Monday, July 27, 2009


from the Catholic Cartoon Master!

Paul Nichols gives us two great cartoons that hit home in my experience.

I agree - a chainsaw might just be better. This reminds me of my year-long stay at the "Roundhouse" in Warwick. The pastor wanted me to "turn things around", but would shoot down every idea of mine the minute I try to implement something. I would ask, "well, do you want these things done or not?" He'd say, "you have to do it slowly, Brian". Slowly, in many cases, is too slow. It was very very very hard for me to refrain (don't ask me how I managed) from using the old saying both of my parents would say, "well, come on now; shit or get off the pot!" Yeah, better get the chainsaw.

This, too, hits home, bringing me back to St. Patrick's, where the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion said to me "I'm sorry, I can only give it in the hand". The pastor at this church, instead of going to the center aisle like most celebrants do, wandered off to the side aisle so that the "extraordinarily extraordinary" ministers can take center stage.
In another instance, when my kids made their first Communion, they were taught only how to receive in the hand, ignoring the tongue idea like it wasn't even an option. I just happened to be at the rehearsal the day before to see this going on. After the rehearsal, I would teach my kids the proper way to receive Jesus on the tongue. Someone's gotta teach'em. The CCD nutcases at this now-closed parish sure as hell didn't.


Sunday, July 26, 2009


Ordinary Form - Sunday XVIII - August 2, 2009
St. John the Baptist Church, Pawtucket, RI

"Hyfrydol" - Alleluia! sing to Jesus
Alstott - The Lord gave them bread / Alleluia (both from Respond and Acclaim)
B. Hurd - Ubi caritas
- (Some of our regular CV readers may be asking "Why Hurd's Ubi and not the Chant Ubi?" Two reasons - 1) the people at St. John's know this piece quite well, and 2) This is by far one of Bob Hurd's best works - the other is "Missa Ubi Caritas", which is adapted from his own Ubi AND the chant Ubi. Seriously, I have to give credit where credit is due. This is nothing like his schlocky "Taste and See" or "Mass of Glory". Even in this recording from OCP, the ORGAN, not the piano or guitar, is used. Will this be the permanant trend in Hurd's future works? I hope so!)
Vermulst - Sanctus and Agnus Dei from People's Mass
Danish - Christ has died and Amen
C. Franck - Panis angelicus
"Nun Danket" - Now thank we all our God


Sunday, July 19, 2009


Paul Martin, organist at St. John the Baptist Church, Pawtucket, RI, and good friend, died early this morning, most likely of heart failure (he's had heart problems on and off for quite some time). According to the parish cantor, Elaine, Paul was 58, though I could have sworn that he had told me once a few months back that he had just hit 60.

Paul was the organist I filled in for yesterday and today, and I will be playing at least the English Masses until the pastor has decided what to do for a permanent music director. Paul worked with the English and Spanish Masses, and was able to play and sing the music in Spanish, although he reportedly was not able to hold a conversation in Spanish. Fr. Jerry Harbour (the pastor) will be looking for someone to do the same, obviously.

In the meantime, I will be seeking some help with Spanish Mass music. (Hint hint, SteveO). The current hymnal en espaƱol's pew edition has only the texts, no music. I'm thinking it might be an early edition of "Flor y Canto". I'm not sure. Fr. Harbour said that he would ship me whatever material that Paul had. I also told Father that though I'm working 60 hours a week currently, I am looking to change that. As you can tell, YES, I am applying for a job.

Here is the music list for the Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, for the Masses in English. I would have stuck with Paul's list in his honor, had he written one up, but he didn't. So, the cantor and I got together during the homily to pick the music for next week. She checked off selections from the "Today's Liturgy" book that she was familiar with. I'm biting a bullet with one (and only one) piece so that I'm not flinging anything new on her (I'm not the music director - yet!).

For the beauty of the earth (Dix)
The hand of the Lord feeds us and Alleluia (Alstott, from Respond and Acclaim)
You satisfy the hungry heart (Bicentennial)
Sanctus and Agnus Dei (Vermulst, from People's Mass)
Christ has died and Amen (Danish tone)
One bread, one body (Foley) (the one bullet I'm biting)
- (Side note: This song has also been hilariously titled One bed, one body, One Ken, one Barbie, and One Fred, one Barney.)
For the fruits of this creation (Ar hyd y nos)
- (I love this tune, though I've never gotten to use it much.)


Thursday, July 16, 2009

SETS EXCELLENT EXAMPLE... proper placing of the Tabernacle!

News on the document from Shawn Tribe at NLM. No more playing hide and seek with the Eucharist! Good for Bishop D'Arcy and pals!

The preface...

The place of the tabernacle in our church should reflect our faith in the real presence of Christ, and should always be guided by Church documents.

My experience is that our people, with their instinct of faith, have always desired that the tabernacle be central and visible. They find it confusing when the tabernacle in their churches is not visible, and if possible, central.

The norms (excerpt)...

4. In the Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend, the Bishop has judged that the tabernacle is normally to be prominently located in the sanctuary of the church, along the central axis behind the main altar. Under this arrangement, the tabernacle should be at an elevated, open location in the apse area, or in another central place in the sanctuary that is equally conspicuous. Where a high altar with a tabernacle remains in place, it is appropriate to continue using this noble structure for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament.

5. This prescription is to be observed in all future construction or restoration projects involving places of sacred worship (including all churches, oratories, and private chapels) in the Diocese.

I was very elated to see the use of the high altar encouraged here, in an age where many nutcases thought that Vatican II wanted high altars and altar rails torn down.

Of the many examples of proper Tabernacle placement, Holy Ghost Church, where I was once music director, is shown. As bitter as I am toward the pastor for sacking me a week before Thanksgiving 2007, I have to give credit where credit is due. He has done a great job turning this modern edifice (late 1980's-built, and typical of that time, sadly) into a very respectable looking church. (Holy Ghost is on right.)

Jesus finally gets his rightful place at the center of attention at the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese. Any other dioceses wanna follow suit?



Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time - July 18-19, 2009
St. John the Baptist Church, Pawtucket, RI

For the first time since last November, I'm finally doing some substitute work at the organ this weekend. This time, at my old standby, St. John the Baptist. In the meantime, my prayers to Paul Martin (the music director/organist) as he just came back from the hospital and is recovering from illness. Paul called me up last night and it was great to find out he's home.

Anyhoo, here's the music list, as agreed upon by both of us...

Entrance hymn is I heard the voice of Jesus say ("Kingsfold")
The Psalm is The Lord is my shepherd (with the verses read for the summer), and the Alleluia, both from Respond and Acclaim (I'll be using a Psalm tone for the Alleluia verse and not that sing-songy pseudo-chant this book has.)
Offertory is The King of love my Shepherd is ("St. Columba")
Sanctus and Agnus are from People's Mass by Jan Vermulst
Memorial acclamation and Amen are the Danish tone
Communion hymn is You satisfy the hungry heart ("Bicentennial")
Finally, the recessional is The Church's one foundation ("Aurelia")

Click here for pics of the church, and the III/31 organ from Compagnie l'Orgues Canadiennes (a company founded by a former employee of Casavant Freres) that I'll be playing on.


Sunday, July 12, 2009


This really cool comparison is brought to you courtesy of the Catholic Caveman.

A living parish has The Eucharistic Christ in the Tabernacle as the central focus.
A dying parish has a man as the central focus.

A living parish welcomes the sound of crying infants as a sign that the parish is growing.
A dying parish welcomes the din of mindless twaddle concerning Aunt Suzie's recipe for Pineapple Upsidedown Cake and other such drivel, before, during and after Mass as a sign that the parish is welcoming.

A living parish has a pastor that takes In Persona Christi seriously.
A dying parish considers it both the priest and the laity who consecrate the Eucharist.

A living parish reminds the Faithful of the reality of sin and hell.
A dying parish never mentions sin and hell.

A living parish recognizes The Eucharist as the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.
A dying parish looks upon The Eucharist as no different than take-out at a fast food drive thru.

A living parish speaks of the deeds and travels Christ, the Apostles and other Holy Personages.
A dying parish speaks of the deeds and travels of the parish priest and other select members of his entourage.

A living parish understand that we must inextricably link our secular leaders positions with our Catholic Faith.
A dying parish not only fail to link the two, but often embrace those who refute the Known Truth.

A living parish mentions the collection in the bulletin as a matter of public record.
A dying parish consistently refers to catch phrases such as "tithing community" and "stewardship" in the bulletin, parish announcements and sermon.

A living parish understands that silent prayer is active participation.
A dying parish confuses motion with progress.

A living parish has the Eucharist binding the Faithful.
A dying parish holds hands to bind the Faithful.

A living parish doesn't need to remind anyone of the Seven Sacraments.
A dying parish rarely mentions any of the Sacraments, and when they do it's usually by accident.

A living parish says "Lord, I am not worthy."
A dying parish says "Here I am, Lord."


Friday, July 10, 2009

Tales of the Meandering Mind (Mind? WHAT Mind?)

Well, for nearly two weeks now, the boss (a.k.a. Father Glen, Pastor), has taken a vacation. It's about time, too, since he is on the go seven days a week, with rarely a break for good behavior. Since he was away, my ticker decided to take a bit of a break, as well, and that landed me in the hospital. I don't recommend the food..... now released from captivity, it's time to get working more diligently on the year to come, and what a year it's going to be! I may have to schedule my days off, too, instead of having a regular day....but that's gonna be a tough one. (My incarceration did manage to get Katie home!!! Yeeehaw). She'll leave again in about three weeks, for her dad's 93rd birthday.

Until then, we have to deal with real life, including the impending death of our beloved 16 year-old Guinivere...the cat. She's been in our lives (furniture, drawers, clothing, closets, etc.) since she was a kitten. I'd add her picture here, but don't know how (Brian, m'friend???) Prayers for all concerned are requested.

In the meantime, here's the lowdown for CTK in CC TX this week:

Entrance: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty - Lobe den Herren
Psalm 85: refrain loosely based on the tune Graefenburg
Alleluia: A. Gregory Murray, SJ
Offertory: How Lovely is Thy Dwelling-Place - Brother James's Air
Communion Antiphon: Tone VIII
Recessional: Holy God, We Praise Thy Name - Grosser Gott
Organ: Toccata on Grosser Gott - Flor Peeters

Perhaps I should have played Flor Peeters' music last week: He was born, and died, on July 4. Now that's patriotism.....even if he was Flemish/Belgian/Dutch....whatever. His time as cathedral organist at Mechelen spanned 63 years. A side note: Flor Peeters' organ instruction book was my first serious organ method, and I've used pieces from that collection over the past 42 years...some of them were just a variation by a great composer, and playing those led me to the complete set, and to other great composers. Peeters studied with Jean-Jacque Lemmens, who had ties with Cesar Franck, who had ties with Marcel Dupre, who taught Laurence Hedgpeth (+), who taught me. The apple falls far from the tree, when it comes to sheer talent!

For those who follow the Spanish music, here's our list....
Vienen Con Alegria
Bendito Seas Tu, Senor
Pescador de Hombres
Amor es Vida.

The Hispanic musicians had met Caesario Gabrain, who taught them the pescador song. Oddly enough, I worked with a priest who was one of Gabrain's classmates. I never got to meet him, but hear that he was a kind priest. Amazing, isn't it, the circles into which we are drawn?

Which is better than the corners I've sometimes painted myself in!!

Have a blasted weekend.... I mean a blast of a weekend.......


Monday, July 6, 2009

You heard it here FIRST but not on TV!!!

This past Tuesday (almost a week ago!!!), I was released from my captivity at the nearby hospital....seems congestive heart failure patients have it a bit rougher here in CC during late June, July, August and some of September..... oh well, I've lost about 15 pounds, and I'll be behaving a bit more now....

Anyway on to the news.

In total agreement with Brian's post about celebrity deaths. Now that the infatuation with Whacko Jacko's death is departing, the post mortem of the media coverage is beginning.... and there are those who are socking it to the media. Thanks be to God.

With regards to the lovely adultress Farah Fawcett... well, what can you say? As my beloved wife tells me, adultery is adultery.... we can hope and pray that she found her way back to Holy Mother the Church, prior to her departing this plane of existence. We can hope and pray, as well, that all this might have moved the heart, mind and soul of Ryan O'Neal, to come to the Church - to come to Jesus. We might have hoped that the media coverage would at least call the farewell at Mahoney's Baloney factory a Mass of Christian Burial, but that doesn't seem to have happened. But they say the music (of which there was much) was uplifting and inspiring. What did it uplift and inspire?????? I've emailed Frank Brownstead, the music director, for information on the Mass and the music. Mr. Brownstead evidently directed the chir at Coshocton (OH) Presbyterian Church many years ago. That is my mother's home church. They have a wonderful Taylor-Boody tracker organ there - gorgeous instrument. I digress.... as usual.

Our current next door neighbor (we are moving next week - to a more lively neighborhood) has lived in his house all his life - 61 years. Three or four houses toward the church where I'm privileged to serve (Christ the King), is the home of the little Farrah Fawcett. Although it wasn't mentioned in the national media, Ms. Fawcett attended Mass at CTK, and Kindergarten. Possibly first grade, but I've not been interested in checking that out. The media, of course, has been more than willing to give a lot of coverage to the other parish which she attended. I'm not terribly upset about that. No one wants to know that a beautiful young woman, who was much loved by her friends here in the neighborhood, who grew up and headed west to try her hand in acting, commit adultery, pose for certain magazines, and become a sex-symbol, would have at one time been a curious little Roman Catholic girl in the neighborhood. The 'hood was much nicer back then. I guess we'll not be getting $100,000 for a memorial pipe organ. Too bad. It could be used as an instrument of prayer to help her soul make its way from purgatory to the throne of Grace. Please don't think me bitter. I'm not. My hope and prayer is that the rosary in Ms. Fawcett's hands was not used as a good luck charm, and that it rallied strong memories of a faith that might have been ignored for many years. May she rest in peace.

God's blessings to all of y'all'uns. Right now, dadgummit.


Sunday, July 5, 2009


...and the only one you hear about is Michael Jackson.

One would think Ed McMahon would get more glory here. Far more experienced in entertainment - renowned game show host and faithful sidekick to the beloved Johnny Carson -, and far more morally straight! The man knew where it was at.

Billy Mays, with his ultimate sales pitches, could sell you a mosquito! He'd make a KILLER Schwan's salesman!

Then there's Farrah Fawcett, who just about all the guys in my grade school classes had a crush on.

Michael Jackson, sorry to say, never impressed me. Though I never wish death or unfortunate consequences on anyone, not even my worst enemy, I have to say that his was the only death I did not mourn. Yet his is the only death I hear about lately. I will forego passing judgement on his pedophilia trial from 2005.

What's fair is fair. God will deal with such issues as he sees fit.

I close this post with Ed McMahon and Johnny Carson in one of my favorite late night skits, Carnac the Magnificent.