Archive for June, 2009

I am the Vine…

June 30, 2009

The bishops of Rome not only represent an unbroken chain of apostolic succession from one visible head of the Church to another, they also show us an unbroken bond of friendship.

Pope Pius X consecrates the future Benedict XV as bishop:

The future Pope Pius XII delivers a package from Pope Benedict XV:

The future Pope Pius XII meets with Pope Pius XI:

Pope Pius XII meets with the future Pope John XXIII:

Pope John XXIII meets with the future Pope Paul VI:

Pope Paul VI meets with the future Pope John Paul I:

Pope John Paul I meets with the future Pope John Paul II:

Pope John Paul II meets with future Pope Benedict XVI:

The Pallium

June 29, 2009

Today is the feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, when the Holy Father bestows on new Archbishops the right to wear the pallium. Use of the pallium dates as far back as the 4th century. It seems that, from the beginning, the pope alone had the absolute right of wearing the pallium. Its use by others was tolerated only in virtue of the permission of the pope. We hear of the pallium being conferred on others, as a mark of distinction, as early as the sixth century.The modern pallium is a circular band about two inches wide, worn about the neck, breast, and shoulders, and having two pendants, one hanging down in front and one behind. The use of the pallium is reserved to the pope and archbishops, but the latter may not use it until, on petition they have received the permission of the Holy See. Bishops sometimes receive the pallium as a mark of special favor, but it does not increase their powers or jurisdiction nor give them precedence. The pope may use the pallium at any time. Others, even archbishops, may use it only in their respective dioceses.

The New Liturgical Movement has recently pointed out a change at the basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, where the mosaic roundel depicting Pope Benedict XVI in the pallium, designed by his former MC Msgr. Piero Marini, hung from 2005 to 2009. It was recently updated to show the Holy Father in the (proper) pallium brought in by his new MC, Msgr. Guido Marini (my favorite!)

Here before:

Here after:


June 28, 2009

Now that Dan is on the team, I can relax a bit. He is doing a great job isn’t he folks!

The Trappist fathers, my best friends! They brew Chimay, and I am their number 1 benefactor 😉

The Roman Collar

June 22, 2009

Someone presented the (difficult) challenge of talking about the history of the Roman collar worn by diocesan priests, well here goes:

The Roman collar was unknown as an article of ecclesiastical attire, in its present form, prior to the sixteenth century. And even at that time, it was irregular for religious orders to adopt the practice. It is an embroidered imitation of the turndown shirt-collar of ordinary dress.

In fact, what we now think of as the Roman collar isn’t Roman at all! The singular linen ring is only half of the package, since its original design included two cloth lappets which hung over the shirtfront. By the 18th century, we can even see secular “clerics” wearing the collar (its a clerical collar after all).

But I like what Pope Celestine once said regarding the matter: We [the bishops and clergy] should be distinguished from the common people by our learning, not by our clothes; by our conduct, not by our dress; by cleanness of mind, not by the care we spend upon our person.”

Sources: Ecclesiastical Vestments: Their Development and History, R.A.S. Macalister, M.A., 1896. ; A History of the Mass and its Ceremonies in the Eastern and Western Church, Rev. John O’Brien, A.M., 1886.

A diocesan priest wears the “Roman” collar with a rabat.

A rare instance of a religious in a clerical collar.

St. Marcellin Chapagnat shows us a variant of the old collar with lappets:

An example of an 18th century clerical collar (linen lappets):

The Redemptorists wear a cassock with a modified form of collar:

The Year of the Priest

June 19, 2009


The Year of the Priest begins today, the feast of the Sacred Heart. It ends June 19, 2010. St John Vianney has been chosen as a special representative of this year’s celebration, and the Holy Father will soon declare him patron of all priests, not just patron of parish priests!

Out of the Depths I Cry to You…

June 16, 2009

“While the catacombs depict the eloquent features of Christian life in the first centuries, they are also a perennial school of faith, hope and charity.
Walking through their tunnels, we breathe an evocative and moving atmosphere. Our gaze pauses on the innumerable series of tombs and on the simplicity they have in common. On the tombs we read the baptismal names of the deceased. As we run through those names, we seem to hear as many voices answering an eschatological call, and we remember the words of Lactantius: “There are neither servants nor masters among us; there is no reason for us to call ourselves brothers, except that we consider ourselves all equals”
–John Paul II, 16 January 1998 address to the staff of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology

Some images from my recent trip to Rome:

Trinity Sunday

June 7, 2009

“By calling God “Father”, the language of faith indicates two main things: that God is the first origin of everything and transcendent authority; and that he is at the same time goodness and loving care for all his children. God’s parental tenderness can also be expressed by the image of motherhood, which emphasizes God’s immanence, the intimacy between Creator and creature. The language of faith thus draws on the human experience of parents, who are in a way the first representatives of God for man. But this experience also tells us that human parents are fallible and can disfigure the face of fatherhood and motherhood. We ought therefore to recall that God transcends the human distinction between the sexes. He is neither man nor woman: he is God. He also transcends human fatherhood and motherhood, although he is their origin and standard: no one is father as God is Father.”–CCC 239

The altarpiece of the FSSP parish in Rome, Ss. Trinita Dei Pellegrini:

Catholic Ear Candy: The Trisagion, the thrice-holy hymn to the thrice-holy God.

Which Riseth up to Heaven…

June 1, 2009

“Let my prayer be directed as incense in thy sight; the lifting up of my hands, as evening sacrifice. Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth: and a door round about my lips.”–Ps. 141