Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Download the St Gregory Hymnal

It's free, as the copyright has expired, and you can find it here in .pdf and here in MS Word format.
Your family rosary time will come alive when you add a song from the St Gregory Hymnal at the end. This is the old time music that our grandparents grew up with and know so well, solidly orthodox, and never dull. Enjoy, and drop a quick note in the comments box below if this is interesting to you.
Mac Users may not be able to unzip files, so just go here.
Thanks and happy singing.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Visit to Clear Creek, Continued

Last post I mentioned my family's drive down to Clear Creek Monastery, located in beautiful eastern Oklahoma. I hope to describe a little better our experience at the Monastery and guest house this time.
Apropos of this blog, today's mail included an unexpected jewel: a DVD from Clear Creek! It looks to be a sort of documentary, although I haven't seen it yet. I'll be watching it this weekend with the family all gathered for Thanksgiving. Notice to fund raising monasteries: give out free cd's and dvd's and you'll ALWAYS get lots of grateful donations! I really enjoyed the chant cd that was first sent us about 6 months back.
Anyway, the Mass and all other formal prayers are held in the crypt. My family went in for Vespers the first day as we had arrived in the afternoon. It is a very simple, slightly dark, cavernous room that is roughly split into thirds: the first third is for laypersons to attend, the second third holds the monks, and the final third has the main altar and further back another altar against the wall at the far end of the room.
After Vespers (and a very wiggly little boy on my lap) we walked outside. I want to say a little something about pro-life attitudes: these monks HAVE it! While my baby was quite often babbling away (he was almost 1 at the time of the trip) and making those baby noises that make parents nervous that everybody is focusing on them. The monks that we talked to were so excited to hold him and give him a ton of attention, naturally. There was nothing put on about it.
There was an evening Rosary lead by the caretaker in another building, and a few laypersons and two nuns (not sure which order they are) joined for our election. After that I returned to the lodge to do some spiritual reading before bed. The place was very quiet, and so dark you could see a lot of stars outside.
As you can tell, I can't really give justice to my visit, but I recommend anyone able to visit does so, and soon. How long will we have the ability to travel like we do now? It's important to support such intensely Catholic places such as Clear Creek.
Those interested in a removed, rural life can look into purchasing land in the area. Everyone has acreage! However, visit the monastery and make some contacts before going through an agent- you may get a much better deal.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Visit to Clear Creek

I recently took my family to Clear Creek Monastery for the first time, and I'd like to narrate a little bit of our experience there. Before I start, I'd like to say the obvious: if you can get there, do it!
We input the address of the monastery into our Tom-Tom device and drove from Illinois to Oklahoma over about three days. We attended a TLM in Des Moines in the crypt of St Anthony church, which felt like a church basement (in fairness, it is a church basement), where Msgr Chiodo said Mass and gave a very good homily on Charity. The church (upstairs) is pretty although a little barn-like. It would be nice to see the Latin Mass in the main church.
From Des Moines we headed to Kansas and visited some friends. After a night there we continued to Tulsa, which has an amazing number of large, old churches in about three square blocks downtown! Mass (OF) was about halfway through at the Catholic church, while the other churches were generally empty and locked (it was Monday).
Well, from there we found our way to the monastery, which we found through the help of St. Christopher and (likely) St. Benedict, as our Tom-Tom's coordinates were not quite right. There are signs posted which I initially ignored, but we found our way there. Clear Creek is in the middle of nowhere. I say that as a compliment, of course, because this is a monastery removed from the world, geographically and spiritually.
Everyone here is very friendly and welcoming. If you are used to a small town atmosphere it will be familiar. We talked to one or two monks initially who pointed us to the guest house where we could freshen up and unpack (contact them via mail before visiting if possible). The guest house is run by a family that lives on the property. They are warm, welcoming people and we felt right at home with them.

Part II will continue soon...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Thank you Archbishop Nienstedt

The Archbishop visited St Augustine's church in South Saint Paul this Sunday and was present at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. He also gave a sermon.

There is more at Father Z's blog, including pictures.

I hope the Archbishop returns soon to celebrate Mass. He was offered a spiritual bouquet which included quite a few prayers and Masses to be said for him. Pray for our bishops!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Single Issue Voter

I have been pretty persistent in my opposition to both political parties in the last year, and I continue to be so. A lot of questions arise in my mind as I sit and try and decide how to vote. But first, an anecdote from my mother in law.

She received a call from some polling company the other day, and after consenting to answer some basic questions (age, sex) she was asked, "Who will you vote for this November, Barack Obama, John McCain, or undecided?"

She answered, "is there another option? I'm not voting for either, and I'm not undecided." The woman on the other end seemed confused by this answer, answered in the negative, and then continued on to the next question. When my mother in law asked what she had put for her answer above, she said nothing. She then asked, "Did you put undecided?" she heard a click and was disconnected.

The pollster had inserted an answer for her. Folks, these public opinion polls are useless when the answers are fixed in such a way. I'm not against polling, but when the evening news scrolls up with 45% Obama, 45% McCain, what kind of scientific study is that? It's garbage, and stinks of the Delphi Method on a mass scale. Nevermind the 5% who want to vote Green party, 5% for Libertarian party, 5% Constitution party and whatever else is out there (I'm not endorsing these people, merely pointing to their existence).

Personally, I'm interested in many things libertarian leaning, although I'm always a Catholic first, so I'm a single issue voter when it comes to abortion. The thing is, I'm not convinced that McCain will stop abortion...although I'm convinced Obama will push for more abortion. That said, I'm actually at a quandary since the picking of Sarah Palin, the pro-life magnet for hateful liberals everywhere, who could actually become Commander in Chief someday. She's brought to the front the fact that many of the liberals in leadership are hateful people, NOT the bleeding hearts they pretend to be. This is good for naive college students to see, and realize that there is more to the Left than their propaganda advertises.

I can't tell you how to vote, but here's what I'd do: I live in an "Obama state", one that will most likely go blue this time around. My vote will go to Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution party. Sadly, a Baptist is a more decent person than most Catholic politicians. If you live in a red state or a highly contested state, you may feel the need to vote for McCain. So be it. If you live in a blue state like California, VOTE THIRD PARTY! Your "wasted" votes for McCain only will perpetuate the destructive two party system that has ruined our values through massive education increases, wars, financial castastrophies, and socialism.

If you vote third party, Constitution Party is good and pro life. I'm not sure about Bob Barr, the Libertarian party, although I think he is pro life. Nader and McGinney are pro-aborts and I don't think anybody should vote for them. I do think they should get the chance to debate and be on the ballot, if we pretend to be an actual democracy here in the U.S.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Constitution taking another thrashing

This legislation by our Treasury Secretary has some frightening verbiage.

Abortion is always the number one non negotiable issue for Catholics, but we best not forget about things like this, which give our government more power with nary a peep from us good citizens. We cannot ignore when officials work like this to destroy the value of the dollar, making us all poorer (except the well connected elite).

This is not a failure of capitalism, folks, it's a failure of the State. Pray for our politicians.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

An Article by Jeffrey Tucker

Here's a good article on Inside Catholic by Jeffrey Tucker, in relation to the markets and the damage that has been done to some of the most corrupt institutions on the planet.

There are a lot of good counterarguments against his analysis, but to those people I offer this: how do you expect an already corrupt government to impose new standards or stricter laws that will not simply further help the sycophantic who are clamoring to be a piece of whatever legislation is put forward? Invariably, it will be created to "help the people"; inevitably, it will fail and help the few and well connected.

Our politicians on both sides of the aisle are most corrupt. They need our prayers, not our votes.