Saturday, January 28, 2012

Happy feast of St Thomas!

This is a repost from last year, with additions!


"To reject any article of the faith is to reject the faith itself. This is like pulling one stone out of an arch; it is like putting one hole in the hull of a ship. The whole arch tumbles down; the whole ship sinks. A man who has the faith, accepts God's word. Now, God's word has set up the Church as man's infallible teacher and guide. If a man, therefore, rejects one article of the faith, and says that he believes all the other articles, he believes these by his own choice and opinion, not by faith. Rejecting one article of the faith, he rejects the whole authority of the Church, and he rejects the authority of God who has set up and authorized the Church to teach truth. Hence, it is entirely incorrect to say that am man may have lifeless or formless faith in some article of the Creed while he rejects others; such a man has not the faith at all, living or lifeless." Thomas Aquinas, Summa IIa IIae Q5

Sorry, I lost the source of the above quote, which is based on the Summa, as opposed to IN the Summa.

edit 2/6/12 The quote above comes from "Tour of the Summa"

To continue the general idea of Faith, we can turn to the old Catechism's explanation of the article in the Creed:

"I Believe the Holy Catholic Church"

Finally, with regard to the Church, the pastor should teach how to believe the Church can constitute an Article of faith. Although reason and the senses are able to ascertain the existence of the Church, that is, of a society of men on earth devoted and consecrated to Jesus Christ, and although faith does not seem necessary in order to understand a truth which even Jews and Turks do not doubt; nevertheless it is from the light of faith only, not from the deductions of reason, that the mind can grasp those mysteries contained in the Church of God which have been partly made known above and will again be treated under the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

Since, therefore, this Article, no less than the others, is placed above the reach, and defies the strength of the human understanding, most justly do we confess that we know not from human reason, but contemplate with the eyes of faith the origin, offices and dignity of the Church.

This Church was founded not by man, but by the immortal God Himself, who built her upon a most solid rock. The Highest himself, says the Prophet, hath founded her. Hence, she is called the inheritance of God, the people of God. The power which she possesses is not from man but from God.

Since this power, therefore, cannot be of human origin, divine faith can alone enable us to understand that the keys of the. kingdom of heaven are deposited with the Church, that to her has been confided the power of remitting sins," of denouncing excommunication, and of consecrating the real body of Christ; and t)tat her children have not here a permanent dwelling, but look for one above.

We are, therefore, bound to believe that there is one Holy Catholic Church. With regard to the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, we not

only believe them, but also believe in them. But here we make use of a different form of expression, professing to believe the holy, not in the holy Catholic Church. By this difference of expression we distinguish God, the author of all things, from His works, and acknowledge that all the exalted benefits bestowed on the Church are due to God's bounty.

FROM the Legion of Mary on the True Church:

Attacks on the Church on the score of evil-doing, persecution, and lack of zeal could be argued indefinitely, and hopelessly confuse the issue. An element of truth may underlie some charges, and thus add complication to confusion. To satisfy the hostile critic on these and all other minor points of dispute is completely impossible, even if great erudition is enlisted in the task. The course to be taken by the legionary must be that of persistently reducing the discussion to its very simplest elements: that of insisting that God must have left to the world a message - what men call a religion: that such religion, being God's voice, absolutely must be one, clear, consistent, unerring, and must claim divine authority. These characteristics are to be found only in the Catholic Church. There is no other body or system which even claims to possess them. Outside the Church, there is only contradiction and confusion, so that, as Cardinal Newman crushingly puts it: "Either the Catholic religion is verily the coming of the unseen world into this, or that there is nothing positive, nothing dogmatic whither we are going."

There must be a true Church. There can be only one true Church. Where is it, if it is not the Catholic Church? Like blows, ever directed to one spot, this simple line of approach to the Truth has over-whelming effect. Its force is manifest to the simple. It is unanswerable in the heart of the more learned, though he may continue to talk of the sins of the Church. Remind such a one briefly but gently that he proves too much. His objections tell at least as much against any other religious system as they do against the Church. If he proves the Church to be false by proving that Churchmen did wrong, then he has only succeeded in proving that there is no true religion in the world.

The day has gone when a Protestant would claim that his own particular sect had a monopoly of the truth. Nowadays he would more modestly contend that all Churches possess a portion or facet of the truth. But a portion is not enough. That claim is equivalent to an assertion that there is no known truth and no way of finding it. For if a Church has certain doctrines that are true and therefore others that are untrue, what means are there of recognising which is which; when we pick, we may take the ones that are untrue! Therefore the church which says of its doctrines: "Some of these are true", is no help, no guide for the way. It has left you exactly where you were without it.

So, let it be repeated until the logic penetrates: There can be but one true Church; which must not contradict itself, which must possess the whole truth; and which must be able to tell the difference between what is true and what is false.

And if there is still doubt, let John Henry Newman speak to your heart in his essay FAITH AND PRIVATE JUDGEMENT, and learn what that saving faith consists in.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

March for Life at Idaho's capital

I would say that this year's March for Life in Boise had a larger turnout than last year, in spite of weather that was cold and wet. The mass at the Cathedral before the march was standing room only; just 2-3 years ago it attracted only perhaps 200 or so. Parishes and the Knights of Columbus are to be commended for making organized efforts to bring people from out of town. Even the Franciscan Sisters of Adoration (from Pocatello) came, dressed in their lovely habits! A tremendous witness; the "ministry of presence".

When I took this picture, I was about mid-position in the march on Capital Blvd. I couldn't see either the head or the tail of the procession. Of course, I walk rather slow, so I started at the head and was about the last to arrive! I would hesitate to guess how many were present, but the turnout was good.

The presentations were given at the steps of the statehouse.

Of note was Brandi Swindell (Stanton Healthcare, Rock for Life) who reported on taking portable ultrasound equipment to Washington so children in the womb could testify to Congress!

I saw the Planned Parenthood (sic) advertisement in The Boise Weekly commemorating the day as well. It appears that the death merchants, are mathematically challenges as well as morally challenged; they got the number of years since Roe v Wade wrong!

A couple of the Dominican Lay members had a table at the Cathedral after the march to promote the "Cross of Rembrance", a memoral to children lost in the womb. More on that later!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A wonderful retreat

The Chapter retreat with Fr Brian Mullady OP was a great success!

Father gave us three presentations on the journey to union with God, based on St Theresa of Avila's Interior Castle and presented according to Garigou Lagrange's Three Ways of the Interior Life. It is clear to me that Father is a gifted teacher; the presentations were both concise and moving.

Saturday was a full day capped by dinner at the lovely home of our Subprioress Carolyn Reese. Father and a couple of intrepid members even sat outside in the 20 degree weather to enjoy cigars! Sunday we convened at the Chapter house for Mass and a potluck lunch, then sent Father to the airport to try and get him home before the snow hit Portland.

Speaking of which, snow has finally hit Boise today, with an expected snowfall of 4 to 8 inches, I've already got at least three inches outside my door. Yes, I stayed home today, beautiful and needed as it is, I don't want to travel in that stuff!

we're told to expect a good week of rain after today, for which we give thanks.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Fr John Speekman (Homilies from Australia) has set up a petition asking the Holy Father to restore communion on the tongue.

Click the picture to view and sign the petition

update: The petition has been moved to

Friday, January 06, 2012

Retreat with Fr Brian Mullady OP

Boise, Idaho- Father Brian Mullady, O.P. will lead a daylong retreat at St Paul’s Catholic Student Center in Boise on Saturday, January 14th (1915 University Drive) hosted by the Third Order of St Dominic, Blessed Margaret of Castello Chapter.

Father Mullady is well known for preaching missions and retreats. He is the author of two books and numerous articles, writes the “Questions and Answers” column in Homiletic and Pastoral Review; is a theological consultant to the Institute on Religious Life, and an academician of the Catholic Academy of Science. In addition he is an adjunct professor at Holy Apostle Seminary in Cromwell Connecticut and has had seven series on Mother Angelica’s EWTN television network. He has a 12 CD set on Moral Theology

The day will start at 9AM with mass and morning prayer (from the Breviary) and run until 4:30. There is no charge for the retreat.

Please contact Bonnie Fitzpatrick at 208-249-2635 for more information.

For further information about Fr Mullady:

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Boise's missing altar(s)

Recently I posted about the high altar which was built for the Cathedral in Boise but went to Utah instead (Got off the train in the wrong city). Thanks to an anonymous combox comment, I've learned that in 1917 the altar was sent from Utah to Lake Charles, LA. The mystery continues. But today I notice that the Utah State History site also has a picture of the St Joseph side altar as well:

Since the style seems to match the main altar rather well, I think it reasonable to assume that not only the main altar, but both side altars were also installed in the respective wrong cathedrals.

This copyrighted picture is from Utah State History collections, here

updated 5/16/12

Here is the St Mary side altar:

This copyrighted picture is from Utah State History collections, here

Tough Franciscans?!

This item from Fr Z's blog gave me a chuckle, so I'm reprinting it here!
Criminal Serving Time with Monks Begs to be Sent Back to Prison

Criminal serving his sentence with monks pleads to be sent back to prison… because monastery life is too hard

A convicted criminal who was serving out his sentence in a monastery has escaped for the second time and asked to be sent back to prison because life was too tough.

Thief David Catalano, 31, was sent to a Santa Maria degli Angeli community run by Capuchin monks in Sicily last November.

But he found their austere lifetstyle too tough to handle and soon escaped. After a short while on the run he was caught by police and sent back.

On Monday he fled for the second time in six weeks, only to swiftly turn himself in at a police station and beg officers to send him back to jail in the nearby town of Nicosia.

He told the stunned policemen: ‘Prison is better than being at that hostel run by monks.’

A police spokesman said: ‘Catalano arrived out of the blue and said there was no way he could stay on with the monks.

‘He said it was too tough and he wanted to go back to prison, so we happily obliged and he is now back behind bars serving the rest of his sentence.

‘Life with the monks can be pretty tough – there are no mod cons and they are up early and go to bed early. There are no luxuries at the hostel and the monks run a very austere regime.’

The Santa Maria degli Angeli community is based in a monastery near Enna on the island of Sicily.

It has been run as a halfway house by the Capuchin friars for more than 12 years with around 60 prisoners accommodated there as they near the end of their sentences.

Thank you, Fr Z!