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.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Post # 261

Topics: Clear Creek Abbey: Few Art to Adorn Crypt Chapels...Heart, Give Me Thy Son: A Story of Vocation...Clear Creek's Father Bethel: 2009 Visit to St. Anthony Pictures


+In this post Venite is in Clear Creek Abbey mode with news about new artwork for the crypt chapels, a wonderful story about a young man's blossoming vocation and some pictures from a visit by Father Bethel from Clear Creek Abbey.

+This Sunday, September 29, is the 19th Sunday after Pentecost, Dedication to Saint Michael. A high mass with Fr. Jirac will be celebrated.

+Please send me news about mass, St. Anthony's Parish, your family...anything Catholic that you might want to share. Please put Venite Blog or something similar in the subject line or it may get lost in the crush of email I get.

To post a comment, ask a question, or submit an article contact me, Mark, at bumpy187@gmail.com.
..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 diocese. 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.


New Art to Adorn Crypt Chapels
Clear Creek Abbey

Two years ago Clear Creek Abbey commissioned a French artist, Christian Bourles, to execute several tempera paintings destined to embellish small chapels in the crypt of our abbey church. These are chapels, where the abbey's priests, who are not celebrating the conventional mass on a particular day, celebrate their "Low Mass" after Lauds in the early morning. Several of these chapels have windows, where we intend some day to put stained-glass windows; others are "blind," that is to say with no window to the outside. The paintings are for these "blind" chapels. Although somewhat like icons, these works of art are in the Western tradition of Romanesque art. Thus far we have paintings of Saint Mary Magdalene and of Pope Saint Gregory the Great. The next one would be of Saint Scholastica. Perhaps you will appreciate them as represented below, although the photos do not do full justice to the reality.

Close-up of St. Mary Magdalene

St. Mary Magdalene

The chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, with hand-sculpted stone altar

Pope St. Gregory the Great

St. Gregory Close-up


Heart, Give Me Thy Son: A Story of Vocation 
By Tom McFadden 
The Remnant 

Hello! My name is Tom and I am not a Traditionalist. It's August 31, 2013. My eyes are red and puffy. I have been crying on and off since the end of our family rosary last night. From what I can tell, I will be crying some more in the near future. But the story I have to tell is not a sad one, or at least, it shouldn't be, although for me, my wife, and my 10 children, it is definitely a bitter sweet one.

My wife and I grew up in the 1980s, and were immersed in the secular culture of the day. We listened to all of the contemporary music, went to all of the latest movies, attended secularized schools, and got into some trouble with our friends now and again. When we attended Christendom College together in the late 80's, after just knowing each other for about a month, I told Amanda that I wanted to marry her. She thought I was a bit crazy, but in August of 1991, when she was 19 and I was 22, we were married. And Remnant Editor Michael Matt was my best man.

When our first child was born in 1992, we already had thoughts of raising him, and any future children we might have, differently than we had been raised. We thought our parents did a pretty good job of raising us, but we wanted to do even better. In particular, we wanted to do what we could to keep the secular culture out of our lives and replace it with a Catholic culture. Of course, we knew this would be a difficult task, but one worthy of the effort.

When John was four years old, he told us that he wanted to be a priest someday. We figured it was just something little boys often say, but we were excited about the possibility. When he was 5, he began serving daily Mass at our local Novus Ordo parish, with me at his side on the altar as his guide. He received his First Holy Communion the day after his 6th birthday and continued to serve Mass daily, pretty much for the next 17 years.

When he was little, he used to pretend to say Mass quite frequently. He had some pretty elaborate vestments, thanks to the talents of my wife. She made him three or four reversible fiddleback ones, with different colors on each side. I would visit thrift stores to find old things that could be used as chalices, cruets, and all the other liturgical items. He made a tabernacle out of wood, had fake candles, a thurible, an old sacramentary, and normally used poker chips as hosts (although sometimes he baked real ones). His sisters and brothers would attend his Sunday “mass” prior to attending Mass each week and he quite often “offered” his “mass” in Latin (Novus Ordo) and would preach short homilies.

This continued for many years. We homeschool our children and we always figured John's extra-curricular activity, or possibly even sport, was serving Mass. He did it so frequently and for so many different parishes and priests, he was like an altar serving superstar. When he enrolled at Christendom College as a student, he eventually became the head sacristan and emcee at various special Masses. He has served for so many of the princes and luminaries of the Church, the list would be too long to list, but the highlights are Francis Cardinal Arinze, U.S. Papal Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Vigano, Bishop James Conley, Bishop Robert Morlino, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, and Ireland's Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown. He was absolutely flawless when he was on the altar.

There are a 5 very important points to this story that need to be told before I continue.

The first is that John is not really the outgoing talkative type. This sometimes comes as a surprise to people who know me because I am a very outgoing and talkative person. In fact, as the Director of Admissions and Marketing at Christendom College, I would not be able to perform my job very well if I had John's personality. But John is not exactly shy either. He just doesn't say much and he is really smart (summa cum laude college graduate with a double major in history and Theology and minor in classics). If he has something to say, he says it. If he doesn't, well, he doesn't.

Second is that his nickname, when little, was “Routine Boy.” He always had to know what was happening next. He liked things to be the same and he didn't like change. He enjoyed order and constancy in his life.

Third, John is one of the most obedient people I could ever imagine knowing. Even at 21, I could probably tell him to do anything and he would simply reply, as he always did, “Yes, Daddy,” without asking why. He is the perfectly obedient child, and that is a real blessing for us with 9 other children below him, allowing them to have him as an example of how to be a good child.

Fourth, he was very into the liturgical calendar and celebrating all of the feasts of the Church with great pomp and circumstance. He would mark everyone's baptism days and feast days by getting up early and baking goodies for them – chocolate muffins, chocolate éclairs, donuts, zucchini bread, pancakes, and other such things. He would encourage us to have desserts on all the Church's feast days and to have nice dinners on these days, too. And interestingly, from the time he was maybe 15 or 16, he prayed the Office of Readings – something not ordinarily done by most kids his age.

And the last thing to know about John is that he always remained outside of today's secular culture. In fact, our entire family still shuns much of today's culture. But we have our own family culture. We have our own types of music that we listen to, for example, every night at dinner – Rat Pack, Sinatra, Movie Soundtracks (we haven't even seen most of the movies, but the music is great), and classical. We watch movies, but almost none that have been made in the past 30 years (Lord of the Rings trilogy, a couple of Pixar animated movies, and The Passion of the Christ might be a couple of notable exceptions) and we do not have internet or TV in the house. My children all know how to dance – polka, swing, waltz and various forms of contra dancing. They all play instruments, some better than others, and most of them are pretty decent singers. They do not dress immodestly as many of today's kids do, but they don't dress as if they just came off the set of Little House on the Prairie either. And rather than having a lot of outside friends, they tend to play with each other and spend time with the immediate family, playing a lot of board and card games. And funnily enough, my children are not the stereotypical “homeschool geeks” either. They are what I would call, if I were speaking about children maybe 60 years ago, normal well-adjusted Catholic kids who care about the Faith, love their family, are respectful of others, and like to have a good time.

And we do all of this as a family connected with the Novus Ordo Mass and liturgy, not the Tridentine Mass and liturgy. In fact, Mike Matt has labeled me and my family as some type of cultural Traditionalists, but to be honest, we just consider ourselves to be faithful, practicing, Catholics. We are deeply attached to the Novus Ordo Mass, particularly as it is offered at Christendom College (which has a beautiful choir, schola, smells and bells, lots of Latin) – which we attend 7 days a week. Additionally, John did attend the Tridentine Mass offered in our local parish on a regular basis, as well as at the one offered at Christendom each week. He learned to serve the Traditional Mass just as well as he did the Novus Ordo Mass.

And of particular note to Remnant readers, John took part in the annual Chartres Pilgrimage a couple of years ago, gaining financial assistance from generous Remnant readers. So, all those who donate each year to the special youth fund that helps the young people attend this life-changing pilgrimage, this is your story as well.

And so, we reach the main point of this story. This morning, my wife and I drove our now 21 year old son to the airport. He bought a one-way ticket to Tulsa, Oklahoma, because he was traveling to the well-known Clear Creek Abbey where he is planning on spending the rest of his life as a contemplative Benedictine monk, in a place where only the Tridentine liturgy is offered.

How did a Novus Ordo Mass-attending kid end up choosing a Tridentine rite Benedictine abbey? The short answer is that my wife and I encouraged him to do so. Since we knew that he wanted to be a priest and we knew that he liked routine and the liturgy, and that he didn't particularly like to talk all that much and that he was very smart and obedient, we told him about this monastery. When he and I visited it when he was 17 years old, he loved what he saw and experienced.

Before his senior year at Christendom, he spent some extended time at the abbey to see if this place may be where God is calling him to fulfill his vocation. He loved it. Over Christmas break, he went back again for a week and, at that time, discussed entering the abbey with some of the monks there. They said that they thought he'd be a good fit and that he should join in September.

Our local bishop, Paul Loverde of Arlington, Virginia, talks a lot about vocations whenever he travels to parishes for confirmations, and he always says something that is pretty important. He tells people that we all need to pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, but not just to pray for them in general. He says that we should pray for them to come from our own families. It may seem like an easy thing to do, but let me tell you, now that we have tithed our first-born to God, it is really a big deal. Not that I am going to stop praying for vocations to come from my family, but I will now really know what I am asking for, and it is very painful. In some strange way, I feel a bit like Mary must have felt like when she told Jesus to help out with the lack of wine problem at the wedding feast at Cana. She knew that her action was going to speed up her Son's death, which was going to cause her to be Our Lady of Sorrows.

When my wife and I suggested Clear Creek Abbey to John, we knew that he would like it. When I went there with him to visit and I picked him up after a couple of days, I knew he was ideally suited to this place. As we kept suggesting that he continue to look into becoming a Clear Creek monk, we knew that this day, today, would come and that we would no longer have our son, that his 9 siblings would no longer be able to talk with him, play with him, or bug him. The leader of the gang is gone and we are in mourning. Will it last forever? Probably not, but his absence in our home and in our lives will certainly be noticeable for a long time to come.

Oklahoma is pretty far from Virginia, so it is tough to say how often we will be able to visit him, and even then, we will probably only get to see him for a very limited time. We can write him regularly and he can write as well, so we are already making plans to send him a family newsletter each month to keep him up-to-date on all the happenings in the McFadden family.

As a final thought, for the past 13 years that I have been working at Christendom College and attending Mass there, I have been looking at the beautiful stained glass window behind the altar that pictures Jesus pointing to His Sacred Heart, with the words “Son, give me thy heart” below it. I always thought it was a beautiful window, but I always thought that the words were a bit odd. Was Jesus saying to me, “Son, give me thy heart,” or was God asking His Son to give Him His heart, or what? Why didn't it just say, "Give me thy heart?" Maybe I'm a bit dense, but it never really made sense to me until this past week.

All week long, when I would look up at the window, instead of reading, “Son, give me thy heart,” I would read it as saying, “Heart, give me thy son.” Now, this is something I understand and I find this to be very difficult to do. Jesus is asking me to let go of John and give my son to Him. And this is very painful, yet obviously, the only thing to do. Amidst all the tears this morning, I tried to tell a couple of my younger children that John is sort of like the rich young man from the Gospel, except he did not go away sad. He has lived the good moral life, as the rich young man did, and when Jesus tells my son to go and sell everything that he has and follow Him, he does just that, and is now, he is going to be very happy, I am sure. Will he stay there forever? I don't know. Will he decide that being a choir monk is not for him? Possibly, but I doubt it. Apparently only 1 in 4 young men stay at the abbey after entering, so the odds are definitely against him. But the one thing of which I am certain is that someday, somewhere, John will be a priest of Jesus Christ and he will be a blessing to the Mystical Body of Christ.

And maybe he will “convert” the rest of his family to Traditionalism someday....maybe. Please pray for John and his vocation, and all of those who are discerning their call to follow Jesus in this manner.


Father Bethel's 2009 Visit to Saint Anthony

Here are some pictures from 2009 from a visit by Fr. Bethel of Clear Creek Abbey. As you may or may not know, Father Bethel is brother to St. Anthony parishioner, Larry Bethel.

Bethel Brothers

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Post #260

Topics: Sunday the 22nd: Father Voss Celebrates a Low Mass


To post a comment, ask a question, or submit an article contact me, Mark, at bumpy187@gmail.com.
..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 diocese. 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.


This Sunday Fr Voss will celebrate his first Mass, a low Mass at 1P.M. There will be a rosary beginning at 12:35.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Post #259

Topics: Ember Days: The Glow of the Ember Days...Books for Life: Book Sale


To post a comment, ask a question, or submit an article contact me, Mark, at bumpy187@gmail.com.
..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 diocese. 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 Glow of  the Ember Days
By Michael P. Foley
Rorate Caeli

A potential danger of traditionalism is the stubborn defense of something about which one knows little. I once asked a priest who had just finished beautifully celebrating an Ember Saturday Mass about the meaning of the Ember days. He replied (with an impish twinkle in his eye) that he hadn’t a clue, but he was furious they had been suppressed.

Traditionalists, however, are not entirely to blame for their unfamiliarity with this important part of their patrimony. Most only have the privilege of assisting at a Sunday Tridentine Mass, and hence the Ember days—which occur on a weekday or Saturday—slip by unnoticed. And long before the opening session of the Second Vatican Council, the popularity of these observances had atrophied.

So why care about them now? To answer this question, we must first determine what they are.

The Four Seasons

The Ember days, which fall on a Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the same week, occur in conjunction with the four natural seasons of the year. Autumn brings the September Embertide, also called the Michaelmas Embertide because of their proximity to the Feast of St. Michael on September 29.1 Winter, on the other hand, brings the December Embertide during the third week of Advent, and spring brings the Lenten Embertide after the first Sunday of Lent. Finally, summer heralds the Whitsun Embertide, which takes place within the Octave of Pentecost.

In the 1962 Missal the Ember days are ranked as ferias of the second class, weekdays of special importance that even supersede certain saints’ feasts. Each day has its own proper Mass, all of which are quite old. One proof of their antiquity is that they are one of the few days in the Gregorian rite (as the ’62 Missal is now being called) which has as many as five lessons from the Old Testament in addition to the Epistle reading, an ancient arrangement indeed.

Fasting and partial abstinence during the Ember days were also enjoined on the faithful from time immemorial until the 1960s. It is the association of fasting and penance with the Embertides that led some to think that their peculiar name has something to do with smoldering ash, or embers. But the English name is probably derived from their Latin title, the Quatuor Tempora or “Four Seasons.”

Apostolic and Universal

The history of the Ember days brings us to the very origins of Christianity. The Old Testament prescribes a fourfold fast as part of its ongoing consecration of the year to God (Zech. 8:19). In addition to these seasonal observances, pious Jews in Palestine at the time of Jesus fasted every Monday and Thursday—hence the Pharisee’s boast about fasting twice weekly in the parable involving him and the publican (Lk. 18:12).

Early Christians amended both of these customs. The Didache, a work so old that it may actually predate some books of the New Testament, tells us that Palestinian Christians in the first century A.D. fasted every Wednesday and Friday: Wednesday because it is the day that Christ was betrayed and Friday because it is the day He was crucified. The Wednesday and Friday fast were so much a part of Christian life that in Gaelic one word for Thursday, Didaoirn, literally means “the day between the fasts.”

In the third century, Christians in Rome began to designate some of these days for seasonal prayer, partly in imitation of the Hebrew custom and partly in response to pagan festivals occurring around the same time. Thus, the Ember days were born. And after the weekly fast became less prevalent, it was the Ember days which remained as a conspicuous testimony to a custom stretching back to the Apostles themselves. Moreover, by modifying the two Jewish fasts, the Ember days embody Christ’s statement that He came not to abolish the Law but fulfill it (Mt. 5:17).

Usefully Natural

This fulfillment of the Law is crucial because it teaches us something fundamental about God, His redemptive plan for us, and the nature of the universe. In the case of both the Hebrew seasonal fasts and the Christian Ember days, we are invited to consider the wonder of the natural seasons and their relation to their Creator. The four seasons, for example, can be said to intimate individually the bliss of Heaven, where there is “the beauty of spring, the brightness of summer, the plenty of autumn, the rest of winter.”

This is significant, for the Ember days are the only time in the Church calendar where nature qua nature is singled out and acknowledged. Certainly the liturgical year as a whole presupposes nature’s annual rhythm (Easter coincides with the vernal equinox, Christmas with the winter solstice, etc.), yet here we celebrate not the natural phenomena per se but the supernatural mysteries which they evoke. The Rogation days commemorate nature, but mostly in light of its agricultural significance (that is, vis-à-vis its cultivation by man), not on its own terms, so to speak.

The Ember days, then, stand out as the only days in the supernatural seasons of the Church that commemorate the natural seasons of the earth. This is appropriate, for since the liturgical year annually renews our initiation into the mystery of redemption, it should have some special mention of the very thing which grace perfects.

Uniquely Roman

But what about Saturday? The Roman appropriation of the weekly fast involved adding Saturday as an extension of the Friday fast. And during Embertide, a special Mass and procession to St. Peter’s was held, with the congregation being invited to “keep vigil with Peter.” Saturday is an appropriate day not only for a vigil, but as a day of penance, when our Lord “lay in the sepulchre, and the Apostles were sore of heart and in great sorrow.”  It is this Roman custom, incidentally, which gave rise to the proverb, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” According to the story, when Sts. Augustine and Monica asked St. Ambrose of Milan whether they should follow the weekly fasts of either Rome or of Milan (which did not include Saturdays), Ambrose replied: “When I am here, I do not fast on Saturday; when I am in Rome, I do.”

Solidarity of Laity and Clergy

Another Roman custom, instituted by Pope Gelasius I in 494, is to use Ember Saturdays as the day to confer Holy Orders. Apostolic tradition prescribed that ordinations be preceded by fast and prayer (see Acts 13:3), and so it was quite reasonable to place ordinations at the end of this fast period. This allows the entire community to join the candidates in fasting and in praying for God’s blessing upon their vocation, and not just the community in this or that diocese, but all over the world. 

Personally Prayerful

In addition to commemorating the seasons of nature, each of the four Embertides takes on the character of the liturgical season in which it is located. The Advent Ember days, for example, celebrate the Annunciation and the Visitation, the only times during Advent in the 1962 Missal when this is explicitly done. The Lenten Embertide allows us to link the season of spring, when the seed must die to produce new life, to the Lenten mortification of our flesh. The Whitsun Embertides, curiously, have us fasting within the octave of Pentecost, teaching us that there is such a thing as a “joyful fast.”  The Fall Embertide is the only time that the Roman calendar echoes the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles and the Day of Atonement, the two holidays that teach us so much about our earthly pilgrimage and about Christ’s high priesthood.

The Ember days also afford the occasion for a quarterly check-up of the soul. Blessed Jacopo de Voragine (d. 1298) lists eight reasons why we should fast during the Ember days, most of them concerning our personal war against vice. Summer, for example, which is hot and dry, is analogous to “the burning and ardour of avarice,” while autumn is cold and dry, like pride. Jacopo also does a delightful job coordinating the Embertides with the four temperaments: springtime is sanguine, summer is choleric, autumn is melancholic, and winter is phlegmatic. It is little wonder that the Ember days became times of spiritual exercises (not unlike our modern retreats), and that folklore in Europe grew up around them affirming their special character.

Even the Far East was affected by the Ember days. In the sixteenth century, when Spanish and Portuguese missionaries settled in Nagasaki, Japan, they sought ways of making tasty meatless meals for Embertide and started deep-frying shrimp. The idea caught on with the Japanese, who applied the process to a number of different sea foods and vegetables. They called this delicious food—have you guessed it yet?—“tempura,” again from Quatuor Tempora.

Dying Embers

While the Ember days remained fixed in the universal calendar as obligatory (along with the injunction to fast), their radiating influence on other areas of life eventually waned. By the twentieth century, ordinations were no longer exclusively scheduled on Ember Saturdays and their role as “spiritual checkups” was gradually forgotten. The writings of Vatican II could have done much to rejuvenate the Ember days. The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy decrees that liturgical elements “which have suffered injury through accidents of history are now to be restored to the vigor which they had in the days of the holy Fathers” . 

But what came instead was the Sacred Congregation of Divine Worship’s 1969 General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, where we read:

On rogation and ember days the practice of the Church is to offer prayers to the Lord for the needs of all people, especially for the productivity of the earth and for human labor, and to give him public thanks .
In order to adapt the rogation and ember days to various regions...the conferences of bishops should arrange the time and plan for their celebration.

Happily, the Ember days were not to be removed from the calendar but tweaked by national bishops’ conferences. There were, however, several shortcomings with this arrangement. First, the SCDW treats Rogation and Ember days as synonymous, which—as we saw in a previous article15—they are not. The Ember days do not, for example, pray for “the productivity of the earth and for human labor” in the dead of winter.

Second, by calling for an adaptation to various regions, the SCDW allowed the Ember days to take on an indeterminate number of meanings that have nothing to do with nature, such as “peace, the unity of the Church, the spread of the faith, etc.” Unlike the organic development of the Ember days, which preserved its basic meaning while taking on others, the 1969 directive has no safeguards to keep newly assigned meanings from displacing the Embertides’ more fundamental purpose.

Third, the national bishops’ conferences were supposed to fix the dates of the Ember days, but none, as far as I can tell, ever did.

Dead Embers & Lively Debates

In the wake of this ambiguity and indirection, the Ember days disappeared from the celebration of the Novus Ordo, and at one of the worst possible times. For just as the Church was letting its liturgical celebration of the natural slip into oblivion, the West was going berserk over nature.

Ever since the publication of Machiavelli’s Prince in the sixteenth century, modern society has been predicated on a technological war against nature in order to increase man’s dominion and power. Nature was no longer a lady to be wooed (as she had been for the Greeks, Romans, and medieval Christians); she was now to be raped, beaten into submission through evermore impressive technological advances that would render mankind, in Freud’s chilling words, “a prosthetic god.” 

While there were some strong reactions against this new attitude, the modern hostility to the God-given only expanded as time went on, growing from a war on nature to a war on human nature. Our current preoccupations with genetic engineering, sex “changes,” and same-sex “marriage”—all of which are attempts to redefine or reconfigure the natural—are examples of this ongoing escalation.

The environmental movement that began in the 1960s has helped bring to light the wages of ruthlessly exploiting nature, and thus today we have a renewed appreciation for the virtues of responsible stewardship and for the marvels of God’s green but fragile earth. Yet this same movement, which has served in many ways as a healthy reawakening, is peppered with absurdities. Often the same activists who defend endangered tadpoles go on to champion the annihilation of unborn babies. Recently, after liberalizing their abortion laws, Spain’s socialist government introduced legislation to grant chimpanzees legal rights in order “to preserve the species from extinction”—this in a land with no native ape population.

Contemporary environmentalism is also sometimes pantheistic in its assumptions, the result being that for many it has become a religion unto itself. This new religion comes complete with its own priests (climatologists), its own gospels (sacrosanct data about rising temperatures and shrinking glaciers), its own prophets (Al Gore, who unfortunately remains welcome in his own country), and, most of all, its own apocalypticism, with the four horsemen of deforestation, global warming, ozone depletion, and fossil fuels all leading us to an ecological Doomsday more terrifying to the secular mind than the Four Last Things.19


My point is not to deny the validity of these anxieties, but to lament the neo-pagan framework into which they are more often than not put. Modern man is such a mess that when he finally recovers a love of nature, he does so in a most unnatural manner. Both the early modern antipathy to nature and the late modern idolatry of it stand in dire need of correction, a correction that the Church is well poised to provide. As Chesterton quipped, Christians can truly love nature because they will not worship her. The Church proclaims nature’s goodness because it was created by a good and loving God and because it sacramentally reflects the grandeur of God’s goodness and love.

The Church does this liturgically with its observance of the “Four Seasons,” the Embertides. Celebrating the Ember days does not, of course, provide ready solutions to the world’s complicated ecological difficulties, but it is a good refresher course in basic first principles. The Ember days offer an intelligent alternative to pantheist environmentalism, and they do so without being contrived or pandering, as a new Catholic “Earth Day” or some such thing would undoubtedly be. 

It is a shame that the Church unwittingly let the glow of Embertide die at the precise moment in history when their witness was needed the most, but it is a great boon that Summorum Pontificum makes their celebration universally accessible once again.What remains is for a new generation to take up their practice with a reinvigorated appreciation of what they mean. At least then we’ll know why we are so furious.

Call to Prayer and Fasting

This year, the Autumn Ember days are on September 21 [Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle], 23, and 24. They follow the Feast of the Holy Cross (Sept. 14), the [fourth] anniversary since  the motu proprio took effect. Let all traditional Catholics unite to observe the traditional Ember fast on these three days: 1) to pray for the Holy Father’s welfare, 2) to thank Almighty God for the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, and 3) to pray for its full implementation in every parish around the world.
Michael P. Foley is an associate professor of patristics at Baylor University. He is the author of Wedding Rites: A Complete Guide to Traditional Music, Vows, Ceremonies, Blessings, and Interfaith Services (Eerdmans) and Why Do Catholics Eat Fish on Friday? The Catholic Origin to Just About Everything (Palgrave Macmillan).

NOTES: This article appears in the Fall 2008 issue of The Latin Mass Magazine, vol. 17:4; web publication at RORATE CÆLI authorized by author and periodical. Images related to the First and Second Lessons and to the Gospel of Ember Saturday in September: in the first image, Aaron and Moses offer a holocaust to the Lord.

1.Officially, they fall on the first [full] week after the Feast of the Holy Cross (September 14).
2. Another theory is that “Ember” comes from the Old English, ymbren, meaning time or season.
3. The one reason stated by the Didache is more polemical: Christians fast on different days in order to be different from the “hypocrites,” i.e., the Pharisees (8.1).
4.Cf. Francis X. Weiser, Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs (New York: Harcourt, 1958), 31-32.
5.Weiser does claim, however, that voluntarily fasting or abstaining on Wednesdays was still alive in some areas when he was writing (1958). Of course, the other remnant of the weekly fast is Friday abstinence from flesh meat.
6.Technically, neither Jewish fast was part of the Mosaic Law, though both were, I would argue, part of the Mosaic way of life.
7.From a prayer by St. Thomas Aquinas.
8.Cf. my article, “The Rogationtide,” TLM 17:2 (Spring 2008), pp. 36-39.
9.Jacopo de Voragine, “The Ember days,” in The Golden Legend.
10.Cf. Michael P. Foley, Why Do Catholics Eat Fish on Friday? The Catholic Origin to Just About Everything (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 148-49.
11.The medievals called this the jejunium exultationis—the fast of exultation.
12.There are relevant readings from the Old Testament and from the Letter to the Hebrews that are used throughout the year in both the 1962 and 1970 lectionaries, but the September Embertide is the only time that these readings are used in order to coincide with the autumn festivals of Sukkot and Yom Kippur. Again we see the principle of fulfillment rather than abolition liturgically enacted.
13.Cf. The Golden Legend, Volume 1, “The Ember Days.”
14.In the Middle Ages, the Ember days were kept as holydays of obligation, with rest from work and special acts of charity for the poor, such as feeding and bathing them. There was also an old superstition that the souls in Purgatory were temporarily released from their plight in order to thank their relatives for their prayers and beg for more.
15.Cf. my article, “The Rogationtide,” TLM 17:2 (Spring 2008), pp. 36-39.
16.Response to the query “How should rogation days and ember days be celebrated?” (http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?recnum=5932, retrieved 2/20/08).
17.Cf. The Prince, ch. 25.
18.“Spain to Recognize Rights of Apes?” Catholic World News, 6/27/08, http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=59360. 
19.This is not a parody. Cf. Peter Montague, “The Four Horsemen—Part 1,” Rachel’s Environment & Health Weekly, #471, 12/7/95 (http://www.ejnet.org/rachel/rehw471.htm).


Books for Life

Our next GIANT SALE will be held:
Saturday, Sept. 28th, 2013.
Where: 3601 N. St. Francis (directions from 37th St. N. & Bdwy. go east 3 blks. turn S. to 35th We are 
              on S. side of red school bldg.)
Sale Times: 7:30 A.M. TO 3:30 P.M. Sat. Sept. 28th, 2013.
Place: 3601 N. St. Francis S. side of Bldg.
Asking (suggested) donations for sale items:

Hardbacks $1.00 Paperbacks 50 cents Kids’ Books 25 cents
Thousands of books donated to us since last sale
33 1/3 record albums $1
VHS movies 50 cents 
CD’s 50 cents 
DVD movies $1
Cassettes 50 cents                       Contact Tony at 209-5029                           www.sarahshope.com

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Post #258

Topics: Tuesday Mass: Blessed Sacrament Parish....Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey: Gregorian Chant Weekend October 25-27th 


+ I messed up the formatting on Venite Missa Est! and am working to correct it. I suspect that I used an old template that is no longer available which is why I cannot just revert to a previous layout. It's ugly now but I will fix it.

+ I received an anonymous comment on the blog on Post #108. Thank you for your input and your comments are noted! I will run everything through a spell checker and try to catch any mistakes. The submitted comment was copied and pasted directly below:
"certainly like your website but you need to test the spelling on
quite а few of youг poѕts. Severаl of them arе rife with spеlling issues and ӏ in finding it very bothersome to tell the reality on the otheг hanԁ I will definitely come bаck. 
+ Mr. Dimattia writes: A higher priority to get started is making an updated Latin Community telephone/address/e-mail book. Another priority is to have Msgr. Hemberger note in the Advance the appointment of Fr Jirak as Chaplain etc for the community.

+I see the Advance advertisement lists the new mass times. WHEN will the description of mass change? Might one assume that the "Mass in Latin" is for "Latin  people". Would the mass in Swahili, the Mass in German, the Mass in Hindi be any more or less descriptive of the 1:00 p.m. form of Mass? No, it would not.  It is the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite, the Traditional Latin Mass. Can we FINALLY changed this please?

To post a comment, ask a question, or submit an article contact me, Mark, at bumpy187@gmail.com.

..and now for the necessaries.

Please note: St. Anthony Catholic Church is the only church celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite) in the Wichita diocese. 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.


Latin Mass at Blessed Sacrament Parish
An Update from Larry Bethel
Fr Jirak announced yesterday he will be celebrating a low mass this Tuesday at 6 P.M. at Blessed Sacrament.
I hope everyone enjoyed yesterday's mass with the first communicants and their parents and family. Thanks to everyone making it possible. Also, thanks to Fr Jirak for his homily and congratulations on his first High Mass.

Gregorian Chant Weekend October 25-27th 
An Update from Larry Bethel

Since 2000 Clear Creek Abbey has hosted an annual Gregorian Chant Weekend Workshop. The purpose of this weekend Workshop is to teach the fundamentals and some of the nuances of Gregorian chant to proficient musicians as well as to beginners who wish to learn. Lessons are also given according to the Ward Method of musical education for children.

Individuals, as well as whole families, are invited to attend and join their voices in praise of Our Creator and Lord, through Gregorian chant, which is so apt for beautifully and profoundly achieving this sublime goal. (The preceding link plays a short sample from our Ecce * Fiat recording.)

This year the Chant Workshop will be held from October 25-27thClick here to find out which chants will be studied and sung, to learn about the schedule, costs, options for accommodations, and how to register.

We look forward to seeing and hearing you at Gregorian Chant Weekend at Clear Creek.

Fr. Bachmann gives guidance and support to a group of youths as they learn the chants.

Children have fun learning how to sing and feel the rhythm, through the Ward Method.

The sonorous chanting of the Faithful resounds in the new church.
Below are some items available in our website gift store. Click on what interests you:

The Solesmes Method
Chant - Book

Praise of the Virgin Mary - CD

Reflections on the Spirituality
of Gregorian Chant - Book

Please continue to forward these messages to others who may also enjoy seeing them. In this way we are reaching many more friends of Clear Creek Abbey, without being blocked by "spam" filters. Many thanks to all of you!

Thank you and God bless you for your support.

In Our Lord and Our Lady,
Abbot signature
+br. Philip Anderson, abbot
To help the monks of Clear Creek Abbey, please click on the following link:

Thank you and God bless you. We pray for our benefactors.

Clear Creek Abbey, 5804 West Monastery Road, Hulbert, OK 74441

Please take a look at our new and updated website! www.clearcreekmonks.org