31 October 2009

Our Trip through Italy

Here are some belated pictures of our trip through Italy to Norcia for the ordination of Fr. Thomas Bolin, O.S.B. These were taken by Katie, since our own camera disappeared on the trip.

After a 6:00 departure on Friday morning we stopped for Lunch in Padua, Italy, in order to venerate the relics of St. Anthony. Below, Maria with one of her favorite saints ("A" is for Antony, a friar wise and kind. He never had a penny, but he never seemed to mind...)

Helping each other to get through the long car ride.

We also stopped briefly in Assisi. It was too late in the evening to venture up onto the hill, since most of the churches would have been closed anyways, but we did make it into Santa Maria degli Angeli in time for the end of Vespers.

Maria and Aunt Katie celebrating Sebastian's birthday at dinner in Norcia.

26 October 2009

Where's Maria?

Where's Maria?

There she is!

25 October 2009

Feast of Christ the King

The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power and divinity and wisdom and strength and honor; to Him be glory and empire for ever and ever.

After Mass at Heiligenkreuz, and brunch with the Washuts (a new family here), we went for a long walk in the afternoon. The past couple of days have been quite warm again, due, I am told, to a strong South wind coming up from the Sahara desert. We decided to take advantage by walking the paths in the vineyards from Pfaffstätten to Gumpoldskirchen (pictured), where we bought a bottle of wine for the walk back.

23 October 2009

21 October 2009

Blessed Kaiser Karl

Today is the feast day of blessed Kaiser Karl, that is, of His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty, Charles the First, by the Grace of God Emperor of Austria, Apostolic King of Hungary, of this name the Fourth, King of Bohemia, Dalmatia, Slavonia, etc.

Lisa made Paprika Schnitzel today for lunch (from the recipe found in the Bad Catholic's Guide to Wine, Whiskey, and Song, under the entry for Goettweig Abbey). We even found a Gruener Veltliner (an Austrian white wine) called Kaiserstiege. Perfect.

For a little taste of why I love the Habsburgs, honor their memory, and pray for their return to power: Praying with the Kaisers.

Katie is 21!

Happy 21st Katie! Lisa cooked up a good dinner, and some of Katie's friends came over to join us. Relatively speaking, 21 is a bit of a non-event over here, but we had some shots of rum with everybody, and then later made White Russians.

Furthermore, Lisa managed to combine our celebration of Katie's birthday with that of Bld. Kaiser Karl's feast day by making her a cake with a stripe of white frosting on a red background.

20 October 2009

Great News for Ecumenism

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a note today in which it is stated that the Pope is going to promulgate an Apostolic Constitution (the most authoritative kind of document) in which provision is made for the reunion of Anglicans who, after almost 500 years of schism, desire to return at long last to the one true Church of Christ.

Read the note here, with Fr. Z's commentary.

A spokesman for the Traditional Anglican Communion has issued a statement of extreme gratitude to the Holy Father for his generosity in offering a way of reunion which will also allow them to preserve what is good in their spiritual and liturgical heritage.

Let us pray that many Anglicans will respond to the Pope's fatherly invitation.

18 October 2009

Happy Anniversary!

To you Mom and Pop / Nana and Grandpa. Lots of love and prayers from all of us as you celebrate your beautiful marriage!

And happy feast of St. Luke the Evangelist to everybody else. We wanted to roast an ox on a spit to mark the day, but in the end it didn't really seem practical. Besides, I don't really know where to find an ox around here.

17 October 2009


We received a big package in the mail yesterday, with some Christmas presents from Aunt Betsy (talk about being on top of your Christmas gift list, wow!) to be put away until Christmas, and a beautiful big winter coat for Maria with matching hat from Nana. She was badly in need of just such a coat, actually, and it's just in time. The weather here took a drastic turn for the worse last week.

All the ladies here are quite jealous, too. I think Nana could start quite a profitable business making such fashionable things.

16 October 2009

One Small Victory as a Mother

Last night during dinner, after being told to ask politely instead of just grabbing, Maria said ever so sweetly, "May I have some more brussels sprouts, please?"

14 October 2009


As mentioned a few days ago, Saturday the ITI held its opening ceremonies, the first ever in Trumau. Cardinal Schönborn was present, and was gracious enough to sit and talk with us that evening. No small feat! The entire evening there was a line of people waiting to talk to him and ask for his blessing, and he took time to spend with the students.

John dressed as a hobbit for the event:

The following pictures were taken by Ginger, who kindly photographs many ITI events.
Mommy and Thomas:
John must be saying something very interesting.

Thomas goes for the Cardinal's nose.

Happy boy!

Beautiful girl.

The Cardinal blesses Katie.

Thomas' New Skills

We are so behind in updates and pictures! So today is picture overload day. First of all, here is what Thomas has been up to lately:

11 October 2009

Feast of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin

Behold a Virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a Son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel. O sing unto the Lord a new song, for He hath done marvelous things.

Another patronal feast day for Maria, and another example of the Liturgical Reform's Mary-go-round: on the new calendar this one has been moved to January 1st, where it takes the place of the feast of the circumcision of our Lord.

Maria, meanwhile, is getting spoiled rotten with so many name days. Poor little Thomas cannot compete: St. Joseph only has two feast days, and St. Thomas only one. We've still been crazy busy, but things seem to be settling down back to normal now. This week should be relatively quiet, with just the usual classes and reading, with my work taking care of the ITI's cars on top of it. Yesterday was the big convocation officially opening the new site in Trumau. The Cardinal was here, as were the Abbot of Heiligenkreuz, the Burgermeister (mayor) of Trumau and the Landeshauptmann (governor) of Lower Austria. It was a big event with Mass, lots of speeches, a tour of the Schloss, and good Austrian food: goulash soup, sausages, and lots of beer. A couple of fun pictures should be forthcoming tomorrow.

10 October 2009

New Pictures

With the wireless network finally set up at the Schloss, I was able to upload lots of pictures from this past Summer. There are quite a few new albums up, including:

Our two days in Budapest, just last weekend.

From Peter's and Sara's visit in July:

Our wine tour through the Wachau valley.
Climing the Oetscher.
Our visit to Salzburg.
Mad King Ludwig's Castles.
Our visit to Munich.
Our stay in the Salzkammergut.
An afternoon at the nearby Schloss Laxenburg.

From Aunt Betsy's visit in April:
Schleierfalls, just outside of Gaming.
A day in Vienna.
Easter with the Bloomfields.
Our visit to Salzburg.

06 October 2009

Katie's Travels

I arrived in Austria almost a week ago, but spent a week in Ireland on my way here. I saw Dublin, Galway, and Dingle. The West coast was absolutely beautiful and I loved walking around the peninsula and spending time on the Irish sea. Here's a few pictures: my first sight of Ireland, from the plane, the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, and the coast in County Kerry.

It's great to be back, seeing everyone, and going to classes again. They started yesterday and are fine so far! I have Greek, philosophical anthropology, political philosophy, natural philosophy, synoptic gospels, and possibly a Church history class, but not sure about that one yet.