Monday, December 26, 2011

SSPX in India

The note below is from Fr. Bucciani, SSPX, in India.


Dear Friends & Benefactors,

May the Infant Jesus bring you every joy and blessing this Christmas. On behalf of the Mission, the Servi Domini Orphanage and Veritas Academy, thank you for your prayers and material support throughout the year of grace 2011. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered every 1st Saturday for your intentions.

Please can you pray that we find good Catholic teachers for the school.

The links below will take you the photo galleries of the Mission, Orphanage and Veritas Academy.

The Mission

The Orphanage

The School

In Jesu et Maria,
Father Robert Brucciani
Priory of the Most Holy Trinity
1 Marcel Lefebvre Place
8A/3 Seevalaperi Road
Tamil Nadu 627002

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Linus on Christmas

Christmas Day

The King of heaven deigned to be born in a stable, because He came to destroy pride, the cause of man's ruin.
- St. Alphonsus

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Man in Coma Wakes Shortly Before His Organs Are About to be "Donated"


From the article:

* Sam Schmid, an Arizona college student believed to be brain dead and poised to be an organ donor, miraculously recovered just hours before doctors were considering taking him off life support.

* "I tell everyone, if they want to call it a modern-day miracle, this is a miracle," said his mother, Susan Regan, a Catholic. "I have friends who are atheists who have called me and said, 'I am going back to church.'"

* Schmid's mother said no one "specifically" asked if her son would be a donor, but they "subtly talk to you about quality of life."


* Here we have an account of a possible miracle coupled with yet another instance of the "subtle" exploitation of the grieving by medical professionals.

* Brain death, according to an article in last year's New England Journal of Medicine, cannot serve as sufficient grounds for the harvesting of vital organs.

* Indeed: it seems to be a pretense for the lucrative organ-harvesting business.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Wilting of the Flowers


Actor Christian Bale was in China to help promote the new historical drama war film "The Flowers of War." The movie depicts the fate of a group of women fleeing Japanese soldiers during the Rape of Nanking in 1937. In the film Bale plays a westerner who poses as a priest to help the refugees escape.

While he was in the country, Bale got into trouble with the Communist government for attempting to pay his respects to blind activist Chen Guangcheng. The latter is is under house arrest and subject to ongoing harassment, intimidation, beatings, and false allegations for his outspoken criticism of the Chinese government's policy of forced sterilization and abortions to meet it limited population quotas.

In the AJC article linked to above, the paper, true to form, attributes the atrocities against Chinese mothers as the work of "overzealous authorities."

This is, of course, the Party Line, and with its misleading language the AJC is assisting the work of government officials who need the buffer of plausible denial. Such atrocities are not officially sanctioned (they are only officially tolerated); any excesses are merely the work of over-achievers (who are never seriously corrected or reprimanded).

China is living under a tyrannical government that cannot humanely provide for the people under its iron thumb. Instead of caring for the people and enabling them to operate an economy that can produce more jobs, homes, and food for the people, the government has for many years forcibly reduced the population of the country to match the resources made meager by a corrupt and corrupting centrally planned government.

And by its collusion the AJC is one of many American papers acting as accomplice to this campaign. The Chinese people deserve better.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Old English Prayer

Old English Prayer

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
Bless the bed that I lie on.
Before I lay me down to sleep,
I give my soul to Christ to keep.
Four corners to my bed;
Four angels there aspread:
Two to foot, and two to head,
And four to carry me when I'm dead.
I go by sea; I go by land:
The Lord made me with His right hand.
If any danger come to me,
Sweet Jesus Christ deliver me!
He's the branch and I'm the flower:
Pray God send me a happy hour.
And if I die before I wake,
I pray that Christ my soul will take. Amen.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Even a Child Can Figure It Out


U.S. Marine Scott Woods' widow Sara and their son Landon have been given a mortgage-free house in Texas as part of Operation Finally Home's worthy project to build houses for wounded and disabled veterans or their widowed families.

Landon is just five years old; he understands that his father will not be coming home. His mother has taught him that he can still speak to his father, however.

"We told him he could talk to daddy in his prayers," Sara said, "and even in the middle of the day, you'll see him walk around the corner and you'll hear him say the 'now I lay me down to sleep prayer,' which Scott taught him. And then he starts talking to daddy."

I'm glad the Woods family figured out that prayers can be directed not only to God, but to souls who are no longer in this world. It is a natural and reasonable -- and thoroughly Catholic -- conclusion.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Next Generation, Traditional Catholic Style

Fred Kroner, 35-year veteran sports writer for the News-Gazette in east-central Illinois, published a piece Saturday that describes his astonishment at the impressive conduct at a basketball game of the student body for a boys' parochial school I favor: La Salette.


From the article:

You'd swear the enthusiasm and energy generated by the young men was for a championship game. The cheering reached a peak at the opening tip and was unrelenting during the course of the 32-minute contest, won by La Salette.

They were cheering FOR their team, not AGAINST the opponents. I'm positive there were no negative comments directed to the three-man officiating crew. Nor were there taunts thrown to the other team. Beyond that, they showed their courtesy when players from either team were preparing to shoot free throws. As if someone were coaching them, there was total silence without any hand-waving distracting antics.

It was an experience I didn't think was possible. It reminded me of pictures my grandfather used to show me about crowds that attended games in the 1920s and 1930s. Men were attired in ties. Women were adorned in dresses. You could almost imagine the kinds of wholesome cheers that they brought and they weren't ones where you felt embarrassed to say you knew some of these individuals or sought to cover the ears of the closest non-teenager.

Profanity-laced tirades? The closest these students came to anything questionable was a momentary "air ball" when a Shiloh player missed badly on a shot attempt. A disapproving look from headmaster Father McMahon, keeping the scorebook, quickly stopped the chant within seconds.

The overall respect and sportsmanship demonstrated by the La Salette student body is truly unparalleled in the thousands of high school games I've seen. It's one thing to see exemplary conduct from two or three individuals, quite another to see it from each and ever spectator sitting (standing!) in a particular section.

It was heartwarming and refreshing. I'm told this wasn't a one-time spectacle. It occurs at every game where the team plays. Don't know when I will attend my next La Salette game, but I have a new memory that has vaulted into a position of prominence on my all-time top 10 list of favorite moments.

If these are the next generation of leaders in our country, wow, I can't wait for the future to arrive.

Thanks, La Salette. You made my day and reminded me that I truly haven't seen everything.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Google Digitizing Dead Sea Manuscripts

Gaudete Sunday


Google has digitized the Dead Sea manuscripts. Within three days of the material going up online, the museum site dedicated to the famous scrolls from Qumran had received one million visitors. The digitized manuscripts drew viewers from 210 countries, including Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

The objective of the Paris-based Google Cultural Institute is to make accessible to every Internet user documents from museums, archives, universities, and collections throughout the world.

See the site at

Entrance to the Visitor's Center at Qumran - Israel

Sign marking the caves where the scrolls were found

The cave where the scrolls were found

The first of the scrolls were found in this cave in 1947 by a pair of Bedouin boys. One of the lads was throwing rocks into the cave for sport, and he heard a crash. Upon investigating, he found jars filled with ancient parchments.

Chalk one up for the benefits of boyish restlessness and curiosity.

For the record, the scrolls -- untouched in their caves for about 2,000 years -- do a marvelous job of reinforcing just how wonderfully scribes and scriveners and copyists reproduced the texts of the Scriptures through the centuries.

Photos from my Holy Land pilgrimage in Lent of 2008

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Immaculate Conception

Declared a dogma December 8, 1854 by Pius IX

On this day, so dear to every Catholic heart, we celebrate first of all the moment when Almighty God, in a vision telescoping the ages, showed Mary both to our first parents and to the demon, as the Virgin Mother of the future divine Redeemer, the Woman destined to crush the proud head of the serpent. This episode is narrated in the first book of Scripture, Genesis chapter 3. We find Her again in the last canonical prophecy of the Bible, the Apocalypse or Revelation of Saint John the Apostle, as the Woman clothed with the sun, having on Her head a crown of twelve stars. In this beautiful vision She is also identified with the persecuted Apostolic Church, obliged to flee into the “desert”, and as the Mother of a great Head of that Church, destined to govern the flock of the latter times in the final combat, who like that flock is Her own Child. (chapter 12) Mary, like Her Son, is at the beginning and the end of all God’s intentions, an integral part of His designs for the Redemption of the human race.

Since by eternal decree She was exempted from all stain of original sin from the first moment of Her Creation, and was endowed with the richest treasures of grace and sanctity, it is fitting that we honor Her glorious prerogatives by this special feast of the Immaculate Conception. We should join in spirit with the Blessed in heaven and rejoice with our dear Mother, not only for Her own sake, but for ours, Her children, for we are partakers of Her glory and happiness. “The treasures of the mother are the heritage of the children,” said Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

We celebrate at the same time the ever-memorable day, the 8th of December of 1854, which raised the Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Lady from a pious belief to the dignity of a dogma of the infallible Church, causing a great and universal joy among the faithful. The Holy See had already permitted the feast day from the time of Sixtus IV, by his papal bull Cum Praecelsa (1477), formally allowing its celebration for all dioceses desiring it. In 1854, the ancient faith of the people in their Mother exulted.

Reflection: Let us repeat frequently these words applied by the Church to the Blessed Virgin: “Thou art all fair, O Mary! and there is no stain in Thee” (Cant. 4:7).

Sources: The Holy Bible: Old and New Testaments; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources, by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Love of the Father

The Catholic Faith began with a family -- Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The same Faith continues much as a family, which is why our parish priests are addressed as Fathers, and our religious men and women are addressed as Brothers and Sisters.

"Honor your father and your mother, that you may be long lived upon the land which the Lord your God will give you." - Exodus 20:12

"Call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven." - Matthew 23:9

We have a Father in Heaven, who suffers no rival -- "I am the Lord your God, mighty, jealous..." (Exodus 20:5)

To the extent we place something created in God's place and make that our primary frame of reference, we violate the admonition of Christ to call none on earth our father (cf. St. Matthew's Gospel above). That place is reserved for the Almighty.

To the extent we show honor and obedience for our parents and guardians and teachers and patrons and governors and officials, we exercise the virtue of justice, which is to render to a man all that is owed him. In so doing we practice suitable proportionate honor (cf. Exodus above).

Our goal is to have nothing in our soul contrary to the Divine will -- no undue attachment that would leave us subject to a creature or created thing, or that would cause us to act out of love for an inferior cause as if it were our chief purpose.