30 August 2009

Happy Name Day, Katie Rose!

Commemoration of St. Rose of Lima

Thou hast loved justice and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Maria and I went to the Schloss this afternoon before dinner to cut some roses for the table from the garden in honor of today's saint.

We miss you, Aunt Katie!

29 August 2009

The Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist

I spoke of Thy testimonies before kings, and I was not ashamed; I meditated also on Thy commandments, which I loved exceedingly.

Despite the fact that the good Saint John touched no strong drink during his life on earth, we decided that we had to honor Peter's birthday with a liter of Ottakringer dunkles.

Happy Birthday, Peter!

There's a big prost for you.

Pajama Day

The arrival yesterday of a new AC adapter for our computer (thanks Mom) makes the uploading of pictures rather easier. Hence the sudden onslaught of new photos. After a late night out on the town last night, it was cool and rainy today: the perfect time for a pajama day!

Thomas's New High Chair

28 August 2009

St. Augustine

Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church

In the midst of the Church he opened his mouth: and the Lord filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory.

Msgr. Hogan invited us to join him in Vienna at the Augustinerkirche for Mass in honor of St. Augustine. The Mass was set to glorious music by Schubert.

The celebration continued after the Mass with a fine dinner at a French restaurant on the north side of Vienna. Their specialty was seafood, and especially seafood crepes, which allowed us to obey the letter of the law of observing penance on Fridays even if not the spirit.

Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XI Ad salutem (On St. Augustine), 1930.

1. It is eminently befitting the nature and necessity of the case, that Christ Jesus has been and shall continue to be ready to safeguard the Church, which His provident care established for the salvation of the human race. This certainty is warranted by the promise of her Divine Founder, which we read in the Gospel; and it must be clear to evidence from the annals of that Church, on which error has never set a stain, which no falling awayhowever widespread-of her sons has made to waver, which regains her youthful vigor and ceaselessly renews her strength despite the assaults of impious men, even when carried to the most shocking extremes. While our Lord in securing the stability and promoting the growth of His foundation, which belongs to all time, did not limit Himself to a single method nor proceed always in the selfsame way, yet it is noteworthy that in every age He raised up distinguished men, who, by talents and efforts suited to the times and their exigencies, should rejoice the heart of the Christian people, by successively curbing and conquering the "power of darkness." This choice of Divine Providence, when it fell upon Augustine of Tagaste, was marked by a discrimination that was more than ordinarily striking. He was the light set upon the candlestick, he was the vanquisher of every heresy and a guide to eternal salvation for his contemporaries. What is more, he continued to teach and console Christians as age succeeded age. Nay, even in our time we owe it to him in large measure that among believers the truth of Faith maintains its luster, while love for God has not ceased to burn. Indeed, it is a matter of common knowledge that the writings of Augustine, by their exceptional sublimity and charm, cast a spell over many who are at variance with us or who seem utter strangers to the Faith. Hence it is, that since the current year brings in its course with happy auspices the fifteenth centennial anniversary of the death of this peerless Bishop and Doctor, Christians the world over are eager to hold his memory in honor and are preparing to give public proof of their admiration and devotion. Yielding, therefore, to a sense of Our Apostolic office and to the delight that stirs Our soul, while desirous of adding to the chorus of praise, We urge you all, Venerable Brethren, and the clergy and flock of each of you, to join Us in offering special thanks to the Heavenly Father for enriching His Church by means of Augustine with so many matchless blessings-the Saint who profited so much by the Divine gifts lavished on him and turned the current of this wealth upon the Catholics of the world. It beseems us all today not merely to exult that by a miracle, so to speak, was once united to the Mystical Body of Christ a genius so great and lofty, that in the judgment of history his superior can hardly be found anywhere in any age, but rather to steep and nourish ourselves with his learning and copy the model of his holy life.

25 August 2009

King St. Louis IX

The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgment: the law of his God is in his heart.

We had our first Mass in the schloss chapel this evening - offered in honor of St. Louis IX, King of France. The celebration continued at home with French wines and cheeses as well as lots and lots of crepes.

Devoted husband, good father of eleven children, just ruler, and twice a crusader, Louis is the embodiment of the ideal of the Christian King.

Maria went to bed in the evening still honoring the good king!

24 August 2009

Feast of St. Bartholomew

Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened. (Psalm) Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me: Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up. Glory be to the Father... Thy friends, O God...

For dinner this evening, in honor of St. Bartholomew, and in fine Zmirak-ian fashion, we ate...

Any guesses?

Meanwhile, certain grandparents seem to want to see pictures of their grandchildren. So here you are:

23 August 2009

Stift Heiligenkreuz

For Mass today we drove to Stift Heiligenkreuz, a Cistercian Abbey in the Wienerwald founded in 1133 by the Margrave St. Leopold III. The name Heiligenkreuz (holy-cross) was a sign of their devotion to the instrument of our redemption. In 1182 King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem presented Margrave Leopold V with a large relic of the True Cross, which Leopold then gave to Stift Heiligenkreuz in 1188, where it is still venerated.

Margrave Leopold V is quite a colorful historical character. He fought in the third crusade wearing always a long white tunic with a broad belt. When a days fighting was done he would unbuckle his great belt revealing a broad white stripe (unstained by blood). This is the origin of Austria's flag: a white horizontal stripe between two red ones. He is buried in Heiligenkreuz - I saw his tomb - despite being excommunicated by the pope for the crime of capturing a fellow crusader, Richard the Lionheart.

22 August 2009

Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Let us come with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and may find grace in seasonable aid. (Psalm) My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King. Glory be to the Father... Let us come...

One of my least favorite parts of the modern liturgical reforms (or deforms) is the shuffling of the liturgical calendar, and today we have another example of that. On the new calendar today's feast has been replaced by the queenship of Mary, which used to be celebrated on May 31, which is now the Visitation, which used to be July 2; the Immaculate Heart meanwhile has been moved to sometime in June and even the motherhood of Mary, which used to be October 11, is now celebrated on January 1 in place of the feast of the circumcision of our Lord.

Did the good of the Church "genuinely and certainly require" such innovations? Did they "grow organically from forms already existing"? It would seem not.

Vatican II, Sacrosanctum concilium (Constitution On the Sacred Liturgy), 23
: "Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing."

20 August 2009

Feast of St. Bernard of Clairvaux

In the midst of the Church he opened his mouth: and the Lord filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory.

St. Bernard, born of noble Burgundian parents, was a monk of the Cistercian Order, a branch of the Benedictine Order. He became Abbot of the famous monastery of Clairvaux, which he himself had founded. The writings, sermons, and letters of this great Doctor rendered invaluable services to the Church. He also preached the second crusade, and died at Clairvaux in 1153.

Update: How fun, our friends Rob and Toma (recent grads of the ITI) are here for the weekend in connection with some meetings going on and Rob is staying with us! I hope you don't mind, Katie, he's using your room. It's getting a lot of use in your absence. You'd better hurry back and claim it before it's booked solid through the year.

19 August 2009

The Memorare

It happens that tomorrow, on the feast of St. Bernard of Claivaux, the mellifluous doctor who penned the Memorare, there is a rather important meeting occuring which touches upon the well being of our lovely institute here. Perhaps some of you will charitably recite the Memorare and invoke the intercession of St. Bernard on behalf of the I.T.I.

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

17 August 2009

Guessing game

Each morning upon awaking, before doing anything else, John checks two things. Who can guess what they are?

Hint: (and this picture was taken exactly as I found the desk a few mornings ago)

Based on the pictures below, who can guess one way in which Thomas resembles his Nana?

16 August 2009

Churches and Music

One really great thing about living in Trumau is the proximity to Vienna of which we've begun to take advantage. Two days in a row now we've made the 20 - 30 minute drive into the city for beautiful Masses.

For the Feast of the Assumption of our Lady we heard Mass at the lovely baroque Peterskirche (below) with music by the great G. P. da Palestrina.

Today we heard Sunday Mass at the Stephensdom, the gothic cathedral in the center of the city, with organ music by, I think, Bach and Mendelssohn.

15 August 2009

The Definition of the Dogma of the Assumption

Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus (1950).

42. We, who have placed our pontificate under the special patronage of the most holy Virgin, to whom we have had recourse so often in times of grave trouble, we who have consecrated the entire human race to her Immaculate Heart in public ceremonies, and who have time and time again experienced her powerful protection, are confident that this solemn proclamation and definition of the Assumption will contribute in no small way to the advantage of human society, since it redounds to the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, to which the Blessed Mother of God is bound by such singular bonds. It is to be hoped that all the faithful will be stirred up to a stronger piety toward their heavenly Mother, and that the souls of all those who glory in the Christian name may be moved by the desire of sharing in the unity of Jesus Christ's Mystical Body and of increasing their love for her who shows her motherly heart to all the members of this august body. And so we may hope that those who meditate upon the glorious example Mary offers us may be more and more convinced of the value of a human life entirely devoted to carrying out the heavenly Father's will and to bringing good to others. Thus, while the illusory teachings of materialism and the corruption of morals that follows from these teachings threaten to extinguish the light of virtue and to ruin the lives of men by exciting discord among them, in this magnificent way all may see clearly to what a lofty goal our bodies and souls are destined. Finally it is our hope that belief in Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven will make our belief in our own resurrection stronger and render it more effective.

43. We rejoice greatly that this solemn event falls, according to the design of God's providence, during this Holy Year, so that we are able, while the great Jubilee is being observed, to adorn the brow of God's Virgin Mother with this brilliant gem, and to leave a monument more enduring than bronze of our own most fervent love for the Mother of God.

44. For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.

45. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.

46. In order that this, our definition of the bodily Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven may be brought to the attention of the universal Church, we desire that this, our Apostolic Letter, should stand for perpetual remembrance, commanding that written copies of it, or even printed copies, signed by the hand of any public notary and bearing the seal of a person constituted in ecclesiastical dignity, should be accorded by all men the same reception they would give to this present letter, were it tendered or shown.

47. It is forbidden to any man to change this, our declaration, pronouncement, and definition or, by rash attempt, to oppose and counter it. If any man should presume to make such an attempt, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

14 August 2009

Pear Picking and Playing in the Park

After work on Friday Lisa and the kids came down to the Schloss to pick some pears in preparation for the feast of the Assumption. Falling in the middle of August as it does, the Assumption was long the traditional day to bring fruits, herbs, and flowers to the church for a special blessing. Sadly, such traditions have largely fallen out of practice, and had we shown up with our pears and flowers at the parish I don't think they would have known what to do with them.

With a sack full of pears we walked home by way of a nice park near the parish church and the kindergarten. Maria and Thomas both enjoyed the swings.

Vigil of the Assumption

All the rich among the people shall entreat Thy countenance: after her shall virgins be brought to the King: her companions shall be brought to thee in gladness and rejoicing.

The Vigil of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a II Class day in its own right in the traditional liturgical calendar. It is a day of fasting and complete abstinence in preparation for tomorrow's feast.

Read: Pope Pius XII, Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus (1950). Defining the Dogma of the Assumption.

11 August 2009


At long last we have a fully functioning kitchen. It all began when I arrived in Trumau after my trip to Norcia. Lisa and the kids were still in Michigan and I was told that the kitchen would be installed sometime during that week before they arrived on July 17. Nothing happened. The family returned, Peter and Sara arrived and after spending the weekend in Trumau we headed off for our two week vacation. When we came back to Trumau in the evening of Sunday, the 2nd of August, we found a few cupboards in place, the rest of them scattered about our living room, and no appliances.

"They'll be in to finish up first thing Monday morning," we told ourselves. Monday came and went. On Tuesday they did return to put the rest of the kitchen together, and it looked great. But there was no plumbing in the sink. Wednesday passed with no word, but on Thursday I found the landlord who told me: "It'll be in tomorrow or Monday." Friday passed, and then the whole weekend; all the while we're doing dishes in the bathtub. Monday rolled around and we thought, "at last, it'll be today." No such luck.

Today, however, Tuesday, the 11th of August, was the day. Isn't it beautiful?

Thomas, meanwhile, discovered that he likes rice. And banging on pots. And making big sticky messes.

10 August 2009

St. Lawrence, Martyr

Praise and beauty are before him: holiness and majesty in his sanctuary.

St. Lawrence was a deacon of St. Sixtus II, Pope and Martyr. When the prefect of Rome arrested him, he distributed the possessions of the Church to the poor to save them from confiscation. He was slowly roasted to death on a gridiron in 258.

Grilling in honor of St. Lawrence.

09 August 2009

Sunday X (Vigil of St. Lawrence)

The Romans love their own. St. Lawence is, I think, the only saint other than Mary and the Baptist, and the apostles and evangelists, who has a second class feast. He even gets a vigil. I've heard there are something more than half a dozen churches in Rome dedicated to him, including a minor basilica.

Considering the manner of his death, and his sarcastic sense of humour, it seems only appropriate to honor his memory with a big barbeque dinner, so we've invited the other workers here over for grilled sausages and beer.

08 August 2009

Feast of St. John Mary Vianney, Confessor

The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgment: the law of his God is in his heart.

06 August 2009

Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord

Thy lightnings enlightened the world: the earth shook and trembled. (Psalm) How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts! My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord.

Indulgence Opportunity!

The Plenary Indulgence is granted to all the faithful who are truly repentant who, in church or in chapel, devoutly attend the divine Sacrifice of Mass and offer prayers to Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest, for the priests of the Church, and any other good work which they have done on that day, so that he may sanctify them and form them in accordance with His Heart, as long as they have made expiation for their sins through sacramental confession and prayed in accordance with the Supreme Pontiff's intentions: on the days in which the Year for Priests begins and ends, on the day of the 150th anniversary of the pious passing of St John Mary Vianney [oops, that was actually on August 4], on the first Thursday of the month [today] or on any other day established by the local Ordinaries for the benefit of the faithful...

Lastly, the Partial Indulgence is granted to all the faithful every time they devoutly recite five Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glorias, or another expressly approved prayer, in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to obtain that priests be preserved in purity and holiness of life...

From the Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary, 25 April 2009.