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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Two Notes of Blogging Here on S.U.D and Highlight from Fr. Z on Pope Francis End of Papacy (What?)

Hello Everyone,

Just a couple of brief notes here on blogging at S.U.D.

1) Don't expect a lot of altar serving progress or new postings here on Servimus for the next while. Right Now I am knee deep in a really excellent summer course I am taking with St. Paul University Ottawa and Mission of the Redeemer Ministries, called the Summer Institute for New Evangelization. When I am done, I intend to do a post about this course to highlight (and thank) the awesome work of the people and content that created this course, including some of its awesome, powerful revelations I gained with it. They are a lot more Traditionally Catholic than one might think.

Might I add it's for 3 years and earns a certificate or university credit w/St. Paul? Needless to say I have to get my papers (3 of them! One per section of lectures) done by Aug 29th and I have to catch up on video lectures cause I can't afford to take that time off work (I only get 3 weeks unpaid leave until a couple more years later).

Oh, one other note of importance here, on this point. of whom I must give credit to. My TA for the course is none other than the blog-roll master for the SCCC .... Dr. Colin Kerr! Small world eh?

2) I have noticed that I have been getting a lot of hits this past while because of a post I wrote here, about the Nun symbol and my reasons for NOT jumping on this trend, despite now, more and more "Glad Trad"/Orthodox Leaning/"Neo-Cath" bloggers and friends are jumping on it. While I do value the additional hits because it is still a trend, do realize that I present an alternate viewpoint, and those were my reasons at that time. Also, despite the change in who's donning the symbol of death (or solidarity), I am not going to change my stance on the issue, to be consistent, even if this isn't the "Traditional Catholic" thing to do.

However, the positive side effect is that you have been viewing my other postings on my blog, whether archived, or even the more recent ones, even those that wouldn't be deemed "major" posts. Thank you for doing so, and please, do view the central focus of my blog, the altar serving postings that have been created under this page.

And now, the Highlight from Fr. Z.

Today's highlight is a post from prolific Traditional hero priest, Fr. John Zuhlsdorf of What Does the Prayer Really Say?. He posted an interesting post about questions asked to the Holy Father on the airplane leaving from South Korea. Read the posting here. In a nutshell, Pope Francis speaks about Benedict XVI and his re-introducing of the Pope Emeritus (or ability to retire from the Papacy). In the interview, it sounds like as if Pope Francis is pretty much telling us how he's going to leave the Papacy: A) "I'll be dead in a few years given my age", or 2) "I will copy Benedict XVI when I'm too weak to function, and I'm retiring."

My take on it: It's perfectly logical and rational for Pope Francis to say such things. He's 77, a few years shy of being an octogenarian, he's got 1.5 lungs, he might be receiving medical treatment (corticosteroids) according to some sources and weight gain is a common side effect, and he's possibly been slowing down a bit. Look, he's getting old folks, it happens. Also being in a leadership position in an institution in a modern world of the Internet and 24/7 social media, with many of the people in the Church being lukewarm or your enemies (in truth), would stress out anyone, and age them biologically too. It's gonna happen folks. Not to mention Benedict XVI changed the game plan with that Pope Emeritus thing. So you could say "The writing is on the wall," not barring miracles of the Holy Trinity.

Pax, Julian.


Saturday, 9 August 2014

Highlight: Pope Francis Speaks to Altar Servers in Germany!

Hello Everyone.

I was browsing my Facebook news feed and came across a posting from one of my Catholic groups: Our Lady's Knights of the Altar. This group is a modern re-working/return of a classic program that was used by many parishes pre-Vatican II (and sadly sacked post Vatican II in the wake of the Novus Ordo), and within the last 2 years the group has existed, they already have 8 Chapters! Please see their program at http://www.knightsofourlady.com/home/lightbox.html if you are thinking about a formal structure for your Novus Ordo or Extraordinary Form altar serving. It even has a special rank built in for those who can do the EF, above the normal serving of the OF!

Today, they linked to this article from the National Catholic Register (affiliated with EWTN and receives articles from Catholic Answers affiliated apologists and authors), where the Pope spoke to ~50K altar servers in Germany. One may see the video of his speech at Radio Vaticana's website:
http://www.radiovaticana.va/player/index_fb.asp?language=it&tic=VA_LHQNGP3U . There is also the summary report here on News.Va, the Vatican`s News reporting website. As for the full context of the speech, it`s too soon for the English translation, but one will find it here eventually:
http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2014/august/index.html .

Since News.VA has a more detailed summary, I`ll post some of its juicier tidbits here and let my commentary be in Marian blue (or close to it) ink.:

“Through this concrete man by the name of Jesus, we can understand what God really meant. He wants to free human beings, so that they might always feel protected as children of a good father.” 

That's right, through JESUS, not just through God/Allah, etc. Not to mention he is un-heretical by acknowledging Jesus' human nature here as well, vs. the heresies of early Church history. Syncretism or lukewarmness here? I think not! 

But, the Pope said, to realize this plan, God needs a human person, “a woman, a mother, who brings the Son into the world. She is the Virgin Mary, whom we honor in this evening's celebration. Mary was totally free. In her freedom she said ‘yes.’ She always did good. So she served God and human beings. Let us imitate her example, if we want to know what God expects of us as His children.”

So, doctrinally, we have here acknowledgement of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her "fiat" as it were, as well as indirectly, though not initially, her freedom from Original Sin, as well as that she had a human free will. Might I remind you, that her freedom from sin IS the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, pronounced Ex Cathedra in 1854 by Pope Pius IX, in Ineffiablis Deus?

Here, in the example of Mary, is some of how the Pope is trying to provide for a model for altar servers. That in Mary's fiat, she said, Yes, "servo" to God in His desire to have her be the Theotokos, the Christ-bearer. Likewise, we servers, should too, say yes, to serving, whenever we can to our Lord, barring utter necessary duties. What a great example for Pope Francis to give us altar servers to emulate in our practice.  

.... He said the world “needs people who will testify to others that God loves us, that He is our Father.” Young people have a special role to play in this mission, the Pope said: “You are called to speak of Jesus to your contemporaries, not only those within your parishes or associations, but especially to those outside....

Here, responding to the call of the New Evangelization, I love what the Pope is saying here. First, I love that he is acknowledging the role that young people, even youth altar serving, can play a role in the New Evangelization. It is tying in with our Baptismal role that we have as members of the Body of Christ, that we all play a role in bringing about the Gospel to our world, and the salvation of souls. It's not just for the priests, or the choirmasters, or the teachers. No, we young people, too, without credentials, or Holy Orders, can be apostles for Christ! 

Further, he wants us to take what we do as servers, and our Faith, outside of the Church! Now, I am going to go on a bit of a stretch here, but I hope would hope it would agree with what the Holy Father has said and preached. In my journeys as an altar server, one thing I have sadly witnessed, is that people tend to simply remain inward with our faith, and huddle in our little traditionalist/Novus Ordo, etc. communities, all the while giving into the temptation to be ... "querulous and disillusioned pessimists, "sourpusses." (85, Evangelii Gaudium). This would include both generally, and in the serving parts somewhat, things such as only remaining with the "ultra-trad" communities and not all trad communities, keeping a firmly rigid traditionalist (or liberal) view on things, and going about as a Catholic without a joy of the Gospel, or not being involved in both forms of the Roman Rite. This would also include comments that are anywhere from passive-aggressive, to possibly disparaging against Vatican II, the Novus Ordo, Ecumenism, etc. It is almost like rebellion against Holy Mother Church and makes you wonder why should one bother being a Catholic when it is so "damaged?:  

Now, does sticking to the EF alone make you a sourpuss? No. However, when done in part and parcel with a certain "fortress" mentality and just staying put without spreading the Faith, we altar servers are not spreading the Joy of the Gospel. We might be serving on the altar, or praying our Latin, but our actions become reduced to clockwork-like mechanics on display, vs. inspiring our fellow laity to more reverence. Our dispositions and words become ``grey`` and uninviting to those who are seeking spiritual nourishment or considering EF serving. I particularly think about the contradictions I've seen in my few years between servers with a ``joy`` in serving, vs. others who have an all ``holy`` mentality. The joyful ones, were those who showed when they served on, and acted outside of the altar, a positive influence in what they do and a happiness about serving the Lord, one that, were I not so Traditionally minded, would make me want to come back to the EF if I was lukewarm or just ``trying it out.`` Even our youngest servers, can express this joy, as I witnessed at the Sacred Heart 2014 Mass I served with St. Patrick`s Gregorian Choir. 

To me, Pope Francis is saying (as he has repeatedly,) we have to stop being closed minded upon ourselves, only remaining in our little elitist communities whereby anyone who is "not Trad" or "not-uber Catholic" (that is not blatantly trying to dissent from the Church willfully), is not worth speaking to, and we need to start being more happy about our Faith and the joys it offers, all the while NOT giving into the errors of our more radical brethren. Further, let's not just be an example to our fellow Trad Catholics, how about our non-EF Catholics too, and even our Non-Catholic friends too as servers! Let our Joy and our service be our basis for our Evangelization! He`s doing a Missionary calling for us! Time to take our serving (and our Glad Trad or Happy Ordo) minds and hearts outside the Sacristy, and into our lives!

Finally, to me, or what I want to focus on, he said about commitments in a young person`s life:

`` ... he understood the difficulties many young people experience in balancing their commitment to serving at church with various other activities “necessary for human and cultural growth.” ... among the many demands in one’s daily routine, the Pope said, one of our priorities must be remembering our Creator, Who gives us life, Who loves us, and Who accompanies us on our journey.

He realizes that young people`s attentions are constantly being competed for, whether by their own interests, teachers who think piling homework on kids is the best way for them to learn, or eager parents who want their children`s lives to be fully ``enriched,`` be it to have what they did not, to not be bored, or to prepare junior to become the world`s next Bill Gates or Sidney Crosby. These interests do compete and clash with ``Holy`` activities, as these primarily happen 1) usually on school weeknights in the case of practices (e.g. choirs), or 2) on weeeknds whereby most sports activities and practices often tail into music classes, or occur in the mornings contradicting Holy Mass, even on Saturday evenings. In otherwords, as I`ve hinted at in my introductory serving posts, you gotta make this your #1 activity! Christ! God! Best thing since sliced bread over your other activities! While I wish Pope Francis would have been more gutsy and told the youth that should conflict occur to toss those things aside for Christ as the ``Pearl of Great Price``, Making God #1 isn't too bad. 

So there. What a good find! H/T to Our Lady's Knights of the Altar. Pax, Julian. 

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Some Small Updates and Works in Progress

Short story, I`ve made a couple of additions to the blog rules page, effective immediately.

I`ve noticed a trend of leaving a disparaging comment or two in my comment box, that the commentators know won`t be posted, but they think it`s fun to do. This has happened on occasion, and I`m sick of it. Big bad comments are now grounds for public banning on SUD, and lighter, passive-aggressive types of comments are grounds for a warning (with maybe one more after that, but never three warnings).

In addition, I`ve decided I need to get back to developing the crux that goes with this blog: Latin Mass Serving Posts. I`ve currently got a draft for the Acolyte position in progress, but I think I will add to that, and complete first, another post for serving the Low Mass solo. I did not do solo serving first, as I started out with two person Low Masses in training. Just don`t expect them anytime soon. They require much work and I do more than just say, ``this is what you do at each part`` as I try to go into the importance of the role, and I do consult serving resources to make it a more complete posting.

Pax, Julian.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Update to Another Trad Behaving Badly Bandwagon: The Sign of Peace and My Two Cents

UPDATE 07/08/2014

The TBB blogger decided to cover up evidence of his actions and smear against me, and deleted the posting. However, do not be fooled to think this was done in charity, but rather legal ``covering one`s mule.`` This has happened on a number of occasions on that blog, so it cannot be taken as a sign of charity.

This post, however, is staying up, and no bullying of any friends of mine, especially clergy, will have it taken down. My blog, my posts. And don`t even try leaving me an internet version of flaming excrement via the comment box, with any sort of comments you know I will not post. Your allies included.

_______________________________________________________________

Hello Everyone.

First off, an update to the posting about the CDWDS issuing that urging, NOT ORDER, of the restoration of dignity to the sign of peace in a number of ways.

Toronto's very own Catholic Register decided to, surprisingly, cover this issue. You may view the article here. More importantly, I finally found a PDF copy of the said letter, translated in English! Kudos to the Pray Tell Blog. The link is here: http://www.praytellblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/CL_on_SOP.pdf
Turns out with an actual copy, the true issuing date for the letter is July 12, 2014, just almost a month ago.

Secondly, it seems one of the TBBs I was referring to, just doesn't seem to like my stance on things. The response was juvenile and hypocritical, not what is expected of a true Traditionalist Catholic. I won't be saying who, as there is no need to send more blog hits their way. However, the response was to detract against my character by telling me to go seek spiritual counselling.

Well, you know you are carrying on the fight for the Kingdom when you are being hated upon. However, in light of the comment, I offer a verse of Scripture, and some reflection against that barb of stinging need for spiritual counselling. From the Gospel of Matthew 7:3-5 (NRSV):

"3 Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?  4 Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye?  5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye."

After reading the passage, here are some questions one should consider before leveling the charge of "needing spiritual counselling": Are you, seeking your own regular spiritual counselling? Is this counselor someone who is simply not just stroking your own ego, but is truly making you reflect on how to better serve the Lord? As the Gospel passages speaks to everyone, are you Scott-free of spiritual errors and sin as Christ were, whereby you are deemed fit to judge my spiritual condition and salvation? Are you someone with the charism of discernment of spirits, where it is the Holy Spirit's gift to you, or you are an ordained clergy member who is more fit to assess the state of your soul or spiritual constitution by virtue of Holy Orders?

If one cannot answer Yes to all these questions, then to use the famous quote of our Holy Father, "Who am I to judge?"

One might want to think about those questions the next time you are tempted to tell someone a non-suggestive, loving order for spiritual counselling, unless it is out of a true, fraternal love akin to family staging an intervention for a drug-addicted member. Such attacks like that, are NOT out of true, fraternal love. I think though, that Christ's words are enough to get my main point across and demonstrate the futility of such comments from bloggers.

And one more note. I certainly am not keen to be a TBB. Let's us good Traditionalists be Glad Trads, their polar opposite! I'll be happily working to better myself on my own with the Lord, without such a hypocritical suggestion, thanks.

[Updated Aug 6, 2014.]

Well that concludes this business. On to other things now .... Pax, Julian.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Traditionalist Sign of Hope: Catholic Tradition and Lifeteen Intersect!

Hello Everyone.

The general sentiment that is given by one who is a staunch Traditionalist or Trad Behaving Badly in the Church, is that youth ministry is frowned upon, giving the kids a "goopy" Jesus and all fun, not the real stuff. That or it's tolerable, but not as good as other holy things, like the TLM, for feeding the youth. It is as if Traditional Catholicism and the Novus Ordo "culture" should never cross paths, or can't. Once again, it seems like the winds of things are changing for the better in the Church.

Personally speaking, youth ministry brought me back out of the 7 years of darkness I experienced in drifting away from the faith, despite it's leadership at the time. Without youth ministry I never would have desired in the present to have any part of Traditional Catholicism including Latin Mass serving. It was where I regained the spark of active participation in my Faith, and I just went forward from there.

Now, you say, how does that mean anything for the intersecting of Traditional Catholicism and Novus Ordo culture? Well, Lifeteen (International) is a Catholic youth ministry program which was created in North America in the 80's and since then, has been overhauled to be more conservative in its leanings, with faithfulness to the Magisterium and Catholic teaching (in the Catechism,) all the while providing community and enrichment of the lives of Catholic youth. Numerous churches in Canada, even Ontario, have adopted the program, or used it as a base for their parish-created teen ministries.

But what I am about to show you, will show you a sign of hope about our younger generation, that yes, both forms of the Roman Rite can intersect, and mutually enrich each other. Take this example of Lifeteen's Camp Hidden Lake in the United States of America. I subscribe to the feed on my Facebook, and came across this last week for their camp from July 28th to August 2 ....

What`s this? Not one but two mantillas at a Novus Ordo Mass? Whoa! May I remind you these are also teenage girls doing this, not old ladies? Impressive!


I'll start here by saying that this IS the Novus Ordo, and women can lector in this form of the Mass. Indult or not, that's how it is, so keep your "women cannot lector" comments to yourself! What I see here, is positive witness, to go up there in front of her fellow teens with a mantilla on, to (hopefully) proclaim Scripture. Doing this is saying "me, wearing my mantilla, is acceptable." While I'm at it, hey! the server is in classic black cassock and surplice!


Eucharistic adoration .... with a Mantilla! Hopefully this was also done on First Friday too, as it occurred last week. 

And finally, the coupe d'gras ......

WHOA!!!! Teenage Girl + Mantilla + COMMUNION ON THE TONGUE! How's that for mutual enrichment of the Roman Rite, in youth ministry!!!

So you see people, there is some light at the end of this horrible tunnel. Less and less, things are dissipating from the original shake-up in the false "Spirit of Vatican II" and "brick-by-brick," both our clergy, but especially our Catholic laity (including the youth!) are making waves in restoring the tradition and beauty of our Catholic Faith, heavily discarded by the rebellious clergy and laity of the past couple of generations.

Regardless of whether these mantilla-bearers are dual-form or TLM attendees only, or even other rites in the Church, their choice to wear the mantillas, in the Novus Ordo Masses and not bow down to the peer-pressure of adults and their friends (common amongst teens), are just a couple of the many signs of hope that we should continue the good and holy fight, and that we are passing our own liturgical "D-day." While it does depend on the leadership in charge of these ministries, as a whole Catholic youth ministry is playing a part in the Reform of the Reform.

Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin. 

Friday, 1 August 2014

Another Trad Behaving Badly Bandwagon: The Sign of Peace and My Two Cents

Hello Everyone,

So once again, the TBBs (with some other level headed conservatives) are doing something again and passing the buck around on an issue: The Sign of Peace.

How is this coming about (again?) The Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, one of the Vatican's Papal Congregations, who issues out orders, decrees, evaluations, etc. on the Pope's behalf in the area of liturgy and sacraments, back in June released a letter which was given Pope Francis' approval (!) about the practice in the Mass. It's basically a letter that notes that this part of the Mass is taken for granted and suggests, ways to improve the dignity of this practice.

Unfortunately, this letter has NOT been made available to the general public, including the Congregation`s section of the Vatican website. It was supposedly in Spanish, but the one link is ``not available`` anymore on the website that one blogger linked to. The best I`ll do is to link to ``safe`` traditional blogger priest Fr. John Zuhlsdorf here with a summary of the content and the 4 suggestions.

The four main suggestions, NOT ORDERS, are as follows:

  1. The rite is optional, and there certainly are times and places where it is not fitting.[This IS in the latest edition of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal.]
  2. “... familiar and worldly gestures of greeting” ¨[a.k.a. hugs and kisses, handshakes] should be substituted with “other, more appropriate gestures.”
  3. The congregation for worship also noted that there are several abuses of the rite which are to be stopped: the introduction of a “song of peace,” which does not exist in the Roman rite; the faithful moving from their place to exchange the sign; the priest leaving the altar to exchange the sign with the faithful; and when, at occasions such as weddings or funerals, it becomes an occasion for congratulations or condolences.
  4. ... episcopal conferences prepare liturgical catechesis on the significance of the rite of peace, and its correct observation.

My thoughts on these matters:

1) The Trad Behaving Badly bloggers have got this wrong in a sense. The letter is NOT AN ORDER, yet they are claiming so. This is a false claim, but this is nothing new from the Church's new "liturgical police." They cheer and applaud anything with some semblence of ordering their perceived "faulty" institutional (and often times, True Catholic Church), back to pre-Vatican II levels of ... well ... everything. Also, it is mostly them alongside more conservative Catholic news sites picking this story up. Not a good sign. Also I feel that the general sentiment is one of "we order you to make these changes ..." vs educational information.

2) The Vatican should have put this and other communications from this Congregation on their website. The oldest is from 2008. Not smart at all. Then again, not surprizing from the media machine of the Vatican. It`s becoming public knowledge that they are not always up to speed on things. Why, it took 7 years for Summorum Pontificum to be posted in English and people had to complain to the Vatican to get that to happen.

3) For the most part for me, I find the sign of peace, tolerable. I am not one of those TBBs who abhors it, and I understand that we CANNOT be like the TBBs on the Catholic blogosphere in their demeanor and their attitudes towards the Novus Ordo. Take note, that passive-aggressive stabs in your writings towards the Novus Ordo and other topics and those who attend the N.O., are also part of that sick rhetoric.

4) As much as I hate to side with the TBBs on something, I do agree that unless bishops force this upon their priests in mandates that are publicly displayed online and to their parishes by fax/letter, they will continue to proceed with such liturgical abuses.

However, I do have preference, not absolute, enforced, necessity, for the Pax of the Latin Mass (as I nickname it in admiration, a good ol' fraternal bear hug.) As for the suggestions, they are all perfectly reasonable and it would be nice to be implemented.

From my experience of 30 years in the Archdiocese of Toronto, I am glad to say for the most part, I have not witnessed much of these abuses from the clergy and liturgical staff at Masses. I have seen lay people get somewhat out of hand, and only recently have I seen this "song of peace" be implemented in Masses with some parishes I go to out in Maple. However, giving the best benefit of the doubt I can, I do not think that the musical staff of these parishes know it is not a vital part of the liturgy. They are laity, not clergy, and likely part of the majority of Catholics who don't know where or what these documents and congregations in the Vatican are. It is more non-willful ignorance on their part vs. outward rebellion against the Church. On the bright side, that's 29 years of living post-Vatican II I have NOT seen the song of peace in the Archdiocese of Toronto, and 30 years where it's not crazy out of control, to the contrasting opinions of the Blogosphere critics.

So that's all on this matter folks. Now, I will leave comments open, but consider this post red flag. Read my blog rules, and don't even think about abusing the freedom or my e-mail here.

Pax, Julian.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Off the Beaten Path: #howtodad ad for Cheerios

Hello Everyone,

Time to take a break from my usual posts, and go off the beaten path. While viewing my blogs, this advertisement popped up in the side screen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GYxH2-WeZY


What makes this video so epic? Well it's a salute in an advertisement that hails all fathers out there, but also large families.

Watch the whole thing from start to finish. In the video, this guy has 4 kids. That's right, 4! That is a statement in itself where most families are not procreating enough, especially Catholic families. Further, this dad is NOT a bumbling idiot as portrayed by the man-sterilizing, anti-male, misandrist media and society. No, rather he's protector, advice giver, multi-tasker, and man-in-command of this house as he associates with all the members he's got.

Kudos to General Mills and their latest advertisement for Cheerios. If you aren't a organic foods/health nut, then go buy a box of Cheerios and let them know you did it because of this ad. Especially you Catholics!

Pax, Julian.