Let the fragrance of your lives be the delight of Christ’s Church (In honor of 30 years of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter)

All photos are courtesy FSSP.com

Most Reverend Father, our holy Mother the Catholic Church asks you to ordain these deacons here present to the burden of the priesthood.

Do you know if they are worthy?

As far as human frailty allows one to know, I am certain and I testify that they are worthy to undertake the burden of this office.

2017-05-ordinations_slide-02-1400x700My dear sons, who are about to be consecrated to the office of the priesthood, endeavor to receive that office worthily, and once ordained, strive to discharge it in a praiseworthy manner. A priest’s duties are to offer sacrifice, to bless, to govern, to preach, and to baptize. So high a dignity should be approached with great awe, and care must be taken that those chosen for it are recommended by eminent wisdom, upright character, and a long-standing virtuous life.

Thus it was that when the Lord commanded Moses to choose as his helpers seventy men from the whole tribe of Israel, to whom He would impart the gifts of the Holy Spirit, He said to him: “Choose the ones whom you know to be elders of the people” (Num 11.16). It is you yourselves who are prefigured in these seventy elders, if now, by the help of the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit, you are faithful to the Ten Commandments, and display soundness and maturity in knowledge and in action.

2017-05-ordinations_slide-04-1400x700Under the same kind of sign and figure, our Lord, in the New Law, chose the seventy-two disciples, and sent them before Him two by two to preach. Thus He taught us both by word and by deed that the ministers of His Church should be perfect both in faith and in works; in other words, that their lives should be founded on the twofold love of God and of neighbor. Strive, then, to be such, that by God’s grace you may be worthy of being chosen to assist Moses and the twelve apostles, that is, the Catholic bishops who are prefigured by Moses and the apostles. Then indeed is Holy Church surrounded, adorned, and ruled by a wonderful variety of ministers, when from her ranks are consecrated bishops, and others of lesser orders, priests, deacons, and subdeacons, each of a different dignity, yet comprising the many members of the one body of Christ.

Therefore, my dear sons, chosen as you are by the judgment of our brethren to be consecrated as our helpers, keep yourselves blameless in a life of chastity and sanctity. Be well aware of the sacredness of your duties. Be holy as you deal with holy things. When you celebrate the mystery of the Lord’s death, see to it that by mortifying your bodies you rid yourselves of all vice and concupiscence. Let the doctrine you expound be spiritual medicine for the people of God. Let the fragrance of your lives be the delight of Christ’s Church, that by your preaching and example you help to build up the edifice which is the family of God. May it never come about that we, for promoting you to so great an office, or you, for taking it on yourselves, should deserve the Lord’s condemnation; but rather may we merit a reward from Him. So let it be by His grace.


2014-05-ord-omaha-064{When the litany is ended the candidates rise and go in pairs to kneel before the bishop. The bishop places both his hands on the head of each candidate in turn, without saying anything. This very simple though impressive action, unaccompanied by prayer or chant, is called the essential matter of the sacrament. It signifies that the power of priesthood is conferred by the bishop imposing hands on the candidate, transmitting to the latter the power which the bishop himself has received from Christ through the apostles and their successors.}

My brethren, let us implore God the Father almighty to multiply His heavenly gifts in these servants of His whom He has chosen for the office of the priesthood. May they fulfill by His grace the office they receive by His goodness; through Christ our Lord.

Hear us, we pray, O Lord God, and pour out on these servants of yours the blessing of the Holy Spirit and the power of priestly grace. And now as we present them for consecration in your benign presence, may you sustain them forever by the bounty of your gifts. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

Almighty Father, we pray that you bestow on these servants of yours the dignity of the priesthood. Renew in their hearts the spirit of holiness, so that they may be steadfast in this second degree of the priestly office received from you, O God, and by their own lives suggest a rule of life to others.

2014-05-ord-omaha-091{Now the newly ordained priests go and kneel before the bishop one by one. The bishop is seated on the faldstool and is wearing the mitre. He takes the stole, until now worn by the newly ordained on the left shoulder, draws it over the right shoulder, and arranges it in the form of a cross over the chest (in the manner worn by a priest). As he does so he says to each one:}

Take the yoke of the Lord, for His yoke is sweet and His burden light.

{Next he invests each one with the chasuble, leaving it folded and pinned at the back but hanging down in front. As he does so he says:}

Take the vestment of priesthood which signifies charity; for God is able to advance you in charity and in perfection.

{To this the ordained adds:} Thanks be to God.

* * *

Today, on the feast of St. Luke, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, instituted by Pope St. John Paul II in 1988, begins its 30th year.

Dedication to the Mass and liturgical disciplines in force in 1962 is how we define ourselves, but what we do is offer reverent liturgy, sound preaching, and real catechesis to families and individuals attending any of our 254 apostolates. Here, in the North American District, our work is mainly parochial, that is, we run parishes on behalf of Diocesan Bishops. Perhaps these are not very big parishes, (the average ratio of priest to faithful is 1:240), but they are sizable enough to offer the faithful real and regular contact with their pastor, and, more importantly, real and regular contact with Christ.

-from the October “Memento”

These inspiring priests, devoted to tradition and faithful to the Magesterium, are very dear to my heart and always will be, though I have yet to meet one in person (alas!). It seems fitting to offer prayers of thanksgiving for their service today, and remember back to this past May, where I was able to witness (via live stream) the ordinations of 7 FSSP priests, and to have my soul be moved and awed in an incomparable way at the sight of their being sealed “with the sublime mark of the priesthood.”

The fragrance of their lives truly is the delight of Christ’s Church!

O Jesus, Eternal Priest, keep Thy priests within the shelter of Thy Sacred Heart, where none may touch them. Keep unstained their anointed hands which daily touch Thy Sacred Body. Keep unsullied their lips, daily purpled with Thy Precious Blood. Keep pure and unearthly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood. Let Thy holy love surround them and shield them from the world’s contagion. Bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may the souls to whom they minister be their joy and consolation here below, and in heaven, their beautiful and everlasting crown.










October weekday ramblings . . .


ChildrensofFatima (croped).jpg

Hello! I’m sitting here at my desk, comfortably nestled in a very autumnal beige cable sweater since this morning it finally deigned to drop into the 40s, listening to “Choctaw Hayride“, surrounded by my assorted books such as my missal, The Baltimore Catechism, Hungry Soulsand my newly arrived War and Peace from the library . . . and having finally recovered some mental energy after a week-long tussle with a cold, I’ve realized I keep consecutively missing my 7 Rambling Monday Takes series (moan) and so simply need to do a “dump post” and ramble without prompts or reasons. Alas.

(Well. Now I’ve been called to a tutoring session. I’ll be back in 25 minutes.)


Well, make it more like an hour filled with grammar, poetry, and Men of Iron. But back to business. Here I am!

Today has proved to be a blissful fall day, with scoured blue skies, breezy air, and cheerful sunshine. It’s the feast of St. Margaret Mary and so the Propers for this morning’s Mass from Sarasota were filled with such sweetly beautiful Scripture and petitions . . .

I sat down under His shadow Whom I desired: and His fruit was sweet to my palate. How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord.

Many waters cannot quench charity, neither can the floods drown it. My flesh and my heart have fainted away: Thou art the God of my heart, and the God that is my portion for ever.

Alleluia, alleluia. I to my beloved and his turning is towards me. Alleluia.

St. Margaret Mary, ora pro nobis! Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, miserere nobis! And a very happy Confirmation-patronal feast to my youngest sister 🙂

So, of course, this past Friday the 13th was the hundredth anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun. In the mid-afternoon, my mother, sisters and I were able to go, along (happily!) with my guy, to a few minutes of Adoration and to venerate relics of Ss. Jacinta and Francisco, as well as a relic of a branch from the tree at Fatima. Even now, I can’t absorb just how blessed I was to be able to do that.

Praying before their relics that afternoon, I was humbled by these two small child saints. Loving children as much as I do, it awed me to contemplate the heroic virtue this brother and sister practiced on earth, all “for souls,” to a level of zeal and faithfulness that far surpasses any of the paltry acts I’ve scraped together throughout my life for God and souls.

I struggle daily with my inherent superficiality, and so in prayer before their relics last Friday, I was inspired to really cast my heart upon their intercessions, asking them to inspire me in offering up little things to God, for souls, and to more willingly accept suffering. Also, my guy and I adopted them as the patron saints for our courtship after that time in the chapel; something about their purity and loving single-heartedness for God seemed to offer a welcome mantle of protection and support for our discernment and growing relationship. I’m excited and truly grateful for the two of us to be under their care during this time!

And the whole past weekend was a wonderful one, which my mother and sisters and I spent with close friends across two nights; most of us caught a Mass at the crack of dawn Saturday morning, followed by Confession, Eucharistic Adoration, and of course a big breakfast 🙂 Being the happy victims of brilliant logic and card games, watching football, doing dishes together, snuggling kids, praying the rosary, engaging in meaningful conversations, laughing endlessly, and being able to spend time getting to know many other Catholic homeschooling families up on a gorgeous piece of Southern land surrounded by foothills and ridges, were some of the highlights of this fine weekend 🙂

I spent yesterday catching up on my laundry and trying to write a blog post (failure), but in fact ending up catching up on rest (napping on the couch, waking up with a crick in my neck and very foggy-brained, but then eating a snack and feeling fine . . . sigh, my strange self) and going through a whole regimen of natural remedies for this cold which honestly worked wonders; I felt so much delightfully better this morning. The only dumb thing was once forgetting to add the saline to my saline rinse. Cue sinus burn. Fortunately I’d already invited Ss. Jacinta and Francisco into my spiritual life . . . 😉

And today, I have been intently reading on some topics (of a Sacramental nature) in preparation for something I’ll post about sometime next week . . . ah, I love secrecy . . . and I have also been looking forward to spending time with a friend this evening, the scheduling of which we have been working on for months; such is life, but God is good!

Oh, a random thought: While reading aloud Men of Iron to my brother earlier, my fancy was struck by a witty saying which I’ll have to paraphrase since I don’t have the book with me: seventeen-year-old Myles is attempting to convince his best friend Gascoyne to secretly deliver a letter to the young Lady Alice, whom Myles has been recently forbidden to see. The beleaguered Gascoyne sputters something to the effect of, “I’m not going to burn my fingers by trying to pull your nuts out of the fire!” And I liked that 🙂 So now your life has been immeasurably enriched by my sharing that with you; you’re welcome.

Hmm . . . do I have any other thoughts? Oh yes, Mom recently bought us all fairly nice metal travel cups for daily drinking (that brilliant idea of everyone having their one and only cup to drink from a day is slowly infiltrating our family) and ordered some decals so that we could tell them apart. Mine says “Mary A.” (have I ever mentioned here my middle name is Allison? Well, now I have . . .) and I had offered my cup as the guinea pig since we’d never applied decals before. Fortunately, probably due to the manifold merits of my noble sacrifice, my decal turned out just fine and I now get to gaze lovingly upon my own name every time I take a sip of ice water.

Oh, and if you haven’t read Lena’s post about her vocational discernment, you really should 🙂 Apart from a beautiful story, it also includes a perfect prayer by St. Anselm which I really need to make into a holy card for my missal (since my missal is so devoid of holy cards at the present moment, ahem . . .)

O Lord my God, teach my heart this day
where and how to see You, where and how to find You.
You have made me and remade me,
and You have bestowed on me all the good things I possess,
and still I do not know You. I have not yet done that for which I was made.
Teach me to seek You, for I cannot seek You unless You teach me,
or find You unless You show Yourself to me.
Let me seek You in my desire, let me desire You in my seeking.
Let me find You by loving You, let me love You when I find You.

Spotify, meanwhile, is continuing to play . . . the house is quiet in a post-school fashion . . . now I’m hearing the genius Jon Foreman’s “Inheritance” . . .

Your heart is a work of art
I want to be rich in memories, not money
Our love is our inheritance, honey
We’ve come so far
I want to be rich in memories, not money
Our love is our inheritance, our inheritance, honey

So sweet 🙂 And it makes me think about my amazing parents, who are going to be married 25 years next year!

And now I’m really just contentedly rambling, which means I should wrap this post up. 🙂 Have a blessed rest of your day! And please do continue to keep my great-uncle in your prayers, body and soul, as he continues suffering from his illness. Thank you!



Paint Everything Blue {how the tale grew in the telling}

On this beautiful feast of St. Margaret Mary, I had to drop in and re-blog my sister Lena’s latest post about her newly completed (and utterly amazing) novel, which I had the privilege to read every step of the way. Enjoy reading about her journey and getting glimpses into the world of her story!

Ut Cum Electis Videamus

Screen capture This is a really old screen capture. . .hence the date. . .with outdated backstory. . .and so few scenes. . .and the title was still “The Littlest Son”!!!

Almost two weeks ago, I finished my first novel, Paint Everything Blue, (I think that 48,508 words is close enough to 50,000 to be considered a novel, don’t you?), and I’m just so delighted that I wanted to share the story of my story with you, and how, as Tolkien would say, it grew in the telling.

It’s difficult to really communicate how in love I’ve been, and still am, with this story; how it’s affected me just in the writing of it; how much I’ve discovered about myself as a writer in this seven-month project; how it all came together and turned out to be the first of many, many story ideas to come to any real fruition as a book. It was such a God thing…

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