24 September 2009

Go Blue!

He looks like quite a little football player, doesn't he? He's even working on doing some push-ups. Speaking of Michigan football, I only just realized that the season was already underway, and it seems that the Wolverines won quite a game against ND a couple of weeks ago.

On a completely unrelated note, today begins the novena to St. Therese, the patroness of the our institute. We'll be offering a Pater, an Ave, and a Gloria for the next nine days praying through the intercession of St. Therese for the spiritual and material well-being of the I.T.I. Your prayers would be most welcome as well.

22 September 2009

Martyrs of Valencia

We had a great plan to drink Sangria in honor of the blood of the Spanish martyrs, but sadly it didn't come to pass, although we did at least manage to drink a bottle of red wine from Valencia. The martyrs of Valencia were killed by the Communists (the so-called "Republicans") during the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s - one of those rare wars in which the good guys actually won.

20 September 2009

Heading to Budapest

I've signed up to take the GRE in Budapest on Friday, October 2 at 9:00. So we're all taking a train into the city Thursday afternoon and coming back on Friday evening. Your prayers for a successful examination would be most appreciated.

14 September 2009

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

But it behooves us to glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ: in Whom is our salvation, life, and resurrection: by Whom we are saved, and delivered.

Today's feast day is a big one for the nearby Cistercian abbey of Heiligenkreuz (Holy Cross) in the Wienerwald. The largest relic of the True Cross North of the Alps has been here since the 12th century when Margrave Leopold V received it from one of the kings Baldwin of Jerusalem. We attended a pontifical high Mass there this morning, in the course of which two monks made profession of their perpetual vows. The relic was exposed upon the altar throughout the entire Liturgy.

Afterwards, we made Maria pose in front of the statue of St. Leopold III, the Margrave of Austria who founded Heiligenkreuz.


We've all been feeling a bit like these two kids here lately. Life at the I.T.I. has been getting more and more hectic as the start of the academic year approaches. We're working longer and longer days trying to get things into shape here. Thus our prolonged absence from the blog. Thus also our not having called home since early in the Summer. One of the things we're trying to find time for is getting a land line installed, from which calls to the USA are not as expensive as from mobile phones.

Since it has been awhile since we've posted anything here, I can only imagine that some grandparents might be interested in seeing a few more pictures of Maria and Thomas playing together.

12 September 2009

Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary

All the rich among the people shall entreat thy countenance: after her shall virgins be brought to the King: her neighbors shall be brought to Thee in gladness and rejoicing.

This feast day touches close to home, as it were, since of all the Marian feast days in the year it is more than any of them Maria's "Name Day." Also, the feast was made obligatory for the whole Western Church by Pope Innocent XI as a feast of thanksgiving to Mary for the great victory won on this day in 1683 by King John III Sobieski of Poland over the Turks at the walls of Vienna.

We, therefore, decided to observe the day by driving to Kahlenberg, a small mountain on the North side of Vienna. It was atop this hill that King John and his men heard Mass early in the morning of the 12th of September 1683 before riding out to battle. And what a battle! The Turks were routed by the largest known calvary charge in history (20,000 horse!) and Vienna and Christendom were saved.

St. Joseph's church (above) on Kahlenberg marks the place where Mass was said on that morning 326 years ago. Afterwards, we headed for Klosterneuburg (below), an Abbey of the canons of St. Augustine, which was visible from Kahlenberg.

Besides being an impressive monastery and imperial residence, we were drawn there by the entry on page 133 of the Bad Catholic's Guide to Wine, Whiskey & Song. We looked around, bought a bottle of 2006 Sankt Laurant, and headed for home.

06 September 2009

Recipe Request

As many of you know, the new location of the ITI comes complete with a beautiful orchard, which produces such an abundance of fruit that much of it sadly goes to waste. Yesterday, some of the students decided to try and gather all the plums remaining on a tree before they rot. The huge bucket they filled was too heavy for them to lift, and even after bringing it home and making syrups, jams, and leathers, there are many, many plums remaining. One student asked if she could bring some to me, so that I could make a few things with them. The picture below is of the bowl she brought me (taken after some had been eaten by us, some given away to a professor here, and some cut up to put in baked goods). Apparently, this didn't even make a dent in the amount of plums gathered.

I have plum bread in the oven to use for breakfasts, plum crumble planned for this evening, and plum pie is on the menu for the worker's lunch tomorrow. But after that, I'm lost. I don't have canning supplies, and don't know if I want to invest in them for only one year. So...anyone have good recipes using plums? Or pears? Because for every plum tree in the orchard, I think there are at least 3 pear trees. I'm thinking a plum party might be in order for this evening. Hmm.

03 September 2009

Pope St. Pius X

I have exalted one chosen out of the people, with My holy oil I have anointed him: so that My hand may ever be with him and My arm strengthen him.

We were only able to muster some Italian wine with dinner to celebrate the feast day of the Italian-born Joseph Sarto, who reigned as Supreme Pontiff from 1903-1914.

His are some of the greatest and most important papal documents of recent centuries. Some of my personal favorites:

Instruction on Sacred Music Tra le Sollecitudini (1903).
"And it is vain to hope that the blessing of heaven will descend abundantly upon us, when our homage to the Most High, instead of ascending in the odor of sweetness, puts into the hand of the Lord the scourges wherewith of old the Divine Redeemer drove the unworthy profaners from the Temple."

"The more closely a composition for church approaches in its movement, inspiration and savor the Gregorian form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the temple."

"The employment of the piano is forbidden in church, as is also that of noisy or frivolous instruments such as drums, cymbals, bells and the like."

Encyclical on the French Laws of Separation Vehementer nos (1906).
"That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own."

"Indeed, the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalists."

Jogurt Face