Monday, November 28, 2011

Updated links...

OK, you can trust my link section now; I cleaned it up and updated connections.

It had been awhile; and I was surprised to find so many were still active!

Monday, November 21, 2011

To Jesus Christ our Sovereign King

The feast of Christ the King occasions use of one of my favorite hymns: "To Jesus Christ our Sovereign King." The story behind this hymn is powerful, it needs to be better known, if only because it is likely to bear on our near future.

At one time, I'd found articles about the late Monsignor Martin Hellreigel, who wrote this hymn in 1941. But just now, attempting to find them again, I am coming up with blanks. So permit me to summarize both from memory and from what bits and pieces I found online.

Father Hellreigel was a German immigrant to the U.S. as a child. He was ordained a priest for the Precious Blood congregation in 1914. At one time, I mistakenly thought he was in Germany at the time he composed this hymn; in fact, he was in St. Louis! But it was composed in 1941, at the height of the peril from fascism that makes ideology a god. And of course, we know how many millions of lives were sacrificed to that god.

Monsignor Hellreigel was in anguish about what was happening in his homeland when he composed his hymn.

I invite you to read or listen to the lyrics of that hymn, recognizing in them a rebuttal to Nazism, Fascism, and every other "ism" that exults itself against God--and over humanity:

To Jesus Christ, our Sov'reign King,
Who is the world's salvation,
All praise and homage do we bring,
And thanks and adoration.

Christ Jesus Victor, Christ Jesus Ruler!
Christ Jesus, Lord and Redeemer!

2. Thy reign extend, O King benign,
To ev'ry land and nation,
For in Thy kingdom, Lord divine,
Alone we find salvation.

3. To Thee and to Thy Church, great King,
We pledge our hearts' oblation,
Until before Thy throne we sing,
In endless jubilation.

In our time, sadly our own governments in the United States are setting themselves against Jesus Christ. In two states and in several municipalities, the Catholic Church has been driven out of adoptions. The Obama Administration is seeking to force Catholic institutions to distribute contraceptives and provide early abortions, under the guise of so-called contraceptions. We have politicians in both parties who rename torture and advocate its use. Whatever it takes to defeat our enemies.

You and I, dear reader, are less and less treated as sovereign citizens, and more as subjects. If you fly anywhere, you have the privilege of being treated like cattle--but you better not object, or else worse will happen to you. When citizens take photographs or videos of the police, in many jurisdictions, they are arrested. The government wants to place tracking devices on our cars, without warrant. In various jurisdictions, the "Occupy" protesters--many of whom have behaved very badly--have been dispersed with high-handed tactics by the police. And our President is arguing, in our courts, for the view that the Constitution allows the regulation not only of economic activity, but the mandate of the same. No one has reasonably shown how, if the government can mandate you and me to purchase insurance, it cannot regulate virtually all our "economic" activity and decisions.

But none of them--neither party, no system, no government program, no function of the market, is the world's salvation. Only Jesus Christ! Viva Christo Rey!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

'For you and for many' (Homily 5 on new Mass translation)

Next week, as you know, we begin using
the new translation of the Mass.
Today I want to look at the one change
that I know has a lot of people talking.
If it’s misunderstood, which will be easy to do,
it will cause some concern.

In the Eucharistic Prayer,
we are all familiar with the words the priest says,
when he holds the cup of wine:
“this is the cup of my blood—
the blood of the new and everlasting covenant,
it will be shed for you…”

In the outgoing translation, it goes on to say,
“…and for all.”
In the new translation, it says, “for you and for many.”

That certainly raises a lot of questions.
There’s more going here, so let’s dig into it.

We have to go back to the Scriptures to understand this.
The fact is, this is what the Gospels say
Jesus said at the Last Supper.

Listen to what Matthew wrote,
which we read on Palm Sunday:
“this is my blood of the covenant,
which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.’”
The Gospel of Mark has very similar words.

Now, some might ask,
are the words in the Bible, in Greek,
hard to translate? Is the Latin of the Mass prayers ambiguous?
They really aren’t.

And, for those who are interested in more detail on this,
I prepared a handout which is in the bulletin today.

But before we go any further,
let’s stop and realize why it is that “many”
sounds bad to us.
It’s only because we’re contrasting it with “all.”

If at first I tell you, you get to have “all” the cookies—
but then I tell you, no, you get to have “many”—
that sounds like a step down.

But take the word “all” out of the picture.
If the word “all” had never been used in the first place,
there’s no reason for “many” to sound bad to us.
Because the natural and logical counterpoint to “many” is what? How about “few”?

And that is the very question—regarding salvation—
that comes up so often in Scripture!

At one point, the disciples asked:
“Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
That was what everyone was asking:
is salvation only for a handful?
Can only the rich be saved?
Can only the Jews be saved? Is it only a few?

And the Lord’s words at the Last Supper are his rebuttal:
“for many.”

Even so, the Lord could have said “all.” So, why didn’t he?

First, while it is true that Jesus’ death
is available for all people, if they respond,
that doesn’t mean all people are guaranteed heaven.

The Gospel we heard is pretty stark:
if we don’t live as Jesus commands,
we risk being sent to the Lord’s left—with the goats.

We have no idea who or how many will,
ultimately, be saved.
It’s certainly less concerning
if we assume salvation is easy,
and everyone, or nearly everyone, makes it.
That’s the downside of the translation we’ve been using.
In any case, whoever is saved, it won’t be “few”!
Many times the Lord makes clear
that they will come from
“east and west, north and south.”
The “many” will be vast number;
the Book of Revelation says an uncountable multitude.

But there’s something more here.
One of the things the Lord was mindful of
was the Old Testament passages that foresaw
his coming as Messiah.

And none are more vivid than what Isaiah said
about God’s “servant,” “the just one,”
whose suffering and death “shall justify the many.”
This phrase appears several times in Isaiah’s prophecies.

In other words, this is about fulfilling those prophecies.
Not only did the Lord himself know the prophecies—
he realized his disciples knew them too.

He was extremely mindful,
especially on Holy Thursday and Good Friday,
of how his actions would fulfill those passages.

Recall when Peter pulled out his sword, Jesus said,
“Put back your sword…
Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father
and he will not provide me
with more than twelve legions of angels?
But then how would the scriptures be fulfilled
which say that it must come to pass in this way?”

So at the Last Supper, the Lord was determined
that even his choice of words
should fulfill the words of Isaiah.
Ever the Good Shepherd,
Jesus wanted us not to have the least cause for doubt
that he is truly our Messiah!
As we say in the Creed: “in fulfillment of the Scriptures.”

This is our last weekend using the old translation.
When you come to Mass next weekend,
you’ll hear it all the first time,
and we’ll all pray the it together for the first time.
It will sound somewhat different, and for awhile,
that’s what we’ll notice. But it’s the same Mass.

Remember, the Lord said,
“do this in remembrance of me.”
In the end, we are attempting, as best we can,
to carry out the Mass faithfully.

Faithful to what the Church teaches us,
faithful to prayers that were handed down
from the early Church,
faithful to the texts of the Bible,
and faithful even to Jesus’ own choice of words.

Sometimes—as in this case—
we find the Lord’s words jarring.
But we don’t paper them over.
We recall just what he said, the way he said it.

If they make us ponder, so much the better.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Penn State: What are they thinking?

I hesitated to post on this because of the potential for cheap shots, but here goes...

When I read the grand jury information that was published about the now infamous scandal involving a former coach at Penn State University, I got pretty angry, as we all did.

But I had an additional reason to be frustrated: why, even in the last ten years (when much of this abuse happened), are people still, seemingly, clueless about obvious warning signs and boundary violations?

According to the grand jury information:

> The coach--Sandusky--was hosting boys overnight in his home.
> He was traveling alone with boys.
> Individual boys were seen in his company frequently, including at picnics, parties, football games and other events.
> He was working out with individual boys and showering with them.

Before we even get to the allegations of abuse and assault and rape, these items right here should have been and should be immediate red flags.

Speaking for myself, nothing like this happens, or should happen, with any priest. God knows the Church, and priests, will have a black eye for decades to come because of the terrible crimes of a few priests, and the failure of oversight of too many bishops.

Folks should know that--at least in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati--the situation has changed drastically:

> I am obliged never to be alone with children, the only exception being when hearing confessions. When it happens inadvertently--say kids are getting ready to serve Mass and no other adult is around--I go and stand in the doorway of the sacristy so folks attending Mass can see me, even if I'm putting on a vestment at that time.

> I never enter the bathrooms in the school anytime there are children in the building; if I do, I'll use the faculty bathroom only.

> When invited by family and friends to stay at their homes when traveling, if they have children under 18 I decline. And because I don't want them to misunderstand, I have explained it to the parents. Some of them have been angry, not at me, but at the rule being so strict. I'm not sure that every priest would take it that way, but I asked the chancellor about it and he agreed with my understanding of the rule.

> Children are almost never in my home. The exceptions are when they come with a parent, or when children stop by on Hallowe'en. When they do, I never pass out the candy, I have a couple from the parish do it.

> Similarly, other adults, either employees or volunteers, must likewise observe very similar rules about not being alone with children.

> All employees or volunteers who work with children must undergo a fingerprinting and background check, including clergy. This must be renewed periodically. We spend a fair amount of money and a lot of time keeping track of all this.

> All employees or volunteers who work with children must take part in an orientation about these rules, including their responsibility to report any information about possible harm to a child, in any setting, past or present. I have made several reports, or had staff do so (if they received the information directly). We are very careful about it. In practice, because no one wants to err and fail to report something, we report even rather sketchy information, that I cannot imagine is any help to law enforcement. That said, there is a constant concern that something will be omitted, and a harm will continue.

> Related to that last point, I had a situation where this came up in the midst of counseling an individual. The individual had come to me to seek advice on this very subject. Because the law, and the Archdiocese, require me to report what they told me--and yet, they had come to talk to me expecting confidentiality--I saw no choice but, at that very moment, to advise the folks that I would have to report what they told me. Sadly, they clammed up and shared no more about it. I never saw them again. The situation involved another family member they believed was harming a child. I did what I had to do and I'm not second-guessing it; however, please note that, in that instance, my role as a counselor to this family ended as a result. They chose to say no more, knowing that I was bound to disclose information to law enforcement.

Anyway, that's a sampling of what Archdiocesan volunteers, clergy and employees deal with--our awareness. I'm still wondering what folks are thinking up there in Happy Valley?

Parents, please: if your son or daughter tells you about going on trips or going to the gym with a single adult, isn't that odd to you? Staying overnight in the adult's house? Don't you hear a bell going off?

Ok, in this case, the parents were absent. But who, at these public events, seeing this grown man with ten- or 12-year old boys going around with him, doesn't think that is odd? I never do this; who does this? Is this happening all the time and I'm not aware of it?

If you go to the Y, and you know there's an adult male who is bringing in boys not related to him, doesn't that set off an alarm bell? Coaches come through locker rooms at schools, and when I was boy, and we went to the pool, we changed and showered in a locker room with other boys and men around--but there were lots of people around, it wasn't solitary.

In the grand jury information--which is likely incomplete and probably not all accurate--there was one parent who, when her son came home with wet hair, did the exact right thing. She asked, "why is your hair wet?" When her son told her he'd been showering with the coach, the parent got upset (rightly--because that wasn't part of the plan) and started asking more questions.

Parents, I'm not excusing myself from my own responsibility, to observe good boundaries, and to be watchful. But I do think some of these things could be prevented if parents asked more questions. "Whose house do you want to stay overnight at?"

Let me know what you think.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The treasures of Scripture in the Mass (#4 Homily on new translation)

We continue to look at the new translation of the Mass,
which we will start using in full in just two weeks.
Once again, I’d invite you to take out the red booklets in your pews
as we look at some of the prayers, and see how they have changed, and why.

Take a look at page one—where it says “Penitential Act”—
you’ll see the prayer we call the Confiteor.

How does it change?

The translators restored, to the English version of this prayer,
a line that was always in the Latin: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa;
in English, that translates,
“through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.”

As Mass prayers go, this is relatively new—only 900 years old!

You might recall that our Lord told the story of a Pharisee and a tax collector,
praying in the temple.

The Pharisee was proud of his spiritual accomplishments;
but the tax collector “stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’”
But remember it was the tax collector who went home justified,
because he humbled himself.
I think part of the reason this prayer includes that very gesture,
of striking our own chest, is to help us remember the Lord’s words.

You might wonder why Mass begins with an act of penance—
either this, or one of the others.

The reason is because when we enter the Mass,
we’re entering spiritually into the Holy of Holies—
the true sacrifice of the Lord himself, which he offers for us.
The Mass makes no sense unless we recognize our need for salvation.

Let me highlight another change in the prayers,
which you’ll find on pages 14 and 15.

First, look at what the priest says—it changes a little:

“Behold, the Lamb of God”…this is when the priest holds up the Body and Blood.
The Host—the Lamb of Sacrifice—has been broken.
This is what John the Baptist said when Jesus came to be baptized:
behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
“Behold” is a good word: because it means to hold in ones gaze—
we don’t just glance at the Lamb,
we fix our gaze on him, especially in that he died for us.

Notice the response we all say together will change:

“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof…”

That, too, is a Scripture passage.
Recall when the Roman soldier asked Jesus to come and heal his servant,
these are his words.
But now we ask not that a servant be healed, but that our soul be healed.

Again, it makes crystal clear why we need the Eucharist:
to heal our sinfulness in anticipation of heaven.

As you can see, the revised translation is bringing back
to the surface the Scriptural images that are in the Latin,
but which were not so clear in the English we’ve been used to.

You’ll hear the same thing in the prayers the priest will say,
such as the Eucharistic Prayer, or in other prayers the priest uses.

One of the things the Second Vatican Council wanted to happen
was to enable all of us to have more of the treasures of Scripture
shared with us more through the Mass.
One way to do that was to have more Scripture read at Mass;
but having the prayers of Mass translated into English in this way,
so we can more easily recognize those Scriptural images, helps as well.

The Gospel today talks about the Lord’s servants being given “talents.”

Remember, by “talent” the Gospel doesn’t mean our abilities,
such as singing or painting;
in the Lord’s time, a “talent” was a unit of weight,
and when applied to gold or silver, it meant an amount of money.
A talent was approximately 57 pounds—in silver coins,
that is the equivalent of nine years of wages!
Thus, five talents would be 45 years of earnings, a huge amount.

So this isn’t even about money either; instead its about spiritual wealth:
the supernatural gifts God gives us.
The point is, God gives us his supernatural help very generously.

What are these supernatural riches?
Speaking broadly, they are all the graces God gives us, in the Holy Spirit,
to seek him, to be forgiven, to be changed, and to be kept close to him.

As in the Gospel passage, the more we share God’s riches,
we don’t lose—we gain. We grow richer.
The only one who ends up with nothing
is the one who tries to hoard his treasure, rather than put it to use.

We’ve been talking about the details of the Mass—
which is our greatest treasure.
We “invest” that treasure in other people—
by helping them experience it.
Maybe during this Mass, you might think—and pray for—
those people you want to invite to come, next week?

Sunday, November 06, 2011

What is this?

I just got home from having dinner; I like to go out for dinner on Sunday night--the end of my week. I flipped on the TV, having no idea what channel it would be.

I'm checking things on my laptop while something comes on the TV. I look up, listening, watching with disbelief...what is this?

I mash the clicker so it tells me what channel and show it is. "Desperate Housewives." Mmm-hmm. Never watch it. Not starting tonight. Explains everything.

Changed channel to some mindless but not overly offensive, silly movie: "Day After Tomorrow." Any port in a storm. Maybe I'll find a football game?

"Desperate Housewives." Our culture is insane. Sad. We used to have a culture. It's almost 1o pm on Sunday. Too late to dwell on it. Our Catholic schools need to inculcate our next generation in the culture we used to have. Parents? Teach your children well.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

'Consubstantial' (Homily 3 on the new Mass translation)

As we continue to prepare for our new Mass translation,
Let’s look at the Creed we profess every Sunday.
If you take out those red books,
we can look on page 5
and see what’s different.

The first thing you’ll notice is we’ll now say “I believe,”
not “we believe.”

The reason for that change
is that it emphasizes that not only is this Creed
something we say together,
it is also something personal for each one of us.

Then, scan down to where it says to bow.
Notice the wording changes to,
“was incarnate of the Virgin Mary”;
it used to say, “was born of the Virgin Mary.”

Why this change?
Well, because what we’ve been using was inaccurate;
The point the Creed makes is not about when Jesus was born,
but the fact that he became human through Mary—
which, obviously, happened before his birth:
in fact, when he was conceived, nine months before.

Now, let’s focus on a change that has gotten a lot of attention.
Scan up a four lines, and you’ll see the word, “consubstantial.”
That replaces “one in being.”

This change has raised some hackles.
Some object it’s a hard word to understand;
but that can’t be helped:
it’s describing a reality that’s just as hard to understand.

Now what I’m going to say here is kind of heavy.
Please bear with me.
This is one of the most profound mysteries of our Faith,
so it’s supposed to be hard stuff.

This Creed was adopted by the Council of Nicea in AD 325.
They had a particular thing they wanted to say
about God’s true nature.
They prayed and debated over key words—
and this was one of them.
The thing is, what they were trying to say
is just doggone hard to say.

So why isn’t “one in being” good enough?
The problem is not that it’s false, but that it’s not precise.

It’s not a stretch to imagine describing two ordinary human beings—
say, two spouses—as “being one” or “one in being.”

Consubstantial means something much more specific than that.
It’s describing a reality that only applies to God.
It means that what the Father is—as God—the Son is too.
But not two “substances”; but only one.

So, when two spouses become “one,”
they don’t cease to be separate human beings.
However close they are, they aren’t one
in the way that only God, himself, can be “one.”
The bishops at the Council—struggling for the right word—
were trying to say this: whatever God is, there’s only one;
and the Son is that one and same reality.

The issue, back then, was whether Jesus is God.

And even if you call Jesus “God,” what do you mean?
Is he “sort of” God? Is he a kind of a junior God?

Even to this day, a lot folks take “Son of God” to mean
that Jesus is somehow less than God the Father.

Notice how people will say, “God and Jesus.”

So the Creed was intended to make as clear as a bell
that Jesus truly, really and totally is God.

What the Father is, as God, the Son is too.
One and the same—to the nth degree.

OK, so what’s that mean to us?

It has to do with what our eternal hope is.
Paul told us in the second reading,
the goal of our Faith is to be with Jesus forever.

If Jesus is not God—why is he our hope?

If he is only near God—
that means “near” is as close as we’ll ever come.

But here’s the truth the Creed tells us:
When we become one with Christ through baptism,
and we stay with Christ through our life,
and we go to be with him in eternity,
our destination isn’t somewhere in the “neighborhood” of God.
We’re not going to be in the cheap seats!

Our future “home address” is the heart of the Son—
which is also the “consubstantial,” one and same
heart of the Father.

Another practical application:
for everyone who wonders why we Catholics
make such a huge deal about the Eucharist: here it is.

Our “communion”—union with—is with Jesus himself.
And this Creed tells us, that is also union with God the Father.
Every time we are at Mass, we are challenged to ask ourselves:
am I ready for this? Have I fasted?
Do I believe what the Church teaches me?
Do I live as a Catholic?
Have I confessed my sins?
Am I at peace with my neighbors?
Am I ready to say, “I believe?”

Friday, November 04, 2011

New Missals arrived today!

Oh what a relief!

I ordered six new missals--the book of prayers used at the altar by the priest for Mass--several months ago. At that time, the expectation was delivery in October. When October was almost out of days, I emailed Magnificat, and got a cryptic, worrying reply, to the effect of, we're looking for our delivery from the printers soon, then we'll ship them out as we can...

So as soon as I got word that the box had arrived, I scurried downstairs like a boy on Christmas day.

I invited the staff to "come see the new missals"; I ripped open the box, to find...

Those styrofoam peanuts--what do you do with those?

We cleared those out...another box. And inside there: our six, new, "chapel edition" missals.

In case you're wondering, the chapel editions are smaller and less expensive; I decided I would hold off investing in larger, more elegant missals, until I could see them for myself, and to wait and see how things shake out. For example, would there be printer's errors, in the rush to get things ready? Would there be second thoughts about how things were done, once we all started using the missals?

While I'm not complaining about the missals that arrived, I can already say I'm glad I did that. Having seen this missal, I can see features that I'm not sure I will prefer; now that all the publishers' missals are available for inspection, I will be able to make a better judgment.

OK, so what do I think about the new missal?

> It's a lot thicker; my assistant isn't sure it will fit in the Mass kit.

> The pages are thin; I wonder how that will work out for turning.

> This chapel edition gives me tabs to affix; they aren't very substantial so I don't expect them to last. I've affixed the tabs to one edition; I'm thinking about looking for tabs I can buy that might work better.

> There aren't enough tabs. As much as it pains me to say a good word about Catholic Book Publishing's outgoing "sacramentary," it did have a series of tabs for the Eucharistic prayers. This is helpful because it makes turning the pages much easier.

Also, this edition will involve more page-turning during the Eucharistic prayer, which is not ideal. I predict that the 2nd Eucharistic Prayer will get more use, because it involves the fewest page turns.

I will be interested to see, with the larger editions, if there are fewer page-turns.

> The artwork in this Magnificat edition is very good. It's simpler than in the higher-price "altar" edition, but there's nothing wrong with this artwork. It's one-color, but very pleasing to the eyes. Some of the other editions had jarring artwork that, when it combined black and red, seemed cartoonish.

> There is more music and that is good. I think some were hoping all the collects for Sundays would be notated for music, but in this edition they are not (are they in any missal?).

> The prayers are organized in some different ways, but so far I think it will work fine.

> I am not happy that Latin was omitted. It would cost about $400-500 to buy a Latin missal, and then it would be necessary to flip from one to the other, in order to offer Mass with the ordinary parts in Latin, but the proper parts in English--which is not only something envisioned by Vatican II, but a very sensible way to use both the vernacular and the Church's own language. I am planning to salvage the Latin pages from the old missals, and create a booklet for this purpose; but unless I have it bound, it will look flimsy and cheap on the altar.

> There are some prayers that have odd wording, and I wonder if anything can be done about it. I think the overall work is very good, a major improvement. Nevertheless, some things make me wonder: did native-English speakers carefully read--aloud--each of these prayers?

Here's an example, and perhaps someone can tell me, yes, this is proper English:

(for St. Bede, May 25...)

"O God, who bring light to your Church through the learning of the priest Saint Bede..."

Why shouldn't that be, "who brings..."

Is that the long-lost subjunctive mood? I'll have to look that up...

Here's one "For the Election or Enrollment of Names"--i.e., when those preparing for baptism at Easter are accepted, by the bishop, as Elect:

"O God, who though you ever the cause of the salvation of the human race now gladden your people with grace in still greater measure, look mercifully, we pray, upon your chosen ones..."

"Who though you"?

I am not working from the Latin, but I suspect it is trying to say something like:

"O God, you are already the only and ever cause of the salvation of the human race; and now you gladden your people with grace..." etc.

Or is it:

O God, who--although you are the cause..."?

I was trying to figure out how to chant it; then I had a happy realization: only the bishop offers this particular Mass! Let him figure it out!

> I was hoping that all the special "inserts" for the Eucharistic prayers--those that are usable when there is a baptism, or a marriage, for example--would all be placed with the Eucharistic prayer; but in this edition they aren't all, only some. This is actually no change from before; and it's understandable--as noted above, there are already a lot of page-turns, and this would make more. In short, there's no way to square the circle.

> The proper of saints seems to have more proper prayers and texts for the saints, which is good.

> A good change: the Gospel proclaimed at the beginning of Palm Sunday is included in the missal; this will make things easier for priests at that Mass. Good job!

> Some of the rubrics, I'm noticing, are clearer than I recall them being in the outgoing missal. For example, the rubric for the priest's gesture during the nuptial blessing was ambiguous: is he merely extending his hands upward, in the usual "orans" posture; or is he extending his hands over the couple? The latter, in the new missal.

Well, I could go on, but I'll stop there. I'm enjoying flipping through this! I'm glad they are here!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Today's my feast day! (Except in my own diocese!)

Today is my feast day...

Except in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati!

Today, on the universal calendar, is the memorial of the ever-glorious and always-admirable St. Martin de Porres.

And yet, today--in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati--is the day we recall the dedication of Saint Peter in Chains Cathedral! Persuant to church law, that occasion is a solemnity in the cathedral (as is the case for the dedication of any church, in that church), and a feast for the rest of the Archdiocese.

That Feast, as notable as it is, takes precedence over St. Martin--who, being humble and of sweet nature, is I'm sure eager to cede the day to the remembrance of the dedication of God's Temple in Cincinnati.

But I have a secret plan (which actually I've been following for several years)...

As church law allows for a votive Mass, to any saint, on a "ferial day"--that is, a day for which no other feast or memorial is assigned, then next Tuesday will be "St. Martin de Porres day" hereabouts--I'll offer a votive Mass, and pray a votive office, in his honor.

Meanwhile, if you are situated beyond the 19 counties that comprise the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, then you are currently celebrating St. Martin's Day--which means, of course, you are far too busy with parades, parties and other suitable festivities even to notice this post! Don't overdo it!

And, if you are uncertain how to mark St. Martin's Day, remember that St. Martin is the patron of social justice, and he is also renowned for begging food for the poor.