Timothy Cardinal Dolan named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

Congratulations, your eminence!

"I saw the sign”
I don’t know if the members of Ace of Base were Catholic, but if they were, they definitely could not help but see signs, for they would be surrounded by them, especially during Holy Week.
I originally meant to post this last Thursday, but, alas, it did not make it out of my draft file until now. 
So, a couple of nights ago, priests from around the Diocese of Sacramento gathered with my bishop, His Excellency Jaime Soto, at the beautiful Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament for the annual Chrism Mass.
At this special Mass (which in other [arch]dioceses takes place on Holy Thursday), the holy oils used in the sacraments are blessed or—in the case of the Sacred Chrism—consecrated.
As Catholics, we have a sacramental theology in which signs (i.e. things we use, words we say, and actions we do) have a deeper meaning than what may appear on the surface.  There is a physical reality and a spiritual reality, a visible component and an invisible component.
Ah, what mystery!
Since all of creation is the work of God’s hands and the product of His masterful design, everything on earth and in the heavens praises the Creator as the Church sings in the glorious canticle from the 3rd chapter of Daniel: 

“Bless the Lord all you works of the Lord.  Praise and exalt him above all forever.  Sun and moon, bless the Lord.  Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.  Every shower and dew, bless the Lord.  All you winds, bless the Lord.  Fire and heat…Dew and rain…Ice and snow…Lightening and clouds…Mountains and hills…Seas and rivers…You dolphins and all water creatures…All you birds of the air…All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.”

Therefore, for us Catholics, we must always remember that matter matters.  God gave us His creation which He called good; He gave us our bodies to perceive the works of His hands; He taught us to use certain elements of His creation to worship Him, to sanctify ourselves and our world, and, in the case of the sacraments, to be used by His Church to dispense the fruits of Christ’s death and resurrection.
In the sacramental life of the Church, especially during the Sacred Triduum, the use of signs is abundant, for sometimes ordinary language is not enough, especially when we are trying to communicate the great moments leading to Jesus’ ultimate act of love and mercy for us.  And, since God Himself has taken on our flesh, He knew that we needed signs, so He gave us the Eucharist (which effectuates what it signifies), the cross, the water and Blood which flowed from His side, the empty tomb.  Sometimes signs speak more eloquently than words.  Signs communicate something about our faith; they help us encounter mystery.
One of these signs is olive oil.  In the Chrism Mass, the bishop blesses the Oil of the Sick (used in the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick) and the Oil of Catechumens (used in the Sacrament of Baptism); and he consecrates the Holy Chrism (used in the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders, as well as in the dedication of a church and an altar).  Chrism comes from the Greek word for “anointing”, so by its literal meaning, chrism is closely connected with Christ, the “Anointed One”.
As part of the rite for the consecration of chrism, the bishop adds balsam or perfume.  Our lives of virtue, then, that ought to flow from the sacrament we have received should be our fragrant offering to God, a pleasing odor of sanctity.  How sensual, or, rather, sensory is the experience of the faith, that even the sense of smell is engaged in our liturgy! 
The rite also indicates that the bishop may breathe on the chrism as shown in the picture above.  Breath, although we may not often be aware of it, is a powerful sign of life.  It calls to mind the breath of life blown into the nostrils of Adam, the breath that Jesus exhaled upon His disciples, and the mighty wind of the Holy Spirit which blew upon the Apostles at Pentecost.  So, when the bishop blows upon the chrism, it is a sign of the Holy Spirit descending and consecrating the oil for its sacred, life-giving purpose.
Here is one of the prayers for consecrating the Holy Chrism; notice how even the prayer begins by recalling how oil and water are signs.

God our maker, source of all growth in holiness, accept the joyful thanks and praise we offer in the name of your Church. In the beginning, at your command, the earth produced fruit-bearing trees. From the fruit of the olive tree you have provided us with oil for holy chrism. The prophet David sang of the life and joy that the oil would bring us in the sacraments of your love. After the avenging flood, the dove returning to Noah with an olive branch announced your gift of peace. This was a sign of a greater gift to come. Now the waters of baptism wash away the sins of men, and by the anointing with olive oil you make us radiant with your joy. At your command, Aaron was washed with water, and your servant Moses, his brother, anointed him priest. This too foreshadowed greater things to come. After your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, asked John for baptism in the waters of Jordan, you sent the Spirit upon him in the form of a dove and by the witness of your own voice you declared him to be your only, well-beloved Son. In this you clearly fulfilled the prophecy of David, that Christ would be anointed with the oil of gladness beyond his fellow men. And so, Father, we ask you to bless + this oil you have created. Fill it with the power of your Holy Spirit through Christ your Son. It is from him that chrism takes its name and with chrism you have anointed for yourself priests and kings, prophets and martyrs. Make this chrism a sign of life and salvation for those who are to be born again in the waters of baptism. Wash away the evil they have inherited from sinful Adam, and when they are anointed with this holy oil make them temples of your glory, radiant with the goodness of life that has its source in you. Through this sign of chrism grant them royal, priestly, and prophetic honor, and clothe them with incorruption. Let this be indeed the chrism of salvation for those who will be born again of water and the Holy Spirit. May they come to share eternal life in the glory of your kingdom. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lastly, the Chrism Mass has a special connection with the priesthood.  Last Thursday night, the priests in the Diocese of Sacramento came home, in a sense, to the Mother Church of our diocese in a sign of unity to Bishop Soto, their spiritual father, and of fidelity to Christ, the High Priest.  Throughout the Mass, they would have recalled their ordination day and, according to the missal, would have renewed their priestly promises beginning with these words by the bishop, “Beloved sons, on the anniversary of that day when Christ our Lord conferred his priesthood on his Apostles and on us, are you resolved to renew, in the presence of your Bishop and God’s holy people, the promises you once made?”
Then, after receiving the holy oils, they return with to their own parishes and use them in their priestly ministry to us their children.  So, this Holy Week, particularly on the date of your (arch)diocese’s Chrism Mass and on Holy Thursday, the traditional day when Jesus conferred the priesthood upon His Apostles and instituted the Eucharist, please remember to offer a prayer for your (arch)bishop and your priests, particularly the priest that baptized you and all those who heard your confession.
PRAYER FOR PRIESTS
Dear Lord, we pray that the Blessed Mother wrap her mantle around Your priests and through her intercession strengthen them for their ministry. We pray that Mary will guide Your Priests to follow her own words, “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5). May your priests have the heart of St. Joseph, Mary’s most chaste spouse. May the Blessed Mother’s own pierced heart inspire them to embrace all who suffer at the foot of the cross. May Your priests be holy, filled with the fire of Your love seeking nothing but Your greater glory and the salvation of souls. AMEN! Mary, Queen and Mother of priests, pray for us! Saint John Vianney, pray for us! 
(Photo:  from the parish blog of St. Andrew the Apostle in Waynesboro, PA.  I believe the above picture is a photo of Bishop Joseph McFadden of the Diocese of Harrisburg.)

"I saw the sign

I don’t know if the members of Ace of Base were Catholic, but if they were, they definitely could not help but see signs, for they would be surrounded by them, especially during Holy Week.

I originally meant to post this last Thursday, but, alas, it did not make it out of my draft file until now. 

So, a couple of nights ago, priests from around the Diocese of Sacramento gathered with my bishop, His Excellency Jaime Soto, at the beautiful Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament for the annual Chrism Mass.

At this special Mass (which in other [arch]dioceses takes place on Holy Thursday), the holy oils used in the sacraments are blessed or—in the case of the Sacred Chrism—consecrated.

As Catholics, we have a sacramental theology in which signs (i.e. things we use, words we say, and actions we do) have a deeper meaning than what may appear on the surface.  There is a physical reality and a spiritual reality, a visible component and an invisible component.

Ah, what mystery!

Since all of creation is the work of God’s hands and the product of His masterful design, everything on earth and in the heavens praises the Creator as the Church sings in the glorious canticle from the 3rd chapter of Daniel: 

Bless the Lord all you works of the Lord.  Praise and exalt him above all forever.  Sun and moon, bless the Lord.  Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.  Every shower and dew, bless the Lord.  All you winds, bless the Lord.  Fire and heat…Dew and rain…Ice and snow…Lightening and clouds…Mountains and hills…Seas and rivers…You dolphins and all water creatures…All you birds of the air…All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.

Therefore, for us Catholics, we must always remember that matter matters.  God gave us His creation which He called good; He gave us our bodies to perceive the works of His hands; He taught us to use certain elements of His creation to worship Him, to sanctify ourselves and our world, and, in the case of the sacraments, to be used by His Church to dispense the fruits of Christ’s death and resurrection.

In the sacramental life of the Church, especially during the Sacred Triduum, the use of signs is abundant, for sometimes ordinary language is not enough, especially when we are trying to communicate the great moments leading to Jesus’ ultimate act of love and mercy for us.  And, since God Himself has taken on our flesh, He knew that we needed signs, so He gave us the Eucharist (which effectuates what it signifies), the cross, the water and Blood which flowed from His side, the empty tomb.  Sometimes signs speak more eloquently than words.  Signs communicate something about our faith; they help us encounter mystery.

One of these signs is olive oil.  In the Chrism Mass, the bishop blesses the Oil of the Sick (used in the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick) and the Oil of Catechumens (used in the Sacrament of Baptism); and he consecrates the Holy Chrism (used in the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders, as well as in the dedication of a church and an altar).  Chrism comes from the Greek word for “anointing”, so by its literal meaning, chrism is closely connected with Christ, the “Anointed One”.

As part of the rite for the consecration of chrism, the bishop adds balsam or perfume.  Our lives of virtue, then, that ought to flow from the sacrament we have received should be our fragrant offering to God, a pleasing odor of sanctity.  How sensual, or, rather, sensory is the experience of the faith, that even the sense of smell is engaged in our liturgy! 

The rite also indicates that the bishop may breathe on the chrism as shown in the picture above.  Breath, although we may not often be aware of it, is a powerful sign of life.  It calls to mind the breath of life blown into the nostrils of Adam, the breath that Jesus exhaled upon His disciples, and the mighty wind of the Holy Spirit which blew upon the Apostles at Pentecost.  So, when the bishop blows upon the chrism, it is a sign of the Holy Spirit descending and consecrating the oil for its sacred, life-giving purpose.

Here is one of the prayers for consecrating the Holy Chrism; notice how even the prayer begins by recalling how oil and water are signs.

God our maker,
source of all growth in holiness,
accept the joyful thanks and praise
we offer in the name of your Church.

In the beginning, at your command,
the earth produced fruit-bearing trees.
From the fruit of the olive tree
you have provided us with oil for holy chrism.
The prophet David sang of the life and joy
that the oil would bring us in the sacraments of your love.

After the avenging flood,
the dove returning to Noah with an olive branch
announced your gift of peace.
This was a sign of a greater gift to come.
Now the waters of baptism wash away the sins of men,
and by the anointing with olive oil
you make us radiant with your joy.

At your command,
Aaron was washed with water,
and your servant Moses, his brother,
anointed him priest.
This too foreshadowed greater things to come.
After your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
asked John for baptism in the waters of Jordan,
you sent the Spirit upon him
in the form of a dove
and by the witness of your own voice
you declared him to be your only, well-beloved Son.
In this you clearly fulfilled the prophecy of David,
that Christ would be anointed with the oil of gladness
beyond his fellow men.

And so, Father, we ask you to bless + this oil you have created.
Fill it with the power of your Holy Spirit
through Christ your Son.
It is from him that chrism takes its name
and with chrism you have anointed
for yourself priests and kings,
prophets and martyrs.

Make this chrism a sign of life and salvation
for those who are to be born again in the waters of baptism.
Wash away the evil they have inherited from sinful Adam,
and when they are anointed with this holy oil
make them temples of your glory,
radiant with the goodness of life
that has its source in you.

Through this sign of chrism
grant them royal, priestly, and prophetic honor,
and clothe them with incorruption.
Let this be indeed the chrism of salvation
for those who will be born again of water and the Holy Spirit.
May they come to share eternal life
in the glory of your kingdom.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lastly, the Chrism Mass has a special connection with the priesthood.  Last Thursday night, the priests in the Diocese of Sacramento came home, in a sense, to the Mother Church of our diocese in a sign of unity to Bishop Soto, their spiritual father, and of fidelity to Christ, the High Priest.  Throughout the Mass, they would have recalled their ordination day and, according to the missal, would have renewed their priestly promises beginning with these words by the bishop, “Beloved sons, on the anniversary of that day when Christ our Lord conferred his priesthood on his Apostles and on us, are you resolved to renew, in the presence of your Bishop and God’s holy people, the promises you once made?

Then, after receiving the holy oils, they return with to their own parishes and use them in their priestly ministry to us their children.  So, this Holy Week, particularly on the date of your (arch)diocese’s Chrism Mass and on Holy Thursday, the traditional day when Jesus conferred the priesthood upon His Apostles and instituted the Eucharist, please remember to offer a prayer for your (arch)bishop and your priests, particularly the priest that baptized you and all those who heard your confession.

PRAYER FOR PRIESTS

Dear Lord,
we pray that the Blessed Mother wrap her mantle around Your priests and through her intercession strengthen them for their ministry.

We pray that Mary will guide Your Priests to follow her own words, “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5). May your priests have the heart of St. Joseph, Mary’s most chaste spouse.

May the Blessed Mother’s own pierced heart inspire them to embrace all who suffer at the foot of the cross. May Your priests be holy, filled with the fire of Your love seeking nothing but Your greater glory and the salvation of souls. AMEN!

Mary, Queen and Mother of priests, pray for us!
Saint John Vianney, pray for us!


(Photo:  from the parish blog of St. Andrew the Apostle in Waynesboro, PA.  I believe the above picture is a photo of Bishop Joseph McFadden of the Diocese of Harrisburg.)

The only question that finally matters to any of us is the one Jesus posed to his apostles: “Who do you say I am?” (Mk 8:29). Everything depends on the answer. Faith leads in one direction, the lack of it in another. But the issue is faith—always and everywhere, whether we’re scholars or doctors or priests or lawyers or mechanics. Do we really believe in Jesus Christ, or don’t we? And if we do, what are we going to do about it? — Archbishop Charles Chaput in A Heart on Fire:  Catholic Witness and the Next America
You know your monastery needs more vocations when your only altar server is a demon with a face on his butt!
Here is a painting called Wolfgang und der Teufel (Wolfgang and the Devil) by Michael Pacher.  It seems that the devil is either proudly showing a book of people’s unconfessed sins to discourage St. Wolfgang or the holy bishop has compelled even the devil himself to hold the Book of the Gospels so he might proclaim the Word of God. 
Either way, I think that this work of art shows the coolness of the Catholic Church which has the God-given authority both to command demons and to forgive sins.
Also, I think that this painting dramatically shows our two choices of whose company we will keep after we die:  either St. Wolfgang and the Church Triumphant or the green demon with the bad ass.
As for me, I’m terrified to even consider what goes in the front end and comes out the other.  And I sure as hell don’t want to experience some demon’s butt smiling at me for all eternity.  *shudder*  Time for confession!
(Picture:  from Wikimedia Commons)

You know your monastery needs more vocations when your only altar server is a demon with a face on his butt!

Here is a painting called Wolfgang und der Teufel (Wolfgang and the Devil) by Michael Pacher.  It seems that the devil is either proudly showing a book of people’s unconfessed sins to discourage St. Wolfgang or the holy bishop has compelled even the devil himself to hold the Book of the Gospels so he might proclaim the Word of God. 

Either way, I think that this work of art shows the coolness of the Catholic Church which has the God-given authority both to command demons and to forgive sins.

Also, I think that this painting dramatically shows our two choices of whose company we will keep after we die:  either St. Wolfgang and the Church Triumphant or the green demon with the bad ass.

As for me, I’m terrified to even consider what goes in the front end and comes out the other.  And I sure as hell don’t want to experience some demon’s butt smiling at me for all eternity.  *shudder*  Time for confession!

(Picture:  from Wikimedia Commons)

A Message to Catechists

Here is an excerpt from an article in The Tidings written by His Excellency the Most Reverend José Gomez, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Jesus commissioned his Church to make disciples in all nations and to teach all men and women to live by what he commanded. So from the start, religious education has included everything that we do in the Church to make disciples, to strengthen the living bonds of communion and community that we have in the Church, and to help us to live our faith in the world…

Near the end of his Gospel, St. John tells us it was “written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.”

Again, at the start of his first letter, he writes: “That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us … with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing this that our joy may be complete.”

At the heart of religious education is always this encounter with Jesus Christ.

That’s what makes our Christian faith unique. Christianity is not a philosophy of life or a collection of ethical principles. Christianity is a relationship of love with a divine Person, Jesus.

That means that religious education can never only be about learning “facts.” It is about growing in our love for Jesus and our belief that he shows us God’s loving design — for our lives and for our world.

Catechesis is “mystagogical.” That means it tries to take us to a deeper knowledge of the mysteries we celebrate in the sacraments. It tries to help us truly live the divine life of grace that we receive in the sacraments.

To do this kind of work, takes a special person. It takes a “servant’s heart.” It requires a spirituality that is rooted in a simple, unselfish desire to do God’s will and to serve his purposes.

Catechists need to be engaging and imaginative in proclaiming the faith in this culture. But they don’t bring any teaching of their own. They are here to teach Jesus Christ.

When we are teaching in the Church, we can never substitute our own “version” of Jesus or offer watered-down or partial versions of his teachings. Because only the truth — and the whole truth — about Jesus can save us and set us free.

Jesus himself said that he only taught what he had learned from his Father. He said: “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.” And his words should be impressed on the hearts of every true catechist.

In our day, there are many competing “gospels” and contrary messages. And our secular culture seems more set against religious viewpoints than ever before.

In this culture, our religious education more and more must include a new “apologetics.” We need to make a new “case” for Jesus Christ and his Catholic Church. We need to communicate the joy of knowing Jesus and the power and beauty of our Catholic way of life. We need to be able to show our neighbors how the Gospel provides real answers to the problems we face in our lives and in our society.

Since yesterday was the 32nd anniversary of the assassination of Servant of God, Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez of the Archdiocese of San Salvador in El Salvador, I thought that I would show you one of the most memorable scenes from the movie Romero.  I remember first seeing this movie when I was in the 7th or 8th grade in my junior high religion class, and it has stayed with me ever since, especially because of the scene in the clip above. 

Even though I knew it’s only a movie, and probably no sacrilege was committed against Our Lord (God willing!), I recall crying in the middle of the darkened classroom years later when I watched it again in my high school religion class.  The brutality of the soldiers towards Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and the image of our loving Savior lying on the floor broke my heart as did the tenderness which the archbishop (Raul Julia) picked up the Blessed Sacrament Who was so brutally treated.

If you want to watch the movie from the start, here is video 1 of 11.

His Excellency, the Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone, Bishop of the Diocese of Oakland, speaks at the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally in San Francisco this past Friday.

"How dare the government tell us who are the members of our faith community. How dare the government tell us that our religion requires us to serve only people of our own faith. How dare the government tell us what it means for us to inculcate our religious values. How dare the government define for us our religious mission."

heartallonfire:

Interesting.

(via inmytsinelas)

St. Patrick, Co-patron of the Diocese of Sacramento, pray for us!
(Photo:  Statue of St. Patrick in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento, CA)

St. Patrick, Co-patron of the Diocese of Sacramento, pray for us!

(Photo:  Statue of St. Patrick in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento, CA)

Do bishops take funny pics?
They do in the Philippines!
From The Pinoy Catholic, here is His Excellency Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle of the Archdiocese of Manila along with his auxiliary, Archbishop Bernardino Cortez, and the formation directors of San Carlos Seminary…and also a random sister (I love her funny face!).
Except for the white cassocks, they remind me of my uncles!

Do bishops take funny pics?

They do in the Philippines!

From The Pinoy Catholic, here is His Excellency Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle of the Archdiocese of Manila along with his auxiliary, Archbishop Bernardino Cortez, and the formation directors of San Carlos Seminary…and also a random sister (I love her funny face!).

Except for the white cassocks, they remind me of my uncles!

Last week I wrote a post about Archbishop Dolan being made a Cardinal and about seeing him at World Youth Day this past summer in Madrid.  Well, His Eminence was back at New York’s iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Ash Wednesday and for special welcoming celebrations this past weekend. 

Thanks to Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia for this very moving, deeply profound, and surprisingly personal video of Cardinal Dolan’s homily for the 1st Sunday of Lent.

(Note:  the main part of his homily begins at 5:30.)

"[It’s] all about God; it’s not about me.  It’s all about Jesus and His Church; it’s not about me.  It’s His dominion; it’s not mine.  It’s His Kingdom; it is not ours.  It is His will not mine that needs to be done.  And to Him and Him alone be the honor and the glory."

A.M.D.G.

Bring Back the Galero

In my previous post about the consistory this past Saturday at which Pope Benedict XVI elevated 22 men to the College of Cardinals, I talked about the significance of the biretta, and in particular, why it is red.

I would like to propose that the galero make a comeback among Catholic clergy.

First, let me say, I’m not a rad trad or anything of the sort (I’m cool with the Novus Ordo, Vatican II, the Luminous Mysteries, and Bl. John Paul’s Theology of the Body).  However, I wouldn’t mind a greater use of this little known (and rarely seen) piece of Catholic headgear.

What is a galero?

A galero is a hat with a wide and circular brim.  Its color and number of tassels indicate what role the wearer plays in the leadership of the Body of Christ.

Generally, a priest’s galero is black with one set of tassels hanging on each side. 

A bishop’s galero is green with 3 rows of tassels (an archbishop’s galero has 4 rows of tassels).

A cardinal’s galero is red with 5 rows of tassels.

(Photo from The Far Sight.)

I also believe abbots, rectors, and superiors of religious orders have galero’s with special colors and/or number of tassels.  Additionally, I learned that Chinese bishops have permission to use a different color of galero other than green because in Chinese culture, a man who “wears a green hat” means that he is a cuckold.

So, Bishop Joseph Zen of Hong Kong (before he became a cardinal) used a purple galero:

His successor, Archbishop John Tong Hon, who was made a cardinal along with Archbishop Timothy Dolan this past Saturday, chose a teal galero:

Archbishop Wang, Auxiliary Archbishop of San Francisco uses a red and black galero with green tassels:

Upon the death of a Cardinal (Arch)Bishop, his galero would be raised above his tomb or suspended form the ceiling of his cathedral.  Here is the galero of Edward Cardinal Mooney in Detroit’s Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament (photo from the Spirit of St. John).

As indicated above, the galero is still common in ecclesiastical heraldry, however, modernly, the most common headgear actually worn by Catholic clergy (besides the zucchetto or mitre) is the biretta, a hat which indicated that the wearer was a learned person with a certain academic degree and status.  It’s interesting to note that St. Teresa de Jesus (of Avila) is sometimes depicted wearing a black biretta to indicate her great intelligence as seen in her writings and status as a Doctor of the Church although she probably never attended university.

So, why bring back the galero?

1st:  It’s functional.  It will not only keep our clergy’s head warm in winter, but also serve as a shield from the sun during summer.

2nd:  It’s cool.

3rd:  The galero is sometimes referred to as a “pilgrim’s hat”.  Thus, it is an outward sign that we are all pilgrims on earth, and our clergy help to lead us on this journey home, to guide us when we don’t know our way, to bring us back when we have strayed from the true path, and to heal us when we are wounded.

4th:  I’m a person who likes consistency, so since the galero is featured on the coat of arms of practically all (arch)bishops and cardinals, then I think it should also be featured on their head…at least from time to time.

5th:  When a cardinal (arch)bishop dies and his galero is raised above his tomb or suspended from the ceiling of his cathedral, it is a sign that this life is passing and the life to come should be our goal.  The old and dusty galera also serves to remind the people of the (arch)diocese of their history and of the contributions of each of their pastors:  it’s like displaying mementos of departed loved ones.

6th:  Did I mention that it’s cool?

Now, the galero isn’t quite extinct.  Here is Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura wearing his galero with a cappa magna (which is a whole other post all together).

And here is Albert Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo in Sri Lanka, on his tricked out ride, being welcomed home after being made a cardinal.

Made for Each Other, a video by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for their program For Your Marriage

Our Nancy chooses sides…and causes scandal

From the ever witty Marc Barnes at Bad Catholic:

At last Wednesday’s White House press briefing, a CNS reporter asked Nancy Pelosi — a self-claimed devout Catholic – if she would stand with the Church and oppose the HHS contraceptive mandate as an assault on religious freedom. In summary:

Now, this is from me:

As a native San Franciscan, I can imagine St. Francis with the same expressions as His Eminence Excellency Cardinal-designate Archbishop Dolan—the difference would be that in order to relieve that Pelosi-inducing stress, Archbishop Dolan would probably have to go jogging, offer a rosary, and make a Holy Hour, whereas the moment St. Francis’ blood pressure began to rise, a fluffy bunny would hop into his arms and a cute fawn would emerge from the forest to caress his leg while birds chirped soothing melodies.  Ahhhhh…I suppose we all have to take a breather from the distress, confusion, and frustration caused by our Nancy.

Although Archbishop Dolan may not have expressed his thoughts in precisely those exact words, here are the words did he choose in informing the Catholic faithful about the recent edict from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

Finally, I have fond memories of our Holy Father’s visit to the United States in 2008.  However, I recall a rather odd, awkward, and confusing moment when Pope Benedict arrived at the White House and greeted President Bush, the First Lady…and the Speaker of the House. 

Here is our Nancy kissing the Fisherman’s Ring which usually is a sign of deep respect for the Holy Father (his person and his Petrine Office) as well as a pledge of obedience.  For any Catholic, this is the meaning attached to this traditional greeting of the Supreme Pontiff…for the former Speaker, I’m not quite sure what it means (hence my confusion…and the SCANDAL!).

Alright, Catholics and all people of good will, let’s do this!

Go here.  Get informedTake action.

And PRAY!

God our Father, Giver of life, we entrust the United States of America to Your loving care.  You are the rock on which this nation was founded.  You alone are the true source of our cherished rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Reclaim this land for Your glory and dwell among Your people.  Send Your Spirit to touch the hearts of our nation’s leaders.  Open their minds to the great worth of human life and the responsibilities that accompany human freedom.  Remind Your people that true happiness is rooted in seeking and doing Your will.  Through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, Patroness of our land, grant us the courage to reject the “culture of death”.  We ask this through Christ Our Lord.  Amen.