25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Christmas began with midnight Mass at the Kapuzinerkirche in Vienna - the church wherein the priests of the FSSP offer Mass in the traditional rite. We arrived around 2:00am, read the Christmas proclamation, lit the white candle in the center of the Advent wreath and the lights on the Christmas tree, and then dug into the Christmas cookies before finally going to bed. Of course, Maria and Thomas slept under the tree with Aunt Katie - a tradition which I believe owes its origin to Uncle Vince.

Cookies before bed.

Unwrapping presents in the morning.

A princess book for Maria.

Wild animals for Edmund (appropriately).

New hair clips and ribbons.

Lightning McQueen! Ka-chow!

Edmund's new bike (thanks Nana!)

Maria's new baby, whom she promptly named Elisabeth.

24 December 2011

Christmas Eve

A few pictures for you all on this vigil day of the great feast of the Incarnation.

Watching the first snow fall a few days ago.

Rolling out the dough for ravioli on Christmas Eve.

It can be hard work at times.

Ready to fill with ricotta and other good things.

Cutting out the squares (or stars, as the case may be).

The gravy for tomorrow's lasagne.

Homemade linguine this year for the shrimp scampi.

Maria always puts the star on top of the tree.

21 December 2011

Saint Albert the Great - Summer 2012

The newly designed website of the Saint Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies is now online at www.albertusmagnuscss.org, and details of the upcoming Summer Program 2012 are now available.

"Encountering Christ in the Gospels"
Summer Program 2012 - Norcia, Italy
June 23 - July 7

"Keep the Holy Bible within reach during the summer period... read some of its books straight through... such as the Gospels, but without putting them down." 
~ Pope Benedict XVI

18 December 2011

St Nicholas

Here are some pictures of the kids getting ready for St. Nicholas' feast day a couple of weeks ago, while their Daddy was gone visiting America.

09 November 2011


Phillip Campbell

To our dear friend Phillip Campbell, who has just been elected as the Mayor of Howell, Michigan!

Common sense, dynamic, conservative leadership.

Well done, Phillip! God bless your endeavors for the good of the city these next two years, and perhaps beyond.

08 November 2011

Saint Albert the Great 
Center for Scholastic Studies

June 23 - July 7 in Norcia, Italy

More details coming soon...

05 November 2011

Novena to Saint Albert

Please consider joining our novena to Saint Albert the Great, patron saint of students of theology, petitioning for admission into a good doctoral program of theology (preferably close to home!). The novena lasts from Nov. 6 to Nov. 14, the eve of his feast day.

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us!
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us!
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us!
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us!

Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.

Saint Albert, pray for us.
Man after the heart of God, pray for us.
Zealous client of Mary, pray for us.
Worthy son of Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Mighty defender of the Faith, pray for us.
Solid rock of hope, pray for us.
Burning Seraph of love, pray for us.
Enlightened Cherub of wisdom, pray for us.
Valiant defender of justice, pray for us.
Sure norm of prudence, pray for us.
Bright mirror of temperance, pray for us.
Unshakable pillar of fortitude, pray for us.
Living model of humility, pray for us.
Shining example of poverty, pray for us.
Pure lily of chastity, pray for us.
True model of obedience, pray for us.
Precious vessel of all virtues, pray for us.
Zealous imitator of the Apostles, pray for us.
Bright gem of Bishops, pray for us.
Singular ornament of Doctors, pray for us.
Special glory of thy Order, pray for us.
Golden treasure of thy Fatherland, pray for us.
Certain protector of thy clients, pray for us.

Albert the Great, pray for us.
In anguish and in need, pray for us.
In tribulation and in persecution, pray for us.
In the hour of death, pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: spare us, O God!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: graciously hear us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: have mercy on us, O Lord!

Christ, have mercy on us!
Lord, have mercy on us!

V. Pray for us, Saint Albert:
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. O God, Who didst richly adorn Saint Albert with Thy heavenly gifts and didst decorate him with all virtues: grant us, Thy servants, that we may follow in his footsteps, may persevere in Thy service until death and securely obtain an everlasting reward. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord. R. Amen.

Source: Kyrie Eleison — Two Hundred Litanies by Benjamin Francis Musser O.F.M. (Magnificat Press, 1944).

01 November 2011

New from the Monastery of San Benedetto, Norcia

Our most beloved monastery has released a trailer for a full length documentary that will be released this year at Christmas. The monk whom you see below offering Mass is our dear friend Fr. Basil OSB, a fellow graduate of the ITI class of 2010. We have traveled to Norcia on three separate occasions for the priestly ordinations of our friends there; I spent the better part of a week there making a kind of monastic retreat while Lisa and the kids were in Michigan for a wedding summer 2009; we all spent two weeks there this past summer for the Saint Albert the Great theology program; and we are already looking forward to returning to Norcia next summer for the same! Sneak preview of probable dates for anyone thinking of joining us... June 24 to July 7.

"The documentary, filmed in the summer of 2011, takes you into the life of the Benedictine monks of Norcia. Release date: Christmas, 2011. Documentary filmed, produced, and edited by Peter Hayden and Wilderland FIlm Studios. ~ On December 2, 2000, a tiny band of American monks with faith and courage and not much else re-founded monastic life in Norcia, Italy at the birthplace of St. Benedict. Powerful forces hostile to the faith had expelled the monks in 1810 and almost two centuries were to pass before Providence brought them back. Inspired by the Holy Rule, these monastic pioneers are going back to the roots of the Benedictine tradition. Chanting the Divine Office in Latin by day and by night at the very place where their holy patron was born, they are able to return to the spirit of their founder, as Vatican II urged all religious to do, in a very tangible way. As a result, something extraordinary is happening in Norcia. Young men from around the world, leaving home and country for the love of Christ, are drawn to the new monastery and commit themselves to stability, conversion of life and obedience at the birthplace of their founder. Their goal is focused and compelling: to prefer nothing whatever to the love of Christ!"

© 2011 Wilderland Film Studios.

31 October 2011

The Vienna Zoo (again)

We decided to go into Vienna for Mass for the Feast of Christ the King. It was glorious, with orchestra playing Haydn, and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with the Litany to the Sacred Heart and Benediction following Mass.

Of course, the children believe that no trip to Vienna is complete without a visit to the zoo. Fortunately, after a week of cold and rain we woke up to sunny skies, and it was warm enough to go without a coat for most of the day. The zoo is so large that we haven't seen all of it yet, and yesterday we found something very exciting! They seemed like large rats at first, until I saw one stand on his hind legs and start jumping. Wallabies! I had no idea they were so small.

We also made it for the Tiger feeding.

There is a new baby sea lion.

And the goats were playful! Usually it takes a lot of coaxing to get them out and pet them, but they were quiet happy to eat the leaves Thomas brought them.

We put Edmund on a statue of a panda bear for a picture, and then couldn't get him off. He loved it.

Welcome, Henry!

In honor of their new cousin, Maria and Thomas asked John to read to them "The Ballad of Henry" from a Thomas the Tank Engine poem book. We hope that this new Henry is not as vain (or as green) as the one in the book, but the kids were still excited that he has the same name.

30 October 2011

Feast of Christ the King

Gloria, laus, et honor
tibi sit, Rex Christe, Redemptor:
cui puerile decus prompsit
Hosanna pium.
Starting Rotation

1. Justin Verlander
2. Doug Fister
3. Max Scherzer
4. Rick Porcello
5. I don't think it's a good idea to count on Jacob Turner being ready for a full major league season, so I would like to see the Tigers add someone here, preferably a southpaw. C. J. Wilson is the big name on the free agent market, but another good option could be Mark Buehrle.

Starting Lineup

2B. I would really like to see a second baseman added who could bat leadoff, but there don't seem to be any good options like that on the free agent market, so this is where I would be looking to make a big trade. Otherwise just roll with Santiago. I like him in the leadoff spot better than Jackson.
LF. Brennen Boesch
RF. Delmon Young
1B. Miguel Cabrera
DH. Victor Martinez
SS. Jhonny Peralta
C. Alex Avila
3B. Brandon Inge
CF. Austin Jackson


C. This needs to be addressed in a desperate way to save Avila's knees. At this point it is Omir Santos, but it shouldn't be too difficult to pick up a veteran backstop for cheap somewhere. Even Pudge if you like.
IF. Ramon Santiago (or if he starts, then add Rhymes, Worth, Dirks, or whoever you want)
IF/OF. Don Kelly
OF. Ryan Raburn


9th. Jose Valverde
8th. Joaquin Benoit
7th L. Phil Coke
7th R.Al Alberquerque
Mid. L. Daniel Schlereth
Mid. R. Ryan Perry
Mid. R. David Pauley, or whoever impresses in Spring Training? Beyond Valverde and Benoit, I would say this is a major area of concern, and I don't want to hear anyone say anything about Joel Zumaya making a comeback this year. The team offense actually ranked third overall in runs scored. I would like to see any money the team wants to spend this off-season go mostly toward a fifth starter and/or bullpen help. If they can pick up a second or third baseman as well, then great, but I would rather leave Santiago at second than leave Penny in the rotation or Perry in the back end of the bullpen.

23 October 2011

Happy Birthday, Aunt Anna!

Here's a big birthday grin for you.

18 October 2011

Happy Anniversary!

With love from your children and grandchildren!

17 October 2011

Year of Faith

Here is something interesting from His Holiness Benedict XVI. An Apostolic Letter 'Motu Proprio Data' proclaiming a Year of Faith to be observed from October 2012 to November 2013.

His letter is here: Porta Fidei.

16 October 2011

A Night at the Heuriger

We had a rare night out without the children last night - some friends convinced us to join them for an evening at one of the local heurigen in Traiskirchen (the cluster of fir branches signifies an open heuriger).

07 October 2011

Feast of Our Lady of Victory

On October 7, 1571, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in answer to the rosaries offered up in prayer by all the faithful, and first of all by Pope St. Pius V, the Christian Holy League, led by Don John of Austria, won a decisive naval battle over the Ottoman Turks at Lepanto, off the Western coast of Greece.

And the Tigers won, too!

Lepanto, by G. K. Chesterton.

White founts falling in the Courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard;
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips;
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross.
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.

Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young.
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,
Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold,
Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world,
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain - hurrah!
Death-light of Africa!
Don John of Austria
Is riding to the sea.

Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri's knees,
His turban that is woven of the sunsets and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees;
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye,
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.

They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,
From the temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn;
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be,
On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl,
Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl;
They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground, -
They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.
And he saith, "Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide,
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done.
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces -four hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not 'Kismet'; it is he that knows not Fate;
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey at the gate!
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth."
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still - hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.

St. Michaels on his Mountain in the sea-roads of the north
(Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.)
Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift
And the sea-folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone;
The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone;
The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes,
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee, -
But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse
Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships.

King Philip's in his closet with the Fleece about his neck
(Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.)
The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin,
And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon,
He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon,
And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey
Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day,
And death is in the phial and the end of noble work,
But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John's hunting, and his hounds have bayed -
Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid.
Gun upon gun, ha! ha!
Gun upon gun, hurrah!
Don John of Austria
Has loosed the cannonade.

The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)
The hidden room in man's house where God sits all the year,
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery;
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,
They veil the plum├Ęd lions on the galleys of St. Mark;
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,
Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung
The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on
Before the high Kings' horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell
Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell,
And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign -
(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!)
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.

Vivat Hispania!
Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!

Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,
Up which a lean and foolish knight for ever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade....
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)

06 October 2011

Climbing Schneeberg

This past Sunday, after an early Divine Liturgy, a group of us set out to climb the highest mountain in Lower Austria, the Schneeberg (2076m). We left Maria and Thomas with their Aunt Katie for the day, but took Edmund with us in a backpack.

The first hour or so of the hike we had a pleasant stroll with a brilliant view of the mountain peak we would eventually reach. After that, it wasn't so much a hike as a long scramble over huge rocks (you can see in the first pic below how rocky it gets above the tree line). This, in my opinion, is way more fun and exciting than simply walking up, up, up. We did, however, join part of our group in taking the (VERY) long, less steep and rocky path down, to avoid dropping Edmund down the mountain.

Edit: Actually, Edmund wasn't IN the backpack. John carried the backpack, and I had Edmund in the baby carrier most of the way (he finally let us switch about an hour from the bottom).

30 September 2011

Playoff Time!

Novena to Saint Joseph

Perhaps some of you would be so kind as to join us in a novena to Saint Joseph (October 1-9) for the intention of employment next year.

Pray once a day for nine days:

O glorious descendant of the kings of Judah, inheritor of the virtues of all the patriarchs, just and happy St. Joseph, listen to my prayer. Thou art my glorious protector, and shall ever be, after Jesus and Mary, the object of my most profound veneration and confidence. Thou art the most hidden, though the greatest Saint, and art particularly the patron of those who serve God with the greatest purity and fervor. In union with all those who have ever been most devoted to thee I now dedicate myself to thy service; beseeching thee, for the sake of Jesus Christ, who vouchsafed to love and obey thee as a son, to become a father to me; and to obtain for me the filial respect, confidence and love of a child towards thee.

O powerful advocate of all Christians, whose intercession, as St. Theresa assures us, has never been found to fail, deign to intercede for me now, and to implore for me the particular intention of this Novena.

(Mention your intentions here)

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be.

Present me, O great Saint, to the adorable Trinity, with Whom thou hadst so glorious and so intimate a correspondence. Obtain that I may never efface by sin the Sacred Image according to the likeness of which I was created. Beg for me that my divine Redeemer would enkindle in my heart and in all hearts the fire of His Love, and infuse therein the virtues of His adorable infancy, His purity, simplicity, obedience, and humility.

Obtain for me likewise a lively devotion to thy virgin spouse, and protect me so powerfully in life and death, that I may have the happiness of dying as thou didst, in the friendship of my Creator, and under the immediate protection of the Mother of God. Amen.

* * *

Although not part of the novena, you might also be interested to know that Pope Leo XIII composed a prayer to Saint Joseph which he wished Catholics to pray after their recitation of the Rosary during the month of October.

To you, O Blessed Joseph, we come in our trials, and having asked the help of your most holy spouse, we confidently ask your patronage also. Through that sacred bond of charity which united you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the fatherly love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you to look graciously upon the beloved inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by his blood, and to aid us in our necessities with your power and strength.

O most provident guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ. Most beloved father, dispel the evil of falsehood and sin. Our most mighty protector, graciously assist us from heaven in our struggle with the powers of darkness. And just as you once saved the Child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God's Holy Church from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity. Shield each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your help, we may be able to live a virtuous life, to die a holy death, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.


A few more Norcian pictures. Well, actually, the first one is from Florence again. Thomas is inside the cathedral, admiring the inside of the great dome with the wide-eyed wonder which it deserves.

In Norcia now, after the ordination, there was an elegant reception with the complete seven course Italian dinner. Edmund enjoyed the fruit and ice cream dessert course. Below, Maria sits astride one of her favorite lions in the main piazza of Norcia.

En route to Norcia: Florence

This past weekend we embarked upon another crazy road trip to our favorite destination, Norcia, Italy, in order to witness our dear friend Brother Basil become Father Basil. We departed at 4:15am on Friday morning and stopped for lunch in Florence. The Duomo is a magnificent sight to behold, and the children thoroughly enjoyed chasing pigeons (Thomas actually connected solidly on a few firm kicks).