The Other Europe


Brave Hungarians resist Soviet/communist tyranny in 1956.

by Robert Royal on ‘The Catholic Thing’

Last week, when the leader of the free world was (depending on which sources you paid attention to) either destroying America’s carefully constructed system of international alliances or shaking up the policy establishment at home and abroad to deal with the new world environment, something equally consequential – and more fundamental – took place, almost unnoticed, in Hungary.

I’ve mentioned in passing several times in recent days that I spoke at the Eleventh World Congress for Families that has just finished in Budapest. But it’s difficult to convey what an inspiring and hopeful – and unexpected – event it was.

We almost never hear about it, mired as we are in our political obsessions, but there are thousands of family and marriage activists and organizations at work around the world. Most of them were present in…

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An Open Letter to New Priests

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imageThe season of priestly ordinations is currently underway. Having just completed years in seminary, this years class of 590 ordinands are now receiving the Sacrament of Holy Orders. It is with humility and charity that I pen this open letter to our newest priests.

Living With the Smell of the Sheep (and Proclaiming the Truth)

I ask you to reflect back on something the Holy Father said early in his papacy. He reminded all priests that they must be “shepherds living with the smell of the sheep.”

Some took this admonition to mean that priests need to get out into the world to make a difference. However, this was the same misguided assessment that resulted in the emptying of rectories, monasteries and convents in the 1970’s as many priests and religious abandoned their vocation to become social workers.

Please understand that we do not need you to be social workers. We…

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Be Devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary


From her ‘Memoirs’ (of Fatima) visionary Sister Lucia writes:

Our Lady:

“Jesus wishes to make use of you to make Me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion I promise salvation; these souls shall be dear to God, as flowers placed by Me to adorn His throne.” […] Don’t lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.””

As Our Lady spoke these last words, She opened Her hands for the second time. In front of the palm of Our Lady’s right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it. We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation.”

*****

The First Five Saturdays devotion*, that Our Lady asked for…

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Full text: Cardinal Burke’s historic call for consecration of Russia

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The following address was given by His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke on 19 May 2017 at the fourth annual Rome Life Forum, which is organised by Voice of the Family.

The Secret of Fatima and a New Evangelization

The final words of the Virgin Mother of the Redeemer recorded in the Gospels are the words she spoke to the wine stewards at the Wedding Feast of Cana who came to her in anguish over the lack of sufficient wine for the guests of the newlyweds. She responded to them and their situation of great distress by leading them to her Divine Son, also a guest at the Wedding Feast, and instructing them: “Do whatever he tells you.”[1] These simple words express the mystery of the Divine Maternity by which the Virgin Mary became the Mother of God, bringing God the Son Incarnate into the world. By the same mystery…

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Bishop Schneider on Receiving Holy Communion

liturgy guy

imageNearly ten years ago an unknown auxiliary bishop from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, the Most Reverend Athanasius Schneider, wrote a brief treatise on the reception of Holy Communion, Dominus Est-It is the Lord!  In the years since, there has been no greater defender of the Eucharist than Bishop Schneider. The below argument in favor of the traditional discipline of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue while kneeling comes at the conclusion of Bishop Schneider’s book.

Dominus Est should be read by bishops, priests, and laity alike; it is that important. The below excerpt is reprinted here with the permission of the publisher.

Against the background of the two-millennia-long history of piety and liturgical tradition of the universal Church, East and West alike, especially regarding the organic development of the patristic patrimony, we can offer the following summary:

1. The organic development of Eucharistic piety as a fruit of the piety of the…

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Altar Serving and the Ordination Class of 2017

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Every year Georgetown’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) conducts a survey of ordinands for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This year 590 ordinands to the priesthood were sent the survey; of these, 444 (or 75 percent) responded.

While this annual survey once again provides us a fascinating glimpse into the make up of this year’s class -such as parents religious affiliation, number of siblings, educational background, and ethnic make-up- it is interesting to see those common factors which contributed to these men’s discernment.

As I have chronicled in past years, altar serving is a common experience shared by the majority of our ordained. The class of 2017 is no exception.

CARA’s surveys shows that 77 percent of diocesan ordinands listed Altar Serving as a parish ministry in which they had participated. Compare that to Lector (51 percent), Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (42 percent), and Youth…

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