Category Archives: Catholic

Lousiana & the Sons of St. Yves

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https://fsspx.news/en/news-events/news/st-pius-x%E2%80%99s-prayer-st-joseph-46592

An interesting story pertaining to my home, Lousiana. God bless those brave & heroic priests who sacrificed their lives to assure the salvation of souls.

Louisiana Is Proud of the Sons of St. Yves

The Catholic community of Shreveport in Louisiana is reviving the memory of five priests from Brittany who sacrificed their lives for their flock during a yellow fever outbreak in 1873.

An entire ocean lies between Louisiana and the diocese of Saint-Brieuc-et-Tréguier. In February 2019, a delegation led by Fr. Peter Mangum, administrator of the diocese of Shreveport, traveled to Brittany with the mission to trace back the history of five Breton priests.

Late in the summer of 1873, Louisiana was hit by the third largest yellow fever epidemic in its history: nearly a quarter of the population perished. Among the 1200 victims were five priests as well as two Sisters and a young novice of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross.

The five priests, François Le Vezouët, Isidore Quémerais, Louis Gergaud, Narcisse Le Biler and Jean Pierre, had been sent to the diocese of Natchitoches, that had been created in 1853 and would later become Shreveport. In a mostly Protestant city with a large Jewish community, they sacrificed their lives to care for the sick.

“When the epidemic struck, the Protestant pastors and the rabbis left the city. The Catholic priests stayed to take care of the sick, even though they knew they would be contaminated too,” explained Fr. Magnum to the newspaper La Croix on March 20, 2019.

“We did not know this surprising and beautiful story,” admitted Bishop Denis Moutel, bishop of Saint-Brieuc. But in Shreveport, that has become Louisiana’s third-largest city with a population of 200,000, the sacrifice of these five priests has not been forgotten: “There are magnificent stained-glass windows depicting them in one of our churches, but there are also paintings and blessed holy cards,” explained Fr. Mangum.

He hopes that for the 150th anniversary of the yellow fever outbreak in Shreveport, in 2023, the Vatican will recognize the heroic virtues of these five Breton priests, worthy sons of their patron, in whose honor a song from Tréguier recalls that “for the poor and those who suffer, there is no one kinder than St. Yves.”

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Great St. Joseph

 

I love this beautiful hymn to St. Joseph; it’s one of my favorites.

 

Great Saint Joseph, son of David,
Fosterfather of our Lord,
Spouse of Mary, ever virgin,
Keeping o’er them watch and ward:
In the stable thou didst guard them
With a father’s loving care;
Thou by God’s command didst save them
From the cruel Herod’s snare.

 

Three long days, in grief, in anguish,
With that mother sweet and mild,
Mary Virgin, didst thou wander,
Seeking her beloved Child.
In the temple thou didst find Him:
Oh, what joy then filled thy heart!
In thy sorrows, in thy gladness,
Grant us, Joseph, to have part.

 

Clasped in Jesus’ arms and Mary’s,
When death gently came at last,
Thy pure spirit, sweetly sighing,
From its earthly dwelling passed.
Dear Saint Joseph, by that passing
May our death be like to thine,
And with Jesus, Mary, Joseph,
May our souls forever shine.

The Confessional Seal under attack in California

 

A very alarming development that we are seeing more & more of nowadays. Check it out below.

https://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/confessional-seal-under-attack-california-45661

The seal of the confessional, an inviolable doctrine that directs priests to disclose nothing they learn from penitents in the Sacrament of Confession, is under attack in California. A proposed piece of legislation, known as SB 360, was introduced by state senator Jerry Hill of San Mateo:

 

While clergy are among the 46 professions designated in California as mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect, the state recognizes a special exemption for a cleric “who acquires knowledge or a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect during a penitential communication.”SB 360, if passed, would do away with this exemption, leaving Catholic priests and other Christian clergy who recognize the seal of the confessional in a precarious position. A priest who learns of potential abuse during Confession would be forced to choose between following the precepts of the Church or the dictates of secular law. A spokesman for the California Catholic Conference, responded to the bill by stating, “Getting the government in the confessional has nothing to do with protecting children and has everything to do with eroding the basic rights and liberties we have as Americans.”

The Church’s Law

While the seal of the confessional dates back to the early Church, Canon 21 of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 codified the doctrine as follows:

Let the priest absolutely beware that he does not by word or sign or by any manner whatever in any way betray the sinner: but if he should happen to need wiser counsel let him cautiously seek the same without any mention of person. For whoever shall dare to reveal a sin disclosed to him in the tribunal of penance we decree that he shall be not only deposed from the priestly office but that he shall also be sent into the confinement of a monastery to do perpetual penance.

Canon 6 of the Council of Trent reaffirmed this precept as follows:

If any one…saith, that the manner of confessing secretly to a priest alone, which the Church hath ever observed from the beginning, and doth observe, is alien from the institution and command of Christ, and is a human invention; let him be anathema.

Although the separated Eastern communions, such as the Orthodox Church, have not delineated the doctrine as precisely as the Catholic Church, they hold the seal of the confessional in principle as no less sacred. Indeed, an authoritative collection of Eastern canons, known as the Pedalion (or “Rudder”), states that a priest who disobeys the secrecy of the confessional is to be deposed.

Protecting the Seal

In times past there would be no question that a choice between ecclesiastical law and a contrary secular law is no choice at all. Catholics, either clerical or lay, cannot in “good conscience” turn their backs on the Church’s teachings and canons. As difficult as it may be, priests must uphold the confessional seal in order to protect the integrity of the Sacrament. If this means incurring civil penalties, be they fines or imprisonment, then so be it. To hold otherwise is tantamount to subordinating the Church’s teachings to the shifting whims of the secular state.

All hope is not lost, however. Catholics everywhere – not just in California – should make their voices heard by contacting members of the California state senate to voice their opposition to SB 360. While it is important, particularly at this time, for the Church to do everything in its power to the protection of children from abuse and neglect, undermining the seal of confession is out of the question. Unless this is made clear to California lawmakers, the rights of the Church will be compromised to the detriment of all the Faithful.

Ite ad Joseph

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“Ite ad Joseph.”  I’m sure we have all heard this line, given to us by St. Theresa of Avila who attests by her own life that anything we asked of St. Joseph we would receive, by virtue of His Fatherhood to Jesus Christ. Often we underestimate him; let’s ask his intercession more often.

https://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/month-st-joseph-triple-treasure-divine-providence-45632

I find in the Gospels three treasures entrusted by Divine Providence to the just man Joseph.

 

The first treasure entrusted to his care (in chronological order) was Mary’s holy virginity, that he was to preserve intact under the sacred veil of marriage, and that he always guarded as a sacred treasure that he was not allowed to touch.The second and most august was the person of Jesus Christ, whom the heavenly Father placed in his hands, that he might be as a father to this holy Child who could not have an earthly father.I also see a third treasure: Joseph is the custodian of the Eternal Father, for He told him His secret, the incarnation of His Son. St. Joseph was chosen, not only to guard Him, but also to hide Him.

How beloved you are of God, O incomparable Joseph, for Him to entrust these three great treasures to you, the virginity of Mary, the Person of His only-begotten Son, and the secret of His mystery!

– Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, First Panegyric of St. Joseph.

 

Doctrinal “development”

The Society’s response to the Pope’s doctrinal “development”:

https://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/no-death-doctrinal-crisis-40132

Earlier this month, on August 2, 2018, an amendment to the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) was published. The text, which purports to represent a “development” of the Church’s doctrine on the death penalty (capital punishment), was approved by Pope Francis on May 18, 2018.

Although liberal and some conservative Catholic commentators, theologians, and clerics have leapt at the opportunity to defend this “clarification” or “development,” the hard truth is that this new catechetical text appears to represent another in a series of ruptures with Tradition that has been a hallmark of Francis’s pontificate.

The New Text

The English-language translation of CCC No. 2267 now reads as follows:

The Death Penalty

2267. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.

Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”,1 and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.

A Closer Look

The first thing that will strike any reader of CCC No. 2267 is its apodictic decree “that ‘the death penalty is inadmissible’” and that the only support for this statement is from an address given by Pope Francis himself. This is not surprising since neither Francis nor the theologians housed at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith would be able to find firm magisterial support for this bold new position anywhere else. Even Francis’s near-immediate predecessor, John Paul II, who was an outspoken critic of the death penalty, never altered the CCC to teach that this form of punishment is “inadmissible.”

Second, the integration of the contestable concept of the “dignity of the person” (human dignity) is once again being used as an excuse to change doctrinal course. Less than a century ago, Pius XII declared that, “Even in the case of the death penalty the State does not dispose of the individual’s right to life. Rather public authority limits itself to depriving the offender of the good of life in expiation for his guilt, after he, through his crime, deprived himself of his own right to life” (Address to the First International Congress of Histopathology of the Nervous System (September 12, 1952). It is the individual who committed the crime, not the State, who has forfeited his “right to life”; now, under the guise of “human dignity,” apparently no man may do so, even of his own free volition.

Last, the next of CCC No. 2267 disrupts the continuity of the Church’s magisterium, as can be seen from two startling examples. Take first, for instance, the Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent, pt. III, 5, n. 4:

Far from being guilty of breaking this commandment [Thou shall not kill], such an execution of justice is precisely an act of obedience to it. For the purpose of the law is to protect and foster human life. This purpose is fulfilled when the legitimate authority of the State is exercised by taking the guilty lives of those who have taken innocent lives.

Next, look to the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, for his well-reasoned teaching on the admissibility of the death penalty in Summa Thelogiae, II, II, q. 64, art. 2:

Now every individual person is related to the entire society as a part to the whole. Therefore if a man be dangerous and infectious to the community, on account of some sin, it is praiseworthy and healthful that he be killed in order to safeguard the common good, since ‘a little leaven corrupteth the whole lump’ (1 Cor. 5:6).

Indeed, the death penalty may ultimately be for the good of the criminal’s soul (Summa Contra Gentiles, Book III, ch. 146):

They…have at that critical point of death the opportunity to be converted to God through repentance. And if they are so obstinate that even at the point of death their heart does not draw back from malice, it is possible to make a quite probable judgment that they would never come away from evil.

Implications beyond the Death Penalty Debate

Without ignoring the fact that there exists in the United States and throughout the world serious concerns over how the death penalty is administered and under which circumstances, the next text of CCC No. 2267 has larger implications. If the authorities in Rome can so boldly reverse what, for nearly two millennia, was a settled teaching, what else is subject to “development”? Is there a single statement contained in the CCC that cannot be revised in the “light of the Gospel,” a light now refracted through the prism of Modernism?

Equally crucial is the sense now given to the People of God that little which the Church teaches can be considered indefectible. Rather than being the “pillar and ground of the Truth,” the Church now appears for many to be a social organ whose promulgations and positions shift with the political winds. Not wishing to be out of step with the world, Catholicism comes across as increasingly mutable and her doctrines time-bound. Prior to the last century, did any Catholic prelate ever teach such a thing? Did anyone except the Church’s most virulent critics ever presume to hold that she is a historically contingent institution that self-consciously pronounces doctrines that can be gutted and revised so carelessly?

The doctrinal crisis in the Church continues and once again Pope Francis recklessly perpetuates it.

An encouraging story

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An encouraging story of one young lady who found Truth & accepted Him.

https://fsspx.news/en/news-events/news/mission-philippines-%E2%80%9Cwhy-so-many-wounds%E2%80%9D-39872

FSSPX.News offers its readers this story of a young girl – a second, 21st-century Josephine Bakhita in the making – who found refuge at the SSPX mission in the province of Sarangani and is now asking to be baptized.

Yet another miracle in this mission on the other side of the world that is only kept alive by the generosity of its benefactors:

Not everyone meets her older sister for the first time in her life and immediately decides to follow her although she is a complete stranger, but Mary Ann had no choice, for the young girl was no longer safe in the house where she had been placed, because of an ill-intentioned neighbor who continued to stalk her.

When she came to the mission, Mary Ann was very quiet. Her usual answer to simple questions was a smile, nothing more – a smile that hid worlds of suffering.

Four weeks later, on the first Friday of July 2018, Mary Ann helped clean the chapel. As she was dusting the pews and the little statues near the communion rail, her eyes were mysteriously drawn to the image of Christ on the Cross above the altar.

As soon as she was done cleaning, Mary Ann went to see the catechists with a pressing question: “Who is that suffering man and why does he have so many wounds?” She wanted an answer. Her silence was finally broken.

Mary Ann then told her whole story: her childhood in a faraway mountain village, a violent alcoholic father, how she was abandoned to the local Communist guerilla that brought her up.

Then the following years, the repeated attempts to intimidate her at school, a tutor who was too busy to take care of her. At the age of eleven, she still did not know how to read.

Her mother, who had abandoned her against her will when the Communist guerilla attacked, began to come to the SSPX mission in 2008 along with her brothers and sisters. The sad woman often mentioned a daughter she had had to leave behind; she often thought of going back to find her but died before she was able to do so.

When Mary Ann’s older sister did everything in her power to find her and bring her to the mission, the catechists saw that she had a thyroid problem.

To help her subscribe to a health insurance, the mission had to start by getting her a birth certificate. Isolated mountains had to be crossed in search of the girl’s father, so he could sign her birth certificate, all in vain, for he refused, disowning Mary Ann one last time in a way.

Since then, Mary Ann and her sister have often come to the attorney’s office to ask for help. Her sister is still only 17 years old, a year less than the legal age when she will be able to get her own health insurance for herself and her younger sister.

In August 2018, Mary Ann is living in peace with her older sister in the mission’s dormitory. She is learning to know the God Who suffered for her, and to understand that her soul’s wounds can be healed by the One Who died on the Cross so that she could have life.

Raising her eyes to Heaven, Mary Ann recently asked for the first time, “What do I need to do to be baptized?”

Pious zeal

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Be zealous, but always with love.

“But in order that the desired fruit may be derived from this apostolate and this zeal for teaching, and that Christ may be formed in all, be it remembered, Venerable Brethren, that no means is more efficacious than charity. ‘For the Lord is not in the earthquake’ (III Kings xix., II) – it is vain to hope to attract souls to God by a bitter zeal. On the contrary, harm is done more often than good by taunting men harshly with their faults, and reproving their vices with asperity. True the Apostle exhorted Timothy: ‘Accuse, beseech, rebuke,’ but he took care to add: ‘with all patience’ (II. Tim.iv., 2). Jesus has certainly left us examples of this. ‘Come to me,’ we find Him saying, ‘come to me all ye that labor and are burdened and I will refresh you’ (Matth. xi., 28). And by those that labor and are burdened he meant only those who are slaves of sin and error. What gentleness was that shown by the Divine Master! What tenderness, what compassion towards all kinds of misery! Isaias has marvelously described His heart in the words: ‘I will set my spirit upon him; he shall not contend, nor cry out; the bruised reed he will not break, he will not extinguish the smoking flax’ (Is. xlii., I, s.). This charity, ‘patient and kind’ (I. Cor. xiii., 4.), will extend itself also to those who are hostile to us and persecute us. ‘We are reviled,’ thus did St. Paul protest, ‘and we bless; we are persecuted and we suffer it; we are blasphemed and we entreat’ (I. Cor., iv., 12, s.).”   ~Pope St. Pius X –  “E Supremi”

“No sacrifice is more acceptable to God than zeal for souls.” ~Pope St. Gregory the Great
Prayer for the Propagation of Faith and Piety

Eternal Father, by Thy infinite mercy and by the infinite merits of thy divine Son Jesus, make Thyself known and loved by all souls, since it is Thy will that all should be saved. Gloria Patri.

Through the sacred mysteries of human redemption send, O Lord, laborers into thy harvest, and spare Thy people. Eternal Word incarnate, Redeemer of the human race, convert all souls to Thyself, since for them Thou wast obedient even to the death of the Cross. Gloria Patri.

Through the merits and intercession of Thy most holy Mother, and of all the Angels and Saints, send, O Lord, labourers into thy harvest, and spare thy people.

O Holy Spirit of God, by the infinite merits of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, diffuse Thy most ardent and all-powerful charity in all hearts, that there may be one Fold and one Shepherd throughout the world, and that all may come to sing thy divine mercies in Heaven for ever. Amen. Gloria Patri.

Queen of Apostles, and all ye Angels and Saints, pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest and spare his people, that we may all rejoice with Him and the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

Immaculate Mother of God, Queen of Apostles, I know that the divine precept, by which I am bound to love my neighbor as myself, obliges me to procure by every possible means not only my eternal salvation, but also that of my neighbor. But I confess that through my sins I am not worthy of the grace to labor effectually and constantly for the eternal salvation of my soul and of the souls of my relations and neighbors; much less am I worthy of the grace to promote good works and increase the means, both spiritual and temporal, of restoring Faith and rekindling charity among Catholics, and propagating the truth throughout the world.

Do thou then, O Mother, obtain for me this grace through the mercy of God and the infinite merits of Jesus Christ; and in union with the heavenly court and all the just, who are or will be in the Church of God, from henceforth I intend to offer these same merits of Jesus as a thanksgiving in anticipation of this grace obtained by thee for us and for all, as thou didst obtain it for the holy Apostles.

And so, I, N.N., trusting in thy powerful intercession, resolve from henceforth to use whatever I have from God of power, talents, learning, riches, position, health, sickness or sorrow, for the greater glory of God and the salvation of my soul, and that of my neighbor, more especially by working for the propagation of piety and the holy faith throughout the world. And when all other means to this end fail me, I will never cease to pray, that there may be one Fold and one Shepherd. By so doing I hope to reach paradise, there to enjoy the fruit of the Apostolate of Jesus Christ for all eternity. Amen.

Ave Maria thrice, Gloria Patri once.