Wednesday, May 20, 2015
The Liturgy as a Window to another World
(Address Given at Holy Innocents Parish, New York, May 12, 2015)
The rejection of the traditional liturgy has certainly unexpectedly resulted in one particular problem for the contemporary Church. To outsiders, including many Catholics, the Catholic Church today is mainly embodied in the morality it teaches and demands of its faithful, which, manifest in prohibitions and commandments, are contrary to the beliefs of the secular world. In a church centered mainly on the immediate liturgical encounter with God, these moral demands were related not only to life choices, but were specifically conceived as preparation for full participation in the liturgy.
It was the liturgy that specified the goal of morality. The question was: what must I do to attain full communion with the Eucharistic Christ in the liturgy? What makes me only able to observe this Christ from a distance? That which is morally forbidden appeared not simply as the incarnation of evil, but as something to be avoided for the sake of a specific objective. And when the commandment that excludes us from communion was transgressed, the sacrament of confession stood ready to heal the damage and prepare us for communion. Surprisingly, it turned out that the Catholic Church of the past, which focused on the liturgy, seemed scandalously morally lax to outsiders, while to contemporaries and not only the unchurched, the present Church seems unbearably preachy, merciless and pettily puritanical.
The rest of the article can be found here.
The article is long, but well worth reading.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
The Chapter wishes to extend all thanks and gratitude for the welcome and support from Our Lady of the Valley. In particular, Fr Flores for his tireless support and encouragement, and for the list of wonderful parochial vicars who have also given us such wonderful support; Fr Arnold Miller, Fr Adrian Vasquez, Fr Eladio Vieyra.Fr Carlos Camargo.
To Fr Ben Uhlenkott and Fr Bruno Mgaya at St Mark we offer our thanks for being welcomed, and to our new Bishop Peter Christensen and all the faithful priest of our diocese, we also extend our thanks!
Thursday, November 20, 2014
This due process protects the rights of all citizens, including the Church, against the whims of government and the tyranny of one or a few. It is called the rule of law.
The executive order contemplated by the President today, Thursday, November 20, 2014, is far-reaching and it is meant to impact an entire population of illegal immigrants by the sweep of the President's pen. This executive order is not meant to clarify an existing law or otherwise administer existing law according to the President's executive philosophy. The breadth and width of this executive order and its impact is staggering: meant to impact as many as five million illegal immigrants.
The President's whim to impose his will to the point of legislating public policy and law of the United States by executive order is constitutionally, politically, and morally wrong.
Further, his uncompromising attitude, not to give the new majority in the U.S. Senate and House the opportunity to work with him reveals a terrifying arrogance and frightening chasm between what is right and good and what is disordered and wrong. I am praying for our President and for wisdom.
Tuesday, November 04, 2014
How modern we have become, when we can exclude a continent, no longer for the race of the bishops, but rather for their strong and vibrant Catholic faith in word and practice! So the dominant culture once said that we should marginalize a group of people based on race...
...and now marginalization has a new face; the back of the bus is reserved for those whose faith is that of the ages with all the saints, rather than that of the moment with the culture.
So it seems a good time to embrace the back of the bus, and like those freedom marchers of the 60s, in a statement of solidarity with the new marginalization, declare myself to be novus africanus!
To those who support traditional marriage, today's novus africanus, well, some things don't seem to change.
Only one sin is nowadays severely punished: the attentive observance of the traditions of our Fathers. For that reason the good ones are thrown out of their places and brought to the desert.
- Saint Basil the Great
Friday, September 12, 2014
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
The artist, Michael Dente, has really gotten into his work!
Here's a bit of a close-up...
Friday, April 25, 2014
Dear Friends and Family,
I would be delighted for you to join me in my ordination to the priesthood in San Francisco this May 31. If you are coming from a long distance, we have limited accommodations at St. Albert's Priory. Please contact me (pjohannahop at gmail dot com) and I can inform you of possible space.
There will be a light reception following the ceremony at St. Dominic's, and then a luncheon on the back lawn of St. Albert's Priory beginning at 2pm. In addition to the mass attendance RSVP (on the main invite), please let me know by e-mail or phone if you intend to join us for the 2pm reception.
I am truly indebted to all of you for your support and prayers through the years. In this vein, it is a tradition for newly ordained Catholic priests to offer "masses of thanksgiving" at places that have spiritually formed them. Below is my current list of such masses/celebrations. You are invited to attend, according to desire (and geography!), any of them:
St. Albert's Priory, Oakland, CA June 1st, 9:30a 7th Sunday Easter
Carmel Mission Basilica, Carmel, CA June 7th, 5:30p Vigil of Pentecost
1st Presbyterian Church, Monterey, CA June 8th, 9a & 10:30a Pentecost
Santa Catalina Chapel, Monterey, CA June 10th, 10a (Weekday Mass)
Holy Family Cathedral, Anchorage, AK June 15th, Holy Trinity Sunday
4:00p (Dominican Rite Missa Cantata)
St. Mary's Parish, Annapolis, MD June 19th, 8a (Weekday Mass)
Corpus Christi Monastery, Menlo Park, CA June 29th, 8a Solemnity of Sts. Peter & Paul
On Good Friday, Mr Paul O'Leary OP brought out a team of volunteers to erect the steel cross which had been built for us. The cross stands 12' above ground and is constructed from square box steel. It should stand much longer than our previous wooden crosses, which seemed to last about 2-3 years each. This one was anchored with about a half ton of cement.
The cross against the skyline... a view we should see for many years to come!
Next item: The Bl. Margaret of Castello life-size statue is taking shape under the careful hands of sculptor Michael Dente. Michael has a long history of sculpting for the Western Dominican Province; notably the statue of St Dominic which is at the Dominican Cemetery in Benicia, California. It is fitting that Little Margaret will be here in our little Dominican cemetery in Idaho!
Thursday, March 27, 2014
David Adler: Women's rights at stake in Hobby Lobby case.
Here is my response:
Monday, March 24, 2014
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
DATE: Saturday, March 29, 2014
TIME: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.--With morning and afternoon sessions.
PLACE: St. Mark’s Catholic Church
7960 West Northview Street, Boise, Idaho.
LUNCH: Lunch on your own; however, a no host lunch, will be served at
12:00 noon at St. Mark’s, ($8.50 per person), if you want lunch
please R.S.V.P. in advance at the sign-up sheet at St. Mark’s or
call 375.2532 (RSVP message), or email email@example.com.
Monday, March 03, 2014
Yes, my darkened brother, you have seen people on their knees; Is it not amazing how you know the secrets of their heart? Well, "Stop judging by appearances, but judge justly" (Jn 7-24).
For if the charge of idol worship could be so lightly laid and be true, what am I to think when I see you praying on your knees before your bed at night?
Should I assume, since you are kneeling before your bed, that you are worshiping and praying to your bed, and in spite of your protestations, reply "No, you worship idols; I have seen you on your knees praying to your bed!"
It would be nice if we'd have a little more smarts and charity than the glorified monkeys that the fans of Darwin would have us be...
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Monday, February 10, 2014
Thursday, February 06, 2014
Subject: Petition to defend Vatican at United Nations
Good morning everyone,
I encourage you to read this petition and then sign it.
Check out this site http://defendtheholysee.org. Help defend the Holy
See at the UN!
A few months ago the group “Catholics for Choice” launched a global
campaign to have the Holy See thrown out of the General Assembly.
The Holy See is the conscience of the UN as it is the only delegation
that does not have political considerations in how they negotiate. The
Holy See is a constant defender of life, faith and family at the UN.
Governments look to the Holy See for leadership on these issues. If for
any reason the Holy See is silent on an issue, others governments may
From time to time it becomes necessary for everyday people to show
their support for the Holy See at the United Nations. That is why C-FAM
is calling all individuals and organizations of good will to sign the
Declaration in Support of the Holy See. Drafted by Professor Robert
George of Princeton and William Saunders of Americans United For Life,
the Declaration first gathered more than 4,000 group signatures more
than a decade ago when these campaigns first began.
The signers of the Declaration included the largest Protestant and even
the largest Muslim groups in the world. The document is for all men and
women of goodwill who understand the vital role the Holy See plays at
the UN. For the very first time, it has been opened for individuals to
C-FAM will present the signatories to the Holy See in New York, Geneva
and Rome sometime at the end of this year. The signatories will also be
presented to the UN. It is important to let “Catholics for Choice” know
that we are far stronger than they are, and all those who want to
impose child-killing on the world.
We are urged to read the Declaration in Support of the Holy See at
www.defendtheholysee.org and sign it. We are also requested to campaign
to get people and groups in our city and country to sign.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Dear members of the Dominican Family:
I write to you to ask you to consider participating in an academic colloquium on the intersection of philosophy and theology, scheduled for 16-20 July 2014.
Regent of Studies, Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Western Dominican Province, U.S.A.; http://www.opwest.org)
Berkeley, CA 94708-1816
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Getting tired of being asked "So, what do you think of Pope Francis' endorsing gay marriage?" and that sort of mis-characterization? The questions come as barbs from marginal catholics who do support such aberations, from marginal protestants who just enjoy taking a jab, and from serious seekers who are truly hurt and scandalized in their search for truth by such nonsense.
To the former, who are not sincerly seeking Truth, the reply can be simple; a "Where did you hear that?" or perhaps even better, a "So what?" which might lead to a deeper consideration (but that is doubtful). the smug delivery of the barb is hard to overcome where Truth is not welcome. It is the latter ones that the reply does indeed stretch to a new evangelization; putting in Truth so that the Way leads to Life rather than death.
I won't point the finger entirely at the media, although this is their specialty, they don't have to work nearly as hard to spin things as they did with Benedict XVI, who rarely gave them an opening (remember the hypothetical question about condoms when he went to Africa that was trumpeted to the world as a change in fundamental moral teaching?). No, our dear Holy Father seems to have a way with words, to the continuous delight of the media!
So it is that the Holy Father is very interested in the New Evangelization; enough to write an Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii gaudium. It is here that I am in complete agreement with him; that infused and enthused by the Love of God, our efforts to share that Love should overflow from God's abundance! "The world loves a lover" is nothing new, love draws to itself, because we are made for love. Jesus said, "when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself." God's enemies in their turn love their vice and thus draw the weak away from grace.
In Evangelii gaudium we find:
35. Pastoral ministry in a missionary style is not obsessed with the disjointed transmission of a multitude of doctrines to be insistently imposed. When we adopt a pastoral goal and a missionary style which would actually reach everyone without exception or exclusion, the message has to concentrate on the essentials, on what is most beautiful, most grand, most appealing and at the same time most necessary. The message is simplified, while losing none of its depth and truth, and thus becomes all the more forceful and convincing.
But we have to balance this with Leo XIII's Testem benevolentiae nostrae, better known as the condemnation of "Americanism":
The underlying principle of these new opinions is that, in order to more easily attract those who differ from her, the Church should shape her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age and relax some of her ancient severity and make some concessions to new opinions. Many think that these concessions should be made not only in regard to ways of living, but even in regard to doctrines which belong to the deposit of the faith. They contend that it would be opportune, in order to gain those who differ from us, to omit certain points of her teaching which are of lesser importance, and to tone down the meaning which the Church has always attached to them. It does not need many words, beloved son, to prove the falsity of these ideas if the nature and origin of the doctrine which the Church proposes are recalled to mind. The Vatican Council says concerning this point: "For the doctrine of faith which God has revealed has not been proposed, like a philosophical invention to be perfected by human ingenuity, but has been delivered as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared. Hence that meaning of the sacred dogmas is perpetually to be retained which our Holy Mother, the Church, has once declared, nor is that meaning ever to be departed from under the pretense or pretext of a deeper comprehension of them." —Constitutio de Fide Catholica, Chapter iv.
We cannot consider as altogether blameless the silence which purposely leads to the omission or neglect of some of the principles of Christian doctrine, for all the principles come from the same Author and Master, "the Only Begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father."—John i, 18. They are adapted to all times and all nations, as is clearly seen from the words of our Lord to His apostles: "Going, therefore, teach all nations; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all days, even to the end of the world."—Matt. xxviii, 19. Concerning this point the Vatican Council says: "All those things are to be believed with divine and catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church, either by a solemn judgment or by her ordinary and universal magisterium, proposes for belief as having been divinely revealed."—Const. de fide, Chapter iii.
Let it be far from anyone's mind to suppress for any reason any doctrine that has been handed down. Such a policy would tend rather to separate Catholics from the Church than to bring in those who differ. There is nothing closer to our heart than to have those who are separated from the fold of Christ return to it, but in no other way than the way pointed out by Christ.
So if we return to the work of Pope Francis in Evangelii gaudium:
39. Just as the organic unity existing among the virtues means that no one of them can be excluded from the Christian ideal, so no truth may be denied. The integrity of the Gospel message must not be deformed.
So in summary, I would say that The Way must include The Truth if it is to lead to The Life.
now, back to the reading... !
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
[Dec 6] is the “Feast” of Saint Nicholas of Myra, the original Santa Claus, and patron saint of micro-lenders (i.e., pawnbrokers) and bankers in general. And of thieves, children, and unmarried women, so don’t read too much into the thieves and bankers coincidence. Pawning is, of course, a form of deposit banking, in which the borrower takes out a small loan at high rates of interest, leaving a “moveable chattel” as collateral. This is in contrast to “commercial” or “mercantile” banking in which the lender gives a promissory note for a bill of exchange issued by the borrower representing the present value of future marketable goods and services. Instead of “interest,” which can only be charged on existing savings, the lender accepts the bill at a discount determined by the risk and other factors. The difference between the face value and the discounted value (assuming the bill is redeemed or “paid” on maturity at the face value) is the fee out of which the lender meets his costs and makes a profit. If capital credit insurance and reinsurance is used to replace traditional collateral, classic commercial banking represents a feasible source of financing for widespread ownership using future savings instead of past savings. Thus, in a sense, Saint Nicholas could be called the patron saint of the Just Third Way. Oh, by the way, Saint Nicholas is also noted for punching out Bishop Arius for refusing to stop spouting nonsense during the Council of Nicea, A.D. 325. And Chesterton believed Aquinaswas thinking combatively. “Jolly Old Elf” my foot.
Fr. Emmerich was born in New Britain, CT, the younger of two children. He entered the Dominican Order at St. Albert Priory in 1971 and was ordained a priest in 1978. He taught at Marist High School in Eugene, Oregon, Daniel Murphy High School in Los Angeles, and Holy Rosary College in Fremont, California. For many years he worked for Western Dominican Preaching, giving parish missions and retreats. For 24 years he has worked for Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity, giving retreats and seminars throughout the world. In January 2007 he was elected Prior Provincial and currently resides at St. Albert Priory in Oakland.
http://www.opwest.org/index.php/about-us/directory-of-friars/fr-emmerich-william-vogt-opThe 12-step Review: Christian Friends in Recovery, "Know the truth and the truth will set you free" - John 8:32, www.12-step-review.org
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Monday, November 04, 2013
Looks much larger than it actually is. Here's another perspective.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
And yes, I'll concede, it's a good motto for a football team!
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Requiem Aeternam dona eis, Domine et lux perpetua luceat eis:
Requiescant in pace. Amen.
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
In 1940, on the eve of the United States entry into World War II, the late Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979) published Freedom Under God. This new, annotated “Just Third Way Edition” of a neglected classic includes an in-depth foreword, as well as a bibliography and index not included in the original.
While Freedom Under God addresses the loss of true freedom throughout the world, Sheen’s special concern was freedom of religion. This is under increasing attack today. Individual life as well as marriage and the family are also in grave danger as the State continues to expand its power to fill the vacuum left by the growing powerlessness of ordinary people.
Speaking to people of all faiths and philosophies, albeit from a “Catholic” perspective, then-Monsignor Sheen traced the rise of totalitarian State power in the first half of the 20th century to the fact that fewer and fewer people in America and throughout the world owned capital — what Sheen called “creative wealth.” As Sheen argued, agreeing with other great thinkers through the ages, “Power follows property, and they who own things to a great extent own persons.” Only widespread private property in capital has the capacity to restore the foundation of true freedom.
In conformity with the precepts of the natural law on which Sheen relied to develop his thought, CESJ adds that genuine economic reform must also comply with the three principles of economic justice: Participative Justice, Distributive Justice, and Harmonic Justice. Lawyer-economist Louis O. Kelso and Aristotelian philosopher Mortimer J. Adler first described these principles in Chapter 5 of their bestselling The Capitalist Manifesto.
Sheen’s warnings fell on deaf ears. Thanks to the near-global acceptance of Keynesian economics, the wagewelfare system within a State-controlled, inflationary, debt-ridden economy is the unquestioned model for economic development throughout the world.
The world needs the wisdom of Fulton Sheen now more than ever. The republication of Freedom Under God helps introduce the work of this pivotal thinker to a new generation of readers and students.
Fulton J. Sheen, Freedom Under God, ISBN: 978-0-944997-11-6, 264 pp., $20.00
Individual copies available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, or by special order from many bookstores.
This information is for bulk/wholesale orders of ten or more copies only. There is a 20% discount on bulk/wholesale orders. Additional discounts may be available for orders of 100 copies or more. To place a bulk/wholesale order, send your name, street address (our distributor does not ship to P. O. Boxes) and number of copies you wish to order (no less than ten, please) to:
We will get back to you with the full cost of your order (plus shipping) and payment details.
Monday, September 30, 2013
OK, I will have to say that in 17 years of being a Catholic, I have never heard a homily on this reading that echos St Augustin's explanation. Before Jesus fed the 5000 with 5 loaves, he said "they are like sheep without a shepherd." So the "rich man" is the Hebrew priesthood and educated caste, who posess evertything essential for salvation because they are the guardians of the Word of God. Lazarus represents the sheep without a shepherd, those who don't know God and are mired in their sins because they have not heard what they need to hear for their salvation.
And pastors today? We have this reading immediately following the long series in the Divine Office from St Augustin's Sermon on Pastors where he excoriates those pastors who feed on their sheep instead of shepherding their flock.
And we who are laymen; we are also members of the Royal Priesthood; our [priestly] sacrifice is a broken heart, a contrite spirit, but we are also surrounded by sheep without shepherds, Lazarus who is seeking God's assistance but starved for even a scrap, a drop of cold water. Remember those springs of living water that are supposed to well up in us?
Oh yeah, dogs licking Lazarus' sores. To a first century Hebrew, this final insult by an unclean animal would not be comforting, as it is easy for today's pet-saturated culture to imagine; rather this insult would probably be like you having an open wound and watching flies land on it and not being able to to anything about it; shudder! We may not have an appreciation of ancient Hebrew ritual cleanliness, but we understand that sort of physical uncleanliness!
Being a Dominican, it is hard to resist the temptation to assign to the dog the identity of bad or heretical preachers; their 'ministrations' to Lazarus are not only of no assistance, they drive him further from being saved.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Many of us have wondered where this church is that is so insistent only on these issues. We'd like to go there. Seriously, how many priests, parishes, how many statements of the USCCB or any other bishop’s conference, can be accused of this with a straight face? Yes, a few no doubt, but to color the entire Church by that? It strains credulity. So, what is Pope Francis telling us?
Perhaps the answer lies in not linking this paragraph to the one above, but rather, reading "we" in a different light than we are wont to.
Given this pope's persona of "humility" it is unlikely that he has used the term in the royal sense, as have so many popes in the past. No, we naturally jump to a reading where "we" becomes associated with the body of Christ, the Church. Passing beyond the "We believe" in the previous translation of the Credo to the current "I believe" for the collective voice of The Church, I propose that the context of "we" in this paragraph is the Holy Father and the members of the Media.
Where else, but the main stream media, can you look to find a shrill and insistent voice speaking endlessly about abortion, gay marriage, and contraception? This is the (un)holy trinity of the secular culture, and their evangelists, the members of the media, are mercilessly ramming it down our throats.
So when the Holy Father complains that this subject needs to be spoken of in context, what does the media immediately do, but quote (and misquote) him out of context!
So perhaps this strains your credulity as a way of reading this in the context of the interview. Yet, as successor of Peter, I think it not unreasonable to read his comments in this light.
Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish." He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. (John 11:49-52 )
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Last July the Chapter held the 9th annual Mary Magdalen Retreat with Br Peter Hannah OP as Retreat Master. His talks were recorded and are now available online at the following links:
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Fr Rui Lopes is the New Promoter for the Laity
The Master of the Order, fr Bruno Cadoré has appointed fr Rui Carlos Antunes e Almeida Lopes as the new General Promoter of the Laity. He is from the Province of Portugal. His appointment is for 6 years.
Fr Rui who was born at Harare, Zimbabwe made his first religious profession in the Order in 1981 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1985. He has a PhD in the Science of Documentation and Archives.
Before his appointment, he has been the Archivist and the Promoter of the Dominican Laity in his province. He was also a Military Chaplain, chaplain of the Sovereign Order of Malta and the Secular Institute of Caritas Christi.
Fr Rui succeeds fr David Kammaler, who after serving in the office for 6 years, will be returning to his home Province of Teutonia. He is going to continue to serve as the Assistant Promoter of the Dominican Family in his province.
On behalf of the Master of the Order, fr Bruno Cadoré and the entire General Curia, we wish fr David the best in his future endeavour. (09 September 2013)
- See more at op.org