postlude was lacking for this Mass, as will be the case until Easter.

Saturday, April 8



For those of you on campus on this coming Monday, the fair Amy will be speaking at 7:30 PM in 155 DeBartolo on the fallacies of The Da Vinci Code.

That is all.
Choir Robes?

A reader asks,

I've been reading and enjoying The Shrine for some time--if this has been addressed and I missed it, I sincerely apologize.

I have been recruited to make the argument for choir robes to the parish council and the rector of the cathedral where I sing. What arguments (practical and theological) have been offered for and against placing the choir in robes? Any help you or your friends could offer would be most helpful.
I've no idea!

A Good Idea

I like Rocco's idea:

In the name of keeping our focus on the most important Story of the days to come, [I] will be on hiatus for Holy Week.

May we all be changed Christians when next I blog again!

A Catholic University?

In the comments below, "JohnR" reflects the thoughts of many casting thoughts back to a golden age of Catholic education and identiy:
I don't see a university campus as being part of the secular world. It should be deliberately removed--apart--from the hustle/bustle so that people can engage in thinking large thoughts.

"Chris" states,
Catholic Universities are intended to be Catholic bootcamps, preparing youth to battle the ignorance of a hostile public with reason, logic, and facts.

All positions with which I am sympathetic. I was speaking with someone about the issue of Catholic Universities, and he raised a question:

Was the University of Paris, c. 1250-1450, a "Catholic University"?

Friday, April 7


Fama est

"Rorate Caeli" dicit edictum de missa esse obsignatum papae Benedicto:

Update 3 (April 7, 2100 GMT):
[Reports] confirm that Radio Vaticana has announced that His Holiness "has signed a document regarding the Rite of the Mass, as previously announced". The document will, "with all probability be made public on Maundy Thursday". We still have not been able to hear this news directly from Radio Vaticana -- we are, understandably, skeptical (since announcing breaking news of this kind has never been the tradition of Radio Vaticana).

Thursday, April 6

The Elephant in the Blog

No, we haven't said anything about the Monologues decision.

I don't plan to.

Either way, everything possible take has been said over at Amy's.

This was a unique post, though. Some excerpts:

(By Philip Bocock, posted at OpenDoor)

I have to put my two cents in as a college student (graduate school). ...

My generation's major sin/struggle is with hedonism and sexuality. It no longer works to simply tell my generation homosexuality is wrong, extra-marital sex is wrong, contraception is wrong, and then try and censor what kids/young adults are exposed to. Ban the VM, but we are still exposed to the same stuff EVERYWHERE. Our culture is saturated with sex.


Folks, its only getting worse. I have noticed middle and high school girls are now getting as sexually charged as the boys were when I was that age.

[Simply] Saying "NO, this is wrong" no longer works. The Church needs to confront this issue head on and explain that the Church's alternative is actually much better and freer than what today's society says. Banning VM will not help!!! College students are already saturated with that stuff anyway. People need to stop being scared of the VM and take that thinking head on. Host the play, then afterwards tear it apart. Explain to the viewers what is wrong with that thinking, how it leads to destruction and misery, and propose a better alternative. Stop pretending that by banning VM that the students will be protected and never hear the VM's crap. Students already have been exposed to it. Healthy alternatives are getting harder and harder to find.

Posted by: Philip Bocock at Apr 6, 2006 10:01:26 AM

His conclusion, I think, can be summarized:
"There is no such thing as a Catholic haven. Apart from its status as a Catholic University, Notre Dame can no longer be called a 'Catholic Haven'--is that bad, or realistic?"

A question to which, again, I have no answer.
The Pope and the Scandal

One Fr. James Martin, SJ, repeats an occasional criticism of John Paul:

"John Paul, though a prayerful man of unshakeable faith, was not perfect either...he appointed most of the bishops responsible for the sexual abuse crisis in this country..."

Heraldist Guy Selvester, also priest, disagrees:

I'm afraid that simply isn't true. It's easy to think... that he certainly must have appointed bishops who were responsible, either in a small or a large way, for at least part of the sexual abuse crisis in the United States.

But it is simply wrong to say that John Paul II appointed "most" of them. The results of the John Jay Study on sexual abuse by clergy tells a different story. The study said that 4,392 clergymen were accused of abusing 10,667 people, with 75 percent of the incidents taking place between 1960 and 1984. The study said the sharp decline in abuse incidents since 1984 coupled with the declining percentage of accusations against priests ordained in recent years "presents a more positive picture" than the overall statistics. It said that 68 percent of the allegations were made against priests ordained between 1950 and 1979, while priests ordained after 1979 accounted for 10.7 percent of the allegations. Pope John Paul II was elected in late 1978. If most of the abuse occurred between 1950 and 1979 then that means the bishops responsible to sweeping things under the rug in the first place and continuing to maintain a coverup were appointed by Pope Pius XII, Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI.

Even when you take into account the bishops appointed by John Paul II who would have been in place during the years 1978-1984 (years when the percentage of abuse was still higher) that hardly makes for "most" of the bishops being John Paul II appointees. The simple fact is that bishops have and continue to cover up abuse problems by clergy but "most of the bishops responsible for the sexual abuse crisis in this country" were not appointed by John Paul II but by someone else.

Read more

Wednesday, April 5

All Pius XII, all the time.

You know, rather than getting one's knickers in a twist over all the great popes who don't get cool titles, why not call both both John Paul and Pius "the Great"? Both participated in pivotal points in the Twentieth Century. John Paul is already Leo to Pius's Gregory--one confronted barbarians from the east, the other helped enrich the Church's deposit of music and liturgy. (Pius also did a Leo and confronted barbarians from the north, but JP II also had Gregory's mystical and theological sensibilities in him, as well, so the comparison's not exact).

I'm serious, here.

I think we also need to expand the repetoire of Papal nicknames. There's only a few. JP II deserves his Great, but it might be nice to come up with some other titles just to flesh things out. So...

Liberius the Pretty Good but for Some Reason did not Make Sainthood (352-66)
Stephen (II) the Brief (752)
Lando the Forgotten (913-914; possibly retired to Cloud City)
John (XX) the-Not-Appearing-in-This-Film
Pius (II) the Poet (1458-1464)
Alexander (VI) the... We-Don't-Talk-about-him-in-Public-Anymore (1492-1503)
Marcellus (II), "As Seen on Palestrina!" (1555)
Pius (IV), No-not-him-But-the-Other-One (1559-65)
Pius (V) the Hammer of Liturgists (1566-72)
Gregory (XIII) the Hammer Calendar Thingies (or "the Bill Nye the Science Guy of the Counter-Reformation") (1572-85)
Urban (VII) the Generous (1590)
Gregory (XIV) the Shortlived (1590-91)
Leo (XI) the Really Shortlived (1605)
Urban (VIII) the Guy Who Put Bees Everywhere (1623-44)
Innocent (X) the Large Two-by-Four used to Whap People of Jansenism (1644-55)
Alexander (VII) the Often Confused with The Other Guy, but Who Did Nice Things and Liked Architecture (1655-67)
Clement (IX) the Smallish Ruler Used to Whap People's Knuckes, But Which Still Really Stings, of Jansenism (or, more seriously Clement (IX) the Friendly) (1667-69)
Pope Innocent (XI) the Vacuum-Cleaner of Nepotism (1676-89)
Innocent (XII) the Vacuum-Cleaner Special Attachment Nozzle, you know, the one to get the tough little dust-bunnies in the corners, of Jansenism (1691-1700)
Pius (VII), You Know, the One Who had to Put up with Napoleon (1800-23)
Pius (VIII) the Pressure-Washer of Liberalism (1829-30)
Pius (IX) the Prisoner (1846-1878)

Seriously speaking, it's funny that there are so few nicknames in Papal history. There's a couple "the Greats," one "the Good" and, oddly enough one "the Manly," bestowed rather sarcastically on one of the Johns during the early Middle Ages who let his sister boss him around. I guess it could be worse.

For the person who found our blog by searching for"The Presbyterian Church like enjoys you not."

How true it is.. how true it is...

(As if those Calvinists would enjoy anything???)

... and other bad English dubbings of Star wars

Tuesday, April 4

In the Interest of Fairness

I'll say that, though my love for John Paul the Great be undying, The Cornell Catholic Circle advocates "John Paul the Fair."

They point to the obvious shortfalls of the papacy, on the theory, I think, that the title "Great" ought be confounded with "the Perfect." With these criticisms, I largely agree. I think they should give JPG more credit for the creation of the concept of granting indults for a retro-dated Roman Missal, which was a complete innovation in Catholic polity. A good one: Low Mass in the Roman FSSP chapel is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. Ever. So, while I hope even now that Benedict really has signed a universal indult for the Old Mass, it was JPG who--for the first time ever--granted that an "Old Mass" could exist alongside a "New Mass" in what is technically the same Rite. But yes, there are many other instances where JPG's policy was neither sufficiently detailed nor enforced.

I agree, obviously, with their critique that history, will be what judges John Paul as "Great."* But, it is with an eye to history that I advocate his greatness be recognized. No pontiff will ever be "the perfect pontiff," nor will any pope ever leave the Church is the ideal state upon his death. Benedict XVI won't, nor whoever follows him.

*(Interestingly, they give Pius X a title, "Hammer of Modernists," which while true in intent, is not really borne out by the history after his reign)

So, I challenge our Cornell friends to go to their campus library and read some Catholic magazines from the 1970's. Headlines such as "Will Confirmation Still be a Sacrament in the Year 2000?" will abound. They will find editorials calling for the removal of tabernacles as "harkening back to the age when people worshipped the Euchraist instead of recieving it." They will learn that cardinals and bishops called for the permenant revocation of any "Canon Law," that Cardinal Bernadin was the most conservative figure in Catholic education (he thought students should actually memorize the Beatitudes!), that the Breviary was temporarily abolished, that as early as 1967 the Bishop's Synod had decided that liturgical experimentation could no longer be controlled. They will probably not find a single mention of Paul VI after about 1972. If they read accounts of the election of John Paul I, they will find the expectation that the bishop of Rome would very quickly limit himself to being bishop over Rome (and perhaps occasional cheerleader). If they find any reference to the CDF, please send them to me. Because, frankly, the Vatican's governance over the Church--and the expectation that the Vatican should govern the Church--had completely dissipated by the time JP2 was elected.

The fact that we have this expectation today is the second biggest testimony to John Paul's greatness. The biggest testimony to his greatness is that he renewed this expectation in the hearts of millions of the young faithful without stricture, without anathema, without the detailed policies he failed to implement: he regained this young, devoted following to Christ by the force of his magnaminity, the work of the Holy Spirit in his words, heart, and presence.

That's greatness.

For your listening pleasure on today's feast: the incomparable Gabrieli Consort's Morales: Mass for the Feast of St. Isidore of Seville. Audio samples can be found here.
Does anyone remember when I said that Catholics CANNOT be perfectly comfortable with Republicans?

When I said that there are Republicans who hate Catholics just as much as liberal Democrats?

Michael Savage just called Catholics pigs.
Spirit of Catholicism

Rocco reports that Bp. Slattery of Tulsa is now officially the type of Catholic I want to be.

His commentary, though, I think is off:

"Glass chalices, jail, Redemptionis sacramentum and the preferential option for the poor.... What a grab-bag these days are turning out to be."

Incomprehensible grab bag to the secular binary of liberal/conservative "sides," maybe... But to me, it seems to be exactly that unified Catholic spirit that makes perfect sense to the love which knows Christ. Isn't that what binds a fierce devotion to the liturgy with a fierce devotion to the poor?? The presence of Christ--the love for Christ!

Truth and Beauty

Since there has been so much talk about the art inside the Compendium, I thought I'd compile the pieces, as best I could, into a blog post.
Each work is accompanied by a description detailing its artistic and theological symbolism, which I have excerpted here.
One complaint I will make is that the reprints use extremely bright colors. Perhaps this was done to bring out the detail on the non-glossy paper, but it looks a bit off, even garish in some of the works. Still, I'm thrilled that the decision was made to include the art, and they made some excellent choices to highlight in pictures the truths that follow in words.

Theophanos of Crete, Icon of Christ, Stavronikita Monastery (Mt. Athos)
This icon is printed right at the beginning of the Compendium, between the Motu Proprio and the Introduction. From the description:

"This image, a sublime synthesis of natural and symbolic elements, is an invitation to contemplate ad to follow the Lord. Jesus through the Church, his bride and mystical body, still continues today to bless the human family and to shed light upon it with his Gospel which is the authentic book of truth, happiness, and salvation for man.

In August of 386 while in a garden, Augustine heard a voice saying "Take and read, take and read" (Confessions, 8,12,29). The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as a synthesis of the Gospel of Jesus taught by the Church's catechesis is an invitation to open the book of truth and to read it, even to devour it as did the prophet Ezekiel (cf. Ezekiel 3:1-4)."

Gentile da Fabriano, Adoration of the Magi (1423)
Occurs immediately before Part One: The Profession of Faith

"The Gospel of Jesus is the word of salvation for all humanity. Saint Leo the Great said, "Let all peoples, represented by the three magi, adore the Creator of the universe and may God be know not just in Judea but through all the earth because everywhere in Israel great is his name. (Discourse 3 for the Epiphany)

The first part of the Compendium illustrates the encounter between God and man and the response of faith which the Church gives in the name of all people to the gift of the redeeming incarnation of the Son of God and his divine revelation."

Bible of Souvigny, Days of Creation
Occurs at the beginning of Section One: "I Believe" -- "We Believe"

"The church at Easter vigil praises the Lord for the even more wonderful work of the redemption of mankind and the cosmos:

'Almighty and eternal God, you created all things in wonderful beauty and order. Help us now to perceive how still more wonderful is the new creation by which in the fullness of time you redeemed your people through the sacrifice of our Passover, Jesus Christ.'"

Basilica of San Clemente, Apse Mosaic
Occurs at the beginning of Section Two: The Profession of Faith

"The Church is here pictured as a heavenly garden given life by Christ, the true tree of life."

Joos van Wassenhove, Jesus Gives Communion to the Apostles
Printed at the beginning of Part Two: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

"Aquinas, who called the Eucharist "the summit and perfection of all the spiritual life," could not but express the consciousness of the Church's faith for she believes in the Eucharist as the living presence of Jesus among us and as the indispensable nourishment for the spiritual life. The Eucharist is the golden thread that, beginning with the Last Supper, binds together all the ages of the Church's history up to ourselves today."

Redemptoris Mater chapel, Mosaic on the wall of the Incarnation
Printed at the beginning of Part Two, Section One: The Sacramental Economy

"The sacrifice of the cross is the found of the sacramental economy of the Church. In this image Mary, who is a figure for the Church, gather in her left hand the blood and water which flow from the open side of Christ and which are symbols of the Church's sacraments."

Roger van der Weyden, Triptych of the Seven Sacraments
Printed at the beginning of Part Two, Section Two: The Sacraments of the Church

"At the center the cross is raised in a predominant way. At the feet of the Crucified, there is Mary, heartbroken, supported by John and the holy women. In the back a priest celebrating Mass elevates the Host after the consecration to show that the sacrifice of the cross is made present again in the Eucharistic celebration under the forms of bread and wine."

Jacob Copista, Illustration from the Tetraevangelo
Found at the beginning of Part Three: Life in Christ

"In this image, Jesus is seated with the apostles around a table in the form of a chalice. On the table are the Eucharistic species: bread and wine. The hall which is displayed against a very elaborate architectural backdrop with the buildings and a circular tabernacle with seven columns symbolizes the Church which is the abode of the Eucharistic Christ. A significant detail is offered by the apostle John which rests his head upon Jesus' chest (cf. John 13:25). He displays the communion of love which the Eucharist produces in the faithful."

El Greco, St. John Contemplates the Immaculate Conception
Found at the beginning of Part Three, Section One: Man's Vocation: Life in the Spirit

"In this image Mary is surrounded by angels playing musical instruments and making merry, her head crowned with the divine love of the Holy Spirit, symbolized by the dove. Mary is the mother and protector of the Church (at her feet there is a faint glimpse of a sacred edifice). Through her efficacious, motherly intercession with Jesus, she pours out upon the Church the abundance of heavenly graces (symbolized by the tuft of blooming roses).

Below at the left, the apostle John in contemplation of Immaculate Mary represents every on eof the faithful who sees in the Blessed Virgin the perfect modeland likewise the teacher and guide for living in the Spirit."

Fra Angelico, Sermon on the Mount
Part Three, Section Two: The Ten Commandments

"The mountain with its elevation above the earth and closeness to heaven describes a privileged place of encounter with God. Jesus the teacher, seated on the rock as on a favored chair with the index finger of his right hand pointed to heaven, indicates the divine origin of his words of life and happiness. The scroll which he holds in his left hand signifies the ful fillment of his teaching which he entrusts with confidence to the apostles who are invited to preach the Gospel to all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."

Coptic Icon of Pentecost
Part Four: Christian Prayer

Mary, mother of the Church, the Queen of the apostles, and the perfect pray-er, is the dominant figure at the center of the icon. It is in the love of the Holy Spirit that the faithful can raise their filial prayer to God in accord with the words of the apostle:

'As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!"' (Galatians 4:6)."

Byzantine Icon of the Liturgical Feasts (This is actually a Russian icon on the same subject; I couldn't find a picture of the one that is in the book.)
Part Four, Section One: Prayer in the Christian Life

"All times are good for prayer. The Church, however, proposes special times to the faithful to stress and nurture continual prayer: morning and evening prayer, prayers before and after meals, the liturgy of the hours, the Sunday Eucharist, the rosary, and the feasts of the liturgical year.

This icon portrays some of the major feasts of the liturgical year which mark the prayer of the Church. The representation of the paschal mystery, the resurrection and the ascension of Jesus into heaven, is the dominant figure at the center of the icon. This solemn feast is the summit of liturgical prayer and from it all the other feasts, both those of Jesus and Mary, draw their meaning and saving efficacy."

El Greco, Agony in the Garden
Part Four, Section Two: The Lord's Prayer

"The disciples, who had experience with Jewish prayer at the time, were greatly struck by the singular character of the prayer of their Master. Jesus actually was in continual prayer. The most important moments of his life were accompanied by prayer. ...

Prayer to the Father was the life breath of his earthly existence. He came to dwell in our midst but Jesus did not leave the house of the Father because he kept communion with him in prayer. On the other hand, however, this filial intimacy became a merciful and saving closeness for his brothers right up to the supreme sacrifice of the cross."

Jan van Eyck, Angelic Singers, (Ghent Cathedral)
Appendices: A. Common Prayer, and B. Formulas of Catholic Doctrine.

"The image presented here portrays a group of apterous angels (without wings) who pray by singing. They are dressed in sumptuous sacred vestments to indicate that they are discharging a solemn liturgical action. Indeed the angels, besides being messengers of God who are sent to declare his sovereign will to men, perform also the service of praising the Lord in the eternal liturgy of heaven (cf. Revelation 8:2)."

Monday, April 3


An alternate world, perhaps...

... but theology majors can dream.

It reminds me of the time those nice people from the Seventh Day Adventists visited! (hehe!)

(Learn more about Envoy Magazine)

The Earth Goddess is Angry!!!!!

Only human sacrifice will appease her," say the priests of high modernity.
A Cornucopia of Nuttiness!

Shrine favorite Mark Shea shares a letter he recently recieved:

I read your book "Da Vinci Antidote" and i have to say i now know for sure why i was once catholic and am now an atheist.

Oh, there's no way this'll be boring.

You guys have to be the most arroagant, self indulged bastards i have ever seen in my life, the way you say pagans worship because of ignorance is hysterical. Did you ever think that maybe your religion isn't right and is a load of bullshit, no you didn't, you sit and worship your god and corrupt pope and think your better than any other damn relgion and even better than all other Christians.

Free holy card to whoever can diagram the first sentence. I don't see how we'd be less arrogant if we believed heart-felt convictions were a matter of personal taste and not objective truth.. Hmm. (worship the Pope???????)

And the book sucks, the book sucks, the book sucks, if you want to be taken seriously ou might want to take some classes in writing...

Did I really just read that?

...ou might want to take some classes in writing...

Wow. Now that's awesome.

... and maybe, just a little, lay off on the bias.

No, that's awesome. Preach on, my bias-free friend!

I've listened to Fox News and i don't hear as much bias, holy shit, but then again if you were objective you wouldn't have anything to write about. But the most important point i have to make (if you proud old bastards even read the e-mail)

Wouldn't miss it.

is that the DA VINCI CODE IS A FICTION BOOK AND WAS NOT MEANT TO DESTROY CHRISTIANITY, i don't know where the f*** you pulled that one from.

Oh! Ok. See, we were just afraid that it would cause people to go off into ignorant, misinformed rants about a theology that they never learned or understood. I guess the really paranoid people were worried that the book might create an environment in which we would get cursed out by absolute strangers, just for being Catholic! Haha. Glad that's settle, though.

It is a thriller that is meant to entertain (and does superbly) and the history is added in to make it exciting.

History? Fiction? History? Fiction?

Dan Brown doesn't beleive these anagrams he made upand maybe only part of the long clue list. Most of the clues were made just to keep the story going, some true, many not. Also in this book of your you guys seem to spend alot of tie questioning nit picking details that you just use to undermine his authority and tke the reader in your grasp.

Like how the Dead Sea Scrolls were written by Jews who never once mention Jesus?

Like how you ridicule his for using Da Vinci instead of Leonardo, well you mother fuc**** idiots he does that because the general public, unlike you """""""****vaunted historians****""""""" does not know who Leonardo is off the top of their head, in fact most people would refer to a Leonard as one of the Mutant Ninja Turtles.

I've never seen a brain fart in written form before. Fascinating.

So go blow you anger on someone else you assholes, because you guys wrote, quite possibly, one of the most biased books ever written.

:) :) :) I know that letter should depress me, but... :) That's the competition????????? I'm vaguely insulted at how easy it all is...

Tired of male domination, 5 Catholic women change sex

Sunday, April 2


One year later, 10,000 people visit JPG's tomb on an ordinary day.

The video of his funeral.


The Redeemer suffered in place of man and for man. Every man has his own share in the Redemption. Each one is also called to share in that suffering through which the Redemption was accomplished. He is called to share in that suffering through which all human suffering has also been redeemed. In bringing about the Redemption through suffering, Christ has also raised human suffering to the level of the Redemption. Thus each man, in his suffering, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ.

~John Paul II, Salvifici Doloris, 1984

Saturday, April 1


Tomorrow is the pending-feast of JPG

Or at least the first anniversary of his death. I miss you, JP2..

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