Sunday, May 31, 2009


9:30 AM Mass for Pentecost Sunday (Ordinary Form)
St. Joan of Arc Church, Cumberland, RI

Here is a church that I will admit that haven't stepped foot inside since the 1980's, back when the muzak of the St. Louis Jesuits was running rampant in that church. All I can say is - WHAT AN IMPROVEMENT SINCE THEN!

Back in the '80's, St. Joan's had two organs - the two-manual Wicks up in the gallery, and an electronic toaster organ downstairs in front. The only time the Wicks was used was when the choir sang.

The toaster organ is now gone, and the Wicks has been restored, with a new console by Peragallo. The music is now primarily traditional, and there has been talk about replacing the music issue with something decent. Yeah, they still have Massive Cremation, but it's done sparingly. E. Paul Breault, a seasoned veteran organist/choirmaster who still knows where it's at, is music director at St. Joan's now. Fr. Normand Bourdon is pastor.

The music:

Lambillotte: Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest
- (No, not One Spirit, one Church, thank God!)
Alstott: Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth and Alleluia
"Hymn to Joy": Come, O Holy Spirit, come
- (It's the Caswall translation, somewhat modernized, but I would have rather used the chant tune. The adaptation to H2J isn't good.)
"Beach Spring": Healing river of the Spirit
Haugen: Massive Cremation (Sanctus, Memorial, Amen, Agnus Dei)
- (One of the nice things was NOT to hear the unnecessary repeats on the Memorial and Amen!)
Chadwick: Come, Holy Spirit
- (The Rev. Loring Chadwick is a staple in Cumberland. He was once rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Cumberland, as well as music director of North Cumberland Middle School. He's now reportedly serving in Florida.)
Norbet: Spirit, Come (blech! Had to be one I guess!)
"Abbot's Leigh": Lord, you give the great commission

OK, yes, I would have preferred Veni, Creator Spiritus and Veni, Sancte Spiritus, but I must say, this is far better than what was at St. Joan's 20-25 years ago! Kudos to Fr. Bourdon and Paul Breault for transforming the liturgy at that parish!


Saturday, May 30, 2009


The Carolina Cannonball posted a title BMP and Mark Shea, which is a lot more Mark Shea than it is BMP, as it tells of Mark's joining Commander Craig on a Catholic Radio 2.0 episode.

BTW, I don't get to read Mark's blog as much as I probably should. He's a fine Catholic blogger, IMHO.


That's exactly what my wife said to me last Tuesday when my rejection letter (just as I had predicted) came in from the Worcester County parish. There was no reason explained in the letter. Just a "thank you for your interview", "at this time we cannot consider you", and "best of luck" type of letter - you know, the usual BS.

I'm willing to bet that it's due to one of two people, whose names I will not mention, however I will drop a hint that it's one of two former bosses of mine (no, not my favorite pastor who had hired someone else at his parish as I had just found out - explanations for that deduction in a minute).

As Jesus said in the Passion about his betrayer: BETTER FOR HIM THAT HE HAD NEVER BEEN BORN!

As for my favorite pastor - if anything, he wrote me a very beautiful letter of recommendation last summer, and I got his OK to use it as needed quite some time ago (I can't thank him enough!). I'm still surprised he didn't call me, as he has my e-mail and my phone. I'm guessing that he probably figured I was doing OK as a Schwan's salesman. I did mention months ago that it would take a lot to get me out of there. At that time, there was already a music director, and I didn't feel right stepping on anyone's toes by saying, "by the way, I'll bite a bullet to work for you" (and I would have, for him - I can't say that for much of any other priests in this hellhole area). Not to mention, the American Guild of Organists frowns on such things.

The good thing is that my favorite pastor DID hire someone good. The guy that tipped me off about the position two days before being crushed called me a week later to tell me who they hired. It's a gentleman that I heard before - he's quite good. He ran into some real misfortune with that last pastor change in his last parish (he cut his pay big time). I really think he'll steer this parish in the right direction.

Yes, I do believe that the right parish will hire me. Hopefully it won't be posthumously.



On the RPInet message boards, one poster writes:
Oh and btw Brian..."Poncho Ladies"? That is pretty derogatory IMO.


What's seventy times seven times more derogatory is the act that said "Poncho Ladies" are performing - pretending to be women priests in the Roman Catholic Church. After all, these nutcases have to have some kind of a name. They're no longer Catholic, once they've "ordained" each other. And they need a name. "Woman Priests" just doesn't cut it, as "Woman Priests" they are not. They perform so-called "masses" (only the Mass as said by a legitimately ordained priest gets the "capital M" spelling in my book) in undisclosed locations for fear of getting their butts busted (via sharp criticism from the snarkhood, ex-communication, or heckling a la Waldorf and Statler), wearing low-quality dollar-store ponchos, blatantly neutering the Holy Name of God in all Three Persons. It's a foul, blatant mockery of the Holy Eucharist. Now I ask the poster this... WHO'S DEGRADING WHO?!


PS: They're still "Poncho Ladies"!

Friday, May 29, 2009


Well, the funeral liturgy was beautiful and the music went very well.

4-6th grade students sang at the liturgy.

The "Be Not Afraid" went quite well - accompanied/led (whichever you prefer) in a very traditional style, complete with the addition of the reeds (well, that's what they're supposed to be called, but toaster reeds are still binary codes....another story for another time).

The bulletin for the funeral included "rubrics", since we knew that quite a number of non-Catholics (and, indeed, LAPSED, lazy Catholics) would be in attendance. Some of those people were just plain rude....but I digress.

Many people went forward for Holy Communion - and crossed their arms over their chest to receive a blessing. I was surprised that this happened, but still happy about it. Heaven knows it must be a bit distressing for the priest who is distributing the Blessed Sacrament, not knowing the state of mind and heart of the non-regulars attending such liturgies. Father Glen mentioned the importance of the Sacrament, and gave a very brief talk about it (perhaps three sentences....give or take one or five). This, too, helped.

Natalia, who has been teaching music this year, served the liturgy as psalmist. She chanted Psalm 23 to tone VIII. The repeated antiphon was in Spanish, "El Senor es mi Pastor. Nada me puede faltar." (More formal Spanish, I think, than a lot of parishes do....and perhaps a different dialect as well).

Natalia, God bless her, also sang the Schubert "Ave Maria", accompanied by Josh, who plays classical guitar. They have worked together for a long time, and it was beautifully rendered.

Father Glen chanted the first section of the "In Paradisum" at the conclusion (in English), and I improvised on that tune for the remainder of the exodus.

There were a lot of people present.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pentecost at CTK, CC, TX

Just a quick listing of our music for Pentecost. I'm not sure exactly which readings are going to be used for the Vigil. We're really not doing the Vigil so much as the anticipated liturgy for Pentecost, with alternate readings. Maybe in a few years.

Prelude - Versets sur Veni, Creator, Spiritus - Jean Titelouze
Procession - Come, Holy Ghost - Lambillotte
Kyrie - Jubilate Deo
Gloria - Heritage Mass - Owen Alstott
Psalm - Tone V
Veni, Creator, Spiritus - Mode
Variations sur Veni, Creator, Spiritus - Marcel Dupre
(sung ad alternatim)
Offertory - Come, Down, O Love Divine - Down Ampney
(version with four stanzas - from Lutheran Worship --
amazingly, the stanza omitted from Catholic hymnals is one which speaks of a trait we RC's tout the most: O let holy charity...)
Sanctus/Memorial/Agnus Dei - Jubilate Deo chants
Communion - Panis Angelicus - Lambillotte tune
(at two of the Masses, this will be sung as a duet)
Recessional - On This Day the First of Days - Lubeck
Postlude - Salmo XIX - Benedetto Marcello

Complete with incense, etc.
At the recessional of the Sunday 6pm Mass, the Paschal Candle will be carried out of the nave in the procession. Although the Easter Season concludes with the Vespers (3rd?), we don't do that office, yet. (We do read Morning Prayer prior to the weekday Masses, however. Complete with a sung hymn after the opening sentence and Gloria Patri.)


Open Mouth - Insert Foot

So I was told for years that "Let it Be" by the Beatles was about good ol' marijuana..... so after a heck of a lot of "research" (I had fun checking out a bazillion sources), I read that McCartney was actually quoting from a dream he had of his mother (who had died when he was 14).... I've got to start cleaning my shoes off before opening my mouth....just in case.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tragedy on the road

The aunt of the young woman who is teaching music this year, was killed in a terrible auto accident Thursday evening. She was on her way to Kingville from Corpus, and a college prof was headed to Corpus. The prof fell asleep at the wheel, his car jumped the median and the crash happened. There is no way, looking at the car, that the woman could have survived. The family is very upset, as you can imagine.

Because the deceased woman was the aunt of our teacher, we're probably going to have the school kids present at the funeral.

More on the funeral liturgy later..... "unfortunately" one of the music requests was Be Not Afraid. Sometimes ya gotta bite the bullet. This is one I'd rather not taste.

I'll be doing my best to make sure that we sing at least one resurrection hymn.

Please keep the family in your prayers.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Woooohoooo! Brian told me I did the 2300th posting. Yeeeehawl (you ahve to say that with a Texas drawl, of course, for full enjoyment).

Paul mentioned the school Mass situation she had experienced. For most Catholic schools this is a travesty.

At our local Cathedral, evidently the school kids (perhaps all the school "choirs" - a word I use lightly here) fill the loft, with the 90+ rank pipe organ. What do you think they have for accompaniment???????


When my pastor told me this, I just went into my arrogant self-aggrandizing mode and said, "THEY can do that. WE will not! Our children will be accompanied by the organ, nothing else." Then suggested that we invite Bishop Rene Gracida, Bishop emeritus of the diocese, to come here for a special Mass. He and the emeritus are on good terms, and that suggestion may come to fruition. There are those who might think that the emeritus Bishop is arrogant, etc., but he does expect good music, support his priests, etc.

I for one, will look forward to such a celebration at our humble parish. We will have, as usual, excellent participation, excellent altar servers, excellent lectors, (hopefully by then) an excellent choir to sing something special (a choral work not by Haugan-Haas Ice Cream Co., the St. Louis Jesuits, the Daymeans, etc., but perhaps, Faure, Bach, Mozart, or Langlais, Dupre, etc.). We will have incense, high ritual celebrated with great dignity and respect for the Triune God who has created us and given us a wonderful Church, by the suffering of Jesus Christ. And we will have a great attendance, as well.

And of course, other local parishes and schools who have liberalism in all their program and liturgies, mush for thinking and ignorance of staff, trash as music, will all be strangely absent from the experience. Deo Gratias.

And, probably, Ad orientem !!!!!!!

I'll let you know - we'll video tape it and post it to the site!


School's almost out...Deo Gratias.

With only nine more days of school left, I'm not sure who will be more exuberant on the final day? The pastor and associate? The principal? The faculty? Nope. None of them. It will be THE ORGANIST!!!!!!!

Not really - it's been a short year for me! Fall 2009 will be different, though.

Tonight, we had the first ever talent show. In a school with a student body of 70 (preK-3 through grade 6), there was a very respectable showing: at least 130 (probably more) adults, and I think maybe ten-fifteen kids performing. This was new territory, and although there were grand bundles of noives running rampant (they belonged to the parents), everyone was not only civil, but totally supportive of EVERY act!!!!! Nice to see well-behaved parents. It's not always the case these days (especially in sports, which should completely bar all adults, except the coaches and refs).

One child, who has a tiny, tiny voice, opened up beautifully after the first few notes. The kindergarten kids did their two numbers (one a "recitativo" sort of presentation on some contemporary Christian piece like "what would it be like" or "what would I do..." or something like that. Their second one, was cute, though - the four girls had little cowgirl-type dance outfits, and the four boys had their little fake guitars and one fake accordian (thank goodness), and did their routine to the much loved cult hero Selena, who was from Corpus Christi, and was murdered here years ago.....dum ditty dum dum or something... but very cute, and each group got to have their moment in the limelight.

The adult end of the program featured our two young staffs - the coach, and the young lady who has valiantly been teaching music this year. The coach, a very nice young guy (complete with colourefulle tattoo of music stuff on his upper right arm) is a classical guitar student - and he never fails to bring crowds to a whisper at fever pitch. His sidekick, the music teacher, is a vocal major, and has an absolutely gorgeous voice. She sang a short recitative from a Mozart opera. I don't recall the coach's piece, but it was a show stopper - very difficult and exellently played. The Mozart was stunning. The final piece of the program had the two young adults back together, this time doing a piece I had recommended..... the Schubert Ave Maria, soprano and guitar. Coach adapted the accompaniment very well. The two have worked together for several years and the chemistry was there.

Next year it will be even better with the kids - no prerecorded music, everything more thoughtfully planned and carried out (this was done on about six weeks notice...). The pta deserves kudos for their work.

The new Kurzweil PC-2 made it's first appearance during the program.

But the best part was watching the kids eyes light up as they saw the love headed their way (hey! I had to say that, you know). It boosted their ambition to do the best possible job even though their young nerves were a bit on edge. It will be a fun year working with this group next year!!!

Oh - the winners? The judges were wise. No singers were given prizes. It was action that one, because there were far fewer mistakes, and it helped to keep things tamed down:

First prize went to a 5yr old who was a "puppet" - held by her mother. The mother asked question, and the puppet answered (silly jokes, rendered to the hilt by the girl) - her "mouth lines" were perfect, and she really got into the act.

2nd prize was a karate demo, complete with the breaking of two pieces of wood - always a winner!

The event raised about $235 from the "concession stand" - which got a surprise advertisement from a performer waiting for his next verse of "Let it Be" (can't believe a marijuana song made the cut...)

Admission was all of a dollar.

Earlier in the day, the local tv station was at Mass, recording everything - then went to the school to catch spots of things going on. All this will be reduced to a 20 second spot which will be aired numerous times over the next six weeks. Trying to build the enrollment for next year.

This is the only Catholic School in the diocese that offers a curriculum that is solid - including music, of course. Daily Mass. etc. Keep it all in your prayers, folks! I don't want to move soon. (even though it's been hot as hayull here up until Sunday night when we got our first rain in months!)


Saturday, May 16, 2009


Basically what's implied to me.

Found out two days ago from a really good friend of mine that my favorite pastor was hiring. Found out today just before 4:30 Mass that said pastor already hired someone. The ad was published in the RI Catholic two weeks ago, but apparently it was only in the hard copy version, because it sure as hell wasn't in the online version, which I had been checking daily. I had been waiting for the opportunity for quite some time, and once again - screwed! I didn't bother to sing a note during the entire Mass. Kinda hard to do when you got a lump in your throat the size of a large meatball.

Meanwhile at the church in Worcester County, I had my interview this afternoon. That went over ok (or at least it seemed to go over ok), but there were a couple of flaws: 1) the post is only paying $25K a year. Do I really want to travel 45-50 minutes one way for a measly 25 grand?, and 2) there are still several more applicants, and a decision won't be made until mid-June. From my experience with competition, I predict that I should get my rejection letter via snail-mail in about two weeks. (About a year ago, mind you, I was rejected by a priest who told me that I "make the organ sing". Thus the inner pessimism.)

I'm currently contemplating giving up trying to be a musician, as I'm just totally fed up with being told (not in so many words) that I'm just a washed-up "used-to-be".


...especially when your radio is not on

My personal van has not had a working radio for quite some time, and lately I've been hard to find a decent radio station in my company truck that doesn't play a scammercial every few minutes. But you'll be surprised what gets stuck in my head when I'm driving alone. At one time, even something like All the earth proclaim the Lord got thrown in the mix. But mainly it's been anything by Raspberries - yes, any track off any of their four studio albums from the early 70's, and some really good Brian Wilson gems that were way ahead of his time when he wrote them. I'm talking Cabinessence, Heroes and Villains, God Only Knows, Caroline, No, and Surf's Up. BTW, for those who have never heard Surf's Up, this is NOT one of their earlier beach/car/teen songs from their peak days (a la Fun Fun Fun, California Girls, and 409). This is a four-minute three-movement masterpiece that was intended for an album called Smile - the album was shelved after a while in the late 60's, until Brian Wilson himself resurrected it in 2003.

Here's Surf's Up. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Don't say Bull***t if you don't mean it

Notre Dame means it. They should call it what it is.... BULLS***. This entire issue of having the most liberal president of our late great country to not only speak there, but to receive an HONORARY degree.

To award someone an honorary degree somehow implies that there is honor for both parties: the donor, and the recipient. In this case, there is no honor. Only BULL****. Period.

Yes, some people will put away their check books and no longer donate to the damned notres. Others will only withhold funds for a short period of time and then move on.

Have you noticed that only a handful of our bishops have come out and publicly taken a stand on this issue?????? And how many do we have here?

B16 is not going to do anything if our own bishops won't. Where's the outcry from these guys? They're not supposed to use their b****, but they are supposed to at least act like they have set.

Why this rage today? Read on - note the foruth grade writing skill employed for the honorary degree. Maybe that's their tacky way of not putting the wording into ebonics (you know: I be, you be, we all be...). But not really. We know that. The only thing really good to come out of ND for years has been football, and that's not the purpose of having a Catholic institute of higher learning. Or is it?

Here's a clip from the article:
The honorary doctor of laws degree reads:
"A community organizer who honed his advocacy for the poor, the marginalized and the worker in the streets of Chicago, he now organizes a larger community, bringing to the world a renewed American dedication to diplomacy and dialogue with all nations and religions committed to human rights and the global common good.
"Through his willingness to engage with those who disagree with him and encourage people of faith to bring their beliefs to the public debate, he is inspiring this nation to heal its divisions of religion, culture, race and politics in the audacious hope for a brighter tomorrow."

So to end this rant and wrap things up with the title.... Don't say Bull**** if you don't mean it. The bishops here in the US generally don't mean anything. There are some good guys who are bishops, we know that. But the larger part of the lot is stinking full of stinking liberals who should take early retirement so that the Pope can appoint some men of valor and integrity.

So bullshit. I mean it. The honorary degree is it. Having the dufus speak there is it. To quote a brief passage from the old King James edition - "it stinketh."

This endeth.

Have a great day. Remember to have the clorox wipes out when you read about all this on the news today and in the days ahead.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


...with more than just a few screws loose!


Safety Issue My @$$! It's a Revenue Issue!

(RSCT to Fr. Erik) These idiots are now proposing a new federal tax on soda. When the hell have we seen a new federal tax on booze??? That, to me, is a hell of a lot more dangerous than soda! Oh wait! Soda IS the new booze!

This is definitely NOT a safety matter at this point. It's a revenue matter. RI and MA do the same thing with the state cigarette tax. All they're doing is duking it out to see who can have the higher tax. Though I haven't smoked in three years, I still have a problem with this tax (not to mention, you still pay the ordinary sales tax - 5% in MA, 7% in RI - on top of this tax). Cigarettes are now about eight bucks a pack up here, double what they were just nine years ago, and nineteen times what they were when I was a kid going to the store for my parents. Safety measure my behind!

RI does another similar thing with speed limits. You'd be surprised how many speed limits are far lower than what their roads are geared for. Route 117, for example, in the western part of Coventry, is geared for 50 MPH, but is posted at 35 MPH. Route 114 in Cumberland (Diamond Hill Road) was posted at 40 for almost its entire length when I was a teen growing up there. Now it's dropped to 30 (south of I-295) and 35 (north of I-295). George Bennett Highway in Pawtucket (formerly known as the East Pawtucket Industrial Highway) is posted 25. It's geared for at least 35. Yet these are the streets that are more heavily patrolled.

And how about the "Pawtucket Bridge"? This is a bridge on I-95 that crosses the Seekonk River between exits 27 and 28 in Pawtucket. It's needed extensive repairs, so they lowered the weight limit to 18 tons and imposed a $3000 fine for overweight trucks crossing this bridge. To this day, they've collected over $2 million in fines from this bridge. You'd think they'd be doing some work on the bridge at this point, but guess again! Not a thing!

Now the federalies wanna tax soda!
Safety issue my @$$!


Saturday, May 9, 2009




A-Roids (aka "Ster-rod") and Wo-Manny Ramir-roids!

A-Roids played in his first game this season after admitting his steroid use.

Ramir-roids (or Wo-manny) just got busted the other day, testing positive for a banned drug that Manny claims was prescribed by his doctor and was supposedly okay. However, the banned drug in question is a female hormone drug that is often used to cover up the steroids and/or brings one back up after a steroids crash.

Yankee nation may say, "well, at least A-Roids admitted it".
Red Sox nation is very thankful that we got rid of Ramir-roids when we did.

Any way you slice it, there you go - the two highest paid players in baseball. My theory is this: if you take a huge salary, you have room to lose a chunk of your salary to a 50-game suspension and still make enough to support me for the next 50 years.


Easter V at CTK, CC, TX

Organ: Voluntary on "Mit Freuden Zart" - Michael Burkhardt
Processional Hymn: Sing Praise to God, Who Reigns Above - Mit Freuden Zart
Psalm 22: musical setting - Stephen Ohmer
Offertory Hymn: Glory be to Jesus - Caswall
Communion Hymn: Eat This Bread - Berthier (Taize)
Post-Communion: Regina Coeli - Mode VI
Recessional: Let All Things Now Living - Ash Grove

Ordinary: Heritage Mass - Owen Alstott

Weekday Masses (M-W-R-F) we sing
1. Single stanza of an entrance hymn (proper antiphon will be sung beginning next school year).
2. Alleluia (either the "traditional" Gregorian, or O Filii et Filiae)
3. Sanctus, Memorial, Amen, Agnus Dei (this week: Heritage Mass)
4. Salve Regina during the oblation
5. Cantemos al Amor during the transfer of the Blessed Sacrament

(On Fridays, [school Mass] we sing the entire entrance hymn, and the entire closing hymn). Morning Mass at 8.05 is preceeded by Morning Prayer, beginning at 7.45)

Have a cool weekend, folks. (It's gonna be another scorcher here)


Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Fr. Richard McBrien's The Grieving Church was found in the National Catholic Distorter. Now, I've never posted on McBrien before, but after reading the article (RSCT to Fr. Z, who added his usual excellent commentary), I can't believe this guy's still a priest. But then, he's in good company with Fr. Jenkins, who himself is involved with a scandal of his own by his planning to issue the blatantly pro-abortion President of the United States with an honorary law degree.

Here's that article again, but with my snarky remarks.

I received an e-mail recently from a lay pastoral associate (watch out for those!), whose ministerial focus is on adult education and who possesses a graduate degree from a Catholic university. I have his permission to cite a portion of our exchange.

I have suppressed some of the details lest his pastor identify the source and seek to jeopardize the pastoral associate’s job (If the pastor was smart, he'd eliminate the pastoral associate's job altogether).

The e-mail came from a large suburban parish in which the pastor has apparently done everything that he can to remove most traces of the reforms initiated by the Second Vatican Council. (Watch what these so-called "reforms" are.)

The pastor has done away with all contemporary music at Mass (Where is this place? I'd be more than happy to worship there! I'm sure this pastor meant "all the garbage" that worships us, has us singing God or Christ in the first person, and set to music that would even make a deaf man cringe.), and has restored pre-conciliar devotions along with auricular confession. He even gives the impression that confession is the greatest of the sacraments. (I doubt that's the impression that he gives. More like, yes, the greatest of the sacraments is the Eucharist, but it can only be received if your sins have been absolved via confession.)

Perhaps there is some misunderstanding here because the Council of Trent, back in the 16th century, made clear that the greatest of the seven sacraments is the Eucharist.

Under the pastor’s control, the parish has no youth ministry, no parish council, nor any other consultative body. According to my correspondent, “consultative is not in his vocabulary.” He also gave vocal support to the minority of U.S. Catholic bishops who proclaimed in effect that “Catholics could burn in hell” if they voted Democratic in the recent presidential election. (See Father Z's comments.)

My correspondent reported that other members of the parish staff are hurting “terribly.” Indeed, they share the feelings of the woman who darted out of church recently during the homily – in tears. (Awwwww, the poor soul, actually getting taught the actual teachings of the Church. What's that song? "Ain't that a shame!")

She informed the pastoral associate that she could no longer handle the situation, and that she had to leave the parish. She said that all that she ever hears from the pulpit is what sinners the parishioners are, and why it is so necessary for them to “go to Confession.” (Of course. We're ALL sinners. It isn't our fault if this person's "shit doesn't stink".)

That particular Sunday, with the old-fashioned church music, all the statues covered in purple as they were before Vatican II, and the usual severe words in the homily, the pressure was simply too much for her to bear. (Oh, the pain!)

The woman poured out her frustrations, saying that the pastor had taken the parish back to a church that she knows nothing about (well it's about time she learns, eh?) and in a manner that showed no understanding of others’ feelings.

At the end of his first e-mail, my correspondent asked, “Are we expected just to get used to it?” (Watch this!)

In my reply, I wrote: “No, you are not simply to ‘get used to it’. Parishioners need to go elsewhere, like the woman who left Mass in tears.”

I continued: “If there are no parishes or other worshipping communities in the vicinity where the pastoral leadership is healthy rather than driven by a narrow ideology, then one simply has to ‘take a vacation’ from the church until the skies finally clear and we are bathed in sunlight once again.” (WTF? In all my years, and I'm mid 40's in age, I've always been taught by good and bad pastors and nuns alike that we must NEVER take a vacation from God.)

(I'll leave the rest of the article and commentary to Father Z. He's much better on the theological end than I am.)

Fr. McBrien is the Crowley-O’Brien professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. (No shit! His boss is handing out a law degree to a pro-abortion president! The two nutcases deserve each other!)

Notice that this "pastoral associate" had to write McBrien, and not his bishop, probably in fear that his bishop might actually teach, like his pastor is doing.

Fr. McBrien is also the recipient of the May 2009 WTF Award.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


RSCT to the Curt Jester, who got this from Patrick Madrid.

BTW, which translation(s) do(es) this gadget use? King James? Today's English? NRSV? RSV (Ignatius?)? NAB (oy vey)? For eight grand, I'd hope there would be options. Wait, it MUST be NAB. The high price is to cover copyright claims.



RSCT to our English friend, Damian Thompson.

Norma McCorvey, alias Jane Roe of Roe vs. Wade infamy, had this to say about Notre Damned's honoring of President Obama (excerpts from Damian's post):

"Obama is not the ideal person to speak to a young bunch of kids that are going out into the world for the first time," she told me.

"These people will have to remember that it was him who spoke at their graduation for the rest of ther natural lives. We have many in the pro-life movement that are better qualified to do this.

"I am really surprised more parents haven't pulled their kids out. I have heard that many of them will not show up this reason."

Ms. McCorvey truly turned a new leaf since the 1973 Supreme Court debacle that legalized abortion. She opened her eyes and is now about as pro-life as they come. Good for her! As for the abortion she was fighting to have, well... it's a joy to know that never happened.

Perhaps the Fighting Irish should fight the good fight and have this Fr. Jenkins character overthrown? Methinks so! After all, he's going through with this scandal on 5/17 in spite of the opposition by well over forty bishops (and growing) and millions of good Catholic faithful.



9:30 AM Mass - May 3, 2009 - 4th Sunday of Easter
St. John the Baptist Church, Pawtucket, RI

As much as I may razz Paul the organist about Massive Cremation and Come Sailing Away (We are called), much of the music at St. John's is the reason I attend there. The organ (not piano or synthesizer or guitar) is used, and a bigger chunk of the music than most is music written in good taste. And yes, Paul does read CV the BLOG, and we do often joke about some of the posts here after Mass.

Anyhoo, I got to sing some good lost 45's from the pew today...

Deiss / All the earth proclaim the Lord
(Did I ever mention, I DO like much of the late Fr. Deiss' earlier works?)
Alstott / The Lord is my shepherd
(an ok setting, but the proper is The stone rejected by the builders, Psalm 118 (117))
The Boston Celtics Alleluia (now that they finally eliminated the Bulls yesterday - YAY!)
"St. Columba" / The King of love my shepherd is
Massive Cremation
"Brother James' Air" / The living God my shepherd is
(I LOVE the tune. That said, this is the THIRD musical setting of Psalm 23 we've sung today!)
"St. Elizabeth" / Beautiful Savior (I find this hymn absolutely GORGEOUS!)

So yeah, those good lost 45's - the Deiss, "Brother James' Air", and "St. Elizabeth" (for a hymn other than God's blessing sends us forth). "St. Columba" isn't a good lost 45. However, it IS a great standard.

One of the things I mentioned to Paul after Mass was the absence of Christ is made the sure foundation in the Music Issue. It was dropped in 2005 (grrrrrr!). It would have been a nice fit with the Old Testament lesson for today!


A great homily for Good Shepherd Sunday

If I can't brag about my boss's homilies, then I might as well quit. It's the end of the school year - a really, really tough school year, with all sorts of trials and tribulations with ol' SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAtan. So for me, this homily has no surprises, except that I am totally thrilled that Father Glen preached this today.

Enjoy. An offering will be taken up right at the end, lol.

Rev. Glen Mullan The True Shepherd May 3, 2009
4th Sunday of Easter (B)
(Jn 10:11-18)
Jesus presents us with a contrast between the Good Shepherd and the Hired Hand. This is something we observe in many different contexts, but it is specially important in the life of the Church.
The shepherd is the one who has responsibility for the flock. They are in his charge; they are on his shoulders; they belong to him.
The hired hand, on the other hand, works for pay. He is under contract to do a job according to certain terms, and that’s it. In the end, the flock doesn’t belong to him, and there are certain boundaries to his commitment. Once five-o-clock comes around, his duties are over, he is free to leave, and at that point the flock is not really his concern.
In other words, though he may do a good job according his qualifications, the hired hand is there for himself, the job is means to his own well-being. So, as Jesus points out, should there ever be a situation where a wolf attacks, he is not going to sacrifice himself for the flock. He will act to protect himself instead: he will run away, and not risk getting hurt in order to protect the flock.
This situation which Jesus describes is usually the case with any business. If you are hired to work at a convenience store and a robber comes in, you will not hesitate to give him anything he wants—you are not going to risk getting hurt for the sake of that business. On the other hand, if it is your own home or livelihood, you are more likely to fight an intruder.
But Jesus is not talking about a business, he is talking about people. There are certain jobs where being a shepherd or a hired hand makes a total difference. For instance, in the job of raising children, parents know what it means to be a shepherd. The shepherd has the responsibility to lead and guide the flock, providing nourishment, discipline, stability, and safety for the children. A shepherd’s work is motivated by love.
At times, parents have to entrust their children to others: babysitters, teachers, relatives, chaperones. And parents have one question in their mind: is this person going to be a shepherd who truly cares for my child, or is this person simply a hired hand who will put his own safety ahead of my child? Parents look for those people who will take up the role of a shepherd, serving the child in love rather than looking out for self-interest.
It is a very important distinction that Jesus is makes. And of course the context he is referring to is the Church community. The Church is not a business, it a family, God’s family. Therefore, if you are working in the Church in the name of God, you cannot be a hired hand; you are a shepherd after the example of the Good Shepherd. Beginning with the bishop and priests, but including all those who teach or serve God’s people, we must have the heart of the shepherd, and not be the hired hand.
Jesus says the Good Shepherd knows his sheep and the sheep know him. This means there is a bond of love and trust between them. It doesn’t mean the human shepherd acting in the name of Jesus is 100% perfect, but it does mean that he truly loves the flock in Christ’s name, and seeks always to act for the true good of the flock, not considering his own self-interest.
This is a difficult challenge for anyone who tries to be a shepherd, whether parents, priests, or teachers. The “wolf” comes in many ways, and you have to be ready to stand up against it for love of the ones you are serving. Sometimes being the shepherd, you have to do things for the good of the family or flock that are unpopular, or cause you to be misunderstood. Sometimes your discipline and guidance cause a backlash and you have to get your own feelings hurt.
Children do not always like to be disciplined, and they can sometimes throw a fit if you try. It’s not easy being a true shepherd trying to guide the flock into the pastures where they will find peace and health. Many parents, for instance, just bribe their children with giving them what they want in order to get them to stay quiet and behave. Some parents allow their children to get away with all sorts of things, and even criticize others for trying to provide correction and discipline. In other words, sometimes the ones who are supposed to be the shepherds, can become allies of the wolf because they are neglecting the true good of their flock, allowing the flock to follow a pathway of wrongdoing and not acting to correct it because it is too much work.
It is not easy being a good shepherd, and Jesus knows that. But he gives the model to follow, and the strength to carry it out. What are some of the qualities of the Good Shepherd? Jesus was gentle and compassionate by nature; he was patient with the weak and merciful with the sinner who was trying. He ministered to the sheep who were injured and spent long hours instructing the ignorant.
But the other side of being a good shepherd is also important: Jesus was uncompromising with the stubborn, malicious, and hard-hearted. Remember how he spoke to the Pharisees and Scribes, calling them “hypocrites, blind guides, white-washed tombs full of dead men’s bones”? Remember how he told them they were not doing good, making their converts twice as fit for hell as they were?
Being a good shepherd, yes, means being gentle and compassionate. But it also means being tough and resolute with those blinded by pride and malice, and whose soul is in great danger. Above all, being a good shepherd means you are going to be politically incorrect, as Jesus was.
The worst thing in the church is when leaders are afraid to say it like it is; who worry about what people will think or who they might offend, or what difficulties the truth will cause. The worst thing in the Church is leaders who act simply as hired hands, avoiding the situations where they will have to put out their neck.
It is difficult being a true shepherd in the Church, and we need to pray for the bishops and priests, because there are tremendous pressures they face. Many bishops and priests prefer to work as hired hands: managers and administrators who want to keep everybody happy, keep peace at all costs, don’t rock the boat, never say the difficult but necessary truths that that will expose you to being maligned, hated, or crucified. (They never sued Jesus, but that was only because he didn’t have any money: they certainly did all the other things to him).
How many bishops and priests live in fear of what the wolf will do to them, and as a result they act only to placate and bribe the wolf? Anything, rather than look bad; anything, rather than incur the wrath of the media; anything, rather than make people unhappy or uncomfortable even if it is for their own good.
The wolf our shepherds face today is the same ancient enemy. Today the Devil continues to scatter and destroy the Church through the secularism of society: through a president and politicians who legalize the slaughter of unborn children; through a public educational system that indoctrinates youth in atheism, relativism, and moral indifference; through a media that glamorizes evil and promotes indecency; through a commercialism that puts greed ahead of God; through a philosophy of individualism that undermines authority and religion. And worst of all, through the disunity and scandal that happens within the Church (for instance, when a Catholic University such as Notre Dame invites and honors the wolf instead of the shepherd).
Bishops, priests, and parents face great challenges as they seek to protect their flock from the harmful influences around them. The true shepherd lays down his life for his sheep, and does not run when he sees the wolf coming. He may not even be strong enough to overcome the wolf and get torn to shreds, but the good shepherd knows he has no choice: his life is bound up with the flock, for better or for worse. He must lead, no matter the personal cost. And yet he serves freely and in this way receives his reward: “This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life freely.” May the Good Shepherd help us to follow his example.


Second Posting.....why this boundless energy????

Well, because I must truly be in a manic state.....almost three hours of sleep last night. Why, I know not..... anyway....

After our Noon Mass, guess who I met....
A husband and wife who sing - the wife has been a cantor. Why am I excited? Well, for starters, this couple (and their four young children) are very conservative. But that's not important, is it? The husband plays trombone, and KNOWS other brass players.

It's sad that I don't have any funds to pay for outside musicians to come to our parish, but have been given a word of advice from a parish musician (a great violinist): get the profs. to give credit to those students who perform publicly. May be easier said than done, but I'm going to work toward that end. Plus, with singers, the singers would get experience singing some of the vast treasury of polyphonic choral music in a liturgical setting. While we are almost entirely a Novus Ordo parish, there are times when Latin is the language of the entire Mass (sans Scripture and homily, which are in English). This could be great.

So anyway, the trombonist and the phys ed teacher (who is a classical guitar student), plus our student music teacher and the wife of the trombonist, are going to sing the Cesar Franck mini-masterpiece, Panis Angelicus. They'll be singing it twice: first on Pentecost, and then again on Corpus Christi Sunday. The Corpus Christi liturgy will be without the violins, but we might very well have a brass quartet.

To which I'd normally sing a simple amen. But since I'm hypermanic and in a good mood, and living in South Texas, will say a simple yeeeeeeeeeeehawwwwwl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The portable classroom building is now completed, so this week my office and music library will be moved from storage (thanks be to God) and put in the room (I get a complete one-half the trailer!!!). It will be nice to put my hands back on my music library again, and have a place to work.

God-willing, we hope to have the closing on our little house down the street (less than 1/10 mile!!) early next week. Which would be great, so that I don't have to shell out another $104 for the garage-sized storage unit for another 30 days.

God is good. And He's bigger in Texas. But of course, y'all.

Oh - a good friend (she and her husband are going to help with the removal of stuff) told me about her pastor's blog site. Check it out. The title of the blog is wonderful. Dagnabbit, I wish I could have done that before him.

Okay - I have to find it. Will post the link later.



Several posts for today..... the first is about the VBS (oops - sorry, I know that all of you are Roman Catholics! VBS is Vacation Bible School. Which is a fine title for THEM, because each week, most protest-ant churches only offer a snippet of Scripture, but in the Holy Mass, we are surrounded by the Holy Writ from beginning to end - AND the regular four Scripture readings during the Liturgy of the Word!!!!! So, here is the bulletin notice about our summer school this year - read and enjoy - and share it with your friends to make them jealous that they don't get to have something this wonderful....

From Christ the King Bulletin Vacation Bible School (June 8-12, 2009) -
"The Banquet of Christ"

One of the most guarded treasures and deepest mysteries of our Catholic Church lies within the Sacrament of the Eucharist where simple bread made of wheat and water transubstantiates into the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is in this event that Heaven and earth become united and we are able to partake of the banquet of Christ. Vacation Bible School 2009 will lead students through various titles of Christ which reveal Eucharistic themes before and after His coming, to prepare students for Holy Communion. There will be daily music clinics, catechesis, outdoor games, art activities, and devotions. Each day will be led by the pastor, Fr. Glen Mullan. Catechetical sessions will be taught by teachers from Christ the King School and the Religious Education Program. Music clinics will conducted by Mr. Steve Ohmer. Crowning the event will be our Eucharist Procession on the Feast of Corpus Christi, Sunday June 14th. Cost is $50.

Monday Logos Catechesis:
Lady Wisdom and Madam Folly
Game: The Banquet Table
Chapel: Litany of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Tuesday New Adam Catechesis:
The Fall & New Creation
Game: The Fruit of Sin
Chapel: Confession

WednesdayLamb of God
Catechesis: Christ the Paschal Lamb
Game: Manna in the Desert (Bring old clothes)
Chapel: Seder Meal/Last Supper

Thursday Temple
Catechesis: “The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us”
Game: Three Veils
Chapel: Instruction on the Mass

Catechesis: The Marriage Feast: Christ and the Church Game:
Capture the Bridegroom(Bring swimsuits)
Chapel: “Wedding Banquet of the Lamb”

So you can surmise that this writer will be well.... busy busy busy.... what I heard this past week sent me into the pre-tired tired mode: TWO, 35 minute sessions each day, in addition to the opening and closing liturgy in the nave.

The joys will be endless! The tired will be tired-er......
Please send wheaties and dilaudid (my drug of choice....if I were in need, which I'm not..... YET...

May your blessings be boundless. May you quickly get over your jealousy!!!


The Organ Won

By a long shot..... it was after the people sat, following the General Intercessions at Saturday Holy Mass, that the pastor announced, nicely, that after hearing the singing of the processional hymn, "the organ won." After which the congregation was "invited" (very nicely), to pick up the hymnals and sing. It didn't help matters that the hymn during the collection was "Glory Be to Jesus" (tune: Caswall/Wem in Wiedessomethingorother...they changed the tune name in The Hymnal 1982, but the good editors of the St. Michael retained the common name.)

Fortunately, after Benediction, I had begun to improvise on the tune (for about ten/twelve minutes), so after the people heard the tune announced in unison/octaves, they began to sing it, a bit timidly, but by the third stanza, were doing an admirable job at it. Of course, this means that next week, this hymn will be sung yet again. By Mass number six (next Saturday), I will have learned to play it (just a joke....).

But next week, the Sanctus and Agnus Dei settings will be changed. The "Heritage Mass" setting will be retired until after Corpus Christi Sunday, and be replaced by Mass XVIII. The memorial acclamation will be "Lord, by Your Cross...." sung to a modification of Vigiles et Sancti/Lasst uns erfreuen which I did many years ago. (The people really do sing this tune well - as a matter of fact, it was the basis for the setting of today's psalm, which the people sang very well.)

One other change that I've made is that I sing from the console with no microphone. The room is sizeable (seating is around 450), but still intimate, and my voice does carry (even when the frog jumps in when my mouth first opens at the 8am Mass). The people have been told that they must do their part, and that I will not sing for them.

I'm tempted to quote the president which many of these people voted for (and many are now repenting over their actions, I hasten to add)... "it's above my pay grade...."

Here's the run-down:
Processional: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling - Hyfrydol
Offertory: Glory Be to Jesus - Caswall
During the post-communion time: Regina Coeli
Recessional: Hail, the Day That Sees Him Rise - Llanfair
Postlude: Improvisation on Llanfair (in a set of renaissance-type variations).

There's always next week.

And yes, it is still hot here. And will be as you read this on Sunday afternoon and Monday...... but fortunately the city is enjoying a generous gift of "breezes" that have been fairly constant since October past.

May your bad day pass like gas, and allow a good wind to prevail.

Check here for more information - a fun-time from my ancient past (I remember when this recording hit the stands. We all had to have a copy of it, and change things for our choirs....)


Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Flu

I got this from several sources yesterday:

It was once said that a black man would be president when pigs flew,Well behold, 100 days into Obama's presidency swine flu...


Friday, May 1, 2009

A Great thing about Texas

This is my third "round" of living in the great state of Texas, and I'm thrilled to be here again - even farther down South than I've ever been (in the U.S.).

One of the great things about Texas is that everything is bigger. Honest. I really mean it. And please don't doubt my honesty.

My mother (age 76) is raising her 11 year old great grand-daughter, who Katie and I hope will come to visit us this summer. She was thrilled to hear that we live less than five miles from the Gulf of Mexico (we call it "the bay"). I told my great-niece that if she came to visit, she and Aunt Katie could go to the beach as often as they liked (and she was thrilled to hear it), but I felt that it was only a smart thing to warn her..... about the sharks. After all, EVERYTHING'S BIGGER IN TEXAS. Right? Agree with me here, okay?

She asked me about the sharks, and I simply stated to her the fact that Texas waters have some of the meanest and biggest sharks in the world. Oh? Yep. They're so vile that when they are swimming off shore, and see someone walking alone on the beach, that they just jump clear out of the water onto the beach, have the person as a snack, and head back to the water. I had her believing me until .... yep, not too long. Why can't she - a yankee (and I'm just about prepared to call her a DAMN YANKEE), believe her favorite great uncle (unless my brother is her favorite, and then we will have a huge family problem. Texas sized....)

The good news from the parish is that we're going to have our first Mass bulletin/leaflet this week. The bad news is that I have to get it done Friday.... but AFTER the morning prayer (7.45) and Mass (8.00), which will also include the May Crowning. This should be fun. The St. Michael Hymnal in our pews has an older version of the "Immaculate Mary" text, which includes in the first verse: "your praises we sing". (I wish it were the even OLDER text: "Immaculate Mary, our hearts are on fire.")

The baptism by fire does continue, though.....VBS, Catholic-style, will include (from 8am-Noon) an opening "service" in the nave - with music. Then, two, 35-minute music sessions....THEN the closing chapel service, which will include a hymn that we will have (endeavored) to teach the kids (grades 1 on up). Pray for the humble organist who will be begging for a padded organ bench (or padded room at week's end)!

Tonight the wonderful women who lead the music at the Spanish Mass told me that they will be out of town for Mother's Day. God will help me - that's kind of what they said - without saying it. Fortunately, the ordinary will be in Latin (except the Gloria).,

We're beginning the Latin ordinary again (they sang it during Lent), because on Corpus Christi, all the Masses will be in Latin (Novus Ordo). I think - and pray - that it's also going to be ad orientem, as well. To that bit of news, I add my not-yet-completely-formed-Texas-accent YEEEEEHAWL!!!!! Rejoice with me. Come to The Body of Christ to celebrate the Body of Christ on the Body of Christ Day.....

Please send wheaties.

And grits.

In Christ,
SteveO (Larger than ever in Texas ---- really!!)