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The Fishers of Men video is now available online through Catholic Online.

Click here to watch it.


H/T to the Dominican Friars blog.

The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, is a wonderful, growing, traditional order. I am blessed to encounter them on a regular basis.

They were featured last month on the PBS program Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. Check out the video. Transcript is also online.

This editorial appeared in the Herald News a few weeks ago. I thought it was worth sharing with all of you. It so eloquently describes how the loss of women willing to respond to the call of religious life affects the Church and the world.

You won’t find it in Scripture, your catechism or any of the sacred tomes that speak so eloquently of the possibility of eternal happiness, but let me give you a snippet of wisdom about the critically important bridge between the here and the hereafter: Salvation is free but religion costs money.
When nuns with the vow of poverty taught in the many Fall River schools now closed and filled with only memories, these holy ladies had no trouble fulfilling their vow of not accepting money. Miraculous medals were not legal tender. Paying teachers a living wage today has been a burden. Paying them well, almost impossible.
The Catholic Schools we see fading slowly from our midst were truly the first Global Positioning System for parents committed, whatever the cost, to setting their children on the direct road to paradise.

Read the rest here.

Do you recognize this seminarian?
No? I bet you know him.
The New Liturgical Movement Blog has a fascinating series of posts filled with pictures and newpaper articles from the 1951 priestly ordination of a certain well-known German prelate. Check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

Yesterday afternoon, the Holy Father visited Rome’s Major Pontifical Seminary for the occasion of the feast of its patroness, Our Lady of Trust. After presiding at Vespers, the Holy Father expressed his joy at having the opportunity, as Bishop of Rome, to visit “his seminary”.

“Because the gift of being adoptive children of God has illuminated your lives”, the Pope told the seminarians, “you have felt the desire to share this with others. That is why you are here, to develop your filial vocation and prepare yourselves for your future mission as apostles of Christ. … Savouring the joy of life with God the Father means that you feel the ever more urgent need to become messengers of the Gospel of His Son, Jesus”.

“All this cannot but induce great trust, because the gift received is amazing, it fills us with wonder and sates us with intimate joy. And thus you are able to understand the role Mary has in your lives. … Just as ‘the Son was born of woman’, of Mary Mother of God, the fact that you are children of God means you have her as mother”.

The Pope then addressed the parents of the future priests, saying “you are probably the most surprised of all about what has happened and is happening to your children. You had perhaps imagined for them a mission different from the one for which they are now preparing. … Let us look to Mary. The Gospel helps us to understand that she too asked herself many question about her Son Jesus, and reflected on Him for a long time.

“It is inevitable that the vocation of children in some way also becomes the vocation of the parents”, he added. “You have found yourselves participating in your sons’ marvellous adventure. Indeed, although it may appear that a priest’s life does not attract the interest of the majority of people, in reality it is the most interesting of adventures and the most necessary for the world: the adventure of demonstrating and realising the fullness of life to which everyone aspires. It is a very demanding adventure and could not be otherwise because a priest is called to imitate Jesus”.

The Holy Father then went on to refer to two aspects that characterise the lives of seminarians. In the first place, that of listening to the voice of the Lord which, he said, “requires an atmosphere of silence. For this reason the seminary offers time and space to daily prayer; it pays great attention to liturgy, to meditation on the Word of God and to Eucharistic adoration. At the same time, it asks you to dedicate long hours to study: by praying and studying, you can create within yourselves the man of God that you must become and that people expect a priest to be”.

The Pope went on: “There is also another aspect to your lives: … the community aspect, which is of great importance. … Your communion is not limited to the present but also concerns the future. The pastoral activity that awaits you must see you acting together united in a single body, an ‘ordo’ of priests who, with the bishop, watch over the Christian community”.

“All this serves as a reminder that God calls you to be saints, and that sanctity is the secret of real success in your priestly ministry. From this moment on, sanctity must be the final goal of all your choices and decisions. Entrust this desire and this daily commitment to Mary, Mother of Trust”.

“Follow your journey at the seminary with your hearts open to truth, to transparency, and to dialogue with those who guide you, and this will enable you to respond simply and humbly to the One Who calls you, freeing yourselves from the risk of pursuing a personal project of your own”.


Today is the feast of one of my favorite saints, St. Thomas Aquinas. Thomas, the eighth of nine children, was born 1225 into a noble family.

The youngest son of a noble family was traditionally given to the Church, so Thomas was brought to the Benedictine Abbey of Monte Cassino, most likely with the hope that he would eventually become the Abbot there. However, war broke out in 1240 and the Abbey was closed. Thomas went to study and the University of Naples. In Naples, Thomas Aquinas encountered two things which changed the course of his life and Catholicism: the writings of Aristotle, and the Dominicans.
The Order of Preachers had opened a friary in Naples in 1231. Although there were only two friars living there at the time Thomas was there, one had a profound influence on Thomas. John of San Guiliano, introduced Domincan prayer, study and preaching to Thomas.

Although Thomas felt called to the Dominicans, his family had other plans. They thought it a mendicant’s life was beneath him and desired for him to enter the Benedictines and eventually become the Abbot of Monte Cassino. After discovering that he had joined the Dominicans, his father kidnapped Thomas and locked him up, hoping the would change his mind. While under house arrest, Thomas studied the Sentences of Peter Lombard (another driving force in Thomas’ writings) and helped his sister discern a vocation to the Benedictines. As a sort of final test, his brothers brought a prostitute to Thomas. Thomas did not succumb to temptation, but kept her at bay by brandishing a flaming stick and burning a cross on the wall.

Finally, his family realized that there was nothing they could do to prevent Thomas from following his vocation.

In this case, Thomas family desired for Thomas to choose his vocation based on what would bring honor, wealth, and prestige rather than what would give honor, praise, and glory to God. Yes, to be the Abbot of Monte Cassino could be the fulfilment of one’s true vocation, but not if one’s sights were on the externals. How often do we decide what God must want from us or others rather than letting Him tell us Himself? Many times, what God asks of us is not what we want or what we think should be, but He has His reasons. In addition, as the story of St. Thomas Aquinas shows, God has ways of making the events which prevent His plans from becoming realized way of furthering and deepening his will.

In the end, few remember the name of the Benedictine who became the Abbot of Monte Cassino, but St. Thomas Aquinas has become a driving force is Catholic theology. All this from a man who summed up his immense contributions to the faith and study of theology as “straw”.

When one reads the Summa Theologiae or sings one of the five beautiful hymns which Thomas wrote, the thought enters the mind, “How can he have thought this was straw? This is extraordinary!” Yes, it is and I am sure that Thomas knew what an immense contribution he made, but he had seen something better. He had seen a glimpse of the things yet to come. What a comfort! How spectacular must the presence of God be, if it makes the works of St. Thomas seem like straw.

Below is one of the hymns which St. Thomas wrote, Adoro Te Devote. I have posted the Latin first and the English translation below. Yes, if the prayer in verse seven is granted even partially everything in the world will seem like straw.

Adoro te devote, latens Deitas,
Quae sub his figuris vere latitas;
Tibi se cor meum totum subiicit,
Quia te contemplans, totum deficit.

Visus, tactus, gustus in te fallitur,
Sed auditu solo tuto creditur;
Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius,
Nil hoc verbo veritatis verius.

In Cruce latebat sola Deitas.
At hic latet simul et humanitas:
Ambo tamen credens, atgue confitens,
Peto quod petivit latro paenitens.

Plagas, sicut Thomas, non intueor,
Deum tamen meum te confiteor:
Fac me tibi semper magis credere,
In te spem habere, te diligere.

O memoriale mortis Domini,
Panis vivus vitam praestans homini:
Praesta meae menti de te vivere,
Et te illi semper dulce sapere.

Pie pellicane Iesu Domine,
Me immundum munda tuo Sanguine:
Cuius una stilla salvum facere
Totum mundum quit ab omni scelere.

Iesu, quem velatum nunc aspicio,
Oro, fiat illud, quod tam sitio,
Ut te revelata cernens facie,
Visu sim beatus tuae gloriae. Amen.

and the translation by E. Caswall

O Godhead hid, devoutly I adore Thee,
Who truly art within the forms before me;
To Thee my heart I bow with bended knee,
As failing quite in contemplating Thee.

Sight, touch, and taste in Thee are each deceived;
The ear alone most safely is believed:
I believe all the Son of God has spoken,
Than Truth’s own word there is no truer token.

God only on the Cross lay hid from view;
But here lies hid at once the Manhood too:
And I, in both professing my belief,
Make the same prayer as the repentant thief.

Thy wounds, as Thomas saw, I do not see;
Yet Thee confess my Lord and God to be:
Make me believe Thee ever more and more;
In Thee my hope, in Thee my love to store.

O thou Memorial of our Lord’s own dying!
O Bread that living art and vivifying!
Make ever Thou my soul on Thee to live;
Ever a taste of Heavenly sweetness give.

O loving Pelican! O Jesu, Lord!
Unclean I am, but cleanse me in Thy Blood;
Of which a single drop, for sinners spilt,
Is ransom for a world’s entire guilt.

Jesu! Whom for the present veil’d I see,
What I so thirst for, O vouchsafe to me:
That I may see Thy countenance unfolding,
And may be blest Thy glory in beholding. Amen.

I have only looked at this briefly. Believe it or not, I am supposed to be writing three essays on the Summa Theologiae. Yeah, that’s what I am doing.

Well, that was what I was doing until came across this new website for the Congregation of the Clergy. There are so many gems there that I really might need to turn off my internet access if I am going to get these written in time to turn in tomorrow.

Anyway, here is the link:

H/T to the Ritualist.

Well, maybe not to a confessional near you, but it is a scary look at what may happen in some other denominations.

It’s also downright funny. Watch, laugh, and pray for vocations.

I saw this video a few weeks ago, but I didn’t get a chance to watch it until today. It contains excerpts from “And the world looks at us”, a 1964 Dominican Province of Saint Joseph vocation film written by Fr. Dominic Rover, O.P., and narrated by Dana Elcar. The original film was 28 min in length, but this is only nine minutes long. The scenes included here were filmed at St. Stephen Priory in Dover, MA, the Dominican House of Studies, Washington, D.C., and St. Dominic Church, Washington, D.C. From the archives of the Dominican Theological Library ( at the Dominican House of Studies, Washington, D.C.


You never know what jems you will find on YouTube. Listen to Pope John Paull II talk about his vocation to the priesthood.

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