The World’s Greatest Need is Great Men – Bishop Sheen

Everyday we hear people, especially young people, lament about what career they will go into.  They talk about colleges and degrees and student loans.  These conversations are a sign of bad things.  When our society focuses more on secular degrees, and what they can do in this world, rather than how they can serve God, society is lost.  We seem to be almost there.

The world has enough doctors and lawyer and bankers.  The world does not have enough living saints.  What the world needs are more good men; Good holy Catholic men that will live their faith as a witness for those around them and for their families.  This is the bedrock upon which a good society is built and, most importantly, how people get to spend eternity with their creator.

The quote below from Bishop Sheen says it perfectly.


The World’s Greatest Need: Men of Greatness

29 April 2015

There is a famine abroad on the earth, a famine not of bread, for we have had too much of that and our luxury has made us forget God; a famine not of gold, for the glitter of so much of that has blinded us to the meaning of the twinkle of the stars; but a famine of a more serious kind, and one which threatens nearly every country in the world – the famine of really great men. In other words, the world today is suffering from a terrible nemesis of mediocrity. We are dying of ordinariness; we are perishing from our pettiness.

The world’s greatest need is great men, someone who will understand that there is no greater conquest than victory over oneself; someone who will realize that the real worth is achieved, not so much by activity, as by silence; someone who will seek the Kingdom of God and His justice, and put into actual practice the law that it is only by dying to the life of the body that we ever live to the life of the spirit; someone who will brave the taunts of a Good Friday to win the joy of Easter Sunday; who will, like a lightning-flash, burn away the bonds of feeble interests which tie down our energies to the world; who, with a fearless voice, like John the Baptist, will arouse our enfeebled nature out of the sleek dream of unheroic repose; who will gain victories, not by stepping down from the Cross and compromising with the world, but who will suffer in order to conquer the world.

In a word, what we need are saints, for saints are the truly great men. … I assume without further ado that the grace of God is the one thing necessary, and that God will give that grace to those who do His will.

Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, The World’s Greatest Need (Address delivered January 31, 1932)

Why I like the Traditional Latin Mass – A Testimonial

The Latin Mass changes lives, changes parishes and changes communities for the better.  The evidence is everywhere, from the increase in vocations to the increase in the faith, at a parish where a weekly Latin Mass is instituted on a Sunday morning.  Can a Priest that reads the testimonial below explain to us why they refuse to learn the Latin Mass when it is helping their flock become better Catholics?


Why I like the Traditional Latin Mass

by Mrs. Mollie Garcia

I’d like to preface my remarks with this comment.  Alan has asked me to speak a few words on -what the Traditional Latin Mass means to me.  My comments are obviously subjective and there are doubtless others who favor the NO as their preference.  We have a choice of liturgy and I respect their preference; I hope that they will tolerate mine.

Silence, Reverence, Dignity, Unity

These words sum up my experience of the Latin Mass and why I am drawn to it.

When we first began attending the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form, Tridentine Mass, Mass of St.Gregory the Great), almost 10 years ago, the first thing we felt was out of place.  Like most newcomers, we were very aware of our failure to understand what was happening.  This of course was not due to the Mass, but to our own failure.  But something else made us uncomfortable:  the silence.   Everyone, even the children, were so quiet.   We were accustomed to a steady stream of sound and activity at the Novus Ordo. The silence of the tlm was a shock to us.

The ability or desire to tolerate the commotion at an average Novus Ordo Mass prompted one priest in this diocese  to cite some sort of “study” that alleged that the attendees of the Latin Mass were the “liturgical autistics” of the Church, incapable of dealing with the multiple activities of the Novus Ordo. This is quite offensive and also untrue.  I find the ceaseless chatter and activity burdensome, trapping my soul on earth rather than freeing it and lifting it to heaven.

I grew up a child of Vatican II; all the novelties that developed, from bongos to liturgical dancing,  were “normal” to me, as I knew no differently.  As I grew into an adult, however, I found the novelties tiresome, and the attempts to be “relevant” insulting.  I did not need dumbed-down translations in order for me to understand; I did not need the penitential language removed in order for my self esteem to remain intact; I did not need hackneyed contemporary melodies to make the Mass seem fresh; I did not need a priest to be hip and witty in order to relate to him.  I needed to worship God.

While a solemnly celebrated Novus Ordo as Vatican II intended is beautiful, the Traditional Latin Mass appeals to me on a deeper spiritual level.  It allows me to find God in silence that is holy, language that is noble, music that is uplifting, and in a priesthood that is set apart.  I can participate in the Mass more fully thru silent meditation than I can thru sense-jarring sound and activity.  I can worship God more as He deserves.

At the Old Mass, you are enveloped in a reverent silence as soon as you enter the church.   There is a total absence of frivolous chattering, laughing, and social activity which would imply a total lack of awareness of the Real Presence of Christ in the Tabernacle.  Instead, there is only the silence of preparation for Mass.  Each soul is quietly approaching God, praising Him, asking His pardon, or simply being in His presence.  To do this, silence is essential.   The interior of a church before a Latin Mass makes very real the fact that we are in a sanctuary, a place apart from the world, a place to meet God.  This is no occasion for mundane social exchange.

The most holy, awesome of silences is found during the canon of the Mass when the priest recites the prayers of consecration in an inaudible voice.  This quiet reminds us that we are truly at the foot of the Cross.  This moment when Christ comes down to our altars cannot be polluted with loud, hurried words and musical intrusion.  As one priest friend puts it:  “This is an earth shattering moment.”  Let all mortal flesh keep silent.

The traditional Latin Mass has taught us that real participation at Mass does not mean external activity; genuine participation is interior and requires silence.  Just as an athlete, or scientist, or student needs quiet to prepare, work, and study, in order to focus fully on the task at hand, so do we need silence to focus fully on God and our presence before Him.  This is hard work.

But this hard work bears great fruit.  In this silence we achieved as never before a deeper understanding of both forms of the Mass.  Until now we had recited the well-known prayers of the Ordinary Form, but had never really prayed them.  We were more passive spectators watching a performance than participants actively worshiping God.

But through the Extraordinary Form, we became aware of our very real presence before God and saw clearly the need, the obligation, for the utmost reverence and attention.  We learned to follow the prayers of the Old Mass in our missals and made them our own as we truly prayed the Mass.  This new, more real participation has enabled us to do the same at the new Mass as well.

I once read that “Words are fundamental to Catholicism: Christ is the Word, the Gospel is words, the Consecration is effected through words.” The prayers of the ancient liturgy use words of the highest reverence worthy of addressing God. They are full of humble, penitential language, acknowledging our unworthiness before God. The language is noble, devout, and full of awe.

Of course, these prayers are in Latin.  Many who do not attend the Old Mass believe the use of Latin to be the main reason some of us prefer the ancient rite.  This is not so.  But the use of Latin is significant.   This “dead” language provides an integrity which binds and unifies us today with those all around the world who celebrate in the extraordinary form, regardless of language, and with all who went before:  we are participating in the exact same liturgy as almost all known saints, from Aquinas to Xavier.  This is our inheritance!  And precisely because it is a dead language, Latin adds to the timelessness of the Mass; the need for constant revisions and translations becomes unnecessary as there is no “development” of language—and this is a good thing, since too often in history, the alteration of a few simple words has lead to heresy.

But it is not just the language that is important.  Every gesture of the priest expresses ultimate respect and awareness of God and the Sacrifice being offered on the altar.  Every action is deliberate and purposeful—there is no variation, and no superfluous activity (even from the altar boys).  This lack of individual expression, as well as the ad orientem posture, frees the priest and allows him to become anonymous, or better, to become alter Christus, another Christ.  Christ offers Himself as our Sacrifice, He does not entertain us.

This is liberating.  The rigor of the rubrics, rather than being onerous to the priest, frees him from the burden of own ego:  there is no need for him to amuse, host or otherwise divert the attention of the worshippers from the Sacrifice of the Mass.

The unvarying nature of the rubrics prevents any decline into play-acting or vanity-a very real temptation for all of us when we seem to be the center of attention.  The dignity of the rubrics and the anonymity of the priest keeps our focus on the Sacrifice and Its importance.  The very clear separation of priest from laity, marked by the presence of the altar rail and the absence of laymen in the sanctuary, helps us to see the priest for who he truly is:  Christ’s chosen one, set apart, here to intercede for us. Since attending the Latin Mass, we have learned to have more respect for the priest as we came to better appreciate the distinction and honor of the priestly office.

On a final note, at the request of my 20 year old daughter,  I’d like to address the wider appeal of the Old Mass.  The Extraordinary Form is not simply for my parents’ generation—my family is an example of that.  In fact, just in the short time we’ve attended the Latin Mass at Immaculate Conception, Jacksonville, FL. we have seen not only the number of people who attend double (at least), but the demographics are changing, too.  Yes, there are still many of that older generation for whom this Mass is the liturgy of their childhood, but more and more young families and single, college-aged or 20-somethings (generation Xers?) attend.  And they attend for some of same reasons I’ve talked about to night.  Namely, they are tired of liturgical experimentation and long for something deeper.  If our small, downtown parish with an inconvenient, early morning Latin Mass can grow like this, imagine the benefit of being in a large, spiritually vibrant parish like St. Joe’s!  Because of the kindness and generosity of Fr. Cody, there is so much richness in this community, so many good things and good people;  having the Old Mass here would only add to that.  Many Catholics, of all backgrounds and liturgical preferences, will find refuge at St. Joseph’s.

The Latin Mass is part of our heritage and culture as Catholics.  We cannot look at it as something foreign or alien to us.  We are blessed to have a choice of liturgy and we must not show hostility towards one or the other.   I am drawn to it because I see it as truly catholic in every sense of the word.  It is universally catholic, historically catholic, liturgically catholic and unmistakably Catholic.  It affects me at soul-level.  When I attended my first Latin Mass, my soul leapt and said “YES! I am home!”

Catholicism is the Truth. Here is Further Evidence.

Thank God for the Catholic faith and the peace it provides to us humans as we traverse this valley of tears. The story below of an event in American history shows how the truths of the Catholic Church are meant to be known by all races and shared by all race. As it states in the story below, we know that “truth does not change; it is only forgotten from one generation to the next.” Our generation has sadly lost the knowledge of this truth. We have to bring it back to society brick by brick.


A New Light on a Tragic Tale in American History

A friend once lent me a book that I wish everyone else could read. Unfortunately it is not readily available. In fact, it has been out of print for almost 120 years. It is the memoir of Monsignor Augustin Ravoux, who served as a priest in Minnesota before the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis even existed. It is an inspiring and thrilling account of the trials and triumphs of a remarkable priest, who was born in France in 1815, and found himself assigned to Mendota in 1842. His “little flock” was spread along the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers. They spoke English, French, Sioux and Chippewa. He worked with Fr. Galtier who had built the first chapel in St. Paul in 1841. He welcomed the first bishop of St. Paul, Joseph Cretin, in 1851, and upon Bishop Cretin’s death in 1857, he was the administrator for the diocese until the next bishop was appointed, and he assisted in the building of Minnesota’s first Cathedral.

Msgr Augustin Ravoux

He describes his life as a frontier priest with rich understatement: “Though ever pleased with the mission entrusted to my care by Divine Providence, the path I had to walk in was not always strewn with flowers.” Msgr. Ravoux faced difficulties we cannot imagine. There were no developed roads, and he nearly drowned in the Mississippi on a trip to Dubuque, and nearly died of thirst crossing the prairies to Ft. Pierre. In the early years, the Chippewa and the Sioux were at war with each other, and Msgr. Ravoux had to find a way to minister to both tribes without alienating the other. He witnessed firsthand, the horrific tortures that the Sioux inflicted on their own people as part of their native religious practices, and worked hard to convince them that these practices were truly evil, including a few instances of human sacrifice. The Sioux for the most part were not very responsive to his missionary efforts.

On the other hand, some things he talks about sound very familiar: teaching and defending the Catholic faith among “atheists, infidels, Protestants, and bad Catholics.” His arguments about faith and reason, the Catholic foundation of Scripture, the intercessory powers of Mary and the saints sound no different from those we use today. Truth does not change; it is only forgotten from one generation to the next.

The most fascinating episode in the book, however, is an account of an infamous historical event – but with a surprising perspective that I certainly never learned in school.

On December 26, 1862, the largest mass execution in the history of the United States took place in Mankato. 38 Sioux were hanged for brutally murdering white settlers during the Dakota Sioux Uprising earlier that year. The Sioux had killed almost 800 settlers in an attempt to drive the rest of them out of the Minnesota territory. While controversy continues to swirl around both the causes of the uprising and the subsequent events, there was one thing I never knew until I read this book:  33 of the 38 men who were executed had been received into the Catholic Church the day before. The priest who baptized them was Msgr. Ravoux.

When the Sioux were given their death sentence, the colonel at the prison told them to choose the spiritual adviser they thought fit. They could follow their own native rituals in preparing for death, or seek out the two Protestant ministers who were present or the one Catholic priest, Father Ravoux. The two Protestant ministers knew the Sioux language perfectly, having ministered among them steadily for 25 years, whereas it had been 18 years since Msgr. Ravoux had last devoted any missionary effort to the Sioux, with whom he had never experienced much success. And since there were so few priests in the area, he had spent all of his recent years serving the Catholic settlers.

To his and everyone else’s surprise, all but five of the condemned men chose the “black robe” (as Catholic priests were known).  Msgr. Ravoux then spent the next four days with them instructing them in the essentials of the Catholic faith: creation, the Fall, the Trinity, the Incarnation, the redemption of the world through the Cross, Heaven, Hell, Death, Judgment. They learned the sign of the Cross, the Apostle’s Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Act of Contrition. “The piety with which they followed these exercises filled my heart with consolation,” writes Msgr. Ravoux. “I can say without hesitation that divine grace overflowed their souls; for it alone could have wrought such a change.” This pioneer priest, who had experienced much death and suffering and hardship in his time, was no soft touch, but he was deeply moved by the transformation he witnessed in these men. It was all he could do to maintain his composure when he ministered to them; but when he was alone “the tears flowed abundantly from my eyes.”

Three of the Sioux had chosen to be baptized as Presbyterians, and only two retained their native beliefs. The newly baptized Catholics spent their last night on earth sleeping peacefully. Those who clung to their traditional religion paced the floor in nervous agony till dawn. In the morning, Msgr. Ravoux spent a final hour of prayer with the 33 new Catholics (whom he also called his “little flock”), then he watched them mount the scaffold without any sign of fear, “without a murmur of resistance…animated with great hope for the future.”

Interestingly enough, the horrible event opened a door for Msgr. Ravoux that had previously been closed. It turned out that the condemned Sioux had gotten the word out to their friends and relatives to follow their example and embrace “the religion of the black robe.” A year after the execution, some 300 Sioux families were encamped around Ft. Snelling. Father Ravoux was welcomed into the encampment, and visited often. Almost 200 individuals were eventually baptized.

We never know how God can use a tragedy for the Kingdom of Heaven, but we should always be prepared, no matter what.

A man in black visits Ateneo: Former Ateneo physics student Anthony Uy is now an FSSP seminarian


The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter together with Pope John Paul II

A man in black visited Ateneo last Thursday.  No, he is not looking for aliens to zap. You may have seen him: a tall Chinese walking in black robes like Neo in the Matrix. On his right hand is a book–not the Bible or the Book of the Seven Animal Fists–but a Breviary, a book of prayers in Latin prayed by the monks of long ago. His name is Anthony Uy, a seminarian of the FSSP (Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter), a society of diocesan priests devoted to the promotion of the Traditional Latin Mass.

Anthony studied in Ateneo de Manila University from year 2000 to 2002 as a Physics/Computer Engineering student.  As a physicist, he knows what a matrix is.  When his family moved to Canada in the middle of the first semester of his third year…

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Do Non-Catholics Go to Hell?

Please read or watch the latest Vortex.  We shared it with our protestant family and friends.  We recommend you do the same.  It is a great explanation of about what causes people to go to hell once their time on earth ends.  Its not because they weren’t Catholic necessarily but because they died in a state of mortal sin.  This applies to Catholics as well of course that die in mortal sin.  The question then becomes how does one leave that state of mortal sin . . . and the answer is through the sacrament of reconciliation.


Do Non-Catholics Go to Hell?

April 24, 2015 | The Vortex

Do all non-Catholics go to Hell? It’s a question that has been the subject of many heated conversations.

But there is a deeper question here, because there is a deeper principle involved. The deeper principle beyond being a “card-carrying, on the parish rolls” Catholic is: How does one actually attain salvation? What is necessary for salvation? What is necessary to get to Heaven? That is the more fundamental question here, the foundation from which springs the further question about being in the Catholic Church.

The Church teaches that one must be in a state of grace upon death to achieve salvation. And a person can only be in either a state of grace or a state of mortal sin. If a person dies in a state of unrepented mortal sin, he descends immediately and directly into Hell for all eternity, where he suffers the tortures of his demonic masters—but is most tortured from his everlasting separation from God, whom he knows he was created to be with and yet detests at the same time.

So the primary question is: How does a person achieve a state of grace? A state of grace is the state where the life of the Blessed Trinity is present in the soul. Sanctifying grace comes to the soul for the first moment in baptism and helps to sustain the supernatural virtues: the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. A man dying without these virtues dies without God. He is owned by Hell.

It is impossible to possess these virtues without sanctifying grace. Mortal sin (mortal coming from the Latin morte, “death”) means the supernatural life of the soul is now gone. The soul is dead spiritually. It still for a while possesses its natural aspect of giving life to the body, animating the flesh—but when the end comes, not only is the body dead, but the soul remains in a perpetual state of death: the Second Death of which the Scriptures speak. Its now everlasting pain is to have to endure death when it was created for divine life. 

How to avoid this worst of all realities is to die not in a state of deadly sin, but in a state of life—divine life. Our Blessed Lord points out the way most vividly and lovingly: “If you love Me you will keep My commandments, and My Father and I will come to you and We will make Our home in you” (John 14:15). This is the most direct way to understand what is meant by a state of grace—that the Holy Trinity takes up residence in our souls. God lives in us; we are in a perpetual state of possessing divine grace—divine life.

The only thing that can alter this most precious of all realities is to commit mortal sin.  When that happens, God immediately flees, for He cannot abide sin. It is an abomination to Him. Purity cannot abide that which is impure. 

So the key to the question “Is there salvation outside the Church?” is to first understand that the Church’s role is to assist souls in attaining and maintaining a state of grace. This is the sole purpose for the sacraments: to infuse supernatural grace into the soul, visible signs instituted by Our Lord for the imparting of grace.

Now true, God’s grace is not bound by the sacraments. He can certainly operate outside of them. He did in such manifest cases as the conversion of St. Paul, for example. Saul received a singular grace of conversion. And while that grace was not mediated through a formal sacrament, it nevertheless did come through the Church—as all graces do. It was after all the Church that was praying non-stop for relief from the murderous Saul.  In answer to the prayer of the Church about Saul, God sent them Paul.

The purpose of the Church in the grand scheme is to create saints, to make us holy. As St. Peter tells us, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of His own” (1 Peter 2:9). When he wrote his first letter, the first Pope was speaking to the first Catholics. We Catholics sometimes forget this truth, owing to the Protestant co-opting of the Scriptures as though they belonged to them. They most certainly do not. They never have.

The Bible, the canon of Scripture is Catholic, period. So the formula laid out for us in Scripture has specific and singular reference to those souls who are alive within the body of Christ—His Catholic Church. When Catholic souls plunge into spiritual death through committing mortal sin, they have a sacramental remedy to be resurrected: the sacrament of confession.

But when a non-Catholic soul, even one baptized in some Protestant denomination, falls into mortal sin, what remedy does it possess? Short of an act of perfect contrition prior to death, nothing. Such a man dies in his mortal sin.

The debate over salvation outside the church is kind of a moot question then, as it’s generally argued. The example case is always brought up: Does the “good” Protestant husband and father go to Hell because he wasn’t Catholic?

That question is framed totally incorrectly. It should not be asked, “Will he go to Heaven if he wasn’t Catholic?” but, “Was he in a state of grace—and if he wasn’t Catholic, how was it possible for him to be in a state of grace?” Now, we can never know with any certitude, of course, the disposition of any particular soul; that is completely in the realm of Our Lord as Judge. But in the hypothetical discussions people engage in, we can ask these questions. We speak in hypotheticals because principles of understanding fall from them. 

And the singular principle that falls from all of this is: It is much more difficult to be saved if you are not a Catholic with access to the sacraments to restore you to and keep you in a state of grace. Faithful sacrament-frequenting Catholics are much more likely to be saved than anyone else because such a man is much more likely to die in a state of grace—which is necessary to be saved.

This is the whole point of evangelizing: to help people understand the perilous risk to which they are exposing their souls if they do not become Catholic and faithfully receive the sacraments given to us by Our Lord Himself for our salvation.

All salvation comes through the Catholic Church, and outside of Her there is no salvation.

The Latin Mass Saves Souls. Period.

As we have been saying here on this blog often, the Traditional Latin Mass lights the fire under souls and sparks their journey to heaven.  Please read the testimony below of a Navy Chief Petty Officer who, as a southern baptist, attended the Latin Mass for two weeks and is now on his journey home to the Catholic Church.

With respect to the New Evangelization, the answer is obvious.  We call on all laity to storm their priest with requests and DEMAND they all learn the Latin Mass and preside over one every Sunday.  Use the procedures set forth in Summorum Pontificum, Pope Emeritus’ Motu Propio established in 2006 if need be.  The fruits will be incredible for you, your family . . . and the world!  It is a guarantee.


A Leaven In The World… Traditional Latin Mass Leading A Southern Baptist To Rome

April 20, 2015


“The Lord is risen, Alleluia!” A most blessed Easter season to you and your family.

Only the Lord knows what He wants to accomplish with our obedience, and we must trust Him to see His will through to the end, while asking only for the grace that we remain faithful in doing His will as we intend to do what the Church does. Let me give you a practical example of what I mean by this.

As some of you may know, after over 15 years on active duty in both the Army as a combat arms officer and in the Navy as a priest, I continue to serve in the Navy Reserves as a chaplain. A few summers ago I did active duty for training over several weeks in Alaska, where I celebrated the Traditional Latin Mass daily.

I received a powerful message from a Navy chief petty officer who got back in touch with me via Facebook after attending those Masses pretty faithfully in Alaska. As he makes clear in his message, he knew little about the Catholic faith and even less about its traditions as they existed prior to the ferment of the 1960s.
I am sharing his message in full because it is wonderful testimony, which I am sure will move you as it did me, but also because it bursts some long-held stereotypes and shibboleths about our Catholic Tradition and, specifically, the use of the Latin language in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:

“I am not sure if you will remember me or not, but hopefully so, at any rate I am HMC [Name Withheld] and I served with you in Mertarvik in 2013.

“If you recall, I attended Mass just about every day for the two weeks that you were there. This time stands out for me because I thoroughly felt at the time, and still do now, that I was participating in true worship of our Lord. I am a Christian, of that I have no doubt, but from a Southern Baptist tradition. So attending Mass was a new and unusual thing for me. That it was the Traditional Latin Mass made it even more foreign and intriguing for a guy from Texas Baptist roots. Out of my comfort zone, to be sure.

“But that time has continued to resonate in my heart. My evangelical upbringing and years of being ‘saved,’ as we call it, and being part of a local church and much involved in personal prayer and Bible study daily for 32 years has been, not shaken, but changed in course maybe. My prayer for clarity and discernment and increased and focused Bible study is steadily leading me, much to my chagrin at times, to Rome, as it were. It inspired a study of the Church Fathers and their writings. These just further convince me that there has been something lacking.

“That being said, there are still some hurdles that I have a tough time with, being a good Baptist boy, which you can imagine before I tell you: Mary, the Pope, Purgatory, praying to saints. These are things very counter to what I have known, and difficult things that make my head spin and my heart doubt. Nonetheless, I still have that persistent pull in my heart and soul toward something much more that I have been missing out on. Our church services at my home church that my wife and children and I have attended for over 20 years seem generic and missing of something deeper and richer. I am convinced that communion, or the Lord’s Supper, is something much more than a commemoration or remembrance.
“I now am convinced in my heart that, without a doubt, it is the true Body and Blood of our Lord. Sacrilege for a Southern Baptist! Why, that goes against everything. But it remains.

“So, all that to say: I ask for your prayers as I continue on this walk.”

Certainly worth offering in full, this man’s description of his inner journey is testimony to the power of the Church’s ancient tradition to make converts to the faith. Latin not only is not off-putting to those who are strangers to the Church and the faith, but rather serves to testify effectively to its divine origin in Christ 2,000 years ago.

In this challenging time for faith, and as our bishops are emphasizing the New Evangelization, should we not make use also of the power and beauty of the fullness of our Tradition to win new souls for Christ? When we struggle in parish life to find ways to convert our own Catholics to regular practice of the faith out of loving obedience to God, should we not learn from the experience that a Southern Baptist teaches us to know and make full use of our own Tradition, which in many cases was not faithfully handed down?

Encourage your parish priest to begin studying the Traditional Latin Mass in order to offer it regularly as part of a comprehensive program to reach a greater number of souls.

And now a note to parents this week about evangelization within the family:
Over the years I’ve noticed a trend of abusing options offered by the Church to get sacred things such as Mass and sacraments “out of the way.” Why go to Mass on Sunday when you can go on Saturday evening and “get it out of the way”? Why wait for your child’s Confirmation in ninth grade in your own parish when you can go to the parish next door and “get it out of the way” in eighth grade? The only problem with this attitude or habit is that your children may likely follow this logic to its natural conclusion and improve on your own example by discontinuing practice of their Catholic faith entirely in order to “get it out of the way.”
Give God the priority that He deserves as God. If you can go to Mass on Sunday, then do not abuse the Saturday vigil Mass option which is offered for the sake of those who are unable to go on Sunday because of work or travel. Also put faith in the pastoral program and leadership of your parish and trust in the spiritual fruits it will bring in the spiritual life of you and your family.

God love you and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

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(Follow me on Facebook at Reverendo Padre-Kevin Michael Cusick and on Twitter @MCITLFrAphorism. I blog occasionally at and at You can email me at

Happy Feast Day of St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen – Martyr – 24 April 2015

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen

“I came to extirpate heresy, not to embrace it”…..

Born in 1577, at Sigmaringen, Prussia, of which town his father Johannes Rey was burgomaster; died at Sevis, 24 April, 1622. On the paternal side he was of Flemish ancestry. He pursued his studies at the University of Freiburg in the Breisgau, and in 1604 became tutor to Wilhelm von Stotzingen, with whom he travelled in France and Italy. In the process for Fidelis’s canonization Wilhelm von Stotzingen bore witness to the severe mortifications his tutor practised on these journeys. In 1611 he returned to Freiburg to take the doctorate in canon and civil law, and at once began to practise as an advocate. But the open corruption which found place in the law courts determined him to relinquish that profession and to enter the Church.

He was ordained priest the following year, and immediately afterwards was received into the Order of Friars Minor of the Capuchin Reform at Freiburg, taking the name of Fidelis. He has left an interesting memorial of his novitiate and of his spiritual development at that time in a book of spiritual exercises which he wrote for himself. This work was re-edited by Father Michael Hetzenauer, O.F.M. Cap., and republished in 1893 at Stuttgart under the title: “S. Fidelis a Sigmaringen exercitia seraphicae devotionis”. From the novitiate he was sent to Constance to finish his studies in theology under Father John Baptist, a Polish friar of great repute for learning and holiness. At the conclusion of his theological studies Fidelis was appointed guardian first of the community at Rheinfelden, and afterwards at Freiburg and Feldkirch. As a preacher his burning zeal earned for him a great reputation.

From the beginning of his apostolic career he was untiring in his efforts to convert heretics nor did he confine his efforts in this direction to the pulpit, but also used his pen. He wrote many pamphlets against Calvinism and Zwinglianism though he would never put his name to his writings. Unfortunately these publications have long been lost. Fidelis was still guardian of the community at Feldkirch when in 1621 he was appointed to undertake a mission in the country of the Grisons with the purpose of bringing back that district to the Catholic Faith. The people there had almost all gone over to Calvinism, owing partly to the ignorance of the priests and their lack of zeal.

In 1614 the Bishop of Coire had requested the Capuchins to undertake missions amongst the heretics in his diocese, but it was not until 1621 that the general of the order was able to send friars there. In that year Father Ignatius of Sergamo was commissioned with several other friars to place himself at the disposal of this bishop for missionary work, and a similar commission was given to Fidelis who however still remained guardian of Feldkirche. Before setting out on this mission Fidelis was appointed by authority of the papal nuncio to reform the Benedictine monastery at Pfafers. He entered upon his new labours in the true apostolic spirit. Since he first entered the order he had constantly prayed, as he confided to a fellow-friar, for two favours: one, that he might never fall into mortal sin; the other, that he might die for the Faith. In this Spirit he now set out, ready to give his life in preaching the Faith. He took with him his crucifix, Bible, Breviary, and the book of the rule of his order; for the rest, he went in absolute poverty, trusting to Divine Providence for his daily sustenance. He arrived in Mayenfeld in time for Advent and began at once preaching and catechizing; often preaching in several places the same day.

His coming aroused strong opposition and he was frequently threatened and insulted. He not only preached in the Catholic churches and in the public streets, but occasionally in the conventicles of the heretics. At Zizers one of the principal centres of his activity, he held conferences with the magistrates and chief townsmen, often far into the night. They resulted in the conversion of Rudolph de Salis, the most influential man in the town, whose public recantation was followed by many conversions.

Throughout the winter Fidelis laboured indefatigably and with such success that the heretic preachers were seriously alarmed and set themselves to inflame the people against him by representing that his mission was political rather than religious and that he was preparing the way for the subjugation of the country by the Austrians.

During the Lent of 1622 he preached with especial fervour. At Easter he returned to Feldkirch to attend a chapter of the order and settle some affairs of his community. By this time the Congregation of the Propaganda had been established in Rome, and Fidelis was formally constituted by the Congregation, superior of the mission in the Grisons. He had, however, a presentiment that his laborers would shortly be brought to a close by a martyr’s death. Preaching a farewell sermon at Feldkirch he said as much.

On re-entering the country of the Grisons he was met everywhere with the cry: “Death to the Capuchins!” On 24 April, being then at Grusch, he made his confession and afterwards celebrated Mass and preached. Then he set out for Sevis. On the way his companions noticed that he was particularly cheerful. At Sevis he entered the church and began to preach, but was interrupted by a sudden tumult both within and without the church. Several Austrian soldiers who were guarding the doors of the church were killed and Fidelis himself was struck.

A Calvinist present offered to lead him to a place of security. Fidelis thanked the man but said his life was in the hands of God. Outside the church he was surrounded by a crowd led by the preachers who offered to save his life if he would apostatize. Fidelis replied: “I came to extirpate heresy, not to embrace it”, whereupon he was struck down. He was the first martyr of the Congregation of Propaganda. His body was afterwards taken to Feldkirch and buried in the church of his order, except his head and left arm, which were placed in the cathedral at Coire. He was beatified in 1729, and canonized in 1745. St. Fidelis is usually represented in art with a crucifix and with a wound in the head; his emblem is a bludgeon. His feast is kept on 24 April.

Prayer for the Feast of Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen

O God, Who didst vouchsafe to inflame the heart of blessed Fidelis with seraphic ardor and to adorn him with the palm of martyrdom and with glorious miracles in spreading the true Faith: we beseech Thee, by his merits and intercession, so to strengthen us by the might of Thy grace in faith and in charity, that we may deserve to be found faithful in Thy service even unto death. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

The Honor Deficit (We are Diminished) – By Fr. Heilman

People wonder why we at Team Solutio, we constantly harp on the importance of a reverent and solemn liturgy so often.  Well the reason is because as the liturgy goes, so goes the world.  And we care about the world and we care about all the souls still living in this world that they can find the the truth and get into heaven.

Why do you think the morality of the world has crashed in the past 50 years?  Because the Catholic liturgy, which was created by God himself and makes it crucial for the sustainment of mankind, has become a tool for entertainment rather than an awesome and solemn moment of worship of God, our one and only creator.  Father Heilman brilliantly describes below how the ordinary form offers the “cheesy” to the world which doesn’t force us to strive for perfection.  Only the Latin Mass challenges us to strive to that perfection we are called to become where the Novus Ordo mass keeps us satisfying surrounded by our own humanness and imperfections. We need to do better as the true Church of Christ.

Save the liturgy and save the world!


The Honor Deficit

by Fr Richard Heilman

We have suffered through a devastating attack on “honor and nobility.”

We are diminished.

True evolution is a movement from beast to disciple, yet we have devolved from disciple to beast in an alarming 50 year campaign to disconnect from this ultimate commission. Freedom, the world says, is a release from the demands of character, morals, virtue and truth.

We are diminished.

The highest expression of any desire to strive for new heights of humanity is witnessed in how we worship the Source of existence … the Source of truth, beauty and goodness … yet we offer “cheesy” to our God. Why? Because “cheesy” releases us from any imperative to accept the demand to strive for a greater honor and nobility.

We are diminished.

Honoring a fallen comrade means “due reverence and respect” (see soldier call out crowd at 4:45). Do we demand the same when we come to honor God in worship?

We are diminished.