We are living through one of the low points in the history of the Church. So how do you survive scandal? We’ll talk about that in this episode. (Please forgive the quality of the recording. It was either publish, or hold off for another week.)
Thank you Pope Benedict XVI for the gift of the Traditional Latin Mass. It has renewed, strengthened and transformed my priestly vocation. In celebration of the 11th Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, I share with you a few pictures of my 25th Anniversary Celebration that was held on 11 June 2017. I was ordained on 13 June 1992. In those days the Tridintine Mass was the furthest thing on my mind. I though it was just too complicated, and the Latin was way beyond me. That was until I attended a Low Mass and received a special interior grace from Our Lord. Now, there is no turning back.
Recently, my father was hospitalized with breathing problems related to his heart. One day after many tests, a very cheerful young woman came in to talk with my us about his situation. I listened quietly for a while as this woman explained that there really isn’t anything more they can do for him. She went on to suggest that it is time for palliative care. “What is important for you?” “What are you looking for?” She said that he had been to the emergency department several times in the last few months, and there really isn’t anything they can do any more. She suggested that he could stay home, eat whatever he wanted, and they would give him a little morphine to comfort him. What she was trying to say without saying it: “You’re wasting resources, and a burden on the system and your family. Just stay home and die, and we can help you do that.”
That’s when I gave it to her. I said, “I’m a priest, and my parents are very faithful Catholics. We don’t need you to come into our home and kill my father. I and, many other priests know how this works (if it’s not guided by solid Catholic ethics).” They figure you are old, useless, wasting resources, and a burden to your family. When they get tired of you, you get a bigger dose of morphine than necessary and your heart stops. It happened to one of my aunts. I have seen people deprived of nutrition and hydration in local facilities. They aren’t going to do it to my family!
I upset her so much, she cam back a few minutes later with her supervisor. I gave her the same medicine. I know they were not happy, but I really don’t give a hoot. Another woman came in when I wasn’t there yet. So they got my point. The next day, a doctor came in and suggested a catherization, but they would have transfer my father to another hospital since they did not have the capability where he was.
After being transferred to the other hospital, they administered other medications to prepare him for the procedure. Today, they did the Catheterization. They found his heart to be weak but not damaged. There was no need for stints, and it is treatable with medication. The doctors changed his meds and said that his heart would begin to heal within a few weeks or months. This situation gives a few really good lessons. First, you need to stand up for yourselves and your loved ones. Second, get a second opinion. And last but not least, trust in the Lord. We are in God’s hands, and “nothing is impossible with God.”
26 years ago, on the Feast of my baptismal patron, St. Anthony of Padua, I was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Rev. Louis E. Gelineau at the Cathedral of SS. Peter & Paul, Providence, Rhode Island.
Laying on of hands
My hands were wrapped with the maniturgium following their anointing.
The last class ordained with deacons in the same Mass. 2 priests and 5 deacons.
May classmate Fr. Soars and I have both survived. Pretty good odds, thank God. Pray for us and for all priests!
The young priest from my parish wanted to get one of those nifty little portable altars. In the process, he talked to one of my parishioners who volunteered to make it for him. It came out really well. I had been thinking about getting one for a while and that was enough to throw me over the edge. I was close to ordering one, when the same parishioner said to me, “Can I make one for you?” I really didn’t want to impose on him, but since he asked, I took him up. I wanted the smaller one, that isn’t as bulky and easy to take on a pilgrimage. What better day for it to arrive – the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Here are some pictures.
Portable Altar with my parishioner Paul who made it.
Bottom view of the My Portable Altar.
Portable Altar standing without wings open.
Fully open Portable Altar.
I wanted a place to put some relics during Mass. The plexiglass pops out with a paper clip pushed up from the bottom.
Portable altar dressed and ready with a nice little Missale from my friend Fr. Marcello.
Thank you Paul for your generosity, may the Sacred Heart of Jesus bless you 100 fold.