Sunday, September 30, 2007

TLM in Lincoln

I spoke with our pastor about the TLM, but waited for a month after the motu proprio had come out, lest I appear over-eager. His indication was that the bishop, his Excellency Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, wanted to make sure that clergy were properly prepared to offer the Latin Mass before widening its usage in the diocese. Currently, there's one parish doing two latin masses on Sundays, and possibly weekday masses as well.

I noticed this snippet in the local paper:

Priest training Latin Mass workshops, Oct. 5-9 and Nov. 2-6, Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, Denton. 797-7700 or

I take this to mean that the bishop's plan is rolling forward. Interestingly enough, the topic came up in this week's 'Ask the Register' column in the diocesan newspaper.

Didn't the Second Vatican Council outlaw the use of Latin in the Mass? Isn't the pope defying the Second Vatican Council by reinstating Latin in the Mass with his new document "Summorum Pontificum"?

No, the Second Vatican Council did not outlaw the use of Latin in the Mass, but said just the opposite. The Council said, "Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites. But, since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, may frequently be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended." The Council also said, "In Masses which are celebrated with the people, a suitable place may be allotted to their mother tongue.... Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or sing together in Latin those parts of the ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them." It is important, before making such unfounded claims, that you read carefully the documents of the Second Vatican Council. Your error will become apparent to you when you read the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of that Council. If you were to actually read the "Motu Proprio" Encyclical Letter of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, you would also see how untrue and unjust your accusations against him are. The sooner you read and study his Encyclical and the Council's Con-stitution "Sacrum Concilium," the better off you will be.

My pastor also indicated that he'd not just spring it suddenly on the laity, but he didn't have any other details to offer. As I've indicated before, the vernacular Mass is celebrated well in Lincoln, and in our parish as well. Most hymns sung during Mass are from BEFORE 1950, many parts of the Mass are sung in english and during Lent and Advent, some Latin is sung as well. I've been to parishes in other states where the liturgy is every bit the felt banner clad nightmare of the 1970's.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Since I'm on the long road to a BS in electrical engineering, the subject matter has been occupying more of my waking thought. And like anything else in my scrambled brain, some things are bound to get swirled around with other oddities. So without further ado:

The Logic of Matthew 7:13

Friday, September 28, 2007

Mistake, or Crime?

Mistake costs dishwasher $59,000, CNN says. What was his big mistake?

he carried a duffel bag filled with $59,000 -- all the cash he had scrimped and saved over the years -- to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. But when Zapeta tried to go through airport security, an officer spotted the money in the bag and called U.S. customs officials.

"They asked me how much money I had," Zapeta recalled, speaking to CNN in Spanish. He told the customs officials $59,000. At that point, U.S. customs seized his money, setting off a two-year struggle for Zapeta to get it back.

Zapeta, who speaks no English, said he didn't know he was running afoul of U.S. law by failing to declare he was carrying more than $10,000 with him. Anyone entering or leaving the country with more than $10,000 has to fill out a one-page form declaring the money to U.S. customs.

Now, it would be easier to explain to the customs officials the mistake if one spoke english. It would also enhance one's credibility to be a US citizen, or legal immigrant. Oops:

For 11 years, Pedro Zapeta, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, lived his version of the American dream in Stuart, Florida: washing dishes and living frugally to bring money back to his home country.

DOH! There's the mistake. He was illegal on accident? It was just a mistake, see. CNN's hopped on that happy hispanic bandwagon, that all immigrants should be legal, and their manner of entry into this country should have no bearing on their rights.

Notice this guy was here 11 years, and never picked up the language? Funny, my French Canadian, Irish and German immigrant forbearers decided to learn the language when the got to this country, not just prennent l'argent et se sauvent , or sie nehmen das Geld und fliehen [take the money and run]. In fact, they joined the US Army, and fought in WW II, and when that was done, they worked and paid taxes. Unlike Mr. Zapeta:

Zapeta's story became public last year on CNN and in The Palm Beach Post newspaper, prompting well-wishers to give him nearly $10,000 -- money that now sits in a trust.

Robert Gershman, one of Zapeta's attorneys, said federal prosecutors later offered his client a deal: He could take $10,000 of the original cash seized, plus $9,000 in donations as long as he didn't talk publicly and left the country immediately.

Zapeta said, "No." He wanted all his money. He'd earned it, he said.

Now, according to Gershman, the Internal Revenue Service wants access to the donated cash to cover taxes on the donations and on the money Zapeta made as a dishwasher. Zapeta admits he never paid taxes.

Despite his legal transgressions, Mr. Zapeta seems convinced that he's in the right:

"They are treating me like a criminal when all I am is a working man," he said.

Dismissing protestations of innocence, the legal apparatus is making sure that situation is going to be resolved:

On Wednesday, Zapeta went to immigration court and got more bad news. The judge gave the dishwasher until the end of January to leave the country on his own. He's unlikely to see a penny of his money.

"I am desperate," Zapeta said. "I no longer feel good about this country."

You think?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Just Not Getting It

Ok, so, your state has a public relations problem. The national media is making it look like your town is full of racist rednecks. While white citizens declare their love for their black neighbors, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton slither in to town to express righteous indignation for the TV cameras.

So what do you do? You decorate your pickup truck with nooses.

Sure, that'll set everyone over at NPR straight about race relations in Jena, and in Louisiana in general.

You cannot buy stupidity of this quality just anywhere.

Maybe Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton should take up residence in Louisiana. Sounds like they all deserve each other's illustrious company.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Civil Rights Movement Fails

The media and civil rights organizations are all atwitter over the 'Jena 6'. Six black teens had beat a white teen. When a guy is on the ground, and you're still punching and stomping him, and doing this as a group, it eclipses any claim to civilization you may present.

Most of the black teens were charged as adults, which is what the civil rights crowd is so outraged about. But there's some background to this:

[Mychal] Bell, 17, has been in prison since his arrest in December. The judge has refused to lower his $90,000 bail, citing Bell's criminal record, which includes four juvenile offenses -- two simple battery charges among them.

I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Bell's prior inclination to violence was part of the decision to try him as an adult. Since he's obviously not learned his lesson from his parents, the black community, or the juvenile justice system, one would conclude that it's time to try something different.

Rushing to the scene to fan the flames of racial discontent are two reported civil rights "leaders", Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton.

This is a march for justice. This is not a march against whites or against Jena," said the Rev. Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist and one of the protest organizers.

"It breaks our heart to see [Bell] handcuffed and in leg shackles," Sharpton said. "But his spirit is high. He has said that he is very encouraged to know that thousands are coming to this town to stand up for him and his five friends."

So then, I don't imagine that the good reverend will be standing up for the victim of this mob attack? In his thinking, the assailants are the victims, and in a way he's right. But we'll get to that later.

Jesse Jackson, in his indestructable obtuseness, tried to link Jena to another civil rights moment:

"If I were a candidate, I'd be all over Jena. Jena is a defining moment, just like Selma was a defining moment."

I don't know if you could ask for a contrast more stark. In the Selma march, blacks were beaten by white cops during a non-violent demonstration for the right to vote. In Jena, a white teen was beaten by black teens over racist taunting. Earth to Jesse, the two events are worlds apart. If Jena is a defining moment, then let it be as the indictment of the failure of black leadership, and the death of any pretense of concern for non-violent advancement of black rights. What the outrage pimps and disaffected crowds are pushing for is a biased leniency for violence.

In that face of racial taunting, these black teens resorted to violence to try and stop the intimidation. And now that the consequences come, who's to blame? The blame is going to some white kids that put up nooses on a tree weeks prior. No personal responsibility to be found in Jena.

How about acknowleging that the civil rights leadership has failed to continue teaching Dr. Martin Luther King's message of non-violence? The 'Jena 6' are in their throes because of this failure. If these black teens are to be portayed as victims, let's show who's really caused their injury. Leadership in the black community has been replaced by outrage pimps, running from one scene to another. They spot the insults by noticing the presence of media attention, and then dive in front of the cameras to feign a guiding role in the community.

Both Jackson and Sharpton are quick to address any perceived slight AGAINST blacks, except when it's perpetrated BY blacks.

Look how quickly the outrage pimps jumped on the Don Imus quip, yet were ony grudgingly pushed to hold the same standard to black rappers, and even that's slipped into obscurity. It's just not a priority.

Jackson and Sharpton loudly blame gun manufaturers and sellers for black gun violence, yet do nothing in the face of the billion $$$ business of Hip-Hop, whose current superstar sports a bullet-proof vest on stage.

How does Dr. King's vision of non-violence square with that? If you listen closely, you can hear Dr. King, spinning in his grave.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Quebexican food

In explaining the pronunciation of the end of my last name, my train of thought jumped the rails and landed in a twisted heap that you're about to see:

Taceau - Cretons avec laitue déchiquetée, tomates découpées, et le fromage Lechevalier Mailloux dans un pain frais. [Translated: Potted Pork meat with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and a Quebec cheese served in a loaf of fresh bread]

Nacheau - Pied-de-Vent fondu avec retailles d'hostie. [Translated: Melted Pied-de-Vent cheese with unconsecrated communion wafer cuttings]

Buerre-iteau - Pain frais, bourré du beurre, porc haché, noix de muscade, clous de girofle et pommes de terre. [Translated: fresh bread, stuffed with butter, ground pork, nutmeg, cloves and potatoes]

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Blogger Credentialed as Newsweek Reporter

Jeff Miller has a vocation, though one not recognised by the editorial staff of Newsweek. In a secret ceremony, and in defiance of the editorial staff, Jeff Miller was credentialed as a Newsweek reporter. "I am taking this step forward so that others in the future will have the opportunity to be a Newsweek reporter without having to face their discriminatory hiring practice of only hiring those with a journalism degree and having the ability to write and to act as a reporter," Miller wrote, about his calling to credentials.

Some accuse Newsweek of credentialism, paying for and publishing work only a select few reporters that conform to Newsweek's dogmas. St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse, chairman of We Are Magazine, claims that Newsweeks denials of Miller's credentials are futile. "When will the editors wake up and realize that, credentialed or not, it's the reporters that are Newsweek? The editors only have the power we allow them, so we're pressing for a more horizontal model of the magazine." Apokalypse went on to note "we are striving to write into our calling to be Magazine, and it's really for the good of Newsweek to be inclusive enough to recognise us."

Future clandestine credentialing ceremonies are planned, but details are being kept secret.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Comparing vocational gravity between two diocese. One, you'll likely guess quickly, as for the other, that may be fairly obvious as well.

Diocese ADiocese B
Catholic Population: 4,349,267Catholic Population: 89,412
Seminarians from the Diocese: 50
Seminarians from Other Dioceses: 85
Diocesan Students in Other Seminaries: 18
Seminarians from the Diocese: 28
Seminarians from Other Dioceses: 7
Diocesan Students in Other Seminaries: 15
Local Seminarian to Catholic Ratio: 1 : 63,959 Local Seminarian to Catholic Ratio: 1 : 2,079

So, does this mean that a catholic in Diocese B is 30 times more likely to find a vocation to the priesthood or diaconate? To quote Bugs Bunny, "Ehhh, Could be."

Friday, September 07, 2007

Good News

Twenty-three new seminarians in the Diocese of Lincoln, according to the Southern Nebraska Register. Nineteen are locals, four from other parts of the country or farther:

Sean Wilson of Gimli, Manitoba in Canada had originally intended to study for the Diocese of Winnipeg. However, various circumstances led him to enter the seminary for the Diocese of Lincoln instead.

“I ended up reading about the Bishop of Lincoln, and that made me curious,” he said. He came to visit St. Gregory the Great and was impressed with the friendly and faith-filled atmosphere."

Wow, he read about Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, and came here all the same. He must be an intrepid Catholic, and looking for more than just milquetoast doctrinal dissent taught by nancing poofs. Were in cassock country here, with many sporting the biretta as well. Please check all Call To Action membership cards and National Catholic Reporter subscriptions at the gate.

We are very fortunate to have such men, willing to contemplate taking up the cross of a religious vocation. And to have so many with such interest is special as well.

“We’re very blessed by God,” agreed Father Robert Matya, vocations director.

Yes, Father, indeed we are.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Straighter Path

Tiber Jumper, over at 'Crossed the Tiber', has been posting gems from Thomas á Kempis' 'Imitation of Christ'. Feeling lost? Á Kempis points the way, like all good witnesses, to Christ. Feeling full of yourself? Step up for some deflation and humility.

Like a discipline in a monk's cell, one can flog the wayward conscience with 'Imitation of Christ'.

Over at Cosmos-Liturgy-Sex, David explores the place for dissent in the Church (which is NOT IN the Church). The fear of fervent Catholicism is making some dissenters nervous. A big surprise, assent to Catholic teaching requires humility.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Meadering Path of the Spiritually Lost

The Labyrinth lady cometh. Rev.Dr. Lauren Artress (Episcopalian) is winding her way to Nebraska, bringing her spiritual practice with her:

"There are many ways to describe a labyrinth. It is a path of prayer, a walking meditation, a crucible of change, a watering hole for the spirit and a mirror of the soul. May you be nourished."

Let me describe the labyrinth. It is a toilet of wasted time, a sink of prayer, a medicine cabinet of spiritual placebos, and a mirror of self-seeking. It has been weighed on the bathroom scale and has been found wanting.

With her "may you be nourished" line, it sounds like the labyrinth is more a substitute for the Eucharist than anything else. Is it really so difficult to seek Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and in our neighbors, that one has to wander on large-scale doodles?

Let us compare and contrast the winding way of the labyrinth versus the Gospel:

Proverbs 15:21 Folly is joy to the fool: and the wise man maketh straight his steps.

Isaiah 35:8 And a path and a way shall be there, and it shall be called the holy way: the unclean shall not pass over it, and this shall be unto you a straight way, so that fools shall not err therein.

Hebrews 12:12-14 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, And make straight steps with your feet: that no one, halting, may go out of the way; but rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness: without which no man shall see God.

Deuteronomy 27:18 Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of his way.

I know that there are many catholics who wander lost on these paths as well. Why is it that some would rather walk in circles rather than kneel in front of the Tabernacle?