Friday, January 12, 2007

My Dinner With...Mr. Hastreiter

Actually, we've never been out to dinner. John Hastreiter is our Church Goods director at the Company I work for. We just have our talks.
When I began working at Leaflet, I already knew John as a customer shopping in his Store - at that time he was just starting the Church Goods dimension of the business. It has grown under his direction - and with his vision - dramatically so.
He's a very bright man, sophisticated as well as traditionally Roman Catholic - not a trad - he attends the Mass of Paul VI when he has to do so, yet prefers the traditional Mass. He is an invaluable resource for our Company. An incredibly astute young man. He has the ear of many seminarians and priests, and he listens to them as well. He knows his theology, and liturgy. He is very balanced, and I dare say, rather holy and spiritually mature. He's mellowed over the years, without compromising his values in the least. (Being a husband and a dad will do that for a guy.)
John is married with three beautiful children. His lovely wife is the"heiress" to the Matt family. (I'm kidding - she's not an heiress, but she is a Matt. So what does that mean? Her relatives publish "The Wanderer" and another relative publishes "The Remnant" - two staunchly Roman Catholic newspapers, both with reputations for being traditional Catholic newspapers - one with a more radical approach than the other, hence the Matt family has this curious reputation...None of it deserved on Karen's side.) When I understood Karen was a Matt, my first reply was, "But she's so normal!" As is her entire family - when I met her mother I somehow expected some chapel veiled woman who couldn't smile - such the opposite. The family simply prefers the solidity of the Tridentine Mass, as well as traditional Catholic upbringing - and the kids (I know her brothers) are living proof that there is nothing odd about traditional Catholics.
Anyway, when I first started at Leaflet, I was convinced that I was a conservative and traditional Catholic, who couldn't figure out why people had a problem with the post-Vatican II reforms. Certainly I knew of the abuses, and the far out theologies - I kept to the middle - keeping my blinders in place. John first shocked me when he told me that Cardinal Ratzinger was basically a liberal. My jaw dropped - Ratzinger? Liberals hated him. How could this be?
This afternoon we laughed about all of that, while I commented that I had changed so much. (I also remember being shocked when he countered a protest of mine and told me that some bishops and priests were gay - that was before the scandal hit the fan. Sure, I knew gay priests - but bishops? I complained John scandalized me and could also scandalize customers. How stupid was I?) Suddenly, today, John, who never reads blogs, told me that since I have been blogging I have changed even more. I was rather impressed that he noticed. He is a really sharp fellow. What is more impressive, he never batted an eyelash when I couldn't understand where he was coming from - even when I complained - after he explained to me what had been going on in the Church. He always remained my friend, allowing me time and space to make up my own mind.
Indeed, I have changed. Reading other blogs, getting comments from other bloggers, I have come to realize how terribly important it is for the traditional liturgy to be restored. Through other bloggers, my Catholic faith has been deepened, my understanding of the Church has thus far been expanded, which explains my occasional "It's too much! Stop the blog, I want to get off!"
I realize as Catholics we can no longer isolate ourselves and content ourselves with a personal piety, pretending there is nothing wrong in the Church, or that people who insist upon the integrity of the liturgy, faith and morals, are creating discord while clinging to an obsolete ecclessiology.
I've read home-school blogs that absolutely crush my smug little prejudice that these are somehow weird people who only want a "Little House On The Prairie" type world. Nothing could be further from the truth! I've read trad blogs that have so opened my eyes to the issues of liturgy, theology, and ecclessiology that are indeed matters of supreme importance. At the other blogs I visit I have been able to hear other people I would have otherwise ignored, or simply not have heard.
Congratulations to all the good Catholic bloggers, those listed on my sidebar, as well as those I continually discover. Thank God for the Catholic web logs!
And thank God for John Hastreiter and his beautiful Catholic family - he is one of the finest men I know - I love and respect him, despite the fact he is quite my junior.


  1. An excellent post, Mr. Nelson, and I quite agree.

    PS. The kids & I enjoyed our visit to your store yesterday. It was great to see both you and John!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful family, Terry - it is a rare blessing to know folks you can agree & even disagree with, that will remain such good friends...

    & I'm sure they are very thankful for their friendship with you, too:)

  3. PS

    & I'm jealous of them & Margaret in Minnesota, too!

  4. Terry wrote...

    "when I met her mother I somehow expected some chapel veiled woman who couldn't smile - such the opposite."

    And it usually is, but much of the Catholic world has been influenced by the "feminists" and "feminists" are NOT just women, many are the Bishops in our Church and have brainwashed so many!


    Oh lowly, little, chapel veil,
    You are my dearest friend.
    For when my hair's all mops and brooms,
    You cover, end to end.

    And when my hair's not curling right
    Or when it sticks out straight,
    You gently hold it all in place
    And make it look first rate!

    But feminist, they hate you so,
    You lowly, simple thing.
    To them you are so vile, not veil,
    To praise Our Lord and King.

    And passing by the Church of Seven,
    "Autonomy's", their phrase.
    They never know the joys of Heaven,
    Such as, no bad-hair-days!

    For lowly, lacey, chapel veil,
    You tame my hair, so wild!
    But truth-be-told, though I look nice,
    It's all for the Christ Child.

  5. My blog is in lock down - blogger robot locked it - suspects a spam thing I guess. I bet I do not get back up until Monday. I'll post at Leaflet and maybe revive Rome-ing Catholics as well.

  6. Kevin: Good post. Very thoughtful and not a conspiracy in sight!

    long-skirts: I LOVE your chapel veil verse. They do make a bad hair day better, don't they?

    I would love to see Rome-ing Catholic blog come back. I enjoyed it very much.

  7. Terry, I've been reading your blog for some time. I truly sympathize with traditionalists, having come into the Catholic Church from the Episcopal Church about 10 years ago.

    If the Catholic Church has truly gone off the rails, and is no longer being guided by the Holy Spirit through the Vicar of Christ, then I am at a loss. Is this what you are saying? Because if it is, then I believe that you are in deep water.

    It was a sacrifice for me to leave the Episcopal Church. Was it for nothing? I say not.

    Every generation sloughs off a remnant of Old Believers. Witness the many such sects of all denominations. I find it hard to fault such loyalty to tradition. But to hear traditionalists complain about Benedict XVI amazes me.

  8. Brett! NO! THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS NOT GONE OFF THE RAILS! The Holy Spirit is surely guiding the Bark of Peter, and Benedict XVI is the vicar of Christ and I am totally obedient to the Holy Father and the Magisterium.

    I'm not going trad. But I too have come to appreciate traditionalist Catholics who for decades have been holding on to the traditional liturgy and solid Catholic teaching. The Mass of Paul VI is indeed valid and efficacious, giving glory to God.

    When I sound off about things it is always in reference to that which Paul VI referred to when he cited the "smoke of satan, has somehow infiltrated into the Church".

    Every Sunday I attend the Mass of Paul VI - I attend Churches where it is celebrated well, with dignity and without novelty. I'm not anti Vatican II at all.

    When I posted "What were you thinking" I really do wonder. Couldn't it have been forseen, the breakdown in faith and morals that was coming? PP VI did not intend that the Mass be so compromised as it is in more progressive parishes.
    The liturgical abuse in Orange County is one example. My questioning how bishops are chosen isn't something new either - this has been part of the Church throughout it's history, yet to let someone like Cardinal Mahony get away with what he does is confusing to say the least. I'm surely not complaining about BXVI - I'm very grateful for him and trust he will continue the reform with great attention to detail. Nevertheless, he faces great opposition, and not so much from traditional Catholics.

    Thanks for your comments everyone. Look for me on Rome-ing Catholics until Abbey gets back up.

  9. I HAVE RE-ACTIVATED Rome-ing Catholics at
    until the time Abbey is unlocked.

  10. Thank you for your thoughtful posts, I've spent some time here reading. As a fellow Minnesotan - I must say I'm new to the blogging world and I have NO IDEA how many orthodox Catholics there were in oh-so-lutheran Minnesota. Praise God!





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