30 September 2008

St. Jerome

Confessor, Doctor of the Church (III Class)
St. Jerome, born in Dalmatia, educated at Rome, was soon led into the gravest disorders. Inspired by heaven, he was converted and became one of the greatest Doctors of the Latin Church, especially famous for his translation into Latin (the Vulgate) of the Holy Scriptures. He retired into a monastery at Bethlehem and died in 420.

Pope Benedict XV's 1920 Encyclical Letter Spiritus Paraclitus (On St. Jerome) is well worth the read. It strikes me that the relationship between God's authorship and the human author's parallels the relationship between grace and free will in general. Just as a human will is more and more free the more it is moved by grace, so the human author of Scripture is even more truly the author of his words when they are dictated by the Holy Ghost. We have no need, I think, to shy away from using the word "dictation" in regards to the inspiration of the Bible. See, e.g., the following from the above mentioned encyclical:

8... You will not find a page in his writings which does not show clearly that he, in common with the whole Catholic Church, firmly and consistently held that the Sacred Books - written as they were under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit - have God for their Author, and as such were delivered to the Church. Thus he asserts that the Books of the Bible were composed at the inspiration, or suggestion, or even at the dictation of the Holy Spirit; even that they were written and edited by Him. Yet he never questions but that the individual authors of these Books worked in full freedom under the Divine afflatus, each of them in accordance with his individual nature and character...

29 September 2008


The Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel (I Class)
This Basilica was consecrated to St. Michael by Boniface II on the site of the Roman Circus.

Sancte Michaël Archangele,
defende nos in proelio!

(by Rafael Sanzio, c. 1505, the Louvre, Paris.)

In celebration of today's great feast day we had a delicious bolognese sauce spaghetti, with red wine. I wanted angel hair pasta, but we made do with regular spaghetti. Then for dessert Lisa made a blackberry crumble, because apparently when Satan was kicked out of heaven (many years ago on Sept. 29) he landed in a blackberry briar patch and returns now every year on this day to curse and spit upon (or worse) blackberry patches all over the world. Hence the necessity of eating them by Michaelmas. It's best with vanilla ice cream on top.

28 September 2008

20th Sunday after Pentecost

II Class
The Liturgy shows us that our misfortunes are caused by our unfaithfulness in conforming to the will of God. Let us beseech the Lord, through the prayers of Holy Church, to pardon our sins, so that we may serve Him with a quiet and trustful heart, always obeying His precepts.

St. Wenceslaus, Martyr
(III Class)
St. Wenceslaus, duke of Bohemia, was persecuted by his unnatural mother Drahomira and his impious brother and successor, Boleslas, out of hatred for the Faith. He was murdered by the latter in a church where he was praying in 938.

(Tomb of King St. Wenceslaus, St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague.)

The weather today was really beautiful. After a big brunch at the Kartause, and a nap for Maria, we went out to the park in the afternoon where Maria met a couple of her little friends.

Katie and I had a game of catch, and talked about the Tigers' prospects for next season. We're actually listening to their last regularly scheduled game of the season right now over the internet.

Having finished up the book on Ireland's War for the Faith against the English Protestants, I've moved on to a book dealing with the grossly misunderstood medieval inquisition. It's called Characters of the Inquisition by William Thomas Walsh. I've read the first couple of chapters already, and it promises to be quite interesting.

From the publisher: "Refutes the many lies about the Inquisition raised by the enemies of the Church. Shows why it was instituted, the purpose it served, its long-term effects, and why it preserved Catholic countries from the infamous witch-hunts besmirching Protestant history. All this is achieved by narrating the stories of six Grand Inquisitors. Exonerates the Church of all wrong-doing. Really dispels the lies about this institution."

27 September 2008

Ember Saturday

II Class
At the beginning of the four seasons of the Ecclesiastical Year, the Ember Days have been instituted by the Church to thank God for blessings obtained during the past year and to implore further graces for the new season. They are intended, too, to consecrate to God the various seasons in nature, and to prepare by penance those who are about to be ordained. The faithful ought to pray on these days for good priests. The Ember Days were until c. 1960 fastdays of obligation.

Ss. Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs
(III Class)
SS. Cosmas and Damian, two brothers, physicians, born at Egæa (Arabia), were beheaded after many cruel tortures in Cilicia, under Diocletian, by order of the prefect Lysias in 283.

Today was our first Saturday in Gaming. It was actually rather nice to have nothing to do on the weekend for once. We went to Divine Liturgy in the morning, had delicious big soft pretzels for lunch; I took a long nap (Maria didn't); then we walked down to the Kartause for some cake and ice cream in celebration of the birthday of two of the women here. Katie went out afterward to the Kartausenkeller to take part in their tasty home-brewed dunkel beer. I think she's enjoying herself here, but don't worry, she was home at a reasonable hour...

I finished reading last night a truly excellent book called Swords Around the Cross: The Nine Years War: Ireland's Defense of Faith and Fatherland 1594-1603 by Timothy O'Donnell.

This is the story that leads up to that epic event in Irish history called "The Flight of the Earls."

From the publisher: "One of the only full-length treatments of the heroic struggle of the Irish clansmen in their effort to defend their faith and country against English encroachment and conquest in the 16th century. This book has infuriated establishment academics for its honest and thorough treatment of the Irish past. In so doing, the image of a 'golden age' under Elizabeth I is dealt a serious blow."

26 September 2008

Ember Friday

II Class
At the beginning of the four seasons of the Ecclesiastical Year, the Ember Days have been instituted by the Church to thank God for blessings obtained during the past year and to implore further graces for the new season. They are intended, too, to consecrate to God the various seasons in nature, and to prepare by penance those who are about to be ordained. The faithful ought to pray on these days for good priests. The Ember Days were until c. 1960 fastdays of obligation.

Commemoration of Ss. Cyprian and Justina, Martyrs
Cyprian, the magician, endeavored in vain to deceive the holy virgin Justina by his sorcery. He was converted to the Faith, and both were beheaded at Nicomedia under Diocletian in 304.

This morning Maria dressed all in pink in preparation for our shopping trip to Wieselburg and Scheibbs. One of our friends kindly bought Maria a lovely book with all kinds of pictures and their corresponding German words. She was quite happy with it (see below).

24 September 2008

Ember Wednesday

II Class
At the beginning of the four seasons of the Ecclesiastical Year, the Ember Days have been instituted by the Church to thank God for blessings obtained during the past year and to implore further graces for the new season. They are intended, too, to consecrate to God the various seasons in nature, and to prepare by penance those who are about to be ordained. The faithful ought to pray on these days for good priests. The Ember Days were until c. 1960 fastdays of obligation.

Commemoration of Our Lady of Ransom
The Blessed Virgin Mary by repeated visions inspired St. Peter Nolasco and St. Raymond of Peñafort to found with the aid of King James of Aragon the Order of Our Lady of Ransom for the redemption of Christian captives from the infidels. The Church commemorates today this incomparable work of charity.

Today's big news is that team Old Guys beat a team of FUS students in the first flag-football game of the season, 16-12. Our old guys team consists of ITI students/faculty/staff, Ave Maria students (not so old), and FUS faculty/staff. The season is four games long and then there is a two round playoff.

23 September 2008

St. Linus

Pope, Martyr (III Class)
The successor of St. Peter in the Apostolic See ruled the Church for about nine years. He was martyred, and was buried next to the Prince of the Apostles in 78.

Well, our plans to visit Liechtenstein and Switzerland have been indefinitely postponed. Some of the students here have managed to come up with a plan for practically the whole Institute to make a pilgrimage to Lourdes over the Fall break. This year of course marks 150 years since our Lady's apparitions there.

So, the plan as of now seems to be to pile into a couple of big buses on Wednesday evening the 22nd of October, and to drive through the night to Lyon, France - a drive of about 10:30 hours according to Google. We'll have the rest of the day to explore Lyon before spending the night there and then driving on to Lourdes Friday morning (another 6:30 hours). Friday evening through Sunday Mass will be in Lourdes; Sunday afternoon, drive back to Lyon and spend the night there again; Monday morning get back on the buses for the long drive home (which should, however, be a scenic one: through southern France, Switzerland, and Bavaria).

22 September 2008

St. Thomas of Villanova

Bishop, Confessor (III Class)
St. Thomas, born in Spain, religious of the Order of Hermits of St. Augustine, Archbishop of Valencia, died having given away to the poor all he possessed in 1555.

It happens that today is also the feast day of the 223 martyrs of Valencia beatified in 2001 by Pope John Paul II. Not that there were only 223 martyrs in the Spanish Civil War (1936) mind you, this is merely the number of those beatified thus far. In honor of whom today we drank some Spanish Sangria with shouts (okay, toasts) of Viva Christo Rey!

This afternoon in my Moral Theology class, we had a nice cordial debate over the merits of St. Thomas's assertion that our eternal and perfect happiness will consist essentially in an act of the intellect rather than of will, i.e. the Beatific Vision is essentially an act of knowing, not of loving.

This one often provokes a reaction, and it is admittedly quite counter-intuitive. The importance of charity is after all stressed emphatically in the Scriptures. But then there are such words as these:
  • St Paul, in the very context of his great discourse on love, writes: "For now we see [vision pertains to knowledge] in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood" (I Cor 13:12).
  • St John writes: "Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2).
  • Our Lord Himself says: "And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3).
St. Thomas explains it in this way in Summa Theologiae, I-II, 3.4:

I answer that, as stated above two things are needed for happiness: one, which is the essence of happiness: the other, that is, as it were, its proper accident, i.e. the delight connected with it. I say, then, that as to the very essence of happiness, it is impossible for it to consist in an act of the will. For it is evident from what has been said that happiness is the attainment of the last end. But the attainment of the end does not consist in the very act of the will. For the will is directed to the end, both absent, when it desires it; and present, when it is delighted by resting therein. Now it is evident that the desire itself of the end is not the attainment of the end, but is a movement towards the end: while delight comes to the will from the end being present; and not conversely, is a thing made present, by the fact that the will delights in it. Therefore, that the end be present to him who desires it, must be due to something else than an act of the will.

This is evidently the case in regard to sensible ends. For if the acquisition of money were through an act of the will, the covetous man would have it from the very moment that he wished for it. But at the moment it is far from him; and he attains it, by grasping it in his hand, or in some like manner; and then he delights in the money got. And so it is with an intelligible end. For at first we desire to attain an intelligible end; we attain it, through its being made present to us by an act of the intellect; and then the delighted will rests in the end when attained.

So, therefore, the essence of happiness consists in an act of the intellect: but the delight that results from happiness pertains to the will. In this sense Augustine says that happiness is "joy in truth," because, to wit, joy itself is the consummation of happiness.

21 September 2008

19th Sunday after Pentecost

II Class
The Mass of this Sunday reminds us that all men are called to heavenly reward and happiness.

St. Matthew, Apostle, Evangelist
(II Class)
St. Matthew was at first a publican at the toll station at Capharnaum. The publicans, on account of their many acts of injustice and extortion, were looked upon as the greatest sinners by the Jews. Matthew himself by his humble confession gratefully acknowledged the gracious condescension of the Lord to sinners. At his Master's invitation he promptly joined Him. He wrote the first Gospel and preached the Good News in Palestine and in Ethiopia, where he was attacked and killed while saying Mass in 60.
Today was a sleepy day of recovery from our trip to Prague.

20 September 2008

St. Eustace and His Companions

Eustace was commander-in-chief in the army of the Emperor Trajan. Having refused to thank the gods for a triumph, he was burned to death with his wife and two children, after undergoing many cruel tortures in 120.

It was quite a full day, to say the least. We awoke at 4:15 am, packed our bags, ate breakfast, and headed out to Prague with Br. Basil, a Benedictine monk who is studying at the ITI. The car ride was about 4 and 1/2 hours. The first thing we did was pay a visit to the Infant of Prague, who is in the Church of Our Lady Victorious:

In the 17th century a Spanish princess brought a statue of the Infant Jesus to Prague. It was given to the Carmelites and set up in a chapel. When the Chapel was destroyed by the Protestant armies during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), the statue was thrown like trash into a heap behind the altar. In 1637 a priest found the statue, with its arms broken off, and replaced it in the Chapel. One day as he was praying before it, he heard a voice say:


Next we trekked up a hill to the Castle Quarter; we went into the Loretta Church, in the Courtyard of which is a chapel that contains a piece of the house of the Holy Family from Nazareth. The outside of the chapel is pictured below, but no photos were allowed inside the Santa Casa.

We continued up the hill to a monastery complex. Inside, while Lisa played outside with Maria, who would have no patience for such things, myself, Br. Basil and Katie explored the monastery's beautiful Library.

From the monastery's gardens there was a great view of the city, in particular of the Cathedral of St. Vitus in the courtyard of Prague Castle.

Lunch was up next. As fantastic as traditional Czech cuisine is, the highlight was certainly the beer. Although pilsner beers are not usually our favorite (we find they have less flavor than, say, wheat beers), there was nothing to complain about in these. Pilsners were invented, and perfected, in the Czech Republic.

Then, it was onto the Cathedral of St. Vitus, a magnificent Gothic church. Inside we saw the tombs of the two principal patrons of Bohemia: King St. Wenceslaus (martyred 935), and St. John Nepomuk (martyred 1393). St. John Nepomuk's tomb is pictured below, with the picture of St. Wenceslaus' tomb underneath.

As we were walking up the hill to the Castle Quarter in the morning, we saw a shop containing what appeared to be very fine and authentic Italian ice cream. As we walked down the hill, we decided it was time for gelato. This may have been Maria's highlight!

Finally, it was on to Charles Bridge (from which St. John Nepomuk was cast to his death for not breaking the seal of Confession). This bridge was commissioned by King Charles IV in 1357. On the bridge are 30 statues of Saints which were built mostly in the 17th century. The most famous statue, that of St. John Nepomuk, unfortunately was covered with scaffolding as workers tore apart the very bridge we were walking on. The gates to the bridge (pictures below) are among the finest examples in Europe of civil Gothic architecture.

The rest of our pictures from the day are online here: Prague.

19 September 2008

St. Januarius, Bishop, Martyr, and His Companions

St. Januarius, Bishop of Beneventum, was beheaded with his companions Acutius, Eutychius, Desiderius, Festus, Proclus, and Socius at Puteoli in the persecution of Diocletian in 305. St. Januarius is the patron of Naples, where year by year the liquefaction of his blood, preserved in a phial, takes place.

18 September 2008

St. Joseph of Cupertino, Confessor

St. Joseph, a humble Franciscan Friar of Cupertino in Italy, who could acquire but little of book knowledge and needed divine help to qualify for the priesthood, was favored by his crucified God with a marvelous grace of contemplation, and with a remarkable power of miracles. He died at Orsino in 1663.

First off, cute picture of Maria:

Next up, the little baby seems to be growing (5 months along now):

Lastly, Katie enjoying her first Kartausenbräu dunkel bier.

17 September 2008

The Imprinting of the Holy Stigmata on the Body of St. Francis

Two years before his death, while at prayer on Mount Alvernia, the Seraphic Patriarch St. Francis of Assisi, was rapt in contemplation, and received in his own body the impression of the sacred Wounds of Christ. Pope Benedict XI ordered the Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis to be observed on September 17. Pope Paul V extended it to the whole Catholic world.

Today the rain finally stopped (Deo gratias!), and we took advantage of the dry weather to walk to the kebap stand just outside of Gaming for lunch. It was rather delicious. Today's big news: we're planning a trip to Prague for this Saturday. The weather forecast says some light showers, but we're going for it anyways, and hoping for the best. It's about a five hour drive from here, and we're planning to go there and back all in one day, so it'll be quite a day, but we're rather excited.

16 September 2008

St. Cornelius, Pope, Martyr, and St. Cyprian, Bishop, Martyr

St. Cornelius, the successor of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr, was one of the greatest popes of the third century. He was beheaded in 253. St. Cyprian, a barrister, and later Bishop of Carthage and Primate of Africa, wrote works which are among the most precious documents of the Catholic Church. He suffered martyrdom in 258.

Tuesday is a busy day for me: four classes in a row from 8:00 to 1:00, and then another from 3:45-5:00. By the time Mass is over around 6:00, it's been a long day. Combine that with the fact that it hasn't stopped raining since Sunday night, and I was ready for some pasta this evening. Apparently, so was Maria:

15 September 2008

The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

What words can ever describe the unspeakable anguish that rent the sacred heart of Mary as she looked upon her Divine Son hanging on the cross! Every wound in Jesus' body was also a wound in the heart of Mary: every fiber, every nerve throbbing in agony, every pang He suffered re-echoed in her heart. She endured by her compassion a share in all the anguish of His Passion. Why did Mary suffer all this? That she might be our Mother, the Mother of mankind. She who brought forth her Divine Son without a pang suffered many a piercing pang when from the cross her dying Son commended to her the sinful sons of men. It was indeed a motherhood of sorrow that she suffered for our sins: for mine.

Mary's Seven Sorrows are:

1. The Prophecy of Simeon

2. The Flight into Egypt

3. The Loss of Jesus in the Temple

4. The Meeting of Mary and Jesus on the Way of the Cross

5. The Crucifixion

6. The Deposition

7. The Entombment

14 September 2008

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Chosroes, king of Persia, carried away the True Cross to Persia; but Heraclius, Emperor of the East, defeated Chosroes and himself carried the holy Cross to the Basilica on Calvary in 629.

Today's feast is a big one for the Byzantines, so the Divine Liturgy was even longer than usual this morning, with much venerating of the cross. Afterwards, a couple of friends came over for brunch (pancakes: Maria's favorite); and then this evening we were invited over to the Kartause for a big common dinner. One of the faculty members here is leaving soon for the seminary in Vienna, and cooking big meals for everyone is something he's done rather frequently (and he's a great cook). So, this evening was something of a send off - his last time cooking for everyone (at least for the near future).

Greetings from Katie

Well, I'm in Austria! Been busy with school and other things that John mentioned, like the Mariazel pilgrimage and a trip to Vienna last weekend. School is going well. I've got 7 classes, but I'm enjoying them. Maria and I have fun making "houses" with blankets in our spare time. Right now, it's about dinner time but I will drop in here hopefully more often.

13 September 2008

Pilgrimage to Mariazell

On the feast (Sept. 13) of Our Lady of Mariazell, "Great Mother of Austria," "Great Lady of Hungary," and "Great Mother of the Slavic People," the ITI, as is customary, began the academic year with a pilgrimage to the shrine. It is about 37 kms from Gaming by car, or 30kms by foot through the scenic Naturpark. Below is our view at lunch.

We began our walk c. 7:30 and arrived in Mariazell c. 3:15, in time to look around a bit before Divine Liturgy in the shrine at 4:00. Those of us who walked (including Katie and I) were joined by many others (including Lisa and Maria) who arrived by bus.

For more about the 851 year history of the miraculous image of our Lady, as well as some more pictures of the shrine, see the official website, or the article on sacred-destinations.com.

12 September 2008

The Most Holy Name of Mary

The great victory, which John Sobieski, king of Poland, gained against the Turks under the walls of Vienna, caused the Pope Innocent XI to make this feast obligatory throughout the whole Western Church as a yearly act of thanksgiving for the deliverance of Christian Europe.

The requested picture of Gaming: in the center you can see the red-roofed Kartause Maria Thron:

We spent the evening at the Kartause in the ITI common room with many of the students, and with much wine and cheese. We also discovered a new Austrian herbal liquor, which we sampled at dinner with a toast to the salvation of Christendom.

11 September 2008

Ss. Protus and Hyacinth, Martyrs

These two brothers were scourged and beheaded at Rome in the persecution of Valerian and Gallian in 262.

This afternoon Lisa brought Maria and Eli to the Kartause courtyard to play while I and Eli's parents were in German class.

After Divine Liturgy this evening we grabbed some sandwiches (and beers) and walked up to the Kirchsteinkreuz for a picnic dinner. There is an excellent view of Gaming from the top, especially now that that horrible crane has abandoned its post next to the Kartause.

10 September 2008

St. Nicholas of Tolentino, Confessor

From his childhood St. Nicholas was a model of virtue and innocence. He entered the Order of St. Augustine and became a famous preacher. He died in 1310.

Still not very many pictures, I know, but I'm trying to get Lisa back into the habit of carrying the camera with her when she and Maria go out. In the meantime, you might be interested in Katie's workload for the semester:

STM 101 Intro to Latin I (M/T/W/Th/F)
STM 111 Intro to Sacred Scripture I (T/Th)
STM 112 Mysterium Salutis I (T/Th)
STM 113 Natural Philosophy I: Principles of Nature (M/Th)
STM 114 Intro to Logic (M/W)
STM 115 Intro to Philosophy: Logos and Eros (M/T)
STM 118 Intro to Scholarly Methods (W)

09 September 2008

St. Gorgonius, Martyr

At Nicomedia, St. Gorgonius, an officer of Diocletian's household, converted many servants of the imperial court. His cruel master condemned him and his companions to the most atrocious death in 302.

After some finagling, my class schedule is all set. This semester I'm taking 25 credits:

STM 102 Introduction to Greek I (M/T/W/Th)
STM 109 Advanced German (T/W/Th)
STM 411 Scripture and Its Interpretation (T/Th)
STM 412 Fundamental Theology: Fides et Ratio (M/W)
STM 413 The One God I: Existence and Attributes of God (T/Th)
STM 419 Research, Thesis Writing, and Project Management (T)
STM 424 Moral Theology II: Human Acts and the Final End (M/W)

08 September 2008

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

At the time of Mary's birth the whole world was plunged in darkness. The heathen nations were steeped in vice and pride. The Jews, too, had corrupted their ways and departed from God. Everywhere there was sin and gloom, no bright spot on the face of the earth. But when Mary was born a light arose amid the darkness: the dawn of the glorious day that was to usher in the Redeemer. So, too, the darkness of the sinner's soul is dispersed by Mary's holy influence. Where the love of her is born in the soul, all becomes full of light, and Jesus comes to make his habitation there. Mary, in the first hour of her life, brought more glory to God than all the Saints of the Old Testament. In her were made perfect the obedience of Abraham, the chastity of Joseph, the patience of Job, the meekness of Moses, the prudence of Josue. It is because she is the model and pattern of these and all other virtues that she can communicate them to us.

This evening for dinner Lisa made her famed Vodka sauce pasta, although she had to substitute Obstschnapps since we are all out of vodka. It tasted just fine, although if one really tried one could just detect a hint of fruit. Maria, not partaking of the wine, managed to fall right out of her chair:

After dinner we sang Happy Birthday to the Blessed Virgin and ate some tasty pastries that some friends brought over for us yesterday. Maria had ice cream, too:

07 September 2008

17th Sunday after Pentecost

The Liturgy reminds us today of the great commandment of charity towards God and our neighbor. "The precept is twofold," declares St. Augustine, "but charity is one." We love God above all and our neighbor for His sake.

Today was finally a relaxing day. Maria allowed us to sleep in until 9:00. After the Divine Liturgy we ate pancakes and then took naps. We even managed to read a little bit (non-assigned!).

I started reading a new book entitled Swords Around the Cross: The Nine Years War: Ireland's Defense of Faith and Fatherland 1595-1603 by Timothy O'Donnell. It's about the heroic efforts of the Irish to preserve the Catholic and Apostolic Faith against the attacks of the Elizabethan English Protestants - an effort which seemed to end in failure with the "flight of the Earls", but which in truth was successful in that the Faith endured in Ireland (at least until now).

Lisa picked up (again) The Last Crusade: Spain: 1936 by Warren Carroll, in which the author offers a Catholic perspective on the Spanish Civil War. In fact, I think that I heard something recently about the impending beatification / canonization of some martyrs of Valencia from this war. Anyways, it would seem that Generalissimo Franco wasn't really quite the bad guy he's generally made out to be. Those who criticize him for accepting aid from Hitler in his fight against Stalin should remember that the USA accepted aid from Stalin to fight against Hitler. It's a fascinating read that I highly recommend, as I do all of Carroll's history books.

06 September 2008

Gathering before Parliament in Vienna

Here we are joining Cardinal Schoenborn (and many others) in a pro-family demonstration before Parliament in Vienna. Afterwards we walked about the city a little bit, seeing the Hofburg Palace, Stephansdom, and the Opera House.

Our last stop in Vienna was the Volksgarten, in which are many beautiful rose bushes and one beautiful little girl:

Our bus picked us up at 5:00 and took us to Trumau to see the future site of the ITI. Right now the dormitories are nothing but blueprints, but we were able to see the Schloss (castle) in which many of the offices and classrooms will be. It has towers and an inner courtyard, as well as beautiful gardens and a pear orchard in the back. Next up was dinner at a local restaurant in Trumau.

05 September 2008

St. Lawrence Justinian, Bishop, Confessor

St. Lawrence, of the noble family of Giustiniani, Bishop and first Patriarch of Venice, was "the pride and the ornament of the Catholic Episcopate." He died in 1455.

Turns out that Cardinal Schoenborn has requested us (especially the families) to gather before Parliament tomorrow in Vienna. It has something to do with the recent failure of the Austrian politicians to legalize homosexual "unions". Should be interesting. Afterwards, we get some time to walk about the city (I imagine Katie is excited about that - if not, she should be), and then we're heading to Trumau - site of the school's future location, and a restaurant somewhere in the vicinity. I'm sure we'll have pictures!

miserere nobis!

Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thee, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which Thy loving Heart is everywhere subject.

Mindful, alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Thy pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation, not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who, straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow Thee, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the promises of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Thy law... (Act of Reparation)

04 September 2008

Opening Gala

Well I've made it through my first two hectic days of class, jet lag and all. Katie, unfortunately, has an 8:00 Latin class yet tomorrow morning. This evening was the traditional gala opening the academic year. First a votive Divine Liturgy to the Holy Ghost; then a lecture from our president Msgr Hogan on the topic of the foolishness of God, which is higher than human wisdom; followed by first class cultural entertainment (singing and piano); and concluding with wines from Trumau (the school's future location) and all kinds of cheeses. To the left is the beautiful baroque library, a.k.a. the "Sistine Chapel of the North."

By the way, in case you missed it in the comments box: our laptop and stove are now working. Deo gratias!

03 September 2008

We're back (St. Pius X, Pope, Confessor)

Joseph Sarto was born at Riese in Venetia on June 2, 1835. He was successively curate, parish priest, bishop of Mantua, patriarch of Venice. He was elected Pope on August 4, 1903. As chief pastor of the Church he realized to the full the value of the liturgy as the prayer of the Church and spared no effort to propagate the practice of frequent and daily Communion. In his encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis, he exposed and condemned the modernist heresy with force and clarity (1907). He died on August 20, 1914, and was canonized on May 29, 1954.

Our travel went rather smoothly, thanks be to God. But it looks like it'll take a few days to really settle in here this time around. It's rather hard taking care of all the necessary details in the midst of a full load of new classes, but we'll get there. It doesn't help that right off the bat our laptop computer is having problems, as is the stovetop. The former problem will probably make for rather sparse updates here for a little while, as our internet access is limited to the ITI computer lab for now. In other news, Lisa had an ultrasound today! The baby (sex remains unknown) looked fine, and a little farther along than we thought. So, good news for visiting grandparents: the new due date is January 20!

02 September 2008

St. Stephen, Confessor

St. Stephen consecrated his kingdom, Hungary, to our Blessed Lady. This apostolic king won over his enemies and converted his people to Christianity. He died famous for his justice and his boundless charity in 1038.