Thursday, July 08, 2010

History of Castel Gandolfo, the pope's summer residence



Very interesting history regarding WWII.

Ah! Catholic Humor - The Very Model of a Modern Seminarian

I am a little late in sharing this one from Father Z. The Very Model of a Modern Seminarian
The Seminarian’s Song

To the Tune of the Major-General’s Song from The Pirates of Penzance

I am the very model of Catholic seminarian
I’ve information pastoral, canonical, and Marian,
I know the Popes of Avignon and Councils Ecumenical
From Nicaea to Vatican plus gatherings heretical.
I’m very well acquainted too with matters homiletical,
I’ll write a pretty sermon that is eloquent yet practical,
About soteriology I’m teeming with a lot o’ news…
Such as salvation history’s relation to the modern Jews.
I’m very open minded, I have Sunday lunch with Protestants,
I teach them our Church History and sing it in Gregorian Chants,
In short in matters pastoral, canonical, and Marian,
I am the very model of a Catholic seminarian.

I know my ancient languages, some Latin, Greek, and Hebrew too;
I’m smart as a Dominican, I write for The Thomist review,
I quote Thomas Aquinas and I know the Summa all by heart,
I know the arguments for God from Anselm to Rene Descartes;
I am an expert without doubt in all matters liturgical,
I’ll see the rubrics carried out in fashion demiurgical!
I can intone polyphony from every epoch, school and rank…
And sing all of the arias composed by Mister Cesare Franck.
Then I can run a bingo or a bake sale in the Parish Hall,
And sell spaghetti supper tickets at the local shopping mall:
In short, in matters pastoral, canonical, and Marian,
I am the very model of a Catholic seminarian.

In fact, when I know what is meant by “Molinist” and “Arian,”
When I can rise above the title of Popish sectarian,
When such affairs as wakes and confirmations I’m more wary at,
And when each sort of imperfection, sin, and fault I can combat;
When I have learnt the progress of von Balthasar’s theology,
Converted every member of the Church of Scientology—
In short, when I’ve a smattering of basic Catholicity—
They’ll say that I’m a cleric full of goodness and simplicity.
And though my Bishop is impressed by my enormous panurgy,
The man is rather wary at my love for Latin Liturgy,
But still in matters pastoral, canonical, and Marian,
I am the very model a Catholic seminarian.
And in the chance you are not familiar with the tune here is the original for your viewing and listening pleasure:



and the lyrics of the original can be found below:

St. Thomas Aquinas

Terry has a great post on St. Thomas Aquinas and he has a very beautiful work of art for your viewing pleasure. Click here.

"More Catholic Than the Pope"


Simon of the Real Catholic TV Blog has a terrific post today. I believe I agreed with everything he wrote.  You can read it here.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Priest Holes

Picture Source

Until this evening, I had never heard of priest holes. Apparently, most of them were built by St. Nicholas Own, an English martyr himself. Please visit

Last Welsh Martyr's post Priest Holes to learn more about this fascinating part of Catholic history.

The Hair Salon and Talking

The other evening I watched a 1939 movie The Women starring Norma Shearer. The plot revolved around mindless gossip with the manicurist and how it ended up destroying a marriage. Believe it or not, I think it was a comedy.



Today while waiting to get my hair cut I sat reading a hair salon magazine's article that captured my attention. That article tackled the problem of gossiping at hair salons. It also gave pretty good advice on how to avoid gossiping when a stylist is cutting hair. I guess because it was a hair salon magazine, the blame seemed to lay on the shoulders of the clientele. It was still good to know that the hair cutting industry did address a problem like gossip.

My reading was interrupted though by one of the stylists and her customer. In a very loud voice the hair stylist went on and on about her weekend, her family, her children...ad nauseum. Then she would stop and ask her customer all kinds of questions about her life. Maybe they knew each other. I don't know. It just seemed that whether or not we wanted to, we had to be privy to their conversation.

I started to observe the other stylist. I noticed she was very quiet and seemed to be paying much attention to the way she cut her older customer's hair. In fact, both ladies were very quiet.

Then it was my turn with the quiet stylist. Ironically, it seemed to me that I was going to be the chatterbox as I proceeded to make small talk as soon as I sat down. But after telling her just how I wanted my hair cut, we both fell into a mutual silence.

It occurred to me that the talkative stylist was not gossiping. She was freely sharing about her own life and her own family. She was asking questions out of making conversation more than gossiping.

But that brings me to another observation. Once a person is in the stylist chair, they seem to feel a strong compulsion to share their entire life story with the stylist. It makes no difference in the gender either. The talkative stylist's next customer was a man. I noticed that the stylist did not ask him any direct questions. Yet, this guy felt a need to share about his trip, his job, etc. It felt uncomfortable knowing so much about these strangers.

...In the same way the tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions. Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze.

The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna.

For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
Scripture Source

It may be very prudent if we keep a rein over our tongue.  Think before speaking, yes.  But maybe more beneficial to us, pray before speaking.

Never-before-seen works of Michelangelo, Donatello and Andrea Bregno on ...


I don't know about you, but when I see works of art like the ones shown in the video, my heart skips a beat.

"Never Take the Eucharist for Granted"

I suppose it’s typical for human beings to sometimes take our finest gifts for granted – our health, our faith, our family and our friends, for example.
And even as Catholics we have the tendency to take for granted one of God’s most precious gifts – the Holy Eucharist, and all that it means for us. Although we typically pay lip service to the importance of the Eucharist, I wonder if we really appreciate its significance in our lives.

As the heart and soul of our Catholic Faith, the Eucharist a gift and mystery that includes several important dimensions. The Eucharist is a sacrifice – the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, made present again in a sacramental way. The Eucharist is a sacrament – the abiding presence of Christ among His people under the external forms of bread and wine. The Eucharist is a meal – established by Jesus at the Last Supper, and in which the action of eating and drinking the Body and Blood of Christ is essential to its meaning. And the Eucharist is a celebration – an affirmation of our faith in sign and symbol.
You can read the rest of Bishop Thomas J. Tobin's article here

Thanks Sue Cifelli!

"I Like Bein a Catholic"


Justin Stroh

Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Starts Tomorrow

Our Lady of Mount Carmel statue, Blessed Sacrament Church, Paterson, NJ

The novena can be found at EWTN