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"The priest should be exclusively a man of God."

“This is why the priest should be exclusively a man of God, a saint or a man who aspires to sanctity, daily given to prayer, to thanksgiving and praise, and refusing to shine in the areas where other Christians have no need of him. The priest is not a psychologist, nor a sociologist, nor an anthropologist, nor a researcher in a nuclear reactor, nor a politician. He is another Christ, and I repeat: he is truly “Ipse Christus, Christ himself,” destined to support and illuminate the souls of his brothers and sisters, to guide men to God and open to them the spiritual treasures of which they are terribly deprived today. You are priests to reveal the God of Love who has revealed himself on the cross and to kindle, thanks to your prayers, faith, love, and the return of sinful man to God.” 

–Robert Cardinal Sarah

Thoughts on the Parish

Yesterday I attended the 100th anniversary celebration of St. Thomas Apostle Parish in Washington, DC. The parish is home to the St. Philip Neri Oratory-in-Formation, headed by Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth, Executive Director of ICEL.During his homily, Cardi…

New CDW prefect announced today

I was delighted to see that the Holy Father has appointed Cardinal Robert Sarah as Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship. Cardinal Sarah is an experienced local bishop with long time curial experience an a history of meaningful reform, as well…

“Simply Catholicism in All Its Fullness”

The answer is simply Catholicism, in all its fullness and depth, a faith able to distinguish itself from any cultures and yet able to engage and transform them all, a faith joyful in all the gifts Christ wants to give us and open to the whole world he …

Organists: The Next Generation

An article about the Church’s young organists.

The New Evangelization in 3 Ways at Catholic University

Earlier this week I attended a wonderful lecture by Cardinal Müller, the Prefect of the CDF. It was a rhetorically beautiful lecture in an Augustinian style, repeating important points at intervals, in slightly varied ways, and with a certain development of thought.

My takeaway, based on these repeated points, was as follows:

  • Evangelization should have these four characteristics: it should focus on what is necessary, beautiful, grand, and persuasive. This framework is taken directly from the Holy Father’s Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, paragraph 35: “When we adopt a pastoral goal and a missionary style which would actually reach everyone without exception or exclusion, the message has to concentrate on the essentials, on what is most beautiful, most grand, most appealing and at the same time most necessary.”
  • The work of the Magisterium should not be seen as extrinsic and above the communion of the faithful, but as one aspect of that communion and within it.

As I’ve mentioned before, there is another, ongoing series of lectures that might interest our readers, and that is the School of Philosophy’s annual fall series, which this particular year is devoted to philosophy and music. On a personal level, this series is important to me, not only because it combines two of my dearest interests, but because my undergraduate alma mater is considerably involved. The videos below show the first two lectures. The first is by a fellow alum of St. John’s College, who is now on the faculty of CUA’s School of Philosophy, and the second is by a faculty member of St. John’s.

By the end of both lectures, I was pretty well convinced that the very fact of polyphony has not yet been honestly faced as an ecclesial problem. It seems to me that as soon as our voices divide, there is an aspect of our song to God that is referred not only directly to Him, but also in reference to the others.

I don’t think that this is an insurmountable problem, but it does divide the directionality of liturgical, musical prayer. The question for me is whether that division must always be a distraction. Are we–or were we at Trent–sufficiently mature as a Church to sing with a voice that is divided but one? Are we, in fact, ready for communio?

I hope you enjoy the lectures. More to come.

Hymn Tune Introit–All Saints Day

For those looking for an easy way to introduce the proper texts, try singing this versification of the Gaudeamus to any Long Meter tune as the bell signals the beginning of your opening procession.If followed by the oft-sung For All the Saints, there’s…

Masses with a "theme"

Well, school has started up again, which means that in one area of many parishes the music director has little say in the quality of the liturgy.The School Mass.In many places, Masses are assigned to a class or grade, which means that the teacher of th…

Pontifical Mass at St. Peter’s

What an incredible photo of the Eucharistic procession.Details at the New Liturgical Movement.

The Passing of a Woman of God

I was very sad to hear of the passing of Helen Hull Hitchcock, the indefatigable foundress of Women for Faith and Family and one of the founders of Adoremus, which has done so much great work for the Liturgy, particularly the implementation of Liturgia…

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