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

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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.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Post #198

Topics: Angels: Ascending and Descending on the Son of Man...Video: Tantum Ergo...The Catholic Church: The Mystical Body of Christ


Thursday night I had occasion to be leaving St. Anthony around 8:30 at night. Locking up behind me was Mr. Bob Wells, life long parishioner of St. Anthony and Sacristan for the Latin Mass. As he turned out the lights we walked out of the sacristy and made our way through the pews to the front door.

Aside from the street lights shining dimly through the stained glass the only other light source were the vigil candles. In the darkness the sanctuary lamp burned red, our Mother's altar lit blue and St. Joseph was illuminated gold.

I thought of my parents, both deceased, who always left a light on expecting me home and, even after adulthood, would leave the porch light on as I made my way out the door and on my way.

My way might have been down the road to my house, or out into life, toward a woman I loved or down a wayward and lost path. But always, there was a light burning for me, and warm food, and comfort and safety.

And so a light still burns...now at St. Anthony, for me, and my parents, for you and for us... where our Father waits in the dark and comfort and safety dwell.

...and now for the necessaries.

Please note: St. Anthony Catholic Church is one of only two churches celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass (EFLR) in the Wichita area. Though this blog is loosely centered around this parish and it's members, Venite Missa Est! is by no means, in any way an official voice of, or for, St. Anthony Parish or the Diocese of Wichita. Venite Missa Est! is strictly a private layman's endeavor.


Angels Ascending and Descending on the Son of Man
Beginning to Pray

By the ministry of the angels and through the sacred humanity of our Lord, Christ brings about on earth what God wills in heaven.  This is what happened to the Virgin in Nazareth.  This is what happened in the agony of Gethsemane.

In the spiritual life, God sends super intelligent messengers from beyond the narrow confines of this visible world to help us take on the mind of Christ and to act in his power.  Angels ascend and descend on Christians just as on the humanity of Christ. Their words communicate deep things into our hearts unimaginably more expansive than are the limited horizon of thought open to merely human speech. St. John of the Cross says that their messages from heaven actually wound us with a deep ardent love of God that does not easily go away to change us, to help us find the only One who can satisfy our heart’s desire. There is nothing like love to free us from ourselves, from the prison of our own preoccupations.  Their ministry is to guide us out of our big fat egos so that we might find Christ and cleave to Him in faith.

One of the biggest obstacles to prayer is our bloated sense of self. It really is a problem of being full of oneself. A primordial hostility towards the true God lives in our hearts and compels us to seek and to fashion idols that appeal to our imaginations, that we seem to understand, that we think we can control. In our arrogance and ignorance, we easily convince ourselves that what we imagine God to be God is. When we do this we have made an idol out of the self because we have limited God to the product of our own fantasy. Whereas prayer should be a humble conversation with the Living God, when the ego is worshipped as an idol, prayer is reduced to an interior monologue in which we exhaust ourselves going round and round in circles - not unlike what is envisioned in various systems of reincarnation. Such prayer is nothing more than talking to oneself. It is fruitless self-occupation. 

Here, self-preoccupation is a very consuming kind of worship. Preoccupied with our own concerns, experiences, thoughts, memories, fantasies, feelings, plans, ambitions, grudges, and desires; there is no interior silence for us to listen to God, to allow his silence to humble us in ours, to hear his creative voice so that it might produce a new work in us. The shell of our ego is so thick that it would have imprisoned us forever had not Christ pierced it by allowing himself to be pierced through by our sins.

Why does God send us angels?  God has desire to bless us with every spiritual blessing through Christ so that we might become the praise of his glory.  Angels help us realize this most high calling because their messages help us see the truth about God and about ourselves.  Through their ministry of which we are rarely directly aware, we see ever more deeply that the life of the Trinity, the inner life of God, is a constantly going out from "self" in an eternal ecstasy of unimaginably rapturous love: the immortal life of God is pure vulnerability, pure desire for union, pure benevolence for the other, pure self-surrender, pure reciprocity -- but in all of this a holiness, a wisdom, an inexhaustible incomprehensibility before which every created intellect must bow and the powers of all imagination must kneel.   By the hidden ministry of the angels, God desires that we, mere frail creatures though we are, share in this eternal life, his own life.  In the image and likeness of this unfathomable God, marred by sin but restored by Christ through his suffering and death, He constantly sends angels in secret ways to free us from ourselves and to lead us into a place where we can find Him to share his life with Him.  God's holy messengers - both angels and men - in speaking the truth to us, wound us with a love by which we see that we are only most fully ourselves when like the Living God we give the gift of ourselves in love.


Tantum Ergo

Tantum ergo are the opening words of the last two verses of Pange Lingua, a Mediaeval Latin hymn written by St Thomas Aquinas. These last two verses are sung during veneration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in the Roman Catholic Church and other churches that practice this devotion.

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
veneremur cernui:
et antiquum documentum
novo cedat ritui:
praestet fides supplementum
sensuum defectui.
Genitori, Genitoque
laus et iubilatio,
salus, honor, virtus quoque
sit et benedictio:
procedenti ab utroque
compar sit laudatio.


Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail;
Lo! o'er ancient forms departing,
newer rites of grace prevail;
faith for all defects supplying,
where the feeble sense fail.
To the everlasting Father,
and the Son who reigns on high,
with the Holy Ghost proceeding
forth from Each eternally,
be salvation, honor, blessing,
might and endless majesty.



The Catholic Church
The Mystical Body of Christ
My Catholic Faith by Luis LaRaviore Morrow, 1961
Based on A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, Revised Edition
of the 
Baltimore Catechism, the Holy Bible and the Collectio Rituum.

Why is the Catholic Church called the Mystical Body of Christ? The Catholic Church is called the Mystical Body of Christ, because its members are united by supernatural bonds with one another and with Christ, their Head, thus resembling the members and head of the living human body.
How are we united to the Mystical Body of Christ?
We are united by three spiritual bonds: a) a Liturgical bond (the profession of the Catholic faith); b) a Symbolic bond (the profession of the Catholic faith); and c) a Hierarchical bond (obedience to the Church’s rulers, and freedom from a penalty that would cast us out of the Church).
A baptized person separates himself form the Mystical Body of Christ either by heresy, apostasy or schismA person is cast out of the Mystical Body of Christ when he is excommunicated. Any person who separates himself from the Church or is excommunicated can always return to the Church and the sacraments, if he repents of his sins and seeks absolution form the proper authorities.

  1. In the Mystical Body, Christ as head wills to be helped by his Body. Thus He rules the Church, but does so indirectly through the hierarchy, human authority. In a similar manner the human head, to live has need of the rest of the body.
  2. Among the members of the Mystical Body of Christ there exists interdependence; so that although each one has his own individual function, yet he does not live for himself alone, but for the entire body. Every good he does perfects the Body, of which he is a part.
What is meant by the Communion of Saints” in the Apostles’ Creed?
By the Communion of Saints is meant the union of the faithful on earth, the blessed in heaven, and the souls in purgatory, with Christ as their head.
  1. There is only one Mystical Body, only one Church which contains three portions:
  2. All the saints and angels in heaven compose the Church triumphant, because they have gained the crown of victory. B) The souls in purgatory comprise the Church suffering, because they still have to expiate for their sins before they can enter heaven. C) The faithful on earth compose the Church militant, because they have to struggle ceaselessly against the enemies of their souls.
  3. All the members of the Church are of one family, and share in the spiritual treasures of the Church.
While those in the state of mortal sin do not enjoy fully the benefits of the “communion of saints”, even they are not entirely excluded form it. Thus they may receive the grace to repent and recover sanctifying grace. Hence a Catholic, who still belongs to the Church, although a great sinner, may have more hope of being converted than one who cuts himself off form the Church.
How do the MEMBERS of the Communion of Saints HELP ONE ANOTHER?
The members of the “communion of saints,” the blessed in heaven can help those in purgatory and on earth by praying for the blessed in heaven and pray to them, because they are worthy of honor and as friends of god will help the faithful on earth.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Post #197

Topics: Request from Bishop Jackels: Conscience Rights Violated...
Maronite Catholic: Chant...September 29th: The Feast of St. Michael


...and now for the necessaries.

Please note: St. Anthony Catholic Church is one of only two churches celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass (EFLR) in the Wichita area. Though this blog is loosely centered around this parish and it's members, Venite Missa Est! is by no means, in any way an official voice of, or for, St. Anthony Parish or the Diocese of Wichita. Venite Missa Est! is strictly a private layman's endeavor.


Conscience Rights Are Being Violated
His Excellency Bishop Michael O. Jackels
Diocese of Wichita
September 19, 2011

To the priests, religious and lay faithful in the Diocese of Wichita:

The Bishops of the United States have been asked to make a last-minute effort in defense of religious freedom and conscience protection.

Please write the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services before Sept. 30 to ask that sterilization and prescription contraceptives be removed from the list of preventive services the federal government is mandating in private health plans.

You may write to the HHS by clicking on this link: usccb.org/conscience. The message below will be in the body of the email and you will be given the option of writing your own opening and editing the message below.

"Pregnancy is not a disease, and drugs and surgeries to prevent it are not 
basic health care that the government should require all Americans to purchase. Please remove sterilization and prescription contraceptives from the list of 'preventive services' the federal government is mandating in private health plans. It is especially important to exclude any drug that 
may cause an early abortion, and to fully respect religious freedom as other federal laws do. The narrow religious exemption in HHS's new rule protects almost no one. I urge you to allow all organizations and individuals to offer, sponsor and obtain health coverage that does not violate their moral and religious convictions."

With regard to the mandated services, contraception is not health care, and pregnancy is not a disease. And regarding a religious exemption, there is one provided, but it is so narrow that it will be difficult for some Catholic agencies to claim it.

Confident in your response to this important effort, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ,

Bishop Michael O. Jackels
Maronite Catholic Chant
Ecce Agnus Dei


                                                          The Feast of St. Michael
September 29th

 A long tradition identifies St. Michael the Archangel, as the leader who remained faithful to God, and cast Lucifer at God’s command. His powerful aid has always been invoked by the Church in time of emergency.

The Popes have constantly called on St. Michael as the special protector of the Church whenever great evils threatened God’s people. For this reason, St. Michael is especially honored at Rome, on Monte Gargano, near Foggia, in Italy, and in France on Mont St. Michel in Normandy.

In times of unusual danger, when the malice of the devil seems triumphant, St. Michael will come to our aid.

Sepember 29th

This is the feast day of St. Michael and all the Angels. It is the most ancient of all the angel festivals. The Anglican church celebrates all angels, both name and unnamed on one day. Roman and Orthodox Churches separate them into two categories (with the unnamed angels having their feast day on October 2nd).

From fairly early on, Michaelmas was an important holiday, the religious or Christian equivalent of the autumn equinox. In England, it was considered the start of a new quarter. It marked the start of a new business year, a time for electing officials, making contracts, paying rent, hiring servants, holding court and starting school. Obviously we still see the remnants of this in the timing of our elections and school year.

This is also a time when the weather is known to change. In Italy, they say "For St. Michael, heat goes into the heavens." In Ireland, people expect a marked decrease in sickness or disease. The Irish also consider this a lucky day for fishing:

Plenty comes to the boat on Micheael's Day.
Barolini records a nursery rhyme about hours of sleep:
Nature requires five,
Custom gives seven,
Laziness takes nine
And Michaelmas eleven.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Post #196

Topics: Quote from Cardinal Bacci1959 Book, Meditations for Each Day


Thanks to Father Jirac for Mass this morning. Father is bcomibng more efficient with the the Traditional Mass each and every time he celebrates.

...and now for the necessaries.

Please note: St. Anthony Catholic Church is one of only two churches celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass (EFLR) in the Wichita area. Though this blog is loosely centered around this parish and it's members, Venite Missa Est! is by no means, in any way an official voice of, or for, St. Anthony Parish or the Diocese of Wichita. Venite Missa Est! is strictly a private layman's endeavor.


A Quote from Cardinal Bacci's 1959 Book, Meditations for Each Day, for today, September 25

"We should also have great confidence in the assistance which God offers us in temptations, and we should pray to Him for help.  When pains torment us, when humiliations are hard to bear, when all is dark and we feel abandoned, let us trust in Him, Who is the way, the truth, and the life.  He says to us, as He said to Peter floundering in the waves, O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt?  He is always ready to console and comfort us."

"Let us remember that the more we hope for, the more we shall obtain."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Post #195

Topics: Bishop Olmsted, Diocese of Phoenix: Specifies Norms for Communion Under Both Species


News from the Diocese of Phoenix reveals that Bishop Olmsted (formerly of the Diocese of Wichita) is specifying the norms for communion under both species, laments excessive use of Extraordinary Ministers of Communion.
 A bishop who stands for solid Catholicism. Good for those in Phoenix!

...and now for the necessaries.

Please note: St. Anthony Catholic Church is one of only two churches celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass (EFLR) in the Wichita area. Though this blog is loosely centered around this parish and it's members, Venite Missa Est! is by no means, in any way an official voice of, or for, St. Anthony Parish or the Diocese of Wichita. Venite Missa Est! is strictly a private layman's endeavor.


Diocese limits Communion Under Both kinds, Laments Excessive Extraordinary Ministers
Bishop Olmsted Formerly of the Diocese of Wichita
Catholic Culture

The Diocese of Phoenix has announced that it will issue norms specifying the conditions under which Holy Communion may be distributed under both species.

“The new norms will promote unity in the celebration of the Eucharist all around the world, and come from the revised General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 3rd Edition, together with the final edition of The Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds for the Dioceses of the United States of America,” the diocese stated in a press release.

“In the Roman Missal (1975), 14 instances were provided when the chalice could be offered to the laity,” the diocese noted. “From 1975 on, the United States, United Kingdom and Oceania were given experimental privileges for the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds. These privileges expired in 2005 and were not renewed by the Holy See. The new norms issued in June 2011 are what guide the liturgical practice today and in the future.”

“These universal norms for the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds greatly expanded those times when the chalice could be offered to the lay faithful for most of the Catholic world (since in most countries their practice was virtually non-existent),” the diocesan statement continued. “In the Diocese of Phoenix, like other places where the practice of reception from the chalice became frequent or even commonplace, the new norms call for the practice of less frequent distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds than the faithful may have been accustomed.”

The ritual books state that Holy Communion may be offered at the Chrism Mass and feast of Corpus Christi. Additionally, it may be offered to a Catholic couple at their wedding Mass, to first communicants and their family members, confirmation candidates and their sponsors, as well as deacons, non-concelebrating priests, servers and seminarians at any Mass, as well as community members at a conventual Mass or those on a retreat or at a spiritual gathering. In addition, a priest may select other important solemnities in which it may be offered, e.g., parish patronal feast days or the celebration of the dedication of the church building, provided the conditions are met.

“In normal circumstances, only priests and deacons are to distribute Holy Communion,” the diocese added; “when both forms of Communion are used frequently, ‘extraordinary’ ministers of Holy Communion are disproportionately multiplied.”

Friday, September 23, 2011

Post #194 Addendum


Please note that I posted this (pasted below) late last night but it appears that I got the time wrong. I have been told that the ceremony is slated for 6:30 not 6:00 p.m. at the WSU Newman Center. Please pass this information onward.

Original post:
Forgive me I am writing this late on Thursday and I am a bit bleary...I cannot remember the young couple's names from St. Anthony but they are celebrating a Solemn Engagement Friday the 23rd at 6:00 p.m. at the Wichita State University Newman Center with Fr. Hay presiding. They invited everyone to attend. Congratulations on this wonderful ancient and beautiful ceremony.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Post #194

Topics: The Sacred Liturgy: Mary in the Liturgy?....September: Ember Days


Forgive me I am writing this late on Thursday and I am a bit bleary...I cannot remember the young couple's names from St. Anthony but they are celebrating a Solemn Engagement Friday the 23rd at 6:00 p.m. at the Wichita State University Newman Center with Fr. Hay presiding. They invited everyone to attend. Congratulations on this wonderful ancient and beautiful ceremony.
...and now for the necessaries.
Please note: St. Anthony Catholic Church is one of only two churches celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass (EFLR) in the Wichita area. Though this blog is loosely centered around this parish and it's members, Venite Missa Est! is by no means, in any way an official voice of, or for, St. Anthony Parish or the Diocese of Wichita. Venite Missa Est! is strictly a private layman's endeavor.


The Sacred Liturgy and Mary Most Holy - Part 1
Rorate Caeli

Mary in the Liturgy – But, what is the Liturgy? The liturgy is the composite of words, ceremonies, and acts of public and official worship with which the Church honors and prays to the Most Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ, the Most Holy Virgin, and the Saints.

The liturgy is the court service of the Church before the Divine King, it is the social worship, regulated by her; it is the most worthy thing that a creature may give to the Most High.

There are three kinds of prayer. The private prayer of the Christian, who, in the privacy of his room, or in the mystical shadow of the temple, elevates himself to God on the wings of faith and love, is beautiful. Jesus Christ and the Church desire this prayer, and recommend it to all the faithful (see St. Matthew, vi, 6).

Collective prayer is more efficacious; it is the one by two or more persons, joined together to praise God, to ask for His mercy, to thank the Divine Goodness. In fact, Jesus Christ said, “if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning any thing whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father who is in heaven.” (St. Matthew, xviii, 19). And the reason for it is further presented, “For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (St. Matthew, xviii, 20). It is Jesus who prays with them.

But the most sublime one is the liturgical prayer. Here, it is the Church herself, the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, who prays. The liturgical prayer is the breath of the mystical organism of the Church; it is the vital and sanctifying activity of the Eternal Priesthood and of the Visible Priesthood. The Priest, when he celebrated and when he administers the Sacraments, is, as it were, absorbed in unity of action by Jesus Christ.

Glory to the Most High. The Liturgy is, thus, the great prayer of the Church. She prays to God: each time the Holy Mass is celebrated anywhere on Earth; each time a soul, receiving the Sacraments, acquires supernatural life, either because she rises up from sin, or because she increases in grace; each time the Priest blesses in the name of the Church or in which a Christian makes use of a Sacramental.

Liturgical prayer is unceasing; for the pure Oblation is offered to God continuously from East to West; and for, without interruption, men are sanctified by the sacred rites. How pleasing is to the Lord this most perfumed incense, that rises from the thurible that is the heart of the Church. This heart of the Church is always holy, always thankful to God, because Jesus Christ has created it pure, immaculate.

Liturgical prayer is, thus, holy. And who would dare pray it with blemished heart? It has as its ultimate and highest object the Most Holy Trinity, God, the beginning and end of all things: Universa propter semetipsum operatus est Dominus, The Lord created all things for Himself (Proverbs xvi, 4).


Remember This?

We have so few servers now days that we forget days like this one pictured. Monsignor (Bishop) Conley celebrating, Father Jarrod Lies in choir, two servers, two acolytes, a thurifer and six torch bearers and a master of ceremonies. Wow!


Ember Days

In the liturgical calendar of the Western Christian churches, Ember days are four separate sets of three days within the same week — specifically, the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday — roughly equidistant in the circuit of the year, that were formerly set aside for fasting and prayer. These days set apart for special prayer and fasting were considered especially suitable for the ordination of clergy. The Ember Days are known in Latin as the quattuor anni tempora (the "four seasons of the year"), or formerly as the jejunia quattuor temporum ("fasts of the four seasons").

The Ember Weeks — the weeks in which the Ember Days occur — are the weeks between the third and fourth Sundays of Advent, between the first and second Sundays of Lent, between Pentecost and Trinity Sunday, and the week beginning on the Sunday after Holy Cross Day (September 14), the liturgical Third Week of September.


The Calculation of the September Ember Days
By Gregory Dipippo
New Liturgical Movement

One of the changes made to the Breviary in the revision of 1960 regards the arrangement of the months from August to November. This change is often noticed in September, because it causes a shift in the occurrence of the Ember Days.

The first Sunday of each of these months is the day on which the Church begins to read a new set of scriptural books at Matins, with their accompanying antiphons and responsories; these readings are part of a system which goes back to the sixth century. In August, the books of Wisdom are read, in September, Job, Tobias, Judith and Esther, in October the books of the Macchabees, in November, Ezechiel, Daniel, and the twelve minor Prophets. (September is actually divided into two sets of readings, Job having a different set of responsories from the other three books.) The “first Sunday” of each of these months is traditionally that which occurs closest to the first calendar day of the month, even if that day occurs within the end of the previous month. This year, for example, the first Sunday “of September” was actually August 29th, the closest Sunday to the first day of September, and the third Sunday of September was September 12th.

The Ember Days of autumn are the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of the third week of September, during which the book of Tobias is read; according to the traditional system of calculation, this year they will occur on the 15th, 17th and 18th. The system is also calculated so that the Ember days will always begin on the Wednesday after the Exaltation of the Cross, and occur on the same three calendar days on which they will later occur in December.

In the 1960 revision, however, the first Sunday of August to November is always that which occurs first within the calendar month. According to this system, the first Sunday of September was the 5th of the month, the third will be the 19th, and the Ember Days will be the 22nd, 24th and 25th.

This change also accounts for one of the peculiarities of the 1960 Breviary, the fact that November has four weeks, called the First, Third, Fourth and Fifth. According to the older calculation, November has five weeks when the fourth of the month is a Sunday; according to the newer calculation, November always has four weeks. In order to accommodate the new system, one of the weeks had to be removed; the second week of November was chosen to maintain the tradition that at least a bit of each of the Prophets would continue to be read in the Breviary.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Post #193

Topics: The Roman Missal of 1962...Updated?


...and now for the necessaries.

Please note: St. Anthony Catholic Church is one of only two churches celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass (EFLR) in the Wichita area. Though this blog is loosely centered around this parish and it's members, Venite Missa Est! is by no means, in any way an official voice of, or for, St. Anthony Parish or the Diocese of Wichita. Venite Missa Est! is strictly a private layman's endeavor.


The 'Updated' 1962 Missal: Coming Soon?
Rorate Caeli

Universae Ecclesiae, citing Benedict XVI's letter to the bishops on the occasion of the publication of Summorum Pontificum, mentioned that "New saints and certain of the new prefaces can and ought to be inserted into the 1962 Missal, according to provisions which will be indicated subsequently." However, UE didn't mention that a commission to effect this was already established last year.

From Sandro Magister's latest article on Chiesa:

VATICAN CITY, September 19, 2011 – "The activity of the Holy See" is a hefty volume that gives a year-by-year account of the actions of the pope and the Roman curia. It is an "unofficial publication," as specified on the frontispiece, but in spite of this it contains not a little information, sometimes rather unusual, that cannot be found in other Vatican sources.

To verify this it is enough to leaf through the latest edition, on the activities of 2010, which has just been printed by Libreria Editrice Vaticana (1343 pp., 80.00 euro).

In it we learn, for example:

- that last year the disciplinary office of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith opened 643 procedures, 82 percent of which concern "delicta graviora" (which include the sexual abuse of minors by clergy), 8 percent "offenses against the faith," 3 percent "cases of apparitions," and 7 percent other matters of various kinds.

- that during the same period, the congregation for divine worship and the discipline of the sacraments dealt with several hundred cases regarding requests for papal dispensations in order to remarry after a marriage "ratified but not consummated." A dispensation that was granted in 301 cases, and withheld in 2.

- that the congregation for the evangelization of peoples gave, through the pontifical society for the propagation of the faith (whose charitable fund, however, has been "significantly" reduced because of the economic recession), more than 85 million dollars in assistance to dioceses in mission territory. More than 30 million was distributed through the pontifical society of St. Peter the Apostle. And more than 19 million through the pontifical society of missionary childhood.

- that the Roman Rota, whose jurisprudence is a model for all the ecclesiastical tribunals in the world, during the judicial year of 2010 issued 175 definitive verdicts on the nullity of marriage, the majority of them (93 versus 82) in favor of nullity.

- that the pontifical council for legislative texts, at the direction of the pope, set up four study groups in view of a possible revision of parts of the code of canon law, on questions of penal law, procedural law, marriage and family law, and the relationships between the code of the Latin Church and that of the Eastern Churches.

- that a joint commission was set up, with experts of the commission "Ecclesia Dei" and of the congregation for divine worship, for the "updating" of the commemorations of the saints and the "possible insertion of new prefaces" into the preconciliar Roman missal of 1962, to which Benedict XVI gave full citizenship in 2007.

- that the office of papal charities, in response to almost seven thousand letters from individuals and families requesting help, provided "with discretion" and "on a day-by-day basis," in the name of the pope, a sum "close to one million euro." A sum entirely covered by the contributions received for parchments with apostolic blessings requested by the faithful: 115,500 parchments issued directly by the office of papal charities, and 112,00 distributed through almost eighty partner organizations.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Post #192

Topics: Diocesan Priest: Celebrate the Traditional Mass Exclusively?...Solemn Engagements: An Age-Old Engagement Ceremony


I hope you have your reading glasses on, are in your comfiest chair, and have your choice of refreshing beverage at hand because there are two great articles posted below. 
The first asks the question: Can a priest celebrate solely the Extra Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite? The second article is on solemn engagements, something that I really have never heard of. Thanks to James Spencer for bringing this to my attention.
Apparently a couple has engaged in this ceremony with Fr. Hay...I do not have the details but congratulations to the couple whoever they are.

...and now for the necessaries.

Please note: St. Anthony Catholic Church is one of only two churches celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass (EFLR) in the Wichita area. Though this blog is loosely centered around this parish and it's members, Venite Missa Est! is by no means, in any way an official voice of, or for, St. Anthony Parish or the Diocese of Wichita. Venite Missa Est! is strictly a private layman's endeavor.


Can One Be a Diocesan Priest and 
Celebrate the Traditional Mass Exclusively? 
Rorate Caeli

Soon after the publication of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, three priests of the Diocese of Novara (Piedmont, Italy) tried to celebrate the Traditional Mass exclusively (we reported on these developments here and here).

In an interview released a few days ago, Father Alberto Secci tells his story, and presents us with the wonderful account of his life after Summorum. Yes, there is a life for diocesan priests celebrating the Sacraments according to the ancient use exclusively. And it can be beautiful, and powerful, and glorious, despite the normal difficulties of life.

"Can you imagine what would happen if all diocesan priests chose to do this?" This is the kind of weak argument one would expect to hear - it is not one that holds water, not with us, being on the same level as, "There should not be monks, for mankind would cease to exist if all men became exemplary monks": yes it would, but no they wouldn't... What we hope to provide by this example is that there can be spiritual comfort and consolation for that extremely small number of priests who choose to make use of their right of celebrating in the "Extraordinary Form" in a radical way. And why should that choice shock us? Almost all choose to celebrate the "Ordinary Form" in a radical and exclusive way, and they are not vilified for this. There is tribulation in these priests's radical choice, and that is fine: the priests who choose this path must be completely aware that they will be removed, moved, transferred, demoted, despised, mocked and ridiculed, made an example; they will have to give up favors, ecclesiastical careers, sabbatical years, special appointments; but, thanks to Summorum, they may face all this in perfect peace of conscience, with a Mass, that, in the words of a great cardinal, provides "greater spiritual fruit". And, as for the tribulation, if you may modestly allow us to quote a great layman, "they therefore, I say, that are in tribulation, have on the other side a great cause to take in their grief great inward comfort and spiritual consolation." (St. Thomas More, "A dialogue of comfort against tribulation").

Summorum is the charter of manumission of traditional-minded priests; it is good that those who contemplate making the same radical choice of these Italian heroic priests know that they are not alone, that, when there is a will, there is a way. If at least one single diocesan priest is moved by this translation to at least consider the possibility of following this radical path, then all our work here in Rorate over all these years will have been worth every second. This is dedicated to you, dear diocesan priests: if they can do it, so can you.


The discomfort, the spiritual sufferings, the battles and courage of an authentic Catholic priest, forced to live with an ecclesial reality that most often cannot understand him.

Don Alberto Secci and his two brother priests, Don Stefano Coggiola and Don Marco Pizzocchi, all part of the clergy of Novara, suddenly reached great notoriety to the media (much to their regret) when they decided to implement faithfully the Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict XVI Summorum Pontificum, of 2007.

Opposition to the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, was resolute and violent on the part of the chancery of Novara, so much so that it placed the three priests in serious difficulty, above all, with regard to their parishioners. The logic was simple: the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass had to be an exception, therefore it was forbidden to them.

For some time afterwards the three priests were presented by both local and national press as stubborn “provokers.”

Even some strange would be “traditionalist” environments thought well to call them to moderation, reminding them that the traditional cause required exercising the virtue of obedience, even when faced with the disownment of Church laws, derision of the Holy Mass, and negligence in the care of souls. Obviously this (obedience) is asked of the weakest, that is, priests and the faithful, especially when they are confronted by bishops who do as they want as if they were “masters” of their own individual Church, while the Roman authorities are powerless to hold the reins on them and thus are unable to make them respect the rights of the priests and the faithful, even when these rights come from the present universal laws of the Church.

But the Lord sees and provides. Our three priests continue on their way- the way of faithfulness to Holy Tradition of The Holy Roman Church. As well as their churches in Vocogno and Domodossola, it is possible today to follow the apostolates of Don Alberto Secci and Don Stefano Coggiola at their internet page Radicati nella fede.
[Interview by Marco Bongi]

Don Alberto, Your role as a priest who returned to the Mass of Ages on the occasion of the Motu Proprio gained a lot of attention in the media during the years 2007 and 2008. Now that quite some time has passed since those unsettling events, we would like to ask you some questions that will consent the Italian faithful to become more acquainted with your story as well as your apostolate that is developing. Can you tell us briefly how and when your vocation to the priesthood began and how your formation in the seminary went? 

A. I was born in Domodossola, but my family moved to Biellese, my father being a carabiniere, and there I spent my childhood in a good parish, led by an old parish priest (born in 1890!), a patriarch, with the strongest devotion to Our Lady. There, most certainly, the first seeds of my vocation grew. Serving at the altar, the month of May, the Sanctuary of Oropa… these, alongside the faithfulness of my mother to her daily tasks and (attendance) at Mass, a sense of duty and order from my father and many other things, marked positively my Catholic childhood.

Then I returned to Domodossola with my family, and enrolled at the state high school [Liceo Scientifico]…fond memories there, even if, even in the provinces, in 1977 the climate was very secular. In that high school I experienced an intense Catholic militancy with Communion and Liberation. We were few, but well-trained for “battle.” I remember those years: prayer (we said lauds, terce, vespers and compline, rosary, daily Mass – and we were only 15 and 16 years old! We also studied different books from those adopted by the teachers, in order to defend the Church and Her History). Love for the Church grew more and more with increasing knowledge . We read the great spiritual writers, St. Benedict, St. Teresa of Avila… to me the idea of a vocation to the priesthood was a natural, urgent desire. Christ is everything, the Church is His Body: how can one not give one's life for this?

After high school graduation, at the age of 19, I entered the seminary. (I had) great help from a very orthodox Father Confessor, a little less from theology, even though I studied it with passion. The fault? In those years it was all a “work-yard” of personal opinions, anchored ideologically in Rahner’s theories. But I went through those years serenely, having been used to confidently “battling” for the faith since high school. I have no resentments and I remember with affection all of the teachers, but I had been already prepared in Catholic militancy beforehand, to keep an eye on the teaching. Everyday in the seminary I would keep watch on the horizons - expecting the "Catholic Restoration"…that never came!

Q. Which ministries did you carry out in the first years of ordination?

A. Once ordained, at 25, they sent me to a very large orthodox Catholic parish, with a large oratory; I was the assistant. It wasn’t easy: I taught religion at middle school and the rest of the day was taken up between the oratory and the parish church: difficult work, because I had to confront ecclesial lines very different from my own, already markedly traditional. I hope I did some good and little harm. After that, I went to France for about a year, attracted by the experience of Canons Regular, because I felt the need of greater support from other priests: Canons Regular, as well as monks, had built Christian Europe, so it seemed I had found a solution to serve God and souls in a better way. I came back, though, because I discovered the theological disputes and the weariness of the seminary had entered the house: the atmosphere of confusion did not stay out of convents, as it did not stay out of our hearts. Afterwards, I “docked in” at the Vigezzo Valley, where I am now, first as assistant in the Sanctuary and then as parish priest. In all these years, I have continued to teach religion in schools.

Q. How did you happen to encounter the Traditional Latin Mass and what brought you to embrace this rite exclusively, despite the difficulties?

A. This is difficult to answer. It seemed that it had always existed. I remember I could never stand a certain way of celebrating; I recall noticing ridiculous things in many liturgies, I was always aware. It was like knowing that it was a confused moment (in time), of a dramatic crossing, but that there would be a return home eventually. Everything in the Church spoke to you about the Old Rite, that only it was missing, and so... I waited. As parish vicar, and more so when I was parish priest, I did all that seemed possible to me: ad orientem altar, Gregorian chant with the faithful, communion on the tongue, always wore the cassock, doctrinal meetings with the adults, traditional catechism for the children. 

But it was not enough, there was the heart of the question, the Mass, but how could I go about it? – I had already been under “investigation” for years because of the few things I had done! In 2005, I introduced first, the Offertory, then, the Canon of the Old Rite into the Mass of Paul VI. I patiently waited for some time for news of the Motu Proprio, which seemed would never come. And on the 11th of July, 2007, (I remember it) it was a Tuesday, I began to celebrate exclusively the Mass of all time. I have to say that it was my brother who gave me the last “push”: we were on a mountain trip together the day before and he said to me ”I don’t know what you are waiting for…” …it was the sign that I had to begin.

Q. Why have you refused the so called “biritualism” in contrast to other priests who have welcomed Summorum Pontificum?

A. I shall be brief. I find the obligation of biritualism absurd. If one has found that which is authentic, which is best, that which expresses the Catholic Faith more completely, without dangerous ambiguities, why would there be the need to celebrate something much less so? With biritualism, in actual fact, one rite dies and the other stays. With biritualism, the priest gets weary, with the sadness of a sort of schizophrenia, and the people are not edified, instructed, consoled in the beauty of God. I shall avoid discussing the theological liturgical aspects - an interview is not the place for that. I will say only that whoever stays with biritualism sooner or later abandons the Old Rite and manufactures reasons to stay in the world of the reform, lived perhaps in a conservative way, but with an interior sadness, like one who has betrayed the love of God since his youth. I have to add that it was very helpful for me to read “The Anglican Liturgical Reform” by Michael Davies – a fundamental text which is very clear: the ambiguity of the rite leads to heresy in fact. Is it not this that has happened?

Q. How did your parishioners react when they learned of your decision to return to the Old Rite?

A.: No one was surprised. The supporters said: “…at last!” The ones against it said: “..we told you so!” But I would say that most of the people went to work with great zeal: they took the leaflets, they wanted to understand…there was fervor… Afterwards, I have been always helped by a group of the faithful, strong and simple people, who were always ready to work with me: I am thinking specially of those who have had choir practice together since 1995. Then they started to say that we were disobeying the Bishop and the Pope and as a result everything became more complicated, but initially it was not so.

Q. We all know of the misunderstandings with the Bishop and the subsequent solution of entrusting you to a sort of chaplaincy at Vocogno. How were the relations with your brother parish priests at the time, apart from the variances with the Curia of Novara?

A. They all disappeared. Some disapproved, the majority kept silent, someone at night told us they were not against it, it rarely happened, but anyway, publically they could not do anything about it. It was fear of official disobedience. Don Stefano, the priest who has embarked on the same road as I have and with whom I work, (even if we have different types of apostolate)...well, he and I have never missed the vicariate priests's meetings… we have always participated there with enthusiasm. 

Q. How are your relations today with the Bishop and other priests?

A. They seem to be serene, even if I see that there is much that is unresolved, because an in-depth discussion about the reasons for our choice has always been avoided. It’s as if they wanted it to remain on the surface at a purely juridical level. Let’s hope that, in time, something here changes for the better.

Q. From your observation-post, how do you view the situation in the Church and what do you think the FSSPX’s role in the future will be? 

A. The Church belongs to God, so I have to hope. Even if I see that this crisis which is deep and very sad, will be very long. There is a non-Christian thought that has entered Christianity. Paul VI said it! It is commonly accepted. A great many think they are Catholics, but they aren’t anymore. It’s terrible. This is abandoning Jesus Christ while remaining inside His Church - there can be nothing more ambiguous than this! The Fraternity has to continue Mons. Lefebvre’s work, i.e., guarding the priesthood, the faith, the Mass of Ages…one day, the providential role of the Society will be evident to everyone. Loving the Church means preserving the treasures of faith and grace that Our Lord Jesus Christ has consigned to it and which establish it. The Fraternity has always done this, for this I thank God.

Q. The Ossolana region has great religious traditions. Do you think that the Traditional Latin Mass could spread in this zone and those nearby?

A. I don’t know. I only know that life in our mountains took form from the Old Catholic Mass. The lives of the people up here were educated by the Tridentine liturgy, it was there for them, so that they could remain radically in front of God, that is to say, with a confidence that molds life. But the “Americanized” world has arrived up here too, thanks also to the Church, unfortunately. Humanly speaking, it has been a disaster.

Q. How is your apostolate going at present, and how many faithful habitually attend the church at Vocogno?

A. Daily Mass, 2 Masses on Sunday, confessions everyday for half an hour before Mass, school at Domodossola, this year 13 classes, meetings on Catholic doctrine every Friday, catechism for children, weekly choir practice- and then if I am able, a little of the monastic life – withdrawing a bit- because if a priest wants to do some good, he mustn’t stay too long in the midst of things. Don Stefano and I share a great priestly brotherhood – and he too has returned to the Traditional Mass, which he celebrates for the faithful in the hospital chapel at Domodossola: it’s also an effective brotherhood, seeing that our faithful share many moments together. All of this gave birth to a Newsletter and a website which gives an account of our life.

How many faithful attend? I don’t know. The number varies. There could be up to 120 on Sundays during the summer, in winter the number drops, given the distance and the place. But I have learned not to count: the kings of Israel were punished when they took a census!

Q. How do you view the recent instruction “Universae Ecclesiae” on the use of the Old Missal?

A. It has reaffirmed that the Mass of all time has never been forbidden and that it cannot be prohibited. But those who don’t want to acknowledge it will continue “to muddle up all the cards.”


Engagements--In Church
by Chester Wrzaszczak

NOTE: This article was written while the old Code of Canon Law was in effect. Canon 1062 of the new Code states: A promise of marriage, whether unilateral or bilateral, called an engagement, is governed by the particular law which the Episcopal Conference has enacted, after consideration of such customs and civil laws as may exist. While there is no obligation to have a betrothal ceremony some Catholics may desire to do so. This article is provided to offer suggestions for those interested in becoming engaged in church.

An age-old and excellent engagement ceremony is found in Father Weller's translation of the Roman Ritual.1 The Queen's Work reproduces the rite in a pamphlet published by this writer under the title: Your Engagement Should Be in Church,2 as does the Catholic University in the author's doctoral dissertation: The Betrothal Contract in the Code of Canon Law.3

In the Oriental Church, both the contract and the ceremony have been ordinary practice for centuries. Recent codification of Eastern marriage legislation specifically treats of solemn espousals in canons six and seven of the newly codified oriental law.4

Betrothment Defined

From Roman law sources, espousals were always understood as "the mention and promise of future marriage."5 Pope Nicholas I defined them as "pacts of promise of future marriage."6 The Code of Canon Law today regards betrothals as either bilateral or unilateral contracts, accordingly as they are mutually agreed on by both parties or made by one and accepted by the other party.7 St. Thomas referred to the engagement as a "quasi-sacramental."8

The Engagement Ceremony

Officially speaking, there is no prescribed ritual for betrothals. Since, however, the engagement is so closely allied with the Sacrament of Matrimony, it is most fitting that it take place in church, preferably at the communion railing. Because Father Weller includes the ceremony in his translation of the Roman Ritual, it would be wise to adopt it. The Holy See does not permit the introduction of any new liturgical ceremonies on private authority. The ceremony is as follows:

1. The priest (vested in surplice and white stole) with his assistants (vested in surplice) awaits the couple at the communion table. At hand are the stoup with holy water and the altar missal. As the man and woman come forward with the two witnesses they have chosen, the following antiphon and psalm are sung on the eighth psalm tone:

Antiphon: To the Lord I will tender my promise: in the presence of all His people.

Psalm 126

Unless the house be of the Lord's building, in vain do the builders labor.

Unless the Lord be the guard of the city, 'tis in vain the guard keeps his sentry.

It is futile that you rise before daybreak, to be astir in the midst of darkness,

Ye that eat the bread of hard labor; for He deals bountifully to His beloved while they are sleeping.

Behold, offspring result from God's giving, a fruitful womb the regard of His blessing.

Like arrows in the hand of the warrior, are children begotten of a youthful father.

Happy the man who has filled therewith his quiver; they shall uphold him in contending at the gate with his rival.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever, through endless ages. Amen.

Antiphon: To the Lord I will tender my promise: in the presence of all His people.

2. The priest now addresses them:


Beloved of Christ: It is in the dispensation of Divine Providence that you are called to the holy vocation of marriage. For this reason, you present yourselves today before Christ and His Church, before His sacred minister and the devout people of God, to ratify in solemn manner the engagement bespoken between you. At the same time you entreat the blessing of the Church upon your proposal, as well as the earnest supplications of the faithful here present, since you fully realize that what has been inspired and guided by the will of your heavenly Father requires equally His grace to be brought to a happy fulfillment. We are confident that you have given serious and prayerful deliberation to your pledge of wedlock; moreover, that you have sought counsel from the superiors whom God has placed over you. In the time that intervenes, you will prepare for the sacrament of matrimony by a period of virtuous courtship, so that when the happy and blessed day arrives for you to give yourselves irrevocably to each other, you will have laid a sound spiritual foundation for long years of godly prosperity on earth and eventual blessedness together in the life to come. May the union you purpose one day to consummate as man and wife be found worthy to be in all truth a sacramental image and reality of the union of Christ and His beloved Bride, the Church. This grant, thou Who livest and reignest, God, forever and evermore.

R. Amen.

3. The priest now bids the couple to join their right hands, while they repeat after him the following:

The man:

In the name of our Lord, I, N.N., promise that I will one day take thee, N.N., as my wife, according to the ordinances of God and holy Church. I will love thee even as myself. I will keep faith and loyalty to thee, and so in thine necessities aid and comfort thee; which things and all that a man ought to do unto his espoused I promise to do unto thee and to keep by the faith that is in me.

The woman:

In the name of our Lord, I, N.N., in the form and manner wherein thou hast promised thyself unto me, do declare and affirm that I will one day bind and oblige myself unto thee, and will take thee, N.N„ as my husband. And all that thou hast pledged unto me I promise to do and keep unto thee, by the faith that is in me.

4. Then the priest takes the two ends of his stole and in the form of a cross places them over the clasped hands of the couple. Holding the stole in place with his left hand, he says: I bear witness of your solemn proposal and I declare you betrothed. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. As he pronounces the last words, he sprinkles them with holy water in the form of a cross.

5. Thereupon he blesses the engagement ring:

V. Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.

R. Qui fecit caelum et terram.

V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam.

R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.

V. Dominus vobiscum.

R. Et cum spiritu tuo.

Oremus: Omnipotent Deus, creator et conservator humani generis, ac largitor aeternae salutis, permitte digneris Spiritum sanctum Paraclitum super hunc annulum. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium tuum: Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.

R. Amen.

Et aspergatur aqua benedicta.

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

R. Who made heaven and earth.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.

R. And let my cry come unto thee.

V. The Lord be with you.

R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray:

O God Almighty, Creator and preserver of the human race, and the Giver of everlasting salvation, deign to allow the Holy Spirit, the Consoler to come with His blessing upon this ring. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit God, for endless ages.

R. Amen.

The ring is sprinkled with holy water.

6. The man takes the ring and places it first on the index finger of the left hand of the woman, saying: In the name of the Father, (then on the middle finger, adding): and of the Son; (finally placing and leaving it on the ring finger, he concludes): and of the Holy Spirit.

7. The priest opens the missal at the beginning of the Canon, and presents the page imprinted with the crucifixion to be kissed first by the man and then by the woman.

8. If Mass does not follow (or even if Mass is to follow, if he deems it opportune), the priest may read the following passages from Sacred Scripture:

Tobias 7:8

Tobias said: I will not eat nor drink here this day, unless thou first grant me my petition, and promise to give me Sara thy daughter… The angel said to Raguel: Be not afraid to give her to this man, for to him who feareth God, is thy daughter due to be his wife; therefore another could not have her… And Raguel taking the right hand of his daughter, he gave it unto the right hand of Tobias, saying: The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob be with you, and may He join you together, and fulfill His blessing in you. And taking paper they made a writing of the marriage. And afterwards they made merry, blessing God… Then Tobias exhorted the virgin, and said to her: Sara, arise, and let us pray to God today, and tomorrow, and the next day; because for these three nights we are joined to God; and when the third night is over, we will be in our own wedlock. For we are children of saints, and must not be joined together like heathens that know not God. So they both arose, and prayed earnestly both together that health might be given them.

R. Thanks be to God.

John 15:4-12

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit; for without me you can do nothing. If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you. In this is my Father glorified; that you bring forth very much fruit, and become my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; as I also have kept my Father's commandments, and do abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy be in you, and your joy may be filled. This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.

R. Praise be to thee, O Christ!

9. Lastly, the priest extends his hands over the heads of the couple and says:

May God bless your bodies and your souls. May He shed His blessing upon you as He blessed Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. May the hand of the Lord be upon you, may He send His holy Angel to guard you all the days of your life. Amen. Go in peace!

Competency Of Bishops And Pastors

Except for the "local ordinary" (the bishop and the vicar-general), only the pastor is officially competent to witness a betrothal contract.13 Delegation to another priest, even the assistant in the parish, is disallowed in code law.14 However, any priest may act as a private witness, provided another private witness signs the contract with him, lay or clerical.15

In the absence of positive legislation, any priest may likewise assist at the liturgical ceremony described above, since the ritual is not mandatory.16

Advantages Of The Engagement

Priests would do well to encourage a Solemn Betrothal and discourage marriage, if possible, when:

1. Military service will separate the groom from his bride very shortly after, if not before, the marriage. An engagement in church will insure fidelity and a partner (to a degree at least) without the inexorable and permanent effects produced by matrimony.

2. Pursuit of higher education is contemplated by one or both of the contractants. Experience points to the hardships, material and moral, accompanying student husbands, wives and parents.

3. Immaturity, emotional, physical and moral, present in either or both parties. The engagement can serve as a useful period conducive to the necessary growth of the still infantile and puerile couple.

4. Uncertainty and vacillation experienced by either party in regard to the choice of consort, the willingness to assume the burdens of the married state here and now, or the like.

5. Well grounded fears harbored by any of the parties, the pastor and parents included, about the outcome and success of the marriage.

There is much to be gained and little to be lost by an engagement--in church.

Chester Wrzaszczak


1 The Roman Ritual, translated by Weller (Milwaukee: Bruce), I, 583-593.

2 Chester Wrzaszczak, Your Engagement Should be in Church (St Louis: The Queen's Work), pp. 22-29.

3 Chester Wrzaszczak, The Betrothal Contract in the Code of Canon Law (Washington, D. C.: CUA Press), pp. 154-159.

4 Canon 6, # 1: "The promise of marriage, even though bilateral, or in the nature of a mutual espousal, is null in both fora, unless made before

5 Momsen, Digesta Iustiana Augusti (Berlin), I, 656, n. 1.

6 Responsa, ad Consulta Bulgarum, C. III (Paris: Mansi), XV, 402.

7 Canon 1017, # 1.

8 Suppl. q. 43, art. 1, ad 6.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Post #191

Topics: Re-post of James Spencer Article Response: CORRECTED...Latin Mass Representative:   Ralph Di Mattia Also Responds to SSPX Article
By Ralph Di Mattia


PLEASE NOTE: Venite Missa Est! unwittingly omitted a full page of text when pasting an article by James Spencer in our last post, Post #190. Re-posted below is the piece in it's entirety. My sincerest apologies to Mr. Spencer...please re-read this article for the complete jist of Mr. Spencer's thoughts on the subject.

Also included in this post is a response by St. Anthony parishioner and Latin Mass representative, Ralph
 Di Mattia.

As an after thought I deleted Post #190 which contained the above mentioned mistake. This humbled blog is now up to date with the correct articles in their entirety.

...and now for the necessaries.

Please note: St. Anthony Catholic Church is one of only two churches celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass (EFLR) in the Wichita area. Though this blog is loosely centered around this parish and it's members, Venite Missa Est! is by no means, in any way an official voice of, or for, St. Anthony Parish or the Diocese of Wichita. Venite Missa Est! is strictly a private layman's endeavor.


Response to Chris Ferrara Article
by Jim Spencer

Venite Missa Est recently reprinted an article from The Remnant by Mr. Chris Ferrara, which article attempted to put the burden of identifying the Society of St. Pius X’s  (SSPX) “theological issues” with the Catholic Church on the Pope rather than on SSPX.

Mr. Ferrara is an outstanding Catholic lawyer, who has done and continues to do much pro bono work for the Church, especially in the Pro Life area.  Nevertheless, I feel he erred in assigning this responsibility to Rome rather than to SSPX.  To understand his error, one needs to review a little history.

In 1988 Archbishop Lefebvre ordained four bishops for his SSPX, not only without the permission of then-Pope John Paul II but even against the Pope’s expressed instructions.  Thereby he and his four new bishops thereby suffered automatic excommunication.  The Pope immediately moved toward a reconciliation.  In fact, he sent then-Cardinal Ratzinger to meet with Archbishop Lefebvre and work toward resolving these problems.  This effort failed.

In the Pope’s subsequent approaches to Archbishop Lefebvre, the Archbishop always insisted that SSPX had certain ‘doctrinal issues’ with Rome relative to the Vatican II Council.  (Please keep in mind that Archbishop Lefebvre participated in that Council and signed every Council Document.)  When the Pope sought to explore those “doctrinal issues,” Archbishop Lefebvre, without ever identifying the specific issues, responded that SSPX had two pre-requisites before they would even discuss them: First, the Pope must lift the five excommunications; and second that the Pope must issue a “universal indult’ for celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missale Romanum.

Pope John Paul II demurred.

There things stood until Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI.  In 2005, he lifted the five excommunications, thereby satisfying SSPX’s first pre-requisite.  In 2007 he more than satisfied their second precondition by issuing his moto proprio titled Summorum Pontificum, which goes far beyond the requested universal indult and allows every priest in the Latin Rite to use the 1962 Missale Romanum whenever he wishes.  Then, to facilitate resolving whatever “doctrinal issues” SSPX might have, Benedict XVI moved the Ecclesia Dei Commission (EDC), which has jurisdiction over use of the 1962 missal, into the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

With all SSPX’s prerequisites more than satisfied, the Pope has had several meetings with SSPX’s leader, Bishop Fellay, to discuss SSPX’s “doctrinal issues.”  The Pope has remained silent about these meetings, but Bishop Fellay has gone public multiple times, each time accusing “Rome” of being uncooperative.

Question #1: Does “uncooperative” mean that the Pope has not agreed with SSPX positions on whatever their unspecified “theological issues” are?

Question #2: Since Vatican II was a strictly pastoral Council that made no new definitions of doctrine, how could SSPX have any “doctrinal issues” resulting from Vatican II?  Pastoral issues are possible, but not doctrinal issues.

Question #3: If SSPX’s issues are strictly pastoral, who’s in charge of the Church and who can make pastoral decisions, the Pope or SSPX?  Our Lord said to Peter, “Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven . . . “  He guaranteed papal infallibility for matters of faith and morals but not for prudential judgments in pastoral matters.  But He made it clear that the Pope is to be obeyed in pastoral matters, even if his prudential judgment is flawed.  The only exception is if the Pope ordered something sinful, which SSPX has not alleged, or even suggested.

Question #4: If SSPX has “issues” with Rome, whether doctrinal or pastoral, who should identify those “issues,” Rome or SSPX?   According to Mr. Ferrara, that responsibility falls to Rome.

Clearly, if SSPX has any issues impeding their return to “full communion” with the Church, SSPX is responsible for identifying those issues, submitting them to the Pope and then abiding by his decisions, whether in matters of faith and morals or simply in pastoral matters.

How could a brilliant Catholic lawyer like Mr. Ferrara think otherwise?

Mr. Ferrara also suggests that since the excommunications have been lifted, the four SSPX bishops are automatically in “full communion” with the Church.  Not so.  Any bishop who is in full communion “reports to” the pope and has an assignment (such as a diocese) from the pope.  None of the four SSPX bishops have shown any willingness to submit to the pope’s authority in all matters not sinful or to accept an assignment from the pope.


St. Anthony Parishioner and Latin Mass Representative Responds to SSPX Article
By Ralph Di Mattia

 I would like to add a very key statement recently published in the Inside The Vatican Magazine Aug - Sept issue.      Page 59 and I quote:    " The ordination of 20 new priests for the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X are "illegitimate, period" said the Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi.   The group ordained four priests in mid-June in Winoma, MN., twelve new priests in late June at its headquarters in Econe, Switzerland, and  four new priests July 3 at its seminary in Zaitzkofen, Germany."    

                                        Ralph Di Mattia  -  Latin Mass Community Representative