Historic St. Anthony Catholic Church
258 Ohio, Wichita, Ks
2nd St. & Ohio
Two blocks east of Old Town
Sunday Mass at 1:oo
English/Latin missals provided. Join us for coffee and donuts after mass downstairs in the St. Clair/Sunshine room, south exterior basement entrance.
Pastor of St. Anthony Parish: Fr. Ben Nguyen
EFLR Celebrants: Fr. John Jirak, Fr Nicholas Voelker
Master of Ceremonies: Tony Strunk
Choir Director: Bernie Dette

Continuing News

+To submit an article or if you have comments contact me, Mark, at bumpy187@gmail.com.

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Did You Know

Mass Propers, the readings that change everyday, can be found in the red missalettes at the entrance of church?

Fr. Nicholas Voelker celebrates Low Mass Saturdays at 8:00 a.m., St. Mary's Catholic Church, 106 East 8th street, Newton. There is no mass this Saturday, January 30, 2016.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Post #39

Topics: Parishioners of St. Anthony featuring Bob Walterscheid....Remember the Farmers in Prayer.....Father Corapi Video Wake Up America....Learning about Mass, The Confiteor....Vatican: Communion in Hand at Papal Liturgies.

St. Anthony Parishioner
Meet Bob Walterscheid

Every Sunday morning around 7:20, when the birds are barely flittering and eyes are still bleary, Bob Walterscheid strolls into church. Most everyone knows Bob, he is the kindly gentleman handing out missalettes for Latin Mass. St. Anthony, the building proper, has known Bob, his parents and his grandparents since 1904….you see Bob’s grandfather help build the church!

Mr. Robert (Bob) Walterscheid was born in Wellington in 1933 and has fond memories of St. Anthony as a child. One of Bob’s earliest memories: “ is walking from the 6th block on Mathewson to St. Anthony school and attending Mass every morning of the school year. (I) lost my book and remember crying in the pew. Sister Theodosia somehow got it back, as someone found it in the pasture between Washington, and Hydraulic and Central and 3rd street. (where they used to have carnivals, etc.).”

Along with his current duties Bob has served, off and on, with the Parish Council since the late 80's, and was at various times, president. He was also involved with the restoration of the church.

In working life Bob was in film and video production and advertising for 40 years. Prior to that he sold business forms, and before that owned and operated a smoke shop in downtown Wichita.

His interests have included coaching little league baseball (15 or more years) and brewing mead, which is a honey wine made famous by the Vikings. His immediate family includes “A lovely wife of nearly 57 years, 8 grown children, 11 grandchildren, 12 great grand children and 1 great, great on the way. Kids are gone and the dog is dead, we've got it made!”

I asked Bob about the water color paintings depicting the stained glass windows of the church .
“My daughter in law is presently doing water colors of the seven windows in the Church. There are two to go. They are available for sale and once the seven are complete, we will have greeting cards made for sale. They are outstanding pieces of art.” Indeed they are.

Did you know that one of the stained glass windows bears the Walterscheid family name? When facing the altar, it is the second one from the back on the left side. “When a kid, I always thought of the Blessed Mother sliding into home. Now I still can't get that out of my head!” said Bob.

I asked Bob if he prefers the Traditional Latin Mass. “I do prefer the Traditional Latin Mass as I have wonderful memories of serving when I attended St. Anthony School. I feel like I pray the Mass. I love the pageantry and the prayers and the solemnity of the Latin Mass.”

So now we all are acquainted with Mr. Bob Walterscheid. Stop, shake his hand, say hello, share a cup of coffee and I’m sure he has many stories to tell of life in and out of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.

Pray for the Farmers
"For I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food" (Mt 25:35)

Too often, and especially as city bound folks, we forget about those who work to bring food to our tables, namely farmers. While making my way home last night, very close to midnight, I passed a wheat field (in my small town the farm fields extend right up to the city limits) where several combines and other harvest vehicles were busy in the dusty night, lights blazing, gleaning and gathering the wheat. This would not be unusual but what struck me was that in the background, perhaps not more than a couple of miles away were huge thunderheads, flashing bright and angry with lightning and rain.

It occurred to me what a precarious undertaking farming as a profession is. So many uncontrolled variables at work: damaging hail, lightning, too much or not enough rain, tornadoes, disease, fungus…bushels per acre, wheat quality, test weights.

It is too late to pray for a good crop, but we can still pray for a successful harvest and that the rains stay away long enough for farmers to get into their fields

Prayer for Fair Weather
The Roman Missal (1962), Baronius Press

Almighty God, we beseech thy clemency, be pleased to check these heavy rains and show to us a cheerful sky. Through our Lord…

Father Corapi Video
America Must Wake Up!
"How else can you participate in the sin of another? By silence!"

Learning about Mass
What is the Confiteor?

The Confiteor, or public confession of sin, is an acknowledgment of guilt before God. This is done as part of the prayers at the foot of the altar. The priest bows and says his confession of humility then the servers repeat it on behalf of the people. This is happening when the servers are kneeling and have their foreheads on the first step of the altar. When you see the servers turn toward the priest (twice) as they are kneeling, is when they confess to the priest "et tibi, pater" and when they ask for prayers from the priest "et te, Pater."

This gesture of sorrow can be found in Scripture in Luke 18:13 ( and elsewhere).

"And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner."

If you watch closely both the priest and the servers will beat their breasts as they acknowledge their sin with the words "through my fault, though my fault, through my most grievous fault" or in Latin "Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maximu culpa".

And here it is in it's entirety:

Confiteor Deo omnipotenti, beatae Mariae semper Virgini, beato Michaeli Archangelo, beato Joanni Baptistae, sanctis Apostolis Petro et Paulo, omnibus Sanctis, et tibi Pater, quia peccavi nimis cogitatione verbo, et opere: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Ideo precor beatam Mariam semper Virginem, beatum Michaelem Archangelum, beatum Joannem Baptistam, sanctos Apostolos Petrum et Paulum, omnes Sanctos, et te Pater, orare pro me ad Dominum Deum Nostrum. Amen

I confess to Almighty God, to Blessed Mary ever Virgin, to Blessed Michael the Archangel, to Blessed John the Baptist, to the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to all the saints, and to you Father, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, deed. Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech Blessed Mary ever Virgin, Blessed Michael the Archangel, Blessed John the Baptist, the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, all the Angels and Saints, and you Father, to pray to the Lord our God for me .

Vatican: Receiving Eucharist Kneeling Will be Norm at Papal Liturgies
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Receiving the Eucharist on the tongue while kneeling before the pope will become the norm at papal liturgies, said the Vatican's liturgist.

While current norms allow the faithful to receive the Eucharist in the hand while standing, Pope Benedict XVI has indicated a preference for the more traditional practice, said Msgr. Guido Marini, master of papal liturgical ceremonies.

Kneeling and receiving Communion on the tongue highlights "the truth of the real presence (of Christ) in the Eucharist, helps the devotion of the faithful and introduces the sense of mystery more easily," he said in a June 26 interview with the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.

Pastorally speaking, he said "it is urgent to highlight and recover" these aspects of the sacredness and mystery of the Eucharist in modern times.

Generally at papal Masses, those receiving Communion from the pope stand and the majority choose to receive on the tongue.

But starting with a May 22 Mass outside the Basilica of St. John Lateran, two ushers placed a kneeler in front of the altar and the chosen communicants all knelt and received on the tongue.

At a June 15 Mass in the southern Italian port city of Brindisi, the pope again distributed Communion to the faithful on the tongue while they were kneeling.

In the Vatican newspaper interview, Msgr. Marini was asked if this practice was destined to become the norm in all papal celebrations, and he replied, "I really think so."

He said "it is necessary not to forget that the distribution of Communion in the hand, from a juridical standpoint, remains up to now an indult," which is an exemption from a general requirement that is granted by the Vatican to the bishops' conferences which have requested it. He said the pope's adoption of the traditional practice of distributing Communion "aims to highlight the force of the valid norm for the whole church."

However, the pope's preference for the traditional practice is not meant to "take anything away from the other" permissible form of standing or receiving the Eucharist in the hand, he said.

Msgr. Marini told the Vatican newspaper that Pope Benedict also would be introducing another change to future papal liturgies during his June 29 Mass marking the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the patron saints of Rome.

He said the pope would begin wearing a shorter pallium -- a circular woolen band worn over the shoulders with a shorter strip hanging down the front and back -- similar to the kind worn by Pope John Paul II.

Pope Benedict had been wearing a pallium similar to ones worn by popes in the first millennium, when the woolen band was wrapped around the pope's shoulders and hung down his left side to just below his knees.

Msgr. Marini said the new pallium was chosen for two reasons: "to more heavily underline the continued development this liturgical vestment has had over the span of more than 12 centuries" and to be more practical.

The longer pallium the pope had been using created "different and troublesome problems," he said.

The newer, shorter pallium is decorated with six red crosses instead of black ones. Like other palliums, the end piece is made of black silk, a symbol of the black sheep which the shepherd rescues and carries over his shoulder back to the flock.

The white woolen pallium is a sign of the pope's and an archbishop's authority over the Christian community and the Gospel authority of a shepherd called to carry his sheep, to lead them and to feed them.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Post #38

Topics: Parishioners of St. Anthony featured....Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos at Westminster Cathedral .. . . .Priest Vestments from The Baltimore Catechism.....Random Thoughts The Promise

Parishioners of St. Anthony Featured

Venite Missa Est! will be featuring those individuals and families that make up our Latin Mass (EFLR) Community at St. Anthony in future articles. It is our hope that in doing so we can better know our neighbors in the pews and share stories, pictures, memories and camaraderie. Look for articles on Father Lies, our choir and director, those who hand out bulletins, take money, clean, attend, worship and serve...who knows...you may be next!

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos at Westminster Cathedral
from The Tablet, Ringing in the Old, June 21, 2008
by Elena Curti

A Pontifical High Mass in the Tridentine Rite was said in Westminster Cathedral last weekend for the first time in four decades. Its celebrant, a close ally of the Pope and an ambassador for the old liturgy, promised that further changes will be afoot.

Imagine for a moment a vibrant and confident Catholic church, the pews filled every Sunday with parishioners of all ages, eager to celebrate a distinctive liturgy that will impart a sense of reverence and awe and the mystery of Christ's redeeming sacrifice.

That is the vision of the Church presented last weekend by a senior member of the Curia, Dario
Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos. And the means of achieving it, he claims, is the revival of the Tridentine Rite.

continued, Hoyos....

Priests Vestments from The Baltimore Catechism
Is that a maniple or a chasuble?

A few years back while browsing through a used bookstore I found a most wonderful book entitled My Catholic Faith by Luis LaRaviore Morrow, dated 1961. It is based on A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, Revised Edition of the Baltimore Catechism, the Holy Bible and the Collectio Rituum. It is still in print, though the illustrations are not as clear, but remains otherwise intact and faithful to this older edition.

Follow the link and get schooled on your chasubles and cassocks..............................here.

Random Thoughts
Personal reflection:The Promise

The smell was the first thing I noticed, then the darkness. Both stopped me in my tracks and I waited while my eyes adjusted and I breathed in the smell of the building. I knew that smell from long ago…it was the smell of wood, plaster, brick and mildew. It was the smell of decades old varnish and chalk dust…of spilt milk and rubber balls....of dirty sneakers and teacher's sweet perfume...It was the smell of St. Mary's Catholic school and I found it not unpleasant.

On this particularly glorious June day it was my job, as a part time janitor, to varnish the 100 year old wood floors of St. Mary's school and it was very early morning. The sun was already reflecting on the cross atop the steeple, but as I stepped into the hallway of the school it was silent and dark with shadows of dark brown and faded white…like an old photo on your grandmother’s dresser.

Immediately out of instinct, or a childhood of forged manners, I quieted myself...softened my stride, turned off my iPod and closed my phone and the text message I was sending.

I had not been in the school in 41 years. I hadn't attended class here, but I spent time here in catechism and in preparation for my first communion in the church next door. Hello old school.

I set my equipment down, my mops and handles, and the backbreaking bucket of goo I was to spread on the old tattered floor, and looked around curiously. The dark wainscoting rose to nearly my height as it stretched upward towards the 12 foot ceilings...high ceilings to displace the summer heat. I flipped the old light switch and it made that old mechanical click that one never hears anymore. It echoed down the quiet hallway into the four big classrooms divided by the central hall and a smaller perpendicular hall that led to the restrooms. Above the doors the old vent windows were open, or more accurately, stuck open by time and stubbornness and the single bulbs glowed dim in the hall above original glass domes...the kind of light fixtures you see on antique shows.

I entered each classroom, turning the metal knobs above the skeleton key holes, two creaky doors to each room, pulled the long chains to the ceiling fans and was generally not interested in starting work.
I sat on the bucket of goo in the hall (gee a cup of coffee would be nice) and thought of the long day ahead...moving entire classrooms contents to one side of the room to varnish, then moving it all back to the other side to varnish, was a daunting task. So I dawdled some more and thought I heard the sound of children laughing ("nah, that had to be outside"), then I imagined I heard the rustling of skirts and soft shoes ("no way, that's just the ceiling fans") and I strained to hear what I really only imagined...but only heard car doors slamming at the courthouse across the street, rolling trains, and the occasional conversation of passersby.

But as I sat, somewhere in the soft breeze of the ceiling fans and the floating dust in the soft light, the old school seemed to whisper to me, somehow beckoning me.

Childhood memories of sweet innocence, scraped knees, Schwinn bicycles and white undershirts (t-shirts nowadays) flooded my brain, neurotransmitters dancing crazily with memories of 13 oz. Levis, Romper Room and baseball caps. In my imagination the old school had recognized me ("I remember you...do you remember me?...why don't you see if that sweater you left here in 1966 is still hanging on the hook?...boy your Mom was mad, it was a brand new sweater, the second one you lost that year!...remember when you made your first confession and had to makeup sins because you couldn't think of any? Do you still have that dog..?").

As I sat on the bucket I realized that the school and I were getting re-acquainted...or rather, I was being re-acquainted with my childhood self…and it was good.

I thought of myself as a boy, a little Catholic in training, full of exuberance for life and love and Mom and Dad and Jesus and the Saints. I thought of those lessons from the catechism we learned, or rather was drilled into us.....on life and God's grace, Jesus' sacrifice and Mary Our Mother. We learned scary things such as consequence and hell, sin and virtue (yes it was scary to think of the work it took to be good!).

Most notably I remember the original promise...the original promise of eternal love of Holy Catholic Church and her bridegroom, our Savior Jesus Christ. It was a promise of always being there in protection and salvation, of judgment and punishment...being there when the lights were turned off at night...when the peacocks down the street would let loose their mournful cries in the evening (I always thought they were crying in their drawn out way "help, help"). "The promise" would be there in my mothers loving arms when I would wake in the morning and in the French toast I got for breakfast. That promise of love and guardianship would accompany us when we walked the brick streets downtown for vanilla phosphates and returned with us as we walked the Santa Fe tracks home. And it would be there when I stole the neighbor girl’s ice cream and got whipped for it.

That original promise was with me as I knelt at the communion rail at seven years old and got sprinkled with the ice cream scooper (!), marveled at the priest in his vestments and received my first communion...and yes I did make up sins at my very first confession.

But oh how foolish we become when we grow up. Along the way I had forgotten the promise and more importantly I had abdicated my role in the promise....the responsibility of reciprocating in the covenant, the promise between God and his people in which God makes certain promises but requires certain behavior in return.

I thought of these things through the morning as I heaved and labored, grunting and sweating, mopping the finish on the old worn floors. The Blessed Virgin looked down in each classroom; eyes filled with eternal love...hands folded in supplication or open to her children. Her son hung in passion along her side...forever entreating the Father for mercy towards us...and forever awaiting next year’s class of first graders. The promise was always there...it was always here, and as I performed my humble work I was being reminded of that promise… in the quiet way God whispers to children.

I took several water breaks throughout the afternoon, the high ceilings and fans proving to be less and less effective against the heat. As I waited for floors to dry I thought of the thousands of children who had passed these halls...and how the saints who lined the corridors had been silent witness to all of them. Here was St. Francis holding a bird. There was St. Joseph with the Christ child... a curious shock of gray hair on his head. There...the infant of Prague all grown up (ok, so I got THAT one wrong). Here, an odd picture from 1942 of Christ as a child embracing the globe with his finger landing on Greenland. To his European side are Old World buildings, and on his North American side are modern skyscrapers....are those WWII bomber planes flying overhead? A gorgeous old lithograph of Mary our Mother, sitting upon a throne with her beloved son in one hand and a rose in the other. Above her cherubs fly…I note the one with the receding hairline.

Many times throughout life I was to reflect on these very Saints and on the lessons I had heard as a child, but for many, many years I chose to ignore them as I drifted further and further away. One gets a certain false sense of pride in manliness and intellectualisms, in money and its pursuit...in material desires and lust, in worldliness and vanity. I had committed much sin and had suffered greatly, yes I had found happiness but it always was temporal and the church never seemed to offer any answers. Funny enough, I would always tell people that I was Catholic even if I hadn’t stepped in a confessional in 30 years.

It was about seven years ago that I attended a confirmation mass for my girlfriend. About a month later, something sparked in my conscience…”Mass starts at noon…you should go”…so I did. I couldn't remember when to kneel, stand or spit…and it was nothing but curiosity…until a few days later when that little voice whispered to me again. And I went again, but it would be a long time until I fully gave in…it was a long time till I finally let go….I only fully re-entered the deep end with great trepidation.

The deep end for me took the form of the Traditional Latin Mass (EFLR). I don’t really remember the old liturgy …but I remember incense and silence, my father in his suit and my mother beating her breast. I remember communion rails and whispered prayers, scarves on women’s heads and mothers white gloves. Now as an adult had I found it or had it found me? Had it spoke to me in hushed tones like I imagined this old school had been?

The Latin Mass has proven to be my glorious falling…the kind of fall when you step off a diving board …so high up and so scary. But the entry is wonderful and joyful: when you swim you really are just letting go and giving yourself up to the power of the deep water…never really conquering it, just floating on top. You only surrender to the water, you don’t fight it, and in doing so the symbiotic relationship forms…is that not a sort of covenant? Isn’t this like that unspoken original promise?

Post supper and the day is waning; the shadows have crept from one side of the building to the other and now are merging silently…slowly…into twilight. I was backing down the main hallway so as not to paint myself in a corner. As I retreated I shut doors, turned off lights and fans and strained to see…the single bulbs in their fancy globes served only as transitional technology in 1908 over gaslight and lanterns. As I passed each statue they whispered goodbye in my imagination with their own special message:

St. Joseph; “Your father prays for and misses you…keep praying for him…take it easy on the kids…right now they’re acting dumb, but they’ll grow out of it…..

St. Francis; “I like your dogs and chickens!”

Mother Mary; “Say many prayers my child and pray the Rosary often, I am always with you as is my Son”.

Grown up Infant of Prauge; “Um, that’s not my name. Were you NOT paying attention in class?”

Christ on the Cross; “I love you”

The last statue on the way out is not a Saint but an ordinary boy, an altar boy. I can tell that he is the oldest and probably the only original statue left with glass eyes that seem to twinkle in the dim light. His attire is extremely old fashioned; his surplice has fancy lace adorning the bottom, his sleeves hang low with scalloped edges and his neck line is tied together in a bow. He stands reverently, holding a crucifix in his hands, his eyes gazing in adoration at the crucified Christ.

I like him the best because he is most like me…just an ordinary guy…and sometimes in my heart, especially before God, I am just a boy. I don’t imagine he would say much to me…except this; “do what you can, whatever your station in life to love, serve and adore…in this you hold up your end of the promise”. Smart kid that altar boy.

I finish my task and pack it all up. The stars are twinkling in the darkening sky and the town is settling in for the night. I wave to Father M. as I load up my equipment. His day is ending as well.

I re-enter the hallway to say goodnight. Again I notice the smell and the darkness and it makes me pause…in one day I have come full circle…a microcosm of the life cycle played out in hours, beginning to end with the promise of another day on the lips of the Almighty. My faith has come full circle as well, from the innocence of childhood, as this old school reminds me, to the “letting go” I have found in the old Latin Mass….I have let go and let the waters of my baptism take me once again…

…and as I lock the doors and walk away the 100 year old altar boy, from high atop his pedestal, reminds me that God’s promise has and always will stand.

Post Script: "The Promise" in no way reflects official Catholic doctrine but serves only as personal reflection.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

In Honor of Fathers Day

Topics: Monsignor James Conley ordained Auxiliary Bishop
. . . . . In Honor of Fathers in this Month of June F.S.S.P. Newsletter. . . . The Baltimore Catechism The Fourth Commandment .

Monsignor James Conley ordained Auxiliary Bishop

Our dear friend and shepard, Msgr James Conley was ordained May 30 as the Fifth Auxiliary Bishop of the Denver Archdiocese in the newly renovated Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Denver, CO.

After an impressive procession of more than 200 hundred, including priests, deacons, abbots and bishops the Mass observed the Sacred Heart of Jesus to a backdrop of sacred music that included Latin and Gregorian chant.

In attendance were Kansas' own Bishop Paul S. Coakley of Salina and Bishop Michael O. Jackels of the Diocese of Wichita.

Bishop Conley will be assisting Archbishop Chaput in the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Denver.

Monsignor James Conley was instrumental in the propagation of the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite) at St. Anthony, Wichita, and served as co-celebrant, along with Father Jerrod Lies, as well as liaison to Bishop Jackels. In one of his last homilies before leaving Kansas Msgr. Conley stated (and I paraphrase liberally) that "he was entering un-chartered water, that there were no books written on how to be a bishop…and he requested prayers for himself and his journey".

Indeed your Excellency, prayers for you are soaring heavenward and you are in our hearts and minds.

I wonder…what would it take to get Bishop Conley to come back to St. Anthony for a Sunday reunion and mass? Wouldn’t that be a blessing!

The Catholic Advance has a good write up and pictures on the ordination @ http://www.cdowk.org/catholic_advance/index.html


In Honor of Fathers and Fatherhood in This Month of June.
On Fatherhood, from the June 2008 monthly newsletter of the North American District of the F.S.S.P.

When Our Lord walked throughout the Holy Land, He chose 12 men to be His Apostles to spread the True Faith throughout the known world. Our Lord did not choose the wise of the world; rather, many of the Apostles were fishermen with dirty jobs which required great labors, muscles, and much knowledge. But after spending several yeas with our Lord, grace built upon their nature and their lives of virtue would aid them in becoming strong Bishops with inflexible spines, ready to fearlessly discharge their duties in the face of difficulties.

In this month of June when we remember fatherhood, we turn to these first fathers of souls as an inspiration for all fathers to imitate. The Bible says to “act like a man; take courage and do (your duty) (I Para. 28:20). Like Adam, men are required to work by the sweat of their brow, to defend the rights of women and children, and to provide for their family. But these manly qualities take time to learn, so like the Apostles who brewed into holiness over time, boys will need a constant example of what they must become like. Sons, it goes without saying, learn about their manliness from their on father. If the father is a virtuous one, the sons will most likely be virtuous, buy if a father does not practice his catholic faith, the sons will probably follow the same path. Hence it is imperative that fathers are not ruled y alcohol, lust, or laziness, but by an upright and unselfish life if their sons are going to correctly mature into manhood. Just as the Apostles taught us that they needed the graces through the Catholic Church to be good Bishops, so too, a father of children needs the graces through the Catholic Church to be a good dad. However, fathers need more that the promise of God’s graces, for they also have to be able to receive the graces into their Soul. Hence, if a father is not in the state of grace, then graces cannot be received, and his fatherhood will become defective. However, if he is in a state of grace, then god the father shares part of his All-powerfulness’ with the father in order to assist him within the life of this family.

We then reason that since so many fathers do not faithfully practice their Catholic Faith, many families are suffering as a result. Due to the increased temptations in the world, men are easily blown over by the winds of their passions. As sin abounds in this modern world, once god’s graces are lost, it is easy to become a lukewarm father or to be a mediocre role model to the family. But the strength with which fathers need to survive is readily available if they sustain a daily life with Christ. It is from the sacraments, prayer, and fasting that men gain the graces to maintain their manliness. For which takes greater strength: to control the passion of anger or to throw a fist?...to control lust or to give into pleasure? As greater strength is necessary to control the passions, then the man who controls the passions is stronger than he who does not control them; thereby his manliness is actualized.

Our passions require a balance, for we can fall into one extreme that passions are evil or the opposite extreme of “why bother fighting them, they are too strong for me to control”. The true man finds a balance, recognizes that he has passions and emotions, and the finds the willpower to rule over the tendencies of his lower nature. The vicious man, however, will be ruled by his passions, falls prey to them and weakens to the point of exhaustion. For example, if a man yields to anger and bursts into fits of fury which make others tremble, he may picture himself as a strong lion, buy in reality, he is really weak since he is not in control of his passions. Outwardly he appears strong, buy inwardly his is feeble and has become a slave to his passions.

The attack on fatherhood is not just form the world, but also from the evil once. Since the devil has declared ware on the Catholic Church, he will try to destroy family life since it is from stable, Catholic families that souls more easily gain heaven. Thus, we should not be surprised that the notion of a hard-working father who goes to mass every Sunday has vanished and has been replaced by a father figure who does fun things, does not discipline, and gives license to sinful behavior. As a result, sons receive little direction in life and are not challenged to be responsible. In order to discover if fathers are faithful to their duties we can ask: how many 18-year-old are ready for manhood with the responsibilities of life which now face them?

So much rests upon the father, and he has to be rooted in Christ by practicing his faith. To show the importance of a practicing Catholic father, statistics show that if a father practices this catholic faith, then there is an 80% chance that his sons will remain faithful Catholics throughout their lives. However, if a father does not practice his Catholic faith, then his sons have only a 20% chance of remaining a faithful Catholic. The same study showed that the statistic remained the same whether or not the mother went to church. May this sever as an inspiration for Catholic women to find a good practicing Catholic man to marry.

It is imperative, then, that fathers live as God demands. When God commits the care of children to married couple, the success of the father will hinge upon the virtue of the father. Even though the duties of a husband and father do not begin until the first day of marriage, the preparation for being a virtuous father began before the wedding day. How the man acted before marriage will determine what kind of a father the man will become. Did he learn how to work diligently? Did he set reasonable goals for himself and then pursue them when difficulties arose? Did he pay off his debts? Did he say the Holy Rosary every day? Was the courtship a time of virtue? If he did these things, after the wedding ceremony it will be easier to live in harmony with is wife, to work diligently, to finish the tasks around the home, to manage his money well, and to pry with his wife and children.

Lastly, as we are often inspired when we see our Priest praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament, so too, it is an inspiration for children to see their father praying at home. By prayer, the Apostles became strong bishops who fearlessly discharged their duties in the face of difficulties; and by prayer, men can also become strong fathers who fearlessly discharge their duties in the face of difficulties.

In Christ,

Fr. Eric Flood, F.S.S.P.
District Superior

To subscribe to the F.S.S.P Monthly Newsletter visit the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter web site @ http://fssp.com/main/requestnewsletter.htm


From the Baltimore Catechism
The Fourth Commandment: Honor thy Mother and Father

361. Q. What is the fourth Commandment?

A. The fourth Commandment is: Honor thy father and thy mother.

362. Q. What are we commanded by the fourth Commandment?

A. We are commanded by the fourth Commandment to honor, love, and obey our parents in all that is not sin.

363. Q. Are we bound to honor and obey others than our parents?

A. We are also bound to honor and obey our bishops, pastors, magistrates, teachers, and other lawful superiors.

364. Q. Have parents and superiors any duties towards those who are under their charge?

A. It is the duty of parents and superiors to take good care of all under their charge and give them proper direction and example.

365. Q. What is forbidden by the fourth Commandment?

A. The fourth Commandment forbids all disobedience, contempt, and stubbornness towards our parents or lawful superiors.