Liturgy of the Hours

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

When the Pope visits America. . .

From American Papist:

Exclusive: Pictures of Pope Benedict's DC Mass pulpit, lectern & chair

Today the winning design for the pulpit, lectern and chair that Pope Benedict will use for his public Mass at DC's Nationals stadium during his April visit was unveiled.

I was able to tour the exhibit this afternoon and take a few photographs of the chosen models. Enjoy!

. . .

From the CUA press release:

Washington DC - Student Winners of Papal Design Contest Announced at CUA

The winning architectural design by two Catholic University students for a 10-by-4-foot papal altar and a pulpit, lectern and chair that Pope Benedict XVI will use when he celebrates Mass in Washington, D.C., was unveiled today at The Catholic University of America, D.C., in partnership with the Archdiocese of Washington.

The model by John-Paul Mikolajczyk, of Staten Island, N.Y., and Ryan Mullen, of Manchester, N.H., both candidates in the master's program at Catholic University's School of Architecture and Planning, shows an altar with a substantial top, a repeating pattern of decorative parabolic arches beneath it and a smaller base.


At the unveiling, Most Rev. Donald W. Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, said that the design is "a tribute to this school of architecture, Catholic University and the quality of students here.

Twenty-one entries were submitted for the design competition, or charrette, which was held last week at CUA's Edward M. Crough Center for Architectural Studies, where the winners were announced.

The top award for the design competition will receive a $1,500 prize. The second-place winner will receive $1,000 and five honorable-mention winners will each receive $500. The proposed designs will be displayed at the Crough Center for about a week.

More information from the press release:

The front of the pulpit (or ambo), where the Holy Father will read the Gospel, is adorned with images of the Bible and the Holy Trinity. The tall chair back is decorated with Pope Benedict XVI's papal coat of arms.

Mikolajczyk and Mullen will work with architecture faculty and the Archdiocese of Washington to fine-tune the design and actually construct the altar and the other furnishings at the Crough Center. The four pieces will become part of the sanctuary for the Mass that Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate April 17 at the city's new baseball stadium, Nationals Park. Following the Mass, the pontiff will give a major address on Catholic education at CUA.

Students, working individually or in teams of up to four people, prepared their models and drawings over an intense few days of work between Jan. 18 and Jan. 23. The entries were judged on Jan. 24.

Catholic University's School of Architecture and Planning is the largest in the Washington, D.C., area. The school offers a bachelor of science in architecture, master of architecture and master of architectural studies and its graduate program concentrations include cultural studies/sacred space, design technologies, digital media, real estate development and urban design. . . .

[Above photo credit: Tony Fiorini, CUA - "Ryan Mullen and John-Paul Mikolajczjk and their winning papal design." All other photographs: Thomas Peters, AmericanPapist blog.]
So, what do you think of the chosen design?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Saint Thomas Aquinas, priest, Doctor

In honor the Angelic Doctor, the great Saint Thomas Aquinas on his feast day (last Monday, January 28) comes from Vultus Christi:

Saint Thomas Aquinas


Fond of Asking Questions

Saint Thomas Aquinas was very fond of asking questions. And he laboured mightily at finding answers. The questions of Thomas proceeded not from a vain curiosity, but from thirst for the truth. Thomas asked the great questions, the questions about the meaning of life and death, sin and grace, time and eternity.

Saint Thomas is the friend of all who ask questions. He is the friend of all who thirst for life-giving knowledge. The Invitatory Antiphon of the Common of Doctors is: “The Lord is the wellspring of wisdom; come, let us adore.” Behind the text of the Invitatory are the words of the prophet Isaiah (Is 55:1), placed in the mouth of Our Lord Himself: “Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters, and you who have no money, come, drink with joy.” Must certain conditions be met in order to drink of the waters of wisdom? Must one be naturally gifted with a probing and incisive intellect? Must one have made great strides in moral perfection, acquired virtue, and rooted out vice?

Praying With Saint Thomas

The Lord addresses his invitation to the thirsty and the poor. The great accomplishment of Thomas Aquinas was that he saw himself as one thirsty and poor. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. . . . Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for holiness, for they shall be satisfied” (Mt 5:3.6). Every official edition of the Roman Missal contains the prayers of Saint Thomas Aquinas to be recited by the priest before and after Mass. These prayers are, I think, a distillation of all that the Angelic Doctor lived and taught. One has only to pray Saint Thomas’ Prayer Before Mass to understand how he saw himself:

I come sick to the physician of life; unclean, to the fountain of mercy; blind, to the light of eternal brightness; poor and needy, to the Lord of heaven and earth. Therefore I ask for the fullness of your infinite bounty, that you would graciously heal my sickness, wash away my uncleanness, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty, and clothe my nakedness; so that I may receive the Bread of Angels, the King of kings and Lord of lords, with such reverence and humility, such sorrow and love, such purity and faith, such purpose and intent as shall further my soul’s salvation.

I Will Proceed No Further

We are perhaps so accustomed to hearing about the clarity of Thomism, that we forget the end of Thomas’ life — in obscurity, and silence, and childlike piety — is the key to all the rest. After having scrutinized and reasoned, argued and formulated, Thomas found himself in the humility of the apophatic way, in the “cloud of unknowing,” in the company of all the poor in spirit who, like Job, are obliged to say, “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer thee? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further” (Jb 40:4-5). The friar priest who heard Saint Thomas’ last confession said that it was the confession of a five year old.

Adoring the Hidden God

We sometimes labour under a false notion of great saints like the Angelic Doctor, forgetting that they too had to become as little children, living by faith, humbly adoring a hidden God, waiting in the dark for the revelation of his Face. Saint Thomas wrote:

Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.

Adoration and Thirst

Saint Thomas’ theology is not the closed, neatly packaged system of tidy categories that some would present. His method is not to shut up the human intelligence in a system of logical conclusions, but rather to open it to the Mystery already perceived “in a mirror dimly” (1 Cor 13:12) by the believing, hoping, loving heart. Human reason does not have the last word in the life and teaching of Saint Thomas, speechless adoration does, and thirst.

Iesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light
And be blessed forever with thy glory’s sight.

Welcome home!

After the Summorum Pontificum and the ad orientem Mass of the Holy Father in the Sistine Chapel, and of course, for the Philippines, the Thanksgiving Mass in the Extraordinary Form of Bishop Camilo Gregorio, comes another news posted and reposted in some of my favorite Catholic blogs. This article comes from Rorate Caeli with a picture inset from Hallowedground.

Welcome home, brothers and sisters!

True ecumenism, as encouraged by Pius XI in Mortalium Animos:

On Thursday; January 17, 2008, the “Day of Thanksgiving” of the Rogation of the Ninevites, for which day the Gospel says, “On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you” (John 16:23), the Clergy Conference of the Assyrian Catholic Apostolic Diocese (ACAD) met in Dublin, California, to discuss the current situation and consider future plans for reestablishing communion with other Christians, in order to end their ecclesial isolation.

After praying to the Father and reflecting on the Scriptures and Tradition, the attendees unanimously adopted a “Declaration of Intention” in which they state their resolution “to enter full communion with the Catholic Church” and “to resume church unity with the Chaldean Catholic Church”. As a result, they foresee that this declaration will initiate a process of negotiation with respective Church authorities to define a concrete model of this union, in which the particularity of our apostolic tradition is preserved. (Source)

The Chaldean Catholic Church is a Patriarchal Church sui iuris in full communion with the Apostolic See, under the leadership of the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Mar Emmanuel III Cardinal Delly.

Truly Extraordinary

The following articles are from prodeoetpatria:

The Day a Bishop Celebrated an Extraordinary Mass

Story By Joseph Madrinan
Photos by Armand La Morte and Fidel Cenir

In his immaculate white cassock buttoned with the purple of his Episcopal office, and his zucchetto, Father Bishop Gregorio (forgive the imprecise term, this is my term of endearment for every bishop) processed towards the prie-dieu especially prepared for him. From there he recited some prayers ( I wonder if it was the little hour of Terce, but quite probably it wouldn’t have been, otherwise it should have taken longer), and then started vesting. Washing his hands, a carry-over practice from the ablutions Jews do, he then proceeded to putting on the amice, then the festal alb, followed by the cincture. These pieces of priestly vestments, for the average Catholic nowadays, would seem to be museum pieces, something you only get to see, but you actually don't wear. During this time, the first chaplain, Fr. Jojo assisted him with the help of the Sacristan Mayor of PLDM. Tying the cincture half-way through, Father Bishop then put on his stole, symbol of priestly authority, followed by a beautiful golden chasuble, as the mass was votive to the Blessed Trinity. Finally, on his left arm, he wore the golden maniple. It was simply lovely, a bishop who in front of all the faithful transformed from his simple soutane, to the ornate priestly attire he wore for that day’s Mass: truly it was a sight to behold. As I was recalling this event, I can’t help to remember the word’s of Our Lord to Peter saying when he becomes old, even his belt will have to be put on by his servants.

As the bishop passed on from his daily attire to that of high priest, the faithful can’t help but be reminded that truly, the bishop becomes an alter christus, he no longer is just one among us, but another Christ, about to offer the same sacrifice of the Cross!

Intoning the Judica me, Fr. Bishop officially began the mass with the antiphon, Introibo ad altare Dei, I shall enter the altar of the Lord! Those who say the TLM is never interactive should have heard how the church resounded with the dialogue that ensued during the Judica me. Just because something is in Latin doesn’t really mean nobody will be able to respond, that simply is a fallacy, and all the more I would doubt that the ones who came on that day’s mass were the ferment of society, or the literati or some intellectual whackoes, No, they were simple-minded faithful.

Fr. Bishops sweet, flowing Latin was interrupted when he reread the day’s epistle and Gospel in English, and then providing a brief homily. There, he quoted profusely from the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (MP) and its accompanying explanatory letter. He talked of how, beyond reconciliation and unity, the MP was truly about providing the richness of Catholic Tradition to everyone and that it was about enriching both ordinary and extraordinary forms. To cap his homily filled with a Litany of Thanksgiving, he said, finally I offer this mass to you, who have been devoted to this mass. There he was, a bishop who truly understood the mind of the Holy Father, a true and loyal son of Holy Mother the Church, a pastor bonus, a gift of God to his people.

The silence that followed during the Canon Missae rendered more solemnity to the occasion, to this joyous day when two scores after the Pauline reforms, once again a Philippine Church resounded with the silent, almost whispering prayer of a bishop, about to bring Calvary present once more, in the Mass.

When the mass was technically done and the final blessing was given, the elaborate ceremonial of the Extraordinary Form doesn’t stop yet. In fact, first, it calls for thanksgiving in the reading of the first chapter of John, and then prayers of petitions to Our Blessed Mother and to St. Michael, for the conversion of sinners, the exaltation of Holy Mother the Church and the defeat of the enemy. Fr. Bishop, all the more did these with a distinct affection one can almost feel when he recited the 3 Ave Mariae and the Prayer to St Michael.

After taking off the sacred vestments, Fr. Bishop spent some moments of silence thanking God for what had just happened, afterwards and to no surprise, droves of the faithful “drowned” him, all wanting to take their chance to gain an indulgence by kissing his Episcopal ring, but more than that, to offer their thanks and the warmth of their affection to such a bishop who, to my own recollection, did what simply was a miracle.

As I am just 22, truly what I saw today was something I haven’t seen in my whole life, and thus I too thank Fr. Bishop for the “miracle” of the Holy Mass he has celebrated today.

A Bishop from Batanes and the Triumph of Tradition

Story by Armand La Morte
Photos by Armand La Morte and Fidel Cenir

This morning witnessed another great and historic triumph of Tradition, as His Grace, Camillo Gregorio D.D., the Bishop of Batanes, culminated his apostolic priesthood once more as he offered the Sacrifice of the Mass, in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite - the Tridentine rite, at the Parish of Our Lord of the Divine Mercy, in Cubao, Q.C. It is another affirmation from God, that the Traditional Catholic movement is on the right path, and that the restoration of the Church, particularly here in Metro Manila, is well on its way.

The persecuted Bishop, who fought hard on the side of Tradition in his previous Diocese, seemingly mimicked the thanksgiving of St. Athanasius of Alexadria, for the continuing restoration of the Church. In his homily, His Grace thanked Our Lord and the Holy Father for the gift of Summorum Pontificum. He affirmed and highlighted some points of what Pope Benedict XVI, intends for the Church, namely the healing of rifts and dissentions among Catholics, and the unity of the Church, as the two valid forms of the Roman rite "enriches one another". His Grace also expressed his thanks and admiration to everyone present during the mass. Although the Extraordinary form was celebrated in the so-called 'Low Mass', nevertheless it was said in a very solemn manner that the people present meditatively, and enthusiastically assisted.

Fr. Jojo Zerrudo "concelebrated" (viz. according to Liturgy expert Carlos Palad, Fr. Jojo acted as 'First Chaplain') and actively served and assisted His Grace, throughout the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. After the celebration, the people joyfully flocked towards the Bishop to ask for his blessing, and to give their thanks and honor to this great servant of Our Lord and of His Church. May the Lord be praised and all glory be unto Him. That God continually bless his servant Reverend Bishop Camillo Gregorio in giving him the strength for the apostolic burden he has received.

For once allow me to concede to the Protestants, in singing "This is the day (2x)…that the Lord has made; I will rejoice (2x) and be glad in Him."


I never had the experience of attending a Mass celebrated in the Extraordinary Form, but I was extremely jubilant upon Summorum Pontificum and the EF Masses celebrated here in our country.

I hope I will be able to pray the Mass of countless saints and sinners soon. After all, staying in Quezon City for my studies, I am in the same diocese as the Parish of the Lord of Divine Mercy.

"What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred. . . "

Sana may ganito sa Amadeo. . .

"The Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the 'Lex orandi' (Law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nonetheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same 'Lex orandi,' and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church's Lex orandi will in no any way lead to a division in the Church's 'Lex credendi' (Law of belief). They are, in fact two usages of the one Roman rite."

- Summorum Pontificum
Pope Benedict XVI

This is where the above photos came.

This is what made it possible.