Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Mass Series

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Gift of Scripture

Joseph S. ["Spirit of Vatican II"] O'Leary posts the text of his talk given at Durham University, April 20. 2008 which begins,
In 2005 the Bishops of England and Wales produced a teaching document titled The Gift of Scripture (CTS). If you search for it on the internet you will not find the text but instead you will find it denounced on countless Catholic blogs...

Why don't we find the text online? The blurb for it said
...This document is offered to Catholics, to other Christians, and to all who value the 'gift of Scripture'...

but this appears to have meant offered for £3.95.

2007 a time of change for Milwaukee Archdiocese

Continuing a Spring cleaning of back issues, I came across this year in review in the January 3, 2008 issue of "our" Milwaukee Catholic Herald.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Despite fewer donors, CSA tops $7.6 million goal

Quite a few issues of "our" Milwaukee Catholic Herald have piled up on "my" my desk. In the December 6, 2007 issue Brian T. Olszewski reported on the results of last year's Catholic Stewardship Appeal. The Appeal's director, Robert Bohlmann, had announced it had exceeded its $7.6 million goal.
"Despite the fact that we're down 2,600 donors, I'm really inspired by that and encouraged, because I think it is an incredible achievement in light of the fact that we have had fewer people give," he told your Catholic Herald.

A couple of years back when Debra Lethlean was appointed director of development of our Archdiocese, she then attributed the decline in donors to the pedophilia crisis and the retirement of Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland (see this earlier post). A decline now might still indicate these two issues have not been addressed to people's satisfaction. On the other hand, if the number of donors declines to one, yet that gives a greater total, perhaps this will still be said to inspire and encourage.

No "Day of Silence" at Marquette University High School on April 25

The April 2008 newsletter of the Milwaukee chapter of Cathlics United for the Faith included this item.
A FALSE report that Marquette University High School is taking part in the national “Day of Silence” (DOS) has appeared on the internet. It is simply not true, nor has MUHS ever taken part in this activity in the past.

Decades ago Marquette students sometimes did affect an aversion which might be termed homofauxbia.
The DOS is sponsored by an activist homosexual group, and claims to show support for homosexual students. Many believe, however, it is a push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in our high schools. (Pius XI High School has supported the DOS in the past, and is reported to support this year’s effort. A phone call to the school was not returned.)

One of the student clubs at Pius is the Gay Straight Alliance. Marquette doesn't have an equivalent club listed, at least not explicitly.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jarman stunning as Giulietta in Florentine production

Elaine Schmidt in the April 27, 2008 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reviews last night's performance of Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi by the Florentine Opera Company.
Bellini's music, the apex of the bel canto (beautiful song) style of writing, is what gives this abbreviated telling of the story its passion and depth - that, and the fact that we know these characters before the curtain rises.

The part of Romeo was sung by mezzo-soprano Marianna Kulikova. Corliss Phillabaum's Program Notes inform us "The use of female singers for romantic heroes of the early 19th Century by composers such as Bellini and Rossini derived from a combination of traditions that were well-established before 1800." Perhaps drama departments offer courses in distinguishing when cross-dressed casting is traditional or avant-garde.

The production was dedicated to the memory of Dominic Frinzi who had long advocated for a Florentine production of a Bellini opera, but died earlier this year before he could see this one.

Also by Phillabaum, "For the Ear and the Eye: I Capuleti e i Montecchi on CD and DVD.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bill Moyers plays Whiffleball with the Rev. Wright

Karl at Protein Wisdom on yesterday's Bill Moyer's Journal interview of Rev. Jeremiah Wright
If Moyers had any journalistic integrity he might have gone beyond a bumper-sticker understanding of Black Liberation Theology and asked about the underlying Marxist frame work of liberation theologies in general.

(via Althouse)

Update: Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Rev. Wright's appearance at the National Press Club, Wright says criticism is attack on black church.
In a sermon days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Wright said "America's chickens are coming home to roost" after the United States. Asked what he meant by that, Wright challenged the reporter questioning him.

"Have you heard the whole sermon?" he responded. "No. You haven't heard the whole sermon. That nullifies that question."

Update: A vast Wright wing conspiracy? Amy Holmes suspected as much at The Corner, March 18, 2008, Obama's Pastor Plan.

(via KausFiles)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Dolan reportedly up for coveted N.Y. post

Tom Heinen reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on renewed speculation on who will succeed Cardinal Edward Egan as Archbishop of New York.
John Allen, a widely respected American author and journalist who covers the Vatican for the National Catholic Reporter, said Thursday in a telephone interview from Rome that "the two names that I hear talked about the most, kind of around the water cooler, would be [Archbishop] Tim Dolan of Milwaukee and (Archbishop) Wilton Gregory of Atlanta." But he also cautioned against putting stock in "the buzz meter," saying predictions of bishops' appointments often are wrong.


Others who Allen thinks will be considered include: Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Archbishop John Myers of Newark, N.J.; Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Conn.; and Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Walsh of New York.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Populist Shift Confronts the U.S. Catholic Church

by Fernanda Santos in The New York Times, April 20, 2008
As Pope Benedict XVI completes his visit to the United States on Sunday with a Mass at Yankee Stadium, in a borough that has been home to generations of Latinos, he does so facing something of a growing challenge to the church’s immigrant ranks.

For if Latinos are feeding the population of the church, many have also turned to Pentecostalism, a form of evangelical Christianity that stresses a personal, even visceral, connection with God.

The story cites the recent Pew survey as indicating 1.3 million Latinos in the U.S. have left the Catholic Church for Pentecostalism.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"Rembert Weakland - A Journey of Faith to Air"

As punctuated at the Archdiocese of Milwaukee website, a reminder for the March 29, 2002 rebroadcast of Mark Siegrist's public television documentary.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pope Delivers Yankee Mass

American Voices, at The Onion

Liturgy and Sacred Music

by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, delivered at the Eighth International Church Music Congress in Rome, November 17, 1985, subsequently published in Communio: International Catholic Review (Winter 1986, pp 377-390, translated from Italian by Stephen Wentworth Arndt), Adoremus, April 2008
In what has just been described, an all too widespread opinion today holds that so-called creativity, the action of all present, and the relationship of group members who know and address one another are the genuine categories of the conciliar understanding of the liturgy. Not only chaplains, but sometimes even bishops, have the feeling that they have not remained true to the Council when they pray everything as it is written in the Missal; at least one “creative” formula must be inserted, however banal it may be.

The evil of banality!
And the civil greeting of those present, with friendly wishes at the dismissal, has already become an obligatory ingredient of the sacred action which anyone would hardly dare to omit.

I've seen priests get so caught up in the opening monologue that they forget the opening Sign of the Cross, and so caught up in closing the show they forget the final blessing.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Hard-Liner With Soft Touch Reaches Out to U.S. Flock

Ian Fisher and Laurie Goodstein in The New York Times, April 13, 2008, describing the Church as Pope Benedict XVI would find it.
“Doctrinal purity would not be high on the list of 95 percent of U.S. Catholics,” said Sister Christine Schenck, executive director of FutureChurch, a coalition of Catholics who want the church to be more open to change. Rather, she said, American Catholics worry: “Is my parish going to stay open? Another is, ‘What about my adult children, for whom religion doesn’t mean anything?’ I’ve had parents tell me, ‘My child had 14 years of Catholic education and the church doesn’t connect with them.’ ”

If doctrine is regarded as unimportant, there's no reason to expect parishes to remain open, and no reason to be surprised if "Catholic education" leaves people unconnected.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

St. Alphonus Parish Council Minutes March 3, 2008

Posted on the bulletin board in the church foyer. You might recall our associate pastor is retiring and our pastor decided to do without a replacement rather than select from the "incompatible" younger priests available. In the previous month's minutes it sounded like there was to be only one regular fill-in priest. In these latest minutes in New Business is "Priest schedule".
Fr. Demene will be limited to Saturday only.

Assuming I'm interpreting this cryptic entry correctly, it sounds like instead of a full-time associate pastor there will be a priest to fill in on one day.

From the Lab to the Museum

Plastic people!
Oh, baby, now you're such a drag
--Frank Zappa

The Marquette University Alumni Association, Sunday April 20, 2008 at 1:00 PM
The College of Health Sciences and the Marquette Club of Milwaukee invite you to

From the Lab to the Museum: A private tour of Marquette's Clinical Anatomy Lab and Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS 1: The Original Exhibition of Real Human Bodies

with Opening Remarks by Dr. William Cullinan, Dean, College of Health Sciences

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has posted a BODY WORLDS Reflection Paper.
The BODY WORLDS exhibition opens human bodies and exposes the interior parts of those bodies, revealing the bodily interior of the matter; matter that even though is human it does not look human, but “plastic.”

Perhaps MU needs a department for such nonmaterial concerns.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Leadership needed to make a great Milwaukee

This opinion piece by James Casey in the April 20, 2008 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel includes this statistic.
In 1957 ... there were 10 homicides citywide.

The secret link: Sexual victimization came first

In this April 13, 2008 editorial, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said,
When what is abnormal becomes normal, harm soon follows.

Update: From another context,
But what is normal? The standard is constantly changing, and these socialites and celebrities are on the leading edge of that change.
--Ann Althouse


A Eulogy for WFB

Posted by Joe Malchow at Dartblog, April 11, 2008, Christopher Buckley's eulogy for his father, "Delivered on the occasion of the Memorial Mass for the Repose of the Soul of William F. Buckley Jr. on April 4, 2008, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral."
Pope Benedict will be saying Mass here in two weeks. I was told that the music at this Mass for my father would, in effect, be the dress rehearsal for the Pope’s. I think that would have pleased him, though doubtless he’d have preferred it to be the other way around.

And for us "medium air rated" sailors of warm inland lakes,
He was — inarguably — a great man. This is, from a son’s perspective, a mixed blessing, because it means having to share him with the wide world. It was often a very mixed blessing when you were out sailing with him. Great men always have too much canvas up. And great men set out from port in conditions that keep lesser men — such as myself — safe and snug on shore.

(via Todd Zywicki at The Volokh Conspiracy)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Between Medieval And Folk, Two Mass Audiences

In connection with Pope Benedict XVI's visit, Hank Stuever reports in the Washington Post, April 16, 2008.
"You know, just today I received a publication from a mainline Catholic music organization, and there are aspects of it that seem like the musical version of the AARP quarterly, if you know what I mean," says Jeffrey Tucker, 44, a choir director who lives in Auburn, Ala., and is the managing editor of Sacred Music, a journal of the Church Music Association of America. "There is no question that we are talking about a generational issue here. The young priests and the young people just can't seem to get 'hep' to the whole 1970s thing, and the old people just don't understand why."

I'd be exaggerrating if I said that the audience at meetings of progressive Catholic organizations seems to be made up entirely of people born when Pius XII was Pope. For some of them, it looks like it was Pius XI.
Tucker encounters this all the time, and blogs about it frequently. At a recent conference, a jazz pianist confided to Tucker that he'd been playing at church, but there was a new, young pastor who had taken over and "he said, 'You know what that means.' [And] I said, 'Well, I'm not entirely sure.' So he added, surprised that he would have to clarify, 'That means he wants Gregorian chant!' " In one of his many blog posts at New Liturgical Movement, Tucker characterized most Catholic church parishes as ruled by a "hard-core" group that "is fanatically attached to music of the 1970s and fears even the slightest hint of solemnity, warning darkly that the new priest is going to take the parish into a new Dark Age."

My pastor at St. Al's (seminary class of 1970) talks like that, warning in a homily against clinging to the past, while in a windowless concrete amphitheater "worship space" hung with cloth banners.

(via M.Z. Hemingway at Get Religion)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Trust must be regained, pope tells bishops

McClatchy News Service, Washington Post, reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. While he spoke on other issues, those were overshadowed by the clerical sexual abuse scandal.
"Many of you have spoken to me of the enormous pain that your communities have suffered when clerics have betrayed their priestly obligations and duties by such gravely immoral behavior," the pope said in an address to the nation's bishops at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. "It is your God-given responsibility as pastors to bind up the wounds caused by every breach of trust, to foster healing, to promote reconciliation and to reach out with loving concern to those so seriously wronged."

For if a bishop fails in that responsibility, he runs the risk of bad press until he reaches the mandatory retirement age. The article then goes back to the White House welcoming ceremony, where our Pope addressed some other issues. The article quotes him most extensively on the scandal. It also gives some background.
Benedict's trip is the first visit by a pope to the U.S. since the sex abuse scandal erupted six years ago in Boston, where a judge released documents from civil lawsuits showing that Cardinal Bernard Law and his subordinate bishops had knowingly shuffled pedophile priests from parish to parish without notifying parishioners or even pastors. Law resigned as Boston's archbishop in the scandal's wake but remains a cardinal, posted in Rome.

As the saying goes, over there so not over here.

Update: Mark Stricherz at Get Religion, B16: Adding angles to the pope’s visit and B16: The seventh storyline — sex abuse.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

'Titanic' tickets go on sale soon

Jackie Loohauis-Bennett and Steve Schultze report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Tickets will go on sale July 19 for "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit," a major touring exhibit opening Oct. 10 at the Milwaukee Public Museum, 800 W. Wells St.

Not listed, but perhaps included is the April 16, 1912 issue of The Onion with its headline story World's Largest Metaphor Hits Ice-berg.
At 4:23 a.m. Greenwich Standard Time, the following message was received from the rescue ship Carpathia:

Titanic struck by icy representation of nature's supremacy STOP insufficient lifeboats due to pompous certainty in man's infallibility STOP Microcosm of larger society STOP

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pope: 'Ashamed' of clergy abuse scandal

The Associated Press reports via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that in route to the U.S. Pope Benedict XVI responded to questions submitted in advance by reporters. In answer to one such question, he said,
"It is a great suffering for the church in the United States and for the Church in general and for me personally that this could happen," Benedict said. "It is difficult for me to understand how it was possible that priests betray in this way their mission ... to these children.

"I am deeply ashamed and we will do what is possible so this cannot happen again in the future," the pope said.

We will see if later reports and statements include the words "bishop" or "bishops".

P.S. As the story gets longer, there's eventually a mention of other issues such as the Iraq war. That's the mention, "the Iraq war". Might serve as a homiletic object lesson on how mishandling one issue can wipe out your life's work on another, or even all others. Might, unless the real lesson is that keeping one's position is more important than all other considerations put together.

Update: State Catholics travel to see pope: Church leaders to participate in Benedict's first U.S. visit, by Diana Marrero and Tom Heinen in the April 16, 2008 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Monday, April 14, 2008

Send lawyers, guns and Cheney

Andy Borowitz at The Huffington Post,
Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press, Vice President Dick Cheney said that a hunting contest between him and the New York senator was "the only way" to determine whether Sen. Clinton's [J.D. Yale 1973] tales of her gun prowess were for real.

The Vice-President is 1-0 in such contests.

(via Dad29)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cling Along with Barack

I used to think working class voters had conservative values because they were bitter about their economic circumstances--welfare and immigrants were "scapegoats," part of the false consciousness that would disappear when everyone was guaranteed a good job at good wages. Then I left college. ...
--Mickey Kaus

Friday, April 11, 2008

Seven New Deadly Sins: Suitably updated

P.J. O'Rourke at The Weekly Standard, April 14, 2008, considers the seven new deadly sins suggested by Bishop Gianfranco Girotti of the Vatican's Apostolic Penitentiary.
Still, one takes the bishop's point. A deadly sins addendum is long overdue. Life has changed since Pope Gregory the Great scribbled his initial list in the sixth century. For one thing modern society has turned Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Sloth, and Greed into virtues: building self-esteem, dreaming your dream, exercising gourmet tastes, having satisfying sex for life, speaking truth to power, being relaxed and centered. And Gordon Gekko said it all about greed.

Unfortunately Bishop Girotti's late-model sins make as little sense as a Jeremiah Wright sermon. They have no gravitas. Imagine the reaction in the confessional when you say, "Father, I have littered." Plus the supplementary desecrations lack a certain flair. The beauty of Pope Gregory's lineup was that he nailed our most devilish villainies with one word each.

So Mr. O'Rourke has a go at it.

(via Arts & Letters Daily)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Kames was 'Chicken Dance' king

Amy Rabideau Silvers reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on the death of Bob Kames,
the man credited with the modern-day version of "Dance Little Bird," better known as "The Chicken Dance."

On its origins, see this earlier post.

Here it is at the farewell fiesta on our mission trip to the Guadalupe Homes orphanage in Santa Apolonia, Guatemala, April 20, 2007.

Sorry, your browser doesn't support the embedding of multimedia.

Broken borders

At KausFiles, April 8, 2008 5:02 P.M.
L.A.'s Special Order 40--a "sanctuary" rule that has been interpreted to prevent police officers from asking even known, previously deported gang members about their immigration status--comes under attack from African American victms of crime. Touchy issue for Dems! Jill Stewart notes the discomfort. ... P.S.: The city's much-admired police chief William Bratton made his name in New York proving the efficacy of the "broken windows" theory--the idea that cracking down on minor crimes reduces major crime. Isn't entering the country illegally a "broken window"? ...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cognitive dissonance

That term has often come to mind at St. Al's. For example, we're often told the choir isn't entertainment, but a recent Mass with the children's choir ended with calls for applause for them, then for their director, and then for the cantor.

But it still hasn't gotten to the point of this Alleluia, via Diogenes at Off the Record.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Los Hogares

Now even the Guatamalan orphanage we've been visiting with mission groups from our parish has a blog.

Schlitz puts a new spin on an old recipe

Tom Daykin reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Schlitz beer is back in bottles. It will be brewed by Miller under a contract with Pabst. Pabst no longer brews but owns various brands. Those brands include those it bought from Stroh's, which incuded Schlitz.
By the 1950s, it [Schlitz] was the nation's largest brewer, with additional breweries outside Wisconsin. But in the '60s and '70s, Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co. did some things that affected the beer's taste.

In 1967, Schlitz patented a process that accelerated fermentation, according to the book "Breweries of Wisconsin" by Jerry Apps. That was followed by apparent changes in ingredients, including a different type of barley and the use of corn instead of barley, Apps wrote.

Drinkers noticed and turned away, said John Gurda, Milwaukee historian and author.

"That stuff was undrinkable in the '70s," Gurda said. "It had a very pronounced chemical taste."

As I recall, it was the only beer that could give you a headache while you were drinking it. The bottled Schlitz will be brewed using the formula from before those changes. (The article says a slightly different formula is used for Schlitz in cans.) Looks like Schlitz still won't be available, as it's signage would say, "on draught".

P.S. Belated happy Beer Day.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


... people who knew merely that "Voltaire" is a pen-name might delight in the fact that it is self-descriptive: Arouet knew himself as a man of intellectual volts, quick turns... --Eva Brann, Yin and Yang, Claremont Review of Books, Summer 2008, review of Dualisms: The Agons of the Modern World, by Ricardo J. Quinones

Recommended reading:
by Voltaire at Reading Rat

Criticism (articles, essays, reviews): Fire and brimstone, review of The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin and Reason in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 by Nicholas Shrady, The Economist, April 3, 2008

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Executive Outlook Express

Number 170 in the General Motors Death Watch series, by Robert Farago, March 31, 2008
the automaker’s attitude reminds me of nothing so much as my local, all-powerful teacher’s union.

Like the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals, GM’s upper management truly believes that everything they do is for the greater good. Their real mission: consolidate their power; protecting jobs is job one. Though both groups pay lip service to the "end user," neither is willing to live or die by any qualitative metric. And both depend on PR and spin for their survival, without any real understanding that their actions--and inaction--create an unending stream of mediocrity.

If so, it might be common to some other organizations, as well.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What Howard Said (Then)

The real issue is this: Who would you rather have in charge of the defense of the United States of America, a group of people who never served a day overseas in their life, or a guy who served his country honorably...?
--Howard Dean, The Washington Post, March 25, 2004

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Eleventh Plague on Egypt

At Orthometer,
Little known Biblical Fact: If killing the First Born didn't work, God would have made the Egyptians break into small groups and share.

(via Dad29)

The Stooge Gene

Lisa Jensen explored the y-chromosome in her column in Good Times, September 2005
When I was a kid, old Three Stooges shorts from the '30s and '40s were played constantly on TV in syndication. Entire new generations of kids were exposed to Larry, Moe, and Curly bashing each other upside the head, poking each other in the eyes, and hitting each other with hammers, two-by-fours, and bowling pins. Documenting the reaction of little kids could launch a thousand doctoral theses in behavioral psychology. In a nutshell: girls hate the Stooges, and boys love them.