of AirMaria
Various Priests
Standing Fast
Fr Angelo Geiger
Ave Maria Meditations
JosephMary, FTI
Dr Mark Miravalle
Tour of the Catechism
Fr. Dan Mahan
Fatima Reflections
Fr. Joseph Michael McShane
No Apologies
Fra Joseph Mary
Roving Reporter
Fra Roderic and Others
Month of Mary
Our Ladys Chapel
A Day With Mary
Fi News
Various Friars
General News
Various Friars
The Cornerstone
Fr Maximilian Dean
Marian Shrines of the World
Fr. Andre Feain
Various Other Series
Immaculate Music
Various Musicians
Mission Down Under
Aussie Friars



Narratives of Dubious Provenance

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015


Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Holy Father, News, Religion Tagged: Benedict XVI, Holy Communion, Marriage, Pope Francis
From MaryVictrix.com

A Blessed and Merry Christmas to All

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Remembering all the readers of this blog at the altar.  We celebrated Mass St. Mary Major’s today, in which Basilica is kept the relic of the crib of Bethlehem.  God bless you all. and Merry Christmas!

O Immaculata, what were your thoughts when for the first time you placed the Divine Infant on his bed of straw? What feelings inundated your heart while you wrapped him in swaddling clothes, held him to your heart, and nursed him at your breast?

You knew very well who the Child was, because the prophets had spoken of him, and you understood them better than all the Pharisees and the learned Scripture scholars. The Holy Spirit had given to you infinitely more enlightenment than to all the other souls together. Besides, how many of the mysteries of Jesus were revealed only and exclusively to your immaculate soul by the Divine Spirit that lived and operated in you!

Already, at the moment of the Annunciation, the Most Holy Trinity, through the ministry of an angel, had presented to you, in all its clarity, its plan of redemption, and had awaited your response. At that moment you knew perfectly to whom your consent was being given and whose Mother you were to be!

And there he was before you, in his newborn fragility.

What feelings of humility and love, and of gratitude must have filled your heart… while you marveled at the humility, the love, and gratitude that God incarnate showed you.

I beg you to fill my heart too with your humility, your love, and your gratitude.


—St. Maximilian Kolbe

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Religion Tagged: Christmas
From MaryVictrix.com

A Nice Wet Blanket for the Conspiracy Theorists

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Yes, deal with it.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, News, Religion Tagged: Benedict XVI, Pope Francis
From MaryVictrix.com

In Order to Let the “Animals in Heaven” Fracas Die Quickly

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Read Dawn Eden and David Gibson.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, News, Religion Tagged: Animals, David Gibson, Dawn Eden
From MaryVictrix.com

Kevin O’Brien Says It Way Better Than Me

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Facebook is a Hussy

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Religion, Spirituality Tagged: Facebook, Internet, Kevin O’brien
From MaryVictrix.com

The Mind of the Immaculate

Monday, December 8th, 2014


The Immaculate is a living ideal, a pattern of life to be replicated by our external comportment, and more importantly, by our interior lives. She lives enthroned, not merely in paradise, but in the hearts and minds of those who truly love Her. In this way She is alive and active in and through us, influencing directly the choices we make as a Mother who loves and nurtures us. This we must remember every time we think of Her. Here we will find true enlightenment and our feet will be led into the way of peace (Luke 1:79) to “the summits of our desired holiness,” to peaceful rest and blissful union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But to achieve this our thought of Her must be prayerful and profound. This is only made possible by humble meditation and prayer.

Thinking about the Immaculate

St. Maximilian Kolbe was a man who during his whole life meditated and contemplated in this fashion. He was consumed by a truth in which he believed with all his mind and heart. Often he spoke of his love and zeal for the Mother of God in terms of a “fixed ideal,” and for love of Her he wished to live, work, suffer, be consumed and die.

Now, St. Maximilian was not an idealist, not a man chasing after a dream. Nor was his ideal some abstract principle formulated by philosophers, rather it was a person, (more…)

Defending Fr. Volpi Against Another Calumny

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

The blog Rorate Caeli has leveled a new accusation against the authority of the Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.  In a recent post there, the blogger makes the accusation that the Apostolic Commissioner, Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, with the approval of Pope Francis, has engaged in the purposeful destruction of the Institute.

The latest “evidence” shown for this is Fr. Volpi’s alleged prohibition of a yearly Christmas Novena of Masses that had been offered in one of our contemplative houses for some time previously.  The blogger quotes an unnamed source, which he claims to be one of our former seminarians.

Furthermore, according to this unnamed source the alleged prohibition of the novena has placed a financial burden on the community that threatens its very survival.  The blogger then is careful to end the piece by exhorting his readers to pray for the poor friars, especially those in this isolated friary that has been allegedly deprived of this financial help.

Please note the following facts:

Novena of Masses

The Apostolic Commissioner of the FI has never prohibited (more…)

The Creature Named Catholic Internet

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

I have expressed my concerns about Catholic Internet culture many times before. Mostly it appears to be a problem with some bloggers, who seem to transform into a fiend returned from the dead as soon as they sit down in front of a computer. But I am of the opinion that the problem runs much deeper than just some mutant bloggers.

Now, I don’t want to generalize. I am probably just from the wrong side of the blogosphere, and aware of my own shortcomings, but where I come from this is a widespread problem. So if this does not gel with your experience just forget everything I am about to say and don’t bother to finish reading. But if, on the other hand, any of this makes any sense to you, then read to the end and assess.

In the Clutches of Interwebs

Recently in one of my classes we were commenting on the Holy Father’s Apostolic Letter, Evangelii Gaudium, where Francis criticizes the way in which the new media is sometimes used in a manipulative fashion. One of the students, a priest, commented on how some of his former parishioners caused tremendous damage to others by posting on Facebook information harmful to others under their own names. The whole parish was adversely affected. (more…)

Franciscan Conspiracy

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

The latest conspiracy theory concerning the resignation of Pope Benedict goes like this: a group cardinals lobbying for Cardinal Bergoglio went to Pope Benedict and convinced him to retire because they had someone, very conservative (they said), waiting in the wings to take over.  It was all set, they told him.  He could go in peace.  But then as soon as the resignation was official they sprung Bergoglio as the real candidate.  And the rest . . .

As much as this satisfies the urge to have an explanation for something one does not understand, and while those who are likely to swallow this do so in reverence to Pope Emeritus Benedict, it paints him as a real chump—basically—as an idiot.  Not to mention that in collaborating in this plan he would have executed a deed that would have resulted in automatic excommunication of all involved.

Needless to say, the point is to demonize Pope Francis.

This is not “news,” my friends, it is something quite different.  Let it go.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Holy Father, Religion Tagged: Benedct XVI, Conspiracy, Pope Francis
From MaryVictrix.com

William Doino on the Pope’s True Agenda

Monday, December 1st, 2014

First Things just posted an excellent post by William Doino, “The Pope’s True Agenda.”   It is necessary reading, because it it is a well documented piece showing that Pope Francis doesn’t fit into any of the boxes partisans wish to put him in.  He is not a liberal, nor a conservative, but a Catholic.  Thank God for Bill Doino’s courage.

It strikes me as a bit ironic, especially among those concerned about orthodoxy, that even as people eschew labels and generalizations, they attempt to pigeonhole Francis.  I recently read a post by a well-known theologian, who while admitting he ordinarily argues against the use of labels, decided to use the tags “liberal” and “conservative” just one time in defense of Francis. 

I for one, have never argued that the labels are inappropriate in the concrete because they say something real.  There are liberals and conservatives who are Catholic, and attempt to bend the faith to their party.  This goes on all the time, and even those who say the labels are inappropriate do it.

This is really obvious when the social teaching of the Church comes up.  Both liberals and conservatives have to do a dance to get around the parts they don’t like.  It is the conservatives most of all who tend to be offended by the labels because they say they are for orthodoxy.  Yet the labels continue to be useful so long as peoples’ behavior does not change.

And it is not just the liberals, and conservatives.  There are other partisans, as we all know, who find their own excuses for sowing division.  Pope Francis is not averse to the give and take of public discourse.  He has called for the “conversion of the papacy” and has said:

It is my duty, as the Bishop of Rome, to be open to suggestions which can help make the exercise of my ministry more faithful to the meaning which Jesus Christ wished to give it and to the present needs of evangelization (32).

But he is fundamentally opposed to the sowing of discord.  This is why just yesterday in an interview he said, contrary to partisan views, the recent synod was not a parliament, and that while he had no problem with the content of the discussions being the subject of news, he did not agree (as a personal opinion) that the names of who said what ought to have been released.  I interpret this as meaning he did not wish to see the formation of parties fomented within the synod, or to give partisan journalists and bloggers fodder for their already loaded canons.

Lest I be misunderstood, I must say once again that for me all this really does not touch upon the question of what Catholics are obliged to believe and what they may legitimately discuss.  This has much more to do with the phenomenon of the information highway.  Even for those who do not read blogs, news is instantaneously and information is regularly filtered through sources who can hardly be said to be objective.  (I will treat of the problem of the Internet in the next post).  It seems to me that there is much more heat than light in the new information democracy, and narratives are created and repeated that are too convenient for the agendas of the creators not be be seriously questioned.  In my opinion Pope Francis’ repeated warnings against ideology are entirely warranted.

Perhaps everyone should calm down and read the Encyclical of Four Hands and Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter in a prayerful and trusting way.  Perhaps we need to confidently entrust Pope Francis’ ministry, which he has received from the Lord, to the Immaculate Virigin.  But I believe, most importantly, that we also need to entrust our own lives to Her as well, so that at the heart of the Church we might work to build in God’s way, rather than tear down in man’s.

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, Holy Father, News, Religion Tagged: Benedct XVI, Conservatives, Evangelii Gaudium, Liberals, Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis, Synod, William Doino
From MaryVictrix.com

The Year For Consecrated Life Begins Today

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Today, the First Sunday in Advent, November 30, 2014, Pope Francis released a message inaugurating the Year for Consecrated Life, which will end on February 2, 2016, the Feast of the Presentation. In the message the Holy Father outlines a program for reflection and action that should be a source of renewal for individual religious and their institutes. Please support Pope Francis and all religious in this endeavor by taking the time to read his message. I offer a few reflections of my own here.


The Past

Under the title of “aims” for the year, Pope Francis encourages religious to reflect on the past, present and future. The past brings us into contact with our origins, the inspiration of our founders and the nature of our charism. The original inspiration from the Holy Spirit was a response to the signs of the times, and was a seed that continued to grow and develop. (more…)

“Conservatives” Defend Pope Francis

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Inés San Martín

Filed under: Catholicism, Church, News, Religion Tagged: Conservatives, Inés San Martín, Mary Ann Glendon, Pope Francis, Robert P. George
From MaryVictrix.com

Rest in Peace, Brother Martin

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

I want to take a moment to ask for prayers for the repose of the soul of one of our earliest and most faithful tertiaries in the United States, Brother Martin, a.k.a.,  Alex DeMaio.  He has several cousins who are also Tertiaries.  Please remember his children and family in your prayers as well.

Brother Martin, was “old faithful.”  A quiet man, whose presence could be counted on, early every Third Order Sunday and every Day with Mary.  He was always cheerful and always kept the faith.  He was always an example of what was best about our third order.  He was as all franciscans ought to be: “a thoroughly Catholic and apostolic man.

I will miss the kindness and support he offered to me, personally, and I know others will as will.  He was a pillar of the Institute in Connecticut.

We need your prayers as well, Brother Martin!  Don’t forget us.

Filed under: Blessed Virgin Mary, Catholicism, Church, Husbands, Knights, Manliness, Marian Chivalry Tagged: Alex DeMaio, Brother Martin
From MaryVictrix.com

Roman Communiqué

Friday, November 14th, 2014

This is just to let those who might be interested that I am still here.  I am studying for my licentiate in theology at the Angelicum and have taken a pretty heavy load.  I just don’t have time or mental energy to blog right now.

Please keep me in your prayers and I will pray for all of you.

Read Kevin O’Brien’s reflections on Don Quixote.  They are right up the Mary Victrix alley.

God bless.

Filed under: Catholicism, Mary Victrix, News Tagged: Update
From MaryVictrix.com

Don Quixote and the Windmill

Friday, November 14th, 2014

My friend Kevin O’Brien over at Waiting for Godot to Leave, has kindly given me permission to cross-post his excellent essay “Approaching what is Real: Don Quixote, God, and the Rest of Us.”  I have covered the here the differences between true and ephemeral chivalry before.  But it is extraordinarily important and I very much appreciate Kevin’s perspective.  Reality is our friend as much as it hurts us to admit it.

For they had bartered the reality of God for what is unreal, and had offered divine honors and religious service to created things, rather than to the Creator–He who is for ever blessed. Amen. (Rom. 1:25)

As we drive around the country performing murder mystery dinner theater shows, my actress Maria Romine and I listen to audio books.  We’ve lately been listening to Don Quixote, the unabridged version, read very well by George Guidall.

It’s a 40 hour long production, and we’re only about five hours into it.  But we’re listening to parts that I’ve never read (my printed version is abridged).

We’ve come to the “pastoral interlude” where Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are spending time with some shepherds.  We are beginning to learn that Don Quixote is not the only madman who’s a bit too idealistic for his own good.  While Don Quixote has been inspired to become a knight errant, a group of well-fed suburban yuppies have been inspired to become shepherds and live out a kind of pastoral romance while not at the shopping mall.

In this interlude, we hear Don Quixote wax eloquently on the “golden age”, a mythical era of chivalry that sounds as if it is set in the Garden of Eden before the Fall.  Then we hear one of the yuppies who’s living as a shepherd wax eloquently on his “lady”, the disdainful woman he’s pursuing, whose scorning of him leads literally to his death.  We also hear from the pursued lady herself, and while Don Quixote bravely rushes to her defense, her own idealism – a kind of haughty virginity, a sort of smug isolationism – is as strained as the rather contrived love of the yuppie shepherds who dote on her.  Their romance is not quite love and her celibacy is not quite purity.

And that’s the way we often are, even when we’re at our best.  The reason this novel is brilliant is that it examines the complexities of idealism and cynicism.  Don Quixote, the yuppies, their lady – all are really quite mad in a way, and yet all are following ideals – ideals that they can’t quite seem to make work in the real world.  (Kind of like all of us!)  And somehow everyone around them gets sucked in to the yarns they’re spinning – and yet this is not entirely a bad thing.

What does this have to do with the Faith? (more…)