Monday, April 30, 2012


Pro-Life Mandate in the Scriptures

"Deliver them that are led to death: and those that are drawn to death forbear not to deliver."

Proverbs 24:11

Teach Your Kids the Spiritual Works of Mercy

These windows came from St. Francis Hospital in Shakopee, Minnesota.  Would be nice to see similar windows in more churches constructed today.  The Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy must be taught to our youth, or they will be forgotten. 


Pontifex Maximus

Sunday, April 29, 2012

First US Catholic President with Pope

Less than two weeks after becoming pope, they meet formally in the Vatican. 

Sunday Reads

Yet another treasure available at Loome Books in Stillwater, Minnesota. 

The First Modern Pope

Pius XII's Birds

Yours truly has always waned a goldfinch named Gretel, like that of Pius XII. 

After the saintly Pontiff passed away, the birds and their cages ended up at the Pontifical North American College.

Example of Unique Altar Card Design

Leo the Lion!

Vatican Basilica

American Church Architecture

Church of St. Luke in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Once the wealthiest parish in the city.

Today, on the rocks; now under Jesuit leadership.  Even the name was recently changed. 

Pectoral Cross

The corpse is not on the pectoral cross, because we are to put ourselves on the cross. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

Image from the Internet.

Beacon of Light in America: Fr. Robert Altier

I have known him for twenty years.

Easily the very finest priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

And one of the very finest priests the Church in the New World has ever produced. 

A mystic.  Holiest guy I have ever come to know.  He has the diligence of prayer.  He is very good at being a priest.

In high school we saw him make his daily hour each morning in the crypt chapel of the Church of St. Agnes.  Such a witness it was to all of us high school students next door. 

He was my spiritual director and confessor.  I was his altar server.  Best confessor I ever had.  My penance was always the same: "Say one Hail Mary, VERY well." 

He taught me mental prayer.  No one else had ever explained to me how mental prayer works.

Best preacher I have ever heard anywhere on the planet earth.  And nicest guy.  He even came to my home a couple of times when I was in college to hang out with myself and some fellow seminarians.  Another time he came to bless the home. Always there for people. 

He has always been available to give counsel and this is very important for a priest with cura animarum.  And the best counsel he gave.  This is where he saved souls.  And many of the souls who came to him were more advanced in the spiritual life.  And he knew how to take this into consideration - where people were at.  

He helped me choose the right college.  He even taught a course I took in high school.  He was the most talented teacher on the staff at St. Agnes High School.  Everyone's favorite.  His daily Mass was at 6 am.  It was a comfort to know he was near.   

Can I sum him up in one word?  Yes, holy.  A second word?  Yes, wise.  I never once saw him angry, rude or mean.  He has made a lot of converts.  In fact, he has more converts under his belt than any parish priest I know. Just ask around. 

I made my first good confession as an adult to him in the mountains of Colorado in 1993 and I will forever be grateful to him.  Afterwards he shook my hand with a big smile.  He had just given one of the best sermons on Confession I have ever heard before or since and he gave me wise spiritual counsel that day.

Sadly, though, the good guys always suffer.  And they are quiet about it.  Just read the lives of the saints.  Misunderstandings come their way.  They are maligned, they are victims of calumny, they are falsely accused, blamed and lied about.  Priest AND victim.

But in this suffering lies their sanctification.  Suffering is necessary for sanctification.  Rev. and dear Father, thank you for all that you have given me.  In fact, I wish you a life of great suffering, because in that crucible you will find your sanctification.  Keep doing the Lord's work.  Your spiritual sons and daughters are many.

May God be praised for his saints!  

Extraordinary Form in Minnesota

 Church of St. Augustine with the saintly Fr. Robert Altier.

St. Paul, Minnesota.

Rome Quotes

"In the radicalism of the '60s liturgical abuses crossed over into acceptability.  When will this end?"

-Anonymous Pastor

FSSP Rome Pastor on 50th Anniversary of the Last Council

Friday, April 27, 2012

Gammarelli Vestments Seen in USA

Gift your pastor with a set.

St. Paul, Minnesota.

Catholic Culture: the Family Plot

Grandpa's father commissioned this, in the 1930s.  

Would like to add a cross to the front of it, above the name.

Every time yours truly visits family in the States, I make a visit here to pray.

St. Paul, Minnesota.

Tomb of Archbishop John Ireland

St. Paul, Minnesota.

Archbishop's Manse

The old residence of Archbishop John Ireland, on Portland Ave, in St. Paul, Minnesota.  This is not where Cardinal Pacelli slept in 1936 (that mansion, located at 233 Summit Avenue, has since been torn down; but at least they kept the bed).

Catholic Culture: Ancestral Home

The Sonnen family ancestral home located at 233 Sherburne Ave. in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Just across from Saxon Ford.  The Sonnens were merchants and the home was constructed in 1894.  In 1995 it was sold to a Hmong immigrant family.

Your Bulletin Board

Fierce fidelity to the Holy and Apostolic See of Peter the Roman.

Worship in the Manner of Your Ancestors


Superior General at the Council

Yours truly will always remember the time when as a teenager I found myself at the train station in Assisi waiting for one of the last trains to Rome.

It was late and seated were two Romanian sisters with an elderly Franciscan, this brilliant and saintly man.

He introduced himself as Fr. Basil Heiser, an American priest from Indiana who lived in Rome.

We chatted the whole way back.  Such a learning experience.  He first moved to Rome in the 1930s and at the time of the Council was the Superior General of the Conventual Friars Minor.  Therefore, he was at the Council for all four sessions in his official capacity as the superior general of a very large and venerable religious congregation. 

He was an eyewitness to history and had a lot to share.  God bless him.  He was in his nineties then.  He spoke of the great loss of tonsure.  We arrived in Rome and he got us a taxi at Termini.  Such a nice guy.  He invited us to visit XII Apostoli so that he could celebrate Holy Mass for us in Latin.

I love the holy priesthood of Jesus Christ.   I have been so formed by fine priests.  Rev. and dear Father, thank you for having taken the time to be nice, to say hello and to chat with me, just a kid.   You never know when you touch a soul.  Just light a match.

How to Hold a Chalice

 Worthy custom of the Latin rite.

The Latin Letter


Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Study of Papal Signatures

Enjoy.  It was difficult to collect these.  Interesting what a signature reveals about a person.  Which is your favorite?  What would your signature look like?

Giovanni Romanini

A pity they are no longer in business.  They had been purveyors to the popes from Pius VI.  There were once many such clerical tailor shops in Rome.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Art of Outdoor Statuary

St. Paul, Minnesota.


Ambrosian Rite

Write Your Dissertation on Clergy Dress


Gorgeous Papal Vestments

Outdoor Papal Throne


One of the smartest things I ever did was read the Council documents cover to cover. 

It then gives you a whole, more complete perspective.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Join the Mother of Annual Pilgrimages

Walk from Paris to Chartres this May and enjoy every minute of it:

Skyline of City of St. Paul

The city named after the Apostle to the Gentiles.

St. Paul, Minnesota.

Here, the Faith is more vibrant. 

Thanks be to God.

Church of St. Agnes Turns 100 (1912-2012)

One of a very few Baroque/Rococo church buildings on the continent. 

St. Paul, Minnesota.