Saturday, September 23, 2006

It must be Fashion Week on Abbey-Roads...

Actually - it's "Glamorama" week at Dayton's-Marshall Fields - oops! Macy's now. At least Macy's continued "Glamorama" - a Dayton invention carried over when they acquired Marshall Fields. (I hate Macy's - never liked the store, not even in "Miracle on 34th Street", much less in "Auntie Mame" - those are old movies for you toddlers. And professionally speaking, the NYC flagship store was never done well and couldn't hold a candle to Dayton's in it's golden age with Andrew Markopolous - I was there!)

Anyway, a co-worker whom I respect, whose sister worked for - I believe - Calvin Klein in NYC and whose mother looks like a jet-set fashionista, (Neither would endorse these designs.) approached me with the idea of selling modest fashions in our Store. He directed me to his friends website. This site and the other I will refer to both look so 1950's and dated, it's hard to imagine they would attract anyone under 70 years old.

This white dress photo is representative of the fashions they offer - made in Vietnam - by who? For how much money Kathy Lee? It looks like 'farmer in the dell' clothing. I know modest clothes are hard to come by, but I'd rather have my wife or daughter go vintage than buy clothes that look like this. These are not fashionable clothes. If a young girl or young woman were to wear these she would look like the late Queen Mother from the British Royal Family.

Anyway - there is no way we will be selling or promoting clothes like these anytime soon. We stop at chapel veils.

Another co-worker, well a couple of them, also like this site "She Maketh Herself Coverings" - the site is so lame I can't bring myself to post any photos. Looking at these sites makes me think of my friends who joined a community called Hutterite Bretheren - I always asked them, "Do you have to wear those outfits?" I mean it's bad enough that they left the Church to join a Protestant group, but the clothes...

I think some Catholics must be headed in that direction as well. They claim to be offering fashionable clothes, but fashionable when?

Well, I did it, I told my co-worker I'd at least mention the website on my blog - I deleted the name out of respect for the proprietors. (I hope he doesn't make his wife dress like this! Gosh! It's just creepy! I'm going to our Christmas party just to talk to his mother and find out what's up with him - and I'll still be able to leave before the dinner.)

"Usually one must go to a bowling alley to meet a woman of your stature." - John Gielgud, "Arthur"

The "Drive Time Divas" on 107 FM, Lori and Julia, daily at 3-6PM.

Yeah, I listen to the show - I discovered it by accident while driving home one night about a year ago. Lori sounded to me like the "Cat Lady" from a bit on KQ. I listened because it was like overhearing women's conversation in a powder room. I was curious - is that really what women talk about? (Men often want to know, since they usually can't figure out what they just said.) Sometimes it's pretty funny - LOL funny.

Niether woman is very intelligent - probably good business women, but they are not that bright. They continually mispronounce and misuse words, that are obviously "too big for them". Lori really does believe she is a diva, sort of a fashion expert. I don't know if it was Lori or Julia who sold shoes at Dayton's in Downtown St. Paul, always one of the "B" stores of the corporation. St. Paul has never been remarkable for many fashionable divas as far as I can remember. The girls are indeed very "St. Paul" so that could be another tag line for them after the John Gielgud quote. (Actually Lori is from the Duluth-Superior area - and she does like to bowl, in fact she is on a league.)

Anyway, last evening they were at "Uber Baby", a maternity store not far from my house in South Minneapolis. Lori said she was wearing a pregnant styrofoam stomach. The jokes came around to Halloween, she said she was going as a pregnant nun and Julia could be the priest who got her pregnant. The jokes got worse, as is usual. Lori's been married about 4 times before and obviously has been a pretty sexually active chick. Their conversation always devolves into the type of sexual conversation that one would be more apt to hear amongst adolescents in a locker room. I flip the station when it gets that bad. (The evening before Lori was talking about big cucumbers.)

Lori and Julia seem to be rather typical of some modern working women - not the executives, rather more the office types in their cubicals - or at least their large audience may be tempted to think they typify these types; they are pro-choice, pro-gay, pro-promiscuous, self absorbed, narcissistic - gosh, what else? Julia is the Catholic one, she went to St. Gregory's in St. Paul as a child, now however, I think she probably attends St. Ambrose in Woodbury. I'm fairly certain she does not know her faith all that well.

As you might have guessed, I'm growing weary of their mindless banter...but I'll be back now and again for a laugh on the drive home.

St. Pio

The priest with the stigmata.

I painted this icon of Padre Pio several years ago, before he had been beatified. It now resides in the exquisite "Winter Chapel" attached to the Church of St. Louis, King of France in St. Paul, Minnesota. It hangs across from the confessional. It is a chapel filled with fine art and architectural detail, so I am honored that it was chosen for the space.

I painted it one day after a vivid dream the night before, a dream that seemed more like a vision. In the dream, I was in Moscow's Red Square and entered the cathedral of St. Basil. When I looked up, the dome exploded off, and there was Padre, in the sky in this pose, blessing the world, the sky behind him all aflame, red and golden.

I never expected him to be canonized in my lifetime. It seemed only very traditional and pious Catholics continued to pay any attention to him after his death. I more or less hid my devotion lest I be considered one of these people. Priests and monks I knew were suspicious of Padre Pio, his charismata, his seemingly pre-Vatican II spirituality, as well as his chapel veiled followers. I never told anyone when I went to his tomb to venerate his relics, which was a great grace for me. Since my early childhood I had always hoped to visit him, but it was only after his death that I was able.

Then John Paul II declared this man a saint, the man other popes were suspicious of and who preferred silenced and out of the way, which his bishop and superiors did for a time. As a saint, held forth for the entire Church to venerate, he has become a figure open for all Christians to revere, with the example and witness of his life to instruct and guide the faithful in the way of holiness. He was something of a prophet, holding on to the solid traditions of the Roman Catholic faith, the very same sacred traditions being renewed in our day.

Pray for us St. Pio, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

[Prints of the icon may be obtained from Bridge Building Images.]

Friday, September 22, 2006

Andrew Warhola

Photo edited/censored
for nudity.

Did anyone but me watch the PBS documentary by Ken Burns on Andy? What a trip...down memory lane.

I have always liked his art. From the illustrations of shoes for ads, to the silk screened images of celebrities, to the films. Once in a conversation, Fr. Welzbacher told me he felt Picasso was diabolical. I never asked him about Warhol.

Watching the piece on PBS I was struck how diabolical Andy's life was. The decadence of the factory, his odd, voyeuristic sexuality, and the strange assortment of low-life personalities he gathered around him. To think I invited him to one of my parties - what does that say about me? (He told me on the phone that he couldn't make it, but would send someone if I paid their expenses.)

So what did I like about him? In the late '60's and early '70's he was iconic. He influenced marketing, art, and the 'revolution'. I have always appreciated his innovation. I also often thought he was putting everyone on - playing with society and watching everyone make a fool of themselves. He was an observer. He was a documentarian. While seeming to be the antithesis of culture and high society, he craved to be a part of it, the superstar of it all - and of course he achieved that. In fact, he invented the term superstar.

Although he never did drugs, and remained pretty much asexual, the pop star sub-culture he created was steeped in it. He documented that - hence the attraction and strange validation his admirers and fans experienced. Looking back with this documentary I was impressed with how very sad and decadent the life of Andy was. I felt 'dirty' watching it.

Yet his work (and he was a hard and prodigious worker) holds a legitimate place in the history of art. He created - and through his creations, changed a culture - or at least, contributed to it's change. He broke through barriers with an anarchist's fervor. He documented our decline into depravity and amoral behavior. He reflected the narcissism and consumerism of the culture in his art. His art did nothing to elevate the human spirit, rather it denigrated it, or more precisely, brought the superficiality and decay of our society to our attention. In the end, he achieved what he set out to do, he became famous - not for 5 or 15 minutes, but forever - or as long as art exists. His work, in my opinion, is and remains art. I still like him for what was authentic in him and his work.

Did you realize he kept his mother in a house next door to his and attended Mass on an almost daily basis? He was very complex - a trait he exploited in himself and others.

Who Knew?

Who knew about Our Lady of Lasjas in Colombia?

In Spanish las lajas means “the rocks.” This image was imprinted on the rocks of a gorge above the Guaitara River in Colombia near the border of Ecuador. It has the singular characteristic of having been painted by Angels. The image is situated inside a cave very high in the mountains, and was completely unknown until it was discovered in the mid-18th century by an Indian.

Our Lady of Las Lajas. The picture penetrates the rock miraculously. It is not painted, but mysteriously imprinted in the rock. The colors are not applied in a surface layer of paint or other material, but penetrate deep into the rock. No one knows how the work was done. Certainly it has no natural geological cause. I have never heard of any case where nature reproduced human faces with such perfection.

The image represents a noble Lady from an uncertain period, most probably 16th- or 17th- century Spain. How such a picture came to be in that cave unnoticed by anyone remains a mystery. These circumstances seem to indicate that it is an akeropita image – akeropita in Greek means not made by human hands, id est, painted by the Angels. How can the beauty of this image be described? I will comment on two aspects: the colors and the persons. (Read on here.)

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Las Lajas was built high in mountains of Colombia. The Sanctuary entrance, which leads to the cave with the miraculous image of Our Lady of Las Lajas.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Let It Be

My all time favorite album, the anthem for my life, as it were - Abbey Road - hence the name of the blog. If you ever saw my painting of the same title and understood it with the 'soundtrack' of Abbey Road - you would pretty much know me. Although you would also have to include cuts from other albums, such as Let It Be to understand it all. On second thought - you would be really confused.

At any rate, I am so busy at work that I'm not able to devote much time to blogging. I'm also in a "so what?" kind of mood. Hence "let it be" comes to mind. I'm on a break, so blogging will be light.

However, I'm having fun digging up stuff for our "Faithful Facts" spot on our new website at work. We need a new name for it because it will be more than just facts. Plus the new blog for Leaflet needs some design and I don't know if our experts know that. The 'Facts' page should be good though - if they download it correctly.

Two people at work had comments about the Brother Roger post - they don't understand why things developed as they did in his life while no one bothered to clarify his union with the Church. I thought, why does everything have to be a controversy? "So what?" I said. "Let it be."

I'm kind of burnt.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Roger of Taize


Brother Roger of Taize was murdered by an insane woman not long after Pope John Paul II's death. A mild controversy arose at the Pope's funeral when Brother Roger received Holy Communion at the funeral Mass from none other than Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI. Though a public action, I assumed there must have been some understanding or dispensation to allow a Protestant monk to communicate. It later turned out, after Roger's death, that he had, quite awhile back, come into union with the Roman Catholic Church.

That news was not surprising to me since the religious of Taize, though Protestant, seem to be very close to the Catholic Church, which is apparent by their embrace of monastic life. Brother Roger was undoubtedly a man of deep prayer and spirituality. After his death Pope Benedict spoke of him as being in heaven.

Catholic News has an article clarifying the nature of his entering into communion with the Catholic Church. His confreres at Taize insist it was not a conversion, but an entering into union with the Church, therefore he had no need of repudiating his Protestant heritage. Here is a portion of that article:

"The ecumenical Community of Taize issued a statement last week denying its founder, the late Brother Roger Schutz, underwent a “conversion” to the Catholic faith, saying instead he entered “progressively into a full communion with the faith of the Catholic Church without a ‘conversion’ that would imply a break with his origins.”

The statement denies a story in the French newspaper “Le Monde,” which the Taize Community said was based on a rumor spread “by Catholic traditionalist circles” and that “misrepresents his true intentions and defames his memory.”

The Taize leaders point out that the Bishop Emeritus of Autun, Raymond Seguy, has clarified his statements to Le Monde, telling France Presse: "I did not say that Brother Roger abjured Protestantism, but he showed that he subscribed fully to the Catholic faith."

“From a Protestant background, Brother Roger undertook a step that was without precedent since the Reformation: entering progressively into a full communion with the faith of the Catholic Church without a ‘conversion’ that would imply a break with his origins,” the statement notes.

It goes on to explain that in 1972, “the bishop of Autun at the time, Armand Le Bourgeois, simply gave him Communion for the first time, without requiring any other profession of faith from him besides the creed recited during the Eucharist, which is held in common by all Christians. Several witnesses were present and can attest to this.” [snip] "Taize leaders deny “conversion” of Brother Roger to Catholic faith" CNA

This news in itself will renew the controversy surrounding Roger, yet it explains why the monk of Taize was able to receive Communion at the Holy Father's funeral. His union with Rome may have been kept quiet for pastoral reasons, known only to those involved. It is my understanding that dispensations and special circumstances allow for many things in the Church, hence the union of Br. Roger of Taize with Rome may have been considered private. Despite the fact one's profession of faith is a public witness. It's another difficulty to understand, isn't it? Then again, it could be his brothers at Taize were not pleased with Roger's choice and seek to downplay the union with Rome thing. Perhaps it is better left to heaven to figure out.

"Who do people say that I am?"

Jesus asked his disciples this question, while it continues to reverberate throughout the ages and comes down to each individual soul to answer. Jesus knew what people thought of him, he knows what people think of him. He was calling forth a confession of faith, he was calling those who believed in him to be confessors. In the first reading for Mass this morning Paul discusses the various parts of the mystical body of Christ; Apostles, prophets, teachers, and so on. Ultimately all are called to be confessors.

Immediately upon waking this morning Our Lord's words echoed in my heart, "Who do people say I am?" I recalled the words scrawled upon that defaced picture of Pope Benedict XVI calling Christ a "monkey upon a cross." As a Catholic I felt a sharp pain in my soul, that Jesus is yet mocked and rejected. I think it was a grace I experienced, feeling perhaps the pain that love is not loved. I felt no anger, no need to retaliate, no desire for Catholics to riot and threaten extermination of Muslims, nor any desire to deface an image of Mohammad, not even the most remote desire to burn a mosque or spit upon the next Islamic women I see all wrapped up in a burka.

Neither did I feel any need or desire to dialogue or debate the tenets of opposing views of religious belief. Instead I silently gazed upon an image of the Holy Face this morning. It seems to me that the Church has long been experiencing the passion of it's Master, and now she is mounting the hill of crucifixion, amidst the crowds clamoring for her execution. It is the terrifying and purifying dark night of the soul, or so it seems to me. It is almost overwhelmingly sad that love is not loved.

I don't want the Holy Father to go to Turkey in November, but I suspect he will. Perhaps he will be safe, perhaps not. If he goes, I shall be reminded of St. Ignatius of Antioch, who, fearless of the martyrdom that awaited him in Rome, protested to those who would attempt to stop him and prevent his going, to leave him free to make the journey. He wrote, to paraphrase his own words, asking that they 'not stand in the way of his martyrdom, that he might be ground by the teeth of lions, such as the wheat prepared for the Eucharist.' (Another of my 'free-base' quotes.)

From now on, we all must be confessors of Jesus Christ. Pray for the Holy Father.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Also on September 19 - The Feast of Our Lady of La Salette

An approved apparition with spurious secrets...

There are supposedly secrets from this apparition that foretell incredible and apocalyptic scenarios of doom - that many conspiracy theorists believe to be true and currently developing in our times. None of these can be authenticated. Conspiracy theorists and apocalypse enthusiasts promulgate the unauthenticated secrets. The seers themselves have a morbid atmosphere surrounding their lives. There is little to attract me to these strange events.

Websites such as Michael Brown's "Spirit Daily" often quote from the unofficial secrets. The entire event is obscured nowadays by unsubstantiated purported revelations concerning the original apparitions. The apparitions seemed to concern France in a particular manner, with an extension to the entire world.

Nevertheless the events at La Salette have been surrounded by controversy since, especially because of questions concerning the veracity and stability of one of the seers, Melanie. (It should be noted that a secret was given to Pius IX but it was never revealed to the public, although a secret has been retrieved from the Vatican archives in the past decade. That said, the older sensational version of the secret, reported as being the same one given to the Pope, carries no verifiable credence. Go here for an excerpt from that secret, it has been around for so many decades, many think it is official.)

Church approval of the apparitions has nonetheless been granted, as well as devotion to the Virgin of La Salette.

Go here and here for a factual account of the apparitions. Then go here for what seem to be official statements refuting the veracity of the later secret. Finally, go here for the text of the secret released by the Vatican archives and published by Rene Laurentin, once again it differs from the others in circulation. It is all very confusing to say the least.

You make my blood boil!

The feast of St. Januarius.

Always a fun event in Naples - people flock there to see if the saint's blood liquefies. It is hard for non-'Napolidons' to understand. If the blood liquefies miraculously, then no disasters are in the offing - if it does not liquefy, watch out.

Today it is more restrained in the Cathedral and people applaud when the 'miraculo' occurrs. In times past it could get rather dicey. St. John Joseph of the Cross once lost his cane in the crowd, but miraculously called it back across the Cathedral, to the great excitement of those gathered. (Eat your heart out Harry Potter!)

[A little anecdote, my friend's 'pazzi' mother, who was my brother's mother-in-law, used to tell people "va Napola!" when she was angry, this was a substitute for telling them to "go to hell". Matter of fact, my friend Roberto's parents said the same thing - I guess you didn't have to confess that. I even used it somewhat successfully when I was in the monastery. It's all in the vocal inflection, the tone, to totally devastate the person you're pissed at. At any rate, it just goes to show you Napoli is not exactly a paradise.]

You have to understand that people from this region of Italy are a little excitable. I grew up in an Italian neighborhood populated with people from Benevento. These are the Italians that are often stereotyped. They are very colorful.

It's a fun day in Napoli, just watch your pocketbook if you visit.

Oh! And the Saint? Bishop and martyr - see, he was beheaded - not by Muslims though. (Brief biography on Wikipedia.)

Non-Catholics have trouble understanding relics of saints - I don't at all - but I do wonder about the blood boiling thing. I really do believe it's most likely a miracle, but I don't grasp the point of it. I would have liked to see John Joseph's cane floating over everyone's head though. It just proves that Catholics are pretty fun people, and God has a sense of humor. Since He is supposedly the same God as Allah, maybe He will give Muslims a sense of humor for Christmas.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

My Space - or is it?

A note of caution to bloggers.

We all know about and how predators prey on unsuspecting kids. What about adults?

I have a friend, not religious at all, who responded to an ad for a horoscope. (Why? I have no idea - but people do look for spirituality in the strangest places.) He of course had to give out his birthday, place of birth, full name and current address. He did. Now he is being billed for multiple readings that he never requested and is fighting it out with a collection agency. Nevertheless, he gave out very personal information - information that could easily lead to identity theft.

I also got an email from a suspicious person - with whom I am only acquainted - in the form of a 'meme'. Bloggers know all about this stuff, right? This particular 'meme' wanted to know things like, "Name five places you have lived before this address." Along with other leading questions. A red flag went up. What if this person was trying to get personal information about me, or worse, trying to steal my identity? (Lest I sound totally nuts I should explain this person in question has a reputation of dishonesty - or so I am told. He also does not blog - he sent the 'meme' via email. It was wierd.)

I thought about my blogging as well as my profile on the blog - do I reveal too much? (I might sometimes about others.)

Perhaps it is paranoid to worry about such things, yet in our day and age, one cannot be too careful. I think it best to err on the side of caution- or at least be aware. Be careful about how much personal information you give away, there may be an identity thief lurking. I'm told all it takes is a full name, birth date, and current or past address.

18 September; St. Joseph of Cupertino

Today is the feast day of one of my favorite saints, Joseph of Cupertino, Franciscan priest and mystic.

When I lived in Assisi I was permitted to make an 8 day retreat in the solitude of his newly renovated apartments at the Sacred Convent. It was in these apartments that St. Joseph had been 'imprisoned' because of the extraordinary mystical phenomena that surrounded him. He was kept in solitude to keep him away from the curious who flocked to him because of the gift of levitation, for which he is best known. I had a friar who acted as my 'Martha" in the solitude of my retreat, bringing me food and drink and celebrating Mass for me in the saint's oratory. It was a memorable experience for my life. Immediately afterwards, on the feast of the Stigmata, I was professed in the third order of St. Francis at the tomb of our Holy Father in the crypt of the Basilica.

Presented is a brief biography of St. Joseph:

"St. Joseph of Cupertino in prayer, he was called "the Flying Friar" because of his frequent levitations St. Joseph of Cupertino (1603-1668) was an Italian mystic whose life is a wonderful combination of a complete lack of natural capacity and an extraordinary supernatural efficiency.

He lacked every natural gift. He was incapable of passing a test, maintaining a conversation, taking care of a house, or even touching a dish without breaking it. He was called Brother Ass by his companions in the monastery.

He was born on June 17, 1603 into a family of poor artisans. Because of his father?s debts, he was born in a shed behind the house, which was in the hands of bailiffs. He was sickly and often at death?s door during his childhood, and at age seven he developed a gangrenous ulcer which was later cured by a religious man. He was always despised by his companions who called him a fool. Even his mother wearied of him and repudiated him for his lack of any human value. Later, when he entered the religious life, he faced worse difficulties. The Capuchins received him as a lay brother but his ineptitude and abstraction made him unbearable for the other religious. Often he was taken in ecstasy and, oblivious of what he was doing, he would drop the food or break the dishes and trays. As a penance, bits of broken plates were fastened to his habit as a humiliation and reminder not to do the same again. But he could not change. He could not even be trusted with serving the bread because he would forget the difference between the white and brown breads. Finally, considering that he was good for nothing, the religious took his habit and expelled him from the monastery.

Later, he declared that having the habit taken from him was the greatest suffering of his life and that it was as if his skin had been torn from his body. When he left the monastery he had lost part of his lay clothes. He was without a hat, boots, or stockings, and his coat was moth-eaten and worn. He presented such a sorry sight that when he passed a stable down the lane, dogs rushed out on him and tore his apparel to worse tatters. He escaped and continued along the road, but soon came upon some shepherds, who thought he was a miscreant and were about to give him a beating, when one of their number had pity on him and persuaded them to let him go free." [snip] Read the conclusion here.

St. Joseph of Cupertino pray for me for the grace of conversion; and pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

An apology without guile...

And no 'spin'.

Today Holy Father did indeed apologize for offending Muslim sensibilities; that after the Vatican and every other intelligent source clearly stated his speech was in opposition to violence, especially religiously motivated violence, or jihad, and not against Islam.

He humbly apologized without taking back what he said, which ought to be considered within the context of his speech.

This was clear from the beginning, although media and Muslim leaders exploited the one sensational comment in his speech, rather, I should say, it was not at all sensational, albeit sensationalized. Resulting in this distorted image of the Holy Father, churches burned, a nun killed, the Holy Father burned in effigy, and demands for the Pope's death, as well as calling for attacks upon the Vatican. All by the people of the religion of peace, so misunderstood by the western world.

This is the translation of the writing on the profaned image of the Pope:

The script in red calls for the Pope’s beheading. The rest of the translation:

"Swine and servant of the cross, worships a monkey on a cross, hateful evil man, stoned Satan, may Allah curse him, blood-sucking vampire." (Thanks to Z)

Islam denies that Jesus is God, they say he was a prophet, like Mohamed - yet they venerate Mohamed as greater than Jesus Christ. The 'religion' is anti-Christian in its very essence. From the time of Mohamed they have won converts by the sword, those they did not kill became slaves. Today In Darfur Christians are being killed and deprived of their homeland by an Islamic government. Christians around the Muslim world have been consistently persecuted up to our own day. Bin Laden and his thugs want the west, the entire world, to convert to Islam. In WWII Islam was an ally to Hitler. Where do they get off claiming to be offended while insisting they are a religion of peace?

Nevertheless, they have a long memory - I believe they are out to reclaim whatever they lost in medieval times - they will use the Pope's words as a battle cry for years to come. They will exploit every irrational angle they can to retaliate and yet justify their crimes by blaming it on some Dutch cartoons, and the innocent words of an intellectual Pope.

One blogger suggested that people are over-reacting, feeding paranoia and dissension by speculating that further, and perhaps more disastrous violence will occur as a result of what the Holy Father said and how Islam will distort his words and use them to their advantage. I don't think it's an unreasonable assumption to expect escalation of violence and terror as a result. What must be made clear however, the Holy Father did not start it - Islamic leaders are simply 'cashing in' if you will.

Some of us who are 'older' remember the chant from the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, as well as Kent State, "The whole world is watching!" That is happening today, the whole world is watching this cultural idiocy of Islamic over-reaction, unreasonableness, and hyper-sensitivity. It's absolutely incredible to behold.

St. Agnes


After a rough, tiring week at work I was actually able to resume my Sunday schedule of vigils and attending the 1st Mass at 6:30AM at St. Agnes. Not that it has been so long that I attend this Mass, but I have been sleeping in until 4:30AM and not spending enough time in prayer before my trek over there. (The main reason I don't go to St. Augustine's for the trid Mass is because it is so late in the day, 11:30AM.)

Anyway, Fr. Ubel wrote a nice farewell of sorts, in today's bulletin, to Fr. Welzbacher. Surprising to most who know me, he was the real draw for me to St. Agnes. His homilies were fantastic, and his Pastor's Page brilliant, and he is a great confessor. He's a very sophisticated man, intellectual, and even rather suave, always dapper in his hats and hunter green plaid lined outerwear. Yet he is deeply spiritual and charitable as well, always a priest, often a mentor to others. Not me of course, I only have made his acquaintance. Nevertheless, I shall miss him. He will be at St. John's on the Eastside of St. Paul after a couple of weeks off. That was my parish when I was little - I made my first Communion there when Fr. Decourcey was pastor, and his assistant was a Fr. Roach - not the Roach however. I don't want to go back there - I have never liked the Eastside.

So there are just small changes appearing at St. Agnes. They will come in bits and drabs, slowly and reasonably, as is normal for a parish in transition. The first I noticed is that the bells are not tolled in the wee hours on Sunday, although I heard them on Saturday at 8AM, so they work. The second, Fr. Ubel announced the cancellation of the 5:15PM Mass on Tuesdays and Thursdays because there is now only two resident priests at the church. However they will continue to have the evening Mass on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, while retaining the daily 6AM and 8AM every day. That is good.

The other thing I noticed is that the Masses are not as long. I like it because it affords me a longer period of thanksgiving after Mass.

The only thing I don't like is the priests are younger than me now. I don't like being an old man. Monsignor made everyone feel young. Oh well.