Sunday, 29 July 2018

Reply to Kennedy Hall's pro-apologia SSPX Articles on Serviam Ministries Part III

REBUTTAL TO KENNEDY HALL'S PRO-APOLOGIA FOR THE SSPX PART III: MY PERSPECTIVE ON THE MATTER AS A FATHER, ONE INVOLVED IN THE LATIN MASS, AND A SON OF THE CHURCH TRYING TO BE LOYAL TO HIS SPOTLESS BRIDE, ON KENNEDY'S DECISION. 

See Part 1 HERE,  and Part 2, HERE.

I have hoped to elucidate those readers here, of reasoning for NOT involving one's faith life DIRECTLY with the SSPX in this manner, and arguments to point out flaws in material provided by the SSPX, as well as their statements and those stated by pro-apologia materials, such as the articles written by Mr. Kennedy Hall.

To conclude this counter to the articles made by Mr. Kennedy, I will share my perspective on these matters and the making of such a harmful spiritual decision, as a father of a 4 month old boy, an altar server who serves the Lord in organized Latin Masses in my Archdiocese, and one man who strives his best to be loyal to Christ in his Holy Mother Church, without succumbing to radical traditionalism, also known as a heresy.

I will say that in pursuing the vocation of marriage, I took this matter seriously. I purposely enrolled in North America's largest Catholic dating site, Catholic Match, to find a solid young woman near me to seriously marry in the Sacrament of Marriage, and even to start a family with and raise all future children PROPERLY in the faith. I would not accept a woman who didn't take her Sunday Obligation with laxity, or had a past history and/or embraces mental ideologies, contrary to the doctrines of the Catholic Church. Thankfully, with much petition of prayer to St. Joseph and Christ, I was blessed with my wife of today, and now, my 4 month old son, Gianluca. Might I say in irony, she ended up being a teacher in a Catholic School board in my Archdiocese?

Further, through a good friend I met via a young adult ministry in my then local parish some 8.5 years ago, he introduced me to the Latin Mass, and eventually both of us became servers. Through serving the Lord at the altar at Masses, mainly those organized by St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir in Toronto, as well as my own personal Latin Mass serving blog, Servimus Unum Deum, I have come to appreciate and play a direct part in the Traditionalist movement in the Archdiocese. However in doing so, I have encountered the gamut of insanity of both online, and in person, commentary and material that unfortunately promotes radical traditionalism, which has stalled progress of the Latin Mass in some senses in my Archdiocese. Coupled with bullying and harassment of multiple forms (of which I have been personally targeted with,) this has made some former acquaintances of mine in serving either reduce their ministry to their home parishes, abandon traditionalism altogether and retreat to their Novus Ordo parishes, or even worse ... become adherents to the SSPX and attend only their EF masses in Toronto.

In serving the Latin Mass, one is bound to in one form or another, encounter the SSPX and some of their printed materials. I will admit that I do contain a book or two from their Angelus Press at home, and found a great resource online for the Missa Cantata/High Mass level of the Latin Mass. However, their provision and experience of doing the Latin Mass alone, is NOT enough to warrant approval of them. Let me also state that, not just from the SSPX solely, though they do emphasize this more, I became aware of the "crisis of the church." Crisis of vocations? check. Novus Ordo done not as reverently due to temptations that exist for liturgical abuses? check. Culture war? check. Gourmand, internet celebrity priest who is a textbook encyclopedia for all things Latin Mass related and emphasizes all of the above? Check, and Fr. Zuhlsdorf at WDTPRS is one of my favourite internet reads! I am not an ignoramus to all those things emphasized by Latin Mass participants and the SSPX.

Still, would I be so inclined, based on what I know and understand about the Novus Ordo and current institutional (e.g. the people, bricks and mortar and political structures,) and sociological culture of  the Catholic Church, to make the same decision as Kennedy to jump the "ship without a rudder" to  quote one Pontifical Latin Mass loving prelate, and become an SSPX adherent?  

THE ANSWER IS A RESOUNDING, "NO!" "SERVO DEUM!!!!!"

First of all, were I to abandon the Church and bring my current (and future) family outside of the Church into the SSPX, for the sake of a FORM of the Roman Rite and what is being promoted by its clergy as the "TRUE" Church, I would be causing spiritual harm to my family, and eliciting spiritual pride, akin to Satan's "non serviam" of God, in a form of spiritual rebellion. Knowing that the Novus Ordo IS a valid and licit liturgy, promulgated by the Church via Apostolic authority of then Pope Paul VI, and maintained up to current Pope Francis, and even stated explicitly by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who in essence "freed" the Latin Mass in an IMMEDIATE ACTING LAW FOR THE ENTIRE CHURCH, A MOTU PROPRIO, I would be committing a grave violation of Church Law. I would violate a doctrinally, legal document in Summorum Pontificum article 1, and also violate the DOGMATIC constitution of Pastor Aeternus from Vatican I, believing that the Pope has NO authority in discipline and government of the Church in the finite world. I would be encouraging my family and I to become schismatics and separate themselves from the Church, though albeit my wife, my children, and my grandchildren might be less culpable in their actions as they were influenced by my decision and their new SSPX environment. Personally, I do not want to arrive at the court of Christ after death, and be sentenced to Hell because I became schismatic and left Holy Mother Church, and dragged my wife and children with me, doing what Matthew 7:9-10 describes: giving them the opposite of what is supposed to be the nourishment of Christ. I would be judged harshly with our Lord`s Divine Wrath as the spiritual head of my family for this decision upon all our souls.

Second of all, I get that we are facing ever increasing odds and forces that oppose the family and the Catholic Faith, especially the Church's children being brainwashed with anti-Christian ideologies and/or lifestyles, particularly the lifestyle du-jour, that of homosexuality and/or including multi-genderism. Sadly, the Catholic school system IS failing in that regard, even aiding as such with the establishment of Gay-Straight Alliance groups in schools, instead of general anti-bullying or ``respecting differences`` groups. I also understand, having now been a practicing Catholic adult, parish politics, and the problems that priests themselves bring to the liturgy and the ordinary faith life of the faithful, who are used as  pawns in the greater politics that is the bureaucracy of the Church hierarchy. I also am aware of the poor formation that many priests got in seminaries, which according to some sources, includes homosexual shenanigans and purposeful selection of candidates who were effeminate or gay to be ordained, removing conservative/liturgically minded candidates for priesthood. This last note was recently brought to public light, once again, in the Cardinal McCarick scandals, and cowardly via peer pressure, he has turned in his resignation to Pope Francis.

However, this is NO excuse to abandon the barque of Peter for the sake of finding a liturgical 'bomb shelter' to hide out in! There are some teachers willing to actually teach the deficient Catholic curriculum properly in their classes, such as my wife. She actually uses Church documents in her courses, such as VATICAN II documents to introduce the proper Catholic framework of the Grade 11 World Religions course, before she delves into ANY of the world religions in detail. She also attempts her very best to connect things back to the Church, regardless of the religion, and at the end of every Gr. 11 course puts a question on the final exam to purposely tie together the religions the students learnt about and the Catholic Church's teachings on other religions and/or faiths. She does NOT aim in any of her classes to slander the Catholic Faith, or make it simply another choice of faith as options in the course.

Also, because both my wife and I work, and I am not the heir of a wealthy business or enormous inheritance, I know that I will NOT be able to afford private Catholic education. Therefore, I know intuitively that I will have to FIGHT the system, and I will be ever more attentive to my son's education, both as a parent, but also in teaching him in the home. One strategy: I have amassed a personal library of works and spiritual literature to nourish my child's soul (e.g. Aquinas' Summa Theologica, 1/2 of the Ascetic Volumes of St. Alphonsus Liguori,) While I have not read front to back every book to date, nonetheless I will attempt to educate myself as much as possible, and hopefully my son as well, that he will 'seek the good' in some of what is the best, most Traditional literature I could afford.

As for the liturgical end of things, if one TRULY wants to seek out the Latin Mass, in developed countries should one have access to an automobile or public transit (or truly holy and great allies/friends,) one can seek these the EF actively and access it if they choose, whether for spiritual nourishment or to avoid liturgical abuses at a parish or Fr. Boisterous on the altar. Now, were I to have to make that decision, then NO, I would not be forsaking my family's Sunday obligation as that priest advises in his SSPX videos (10) just because there was not an EF or an SSPX EF Mass available. While the Church does not force you to endure liturgical abuse, it DOES request you, out of honouring the Lord and out of mercy for weak human fault, under obligation of sin, to fulfill your obligation. While yes, the Pontifical Council of Ecclesia Dei has stated you CAN (read, NOT MUST!) fulfill your obligation at an SSPX Mass, that does NOT mean it is your first choice to do so, particularly when there are Novus Ordo, or even parishes of other rites of the Church available to you (e.g. Byzantine/Ukrainian Catholic Rite.) Further, even if I am taking my wife and child to these Masses, such instances would support disobedience to Holy Mother Church, even if I do not sin for attendance SSPX Masses for proper reasons. Finally, as seen in the SSPX FAQ videos, it's clear that being in contact with the SSPX, including clergy who support such ideas in the FAQ videos, who could potentially preach such ideas from the pulpit or in instructional material for my family, HAVE THE POTENTIAL as per the warnings of the Church's communications, to put my family and I in harm's way of adopting a self-schismatic attitude.

Third of all, there ARE more and more ample opportunities in ordinary diocesan parishes, that are  being created and developed each year in developed/"1st world" countries such as ours in Canada, whereby the lay faithful CAN partake in, should they be enamoured with the EF if it spiritually fulfills their needs. With the ever increasing access to the EF in dioceses, the argument of the SSPX that the Church is in a liturgical crisis and that lay faithful must abandon the Church for the EF (offered by the SSPX) has gradually become eroded, especially since Benedict Emeritus XVI released Summorum Pontificum in 2007. Let us not forget also laity-led, or combined laity-clergy led organizations/choirs who are organizing Latin Masses and providing both the sacred music for the Mass as well as the servers for the liturgical portion, in parishes willing to allow a diocesan priest trained in the EF to celebrate that form of the Latin rite and to hold the Masses in their sainctuaries. The most well-known example are chapters under the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce, whom was established after Vatican II by laity, to preserve the liturgical traditions of the Church via the Latin Mass.

As a local example, in my Archdiocese of Toronto alone, there are two major parishes that are public transit accessible, that have not only Sunday obligation Masses, but also weekday Low Masses and  even occasional, solemnity/feast day higher level Masses for the laity that they can attend. One of them, St. Lawrence the Martyr in Scarbourough, is also home to the Chaplain for the EF in our Archdiocese. The other parish, staffed by the Oratorians, is Holy Family/St Vincent de Paul, whose Sunday Obligation Masses are High or Solemn Level masses for the 11am offering.There are also at least 4 other parishes in my Archdiocese offering one of either Sunday obligation Masses (e.g. St. Patrick's in Schomberg, ON,) occasional Latin Masses on another weekday, or once a month. Should one be able to afford driving out occasionally, they can even find the Latin Mass in other (arch)dioceses of my province of Ontario, and these offerings are growing in the “peripheries” of my province of Ontario, or those of my Archdiocese. There are also the lay organizations/choirs of St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir and the Toronto Traditional Mass Society (a.k.a. Una Voce Toronto) who organize special offerings of the Latin Mass, particularly Missa Cantata and Solemnis (High and Solemn High) level Masses, in addition to the parishes that offer the Latin Mass in varying frequencies.

Further, I myself am trying to contribute the best I can to support the maintenance and growth of the  Latin Mass, whenever I can, whether this is attending a Mass in the pews, to serving offerings of the  Mass in a liturgical role as a server. I am also attempting to undergo training to become a Master of Ceremonies, so that I can assist my allies in the movement in my Archdiocese, as well as in the long run, possibly be able to assist the Church in some way of hosting another offering of the TLM, or possibly even training clergy/servers in their roles. Instead of throwing my arms up in the air to run with my family to the SSPX, I am playing an active role in the Latin Mass movement in our Archdiocese, the best I can while being a father to my newborn child, and also ensuring that my family fulfills their Sunday obligation via Sunday Mass attendance, which usually is at our local Novus Ordo parish. Occasionally, my wife will even attend the offerings of the EF I serve at, though I have yet to witness her don the mantilla my more Traditionalist friend gave her as a gift, despite my requests. She did though, bring my newborn son to the last EF mass I served in June for the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

Finally, let me end my resolve with an analogy, to understand all of the above. Imagine you are taking your family to a camping destination: A campground with supervision, maintenance staff, amenities such as a lake staffed with lifeguards, etc. You are driving your family along the road to your destination and you child diverts your attention as there is a crystal blue lake near large patches of land that look `pristine` as if man had never touched this part of God`s creation. Why, there`s even a perfectly made dock and crafted fishing boat waiting for you to go out in the deeper parts of the waters where juicy, non-mercury tainted tuna are waiting for you. At the behest of your rambunctious child, you go to investigate and naturally, your wife comes along with you.

Now, problem is that you have heard about this lake from the bait shop cashier you purchased your fresh supplies from, and a forest ranger friend of yours, who works at the campsite you frequent, who say NEVER to go on that lake, as it is not only too deep, but a large, great white shark is at the bottom. Since that lake is outside the county boundaries of the parks and recreation authority, they do not have the means legally to go in and kill the shark. Foolishly, you dismiss the cashier and your friends` warnings and take your family into the convenient fishing boat set aside for you at the dock. You decide to go out just enough that the water is not shallow anymore, and try to fish. You caught a couple of sizable minnows, but you wanted to get the ``big catch`` and go deeper. You then go out deeper and start catching small size tunas, but of course, you want the big tuna fish. Your child and wife, however, see a large shadow passing the side of the boat while you are distracted, and warn you that maybe this is not a good idea. In passing, you ignore the warnings of your family, and move deeper to the center of the lake with those big tunas. You put those small minnows, now bleeding from your fishing hook before, on the tip of your fishing hook into the depths of the water. A large shadow approaches your fishing pole and catches it ... enough to break it ... and that shadow isn`t leaving the side of the boat ... 

This analogy, of the shark in the waters as you go deeper, is exactly what the SSPX is to me. All for the sake of the Latin Mass, one immerses themselves in the ``life`` of their `apostolates` or `chapels` while their priests like the one in the video spout partially or completely false ideas about the Novus Ordo Mass and the Modern Church, all for the sake of taking you away from Holy Mother Church and into a parallel, NON-CANONICALLY VALID `church` of supposed `true Catholicism` that only they can provide, that the Novus Ordo, `modernist` ``Church`` under the modernist Pope Francis, (who IS the Vicar of Christ they claim to honour,) cannot. In a big irony of them all, here is the non-canonical SSPX, telling the lay faithful to abandon Holy Mother Church and it`s major form of the Mass, the Novus Ordo, when Traditionalists strongly believe and adhere to the adage ``Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus`` which translates to ``No Salvation Outside the Church.``
How can a society outside of the Church, canonically speaking then, provide me salvation to my wife and child? As a "T"raditionalist, I would have to thus stick to the old adage, and remain loyal to the Bride of Christ, under the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, warts and Novus Ordo and all. I will do so, as my family`s spiritual authority, so my wife and my son, will be able to obtain the fullest opportunity, of obtaining salvation, as promised through my Lord, Jesus Christ, Sovereign King.

I pray that one day, in my lifetime, Christ's hopes and wishes that we may all be united be granted, and that the Society of St. Pius X is reconciled, and heavily re-vitalized so as not to be an instrument of division, but an instrument of unity serving Holy Mother Church in obedience to the Holy Father, and in revitalization of the sacred liturgy of the Latin Rite. Amen.

Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Reply to Kennedy Hall's pro-apologia SSPX articles on Serviam Ministries Part II

Rebuttal to Kennedy Hall`s pro-Apologia for the SSPX Part II: The Novus Ordo and the ``Crisis of Faith`` and the ``Reply to Comments`` Article

SEE PART 1, HERE

SECOND POSTING OF KENNEDY AND THE ``TIME OF CRISIS`` REASON TO ATTEND SSPX (aka FORSAKE THE NOVUS ORDO???)

In his second post, Kennedy chooses to address some of the specific complaints or criticisms against him, and continues to defend the SSPX, now as an adherent as he openly admits, with my emphasis added, "... my family and I have begun to attend an SSPX Chapel, and I cannot see us going back to the Novus Ordo, unless necessity requires for our Sunday Obligation ..." (1) From there Mr. Kennedy responds to two main gripes from his first post and/or the Facebook(TM) comments, but also opens up discussion to some more serious spiritual matter here, particularly the question of crisis in Faith, necessary for him to decide to become fully integrated into the life of the SSPX, and outside of the life of the Church. 

The first gripe that he responds to is that the SSPX are literally schismatic. This Mr. Kennedy is correct on, as the matter is one of specific violations of Canon Law and the actors who participated in the actions, as well as the fact that those who were part of it were validly and licitly ordained as Catholic priests, prior to being made bishops. Can participation in the society lead you to schism? Yes, as I covered this in the section on the status of the Society. 

The second gripe is that one must believe in ALL parts of the Vatican II council as infallible. This is actually incorrect as even Pope John XXIII, regarded Vatican II as a pastoral council. Where tension between the SSPX and the Vatican lies is in this regard, both under Benedict Emeritus XVI and Francis I, whether by formal negotiation or indirectly through a former secretary of the Pope’s respectively. I will say, however, in defending or countering this gripe, Kennedy used poor source material, as his quotes are taken from a site called "One Peter Five," a website with an anti-Francis and anti Novus Ordo agenda/bias in its media. 

Now, while one might think I am allowing the second blog post of Mr. Kennedy to pass, that is wrong, as between the two posts, Mr. Kennedy has brought into the open a deep and concerning issue: Forsaking the Novus Ordo and normal parish life for the SSPX under a spiritual crisis scenario. Kennedy brought this into the open in the following quote: "...  I want nothing more than to be a man of God, a saintly father to my children, and a leader in faith to my wife, and this is why the SSPX exists ...." (1) alongside this in the first post: ".... The strongest argument for the validity of the Society as a legitimate arm of the Church lies in the provisions given in Canon Law that allow for irregular actions during situations of crisis ...  if the Church really has been in crisis for some time now ... then perhaps  ... the SSPX ... were in fact a legitimate response ... to a true crisis of faith and church governance." (2)    

In this article, combined with a point in his last one on "crisis" of the Church, Kennedy uses as defenses a number of points to validate one leaving the `regular` Church for the SSPX. One example is that "... it is clear that the Latin Mass and the surrounding community is truly the breeding ground of Saints." (1) I say to this that, at least at face value (but not perhaps personal intention on Kennedy's part,) the statement displays spiritual arrogance and pride, and "bashes" the Novus Ordo, saying the atmosphere cannot produce saints. What about examples like soon to be martyr Saint, Bishop Oscar Romero, killed during a Novus Mass after preaching the homily on March 23, 1980? What about teenager St. Chiara "Luce" Badano born in 1971 after the complete changes of the Novus Ordo, whom died of cancer on October 7, 1990 at a mere 18 years old? These are but two of the hopefully growing number of saints, that have been immersed and/or had to become part of the Novus Ordo "Church culture," and hopefully the Church will canonize more to come. While I will admit I am no stranger to the weaknesses of the average parish culture of the Novus Ordo Mass, it is NOT deficient of Christ's graces and the Holy Mass. Clearly as with these (soon to be two) Saints, ordinary parish or Novus Ordo culture CAN enable some people to become saintly under the right circumstances, or dare I say, in SPITE of such circumstances.

Another argument Kennedy uses to validate one`s decision to abandon Holy Mother Church for the SSPX, is that the Latin Mass has been the formative Mass in the Roman rite for numerous saints. If the article was a general apologia for the Latin Mass, this IS a vital argument that can be used. However, did said saints decide to act outside the authority of the Church and start their own parallel `society` with a form of the Mass they felt better or more "pure/holier", like say, version 1.0 of the Tridentine Mass when Pope Pius V promulgated it in 1570? Absolutely not! Those saints were loyal sons and daughters of the Church who did not take matters in their own hands to save what they thought is the "true tradition of the Church."

BEYOND THE POSTINGS OF KENNEDY: INSCRIBED MENTALITY OF ANTIPATHY AGAINST THE NOVUS ORDO?

While not deeply touched in these two postings, with possibly obvious reason, Kennedy fails to mention one key teaching that the SSPX continues to hold: A firm antipathy towards the Novus Ordo Mass, one that violates the teachings of the Church and puts those who adhere to the SSPX's teachings in peril of their soul. 

Where is it that Catholics must at the very least acknowledge the validity and licitness of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite/Novus Ordo under normal conditions? 

In most recent times, part of that is in the very document that allowed for freer usage of the EF again in modern times, Summorum Pontificum, promulgated as a motu proprio by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (emphasis added:) "Art 1.  The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the lex orandi (rule of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite .... These two expressions of the Church’s lex orandi will in no way lead to a division in the Church’s lex credendi (rule of faith); for they are two usages of the one Roman rite." (3) Being motu proprio, this is immediate acting, binding law, upon the entirety of the Church, both for lay faithful and priest. 

Also, besides the Pope having infallibility in faith and morals, he also has full Papal Authority on other matters in the Church including the promulgation of liturgical rites, discipline in the Church and its government. This was promulgated in the Vatican I Dogmatic Constituion of the Church of Christ, Pastor Aeternus, paragraph 3 (also, emphases added here:) 

"Hence we teach and declare that, by the appointment of our Lord, the Roman Church possesses a superiority of ordinary power over all other Churches, and that this power of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, which is truly episcopal, is immediate; to which all, of whatever rite and dignity, both pastors and faithful, both individually and collectively, are bound, by their duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, to submit, not only in matters which belong to faith and morals, but also in those that appertain to the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world, so that the Church of Christ may be one flock under one Supreme Pastor through the preservation of unity both of communion and of profession of the same faith with the Roman Pontiff. This is the teaching of Catholic truth, from which no one can deviate without loss of faith and of salvation." (4) 

Unfortunately, the SSPX do not swear total fealty to the Holy Father, or should I say Fathers since Vatican II, given the above with regards to one key element of our common Catholic Faith: The everyday, Novus Ordo form of the Roman Rite, the Catholic Mass of today, found in most parishes worldwide. It is in their treatment of the Novus Ordo that once again, Mr Kennedy's statement of "total obedience" to the Holy Father is disingenuous and whereby, the SSPX poses great danger to the faith life of the ordinary Catholic, and hence, the possibly of becoming self-schismatic. 

While Kennedy has definitely become familiar with the SSPX website, perhaps he has stumbled upon the YouTube(TM) SSPX FAQ videos, produced likely by the USA district? The channel is "SSPX News - English" and is a series of 16 videos, 15 of them frequently asked questions about elements pertaining to the Society, including their origins, the priest's status of "jurisdiction" in the Church, etc. The host is an un-named priest of the Society, who narrates the text provided in the comments section under each video. Of the series, 3 of them involve dealing with the Novus Ordo/Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite and attendance at this form of the Mass. 

The first FAQ is Episode 7 titled "What is the Novus Ordo Missae?" The priest explains how the New Mass was some concocted scheme of Anibale Bugini, but also states of the Novus Ordo the following: "... Man has become more of the focus, not so much God. The priest and faithful father for a meal to share with one another Christ's loving presence ... vernacular languages, "Mass facing the people," and equating the laity's role with that of the priest ... the Blessed Sacrament ... is reserved away from the main altar ... many abuses have been introduced, such as lay Eucharistic Ministers, Communion in the hand, and altar girls." (5)

I'll address some of these charges briefly. In each case, it was NOT the Novus Ordo Missae itself that allowed these changes, or the charge doesn't stick well. Rather it was politics or flat out abuse by certain prelates that led to the abuses mentioned. 

To start with the charge of the man-focused liturgy, and that the Mass is a meal to share with one another in Christ's presence, I think that, even my Conference of Canadian Catholic Bishops, (of which bishops' conferences are generally deplored by Catholic faithful in the know,) in the publicly accessible General Instruction of the Roman Missal (G.I.R.M.) for the 2011/3rd edition of the Missal, would beg to differ.  Their second paragraph in the Introduction states the following: "The sacrificial nature of the Mass, solemnly defended by the Council of Trent ... was once more stated by the Second Vatican Council ... What is taught in this way by the Council is consistently expressed in the formulas of the Mass. Moreover, the doctrine which stands out ... is aptly and exactly expounded in the Eucharistic Prayers; for as in these the Priest enacts the anamnesis ..." (6) which is explained in paragraph 78(e) as, "... by which the Church, fulfilling the command that she received from Christ the Lord through the Apostles, celebrated the memorial of Christ, recalling especially his blessed Passion, glorious Resurrection and Ascention into Heaven.``(6) While we cannot control the (willful?) ignorance pf priests for NOT reading the G.I.R.M. and/or the possible brainwashing of their formation for the generations of the late 60`s to 80`s and some of the 90`s, one can certainly conclude that the Mass is NOT intended as a `celebratory meal` for the celebrant in carrying out the sacred liturgy.  

As for the other charges, these were limited or narrowed suggestions/permissions abused by the clergy at the time of the Council, and/or taken in well-meaning intention by ignorant priests from liturgical "experts" who likely themselves did not have the proper interpretation of, or even the actual documents themselves, of Vatican II. As per the abuses mentioned, they were twistings of suggestions from the Vatican II documents, but NOT the original intention for the Novus Ordo, whose true intentions are oriented particularly from Sarcosanctum Concilium. Much of this, don't forget, was in the pre-Internet era, before even laity could enact surveillance on our institutional Church and be able to decry when clerics do not follow rubrics or violate laws. For the sake of length I will not attack each claim by the unnamed priest, rather I refer you to one of Catholic Answer`s priests on retainer for answering questions from the faithful, Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J. (Yes, a Jesuit!) in this article at https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/the-mass-of-vatican-ii.html. The unnamed SSPX priest then describes the Latin Mass as the total opposite of everything about the Novus Ordo at the end of the video. The underlying message he gives is `Novus Ordo bad, Latin Mass and SSPX good.`

In the 2nd video on the Novus Ordo, titled ``Should Catholics Attend the New Mass? - Part I or II`` (7) the unnamed priest, does not necessarily lob any direct attacks on the Novus Ordo but does a good job in explaining the Sunday obligation to attend Mass. The one thing to note though, which he intentionally sets up for part II are the reasons WHY someone would be unable to attend to their Sunday Obligation. As per the text of the video these reasons are: ``• Dangerous travel conditions, an inability to travel, or even great distances.; • Poor health. ;• Preservation of a common good. • A duty of charity or another necessity, such as caring for the sick or employment for one’s livelihood.`` 

Keeping in mind distance and preservation of a common good, the priest then goes into the second part, titled ``Should Catholics Attend the New Mass? - Part II of II.`` Here is where the unnamed priest assaults the Novus Ordo in order to convince the ordinary faithful, to abandon the regular Church life and even NOT attend the Novus Ordo. Using the Ottavani Intervention, a warning from Cardinal Ottavani and other signatories of the errors that would be introduced in the 1970 edition of the Roman Missal (the 2nd edition, as there was a 1965 version of the Missal and the Mass intended by Vatican II documents,) and other statements including the excommunicated and un-reconciled leader of the SSPX, +Lefevbre (of which a quote is purposely abridged,) the priest convinces the viewer to abandon the Novus Ordo. 

What statements does the priest use? Examples are the obscuring or "... even removing from its prayers the Catholic doctrines concerning the propitiatory nature of the Mass, the sacrificial and mediatory character of the priesthood, and the dogma of the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist" (8) and "... the New Mass departs from the Catholic Faith "as a whole and in its details." (8) Already in those statements, the quote I used prior from the G.I.R.M. proves the priest wrong, as the sacrificial and mediatory character IS retained in the Mass (though whether the priest acts as such in an obvious way is not under our complete control.) As for the denial of the Real Presence of the Lord Jesus, setting aside the issue of not having the tabernacle on the altar in visible sight (with exception of specific adoration chapels near the altar) which AGAIN was due to foolish liturgical "experts," all one has to do is examine the climax of the Mass in the Eucharistic Prayers, when the Body and Blood of Christ is consecrated/undergoes transubstantiation from bread and wine into the Sacred Species in the Mass. Yes, even the so called paltry and commonly over-used Eucharistic prayer II, has it mentioned TWICE in specific detail, the Body and Blood of Christ, the second time even using the word "partaking."  

Finally, after some more charges against the Ordinary Form, the un-named priest makes these horrifying statements of the Novus Ordo: ".... In itself the rite of the New Mass does not clearly express the Faith precisely on the points of doctrine denied by the Protestant heresies. In itself therefore this new rite of the Mass constitutes a danger to souls." Hence, what this illicit priest has said, is that the Church's highest form of prayer, in the MAJORITY FORM & RITE OF THE MASS OFFERED TO THE AVERAGE CATHOLIC, is detrimental to their souls, as if it were a mortal sin to go. 

This, is a sickening charge to make against Holy Mother Church, the Church Christ founded that He himself said that the Gates of Hell would never destroy in Matthew 16:18. Further, Our Lord Jesus Christ, said himself in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 7: 9-10 (Douay-Reims), "Or what man is there among you, of whom if his son shall ask bread, will he reach him a stone? 10 Or if he shall ask him a fish, will he reach him a serpent?" Why, would the Lord, then, via the Church he instituted for the salvation of souls, with the principal form of prayer and command to honour Him for all eternity in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, allow the creation of a Mass diabolical enough to damn the souls of the faithful? Even the un-named priest says himself in the video, "The Church cannot ask her members to endanger their Faith." (8)  

Regardless, the priest continues to tell the faithful, that if you can't get to a traditional Mass (implying, as being the source of this enlightenment in the FAQ videos, that it should be a Latin Mass offered by the SSPX,) or the priest in his preaching and opinions is a detriment to the faith, you should NOT attend, and instead stay at home and " ... sanctify Sunday by dedicating a time for prayer, alone or in the family: one could read the Mass of the day, pray the rosary, and make a spiritual communion." (8) And should one be forced into a situation to attend a Novus Ordo for a sacrament (e.g. wedding, Confirmation, funeral,) you are to attend passively. 

Oddly enough, even those who argue for the Traditional Latin Mass, are actually fighting this charge of passivity in the TLM, saying you actively participate via your "internal disposition" of prayer, uniting those to the priest at the altar involved in the eternal, bloodless re-presenation of the Lord's Sacrifice. While the priest in an odd, anti-culture type way is applying this to the Novus Ordo, he is actually encouraging passive participation in the Mass, which defeats the efforts of Latin Mass apologists, and only supports the stereotype of the passive laity at Mass, a misunderstanding that made its way into the Vatican II Council to encourage "active participation" (albeit the Popes has a different idea of this vs. the Cardinals/bishops who allowed practical mis-applications of this concept.)

NEXT: Part III: My Decision as a Father and Practicing Catholic, Involved in the Latin Mass.

Works Cited:

1. Hall, Kennedy. "Response to Comments - Some Clarity on the Society of St. Pius X" Serviam Ministries, 22 Jun 2018, https://www.serviamministries.com/blog/response-to-comments-some-clarity-on-the-society-of-st-pius-x/. Accessed 23 June 2018. 

2. Hall, Kennedy. "SSPX Sympathizer" Serviam Ministries, 13 Jun 2018,  https://www.serviamministries.com/blog/sspx-sympathizer/. Accessed 23 June 2018.

3. Pope Benedict XVI. ``Apostolic Letter Given Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970.`` The Vatican, 7 Jul 2007, https://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/motu_proprio/documents/hf_ben-xvi_motu-proprio_20070707_summorum-pontificum.html. Accessed 26 June 2018.

4. Pope Blessed Pius IX. "First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, Pastor Aeternus" Catholic Planet, Translated by Manning, Cardinal Henry E.M., 18 Jul 1870, http://www.catholicplanet.org/councils/20-Pastor-Aeternus.html. Accessed 27 June 2018.

5. Name unknown. "What is the "Novus Ordo Missae"? - Episode 07 - SSPX FAQ Videos." Society of St. Pius X, 1 Apr 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Pp1JAk47t0. Accessed 27 June 2018.   

6. Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. ``The General Instruction of the Roman Missal.`` Archdiocese of London, 2011, https://dol.ca/documents/2016/11/girm.pdf. Accessed 26 June 2018. 

7. Name unknown. 22 Jul 2015. "Should Catholics Attend the New Mass? - Part I or II - Episode 14 - SSPX FAQ Series" Society of St. Pius X,. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiuXKo0CwoM. Accessed 27 June 2018.

8.  Name unknown. 1 Aug 2015. "Should Catholics Attend the New Mass? - Part I or II - Episode 14 - SSPX FAQ Series" Society of St. Pius X, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hZrRGMs6CY. Accessed 27 June 2018.


Monday, 9 July 2018

Reply to Kennedy Hall's pro-apologia SSPX articles on Serviam Ministries Part I


Rebuttal to Kennedy Hall`s pro-Apologia for the SSPX Part I: Status of the Society and the Article ``SSPX Sympathizer``

Serviam Ministries has been serving the Catholic faithful over the last several years in the Archdiocese of Toronto. Their conferences have catered to all walks of faithful from regular parish-attending Catholics, to Traditionalists, in the choice of keynote speakers in their conferences which are held twice a year. The Serviam conferences` popularity and reputation has grown so highly, they are promoted on parish websites and bulletins.

In addition, the ministry has branched out to the needs of men with the Band of Christian Brothers (herein, BCB,) an arm of Serviam Ministries of which I am part of the Facebook group, and have been privileged to have attended, and volunteered once at, a conference for the Men's group.

Let me also disclose that Serviam's co-founder, Mr. David Gilbert and I, share common interest in the Latin Mass/Extraordinary Form (EF) of the Roman Rite, as he is an executive member of Una Voce Hamilton in that diocese, and I have been serving at the altar of the Lord for certain offerings in the Archdiocese of Toronto since October 2011. Mr. Gilbert and Serviam Ministries have also been a great assistance or promoting organized offerings of the Latin Mass, especially of my colleagues of St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir in Toronto. Rest assured without them, there would not have been the 800+ bodies in attendance for the October 2016 offering of a Missa Solemnis/SolemnHigh Mass at the Cathedral of St. Michael in Toronto, with His Eminence ThomasCardinal Collins present on the altar and as homilist.

Almost one month ago, the Serviam Ministries blog posted two blog post by Mr. Kennedy Hall, one of Serviam`s listed authors of blog articles. Kennedy is a Catholic father and school teacher in a Catholic/Separate school system (he does not identify which region's board, likely to maintain his employment,) who is debating what to do about his son's education in the faith, as he detests the approach the system takes in regard to instructing students in the Catholic faith. In looking at educational options, he has present to him a local academy run by the Society of St. Pius X.

According to his first posting on Serviam Ministries, Kennedy did his own "research" into the SSPX. He wrote an initial post approved by Serviam Ministries on June 13th titled ``SSPX Sympathizer.``  While Mr. Kennedy says in the article: ".... This article is not meant to be a propaganda piece for the SSPX, and in full disclosure, to this day I have still never been to a Mass offered in one of their Chapels ...." (1) he devoted a full posting to making a pro-apologia for the Society, rather than focusing on the differences in education between the SSPX school system and the current Catholic system, and why a father in the Catholic Church would consider the SSPX school as a necessary option, which is why I clicked on the link to this article from the BCB Facebook group in the first place.

Due to commentary on the Facebook postings in Serviam and BCB's Facebook groups, Mr. Hall was then graciously allowed a follow up on June 22, whereby he states, ".... Once again, it is not my intention to be an SSPX apologist on this blog.  That said, it is difficult for me to leave certain untruths unanswered when I am in a position to do so. In full disclosure, my family and I have begun to attend an SSPX Chapel, and I cannot see us going back to the Novus Ordo, unless necessity requires for our Sunday Obligation." (2) Again Mr. Kennedy was given an audience to address some comments from the Facebook group, but now reveals he is becoming what is called an 'adherent' of the Society, which involves being a frequent attendee of SSPX Masses, and also again issues a pro-apologia for the SSPX.

Were Mr. Hall allowed one post, I would have written it off as a gaffe, or a one-time guest post to simply state an alternative viewpoint in the Catholic Church. However, between Mr. Kennedy's spiritually troubling decision to now attend SSPX Masses with his family (and likely, will have his children attend the charter school,) and my aforementioned background, I must now address these postings, as well as the SSPX issue and the decision Kennedy has made.

My motivations are for the sake of defending Traditionalism from critics who use examples like the SSPX, bloggers, Mr. Kennedy`s articles, etc. to shun the Latin Mass and/or Catholic Traditionalism, and attack ALL traditionalists despite a vocal minority being extremists; for fellow Catholics who are part of the Serviam Ministries and BCB Facebook (TM) groups, and/or attend their conferences and can access this website; and finally to defend Holy Mother Church and be subservient to Her. 

While I will address what Mr. Kennedy got correct, other matters will need to be addressed, such as clarifying points about the situation of the SSPX and the statements of Mr Kennedy`s first article. In a follow up posting, I will also address the second of Mr. Kennedy`s postings, but also address the Sunday obligation issue and ``Crisis`` in the Church, specifically addressing the SSPX`s warnings to avoid the Novus Ordo form of the liturgy of the Roman Rite, as well as state my own reasoning also as a Catholic Father of a child (and hopefully more in future) why I would NOT make a decision such as Mr. Kennedy's as spiritual head of my household.

SITUATION OF THE SSPX RE: STATUS WITHIN THE CHURCH AND MASS ATTENDANCE

Mr. Kennedy is correct when he says that the "...  They are not in full communion ... They don’t have jurisdiction to offer mass publicly in a local diocese ... Their Masses are valid, but not necessarily licit, and the Church has said they are not in schism, yet regular attendance at their chapels can lead to a “schismatic” attitude ...." (1) This is because their leader in 1988, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, decided after a stalled period of requesting a bishop for the SSPX from the Vatican under Pope John Paul II, to consecrate more bishops for the Society in a ``crisis`` scenario.  Part of that crisis was Lefebvre’s failing health, with the fear that the Vatican would not be able to deliver to the SSPX a bishop before his death.

This act, Lefebvre did, was a violation of the Church`s governing law, Canon Law. This put the four, now three acting bishops in the Society (as +Williamson was expelled in the last few years for anti-Semitic propaganda,) as well as +Lefevbre in excommunication, and the Society made ``irregular.`` Because those bishops` priesthoods were valid as they were ordained prior to the illicit consecrations, by a bishop who was of the same, any priests they do ordain are valid priests, but since done out of disobedience to Holy Mother Church`s Canon Law, and operating outside of bishops' jurisdiction, the priests` Masses are illicit, though the Eucharist is consecrated, and any sacrament done outside of the permission of the Church is null (e.g. Confirmation.)

As for attendance at their Masses, at least Kennedy was honest enough to say what is correct, in that regular attendance at the Masses of the SSPX can lead to self-schism from Holy Mother Church. The Pontifical Commision of Ecclesia Dei (PCED,) in a formal letter in 1995, seen here (3) states as follows: ".... While it is true that the participation in the Mass and sacraments at the chapels of the Society of St. Pius X does not of itself constitute "formal adherence to the schism", such adherence can come about over a period of time as one slowly imbibes a mentality which separates itself from the magisterium of the Supreme Pontiff ...." While the overall public presentation of the SSPX seems to be improving from a public relations perspective, Rome (the Church) has NOT withdrawn or altered the communication issued in 1995 from the PCED.

As for other sacraments offered by the SSPX, since the 1988 excommunications, the Holy Fathers Emeritus Benedict XVI and Francis I, have granted the following permissions out of mercy for the current bishops and the lay faithful, under the SSPX in this order: The removal of the excommunications of +Fellay, +Galarreta, and +Tissier de Mallerais (+Williamson was included too, but has since consecrated another bishop of his own, outside of the SSPX, becoming excommunicated once again from the Church;) valid faculties to conduct the sacrament of Reconciliation; validity of marriages in the SSPX chapels, provided a) A diocesan priest officiated the marriage vows portion of the liturgy, or b) Bishops of a diocese give ``carte blanche`` permission as the Church`s ordinary judge and officers of its Canon Law, for SSPX priests to officiate the wedding vow portion of the liturgy, or in the case of the EF, the pre-Mass vows. The sacramental permissions Mr. Kennedy got right also. 

However, Kennedy is wrong in regards to something I left out above. Kennedy is wrong in saying the following: ``... they fully accept the Holy Father and his authority." (1) This is incorrect on three different fronts. The first is their general situation, and involves the Mark of the Church being "Apostolic." By being outside the scope of the authority of their local bishops, who are the Church`s ordinary guardians and teachers of doctrine, dogma, and the laws of the Church in matters ecclesiastical, they at least indirectly go against the mark of Apostolic Authority, as it is from the head of the Church in Rome, under the Holy Father, the Supreme Vicar of Christ, where the authority of the Church flows.

The second front, is that currently as of 2018, the SSPX still promotes and has published public statements and/or media, that smacks of Protestantism that defies the Holy Father, particularly Pope Francis. When Francis was brought into the seat of the Pope, the SSPX, on their USA district site (a frequent source of Kennedy's in the first post and his second,) accused Pope Francis in 2013 of heresy in blatant accusations of Modernism. (4) To start, how can they accuse the pope of Heresy when they have NO direct spiritual authority in the Church? Furthermore, to accuse the Pope of heresy violates Scripture in Matthew 16:18, whereby Christ will never allow the gates of Hell to prevail in the Church, and that includes the Dogma of Infallibility in faith and morals, proclaimed in the Vatican I council. The SSPX has NOT repealed their accusations of modernism, including the 2013 article from their website. For Kennedy to say they are in complete obedience to the Holy Father and his authority is disingenuous at best, false at its worst.

The final front is by going against the Church’s/Pope’s jurisdiction over governance of liturgical matters, particularly in the debasement of the Novus Ordo Mass as an occasion of sin. This topic will be explored in my second posting to come, alongside other matter.  


Works Cited:
1. Hall, Kennedy. "SSPX Sympathizer" Serviam Ministries, 13 Jun 2018,  https://www.serviamministries.com/blog/sspx-sympathizer/. Accessed 23 June 2018.

2. Hall, Kennedy. "Response to Comments - Some Clarity on the Society of St. Pius X" Serviam Ministries, 22 Jun 2018, https://www.serviamministries.com/blog/response-to-comments-some-clarity-on-the-society-of-st-pius-x/. Accessed 23 June 2018.

3. "Status of Society of St. Pius X Masses" EWTN. 29 Sept 1995, http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cedsspx.htm. Accessed 25 June 2018.

4. District of the Unites States of America. "Pope Francis and Modernism." Society of St. Pius X, 1 November 2013, https://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/pope-francis-and-modernism-2729. Accessed  25 June 2018.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Report: Missa Cantata/High Mass in the Extraordinary Form for Sacred Heart June 8, 2018 7pm EST

Hello everyone,

Once again St. Patrick’s Gregorian Choir, (herein, SPGC,) based out of Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in downtown Toronto, began their season of organizing Latin masses a.k.a. the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, with a Missa Cantata or High Mass, last month on Friday June 8, 2018 at Saint Edward the Confessor Catholic Parish in North York, Ontario, within the Archdiocese of Toronto.

It is the pleasure of this author, once again serving the Lord Jesus Christ on the altar for these offerings, to be reporting on this sacred beauty of a liturgy in the Church.

Mass Preparation

At first, it was possible there would be no offering of Sacred Heart, due to the choirmaster`s other commitments in the classical music sphere within the city of Toronto. As of June 1st, Fr. Russell Asch who is now the official Chaplain for the Latin Mass in the Archdiocese of Toronto, agreed to be the celebrant for a Mass for the Feast of the Sacred Heart. In addition, an experienced Master of Ceremonies, Giovanni, who has frequently aided Fr. Asch in carrying out Latin masses in the Archdiocese, and training of servers for those Masses, assisted in recruitment of servers to serve the Lord on the altar, as well as performed the duties of the liturgical role of Master of Ceremonies for this offering.

As soon as the necessary people were gathered, a serving practice was held the night of Wednesday, June 6, at the confirmed parish for the Mass. The practice went quite well, and it helped that the servers present, including myself, were already experienced in serving the Latin Mass.

At the choir end of things, the SPGC, of who most of the members are veterans, practiced their repertoire for the Latin mass, and it was easily mastered as many of them have been with the choir over the years, including singing the Gregorian chant propers, specific for this feast as per the Liber Usalis, as well as being familiar with the Mass setting (No. 12/XII, For Feasts of the Third Class, ``Pater Cuncta,``) chosen by the choirmaster, Mr. Surinder S Mundra.

Prior to the day of the Mass, Giovanni and choirmaster Mundra went over the chants that were going to be used in the musical repertoire, so Giovanni would be able to predict timing on the altar, and for servers to be cued at the appropriate times, as well as for Fr. Asch's intonations, chanting etc.

The Day of the High Mass, June 8th.

With all servers and clergy in place, the sacred liturgy of the Latin mass was carried out well. The serving was nearly flawless without hesitation by any server involved, and everything went seamlessly. This includes my service to the Lord in the role of crucifer and the ringing of the bells (with some minor roles such as removing the Roman Missal for one of the incensations of the altar, and directing people at communion to the 2nd step,) during the Mass of the Canons a.k.a. the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

As per my usual reporting of these events, below are the usual pictures of the altar pre-Mass:




Further, once again Fr Russell Asch preached an excellent homily with points that teach new insights into our faith every day. Of the points I can recall, he preached on this relating to the Sacred Heart:
  • When it comes to devotion to the Sacred Heart, there is history behind the devotion, and even up to today it’s symbolism persists in the Church, despite it being not as popular or well known as other devotion in the Church.
    • A poignant note that happened around the late 1200`s or start of 1300`s, is the vision of St. Gertrude whom was allowed in her vision to rest her head near Christ`s wound and could hear the beating of the Sacred Heart. 
    • St John Capistrano and another saint or individual, were mentioned, more in regards to devotion to a part of Jesus. For St. John Capistrano, that would be the sacred and Holy Name of Jesus, particularly attributed to a victory during the invasion of the Ottoman Turks against Christian cities, such as Belgrade, where his victory occurred.  
    • The promotion of the devotion of Sacred Heart, was attributed directly to St. Mary Margaret Alacoque, to whom Christ directly revealed the desires of his Sacred Heart, as well as the particulars of the devotion such as Communion on the 9 First Fridays. 
    • The Jesuits hold the devotion to the Sacred Heart quite prominently in their order. St. Claude de Colombiere, SJ, was the spiritual director of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Fr Asch at this point showed the two sides of a red badge of olden days, the ``League of the Sacred Heart,`` one side having the sacred heart with light rays emitting from itself, the other side with Christ with arms extended (as seen below:)
Image result for sacred heart badge
    • The Passionist order of priests, hold the Sacred heart dearly though Christ`s Passion, death, and resurrection, with their heart emblems on their clerical robes, as well as their adjoining sisterly order, the Passionist Nuns.
  • It is fitting that the symbolism of Jesus' Sacred Heart represents much of Christ giving himself, his whole self, to us in his ultimate sacrifice and act of mercy, and taking upon all our sin and suffering. Even pagan cultures, recognized the legitimacy of this symbolism to some extent. 
    • On this relevant note is the death of one of our Canadian saints in this regard, St. John de Brebeuf, one of the "Canadian Martyrs."
    • The Iroquois were NOT a friendly tribe of the Native Canadians to those priests who were trying to promote Catholicism in Canada. In 1649, the Iroquois attacked villages where the priests were doing their work, and attacked the village where St. John was, taking him hostage.
    • St. John suffered brutal torture at the Iroquois' hands, of which Fr. Asch only describes some of the grotesque actions they took against John, but most noteworthy was that after St. John died, they cut our his heart and ate it raw. To them, the heart was the seat of the soul or the everything of a person, and to consume it would bestow life or vitality to them, as well as deliver the finishing blow to totally annihilating and enemy. 
  • This symbolism with meaning, is also present in our faith lives, via the feast days of our Church. Each major feast day in the Church, points to a specific part of Christ`s life, whereby God allowed the Lord into our lives, and Christ poured our himself in the ultimate act of mercy and love, in his birth, passion, death, and resurrection. This is evident in Church solemnities and feast days, from Christmas, up to this very feast of the Sacred Heart. Some examples given were:
    • The Feast of the Purification/Candelmas (Feb 2nd:) Here, candles are blessed and lit, representing Christ entering into the world as the Light of Hope for our salvation. This also commemorates historically Christ being presented to the Temple as first born son, which Jews were obligated to do. We Christians reflect this in the Sacrament of Baptism, baptizing our children as soon as they are born. 
    • The Feast of Corpus Christi (June 2nd in the EF calendar, or Body and Blood of Jesus in the Novus Ordo on a Sunday usually in June:) When priests actually allow a Eucharistic Adoration procession to take place, often children who had (or will have) their Sacrament of First Communion take part, donned in their first communion clothes or all white, spreading a path of red rose petals as they go (e.g. Here at New Liturgical Movement.) The rose petals, represent the blood spilled by Christ from his wounds, including the lance piercing on the cross. 
After the Mass was concluded, and Fr. had done the Dismissal (a.k.a. "Ite Missa Est.") Fr. knelt at the foot of the altar and did the Act of Consecration and Reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Such an act receives a plenary indulgence when recited on this Feast of the Sacred Heart in the Church, under the usual conditions (Confession, Communion, and prayers for the Intentions of the Pope (1x Our Father, 1x Hail Mary, some people add 1x Glory Be) (See here, ``The gift of the indulgence.``)

Despite the short notice and planning of this offering in one weeks time, and small promotion of the offering only online (e.g. on Facebook(TM) groups and this blog,) about 40 to 50 lay faithful (including one priest or seminarian in semi-Jesuit cassock) were in the pews. Some of these included commrades in EF serving (and their significant others,) and/or fellow Brothers and Sisters of Christ of the clergy or servers. They were treated to a beautiful and sacred liturgy in the Archdiocese of Toronto! Even more so is the fact that even 40 to 50 individuals came to this offering in a short time frame, speaks for the Latin Mass and it’s growing interest and importance in the daily life of the church, as well as that the faithful are willing to spread news of when such offerings are held, and to invite others to be part of the Mass in the pews.

To all those who attended, we hope that you were spiritually moved and fulfilled by what you experiences, your senses aroused, and your souls enlightened to Heaven`s high, with all the angels and saints. Special gratitude is given to Fr. Pat, pastor of St. Edward the Confessor, who allowed another Latin Mass in his parish.

As for the next offering of the Latin Mass by SPGC, unless circumstances permit an offering in between, it will likely be on Sunday October 28, 2018, for the Feast of Christ the King in the EF calendar, which will be the 12th anniversary of the formation of the choir.

Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

CONFIRMED! Latin Mass Announcement! MISSA CANTATA (High Mass) for Sacred Heart THIS FRI June 8 in the Archdiocese of Toronto!



Hello everyone,

The St. Patrick’s Gregorian Choir, stationed within the Archdiocese of Toronto at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Downtown Toronto (link to parish here,) will be organizing and providing their voices in singing the liturgical music for, their annual offering of the Latin Mass/Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, for the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The details of the Mass for this feast day are as follows:

WhereSt Edward the Confessor Catholic Church, Toronto (North York,) Ontario, in the Archdiocese of Toronto.
Address: 75 Churchill Ave, Toronto, ON.
When: Friday, June 8, 2018
Time of Mass: 7 pm E.S.T.

The celebrant for this Mass will be Fr Russell Asch, recently promoted to the Chaplain of the EF in the Archdiocese of Toronto, and now stationed at St Lawrence the Martyr in Scarborough (in place of transferred Fr Steven Szakacski.)

As a side note, I will be joining my friends in Faith of the SPGC choir, once again in a liturgical role on the altar, in service to our Lord.

For more information or questions, you may contact Surinder S. Mundra, choirmaster of SPGC at 416 731 4485. In addition, should you be interested in participation for this mass or in future, via serving or singing, you may also contact Surinder who will connect you for the appropriate part of the Mass (serving/singing).

You may also contact me at my blog e-mail (torontotlmserving@gmail.com) and I can put you in touch with Surinder and/or those in charge of serving for these Masses. Be advised if you desire to serve this Mass, you must have availability for Wed June 6 in the evening for a practice, site TBD. At this point any additional servers would be likely a boat bearer, in choir, or as torchbearers as it is now confirmed a complement of 5 servers (including myself) will be assisting.

For anyone and everyone else, please come and attend and encourage your friends to attend. I hope you will take the time to partake in this sacred event and be moved by the EF and all its parts on the altar. This will truly give you a taste of Heaven on Earth!

Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Latin Mass Triduum, 2018 in Archdiocese of Toronto. Better Late than Never.


``... Regnum meum non est de hoc mundo .... Ego in hoc natus sum, at ad hoc veni in mundum, ut testimonium perhibeam veritati: Omnis qui est ex veritate audie vocem meam.`(Douay-Rheims John 18: 36 - 37: ``My kingdom is not of this world ... For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.``)

Hello Everyone,

Forgive my tardiness that I did not get this out for yesterday, Holy Thursday, but I write this as finally, I have a chance to myself, as my first born son is being quiet. I became a father as of 1024h last Friday, Mar 23rd.

Thanks to a Latin Mass mailing list I'm on, I have come across information for the annual Latin Mass Triduum (since 2014 or 2015) that is held in Toronto. From the e-bulletin, I share the following information:

WHERE: Chapel of the Carmel Heights Retirement Residence, staffed by Carmelite Sisters.
Address: 1720 Sherwood Forrest Circle, Mississauga, Ontario, CAN
Website for Residence: http://www.carmelheights.ca/

MASSES:

  • Holy Thursday/Solemn Mass of the Lord's Supper (Thurs Mar 29, 2018) 730pm EST Start time
    • Adoration to 1100pm
  • GOOD FRIDAY (TODAY, Fri Mar 30, 2018)
    • Stations of the Cross (EF/Usus Antiquor): 2PM EST
    • SOLEMN Service: 3PM EST
  • HOLY SATURDAY/SOLEMN Paschal Vigil (Tomorrow, Apr 1/18)- 830pm EST Start Time

Some notes:
1) I, and my closest allies and siblings in Christi in the TLM in Toronto, have no personal/professional nor desired relationship with certain parties involved in the Triduum liturgies, nor have been asked by any party involved to assist. In spite of this, I promote this Triduum on my blog because: Fr. Russell Asch is chaplain to the residence (incl. the sisters, and does their Masses IN ADDITION to those of the Latin Mass) and has been faithful to ALL parties in the TLM community including my friends of St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir (plus technically, one could say he is pastor of the chapel;)) one of my closest friends in faith has decided to sing in the choir for these liturgies/services; and most of all for the good of the lay faithful (and clergy to an extent) who have honest and non-radically traditionalist interest in the EF liturgy of the Roman Rite, particularly in the most, important time of the Catholic Faith during the year.

2) While priests who are under the spiritual authority of the Archdiocese of Toronto are involved in the carrying out of these Masses/services, in no way, shape, or form, is this directly due to the Archdiocese of Toronto proper, or any of its episcopal members, up to and including His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Collins. This has been independently organized via the efforts of parties involved, individual lay men and women, and the assisting clergy. 

3) All services and/or Masses of these EF liturgies will be done at the level of the Missa Cantata/Sung or High Mass, with one priest officiating and carrying out the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass/Good Friday service, with a full complement of altar servers and a liturgical choir. 

4) Fr. Steven Szakaczki, priest for the EF at St. Lawrence the Martyr Toronto (and veteran, as well as mentioned numerous times here on S.U.D.) will be the celebrant/priest for the Holy Thursday and Good Friday liturgies/services. Fr. Russell Asch will be the celebrant/priest for Holy Saturday. 

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If you have not spread the word to your family and friends, please do so! Don`t forget to arrive early! Pew space is limited to about 75 bodies, plus maybe 40 seats on the sister's side (single Transept) for overflow. After that it will be standing room only. 

Spread the Word, and may you contemplate with deep fervor and passion, that of His Lord, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed himself on the wood of the Cross for the opportunity for us to obtain Eternal Salvation. 

PAX TIBI CHRISTI, Julian Barkin. 

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Liguorian Series 1C: St. Alphonsus Liguori in Preparation for Death: How to be Happy at the Moment of Death

Liguorian Series 1C: St. Alphonsus Advice for Becoming That Repentant Sinner/Saint a.k.a. How to Get to Heaven

Hello faithful reader, 

It has been a while since we've been together to discuss the bountiful wisdom of the great Saint, Alphonsus Liguori, founder of the Redemptorist order of priests in the Church. To refresh your memory on what we explored, from the first volume of his Ascetic Works called Preparation for Death, I invite you to revisit Part 1A dealing with those at the state of death who are not in God's friendship and favour, and Part 1B of those who are able to die a happy death/in God's friendship and favour. 

In this part, 1C, with helpful quotes from the holy Saint, and writing in his style somewhat, we shall explore how one avoids the fate of souls as in part 1A, and end up happy on our death beds like those in Part 1B. Where to begin? ...

Keep the end in mind ...

Before one can remedy their state and end up a happy soul on their death bed, one must have a purpose, an aim in life, or shall we say in modern times, an "Endgame." Should we go by the old adage, "eat, drink, merry, for tomorrow we die," we live our lives as a series of endless pleasures, maybe throw in a family, but to what end? No living soul or deceased person has come back from eternity to tell us whether heaven or hell exists. But should we live by the adage above, then there is no point to anything we do: education, careers, family ... even pleasure and people in life are all for naught! 

Therefore, we MUST have a guiding principle in our lived to guide us before we can even journey to being like those happy souls. We must begin with the end in mind, and that applies to our life's journey! It is clear, as explored in Part 1A, that the hedonistic, sinfully obstinate souls die fearful, unhappy deaths, begging for more time on earth. They know their end. With that evidence in mind, there must be something they fear ... hell, for eternity. They may not say or think such aloud, but their emotions and physical symptoms tell the tale. 

So start with the end in mind ... the end that awaits you lest you choose the path of grievous sin! Begin with Hell in mind as such: 

"... if you do not now change your life, if you commit another mortal sin, the Lord will abandon you, and, in punishment of that sin, send you to suffer forever among that crowd of fools who are now in hell ... When the devil tempts you again to sin, remember hell, have recourse to God and to the Most Holy Virgin. The thought of hell will preserve you from hell, because it will make you have recourse to God." (Preparation for Death, p288-289)

Now, to just say that fear alone of hell will keep you astray will be foolish! Thankfully, we do have a ``testimony`` of sorts, those who HAVE decided not to be like the souls in Part 1A. Those souls in Part 1B, die happy, relieved, calm, and ready for the eternal reward ahead that awaits them. 

But how do we, become like those happy souls who have prepared for death well? Clearly, most of us aren't "blessed" with the disposition of a saint or are of the handpicked few that get in the Saint hall of fame. We become easily discouraged, thinking we aren't lucky, or have the "patience of a saint" for holy things. Also, we become even more discouraged, particularly when we observe the follies of those around us. We think of how many times our parents or grandparents strayed from the will of God, yet properly catechized about the four last things of death, judgement, Heaven, and Hell.

For those reading NOT Christian, obviously, our own mental fear of doing something bad or that we've done before, clearly isn't enough! We are but feeble and weak creatures with such a temptation and draw to sinful things that we know damage us physically and spiritually, but we do them even when we vow not too!

Thankfully, St. Alphonsus in Preparation for Death, provides us with three main tools to combat ourselves from falling back to black, and allows us to make it to the end, a happy soul upon our death beds.

The First Tool, Avoiding the Temptation/Occasion of Sin 

The first tool is quite simplistic in its understanding: Avoid occasions of sin. It goes without saying  that if you are placed in the vicinity of whatever vice you are tempted to, you won't likely be able to
withstand it. Whether that be your favorite junk food that you must down the whole container or bag for, boundless quantities of liquor that dulls the mind, or other such vices. It goes without saying, remove yourself from the situation, and don't put it in your home or invite it in. Alphonsus states the following on such avoidance: 

".... You must on your part labor hard to take away the occasions of sin, to avoid bad company, to resist temptations by recommending yourself to God as soon as you perceive them ... You must do violence to yourself: otherwise the threat of the Lord against obstinate sinners will fall upon you. You shall die in your sin." (230.)

It is even worse if the very sin you must avoid is one of the flesh and/or sexual, hence chastity must be adopted quickly to avoid such sins: 

"Whenever the devil tempts us, let us place our entire confidence in the divine assistance ... to Jesus Christ ... to the most Holy Mary. We ought to do this particularly as often as we are tempted against chastity; for this is the most terrible of all temptations and is the one by which the devil gains most victories. We have not the strength to preserve chastity; this strength must come from God ..." (314)

Should sins of the flesh be the particular vice you must dispose of, avoiding your favourite area where you "fraternize" with women and tempt them, or are tempted by them (even without intention,) might not be enough. In this, in our modern day world of the third millennium, this even includes the Internet on computers! We will explore more on that in the third necessary tool of Prayer. Yet let's go on to another key tool, one that must work in tandem with prayer, and yet would be even more vital to be covered first: The Eucharist/Pennance.

The Second Tool, The Sacraments, but Particularly the Eucharist

The next, critical tool that St Alphonsus says we must embrace to make ourselves for for heaven are the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church, but particularly the sacrament of Penance, and the Holy Eucharist consecrated at Mass. We should not be surprised at these tools, as the Church’s sacraments are the most tangible and visible ways Christ expresses Himself and His salvation to us on Earth, with each one uniting us closer to His Will and Mission.

Were he not to express himself and his Will and Mission of Holy Mother Church in this way, He would be as deists describe him, or detractors of the Church and Christ, as an unattainable figure atop His holy little cloud in a far away universe we could never find him. With nothing to guide us but our wills and flawed selves, we alone would never be able to obtain salvation.

In addition, why would someone go on such a journey as life without having the tools needed to travel through this land? Our Lord is not a cruel Greek “g”od of the Theban plays who creates and leaves humans to their misery or even uses them as playthings? No, for he is a Loving Father, who like a RESPONSIBLE father in a human family, provides sustenance for His children, his adopted sons and daughters of God. The father knows of this world and what is out there, and raises his children to become sufficient to survive, but also keeps loving and caring for them all throughout their lives.

Also as a forgiving father, he knows his children will mess up, with their imperfect wills, and temptation to sin. It is but part of the human condition. He knows that His children, in being tempted, will hurt him, and thus, in the sacrament of Penance, like the Prodigal Father for his lost son, he provides the bridge of mercy, the open door, for his adopted children to come home, and start anew in living that full life once more. By this sacrament we restore the Sanctifying grace needed to live in Eternal life after death, lost by Mortal sins, but also receive forgiveness for those lesser sins, including those that weigh us down to be susceptible to mortal sins. 

Hence, we have our sacraments and the Eucharist in the Holy Mass to give us those actual graces. It is both a literal, and a powerfully spiritual food, aiding us in avoiding and resisting those slings and arrows of temptation that lead us to sin, even against our concupisent (sin-seeking) selves. St Alphonsus makes this point as follows:

“ ... the second, is, to frequent the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist ... by the sacrament of penance the soul is purified; by it, it obtains not only the remission of sins, but also help to resist temptations. The Communion is called the bread of Heaven; because as the body cannot live without earthly food, so the soul cannot live without this celestial bread...." (323) 

Finally, there is one more essential tool needed in order to place one's self on the road to Heaven, and remain in the direction of that course: Prayer.

The Third Tool, Prayer

While avoiding occasions of sin and reception of the sacraments are a great start, it is prayer that is the vital, third tool required to keep one's direction ahead to a happy death. Think of one who is attempting to undergo a change in lifestyle or habit, such as a diet/exercise plan. One might be able to remove sweets from the house, and might be starting great workouts which gives one an endorphic high, but longevity is where most commonly fail. The slugfest of life and all those around us, work or at home or in one's personal life (save perhaps, those single people) will wallop us with blows, until our minds are tired and worn, and there we relapse and go off course.

The path to eternal salvation is no different. The Devil is particularly an angry, dark and vile creature, who will be more than happy to step up and be the one to challenge your resolve. He enjoys such temptations and throwing them on end. Will he stop? No. A non-biological creature such as he needs no physical rest, and can happily continue to throw constant barriers to you.

Further, one might find the "holy" or "Catholic" life, boring, lacking energy, agitating, a "thorn" in one's side that they might consider drifting back into whatever sinful and darkened path they had abandoned, or started to abandon.

Finally, one must be WILLING to ask of the Lord Jesus/God through prayer what one needs. As always, God/Christ allows us our free will to conduct ourselves without him. It is no different from parents in a loving home (where they are responsible and not selfish, despite their flaws,) that will aid their sons and daughters if they ask them, even when said children are older adults. Nor is it different from trusted friends and/or colleagues. If you do not ask, they will not help. If you ask for help, that is when those you know can be called to act to help you. 

How necessary is prayer to keep one on the path to not falling back to where they were? Vital! St Alphonsus in P.F.D, tells us how vital a tool it is:

``.... He who prays is certainly saved; he who does not pray, is certainly lost. All the elect are saved by prayer; all the damned are lost by neglect of prayer, and their greatest despair is, and will be forever, caused by the conviction that they had it in their power to save their souls so easily by prayer, and that now the time of salvation is no more.`` (306)

Furthermore, not just out of the sake of avoiding Hell (though you do need prayer for this purpose,) prayer is like the gym coach at your side, enhancing the exercise in the gym that you do, and pushing you forward to ensure you make progress in your exercise. He can`t make you exercise, but he will be there to keep you persevering to the last repetition you can do. St. Alphonsus dwells upon past saints of the Church in his explanation of prayer in this way:

``.... St. Chrysostom says that, as the body without the soul is dead, so the soul is dead without prayer ... as water is necessary to prevent the decay of plants, so prayer is necessary to preserve us from perdition .... St. Augustine teaches that God gives without prayer the first graces ... but all other graces, and particularly the gift of perseverance, he gives only to those who ask them.`` (304-305) 

Now that one knows to do prayer you are likely asking, what do I do? How many prayers a day and/or times to pray? Scripture already can answer the when, as per Luke and Paul`s Epistle to the Thessalonians:

``We ought always to pray`` (Luke 23:1). ``Watch ye, therefore, praying at all times. Pray without ceasing.`` (1 Thess 5:17)

As for what specifically, the range of prayers varies from the traditional triad of: Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be; there are those of the Saints throughout the ages. There are numerous, self-composed prayers of laymen, diocese in the church, on cards, books, there is even just short one-two line prayers called "Ejaculations," which are small spiritual prayers with high meaning, internal intensity, and petition from the person praying them. There is exception, however, as when the sin is of chastity, as mentioned before in the first tool of avoidance, to throw one`s self at the mercy of Jesus`Mother, Mary, for this particular category of sin.

However, it is more important to focus on the "HOW" of prayer, as that is what will make or break the prayer being efficient, rather than which specific prayers you include in your arsenal. Firstly, when one prays, it MUST be out of a spirit of humility, instead of self-interest or pride. That is NOT the same as asking for necessary help with dealing with sin. Here, St. Alphonus explains:

``.... To pray well, it is necessary, in the first place, to pray with humility. ``God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble. (James 4:6) God rejects the petitions of the proud, but does not allow the humber to depart without hearing all their prayers .... This holds, even though they have been hitherto sinners.`` (307)

In other words, asking for physical things or powers such as money, cars, houses, material goods, wealth, fame, glory, power ... unless it is absolutely in HIS will for you to have them for HIS purpose for your life, these prayer will NOT be granted. However, aid to conquer your sin, get through your struggles, and keep you on the narrow path to salvation, THAT is what the Good, Good Father will grant you, for,

``... spiritual graces, such as pardon of sin, perseverance, divine love, and the like, should be asked absolutely, and with a firm confidence of obtaining them.`` (309)  

Speaking of confidence, that is the second element as to HOW one should approach prayer. One must pray with confidence, not with fear and trembling, nor with lackluster effort, or sheer doubt what you ask will be granted (if it is NOT of selfish interest, as mentioned above.) Does this Scripture passage from XX:XX not bring this concept to memory, if you have been a faithful, weekly, Mass attendee, and even "church" goer for those non-Catholics?:

``If you being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father from heaven give the good Spirit to them that ask him!`` (Luke 11: 13)

Thirdly, one must be willing to pray not just at weekly Mass (service), or just routinely at meals as of habit, but rather ... constantly, all the time when you can, wherever you can. St. Alphonus explains this with the analogy of the homeless beggar:

`` ... the Lord wishes us to understand that we ought to imitate beggars, who do not cease to ask, to eantreat, and to knock at the gate, until the receive an alms ... final perseverance ... is a grace which is not obtained without continual prayer.`` (308-309)

This analogy is actually quite true. Where I work, there is a homeless, or less fortunate, older gentleman I must pass by on my way to public transit that I take to get home from work everyday. He is at the same location when he begs. He is a polite gentleman, who says "good day" to those who pass by, who is not aggressive in his panhandling, and even sometimes, will have conversation with those of us who stop to talk. Rarely is a day when he is not present there, but frequently he is, with ball cap in hand, dwelling on our charity. He has not disappeared permanently (yet,) and when I return to work next week, he will likely be there, in the same spot, begging once again.

THAT is exactly how we are to act with regards to prayer, though with one key difference. Christ, being the Good Lord, will not pass by you, the spiritual beggar, as most of us do without giving the beggar even our pocket change. When we pray to the Lord in earnest, he will grant those true prayer every time, albeit on HIS own time, and not always in ways we can visibly see. But in the case of perseverance, He will grant us that resolve.

CONCLUSION

Three tools to salvation. All vital. These are the three keys revealed to us by St. Alphonsus in P.F.D. which release the locks on the treasure chest that holds the pearl of great price, our eternal salvation and a happy death, towards the Kingdom of Heaven for eternity. St. Alphonsus partially summarizes this on p. 230 of P.F.D., which we revisit from earlier, but with some additions of mine for what is not included in the citation:

``... if you wish to recover from your illness, there is a remedy for you; however you must not expect a miracle of grace. You must on your part labor hard to take away the occasions of sin, to avoid bad company, to resist temptations by recommending yourself to God as soon as you perceive them: you must adopt the means of salvation by going frequently to confession, by reading a spiritual book every day, by practicing devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and continually [implore] her to obtain for you strength not to relapse into sin ...."

... especially those sins of the flesh/of a sexual nature. In addition, seek the Eucharist in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass alongside Penance, which is the most powerful, strengthening sacrament against our temptations and those that the Devil and his minions will throw against you. Finally, pray unceasingly, whenever, wherever, to keep one`s strength for the long journey to conquering those sins and temptations we must battle. In doing all this, we prepare ourselves for that happy, yet eternally promising death to endless eternity in Heaven, with God, the angels and the Saints, those lost loved ones who were fortunate to be there, and most of all, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin.

NEXT IN THE SERIES: 1D - Miscellaneous tidbits not falling specifically under 1A to 1C.