Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A lifetime of joy: the remarkable Adriatic...



The beauty of Italy is of mythic proportions…and any bona fide member of the tourist club can enjoy it! I found myself here on the coast of Italy enjoying the moment on these sheets of rock with some cheerful Austrians. We discussed how just one man, Luther, on 1 November 1517 had published his Theses at Wittenbergy and within just three years he had torn Christendom asunder. Then we asked ourselves: “What can we do to stop this?”





Resort towns near Rome...


You never know who you might meet here. A friend of mine whom I've known for three years and who I sometimes see on the beach turned out to be a fashion model, Olga Shapoval!

Resort towns near Rome...


Resort towns near Rome...


To swim off the coast of Rome...


To hunt for octopus off the coast of Rome...


Lay forces for the papacy...


Count Enrico Galeazzi was a lay warrior for the papacy. He came to America in 1936. He was the Chief Architect of the Sacred Apostolic Palaces (of the Vatican City). May he pray for us!

Sorties in the sea off Rome: twin-engined tan...



Basking in the sea is great, but like circus elephants against their chains I avoid the sun. The signalman is always the voice of my mother from when I was a kid: “You can’t take more than one hour in the sun per day.” The gauges are my nose and shoulders. But when you’re bobbing in a trough of a huge wave in the churning aqua-green water you sometimes must think about nil and forget.

HQ: Quartier Generale MI.6 - Londra...


As you rightly surmise, this is the superspy MI 6 headquarters on the Thames in London! I was there for a short hiatus some time ago seeking employment (with the hope of just being an enduring hero). With the signature soundtrack album from Dr. No in my head, with its brass-and-percussion orchestrations, I approached the building knowing it would be a taut and thrilling adventure.

M, Q and Miss Moneypenny were eager to see how tactical I was. They spoke all about exotic weaponry and fine mechanical gadgetry, romantic liaisons of espionage, the evil villain and wicked henchmen, lovely foreign locales, the multi-purpose attach√© case, the wristwatch-style weapon, high-caliber firepower and of course the engaging musical score. Then, they asked me what I thought of all this? I replied: “Well I have a blessed St. Benedict medal.”

Next, they concluded with one final question that was not about the gadget-laden Aston Martin: “What would your secret code name be and why?” Thinking I needed to be like 00 with a bit of humor in the face of sure death, I had to concede: “Of course it would have to be “Orbis Catholicvs’ because that’s what everybody knows me by.”

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Where St. Thomas More died...

When you visit London you must make a pilgrimage here to Tower Hill where St. Thomas More died as well as to his tomb across the street in the Tower of London.

Where St. Thomas More died...


This is the site of the execution of the English martyr, St. Thomas More. He died on Tower Hill, just up and across from the Tower of London.

Tomb of St. Thomas More...

Here I am at the tomb of this great saint in London. It is an outrage, but the Protestants have never given him back and so he's buried in the crypt of the Anglican chapel at the Tower of London. This crypt is closed to the public and so one has to ask security if they can visit it and go just before closing time for a quick moment.

Tomb of St. Thomas More...


Read and know the life and writings of this knight, scholar, writer, statesman, Lord Chancellor of England and martyr for the Faith.

Thomas More's London...

After the visit to the tomb of St. Thomas More it was time for a ride on the River Thames just as the saint-martyr used to ride on the same river.

Faldstool in Rome...

Somebody asked me for a photo of a faldstool. I have four so here's a few. Italy has always had the lion's share of bishops and so you see lots of these chairs in Rome and elsewhere on the peninsula.

Faldstool in Orvieto...


Faldstool in Rome...

S.P.Q.R.

The Council Fathers: ghosts of Christmas past...

They say that almost every one of the Fathers of the II Vatican Council is now dead.

It's almost kind of funny because they all thought they were so "modern."

We're much more modern than any of them ever were (most of them were born in the 1800s!).

The processional banner...


I took this photo during the annual Corpus Domini procession in Rome. I always wished we'd see more processional banners like this back stateside (as well as the Legion of Mary: www.legion-of-mary.ie ).

Piovono preti...


See the Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri site here and it's even in Latin: http://www.fssp.org/ .

The altar boy...

In about 1988 my dad explained to me that it was time for me to serve at the altar. I had grown up in the choir loft with him, but at eight years of age I was graduating to the sanctuary - the holy of holies. He explaind to me that my first Mass would be on a Saturday afternoon. He vested me in the sacristy and told me that he, too, had done the same as well as my grandfather and great-grandfather. It was a proud moment and I still remember it.

Cardinal's Palace: the ultimate mantle...


You never know what you might find at an antique shop back stateside! Always look to rescue these treasures.

The Dominican friar under the Roman sun...



This Dominican friar works at the Vatican but lives at SS. Domenico e Sisto. He is a witness to the nations as the tourists, pilgrims and others see him atop the cobbles of Rome in the habit of the Order of Preachers.

Dominican friars in Rome...


“EXPECTING THE BRETHREN OF YOUR ORDER TO BE THE CHAMPIONS OF THE FAITH (PUGILES FIDEI) AND TRUE LIGHTS OF THE WORLD, WE CONFIRM YOUR ORDER.”

INNOCENT III: LETTER CONFIRMING THE ORDER (DEC. 22, 1216).

Nazis in Rome...


I took this photo at a car show near Rome. Reminded me of the film The Scarlet and the Black. It was the Catholic General Stahel of the Luftwaffe, commanding Rome under Field-Marshal Kesselring, who on Sept. 13, 1943 telephoned the Papal Governor of Vatican City to inform him that a formal boundary guard of khaki-clad Nazi paratroopers in battle dress would be set up with the famous broad white line they then had painted across the pavement from one side of the colonnade to the other.

From Rome: Christianized world for heaven...


For those who will die today…

O Most Merciful Jesus, Lover of Souls: I pray Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thy Immaculate Mother, cleanse in Thy blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their agony and are to die this day. Amen.

Heart of Jesus Agonizing, have mercy on the dying.

(With Ecclesiastical Approval)

The better cornerstone...

It is abundantly clear that this cornerstons is completely fitting. God bless the Maronites for doing it right.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Requiem: my godmother...


Yesterday my godmother passed away peacefully at her home. Please pray for her soul. She, Red (Mildred), was a saint. See: http://www.redshope.com/ .

At my baptism on Palm Sunday in 1979 she was my first voice of faith along with my godfather. May she be rewarded!

Nomine episcopali ex alunni...

The Capello Romano...


Here's the boss in the summertime (straw) capello Romano.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Another day in Italy: meet Elettra Marconi...


With a smile she says: "My dad invented the radio!" She is the lovely and sweet Elettra Marconi, daughter of the Marchese, Guglielmo Marconi.
She had been the darling of the Italian press in the 1930s. I asked where she had been born. "I was born in Civitavecchia...and I was baptized by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, future Pope Pius XII!"
When she was a little girl she was at the dedication of Vatican Radio, too, with Pope Pius XI. She's been everywhere and met everybody and she's a proud Catholic with the most charm in the world!

Me with la Principessa...

One never knows who they'll meet in Italy! Just six days before I shook the hand of Romano Prodi on the streets of Rome. Then, while in this resort town near Rome, I meet the Princess!

You can read of her life in this book:
"Marconi, My Beloved"
By Maria Cristina Marconi
Dante Univeristy Press, Boston

The Principessa is shown the radios...


Each of these many radios in the mostra exhibition are from the 1920s and '30s and they all still work and are part of a private collection!
Such another world, here, too. She's called by everyone "Principessa" and the guy in the tie is called by everyone "Generale" (retired, but still in charge of the protezione civile).

The hallowed oil base flag...


This is the beach of Santa Marinella, near Rome (a resort town about 70 km from the city). It's nice and not as crowded as Lido di Ostia.

La dolce vita...

God so placed Rome on the map that it is just within reach of some of the most lovely beaches.

Study Moral Theology here in Rome...


If your call is to study moral theology in Rome, then consider studying here at the Alfonsiana: www.alfonsiana.edu.

Rome Funeral Mass for Msgr. Richard Schuler...

This past month a Requiem Mass was sung in Rome for the soul of Monsignor Richard J. Schuler at the F.S.S.P. parish of San Gregorio dei Muratori (www.fsspinurbe.blogspot.com).

Monsignor Schuler, famed Church musician and liturgist of the twentieth century, passed away this past April 20th at the age of eighty-six. Please pray for his soul.

The pall-covered catafalque...


A coffin-shaped catafalque was set up with the monsignorial biretta and preaching stole for the Gregorian Requiem that was sung for Monsignor Richard J. Schuler. The celebrant, the famed Fr. Z, was a very dear friend of Monsignor Schuler(www.wdtprs.com/blog).

Physiognomy of the "Roman" rite...


This photo was taken of a priest in St. Peter's Basilica. In the past I've been asked (only by Americans) why lace is sometimes seen in Church - on altar linens, on albs, etc.?
The answer is simple: this is the Roman rite of the Roman Catholic Church and so there is this connection to mystical climate of Catholic Europe (to Rome). This Catholic Church, international, is much larger than our sometimes small American world.

Il Galero Rosso...


Somebody asked me for a photo of a galero and so here's one. This relic is located in the rooms of St. P. Neri at the Chiesa Navona in Rome.

The Pope and President...


I took this photo today of the top floor of the Apostolic Palace in the Città as the two most powerful men in the world met there together.
At that moment I had a strange thought: I wondered if the Christ had ever told Simon Peter in Galilee that some day the Ceasers would come to his home as visitors to honor him...

Hail to the Chief...


Just today the Chief was here in Rome and so we all waved to him as he passed from the Quirinale to the Vaticano. We did the same when he was here just three years ago for the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Rome by the Allied Vth Army, too.

Laura Bush and the joy of protocol...


This photo was just taken today in Rome. Nice to see the First Lady (a non-Catholic and an American!) wear a mantilla. Perhaps she can inspire our Catholic youth?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Altorilievos after a design by Matthew...



Many thanks to the capable and gifted Matthew from the Shrine (www.holywhapping.blogspot.com) for his stylistic prints for the new look in the sanctuary of this Catholic parish in Russia. His prints are faithfully appertaining to the simplicity and unity of the neo-Gothic styling. The worthy projection of figures, ornament, etc., from this authentic background in the holy of holies will last for the ages and serve to inspire countless Russian faithful.

Ad usum fabricae: to restore again...


Here we see Solemn Pontifical Mass being celebrated in the polygonal apse of the Catholic parish in the Russian city of Vladivostok just before the Soviet crush closed the parish. Miraculously, the church building survived and so did the cross - which at one point had been buried and lastly ended up in a museum - and just last month was finally returned to the sanctuary (see below) to the great joy and satisfaction of the local Catholic population.

The return of the prestigious cross...


Here's a little piece of history. This past May, for the first time since the Soviets closed this Catholic parish in the Far East of Russia so many years ago, the marble crucifix which survived the 1917 Revolution was placed back in the sancuary of this lovely little parish overlooking the Sea of Japan.
As one can see, much more work is yet to be carried out in the redecoration of the church. Faithful to the Gothic design, one can see the pillars again topped by capitals as well as the new brick wall (this way an ambulatory is being created behind the presbytery). Be a part of the this eager restoration today: www.vladmission.org .

Gothicus: embellished for the ages...


As one walks the width from one end of the transept or nave to the other one thinks of the many twentieth century martyrs who worshiped there. The Soviet epoch came and went while meanwhile, the same spires still soar and the same Latin cross layout remains and the faithful still crowd the three longitudinal naves en masse and worship in front of this Carara cross which survived the Revolution!

The Vatican Council on why the Tridentine Rite...


“Finally, in faithful obedience to tradition, the sacred Council declares that Holy Mother Church holds ALL lawfully recognized rites to be of EQUAL right and dignity; that she wishes to preserve THEM in the future and to foster them in EVERY way.”
-Sacrosanctum Concilium IV

Old Rome...


“Make the most of Rome. Do you see the dead corpse of that imperial city? What can be glorious in life, if such wealth and beauty has come to nothing? But who has stood firm in these wretched changes – what survives? The relics of the saints and the chair of the Fisherman.”
-Bl. Edmund Campion: Letter to Gregory Martin (16th cent.).

Give your kid a Latin name...

This lucky lady, born in the 1930s, sure was given a great name.

Foto di sampietrini in mostra da John...


The Romans call the cobbles "sampietrini." I’ve always wanted to put together a mostra fotografica dedicata all’aspetto culturale e romantico del sampietrino. Anyways, the sad news is that il comune procede: via i sampietrini dove passsano il bus. In other words, via i sampietrini da tutte le strade di scorrimento.